I have seen the Garden of Allah, and the Garden of Eden, if I can believe the Arab sheik whose camel I bought for the journey, I have been in Nikko at its best, and known Johore and Kandy en fête, but for the hours in which I looked upon it this plateau of Ahao was the most exquisite spot upon the earth.
A search for rubber-trees on the plateau of Ahoa; a fight with the wild white dogs; story of an ancient migration, told by the wild cattle hunters in the Cave of the Spine of the Chinaman. I went one day with Le Brunnec, the French trader, in search of rubber trees on the plateau of Ahao, above Hanamenu, on the other side of Hiva-oa Island.
They were curious to know why we were there, and asked if we were after beef. I disclaimed this intention, and said that I was wondering if Ahao had not held many people once. "Ai! E mea tiatohu hoi! Do you not know of the Piina of Fiti-nui? Of the people that once were here? Aoe? Then I will tell you."
None was left of the blood of the chief's daughter. No man was left alive on the plateau of Ahao. "Their popoi pits are the wallows of the wild boar; on their paepaes sit the wild white dogs. The horned cattle wander where they walked. Hee i te fenua ke! They are gone, and the stranger shall have their graves."
"But before the moon had gone, the taua came down from the High Place, and said that the gods had spoken. They commanded the people to depart from Ahao, and to sail beyond the Isle of Barking Dogs until they came to a new land. The gods would protect them from the waves. The gods had shown the taua a hidden valley, which ran to the beach, in which to build the canoes.
While the pipe went from mouth to mouth, Kitu, the leader of the hunters, related the following: "The Piina of Fiti-nui had always lived here on the plateau of Ahao. The wise men chronicled a hundred and twenty generations since the clan began. That would be before Iholomoni built the temple in Iudea, that the priests of the new white gods tell us of.