Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Legends of the Maori

Chapter IV. — The Life in the New Land

page 21

Chapter IV.
The Life in the New Land.

HOTUROA, his wife, and his children, from this time onward lived at Rangiahua, by the waters of Kawhia. That was the pa of Hoturoa, where he begat the progenitors of all those who claim descent from Tainui; that is to say, the tribes living along the Waikato river, along the sea from Hauraki to Auckland, down to Kawhia, as far as Mokau, and across the mountains inland. Rangiahua was the great pa of Kawhia. It stood on a height on the north side of the harbour. The people became innumerable—hence a certain saying, “Te kainga o Meeto.

When Hoturoa set up his home at Rangiahua, his wife Whakaotirangi’s seed kumara, which she had so carefully preserved on the voyage from Hawaiki-iti, were planted in a cultivation ground, which was given the name Kareanui. There were only ten kumara planted, but from these ten plants, with the blessing of his gods, Hoturoa harvested two hundred basketfuls of kumara. Hence the saying of his descendants, “Kareanui, ka kai i roto.

While Hoturoa and his wives and children lived at Rangiahua, his wife Marama-kikohure gave birth to a son, whom Hoturoa named Motai. One day Marama went to the shore to gather shellfish, and she left the child with Hoturoa. As soon as Marama got out of sight the child began to cry. Hoturoa nursed it and gave it food, but it still continued to cry. By trickery he got the child to sleep; but when the mother came back she discovered what had happened, and she cursed Hoturoa and his wife Whakaotirangi, and they were smitten with sores. Marama, with her brothers and relatives, left Rangiahua and dwelt at Aotea, and she brought up her son there. When Motai grew to man’s estate she told him what Hoturoa had done, and he determined on revenge. So he gathered his mother’s relations together, and they felled a large kauri tree and fashioned it into a canoe, which they hauled to the sea. Then he urged his mother’s people to return to Hawaiki-iti, to raise a strong crew of warriors and attack Hoturoa. Those who followed him agreed to this.

Now Hoturoa heard of the doings of the young man Motai, and when he saw the canoe launched he invoked the aid of his gods to upset it. And, lo! when it met the first strong wave of the ocean it capsized, and all those on board were drowned. And the canoe and Motai were turned to stone. page 22 That stone canoe is there to this day, submerged in Aotea harbour, and can be seen by us. The name of the canoe was Rewatu.

After these events Hoturoa and his chief wife Whakaotirangi died, and both were buried at Rangiahua, above the sea of Kawhia.

The chiefs Hotuhope, Hotumatapu, Ue, Raka, Kakati and Tawhao, and their peoples, all lived peaceably at Rangiahua. There was no war, no trouble, in the days of these men of old. Agriculture and fishing, and the arts of peace, were their main pursuits. There were feasting and goodwill between the many tribes in the days of these ancestors of ours.

Turongo and Whatihua were born at Rangiahua. When they reached man’s estate Turongo was made much of by the people and was created their chief. At this time a young chieftainess of the Ngati-Ruanui tribe, famed for her beauty, heard of Turongo, and she came to pay him a visit. When she reached the village she happened to come to Whatihua’s house first, and she asked Whatihua, “Where is Turongo?” And Whatihua replied, “I will show you,” and he asked her her name, and she said, “I am Ruaputahanga.” Whatihua said, “Let us go to the village.” And when they reached the village Whatihua took her to his home, and there he made her his wife.

When Turongo and his father, Tawhao, heard how Whatihua had deceived Ruaputahanga they were very wroth. Turongo took it so much to heart that he went away to the land of the Ngati-Kahungunu, and married Mahina-a-rangi. Tawhao went there with him and died there. Turongo returned and lived at Maungatautari, where his son Raukawa was born. Raukawa had Rereahu, who had Maniapoto, the great ancestor of the Ngati-Maniapoto tribe. As for Whatihua, he lived on at Rangiahua with his wives Ruaputahanga and Apakura. He favoured the handsome Ruaputahanga and practically abandoned Apakura. But when Ruaputahanga’s son, Uenuku Te Rangihoka, was born, Whatihua returned to Apakura; and this angered Ruaputahanga greatly. She left Rangiahua for her homeland, by way of Marokopa, south of Kawhia, Whatihua pursuing her. When she reached the Moeatoa cliffs the tide was in and the waves were boisterous. They dashed in on the perilous beach track. “Return,” cried the woman, “lest thou perish in pursuing me, for the tides of Rakei-mata-taniwha will engulf thee.” And so Whatihua returned, and his wife, who had left him for ever, journeyed straight on, with her dog, Ruahinahina; and she arrived at last in the southern land of Taranaki with her own people, Ngati-Ruanui.

And these ancestors of ours lived at Rangiahua in the land of their fathers—Uetapu, Te Maniaorongo, Te Aopiki, Te Aotitauria, Rawahote page 23
Ruaputahanga’s Warning.

Ruaputahanga’s Warning.

page break page 25 rangi, Te Paripari. They cultivated the soil in peace, hence the saying, “Great is Whatihua, the cultivator of food.”

It was in the days of the chiefs Tuhianga and Uenuku-Tuwhatu that the Kawhia country was divided. The Aotea district was given to Uenuku-Tuwhatu, and the portion of Kawhia towards Waiharakeke, as far as Taungatara, was taken by Tuhianga. These two were the great chieftains of those lands in their time.

Maori Legends