Maiata Newnham

This story was told by my papa, Ngatoko Tairea.  The message of this story is to not underestimate a legend or a myth.


In 1995 the Golden Oldies went on a trip to Mauke, and the group went to a cliff that faces the beach. When they were children, they had heard the Legend of Paikea, but they had never believed it.

So the search around the cliff began, they searched it for about an hour, then they saw something in a fallen tree, Ngatoko went over and pulled it out. They all saw what he had pulled out was the skull of a person. They knew at once that it was the skull of Paikea’s wife Kea because that was the spot she sat at while she waited for her husband to return, but he never did, so she died on that cliff.

Before the group left the cliff, they built a concrete slab and put the skull on it. On the way back to Rarotonga they all remembered what a wonderful time they had.


The shape of my picture represents a photo frame, and the patterns in it represents my family, so it’s like a picture of my family. The weave pattern represents my father because he is from Manihiki. The patterns that look like birds represent my mum because she is from Mangaia. The shark’s teeth represent my Mama because she is from Aitutaki. The wave pattern is for my Papa because he likes to go on the reef and get sea food. The arrow pattern is for direction and it represents my sister because she sometimes gets lost in school work. The spiral represents my brother because he is always growing. The single flower with stars represents my best friend Amqle, because I asked her which pattern she wanted to stand for her, and she chose the single flower with stars. Amqle is like my sister so I wanted her to be in my pattern.