An adventurous young man called Mitai lives with his seven handsome brothers in the village of Maketu. He watches his brothers become bewitched by seven beautiful women, and under their spell, the brothers no longer eat, look after themselves, work in their gardens or hunt. Realising the women are patupaiarehe, fairy women, he knows they must be cast far away. They are given to Urutengangana, the god of the stars, and he places the patupaiarehe in the heavens farthest from the earth. Yet once a year, at winter solstice, he allows their beauty to shine in the eastern sky.
By Toni Rollewston-Cummins
210 x 297 mm