Matavia or Matauia?
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, one of the things that William Marsters demanded of his children on the island was that they only spoke English in public.
But he did allow some leeway for the parent who had been introduced to the island. He allowed them to teach their children a second language, their introduced parent’s tongue, so that the children were mainly bilingual.
The problem is, that if they had been able to talk to each other in their second language, they probably wouldn’t have been able to understand much of each others language because they would have learned to speak the dialect of their parent, and that may not necessarily be the language of the family next door..
Many of the men from the second generation married women from the Northern Group. Those wives from Penrhyn or Manihiki would have used the name Matauia. My great grandmother Teipoitemarama was from Rakahanga.
However those wives from the southern group, including Rarotonga, would have called her Matavia. The name identifies a regional lineage. From those that I have met who use the name Matavia, most are not from her lineage.
Those who are descended from the Matavia lineage (and I already show my lineage because our family use the name Matavia) are very staunch about using her name correctly – and rightfully so. It is the name as she would have been called on Penrhyn, and that is Matauia.
(from maureenhilyard.blogspot 2007)