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The Autobiography of a Maori

Family Superstitions

page 20

Family Superstitions

My family, for Maoris, were remarkably free from superstitions. My grandfather had one pet superstition, that was the itching of his nose. His nose led him.

I was often told how my grandmother rebuffed my grandfather when making love to her because he was older than she, and, besides, she did not like his tattooed face. When grandfather waxed persistent in his advances, my grandmother thought her safety lay in flight; thereupon, without letting anybody know of her intention, she fled to some unknown spot where she could remain in hiding and unmolested. When my grandfather found out that his stubborn sweetheart had given him the slip he betook him to a tohunga who could cast a spell over the fugitive and so bring her back to him. My grandmother often related how she was caught in a whirlwind which turned her right round to the way in which she came and suddenly she felt her soul yearn for her despised lover.