Manuscript XXXIII: Threlkeld's Account of the Maro 'Ura of Opoa, Raiatea

Niel Gunson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    King Tamatoa III, paramount chief of Raiatea, in what became known as the Society Islands, wore a sacred red feather girdle or maro 'ura on special occasions. Reproduced here is an account of the girdle by the missionary Lancelot Threlkeld, recalling the year 1821 when Tamatoa showed him the girdle and stated his intention of presenting it to the London Missionary Society. Threlkeld highlighted the human sacrifices made in the course of the maro's manufacture and the paranormal powers attributed to the maro. Because maro 'ura belonged to competing chiefly lineages, the discussion below leads to the question of whether there were two maro 'ura held by the competing lineages on Tahiti, only one of which was the so-called Wallis maro 'ura.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)180-185pp
    JournalJournal of Pacific History
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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