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Legends of the Maori

The Story of a Fictitious Curse

The Story of a Fictitious Curse.

In the days when the young chief Karewa lived at Rangiahua there were two men named Taongaiwi and Mirakorehe, who dwelt at Taungatara. One of the occupations of these men was to make nets for fishing. Taongaiwi and Mirakorehe were making their net on a sacred day—at least it was sacred to those who lived in those times—because it was appointed for stretching the nets. Two men, Iroiro and Kakawera, journeyed from Te Kaharoa to Taungatara, and they were not invited to the village. This slight made them very angry, and they went on and complained of it to Karewa at Rangahua pa. To Karewa they said, in malice, “We went to Taungatara, and there we heard something derogatory to yourself uttered by Mirakorehe. He said, in effect, that the ropes of the seine of his net were the hairs of the head of Karewa, and the floats of his nets were the top-knot of Karewa’s head, and the fat of the moki fish was the fat of your inside.” This was a falsehood. The utterances which they put into the man’s mouth were a serious kanga, a curse, and Karewa was grievously offended thereat. So angry was he that he gathered an army and marched against Haumia and Taongaiwi, whose five fenced pas were taken. Taongaiwi fled and lived at Te Karu-o-te-whenua (upper Mokau country), where he remained for many years. This was the first great war expedition in Kawhia.

Afterwards Taongaiwi went to the tribe of his mother, in Taranaki, where he got together a large war-party, and came back and conquered those who had vanquished his people; and so he regained his ancestral home.