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Hawaiki: The Original Home of the Maori; with a Sketch of Polynesian History

Other Ancient Names

Other Ancient Names.

One of the oldest names for the Father-land is Nuku-roa, a name which in later ages, but still very long ago, was applied to New Zealand. The Maori traditions in which this name is found relates to the age of the gods, and, therefore, it is very ancient. Now, under the forms of Nusa, Nuha, Nuhu, Nuka, Nuku, Nu'a, Nu'u, we find, this word extending from the coasts of Asia to the Marquesas group, in all cases with the meaning of 'land, or island, or earth." In combination with "roa," it means the great land. long-land, evidently referring to a continent. The lesser of the two larger of the Ke group of islands, west of New Guinea is called Nuhu-roa, probably a name given by the Polynesians; and the furthest east in which we find it is Nuka-hiva of the Marquesas Group.

Herangi, a name to be found in old Maori traditions, is probably identical with Hawaiian Holani and Helani, and Rarotonga Erangi-maunga. This, I agree with Fornander, is probably Selan or Ceram Island of Indonesia.

page 57

Taranga:—From the fact of this name occurring in the Creation legends it is evidently very old, and is no doubt synonymous with the Hawaiian Kalana, or Kalana-i-hauola, one of the most ancient lands known to that people, wherein was the "Fountain of Youth"—the Maori "Wai-ora-a-Tane."

The above are the principal names to be. found in Maori traditions which relate to places where the people dwelt in remote antiquity. There are many others which refer to their later homes in the Pacific, some of which will be noted as we follow the course of the migrations. Before doing so it is necessary to note a few geographical names retained in the traditions of Rarotonga. The Hawaiians have many ancient names for various dwelling places of their ancestors, besides those mentioned herein, but they are not-recognisable in the histories of other branches.