Maori Religion and Mythology Part 2
We have already scanned, in part 1 (Dominion Museum Bulletin 10) of this study, a number of myths connected with the sun, moon and stars. Those concerning the moon were concerned with its origin, movements, control and personifications. As to personified forms of the moon there are several names to be considered, and two other mythical beings, Rona and Maui, are connected with the moon; the latter has been dealt with in a fairly thorough manner, but the story of Rona is yet to be told. Hina, the female personified form of the moon, is also known as Hina-uri, Hina-keha, Hina-te-iwaiwa and Hine-te-iwaiwa; the first two of these names, Dark Hina and Pale Hina, denote the dark and light phases of the moon, and the last two names are employed more particularly when Hina is referred to as the tutelary being of women and the arts of women, as in connection with childbirth, weaving, etc. In Rarawa lore we hear of Hina-i-te-po, Hina-i-te-kukuti and Hina-mataeo; in the isles of Polynesia Hina has a number of names. As a term of vernacular speech hina means grey, grey-haired, and "to shine"; in a region of Melanesia it denotes the sun. In some dialects the name becomes Sina, and in Hawaii we are told that Mahuika was known as Hina-mahui'a.
Sayings connected with Hina are:
"Na Hina te po, na Hina te ao."
"Hina kai tangata" or "Hina whakapau tangata."
The first of these tells us that night and day, darkness and light come from Hina, while the second is to the effect that Hina destroys mankind, the latter a peculiar saying to pertain to a moon-goddess.
The moon (marama) appears as a male in Maori myth, and so we are told that Marama took to wife two daughters of Tangaroa, and it is also said that the moon is the husband of all women, as page 387shown by the way in which he affects woman every month. Yet Hina, who represents the moon, is a female, though it seems probable that Rongo, a male, also represents the moon. Both Hina and Rongo promote and represent fertility. At Niue island we hear of eight female beings named Hina, one of whom is Hina-taivaiva, who recalls our Hine-te-iwaiwa of New Zealand. These females, with two others named Hika-malama and Hiki-laulu, occupy the second heaven, called Motu o Hina, and they were invoked by women engaged in making garments and finery. At Fakaafu island Hina is said to be one of a family of ten. Hina is closely connected with water, and, like Ishtar of old, traversed the ocean wastes, for which see vol. 2 of the Journal of the Polynesian Society, p. 137.
There seems to be some confusion or clash between Hina and Hine-nui-te-po. The latter, in popular folk lore, is responsible for death, she ensnares man in the noose of death, the tari o Hine-nui-te-po. One story makes out that the contention for and against death was between Hina and Maui, not Hine-nui-te-po and Maui.
[Hina is connected with fish in a number of Polynesian stories, especially the shark, as shown in W. W. Gill's Myths and Songs from the South Pacific and at p. 238 of vol. 30 of the Journal of the Polynesian Society.]
Hina-uri (Dark Hina) is Hina's name during the dark phase of the moon, and so it was Hina-uri who went forth on the ocean and reached the land of Tinirau, or, as another story has it, goes afar off every month in order to bathe in the fountain of youth, the rejuvenating waters of the Waiora a Tane. In a Polynesian story Hina goes to the sunset, to the home of Tinirau, borne across the ocean by the shark and other sea creatures. In a number of Polynesian versions Hina is presented as a blind old woman, sometimes under the name of Kui; this blind woman is said to have recovered her sight in many cases; Gill tells us how Maui cured the blindness of Ina the Blind, and Maui represents light. Hina's swim of three nights or days, as representing the period during which she is unseen, is lengthened to "many months" in some tales.
The Maori recognised the influence of the moon in the matter of the tides, but he usually objects to putting the matter into plain language, hence he will tell you that the tides are controlled by Rona, of whom more anon. In Tahitian myth Hina preserves the life of the moon and the continuity of the tides.
In some parts of Polynesia Hina ia known as Hina-ika, at Hawaii as Hina-ika-a-te-marama, presumably she is fish-like page 388Hina owing to her swimming powers. At Tahiti, where Hina has yet other titles, she is said to have taken up her abode in the moon, from which orb she watches over the earth, and so is sometimes styled Great Hina the Watcher. In the Cook Islands Hina was a daughter of Kui the Blind, and was famous as a maker of bark cloth, which is represented by white clouds seen in the heavens. At Mangaia Kui the blind woman has four daughters named Hina, one of whom was taken to wife by Marama (the moon); Tane, we are told, cured Kui of her blindness, which is as it should be, for Tane represents Light. Tane took to wife one of the daughters, Hina-who-rivals-the-dawn; the other two daughters were Hina-who-disappears-with-the-day and Hina-who-disappears-at-midnight.
In New Zealand Hina is recognised as personifying the moon, and she is not the woman in the moon, a position that is occupied by Rona. Hina is said, in different versions of these myths to have been the wife of Tiki, as at Mangareva, the Marquesas and Tahiti; the wife of Marama (moon), as at the Cook Islands; the wife of Tane, as at the Cook Islands; the wife of Hema (Tuamotu); the wife of Tinirau (New Zealand, Tonga, Union Group, Cook Islands); the wife of Matariki (Hawaii); the wife of Noa (Tuamotu, Tahiti); the wife of Monoihere (Tahiti); the wife of Tangaroa (New Zealand, Rakahanga, Samoa, Cook Islands). At Tahiti the first man, Tiki, took Hina to wife, though he was a malicious being, while she ever strove for peaceful conditions. At the Cook Islands Marama, the moon, saw Ina (Hina), the attractive eldest daughter of Kui the blind dame, and so came down to earth and transported her to the heavens as a wife for himself. Here the moon takes to wife the female personified form of the moon. This took place after Hina had left her first husband, Tane; they had not agreed, and so Tane provided himself with wings and flew back to his home. Taylor collected a Maori account of Hine-te-iwaiwa and her long swim to Hawaiki in order to seek Tinirau. This version shows that the Maori had preserved a knowledge of Hina's adventure with the shark and other sea denizens. At Tonga Tinirau is said to have been the offspring of a woman who had been impregnated by the sun. Here, as in New Zealand, Tinirau is described as having been a remarkably handsome person. The first husband of Hina, according to Hawaiians, was Matariki, the Pleiades; in after times she was taken to wife by Kaitangata, but she wearied of her unruly children and so resolved to ascend to the heavens. Kaitangata tried to prevent her leaving him, and, in the struggle that page 389ensued he caught hold of one of her legs and broke it. On account of this injury, her fractured or severed leg, she then received the name of Lono-moku (Rongo-motu or Crippled Rongo, in Maori). Here we see Hina or Sina and Rongo or Lono presented as two names pertaining to one being; in Maori versions this aspect of oneness has not, so far as we know, been preserved; it serves to justify belief or theory that some of us held as to Rongo being connected with the moon. Another account of the above incident is to the effect that Ai-kanaka (Kai-tangata) pulled off the leg of Hina, hence the use of the word motu, which denotes severance. This other name of Hina I have met with once in Maori lore, it occurs in a formula repeated during the performance of the tohi rite over a male infant:
Karo patu tama ki te wai no Tu
Ki te wai i reia e Rongomotu
The waters sailed over by Rongomotu, that is by the moon. Rongo is ever connected with the ocean, and at Hawaii was known as Rongo-nui-noho-i-te-wai, Great Rongo dwelling in the realm of water. It was during the Hotu phase of the moon that Hina became crippled. Westervelt gives a clear account of the above episode in his Maui the Demi-god, p. 165-9. It appears that, in the Hawaiian version, Hina first attempted to reach the sun, but failed owing to its great heat. She then announced her intention of going to her new husband, the moon, and in the moon she is still seen, with her calabash by her side. The connection between Rongo and the moon was noted by Fenton long before I commenced to write on Maori myths; on p. 122 of his Suggestions for a History—of the Maori People he writes: "Several of the days [of the lunar month] are named after the old gods of the people, and the twenty-seventh day is called Orongonui, after an ancient name of the moon god." In his list of names of the nights of the moon he gives four such atua names viz., Whiro, Tangaroa, Otane (Tane) and Orongonui (Rongo-nui).
The Matatua folk of the Bay of Plenty tell us that Hine-te-iwaiwa was a daughter of Tane, and that she was taken to wife by Tangaroa, their offspring being four in number. One of these was Rona, whom we will deal with anon, the other three were named Tangaroa-amua, Tangaroa-akiukiu and Tangaroa-aroto, and these names are those of three nights of the lunar months; they are the po tangaroa or Tangaroa nights. Tangaroa-aroto and page 390Rona were both females and were taken to wife by Te Marama (the moon). At Rakahanga Hina is known as Ina-matapo and Ina-mata-porari (Cf. Maori morari) or Blind Hina, and she was wife to Tangaroa. But the people of that isle also speak of Ina or Hina as a sister of the Maui brothers. As the data was obtained from a Rarotongan native who had sojourned a space at Rakahanga the original statements may have become confused.
Hina we know as a sister of the Maui brothers in New Zealand, and also at the Cook Islands, and from Rarotonga comes the version that makes Hina a daughter of Rongo, though another recital from that group speaks of Hina as a daughter of Tangaroa; possibly there was more than one Hina. In a South Island (N.Z.) recital Hina appears as a daughter of Mahuika, but in the Tuamotus she is said to have been a daughter of Rona, a position unknown elsewhere, so far as I am aware. Another South Island tale makes Hina the mother of Maui, a position she also holds in Hawaii. At Samoa Hina appears as the mother of Rongo.
One of the most widely distributed of Polynesian myths is that concerning the phallic eel Tuna and its connection with the mythical origin of the coconut and often with Hina. This story, however, is all unknown in New Zealand; [it may be consulted at pp. 132 and 142 of vol. 34 of the Journal of the Polynesian Society, and pp. 77-80 of Gill's Myths and Songs of the South Pacific. In the latter version Tuna the eel changed his form into that of a handsome man, and so won the regard of Hina.] The best Maori account of Tuna and his connection with the wife of Tiki was given by the Ngati-Ruanui folk of Taranaki. In this version Tiki is described as the first man, and his wife as the first woman. Tiki was the first to appear, and he found his condition to be a lonely one, having no mate. He long sought a companion but found no suitable one among the creatures of earth. On one occasion he saw his own reflection in a pool of water, and was so attracted by its appearance that he plunged into the pool in order to secure it, but the immaterial image vanished. Later on, during micturition he filled a small hollow in the earth and then saw therein the same image reappear. He at once covered the reflection with earth in order to prevent it escaping, and the result was that the reflection he had seen developed into a woman who came forth from the earth and served as a companion for him. So they dwelt together, knowing nothing, until one day the woman, when bathing, was approached by an eel that so excited her with its tail that sexual intercourse was discovered, and so, even until this day the tail of an eel is called tara-puremu and hiku rekareka (references to page 391adultery and the "tickling tail"). [See a Samoan reference to this act at p. 143 of vol. 34 of the Journal of the Polynesian Society—"And with the tail of the eel art ravished."] But Tiki seems to have resented the action of the eel, and to have held a belief that he himself had been led astray, the act itself was a sin, and quite wrong, and so he killed the eel that was primarily responsible, and cut it into six pieces, from which pieces sprang the six varieties of eels known to the Maori folk.
In the Tahitian version Hina is taken to wife by Tuna, but she dislikes his unpleasant body and so leaves him and goes away to another isle where she becomes the wife of Maui. Tuna follows Hina and is slain by Maui that Hina may be succoured, then the ungrateful Hina becomes enamoured of one Ri, but when she calls him on one occasion he makes no answer, whereupon Maui tells her to call out: "Ri! Ri! Come and place thyself behind me." Then, in the form of a dog, Ri comes to Hina.
In the above tale we have a version of the Maori story of Maui, Hina and Irawaru, and the Tahitian version makes it quite clear why Ri was transformed into a dog, the Maori tale is much weaker, for Irawaru was the husband of Hina, not her lover, and Hina was sister to Maui. The singular tale of Hina and the dog may be in conjunction with a paragraph at p. 143 of vol. 2 of the Journal of the Polynesian Society.
In the Mortlock Isles the eel is called tiki-tol, the Tiki-toro of our Maori dialect, and the meaning of which is "tiki the generator". Toro and hika both mean "to generate", in reference to both children and fire. In New Zealand tiki is a term for the male organ, and also Tiki is a personification of reproduction. Shortland, in his Maori Religion and Mythology, p. 30, mentions that Tiki was invoked by the Maori in ceremonial pertaining to childbirth.
The myth of Hina and the Waiora-a-Tane is an interesting one. Hina-uri, the darkened or dying moon, hies her to the life giving waters of Tane and bathes her wasted form therein, to return to this world young and beautiful (See Dominion Museum Bulletin 10, p. 96).
In the Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 20, p. 13 and vol. 32, p. 162, some account of a Union Group myth concerning Hina will be found. This seems to connect her with the old ten months year that appears to have been known to the ancestors of the Maori at some unknown period. Sina (Hina) the elder had a daughter of the same name, and also ten sons, whose names were page 392those of the numerals one to ten. It was but meet that the ten lunar months should be the offspring of Hina. The ten brothers sailed to a far land in search of their sister, who was rescued and taken home by Tahi (one), the youngest of the ten brothers, after this the names of the brothers were reversed. Previous to the above occurrence the eldest brother had been named Tasi (Tahi) or one, and the youngest Uru (ten), but after it names were reversed. Mr Percy Smith thought that the youngest month rescuing Hina represented the advent of the new moon that marked the commencement of the new year. When Tahi was constructing a canoe for his ocean voyage he called upon the insect world to assist him, and this singular fancy enters into a Maori story. In connection with the above a Tongan folk tale published in Folk Lore, 1921, p. 51, may be read with interest, one Sinailele (Hina-i-rere) appears in it.
Something should now be said about Rona, whose name is often mentioned in conjunction with the moon. In popular Maori myth Rona is, not the man, but the woman in the moon, though in what may be termed higher class teachings she is said to be the guide or conductor of the moon, and also one of the two tide controllers, hence her full name of Rona-whakamau-tai; as the men of old put it—"ko Rona-whakamau-tai te kaiarataki i te marama." The ordinary version of the Rona myth is to the effect that she was a woman of this world who went forth one night with a bundle of gourd vessels, in order to procure water, some versions credit her with but one such vessel. The moon disappeared behind a cloud and Rona had difficulty in finding her way, hence she became irritated and used some insulting expressions towards the moon, whereupon the moon came down and took her up to the heavens. Rona tried to baffle the moon's attack by seizing a ngaio tree, but this was torn up by the roots and likewise carried to the moon, where we still see Rona, her bundle of gourds and the ngaio tree. And the insulting remarks made by Rona to the moon were, says a wiseacre of Matatua, the origin of insults and vilification in this world. The Matatua version makes Tangaroa-a-roto, a sister of Rona, her companion, the moon took both of them to wife after he had swung them skyward; observe the change of sex that here became necessary in order to arrange this marriage. Hina the moon is female, marama the moon is a male here. The friends of Rona went to seek her, but could not find her, hence they called to her: "O Rona! Where are you?" Then they heard a voice from far above calling to them: "Here am I ascending among the stars."page 393
Nicholas seems to have been the first to collect and record this Rona story, his work appearing in 1817 Voyage to New Zealand, vol. 1, pp. 60-61. He describes Rona as a man and omits the cause for the action taken by the moon, but as Nicholas did not know the native tongue he did well to get as much as he did. The latter incident is most prominent in recitals, as it brought punishment to Rona, hence an old saying of the Maori: "Kia mahara ki te he o Rona"—Remember the wrongdoing of Rona.
Among the Takitimu folk te marama i whanake is a kind of honorific term for the moon, as the sun is called Tama-nui-te-ra. Rona, Te Ahurangi and Te Rangitaupiri were appointed as guardians of the moon, while to the moon was assigned the task of influencing the waters of the ocean in causing tides. It was Tane who gave instructions to the above effect, while Tupai added that the great ocean ridge should serve as a centre from which the waters should flow both ways, and that the stars should be so arranged as to assist the moon in such matters. (Ka mea a Tane-matua: "Tukua ki te marama i whanake te tauhere o te timu, o te part mai o Hinemoana. "Ka mea a Tupai: "Ko Tuahiwi nui o Hinemoana hei tatai i nga tuatea kia ngawari ai te whakahoro mai ki tenei taha, ki tera taha." Ka tono a tupai ki a Tane kia poua nga whetu hei tatai i Tuahiwi nui o Hinemoana hei hoa mo te marama i whanake, ka oti i konei.)
Te Waka Kawatini explained that Matariki (the Pleiades) has much influence in the control of tides when that star group is above the Tuahiwi nui o Hinemoana, the central ridge of the Ocean Maid, where the flood tides meet. Te Waka Tahuahi stated that the sun, moon and Rona were the offspring of Turangi and Moeahuru who dwelt in their 'houses' called Mairekura and Mairehua on Maunganui. The tapu sun only abode in the tapu house Mairekura, while the moon and Rona, with their parents, dwelt in Mairehau, another fine abode. They roamed about their abode; the plaza over which they moved was the One i Oroku. Another name for Turangi is Tongatonga.
It was the duty of Rona and her colleagues to act as guardians of the moon, the marama whiro, or, as some term it, the marama hua. They restrain the moon and stars and compel them to follow the shadow of their elder, the te kura, or ra tuori (the sun) as some style it, hence the recurrence of night. (Ko Rona ma hei tiaki i a te marama whiro, ki tetahi, i a te marama hua ki ta etahi. Ka puritia e nga tokotoru me o ratau na hoa ano te marama me nga whetu kia whai i muri o te ata o to ratau tuakana, o te ra kura, o te ra tuoi ki ta etahi, koia nga po e po nei.)page 394
Hori Ropiha of Waipawa was good enough to inform me that lunar eclipses, all wanings and disappearances of that orb, are caused by contention between it and Rona. They assail and rend each other until they are in sore plight, when they hie them to the Waiora a Tane and bathe therein, whereupon they recover their former welfare. (Ko te pouritanga o te marama e kianga ana o Rona, a ko te wa o te marama e ngaro nei ko Rona raua ko te marama e kai ana i a raua, ka kai tetahi i tetahi, a ka kau raua i te wai ora a Tane, ka ora max ano.) These waters of life of Tane are not real waters, but sunlight, which is connected with Tane-te-waiora, he who lays down the ara whanui a Tane, the gleaming sun glade, across the breast of Hinemoana, the Ocean Maid, as a path for the spirits of his dead descendants to pass over.
Another Takitimu version tells us that Rona is an evil being, or malignant demon that attacks the moon because the moon destroys food products. (Ko Rona he atua whiro e kai ana i te marama, te take he huna na te marama-i-whanake i nga kai o te whenua, na reira ka patua a taua atua.) A high class native authority stoutly denied that Rona is, or was, an evil being, or that she is antagonistic to the moon. The Tuhoe statement that Rona was a daughter of Rangaroa is another of the connecting links between that being and the moon; as to the story told by the Awa folk of Matatua that Rona was taken to wife by the moon it was but the correct thing to do after that erratic orb had abducted her.
In his collection of South Island traditions Wohlers includes that pertaining to Rona. This version makes Rona a man, whose wife, when Rona was fishing at sea, was visited by a man named Hoka who made a practice of destroying the fences about the place whenever he visited it. A number of incidents of little interest are related, and finally, Rona is said to have retired to the moon, which he occasionally consumes, then waits until it becomes full again and again consumes it. This tale appears at p. 118 of vol. 8 of the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute. Another version, collected by Beattie, is much more satisfactory, and here Rona punishes his erring wife by making her eat portions of the cooked flesh of Hoka; he then retired to the moon where he is still seen with his calabash before him. Other incidents of this latter narrative have already been related in the account of the origin of echoes, inserted among origin myths. A version in Maori appears in White's vol. 2, p. 21; it is based on that collected by Wohlers.page 395
A Tuamotuan tale pictures Rona as a cannibal woman and the mother of a girl named Hina who was admired by a man named Manoihere, but he was slain and eaten by Rona. Rona now threatened Hina, but she was saved by a man named Noa, who slew Rona; then Noa took Hina to wife and begat Hema. This story then merges into the adventures of the ubiquitous Tawhaki (see Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 20, p. 172).
In Fornander's writings occurs the sentence—"There is also a legend of Lono (Rona), who fell in a well, caught in a tree, and was taken up to the moon, where he is still visible." He continues—"This resembles somewhat the Hawaiian legend of Lonomoku." But Lono (Rongo) must not be confused with Rona, although, as we have seen, Hawaiian myth connects the names of Rongo (Lono) and Hina.
The Moon Maidens
There are a few female personifications that seem to be connected with Tangaroa and the moon, fair-skinned, fair-haired whanau kehu a Tangaroa; these are Hine-korako, Hine-kotea, Hine-makehu, Hine-korito, and Hine-huruhuru. In the first four cases these names bear out the connection with fairness, the words korako, kotea, makehu and korito distinctly convey such a meaning, but huruhuru is scarcely equal to such a rendering, though it does carry the meaning of "glow". Hine-korako seems to be the most prominent of these maids, and she is the personified form of the lunar bow or halo. She was appealed to by women for help in the crises of life, but was not so important a being as Hine-te-iwaiwa. In a tapu formula chanted over the vessel Takitimu ere she commenced her voyage to New Zealand Hine-korako is twice appealed to.
During the above voyage we are told that the vessel was guided by Kahukura (personified form of the rainbow) during the day, but, when the shades of night fell, then he retired and Hine-korako appeared to take his place. And so, day and night, an objective point stood far ahead on which the prow of the vessel was laid; this was a matter of firm belief among our Maori folk. Some Ngati-kahungunu elders assured me that Kahukura and Hine-korako were both atua connected with deep-sea vessels on account of their being used as guides, and that the latter was page 396appealed to in cases of childbirth. Hine-korako is a pale or light coloured bow or luminous arch, like a rainbow but lacking its bright colours. Rongomai was appealed to by distressed voyagers. Tama-i-waho, Tunui-a-te-ika and Timu-te-warowaro were also atua that assisted mariners. An old recital refers to calling upon Hine-kotea, Hine-makehu and Hine-huruhuru to assist the passage of vessels at sea and to ward off such dangers as a heavy sea. One sentence in the recital runs as follows: "Na, ko Hine-kotea, ko Hine-makehu, ko Hine-huruhuru, ko Hine-korito, enei he Tinirau, he Tangaroa" It is difficult to see just what the narrator meant by this remark. The various Hine above are referred to as taniwha, monsters that assisted the passage of deep-sea craft, protected and bore them over the rolling sea roads. Ruamano and Araiteuru were two other sea monsters that assisted craft on their way; the latter seems to have acted as a sort of rear guard.
It would appear that some symbol representing Hine-korako was brought hither in Takitimu, for we are told that Hine-korako was fetched from the tapu cave of Te Kohurau and deposited at the stern of the vessel. In the following extract from a chant of Tuhoto-ariki we see references to the mythical beings, incidents, and the beliefs we have scanned:
E huri to aro aro ki Paraweranui, ki Tahuruakakanui
Ko te ara tena i whakaterea max ai o tipuna e te kauika Tangaroa, te urunga tapu o Paikea
Ka takoto i konei te ara moana ko Haruatai, ka tupea ki muri ko tax whakahuka
Ka takoto te ara o Kahukura ki uta, ka tupatia ki a Hine-mako-hurangi
Ka putua i konei te ihinga moana, te wharenga moana, ka takiri-tia te takapau whakahaere
Ka takoto i runga i a Hine-korito, i a Hine-kotea, i a Hine-makehu.
Herein the child for whom the chant was composed is adjured to turn and look to the south and west, the way by which his ancestors were borne hither by the ocean monsters that conveyed Paikea to land, when Haruatai held the sea path of Takitimu and raging billows were calmed by potent spells; when the path of Kahukura lay before and boisterous winds were banished by the Mist Maid; when the elements were controlled and dangers averted, and when reliance was placed on Hine-korito, Hine-kotea and Hine-makehu. In this effusion the composer speaks of south and west as though he were at Hawaiki, whence Takitimu sailed to the south-west, but he employs terms denoting the personified forms of those points, and poetic license covers any eccentricities as with a cloak.page 397
In these narratives Hine-korako is always spoken of as a guide, but Hine-korito, Hine-kotea and Hine-makehu are said to have remained by the vessel to protect and bear it on its way; occasionally Hine-huruhuru is included among the latter. This latter name appears in other narratives as a second name of Moko-huruhuru, who is apparently the personified form of glow worms, and is alluded to as a mokai or little pet of Kiwa.
It would seem that Hine-korako is known in the Waiapu district under the name of Tukorako, which the folk of that district explain as being the name of a light coloured (koma) bow seen at night. One old man informed me that Tukorako was a name used to denote Kahukura when seen at night.
There is one more note to record concerning one of these luminous lasses, the same being Hine-korako. This name has been applied to a mythical being said to have lived under the waters of the falls of Te Reinga, in the Wairoa district, a being mentioned elsewhere in this chronicle. The Maori myth makers of yore seem to have personified the luminous, brightly coloured bow occasionally seen above the raging waters, and to have borrowed the name of Hine-korako from the fair lady who appears at night.
The Rongo-Hina-moon connection alluded to above may possibly have more light thrown upon it when more data comes to hand. The crescent symbol of Rongo was carved on the upper ends of digging sticks in New Zealand, while at Easter Island the crescent is seen incised on rocks at the placed oalled Orongo (O-Rongo), and the crescent-shaped breast ornament was worn by women, as the tiki pendant was in New Zealand, and possibly with the same object, Rongo, Tane and Tiki are all fertilising beings. The Maori planted his kumara crop during the Tane and Rongo-nui phases of the moon; these are styled O-Tane and O-Rongo-nui, sometimes simply O-Rongo, though we write them Otane and Orongo; the O is but a prefix. Rongo was the elder brother of Tane in Maori myth, and his name is given precedence, as in the coupled title Rongo-ma-Tane. In Gill's Myths and Songs, p. 11, we read that at the Cook Islands, Rongo was said to dwell in the underworld, and why not, when sun and moon seem to sink into the earth; that underworld is the unseen home of Tane, as well as of Rongo. The double name Rongo-ma-Uenga is met with in Rarotongan recitals but is apparently unknown to the Maori. Two interesting names of Rongo recorded by Fornander in An Account of the Polynesian Race, page 398vol. 1, are Lono-nui-noho-i-ka-wai, p. 100, and Lono-i-ka-po-loa, p. 93 et seq., allusions to Rongo as a water dweller and as pertaining to the night. The lowest of the heavens was called the sky or heaven of Lono (Rongo). The eel god of Hawaiian myth is known as Lonoakihi, and it would be interesting to know if this name is connected with Rongo, when we remember the combination of the phallic eel and lunar crescent.
Rongomai is another being who, it is said, was enabled to reach the moon by means of a powerful charm, this in order to escape from enemies, and he made his oven pits there, and his enemy Maea was taken up to the moon and cast into one of those ovens. But Rongomai the atua of local fame seems to be a personified form of meteors, save in a folk tale where he is connected with rainbows. (See Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 21, p. 154.) As for Rongomai, he has been placed on record elsewhere. (Dominion Museum Bulletin 9, pp. 49-50.)