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Games and Pastimes of the Maori



We have now to deal with one of the commoner kinds of Maori instruments, a type that was in more general use than the pu torino, and of which many old specimens have been preserved. Colenso applied the name of pororua to the koauau, and Williams' Maori Dictionary gives the same word as denoting 'a short native flute,' and koauau as 'a kind of musical instrument played with the nose; also a flute for the mouth.'

Fig. 64 shows two bone flutes in the Dominion Museum, both fashioned from human thigh bones. The longer specimen is 7 in. in length; the uppermost stop being 1¼ in. from the end; the next stop is 1⅛ in. from the first, and the third is 2½ in. from the second. Both specimens are adorned with carved designs. The smaller specimen is 4½ in. in length and the spaces as given above are ⅞, ⅞ and 1¼ in. respectively. See p. 229.

page 236

There is one element of uncertainty about this koauau flute. Two reliable persons have stated that they saw natives using it as a nose flute, but most authorities agree that it was applied to the mouth. Mr. John White states that the player blew into one end, and continues—"An adept player used the koauau as a nose flute, but others who were not so clever used it as a mouth flute."

The holes in the koauau were the same as those in the whio, three on the top and one underneath. Only chiefs possessed these instruments, inferior people never had them. When not actually being played the koauau was worn by the owner suspended from the neck. It was also viewed as an heirloom and passed to the offspring of the owner." Many of these flutes have no stop on the lower side. Hari Wahanui, of Waikato, used one of the specimens in the Dominion Musuem as a mouth flute, blowing into one end and producing melodious notes to the tune of a native song. He knows only the name of koauau for these flutes. Wahanui states that he never knew them to be used as nose flutes. He has a very old one that belonged to his forebears; it is made from a human thigh bone, the bone of an enemy. He remarked that the three stops of a koauau should not be equi-distant, one intermediate space should be greater than the other, as is usually the case, though not so in the one he played, which he condemned.

Captain G. Mair tells us that koauau were made from human thigh or arm bones. They were also made of wood, the tutu (Coriaria ruscifolia), the poroporo (Solarium aviculare) and neinei (Dracophyllum latifoliuni) all of which are easily hollowed out on account of their having a soft pith. They were also fashioned from other woods, such as matai, that have no pith.

Polack writes as follows on Maori flutes:—"The native musical instruments scarcely deserved the appellation. Flutes are often formed of the bones of an enemy or a deceased friend, the extremities of which are often carved with much care. The sounds elicited from them are very inharmonious. They differ in shape and size, some possessing three, four, and five holes, and are generally worn round the neck."

Apparently but few of these koauau flutes had as many as five holes, i.e., stops. These flutes were certainly carried suspended from the neck; many of them have a little projection pierced with a hole through which the suspending cord was passed.

In Anderson's narrative of Cook's first voyage we find the following:—"One of their instruments of music is a shell, from which they produce a sound not unlike that made with a common horn; the other is a small wooden pipe, resembling a child's ninepin, not page 237superior in sound to a child's whistle. We never heard them attempt to sing to them, or to produce any measured notes like what we call a tune."

Angas seems to have seen the koauau only, judging from the following remarks, but he was a late comer in the field, though before the time of museums:—"The only musical instrument of the Maoris is one resembling a small flute, which produces but few modulations of sound. This instrument is sometimes made out of human bone, generally the leg bone of an enemy; and, when this is the case, it is highly valued as a trophy, and worn, attached to the tiki, round the neck of its possessor."

Tuta Nihoniho contributed the following notes:—Fire was employed in the process of hollowing out a koauau flute, and the small holes were formed with the tuiri or cord drill. These flutes were often made of a piece of tutu stem (Coriaria ruscifolia), a section of the same being dried and the pith was destroyed by fire in a curious manner. Live coals of manuka or other hard wood were used in the process. One such was placed on the dry pith at the end of the section, and the operator blew the coal to keep it alive and to cause it to burn the dry pith below it. When the coal deadened, it was replaced with a fresh ember.

In Fig. 67 we see four koauau flutes and two of the peculiar nose flutes termed nguru, all of which are fine specimens. In A is given the face view of these implements, each koauau having three stops. The hole for suspension is seen plainly in three cases, passing through a small boss on the side of each specimen. In two cases the cord for suspension is attached, one being furnished with a bone toggle. The third specimen from the left shows particularly fine carved designs. Two of the stops of the second specimen appear to be surrounded by countersunk shell circlets, the lower nose flute being adorned in a similar manner. The wooden hose flute to the right has one side covered with well executed carved work, but in neither view are the stops seen. There is usually a small hole on the outer curve at the small end of a nguru, making three stops in all. Both specimens have the side hole for suspension. I do not know the material of the lower nose flute. These instruments are in the British Museum. See p. 240.

The Waiapu natives say that, when a flute was fashioned from a piece of houhou (Panax arboreum), that piece was taken from a tree growing in an exposed situation.

Iehu Nukunuku, of the Waiapu district, says that in making a koauau its length was measured as from the tip of the forefinger of the right hand to the fork at the base of the thumb. The first hole page 238is measured off by placing the forefinger on the instrument nail upward so as to measure off the length of the first two joints, where the hole is put. Then the finger is doubled over so as to bring the first joint thereof nail downward on the koauau; the length of that first joint marks the site of the second hole. Then the second joint was brought down in like manner, and its length marked the third hole. Then the thumb was placed sideways on the outer end of the koauau, and this width of the thumb gave the measure where to cut the piece off. In the case of a nose flute (koauau whakatangi ihu) the holes were measured as follows:—The first was made at the width of the forefinger from the end. The second was the width of the thumb from No. 1, and the third was the width of the forefinger, plus that of the next finger, from No. 2.

The first hole of a flute is called Maui-mua, the second is Maui-roto, and the third is Maui-taha. Iehu remarked that Te Rangi-taotahi was a famed flute player of olden times of the Waiapu district.

Williams gives wenewene as a word denoting the holes in a native flute.

Fig. 68 shows two koauau in the Hastings Museum, A being a wooden specimen, and B of human bone.. The former has lost two of its countersunk shell circlets. B was obtained in the Rotorua district. Specimen A is 7¼ in. in length. See p. 241.

Judging from the evidence of early writers and specimens preserved koauau differed somewhat as to stops. In some cases stops are noted on the under side. The following list of such flutes in the Auckland Museum was made out and forwarded to me by Dr. P. Buck. All these specimens are of human bone:—

Stops, Upper Stops, Lower. Hole for suspension.
No. 68 3 Nil Pierced
No. 69 3 Nil "
No. 6058 3 Nil Unpierced
No. 643 3 Nil "
No. 5481 3 Nil Two broken out
No. 389 3 Nil Two at side
No. 70 3 (2 blocked) Nil Pierced (See Fig. 69)
No. 6060 3 2 "
No. 5045 3 2 "

Of these nine specimens of koauau all have three stops on the upper side, while only two of the nine have stops on the lower side. In most cases the hole for suspension is on the under side, and in wooden specimens passes through a boss left for that purpose page 239 Fig. 65 A Wooden Koauau in the Hocken Collection at Dunedin Fig. 66 Two Koauau in the New Plymouth Museum. Each of these specimens has three stops. All these short forms are open at both ends when the implement was fashioned. Four of the above specimens are adorned with carved designs and differences are noted as to the position and spacing of stops. The plugged stops of No. 70 may have been the result of incorrect spacing.

In Fig. 69 we see two of these Auckland Museum flutes fashioned from human bone. In Figs. 70 and 71 appear diagrams of these nine bone flutes illustrating the spacing of the stops and some other features. See pp. 242, 243 and 244.

In Fig. 72 are shown six more of the human bone flutes of the Auckland Museum collection. See p. 245.

page 240
Fig. 67 Four Flutes (Koauau) and Two Nose Flutes in the British Museum.

A. Front View, showing stops. See p. 237

Fig. 67 B. Side View Photographs by R. B. Fleming, London

page 241
Fig. 68

A. A Wooden Flute in the Hastings Museum

B. A Flute fashioned from a human bone. In the Ebbett Collection at Hastings. See p. 238 W. Poll, Photos

It was considered a highly desirable thing to possess a flute made out of a bone of an enemy who had done one some serious injury. Note this passage from Angas:—"At a small pa [Mokau district] Taonui the chief has his residence. He is one of the most powerful and superstitious of the old heathen chiefs, and is scrupulously attached to the religion of the tohunga; around his neck he usually wears a small flute, constructed out of the leg bone of Pomare, a northern enemy of his tribe, and upon this instrument he frequently plays with peculiar satisfaction."

In Fig. 72A we see one of the very few natives who can now play the old Maori flute. This is Kiwi Amohau, a member of a famed chieftain family of Rotorua, a man who has done much to keep alive the old time crafts and arts of Maoriland. Kiwi is holding the flute in a position not far from horizontal, whereas I have been told that it was held in a perpendicular position, the operator blowing across the aperture as it were, and not directly into it. See p. 246.

page 242

Fig. 69 Two Bone Flutes in Auckland Museum. The specimen on the left is No. 70, showing two plugged stops. See p. 239 W. R. Reynolds, Photo

Performers on the koauau were fond of playing in the evening, out of doors in summer time, after the evening meal. They would sometimes be seated on npuhara or elevated platform, and the people would gather on the marae or plaza to listen. If a person played late at night people would wake up and listen with pleasure. In some cases several players, possibly as many as four, would play the same tune together.

The following song is one that was sung and played by performers on the koauau. It was given by East Coast natives. Another such appears at page 217 of Nga Moteatea:—

He Waiata Whaiaipo

Tera te haeata kowae ana mai i te tara
I te maunga i moe atu nei puehutanga
Te iringa rau mahara ma te titiro ki waho ki te moana
Katahi te roimata ka ringitia ki waho
Me ngare marire me kawe taku tinana maku au e mahara
Whakatika ki runga ka tae
Waiho koe i o taua moenga e hanga kino te tane
He kai momotu kino te tau o taku ate
Tohungia iho ra i whea koia koe i taku hinenga ake
Te aruarua e ko raungaiti ana . . e.

page 243

Fig. 70 Diagrams illustrating Spacing of Stops in Auckland Museum. Specimens Nos. 68, 69, 6058, 643, and 5481. See p. 239 From sketches by Dr. P. H. Buck

page 244
Fig. 71 Diagrams Illustrating Spacing of Stops, etc., in Auckland Museum Specimens Nos. 389, 70, 6060, and 5045. See p. 239

A and B denote two plugged stops in No. 70. No. 5045 (of human bone) is from Te Mahia From sketches by Dr. P. H. Buck

The following was rendered by an old performer, though his flute was but a piece of gas pipe. To such base usages have the descendants of Paikea lent themselves:—

page 245

Song sung and played by Iehu Nukunuku, of Waiapu, into gramophone, 10/4/23:—

"Pinepine te kura, hau te kura
Whanake te kura i raro o Awanui
Ko te kura iti, ko te kura roa, ko te kura na Tuhaepo
Tenei te tira hou, tenei e haramai nei
Na Te Umurangi a Te Whetu-i-apiti
Naumai, e tama, te taiao nei
Kia whakangungua koe ki te kahikatoa
Ki te tumatakuru, ki te tara ongaonga
Nga tairo rawa nahau, e Kupe, i waiho i te ao nei."

Fig. 72 Six Human Bone Flutes in the Auckland Museum. See p. 239 W. R. Reynolds, Photo

page 246

Fig. 72aKiwi Amohau of Rotorua One of the very few survivors of Native Flute Players. See p. 241 Dominion Museum Photo

page 247

Dr. Savage, in 1805, made a few notes as follows:—"Their musical instruments are similar to those of many islands of the Pacific. The flute is an instrument in almost universal use; it is about six or seven inches long, with three holes on one side, and one on the other, and open at each extremity. The music produced by this instrument is simple but pleasing, and when a number of performers unite their efforts, sitting in the open air in a native village, it will be found to be very interesting On this instrument much time and labour is bestowed in carving and inlaying with portions of the ear shell. The particular pattern principally depends upon the owner's fancy."

Nicholas, who accompanied Marsden on his first visit to New Zealand, wrote:—"Their musical instruments are simple, but afford a variety of pleasing notes. They have a sort of flute about seven inches long, formed of reed or bone, having three holes on one side, and one on the other, and open at both ends." Again, he observes:—"I observed suspended at the breast of one of these people an instrument like a flute, made of bone, in the carving of which a considerable degree of ingenuity was displayed." This instrument, the writer ascertained, was made of human bone.

Cruise also has a brief note made in Hauraki Gulf:—"Besides the usual decorations of a chief he wore a carved flute or pipe round his neck, upon which he played the simple but plaintive airs of their part of the island with much correctness."

Dieffenbach, like Angas, seems to have seen only the koauau form of flute:—"The only musical instrument possessed by the natives is a flute with four holes, made of wood; the airs produced on it are plaintive, but little modulated."

Polack speaks of attending a large native meeting in the thirties of last century, whereat he saw many of the old pastimes being pursued, such as wrestling, kite flying, throwing darts, etc. "Many persons were amusing themselves with strains on the native flute; children delighted each other by shaking dried calabashes containing pebbles, emitting a mournful, abominable sound."

Colenso's notes, though not so painfully brief as those of other writers, do not contain what we want to know, he writes—"The flutes were made of wood and of bone, when of the latter it was human bone. They were of various lengths, generally six to eight inches long, open at both ends, and having three holes on one side and one on the other. The wooden ones were ornamented with a great amount of carving and inlaying, each being an example of skill, industry and patience….Those for the mouth were differently page 248formed from those for the nose. One of the smaller ones (often made of bone) was not unfrequently worn suspended from the neck of a chief. On these the old Maoris managed to play simple Maori tunes and airs." A number of the early writers mention a stop underneath.

Elsewhere Colenso remarks:—"Their musical instruments, rude though they were, and possessing only a few notes, were several; perhaps they would have improved these had they possessed proper material for making them. Their three or four flutes of different sizes were made of human bone, or the hollow stems of the tutu (Coriaria ruscifolia), or of the poroporo (Solarium aviculare), or of two pieces of hard wood, cleverly constructed and fitted together, having the joining in the centre, where, too, it was much larger. Their trumpet was made of a large conch shell (Triton variegatum), and sometimes of a piece of wood. All their musical instruments were also more or less carved and ornamented. Their larger war gongs were made of matai wood, and were suspended in their forts."

Shortland mentions thepu torino, koauau and pu tara, remarking:— Different kinds of wind instruments resembling the flute, only varying in their length." This is a rather loose statement, the pu tara or shell trumpet in no way resembles a flute.

In one of the raids of Nga-puhi one of the party speaks of the turipona (knee joint or cap) of an enemy being taken in order to fashion a pipe therefrom, while from his leg bones flutes were made. The narrator also says: "In the houses we saw the hands of our people who had been slain by Wai-kato at Motu-tapu. They were fastened to the walls with the palms upward, and the upward pointing fingers were used as pegs whereon to hang food baskets. Those hands had been steamed in an oven until the outer skin peeled off, leaving a white inner surface."

Mr. White tells us of a flute that consisted of a man's windpipe. This would be a case of a tama-a-hara, a hated enemy whose bones would serve as spear points, fish hooks, etc., for eating the flesh of such a person by no means satisfied the Maori's desire for revenge in some cases.

Two of my European correspondents claim to have seen natives using the koauau as a nose flute, the right thumb being used to stop the right nostril. Fingers of both hands were used on the stops.

Of the Tahitian flutes, Sir Joseph Banks says in his journal:— "They tune their flutes; if two persons play upon flutes which are not in unison, the shorter is lengthened by adding a small roll of leaf tied round the end of it, and moved up and down till their ears (which are certainly very nice) are satisfied."

page 249

Forster held Tahitian music in little estimation when he wrote:—"The flute in the hands of a Tahitian has no more than three holes, and is therefore incapable of a variety of notes, and the music they execute upon this instrument is but a poor humming: even their vocal music has no greater compass than three or four notes, however, some of their songs were not quite disagreeable."

A peculiarity about some of the koauau of the Maori is that they have been carefully fashioned into the form of a phallus prior to being decorated with carved designs. Such a specimen is seen in Fig. 73 (p. 249). Not only are these forms seen, but in the Hastings Museum is an ivory nose flute on which is carved a female figure, the Yoni of which is of abnormal size. (See Fig. 86, B., p. 268). We know that, in former times, flutes fashioned from human bone were employed by the Maori for ceremonial purposes, and in a very singular manner. Now all bone flutes were not fashioned from the bones of enemies; occasionally bones of relatives provided such instruments. When a case of difficult parturition occurred, then, if the family possessed a flute fashioned from the bone of one of the woman's ancestors, or her husband's forbears according to one authority, such flute was procured and played over her. The idea seemed to be that the spirits of the defunct forbear would assist the woman in her hour of trouble. Such flutes are also said to have been used in a similar manner in cases of sickness.

Fig. 73

A. A finely carved Koauau in the Dominion Museum. See p. 249

B. A specimen in the Otago University Museum, Dunedin

C. A bone specimen from Otago

D. A specimen in the possession of the Rev. H. Williams

B shows plainly plugged stops. Probably some of those of C were also plugged

page 250

Now I have absolutely no information from Maori sources whereby to connect the peculiar usage described above with the phallic flutes occasionally seen, but it is quite possible that such instruments were employed for this ceremonial purpose. Symbolism has been much practised by the Maori in the remote past, and a number of survivals of ancient usages point to a former system of phallic worship, or something closely akin to it.

In this connection a paper by A. C. Haddon on Migrations of Cultures in British New Guinea contains some interesting remarks. In speaking of a tribe named Monumbo the author writes:—"The long sacred flutes … are kept carefully concealed in the men's houses; they are blown on the completion of a chief's house, at initiation, and after burial of the male dead…. From a rite that takes place it would seem that the flutes have some connection with procreation." In the same paper the author speaks of the flutes as being of different sexes. The male flute is a simple cylinder of bamboo, like an organ pipe with a piston inside, which is moved rapidly up and down to produce different notes. Apparently a peculiar form of flute this New Guinea instrument; it seems to be operated like an old fashioned churn. Again, the above writer remarks:—"The sacred flutes play an important part in many ceremonies, the sounds they emit are supposed to be the voice of the goblin himself, and the sight of them is tabued to women."

The Rev. W. W. Gill, in his Myths and Songs from the South Pacific, tells us that, at Uea, in the Loyalty Group, nose flutes were played during the performance of a ceremony to cause the spirit of a sick person to return to his body.

In J. G. Frazer's comprehensive work The Belief in Immortality, Vol. 1, p. 252, it is shown that certain tapu flutes, as also bullroarers, were employed in an initiatory ceremony performed over youths in a certain region of New Guinea. Of these flutes the writer remarks:—"The instruments are of two patterns. One is called the male and the other the female, and they are supposed to be married to each other. No woman may see these mysterious flutes." Here we note the same idea of sex, as applied to flutes, which is noted in New Zealand, and another item is recorded in the increasing list of New Guinea-New Zealand parallels.

The so-called phallic flute represented in Fig. 73 (p. 249), is a fine old wooden specimen that is said to have been found in a burial cave in the Rotorua district. It is exhibit No. 1679 in the Dominion Museum. This flute is an unusually large one, so far as my knowledge extends; being 7½ inches in length, and 1¾ inches in diameter. The page 251hole is ¾ of an inch in diameter and, though probably formed by means of a drill in the first place, yet shows signs of having been worked by means of a sharp pointed implement thrust down the orifice. Possibly the hole was enlarged by such means. On the lower side, at one end, a perforated boss afforded the means for suspension. Both ends of this instrument have been so carved as to resemble the male organ, and this fact, combined with the design carved on the Hastings ivory flute, recalls the male and female flutes of New Guinea. The whole of the outer surface shows well executed carved designs. There are three stops on the upper side of the instrument, but none on the lower side. The first stop is 2 inches from one end of the instrument; the second is f of an inch from the first, and the third 1⅜ inches from the second. This leaves slightly over 3 inches of the length of the instrument having no stop, but this space does show two plugged holes, one of which is but 1 inch from the end, while the second is ¾ of an inch from the first. Evidently these holes were formed first, but did not give satisfaction, hence they were plugged and another series was formed. The material in this case is the red heartwood of the matai tree, (Podocarpus spicatus)

Williams gives rehu as a flute name. Mr. White left the following description of it:—"The rehu was something like the whio. It was made of matai wood, and sometimes of tu-pakihi (tutu). The rehu had three holes on the top, but none underneath. It was not blown from the end, but the end was plugged up, and a hole was made to which the player placed his lips when sounding the rehu. See Fig. 63 (p. 228). Another type of rehu was made of matai wood, and very carefully made. This form had no holes to be stopped with the fingers on either side, but it was blown from one end and the player used his forefinger as a stopper on the other end of the rehu, so as to vary the sound, thus was heard the tune being played on the rehu and the words of the song sung to it. Only the most expert adepts could play this instrument well. When well played women could not resist it, a good player was run after by women."

This description of the rehu recalls the longer specimen in Fig. 63 (p. 228). This form is also seen apparently in the short specimen shown in Fig. 74 (p. 252), which shows such a hole at one end. I have no description of these three flutes, however, and cannot say whether the end is plugged or not.

Moser applies the name rehu to the gourd instrument, but, unlike White, he was not a Maori linguist, and may have been in error.

Of the first instrument mentioned by Mr. White one end was apparently closed and an aperture formed on one side for sounding purposes. This describes the longer specimen in Fig. 63 (p. 228).

page 252

Fig. 74 Three Wooden Flutes in Auckland Museum. Material, pieces of tutu (Coriaria) from which the pith has been removed. See p. 251 W. R. Reynolds, Photo

In the Illustrations preparedforWhite's Ancient History of the Maori is given a form of flute resembling the pu torino in shape but with three stops on one side. This form seems to be unknown in museum collections.

The following description of an instrument called a whio (whistle) was written by the late Mr. John White. He does not give its length, but it was made in two pieces like a torino, was blown from the end, and had four stops. So far as I am aware no such instrument has been preserved, i.e., as made in two pieces.

The whio was made of matai wood. A piece of suitable wood was shaped, split into two pieces, and each piece carefully hollowed out. The two pieces were then placed together again and carefully lashed with the tough aerial roots of the kiekie, care being taken to make the two pieces fit closely. The whio was made hollow from one end to the other, and three holes were bored on the upper side, with one on the lower side. The player blows into one end of the whio and presses the tips of three fingers, the toi nui, toi roa and toipoto of his left hand, on the three holes, while the thumb (koromatau). of the same hand covers the single hole on the underside of the whio. Then sounds the whio, while by lifting his fingers the player changes the sound, alters the note. Should the note be deemed not sufficiently page 253clear and distinct, then the thumb is removed from the lower hole so as to leave it open.

This instrument is called a whio because the sound it emits is like unto the whio (whistle) made by human lips.

When a man manufactured a whio (whistle) it was for the purpose of attracting some woman he desired. If he played that whio well, then the woman could not resist him. These sort of amusements were indulged in at night and, in some cases, a man ignorant of playing a whio would arrange with an adept a deception in this manner. In the dark or dimly lighted house he would seat himself near the adept and pretend to perform upon the whio, whereas it would be the adept who played. If successful, and the man gained the woman he desired, then would he reward the true player with a present, such as a garment, or weapon, or a present of food. During the above performance should the fire happen to burn up and light the house, the adept would pass the whio to his companion who would mouth it and handle it for a while until the fire light died down again, when he would return it to his friend. Hence it so happened that such a deceitful person might so charm the woman he admired that he would gain her and marry her. Then, after they were so married, his wife would, some time or another, ask him to play on his flute, whereupon he would decline, saying that he was tired of it. Such would be his deceitful action, but what could be done, he had got the woman!

Mr. White is also responsible for the following:—There was another kind of whio, an inferior kind, made by persons not expert enough to make the better sort. It was used by beginners, persons learning to play, although an expert player alone could make it sound well. This instrument was made from a piece of tutu (Coriaria ruscifolid) the pith of which was removed by means of using a piece of wood as a borer. The outside was then dressed smooth and holes bored as in the one made of matai. These whio made of tupakihi (tutu) were used by children. The following song is one that was much favoured by flute players:—

"Tenei te tangata te hihira atu nei
Te hoki atu koe i waho na i te roro
Me kore te kakea i te wehi o te tapu
He koro i tu mai note whakatakere
Rokohanga mai au ka taiaroatia."

Another whio was made of human bone which was made like a wooden one, but the bone one had no hole on the underside, it merely had the three holes on the upper side. It was blown from one end.

page 254

Some tribes made flutes from the arm and leg bones of their own dead. We have seen that, when a woman was in labour, a tohunga or her grandfather played upon such a flute until the child was born. A tohunga (priest) would also play such a flute when a child was ill, or when the child was in any pain or distress, according to Mr. White, as when cutting its teeth. Also when the child cried without any apparent cause. The idea in the native mind was that such flutes being made of bones of departed ancestors acted as a medium between the living and the gods (from whom man is descended).

As a rule, when flutes were made of human bone, the bones so used were those of enemies. After the slaughter of Marion Du Fresne and his companions, the natives utilised some of their bones where-from to fashion flutes and other objects. Here end Mr. White's notes.

The first kind of whio or whistle described by Mr. White, a wooden instrument made in two pieces, with three stops on the upper side and one underneath, is one that has never been seen by the writer. It would appear that Mr. White also applied the name of whio to the koauau.

Although no specimen of the above described instrument has, to the writer's knowledge, been preserved in our museums, yet I am inclined to believe that Mr. White was perfectly correct in his description. That reliable and versatile writer W. B., states that such an instrument was made and used by the Maori in former times. He described it as about 2 ft. 6 in. in length, and 1¼ in. in diameter. It was made in two pieces and no mention is made of increased width of the central part, as in the pu torino. The two halves having been hollowed out they were then carefully fitted together and firmly and neatly lashed with sennit in the middle and at each end. Decorative designs were carved on the surfaces not covered by the lashings. An interesting method was employed where-by the inner surface of the tube was rendered even and smooth. A round plait cord of fibre was made that could just be drawn through the tube, and, the end having been reeved through it, one end of the cord was secured to a post or sapling, while the other end was passed round another such, hauled taut, and so made fast. Wet sand was then rubbed on the surface of the cord, and the operator, gripping the tube, drew it rapidly to and fro on the cord, giving the tube a half turn at each thrust.

Matai was the favoured wood for the manufacture of these pipes, owing to its sonority. The pipe was open at both ends and was sounded by means of blowing across the end thereof, not by blowing page 255directly into the orifice. It seems to have had three stops, two on the upper side, and one underneath, but possibly had four. Now, experts had a very singular way of manipulating this pu. Such a person assumed a sitting position when playing it, and gripped the pipe between his knees so that its lower end reached his feet. Holding it in this position enabled him to occasionally stop the orifice of the outer or lower end of the pipe with a foot. By this means it is said that an expert could make the instrument speak me te reo tangata—like the human voice; few, however, are said to have acquired such proficiency.

This pipe recalls the one described by Mr. White, as explained above. Of the one just described, W.B. remarks that Ngati-Maru of Taranaki claim that its use was peculiar to the members of that tribe, but this may be doubted, such claims are often made by people who do little travelling. Observe the remark of Du Clesmeur, quoted above, concerning instruments seen by him in 1772:—"They have also a species of flute made in two pieces, bound well together, into which they blow at the thick end. The smaller end and the three little holes are closed with the fingers, and serve to vary the tones a little." These remarks assuredly do not describe the pu torino, the three small stops settles that. This instrument was seen in the Bay of Islands district, a far cry from Taranaki.

The 22 in. pipe or flute described by Sir W. Buller represents another form, inasmuch as one end was plugged, and the instrument was blown from the side. This plugged end reappears in Mr. White's rehu and in the longer specimen shown in Fig. 63 (p. 228) (No. 197 in the Dominion Museum). The Tahitian nose flute had one end plugged. W.B. applies the name of koauau to the instrument having one end closed.

Although, in some districts, the terms koauau and whio may have been applied to different instruments, yet in others it would appear that both were applied to the short wooden and bone flutes. In an old traditional story I note the following:—"Ka ki atu ki ana tamariki kia mahia he koauau, tetehi ingoa he whio; ka oti ka hangaa nga puta e toru, katahi ka whakatangihia e te wahine ra." Here the two names are applied to the one instrument, in which were made three stops.

The following remarks by Colenso seem to show that the natives used a true whistle (whio) though, so far as the writer is aware, no specimen has been preserved.

"Their whistles were very large; that is, thick, obtuse, peculiarly shaped, and something like a short thick tongue, some being a little page 256curved. They were made of hard wood, scraped, polished, and profusely carved, and inlaid with mother of pearl; these, also, were worn by the chiefs, hung to their necks I suspect that these, like their trumpets, were not used for obtaining any proper tune, but only for the purpose of making a loud call, as from a chief to his followers." Elsewhere the same writer remarks:—"They had a peculiar kind of loud whistle in use by their chiefs, made out of hollowed hardwood, though not very common, when Cook visited them."

The whio described by Mr. White is termed by him a whistle, but he does not tell us in what particular it differed from the koauau, except that it was formed of two pieces. In addition to the larger sized koauau fashioned from wood, or consisting of a section of a human thigh bone, there were others made from human arm bones and from albatross bones. Of the latter material many have been found in the South Island, and the following are in the Auckland Museum:—No. 5956 is 6¼ inches in length and has three stops on one side, grouped near the middle and about one inch distant from each other. No. 390 is 6 inches in length and has three stops, two of which are close together and arranged transversely, not in line with the longer axis of the instrument. The third stop is 1 inch from the transverse pair. No. 6061 is also 6 inches long, and has three stops grouped near the middle and closer together than those of No. 5956. A few crossed lines are incised at one end of the instrument. In No. 5954 is seen a similar piece of bone that appears to be a flute in process of manufacture, the holes for stops have not been pierced. The above notes were obtained through the kindly offices of Dr. P. H. Buck. See Fig. 76 (p. 257).

Fig. 75 Bone Flute in Whanganui Museum B. Bone Flute from Otago F. G. Denton

page 257

Fig. 76 Illustrates Spacing of Stops, etc., in Bone Flutes in Auckland Museum. See p. 256

Fig. 77 Bone Flutes and Fragments of Flutes from Otago. The two whole specimens are in the Dominion Museum. See p. 260

page 258

Fig. 78 Six Bone Flutes and three awls from Otago. The specimen on the left has but one stop, while that on the right is apparently unfinished. See p. 260

Fig. 79 Two Albatross Bone Flutes from Otago From the Edge-Partington Album

Fig. 80

A. Maori Flute in York Museum.

B. Maori Flute in Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford. See p. 260 From the Edge-Partington Album

page 259
Fig. 81

A. Flute from Niue Island

B. Flute from the Solomon Islands. See p. 261 From the Edge-Partington Album

Fig. 81aA Bamboo Flute from Tonga. Length 2 ft. 1 in. See p. 261 Dominion Museum Photo

A searcher of South Island middens remarks that the flutes found at such places were mostly portions of the large wing bones of the albatross, and that as a rule they have four holes. This number seems to include what he terms a blow hole that is within a quarter of an page 260inch of one end of the instrument. "It is so placed," he states, "because it has to be blown into with the nostril, while the other nostril is closed with the thumb." But we see a number of such instruments that show no hole near the end. Of four lying before me as I write only two have such holes, in one short specimen it is ⅛ in. from the end (See Fig. 77, p. 257), in the other it is 3-16 in. Edge-Partington believes that these holes were for purposes of suspension. I have not noted any corroboration of the statement that these small bone instruments were used as nose flutes. A short specimen 3½ in. in length has three stops and a small hole within 1-16 in. of the end, about as close to such end as it could be pierced with rude implements. When we come to describe the curved nose flutes called nguru it will be seen that they also are provided with a small hole near the smaller end. Be it observed that these bone flutes are open at both ends.

In Figs. 77 and 78 (pp. 257, 258) are shown some of these bone instruments from Otago, two of which are broken. The left hand specimen shows but one stop on its exposed side, and the right hand one none at all, possibly it had not been pierced when lost or discarded. A specimen in the Dominion Museum has two stops, with no small hole near the end, but the majority I have seen have three stops, apart from any holes near the end.

Another small bone flute is No. 1608 in the Dominion Museum. It is 5⅝ in. long and ⅝ in. in diameter. It has three stops, diminutive holes, and a small hole in the side and near the end. The spaces between the stops are ⅞ and 1⅛ in. No. 826 in the same Museum is 4½ in. long, 11-16 in. in diameter, and has but two stops, which are in the middle of the instrument with a space of ⅞ in. between them.

Fig. 79 (p. 258) presents two flutes from Otago, as depicted in the Edge-Partington Album of artifacts of the Pacific region. The material is albatross bone. Both have three stops and the hole near the end, while the lower specimen shows a hole at the opposite end that has been partially cut away.

In Fig. 80 (p. 258) we have two flutes in English Museums. A. is in the York Museum, while B. is in the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford. The latter specimen shows carved designs that would probably not have been much favoured by the old time Maori; it is also remarkable for the fourth hole, as seen in Figs. 63, 74, 79 and 81 (pp. 228, 252, 258, 259).

Two specimens from Pacific Isles are shown in Fig. 81 (p. 259). In A we have a flute from Niue Island that is in the Reading Museum. It is bound with sennit and finely plaited human hair. No particulars are known, but it is probably a two stop instrument, blown from the page 261third hole near the end. B. is a flute from the Solomon Isles having but two stops. The open or cut away hole at the end resembles that of a specimen in Fig. 79 (p. 258).

In Fig. 81A (p. 259) we see a Tongan flute of modern make. This instrument is a length of bamboo 2 ft. 1 in. in length, with a diameter of 2¼ in. Both ends are closed with the natural joints, and there are five apertures on the upper side and one underneath, such holes being 5-16 in. in diameter, and equally spaced at 5¼ in. from each other. It is not easy to understand how all these far spread stops were utilised. The decorative designs include a square rigged ship under sail, with eleven members of the crew, or passengers, looking anxiously over the bulwarks, also three fish, a stingray, a turtle, a cock, and two weird looking persons. One of the latter seems to be a lady of some distinction, inasmuch as she wears a crinoline and a chignon.