continuing story of Ahu and Ahuahu her husband in a Maori village in Aotearoa
before European settlement of New
Zealand. (Have you missed an episode? Click on Ahu in
the labels bar for previous posts)
running now for some time is set in pre-colonial New Zealand
(Aotearoa) during Queen Victoria's reign, monarch of the expanding
British Empire. In this chapter Ahuahu now head man of the village
of Black Sands has been
procrastinating over the future of his eldest daughter Hekehoru who
marry a man in the village, while trying to appease the colonists to
ensure his village stays secure.
Tui and Hekehoru had been seeing each other
for some time. Yet they had not married. Ahuahu had always told Hekehoru she
should wait a little longer. Ahu grieved for her daughter Hekehoru as she knew
she wanted to marry Tui and even she thought he would be a good husband but
Ahuahu could not forget Tui’s elder brother Paikea and his treatment of Moana
and his foolish opinions and decisions in his short life. Ahuahu considered
himself to be a surrogate father to Moana and felt guilty that he had not
prevented the outcome.
Tui loved Hekehoru tenderly and even other
village council members thought he would be suitable to join them soon but
Ahuahu was not convinced. Eventually Hekehoru spoke to Ahu.
“Help me Ahu, you are my mother, I am your
elder daughter. I should be married. You know I have found the man to be my
husband. You let me see him yet Ahuahu will not let me marry. Soon I shall
surely bring his baby home. Please speak to Ahuahu for me.”
Later that night when Ahu and Ahuahu were
together Ahu whispered to him. “It is time to let Hekehoru go. Tui is not
Paikea, you know that. She weeps for him, they should be married and soon.
Surely the trial you have put them through is over. He is sensible; he is
faithful only to her. Please let him speak to you again.”
Ahuahu grunted, “Go to sleep Ahu, but I will tell
Hekehoru to send Tui to me. But I will promise nothing.”
“Perhaps Hatiti and I will promise nothing
either.” She replied.
Ahuahu grunted in reply “Let me think on it.”
The next morning before he went fishing
Ahuahu spoke to Hekehoru. “Daughter you are very precious to me. You were born
in the woods there” pointing to his left, “just up from the beach and I was
there to see you take your first breath. I should not have been there but I
was. I love all my children but with you I have that special bond. I will do
anything to protect you but now I know it is time to let you go and it hurts me
“Why was I never told?” Hekehoru said as she
burst into tears. She wrapped him in her arms hugging him tight.
“You are being told now. When is the best
time to admit to breaking a tapu, Hekehoru? I have decided that this is the
time for me. All my children are precious but with you it is different, the
gods changed me that day. Send Tui to me after I have got back from fishing.”
Later that afternoon when Ahu returned Tui
was waiting for him. Ahuahu looked him up and down and then said hearing the
murmur of voices elsewhere in the whare. “We will talk in the meeting house
there are too many ears in this house.” So they walked across to the village
meeting house and then sat down together.
In the fading light of the afternoon Tui once
again professed his love for Hekehoru. He promised to look after her and give
as her many sons as she wanted. He would stay in the village, work hard and
make her happy. He would even give Ahuahu some gifts that belonged to his
father the old chief. Ahuahu merely nodded at all that Tui was saying. Then put
up his hand for Tui to stop talking. “I need more, Tui.”
Tui looked around the meeting house and saw
the old weapons and ornaments from years ago on the walls. He got up and seized
a ceremonial club from the wall; it was a Toki Pou Tangata. This was weapon
with an intricately carved handle and a greenstone blade affixed.
“This was a gift to my father Ahuahu. So you
could say it is mine now as I am his only remaining son. It is my gift to you.”
Here Tui paused then continued looking Ahuahu directly in his eyes, “If I ever I
hurt Hekehoru you may kill me with it.”
There was silence for a few seconds then Tui
continued “I will give up my life for her, I want none other than her.”
Ahuahu nodded, “Then she is yours. You may
present me with this gift at the wedding ceremony. You need to give me nothing
more.” He then leaned over held Tui by the shoulders and rubbed noses with him.
As they walked back out of the building
Ahuahu said, “Arrange the wedding date with Ahu so that your sisters who live
far away can come to the wedding with their families.” Then as an afterthought
he said, “Come back with me now to tell Hekehoru and have a meal with us, but I
expect it will be a noisy one with much woman’s talk.”
Tui nodded and said, “Ahuahu, I will not fail
“Remember Tui how much Hekehoru means to me,
I do not want to kill the man she loves, so do not test me.”
Read about Hekehoru's birth by clicking Hekehoru in the labels bar below.
Tapu - Taboo, forbidden.
Toki Pou Tangata - Intricately carved weapon with a greenstone blade