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


Hinemoa lived at Owhata, on the eastern shores of Lake Rotorua, with her mother, Hinemaru and her father, Umukaria. On days and times prearranged, the Mokoia Island people crossed to Owhata, on the mainland to barter their fruit, kumara and other produce, for cloaks and other vestments. They held sports, wrestling, swing games and some times, taiaha contests. These were always festive occasions and each night the canoes were pulled up to the land, away from the beach.

One evening, Hinemoa, hearing the lonely flute of her lover Tutanekai, removed her clothes and tied three calabashes to each side of her body over which she wore a large cloak. She went to the rock, Iriirikapua, climbed it and sat for a time meditating and praying. The place at the lake edge where she dropped off her cloak was named Wai-rere-wai. She got in the water and swam across the lake to Mokoia Island and landed at Wai-mihia, the thermal bath, where she plunged into the warm and caressing waters.

A short time later, Tiki, a man servant of Tutanekai, arrived to fill a calabash with water for Tutanekai to drink. Hinemoa waited until Tiki had filled the calabash, then said in a man's voice — "Give me water to drink". She drank it and threw the calabash to the ground. Tiki ran back to Tutanekai and told him what had happened. Tutanekai went down to the bath. In a demanding voice he asked, "Where is the man who smashed my calabash?" Receiving no reply he crossed to the other side of the bath and pressing his hand along the side of the bath, caught hold of the hand of Hinemoa. "Who is this?" Hinemoa replied — "It is I, Hinemoa".

A short time later the union between Hinemoa and Tutanekai was given official blessing by the respective tribes.