History and traditions of the Maoris of the West Coast, North Island of New Zealand, prior to 1840
Chapter VI. — The Canoes of "The Fleet."—Continued
The Canoes of "The Fleet."—Continued.
Whilst we must over give precedence to the crews of the "Aotea" canoe as contributing most largely to the Hawaiki element in the population of the West Coast, there are two other vessels that are also claimed as having brought over many ancestors of the present Maori people. Of the two, perhaps "Tokomaru" has usually been considered the most important—why, it is somewhat difficult to say; for so far as can be ascertained, the number of people who trace descent from her crow are but few. The prominence given to this vessel is probably due to the fact of an account of her voyage having been published by Sir. George Grey in "Polynesian Mythology;" which account (together with many notes gathered by others), will now be given in abbreviated form, in which the original in Maori, published in "Nga Mahinga," will be translated.
The "Tokomaru" Canoe.
There are many difficulties surrounding the account of the reasons why the crew of this canoe migrated to New Zealand, which leads one to infer that Manaia's war in Hawaiki did not really take place just prior to the migration as Sir George Grey's narrative leads the reader to infer, but rather at a date long anterior to that period. The narrative (loc. cit.) says—"The reason why Manaia (said to be captain of 'Tokomaru') came hither, was his massacre of the party of spearmakers, who had debauched his wife Rongo-tiki." Manaia was desirous of securing a party of men to make spears, and for that purpose sent to Tupenu, who was head-chief of the tribe who were expert spear-makers, to order that this should bo done. The men came to Manaia's village and set to work, whilst Manaia occupied himself in procuring food of all sorts for the workmen, often going out to sea to catch fish for the same purpose. On one occasion he found that whilst all his party caught fish in plenty none came to his line, until just when the party were about to return home Manaia hooked a fish, but to his surprise, by the tail, and not by the mouth. With the common belief in omens, so characteristic a feature of the Maori, Manaia at once came to the conclusion that some evil had befallen his wife. On page 95reaching home, his suspicions were confirmed by Rongo-tiki (his wife) who disclosed to her husband the insult she had been subjected to by the spear-makers.
Manaia now considered how this insult to his wife was to be effaced. There was only one way according to Polynesian law: the evil-doers must be killed. But he had to proceed cautiously and by stratagem. Pretending that he was unaware of what had occurred, he urged the spear-makers to make the spears large and heavy, so that—in the words of the Maori story—"they should not be able to carry them"—i.e., use them in fighting. This remark opens up a question as to who these spear-makers were? It is clear Manaia had no doubt as to the ability of his own people to use them, and this may perhaps indicate that they were a more powerful race of men than the spear-makers. It is suggested that the latter were probably some of those skilled artisans known as the Manahune (or Menehune), a diminutive people, probably Melanesians, who lived in a state of vassalage, if not slavery, with the Polynesians of Tahiti and Hawaii, and who are referred to in the traditions of both those islands as also those of Rarotonga. They were probably some of the Solomon or other Melanesian islanders, captured by the Polynesians, and employed by them as sailors, workmen, etc.
Manaia now arranged with his own people that they should fall on the spear-makers and exterminate them. When the proper moment came, Manaia urged his son, Tu-uro-nui to distinguish himself by slaying the first man—a deed much thought of by the Maoris—but the young fellow held back, and allowed another young-man named Kahu-kaka to take his place. It was he that secured the mata-ika, or first slain, crying out as he did so, the usual Maori boast—'I, Kahu-kakaa-Manaia, have got the first slain! ' It is said, that until Manaia heard his own name pronounced by this young warrior, he was not aware that he had any other son but Tu-ure-nui. After this he acknowledged Kahu-kaka, and made much of him. Tupenu, the chief of the spear-makers, would have escaped, but that Rongo-tiki, Manaia's wife, uttered a powerful tupe, which had the effect of hindering his steps, and thus allowed Manaia to overtake and kill him on the beach at Pikopiko-i-whiti. All the others were killed.
The name just quoted, again leads me to infer that this story is older than the date of the migration, for it can, I think, be shown that that place was either in Samoa or Fiji, whereas Manaia emigrated from Tahiti.
A war now ensued between Tupenu's people and those of Manaia, in which the superior numbers of the former led to their obtaining the page 96victory, and gave cause to Manaia to reflect—"A! my people are disappearing; presently, perhaps, I shall share the same fate. It would be better for me to leave this place, and seek a home in some other land." So he obtained a canoe named "Tokomaru" from his brother-in-law, and prepared for his voyage; and then, after vainly endeavouring to induce his brother-in-law to join him, enticed him on board the canoe, and there killed him as a sacrifice to secure a propitious voyage.
No particulars of the voyage are given in the tradition from which the above account is taken, but we know that "Tokomaru" came with the fleet from the west coast of Tahiti, first calling in at Rai'atea, in all probability, then at Rarotonga, where the name of the canoe is known as forming part of the fleet. I have no doubt that she also made Sunday Island (or Rangi-tahua) with the other canoes, and after leaving there, separated from her companion vessels in the gale, of which the "logs" of some of the vessels make mention, finally making the land on the south shore of Tokomaru Bay, some forty-five miles north of Gisborne. Here the crew landed on a rock, still pointed out and called after the canoe, and staid for a time, leaving some of their number who settled down there, amongst whom were Te Rangi-tataiwhetu and Rakiora who have (or had) descendants amongst the East Coast tribes. The spot where she landed was pointed out to the Hon. J. Carroll and myself by Henare Potae, chief of those parts, in 1899. From there the vessel coasted northwards round the East Cape, no doubt calling at places that looked desirable as settlements, but finding them occupied by the tangata-whenua (though this is not mentioned either in Grey's account or in the many stories told to myself). The vessel came round the North Cape, and then coasted down to the Tonga-porutu river, forty miles north of New Plymouth, where her long voyage ended.
From here, according to Grey's account, Manaia and his people—or some of them—went south to the Waitara river, where they encountered a lot of the tangata-whenua people, and exterminated them, as has been related in Chapter II. hereof. But it seems probable that Manaia himself settled down at Tonga-porutu, for here, soon after the arrival of the canoe, was built the house named Marae-roto-hia, which we may, in a broad sense, call a temple, or house of learning; for, as in the case of the other migrations, it was here that the knowledge of the tribal history, mysteries, etc., was taught by the tribal priests.
The Maori account of "Tokomaru" in "Nga Mahinga" ends up by saying—"Now this man (Manaia) was my (our) ancestor, the line descending to the Ngati-Awa tribe, as also from Rongotiki his wife. page 97The above is the account of the migration of Manaia from Hawaiki, where he had fought two battles, Kirikiri-wawa and Ra-to-rua,* where the weapons of Manaia named Kihia and Rakea became famous, etc." Unfortunately Sir George Grey never gives his authority for the matter he has collected, and, therefore, it is unknown who it was, as mentioned above, who claimed Manaia as his direct ancestor, and also that of Ngati-Awa. All I have to say on this subject is that I have hitherto failed to find any one amongst Ngati- (or Ati-) Awa, who acknowledges this man as an ancestor any more than in a general kind of way; but it is possible the Ngati-Tama tribe of Tonga-porutu can recite their genealogies back to him. At the same time Ati-Awa do allow that some of them descended from the crew of "Tokomaru," but so far as my enquiries go, they cannot recite any genealogies from them. This is very suspicious; and shows that probably but a very few people can claim "Tokomaru" as their ancestral vessel, and even then, probably through marriage connections with Ngati-Tama. The general statements I have gathered are to the effect that some of the following hapus:—Puketapu, of Waitara, Manu-korihi, of Waitara, and Ngati-Rahiri, of Waitara and Waihi, claim descent from one of "Tokomaru's" crew—the latter people from Rahiri-pakarara, who migrated long ago from Mohaka-tino (near Tonga-porutu) to their present homes; whilst the two first-named claim from one Rakeiora, who is believed to have been the priest of "Tokomaru," afterwards (it is said) deified into a kumara god, and in later times was taken from Urenui by Rangihawe of Ngati-Ruanui to Patea to be used as such. Rangi-hawe was the father of the somewhat celebrated Turau-kawa, the poet who will be referred to later on. Hatu-moana, shown in Table No, 28, is believed to have come in the "Aotea" canoe, but it is uncertain.
* Ra-to-rua, one of the battles fought by Uenuku at Rarotonga, see ante (Chapter V.)
Te Ati-Awa Tribe.
Table No. XXXI.
Te Retimona and Te Teira were the principal men in the sale of Waitara to the Crown in 1860, which sale led to the War. Rangi-kuru-patua's "saying" was "Ko te patete a te wheru." W. K. Te Rangi-take was our principal opponent in the wars of the "sixties." His ancestor, Tu-parua, is said to have been a landless man, but belonging to the same tribe, and is referred to by the others as "he ika tere mai, kahore ona waka," "a drift fish, he had no canoe." Obviously some names on this line must have been omitted—it is six or eight generations short.
I am indebted to the Rev. T. G. Hammond for the following line of descent from Rakeiora, being part of a longer line; it is somewhat longer than usual from the date of the heke, the mean number of generations should be twentytwo, and it runs into the Ngati-Ruanui in its latter end, Raumati being a well-known man of that tribe.
In Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. I., p. 227, Col. Gudgeon gives the descent from Rahiri-pakarara, said to be the eponymous ancestor of- Ngati-Rahiri of Waitara and Waihi; but this particular line is that of Ngati-Rakei of Mokau, which tribe is the connecting link between Ngati-Maniapoto of "The King Country," and Te Ati-Awa of Taranaki. If this line is right it shows that Ngati-Rahiri have occupied their present homes, north of Waitara, from about seventyfive years after the arrival of the fleet in 1350. On the same page quoted above, the author mentions Te Rangitata as an emigrant by Tokomaru, and he, with Manaia, his son Tu-ure-nui, and Rakeiora are the only recorded names of the Crew of "Tokomaru," on the West Coast.
Like so many of these questions, there is more than one story as to the origin of Rahiri. Some say that he was a descendant of those who came in "Tainui," and claim that he (or his ancestor) built the great house Marae-rotohia, and not Manaia. But I prefer taking old Watene Taungatara as an authority before any other of the tribe I have questioned, and he says Manaia, of "Tokomaru," built the house, and that Ngati-Rahiri's ancestors came in that canoe.
Table No. 31 was printed in the "Karere Maori," 30th April, 1860—a publication that is rare indeed in the land—and as it was collected at so early a date, when many of the old men were alive and able to give reliable information, it ought to be correct. I quote it, not only page 99as giving the lines of descent of many well known chiefs of Ati-Awa, but because I have been informed by Te Whetu, a fairly learned man, that the two first names on the table came over in the "Tokomaru"—a statement I find it very difficult to believe, and on the contrary think they are those of tangata-whenua ancestors of the great Ati-Awa tribe. The first name on the list—Kahui-tu—is not that of a man, but of a tribe, in which the term Kahui, is that I have shown in Chapter V. to be peculiar to the tangata-whenua. Te Kahui-tu is one of the original tribes, shown on the genealogical table No. 1, in Chapter II., page 22, but there is no information to hand to connect the two.
The anchor of the "Tokomaru" canoe is still in existence.* Mr. John Skinner describes it as follows:—"The anchor is a large stone made of a whitish (Dolorite?) stone, and stands about three feet high and weighs from three to four cwt.; it is pierced for a cable; the first hole made had broken out, and they then bored another across the grain of the stone."
A few pages back, reference was made to the probability of the incidents assigned as the cause of Manaia leaving Hawaiki having occurred long prior to that period. This we gather from the fact of the Morioris of the Chatham Islands being acquainted with the incident of the massacre of the spear-makers. There can be no question that the Morioris left New Zealand long prior to the date of arrival of the "Tokomaru" canoe in about 1350. From all we know they probably left in the times of Rauru and Whatonga, who flourished twenty-eight or twenty-nine generations ago, or about the years 1200 to 1225. The Moriori story will be found in Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. III., p. 187, and though the incidents are somewhat different, the tradition is evidently based on the same story as that preserved by the Maoris. The names Manaia and Kahu-kaka are identical in both stories. The only conclusion we can adopt is, that the battle of Kirikiri-wawa took place long before the sailing of the "Tokomaru" for New Zealand, and was learnt by the Morioris during their residence in New Zealand, through some of the unrecorded visitors prior to the heke of 1350, and that the Maoris have, through lapse of time, confused this tradition with some incident that actually did occur, and which latter was the prime cause of the "Tokomaru" canoe leaving for New Zealand.
* The stone is hidden on the south bank of the Mohakatino river, and only Messrs. John Strauchon, G. Robinson and myself know the spot. It was hidden for fear the Maoris should sell it, and with the intention of finally getting it placed in a Museum.
The "Kura-Haupo" Canoe.
The third of the vessels, the crews of which have left numerous descendants amongst the Taranaki tribes, was "Kura-haupo," and luckily in this case, thanks to my friends of the Taranaki tribe, we have much more precise information about this vessel and her crew. She left the west coast of Tahiti with the rest of the fleet, about the year 1350, but history does not, in her case, as in many others, tell us of the immediate cause of her crew migrating. No doubt they were involved in the many quarrels existing at that time, and partook also of the desire to see the new land which had been reported as lying far to the South-west. The Taranaki tribe hold that Te Mounga-roa was the captain of the canoe, whilst Ngati-Apa, of Rangitikei, say that one named Ruatea was the principal man on board. We cannot decide this question, nor is it of much consequence. They have both left plenty of descendants now living in New Zealand. Before leaving, Te Mounga-roa had secured some treasure, called by the Maoris a kura: but what this was, my endeavours have failed to elicit, any more than that it was connected with a high branch of their system of karakia (or incantations, invocations—religion in fact), and it does not appear to have been a material object. Some old Maoris seem to think it was "the tree of life," or "Philosopher's stone," (so described by my informant), but that does not help us much. It was something that Te Mounga-roa sought and obtained in the realms of the Po, or the nebulous obscurity of the past, and was much coveted by the learned men of the other canoes. Possibly we may best define it as the esoteric knowledge of ancient beliefs and history.
The "Kura-hau-po" called in at Rarotonga with the other vessels, for her name is preserved there amongst the vessels of the fleet; and then came on to Rangi-tahua Island, where the "Aotea" had already arrived, and with her, or shortly after came the "Mata-tua," and probably the "Tainui," "Te Arawa" and "Tokomaru," but of these latter three, we have only inference, to support the belief that they were there. Probably these canoes landed on the north coast of the island (which no doubt is Sunday Island) where there is a sandy beach, fairly sheltered during southerly and westerly winds, and from which the shore rises some fifty feet to a level or undulating terrace, composed of rich soil, about a mile long and a fourth of that in width. Here the canoes were repaired, and their top-sides lashed afresh, for after their long run from Rarotonga, these had become loosened by the leverage of sail and paddle. Heartily glad would the voyagers be to stretch their limbs after the cramped positions and confined space they would be limited to on board, even if, as is probable, the vessels were built on the model of the page 101pahi, with a deck between the two hulls, and probably a cabin on that deck. On the terrace alluded to above, are to be found a few specimens of the candle-nut tree of Polynesia; they are about sixty feet high, and three feet in diameter. It is an interesting question as to whether the fleet of canoes did not bring the seed with them, and plant or drop them there. The nuts being full of oil are used by the Polynesians as lights, by stringing them on a fine stick, or midrib of the coconut palm, and then setting light to them. And it was probably the crew of the canoes that left the stone axes discovered there a few years since.
After repairing the vessels, and making the usual sacrifices to their gods to ensure the continuation of a prosperous voyage, the fleet prepared to depart. All appear to have got off safely except "Kura-haupo" which, in paddling off through the surf, got seriously damaged, in fact the accounts say, broken up.
The name given to this place in consequence was Te Rere-a-Kurahaupo, or the flight or descent of "Kura-haupo." On ascertaining that the vessel was unfit to proceed on her voyage she was—according to Taranaki accounts—abandoned, and her cargo and crew transhipped to the "Mata-tua," though it would also appear that a few of them came on in the "Aotea." It is highly probable, though not so stated in the tradition, that some of the crew remained at the island with the intention of repairing the broken canoe and continuing their voyage in her. But the remainder came to New Zealand in the "Mata-tua," and landed somewhere on the East Coast—where exactly is not known. Judge Wilson says four of the canoes, including "Mata-tua," all met at Great Mercury Island in the Bay of Plenty, and here probably occurred the scene between Te Mounga-roa and some of the chiefs of the other canoes, in which he accused them of having used their powers of witchcraft to wreck the "Kura-haupo"; and when he boasts that, notwithstanding their evil intentions, he had succeeded in bringing with him the precious kura, much to their chagrin. The "Mata-tua" crew were all relatives of the people of "Kura-haupo," and hence were they brought on by the former, says my informant, and the name "Broken-canoe" is born by some of the people of Taranaki to this day, in remembrance of the catastrophy to "Kura-haupo." Te Moungaroa set up a tuahu (or altar) near where they landed in New Zealand to offer the usual thanksgiving, and whereat to recite the necessary karakias to remove all evil effects that might afflict them in the new land, and after that, finding that all the lands in those parts were already appropriated, he with Turu-rangi-marie, Tu-kapua and Akurama-tapu, with their people, travelled along by the East Coast, and up the shores of Cook's Straits, finally settling down in the Taranaki page 102country at Wairau stream, near Capt. Mace's present homestead, in the neighbourhood of Oakura. But Akurama-tapu and Tu-kapua after a time returned to the East Coast, and there settled down.
So far the Taranaki account; but others state that "Kura-haupo" actually came to New Zealand, and this seems probably true; for we cannot neglect certain traditions about the vessel, gathered from various parts of the North Island. It is probably the case that some of the crew remained behind at Rangi-tahua Island, and succeeded in repairing the damages caused at the time the other vessels of the fleet left. Under Ruatea the canoe now succeeded in making the coast of New Zealand, near the North Cape—where, as we shall see, she left part of her crew—and coasting down the East Coast from there, called in at various places no doubt, but the only ones recorded are near Table Cape, when she left an anchor, said to be there now, then to Mohaka in Hawke's Bay; then to a place a little to the south of Matau-a-Maui, (Cape Kidnappers) where, it is said some of the crew remained, and who were afterwards driven out by Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, and migrated to the South Island, and are known as Ngati-Mamoe. Next, some of her crew, with Ruatea, were landed and settled somewhere in Cook's Straits, and furnished some of the ancestors of the Ngati-Apa tribe of Rangi-tikei; probably Kupakupa was one of these—an ancestor of the Wairarapa people, though he died in the South Island, and Awaawa-wetewete-tapiki, a common ancestor of Ngati-Kuia and Rangi-tane. We next find this canoe settling the country of the sounds, north end of the South Island, under Koanga-umu and his wife Wainui-a-ono, who were the ancestors of the Ngati-Kuia tribe of Pelorus. One account says she came down the East Coast in company with the "Takitumu" canoe, which latter went on by the East Coast of the South Island to Moeraki, whilst "Kura-haupo" went to the West Coast, and finally remained at the Mawhera or Grey River, or as another and more probable account says, at Te Taitapu, Golden Bay, South Island.
To go back to the first arrival of this vessel at or near the North Cape. The Au-pouri and Rarawa tribes claim that some of them descend from the crew of "Kura-hau-po," and they specially name Po who came in her and who is one of the ancestors of Te Patu, and Ngati-Kuri, hapus of Te Rarawa tribe. The account states that the "Mamari" canoe arrived first at Hokianga, followed by "Kura-haupo," and that the crews of these vessels intermarried with the original inhabitants, thereby leading to wars and troubles. It is interesting to note that the same account gives twenty-one generations of the original people down to the time of arrival of the fleet, which agrees with the statements in Chapter I.page 103
It will be seen from what has now been said as to "Kura-haupo," that this vessel has contributed largely to the present inhabitants of New Zealand, and that her crew became more dispersed than that of any other canoe. Wherever they landed they mixed with the original people, and their descendants soon became the leaders and rulers over them.
|Te Mounga-roa||Arai-pawa||Te Rangi-awhia|
|Tamatea-ki-te-aro-a-uki||Kere-papaka (Te Mounga-roa's son)|
Seventeen names in all as remembered, but there were thirty-five people known to have settled on the Taranaki coast. Toko-poto was the ancestor of Ngati-Haupoto hapu of Rahotu; Toka-tara was the ancestor of Potiki-roa, of whom see infra. And the Oa-kura river, eight miles south of New Plymouth, received its name from the fact of the redness (kura) of the soles of Akurama-tapu's feet when running there, and the Tapuae-haruru river, seven miles south of New Plymouth, was named from the "resounding footsteps" of the same man.
Making forty-one in all. But of course there were many more, for we do not know the names of those who settled at Cape Kidnappers, Te Taitapu, etc.
Ruatea, of Ngati-Apa, Po (or Pou), of the Rarawa, Koanga-umu, Wainui-a-ono, Awaawa and Kupakupa of Ngati-Kuia, etc.
Table No. 32, of the descent from Te Mounga-roa, reputed captain of "Kura-haupo," is recited by the Taranaki people.
Notes to Table No 32.
|A.—||See the story of Ngarue, infra. He owned the tuahu called Rohutu, at Waitara.|
|B.—||Rakei-ora (Ka tangi te pu = The trumpet sounded). He was the first son, his seniors being daughters; hence the trumpet.|
|C.—||The ancestor of Te Whetu and Te Rangi-kapu-oho, who was the father of Ropata Ngarongo-mate, or, as he was better known to Europeans, Bob Erangi, page 104 a well known and influencial chief in the sixties, and brother to Mrs. Wellington Carrington.*|
|D.—||Moeahu: from him Ngati-Moeahu hapu of Taranaki take their name.|
|E.—||Moeahu and Tai-hawea were twins (mahanga); hence Ngati-Mahanga hapu.|
Photo by R. W. S. Ballantyne
Plate No. 5.
Stones marking the length of the "Tainui" canoe at Kawhia.
It will be noted that the genealogical line quoted in Table No. 32, ante, is about five generations short of the mean number, which is 22.
The following line (Table No. 33) is also from one of the crew of "Kura-haupo," and like that in Table No. 32 is shorter than usual—twenty generations instead of twenty-two, and possibly there is one generation omitted at the eighth back from the present day.
Tahu-rangi, a descendant of Te Hatauira, was the first man to ascend Mount Egmont, and when he got there he lit a fire on top (presumably he took up the firewood with him) to show to all the world that he had taken possession of the mountain. Whenever the whisps of smoke-like cloud are seen clinging to the summit of the mountain, as they often do, this is said to be the "fire of Tahu-rangi" Te Ahi a Tahu-rangi. Probably there is foundation for this story, and that the ascent occurred soon after the arrival of "Kura-haupo," in order to claim the mountain as against Te Ati-Awa tribe. But in modern times the Maoris have always shown a strong disinclination to make the ascent—as it was a breaking of the tapu to do so.
* An interesting and amusing anecdote used to be told by the Maoris in the fifties of last century, relating to the marriage feast of Mr. and Mrs. Wellington Carrington, which the Maoris used to enjoy and tell with great gusto. First, I may say, that Te Rangi-kapu-oho, the father of the lady, was a fierce old warrior, very fully tattooed, who, from 1850 to 1858, lived most of his time as a squatter on the east side of Okoare pa, near what is now called Westown, where he was a constant source of annoyance to the owner of the property. The probability is that the old man—who was generally known as Erangi—had not been paid sufficiently by the Government for his share in the land, according to the old fellow's idea of his claim; and eventually Mr. (afterwards Sir Donald) McLean had to buy him out, after which he gave no further trouble, and retired to Tapuae, where the marriage feast took place. In those days, all Maoris were very partial to a dish called "Lillipee," which was a compound of flour, sugar and hot water. At the marriage feast, a large quantity of this delectable compound was made for the Maori guests, but there was no utensil large enough to hold it. The Maoris, however, were equal to the occasion. They cleaned out a good sized fishing canoe and poured the lillipee into it. Then all stood round, each armed with a large mussel shell, and proceeded to enjoy the good cheer. Whilst this was going on, a small child, in its eagerness to help itself, overreached and fell into the pasty mass. He was hauled out, covered from head to foot in a sticky coating of lillipee. This could not be allowed to go to waste; so the people around scraped the child with their mussel shells, and swallowed the contents. Thinking that the food was not sufficiently scraped off, old Rangi (it is said) held the child up by the heels, and licked him all over; thus securing a tasty morsel, and saving soap!