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Legends of the Maori

Chapter III. — Tainui on the New Zealand Coast

page 14

Chapter III.
Tainui on the New Zealand Coast.

IN such manner came our ancestral canoe to these shores, where the other canoes had already arrived. When Hoturoa and Tama saw the I canoes lying at anchor in an East Coast bay, it was night. They heard the people on board snoring, and so they thought these people must have only just arrived, they were sleeping so soundly. Tainui was beached and Hoturoa and Tama jumped ashore to perform their rites in propitiation of the spirits of the new land, and went in search of wood. They discovered a manuka tree, which they cut down and took to a secluded place, where they lit a fire; there they made their altar and offered up incantations. They then went back to their canoe and commenced to play tricks with the anchors of the other canoes. They dropped their own stone anchor, and pulled up the anchors of the others, and so placed them that their ropes went over the anchor rope of their own canoe. They let out a great length of the cable so that Tainui lay some length away, and then they awaited the dawn.

When the people from the other canoes arose in the morning they beheld Tainui at her moorings some distance off. This, of course, was done purposely in order to deceive. When Hoturoa and Tama saw that all the voyagers were awake they set their men to work hauling in on the anchor rope, and so pulled their canoe in closer in order to converse with the other sailors. They described their long and tempestuous voyage. Then the captains began to argue as to which canoe had landed first, each claiming that he was the first. Hoturoa and Tama said: “It is no use arguing here; let us go and examine the posts of our altars on shore.”

The others agreed to this, and the captains and priests went ashore, and each tohunga went to his altar, and Hoturoa said: “Let us bring the posts of our altars and compare them.” Hoturoa declared to the tohungas that his canoe, the Tainui, was the first to reach the new land. “Look at the post of my altar,” he said. “It is quite dry.”

And the tohungas asked: “Why was it that we did not see the Tainui?”

Hoturoa said: “I lengthened the rope of my canoe, for I was afraid that I might be left high and dry when the tide went out. Look at the page 15 anchors of your canoes. The ropes all pass over the top of mine.” And they beheld and exclaimed that Hoturoa was right.

That is the reason why the Tainui canoe has precedence when the names of the canoes are mentioned; it is because of this sailor’s trick that Hoturoa and Tama practised upon the experts of the other canoes.

Now Hoturoa heard that Turi’s canoe, Aotea, did not remain at the place (near the East Cape) where all the canoes made the land, but continued her journey along the coast to the Aupouri country (the North Cape) and sailed down the West Coast. Hoturoa wished to follow Turi. At the same time Tama heard that his original canoe, Poutini, had also gone west by way of the North Cape, so they hastened to follow. The Tainui sailed along the coast to Tauranga and Tama found that his canoe, the Poutini, had called there. They sailed northward to the Hauraki, where they gained further information from the local people concerning Poutini; it had passed there some considerable time before. The Tainui people did not remain long at Hauraki. The canoe went up the Tamaki River. At the Hauraki they landed the chief woman Marama-kikohure and her male slave. This couple immediately indulged their love for each other; on the woman’s part it was the infringement of tapu. They thought they would not be found out.

When Tainui arrived at the Tamaki Isthmus they beheld the seabirds coming across the land and the birds on the Hauraki side flying towards the west. Hoturoa sent a man to investigate as to whether there was an ocean on the other side of the isthmus. This man reported that there was, and so Hoturoa perceived that it would be a short way to the West Coast if he dragged the Tainui across to the Western Sea—Manuka Harbour (now called Manukau) by way of the narrow neck that we know to-day as Otahuhu. They remained at the Tamaki for some time gathering food because they had eaten all the food they had brought with them from Hawaiki. The only things remaining were the kumara which Whakaotirangi had hidden under the tapa-mat bed of Hoturoa and herself. This reference to the small basket of kumara which she saved has become a proverbial saying amongst her descendants. While they were on the isthmus Tama went forth to look for his canoe, Poutini. After he had left, the Tainui was dragged by her crew across by way of Otahuhu. That happened to be the day when Marama-kikohure (Hoturoa’s second wife) had sinned with her slave.

The Tainui, because of this breach of tapu, could not be shifted. Hoturoa began his prayers, but still the canoe held fast. So Hoturoa, knowing that his priestly powers were not sufficient, went in search of Tama. When they met Tama asked Hoturoa why he had come. Hoturoa page 16 replied: “The Tainui has gone to the Night.” So Tama consented to go back and perform the various ceremonies and to utter the incantations needed to propitiate the gods. He made an altar and thereon offered up his prayers, and afterwards he mounted the canoe and uttered this potent incantation, a sacred hauling chant he had composed:

Toia Tainui, tapatu ki te moana,
Ma wai e toa,
Ma te whakarangana ake
Ki te taha o te rangi.
He tara wai-nuku,
He tara wai-rangi,
Punia teina,
Nau mai, nau mai,
E Tane koakoa,
E Tane rangahau,
E Tane takoto atu ana,
Te ngaro ki tatahi.
Maturuturu haere mai ana
Te wai o te hika o Marama-kikohure,
E patua ana mai
E te komuri-hau
Na runga ana mai
O Waihihi, o Waihaha;
Kei reira te iringa o Tainui.
Manea ura te ra,
Werowero te ra,
Nga tangata i whakaririka
Mamau ki te taura
Kia tu matatorohi atu
Taku tu matatoro,
Hei hoa turuki, turuki,
Paneke paneke,
Ihu o waka;
Turuki, turuki!
Paneke paneke!

And it was by the recital of this incantation that the people were first appraised of Marama-kikohure’s sin, and Hoturoa was enlightened that it was due to the misconduct of his wife that the canoe had stuck fast. And the Tainui thus glided over her skids and so was hauled to the shore of Manuka, whence it could explore the West Coast of the island. At a place which came to be named Awhitu, near the entrance to the harbour of Manuka, Hoturoa’s slave was waiting for him.

They sailed down the coast to Kawhia, where they arrived at the harbour entrance at night. There they beheld Turi’s canoe Aotea. page 17
The Turning of the Whale.

The Turning of the Whale.

page break page 19 Tainui’s crew paddled to the shore and beached at Matatua Point. There the crew found a stranded whale with a pole driven into it to denote that it belonged to Turi. Hoturoa went on further with the Tainui and landed at Heahea, and then he went inland seeking suitable sticks for a certain stratagem, and came to Karewa. There he lit a fire and dried two newly-cut manuka poles. One was to be used as a post for a tuahu (altar). The other, after he had re-embarked in the Tainui and returned to Matatua, he drove into the whale’s belly after man-hauling the creature over. After placing his pole in the whale’s belly he had his crew haul the whale back as it was before. Then he paddled out to sea and awaited the dawn.

When Turi and his people arose in the morning and looked out towards Honipaka Point they saw a large canoe being paddled in from the sea. When the canoe came nearer, Turi recognised it as the Tainui, because it had no carved figurehead at the prow and no decorated sternpost. When the Tainui came up to the Aotea Turi called out to Hoturoa: “O, Hotu, behold my land! There are many pipi shellfish beds, rivers full of fish, and behold my great fish from the ocean which lies yonder with my stake on it.”

Hoturoa replied: “O, Turi, do not make a mistake! This is my home. I arrived here long ago—long before you. I saw that tohora (whale) some time ago.”

And Turi replied: “But why did I not see your pole of possession?”

Hoturoa said: “Let us examine the fish.”

Turi agreed to this and they went to the side of the fish. The tide was in. Turi asked Hoturoa: “But where is your post? Here is mine standing.”

Hoturoa replied: “When I first discovered this fish it was alive and its belly was uppermost. I stuck my post into its belly.” And he said: “Let us turn the fish upside down.”

And when they turned the fish over they found Hoturoa’s post indeed where he said it would be found. And he said to Turi: “Behold my post! It is almost dry.”

And Turi beheld and said: “It is even as you say, O Hotu!”

“Now let us go to my altar,” said the chief of Tainui. They went to Takapuwahia and on to Heahea, and thence on to Papa-o-Karewa, and there they went into a manuka bush and Hoturoa pulled out the altar post and showed it to Turi, and behold it was dry. And Turi said to Hoturoa: “It is true! Your canoe arrived here before mine. Nevertheless, let us abide together.”

Turi then went to sea in the Aotea a short distance to the northward and there he dragged Aotea upon the sheltered shore; and that is why that page 20 harbour is called Aotea. Tainui was left moored in the Kawhia harbour. Afterwards Turi found out how Hoturoa had tricked him and so he said to his people of the Ngati-Rongotea: “If we remain here Hoturoa will surely fall into mischief and bring about trouble. The best thing for us to do is to go on to the South.” To this his people agreed, and so they went to sea again and sailed on to Taranaki and reached Poutama. Hoturoa followed them in the Tainui, and as he went sailing along close to the coast he decided to land at Whakarewa, and with some of his crew went on under cover of the small timber, chasing Turi. He overtook Turi when that chief landed at Waitara and he said: “Let us remain together, for the land is plentiful for us both.”

But Turi replied, “I cannot remain with you because you are an unscrupulous man and full of tricks.” So Hoturoa knew that Turi had discovered his deceit about the altar and the whale at Kawhia. He returned to Kawhia by land and Tainui was left at Whakarewa.

The sub-tribe of the Tainui by the name of Pangere remained with the canoe. Those people thoughtlessly made a latrine of the sailing canoe which had carried them in safety over the great and stormy ocean. When Hoturoa heard of this he grieved for his canoe so desecrated, and he journeyed from Rangiahua and climbed the heights of Moeatoa, where he made an altar of stone, and there invoked the aid of his gods to bring Tainui to Kawhia. And his gods heard his voice and set Tainui afloat and returned it to Kawhia, and the tide brought the canoe high and dry on the land where Hoturoa had made his first altar. Hoturoa cursed that sub-tribe for their evil deed and the power of his gods gave efficacy to the curse, and those people were wiped off the face of the earth so that nothing remained of them but their name, which has been handed down to us, and that is the Multitude of Pangere.

Thus ended the long voyagings of Tainui, the ship which Hoturoa and Ngatoro-i-rangi and their people had built on the shore of far-off Hawaiki.