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

Pahau is killed by Ati-Awa. — (Circa 1680.)

page 200

Pahau is killed by Ati-Awa.
(Circa 1680.)

Toa-rangatira's brother was Hamu-paku, who had a son named Pahau, who married a sister of Tai-tuha, of the Ngati-Tawhiri-kura hapu of Ati-Awa, who lived at Pekerau. Te Whetu says he thinks this is south of Moeatoa. Pai-hau made a journey to Wai-tara with his eighty followers, and on his return Tai-tua decided to kill him; why, I do not know. Whilst the visitors were eating, Tai-tuha and his people suddenly attacked them and killed Paihau and many others, some escaping to tell the news to their relatives.

On receipt of the news, Toa-rangatira and Hamu-paku raised a war party and at once proceeded down the coast to avenge the deaths. Meeting a party of Ati-Awa women on the beach gathering shell-fish, they were all killed by the taua, which then advanced on Tai-tuha's pa. The advance guard was driven back, but Toa-rangatira, who was in the rear, came forward, and then the whole force became engaged. Kawharu (who avenged his father Pakaue's death by killing the people at the spring) was with Toa-rangatira's party, and as he stood on a stump he was seen by Tai-tuha, who advanced, intending to kill him. But the former sprung on to Tai-tuha's back and killed him instead. This caused a rout in Tai-tuha's people, who fled back to their pa, which Toa-rangatira's party entered at the same time and so took it, killing all the people.

We thus see an illustration of Maori life in the old days. Ngati-Mutunga (which tribe is really a branch of Ati-Awa) are found helping Toa-rangatira, and in the next generation one of Ati-Awa murders a relative of Toa-rangatira, who then makes war on Ati-Awa.

Kawharu, mentioned above, is said by my Ati-Awa informants to have been a great "General." On another occasion, with the assistance of Ngati-Mutunga, of Ure-nui, he defeated Waikato in a battle named Toto-rewa, somewhere in the Waikato territories, when a large number of slaves were brought back to Ure-nui by Ngati-Mutunga.