Wars of Nuku Hiva

The Origin of the Wars of Nuku Hiva

There was a Tongan chief in Vavau and he set sail on his canoe sailing to the east. He stopped at eight islands, then he went to a ninth. If you look at a map and ignore Samoa, there are eight islands between Vavau and the island of Nuku Hiva in the Northern Marquesas islands. Nuku Hiva means the Ninth Island. In the first canoe that came to Nuku Hiva there were these two brothers on the canoe named Teii and Taipi. During the canoe voyage they argued over something. When they got to Nuku Hiva they must have kept on arguing because their descendants split into two tribes that were named Teii and Taipi and they fought each other for a long time.

It is kind of funny, those people who first came to Nuku Hiva brought the goodness of their homeland with them in the form of the plants and animals that they carried in their canoe. Their plans were to grow those plants and animals and have all the good food that they remembered from their distant homeland. In the midst of that goodness that they were bringing with them, there were these two brothers, Teii and Taipi, who were arguing and who wouldn’t stop.

(I don’t remember where I read the first half of this story. The second half is from ‘Islands and Beaches: Discourse On A Silent Land’ by Greg Denning.) Revised: June 13, 1996 Copyright © 1996 Daniel (Taniera) Longstaff