History and traditions of the Maoris of the West Coast, North Island of New Zealand, prior to 1840
The above is the name given to the migration of Ngati-Toa from Kawhia on their way to Cook's Straits; but this name only applies to that part of their long journey from Kawhia as far as Ure-nui—the journey onward from there to Otaki being named "Te Heke-tataramoa," from the troubles encountered on the way. There are many migrations we shall have to deal with in the course of this narrative, to each one of which have the Maoris given a distinguishing name—wisely so, for they serve as land-marks in their history. The above-named means, the "fire-lighting migration, but why so called I have forgotten, unless it was from the fire-lighting alluded to below.
As already described, Ngati-Toa fled by night from their pa at Te Arawi, and men, women, and children assembled on the hill at Moe-a-toa* (? Kamaru) where the signal arranged for by Te Rangi-tua-tea was made. A high column of smoke rising in the clear atmosphere of the morning denoted that Ngati-Toa were safely on their road. At Kawhia, amongst the Waikato taua, when they saw no sign of life in the pa at Te Arawi, they enquired amongst themselves as to what had become of the inhabitants. Te Rangi-tua-tea, overhearing the remarks, replied, with a grin that denoted his secret delight, "E! e ka mai te ahi o to koutou koroua ki runga ki Moe-a-toa." "A! Behold the fire of your old man burning on the summit of Moea-toa!" —and consequently beyond immediate pursuit.
* Some of my accounts say Tapiri-moko, some Moe-a-toa, both of which are high hills; but I believe neither is right. The hill at Kamaru is probably the one where Ngati-Toa looked for the last time on Kawhia.
Photo. by M. C. Smith
Plate No. 13
Tapu-te-ranga Island——an old pa formerly.
|Te Rau-paraha||Te Rangi-haeata||Te Tahua-o-Rehua|
|Te Poa||Te Hiko-o-te-rangi||Te Hua|
|Te Pehi-kupe||Noho-rua||Te Teke|
|Tungia||Te Ara-tangata||Te Whetu|
|Te Rangi-hi-roa||Puaha (Rawiri)||Te Tahua-o-te-koto|
|Te Waka-ketua||Te Mako||Te Whiwhi (Matene)|
|Tama-i-hengia (Hohepa)||Te Paki||Te Pani|
Most of these men would be veteran warriors who had accompanied the Ngati-Toa expeditions to Taranaki and "Wai-rarapa, and had been engaged in the fighting round Kawhia before the heke left. Lucky it was for them that they were experienced warriors and men of determination, not likely to be deterred in their enterprise by difficulties on the way, of which, as we shall see, they had an abundant share.
* Ancient History of the Maori, Vol. VI., p. 17.
Tera ia nga tai o Honi-paka,
Ka wehe koe i a au—e.
He whakamaunga atu naku,
Te ao ka rere mai
No runga mai o te motu
E tu noa mai ra koe ki au—e
Kia mihi mamao atu au,
Ki te iwi ra ia.
E pari, e te tai, piki tu, piki rere,
Piki takina mai
Te kawa i Muri-whenua
Te kawa i tu tere
Tena taku manu he manu ka onga noa
Huna ki te whare, te Hau-o-Matariki
Ma te Whare-porutu—
Ma te rahi Ati-Awa
E kau tere mai ra,
Ka urupa taku aroha.
There lie below the seas of Honi-pakal
Parted from me now for ever.
My gaze in longing, lingering glance,
Follows the fleecy cloud that hither drifts
Across the forest groves there scattered,
Bringing, as it were, a message from my home.
Let me here bid sad farewell in parting,
To the loved ones of our tribe of ancient days.
Flow on, ye tides, in rising fleeting waves,
Flowing onward, drawing with them—
Urged by breezes from far Muri-whenua2
By death's decree and sacred ritual (The spirits of our beloved dead)
My bird that sings at early dawn,
Now hidden in the house, Hau-o-Mata-riki.3
In future shall it be for Whare-porutu
And the might of Ati-Awa tribe
To assist us with their many arms,
And thus my love shall cease.
Another waiata, or song, has been preserved, in which Po-nehu laments their beloved home at Kawhia:—
Ra te ao-uru ka tauhere.
To hiwi ki te Hikongu
Homai kia mihia,
I hara mai i oku hoa—e—
Naku rawa i huri atu
Ki te tai-whanga ki a Te Wherowhero,
Behold the western clouds that hang
On the ridge of hills at Tc Hikonga.1
Here let me weep and greet them,
For they come from the home of my loved ones,
Now I turn me in sorrow deep
To the country of Te Wherowhero.3
Nana i unga mai,
Ka noho au te puke ki Kamaru,
Nuinui Te 'Paraha i te whenua,
He manu ka pi-rere
Ka puihi tonu atu ki te tni-uru,
Ki a Tamai-rangi—e—
Tae a wairua te motu-huia.
O Tara-rua i runga,
Ki Wai-rarapa e, ki Te Tai-tapu,
Ki a Te Ahuru—e—
Kia noho taku iti
Ki te kei o te waka,
Nou na, E Te Pehi e!
'Twas he that sent his power against us,
And drove us to this hill at Kamaru.2
Great in the land was the fame of Te Rau-paraha,
But now, like unto a fledgeling bird, homeless;
Foreed to the tides of the west to flee—
To the country of famed Tamai-rangi.4
In spirit do I visit the groves of the huia5
On Tara-rua, those mountains of the south,
Perhaps to Wai-rarapa, or Te Tai-tapu, 6
To the land of Te Ahuru.
Then let my humble self be seated
In the stern of the war canoe,
Belonging to thee, 0 Te Pehi!7
From the place of their farewell to Kawhia (? at Kamaru) the whole party passed on to Maro-kopa river, some twelve miles south of Kawhia. Heavily laden as all must have been with the household goods, clothing, etc., that they were able to bring away, this was a good day's march. The burdens would fall mostly on the women and slaves, for this was always the way with the Maoris, and it is astonishing the weight that they will carry for a long day's journey. At Maro-kopa the party were amongst friends and relatives. Tauranga-rua was the name of the village and Te Haumuti (subsequent baptismal name, Wetini Paku-kohatu), the name of the chief of Ngati-Kinohaku tribe, where they stayed. Here it was decided that many of the women and children should remain for a time until the elders had arranged with the Ati-Awa about the passage through their territories. And, moreover, it was known that a party of Ngati-Mania-poto had gone by inland tracks to try and intercept Te Rau-paraha on his way, and it was this party, I believe, who fought the battle of Pārā-rewa at Awakino (to be referred to later on).
Some time, either before leaving Kawhia or at Maro-kopa, Te Rau-paraha was joined by some of the Ngati-Ranga-tahi, then of Ohura, Upper Whanganui, but formerly of Orahiri, Waikato, under Parata, who left Ohura, where they were living under the guardianship of Ngati-Hāua of Upper Whanganui, in consequence of a family quarrel. There were not many of these people. They went on, eventually, to Kapiti with Te Rau-paraha.page 344
After leaving the women at Maro-kopa, the main body passed on south to Mokau, staying a night at Wai-kawau, a stream just fourteen miles north of Mokau, and which was the scene of the defeat of Ngati-Rarua, described in last chapter. Whilst here, the party were joined by Te Rangi-tua-tea, who had given the advice to Te Rau-paraha to abandon his pa at Te Arawi and flee. This man was connected both with Ngati-Toa and Ngati-Mania-poto, and so was friendly with both, though he took part in the latter's campaign against Ngati-Toa at Kawhia. He came to warn Te Rau-paraha that the forces of Ngati-Mania-poto had decided to follow him up and kill him if they could. Te Rau-paraha, bearing in mind their losses at Taharoa and of the late fights at Kawhia, and having the old man in his power, with characteristic treachery, proposed to slay him. But Tiaia,* wife of Te Pehi-kupe, strongly objected to this course, and, moreover, the tribe were against it, so, thanks to her action, Te Rangi-tua-tea was saved.
Crossing the Mokau river, a canoe capsized and Te Rangi-haeata's only child was drowned, whilst Topeora and others had a very narrow escape. On the south side of Mokau the migration were received in a friendly manner by Ngati-Tama, who were then mourning their losses at Pārā-rewa, but a large number of the plucky tribe were away under Taringa-kuri seeking some satisfaction for Pārā-rewa, as we shall see later on. From Poutama the migration passed on, some of Ngati-Mutunga having come to meet them at that country and from there the migration passed on to Te Kaweka, a place near Okoki pa, two miles north of Urenui river. Here arrangements were made with the Ngati-Mutunga tribe of those parts for the old people and most of the warriors to remain and commence the cultivation of crops to serve the party on their further journey. It appears that Ngati-Mutunga were at first not very hospitable, nor did they receive these unbidden guests in a very friendly manner. But, no doubt, they did not care to quarrel with so large a party of tried veterans, many of whom were armed with muskets, of which Ngati-Mutunga had none. In the end, however, their feelings changed, and it is little doubtful that Te Rau-paraha's success at the battle of Te Motu-nui and subsequent settlement at Kapiti was largely due to the aid rendered by Ngati-Mutunga.
* Tiaia was of the Tai-nui hapu, or tribe, of Waikato, whose home is at Raglan. She was Te Pehi's first wife, and when that man took a second wife, Purewa, this latter lady made disparaging remarks about Tiaia. This induced Hoki, Tiaia's cousin, to compose a song exalting the latter and disparaging Purewa, which is very amusing and illustrates the kind of poetry that was popular amongst the Maoris of that age—see "Nga Moteatea, page 192.
After settling down his people at Te Kaweka and remaining there a few days, Te Rau-paraha started back for Maro-kopa with only twenty men (it is said), but all tried veterans armed with muskets, for the purpose of bringing on the women and young children left there under Te Puaha's care. His tribe, the Ngati-Toa, were much afraid his party was too small, for it was known that Ngati-Mania-poto were somewhere in the Mokau country in search of Te Rau-paraha, and they wanted to send a strong force with him. But he decided that a small party would be better able to elude the enemy, and so started with this small number.
"Next day, Te Rau-paraha reached the Mokau river, where, the tide being high, they could not cross, and so camped there on the beach. They were apprehensive that Ngati-Mania-poto would renew the attack after having discovered how few Ngati-Toa were in number. So large fires were lit in several places, and all the women dressed up like men, whilst Te Rau-paraha and the other men kept addressing warlike speeches to each party round the fires so that, should the enemy be near, they might think a large war-party was assembled there. Te Akau, Te Rau-paraha's wife, and Tiaia, Pehi-kupe's wife, were the principal women there, and they employed themselves in running backwards and forwards all night addressing imaginary bands of warriors. Many of these women were dressed in a European garment called a tu-ngaro, which is never seen now. but was not uncommon fifty to sixty years ago. It was composed of exceedingly thick serge and reached from the neck to the knee; it was of a brilliant red colour. These had been obtained by barter with other tribes, for up to the time of the migration leaving Kawhia no vessel had entered that harbour."
This ruse was successful, for no attack was made; and the next day the party proceeded on their way and reached the other members of the migration at Te Kaweka in safety. Arrived there, and on the news of the death of Tu-takaro reaching Ati-Awa, Ngati-Tama, and Ngati-Mutunga, there was great rejoicing, because that chief had been lately instruatental in defeating Ngati-Tama at Para-rewa. They were so elated that a party of them at once started off for Mokau, where they came across some of Ngati-Rakei of that place, killing several of them, and thus, as old Rihari says, ' punishing them for attacking Ngati-Toa.'"
* Mr. Skinner suggests that Hukarere is the place where the fight occurred. It is situated about a mile north of the mouth of Awa-kino, Purapura is half way between Mokau and Awa-kino, and may have been Ngati-Toa's camp the next night.
But before describing the great battle of Te Motu-nui which ensued, we must hark back for a time to describe that of Para-rewa, which had already occurred before Te Rau-paraha reached Te Kaweka.
2 Muri-whenua, the North Capo, to which departed spirits went.
3 Apparently refers to some beloved child, possibly his murdered wife Marore, or relative, left behind in the graveyard.
4 Whare-porutu, is not known, but possibly some relative amongst the Ati-Awa, whose influence the composer counted on to obtain Ati-Awa's assistance.
1 place at Kawhia.
3 Te Wherowhero, principal chief of Waikato, who sent the army against Ngati-Toa and thus caused their migration.
2 place at Kawhia.
5 The huia bird, so valued by the Maoris for its tail feathers, is only found in any number on Tararua mountains—now alas! (1906) almost extinct.
6 Te Tai-tapu, general name for Massacre Bay, South Island.
7 Te Pehi-kupe of Ngati-Toa, who went to England in 1826 to procure arms for his tribe.