TEVA I TAI – DANCE

THEME : Pa’itoanu’u from Fatutira

This story happened a long time ago, at a time when the great navigator Ta’ihia was the ari’i of Tautira. Rēhia and his wife Huauri lived then in the valley Ata’aroa of Vaitepiha. When Huauri became pregnant with her second child, she was craving for uhi. Her husband Rēhia resolved to go to the bottom of the valley to bring back the yam that Huauri so much desired. Alas for him, while he was digging up the yams, the two witches who were living in the valley killed him by burying him under huge rocks.

Huauri remained alone until the birth of her son. When the latter was born, she confided to the gods the child who resembled a ball, by wrapping him in ‘auti leaves. The gods brought him to Ta’aroa who placed him in the gourd where the child grew up. He gave him the names of Pa’itoanu’u and Pa’iara’i.

Once he had grown up and strong, Pa’i found out from Ta’aroa that he was the child of Rēhia and Huauri. He felt the desire to find his parents. He, therefore, returned to Ata’aroa. There he learned that the witches had killed his father. He went into the valley, killed them and made a spear using fau –pūrau and the bones of the witches to make the point. He called it Rufautumu. To balance his spear, he tried it by throwing it towards the bottom of the valley. It impaled Vaiami. He heaved it a second time, and it landed at Tata’a.

Shortly afterwards, Hiro and his brothers arrived to steal Mount Rotui from Mo’orea. From Tāta’a, where the footprint of his foot still stands, Pa’i threw Rufautumu, which pierced through the mountain that has been called Mou’a Puta ever since. All this noise awoke the roosters of the island of Mo’orea, which caused Hiro and his brothers to flee. Pa’i hurled Rufautumu so strongly that after crossing Mou’a Puta his spear landed at Ra’iātea where it tore a mountain into pieces and caused the ground to quake. Pa’i is definitely the son of humans because he is concerned about their fate, and he is the son of the gods because he has their power.
This legend reminds us that, like Pa’i, we must pay tribute to our elders, honor their memory, and fight to preserve the legacy they left us.