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The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions. Nga-Puhi [Vol. X, English]

Chapter I

page (1)

Chapter I

I sleep, and still love turns toward the friend,
O come out of the grove and bind your garment on,
And see how dim the mist looks in the North,
That dazzled mind may fully be appeased
Before its memory is blasted quite,
And chant the charm to lead a goblin god
The power of gods of war, of Tu, and Rongo-mai
And flash the lightning, peel the thunder in the sky
That I may know tis time of death.
Then walk with continued step, and if thou find
The fish all have slept, then curse the war party.
O Kiri thou long sleeper, awake, arise and stand,
We have not any one to wake thee
But thy curly locks are saved from blustering winds
But shake those curly locks towards the sacred hills,
The hills that tribes do all invoke with gifts
When war shall rage; those hills down in the North
At Karewa, and let Wito offer thy gift
To gods, though glowing red with gnawing pain
As weeps the women of Ti-hu and Ti-taka tribes
And let them strike their mere on the pillow
Of Puke-rewa, and he will lead a war party
And battle with the raging foe in Moe-hau,
Then turn thy spirit to the setting sun, and Whakamuri
Will come by peaked hills on south of Tu-tehe
And thou canst tell again the words to people
Meet in council in the open day, o meet great chiefs
With our beloved, assemble all ye great of Ti-uma,
And honour her, at Taukari, and urge a war party,
And urge the witchcraft deeds and acts at water side
Where evil deeds are done of Hine, daughter of Tai,
But stay then on the land of dread, and look
At tide that flows out near to the Mata
Where foaming waves that inward cool to mist
page (2) That settles down on troop of women at Kaheru-rapa-roa
And if thou see that weeds are blooming in the crop of kumara
Then thou art lost to me, my shelter from the storm,
Thou beautiful delight of mine, within my home
Who now with Maru art, but he will
Spread the blockade between us all and Moi
To stop the evil that might come in future days, e

Hua was an ancestor of Hore Kingi Raumati and Hua was killed when he was taking the crop of kumara up and when he was digging fern root.

page (Volume 10)(1)

11 March 1890

History and Genealogy of the Maori Ancestors

Kupe was the man who in ancient times came to this land (Islands of New Zealand). He came in search of Tupu-tupu-whenua (king of the land) and Kupe voyaged and travelled all around and over these Islands, and he did not find Tuputupu-whenua in the South, but he discovered him at Hokianga.

Kupe returned from having seen that River and hence its name "Ko hokianga-o-Kupe" (the going back of Kupe).

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There is to the East of Whanga-roa a small point where the sea shines brightly this is called Te au-kanapanapa (the flashing water) this is the place where Kupe landed on that coast.

There is also on the koraha (open country) of Tarata rotorua a lot of stones standing erect like pillars, these are called Te whakarara o Kupe (the lines of stone of Kupe) these are the posts of a Hakari given there by Kupe.

The Tiheru (baler) of the canoe of Kupe is at Te tou-o Puraho.

There is also a stone on the road from Te keri keri to the head of the Waihou river, on Te Puru road called Te-hapai a Kupe in which all the Ngapuhi chiefs young and old throw a sprig of Karamu or Kawakawa, or Rau-re-kau as a whakau. Not any one must get on to this stone, or walk around it.

(A1 to follow this)

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Ancient canoe

Omamari the canoe of Kupe is to the North of Hokianga at a place of that name, having been called so from the fact of the canoe being left there.


Also the punga of the waka of Kupe is on the west side of the entrance of the narrows in Hokianga, just below a kauri tree which grows on the first point as you enter the narrows going up the river.

The canoe in which Kupe brought roi in, is up Waima on a place called Ohuri, this canoe is called "Tapu wae putu putu".


As Kupe put off in his canoe and was coming along the coast of the land he came from to New Zealand a rat jumped into his canoe Tapu wae putu putu, and hid its self in the canoe and when Kupe landed here in Nz the rat ran on shore, hence the origin of the Maori rat in these Islands.

Kupe also brought the Roi (fern root) in his canoe and put some roots into the ground here hence its origin in these Islands. These Islands were all covered with forest in olden times, some where it was so poor that nothing would grow. and in Kupe's day those who first landed here set the country on fire in every place they could, by such fires most of the Moa birds were burnt.

Roi (fern root) is called Putuputu, and as he brought it in one of his canoes that canoe was called Putuputu from that cause.

3.These are the names of places from which they went from these Islands (New Zealand) when they revisited Hawaiki.
4.The following are the names of some of the starting places of canoes going to Hawaiki, Manga-whai Whaka-tu-whenua and Whanga-te-au, these places are between Te Kawau and Whangarei.
5.Te au-kanapanapa is also the name of a starting point for canoes which go from New Zealand to return to Hawaiki, Te-au-kanapanapa is a bay and this Bay is to the East of Whangawa, near the Kawau Island page (2)in mid ocean, and Kupe told them that Tuputupu-whenua was at Hokianga.

When Nuku-tawhiti had arrived at the entrance of the River spoken of by Kupe and by him called Hokianga o Kupe (returning of Kupe), Tuputupu-whenua disappeared into the earth.

Nuku-tawhiti and Rua-nui began to build Houses for themselves, and the name of the House of Rua-nui was Te-pou-ahi (the post of fire) and that of Nuku-tawhiti was Te-whatu-pungapunga (the cove of pumice stone). Rua-nui had finished his house first, and a whale was stranded on the Hokianga coast, and Rua-nui went to cut the fish up, which he intended to offer as a sacred gift when the house was dedicated and first occupied and he cut the fish up with the obsidian with which the hair of the head of Nuku-tawhiti was cut, which was a wrong act on his part, as the obsidian had become sacred by its having been used to cut the hair of Nuku-tawhiti, and this caused Mumu-te-awha (to murmur as a slight breeze) the god of whales to be angry, and hence whales do not become stranded on that sea beach of Hokianga from that time.

Now the whale so cut up by Rua-nui, was a pet belonging to Tutu-nunui (melt down the fat of great ones) and had been stolen from the owner by one called Kae (heel). Kae by his deceit had obtained the fish, from Tutu-nunui, and Kae got on to the whale, and when the whale had got into shallow water he shook himself, to indicate that Kae should get off his back and go on shore, that he (the whale) might go back to his home, but Kae did not take any heed of the wriggling of the whale, but Kae uttered these words of an incantation:

Go in the shallow
Go in the deep part

The meaning of this Hirihiri of Kae is "That the whale go on shore".

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The man thus sought by Kupe lived beneath the soil, and he and his wife Kui (the larva of the cincindela ………. or cincindela tuberculata) live in the ground.

When man sleeps at night and dreams and sees Tuputupu-whenua rising up from out of the ground, he or she who dreams such a dream concluded the home at which they dream this dream "will be forsaken", the meaning of the words "will be forsaken" is this all the people at that home will soon be killed, or die natural deaths.

When any one builds a new house, they first go and pull up some grass and make an offering of it to the little insect which is seen to line small holes in the ground, which insect has a hump on its back, the name of that insect is Kui (aged, or feeble, quite exhausted and weary as with old age) and such grass is sacred and is offered as food for it, is that that insect is the original inhabitant of the land.

Kupe (obstinate, determined) had Matiu (northerly) who had Makaro (dropped down) who had Maea (rise to the surface of the water), who had Maahu (healed) who had Nuku-tawhiti (land at a distance).

Nuku-tawhiti and his brother in law called Rua-nui (great pit) came from the other side (across the ocean) in their canoe called Mamari (a sail) who met Kupe.

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A Hirihiri is the name of a short incantation.

Nuku-tawhiti continued to build his house till it was finished, and mats for the inside of it were plaited so that the inner part of this house might be covered with mats to make it look nice, and that it might be agreeable for man to sit there, and the chiefs should not be forced to sit on the bare ground.

When the big mat was being plaited, while this was being done Nuku-tawhiti chanted incantations over the plaiting, and this was one of the incantations he chanted while those who were plaiting the mat were at their work.

From whence the learning to plait the mat?
Put it down
It was learnt at Wawau-a-tea (rarau of the light coloured one)
The mat
Where Tanga-roa is stretching out his neck
To see (the house called) Te-whatu-pungapunga
Put it down
And the mat was finished.

Nuku-tawhiti had a son who was called Papa-tahuri-iho (flat turned down) and a daughter called Moe-rewarewa (unsound sleep) and when Nuku-tawhiti died his daughter wept for him, and these were the words of her dirge:

Boom o Thunder up there
Thy flash betokens a calm (evil)
Tu (the god of war) is angry;
And Rongo-mai (is gone) and descends
Loose the white (noble) sprig
Tis Ru (Uru) and Ngana (Kangakanga)
And Aparangi (Apaurangi)
With Kapiti-whano (hono)
Kapiti-whano (hono)
The shadow of the war party
page (4)Lift it up (by charm)
The truth, the light
War to conquer, to dash,
And the blood shake it,
And then depart, and come
Come, come, come, come the axe
Of the assisting crowd.
Tu (god of war) is angry
Tu doeth rage
Doeth ………. like day,
Is noble in power
Stand aside dark world of spirits,
Wear the war belt for the dead,
And great Hokianga falls
And darkness comes on
Comes gently the earth quake
So it is, darkness rolls on
And blackness of darkness comes
Of Pipi-rau-e-ru
So it is the sacredness
And fall Wawau-a-tea-nui
And blackness of darkness comes
Of Pipi-rau-e-ru
So it is, to cut the
Heat of the loved off
O Pipi-rau-e-ru
So it is, wear the war belt
Tis sacred sacred,
The face of Tu-mata-tanga-roa
Lost, lost Tu of the war party
Tis harvest time, harvest time
Put the feast on the court yard
And make spirited speeches
Of welcome, and speaks Taio
page (5)And let afloat, afloat
The sulky swing fish
(The daring on the sea)
That they may enter
And rest, rest rest
Wear the war belt for the dead,
In defiance of the tide
The tide of sweet heart
The sweet head to Tu.
Yes rest, quiet and rest,
Wear the war girdle for the dead
Enter and rest, rest,
Wear the war girdle for the dead.
Lift up, lift up, wide scattered
So is Tanga-roa, let me look
Give me, Tu is evil
Feed the food to Tai-koropana
And take it to the Court yard
And double the fish
That swims in the net
To get it in, and rest,
Rest, quiet, rise and float
Go in, and rest and float
Rest and float and
Put the war belt on for the dead.

So ended the dirge of the daughter of Nuku-Tawhiti called Moi-rewarewa, the sister of Papa-tuhuri-iho, Papa-tahuri-iho had Papa-tahuri-ake.

The meaning of the words "papa tahuri iho" (flat, level) is flat or level turned down, the flat sky hangs over the Earth. And the meaning of the words "papa tahuri ake" is this the Earth is turned upwards (to the sky).

Papa-tahuri-ake had Mo-uriuri (descendants) who had Mo-rakerake (bald) who had Mo-raki-tu page (6)(from the North) who had Whiro (thief) who had Toi (peak or trot). This name Toi was that of a very great tribe, hence this expression in regard to this tribe "The many of Toi, the thousands of Toi, who were killed by the one hundred of gods".

Toi had Apa (company of unknown) who had Rauru (god of the head) who was the ancestor of the tribe of people who are skilled in the knowledge of carving, and are of the Nga-ti-kahu-nunu people.

Rauru had Kauea (a prayer or incantation uttered by a wizard or witch) this man became a Taniwha (god like being) and went on beneath the ground, and on the south side of Te-kerikeri in the Bay of Islands district is the spot where he came up.

Kauea had Te toko-o-te-rangi (the prop of heaven) who had Rangi-tau mumuhu (day of quiet hiding in any thing) who had Rangi tau wananga (day of quiet medium) who had Hekana (mouldy) who had Pou-pa (post of a fort) who had Maroro (flying fish) who had Ika-taui-rangi (fish of the ebbing day) who had Awa (river) the first, who had Awa, the second, who had Awa-nui (great awa) who was the progenitor of the Nga-ti-awa tribe now occupying the Tara-naki district, who in ancient times owned and occupied this Hokianga district. All men know that this statement is true.

Awa-nui had Rake (bald) who had Tama-ki-te-ra (son to the Sun) the descendants of this man are at Hau-raki (Thames) and are the tribe known by the name of Nga-ti-tama-te-ra.

Tama-ki-te-ra had Puhi-moana-ariki (Lord of the plume on the sea) this is the progenitor of the Nga-puhi tribes, and at his name ends the chart of the genealogy called "Popoa-rengarenga".We will now begin to recite the genealogy at what page (7)is called "Tua-tangata" which is recited by those who have taken the dead to the sacred place, on their return to their home, so that they may not be sacred but be able to feed themselves with the use of their own hands.

Puhi-moana-ariki had Rahiri (rope) this man was a warrior. His first wife was called Ahua-iti (like a little heap or altar) who when she expected her first born, was turned away by him, she had a son whom she called Ue-nuku (rain-bow) and Rahiri took another wife called Whakaruru (screen) who had a child, who was called Tawake-haunga (odorous plug to mend a hole in a canoe) and was the progenitor of the tribe known by the name of Nga-i-tawake.

Rahiri had his first wife called Ahua-iti (like little) who had Ue-nuku and his second wife Whakaruru, who had Tawake-haunga, Tikitiki-ngahuru (ten girdles or knots of hair) and Kaha-rau (a hundred lines of ancestry).

Tikitiki-ngahuru did not take a wife, as he was the man to proclaim war, and his next brother Kaha-rau was a warrior, his fort was besieged by a great army, and he had only seventy twice told in his Pa called Koko-pari-tehe (besmeared the rotten uncovered) and is inland on the top of a conical hill up the Pa-kanae stream on the East bank of the Hokianga river.

When the war party arrived in front of that Pa on the banks of the Pa-kanae stream, and when they had a war dance, these were the words to which they danced:

Build your fort, Build your fort,
Your topknot will be killed
And you eat of disaster tomorrow
And fill your fort with filth
But cover it, cover it up
Cover up the bare.

page (8)and Kaha-rau was cast down, and took his own child, the child of his and his wife and killed him, as a sacred offering (to the gods) to save himself. He cut the chest of the child open, and took the heart out, and cooked it in a fire, so that he might by it divine the future and see if the war party should be beaten, or the fort taken by them. The smoke of the fire in which the heart was being roasted, burnt upwards, and this smoke went towards where the war party were, and Kaha-rau noticed this fact and said "The war party will be defeated to day" and again he spoke and said:

"Let us stand apart
And be apart as
Are the teeth of Taniwha
And the bird green parrot
Quietly grows to maturity

And this his saying has been used by his descendants as a Proverb ever since this day.

The war party began to move, and divided themselves into lines and bodies to attack Kaha-rau, and they in battle array ascended the hill on which the fort was the pinnacle, and so soon as they arrived near to the outer fence of the fort, the seventy twice told in the fort called to their chief and said "O Kaha-rau, this tide is overflowing the children." He answered and said "Let them come or the children are the sons who have been baptized with the baptism of Karaka-whati" now when a Maori child is born and when it is four days old, and the scab of the ………. has fallen, and that the child (a son) may be brave he is baptized with these words:

My son baptized with
The Hutu, and with the Ake
To combat and daring
And battle to take a scalp.
page (9)Ward off the weapon
In the tide of Tu
Ward off the arrow
In the tide of Tu
Ward off the spear
In the tide of Tu
Sacredly baptized in
The water of Karaka-whati

Such were some of the words used in the incantation of baptism.

Another man went to Kaha-rau and said "O Kaha-rau, here are the children being flowed over by this tide." Kaha-rau rose up, from his sitting position in the house, at which time the attacking party had entered the fort. He rose with a Paraoa (whale bone weapon about five feet long and about four inches broad, and an inch thick) and confronted the attacking party and gave them battle, he with a blow killed two men, then his seventy twice told arose and entered the fray and each killed his man, and this host were beaten by the seventy twice told, and were all killed.

These are the names of some of the places near to Toke-rau (Bay of Islands).

And Rahiri went from Hokianga and arrived on a level place of scrub near to Hiku-rangi (tail of Heaven), where he paced to and from as if speaking to a body of warriors with his whale bone weapon in his hand which act is called tipitipi, and the name of that place was called Te-whaka-tipi (the dancing about to and fro while making a speech). From that part he went on, and went up on to a mountain and sat down, and sat by a fire to warm himself, and the band of his garment got scorched or burnt, and the name of that place was called Tau-toro (scorched band of a garment). He went on and climbed to a ridge of a hill, where he held the lower page (10)end of his whale bone weapon aloft, and the name of that place was called Paraoa-roa (long whale bone weapon). He went on to Manga-kahia (branch of the passeflora tetrandra) where he climbed up on to the top of a hill and sat down and combed his head, and the name given to that hill was "Ko-te-tarai-o-rahiri-popo" (the combing or adorning the head of Rahiri the murderer).

Taka-te-rangi-roro takes Tawake-iti
a daughter of Rahiri to wife


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Ue-oneone was father of Taka-te-rangi-roro, Taki took to wife Mokoiti, this wife was left at Home to cook the sacred food for those of her tribe who were planting the kumara crop. As old Ue oneone through age stayed at Home also, he saw when Mokoiti cooked the food for the kumara planters that she at times whilst the umu (oven) was being left to cook the food that she went and scratched part of the soil coming from the umu away and took out some of the food that was cooking, this she also did to the food she cooked for old Ue-oneone, when therefore she took the food she had cooked for him and placed it before him, he left it where she had placed it and did not eat any of it, when Taka his son returned one evening, the old man being a high Priest said to Taka "Give me of the cold food you left so that I may eat, I am starving." The son did so. In the evening Ue asked Taka to sleep in his hut, as Ue being sacred lived in a House by himself, Taka slept that night in the hut of his father, but Taka did not at once consent to sleep in his father's hut till all the excuses he could make were overcome by the arguments of his father, when midnight came the old man sat up and said "My son cease to sleep rise and hear my words." Taka got up and listened, old Ue told him what he had seen in respect to the cooking operations of his wife the wife of Taka called Mokoiti, that she had broken the right of cooking food by tipako (take a portion out) of the food whilst cooking, and as the tapu of such food was ignored by her act, Taka was to put her

There is the causing power
For the hawk to carry
For the seagull to carry
To make the reckless
To make the confused
To lift thy heart
With vain obstruction
Recognise and weep
And love me this
Ugly man, Here I
Am, a husband for you

page (B No.1 White)(8C)(12)away and take another wife, that he was to go to the tribe of the noted Rahiri and take Tawake-iti the daughter of that chief whose mother was called Ahu-iti. Taka did not from that night go back to his wife, for one whole moon Taka sat in the hut of his father pondering over his future acts, one day he called one of his slaves, and delivered a scented neck band made of the Karetu grass and scented with Taramea, and rose and ordered the slave to follow him, he proceeded from his Pa at the Waihou creek on the north bank of the Hokianga river near the heads, and went in a canoe to the settlement of Rahiri which was not far away, and arrived there just as the shade of evening began to draw down, on their arrival they found the people of Rahiri amusing themselves with a Haka in a House in one of these Houses called "Whare matoro", which was very large and built for the express purpose of being used by the people to amuse themselves in, and in which all the single men and women slept, in fact it was the ancient Play House of the Maori, arriving there Taka sent his slave into the House with the scented neck band, the slave was at once recognised as belonging to Taka, with the scent he had with him the surmise as to whom he belonged was confirmed, whilst the slave was in the House Taka took a stalk of the Toetoe whatu mana and holding it in his hand as he sat at the door step of the House in which the Haka was being performed and in which his slave had entered with his neck band and in which the daughter of Rahiri there was he repeated this karakia over the toetoe stalk

"Te umu ma te kahu e kawe ma te karoro e kawe
Tu a wairangi, tu a po hewa manawa irihia
Manawa rauri kau, mihi mai tangi mai
Ki au ki tenei tangata kino tenei to tane ko au"

having held this in his right hand while he repeated this charm with his left hand he scraped the soil away in a line or ditch across the door way of the House and placed the stalk in it covered it up and so left it, this charm would on her coming out in the act of stepping over the charmed stalk page (B No.1 White)(8D)(13)would cause her to love Taka, but the neck band which the slave had given to him by Taka had been held in the same way and the same karakia had been repeated over it, so that as the slave had given the neck band to Tawake-iti she must of necessity yield to the double charm.

So soon as Taka had buried the stalk he went to the House where Rahiri slept and entered it. When Tawake-iti returned from the Whare-matoro, Rahiri her father "called to her to cook some food for Taka his guest," she at once took some kao from the whata and with hot water heated in a calabash with hot stones made a sort of potage for him, she returned to her own hut in which she slept and after a time Taka went there, he entered and taking all his mats off him self but one spread them over her as she was laying on her bed, he slept in the hut in his one mat all that night, and on the following day she collected his mats which had been placed on her and followed him back to his Home where she became his wife.

page (8E)(14)

Ue oneone and how he got a wife
of the descendants of Tama-inu po


In olden times a chief of Whangape to the north of Hokianga went on a journey to Waikato to pay a friendly visit to the Waikato chiefs, he was sleeping one night in a whare-puni when a young woman who had in the kapa-haka seen the fine rape or moko on his hips had fallen in love with him, and went to where he slept and wanted to be his wife, Ue-oneone said "No I can not allow you to sleep with me as I am a tira wawahi-whenua, this is my first visit to your people and I must be sacred, but said he "if you like to be my wife stay here with your people and on my return Home to my land I will build a large House for you and when finished I will send a messenger to you, which shall be page (B No.1 White)(8F)(15)a sparrow Hawk, Kaeaea, or Kauweuwe," to this she consented. Ue oneone left and returned to Whangape.

Some time after this a sparrow hawk was seen by her Rei-tu, at her home, she got her younger sister Rei-pae to accompany her to the North, the road had been described by Ue-oneone to her and where and by whom she should be passed across the heads of Wai-kato, Manuka and Kaipara and Hokianga.

These two went on the journey and arrived at Whangape where Ue-oneone took Reitu and Reipae as his wives.

From them have come the chief Papahia and others of the Rarawa. These girls were grand-daughters of the famed Kokako.

Kokako at a certain time went to a Pa the men of which were off on a war expedition, he asked one of the women to go and fetch some water for him, she did so it being dark he followed her and near the spring he overtook her, he then said, "If you have a child, you shall call it Tama-inu-po," she had a son to whom this name was given, and from whom the present tribe of Waikato the Nga ti tama inu po have originated.