The Old-Time Maori
Training in the use of arms was a thing important to the Maori of old, from youth until he was too old to use them. The old people taught the young, and from the very first, one of the most important things to learn was to keep the eyes from moving when facing an opponent, and to keep them fixed on one of two points, the big toe, or the point of the shoulder. Looking at the advanced foot of his opponent, the fighter will see his big toe clinch downwards a fraction of time before he delivers his blow. This warns him of what is coming, and he is prepared to karo (parry) or avoid it. Another thing to do is to look at your opponent's shoulder. If you notice the slightest movement of its muscles, you reckon that a blow is going to be delivered at once.
A man had to be very quick in the use of his weapons, whether long or short, and always ready for an opponent, however he might wield his weapons. For this reason, a great thing to remember was to keep always on the move in single combat, never to stand still, and always to be light and agile on the feet. The old Maori always said that the legs were the means of parrying and avoidance, and never tired of page 316 telling how he would avoid a thrust from a spear, or how he got the better of his opponent.
When a Maori was going to fight, he usually took two weapons, one a short striking weapon, generally carried in the waist of his maro-taua (war apron), and the other a long two-handed weapon. A man might carry a greenstone patu and a taiaha, or a pou tangata and a taiaha, or a patu pounamu and a kotaha; or he might carry a tewhatewha, and as a short weapon a kotiate, a patu paraoa, a wahaika, etc. He would carry the weapons which he liked best and always use them.
The taiaha (Plate XXII, figures 2–5) was the most important of the two-handed weapons of the old Maori. It is generally made of hard wood of great strength, such as manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) or puriri (Vitex littoralis, a kind of iron wood, very heavy, that will turn the edge of an axe), and is 5 to 7 feet long. The manuka is very tough and fibrous, and if it broke, would never snap off, because of its fibrous consistency. It was slightly burnt, then cut and polished, so that the edges were almost like tempered steel, very hard and sharp. The rau, or blade end, is flattened, and gradually merges into the oval or cylindrical shaft. The arero, or tongue, at the other end is adorned with fine carvings in curvilinear designs, and where it joins the shaft, there is a grotesque carved face, chinless, with elongated eyes of haliotis shell, out of whose mouth the tongue-like page 317 blade comes. Though the whole weapon is slim, there is no fear of its breaking, and the Maori felt quite safe, and faced the enemy with confidence if he carried a taiaha.
The taiaha is essentially a chief's staff or weapon. It is beautifully adorned with a band of bright red feathers from beneath the wing of the kaka (red parrot), fastened on to a woven strip of material, and then bound round the shaft just below the carved head. This band is called a tauri kura. Just below this band, small tufts of long white dog's hair are bound to adorn it further, as in figure 4.
In combat, the taiaha is generally held with the tongue or arero downward, as in Plate XXIII. The left hand gripped the shaft just above the carved head, and the right held the shaft at a comfortable distance further up. The fighter might give his opponent the point of the tongue in the pit of the stomach, or pretend to do so, thus causing him to drop his guard, and bend forward or duck. The fighter then swung the heavy blade end over and hit his enemy's head with the edge of it.
The three pictures in Plate XXIII will show some of the uses of the taiaha, as shown by Te Rangi, who was a past master in the art of whakatu (war dancing), as in many other things.
|1.||Popotahi, before engagement, or at the beginning of a dance. In this guard, the taiaha is held almost vertically, the tongue downward, and a little below the page 318 waist, the shaft a little to the front of the point where the right shoulder joins the arm, and sloping a little to the right. The left foot is forward. The left hand, back outward, grasps the weapon just above the carved head, the arm being bent at a right angle across the body, and the elbow being close to the body. The right hand, back outward holds the shaft at about the level of the cheek.|
|2.||Whakarehu, the point from the guard just described. The arero or tongue is swiftly raised and thrust at the opponent, the shaft sliding quickly through the left hand of the wielder. If the thrust gets home, or destroys the guard of the opponent, the fighter can swing the blade end over and hit his opponent's head a crack with its edge.|
|3.||Huanui, a guard. In this guard, the taiaha is held diagonally across the body, the arero on the left at about the level of the knee, the left leg being forward. Point and blow may be delivered from this guard, as the reader will see if he experiments with a wooden rod. These guards, points, and blows, are not unlike those described by Mr. T. A. McCarthy in his book on “The Quarterstaff”, published in London in 1883.|
When making speeches at a ceremonial gathering, a chief would use a taiaha just as a baton is used. Such a baton might be made of softer wood, such as kahikatea (white pine). The shafts of old taiaha were very highly polished, and these old specimens have page 319 a slight rippled appearance on the surface. This was the result of scraping the surface with sharp-edged shells or stone flakes.
The pouwhenua (Plate XXII, figure 1) is not unlike a taiaha in appearance, having the same spatulate blade merging into the shaft at one end. But the other end has no tongue, that part being brought to a thick point. It was as commonly used as the taiaha, and was used like it. It had no decoration except a grotesque head, which was generally carved just below half-way down, a little nearer the point than the other end. There were stone specimens used years ago which were about 4 feet long, but very few are now to be seen. There are two of these stone pouwhenua in the Auckland Museum.
The tewhatewha (Plate XXII, figure 6) is generally 4 to 5 feet long, and is not unlike an axe in shape. One of the names for this weapon is paiaka (a root), as it is made mostly of the root of the maire tree, a very hard wood. The small end was used in delivering a point, but the common thing to do was to strike a blow, not with the edge of the blade, but with the thick back of it. There was a small hole in the lower part of the blade, and from this was fastened a bunch of feathers of the kahu (hawk) or kereru (pigeon). This bunch hung loosely from a fibre cord, and was used to attract or disconcert the enemy, the fighter drawing it swiftly across his opponent's eyes with a very quick movement of the page 320 weapon. In combat the tewhatewha was held with the point downward. Sometimes the tewhatewha had no adornment in the way of carving, and was all quite plain, though highly polished. Sometimes, however, a grotesque head was carved about 18 inches from the end point, and sometimes the axe part was carved and about a third of the shaft below it.
The kopere, known also as pere, whiuwhiu, tarerarera, and makoi, is a dart about 3 feet 6 inches to 4 feet long, made of the very hardest wood, with the point hardened in the fire. It was propelled by means of the kotaha, a stout piece of manuka wood a little over 1 inch thick, and about 4 feet long, whose lower end was carved, with a hole in it. The upper end was sometimes carved with a figure which looked like a human hand. To the hole at the lower end was attached a very strong piece of flax cord, which ended in a round, flat-looking knot.
The dart is stuck loosely in the ground at an angle and direction calculated to strike the object aimed at. The thong is wrapped once round the dart just below a small ridge, the knot passing under the thong so as to hold it loosely. The fighter then seizes the wooden part of kotaha in both hands, and propels it as shown in the diagram; the string frees itself as the dart flies forward.
It was often told me as a child that Ngati Whakaue (the descendants of Whakaue), who lived at Ohinemutu, Rotorua, were very famous for their skill in page 321 using the Kotaha. When they attacked Puhirua pa, over a hundred years ago, one of the warriors, named Te Umanui, hurled his kopere with such true aim that it would go right through the heart of a chief who was inside the pa. The place where the dart was thrown was anywhere from 70–80 yards distant.
The kotaha was also made in a much heavier form, and then it was worked by two people, as clusters of darts were thrown at a time. This had a great effect on open land against a whole body of charging men, as the enemy could not parry the darts with any success, and their solid front was broken up.
The hoeroa was a very rare weapon, and the Pitt-Rivers Museum at Oxford is very fortunate in possessing one. It was made from whalebone, and was generally 4–6 feet long, 2 inches wide, and a ¼ inch thick, or a little more. It was a weapon thrown by the page 322 hand, and a very important one. It was not commonly used like the taiaha and other two-handed weapons. Its principal and most deadly use was for dealing with people who came within a few yards of the pa defences, and who, being out of striking distance from hand weapons, thought they were safe.
The hoeroa was used in this way. A warrior went down on the ground just inside the palisading from the puhara (fighting platform) above, and then, having arranged a space in the fence wide enough for him to fling the hoeroa through, tied to his waist the thong of hair which was attached to the hoeroa. He hurled the hoeroa out through the aperture with an underarm motion, in much the same way as a fielder at third man throws down the wicket at cricket. Having struck his victim, he hauled in his line and withdrew the hoeroa. The hoeroa was very much feared, because there was no guard or parry to it.
The short striking weapons of the old Maori were all used with one hand, and termed patu, and those made from stone were mere or patu pounamu, patu onewa, okewa, uiti, and toki hohoupu or pou tangata. In some places the word “mere” was applied only to those made from the pounamu. Greenstone weapons were called mere pounamu or patu pounamu. The other names, such as onewa, etc., depended on the material from which the weapons were made, while the toki hoheupu or pou tangata, to be described later, was a weapon hafted like an adze.page 323
The greenstone used for making a patu pounamu was very carefully chosen, as the stone must not have a flaw, and the colour had to be good.
The kinds of greenstone were as follows: 1, Commonest of all, a very dark green. 2, Kawakawa, dark green. 3, Kahurangi, light green. 4, Inanga, blue-grey. 5, Tangiwai, translucent. 6, Inanga kawakawa, 2 and 4 on same stone. 7, Tangiwai inanga, 4 and 5 on same stone. The Inanga and Tangiwai were the most prized.
All greenstones, whether weapons or ornaments, are a source of wealth, and may be given in utu, which is payment for insult, in dowry, or as kopaki for the dead. If a stranger dies away from home, his body is returned to his village with flax and feather cloaks and greenstones befitting his rank. Eventually, a present of equal value at least is returned to the people who so honoured the dead.
The mere were very highly prized by our old people, and many of them were of great historical interest and were handed down from generation to generation as heirlooms. The one most prized of those I have here and of those at home, is Riwai, in my sister's possession, and a fine old heirloom.
Plate XXIV, figure 2, shows one of my mere pounamu, 14 inches long and 4¾ inches wide at the widest part 3 inches from the end. The handgrip is about half an inch thick. This is of kawakawa greenstone.
Figure 6 is a small mere which has been through fire. It is just under 11 inches long, and is 3¼ inches wide at the widest part 2 inches from the end.
The mere or patu pounamu was much thinner than those made from ordinary stone, because the nephrite was very tough, and it took a great deal to break it. The blade was brought to a fine thin edge all round the sides and bottom, and the butt end of the hand grip is marked by two, three, or more grooves, with a hole just below for the wrist cord. The weapon was made by grinding or rubbing on sandstone, and was very slow and laborious work. In days gone by, a mere was not always finished during a man's life-time, and the next generation was left to complete it.
A block of nephrite was first cut into a rough outline with pieces of quartzite used with hard sand and water. Greenstone does not chip easily. The last process was a dressing of the surface with fine sandstone and then a piece of very hard smooth stone.
The old Maori used the mere both for patu and tipi, i.e. both for striking and thrusting. A favourite use of the mere was to drive the sharp thin edge of the blade into the thin part of the skull by the tipi or end-wise thrust. It was said that experts were able to wrench the skull open by a certain turn of the wrist after this thrust.page 325
When a tangata rangatira was captured and was about to be slain, he often passed his own patu pounamu to his captor, asking that he might be killed with it. If his captor was also a tangata rangatira, the request would be granted, for a chief of high rank would do this. The Maori warrior did not mind dying, and loved to die in battle, especially if he was killed with a greenstone mere, a rangatira weapon. It was said by our old people that a man who was armed with a short patu often defeated a man who was armed with a long two-handed weapon, such as the taiaha or spear. A man using a short patu often had a whakapuru, a form of pad, in his hand, or on his left arm. This received the impact of a thrusting weapon.
The short weapons were generally carried in the tatua or belt, suspended from the wrist by a thong, sometimes on the left wrist, so that it will be hidden by the cloak. A highly valued mere will often be hidden when not in use, and some of these hiding places are not in the kainga, but in a secret place in the forest. For example, the mere may be buried at the foot of a tree well-known to the owner.
Spears and other long weapons were generally kept in the owner's house, where they were handy when he was called to fight without warning. They were usually hung up on the left side of the whare, as you enter it. If an alarm were given, the man ran straight for the door, taking his spear with his right hand from its page 326 supports as he ran. The Maori always kept implements ready for use.
The patu onewa was very like the patu pounamu in shape, but much thicker, as the material onewa, a kind of greywacke of dark colour, would break easily if it were too thin. The material lends itself to smoothing and polishing, and also to chipping. Some of the specimens in the Pitt-Rivers Museum at Oxford are fine examples of the old Maori workmanship, and prove the keen true eye of the worker. Stone found under water was much preferred. If the stone was got from a boulder on the land, the outer parts were broken away. The surface of the rock mass was shattered by a fire which was made to heat the rock; then cold water was thrown on to the heated surface. Patu onewa, also known as patu kurutai, were of various sizes and lengths, from about 13 inches to a little over 16 inches long. Generally the large ones were 4 inches wide at the widest part, and about 1⅜ inches at the handgrip. They would be about 1⅓ inches thick at the handgrip, and decrease evenly in thickness towards the outer part of the blade, where the edge is very thin. They have a fine smooth polished surface. The patu onewa is not illustrated in the Plate showing patu.
The patu paraoa (Plate XXIV, figure 3) was a weapon made of whalebone in the shape of a patu onewa. This weapon was thought much of by the old Maori, and was generally anything from 12 to 13 up to page 327 about 16 inches in length. The one in my collection is 15 inches long and 4¼ inches wide at the widest part about 2½ inches from the end of the blade. The butt end is like that of the greenstone patu in form and adornment, and like all the patu, has a hole for the wrist cord. Like the other patu, it was used in three ways, for a downward blow, and upward blow, and a tipi, or endwise thrust.
The kotiate (Plate XXIV, figure 5) was also known as meremere, kokoti, kokotiate, kakati, mere kati, patu kakati, etc. This weapon was made of whalebone and of wood. The whalebone kotiate which I have is 13 inches long and 5¼ inches wide at the widest part, which is 3 inches from the end of the blade. The handgrip is about ¾ of an inch thick, and the butt end is carved into a grotesque head with the tongue protruding. Just below this head is a hole for the wrist cord. A kotiate made of wood, about 12 inches long, was generally used as a baton by leaders in the dances. These were sometimes carved all over with fine scroll-work, except the part where the hand grips the kotiate.
It has been stated by writers that the two openings, one on each side of the kotiate, have no meaning, and are a mere decoration. This is not the case. It was explained to me many years ago by my old people that a kotiate was not only a weapon, but was used to punish herehere, prisoners taken in battle. These would be men of high standing, fine looking page 328 men, who were treated well by the chief and his people who took them. If one of these men happened to forget himself and fell in love with the wife of the chief, or one of the chiefs, and did things which he should not do, the punishment was severe, and the kotiate was used for it. This punishment I have described in my chapter on Marriage under the account of herehere (page 90). The modern kotiate of course were not made like the old ones, and all kotiate were not used in this way, but the very old ones were so used.
Wahaika (Plate XXIV, figure I) is a weapon which looks very like the old bill-hook. The one in my collection is 13 inches long, and 4½ inches wide at the widest part, which is about 3½ inches from the blade end. The butt end is carved, and on the back, forward of the handgrip, is a carved grotesque human figure. The handgrip is about 2½ inches long or more. This one is made of whalebone. Wahaika and other short weapons were sometimes made of hard wood, such as akerautangi (Dodonea viscosa), but as I have already said, these wooden weapons were only used as batons in dancing and ceremonial.
The Toki poutangata or toki hohoupu was a one-handed weapon. The blade was generally of pounamu (nephrite) cut in the form of an adze with a very sharp edge and polished, and might be 4, 8, 10 or more inches long. The handle is usually 11 or 12 inches long, and the “shoe” or part to which the blade is page 329 bound is generally carved and decorated with dog's hair or red parrot's (kaka) feathers. The butt of the handle is often carved as well. The toki was used as a weapon for finishing off an enemy who had been tripped with the taiaha or other long-handled weapon, and was also used by a chief in a ceremonial manner like a mere or other weapon. The usual carving represented a grotesque man sitting on the butt end of the stone blade. The kakau, or butt end of the handle had a knob, generally adorned with carving, which the wielder found very useful. A hole was made in the butt through which a string was passed and put round the thumb. The wrist cord was also used.
The old Maori warrior thought nothing of death in a battle, and would rather die fighting than from an ordinary illness. All male children were taught the art of war from their earliest years, and the child was placed under the mana of Tu the war god by the Tua or Tohi rite, and when he grew up and went to battle, a karakia was repeated over him. The Tua rite appealed to Tu to make the boy strong to fight, to overcome his enemies to be able to storm a pa, to hold his stone patu, to wield a taiaha, etc. A Tohunga repeated the karakia over him before he went to battle, and he would be placed under Maru and Uenuku as well. The tapu of a man going to battle was very great, and when the fight was over, he could not return to the kainga until the tapu had been taken off him by the Tohunga. This was generally page 330 done in water in a lake where a certain part was reserved entirely for this purpose.
Kohuru, the murder of a person in a treacherous manner rather than in an open fight, was very bitterly avenged. When an avenging expedition went out and encountered anyone in its path, he was killed whether he was an enemy or a friend. No one would knowingly be on the ara (path) when a war party was coming that way, and people generally knew. Another cause of bitter fighting was the making of the bones of a chief into implements, such as bird spears, or fish hooks, or the placing of skulls on the posts of fences.
When the Maori went to war, he was naked except for a maro taua1 or war apron round his waist, so as to leave his arms and legs free for fighting. Even when he had to wear a thick and closely woven cloak to protect his body from spear-thrusts, this would be tied at the front and not at the side, so as to leave his arms free. As will be seen in the pages o nga whawhawi (of the fights) of my own people, most of the wars were a series of raids, though there were of course great battles when storming the fortified pa of another tribe, which generally ended in a great slaughter when the pa was taken.
A war party was generally led by a chief of high standing, who would have many chiefs to accompany him. Fighting was the work of tangata rangatira page 331 (men of rank) and not of slaves. The influence and mana of trusted chiefs was remarkable in war time as at all other times. Many a panic or flight has been stopped by these chiefs. Our ancestor Rangitihi, father of Tuhourangi, when leading a war party in battle had his head split open with an axe. His people seeing this retreated, and the fight might have been lost. But Rangitihi asked for some akatea (Metrosideros albiflora), (a climbing plant used for tying the palisading of fences) to be brought to bind up his split head. Then, rallying his people round him once more, he led them to victory. This incident is famous in history and in song, and there is a proverb (whakatauki) about him; “Rangitihi upoko whakahirahira, no Rangitihi te upoko i takaia ki te akatea. Ehara ma te aitanga a Tiki,” which means, Rangitihi the arrogant, proud, and haughty-headed one, the akatea bound his head. Well! he should be able to do it. He is a descendant of Tiki. The last two sentences are of a form generally applied to a tangata rangatira who does great things, and express pride.
When Tuhourangi were going on a war party, they always looked for omens. One of the principal signs came on a hill called Pukeri. Whenever lightning played on Pukeri Hill, it was a bad omen for the Tuhourangi people, and even to this day it is believed. There are other hills of this sort.
Whakatu waewae was a dance which the old Maori performed before going to fight, and it filled all the page 332 warriors with enthusiasm. It also gave the people the chance to see whether the warriors were fit and able to carry out the art of war. The war dance had to be performed without a mistake. Every man had to move as one in all the different movements. If it came to the part where they all jumped off the ground, those who were looking on must see a perfectly even space between all of the dancers and the ground, that is, all of the dancers must be the same height from the ground. Should any mistake be made, it was a sign of aitua (bad omen). This war dance, the last before starting off, was done at the kainga, or just a little distance off, while the old people, women and children who are remaining, look on. Often one or more women who were well up in all these dances would jump up and dance in front of the column, and when they did this, it was a good sign, for they saw and found the performance true. This encouraged the warriors, and they went forth ke ti whawhai (to fight) with the thought of conquering the enemy. To the Maori, both the men and the women were brave warriors, and the whakatauki (proverb) is, “He puta taua ki te tane, he whanau tama ki te wahine,” which is to say, The battlefield with man, childbirth with woman.
When peace was made between two hapu or tribes after war, and the defeated chief gives his daughter to the victorious chief in marriage, either for page 333 himself or one of his children, there was always great ceremonial. There was a hui (gathering) where speeches were made by leading chiefs on both sides, each speech ending with a waiata (chant), generally a song of peace. Dances were held, and all the other Maori entertainments, and the hapu or tribes competed. All did their best, and in the old days it was very good. The serving of cooked food (te whiu kai) was always an interesting ceremony, but this was done as at all hui, tangi (mourning for the dead), marriage ceremonies, etc., and I have described it elsewhere (page 163).
When a war party wanted to take a fortified pa, they generally sent a hunuhunu, a small body of men, to show itself in front of the pa, hoping thus to lure the people inside the pa into a kokoti moe roa, an ambuscade. A false retreat is called takiri, and the term hurahura kokoti is used when an ambush is unmasked.
A sign of friendship, and often of protection, is to double the forefinger of the right hand and place the projecting second joint on the tip of the nose, thus signifying the hongi or pressing of noses. Many a person's life has been saved by this sign. If a man meets a party of an enemy tribe, and the principal man of the party makes this sign, then the man is to be treated as a friend and not killed. A person of influence could save any enemy in the midst of a fight by placing his cape over him.page 334
Te whakarewha, or sideways glance, is a sign suggestive of a secret attack on a third person, or something similar.
To shut both eyes and nod the head downward is a sign whose significance depends on circumstances. I have seen it used to induce a person to drop a particular subject of conversation.
Signalling is called rotarota, smoke-signalling, whakapua. In olden days signalling to a distance was performed by fire, smoke, human semaphore, and by sound, the sound being made by two forms of trumpet. To raise the arm and wave it twice outward from the body signifies that the person so signalling is about to go somewhere. To strike the buttocks twice denotes that he is staying where he is. To raise the arm and place the hand on top of the head means that the other person is to join the signaller. To hold the arm outstretched with the hand open is a sign of dissent, while the kamu, or closing of the hand, is a sign of assent. These are east coast usages.
When a taua (war party) started off to fight, the Tohunga repeated karakia and the ope (company) was under the mana of Tu. This meant that the company was under heavy tapu. Should any or all return safely, they must not dream of going to the kainga till all this tapu was taken off by the Tohunga. The Tohunga who met them was naked like the warriors, that is, except for the marotaua or war girdle made of very fine muka fibre, te maro kai page 335 taua ko te maro o Tu, the war girdle of Tu. Mr. Balfour has the finest marotaua I have ever seen in the Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford.
A war party made its return known to the kainga by the whakatu waewae (war dance). The earth would shake with the stamping of feet and the air resound with the words shouted to accompany the dance as the warriors advanced in rows. One or two leaders in front pukana (roll their eyes), as do many in the front line, and with arero whetero (tongue out), and long weapons, taiaha, koikoi, tewatewha, waved in the air at the right time, and as one man, they advance, the leaders with the patu pounamu or toki poutangata in their right hands quivering so that they appear like quivering leaves being blown by the wind. The warriors repeat the ceremonial reply to the question addressed to them in a ceremonial manner by the Tohunga who met them. (The account is unfinished.)
War was looked on by the old Maori as one of the most important things in his life, and every man was born to it and brought up to it. There was no asking, or making a man go to fight. Every Maori man was a warrior. The god who represented war was Tu, one of the offspring of Rangi, the heavens, and Papa-tu-akuku, the mother earth, and the tapu laid on a war party before leaving the kainga by the Tohunga came from Tu, the most important of all the gods connected with war.page 336
The saying of the people of old was “He wahine, he whenua, e ngaro ai te tangata,” By women and land are men lost, these being the most important of the reasons for nga whawai o mua, the wars of the past. There were other reasons, such as kanga (curse), kohuru (murder), and puremu o te wahine maronui (committing adultery with a married woman), especially if she were a wahine rangatira. The husband would raise a war party and kill the man and anyone who might be with him at the time. Ridicule was a cause of war, for the Maori was easily offended. The wars of the old Maori must not be mixed up with the wars of the civilized pakeha of a supposed higher culture. The Maori wars were generally small raids of a few chiefs from a hapu, and perhaps relatives, chiefs of another clan, would join them.
We will take the murder of my ancestor Umukaria, a great chief who lived about ten generations ago at Owhata. Umukaria lived at Owhata on the mainland of Lake Rotorua. He was murdered on the beautiful island of Motutawa situated in Lake Rotokakahi, the Green Lake, the home of my ancestors, and where hundreds of them lie buried. This is where my mother was born. Of Motutawa I should like to write more another time, karia, father of Wahiao and Hinemoa, was murdered at Motutawa pa on Motutawa Island, Ngati Apumoana, Ngati Pikiao, Ngati Tuteata, and page 337 other small hapu. They came to Motutawa and murdered Umukaria and others who were living there. Very few escaped, but among those who did were the two children of Umukaria called Whareaiti and Raeroa. These two escaped and walked to Rotorua, a distance of nine miles, where Wahiao was living, and told him that their father was murdered. Wahiao was grieved to hear the sad news. He then assembled together the chiefs of Tuhourangi who were living in those parts. At this time Wahiao lived also at Te Pukeroa, a hill overlooking Lake Rotorua, on which now stands King George V's Hospital. All this most valuable land was presented as a gift by Ngati Whakaue, Ngati Uenukukopako, and their clans for this purpose of building a hospital which bore the name of our noble King George V.
The chiefs of Tuhourangi assembled on Pukeroa, and it was from there that this war party started for Rotokakahi, the Green Lake, under the leadership of the chief Wahiao, and other chiefs called Patutarutaru, Tutea, Uewa, Rangiwewehi who was a brother of Wahiao, Tawakeheimoa son of the chief Whakaue who was married to the sister of Umukaria, and Tutanekai, brother of Tawakeheimoa, and husband of Hinemoa, the sister of Wahiao, and daughter of Umukaria. There were also other chiefs who were of the party.
This war party went first to Whakarewarewa, and from there marched to Rotokakahi. When they page 338 arrived there, they met and destroyed many of Ngati Tuteata at Te Whakahoronga. They then paddled over to Motutawa Island in their canoes, where they found the headless body of Umukaria with the other dead. Those of Ngati Tuteata who were killed at Whakahoronga were Puraho, Inanga, and many other chiefs. The rest of Ngati Tuteata fled. Then the war party of Wahiao went on to a place called Whareroa on Tarawera Lake, where they found the head of Umukaria hidden in a cave. This cave was afterwards called Te Rua-a-Umukaria.
The war party found this place deserted, and went on to another kainga called Ohorongo, and found this also deserted, the people having collected at place called Moura. The war party then return going the same way as they came, but made a cuitous way round the south-west part of the and, in the evening of the same day, arrived at place called Tutaehioi where they stayed. Very early the next morning, the pa at Titika was attacked, and Ngati Apumoana were captured and killed. The chiefs killed were Tunoke, Tutoa, Mokai Tuwhakura, and others, and some escaped, victors observed a wooden bowl called a floating about in the lake. This bowl was followed by Taupopoki, son of Wahiao, and when he got to it, found there was a man underneath it, whose name was Tarainoke, and he was taken ashore and kept there.page 339
Te Apiti, a great chief of Ngati Apumoana, was away during all this murder and avengement of the murder of Umukaria. Te Apiti heard of the fight from those of the people who escaped from Titika. Te Apiti made peace with Wahiao. In commemoration of this peace, Pareheru, the daughter of Te Apiti, was given by her father in marriage to Tukiterangi, son of Wahiao. Tarainoke who was found floating under the kumete, was taken with some other prisoners to Motutawa, and he was handed over by Wahiao to his sister Hinemoa to be her slave. The other prisoners he kept for himself. After this, Tutanekai returned to Rotorua with his wife Hinemoa, Tawakeheimoa returned to Mokoia Island, and Wahiao, Uero, Rangiwewehi, Tutaepatuta-rutaru, and the Tuhourangi people remained at Motutawa, and their descendants have lived there till the pakeha came.
Wahiao and Taupopoki his son lived for a number of years at Pukeroa at Roturua. While living here, Uruhina, one of the wives of Wahiao, puremu (committed adultery) with Te Whatumairangi, son of Hinemoa, Wahiao's sister. Wahiao was grieved at this, and he went with a war party over to Okataina, a place nine miles or more distant on the shore of Lake Okataina, not far from Lake Tarawera on the side nearer Rotorua. He went to Okataina to see the chief Te Rangitakaroro who lived there, and mentioned the matter to him. They then went to page 340 Makititi on the north side of Tarawera Lake, and related the account of the puremu to Te Apiti, and Te Apiti advised Wahiao to return to Rotorua, and he did so, Te Apiti accompanying him with other warriors. When he reached Te Ngae on the shore of Lake Rotorua, he was met by Te Whatumairangi and his war party. They had crossed over from Mokoia Island where they lived to meet him. A battle took place here at Te Ngae, and Te Whatumairangi was killed by Te Apiti. Then Wahiao and Te Apiti went to Uenga, a fishing place belonging to Wahiao, and Te Apiti returned to his own home. When Ngati Whakaue heard that Te Apiti had left, they crossed over.…
Here ends the manuscript as Makereti handed it to me on April the 15th, 1930.
1 My great-grandfather was named Marotaua