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Te Ika a Maui, or New Zealand and its Inhabitants

Chapter V. Whare-kura

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Chapter V. Whare-kura.

The Church at Otake, on the Manganui a Te Ao.

The Church at Otake, on the Manganui a Te Ao.

Although the natives had no places particularly devoted to religious purposes, there are still traditions of a temple having once existed amongst them. The wahi-tapu or sacred grove was not a place of assembly for worship; it was only entered by the priest, and merely contained the tombs of chiefs, offerings to the gods and sacrifices, together with food baskets and fragments unconsumed by sacred persons, rags, and the old garments of chiefs; their hair, when it had been cut, and such things; they were rather places to put things out of the page 66 way in, a kind of sacred store of odds and ends, than any thing else. But the Whare-kura is spoken of as having been a very large edifice, in which all the tribes were accustomed to meet together for worship, and the rehearsal of their several pedigrees, as well as the heroic deeds of their ancestors, for holding their solemn councils, and administering justice. The word literally means a red house, from the color it was painted, and it is said to have been in existence before they left Hawaiki. Its extreme antiquity is seen from the circumstance of all those who are recorded as having met there, being now regarded as their most ancient gods. The temple had a porch or verandah to it, such as they still make to their houses; this was placed at the gable end by which they entered; and at the other extremity was a small building in which the high priest resided, and seventy other priests had their houses ranged around, each building bearing the name of one of the heavens.

The posts which supported the building were carved to represent their chief ancestors.

The different tribes which met there, were ranged in two grand divisions, one party being on one side of the building, and the other on the other. One company possessed a staff, called Te Toko-toko o Turoa, whose owner was Rangi-tawaki. The other side also had a staff, named Tongi-tongi, which belonged to Mai-i-rangi. Perhaps these individuals were the chiefs who marshalled their respective companies.

In the Whare-kura, no food was allowed to be eaten, and the breach of this law was punished with death. From this, perhaps, arose the custom of cooking in a separate building, or kauta, and their still eating outside their houses. In fact, the chief's house, in some respects, seems to preserve a remembrance of the Ware-kura, and to be a kind of temple, having its household god and altar, represented in the carved post which supports the building, and the hearth which burns before the image of the great progenitor of the family.

The tribes which assembled in this ancient building are still enumerated:


Kauika and his chiefs, Kauika-nui, Kauika-roa, Kauika-papa, Kauika-wakaroa-korero.

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Te Kahui-wata and his chiefs, Watanui, Wata-roa, Wata-korero, Wata-atua.


Te Kahui Kapua and his chiefs, I Kapua-nui, I Kapua-roa, I Kapua tuatahi, I Kapua-waka-roa-korero.


I Rangi-tu-ana, I Rangi-tu-Tawaki, I Awhiro, I Roto-pua.

The family of Whiro consisted of Monga, Wai-tu-rou-rou-atea, Uri-hanga, Marama-nui o Hotu, Rakei-i-pingau; these chiefs were the heads of the tribe of Maru.

The persons who brought the flax, and made the sacred cord, with which the images were encircled, were Uru-manu, Taki-taki, with their sisters Rito-wara and Rito-maopo, two great priestesses: from them it is said Turia-te-ngairi, the grand quarrel arose, which finally separated the tribes.

The following were all reptile gods, who also ranged under Maru:—

Tutangata-kino, Tu-uatai, Marongo-rongo, Tu-te korero-naki, Pou-a-te-huri, Huru-kakariki, Huru-koekoea, Te Rimu-rapa, Paouru, Paroro, The High Priest, Witiki-kaeaea, Tan-garoa-matipua, Karukaru, Tawaki, Te Mata, Awipapa-te-mango-a-ururoa, Te Mata-o-te rangi, Maru, Rehua, Taunga-piki, Riri-o-takaka.

Uenuku appears to have been a leader on the contrary side of the house, and with him were one hundred and eighty chiefs. The Kahui Potona and the Kahui-torea of Kai Ranga, Te Kahui-po-poutiti, Poutaha Poukorero. Te Kahui-pepe, Pepe mua, Peperoto, Pepe te mui-mui. These assembled to hear Uenuku; but one uncourteous person Potaringa titia stopped his ears, and would not listen to him; whilst Potaunga a whea, better behaved, was attentive to his words. Potapua-waka was also a great orator in the Whare-kura; but half of the assembly, instead of paying any attention to what was said, amused themselves with singing waiatas or songs all the time.*

* Extract of an old Song :—

Ki mai te tangato nawai ra-e,
Mau e ki atu
Nate Kahui pou,
Na poutiti e,
Na poutaha e,
Na pou Korero,
Na Kapu taringa
E tiki ki roto a Whare Kura-e, &c.

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At first this temple was a grand place of union for all the tribes, but afterwards it became the source of discord. The tribes assembled in it quarrelled. Kauika broke the staff of Mai-i-rangi, and this became the signal of anarchy and confusion; sorcery and witchcraft were then practised against each other, and at last they fought. Waka-taupotiki set the building on fire, and a multitude perished in the flames. From that period (it is said) there has been no union amongst them—one tribe has ever since been opposed to another.

Such are the disjointed parts of traditions relative to this remarkable temple. They are interesting, and excite our conjectures as to their origin, since they must have been founded on something which once existed; and they are the more singular from referring to a building erected for worship, when they have never since had anything at all corresponding to it amongst them. The Christian natives compare it to Babel; and say it caused their dispersion, and the confusion of tongues, as well as the subsequent state of enmity they have lived in with each other; that at first it resembled Solomon's temple, where all the tribes met together. It does indeed seem to remind us of the separation of the ten from the other two, in the reign of Rehoboam, who, like Kauika, broke the staff of peace and unity, by his folly: and, supposing this people to be descended from any of those tribes, this is just such a tradition as they might hand down from so distant a period; without letters, we could not expect them to preserve a fuller account. When Israel forsook the temple, which no longer continued to be a bond of union, then it worshipped in high places and groves. “Had these staffs any reference to the tree of life, and the tree of good and evil? or to the staff of beauty and bands?”—see Zech. xi., 7—10; Jer. xlviii., 17.

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The following is a tradition which closely refers to the Whare-kura:—

When the temple was finished, they sent a messenger for Whiro and his sons,* to go as the chief speakers for Whare-kura; this invitation came from the tribes of Kauika, of Wata, of Kapua, and from all the assembly. When the messenger reached Whiro, he said, “We have come for you to be a Tohunga (speaker) for the house.” Whiro replied, “I cannot go there, but I will send my sons, Marama-nui-o-hotu and Tai-nui-o-aiturourou-atea, therefore, return all of you together.” The two sons of Whiro went and reached Whare-kura, there they were killed. They then sent other messengers for Whiro and his remaining son Monoa, to induce them also to go as tohungas for the house, but in reality to kill them. When they arrived, they said to Whiro, “We have come for you, as your sons are not sufficiently learned for the office.” Whiro replied, “My knowledge is no greater than that of Marama-nui-o-hotu and Tai-nui-waitu-rourou-atea; therefore I shall remain; but I am agreeable that Monoa should go in my place.” Whiro said to his son, “Seek counsel by the Niu; throw your stick, the ara o te manu i te ra, for perhaps your brothers have been killed;” he therefore consulted the Niu—the omen was unfavorable. Monoa said to Whiro, his father, “My stick is killed;” then Whiro replied, “Go cautiously, and when you reach the house, do not enter by the door, but get upon the roof to the pihanga,§ and there look in.” Monoa went and arrived at the Whare-kura. The men of

* Whiro and Tama te Kapua were the gods of thieving. They went on pou toko or stilts when going to steal, that their footsteps might not be seen, and to enable them to reach the high stages (watas) on which food was kept.

Kei au hoki heoti na no,” this reply of Whiro has passed into a proverb, because all his knowledge had gone to his sons, whom be had instructed.

In consulting the Niu, each one had his stick, to which his own name was given, and in throwing the stick, if the one representing the consulter fell under the other, it was a sign of the former's death.

§ Pihanga, an opening made in the roof to admit light, having a small roof over it to keep out the rain, this is not now used. It is probably the origin of a name given to a mountain near Rotoaira, which has a remarkable opening in its side.

page 70 the house invited him to enter by the door, but Monoa refused to do so; he remembered the advice which his father Whiro had given him; he climbed upon the roof of the house to the pihanga, and there looking in, he saw the lungs of his brothers, which the priest was then waving to and fro in sacrifice; and this was the signal of flight to Monoa. When the men of the house perceived this, they went and pursued after him; he hastened his steps, at the same time uttering this spell:—
Hopu kia, hopukia, Catch him, catch him,
Hopu ata, hopuata, Catch the light, catch the light if you can
E kore Monoa e mou, Monoa will not be caught in the day,
I te ra kumutia,
Tuaka puakina, He has arisen and got away,
Te maiangi nui no tu, He is as light as the wind,
Te mahana no tu, Warm as the wind.
Rere huru huru au, I fly like feathers,
Rere take take au, I fly strong,
Rere au iho, I fly down,
Rere au ake, I fly up above,
I runga ano, tauranga, Upon the perch.
Te kuti kuti, taurauga, Afar off upon the bat's perch, out of reach,
Te awe awe,
Tuku atu au kia mangi a manu, Leave me to escape as the bird,
Rerehoumea, I fly as the oumea (a sea bird),
Tatu mai ata tu Lie close to the earth,
Rarou ka hihiko, Embracing its surface,
Ki te hau raro tukua, Let the wind blow above me,
Tuku aiho i runga nei Weary the legs of the pursuers, let them be tired,
Taka te ruhi,
Taka te ngenge, Let the strong wind blow against them.
Huri papa, &c.,

Monoa fled; he ran into the middle of a flock of kauwau's (cormorants) but they could not conceal him; he then ran into the middle of a flock of ducks; there also he was not hid; he next tried to conceal himself in a flock of kuakas, (sand pipers,) but in vain. He then hid himself in a flock of toreas, but to no purpose; he next tried a flock of karoros, but there he was not concealed; at last he ran into a flock of tara (a small sea bird seen in great flocks), and there he was completely page 71 covered. In vain did the pursuers search for him, they could not see him; they returned, and Monoa got up and cried, ke-ke-, the note of the bird, they all immediately arose: he then cried ka iewa, and the whole flock (tarai whenua kura) flew away, and Monoa escaped i te ra kumutia, from the enemies who wanted that day to enclose him as in a bag.

He Taunaha ki Kauika.
Ka mama Kauika to hunga, ka mama Kauika wakarongo korero.
Ka mama Kauika wakatama tama i roto i whare kura.

The Maori, in his heathen state, never undertook any work, whether hunting, fishing, planting, or war, without first uttering a karakia; he would not even take a journey without repeating a spell to secure his safety; still he could not be said to pray, for, properly speaking, they had no such a thing as prayer; and, therefore, it is improper to say they were worshippers of either gods or ancestors. As in war, they armed themselves with the most formidable weapons they could procure, and laid their plans with the greatest skill of which they were the masters, so to secure the fruition of their desires, they used the most powerful means they were acquainted with, to compel their gods to be obedient to their wishes, whether they sought for victory over their foes, fruitful crops, successful fishings, or huntings; they called in the aid of powerful incantations. When they planted their kumara, they sought to compel the god who presided over them to yield a good increase; when they prepared their nets and their hooks, they must force the ocean god to let his fish go to their nets. As the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by storm, so the heathen Maori sought, in another way, by spells and incantations, to compel the gods to yield to their wishes; they added sacrifices and offerings at the same time, to appease, as it were, the anger of the gods, for being thus constrained to do what they wished them. They appear closely to resemble Baalam, who, when sent for to curse Israel, strove to do so by incantation and sacrifice combined, and afterwards confessed, Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel.

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Their ancestors were addressed as powerful familiar friends; they gave them offerings, and if it can be said that any prayers were offered up, it was to them they were made.

The word karakia, which we use for prayer, formerly meant a spell, charm, or incantation; it may be derived from ka, to burn, showing the consuming power of the spell, and raki, to dry up, denoting its effects. I remember, many years ago, picking up in France a little book, published by authority, entitled “Every Man his own Physician,” which contained spiritual remedies, such as Ave Marias and Paternosters, for most of the diseases to which the body is subject. This is precisely the character of Maori religion; they have spells suited for all circumstances—to conquer enemies, catch fish, trap rats, and snare birds, to make their kumara grow, and even to bind the obstinate will of woman;* to find anything lost; to discover a stray dog; a concealed enemy; in fact, for all their wants. These karakias are extremely numerous; a few may be given as examples.

In worshipping or uttering their karakias, different ways were adopted; when an offering was made, it was held up by the tohunga above his head, whilst he uttered his karakia, and waved about. This was called “He Hirihiringa atua.” In the south, where a small kind of image was used, about eighteen inches long, resembling a peg, with a carved head, “He waka pakoko rakau.” The priest first bandaged a fillet of red parrot feathers under the god's chin, which was called his pahau, or beard; this bandage was made of a certain kind of sennet, which was tied on in a peculiar way; when this was done, it was taken possession of by the atua, whose spirit entered it. The priest then either held it in the hand, and vibrated it in the air, whilst the powerful karakia was repeated, or he tied a piece of string (formed of the centre of a flax leaf) round the neck of the image, and stuck it in the ground. He sat at a

* Atu ahu, or charm, to induce a stubborn woman to accept the person who is disliked by her as her husband:—Te umu ma te kahu e hawe ma te karoro e kawe tua wairangi Tuapo hewa manuwairitua manawa rawrikau, mihi mai tangi mai ki au ki tenci tangata kino tenel to tane ko au. This charm is so powerful as to compel the lady to come from any distance.

page 73 little distance from it, leaning against a tuahu, a short stone pillar, stuck in the ground in a slanting position, and holding the string in the hand, he gave the god a jerk, to arrest his attention, lest he should be otherwise engaged, like Baal of old, either hunting, or fishing, or sleeping, and therefore must be awaked: having thus secured the attention of the god, he repeats his first karakia, in a quick singing tone; this being finished, he took a short piece of fern stalk, which he stuck into the ground; he then gave the god another pull, uttered another karakia, and stuck another bit of fern stalk into the ground; and thus he continued until he had repeated all his karakias, which he counts by fern stalks, the same as they do by beads in Rome and Thibet. The god is supposed to make use of the priest's tongue in giving a reply. Image worship appears to have been confined to one part of the island. The atua was supposed only to enter the image for the occasion. The natives declare they did not worship the image itself, but only the atua it represented, and that the image was merely used as a way of approaching him.

The natives have a very great unwillingness to repeat their karakias, and seldom do so to strangers; hence the little accurate information to be obtained from the works of casual travellers. Very little of their account of the rites and ceremonies of the natives can be depended upon, unless acquired through the medium of those who have lived for years amongst them. The heathen natives think there is such power in these spells, that they cannot be repeated without taking effect; and the Christianized natives are afraid that the mere repetition would give the evil spirit power over them; and certainly it is not desirable that this knowledge of heathen rites should be perpetuated amongst them. The priest, when inspired, was really thought to have the spirit of the god in him; his body was then violently agitated, he writhed about as though in great pain, rolled about his eyes, his arms quivering, and seeming insensible to all external objects; then every word spoken was attributed to the god, when the answers were given, the symptoms gradually subsided, and the priest regained his usual composure.

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The answer was frequently given in such incoherent terms, that the priest only could interpret their meaning; the whistling of the wind—the moving of the trees—a flash of lightning—a peal of thunder—a whirlwind—the flying of a bird—even the buz of an insect—or anything which might occur, after the uttering of the karakia, would be regarded as an answer, and favorable or otherwise according to circumstances.

Dreams are very common vehicles of communication; the spirit being supposed then to visit the realms of Po, and hold communication with the inhabitants of the other world. They also consulted the Niu for such purposes (see Niu).* The priest was the usual companion of the chiefs, and he generally managed to make the responses of the god to suit their wishes, if his own feelings were the same; but at times, when the chief undertook any expedition which was not agreeable to his followers, it generally happened that the god also was adverse to the undertaking as well.

The natives had a kind of baptism (He Tohi) for their children: when the navel string came off, then the child was carried to the priest. The ceremony commenced by his taking the navel string (te iho), and burying it in a sacred place, over which a young sapling, either a ngaio, karaka, or kahikatea was planted, which, as it grew, was he tohu oranga (a sign of life) for the child. The end of the waka pakoko rakau (idol), was placed in the child's ear, that the mana (virtue of the god) might be transferred to him, and the following karakia was repeated:—

Taria kia ahuatia to ingoa. Wait till I pronounce your name.
Ko wai to ingoa, What is your name?
Ko rongo to ingoa, Listen to your name,
Tenei to ingoa, This is your name,
Wai kui mancane. Wai kui maneane.
The priest repeated a long list of names, and when the child sneezed, that which was then being uttered was the one selected. The names repeated were those of ancestors. The priest, as he pronounced the name for the child, sprinkled

* Page 91.

page 75 it with a small branch of the kokomiko or karamu. This act was called he tohinga ki te wai, and is their baptism. The naming of the child was called te iuatanga, or pana pananga. After this was done, three ovens of food were made; the first, which was a very small one, only contained one little basket of food; this was for the tino ariki (chief priest). The second at Taupo, where the female priests were the most highly esteemed, had a similar quantity; this was for one of them. The third oven was a very large one, contained food sufficient for all the guests. In the first oven a korimako was cooked; this is the sweetest singing bird of New Zealand: it was eaten that the child might have a sweet voice, and become an admired orator.
Taku kokomako wakahau My korimako teacher come
No nga rake manawa From the dense forest
Ki te tatika i pungarehu. To the shore of pungarehu.

In imitation of this bird, which only sings in the morning, the high chiefs give their commands, and scold their slaves, with the first dawn of the day.

The form of baptism was rather different in the northern part of the island to that of the south. There, when the infant was eight days old, the parents and friends assembled near an appointed place, by the side of a running stream. The priest procured a branch of the karamu (coprosma lucida), which was stuck upright in the water; the navel string of the child was then cut off with a piece of shell, and fastened to the branch; the water which flowed round the rawa (branch) was sprinkled over the child, when it received its name; sometimes it was immersed. The following karakia was used:—

Tohia te tama nei; Sprinkle this boy;
Kia riri, kia nguha; Let him flame with anger;
Ka waka taka te watu; The hail will fall;
Ka tohi ki tai mo tu; Dedicate him to the god of war;
Karo tao, karo mahuta; Ward, ward off the spears, let them pass off;
Te toa rere, te toa mahuta; Be nimble to jump about;
Karo patu, karo tao; Shield off the blow, shield off the spear;page 76
Te toa rere te toa mahuta; Let the brave man jump about;
Ka tohia ki tai mo tu. Dedicate him to the god of war.

After the baptism, follows a kind of exhortation:—

Hahau kai mau tangaengae; Clear the land for food, and be strong to work;
Ko koe kia riri tangaengae; You be angry and industrious;
Ko koe kia toa; You be courageous;
Ko koe kia mahi; You must work;
Ko koe kia tahourahi. You must work before the dew is off the ground.

The karakias relating to war are very numerous, and singular. It is remarkable, with the exception of the spell to compel a woman to love her admirer, there are none relating to marriage.

The following karakia was used at the baptism of female children:—

Tohia te tama nei; Name this child;
He aha, he hau ora; What is it, a living breath;
He hau rangatira; A Chief's breath;
Kei runga kei te rangi; From the heaven above;
Ka puha te rangi; The sky has become warm;
E iri iria koe ki te iri iri; Be you baptized with the baptism;
Hahau kai mau, tangaengae; Seek food for thyself with panting for breath;
Haere ki te wahie mau, tangaengae; Seek food for thyself with panting for breath;
Watu kakahu mau, tangaengae. Weave garments for thyself with panting for breath.

In addition to the rite of baptism, was another resembling confirmation.

The infant was dedicated to Tu, the god of war; but he did not presume to fight, until he had received a second sprinkling. On this occasion the priest again used a branch of the karamu. Each priest, on the declaration of war, assembled his own party, and went to a sacred water. At first, all sat down, but, after a time, they stood up naked in the water, which they heaped up against their bodies, and threw over page 77 their heads. After they had been sprinkled by the priest, he said,

Tena te au, te au ka noho,— This is the spirit, the spirit is present,—
Te au o tenei tapu. The spirit of this tapu.
Ka riri te tama; The boy will be angry;
Ka nguha te tama; The boy will flame;
Ka toa te tama; The boy will be brave;
Ka wai korou te tama. The boy will possess thought.
Tohia te tama nei. Name this boy.
Kia riri, kia nguha,— That he may be angry, that he may flame,—
Kia wakataka te watu. To make the hail fall.
Makani ki tai, no Tu. Dedicate him to fight for Tu.
Karo patu, ki tai no Tu. Ward off the blow, that he may fight for Tu.
Te toa rere, te toa mahuta. The man of war jumps, and wards off the blows.

Here the ceremony terminated, and the assembly, as if inspired, jumped up and rushed to the fight, while the priest repeated the following karakia, standing on some elevated spot, from which he could command a view of the battle:—

Tenei hoki te tuputupu wenua. The god of strength, or, let him be present.
Ka …. i …. ta. Let not your breath fail you.

After the battle was over, the priest called those who survived, and enquired of each if he had killed any one, or taken any prisoners. All who had been in battle before delivered up their weapons to him, who then deposited them in the house where they were kept. Those who had fought for the first time were called, and asked if they had killed any one. If the person addressed replied in the affirmative, the priest demanded his mere—stone battle-axe—and broke it in pieces. This was the invariable custom with young warriors, when they had imbued their hands in the blood of their enemies. The priest having afterwards assembled them together, used the following words, which were called the Haha:

Tena te hau, te hau ka wangai, This is the wind, the wind is feeding,page 78
He hau hinga— The wind descends—
He hau ora, oi! The wind is prosperous.
Ko tamangemange o Tu. The many sacred things of Tu.
He hau hinga. The wind descends.
He hau ora, oi; The wind is prosperous.
Te hau ora o Tu. The living wind of Tu.

The natives regarded the wind as an indication of the presence of their god, if not the god himself.

After this ceremony, the youths were considered as men, though they were narrowly watched, for some time, by the priest, and they were liable to be put to death if they broke any of the sacred rules of the tapu. They could not carry loads, cut their own hair, or plait a woman's. If one of them was discovered by the priest doing any of these things, he assumed his authority, and pronounced the sentence of death by saying, Go away! Go away! This so affected the person to whom it was addressed that it was quite sufficient to kill him.

There was another ceremony performed after fighting, which was supposed to confer a benefit on all who had been engaged in the battle, and were successful in killing or making slaves. It was called he pureinga, which means a taking off of that sacredness which had been put upon them before the fight; or, in other words, the taking off the tapu.

Tena te hau. There is the wind.
Te hau ka riri. The wind rests.
Te hau ka wangai. The wind is feeding.
Te hau kohirunga. The wind which gathers.
E hau hinga! O wind subside!
E hau ora, o …. i! O living wind!
Ko tamangamange o Tu. O sacred things of Tu.
Haia te hau, haia. Loose the tapu.
Te ati tupua. The god of strength.
E tau haia te ati tawito. Let the ancient god dismiss the tapu.
E … e … e … te tau haia. O … o … o … the tapu is taken away.

The natives when marching or sailing, if they wished to be filled with the spirit of war, appealed to the priest and invoked page 79 his aid, when he stretched out his arm at full length, and used the following prayer:—

E te rangi homai he riri! O heaven, give us anger.
E te atua, homai he riri! O god, give us anger.

The following prayer was uttered when they were alarmed by any sudden inroad of the enemy. It was used by the toa, or warrior, whilst putting on his belt and mere, which he took from his resting place, where they formed his pillow, as it was the head which gave them sanctity:—

Tukia i roto te wara wakaarahia: They thought of killing me in the house, but I have arisen.
Ka riri te mata o Tu. The face of Tu is angry.
Ka nguha te mata o Tu. The face of Tu flames.
E Tu, wahia te rangi. O Tu, divide the heavens.
Homai taku tu kia numia. Give me my strength to abide.
Kia rawea, That I may be quick to take,
He maro riri, he maro nguha; Long and strong anger and flaming;
He maro kaitaua; Strong to devour the battle;
He maro takarokaro whenua. Strong for the play of war.

When they went to war, they were separated from their wives, and did not again approach them, until peace was proclaimed. Hence, during a period of long-continued warfare, they remarked that their wives were widows.

When a party attacking a pa had forced an entrance, they generally killed all within it. At the time of the slaughter, the victors pulled off a lock of hair from each victim, and also from those they saved as slaves, which they stuck in their girdles. When the carnage was over, they assembled in ranks, generally three deep, each party being headed by its own tohunga, to thank their gods, and also to propitiate their favor for the future. When all the necessary arrangements were made, they each gave the tohunga a portion of the hair they had collected, which he bound on two small twigs of koromiko (veronica salicifolia); these he raised above his head, one in each hand, the people doing the same, except that they used twigs without any hair. They remained in this posture whilst the priest offered a prayer for the future welfare of the tribe. He page 80 then cast the twigs with the hair bound to them from him, as did the warriors with theirs, and all joined in this puha, or war song,

Tupeke! tupeke! rua tupeke!
Raro tirohia mai taku kotore:
Ae miro-miro, he weta-weta, ki te kai a te ika:
Ka pepeke ruaki i te kai a te ika, ka tupeke!

Then standing quite naked, they clapped their hands together, and struck them upon their thighs, in order to take off the tapu from their hands, which had been imbued in human blood. When they arrived near their own pa, they marched slowly, and in order, towards the house of the principal tohunga, who stood in his wahi tapu, or sacred grove, ready to receive them. As soon as they were about one hundred yards from him, he called out, “I haere mai i hea te tere o Tu?” Whence comes the war party of Tu?—Whereupon he was answered by the tohunga of the party, “I haere mai i te kimihanga te tere o Tu.” The war party of Tu comes from the search.—“I haere mai i hea te tere o Tu?” From whence comes the war party of Tu?—“I haere mai i te ranga-haunga te tere o Tu.” The war party of Tu comes from the stinking place.—“I haere mai i hea te tere o Tu?” From whence comes the war party of Tu?—“I haere mai i runga; i haere mai i raro; i haere mai i te huru manu; i haere mai i te takitaki; i purongo ki reira; i korero rongo ki reira.” It comes from the south; it comes from the north; it comes from the thicket where birds congregate; it comes from the fortifications; it made speeches there; it heard news there.

When they got near the principal tohunga, the warriors gave the remaining locks of hair to their own priest, who went forward and presented them to the chief one; he offered them to the god of war, with many prayers. They then performed the tupeke, or war dance, and clapped their hands a second time.

The slave of the tohunga belonging to the war party then made three ovens, in which he cooked a portion of the hearts of the principal warriors of the conquered party. When they were done, the chief tohunga took a portion, over which he uttered a karakia, and then threw it towards his god, as an page 81 offering. Having eaten all the food of the three ovens, he took the tapu off the warriors, and they were permitted to tangi, or cry, with their relations. The women came out armed, and if any of the attacking party had been lost in the assault, they fell upon the slaves, and killed as many as they could.* Among the Taupo tribes it was not lawful for women and girls to eat human flesh, though this restriction does not appear to have extended to other parts of the island.

This karakia was used to propitiate Maru, for success in war. It was accompanied with the offering of a pig, or other food, which, when cooked, was placed before the priest, who repeated the following words whilst tearing it in pieces; he afterwards devoured it:—

Ko pi, ko pi te ata, ka kai ana,
Kia kai koe i te kai ngaki o tou wanaunga
Tenei tou kai i kai namu ai,
Kia wangaia kai namu ai.

Before going to war, an offering was generally brought to the priest who placed it before him, and, having uttered these words, eat it:—

Ka mamai te umu o te riariaki,
O te hapahapai, ka mamai te umu o Tutawake,
Ka mamai te umu o te wakauwanga,
Ka mamai te umu o te tirohanga.

When a war party returned from a fight, if they had been unsuccessful, the priest met them with a large branch in his hand, as an expiatory offering, and uttered this karakia:—

* When Hongi returned from a war expedition, the widow of one of his chiefs, who had fallen in battle, rushed down to the canoe as it approached, loudly demanding utu, or revenge, for her husband's death. There were many captives on board. She jumped into the canoe with a hatchet in her hand. The poor fellows, knowing that their doom was sealed, without a murmur, of their own accord laid their heads over the sides of the canoe, and met their fate from her hands; sixteen thus fell victims to her fury. Mr. Puckey, an eye witness, narrated the circumstance to me.

Nau mai! I haere mai koe i hea? Welcome! Whence do you come?
Tenei au, I haere mai au i te pikinga a rangi. Here I am, I come from the ascent to heaven.
Nau mai! I haere mai koe i hea? Welcome! Whence do you come?
Tenei au, i haere mai i te kakenga a rangi. Here I am, I come from the descent of heaven.
Nau mai! I haere mai koe i hea? Welcome! Whence do you come?
Tenei au, i haere mai au i te ngakinga i te mate o Wahieroa. Here I am, I come from working the death of Wahieroa.page 82
Hikitia mai tau rakau ki runga te wata; Lift your weapon above upon the altar;
Tau rakau kia kai mai koutou; Your weapon, that you may be permitted to eat;
Tau rakau hikihiki taiaroa, Brandish your weapon with a yell,
Hikihiki taiaroa, tai notinoti piopio Brandish with a prolonged yell.*
Basket with Gods.

Basket with Gods.

* For much of this information, which relates to the Rarawa, I am indebted to the Rev. J. Matthews, of Kaitaia.