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page 150


One of the carved figures in Takitimu House has been named Mahina-a-rangi after the illustrious ancestor of that name. She was one of the women of the Ngati-Kahungunu tribe to be elevated to the majestic position of high priestess or queen. She descended from Kahungunu through a high line of descent as shown by her genealogy recorded in this book. She was the great-granddaughter of Tupurupuru, the great-grandson of Kahungunu. Tupurupuru was the first to attain to the highest position of chieftainship, that of accepted monarch among the people of the East Coast.

He was the principal chief of Turanga-nui. There were none above him in respect to mana (sovereign power). If he struck his taiaha into any hill or place, or left his belt there, the people would bring all kinds of food for him and his people. Thus it came that if one desired to compliment another, he might say, "Thou hast equal mana with Tupurupuru, son of Rakai-hikuroa."

Mahina-a-rangi having been born in the Heretaunga district was made a queen. When she grew up to womanhood she was taken to Waikato and married to a famous young chief named Turongo, who begot Raukawa, the eponymous ancestor of the tribe named Ngati-Raukawa. Raukawa begot Maniapoto, who became the originator of the tribe named Ngati-Maniapoto, and through this line descended to the Maori King.

When Te Heuheu, the paramount chief of the Tuwhare-toa tribe of Taupo, rebelled against the sovereignty of a pakeha Queen, he proposed to elect one of the Maoris to be a king. He first went to Te Kani-a-Takirau, but Te Kani declined, as has already been related in the history of Hine-matioro.

Te Heuheu, having been unsuccessful with Te Kani-a-Takirau (as being the issue of Queen Hine-matioro), next went to Waikato and offered the high honour to Potatau, the Maori Kingite, as the descendant of Queen Mahina-a-rangi, which Potautau accepted, and became the first Maori King. It was by this connection that the high honour of naming and opening of Takitimu House was given to the Maori King (Koroki), as is recorded in this book in the history of Rongomai-wahine.

The carved Meeting House at Waikato used by King Koroki as his reception room is named Mahina-a-rangi, and his dwelling house is named Turongo (the husband of Mahina-a-rangi).