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Karakia Wero Tunga

Karakia Wero Tunga.

The interpretation of the above title is: "The incantation for worm spearing." This was taken from the belief that toothache was caused by worms or borers having settled in the teeth. Thus the charm was recited to kill the worms. The priest would first obtain the stem of a weed about the thickness of a needle and pointed at the end. This was inserted alongside the affected tooth and held there. A small piece of hot kumara was also placed on the tooth and the priest asked:

"He aha tou?" "Te tunga tou?"

Both questions were answered in the affirmative through the nose without shaking the head or opening the mouth. After such satisfactory answers the priest continued:

"Werohia atu ki tua o tawhaowhao,
Ki te tunga kai kinikini, kai muhumuhu.
Kai atu ki tua, kai atu ki waho,
He tipua, he tawhito to mahi e patu nei.
Haere i te moana i takiritia,
Ka uru te mate, ka urn te ora.
Ka uru te ora, ka uru ki roto,
Ka uru ki te ao marama,
   Korou ora."