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History and traditions of the Maoris of the West Coast, North Island of New Zealand, prior to 1840

Death of Marore

Death of Marore.

The death of To Rau-paraha's first wife, Marore, is said to have occurred just after the former returned from his southern expedition with Tu-whare, or early in 1820, but whether before or after the fighting at Te Taharoa is uncertain, though probability seems to point to the latter date. It appears that Marore went from Kawhia to Waikato to attend a tangi, or crying, over some relative. Whilst there, Te Wherowhero, Te Kanawa, and Te Ika-tu (of Waikato) heard of her being in the district, and the former urged Te Rangi-moe-waka to kill her. This man, nothing loath, then murdered her. When Te Rau-paraha heard of this he said nothing but the death of one of the murderer's relatives could atone for this. A party was therefore sent out and Te Moerua (of Ngati-Mania-poto) was killed by To Rako, and the murder thus avenged. This event (says Mr. Wilson) occurred at Kare-rauaha, near Otorohanga, and the body was eaten at Kawatea.

Ngati-Mania-poto, to square this death, sent a party over to Maro-kopa river, where they killed Te Mahutu (of Ngati-Toa). Mr. Wilson adds, "My informant, Whiti-nui, says this was not a murder like the others, as Te Mahutu was killed in a small skirmish."

Te Rau-paraha's retalliation for this was the death of Te Ara-taua, a woman of note of Mokau.* Mr. Wilson says, "She was on the track outside the Ara-pae pa in company with a woman of Kawhia, named Niho, who was spared. At this time Te Whainga (? of Ngati-Maniapoto) was just returning from the east coast, and hearing what had occurred did not go on to the pa, but at once went after the murderers and overtook them at a place named Te Raupo, where he killed twenty of them in the night. Again, near Manga-o-hae, he overtook another party and killed Pekapeka. After this, Te Au-nui (of Arapae) went against Te Rau-paraha."

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One of the Ngati-Toa women composed the following lament for Marore:—

E Hine! e tangi kino e,
E tangi aurere nei,
Ko Te Wherowhero, ko Te Kanawa,
Nana i unga mai,
Ka eke nei taua,
Te tihi ki Te Kawau,
He maunga tu noa Kaore nei he mokorea tangata.
Kei te amu au i te wai-takataka
No Hari ranei; no Hau-pokia.
No Mama-uruahu,
Whakaki tonu ake
Ko Hihi, ko Te Whakaea,
Ko taku kai reka nei, ko au, etc., etc.

O Lady! in thy bitter grief,
Thou cryest aloud in wailing tones,
'Twas Te Wherowhero1 and Te Kanawa,
1 That instigated the foul deed,
And also drove us to Te Kawau's2 summit—
A mountain now, with no sign of life.
I would that I were chewing the brains
Of Hari, 3 perhaps, or of 'Hau-pokia, 4
Or even of Mama5 -uruahu,
And repleting myself by feasting on
Hihi and Te Whakaea,
These to me were sweet food indeed.

1 These two instigated the murder of Marore.

2 The pa taken at Taharoa.

3 Hari, killed afterwards at Te Motu-nui.

4 A great chief of Kawhia.

5 Killed at Te Motu-nui.

* It must be remembered that the Mukau people are partically members of the Ngati-Maina-poto tribe.