History and traditions of the Maoris of the West Coast, North Island of New Zealand, prior to 1840
Chapter IV. — Toi and his Descendants
Toi and his Descendants.
In connection with the ancient history of the Taranaki Coast, and indeed of New Zealand generally, there is another important question to be settled, which has proved a source of confusion and trouble to all who have seriously considered Maori History. I refer to the ancestor named Toi, with various sobriquets, such as Toi-te-huatahi and Toi-kai-rakau. On the one hand we have one of that name who undoubtedly was a celebrated tangata-whenua, living at Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty, some eight or nine generations prior to the arrival of the fleet of canoes in circa, 1350; and on the other, we have a man of the same name, usually called Toi-te-hua-tahi who flourished about the same period in Hawaiki,* and from whom many people trace descent. Were these one and the same man or not?
It is quite certain that the second name has been applied to the aboriginal chief of Whakatane, very probably through confusion of the two; or, kai-rakau, the wood-eater, may bo merely a sobriquet applied to Toi-te-hua-tahi on account of his living on the native products of New Zealand, before the kumara and taro were introduced to the country. The name, unfortunately, is not an uncommon one on the ancestral lines. For instance, we have one Toi shown on the Rarotonga genealogies, who flourished sixty-five generations ago, and E. Toi of fifty-four generations ago (the E. in this case being simply a vocative introduced into the old karakias), another who flourished some thirty-four generations ago, and others mentioned in Rarotonga history. In New Zealand there are also several, but all subsequent to Toi-kairakau.
|Whatonga= ? Wai-iti|
|Maru (or Pou-wanangaroapage 60|
|26||Tangihia (or Uhenga)|
|1||Motoro 2. Pou-te-anuanua|
Of Toi, the few references to one of that name in Eastern Polynesian traditions that I have come across are as follows: Col. Gudgeon tells me that "Daniela Tangitoro, of Mangaia Island, says that several of their ancestors came from New Zealand to A'ua'u (ancient name of Mangaia Island, as is also Manitia) such as Maui, Te Karaka and Toi, but the real name of the latter was Pou-te-anuanua. Those were separate migrations; Toi came in the 'Oumatini' canoe to Nuku-tevaruvaru, and thence to A'ua'u where he built a marae called 'Taumatini.'"
The probability is that this Pou-te-anuanua is one of the sons of Tangiia of Rarotongan fame, who, however, is said to have been killed in the great battle that took place near Papara, West coast of Tahiti, when Tangiia was expelled from that Island by Tutapu, and before he settled in Rarotonga (circa 1275). This cannot be the Toi mentioned in Table 21, but may be that particular Toi who is shown by Maori tradition to have been alive in (probably) Tahiti a little before the great heke to New Zealand took place in 1350. We have evidence of voyages backwards and forwards between New Zealand and Eastern Polynesia prior to the heke, and it is quite possible this Toi may have visited this country and thence returned to Mangaia and those parts, and settled there.
Major J. T. Large very kindly made some inquiries at Mangaia Island in reference to this Toi, whose name in full appears to be Vaevae-Toi-o-te-aitu, so called on account of his having a growth or projection on his heel. The following is the descent from him to the present day (see Table No. 22 in margin:—
It will be seen that this table agrees fairly well with the Toi shown on Table 24, as derived from Te Arawa tribe; but like so many others it is impossible to say if it is the same man.
|23||(Vaevae) Toi (o-te-aitu)|
|Te Kamapage 61|
If Pou, Tangiia's son, actually did make a voyage to New Zealand, then possibly we may find the record of it in the visit made by one Pou-ranga-hua to Hawaiki trom New Zealand, and back again, in the very peculiar myth of Te Manu - nui - a - Ruakapanga, as told by Mr. Best in "Wai-kare-moana," p. 36, and also in its West Coast form in chapter VII., under the heading of "Pou abd Te-Manu-nui." This same bird, Ruakapanga, I may add, is known to Rarotongan traditions under the same name. The island Nuku-te-varuvaru is not known at the pre sent day. It is somewhat remarkable, and an apparent confirmation of Pou-ranga-hua being identical with Pou-te-anuanua, that in the Maori account of his visit to Hawaiki, the name of the place he went to is Ahuahu-te-rangi, where Rua lived. Now Ahuahu (or A'ua'u) is the ancient name of Mangaia Island. Mr. Best supplies me with the following information as to people, contemporaries of this Pou-ranga-hua:—
In the above table, Hoaki and Taukata are the two men who were wrecked on the coast near Whakatane, and who disclosed to Tama-ki-Hikurangi and the other tangata-whenua people of that place, the existence of the kumara in Hawaiki, which led to the building and voyage of the "Aratawhao" canoe to Hawaiki, and which voyage again had an influence in starting the fleet for New Zealand in 1350.
In Rarotonga we have the name of Toi recorded in Te Ara-nui-a-Toi, the name of the ancient road which runs round the island. It is usually about twelve feet wide and, of its twenty to twenty-two miles of total length, about three-quarters of it is paved with blocks of lava and coral. It is along this ancient road the villages were situated formerly; now, they are along the modern road, which is close to the coast everywhere, whilst the ancient road is about an average of a page 62fourth of a mile inland and near the foot of the hills. At the sites of the ancient villages are to be seen, sometimes on ono side, sometimes on the other, rows of stone seats where the chiefs sat and gathered the news from the passers by. Here also were some of the old maraes, of which Arai-te-tonga is a specimen, described in Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. XII., p. 218. This road is a stupendous work to be undertaken by the Polynesians without other means of transporting large blocks of stone than manual labour. The Ara-nui-a-Toi, means "The great road of Toi." I could get very little information as to who Toi was or as to his period, but Te Aia-Te-Pou, a well informed man, told me that "Toi was a great man and a warrior; he came to Rarotonga long before Tangiia and Karika (circa 1250). He was from Iva (either The Marquesas Groups, or Hiva in Fakaahu Island, Paumotu Group). This was the heke of the Iva people to Rarotonga—there wore seventy (i.e. 140) of them. It was Toi who made the road which surrounds the island. He slept (lived) on this road, hence the name Te Ara-nui-a-Toi. I do not remember the name of the canoe in which he came." Makea, Queen of Rarotonga, told me Toi came to Rarotonga before the time of Tangiia, and one of his descendants named Tumore was then (1897) living in the island. Again, I heard that Toi himself lived in Hawaiki (either Samoa or Tahiti) and that he sent his slaves to Rarotonga to build the road, who called it after him. It seems to me, this information, though brief, points to Toi shown on Table No. 21, living six generations before Tangiia, as the particular man who built the road. Though we do not hear of him as a voyagor, he lived in the period when Polynesian navigation was at its height, and, moreover, we do know that his son Rauru made more than one lengthy voyage in central Polynesia, and long voyages were so common at that period that little was thought of them, and the greater number occurred without any record of them being handed down.
* Reports A.A.A. Science, vol. i., p. 417.
We also have notice of one Rauru—from Maori Tradition—in the Rev. T. G. Hammond's paper on "The Taro" (Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. III., p. 105) who flourished in Hawaiki, and made a voyage in his canoe "Pahi-tonoa," with one Maihi, in his canoe named "Haki-rere" to the island of Wairua-ngangana to obtain the taro plant, which had been reported by Maru in a previous voyage to that island. This is possibly the same Rauru mentioned in Table 21. Where Wairua-ngangana island is, is uncertain; but as Rauru was at that time living in Hawaiki, which in this case there can be little doubt was Samoa or Fiji, the island from which they obtained the taro must be away to the north and west of those groups, indeed may be in Indonesia, to explain which is outside the scope of the present work.
I have another note about the introduction of the taro to the Polynesians which is as follows:—Maru (apparently the god of that name) from his place in tho sky, saw the taro growing in Wairua, a lake in the island of Mata-te-ra. He looked down and communicated with Maihi, who lived at Hawaiki, and said to him—"Maihi! there grows the sweet food the taro." Then, turning towards the lake, added—"Go and look for it." Maihi went, and then brought back the taro to Hawaiki.
This story has a very ancient tone about it, and no doubt refers to the same incident as in Mr. Hammond's account, but it says the place where the taro was found was in Mata-te-ra, an island well-known in Maori and Rarotongan traditions, as lying to the north and west of Fiji, but which island it is impossible to say, for it does not now bear that name. It is probably one of the Indonesian Islands.
The next wo hear of Rauru is also from Maori tradition, but relating to events which occurred in Hawaiki (see Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. IX., p. 212 et. seq.), and he is certainly the man mentioned in Tables 24 and 25. He was one of the leaders of the migration from the west—from Samoa or Fiji—who settled in Rangi-atea (Ra 'i-atea) Island of the Society Group, from whence his groat great grandson Turi migrated to New Zealand in about 1350. It was just about this period that several families were moving to the East, and settling at Ra 'i-atea, Porapora and Tahiti, and adventurers were scouring the soas from Fiji to the Marquesas, some times on friendly visits or seeking new homes, but apparently more often making predatory expeditions and fighting for the love of fighting.
Rauru, or Laulu, is a name still current in Samoa, for I remember page 64in 1897 a splendid specimen of humanity bearing that name, and living at Fale-o-puna, on the north shore of 'Upolu Island—he was six feet five inches in height, but his brother is six foot seven inches high.
Whatonga (or as Rarotongans pronounce the name, 'Atonga) was the son of Rauru, but we have no record of the doings of this man, though one of that name who lived, according to To Ariki-tara-are, thirty-eight generations ago, was a noted voyager, living in Sava'ii, of the Samoa Group.
So far the order of descent by this Rarotongan line is exactly the same as that of the West Coast Maoris (see Table 25), but the next individual—Kahu-kura—is, I think, not shown on any Maori line in this particular connection. But, as this man was, according to Rarotonga history, one of the voyagers of that period, it is possible he may be the individual of that name, whom the Ngati-Porou tribe say brought the kumara to New Zealand. The Rarotongans have a singular story about this Kahu-kura, and the directions which he gavo for the burning of the body of Tu-tapu-aru-roa, who fought Tangiia at Rarotonga and was there killed. Kahu-kura appears to have had his home in 'Upolu Island, Samoa, and from there made a voyage in the "Manuka-tero" canoe to Fiji, "and the lands his father had visited," which were to the south, south-west, and west of Samoa, amongst which was the land named Nuku, which possibly may be intended for Nuku-roa, an old name of New Zealand. He after wards discovered Tonga-reva Island to the north of Rarotonga.
Kahu-kura's son, Maru, was also a voyager, and on his first voyage from Samoa he was accompanied by his father who settled on an island named Tokutea, which may be the little island of that name not far from Atiu of the Cook Group, but from what is known of it the island is not a particularly desirable place of residence.
Maru's son was Tangiia (or Uhenga), the great Rarotongan navigator and coloniser who flourished twenty-six generations ago. This man Tangiia had also a third name, Rangi, which was given to him as a child by his grand-father Kahu-kura.
So far we have followed the lines down from Toi, according to the Rarotonga traditions. We now have to ascertain how the above agrees with Maori history, and in this, as in the case of Kupe, the genealogical record must be considered.
East Coast Tribes.
Papara, West Coast of Tahiti (from whence the Maoris came).
Te Fana-i-ahurai and Paea are just to the left of Picture.
The two tables (Nos. 24 and 25) are typical of the descent from Toi to the time of the great heke of 1350, as derived—firstly, from the East; secondly, from the West Coast tribes. I should be sorry to say that either of them are absolutely correct, but the evidence has been carefully considered in each case, and the most probable succession given; weight being given to the source of the authority from whom the information is derived. Taken altogether, the data on which these tables are based have a fair agreement, and do not differ more than in the case of our own race, as illustrated by the "Visitations" of England, and the numerous genealogical publications so popular at the present day, and which, unlike those of the Polynesians, are derived from written records.
† There are very few exceptions to what is stated in the Text. But Mr. Best supplies me with an Arawa table in which the succession is, Toi, Rauru, Ruarangi; another, Toi, Rauru, Tahatiti, Ruarangi. Another from Ngati Awa: Toi, Ruarangi-i-mua.
Table 25.—Is taken from Mr. Hare Hongi's table (Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. VII., p. 40), after comparing it with six other tables in my possession, which differ somewhat from it in the order of the names, etc.; but agree on the whole, especially in all shewing Ruarangi to be the father of Rauru, thus according with the Rarotongan line (Table 21). Turi was captain of the "Aotea" canoe, and Ruatapu contemporary with him and the commanders of the other vessels of the heke of 1350. It is of interest to note, that probably O-amaru and his father Kahukura-ariki (on Table 25) may possibly be identical with Maru and his father Kahukura on the Rarotonga line (Table 21)—there are two generations difference.
It will be noted in the preceding tables that the period of the heke to New Zealand is taken as twenty-two generations back from 1900. This is based on the mean of a very large number of genealogies from numerous tribes—many lines are much shorter and many much longer, but the only way to get a fair approximation is to take the mean. The lines from the Bay of Plenty, i.e., Ngati-Awa, Ure-wera, etc., are generally shorter than the mean number, and yet we cannot doubt that the date of the arrival of their ancestral canoe "Mata-tua" with the fleet is correct, and that the number of generations is right when deduced from all the tribal histories.
|Rarotonga period of Toi||Thirty-two generations ago.|
|New Zealand—East Coast||Thirty generations ago.|
|West Coast||Thirty-one generations ago.|
This is so close an agreement, that the conclusion is forced upon us that the Toi of New Zealand and Rarotonga are one and the same man—especially so when the names of his son and grandsons are seen to be identical; a fact also confirmed by finding the same names in the same order on the Moriori genealogies of the Chatham Islands, though there shown as gods.
Granting then, that the Rarotongan and New Zealand ancestors are one and the same man, it still leaves the question in this position: That it does not account for the persistent belief that Toi-kai-rakau, from whom so many New Zealand tribes trace descent, was essentially the tangata-whenua ancestor who lived in New Zealand. I have given all that I can ascertain about the Rarotongan Toi and his descendants, and it now remains to relate the Maori account of them.
The belief in Toi having flourished in New Zealand, is so universal amongst the tribes that we cannot possibly doubt the fact. He lived at Whakatane, in the Bay of Plenty, where his head-quarters were in the old pa known as Kapu-te-rangi, situated on a peak of the range lying about half-a-mile to the east of the modern township of Whakatane, the ramparts and ditches of which are perfectly distinct and well preserved to this day. He was buried in a swamp named Te Huki-o-te-tuna, not far from Whakatane. The boundary of the lands held by him and his people, and dividing them from those owned by another aboriginal people—Nga-Potiki—is well known to the natives at this day, and as it is as well to preserve it, I give it as follows, from information supplied to me by an Ure-wera chief in 1900—the line can be followed on the Government maps:—Starting from the coast of the Bay of Plenty, it runs up the Waioeka river to a hill called Te Karoro-o-Tamatea, thence runs generally south-westerly from peak to peak of the forest-clad Ure-wera country to Nahunahu, (between Wai-o-tahe and Wai-mana rivers) thence to Ure-roa, Ngakuha-o-Uru, Nga-mahanga, Te Patiti, Te Rekereke, O-tau-hina, Taruahoro-pito, Paepae-whenua, Tiritiri, Tutae-pukepuke, Te Whakaipu, Te Pu-kiore, Arikirau, Te Whakatangata, Maunga-taniwha, thence generally westerly to Te Ahi-a-nga-tane, Pakira-nui, Otu-makihoi and thence to Taupo Lake. The above is a great tribal boundary, dating from very ancient days.
Connected with the name of Toi, is Te Whaiti-nui-a-Toi, (Toi's great gorge) situated on the Whirinaki river eighteen miles S.S.E. of Fort Galatea, and where there is a considerable settlement of the Ure-wera and other tribes.
Toi is generally called Toi-kai-rakau (or the wood-eater) because, in his day, there were neither kumaras nor taros in the country, and page 68his food consisted of the vegetables native to the country. It is clear the name was given by some of those acquainted with the superior foods brought from the islands, and it would be of importance to know at what date it was given, but there is no evidence at all on this subject. Kereru Te Pukenui, late chief of the Ure-wera tribe, calls him Toi-te-huru-manu after his father Ngni-huru-manu. He is sometimes called Toi-te-huatahi (Toi-the-only-child), and is invariably known by this latter name on the West Coast.
* I was informed, at Tahiti, that this is the name of a place not far from the town of Papaete in Tahiti Island.
It will be observed that many of the above statements are contradictory, and yet the impression left on the mind is, that there were voyages backwards and forwards between Hawaiki and New Zealand, during the eight or nine generations separating the period of Toi from that of the arrival of the fleet.
The following, however, appears to be the belief of the best authorities amongst the Ngati-Awa and Ure-wera tribes, who are the direct descendants of Toi. These old men hold that Toi lived and died in this country, and that the mysterious visit of Hoaki and Taukata, when the kumara became known to the Maoris, took place in the times of Tama-ki-Hikurangi (Table 24, line A), only a few years before the coming of the fleet. It was Tama's daughter, Kura-whakaata, that found these two half-drowned voyagers sunning themselves on the beach, and who led them to her father's pa where they were kindly received. One of them produced from his belt some kumara kao or preserved kumara, on tasting which, Tama asked how this food might be obtained. The others then pointed out a large drift (tawhao) log of totara lying on the beach, and explained that by making a large sea-going canoe, Hawaiki, the land of the kumara might be reached. The "Ara-tawhao" was then hewn out, duly prepared and provisioned, and Tama-ki-Hikurangi, with a large crew put to sea, bound for Hawaiki, taking with them Hoaki, one of the two voyagers who brought the kumara-kao; the other, Taukata, being left behind at Whakatane. Before starting the various karakias, appropriate to the occasion, were duly recited by Tama—who appears to have been captain and priest. In the "Awa" or karakia, used to calm the waves of the ocean, occur the following lines, which have a considerable interest:
Kapua hokaia i runga o Tahiti-nui o Te Tua,
Ka tatau ana ki runga o Kapu-te-rangi
Puke i Aotea, ko Toi te tangata o te motu.
The clouds bestriding above on Groat Tahiti of Te Tua,
That (also) rests above on Kapu-to-rangi,
The hill in Aotea, where Toi is the man of the island.
In this we have Great Tahiti mentioned (the larger part of Tahiti is still called Great Tahiti, whilst the Taiarapu Peninsula is the Lesser Tahiti) which was their objective in Eastern Polynesia, and the name of Te Tua, one of the well known chief-families' honorific names, or titles, used by the chiefs of the Teva clan of the west side of Tahiti and Taiarapu, for which see "Memoirs of Te Ari'i Taimai" of Tahiti: Paris, 1901. No doubt these people knew exactly where they were page 70going, and would be sure of finding relations there. The "Aratawhao," it is said, did not come back to New Zealand, but the kumara was brought by the fleet which sailed for New Zealand not long after the "Ara-tawhao" reached Tahiti or Hawaiki (and it is perhaps necessary to call to mind that the Society and Paumotu Groups, with Tahiti, are known to the Rarotongans as Hawaiki-ruuga, or windward Hawaiki, in contra-distinction to Hawaiki-raro, or leeward Hawaiki, comprising Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and the neighbouring island). The line of descent from Taukata's sister conculsively proves that he and Hoaki arrived in New Zealand about eight generations after Toi flourished, or the generation in which the fleet arrived.
It is also related by some of the Ure-wera—Tu-takana-hau amongst them—that Te Awa-morehurehu (shown in Table 24, D) who flourished in the two preceding generations prior to the heke, also went to Hawaiki from Whakatane. I tried to find out in Rarotonga and Tahiti if any thing was known of this voyager. All I could learn was, that a man named Te Awa did come to Rarotonga from Iva (Maori Hiva) which may be either at Marquesas, Paumotu, Moorea, or Rai'atea, in all of which groups there are places of that name. It does not at all follow because this man reached Rarotonga from Iva, that he had not originally come from New Zealand. Te Awa arrived at Rarotonga after the settlement there of Tangiia, which period agrees with Awa-morehurehu's position on the genealogical table 24, D. Evidently he was a member of an early Acclimatization Society, for he is accredited with introducing the kokopu (or native trout, so called) into Rarotonga.
In a genealogical table of the Nga-Puhi people of Hokianga, we find this note against Toi's name:—"Ko te tino hoi iwi nui tenei; ko te Tini-o-Toi, ho le Mano-o-Toi. I mate i Te Rautahi o Atua" ("This is the ancestor of the great tribe; the Tini-o-Toi, the Mano-o-Toi. He died at Te Rautahi-o-atua.")
Of Toi's son, Rauru, not much is related in Maori history. The table quoted above, says—"Ko te tupuna tenei o te iwi mohio ki te whakairo—o Ngati-Kahu-ngunii." ("This is the ancestor of the people learned in carving—of Ngati-Kahungunu.") And indeed it is not only Nga-Puhi, but many other tribes, that ascribe to Rauru the introduction of the present method of carving. This opens up a very large question which cannot be dealt with here, but I will make a suggestion that, however, on further inquiry may prove to have nothing in it. New Zealand carving is local and peculiar, not found elsewhere in the Pacific, except in New Guinea, where we occasionally see what is probably the same motif as in the Maori carving. Now one named Rauru was a voyager (see ante); it was he who went on the expedition, from either page 71Samoa or Fiji, to bring back the taro plant, and, doubtless, the place he went to—Wairua-ngangana—laid to the north of those groups. It may have been New Guinea he went to, or called at, and there learnt the art of carving, which he and others more fully developed in New Zealand.
Beyond the invention, or elaboration of carving, we know little of Rauru, except the fact of the voyage above-mentioned, and the statement (Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. IX., p. 214) that he was one of the leaders in a migration from Samoa or Fiji to Rai'atea (or Rangiatea). There is a saying about him, however, which has come down the ages—"Rauru ki tahi" ("One-worded Rauru") implying that when he had decided on a coarse of action, nothing would turn him from it, and that his word was implicitly to be relied on. I only know of one place connected with his name—Te Mimi-o-Rauru—a spring and battle-field somewhere near Napier.
Rauru's son was Whatonga, and of him very little is mentioned in Maori tradition, beyond the fact that he was an ancestor of many of the tangata-whenua tribes, none of whom, however, are called after him, though his father Rauru gives his name to the Nga-Rauru tribe of Wai-totara, West Coast. One of the names of the Seventy Mile Bush is Te Tapere-nui-a-Whatonga, but it is doubtful if this name is not derived from a descendant of the same name who flourished several generations after the man we are writing of.
Put in the briefest form, the above are the most essential points in the argument relating to the question of whether Toi of Polynesia is the same as Toi of New Zealand. However we may decide, there are potent reasons against the decision. But the balance of evidence appears to the writer to be capable of a summary statement as follows:—
|1.||That there was only one original Toi, a common ancestor of both Maoris and Rarotongans.|
|2.||That he was probably born and lived for many years in New Zealand, then visited Central Polynesia, taking his son Rauru with him, that after living there many years he returned to New Zealand, and died at Whakatane.|
|3.||That Rauru after living many years in Central Polynesia returned to New Zealand, his son Whatonga—probably born there—accompanying him, and both died in New Zealand.page 72|
|4.||That voyages between New Zealand and Central or Eastern Polynesia were more common, prior to the date of the fleet, than is generally supposed, the exact particulars of which have been lost.|
There is one other supposition that may be mentioned, but I do not think it is correct in this case, though such cases are known, and that is, that the Maori ancestor Toi and his descendants have been interpolated on the Rarotongan lines at a much later date than the people concerned flourished. The argument against this idea is, I think, as follows:—Since eight generations after the time of Toi, there has been no communication between New Zealand and Eastern Polynesia, until the times of the Whalers in the early nineteenth century. At a date so long ago as eight generations from Toi, and prior to that time, it would have been impossible for the interpolation to have taken place, for it would have been detected at once, whilst the names of ancestors were known to all and fresh in everybody's recollections. There would be more chance of such a thing occurring through Maoris taking to the islands, on board whalers, information as to their ancestors; if, that is, the class of men who joined the whalers' crews were sufficiently up in the general genealogies of their people; but this I should doubt. There were no doubt many Maoris who visited the islands on board whalers, though the record of them is very scanty. The notorious Goodenough took several Maoris from near the North Cape, and landed them at Nga-Tangiia, on Rarotonga, in 1820 or 1821. But I was informed, by Pa-ariki of that place, that the whole of these people with some of Goodenough's crew were massacred by the Rarotongans, so that the information did not come from them. Nor could it have been derived from the visit of Paora Tuhaere of Auckland to Rarotonga, in the seventies, for Table No. 21, ante, was communicated to the Rev. Mr. Stair in 1839,
Altogether, I cannot think this is a case of interpolation.