Ahua the Great
Ahua the Great
|Born||c. 990 CE|
Tokamotu, The Oan Isles
|Cause of death||Natural causes|
Ahua the Great is the central founding figure of the Oan Isles and of the Mauist religion. He is a semi-legendary figure in that while there is historical evidence for his existence, many of the stories and actions attributable to him are unprovable. He was the son of King Manupatea of Tokamotu, and succeeded him in 983. There are myths which claim that he fought mermaids, was blessed by Maui in the form of a Spix’s Macaw and others. Nevertheless, his progeny survives in the modern House of Ahua (Oan royal family) which provides heirs to the Throne of Polynesia.
The Oan Isles and surrounding island nations largely practiced the worship of the ancestors, several gods and nature spirits. Their beliefs were varied and diverse depending on their needs and circumstances. From 700 to 900 CE, missionaries of Thaerism from Aurora landed on the Polynesian Islands and spread their religious beliefs. Many people converted to Thaerism but they disagreed on some of its tenets and continued to practice syncretism with their native religions. Several scholars held their own interpretations. The Purist school believed in sticking to Thaerism and disavowing other Deities and religions. The Moderate school called for a combination of Thaerism and folk beliefs. The Traditionalists believed that folk beliefs held precedence over imported ideals.
Around 1000 CE, the islands of the West and South Pacific faced many challenges such as natural disasters, population pressures and political disagreements which exacerbated religious differences. In the midst of these religious debates the Kingdom of Tokamotu had established itself as the champion of Thaerism. It used this momentum as well as its wealth and military might to exert control over surrounding islands and lay the foundations of the imperialism that would emerge under Ahua the Great.
By 1000 CE, there were approximately 30 to 40 different polities that in that area that comprises the Oan Isles and the Morstaybishlian West Pacific Territories. Please refer to the official page on the history of the Oan Isles for maps and more details. One of the largest and most powerful was the Kingdom of Tokamotu which ruled over the island of Tokamotu. The King of the Toka, Manupatea was the father of Ahua the Great. He had continued the work of expanding the Tokamotu military and exerting military and economic dominance over surrounding islands.
Reign and exaltation
In 983 CE, Prince Ahua ascended to throne of the Toka as King Ahua.
He continued the work of his father and expanded their sphere of influence. In 987, on his conquest of Koroimotu, he met Thaerist. Believing they were heathens, he persecuted them and purged Thaerism from his realms. In 992 CE, he had a traumatic emotional experience at high seas following a defeat in battle that led to him seeing visions including believing that he a bird telling him to convert to Thaerism and unite the South West Pacific Islands (as the Oan Isles and the MWPT) were known at that time.
Reluctantly and gradually, he sought out Thaerist teachers, culminating in his conversion in 998 CE. He proclaimed himself the chosen Prophet of the Creator and spiritual successor to Prophet Matilda in the West Pacific Islands and began the military conquest of the West Pacific Islands. In 1000 CE, he formally declared the establishment of the Oan Isles (despite the work of unification remaining unfinished). He passed away in 1023 and was succeeded by Ahua II.
Mythology and legend
Mauist beliefs about Ahua the Great are numerous and diverse and a well spring of has emerged about him.
War of the Mermaids
One myth is the War of the Mermaids. Myth holds that mermaids, mysterious sentient marine beings, were attacking fishing vessels in the Deep ocean. Ahua and his men stayed in one of the boats waiting for the mermaids to attack. They trapped one of the mermaids and tried to interrogate it, but it suffocated and died. From their observations, they felt that the mermaids were becoming overpopulated and running out of food, driving them to the surface and closer to the islands of the West Pacific.
Ahua told his father and asked for permission to set sail and hunt the mermaids before they overran the islands. His father refused and ordered that he be arrested to prevent him from going. When he was in his father's dungeon, a Spix’s Macaw flew through the bars and alighted on his shoulder. The Macaw flew out again and the dungeon's metal doors flung open from the hinges. He ran out, invigorated by this incredible occurrence, and fought 10 men single-handedly. He sent a secret messsage to his friends via a messenger to gather at the habour where they would take the boats and drive out the mermaids.
His friends got to the shops, but they had to fight off his father's solders. They got on the boats and sailed for nearly a hundred miles in rough rainy weather. As they huddled in the cold, a Spix’s Macaw came from the sky with the rain clouds parting behind it and the warm sun radiating behind it. They rejoiced and were in awe of this strange phenomenon.
Their joy quickly turn to fear as a great crowd of mermaids floated to the surface, cold yellow eyes poking above the surface. They lunged at the ships, pulling the rudders, breaking ores and pulling men from the decks and shredding them to pieces. He prayed to Maui, the deity of his people, but deafening noise of death and destruction. Then he decided to fight and fight. One mermaid got him and pulled him down. It was the king of the mermaids. They wrestled in the water, but he stabbed him in the ribs. The creature let him go and swam away in agony. As Ahua was falling to unconsciousness, a dim light floated in the water and then exploded like a bright light, sending the mermaids fleeing.
Ahua's men pulled him up and back to his ship. The The Spix’s Macaw spoke in a loud voice, "I am Maui, God of the Wind and Sea, yet there is one greater than I, who wrought the ribs of the Urth, lay the grass like a carpet on the ground, made the animals from clay. Find the Milky Ones from over the sea, one of whom is in a hut on the Isle of the Rock, go to him and he shall teach you of the one I speak. I command you!"
The men trembled as the Macaw flew away back to the sky.