Ruatapu is one of the ancestors founders of the island of Aitutaki which one finds in the oral tradition not only of Aitutaki but also of Rarotonga, Atiu and Mauke. Its descent would be at the origin of the four titles of Ariki of Aitutaki, namely Vairuarangi Ariki, Tamatoa Ariki, Teurukura Ariki and Manarangi Ariki.
Its migration would have been preceded by that by Ru and Te Erui. Many accounts are devoted to him which although sometimes contradictory, present nevertheless a certain number of common elements and more generally a total coherence.
Origins of Ruatapu and its installation on Aitutaki
Ruatapu would be originating in Taputapuatea. His/her father would be Uanuku and his mother Raka Iora. Deciding to leave to discovered other islands, it built a dugout which it baptized " Te kare roa I tai". After nine days of sea, he saw Rarotonga. He was accepted by Potiki Taua and settled in Avana. He married there certain Uanuku Kaiatia with which he had a Tamaiva son. The family settled with Matavera
Indicator that there were already ariki on the island, Ruatapu decided to leave to research new grounds in order to endorse of it, leaving behind him his wife and her son. It arrived at Tonga Tapu whose chief was Kaukura. It took there for wife certain Tapotu ki Tonga with which it had a son that it named Moenau. When this one had reached the adulthood, it sent it to Rarotonga so that it will live with his Tamaiva half-brother. Nevertheless, this one refused to accommodate it and rather proposed to him to settle more in North with Mauke.
Arrived at Mauke, Moenau was first of all well accommodated by the population. It took for wife You there Kaumarokura with which it had a son You Aukura Ariki ki Mauketau. Later Moenau was killed following a conflict with the clan of the fishermen of the island.
Wishing to have news of its two sons, Ruatapu went to Rarotonga where Tamaiva, its elder taught him that Moenau had left for Mauke. Arrived at Mauke, it there learned death from his son and exterminated his assassins. Ruatapu left then for Atiu, leaving his/her small son who did not wish to accompany it in Mauke.
In Atiu, the chief of the island, Renga, accommodated it before offering two to him kurāmo' O and some coconuts. Carrying on its way more in the west, Ruatapu then discovered the atoll Manuae where it spent four days. It there planted coconuts and released the birds before setting out again.
It arrived finally for the island of Aitutaki and settled with Vaitupa in the North-West of the island. The ariki of Aitutaki was then Taruia which it ends up driving out following a subterfuge. Taruia had to flee in Tongareva (Penrhyn).
The descent of Ruatapu
In Aitutaki, Ruatapu took for woman certain Tutunoa with which it had three wire and a girl: Kirikava (m), Te Urutupui (m), Tongirau (F) and Touketa (m). Elder Kirikava was to succeed to him under Ariki d' Aitutaki while it sent the second Te Urutupui to Manuae so that he becomes the chief about it.
In Kirikava his/her small son Maeva Kura succeeded. It is at the time of Maeva Kura that Aitutaki knew an invasion coming from the east, that of Aitu. Being advanced in age, it called then upon Marouna, one of its grandsons born of its daughter Maine Maraeura and Rarotongien You I' I-my-you-tapua. Marouna overcame Aitu and succeeded his/her grandfather.
The four current Ariki of Aitutaki go down all from Marouna (see the article which is devoted to him).
Genealogy of Ruatapu until Marouna(In fat successors of Ruatapu under Ariki d' Aitutaki)
Ruatapu (m) has three wives Uanuku-kaiatia, Tapotu ki Tonga and Tutunoa
- Tamaiva (m) resulting from the union between Ruatapu and Uanuku-kaiatia (F) (descent on Rarotonga)
- Moenau (m) resulting from the union between Ruatapu and Tapotu ki Tonga (F), settles in Mauke where it is killed
- Te Aukura-ariki-ki-Mauke resulting from the union between Moeanau and Te Kaumarokura (descent with Mauke)
- Kirikava (m) resulting from the union between Ruatapu and Tutunoa. He marries Te Nonoioiva (F) and succeeds his father like ariki of Aitutaki.
- Maeva Rangi (m) wife You Kura I Oneroa (F)
- Maeva Kura (m) wife Puriterei (F) succeeds Kirikava like ariki of Aitutaki
- Te Urutupui (m) resulting from the union between Ruatapu and Tutunoa. He marries Vain-puarangi (F) and settles with Manuae
- Tongirau (F) resulting from the union between Ruatapu and Tutunoa. She marries Te Araroa (m)
- Te Aunui-O-removed (m)…
- Touketa (m) resulting from the union between Ruatapu and Tutunoa.
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