Return to Mangaia

Large hands, scarred, move gently over intricate patterns carved into mahogany, the handle of a Mangaia adze.

Papa Tuaiva Moutairi speaks in lilting dialect of a home island, explaining to visiting Mangaia expatriate Tanara Maarametua Buchanan meanings of a traditional motif he’s etched into wood – the maro itiki portrays the back to back fighting stance their forebears take when outnumbered during battle. And fights there were, a plenty, during pre-missionary times, with other islands, particularly Atiu, sending marauding parties to Mangaia.

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