The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions: Horo-Uta or Taki-Tumu Migration. [Vol. II]
My spirit trembles in this world, and,
Whilst down from Rehia [a mountain]
Lightnings flash and winds descend,
I offer sacrifice demanded.
Now rest, great trembling one,
As come the foe
So nimbly, in divisions,
On the road to Moko-ia.
* * * * * * *
My enemies are these:
The earthquake, and the caterpillar,
And all devouring insects
* * * * * * *
Coming from Waero-ti [island in Polynesia].
* * * * * * *
And, oh! those uhi (yams), and kumara,
And taro now fall from out
The girdle of Wahie-roa.
* * * * * * *
My spirit yearns, and now,
O god of man! deprive
My enemies of power.
O god of man! I now
Am at my work—
My crops am planting.
Moisten my plantation
And cause my crops to grow.
O cloud! descend from Rehia [a mountain],
And lightnings flash, and winds descend,
And yield an increase;
Whilst I my offering make,
And chant my sacred song
To him, the One supreme.
* * * * * * *page 2
Oh, that that which to me is precious
May not now be blighted
By the salt sea-wind or gale!
Io is really the god. He made the heaven and the earth. The following is the opening of one incantation repeated to him at the time that the bones of a corpse were being exhumed. At the conclusion of this incantation another one was repeated to Tio-rea (great reverberating sound), who was the pet of the noted Ue-nuku. Ue-nuku was a man, but after death he was deified. Io made Tiki.
Incantation to Io.
O Io! O! Put our children
All in a line, and name them,
That they may hear
Words from your seat (throne)—
From the great seat
Of fame in the heaven.
Heaven moves to meet
The coming of its hosts.
Now, Rangi took Papa, and begat Rongo, Tanga-roa, Tane, Kahu-kura, and Ru-ai (wai)-moko-roa. Ru-ai-moko-roa was not born, but was the power in the centre of the earth which caused earthquakes.
Io was a sign of good or evil. The involuntary twitching of any part of the human body was recognized as Io.
If a company of travellers by land or sea were detained by rain or wind, and a twitching in the middle of the arm or leg were felt by the chief, or priest, or another person of note, such Io was an omen of evil to the company; but if the Io was at the extremity of the arm or leg, it was an omen of rain or wind. Whoever was the subject of Io always communicated the matter page 3 to his companions, some of whom immediately took the most extreme measures to prevent being surprised by an enemy, while others consulted as to its interpretation.
If the Io were on the left side, and under the arm, it was an omen of death; and if it were on the chest and near the heart, it was an omen of death, of murder, or war: if it were anywhere between the chest and the elbow on the left side, it was an omen of the defeat of the party, or of some of them being killed by an ambuscade.
If Io were on the shoulder, it was an omen that the enemy would pass their company at some distance; and if on the thigh, it indicated that the enemy would go away without attacking them or any of their settlements.
If Io were on the right side, between the thigh and the knee, it was an omen of visitors who had not before been in the district; if it were between the thigh and the stomach, it was an omen of visitors who had not been to them before; but if it were in the groin, it was an omen of the visit of relatives, who would arrive the same evening or at dawn of the following day. The subject of this last Io always asked the questions, “My parents?” “My elder brother?” “My sister?” and would confidently expect the person he had named the time Io ceased. Sometimes such persons have been met on the road, and have been told Io had given premonition of their approach; and all were ready to receive them.
If the Io were on the right arm it was an omen of a present of food shortly to arrive for that person. If it were on the right shoulder it was an omen of food consisting of birds and eels.
If the Io were near the region of the lungs it was an omen of death. If the Io were under either ear it was an omen of death. If it were at the side of or below either eye it meant death; if on the upper lip, it was an omen that some one was slandering that person. If it were above the eyes it was an omen that the person would be smitten with leprosy or with contracted muscles. If it were on the lower lip or chin it was an omen of food for that person.page 4
Rangi and Papa begat Ru-wai-moko (the god of earthquakes, or the water trembling with the lizard), who resided in his mother. Ru-wai-moko begat Manu-ongaonga (the bird who came when called), who begat Ue-tonga (trembling south), who begat Niwa-reka (great delight).
Mata-ora (healthy face) took Niwa-reka to wife; but, having beaten her, she left him and went below. He followed her, and, having arrived at the house of Ku-watawata (light seen through chinks), he asked, “Where is the road leading below?” He was told it was at the back of the house. Ku-watawata opened the door of Te-po (darkness), and Mata-ora looked down into it and saw men walking about, and houses standing there. He descended, and met Ti-wai-waka (or Ti-wakawaka—fantail bird), to whom he put the question, “Has any human being met you?” “Yes,” said he, “and she has gone on, her lips hanging down, and a sobbing noise was heard from her. She has gone.” Mata-ora went on, and arrived at a place where a fire was burning, which had been made by those who tattooed the human face; and Ue-tonga was in the act of tattooing a man. Ue-tonga looked at the moko (tattooing) on the face of Mata-ora, and put out his hand and wiped the moko off, at the same time saying, “Those above do not tattoo properly.” Mata-ora was then thrown down, and Ue-tonga began to tattoo him. When Mata-ora felt the pain of the operation he chanted this song:—page 5
Niwa-reka, great delight,
Who has caused me
To come to darkness—
To utmost darkness.
Speak of the pain
Of the beloved one
Who is at Ahu-ahu (swelling up),
And at Ranga-tira (the chiefs),
And at Nuku-moana-riki (distant little sea).
Yes, thy bloom of red,
Which has passed swiftly
Along the road to Tara-naki (slanting or following barb),
Yes, at Tara-naki is
The beloved one, to whom
Your nimble feet
The report of these circumstances, and the words of the song were conveyed to the house in which Niwa-reka lived at Aroarotea (white face), where she was occupied in weaving mats. Then she rose and went to where Ue-tonga, her father, was tattooing Mata-ora. Ue-tonga commanded her to go away, but she would not heed his orders, and said to the man who was being tattooed, “O man! chant your song.” The man again chanted his song. She listened to his chant, especially to the closing, which was this:—
Tell it to the west
Tell it to the south,
And to the north also.
Look at the stars above
And glance at the moon.
I am as the tattooed tree.
Say who is thy beloved,
And let the scent of
The mokimoki plant (sweet-scented fern)
Give forth its sweetness
And foster those desires,
That in the midst
Of waving plumes
I may a listener be.
From the words of his song she discovered he was her husband, and took him to her house, where she attended to him till the wounds of the tattooing had been healed.page 6
He then spoke to her and said, “Let us return above.” They came to the house of Ku-watawata, and still on they came into this upper world; but Mata-ora omitted to leave with Ku-watawata one of the garments his wife had made, as payment for travelling the road of Po. But Ku-wata-wata called and said, “Mata-ora, go and shut the door of Te Po and the door of To Ao (of the night and day), as men shall not in future pass over this road.”
Mata-ora lived with his wife in this world, and taught men the art of tattooing. Hence the proverb for tattooing,—
Mata-ora taught the art
Of Ue-tonga —
The art of tattooing;
The core of Mata-ora —
The work of Ue-tonga.
Niwa-reka and Mata-ora had Papa-hu (plain or unmarked face); but we will now tell of another branch of the family—we will speak of Tura—and then come back to speak of that from which Maui came.
Genealogy and History of Tura (Bald-Head), Also Called Wai-Rangi-Haere (Demented Wanderer).
Te-anu-ki-waho begat Te Pou-namu; and Te-anu-ku-whakarere begat Te-mataa. Te-anu-ku-mahana begat Tura, who took Rau-kura-matua (red plume the senior) to wife, and begat Ira-tu-roto (pimple on the skin). Ira-tu-roto took Te-waha-mata-reka (sweet voice and beautiful face), and begat Ui-roa (long inquiry). Ui-roa took Te-whe (caterpillar), and begat Tahito-tare (the asking of old). Tahito-tare took Rongo-mai-kato (severed whale), and begat Ra-kai-nui (day of great eating); who took a wife and begat Ao-mata-rahi (dawn on broad expanse) and a daughter, Rua-tapu-roa (long sacred pit). Rua-tapu-roa took Kahu-kura-nui (great red garment), and begat Ra-kai-hiku-roa (long eating of the remainder), who begat Ta-manu-hiri (stop page 7 the stranger), who took Rua-ka-eto (the pit of evaporation), and begat a daughter called Hine-pare (daughter of the plume), who took a husband and begat Taniko (border, or fringe) and Tama-waka-tini (son of the many canoes). Tama-waka-tini took Ra-kai-ha-kino (day of the bad breath), and begat Tama-ihu-poro (son of the blunt nose), who took Te-kura-i-waho (the sacred red of a distance), and begat Ra-kai-te-kura (day on which the sacred red was used), a daughter; and a son called Tama-tea. Ra-kai-te-kura took Tu-maro (power unabated), and had no issue.
At this time Tura took to wife Ru (Rau)-kura-matua, and begat his son Ira-tu-roto.
A nephew of the great chief Whiro took to wife Ha-raki-raki (the ancient) and had a child, which was given to Whiro, its grand-uncle, to nurse for a short time. An accident caused Whiro to call for the mother to take it away. In removing the infant she saw the tattooing on the body of the old man, and laughed. This was the origin of a liaison between them. The fact was soon known, and the people with disapprobation said, “Who ever knew of a father-in-law acting as Whiro has done with his daughter-in-law!” and with other condemnatory words expressed their disapproval. Whiro was ashamed, and made friends with Tura, and went on a voyage with Tura in his canoe, to escape the censure of his people. Tura was not fully apprised of the intention of Whiro in going on this expedition. Tura thought it was a trip of pleasure; but he soon found that he was in company with a man who intended to destroy himself.
So soon as Whiro had made up his mind to leave his home and go down even to Wawau (infatuation, or destruction), he began to make his canoe ready for sea, and when he had put the side-boards on, and was tying the rope along one of the side-boards, he said to one of the men who was helping him, “Put the rope through the hole in the side of the canoe” (d.) The man did so. Whiro then said, “Put the noose of the rope over your head.” The man, whose name was Kai-kapo (catcher of anything thrown), did that also; and, as Whiro was in the page 8 canoe and Kai-kapo was on the outside, Whiro pulled the rope tight and strangled Kai-kapo, and buried his body in the chips made from the canoe. The people missed Kai-kapo, and sought for him; but in vain. Then they wept and bewailed him. While the canoe was being dragged to the sea the body of Kai-kapo was found among the chips by those who helped, as they trod on the chips, and they at once charged Whiro with murder; but Whiro and Tura, with their crew, sailed away in the canoe, and met Tu-tata-hau (Tu of the strong leg) and Roko (Rongo) -taka-whiu (Rongo the circum-navigator), Taroi (traveller far and near) and Ta-tea (fair face). Tu-tata-hau said, “Canoe! canoe of whom?” One of the crew of Whiro's canoe answered, “Canoe of gods.” Tu-tata-hau killed this man. Again Tu-tata-hau asked, “Is it a canoe of men?” Again one of Whiro's crew answered, “Canoe of gods.” He also was killed by Tu-tata-hau. Again Tu-tata-hau asked, “Canoe! canoe of whom?” Tura answered, “The canoe of Whiro. The canoe of the ancients, who tear and rend.” Then the canoe of Tata-hau went quickly away, and thus Whiro and his crew escaped destruction. Going on again, Whiro approached O-tea (white food), but passed along the coast so swiftly that Tura became convinced that he was being carried to destruction. The canoe now went so near to the shore as to be hidden by the overhanging branches of the trees, so he put forth his hand and caught one of the boughs and swung himself on to dry land, and left Whiro and his canoe to go to Wawau (perplexed) by themselves.
Tura now travelled inland until the sun went down, and, being weary, he sat down and slept. On the morrow he went on, and when the sun was declining he came to the house of Te-ru-wahine (old woman), to whom he spoke, and whom he would have taken as his wife; but she said, “I am the guardian of property; but there are other females, one of whom you can take as your wife.” Tura took one of these as his wife. She was of the people called Aitanga-a-nuku-mai-tore (offspring of the page 9 red eye), who lived up in the trees—on the wharawhara (Astelia banksii) and the kiekie (Freycinetia banksii). In form, their chests and waists were large and their heads were small. They were not human beings.
Tura, however, now lived with the wife he had taken of this people, called Turaki-hau (calm the wind), and he was known to them as Wai-rangi (turbulent). They provided food for him; but the food was raw, and when his wife offered this food he did not partake of it. Tura said within himself, “These people are not human—they are gods; and they live on raw food.”
Now, Tura had brought with him the sticks by which he could procure fire by friction: these he took from under his garments, and made a fire; and when the people smelt the smoke they all fled to the forest. His wife rose to flee also; but he detained her by taking hold of her garments, and made her sit by his side. He made an umu (oven), and in it cooked some food; and when the earth-covering of the oven was taken off, the sweet savour of the cooked food was wafted to those who had fled, and they returned to the settlement, and, seeing the food, asked for some. Having tasted it, they pronounced it good and sweet. Wai-rangi said, “You are not human, you are gods: you eat your food raw.”
Wai-rangi then lived quietly with his wife until the time came when she would have a child; and all the people knew of it. He built a house; and all her female relatives came to his wife, each bringing a piece of mataa (obsidian), some clothing, and some flax. On seeing these females coming, Wai-rangi said to his wife, “What are these females coming for?” His wife answered, “They are coming to give birth to my child, and I shall die. The child will come into life by my death, and these women are coming to cut me open.” Wai-rangi, in surprise, said, “Is it so? Is that their practice?” She said, “Yes.”
Wai-rangi then built another house, and took his wife there. In it he placed two poles. One, called Pou-tama-wahine (the post of the daughter), he stuck securely in the ground in front page 10 of his wife; the other, called Pou-tama-tane (prop of the son), he fixed at the back of his wife. “Now,” said Wai-rangi, “the post or prop at your back is for you to rest against, and the prop in front of you is for you to hold on by, so that you be not overcome.” Wai-rangi again said, “If your child is not born soon you must call Ao-nui (great world), and say, ‘One to that world,’ and Ao-roa (long world), and say, ‘One to that world,’ and Ao-tauira (world of the disciple), and say ‘One to that world.’ If then the child is not born, you must call my name, and say, ‘One to Tura.”’ And now his name of Tura was first known.
The child was born, and the placenta was taken and offered to Mua; then the umbilical string was cut and buried, and the child and its mother were taken to a spot at some distance from the settlement, and there they remained. When the navel-string fell off, the ceremony of naming the child was performed. Those who gave the name to the child assembled and cooked food in an oven for themselves; then an oven of food was cooked for those who were to perform the ceremony of baptism, and for those who came to chant the incantations of that ceremony, and for the most aged of the people who joined in the ceremony. Of the food cooked in the latter oven the father was the first to partake; then those who assisted in the ceremony; the rest was given to the whole tribe.
When the child was old enough to run alone, Tura said to his wife, “Comb my hair.” Whilst she was doing so Tura heard her muttering words of surprise. At last she said, “Why are some white amongst your black hairs?” He answered “They are grey hairs—they are the signs of decay.” She asked, “Are they signs of very death?” He said, “Yes.” She said, O Tura! then is man to be subject to two deaths?” He answered “Yes.” Tura was now downcast, and he wept over his child, whom they had called Tauira-ahua (the model likeness). He wept for two days over his child, and his wife wept for two days over Tura. He then addressed his child and said, “Farewell. Live a good and page 11 quiet life, and do not practise evil.”
Tura left them; and after three days’ journey he came to a paikea (a whale), which he found stranded on the sea-beach. He cut it up and dried it. Some he put on a high whata (stage) for present use; some he put on a low whata for the time of his old age. He then commenced to build a house, which he called Hau-turu-nuku (the sea-breeze of the fifteenth night of the moon). In this he lived and slept till he became aged and so weak that he could not move out for any necessity. His body therefore became dirty. His memory, however, was active, and at times in the dusk of evening he gave utterance to these words: “O Ira-tu-roto! O Ira-tu-roto!” Then again in his sleep he would call “Ira-tu-roto! O Ira-tu-roto!”
Ira-tu-roto was his son by his first wife, and had been left when he went off in the canoe with Whiro, and was still living with the people at his father's first home. One night Ira-tu-roto had a dream, and on awaking he said to the people, “I have had a dream in which I heard my father Tura calling ‘Ira-tu-roto, Ira-tu-roto.’”
Again, when it was dusk, Tura felt a longing for his first child, and again he called “Ira-tu-roto, Ira-tu-roto,” and in his sleep he continued to utter the same words.
And again his son Ira-tu-roto dreamt about his father, and on awaking related it to the people; and also said to his mother, Rau-kura-matua, “Give some oil to me.” Then he anointed himself, and slept at his home that night, and on the morrow he departed on a long journey to a strange land in search of his father. He found him in a most destitute state, and washed him; and, having made a box, he put him into it and conveyed him back to his old home, and to his first wife, Rau-kura-matua.
Tura went out in a canoe with Whiro and his brother Hua (fruit). Tura went in this canoe without object. After they had page 12 gone some distance they were drawn into a whirlpool. When the canoe had come to the centre of it Tura said to Whiro, “O Whiro! what sort of a canoe is this?” Whiro answered, “It is a canoe of death.” Tura fled on shore with his sticks for obtaining fire, and, going along the sandy coast of Matiti (the roost of the birds), he met Te-kai-runga (the eater above) and Te-kai-uma (the eater on the breast), who were travelling and dancing. In form these people, who were the offspring of Nuku-mai-kore (tore) (not inclined this way), appeared to be all hands, and elbows, and shoulders; and they lived on uncooked food, consisting of kumara and whale.
Tura lit a fire, and the smell of the smoke of it caused these people to fly into the forest.
Tura took a wife from this people, whose name was Turaki-hau. He taught this woman to cook food in an umu, or hangi (oven); and when her people smelt the odour of this food they came back from the forest and partook of it. At first it produced vomiting; but they continued to eat until this result was overcome, and they could enjoy it.
The name of the sticks with which Tura procured fire by friction was Matai-tu (obstinately seeking).
Tura, or Wairangi-haere, as he was now called, lived with his wife Turaki-hau, who had been sent to him from above. He built houses. The name of one was Rangi-takihi (the core (or kidney) of heaven); another was called Hau-te-ruruka (rurunga) (the gentle air).
When the time came that the wife of Tura was to have her first-born, her parents, ancestors, aged relations, and nieces came to her, each bringing obsidian and garments. The pieces of obsidian were to cut their relative open and secure the safe arrival of the little stranger. But Tura would not allow such an unnatural act to be performed upon his wife, but fixed three posts so that against one the feet could be pressed, and that the other two could each be grasped by either hand.page 13
When the time of anguish came Tura chanted his incantations, and the child was born, and the life of its mother was saved. This mode so delighted the people that it has continued to be practised until the present time. Had Tura allowed them to follow their own practice the body of the mother would, after delivery, have been taken to the Wai-ora-tane (life-giving waters of Tane) and there washed and bathed until life came back again and perfect health returned.
Thus Tura taught these people the art of cooking and how children might be born with safety to the mother. It was he who first had grey hairs on his head, and he was the first, also, who became decrepit and feeble by long life.
After this Tura lived in a house and never again slept out in the open air, even to the time of his old age. One day Tura's wife looked at the hairs on his head, and asked, “What are these?” Tura answered, “They are the signs of man's decay and death.” Turaki-hau again asked, “Is it true that you will really die?” He answered, “Yes;” and she then took their child, called Tai-roro-hua (the giddiness produced by the motion on the sea), and fled, leaving Tura alone in his house, where he lived till he was no longer able to move. After a long time his child came back, and attended to him until his death. The child took his father to the water and washed, him; but Tura did not recover even after he was washed. Hence grey hairs, age, and decay have come on all men.
Whiro and Tura. (Another Reading—Nga-Ti-Porou.)
We will now speak of Ao-mata-kaka (day of looking cautiously). We will not follow each line of family descent, but relate the cause of, and the incidents which took place at, the battle of the Potiki-kai-rororo (eating the child's brains).
Ao-taru-aitu (disease of ill omen) begat Mo-uriuri (the black one), who begat Mo-rekareka (the delightful one), who begat Mo-roki-tu (the calmly-standing one), who begat Mo-roki-tohe (the quiet, persistent one), who begat Mo-hiku-i-tauira (the last page 14 disciple), who begat Hua (fruit) and Whiro-tipua-mana-tu (evil genii of the second night of the moon, whose influence failed not). Hua and Whiro were brothers, but Hua was the elder.
Now, Hua and his brother quarrelled about a totara tree. Hua rose and went and cut it down, and made it into a canoe, and left it on its own chips where it had been made. Hua and his men went to procure food, and when they had obtained a quantity, messengers were sent to Whiro and his people, asking them to come and help Hua to drag his canoe to the sea. Whiro and his people accepted the invitation, and at once left their settlement to help Hua. While they were on the way Whiro addressed his tribe, and said, “O people! let us take the canoe from Hua;” and to his son he said, “When we have dragged the canoe to where the road branches—one branch leading to the settlement of Hua and the other to ours—I will cry aloud these words:—
Drag the canoe of Hua
Called Hotu-te-ihi-rangi (soul of the dread heaven).
But you must not, as usual, repeat these in chorus: keep silence. Then I will again shout,—
Drag the canoe in stealth—
The canoe made and lost.
Even when I have shouted these words you must keep silence. But when I shout, —
Drag the canoe of Whiro
Ah! made for nought.
then you must raise your voices, and in loud chorus repeat these words; and when I again shout, —
Oh! drag the canoe of Whiro
Up to Wainga-tu (the name of the settlement),
shout aloud and call these words with all your might, and add,—
Oh! follow in vain,
and drag the canoe along until you reach the branch road which leads to our home; then be strong and drag her lustily along to our place.”
When he had thus explained his plans they laid hold of the canoe, and to give the men spirit Whiro at intervals called aloud,—
Whiro saw that the canoe would not move; he then uttered in a loud shout,—
O Whiro-tipua (goblin)!
and the people put forth all their strength, and the canoe moved, and was dragged to where the road branched off to the settlement of Hua. Then Hua called to the people, and said, “Drag her direct to my settlement.” But the tribe of Whiro who were dragging the canoe took no heed, and went along the road leading to Wainga-tu (accustomed to), their own settlement.
Hua now went in front of them, and attempted to guide the canoe into the road leading to his home; but they dragged her on till they arrived at Wainga-tu. For all this Hua did not relinquish his claim to the canoe, but with his people he collected food for those who had dragged it, and for the men who should continue to work and finish it, and this food was daily heaped in long rows, with the most savoury pieces placed on the top. The son of Hua, however, went each day and ate the savoury bits from each heap; and this was observed by Whiro, and he also noted that Hua did not chide his son for such conduct.
The canoe, though dragged from the forest, was not finished: much was still to be done to her. One day, when there remained the side-boards to be sewn on, and the head and stern ornaments to be placed in their position, and Whiro was engaged in lacing page 16 up one of the side-boards, Tao-ma-kati, the son of Hua, who had been so rude, came to where Whiro was working. Whiro welcomed him, and said, “Come and put the lashing through the holes from the outer side of the canoe, while I put it through from the inside.” Tao-ma-kati was pleased, and did as he was directed, and put the lashing through the hole from the outside, and Whiro pulled it tight. Thus they worked together till the boy's finger got fastened in the loop of the lashing which Whiro was pulling tight. The boy screamed, when Whiro, looking over the side of the canoe, said, “O child! you are hurt. But you should have put the loop of the lashing over your head.” The boy then did as suggested by Whiro, and when the loop was over the child's head and on his neck Whiro pulled it tight and strangled him. The body he buried beneath the chips made of the canoe.
Thrice had Hua and his people provided food for the workmen since this act, and the boy had not been seen to take the savoury bits from the heaps of food, but when the fourth time of giving food to Whiro came, Hua asked Whiro, “O man! have you seen our child?” Whiro said, “No, I have not seen him.” So Hua sought around, and went even to the place whence the tree had been cut to make the canoe, and asked if the people there had seen his son. He came back and again asked Whiro, who said he had not seen the boy. Then Hua went to his own home, and after many days he returned and sat down for some time near the stern of the canoe. Soon a blowfly came and made a buzzing noise right over Hua, and then it flew to the hole in the canoe through which the fastening had been pulled which killed his son; thence it flew to the spot where the body had been buried in the chips, and hovered over it. Hua rose up and turned the heap over until he saw the corpse of his son; then he said to Whiro “O man! yours is a great theft, in your having done evil to our child.”
Soon after this the canoe was completed, and the ceremony of severing (d) it from the forest and the power of Tane, and page 17 placing it under the protection of Tanga-roa was performed, with the feasting of the people usual on such occasions. Then Whiro said to his people, “Take the chips to the marae (courtyard) of Hua, and leave them there; but do not cross the sill of the door of his house, for if you do you will not return. Leave the chips in the marae; and if Hua attacks and follows you, take the kite called Tara-whenua-mea (fright of the flood) (Aciphylla squarrosa), and let it fly.”
The people departed to carry out these orders, and after some time the kite was seen flying high in the air, above the sandy sea-shore. The people of Whiro, who were at home, called and said, “O Whiro! Tara-kakao (bird of the night and of evil omen) is flying in the air over the sandy sea-shore.”
Whiro rose and went forth to rescue his people. He found Hua hotly pursuing them, and, having rallied his men, he confronted Hua, who with his weapon of war made a blow at him; but Whiro parried it by a dexterous stroke, felled Hua to the ground, and killed him. The two tribes now engaged in a hand-to-hand contest; but the people of Whiro were victorious at all points, and on that day were killed of the children of Hua, Tao-uri (cooked offspring), Tao-tea (the white one cooked), Tao-maihi (cooked in front of the house), and Tao-marara (the scattered were cooked). Tao-ma-kati had been murdered by Whiro whilst the canoe was in course of construction; thus all the tribe of Hua was exterminated at this battle, called Te-potiki-kai-rororo (youngest-born, eating the brain).
Whiro then taught his people the ceremonies and incantations by the performance and chanting of which they might cook and eat the bodies of their relations, Hua and his sons.
Whiro made the canoe ready for sea, and went on a voyage, and Tura went with him. They took the wood called hoi (hoi-here) (Hoheria propulnea) as firewood for their voyage. The canoe went at such a fearful rate that Tura, being afraid, page 18 jumped on shore with Whiro's kauati — sticks for preserving fire. These were called Tu-a-hiwi-o-te-rangi (the ridge of heaven). Tura also took the staff called Tino-kuru-ki (expression of opinion silenced) and the baler called Ha-kihea (to breathe on what).
Tura went on, he knew not whither, and came at last to the settlement of Te Rua-hine-mata-morari (old woman of blind eyes) and her children, who lived on raw food. Tura used his sticks and made a fire, which frightened the old woman and her children so that they ran away. Tura cooked some food, and when he had refreshed himself he took what remained of his repast, and when he caught the old woman and her children he besmeared their mouths with it.
He took to wife one of the daughters of the old woman, and had children by her; then he felt such a longing for his home and his people that he put his god Rongo-mai on the side of his baler, and said, “Go and travel till you come to Rongo-mai-tu-aho (Rongo-mai of the radiant light), and there stay. If the people are still alive make a sign in the heavens that I may know it.”
Rongo-mai went as directed, and was recognized by the people. He performed his ceremonies when the elements were propitious, and the thunder uttered its voice; and Tura heard, and he said to his mother-in-law, “O old lady! what means that white on your head?” She answered, “It is the hairs growing grey.” He said, “Perhaps it will not grow on me.” But it was not long before grey hairs were seen on his head.
Tura now asked his mother-in-law about the rites of tapu (making anything sacred), and about warts, and boils, and sore eyes. She said, “All these things may come upon you.”
Tura and his wife and his children now got on his baler, and departed to his home; and four summers from that time Tura became the subject of many diseases, and hence have proceeded all the afflictions of mankind.
It was Tura who taught the use of fire to procure comfort for man, and also the special ceremonies to be used when it was page 19 obtained for a party setting out on an expedition of war.
And the following song was composed by the Tere-i-nui-ao (float on the great world) tribe to transmit to their children the knowledge that by the use of fire procured by friction, and the proper incantations, the diseases and evils brought back by Tura and transmitted to all his race could be averted or arrested. This is the song:—
It is by using the sticks of your ancestor
Tura to obtain fire.
He went to Tere-i-nui-ao
And lit his fire, to search for the
Sacred red called Tu-mata-te-ra (the open face of the sun),
By which life and food
Would return again to this world.
We will now follow this subject no further than to say that the accounts of the tribes which came in the various canoes differ more or less, but they relate to the same things, but altered by the force of circumstances in travelling. Hence the proverb, “They are the outcome of the chants of the heels” (or songs composed for a war-dance in the excitement of joy or sorrow).