The Last Battle - Part II

Part II: The Murder of Rei

Apeiti, the chief of Rikitea, spent the night with a woman of Kirimiro village. She became pregnant and she gave birth to a boy named Rei.

When Apeiti discovered that he had had a son by this woman he had the boy brought to live with him in Rikitea. The boy grew up and one day he went to visit his half-sister in Kirimiro village.

This was during the time of the conflict between Taku and Rikitea and Kirimiro village was allied with Taku. Because of this, when Rei went to Kirimiro village to visit his half sister, he had to do it secretly. This is because he was the son of the Rikitea chief. He came to his half-sister’s house and he hid in her house.

One morning she went out and she told her two sons that they were not to speak of their uncle to the people in the village. The two boys went out to pick some fruit and the younger boy said to his older brother that he was picking a certain fruit for Rei. This conversation was heard by an old man who went to the house and peeked in and saw a man asleep in the house. He recognized him as Rei, the son of Apeiti, the Rikitea chief and the enemy of the village of Kirimiro.

He then went to the people in the Kirimiro village and told them who was in the house. They took their weapons and they entered the house and they killed Rei. Then they roasted and ate him.

When Rei’s half-sister returned and saw her brother was dead, she went onto the mountain, onto the ridge above the village of Rikitea and she called down to the her uncle, Apeiti, the chief of Rikitea, to tell him that his son, Rei, was dead.

The warriors of Rikitea prepared themselves and they came over the ridge and started to descend into Kirimiro. As they were coming down the hill they met the old man who had discovered that Rei was sleeping in Kirimiro. They asked some questions to this old man and then they killed him.

They cut him open to see what he had been eating and they found the tattooed thumb of Rei. When they saw the thumb, one of these warriors said, “This pig was closer to Rei than we thought.”

Then they descended into Kirimiro and started to kill the people who fled towards Taku.

Then things really started to heat up.

from Ethnology of Mangareva by Te Rangi Hiroa [Peter H. Buck].

Revised: March 26, 1997

Copyright © 1996 Daniel (Taniera) Longstaff