A story of Ahu and Ahuahu and their family in a Maori village in Aotearoa during European settlement of New
Zealand. (Click on Ahu in
the labels bar for previous posts)
The funeral of Hoku's father Ruaimoko, took place and the
whole village of Gannet
Island together with many
people from Rocky Outcrop who had walked down in the early morning to say their farewells.
Ahuahu addressed the people gathered at the burial grounds and gave an oration.
Mahuika and Hoku sang their laments and many tears were shed. Tiemi stood back
from the crowd but Houhia kept her eyes him all the time.
The following day Hoku's baby Aotahi was welcomed into
her pori and there
was much rejoicing as Aotea her husband was very popular as Ahuahu’s representative there.
A number of the village people from Rocky Outcrop were also invited to stay for
the celebrations and a hangi was held in the evening although Hoku soon took
Aotahi back to their whare to feed her and get her off to sleep. Although
Hatiti and Houhia also were there Tangaroa and Horowai and Hekehoru and Tui
stayed at Black Sands.
During the evening Ahuahu noticed Haeata sitting
with the other women so he beckoned to her to approach him. She came
over and knelt by his side.
“As Ruaimoko died the day we came I have not
been able to talk to anyone about you. Ahuahu then turned to Aotea. “Haeata here
is now a widow and has no one to look after her. Her parents no longer live
here but as she wishes to stay here. We should help her.”
Aotea smiled at his father and whispered in
his ear. ”There is an unmarried man at Black Sands Tangaroa’s age who has not
married. Why don’t you talk to Kamaka your old friend about his son Paikea?”
Ahuahu nodded and turned back to Haeata “We have another idea. I will discuss your need to be looked after at Black Sands. You will not be left to fend for yourself. Until you
hear from me speak to Aotea if you need anything.”
Haeata looked at Aotea and he nodded to her and said. “It
is best that you speak to Hoku, Haeata. Woman’s’ talk is best, especially at
this time now she has a new baby.”
On the journey back to Black Sands Ahu asked
Ahuahu about his conversation with Haeata. She shook her head “Do not mention
this Ahuahu. Let Hatiti talk to her brother Paikea. We must not arrange her
family’s marriages. Our task is to test Tiemi. Houhia is too much in love with him to
So Hatiti went to see Hoata, Kamaka’s wife
the following day. Hoata who was Kamaka’s second wife who he had married after Hatiti
and Hinewai’s mother had died. She had given him a son Paikea who was about the
same age as Tangaroa. He still lived at home and fished with his father as
Kamaka was getting old and needed help. Paikea had many meetings with the local girls
but he never asked any to be his wife. He knew he would have to look after his
mother Hoata when Kamaka died and had not found a possible wife that made him
want to tell Hoata about.
When Hatiti mentioned the young widow who was
childless at Gannet
Island to Hoata, Hoata
nodded and asked Hatiti if she knew about her. Hatiti nodded “Horowai, told me
that Haeata asked Tangaroa if she could be his wife when she fled with her
parents from Big River all those years ago. She had lost
her promised husband in the fighting there with the pakeha so her parents
promised Haeata to an old widower at Gannet
Island so that they could
all live there in safety. The widower is now dead, her parents have moved on, so she has no one to look after
her and she has no children.”
Hoata nodded and asked what Tangaroa thought
of her. Hatiti smiled “Tangaroa is a good husband to Horowai, he told her
everything. He even told Horowai that Haeata was a beautiful woman and would be
wasted and unhappy with the old man. Yet according to Aotea she was not
unfaithful to him.” Hatiti thought for a little while then added, “Tangaroa
said she used to fish with her father and that she was a strong woman. Surely Paikea would
like that,” she added with a smile.
Hoata thought about it and then said “I
wonder if he would like a young widow? How could he meet her? More importantly," she said laughing how can I meet her?”
Hatiti and Hoata talked for some time
planning and plotting, then when Kamaka and Paikea returned from fishing Hatiti
greeted them warmly and said “We have talked enough, Ahu will wonder where I
have been,” and bade them farewell.
Later Haeata was invited to come down to
Black Sands to stay with Ahu’s family. She came and was introduced to Paikea by
Hatiti. Paikea took her fishing and before long they were living together and Haeata
was pregnant with a broad smile on her face.