A Tahitian Legend


Hiro was the Polynesian god of thieves and Pai was a mighty warrior. One night when the waning moon was rising Hiro and his band of thieves went to Aimeo (Moorea) and tried to steal the sacred mountain of Rotui, intending to drag it back to Raiatea behind a powerful canoe. Attaching long vined to the peaks of Rotui they set to work dragging it out, and they pulled so hard that the top cone of Mount Rotui broke loose. Pai, who was on the island of Tahiti, was awakened by his adopted father, who said to him: "Take thy spear and throw it to Aimeo of eight radiations." Then Pai arose and climbed up to Tataa Hill, where the view of Moorea is excellent, and threw his magical spear at Hiro. In just an instant it shot across the channel and pierced a great hole in a high mountain peak, since then named Moua-puta (pierced mountain). The commotion made by the shock of the flying spear awoke the roosers on the island, who all began to crow. The frightened thieves then fled in haste. Hiro did succeed in taking the top of Mount Rotui, which he placed on a hill in Opoa, on the southern side of the island of Raiatea. This hill is standing, and is covered with small ironwood trees, foliage that is comparable to that in Mount Rotui and is totally different from the endemic flora of Raiatea!

The peak in the center of the picture is that of Moua-puta.

Passage taken from Teura Henry's Ancient Tahiti

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