Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Autobiography of a Maori

Heremaia the Generous

Heremaia the Generous

I want to write a little about old Heremaia. He and his wife lived at Horoera, near East Cape, and they kept an open door to one and sundry. Heremaia was a very humble man; unlike his race, he was not fond of talking but he was of working.

Before the time for sowing and planting arrived, when the little riroriro's1 song would be heard, old Heremaia would have fenced in and cleared an area for cultivation. Then, as a matter of course, a woman would appear on the scene and coolly peg out a portion page 45of the area for herself, then another woman would come along and do the same. Good-natured Heremaia, without saying a word, nodded his assent to the confiscators. A third woman would probably have come along if it were not for the fact that Heremaia would have had no garden for himself.

It was generally known how often Heremaia went out at night to dive for crayfish so his guests would have a nice breakfast. There was heartfelt mourning when Heremaia passed away.

1 The grey warbler.