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


Tamairangi is said to have been as great a chieftainess as Hinematioro, of Tolaga Bay whose fame had reached the early missionaries in the north, by whom she was referred to as "a great queen". Tamairangi, in travelling from village to village, was never allowed to walk; she had male attendants who carried her. When she appeared before the tribe on public occasions, she was dressed in the linest mats, with plumes of albatross feathers in her hair, and a long and richly carved taiaha in her hand.

When Te Atiawa and Ngati Toa invaded her district and killed many of her people, Tamairangi and the other survivors took refuge at Tapu-te-ranga pa, the islet in Island Bay, Wellington, and when that place fell, her people carried her off by sea around Te Rimurapa (Cape Te Rawhiti) to Ohariu, a little bay on Cook's Straits, due west of Wellington, where she was captured by her enemies, who however did not kill her or her children. Dreading that she would be put to death she asked to be allowed to sing her own lament, a request that was acceded to by her captors. This lament, in which she took farewell of her people, and her lands, was of such a pathetic nature that it appealed to Te Rangihaeata, chief of Ngati Toa, who begged of Te Atiawa her captors — that she might be given to him, and this request being complied with, she was taken to Kapiti Island where she and her family stayed for some time (see b). While there, her son Kekerengu, who was a full grown man, got into trouble through a liaison with Te Rangihaeata's wife, and fearing the consequences, he, with his mother Tamairangi and her children, escaped by canoe from Kapiti in the night, and braving the terrors of Cook's Strait, crossed over to Arapaoa, Tamairangi's old home. Here they all stayed some time, but still fearing the wrath of Te Rangihaeata, they again fled and eventually reached Kekerengu, a stream, (now a small village), twenty miles south of Cape Campbell. Here the fugitives were set upon by the Ngai Tahu tribe, and all killed. Since then this place has been called Kekerengu, after the son of Tamairangi.