THE STORY OF THE WOODEN IMAGES
"Tu'u ko ihu the priest and navigator was the tahunga who first carved images in this land. When he was living at Ahu te peu this chief decided to go to the house at Hanga hahave called the House of Cockroaches.
He therefore left in the early morning and climbed up to Punapau. In front of the red cliff there he saw two spirits, sleeping. They had no flesh, those spirits, their ribs were showing. Their names were Hitirau and Nuku-the-Shark.
Tu'u ko ihu did not stop lest the spirits should know he had seen them. If they did he would die. He went on his way toward the House of Cockroaches, but another spirit, Ha uriuri, saw him, and he cried out to those others, 'Wake up! The chief saw your ribs.'
They woke up with a start and saw this human, they saw his back as he walked up the mountain.Therefore they quickly climbed and crossed the way in front of him. They asked him: 'What do you know?'
Tu'u ko ihu answered. 'Nothing.'
They said again, 'Perhaps you noticed something.' But Tu'u answered 'No.'
The spirits disappeared.Tu'u ko iho went on his way, but the spirits appeared in front of him again. They asked him, 'What do you know about us, O ariki?'
He answered still, 'I know nothing.' The chief went on, the spirits met him again at Pukurautea. 'What do you know about us, O ariki?'
'Nothing.' If Tu'u ko ihu had told those spirits he had seen them they would have killed him. His priestly wisdom held him safe. They left, they disappeared.
Afterwards they prowled about his house with their hands up to their ears, listening to hear if he gossiped of what he had seen; but the chief held his tongue. He spoke to no-one of what he had seen.
When Tu'u ko ihu went down to the House of Cockroaches the people were taking the stones from their earth-oven and were throwing out the ends of burning wood. This wood was toromiro.
Tu'u ko ihu took two flaming pieces of the wood and carried them into the house, into Hare koka. He sat there, and with his sharp pieces of obsidian he carved them into moai kavakava. They were like men who are dead, with their ribs showing. They were likenesses of Hitirau and Nuku-the-shark.
Tu'u ko ihu spoke to no person of what he had seen. After having made these male images Tu'u ko ihu fell asleep and dreamed of two women.
Their names were Pa'apa ahiro and Pa'apa akirangi. In his dream he saw that they were hiding their Things with their hands, they were covering them with their fingers; therefore as soon as it was daylight he got up and carved two flat images exactly like those women.
When he had finished, Tu'u ko ihu loaded all the images on his back - the male images with ribs and the moai paepae with their fingers in a certain place; and he returned to his house at Ahu te peu. He left all the moai standing in that house.
Tu'u ko ihu dwelt quietly in his house for some time, and the people saw what he had done, they saw his work with the wood. Then they all went to this chief with pieces of toromiro to be carved. They wanted moai kavakava, they wanted moai paepae.
They lit their earth-ovens and cooked for him many good things; seabirds, fish, yams and kumara. They brought this good food to Tu'u ko ihu so that he would carve images for them. The people got the moai when they offered an umu to the owner. If there was no earth-oven, he kept all those that he had made. He kept their pieces of toromiro.
One day all the men who had given wood but got no images went to Tu'u ko ihu and said, 'O chief, give us back our images.'
'You wait.' Then Tu'u ko ihu went into his house and made all the images walk. They walked about inside the house!
After this the people called that house the House of Walking Images. The images walked, they made turns and turns - karari-karari, karari-karari, all about the house.
Their owners saw them doing this and said to one another, 'See - these images are moving in the house! What good fun this, the images that move!' They saw it, they were amazed, they were filled with admiration. 'How funny are these walking images!'
In the evening those people who had made no ovens returned to their houses. Tu'u ko ihu did not give them their images."
(Legends of the South Seas)