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Letter from James Cowan to Horace Fildes, 16 December 1922

page 1

Dear Mr Fildes

Excuse delay in writing

In answer to your questions: (1/ Re "He Tina Toa." I have
never heard of a Maori with
such a name, & I think
it is should be
spelled "Tino", not Tina.
"He Tino Toa" means literal
literally "A very Warrior"
or "A Hero indeed" —
a warrior of superlative skill
and bravery. It's
descriptive, & not a
personal name.

page 2

2 Re "Ko Wakatere Kohukohu"
"Ko" is not part of the name.
of the tiki — it simply [unclear: me]
means "this is."
The name is probably that of
some ancestor — it was
usual to iwi ancestral
names to tikis, etc.
"Waka-tere" literally is
"swift canoe" but probably
it should be spelled with
an "h" — whakatere,
meaning "hasten". I have seen
one of Hone Heke's letters — his
own handwriting — & he
often dropped the "h" when he
should have put it in —
a habit learned from the page 3
missionaries — I believe the
Rev. R. Taylor, who
had adopted the pronunciation
of those the "cockneys" of N.Z.,
the south Taranaki & and Wanganui

"Kohukohu" means has many
meanings (see Williams'
Dictionary), but it is
not possible to give the
origin of the name without
reference to some of
Hone Heke's people

3 I have not seen
Rysedale's account of Von
's end. I knew the
late C. B. Montrose, who was an
Imperial soldier (65th. Regt. I think) page 4
before he took to [unclear: journalism].
I should like to see the

I know that Von T. was
not shot from a tree.
There are many versions of his
end published, & the pakeha ones
are mostly wrong. I have
obtained good narratives some years ago
from two of the six or seven Maoris who
fired at him at a few yards
distance — they were not
in a tree but crouching on
the ground beside the little watercourse
at the pa. One of these
men, Whakowhiria, was the man
who shot Von T., & the other
told me he tomahawked him some
little time later so as he lay dying or dead.
There had been some firing from the
rata-tree brambles, & from the page 5
hollow loopholed butts & the
one or two big trees
rata, but Von Tempsky
was shot from the ground.
I have Colonel Roberts has
given me the best narrative
of the affair from the
pakeha viewpoint.
Of the Rysedale's narrative
may throw some new light
upon it but not unless he
was an actual eyewitness
of Von T.'s fall.
I should like to see it.

With best wishes
yours &c
J. Cowan