Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Te whakatuwheratanga o Te Tumu Herenga Waka : 6 Tihema 1986, Poneke, Te Whare Wananga o Wikitoria


page 15




"Tatai whetu ki te rangi

Ngati Kahungunu ki te whenua.'

As stars bedeck the heavens

So too, Ngati Kahungunu on earth.

Kahungunu was born in Kaitaia and descends from the kawai rangatira of the renowned ancestors Tamatea-mai-tawhiti and Paikea. He is the founding ancestor of the Ngati Kahungunu tribe which has its boundaries from Rongowhakaata, through Heretaunga to the Wairarapa. Kahungunu was a giant of a man, big-framed, industrious and physically pleasing to the eye. Tradition has it that he was a man of great personality, versatility and that he was a diplomat of some ability. Kahungunu was the epitomy of industry. His ability at procuring kai and looking after his people are remembered in the saying; "Ko Kahungunu he tangata ahuwhenua, mohio ki te whakahaere i nga mahi o uta, o te tai." (Kahungunu is an industrious man and one who knows how to manage works both on land and at sea). Kahungunu was apparently a very handsome man, and he was thus able to win his way into the favours of tribe after tribe as he journeyed down the East Coast from his northern home. Women melted at the sight of this man, and many a maiden desired him. His eight wives were testimony to his captivating looks, industry and personality. The epic story about how he won Rongomaiwahine, the chieftainess from Nukutaurua, Mahia and Kahungunu, can still be heard on many marae throughout the land (see 18a) and is highlighted in a popular action song.