Hiri Hanenamo means Hiri Queen. She was tattooed and schooled in the ways of her people as she waited patiently for the return of her courageous husband from the long and arduous Hiri, the trading journey to the Gulf of Papua on board the Lagatoi, the traditional sailing vessel of the Motuan People. She was the finest example of womanhood, loyalty, fidelity, beauty, wisdom and grace for all Motuan women of her time. Read more...
While her husband was away for many months in the Gulf trading Motuan pottery for Sago, Taro and Betel Nut, she stayed indoors, refrained from bathing, cutting or combing her hair, and was tattooed with designs that told stories of the voyages and marked life events such as puberty, marriage, childbirth and widowhood. When the Lagatoi returned, she emerged from her long, dark confinement, tattoos fresh and prominent on her paled skin. And as the Lagatoi sailed into the bay, she bathed excitedly, dressed in her shells and finery, and took her place among other faithful wives, dancing and singing hehona (songs) to welcome the Lagatoi to the shoreline.
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