Taputapuaatea 

Settled around 300 A.D by descendants from the original Irihia tribes, Pora Pora and Raiatea are considered the ancient cradle of Polynesia Society.

Sometime after original settlement of Pora Pora a young cheif named Te Fatu sailed from Rotuma north of the Fiji Islands with a sacred rock from his marae.

On arriving at Pora Pora he presented his rock to Te’ura and took her as his bride.

It was they whom founded the royal marae Farerua near Fanui in Pora Pora.

Marae Farerua was constructed with two sacred stones at each front corner.

One stone belonged to Te Fatu and the other was gifted to Te’ura from the Pora Pora royal marae thus, creating a great seat of unified royalty whom were responsible for the creation of the Hau Faa Tau Aroha, –friendly alliance- centered at Opua, Raiatea.

As a result of Hau Faa Tau Aroha all the islands east of Raiatea were called Te Ao Uri, and those to the west were named Te Ao Tea.

The original marae at Opua was called Vae’ara’i, situated within the valley of Nu’u Te Vao Tapu –belly of Ta’aroa-.

It was built upon the spot where the god Ta’aroa first placed his foot when he first stepped upon the earth.

Ta’aroa then placed his upper jaw at marae Mata’ire’a in Huahine and his lower jaw upon marae Vai’otaha in Pora Pora.

Next, followed the marae Tini Rau Hui Mata Te Papa o Feoro, belonging to Ta’aroa, located on the coastal promontory Matahiraitera‘i in Opoa.

The construction of Tini Rau Hui Mata Te Papa o Feoro involved moving the previous religious ceremonial center, which had been located inland, to the coastal promontory where the marae now faced the reef pass.

The eight learning stones representing the original eight ariki of Raiatea were installed next to Tini Rau Hui Mata Te Papa o Feoro.

ArikiPohatuPosistion  
Moe te Ra’uri‘Opu Tane RuaE Ha’ai -principle seat –center 
Mara’a Ari’iTe tini o te Ra’i/ Maro te Tini
Te Ave Ari’iTe Pu Maro ‘UraTe tahi ia tarahu-side seats
Te Atea Nu’uTe Pu ia Matari’i
Mo’ari’iNu’u Tapu io Te Hau
Te Puna Atua Tuhua Iti o Ana
Te A’arehu Nu’u Hiva I Te Ata
Te Iho Ari’i Te Pua Pe I Hauviri

Ta’aroa eventually gave Tini Rau Hui Mata Te Papa o Feoro to his son ‘Oro whom renamed it Vai’otaha.

All new marae dedicated to Hahi o ‘Oro were then subsequently called Vai’otaha.

For many generations since the inception of the Hau Faa Tau Aroha alliance; royalty, priests, scholars, artisans and warriors from all the alliance Islands far and wide would all gather at Opua to celebrate annual religious observances and hold international deliberations.

Within the high rituals performed by Tahu’a at Vai’otaha, the red feathered girdle represented Opua, whilst the yellow feathered girdle represented Pora Pora.

The white feather girdle represented Ao Tea, while the black feather girdle represented Ao Uri.

Around 1275 A.D, Hiro –Iro Nui-, having returned home to live with his mother in Raiatea renamed Vai’otaha calling it Taputapuaatea, and re-dedicating it to Hahi o ‘Oro.

It is said that Ta’aroa required no sacrifice while ‘Oro demanded human sacrifice.

Under the Hau Faa Tau Aroha alliance, Taputapuaatea continued to function as a place where the world of the living intersected with the world of the ancestors and the gods.

The alliance was eventually shattered around 1375 A.D with the events known as The Sin at Awarua.

The Sin at Awarua was a war fought between Uenuku Whakarongo and Turi resulting in Turi having to flee Raiatea in the Aotea Waka via Te Awarua pass and not the Te Avamo’a pass.

After this event the Hau Faa Tau Aroha alliance was collapsed.

Around 1763, warriors from Pora Pora attacked Raiatea, defeating the present Ariki, Tupaia, and ransacking the island.

This included destroying the god-houses at Taputapuaatea, wrecking the platform, and cutting down the sheltering trees.

Owing to the disastrous results of this war Tupaia was exiled to Tahiti where in 1769 he met the European navigator and sailor Captain James Cook.

Tupaia subsequently accompanied Cook on his journey to discover Aotearoa.

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