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

Chapter VI

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Chapter VI

The ancestors of Nene and Wi Hau

Rangi (sky) the ancestor of Nene (Thomas Walker) lived at Te-maire (santalum cunninghamii) in the Fort at the entrance of the Wai-rere (running water) creek a little East of the Rua-korora (hole of the Penguin).

Koro-hue (stream) the ancestor of Wi Hau lived at O-hau-iti (place of little wind) who went from O-hau-iti to Te-maire, and he was murdered by Rangi.

The tribe of Koro-hue, kept this act in their remembrance, and at a time that Rangi went from Te-maire to Uta-kura (put red ochre on) and when he had got to where the two roads divide, one going on to Uta-kura, and the other goes on to Wai-hou (water that excavates down) he was met by the children of Koro-hue who killed him but a war party attacked Rangi, and he was killed by them in revenge for his murder of Koro-hue.

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The first pigs in the Thames

It was not long after Captain Cook left the Thames before a fresh vessel arrived here, this vessel had come to obtain spars, and when she had loaded with spars she sailed out on to the sea, where she met a canoe of the Hau-raki people that had been blown out to sea in a gale and the two men in her were taken in the vessel to France, and when they had been away a long time they came back in a vessel that came to Hau-raki (Thames) and when these two men landed on shore they brought live pigs with them, from which pigs were obtained by all the tribes of Hau-raki and hence the origin of pigs in Hau-raki.

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First ship that came to Mango-nui
(Te-patu-po of Nga-puhi)

In the days of ancient times a vessel came to Mango-nui (great shark), this we heard from our old people who related this information about these goblins to us. The vessel dropped anchor at Mango-nui, and a gale came on and the sick people of these salts from the other side of the sea were on shore, and the people of the Patuu tribe attended to and fed these sick people, and they were kind to those white skins till the gale subsided when the chief of the Patuu tribe paddled on board of the ship to see the goblins, and to see the ship and that chief who was called Rangi-nui (great day) was tied (made a prisoner) by minders of the chief of those salts, (or from over the sea) and the ship sailed away with Te-rangi-nui on board, and the vessel was lost to sight far out on the sea and sailed away no one knew where (or to where she liked). There was not any cause given for which Rangi-nui was tied (made prisoner) by these salts, nor was there any reason for his being taken out to sea, but for such acts as this the Maori retaliated on the salts (or those from over the sea) who might come to these Islands that the Maori might have revenge for the evil brought on them by the salts, or those from over the sea.

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The account of the Hii-kutu Tribe
respecting Marion


The Hii-kutu lived in all their various homes from Whanga-mumu (harbour of the light breeze) and to Whanga-rei (harbour of departure) where they saw a vessel off Motu-kokako (Island of the callaeas cinerea, Cape Brett) and the people of the Hii-kutu tribe paddled in their canoes to the ship, and some of that tribe went on board of the vessel, and a chief called Te-kauri (the gum) obtained some of the garments of the salts, and the vessel sailed on to the Bay of Islands where she cast anchor near the Islands, that is the Islands one of which was called Motu-arohia (the Island of favour) where the canoes from the other side of the sea did that which was evil, they dragged their net to take fish on the beach of Manawa-ora (healthy heart) where some corpses had laid, which had been drowned in the sea, belonging to the Hii-kutu tribe, and these Europeans were attacked and killed by the resident natives called the Nga-ti-uru, and Nga-ti-pou, this they did to save themselves from an attack by the relatives of the drowned people of the Hii-kutu, and the chief of those salts called Marion was cooked and eaten by these two tribes that is by the chief Te-kauri (the gum) and Tohi-tapu (sacred baptism) as they were Priests, and it was for them to eat these salts, so that evil might not come on their tribes for the evil of the salts for ignoring the sacredness of the beach where corpses had lain.

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The disease called Te-upoko-rewarewa

In the days of ancient times, a very evil disease smote the Maori people. Some of the tribes called it Te-upoko-rewarewa (the light or floating (giddy) head) others called it Te-upoko-rewharewha (the head of influenza) it was a disease of a fever of the body, and the greatest attack (or pain) was at the lower part of the stomach, and gradually gnawed upwards to the chest, and then the body of man became rather dark coloured, and then died, but if any one who was attacked by it recovered, they skin peeled off, and when they had fully recovered, their skin was all over little holes.

This disease took hold of any one, and did not allow very long before they were dead, that is if they were taken ill in the morning it would not be sun set before they were dead, and in many cases not even one of a whole family tribe would live of the tribe, and there would not be one to bury the dead of the tribe. This disease was in the days when the Europeans were about to come to these Islands, war killed many people, but the corpses of this disease were very many more than those of war in one year, as by this disease some sub tribes would become extinct as has become the death of the Moa bird, and wen we went on our war expeditions to the south, we learnt from these who were captured by us as slaves of an evil disease that had afflicted the Maori of the south, soon after the time their people killed and eat the people of a ship belonging to Rongo-tute (news of driven away) and that the vessel drifted on shore at Wai-rarapa (glistening water) and we killed the tribes of Wai-rarapa.

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Taki and Huru
(Te-patuu of Nga-puhi)

Two of our people were taken by the European on board of a ship to teach the Europeans to make the tow from the flax leaf. These two men went out in a canoe to fish for Kaha-wai (arripis solar) they were called Tuki (dash against) and Huru-kokoti (striped dog skin mat) or Toha-mahue (wave left behind) who were one a priest and his friend who was a warrior. They were occupied in fishing when a ship made her appearance, and they two went on board of her, and their canoe was lifted on board also, and the ship sailed way on the sea for many days and then she came to an Island, where there were many Europeans, and these brought flax for the two Maori to work at to obtain tow from it, but they two did not like to make tow of the flax leaf as they were sacred at that time, on account of the Priest of the two the Tuki being sacred, and after some time Huru taught the Europeans to make tow of the flax leaves, but though the Europeans wished to learn to make tow as the Maori did, they could not succeed, as they cut the tow in short lengths, and also because the flax of that Island was not the Tihore (the best flax to make tow out of) and hence the flax tow broke in short lengths. When they had been there some time they came in a vessel from there to the Bay of islands, and the Europeans of the Islands gave them some pigs, male and female, and some indian corn and potatoes, these increased and were given to other tribes of Nga-puhi.

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Mohonga of Nga-puhi
(Nga-ti-uru of Nga-puhi)

In the days when our fathers were alive, there were many vessels came then into the Bay of Islands, these came there to procure food for their crews, which they obtained in Kumara (sweet potatoes) and some of our people were induced to go as sailors, who went out far on the sea, some of whom came back and some of whom were lost for ever may be these were killed by the Europeans, or by disease, a slave man of the Nga-puhi called Mohonga (accident) and he said (on his return) he had been to the lands on the other side of the sea, and that he had seen the King of England, and the many wonders of that land, and he brought back some European tools with him to build Houses. Now Mohonga was a slave of the Nga-ti-uru, the tribe who occupied the Islands in the Bay of Islands, and at Motu-arohia (Island much like) and they also occupied the Whanga-mumu Harbour (wait for the light breeze). When a vessel came into the Bay of Islands, Mohonga stole an axe and the Master of Mohonga was blamed for the theft, and Mohonga in fear lest he be killed fled to Whanga-rei (wait for the time to go on a voyage) to a tribe residing there called Te-para-whau, with whom he died under the name of King Charles.

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Rua-tara and his travels

Rua-tara (large lizard) was a man who travelled much, and was a nephew of Hongi-hika (smell the barb) and when Rua-tara was quite a youth he embarked on board of a whale-ship, and went to sea all over the ocean, to the various Islands seen there, and then he returned to his own land, but again he went to sea, and got to Sydney and stayed with the Rev Marsten, where he with his uncle Hongi-hika, and others lodged, from whence he came back to his own home, where he was the first to uphold Christianity at Rangi-houa (day of entering) where he died. He was even kind to the Europeans, and was the first to obtain Europeans to live at Rangi-houa, and he protected the Europeans and Christianity so that the word of God was from that part preached and spread to all the people of the land.

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This man Maui (weary) was related to Tara and while he was still very young he embarked on board of a whale ship, and sailed away over the sea, but he was brought back to the Bay of Islands by the Rev Marsten, from where he again sailed to England, and was not heard of afterwards.

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Tara of the Nga-ti-uru
(Te-patu-po of Nga-puhi)

It is said Tara (daring) was a man who went to many of the Islands of the sea of Hawa-iki. He was of the Nga-ti-uru (tribe of Whanga-roa (long harbour)) and was of the tribe who killed Marion at the Bay of Islands, which tribe fled from the Bay of Islands to Whanga-roa, for fear of their enemies, and there they murdered the crew of a ship (Boyd in 1809).

Tara told the following to us, soon after the time he and his people killed and eat the crew of the vessel they took in Whanga-roa. He said he went from Whanga-roa in a vessel to kill whales, and after he had worked for a long time in the ship, he was not paid for his work, and he stayed in Port Jackson, where he was called George by the Europeans, from where he came in a vessel to Whanga-roa, and when out at sea, he was charged with having taken some of the things the Cook of the vessel had in charge for which he was flogged on his back with a rope, the vessel came into Whanga-roa where Tara showed his back that had been beaten to his people, and the people planned to take revenge, and they invited the people of the ship to go and look at a kauri fort at the head of the Whanga-roa harbour, where the Maori killed all those who went to look at the fort, the clothes of the killed the Nga-ti-uru men put on themselves and pulled back to the ship and killed all that were there save one woman, a little girl and two small boys, these the women of Nga-ti-uru saved in spite of the men of the tribe, and the vessel caught fire and was burnt.

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Te-morenga (outer end, extremity) lived at the Bay of Islands and a vessel came to Whanga-rei (the harbour to wait to depart) and his niece went on board, and the vessel went to Tauranga, and the young woman stayed there where she was taken by a chief called Hu-kori (wriggle in the mud) as a slave, but when Te-waru (summer) saw her he took killed and eat her, but when the news of her death was heard by Te-morenga her uncle he determined to avenge her death, and in time he collected a war party and proceeded to Tauranga, and Te-waru went to see him and asked "Why have you and your war party come here?"

Te-morenga said "I have come to demand payment from you, for your having killed my niece."

Te-waru said "Is that why you came then the payment you shall have in your hand is, I will kill you, and will eat you till I consume you myself."

On the following day the war party attacked the Waru's people, the war party of Te-morenga had guns but the people of Te-waru had their Maori weapons only, Te-morenga said to his men "Do not fire till I tell you." The war party of Te-morenga may have had thirty guns once told. The people of Te-waru attacked the war party and killed one man with a spear, and Te-waru said "Now fire." The guns sounded and some of the people of Te-waru fell to the earth, to the number of twenty once told, and Te-waru and his people fled, Te-morenga said to his men "Do not pursue them."

Te-waru lost two chiefs of rank in the killed, and Te-morenga said "Cease to fight, and let these suffice in payment for his niece." Some of the chiefs of his war party said "You may be satisfied, as you page (96)have obtained payment for your niece, but there is the act of contempt shown by Te-waru to our army, that has not been atoned for, and his words were a curse on you."

Te-morenga said "Go and ask if Te-waru is satisfied, and if he wishes peace to be made."

Te-waru made answer "Not in the least."

On the following day the host of Te-waru prepared for war, and the Nga-puhi met them and again conquered them, many were killed in this battle belonging to Te-waru, and many were taken prisoners, and a crowd were driven into the sea and drowned, and Te-waru fled to the forest.

On a certain day Te-waru was wandering by himself and seeing one of the Nga-puhi people, he laid in wait for the man, who having gone near to where Te-waru was concealed, Te-waru sprang on to him and made him prisoner, and asked him "Who are you?" to whom he answered in an evasive way, but Te-waru again asked "But who are you, I do not wish to kill you, I am Te-waru, and I wish to make peace." The man said "I am Te-whare-umu" (House to cook in) and Te-waru gave him his mat, so that he might lead him to Te-morenga, so he led him, and as soon as the Nga-puhi people saw Te-waru being led a prisoner towards them, they called and said "Kill him, kill him" and they rushed towards Te-waru to kill him, to whom Te-whare-umu said "Stay, I have a word to say" and he told them of his encounter with Te-waru, and what each of them had said and done, and the Nga-puhi admired Te-waru for his act, and peace was made with him.

Te-waru said to the Nga-puhi war party "How much I have been misled by guns" and he asked page (97)for his wife and children, and these were given up to him, he then said to Te-morenga "I am greatly dark on account of the death of my father by this war party" so Te-morenga took a gun and gave it to him, which caused the darkness of his mind to clear away, and Te-waru and his family left the war party of Nga-puhi with his gun, and Nga-puhi stayed and eat the killed on the battle field, and then embarked in their canoes and taking the war canoe of Te-waru they came back to the Bay of Islands as they had taken revenge for the death of the niece of Te-morenga.

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Te-morenga and Te-waru

A niece of Te Morenga was taken (in about 1799) by the Captain of a vessel from Bream head and then landed in Whitianga (Mercury Bay) where she became the slave of a Thames chief called Hu-kori but was soon after killed and eaten by the head chief of Tauranga called Te Waru. Te Morenga her uncle was to avenge her death, (and about 1816) he obtained guns and powder, and collected a taua (war party) of about six hundred men of Nga-puhi and went to Tauranga and landed at the mouth of that harbour. Te Waru went to see him and ask "What brought you here?"

Te Morenga answered "I have come to get satisfaction for my niece who was killed and eaten by you."

Te Waru said "If that is what you have come for, the only utu (payment) you shall have, is, that I will kill and eat you."

On the following day Te Morenga marched to attack his enemy, but as his people had between thirty and forty muskets, he ordered his men "not to fire till he told them". As Te Waru relied on his Maori weapons, his warriors charged Te Morenga with them, but when face to face with those who had the guns, Te Morenga ordered his men to fire, and more than a score of Te Waru's warriors fell of whom two were great chiefs, Te Waru and his warriors fled, and Te Morenga ordered his people not to pursue them, as he had obtained utu in the death of the two chiefs.

The chief of his allies, said "Though you may be satisfied for the murder of your niece in the death of the two chiefs, we were included in the curse uttered by Te Waru, that he would eat us all, he must be punished for that curse." Te Morenga sent to ask "If Te Waru was indeed for peace," and he answered No.

On the following day Te Waru had rallied his men and was seen coming in war array to attack the Ngapuhi. The Ngapuhi met them and a battle was fought, in which page (99)(2)many hundreds of Te Waru's people were killed, and hundreds were taken prisoners, and many were drawn into the sea and were drowned, and Te Waru fled to the forest.

One day he was wandering not far from the camp of Te Morenga, and saw a man approaching him, and hiding till the man was within reach of him, he sprang on him and had him in his power, as he held him fast in his powerful grasp he asked "Who are you?" and received an evasive answer, Te Waru said "I want to know your name, I will not kill you, I am Te Waru, and wish to have peace," his captive said "I am Te Whareumu" he was one of the leading chiefs with Te Morenga.

Te Waru gave him a handsome mat he was then wearing and said "Lead me to Te Morenga", Te Whareumu led him as a prisoner towards the camp and when seen by the Ngapuhi army, a loud cry of joy was heard, and all the warriors demanded the death of the prisoner. Whareumu beckoned to them to stand at a distance and told them who his prisoner was, and how he had captured him, at which the people were astonished at the act, and loud in their praise of the bravery of Te Waru, thus peace was ensured.

Te Waru told the Ngapuhi he was not aware of the power of guns, and asked Te Morenga as to the fate of his wife and children and was assured they were in the camp and should be given up to him, Te Waru was much cast down on account of the death of his father, and asked Te Morenga to make him some compensation for his death, and had a musket given to him, with which he was satisfied, and left the Ngapuhi war party, after which the Ngapuhi stayed some days to eat the slain and sailed with the captured canoes of Te Waru and their prisoners back to the Bay of Islands.

The success of this expedition so stated the Ngapuhi that Hongi (in 1820) went to England to procure fire arms to continue the war on the southern tribes.

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Te whawhai i Hau-raki a i runga ano hoki

Te-mangai (the mouth) was a very old man he was nearly ninety years old, as in 1820 when Hongi-hika went to England he was about thirty years old [old Te-motunga died in the year 1877] and he had become a warrior in the wars of those days. He was engaged in many wars, and in those wars he was as brave as the bravest of the Nga-puhi warriors. He was in the war at Maunga-nui at Tauranga, and also in the Mau-inaina and the Totara in Hau-raki (the Thames). He also went to the storming of the fort at Moko-ia, (tattoo it) at Roto-rua (two lakes), and Mangai was the leader of the body of men who went in pursuit of a party of fugitives, and he led this party under Te-rangi-mau-awe (the day of holding the soot) to search for his relative called Te-rangi-mate-moana (day of death at sea) and their people, to bring them back to their home, as they had been driven from it by the Nga-puhi into the forest and Te-rangi-mau-awe had been taken slave by the father of Te-mangai called Te-kohiti (the pulled out) and these were wished to come back to their home as peace had been made between the tribe and the Nga-puhi.

Te-mangai was also in the battle at Whaka-puna-oke (another spring of water) when war was made on Tu-akiaki (stand and urge on) and his tribe for the murder of Te-mau-tara-nui (hold the great dirk) and Muri-wai (back water) who had been murdered by Tu-akiaki at Te-wai-roa (the long water).

This Fort Whaka-puna-ke was divided in two by a steep cliff, and there were two paths in it, one going up and the other going down, and the upper part or platform was guarded with nooses of rope, and when the Nga-puhi rushed that part, the nooses were drawn to catch the attacking party, but not one was caught, and page (101)the Nga-puhi gave a great shout, and the fort was taken and Tu-akiaki was killed.

Not any other sub tribe of Nga-puhi save the Nga-ti-rangi attacked this fort, and they consisted of sixty twice told, but they were assisted by sixty of the Nga-ti-wai twice told, Po-mare (cough at night) (Manuscript says "caught" but "mare" means to "cough") did not join in that attack, as he was angry because of the peacemaking having been ignored, and because of this the Nga-ti-rangi were allowed to attack this fort by themselves, and if they were all killed or if they took the fort by storm it would be equally well, but Te-mangai came back alive from the attack, and the gods had done as seemed their good to the tribes of this world.