Tu Tapu

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
You may use the stars on the left to rate and leave feedback for the current article. No registration is required. Waiting for 5 votes 0.0 of 5 stars (0 votes) — Thanks for your vote

Please fill out the following optional information before submitting your rating:

Tu Tapu was the birth son of Maonga and Pou Teo and was adopted by Maonga's brother, Pou te Vanangaroa ki Iva, high chief of Tahiti and the Marquesas. Pou had two born-to sons and another adopted son (Tangiia Nui). Pou divided his territory between the four men, with Tu Tapu being given the Marquesas.

Tu Tapu and Tangiia Nui fell out over the possession of a bathing pool and ceremonial regalia, which eventually escalated into full-scale war, lasting for many years, stretching across the South Pacific and causing the deaths of many warriors and civilians. It did not end until Tu Tapu had pursued Tangiia Nui to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, where he had settled peacefully.

In the end, Tangiia Nui killed his adoptive brother in single combat. The body, after its tapu had been removed, was cooked and eaten.

The legends of the war between these two adoptive bothers comprise one of the principal primary sources for the history of early Polynesian migration, and also one of the main pieces of evidence of their legendary navigational skills. But it is now accepted that while the main characters and outline of the history are quite likely based on real people, the details of the voyages are unlikely to be historical.


MacCauley, J.J. Te Ato o Ikurangi; The Shadow of Ikurangi. ([Avarua]: Cook Islands Library and Museum Society, n.d.) (Cook Islands Library and Museum Society Bulletins; no. 2)
Te Ariki Tara Are, and Smith, S. Percy Smith "History and Traditions of Rarotonga," Journal of the Polynesian Society, 28 (1919) pp. 183-97; 29 (1920), pp. 11-16, 45-65
Kawaharada, Dennis. "1992 No Na Mamo: Sail to Rarotonga." Available at: http://leahi.kcc.hawaii.edu/org/pvs/1992/rarotonga.html


Polynesian, Melanesian
Cook Islands
French Overseas Departments and Territories
12th Century
13th Century
Exploration, Adventure
Rulers, Nobles, Chiefs, Presidents, Prime Ministers
Military and Defense
Exile or Persecution (religious, Political or Social)
Murdered, Assassinated
To Further Family or Political Alliances
Uncles and Aunts, Parents' Uncles and Aunts
Adoptive/Foster Family Included Birth Child(ren)
Wealthy, Famous, Noble or Divine Adoptive or Foster Families
Customary or Traditional Adoption, Informal and Extra-Legal Care
Adoptees/Fosterees from Wealthy, Famous, Noble or Divine Birth Families
Birth Sibling(s) Remained With or Returned to Birth Family
Visitor Comments (0) - Be the first to comment
Adding your comments contributes to the adoption community. Please keep all comments on topic and civil. Visitors are invited to comment and vote for or flag comments based on appropriateness and helpfulness. All comments must adhere to our commenting rules and are subject to moderation.

To see local Adoption resources, please select a location (U.S. only):

Need a Home Study?
Adoption Photolisting
Bailey (FL / 17 / F)
Bailey is a beautiful and independent young woman. She does well in school. She loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian eventually. She likes all kinds of music and enjoys... [more]
Parent Profiles
We are a goofy couple that loves to have fun. Our interests include traveling, movies, reading, Disney, playing with our pugs, watching jeopardy, & laughing. We have been... [more]
Directory of Adoption Professionals
Find a professional
for all of your adoption needs including:

Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.

Settings Help Feedback
Template Settings
Width: 1024     1280
Choose a Location:
Choose a Theme: