DEATH OF TINOMANA ARIKI.
I » ..... RIVAL CLAIMAXTS FOR THE ABTKfSHIP. (From Our Own Correspondent.) RAROTOXGA, September 16. Mereana Tinomana, Ariki of Arorangi, in the island of Rarotonga, died at | ' Makea's palace, Avarua, on the sth inst., | after a short illness. The deceased j Ariki (who was a. woman) was the sec-1 ond Ariki in importance and position j in Rarotonga, and ranked next to Makea, ] Ariki of Avarua, to whom she was close- j ly related. Mereana Tinomana was a! daughter of Tinomana Teariki Tapurangi, aDd a granddaughter, on her mother's side, of Makea Tevairua. She was appointed Ariki pi Arorangi in 1881, having been given the title by Tauei, a member of an elder branch of the Tinomana family, who had been elected as Ariki by the Mataiapos of Puaikura (Arorangi), but who declined the position. Mereana was a direct descendant of the great Tangiia, who arrived in Rarotonga over 800 years ago, her genealogy showing 28 generations. Over 100 years ago the Tinomana family were the leading chiefs in the northern part of the island, but shortly after the arrival of the missionaries the power of the Tinomanas waned, and the Makea family came into prominence, and have since provided the chief Ariki of the island of Rarotonga. About thirty years ago Mereana married a young American, Mr. John M. Salmon. Their engagement was not acceptable to the relations of Mereana,' so the young couple ran away together! to Tahiti, but afterwards returned to Rarotonga and got married. Mr, Salmon, who at one time took a promin-1 ent part in the Xative Parliament, sur-1 vives his wife, but they have no issue. The deceased Ariki, who was 60 years of age, was buried in Makea's own burial ground on the Sth inst., the service being conducted by the Rev. J. J. K. Hutchin, assisted by three native missionaries. The funeral was attended by the Resident Commissioner (Col. Gudgeon), the Government officers, the members of the Europea.n community, and all the leading natives. Makea Ariki and Mr. Salmon were the chief mourners, and the coffin was borne to the vault by the Mataiapos of Puaikura. The appointment of a new Ariki for Arorangi is receiving consideration, and it is probable that Xapa, a son of the Tauei, who did not accept the position in 18S1, will be a candidate, as it was I then arranged that on Mereana's death the title should revert to .the Tauei branch of the Tinomana family. It has been notified by the Resident Commissioner that on the death of any of the present Arikis, the new Ariki, before being approved of on behalf of the Government, should be given clearly to understand that the old mana of the Ariki over the lands of the people was at an end, and that the Ariki of the future would merely be looked upon as the leading native in his district for the purposes contemplated by law. that is, as a member of the Federal and Island Councils, and as the one most concerned to see that the various laws were observed and all public works properly carried out by the people of the Anki's dsitrict. Within the last few days complications have arisen in regard to the succession to the Arikiship of Arorangi, A3 before stated, Mereana Tinomana died without;, issue, and in the natural course of events j another member of the '"Kopu Ariki," that is. the Ariki family, would become i successor, subject to election by the Mataiapos. and the approval by the Resident Commissioner. There are three | families of the "Kopu Ariki,'' namely,] the Pepeia family, the Tauei family, and i the Take family, whose descendants' would thus be entitled to succession, j It was suggested by the Resident Commissioner that the heads of theso three \ families should meet and choose one of! their number to be Ariki, and if the j j one so chosen should be agreeable to the I majority of the Mataiapos, then he j would be. approved of by the Resident Commissioner in accordance with the law.; However, the Take family, which is un- i doubtedly the junior family, in conjunc-l tion with four of the Arorangi Mataia-! pos, took the matter in their own hands j and declared Tuoro Take the Ariki. This has put up the backs of the other. members of the "Kopu Ariki.'" with the: result that the majority of the Pepeia! family have nominated Tinirau Pepeia J for the office, and the Tauei family are supporting Xapa Tauei. although ithey ! I are inclined to support Tinirau as against: ! Tuoro. The Resident Commissioner has ; declined to recognise the election of j Tuoro Take, and is referring the whole j : matter to the Minister at Wellington. lAs may be imagined, party feeling is j ! running very high at Arorangi, and' ! several meetings of the various factions j have had to be dispersed by the police. : Both Makea Ariki and Karika Ariki, who are relations of the Tinomana family and the Arikis of Takitumu, express their i • annoyance at the action of the Take I family and their adherents in forcing on , the so-called election of Tuoro, and thus attempting to prefer a junior member of ; a junior family to the elders of the : senior families. Until a reply is received from Xew Zealand, the matter of the succession will remain in a bey- j ance. The succession to the various lands' held by Tinomana will be shortly con-1 sidered by the Land Titles Court.' It is probable that the lands will be divided j •amongst the members of the Ariki I family. .