Hema

Hema and his elder brother Pu grew into fine young men, and both were adepts in surf riding.

One day as the two were preparing to go out and surf ride, their mother asked Pu to dress her hair but he did not comply and she said, “Ah, your wife will not be a woman of distinction.”

Then as Hema came by she asked him to dress her hair, which he readily did.

As he combed her long locks and braided them he discovered a louse and taking it out he showed it to her.

She said, “Your wife will be a notable woman.”

As time went on Pu took to himself a wife named Te ‘Ura -redness-, and she bore him five sons named, Arihi Nui Apua, Taoeapua, Orooro I Pua, Te Mata Tuiau Ia Ro’o, and Te Mata A’a Ra’i.

The son Hema obtained a goddess for a wife in the following manner.


One day Hina told Hema to go in the early morning and dig a hole in the eastern bank of Vai Po’opo’o – hollow river- at Ha’apape in which he must conceal himself, and then he would see a beautiful woman from the Netherlands who would come to a pool close by to bathe.

He would find her very strong, and so must catch her from behind unawares by her hair and before putting her down carry her past four houses in bringing her home.

So at daybreak Hema went as directed, and just as the first rays of the sun appeared he completed his hiding place and concealed himself within it.

In a little while he saw approaching from an opening in the earth the goddess described.

She quietly entered the bathing place, dived and swam in the water.

When she had bathed herself, wrung out her hair, she stood upon the bank adjusting it close by Hema with her back turned towards him.

He then approached her, quickly twisted some hair around his wrist and thus secured her as she strongly endeavoured to escape him.

He at last bore her up in his arms and was carrying her homewards when after passing two houses, she begged to be released, so he let her go thinking she would walk by his side.

But in a moment she sped away and disappeared through the opening in the ground which closed after her.

Hema returned home dejected, and when he told his mother what had happened, she told him to go again the following morning for the goddess, taking heed not to release her until they had passed four houses in coming home.

He could not eat that day from over-anxiety to obtain the beautiful wife, and before daybreak he was again in his hiding place by the river awaiting her return.

She came earlier than on the previous day intending to avoid the intruder, and hastily she bathed herself and stood again upon the bank near Hema, who then caught her as before and carried her, struggling to be released, all the way home.

Finding that the people of the upper world had seen her in the company of Hema and that they regarded her as his wife and becoming attached to him and all his, she consented to remain with them, and she a goddess married Hema a mortal man, according to the religious rites of their time.

The name she received in the upper world was Hina Tahutahu –hina the magician- because of her supernatural origin and her power to do many wonderful things, such as healing the sick, reading people’s thoughts, and foretelling things to happen, but her real name was Uru Tonga–atonga-.

Hina who has descent from Niwareka bore Hema two children, Arihi Nui Apua, -great enchanted net- and a giant red headed –‘ehu- child who was hairy like his grandfather, and whose names were Tafa’i ‘iri ‘ura –by revelation the red skinned- ,Vai ta Fa’i –fixed by revelation- ,and Tafa’i Uri i Tetua i Havai’i –by revelation piloting in the sea of havai’i- evolutions of appellations that were caused by the development of circumstances, but all of which have resolved themselves in Tahiti and other groups into the name Tafa’i, simply.

His Maaori name is Tawhaki.

When Tawhaki was born his father sailed to get the red Tapa for his son.

During the voyage, Hema was seized by the Ponaturi tribe and died in Kahiki.

His body was carried away and his bones hung up inside the house of the Ponaturi people known as Manawa Taane.

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