Hawaiki: The Original Home of the Maori; with a Sketch of Polynesian History
The Settlement of Rarotonga
The Settlement of Rarotonga.
It has been shown that Rarotonga was first settled about 875, by the two men named Apopo, and their people. Here they and their descendants seem to have lived for 375 years, until the settlement there of Tangiia-nui, with page 173few events to mark their history, for no mention is made of the island in the different voyages that are described during that period. There is an old and fanciful legend in relation to Rarotonga, which describes the arrival there of some of their gods—Tonga-iti and Ari—and their dispute as to the ownership of the island, which at that time was called Nuku-tere and Tumu-te-varo-varo; Raro-tonga being a more modern name.
* There is a long genealogy of Ata-i-te-kura's ancestors in the Native History, but ib does not connect on to other lines, so is no use as a check on the date, nor does this line come down beyond his two sons.
After them came Te Ika-tau-rangi* (how long after, or where he came from is not stated), who settled down at One-marua. In his time drams and dances were introduced. Again after this came three canoes, which were cruising about the ocean. When the crews saw smoke and the people ashore, they landed, but were set upon by the natives and driven off.
Here ends the brief history of Rarotonga down to the times of Tangiia-nui. If my readers remember that the two men named Apopo were Apakura's brothers, they will see that these early settlers were of the same branch of the Polynesians as many a Maori now living in New Zealand. When Tangiia-nui arrived in Rarotonga in 1250 he found Tane-kovea and others, descendants of Apopo, then living there. Dr. Wyatt Gill says the men were all killed and the women saved, but our Native History relates nothing of this.
* This name is shown on Maori genealogies as a son of Kupe, the navigator who visited New Zealand sometime before the fleet, but it is impossible to say if the names refer to the same person. By another line he is shown to be a great grandson of Moe-tara-uri, Whiro's father.
* Colonel Gudgeon C. M. G., Govt. Resident at Rarotonga, informs me that he was also known to the Mangaia people as Toi. If so, it is just possible, but not probable, that this may be Toi-te-hua-tahi known to Maori history, as living in Hawaiki.
With respect to Kupe, mentioned in the table above, there is some doubt as to the exact period of his visit to New Zealand, but the Taranaki tribes say that it was in the same generation that Turi came here from Ra'iatea, and the few genealogies we have from him confirm this. Rarotonga history does not mention that Pou-tama was a son of Tangiia's (or Uenga's), but Maori tradition shows that he was a son of Uenga's. According to the table above, Kupe flourished a generation before the fleet came, which is quite near enough to allow of the time being right, and as Rarotongans do not trace descent from Poutama, he is not mentioned in their history. It is, however, very questionable if the Kupe, who is accredited with exploring the west coast of New Zealand, is the same man who gave Turi directions where to find a home at Patea, West Coast, New Zealand.
As has been said, Tangiia's father was Kau-ngaki, but he was adopted by Pou-vananga-roa-ki-Iva, as was his cousin Tu-tapu—afterwards called Tu-tapu-aru-roa, or "Tu-tapu, page 177the constant pursuer," in consequence of his relentless pursuit of Tangiia-nui. Pou-vananga-roa distributed to his children their various occupations and lands; Maono was appointed an ariki of Tahiti, as was Tu-tapu of Iva, whilst Tangiia was made a tavana or subordinate chief. In consequence of this distribution, great trouble arose; in the end Tangiia drove out his foster-brother Maono, and seized the government, in which he appears to have given great offence to his relatives, and which led to further-trouble. Next arose a serious quarrel between Tangiia and Tu-tapu as to the ownership of Vai-iria, a stream in Tahiti (Mataiea District, south coast), which led to a war between Te Tua-ki-taa-roa and Te Tua-ki-taa-poto—"the first meaning Avaiki, the second Tahiti and Iva" —no doubt names for the two elements of the population, i.e., the first referring to the later migration there, the other to the previous one. Other troubles arose about the tribute to these several chiefs, such as the turtle, the shark, and other things which were sacred to the arikis in former times—indeed down to the introduction of Christianity.
Tu-tapu after this returns to his own country, Iva, whilst Tangiia proceeds on a voyage to Mauke Island of the Cook Group, where he marries two girls named Pua-tara and Moe-tuma. His love song to these ladies is preserved. After a time Tangiia returns to Tahiti, where he quarrels with his sister Rakanui about some insignia pertaining to the rank of ariki, and she leaves in disgust and settles in Uaine (Huahine Island) with her husband Maa. Tangiia now seeks diversion from the troubles of government by a long voyage to Avaiki (Savāii), and visits many other islands on the voyage, and he remained away some years. On his return to Tahiti he sends Tino-rere to fetch his children from Mauke. Shortly after page 178Tino-rere's return, Tu-tapu arrives from Iva with a war-fleet to demand of Tangiia their father's weapon, "Te Amio-enua," and the right to the rara-roroa, and the rara-kuru (man and breadfruit tribute), both tributes of an ariki. But Tangiia refuses, though after some time he concedes the rara-kuru, thinking to appease his cousin, but to no avail. It is clear from the fact of Tangiiai's sons having attained to manhood at this time, that he had been absent in the Western Pacific for many years.
Great preparations were now made for war. Tangiia collects his people, the clans of Te Kaki-poto, Te Atu-taka-poto, Te Kopa, Te Tavake-moe-rangi, Te Tavake-oraurau, Te Neke, Te Ataata-a-pua, Te Tata-vere-moe-papa and the Manaune, some of whom are mentioned as small people; they were probably Melanesian slaves. The two parties now separate, Tu-tapu retiring to Tau-tira, at the east end of Tahiti-iti, whilst Tangiia and his army occupied Puna auia (a stream and district, west side of Tahiti). War now commences; as the history says, "Tahiti is filled with the Ivans" (Tu-tapu's people), and they press Tangiia so sorely that he orders his vessel to be launched and all his valuables placed on board, including his gods Tonga-iti, Rongo, Tane, Rua-nuku, Tu and Tangaroa, besides his seat named "Kai-auunga," in case of defeat in the coming strife. Two other gods were taken by Tu-tapu—viz., Rongo-ma-Uenga and Maru-mamao. When this had been done, Tangiia again fought Tu-tapu in the mountains, where the former's two sons, Pou-te-anua-nua and Motoro are killed, the former by the woods (or grass?) being set on fire. And now Tangiia was driven into the sea by his enemies, whilst the country-side was a mass of smoke and flame. Then comes in a little bit of the marvellous: "The goddess Taakura looking down upon the fire fiercely burning, descries Motoro in the midst of it. She spoke to page 179the god Tangaroa saying, 'Alas!' this ariki; he will be burnt by the fire!' Said Tangaroa to her, 'What is to be done? Thou art a god, he is a man!' 'Never mind. I shall go down and fetch my husband.' Then Tangaroa uttered his command, saying, 'Haste thee to Retu. Let him give thee a tempest to extinguish the fire!' Then was given to her a fierce wind that extinguished the fire, and in this storm she descended and carried away Motoro to Auau (Mangaia) with the aid of Te Muu and Te Pepe."*
When Tangiia, in parting, looked back upon the land, his heart was full of grief for his home about to be abandoned for ever, and thus he sang his farewell lament.
Great is my love for my own dear land—
For Tahiti that I'm leaving.
Great is my love for my sacred temple—
For Pure-ora that I'm leaving.
Great is my love for my drinking spring—
For Vai-kura-a-mata, that I am leaving;
For my bathing streams, for Vai-iria,
For Vai-te-pia, that I am leaving;
For my own old homes, for Puna-auia.
For Papa-ete, that I am leaving;
For my loved mountains, for Ti-kura-marumaru,
For Ao-rangi,† that I am leaving.
And alas! for my beloved children,
For Pou-te-amianua and Motoro now dead.
Alas, my grief! my beloved children,
My children! O! my grief.
O Pou-te-anuanua. Alas! Alas!
O Motoro! Alas! O Motoro!
* Mangaian legends relate that this Motoro, son of Tangiia was one of their ancestors.
† Here we recognise the same name as that of Mount Cook, in New Zealand. It is a very high mountain in Tahiti.
Before finally departing from his home, Tangiia despatched Tuiti and Te Nukua-ki-roto to fetch certain things from the marae, used by them in connection with their gods; but instead of doing this they stole Tu-tapu's god Rongo-ma-Uenga, and took it on board the vessel. This was the cause that induced Tu-tapu to continue his long pursuit of Tangiia, and which gave him his name, "The relentless pursuer."
The vessel's course was now directed to the west from Tahiti, to many islands, until she arrived even at Avaiki-te-varinga, Tangiia all the while, with excessive grief, lamenting his sons. Tamarua-pai* came from Tahiti with Tangiia, and he was appointed navigator of the vessel. As they approached Avaiki, they heard the beating of drums and the blowing of trumpets, denoting the performance of a great ceremony and feast. Pai is now sent ashore to interview the gods, or as it probably may be interpreted, the priests of their ancient gods, and finally Tangiia himself has an interview, and explains his troubles. After much discussion it is agreed to help Tangiia, and Tonga-iti says to him—"There's a land named Tumu-te-varovaro; thither shalt thou go, and there end thy days." Then was given to him great mana, equal to that of the gods, so that in the future he should always conquer; and they delivered to him numerous gods (idols) and their accessories, which he now possessed for the first time, together with directions as to a number of ceremonies, dances and songs, and new customs, which were afterwards introduced into Rarotonga.
* Tamarua-pai (or as he is often called, Pai), was a chief from Pape-uriri and Ati-maono, who also lived at Pape-ete, places in Tahiti. There is an "opening" at Moorea Island named Utu-kura, made by Pai. This "opening" (puta) is probably the hole in Mou'a-puta, said by the Tahitians to have been made by Pai's spear, who cast it from Tautira, some 35 miles away!
Apparently also some people joined Tangiia here, on purpose to carry out the directions that had been given in connection with these new matters. Taote and Mata-iri-o-puna were appointed to the charge of the trumpets and drums, Tavake-orau to the direction of the ceremonial dances, whilst Te Avaro from Rangi-raro, was charged with other trumpets on board the vessel. Moo-kura, a son of Tu-te-rangi-marama also appears to have joined Tangiia, and was afterwards made a guardian of one of the maraes of Rarotonga.
This Avaiki, and the story connected with it is somewhat difficult to understand, but it is clearly some page 182place very distant, and probably in Indonesia,* for on their return, they first called in at Uea or Wallis Island, from where, after much drum beating, etc., they proceeded on to Upōlu, but had to return to Uea for one of their trumpets left behind. Here they were joined by Katu, and thence came back to Upōlu, where more ceremonies were performed, and a song composed, alluding to their adventures.
From Kupolu (Upōlu) Tangiia, sailed back to Iti (Fiji), where they fell in with Iro, a very noted ancestor of Rarotongans and Maoris, called by the latter Whiro. After some time, Tangiia asks Iro "Where is thy son? want him as an ariki for my people, my sons being dead." "He is away at Rapa, where I have settled him."Said Tangiia, "I will go after him and fetch him as an ariki for my people," to which Iro consented. This son of Iro's was Tai-te-ariki, whose name is still borne by Maoris now living in New Zealand, and who are descended from him. It was from Tai-te-ariki also, that the long line of arikis who have ruled over the Ngati-Tangiia tribe of Rarotonga down to my friend Pa-ariki, the present worthy chief of Nga-Tangiia, are descended. Maori and Rarotongan history and chants are full of the adventures of this ancestor of theirs—Iro, or Whiro —who is also known as an ancestor of the Tahitians.
* I have already shown the probability of Avaiki-te-varinga being Java, or, it may be that the name is here used for some of the neighbouring islands, Ceram, or the Celebes.
Rakanui now presented Tangiia with another canoe "Kaioi," which his navigator, Pai, makes use of to convert their own vessel into a vaka-purua or double canoe, thus seeming to indicate that Tangiia's long voyage had been made in a single canoe, or perhaps a canoe with outrigger only. The sister now agrees to join her forces to those of her brother, and they sing a species of song together to ascertain whether salvation or death shall be their fate.page 184
Whilst these transactions are proceeding, there suddenly arrives on the scene the dreaded Tu-tapu, and Tangiia flees to Porapora, an island about 50 miles to the west. Here he proceeds to perform the ceremonies connected with the appointment of Tai-te-ariki as an ariki. But, as the story goes, "they had not girded him with the scarlet belt" (maro-ura) when Tu-tapu overtakes them, and Tangiia flees to Rangi-atea (Ra'i-atea) which island is some 20 miles south of Porapora. Here the two war-like canoes come close together, and Tu-tapu shouts out, "Deliver up my gods! return my gods you took from Tahiti!" Whilst they sail along together, bandying words, the dark tropical night sets in with its usual suddenness, and Tangiia sheering off, parts company in the dark.
Tangiia—presumably fearing that his proposed project of settling on Rarotonga is known to Tu-tapu—steers before the trade wind and quickly makes the Fiji group again. Here a different disposition of his forces is made and the double canoe fitted up, the lesser canoe for the women and children, the katea or larger canoe for the men. His people are numbered and found to be e rua rau, four hundred. All this is illustrated by song as usual. Apparently this careful disposition of force was in anticipation of meeting the redoubtable Tu-tapu.
The preparations completed, the expedition left Fiji again, going ki runga, or to windward to visit the many islands there, and increase the reputation of their vessel towards the sun rising. As they drew near to Maketu (now called Mauke, one of the Cook Group) they beheld a sail. On Tuiti and Nukua-ki-roto climbing up the mast, they discovered that it was the canoe of Karika, from Samoa, of which they informed Tangiia, saying: page 185"Here is Te Tai-tonga;* thou art as one dead!" Said Tangiia, "Has he many men?" "A great many; they are numerous!" "Ah! what is to be done?" "What indeed? thou must deliver up to him the rangi-ei, the plume of rank upon thy head" (give up the supremacy to Karika). The vessels now draw together and Karika comes on board that of Tangiia, who has been careful to send his warriors below, keeping only the slaves, children and the decrepit on deck, so that Karika might not know his strength. Then follows a scene in which Tangiia attempts to present Karika with the emblems of chieftain-ship, in which he is prevented by the faithful Pai, the navigator of the vessel. A struggle ensues in which Tangiia, in urging on his people, used the word takitunu, which thenceforth becomes the name of his vessel. Karika seems to have got the worst of it, and his canoe is towed away to Maiao, and to Taanga (Taha'a, near Ra'iatea) where Mokoroa-ki-aitu, Karika's daughter, becomes Tangiia's wife, to cement the peace then made.
Tangiia now learns from Karika the directions for finding Rarotonga, after which the two vessels separate—Karika going his way, whilst Tangiia sails south; but misses his mark and reaches a part of the ocean where great currents meet, and Tangiia concludes he has reached the "mountainous waves" of the south referred to in tradition, in which he is supported by finding the sea quite cold. Putting about ship he sails north, and finally sights the east coast of Rarotonga, and lands at Nga-tangiia, where like a good and true Polynesian, he at once proceeds to build a marae for his gods at Te Miromiro, close to the present church there.
Next follows a long history of the building of various maraes and kouiu, in honour of various gods, to each of which he appointed guardians, whose names are given, many of which are borne by the mataiapos, or chiefs of the islands at this day. Most of these maraes are said to have been named after others in Avaiki (probably the eastern group) and other places, whilst others were named after incidents in Tangiia's eventful life. The maraes are so numerous that it must have taken a very long time to build them all. Considering that they had also to build houses, plant food, etc., it seems probable that some few years were thus occupied.
Whilst building the marae named Angiangi, and before a guardian had been appointed, there arrived another expedition under Naea, in his canoe "Atea-roa."* "They were seven in number," which I think refers to the number of the people, which of course means fourteen, according to the Polynesian method of counting—not a very large expedition. It has been stated that the New Zealand canoes came with the tere of Naea, but in this I think there is a mistake. Had they done so, the writer of the Rarotongan Native History would not fail to have mentioned the fact. Only one canoe is named above, and that is not known to New Zealand tradition. This Naea and his party are said to have come from a place called Arava, in the Paumotu Group; they belonged to the Tonga-iti clan.
* It might have been thought perhaps, that Atea-roa, is a corruption of the name, Aotea, or Aotea-roa, one of the celebrated canoes of the Maori migration. But I think not, for reasons which will be given when we deal with that subject.
Just before the arrival of Naea, another party of emigrants arrived from Upōlu, under Tui-kava, who settled at Paparangi and Turangi.
After these events, Tangiia met with Tane-korea, his wife, and his two daughters, both of whom he added to the considerable number of wives he already had. These people, as has been shown, were some of the tangata-uenua, and descendants of the migration to Rarotonga in 875.
Some time after, how long is not known, came Karika, with whom Tangiia had the interview as related some pages back, and who told him the direction in which to find Rarotonga, in fulfilment of his promise. He landed at a place called E, and built there a koro or fort, which he named Are-au. The story then quotes an old song to show that Karika was a cannibal. Karika found his own daughter, Mokoroa-ki-aitu, and her husband, Tangiia, living at Avarua, the present principal village of Rarotonga.
They had not been settled very long in Rarotonga before a fleet was seen in the offing, which turned out to be the "relentless pursuer "Tu-tapu, still following up his old enemy Tangiia. Fighting commenced in which both Tangiia and Karika joined with their people; but there was a cessation after a time, and—evidently thinking that he would be worsted in the end, notwithstanding the great powers that had been given to him during his visit to Avaiki-te-varinga—Tangiia despatched his sister Rakanui and his foster-brother Keu right away to Tahiti, page 188to his old father Pou-vananga-roa for help. The old man was blind and helpless, but he proceeded with his divination to ascertain the issue of the conflict. Then unfortunately comes a break in the story; but we next find the two messengers, after burying their father, starting back for Rarotonga with some potent charms, etc. They call in at Mangaia, and then reach the place they started from, where the war still continues.
But I do not propose to detail this lengthy war; it belongs to the history of Rarotonga alone. It resulted in the death of Tu-tapu, and a great number of his warriors from Iva. During the progress of it, the supremacy was delivered over by Tangiia to Karika, and it has descended to his living representative, Queen Makēa-Takau, the chief of the Government of the Cook Islands, at the present day.
Tangiia's counsel to his people at the end of this war is worthy of record. "His words to the body of Priests and to all Ngati-Tangiia (his tribe) were: 'Let man be sacred; let man-slaying cease; the land must be divided out amongst the chiefs, from end to end; let the people increase and fill the land.' Another law he laid down: 'Any expedition that arrives here in peace, let them land, Any that comes with uplifted weapon strike off their heads with the clubs.' These were the words spoken in those days." I am afraid the subsequent history of the people proves that Tangiiai's words of wisdom were often disregarded.
The part of the history that follows on these events is very interesting, as showing how Tangiia instituted the various ceremonies and customs he had learnt on his long voyage to Avaiki-te-varinga, bnt [sic: but] this is not the place to describe them.page 189
In Tangiia's old age, Karika urged him to join in a voyage to Iva to help obtain a celebrated canoe named "Pata"; but he declined, though some of his people went with Karika, who left his son Puta-i-te-tai in Tangiia's care. The Iva people laid a plot to kill Ngati-Tangiia, but they being warned in time escaped back to Rarotonga, whilst Karika was killed.
The history of Karika, mentioned above, has been given in the Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. i, p. 70. The events therein related regarding the settlement of Rarotonga will not be found to agree exactly with those which are given in the Native History from which this is compiled, but after all, the differences are not great; it is known that Karika came from Samoa, and in the records of the Manu'a island of that group, his name is preserved, under the form of 'Ali'a, who, acccording to traditions collected by the Rev. J. Powell, edited by Dr. Fraser, and published in the "Transactions of the Royal Society" of New South Wales, vol. for 1891, p. 138, lived about twenty-three generations, or reigns ago. The table of kings, not being wholly a genealogy, cannot be compared with those of Rarotonga, but still, the Manu'a tables, such as they are ought not to differ greatly. We find from Rarotonga history that Karika flourished twenty-four generations ago, and that there are twenty-three names on the Manu'a list—sufficiently near to allow of their being the same individual.
The Rarotonga accounts however, make Karika's father and mother to have been named Eaa and Ueuenuku; the Manu'a (Samoan) accounts give them as Le Lolonga and Auia-luma. The ancestors preceding Le Lolonga are also quite different to those in the Rarotonga account (Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 1, p. 70). This leads me to infer the probability of 'Ali'a having been interpolated page 190on the Marra'a line, being possibly a nephew or other relative of Le Lolonga's, and that 'Ali'a (or Karika) was really one of the Maori-Rarotongans, and not a true Samoan. He was probably a member of one of the families who at that time occupied the coast lands of a considerable part of Samoa. The Rarotonga account of his doings in Samoa seems rather to point to this.
It has been shown on a former page that the period of Karika and Tangiia (circa 1250) is that also of the first Malietoa in Samoa, in whose time the Samoans appear to have first got the upper hand of the so-called Tonga-Fijians, or in other words, the Maori-Rarotongans. It seems to me that this is the probable reason of Karika's leaving Samoa, his relationship to the Rarotonga people who were then living in Samoa and Fiji, made it advisable for him to leave, together with others. It is stated that he made eight different voyages between Rarotonga and Avaiki, which would here include both Samoa and Fiji, and for part of this time he was engaged in wars in Avaiki and other islands in the neighbourhood. The name of his double-canoe was Te-au-ki-Iti and Te-au-ki-Tonga.
From this period (1250) the Rarotonga history does not mention a single voyage back to Samoa or Fiji, though some are noted to the nearer group of Tahiti, etc. So far as we can judge, communication with Western Polynesia ceased, and the reason I suggest is, that the Samoans had expelled the Rarotongan-Maori branch of the race from their group. As for Fiji, it is probable that some of the latter people still remained there, and that they, in the course of the 600 years that have since elapsed, have played an important part in modifying the original Melanesian Fijians, so that they are now a cross between the two races.page 191
In the times of Tangiia, as has been mentioned, there lived in Avaiki, which is one of the places of that name in Indonesia, a man of the same name as the great ancestor of the Rarotongans, Tu-te-rangi-marama. His home was on a sacred mountain that had four names, none of them important for our purposes. He had a son named Moo-kura and another named Tu-ariki, both contemporaries of Tangiia's. When Tangiia built the marae called Kura-akaangi in Rarotonga, he and Tamarua appointed Moo-kura as guardian. The son of the latter page 192was Tama-kake-tua-ariki, who lived in the Arorangi district of Rarotonga, at Akaoa. It is related of this man that he made a voyage to Tuanaki, the lost island south of Rarotonga; and before he left he warned his wives— Toko and Uti-rei—to remove from the shore, for on the seventh night after his departure an affliction would fall on the place. This came in the shape of a great wave, and those who heeded not the warning were swept away, the rest saving themselves by flight to the mountains. This rising of the waves is probably "Te tai o Uenuku" referred to later on.
Tangiias son was Motoro, his son was Uenuku rakeiora, his son was Uenuku-ki-aitu, his son was Ruatapu, renowned in Maori history. This brings us to the year 1350, when the fleet on its way to New Zealand called in at Rarotonga.
In reference to Uenuku-rakeiora mentioned above, who is known to Maori history, it is noted that Tangiia's son Motoro married two wives—Pua-ara-nui and Te Vaa-rangi—by each of whom he had son. Pua-ara-nui's son was concealed by the priest Etu-roa, so Vaa-rangi's son (the younger) Uenuku-rakeiora came to be an ariki. When this was discovered afterwards, the elder son Uenuku-tapu was made a mataiapu, or lesser chief, and his descendants are also living in Rarotonga now, as I gather from the Native History. It can be shown that some of the descendants of Uenuku-rakeiora came to New Zealand, his grandson Paikea, Ruatapu's brother amongst others. It was Uenuku-rakeiora's son Uenuku (by the Rarotongan history called Uenuku-te-aitu) who was the great chief and priest in Hawaiki according to Maori story, just before the heke to New Zealand. From this we may gather that, if born in Rarotonga, he did not live all his life there, for we have—from Maori page 193history—several accounts of his visits to Rarotonga to make war on Tawheta or Wheta, when the incidents known as Te Ra-to-rua and Te Moana-waipu occurred. Rarotonga is mentioned in these Maori legends as the island Uenuku went to in order to avenge his children's death. It is not clear from Maori history whether this Uenuku is the same as the man with a similar name who lived in Ra'iatea when Turi of the Aotea canoe left there.
Uenuku-rakeiora's wife and his mother both came from Iva (Marquesas) so says the story; but it is a question if Iva here, does not mean the part of Rai'atea occupied by Te Hiva clan.