It is not possible to give any thing like a systematical account of the subordination of these classes to each other, without departing from that strict veracity, which, in works of this nature, is more satisfactory than conjectures, however ingenious. I will, therefore, content myself with relating such facts as we were witnesses to ourselves, and such accounts as we thought could be depended upon; and shall leave the reader to form from them his own ideas of the nature of their government.
The great power and high rank of Terreeoboo, the Eree-taboo of Owhyhee, was very evident, from the manner in which he was received at Karakakooa, on his first arrival. All the natives were seen prostrated at the entrance of their houses; and the canoes, for two days before, were tabooed, or forbidden to go out, till he took off the restraint. He was at this time just returned from Mowee, for the possession of which he was contending in favour of his son Teewarro, who had married the daughter and only child of the late king of that island, against Tabeeterree, his surviving brother. He was attended, in this expedition, by many of his warriors; but whether their service was voluntary, or the condition on which they hold their rank and property, we could not learn.
That he collects tribute from the subordinate chiefs, we had a very striking proof in the instance of Kaoo, which has been already related in our transactions of the 2d and 3d of February.
I have before mentioned, that the two most powerful chiefs of these islands, are, Terreeoboo of Owhyhee, and Perreeorannee of Wohahoo; the rest of the smaller isles being subject to one or other of these; Mowee, and its dependencies, being at this time claimed, as we have just observed, by Terreeoboo, for Teewarro, his son and intended successor; Atooi and Oneeheow being governed by the grandsons of Perreorannee.
The following genealogy of the Owhyhee and Mowee kings, which I collected from the priests, during our residence at the morai, in Karakakooa Bay, contains all the information I could procure relative to the political history of these islands.
This account reaches to four chiefs, predecessors of the present; all of whom they represent to have lived to an old age. Their names and successions are as follows:
First, Poorahoo Awhykaia was king of Owhyhee, and had an only son called Neerooagooa. At this time Mowee was governed by Mokoakea, who had also an only son, named Papikaneeou.
Secondly, Neerooagooa had three sons, the eldest named Kahavee; and Papikaneeou, of the Mowee race, had an only son, named Kaowreeka.
Thirdly, Kahavee had an only son, Kayenewee a mummow; and Kaowreeka, the Mowee king, had two sons, Maiha-maiha, and Taheeterree; the latter of whom is now, by one party, acknowledged chief of Mowee.
Fourthly, Kayenewee a mummow had two sons, Terreeoboo and Kaihooa; and Maiha-maiha, king of Mowee, had no son, but left a daughter called Roaho.