Maori Religion and Mythology Part 1
[argument and introduction]
Tohunga, a term of many applications. Functions of a priest. Female tohunga. Remarks of early writers. Priests as mediums. Priests of superior order were repositories of learning. Different orders of priesthood. Status of superior priests. Demoniacal possession. Alleged marvellous powers of priests. Priestly power over elements. Nudity of priest essential in important ceremonies. Tapu of priests. Tuahu. Lack of temples and altars. Mua. Stern simplicity essential. Different forms of tuahu. The ahurewa. Village latrine and its strange uses. The wai tapu. The marae of Tahiti. Divination. The seers of Maoriland. Profound faith in signs. Oracular utterances. Importance of divinatory rites. Their universal use. Loss of tapu deprives a seer of spiritual sight. Signs from gods seen in trivial occurrences. The papa of a prophecy. Te Rehu-o-Tainui desolates Taupo. The red cloak of Orona. Mohaka's raid on Ruatahuna. Heroic death of Titau. Female seers. Fasting by seers. Prophecies that failed. Why Orakau fell. The many methods of niu. Divination in sickness. In war. The raurau rite. Prophecies of coming of white men. The initiation of a seer. High-class ritual. The strange world of barbaric man.
Thetohunga maori, or native priest, was ever an important personage in a village community, and his influence was a far-reaching activity. The word tohunga denotes an expert, a skilled person, not necessarily a priest or shaman; thus any expert, such as an artisan, may be termed a tohunga. A canoe-hewing expert is a tohunga tarai waka; a tattooing expert, a tohunga ta moko; an expert house-builder, a tohunga whaihanga; and so on. Priestly adepts of all classes, from those of the superior cult of Io down to wizards and low-class shamanistic frauds, were all termed tohunga. Each grade had, however, a specific name formed by some explanatory term, as tohunga ahurewa (a high class priestly expert), tohunga makutu (a wizard), &c.
The activities of the Maori priesthood, if such a term be permissible, extended into all industries, institutions, and functions of native life. The tohunga took the place of the doctor, and often controlled operations in war; his services were considered necessary in agriculture, in sea-voyaging, in house-building, and practically all occupations. This was so because, in any enterprise, however trivial, it was considered highly necessary to have the favour of the gods. Hence there were ceremonial performances, charms, or invocations pertaining to all activities, even such acts as the felling of a tree, snaring birds, fishing, &c. All persons had a budget of useful charms page 261at their command for minor purposes, but the village tohunga controlled or performed all ceremonial that was deemed important.
We occasionally hear of a woman acting as a tohunga, but apparently they were not allowed to practise the higher branches of the profession, merely those coming under the head of shamanism. We know of a number of cases in which women acted as mediums of atua. Among these are several cases wherein cacodemons (spirits of still-born children) were conciliated and invoked as atua by the mothers, who thus acted as mediums for spirit gods who may be said to have been their own offspring.
We have on record many remarks made by early writers concerning our worthy tohunga maori, and many illustrations of his methods. The great majority of such illustrations, however, will come under other headings.
In the account of his third voyage Captain Cook says of the Maori, "They have no such thing as morals [marae], or other places of public worship; nor do they ever assemble together with this view. But they have priests, who alone address the gods in prayers for the prosperity of their temporal affairs, such as an enterprise against a hostile tribe, a fishing-party, or the like." The reference to marae refers to the pyramidal stone structures of the Society Group. Cook would not be aware of the fact that any man might appeal to atua in connection with minor matters.
The Rev. James Buller tells us, in his Forty Years in New Zealand that "An order of men, similar to priests, called ariki, were thought to have communion with the gods: these were their principal chiefs. Another class of wise men, called tohunga, were also credited with great influence with the unseen: some were ventriloquists, which greatly magnified their power. The matakite, or seers, were analogous to the clairvoyant. The tohunga had recourse to spells, omens, and auguries. He was the official organ of the minds of deities. He used incantations and professed to be inspired." The ariki alluded to above were the first-born of families of rank, and such men usually acquired a considerable amount of sacerdotal lore and high-class knowledge, though they were not necessarily priests. It has been believed by certain writers that some of the old-time tohunga were acquainted with ventriloquism.
The Rev. W. Yate, in his Account of New Zealand, states that there was no regular priesthood "though there are many who assume the title of priest, and almost any person may perform their various superstitious ceremonies, or repeat their prayers, or consult their oracles, or charm their sick…. It is evident that, as no gods are worshipped, their priests cannot attain to any great importance. page 262Having little hold on the senses, and none on the conscience, the priest is no more regarded than the meanest slave." The above remarks convey quite a wrong impression. Only inferior or less important ceremonies and ritual could be operated by any person; superior ritual was in the hands of the few. Gods were not worshipped, but it was highly necessary to placate them and seek their favour, and this was done to a considerable extent. As to having no hold on the senses, the tohunga had much influence in that direction, the basic cause of which was gross superstition. To put even the average tohunga on the same level as a slave is an absurdity. Low-class ceremonial certainly was not connected with morality, but morality did enter into some higher forms.
The lower class of tohunga, shamans of the tohunga kehua type, were not very important persons in the community, though their alleged powers of second sight and of exorcising demons afflicting the sick gave them some influence. The superior class of tohunga included men who were considered highly important members of the community, inasmuch as they had the principal control of any action of importance. Those who were what may be called "general practitioners" were the advisers of the people in all matters save common everyday routine. They acted as seers in explaining omens, unusual natural phenomena, and in divinatory ceremonial. They attended to the sick—though they probably did them little good, owing to gross superstitious beliefs and general ignorance. Though ignorant of the art of medicine, and perhaps averse to it, they had, however, some rude skill in surgery. They controlled the art of agriculture; they performed all ceremonial connected with tapu, with war, peace-making, house-building, canoe-making, fishing, birdsnaring, &c. They conserved all knowledge of the past; they were the repositories and teachers of all occult knowledge and tribal lore, religion, and myth. They were the astrologers, not only in connection with astrolatry, but also as concerning weather conditions, seasons, and the art of navigation. Some of their observations and conclusions may be placed in the department of astronomy. Some of the old-time tohunga were famed song-composers, and their duties as historians of a scriptless people demanded very remarkable powers of memory. The ritual pertaining to birth and death was in the hands of the priests, and the number of charms and invocations memorized by such men strikes our minds with amazement. The long tribal genealogies, with their many ramifications and branches, containing thousands of names, were also preserved orally by such men. Some of our writers seem to believe that the tohunga of old were acquainted with hypnotism and telepathy.page 263
Inasmuch as the tohunga were the mediums of the gods, and acted as go-betweens between the people and the many gods and demons of native belief, it follows that alleged consultations with such beings were very numerous. The answers of the complacent deities was often divulged to the people in the form of a song of which many are on record. Tohunga of the superior type were ever intensely tapu, and this meant many restrictions. They could not enter any common place such as a cooking-hut, nor was any food allowed within their dwelling-huts; such men ate alone, and in the open. Any residue of such a meal had to be deposited in a special place, for to interfere with it in any way was a perilous undertaking. Tradition tells us of a tohunga who was so exceedingly tapu that if his shadow was cast on a hut that place had to be immediately destroyed.
The Maori of to-day lays much stress on the fact that our ministers of religion demanded payment for their services, whereas the native priest of yore was much less grasping and more altruistic in his dealings with his fellow-men. But, although the Maori priest did not demand payment by a medium that did not exist, yet he received payment in kind for his services—such articles as garments and food products.
A tohunga who was also the first-born member of a high-class family was a person of much influence on account of his possessing mana ariki (aristocratic prestige) as well as that pertaining to his profession. Thomson, in his Story of New Zealand, remarks: "The priesthood, the ambassadors of the gods on earth, were derived from the noblest families in the land, and in every nation [tribe] there were several priests. The offices of chief and priest were generally united and hereditary." These statements need moderating, for the first remark applies only to the upper order of tohunga. The principal chief of a tribe or clan might also be a tohunga, but many of the latter, of the lower grades, were by no means of high social rank, but ordinary members of the community. Above all, a high-class priest possessed mana atua derived from the gods, of whom he was the mouthpiece.
The respect showed towards tohunga and superior chiefs was a marked quantity, and was undoubtedly due in no small measure to the belief that such men were taunga atua (abiding-places of the gods). Thus it is, as Frazer has shown in his Psyche's Task, that superstition has ever been an important factor in the preservation of order. In his Origin of the Polynesian Race the late Judge Fenton wrote: "The office of priest or tohunga, who was page 264principally charged with the duty of handing down the national and family histories, was always, amongst the Polynesians, an office of high dignity, and he was protected by a perpetual tapu of the most rigorous character. So venerated and feared was the tohunga that he was often liable to die of starvation, from the difficulty of going through such a vulgar and unsanctified process as eating; for everything he touched became tapu. When he drank, he had to make a funnel of his hands, into which another person poured water. Had the calabash touched his lips, it must have been destroyed."
It is unfortunate that the term tohunga is applied alike to the priests of the superior cult of Io and to low-class shamanistic jugglers, practisers of black magic, &c. It causes much confusion in the student's mind, and might well lead to very erroneous conclusions. The same remark applies to the word atua, which denotes not only such a superior conception as that of Io, the Supreme Being, but also low-class deities, demons, and even anything detestable or terrifying, such as a person of evil disposition or a malignant disease.
In his Story of New Zealand Dr. Thomson remarks of the tohunga class: "As they spent much of their time in intellectual exercise, they were consequently the most intelligent body of men in the country, and, like the monks in the dark ages, they engrossed all the learning the people possessed. No dress or mark distinguished the priesthood from the laity; and it is singular that without temples, stated festivals or sacred days, to strengthen their zeal and increase their learning by society, they could have maintained such a high reputation for wisdom." Needless to say that Thomson was referring to the superior type of tohunga.
Colonel Gudgeon, in his paper on the tohunga maori (see Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 16, p. 65), has written: "From the foregoing it will be plain to my readers that those chosen as the recipients of the traditionary lore of the tribe were mentally superior to their fellow-tribesmen. Only the very clever boys were chosen as tauira (scholars), and of these but few completed the severe course of training in the whare maire (school of instruction), for the reason that it required a very able man to retain and assimilate the vast stock of tribal history, songs, karakia, and genealogical information which was absolutely necessary before a man could start in life as a first-class tohunga."
The priestly profession was not necessarily hereditary; it would entirely depend upon the inclinations and ability of a tohunga's son as to whether he followed his sire's profession or not.page 265
The fact that there existed among the Maori no system of regular worship, and no universal methods or practices in dealing with gods, led to each individual doing much as he pleased in regard to the performance of ceremonies, &c. So it came about that such latitude caused many differences in belief, in ritual, and in teaching. Hence we have differing versions of myths, customs, ceremonies, &c., on record as collected in different districts.
Attention may here be drawn to the fact that we found the Maori in an interesting stage of development in regard to several phases of his religious beliefs. As a society advances in culture a sacerdotal class comes into being, and in barbaric communities such a priesthood often has a voice in temporal affairs as well as controlling all matters concerning religion. Our Maori folk possessed a form of priesthood the members of which wore no distinctive dress, and did not dwell in self-contained communities; they lived among the people, and were general advisers on practically all subjects. The universal intrusion of religion into all activities, all callings and industries, meant that the priest was an important person in regard to all of them. In addition to this he took his place among other men of standing in managing the social affairs of the community. These remarks apply only to tohunga of the higher type, not to low-class sorcerers and shamans.
The mana atua of a priest, his powers of divination, second sight, exorcism, placation, &c., all emanate from the atua of which he is the medium. Should, however, anything occur to defile his tapu he would lose such powers, and would be forced to adjust matters by conciliation of the atua.
The following list of names or titles of tohunga as priests has been made up from different sources. It does not include such tohunga as were merely expert artisans, such as tohunga whanga:—
- Tohunga ahurewa; tohunga tuahu—a first-grade priest.
- Tohunga taua—a high-class priest.
- Tohunga pukenga—an instructor, as of occult lore.
- Tohunga tuaropaki—an acolyte.
- Tohunga puri—a wizard, &c.
- Tohunga tauira—a junior priest; one still under tuition; an acolyte.
- Tohunga matatuhi, or matakite, or titiro mata—a seer.
- Tohunga ruanuku; tohunga makutu—a wizard.
- Tohunga kehua; tohunga kiato—a low-class shaman.
- Tohunga kokorangi; tohunga tatai arorangi—astronomical expert.
In addition to these descriptive names, as they may be termed, for priests, we also encounter the expressions amokapua and amorangi as denoting a priest; also pouwhiro, a priest; pouwhenua, a high-grade priest; and horomatua, a priest of the third grade. The title of whatu was applied to the principal priestly teacher of the whare wananga, or high school of learning; and a lone note states that ahorangi was a form of title applied to teachers in that remarkable school. A writer in the Monthly Review (vol. 1) gives ara tawhiti as a title of the old-time priest. In Governor King's account of New Zealand he remarks that a Maori priest was called the tangaroa. This was probably an error.
When a young man entered the school of learning in order to qualify as a first-grade tohunga, or priest, he was termed a pia, as a neophyte or beginner. As he acquired knowledge he became a táura, having advanced a step; in the next stage he became a tauira, an acolyte, as it were, and in this class he might take part in religious ceremonial as an assistant to a tohunga tuahu or tohunga taua. The Rev. W. Gill tells us that at Mangaia "priests were significantly named 'god-boxes' (pia atua)" so that evidently the word pia has there a similar meaning to that of our local word waka (the medium of a god). The word taura is employed to denote a priest in the Paumotu dialect, and at Samoa taula is a priest. This word has apparently no connection with táura, a cord or rope ("anchor" in Samoan); and the Rev. J. B. Stairs's rendering of taula aitu as "anchors of the spirits" does not seem to be justified. In like manner the rendering of the words waka and pia as "box" impinges upon the absurd when they are employed in connection with atua, They mean "medium" in such cases. At Niue Island the expression taula atua denoted a priest. The Maori words waka atua denote the medium of a spirit or atua; kauwaka, papa, and kaupapa being synonyms of waka. At Futuna Island the term is vaka atua. Williams's Maori Dictionary gives tohunga papa kikokiko, which is apparently equivalent to tohunga kehua.
The term wananga was applied to such tohunga as were conservers and teachers of esoteric lore, and that of pu to a skilled, wise person, one possessing much knowledge. One hears the title of pu korero applied to a person possessing much knowledge of tribal history, &c. The terms puri, ruanuku, matatuhi, pukenga, and tauira in themselves denote priestly adepts, and are not necessarily preceded by the word tohunga. Mr. C. O. Davis has told us that in the olden times there were the pu tohunga (chief priests), and tohunga (ordinary priests). The disciples of these priests were page 267taught the Maori ritual in sacred houses set apart for that particular purpose. The more intelligent of the disciples were selected to become priests, but the less hopeful were dismissed.
A person destined to be educated as a tohunga of the first rank was tapu from infancy, from the hour of his birth; indeed, he might be tapu prior to birth.
A high-class tohunga occupied a very important position in the tribe. He it was who conducted all important ceremonies of a religious nature. He was generally a member of a family of good standing, and not infrequently one of the leading chiefs. He was in some cases an ariki of the principal family, in which he possessed the mana of both ariki and tohunga. Such a man often pronounced the final word in tribal disputes, and on his plaza were guests received.
Our tohunga of the higher class was entrusted with all the more important ritual performances, such as the offering of tapu objects to the gods, as also the firstfruits of birds, fish, cultivated and uncultivated foods, the conduct of ceremonies pertaining to war, to sickness, and all tapu things.
The title of pouwhiro appears to have been applied to the principal tohunga of a place among the Ngati-Ruanui Tribe of Taranaki.
What is often termed "demoniac possession" was fairly common among inferior tohunga, but does not seem to have been indulged in by high-class priests, such as tohunga ahurewa. It is essentially a shamanistic practice, and of course the object was to impress the people, who believed that the atua had really entered the body of the tohunga. Such possession by an atua is described by the word uru, a term meaning "to enter, to possess." The Tahitian dictionary gives the same word as meaning "to be inspired." Evidences of such possession were the same the world over apparently, and the Rev. R. Taylor's description of the Maori medium under such supposed inspiration is as good as any: "The priest, when inspired, was really thought to have the spirit of the god in him; his body was violently agitated, he writhed as in great pain, rolled about his eyes, his arms quivered, and he seemed insensible to all external objects; then every word spoken was attributed to the god," &c. This performance was sometimes gone through for purposes of divination. A medium under the supposed influence of an atua generally assumed an incoherent, wild manner of speech, described by the Maori as porewarewa. The lower the grade of the tohunga the more extravagant and shamanistic, apparently, were his actions.page 268
Even among the higher orders of tohunga we find that such men claimed to possess very extraordinary powers, as, for example, power to influence natural phenomena. They were believed to possess the power of causing a thunderstorm and rain; of controlling the winds, the ocean, &c.; of causing a solar or lunar halo to appear; and many other things of a marvellous nature. It is thus seen that the conjurer priest was an important person in Maori ceremonial. In what may be termed the higher-class ritual we find that such impossible acts were held to be included in priestly powers, and to form a part of ceremonial performances. Thus, in the undoubtedly impressive ritual pertaining to the baptism of infants of important families, we note that the final act of the tohunga is said to have been the singular ohorangi rite, the causing of thunder to sound. This was looked upon as a most effectual climax to important ceremonies. All of these supernormal acts were, of course, believed to be rendered possible by the powers of the atua or gods.
When Manaia and Nuku landed at Pae-kakariki after their memorable sea-fight off Pukerua, it was arranged that their quarrel should be settled the following day by means of single combat. That night, however, Te Ao-whaingaroa seems to have taken advantage of his powers as a wizard to destroy his enemies by magic arts; he was the tohunga of "Tokomaru," the vessel of Manaia. By means of his dread powers he raised such a terrific storm that most of Nuku's companions perished therefrom. So severe was the gale that sand and gravel were carried far inland from the sea-beach, such having been the origin of the sandhills now seen along the coast-line towards Otaki. Hence that stretch of coast-line received the name of Te One-ahuahu-a-Manaia.
Some of our writers on Maori matters believe that the power of hypnotism was possessed and practised by tohunga of former times; and certainly acts performed by natives of Tahiti, of the nature of what is termed by some "the mango trick" of India, lead us to think that the belief may be justified. In this connection some notes of interest may be found in vol. 29 of the Journal of the Polynesian Society, pp. 133, 152. If, as is asserted by some writers, tohunga of old were both ventriloquists and hypnotists, then little wonder that their ignorant followers were deeply impressed by their performances.
The tohunga influences the gods by reciting magic formulae, by offerings, and certain ceremonial performances, all of which were of a conciliatory nature.
The belief in the powers of tohunga of mana to produce the phenomena of solar and lunar halos was, and is, firm in the Maori mind. In old narratives we hear of several instances in which such an page 269act was performed to serve as a message to friends far distant—truly a marvellous mode of neolithic signalling! When Whatonga left Rangiatea in order to return to his home at Tahiti, the chief of the former isle said to him, "When your vessel reaches your homeland, send me two signs, the kura hau awatea and kura hau po (solar halo and lunar halo), that I may know that you have reached home safely." Even so, when Whatonga arrived at Tahiti, he requested the priests to cause the two kura to appear in the heavens.
Another interesting illustration of such beliefs appears in the tradition of Tama-ahua, he who came to this land from eastern Polynesia with Whatonga in the vessel named "Kurahaupo." When he was about to return to Tahiti he said to his sister Tapuwae, who was living at Taranaki, "Farewell! Abide here in your new home. As for me, I return to our old home at Hawaiki; but look you ever to the east and you will see my ahua [semblance, likeness] appear in the red dawn. You will then know that I have reached the place where the red sun gleams at Hawaiki." So he departed, and on reaching his old and far-distant home he caused the red light of dawn to appear on the Pouakai Range: thus his sister knew that he had reached his destination.
A great grandson of Tama-ahua, one Wharematangi by name, provides us with still another illustration of these alleged powers. When Whare left his mother at Mokau in order to seek his father at Taranaki, he said to her, "Farewell! Should I safely reach my destination, then the sea-spray will bring me back to you. Fret not for me, but watch the dawn two days hence. Should you see the red glow of Venus, you may know that I have safely arrived. Should you fail to see it you may know that I have been stricken down by the hand of man or by Maiki-roa; then do you send me the sign of the kura hau awatea to comfort me in Rarohenga [the spirit-world]."
In the event of a tribesman losing his life outside the tribal bounds, or of his being slain at some place not located, a tohunga would proceed to cause the bones of the dead to disclose their whereabouts. He effected his object by means of karakia, or charms, and caused the bones of the dead to "resound" (hu), wherever they might be. A reference to such an act occurs in the famous lament for Te Mautaranui:—
Tarahau nga wheua, e, tarahau ki runga o Mohaka;
Tarahau nga iwi, e, tarahau ki runga o Tangitu.
In performing some ceremonies a tohunga wore no clothing save a kilt, the upper part of the body being naked. But when page 270participating in the higher forms of ritual, especially those in which the Supreme Being was invoked, the priests divested themselves of all clothing, and wore nothing but a few green branchlets or some such material, as a temporary maro, or apron. In some cases, during the recital of the ritual they stood erect with arms extended outward, but slanting upward, with palms of hands uppermost. Other attitudes and gestures adopted will be explained in the accounts given of various ceremonial performances.
This custom of putting off all clothing when engaged in the performance of religious ceremonies is found far afield. In his work on the natives of Northern India Mr. Crooke remarks that two conditions of successful magic are that the body of the performer should be nude, and that the hair should be loose and flowing: "The natives regard the removal of the clothing as an extreme act of submission to the deity whom they address. But the analogy of similar instances of ritual nudity in India seems to show that pollution is at the root of the matter."
The feeling as to the necessity of nudity in the performance of religious ceremonies was strong, and was connected, of course, with tapu. Clothing pertains to this world and common, everyday life; it may have been in contact with unclean influences. Scholars entering the sacred school of learning were compelled to divest themselves of their garments outside the house, enter the house in a nude condition, and reclothe themselves with special garments kept in the house for such occasions. In some cases religious ceremonies were performed in what was considered a pure element, the water of a running stream. This is termed the wai matua o Tuapapa (the pure element of the Earth Mother). The nude priest took his stand in the waters of the flowing stream in order to be spiritually insulated, as it were.
Life must have been somewhat irksome to such a tapu person as a high-class tohunga; the fact of his always having to be fed by another person must have been trying. In like manner, he could not take up a water-vessel and drink therefrom, for such an act would render the vessel so tapu that no one else could use it, and very few might touch it. So that, when such a man wished to drink, an attendant poured water into his (the priest's) hands as he held them in cupped form to his mouth. Also, such a person could not blow a fire to make it burn up; with a host of other restrictions that, to a person of energy, must have been most harassing.
We are told in Te Ika a Maui that prayer and medicine were combined by the tohunga maori; but true prayer was almost unknown page 271here, and medicines were seldom, if ever, administered by them in pre-European times.
It has been the writer's good fortune to have known several old natives who in their youth had been trained as high-class tohunga—such men as Rakuraku and Tutaka-ngahau, of the Tuhoe Tribe. Their education had not been completed, for the adoption of Christianity had cut it short; yet they possessed much information, as of old-time ritual and customs; in fact, to a collector they were mines of knowledge. To the last-mentioned the writer is indebted for much curious and interesting information concerning old native customs, more especially the ritual formulae employed by the tohunga tuahu of yore.
We have already seen that women never acted as tohunga of the higher ranks, but that occasionally one might act as the medium of fourth-class atua, such as a cacodemon. Women did, however, take part in certain ritual performances such as must assuredly be termed religious ceremonies. For such purposes women of high-class families only were employed. Thus, when the tapu was taken off a new house to enable it to be utilized, a women was the first person to step across the threshold. She was employed in a similar manner when the tapu was lifted from a new pa, or fortified place. When a man had the misfortune to displease or antagonize an atua, he became deprived of his spiritual mana, as it were. The protection of the gods was withdrawn, and he was left powerless—helpless against magic arts and other evil influences. If a matatuhi, or seer, he would at once lose his powers of second sight, thus becoming what is termed kahupo and hinapo. He would no longer be able to detect warnings of danger sent by the gods—a truly deplorable and dangerous condition, and one that could not be allowed to continue. It would be necessary to whakaepa (conciliate) the gods, so as to regain their favour and protection. One curious act performed by men who had thus been deprived of supernatural protection was as follows: The affected person laid himself on the ground, and a a woman of a leading family stepped over him. Women possessed peculiar powers in certain directions.
Any woman employed as an assistant in religious ceremonies was called a ruahine while so acting. A childless woman was apparently sought for such purposes, and it was necessary that she should be a member of a chieftain family. The first-born female of such a family was selected to act as a ruahine in most cases. Another task that was often assigned to such a woman was the eating of such article of food as was employed in tapu-lifting ceremonies. In some cases, as in the pure rite, a special oven was made wherein to cook for the ruahine, in connection with the ceremonial feast. It was called the umu ruahine.