Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tangaroa, Horowai and their first child (No. 93)



Ahu and Ahuahu’s eldest son Tangaroa had married Hatiti’s first child Horowai. She was the daughter of Hatiti’s first husband Kaihautu but he had died in an accident at the Hot Springs when Horowai was but a year old. Hatiti then widowed was allowed by Ahu to stay with her to help feed Hekehoru and then to become Ahuahu’s second wife. Ahu thought that she was ill and there would be no one to look after her children if she died. She knew Hatiti had always loved Ahuahu after he had saved her life after the tidal wave when she had been swept out to sea and was thought to be drowned. She had been rescued by Ahuahu; he had found her washed up in the trees some way from the village a day or two later. Hatiti had loved him from that day on.


Horowai and Tangaroa now lived at the Hot Springs in a whare provided by Kaihutu’s father who was overjoyed that his granddaughter should live close to them. His name was Ikaroa which meant the band of stars in the sky we call the Milky Way. He liked Tangaroa. Even though the young man had been brought up as a fisherman, he said he wanted Tangaroa to become the hereditary leader of their community after him to look after the Hot Springs and conduct the rituals and welcoming ceremonies there.

Tangaroa and Horowai had been brought up together and he had always been the one to look after her and protect her and she followed him everywhere and always thought they would eventually be married. Their first baby came quickly and it was not long before Horowai went down the women’s birthing site to deliver her child. Ikaroa was especially pleased when their first child, his great grandson was born. Ikaroa had become quite old and frail and could hardly walk or speak any more. The new born baby was placed carefully in his arms and Tangaroa said to him “Ikaroa, Horowai and I have come to ask if you approve that we call this child Kaihautu after Horowai’s father.

Ikaroa nodded, “But should he not be called Ahuahu after your father Tangaroa?”

Tangaroa shook his head, “Ahuahu has three sons and two daughters; there will be many boys for his name to be passed on to in the future. You had but one son, Kaihautu and he had but one child Horowai. Where will Horowai’s history go if we do not remember it now?” 

The old man looked down and shed a tear. “There must be a wind blowing the dust, I have something in my eyes. Do what you will Tangaroa. But yes, it does please me very much. Next time Horowai” he said glancing up at her and wiping his eyes, “Bring me a girl child for your grandmother.”

Tangaroa tried not to smile at the old man’s tears. He returned the baby to Horowai, grinned at her and in doing so rubbed noses too. She placed the baby at her breast and it immediately began to suck at her greedily. Everybody laughed when the old man said “Perhaps his name should have been Takapu, the gannet, for he really dives in for his food”.

 

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6 comments:

  1. I was under the impression you had called a halt to these stories. I am delighted you haven't, as will many other people be.

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  2. I love the tribute 'Ahuahu has three sons and two daughters; there will be many boys for his name to be passed on to in the future. You had but one son, Kaihautu and he had but one child Horowai. Where will Horowai’s history go if we do not remember it now?”
    Such a great way to put it.

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  3. Another Ahu, and so soon! Great! Thank you.

    That was really sweet of Tangeroa. But he's right. Ahuahu's line is strong.

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  4. Thanks Alice, Sheilagh and Leigh. The wailing and gnashing of teeth was so great that I decided to put this snippet up to indicate the type of story that would appear from time to time. Future ones will not necessarily follow the time line of the main story but be side stories plucked from the whole saga that hadn't seen the light of day until now.

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  5. This is my first time reading your series and I really like it.

    I especially like the talk of naming the baby, it's a beautiful conversation.

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