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The Coming of the Maori



Instruments of the trumpet class received the generic name of pu. There ware four kinds of pu specified by qualifying terms and a doubtful form made from a gourd.
1.Flax trumpets (pu harakeke or tetere) were toys made for children from a split half blade of flax (harakeke) by winding it in overlapping turns from the small mouth opening to the wider distal end. It was sometimes used by adults as a makeshift to announce their approach to a village (Fig. 70a).
2.Shell trumpets (pu tatara, pu moana, etc.) were widely spread throughout the world. In Polynesia, they were made of Triton shells and also of Cassis shells in some islands. The hole was bored in the side of one of the whorls near the apex. In Tahiti and the Marquesas, a bamboo reed as long as 19 inches was inserted in the hole for use as a mouthpiece.
The Maori trumpet was also made of Triton shells but the apex was cut off and a carved wooden mouthpiece was lashed to the opening through holes drilled through the shell and the corresponding parts of the mouthpiece. Some form of gum was evidently used to seal the join. A loop was sometimes attached through a hole in the outer rim of the shell and this sometimes carried tufts of dog's hair or feathers as ornamentation (Fig. 70b). White, quoted by Best (18, p. 160), states that the wooden mouthpiece was made in two pieces which were lashed together with aerial roots (aka kiekie) of the Freycinetia banksii. This was evidently done in order to hollow out the cavity of long mouthpieces of five or more inches in length. Some mouthpieces were exceptionally long and, according page 258to Andersen (2, p. 287) were termed pu pakapaka. A specimen in the British Museum, shown in Figure 70c, is a hybrid between the true shell trumpet (pu tatara) and the wooden trumpet (pu kaea) and it was probably this type of instrument which led to the development of the long
Fig. 70. Trumpets.a, flax; b, shell; c, shell with long mouthpiece; d, wood; e, double mouth; a, c-e, after Andersen (2); b, after Best (18).

Fig. 70. Trumpets.
a, flax; b, shell; c, shell with long mouthpiece; d, wood; e, double mouth; a, c-e, after Andersen (2); b, after Best (18).

wooden trumpets. The shell trumpet was used to assemble the people, to announce visitors, and in some chiefly families to announce the birth of a first-born son.
3.Wooden trumpets (pu kaea) ranged in length usually from 45 feet to 6 feet though some have been reported as short as 2 feet and the record page 259length is probably the specimen in the Liverpool Museum which is 8 feet 7 inches in length. A typical specimen described by Best (18, p. 156) is 4 feet 9 inches in length, 1¼ inches in diameter at the mouth end and flared to a diameter of four inches at the distal end. The best wood was matai which was trimmed to the shape of the instrument. It was split longitudinally into two equal parts and the cavity hollowed out on each half. About 12 inches from the flared outer end, a projection or tonsil (putohe) was left on one of the halves. A specimen described by Newman (18, p. 155) had two tonsils towards the flared end and another about 6 inches from the mouth end while a specimen in the Newcastle Museum has three on one side and two on the other. When the outer surface was trimmed off, the two halves were fitted together and bound firmly from the mouth end to the beginning of the flare with close turns of a vine, usually the aerial roots of the kiekie. Split vines were sometimes used. The outer bell-shaped end (whara) was sometimes formed of separate pieces of wood, fitted and lashed to the end of the funnel. The flared end usually consisted of four pieces, each coming to a point like the petals of a flower (Fig. 7(b). In some instruments, two of the flared points were formed of prolongations of the two main pieces and the other two were wedge-shaped pieces fitted in between the two continuations of the tube. In other specimens, the outer mouth was formed only of the prolongation of the two main pieces. A unique specimen in the Liverpool Museum has a double outer end (Fig. 70e). The long wooden trumpets supplied the deficiency in Triton shells and the small end (kongutu) was frequently carved. This type was essentially a war trumpet which was used to sound the alarm against attack and also used by troops during military campaigns.
4.The pu torino is a wind instrument which as, Andersen (2, p. 273) says, has been inaptly described as resembling a flageolet but it is nearer to an alto bugle-flute. It varied in length from about 9½ inches to 21¾ inches but an average would be between 18 and 19 inches. From the mouth opening it gradually increased to a width of about 2 inches in the middle and then decreased to almost a point at its distal end. In some instruments, the cavity was continuous with a small hole at the distal end but in others the end was not perforated. The peculiarity of the pu torino was that the opening for the emission of sound was in the middle of the upper surface, though in some, it was slightly nearer to the mouth end. The instrument was somewhat flattened in the middle from before back.

The wood preferred was matai which after being shaped was split longitudinally into upper and lower pieces of approximately the same size. The two halves were hollowed on the split surfaces to form the cavity and the edges retained the line of cleavage so as to make a close join. The two halves were fitted and lashed together with split aerial roots of the kiekie. Unlike that in the wooden pu kaea, the lashing was not continuous page 260but was spaced to five or more places, the two end lashings being countersunk. The lashings of close transverse turns were neatly made and in old specimens, the vine resembles copper wire (Fig. 71a).

The middle opening on the upper surface was usually round in small instruments but in the more elaborate specimens the opening was usually made to represent the typical figure-of-eight mouth of a carved head sometimes provided with a body and limbs. The vertex of the head was towards the mouthpiece (Fig. 71b) but in one rare specimen the head was carved sideways, with the long axis of the mouth vertical and near
Fig. 71. Putorino.a, simple; b, carved; c, vertical mouth; d, projecting head; e, f, full body; g, double, b, Oldman coll., no. 27; c-g, after Andersen (2).

Fig. 71. Putorino.
a, simple; b, carved; c, vertical mouth; d, projecting head; e, f, full body; g, double, b, Oldman coll., no. 27; c-g, after Andersen (2).

the side edge of the instrument (Fig. 71c). A head was also carved neat the mouth opening, just below the end lashing. In some instruments, the proximal head carving was raised so that the mouth and chin projected forwards and downwards with the instrument in the vertical position (Fig. 71d). A very fine specimen in the Dominion Museum, from the Lord St. Oswald Collection, has the projecting mouth with a curved tongue interlocking with a small manaia head somewhat after the technique observed in some of the ceremonial jade adzes. In the same instrument, the middle head is provided with a body which is arched to rest on its head and heels (Fig. 71e, f). A rare specimen in the British Museum is double, the total length being 18 inches, the separate tubes 8 page 261inches, and the ends in one piece. The middle width is 2½ inches, each tube having a carved head with a mouth opening but with the heads reversed (Fig. 71g).

The definite use of the pu torino is in doubt from lack of an informant who had been taught to play one. I was informed that it was in the nature of a speaking trumpet, the player singing or reciting words and chants into the instrument. At the same time, he held the fingers of the right hand above the middle opening and twiddled his fingers at the end of each verse to produce a sound like hoho ho and hence one of the names of the instrument was pu hoho ho. I was also told of an ancestor who by playing down-wind to the home of his sweetheart, arranged an appointment with her which was duly kept. Some of the pu torino were beautifully made; and in shape, manufacture, and use, they are peculiar to New Zealand.

Fig. 72. a, calabash whistle; b, bull roarer; after Best (18).

Fig. 72. a, calabash whistle; b, bull roarer; after Best (18).

A calabash trumpet in the British Museum, figured by Edge-Partington (33, Series 1, Pl. 386, No. 7), has been attributed to New Zealand. It is made from a small gourd (hue) with the stem end cut off, a side hole in the neck, and three holes placed horizontally in a row about the middle of the gourd. The surface is ornamented with incised lines in the upper part, the lowest forming a serrated edge (Fig. 72a). The instrument is 5¼ inches high. Similar instruments were made in Hawaii and ornamented with rectilinear patterns and some specimens are preserved in the Bishop Museum. The fact that no other specimens have been preserved in New Zealand or reported elsewhere and that the rectilinear ornamentation has no resemblance to the scroll patterns on some New Zealand split calabashes used as food dishes, make it appear that the British Museum specimen has been wrongly identified and that it is more likely Hawaiian. Though some informants have stated that small calabashes were used by the Maori to make musical instruments, we have no material evidence that they were made with the same technique as the Hawaiian instruments. On the other hand, an instrument seen in actual use by Mr. G. Graham (2, p. 296) was described as a gourd 12 inches long with a hole at the end of the neck for blowing and a hole for the finger a few inches from the mouthpiece. Graham considered it to be a freak and it probably was.