Chapter Eighteen — The History of Te-O-Tane
The History of Te-O-Tane
Visitors to the house of Takitimu will notice at the stage end of the right-hand wall a giant teko-teko with the name Te-O-Tane affixed. This piece with its great taiaha was specially carved to represent one of the most famous of the fighting men of the Te Wairoa district.
Te-O-Tane was the second son of Te Maaha, as is shown by this whakapapa:—
If we are to have a complete history of the Ngati-Kahungunu, the life and war-like exploits of Te-O-Tane cannot be left unrecorded, for we venture to claim that the military achievements and fame of Te-O-Tane were keystone to the greatness and security of the tribe.
The early history of the Ngati-Kahungunu proper was unfortunate, in that several of their prominent ancestors were killed and eaten by the numerous and powerful Te Whanau-a-Apanui tribe in the Bay of Plenty. The reprisals Te-O-Tane took for these indignities were so devastating, and so complete, page 129that the Ngati-Kahungunu were not seriously interfered with by neighbouring tribes for many decades.
Te-O-Tane was of massive build, extraordinarily tall, framed in proportion and possessed of tremendous strength. It is related of him that on one occasion when his warriors were attacking a pa at Pakiaka, situated on the opposite side of the river from that on which now the Waikare-moana Road runs past Pakowhai, the people of the pa observed with alarm that in crossing the deepest part of the river the water just reached Te-O-Tane's hips, while the rest of the party were wading with the water up to their armpits. The people of the pa seeing this, abandoned their stronghold and fled.
His patu (club), which he named Te Ate-o-Hine-pehinga out of respect for his grandmother, was of such size and weight that it was the special duty of one man to carry it on raiding expeditions. His taiaha (spear), named Te Atero-o-Te-Arawhiti, in deference to his mother, must have been twice the size and length of ordinary taiaha. Both these weapons were in charge of a bearer named Taiwhakahuka, his own brother-in-law. In assault or defence he used the taiaha, the bearer standing behind him within easy reach. In hand-to-hand encounters he used the patu, this being a more effective weapon at close quarters.
The following were the pas of Te-O-Tane:—
Pa-Pohue, at the eastern side of and near the mouth of the Wairoa River; Tauranga-Koau, on the Wairoa side of Mrs. Ramlose's property on the Maru-maru road past Frasertown; Wai-Tahora, beyond the Ramlose's property on Springhill Station on the Maru-maru road; Tara-Marama, on top of a high hill near Ohuka.
The situation and the formation of these pas showed the fearlessness of the man. They were chosen and built so that one or two sides only were impregnable or unscalable, and so the pas were more or less an open invitation for attack.
Te-O-Tane did not have a large following, but his men were carefully chosen. He had the staunch support and powerful co-operation of his brothers. There were times when he sorely needed their support in his continuous quarrels, skirmishes and encounters with the faction under the leadership of his cousins, sons and grandsons of Tapuwae. Most of these quarrels were about land and sources of supply. He did not claim any particular territory, nor did he establish any boundaries, but took to himself the right to hunt or to gather food wherever it was obtainable. page 130He thus strode rough-shod over the preserves of others, and this freedom of action made people distrust and dislike him.
For a warrior of his undoubted prowess Te-O-Tane was not bloodthirsty. At no time did he treacherously kill anyone. No matter how fierce the fight, or how great the danger, he never killed nor allowed to be killed any of his cousins or their children who were opposing him, while knowing at the time that they would stop at nothing to kill him. He chased them away, or if they were persistent he ducked them in water; if belligerent, tied them to posts. This forbearance left no lasting sense of injury or disgrace for later generations to avenge.
In the history of Tapuwae there is shown how a bitter family quarrel separated Tapuwae and his brother Te Maaha in their youth. They remained apart and were bitter enemies until in their old age the inter-marriages of their descendants brought them together. Te-O-Tane, however, while giving many causes for grievance, was never petty in spirit, and was wise enough not to bring actual conflict by killing relatives who would have murdered him. He and his band of strong men merely brushed aside those who stood in his way.
Whenever there was fighting to be done Te-O-Tane proved himself a hero. His most important battle was that now known as Whawha-po, or "Feeling in the dark." It was a journey of revenge, and its successful issue released the whole of the Kahungunu people from the disgrace of the unavenged killing of Kotore and his sons, Tama-hikawai and Umurau, at Omaruhakeke near Marumaru. It also avenged the slaughter of Te Huki, who was killed at Te Arai River, near the present bridge, by Te Wha-nau-a-Apanui, of Te Kaha, Bay of Plenty.
Tapuwae, Chief of the Wairoa tribes, had passed the prime of life and was too old for active service in leading a war party. He knew that his own children and grand-children were not born fighters. He nevertheless nursed the desire to avenge the killing of the people and being aware of the undoubtd prowess of Te-O-Tane, decided to test the strength of his warrior Takapuwai with that of Te-O-Tane and to send Takapuwai with a party of 500 warriors to attack Te-O-Tane at his pa, Tara-marama. Te-O-Tane saw this and believing he was about to be attacked came out with only 200 men.
Te-O-Tane pranced along the line of his slender force from wing to wing, and whatever move he made Takapuwai met with similar tactics. Suddenly Te-O-Tane, from the centre of his lines, ordered all his men to lie down, and then advanced single-handed page 131into the open space between the two forces. Takapuwai seeing this did the same. Both men then approached armed with taiahas, Te-O-Tane holding his point downwards and Takapuwai upwards. When the two champions were sufficiently near, Takapuwai made the first blow, but Te-O-Tane parried it very skilfully and then drove his blow home, passing his taiaha into the body of his enemy. Takapuwai was thrown on his back and pinned to the earth like a trussed pig. So died the visitor in single combat with the redoubtable Te-O-Tane. The men, seeing their leader slain, fled home.
Tapuwae, deprived of the services of his champion and having proof of the undoubted prowess of Te-O-Tane, decided to enlist the assistance of this warrior in avenging the deaths of his people. On one day when Te-O-Tane was passing the pa of Tapuwae at Hiku-koekoea, at the junction of the Wairoa River and Kauhouroa stream, near Frasertown, Tapuwae called out to Te-O-Tane to come in to the pa. Te-O-Tane, suspicious of treachery, did not accede to the invitation, but on Tapuwae promising that it was only a purely friendly request, Te-O-Tane went in. Tapuwae arose to receive him, rubbed noses, and then gave him a seat of honour. Tapuwae then asked, "Whakina mai, hemea pewhea to mau rakau i mate ai taku toa i a koe?" ("Show me, how did you hold your weapon which killed my champion?"). Te-O-Tane having the same taiaha in his hand with which he killed Takapuwai, stood up and showed it to Tapuwae. Tapuwae then said, "Ka tau ano" ("No wonder"). Tapuwae then said, "Taku kupu kia koe, ko a koutou whakanenene waiho i te kainga nei, ara, tikina te umu e tapuke mai ra hukea" ("My word to you is that you let your family quarrels lie at home here. Go and uncover that oven which lives covered up yonder"). Te-O-Tane understanding what was meant, gave his consent and prepared for the journey and battle.
When about ready for the expedition, Te-O-Tane, with his half-brother Pai-teihonga, visited their pa Pa-Pohue. This was to search for the sign sometimes shown on the sea, outside of the mouth of the Wairoa River. When the sun was covered by clouds, it reflected on the sea and showed a circle the colour of the rainbow, called Te Kahu-o-te-rangi, or "cloak of heaven." This Te-O-Tane claimed as his fighting girdle, and whenever he undertook any expedition he looked forward to seeing this sign and started off confident of victory. Now he and his half-brother returned to the starting place of the expedition. On the way, when reaching the top of a high hill, they came upon a tutu page 132bush. Pai-teihonga made a slash at it with his taiaha, cutting off seven of the young shoots, and remarking, "Ana; Nga hoko-whitu a Kanaia" ("There; Fall seven by Kanaia") Te-O-Tane, not to be outdone, seeing another tutu bush, made a slash at it also, cutting off eight, remarking, "Ana; Nga hoko-waru a Te Arawhiti" ("There; Fall eight by Te Arawhiti"). Both brothers boasted of the power of their mothers.
A large taua (war party) was made ready, and 1,200 men marched off to Te Kaha, Bay of Plenty, by way of Motu, inland from Gisborne. Te-O-Tane led his own 300 men, and Te Wainohu, afterwards christened by Te-O-Tane, Te Kahu-o-te-rangi, led Tapuwae's force. When they were inland from Turangunui they were entertained by the people of that place, who gave a feast in their honour. When everything was ready and placed before the visitors, Te Kahu-o-te-rangi, who was the chief leader of the expedition, arose and divided the foods into two separate portions. He selected the fat dogs, which were the tit-bits of the feast for the force under him, while the lean ones were given to Te-O-Tane and his force. Pai-teihonga, the younger brother of Te-O-Tane, feeling sore over this treatment, suggested that they should turn back and abandon the expedition, but Te-O-Tane said, "Kaore, kei ingoa rua taua, kaua taua e hoki i te waewae tutuki, a, apa ano hei te upoko pakaru" ("No, let there be no second news about us; do not turn back with stumbling feet but only with broken heads"). After a meal a start was made. When a small pa was reached its chief stood up on the highest point and asked what was the object of the raid. He was told that it was to avenge the deaths of Kotore and his two sons, Tamahikawai and Umurau, as well as that of Te Huki. The chief then informed them that his tribe was not concerned in those events, but the real culprits were about 25 miles further on. The two forces then decided not to attack but to reserve their strength for the main pa, meanwhile calling a short halt below this small pa. While they were resting, a, tohunga (seer) of that pa stood up on the high point and said, "I dreamed last night that there was a man amongst the raiding party who would cause the mat of Apanui to be wet with blood." At this stage Te Kahu-o-te-rangi, the principal chief of the expedition, stood up, but the tohunga said that he was not the man to wet Apanui's mat. For some time no one stood up. The tohunga then arose again and sang a song of matakite (prophetic utterance), "Taiatea te whetu, taiatea te marama, ko Pai-teihonga, he tangata ranei, a he atua ranei" ("By the wave of the stars and by the wave of the moon, it is page 133Pai-teihonga, be he man or god"). The tohunga then stated, "The man I saw in my dream had red hair, and should there be no such person amongst the raiding party, then he must have been a god." Several, persons stood up, but they were told the same thing as Te Kahu-o-te-rangi. When, however, Pai-teihonga, at the order of Te-O-Tane, stood up, the tohunga said, "You will indeed wet the mat of Apanui."
After the party had rested they moved to attack the main pa. When but a distance of a mile and a half from the pa, Te-O-Tane and his force dallied by trailing about half a mile in the rear, following up in single file about six feet apart. When Te Kahu-o-te-rangi with the main force reached and attacked the pa, he was very soon overpowered by the enemy, who emerged boldly in a most warlike manner, and so terrified Te Kahu-o-te-rangi and his force that they precipitately retreated. At the same time Te-O-Tane and his force made an about turn in organised formation and pretended to be fleeing with the rest of the raiders. When the people of the pa saw this easy victory the whole of the warriors rushed out of the pa and proceeded to chase the fleeing party. Te Kahu-o-te-rangi being conspicuous in his dog-skin cloak (mahiti) was observed by the sentry of the pa, who called out, "Ara, ara, te tangata i te kahu mahiti ra Hopungia" ("There; there is the man with dog-skin cloak. Catch him"). Te Kahu-o-te-rangi, hearing this, immediately turned his dog-skin cloak inside out, in order to conceal the hairy side, as he was fleeing for his life. As the whole of Te Kahu-o-te-rangi's force fled past Te-O-Tane and his force, and the pursuing party was about to strike, Te-O-Tane, who kept his place at the rear of his line of retreat, suddenly with the whole of his force made an about turn, faced and attacked the enemy by running through and killing every one of them before reaching their pa, thus killing all the warriors, which gay Te-O-Tane and his force an easy entry to the pa, where they killed not only the people of that pa but of three other pas. The killing lasted throughout the day and night until there was no Apanui in sight to kill.
The name of this battle was Whawha-po (Feeling in the dark), so called because the fight lasted well into the night. As he and his warriors sought out their opponents in the darkness, they seized them by the head to make sure whether each were friend or foe. Anyone so seized who was unable to give the password, "Tai ki tai," was killed.
Although Pai-teihonga met with a broken head and fell in the battle, the mat of Apanui was wet with blood that day. Thus page 134was avenged the long-standing grievance of the killing of Kotore, his two sons, and Te Huki.
The distinguished bravery shown by Te-O-Tane and his force, compared with the conspicuous cowardice displayed by Te Kahu-o-te-rangi and his force at this battle of Whawha-po, did not improve their good feeling towards Te-O-Tane, but rather made them more determined to despatch him. Very soon after their return they resumed their quarrel.
While Te-O-Tane and his people were staying at the sea coast residential pa, Pa-Pohue, as has been described, his enemies took advantage of the fact that the pa was unfortified and made an attack on him. The raiders having reached Okaka, at the foot of the high hill near the Kihitu Maori village, halted to make final preparations for the attack. Sure of victory they proceeded to build up many fires and Maoris hangis (ovens) in readiness to cook their prospective victims. Tane-te-kohurangi, better known as Moewhare, a chief of the Wairoa proper, who lived at his pa, Manuka-nui, where the Wairoa Post Office now stands, observed what was going on. Recognising the danger threatening the life of his sister, Patu-puku, wife of Te-O-Tane, he set out in his canoe for the battlefield. Although the leaders of the raiding party were the children of his other sister, Te Whewhera, his sense of fair-play was in favour of Patupuku and her family. Moe-whare set out in his canoe to save the lives of Patupuku and her family. As he rounded the bend of the Wairoa River opposite Spooner's Point, his younger brother, Te Huki (2), saw him and asked, "E Ta: E haere ana koe ki whea?" (Sir; Where are you going?"). Moe-whare replied, "Ara, ki nga ahi e ka mai ra" ("There, to those fires burning yonder"). Te Huki, believing that he was going to assist Te-O-Tane, then said, "E Ta, kaore koe e mau-mahara ki to rumakanga i te Whakahoki" ("Sir, do you not remember being ducked at Whakahoki?") Te Whakahoki is at the outlet of the Ohuia Lake, where eels are caught by setting up eel-weirs, and on one occasion a quarrel took place between Te-O-Tane and Moe-whare over the ownership of an eel-weir, which resulted in the latter being ducked in the pond by Te-O-Tane. Moe-whare replied, "E hara tena he taupanapana kainga, a, apa, ano ko te tuara nui o Rehua e kainga mai ra e te ahi, a, ko taua ki konei matakitaki atu ai" ("That is only pushing one and another off places, and is not so'vital as the broad back of Rehua now being consumed by fire, and for us to be spectators").
Moe-whare continued his journey, and when he reached the place where the raiders had assembled, they, thinking that the new-page 135comers were to assist them, gave a display of joy by dancing a haka of welcome. But when the raiders discovered that the assistance of Moe-whare was not for them but for Te-O-Tane, they jeered at him as the canoe swept by.
Te-O-Tane, on seeing the approach of the canoe, and knowing that they were coming to assist him, ordered his brothers, saying, "Whakatika, tatua, kei riro te mana i to koutou tuakana a hoe mai nei" ("Get up, and put on your belt, for the honour of victory may go to your elder-born now coming"). He and his warriors then immediately charged the enemy and scattered them in all directions when they took to their feet and fled home. Some of their men were killed and cooked in their own prepared hangis. When Moe-whare arrived at the place of battle there was nothing for him to do but wait for the feast. When the raiders reached home they assembled at their pa, Hikawai, on this side of the Maori Settlement now called Te Mira.
After their defeat and flight in such a precipitate manner they were intoxicated with hatred, not only for Te-O-Tane but also for Moe-whare, for siding with the victor. In the presence of their mother, Te Whewhera (Moe-whare's own sister), they threatened to cut out Moe-whare's heart for bait to catch eels in their eel baskets. Te Whewhera heard the treacherous plans against her brother and made every effort to persuade her children to change their minds by pointing out that Moe-whare was only doing this to save the life of his sister Patupuku. Her arguments were of no avail.
Te-O-Tane and his people decided to end their stay at their sea coast pa and set out in their canoes to return to their country homes. On reaching the mouth of the Awatere stream, opposite Spooner's Point they were invited to land by Kaho (a grand-daughter of Moe-whare, who had married a chief of that place named Te-Kawiti). Te-O-Tane accepted the invitation and beached the canoes. When the news reached the enemy, preparations to attack Te-O-Tane there were immediately made. Te Whewhera on hearing this set off to inform her brother of the plan of treachery. When she reached Pihataitonga, on the opposite bank of the Wairoa River from the Wairoa Post Office, where Moe-whare was living in his pa, Manuka-nui, she called out to her brother, who came across in his canoe. On reaching her he enquired, "E hika, heaha rawa te take i tae mai ai koe?" ("What is the reason of your coming?"). She replied, "E hika kaore hoki tera te hanga mokai-reherehe nei, ko koe e tatakutia mai nei. Kore rawa nei e, titiro mai ki aku u e tautau atu nei. page 136Noreira, a muuri moea rawatia a konohi, a kaua rawa e waihotia" ("O, dear brother, it's you that those rascals are planning to kill. They will not respect my breasts now hanging. Therefore should they fall, do not spare them, but shut your eyes and kill them all"). Moe-whare on hearing of, this impending raid crossed the river in his canoe, and on arrival at Te Uhi he met Te-O-Tane and Te Kawiti, who were instructed to have no mercy on the enemy but to kill them all.
Very soon after this a strong force comprised of a large number of the inland people under the leadership of Te Kahu-o-te-rangi, Tama-ionarangi, Te Ipu, Te Ruruku and Rae-roa came to attack Te-O-Tane at Te Uhi pa. Te-O-Tane and Te Rimu were the chosen leaders for the defenders. The people of the pa were ordered to move out and take up their stand on the top of the knoll, now used as a cemetery. The fighting started some time after mid-day, when the raiding force was pushed back and took up its final stand on a small stream, about five chains from the back of the present Taihoa Hall, where the two opposing forces faced each other from opposite sides of the stream. After desperate fighting the attacking force was forced to surrender, and all the leaders were ordered to kneel alongside the stream while their hands were bound behind their backs. This gave the stream the name Wai-kotuturi, or "water of kneeling," which also became the name of the battlefield. The remainder of the raiding party were allowed to flee back to their homes, while the leaders were led into the pa and by their bound hands were tied with their backs to posts set in a row. From this fact the name of that battle, Te Ringa-Whakapiki, or "bound up hands," was derived.
Moe-whare, who was watching the proceedings from his pa, heard the noise of the battle die down, and seeing a large number of the raiders fleeing in a precipitate manner, he knew that they were defeated and that his orders had been carried out. He then, proceeded to the scene of the battle at Te Uhi with his slave Mokehu, on whose back he placed the ceremonial garments and a quantity of rough greenstone, for he meant the enemy (his own nephews) to be cooked in a right royal manner. However, on reaching the pa, he saw how ludicrous and unsatisfactory was the result of the, battle. He complained of the fact that his orders had not been carried out, "Kati, kati, Ka kore nei koutou e kaha ki te patu i o koutou rangatira, kati, waiho hei kai i o koutou Manawa" ("Well, well, since you are not game to kill your superiors, then let them live to eat your hearts"). Turning to his slave he ordered him to go through the row of helpless prisoners page 137and belt everyone of them on their noses with his human tool (a degrading indignity which has been passed down and is frequently brought up against the descendants of the prisoners). After a further dressing down by words of warning, Moe-whare commanded the prisoners to apologise and abandon their mad hatred. He then ordered their release and allowed them to go to their homes.
On a certain day during Te-O-Tane's periodical travelling to and from his sea coast pa, Pa-Pohue, he called in at Te Uhi to see his old friend Te Kawiti, chief of the pa. After the usual greeting, he noticed that the latter was in a gloomy mood, and asked his reason for being so. Te Kawiti replied lamentingly that his henchman (Koroiho) had been killed by the Ngati-Ruapani tribe who lived at their pa, Whakapau-karakia, on the Tutu-o-te-kaha block. Te-O-Tane further asked when and how he had been killed. Te Kawiti then told that his servant had gone to gather bush berries when he was caught by the people of the land and killed by bashing his head on top of the root of a tree. It was on this occurrence that the tribal name Ngati-Kuru-Pakiaka (bashed on the root) was bestowed by Te Kawiti on his people, and is carried on to the present day. Te-O-Tane with a mocking smile remarked, "Ha, me pena?" ("Is that how you do it?"). Te Kawiti then asked, "A, me pewhea ia" ("What is there to do?"). Te-O-Tane pulled out his famous patu and displayed it in front of Te Kawiti's face, when the latter asked, "Ma hau?" ("Will you?"). To this Te-O-Tane replied, "Maku, mahau" ("Me and you"). Te Kawiti being well pleased with the prospect of avenging the death of his henchman, and remembering how Te-O-Tane dealt with his enemy at the battle of Wai-kotuturi, made preparations for the expedition.
Te-O-Tane and Te Kawiti with their forces met at Kauhouroa stream, near the Scamperdown Bridge, and proceeded inland towards their enemy. On their way they encountered some of the enemies, whom they quickly despatched, and continued the march towards their headquarters. On the way they came to one of the enemy's pas, where the people were overpowered, with the exception of a few who escaped, the whole of them being slaughtered. At this stage of the expedition, Te Kawiti expressed his gratitude and said that the death of his servant had been amply avenged. Then he and his force returned home.
Te-O-Tane, who had a grievance against the Ngati-Hinganga tribe, who dwelt in great numbers in their pa at Opouiti and had raided and ransacked one of his homes and cultivated areas at page 138Wai-tahora, decided to punish the offenders. His force marched on, and on arriving at the spot, now to be identified as the first cutting beyond the Marumaru Hotel, they encountered their objective, one of the Ngati-Hinganga palisaded pas called Kake-po, just before daylight. They did not wait to make a regular investment, but at once stormed it while the people slept. The slaughter was great, as might be expected under the circumstances, hardly one escaping. Most of those who tried to escape from the death-trap were captured.
Te-O-Tane, not satisfied with the punishment inflicted on his enemy, continued his raid and attacked the main pa of his enemies at Te Maihi, a strong palisaded pa on the edge of the Wairoa River, below the Opouti bridge. On reaching the pa, while the people still slept, he found that the pa, in common with most others, was approached by two entrances, and during the operations Te-O-Tane engaged the front door while his brother, Te Rangi-wawahia, attacked the rear door. The people in the pa, finding themselves trapped, were thrown into confusion and terror. They jumped over the side of the pa into the flooded Wairoa and met their fate by being swept by the current into their own set up purangi, or eel nets (a kind of net for catching eels when the river is in flood). Most of them were drowned. The name of this battle was known as Te Matenga-purangi (Slaughtered in purangi). Those who remained in the pa were butchered or made prisoners.
After the overthrow of the pa, Te Rangi-wawahia strolled round it and observed Taiwhakahuka holding two well grown girls as prisoners. Te Rangi-wawahia went back to his brother (Te-O-Tane) and said that he wanted one of the girls for himself, whereat Te-O-Tane told him to go and take one. When, however, he tried to do so, Taiwhakahuka shook his maipi, or war club at him in a very threatening manner. Eventually Te-O-Tane secured one of the girls, a red-haired one, for his brother, which action nearly cost Te-O-Tane his life.
The common enemies of Te-O-Tane, after such crushing defeats, and the degrading treatment they had received at the battle of Te Ringa-Whakapiki, gave up the hope of killing Te-O-Tane until an opportunity was offered. Taiwhakahuka, the brother-in-law and bearer of arms of Te-O-Tane, having had a spite against the latter for the taking away of his red-haired girl, decided to turn traitor. At this time the brothers were not living together at Wai-tahora, and on one occasion the greater part of Te-O-Tane's men were away collecting the native birds, berries page 139and other forest foods, only twenty men being left in the pa with him. Taiwhakahuka then slipped away and informed Te-O-Tane's enemies that the warrior-chief was alone in the pa. The enemy, not forgetting his offensive weapons, asked where the old warrior kept his clubs. Taiwhakahuka replied that they were hung over at the side of the door, ready to the chief's hand in case of necessity. The enemies asked Taiwhakahuka to secure Te-O-Tane's clubs, which he did by tying them to the wall. They then asked the treacherous bearer of arms what night they should come, and he advised them that it should be a night on which he himself would be on guard. We may digress here to state that the sentries, or the look-out men, generally stood on an elevated position, and were supposed to give notice every few minutes by song that all was well, and thus the chief knew that the sentry was awake and that the people in the pa were sleeping in safety.
One night while the false sentry was on duty he let the enemy through. When the enemies forded the river, which was below the pa, the sentry added to his song the following words, "Kei te hihii, kei to wawaa," meaning that they were making too much noise in the water. The enemy charged into the pa, taking Te-O-Tane, his wife and family completely by surprise, and then stationed twenty men on the river side of the pa to prevent escape. When Te-O-Tane saw what had been done, he opened the window to collect his famous clubs, but found them securely lashed to the wall. He then knew that he had been betrayed. By this time eight men armed with clubs (maipi) had stationed themselves in the whakamahau, the equivalent to a verandah of a house, four on each side, just outside the door. The moment Te-O-Tane put his head outside the inner door the eight maibis descended upon it without fatal effect, for he drew back and adopted a stratagem to defeat his enemies. Wrapping a pake, or mat, around his left fist until it was about the size of his head (Te-O-Tane's head-piece was noted for its great size), he again came to the doorway in the semi-darkness and thrust out his arm. His enemies were still on guard and waiting, and they brought down their clubs a second time with great force, but before the formidable clubs could be again raised Te-O-Tane sprang to the outer door. In doing this he sustained a spear wound in the thigh, but, breaking off the weapon near its head without extracting it he assailed his enemies. Te-O-Tane was an ugly customer when roused. His antagonists now found themselves entrapped, and he laid about him with his famous patu until they ran away. Te-O-Tane then left the abode of treachery and went to one of his brother's pas page 140called Makeakea. He crossed over the river, and on his way to the pa he took hold of a standing tree, bending down the top until it reached his thigh, and held it with one hand while he tied the end of the broken spear to the bent tree. He let the tree spring back, and the sudden jerk extracted the broken spear from his thigh. Blocking up the hole to keep it from bleeding he went on his way and just managed to reach the pa.
The news reached his enemies that the old warrior was lying helpless from the wound inflicted by one of their spears. They took new courage and resumed their attack. On arriving at the top of the pa they saw Te-O-Tane lying against the wall. They threw spear after spear at him, which he parried with his hands. After a further unsuccessful attempt Te Wainohu then called out, "E hoa, ko koe tonu ia tena?" ("Friend, is that you?") Te-O-Tane replied, "Kua wareware ia koe ki au, kaore koe e mahara naku i mutu ai te heke o nga roimata o konohi?" ("Have you already forgotten me? Do you not appreciate the fact that it was I who stopped the shedding of your tears?"). Note: The above remarks, were made in reference to the long-standing unavenged killing of Kotore, his two sons, and Te Huki, for whose deaths the people, down to the time of Tapuwae, were in mourning until they were avenged at the battle of Whawha-Po. Te Wainohu then said, "Kati, ko ta taua rongo me hohou" ("Let a peace be made between us"). Te-O-Tane replied, "Ae; Kati he ingoa mo hou ko Te Wainohu, e ngari me tapa hei whaka-maliaratanga mo taku tatua, ko Te Kahu-o-te-rangi, a, ko te rongo kia koe ka houngia, a, ko te rongo kia Taiwhakahuka ka pona ia, ka'pona ia" ("Granted; Your name Te Wainohu shall be discontinued and let it be called, as a mark of respect for my fighting belt, Te Kahu-o-te-rangi, and peace with you shall be made, but with Taiwhakahuka enmity will be continued for ever").
Te Kahu-o-te-rangi assumed his new name and went to Mohaka, where he became the paramount chief of that locality, and in his old age he met with some misfortune. His whiskers were burnt. He became the fore-father of the principal tribe of Mohaka—Ngati-Pahau-wera (burnt whiskers).
When Taiwhakahuka had heard the whole of the conversation between Te-O-Tane and Te Kahu-o-te-rangi, knowing what was in store for him, he followed Te Kahu-o-te-rangi to Mohaka for protection. But on Te-O-Tane warning Te Kahu-o-te-rangi that he would break the peace between them if the latter intended to protect Taiwhakahuka, Te Kahu-o-te-rangi chased Taiwhakahuka off his territory.page 141
Taiwhakahuka then went to Aropaoanui, between Mohaka and Napier. On hearing that Te-O-Tane was coming to get him, he fled to the Otaki district. Te-O-Tane selected fifty fighting men and went after his man, and on reaching where. Taiwhakahuka was supposed to be, he came to a pa built on the top of a high hill which had no access other than by a long steep ridge leading from the bottom to the pa. Having decided to attack this pa he proceeded to climb the hill. They had not gone far when half a dozen big stones came rolling down the track with such terrific speed that they narrowly escaped with their lives, Te-O-Tane realising that his long taiaha and huge patu were poor weapons against such new warfare, ordered his men to retire to the flat. After studying the whole position and the hope of reaching his objective, he ordered all his men to remain at the bottom of the hill while he himself took on the task of climbing to reach the pa. He selected his famous patu and proceeded up the track alone. He had not reached very far when two big boulders came flying down the track. He ran up to a hollow behind a hummock of the ridge, lying down flat on his stomach. As the stone bumped against the hummock, it bounced over him. Rising up again he ran for the next hollow, and so on. When he reached the door of the pa the people inside suddenly endeavoured to close down the door, but before the door was down he had poked his patu under it. The people in the pa noticed the huge size of the patu and the man holding it, and became alarmed and terrified. As this was the first time that the pa had been reached by raiders they thought he was a demon. He tore open the door with his patu and the people in the pa immediately surrendered, and asked the object of the raid. Te-O-Tane told them that he was only after Taiwhakahuka, and should such person be in the pa he must at once be delivered, otherwise they would all be slaughtered. To this the people said that Taiwhakahuka was living with other people in another pa, and promised to have him delivered. To this Te-O-Tane agreed, and went back to where his men were waiting for him.
The people of the pa brought to Te-O-Tane and his men a liberal supply of the best of foods at their disposal, while a strong contingent went to arrest Taiwhakahuka, who was brought back to Te-O-Tane. Te-O-Tane having killed his man, took his heart out, cooked it, ate it, and returned home. The term pona, so strongly emphasised in Te-O-Tane's utterance, refers to his desire for revenge. There can surely be few stories in Maori history so deserving of classic fame as the story of this long journey of page 142Te-O-Tane through unfriendly country as he sought the life of a friend turned traitor.
On one occasion, when attending a race meeting at Otaki, the writer (J. H. Mitchell) and some friends were driven in a motor car to see the site of this pa. Guided by an old Maori, we arrived at the foot of a hill. Leaving the car at that place the party proceeded climbing up the historical track. Observing the absence of the hummocks and hollows, the writer enquired what had happened to them. The guide replied that when the inhabitants had realised that the pa was taken by the obstructed view of the tracks, the hummocks had been levelled off. On reaching the top, the party were shown the entrance to the pa. Remembering the story, and standing on the very spot where Te-O-Tane was supposed to have been standing eight generations back, a great sensation overtook the writer for a few moments, and then the party continued to the main pa. Pointing to a hillock at the front and on one side of the pa, our guide informed us that this was the munition storage, a heap of boulders which had lately been covered up and overgrown by vegetation and grass.
Te-O-Tane, who was undefeated throughout his life, died of old age and was interred in a secret cave on the Ohuia No. 1 Block. The writer would say, in conclusion, that with the exception of Taramarama, he has stood on the site of every one of Te-O-Tane's pas. One of the main roads on the Ngamotu block at Kihitu settlement is named "Te-O-Tane Road."