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COOK ISLANDS.

The death of tinomana ariki. some interesting history, (From a Correspondent.) September 17th. On the evening of Saturday, the sth inst., Tmomana Mereana departed this life. The deceased lady was ill for only a few days. The late Tinomana was the third ariki to occupy the position since the arrival of the missionaries to this island, and Held the title for twentyseven years, which is a record term of office as ariki for the Tinomana family, her predecessors seldom holding the title longer than five years. According to Rarotongan records, some of the elected arikis only retained $he title for one day, being "accidentally" killed after the ceremony of anointing and installation •had been performed. Of course, the death would be considered as an act of the gods who did not approve of the person chosen to hold the sacred office of ariki. Tinomana Mereana was a direct dcs- , cendaht of the famous Tangiianui of .Polynesian history, who flourished about twenty-eight generations ago. She was descended from a junior branch. The elder branch of the Tinomana f amily are represented in the many tribes of JNew Zealand and Aitutaki. As well as being ariki of Arorangi, she was the next rightful successor to the present Makeanui, one of the principal arikis of Avarua, she being a granddaughter of Te-Vaerua, the eldest daughter of Makea Pori. During the last few days friction has arisen amongst the kopu-ariki or ariki family as to who, should succeed to the title. They were advised to hold a family meeting, and select one 1 of their number to fill the office. Tho NgatiTauei and families held a family councfl, as advised, and invited the other family named Take to take part. They refused, and allied themselves with the Mataiapos in hopes of one of their number being elected. The Ngati-Tauei and Ngati-Pepeia decided upon Napa as their candidate, and submitted his name for the approval oF the Governor of New Zealand, for, according to regulations dealing with these matters, the election of arikis, kavanas, and mataiapos must now have the approval of His Excellency. On the other hand, the 'mataiapos, . without referring the matter to the authorities, forthwith elected and anointed their ariki, choosing a young man named Tuoro, from the Take family, thus by their action refus- I ing to recognise the 'right of the Gover_or to approve of the ariki elected, at the same time disregarding the ancient j custom that had been observed for hundreds of years, which was that, in the event of electing an ariki for either the district, or avarua, or arorangi, the approval of Pa Ariki and Kainuku Ariki had first to be obtained before the ceremony of anointing and installation could take -place. ■ \ Pa Ariki, as superior ' ariki of Takitnmu, and in fact of the "whole island, must first be consulted according to ancient custom. It is a truth that is not generally known that Pa, as the descendant of Iro-nui, takes precedence to the othe v arikis. Much has been written about- the JMakea history, and that Makea is often quoted as " Queen of Rarotonga." It is owing to such statements as this that it is extremely difficult to obtain any reliable folklore from the keepers of the ancient family history of the Rarotongan history, as the true chiefs of Takitumu are extremely jealous of their family history, and will not readily impart it to anyone who they know has received a version from the avarua so-called "priests.'* It would be advisable that the JResi-' dent Commissioner should be empowered to deal directly with these matters, especially so in this case where the mataiapos have practically defied the powers that be, inasmuch that certain, regulations have been laid down for such matters, and were published in the Cook* Islands Gazette of sth September, 1905. And certainly, from the stand now takenby these mataiapos, it would be well to give them a lesson so that in case of any such thing happening again, they,, the people and relations of any ariki, Would know what course they would have to pursue in order not "to clash with the authorities, aad so that they may know that they will receive fair and just treatment from the authorities as well as be protected against the bounceable lesser chiefs. i It will not perhaps be out of place to give the family tree in order to see the rights and the wrongs of the case. The three families now at loggerheads are descendants of Tinomana-Enua-Rurutini by his three wives. One wife, named Tepori, was a daughter of Pa Ariki, and by this wife he had three children, namely, Te-uira-kamo-ariki, ,Vainu (also known as Te-vaerua-o-te-rangi) and Te-ariki-tapu-rangi. The first named is now represented in the person of her daughter, who is now an old woman, and too old to hold the position, besides she has lived all her life in Ngatangiia. Vainu married the pioneer native missionary Pepehia ; they* have descendants, the eldest representative of whom is Makea Karika, the other members of this family are called Ngati-Pepeia. Te-ariki-tapu-rangi was the father of the late Tinomana Mereana. Mereana married a European named J. M. Salmon. Her relatives strongly objected to the marriage, in consequence of which the couple lied to Tahiti. When her family saw that she would not give her lover up they, with very bad grace, consented to the marriage, and sent for the couple to return to Rarotonga, where they were married by the missionary. There are no children of this marriage. The second wife was a daughter of Tama-au, a direct descendant of Tinomana Ruananga, and therefore the senior branch. By this Mvife he had three children, namely Napa (no descendants), Tauci, and -Tepini (no issue). Tauei's son is Kapa, the present proposed ariki, a very quiet and unassuming man. By tile third wife Runitini had two sons, namely, Take and Pipo. Popi , had a son named Tinirau, but both lather and son were "accidentally" killed. Take is tho grandfather of the present family, who number four. * Take died in durance vile, he having murdered his wife out of jealousy, and would have been in -turn killed by the wife's relatives had not the then Tinomana intervened ; however he was locked up in n stone build- J ing until he died. The mataiapos solemnly declaring that none of this family would succeed to the position of ariki, and, forgetting the oath made by the grandfathers, some of these mataiapos have elected Tuoro, a member of this very family. However, the kopuariki will not in any way recognise him, for they consider that he has no superior right as against them, they being his senior, though they recognise he has standing as an inferior rangatira. Another candidate has at the last moment been proposed by the old woman Tearea, a daughter of Te-uira-kamo-ariki, ibe claiming that she has the sole right to appoint whom she chooses as against the other members of the family. The majority of the other members of the family do not approve of this, as they want a man who has resided perman- j ently in Aorangi, whereas Tinirau re- J sides in Avarua. The family will, howaver, support him as against Tuoro. The whole matter has been submitted to the New Zealand authorities, and it is to be hoped that the matter will be J settled satisfactorily to both sides, although it is a foregone conclusion that the mataiapos will not be satisfied if their action is not upheld. In their case it is necessary that a severe lesson be administered, for from all accounts

they did this action deliberately and waited to see what course the authorities would pursue — they must be taught that they cannot continue on in their old methods when laws are laid down for their guidance and that all things must be done accordingly, that they cannot carry out their modernMaori ideas, which are unfair and unjust in many cases. The rainfall for the month of July measured 4.71 and for August 6.86. Mean barometer readings for the month of August are 30.192. The coming orange season promises to be a good one judging from the profuse blossoms and oranges on the trees. Last season's crop was very small. The out-going Talune takes away small consignments of second crop oranges which -are far superior to tlhe 1 first crop. Since Mr. A. E. Reid's arrival he has been very busy inspecting the fruit trees growing *on the plantations owned by European planters, as well as making a general inspection of the Native orchids, and it is to be hoped that his investigations will result in finding that neither the, Queensland nor tho Mediterranean fruit-fly have reached here, and that we iave no dangerous fruit pests or blights here. Mr. Reid left a week or so ago by the schooner '"Vaite 1 * foi the outlying islands of the Gi*up and will inspect the fruit trees of those islands.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19081006.2.111

Bibliographic details

COOK ISLANDS., Evening Post, Volume LXXVI, Issue LXXVI, 6 October 1908

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1,500

COOK ISLANDS. Evening Post, Volume LXXVI, Issue LXXVI, 6 October 1908

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