The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions: Horo-Uta or Taki-Tumu Migration. [Vol. II]
I stand on the house of fame of Tanga-roa—
Of Tanga-roa, whose billows thrash the coast.
Sharpen the axe of Hine-tu-a-hoanga,
Whilst I, Rata, seek the river Piko-piko-i-whiti.
We kill our foes at Maunga-roa,
And also at Ko-whiti-nui.
This is our day of victory,
And beaten are the foes of Rata-wahie-roa.
This is our day of victory.
Through thickets and in blazing sun
We nimbly rush to meet the battle-charge.
In years long long past the chief Rangi owned a barracouta-hook, which he had left with his sister Hine-i-te-puwha (daughter of the thistle), who lent it to her younger sister Tari-makao-roa (provoke a long family quarrel). It was stolen from her by Ra-kura (red sun). Tari-makao-roa asked Ra-kura if he had the hook; he said, “No.” Tari-makao-roa went to a stream and performed her divinations; and with the spirits of those summoned by her Ra-kura's spirit came. The sheen of the stolen hook was seen to glimmer in his garments where it was hidden. She again charged Ra-kura with the theft, as the hook had been seen shining under his garments; but he still denied that he had it.
Tari-makao-roa invited some of the people, including Ra-kura, to go on a pleasure-trip on the sea. When they were far on the ocean the canoe upset, and all were drowned save Tari-makao- page 156 roa and Hine-i-te-puwha. As Ra-kura was sinking he coughed the hook out of his mouth, which made Hine-i-te-puwha say, “When we are on shore you keep the hook hidden, but when our people are drowned you show it.” Tari-makao-roa and Hine-i-te-puwha swam on shore and met Kumi-kumi-maro (straight stiff beard), a priest who had many wives, who performed incantations to save them from any ill effects of their long voyage. Kumi-kumi-maro took Hine-i-te-puwha to wife, and on the following day he went out to sea to fish, and Tari-makao-roa took some of the fish; but two of the children of Kumi-kumi-maro said to her, “These fish belong to us— they were caught by our father.” However, Tari-makao-roa took the fish. The other wives of Kumi-kumi-maro came and took some of the fish and cooked and ate them. On the following day Kumi-kumi-maro again went and caught fish, and Tari-makao-roa took some of the fish. Again the children said, “The fish belong to us. Where is your father, that he may catch fish for you.” She said, “Put the fish back which you have taken.” They did so, and prepared other food for themselves.
On the following day Tari-makao-roa said to her son, “Go and fetch some harareke (harakeke flax), and make a pot-net, and partly cover the top, and put it in the water; and when you hear a noise in the net bring that which makes the noise to me.” He took the net and caught a stone, but threw it back in the water and went to his mother, who asked, “Did you not catch anything?” He answered; “Yes; I caught a stone, but threw it back into the water.” She said, “Go again; and whatever you catch bring it to me.” He again caught a stone and brought it to her. She said, “On the morrow go and get a piece of kii, which is a smooth tree, and use it as a fishing-rod.” He got a long sapling, and brought it to his mother, and singed it over the fire, and bent it slightly, and stuck it up in front of their house. He took the stone he had caught and broke it in two, and tied a barb on each of two hooks, and took some prepared page 157 flax and made a line and put it on the rod, and went to their principal house and prepared food and partook of it. On the following day Tari-makao-roa, accompanied by Kumi-kumi-maro, went to sea to fish, and Tari-makao-roa chanted incantations and performed the usual ceremonies for fishing, and cast the lines with the barbed hooks into the water and caught a fish, and performed the ceremonies and chanted incantations over it to the female gods and ancestors. Again the line was cast into the sea and they caught a barracouta, and continued to fish till they had filled the canoe. They pulled on shore and hung the fish up on stages. The following day they again went out and filled the canoe with fish. These the females put on the stages. The following day Hine-i-te-puwha left her husband at home, and she and her mother went to the settlement of Tau-tini (many years), and gave the fishing-hook to Tau-tini. Tau-tini made a canoe, and the people dragged it from the forest to the settlement, where it was furnished with side-boards and painted with scrolls, and the head and stern ornaments were put on. It was then dragged down to the sea-coast; and, as the priest with his hand baled water on to the bow of the canoe, and sprinkled it with a branch of kawakawa (Piper excelsum), he chanted this incantation, and gave a name to the canoe:—
I lave the water withpage 158
The branch of kawakawa.
I lave the water from Whiti.
Lave the water as it
Drops from the kawakawa,
And take man on board and carry him
O'er the broad ocean
(Whiti of the sacred kumara).
O child of the sacred
Plot on which to cultivate!
Where is kept the sacred
Baptize this with the sacred
Baptism of the gods—
The baptism of Tanga-roa,
And Titipa the bright one.
Sprinkle the bows of the canoe
And the hold of the canoe,
And the head and tail.
The baptism of Whiti.
Baptize with the baptism
Of that from Tonga.
Bend thy back down,
And the baptism shall be
On the earth, the absolute baptism.
Give here the water-bowls
From the mainland,
To use in the baptism—
To baptize that which
Is to be baptized
In the baptism of Paoa—
Yes, in the baptism of Paoa.
Tau-tini went to sea to fish, and again the fish were put on the stage. On the following day he went to fish, and met Titipa (sharp hook) coming towards him on a raft, who said, “Let me come into your canoe.” But Tau-tini said, “Why so? Oh no! You stay on your raft.” Titipa said, “Let me get into your canoe, and see how comfortable it is.” Tau-tini answered, “Mine sails fast, but yours does not.” Titipa again asked to be allowed, to get into the canoe, and Tau-tini granted his request. Titipa said, “O Tau-tini! get on to my raft.” Tau-tini did so; and Titipa took the paddle and paddled away. Tau-tini called to him and said, “Titipa, Titipa, come back with my canoe.” But Titipa paddled away, and Tau-tini paddled after him. But the raft was not swift, and he could not overtake him. Titipa paddled away with the canoe. Tau-tini returned to his home on the mokihi (raft), and was very sorrowful for a long time, and meditated how he could procure something which would sail swiftly on the sea. He remembered that his progenitor Te-whare-reperepe (the house of the nautilus) was with him. He got into this, and sailed away on the ocean, and his tame seagulls accompanied him. They flew over the land as he went by sea. As he voyaged he listened to the cry of his birds. He landed on the shore, but, as the cry of the birds did not cease, he put to sea again. At a certain settlement the birds ceased to page 159 cry; Tau-tini therefore thought it was the home of Titipa. Then the nautilus said, “Go on shore, but do not let me die.” Tau-tini went to the settlement of Titipa, and abode with two women of supreme rank, who were named Tiu-roto (swoop in), or Ti-roto, and Ti-mua (ti of the sacred altar), who became his wives. After living there many nights, he asked these women to go and fetch some water for him. They departed, and he chanted this incantation:—
Now the water will dry up.
O my canoe to carry my net!
O Tu-po-ake! Fill
My baler with water.
Caulk my canoe.
Evil is on me.
My memory fails.
I, Tau-tini, stand up.
Paddle the canoe to
Mori (branchless) and Morea
(Bare and shorn of branches),
That I may get on board
And see you there,
Standing near the foaming wave
And with the gods.
Oh! come to me, lord of the gods,
And lift your breast-ornament,
And aid me now, with sacred palm (d).
And untie the fate that
Now encircles me.
O me! O Me!
The females Ti-mua and Ti-roto went; but the water dried up as they got near to it. On and on they went: still the water dried up. Thus they went on and on, and never came back.
As soon as the women had gone for water, Tau-tini discovered the canoe he had lent to Titipa, and chanted this incantation over it:—
O canoe! I gaze on thee.page 160
Descend from above—
From the depths of the sky.
Oh! shine forth, and let
Me look into the hold.
Tu (of war) is near.
The tide recedes, and omens come
To thy keel, O canoe!
The receding tide of Taka-roa
Comes back to thee, canoe,
To carry women away
And baptize thee with the baptism.
As the depths beneath
Are agitated as we cross the sea.
Come, O moon! at the full,
With I-ha-tinaku (prompt determination).
By the power of this incantation the canoe was taken to the sea, and Tau-tini chanted another incantation as he stuck a lever in the ground:—
The lever lifts it up—
Lifts the canoe of ocean.
The lever lifts it erect—
Lifts the canoe of ocean.
The lever, though crooked, lifts—
Lifts the canoe of ocean,
And by the sail
It is propelled—
Yes, yes, propelled.
Tau-tini embarked in his canoe and put out to sea, and was seen by the two women, who called and said, “O Tau-tini! wait for us.” He did not pay any heed to them, but went on, and when he had arrived where his progenitor the nautilus was, he found Te-whare-reperepe was dead and dried up. He went on to his home at Maranga-hiku-tane (the tail of Tane lifted up). This incantation was chanted by him on the voyage:—
The paddle of Tau-tini,page 161
Left in the shallow sea.
“Urge forward” is the paddle.
Oh! urge on.
The paddle of Tau-tini
Left in the ocean.
Oh! urge on.
O paddle! urge on.
“Urge forward,” is the paddle of Tau-tini,
Left in the shallow sea.
Urge on, urge on.
Paddle with “Urge on”.
The winds blow not,page 162
The air is light.
They are calm, and wait;
They are closed in the basket (d)—
Yes, in this my basket,
Roko-mai-he (the evil news)—
Yes, in my basket
Roko-mai-tarata (irritating news).
Be calm, be calm, O winds!
Be calm, O gentle air!
Be calm, and wait.
Be enclosed in the basket—
Yes, in my basket
(The baptism of the clouds),
And in my basket
Be closed in my basket
Roko-mai-tarata (news of the boiling sulphur-spring.)
Be calm, O winds!
Be calm, O gentle air!
Rest together round
The sides of the horizon.
Here is the home
Of your origin.
You may complain,
But it is the origin
(Tane of the trembling earth).
This is your origin.
If you complain,
It is the origin
(Tane of the pit of the earth).
Descend, O Io! (power unlimited)
To the screen and shelter where
Kiho (pouting) struts with airs
Of proud supremacy,
And tries to be as dignified
As were the Lords Mu
And Weke, who nursed
The noble Maui.
Do not unbind their
Limbs, lest your vassals bite;
But now unbind, and
Let them chase the light of day
And trample on the sacred Te-ki (the word).
Speak the word, and let
It stay on high.
O son of Ru-a-nuku!
(Trembling earth) lay thee
Prostrate below, where
The great octopus is,
And dare to meet his
Word, and answer face to face.
Rua-Pupuke and Hine-Matiko-Tai. (Nga-i-tahu.)
In ages gone by there dwelt by the sea-shore a chief called Rua-pupuke (the overflowing pit), who had an only son, who went with other boys of his tribe to bathe in the sea. While swimming about Tanga-roa drew him down to his house at the bottom of the sea, where he placed him as a teko-teko (carved figure on the front end of a house) on the end of the ridge-pole over the doorway. When the other boys returned to the village, Rua-pupuke asked them where his son was. They said, “He has sunk in the sea.” The father begged them to point out the spot where he disappeared; then, throwing off his clothes, he assumed the form of a fish, plunged into the sea, and dived to the bottom, where he saw a large carved house, and his son fixed there as the teko-teko. As he approached the child cried to him, but he did not heed the cries, but searched for the occupants of the dwelling. He met a woman called Hine-matiko-(whaka-tika)-tai (daughter rising in the sea), and questioned her about her people. She told him they were all away at their work, but if he waited till sundown they would return, and if he entered the house he must be careful to close up every aperture through which light might enter, and then hide himself. Rua-pupuke did as directed. By-and-by the people of the place, with a loud noise, came pouring in till the house was filled. Rua-pupuke asked Hine-matiko-tai what he was to do. “Do nothing,” she said: “the sunlight will kill them. Only stop up all the chinks, that no warning gleam of light may tell them of the coming day.” At the usual hour of waking, Tanga-roa, the chief of this people, called and said, “Is it not day?” “No,” replied page 163 the old woman, whose duty it was to watch for dawn of day: “it is the long night—the dark night of Hine-matiko-tai. Sleep on, sleep soundly.” So they slept till the sun was high in the heavens. Then Rua-pupuke let the light in and set fire to the house. All was burnt except the verandah, of which he brought away the four side-posts, the ridge-post, and the door- and window-frames, and thus introduced the knowledge of carving to this world.
The chief called Hinganga-roa (long fall) built the first carved house, which was called Rawe-ora (the live delight), and was put up at U-awa (land at the river), where in after-ages lived the ancestors of the noted chief Te-kani-a-taki-rau (the dance of the following crowd). After him lived Te-wi-rakau (slender tree), who was a carver of wood, and in later times Tu-kaki (stand on the neck), and lastly Honu-(wai)-tu-ahu (water washed over the altar), who built the Hau-te-ana-nui-a-tanga-roa (sanctity of the great cave of Tanga-roa), which is now attached to the Museum at Christchurch.
Pare and Hutu. (Nga-i-tahu.)
In ancient times there lived a sacred woman called Pare (plume of the head). She was a woman of the highest rank, and was kept unbetrothed till a chief of the same rank as herself could take her as his wife.
She lived, with her female attendants, in a carved house, which was set apart for her sole use, and was most beautiful and surrounded with three sets of palisading.
The reason for her living single was that she was of the highest rank in her tribe; therefore not any one of her people could take her to wife.
When food was prepared for her it was given by those who cooked it to an attendant, who gave it to a second attendant, who gave it to a third attendant, and by this one it was taken and placed before Pare.
Her house was adorned and furnished with the most beautiful mats, such as the kai-taka, a large mat with a fringe of page 164 variegated pattern all round of about a foot deep; the koro-wai, a mat ornamented all over one side with cords about a foot long woven in; and the to-puni mat, made of dog-skin, with the hair on the outer side, with the long hair of the dog's tail woven on the border of the upper edge. The house was also perfumed with all the perfumes known to our people-the Maori—procured from grasses, mosses, and shrubs.
It was a custom of our people to set apart certain moons of the year for games and amusements (d), such as whipping the top, throwing the niti, and other games in which our ancestors engaged. In one of these seasons of amusement a chief of high rank, called Hutu (Hu-tu) (standing silently; to leap, jump), came to the settlement where Pare lived, and joined her people in their games. He was a skilful player in the games of niti and whipping-top. The people of Pare played the game of niti, and Hutu joined them. His niti flew beyond all theirs, which pleased the people, who awarded to him the honour of being the best player, and made the settlement ring with their shouts of applause. Pare heard the shouts of the crowd, and went to the door of her house to learn the cause, and there sat to watch another game.
Hutu again threw his niti, which dropped close to the door where Pare was sitting. She took it into her house. Hutu went to the door and asked for it. Pare refused to part with it. He repeated his demand, and said, “Pare, give my teka (niti) to me.” She answered, “You, Hutu, come into my house, that I may talk with you. I admire you much.” Hutu replied, “I have not any desire to enter your house. I am alone in the midst of your people. They are a great tribe. I am a stranger in your midst, and solitary in your district, and it will not be in accordance with our custom that I, a man of low birth (d), should enter the house of one of your superior rank. I have a wife and children at my home.” Pare replied, “Your words and argument have no effect on me. I greatly admire you. You are a proficient page 165 player in all games: yours is the top that hums the loudest, and yours is the niti which flies the greatest distance. My love is great for you.” Thus they argued, but still Hutu declined to enter her house. In vain she pleaded her admiration of him. He stood unmoved. She took hold of him and led him in and closed the door. He said, “I have entered your house (d), and request to be allowed to depart,” and left the house; but Pare followed him. He turned and said, “You stay at your home, and in a short time I will return to you,” and he fled as fast as he could. Pare saw that he hurried away from her. She called and said, “Go, O Hutu! depart to your own home,” and returned to her house, and ordered her attendants to arrange everything in the house and put it in proper order. When this was done she sat alone and wept, and rose and hung herself.
When her people heard of her death they wept for her, and said, “Hutu must die in satisfaction for the death of Pare.” The tribe assembled to consult how they might take Hutu prisoner. Having agreed on a line of action, they sent out spies to take Hutu, and he was brought to the settlement of Pare, and led to the house where the corpse was lying, and told by the people the reason for his having been taken prisoner, and informed that he was to be killed for the death of Pare. He answered, “It is good. But do not bury the corpse. Allow me to depart, and let the body of Pare stay where it is. Do not bury her yet, but let me return. I will be absent three or four days, and I will be with you again. It is right that you should kill me to appease your sorrow for the death of your supreme head.” The people agreed to what Hutu said.
Hutu left them, and when at a distance from the house of Pare he sat down and chanted all the incantations which priests chant over themselves when they think of death and the abode of spirits. He rose and journeyed towards the abode of spirits and Hine-nui-te-po, and asked her, “Which is the road leading below?” She pointed to the path by which dogs go to the world page 166 of spirits. He presented his greenstone mere to her. She received it, and then showed him the path by which the souls of men go to the world below. It was the custom of Hine-nui-te-po to act thus and be bribed for her assistance, and thus also to obtain much property. She cooked food for Hutu, and roasted and pounded fern-root for him, and put it into a kono (small basket). Giving it to him, she said, “When you get below eat sparingly of this food, so that it may last for some time: if you eat of the food belonging to the world of spirits, you will not be able to come back to this world.” He approved her warnings. Again she said, “When you fly from this world, bow your head as you descend to the dark world; but when you are near the world below a wind from beneath will blow on you, and will raise your head up again, and you will be in a right position to alight on your feet on the space you will alight on.”
Hutu took his flight; and when he got to the world below he searched for Pare, and asked the inhabitants where Pare was. They answered, “She is in the village.” Pare heard that Hutu had arrived in the world below and was asking for her; but she would not appear in public. Hutu wished to see her and take her from her retreat. He therefore asked the people to join him in the game of throwing the niti, whipping tops, and other games which they had known in the world of light. They played these games; but Pare did not appear, nor could she be induced to witness those games played then. Hutu was cast down, and said to the people, “Bring a very long tree, and let us cut the branches off it.” He ordered ropes to be plaited and tied on to the top, and that the tree be erected in an open space, and that the ropes be pulled till the top of the tree bent down to the earth. Hutu sat on the top of the tree, and asked a man to get on to his back; then, calling to the people, he said, “Let go your hold of the ropes, and let the top of the tree fly up.” Hutu and the man flew high in the air, and the people shouted aloud in page 167 approval of this new swing, and joined in the new game. After a while the news of this new mode of swinging was conveyed to Pare, who went to see it. Hutu was glad to behold her again. She went to Hutu and said, “Let me also swing, but let me sit on your shoulders.” Hutu was glad to have her on his back, and said, “Keep hold of my neck, O Pare!” and to the people he said, “Pull the head of the tree down, even to the earth.” They did so. He called out, “Let it go.” They did so, but with such a jerk that the ropes were thrown so high that they became entangled in the grass and weeds which were growing on the soil of the upper world. Hutu climbed up the ropes with Pare on his back, caught hold of the grass at the entrance or door of the lower world, and pulled himself up to the upper world. They went to the settlement where the corpse of Pare was lying, and the spirit of Pare went to her body, entered it, and took up its abode there, and Pare was alive again.
The people rejoiced at her recovery, and shouted aloud to welcome their supreme head to life again. The people said that Hutu was a priest, and had chanted the sacred incantations over her and brought her to life again, and he must take Pare as his second wife. Hutu asked, “And what shall I do with my present wife and children?” The people answered, “You must have two wives.” From that time they called him Pare-hutu (silently standing with a plume on his head; leap, jump with a plume on his head).
This is the account of a female thief. The name of that woman was Hou-mea (plume of feathers). She was a very extraordinary person, and a pest. Her husband's name was Uta (put on board). They had two children: the names of these were Tu-tawhake (tawake) (the man who repairs a rent with timber) and Nini (daub).
One day her husband went in his canoe out to sea to catch fish for his wife and two children. Having caught many, he page 168 paddled back to the shore, and waited for some time for his wife to come down to the canoe to take the fish up to the settlement; but she did not come. He went to their house and said to his wife, “O mother! there I was on the beach waiting, but you did not come forth.” Hou-mea replied, “O man! it was entirely on account of the disobedience of these two children.” She then went to the sea-shore, and when she got to the canoe she swallowed all the fish. She then pulled up bushes of coarse sedgy plants and sow-thistle, which she took on to the sand-beach, and dragged and scattered them about. She also made large and small footprints on the sand. These she made with her own feet as she trod all over the beach. She trampled and kicked the sand greatly about, that it might be inferred a marauding party had been there and stolen the fish. This done, she returned to the village quite out of breath, sighing and panting, and said to her husband, “O friend! alas! there is no fish left. The fish have been taken by men.” The husband asked, “Who can that thievish people be, who dare to live near the dwelling of men?” Hou-mea answered, “The multitude of fairies.” He replied, “Perhaps so.” It was night and the family went to rest.
Early the next morning Uta went out to sea again, and caught many fish, pulled back to the shore, and waited for some time for his wife to come down for the fish; but, as she did not come, he went to the village and said to her, “O mother! am I to remain on the beach? You did not come, nor have you done anything at all.” She rose and went to the canoe and swallowed all the fish. But as she left the settlement Uta sent his two children to watch her. They hid themselves and saw her swallow all the fish. They returned to their father and said, “O father! it is verily Hou-mea who swallows the fish.” Hou-mea now returned from the canoe panting, and said to Uta, “Not one scrap was left in the canoe of all the fish you caught: all have been taken away by some man.” He answered, “O daughter of a chief! who is the man you speak of? The children were verily there, and saw you swallow the fish of my canoe.” These words page 169 made her feel ashamed; but she pursued her own way, and equivocated, that she might not be blamed for the theft. She loudly protested her innocence: she had never known any crime of stealing the food of man, or any other evil. At the same time she said to herself in her heart, in regard to her two children, “All is correct, no doubt; but I can equal your act yet.”
The father on another day went to sea to catch fish; and when he had got to the fishing-ground and had anchored, the mother said to one of the children, “O child! go for some water for us: we are all very thirsty.” The child went. Then she called to the other child and said, “Come to me, that I may clean your head.” The child went and sat down near to her: she cleaned his head a little, but presently she swallowed him, and he went whole into her stomach. The other child came back with some water, and this one was also swallowed by her. By-and-by the canoe with her husband returned. Her husband came up to the village, and found Hou-mea groaning audibly, while big flies were buzzing in numbers about her lips. Uta exclaimed, “O mother! you are ill.” She answered, “Yes, very ill.” He asked, “Where in you is the god gnawing?” She replied, “In my stomach, in my bowels.” He asked, “Where are our children, as they are not here?” She replied, “Gone away somewhere, even from the early morning. Where can they be?” He then closely examined her lips, and chanted this powerful spell:—
Attack, strike end-on, hit away upwards.
Turn it, ward it off on one side.
Cause the food swallowed by the big cormorant
To be disgorged without.
Let it be open, clear.
The obstruction is lifted by this spell.
The obstruction is securely noosed
In the running loop of flax, and carried off.
That is the obstruction confining Tu-tawhake.
When he had chanted this incantation, out of her mouth came the two children who had been swallowed by her; and in the page 170 hand of Tu-tawhake was held a tai-aha (carved staff of high priests or supreme warriors), and in the hand of Nini was held a huata (barbed spear). And this is the tale of old concerning the woman who was both a thief and murderess of her own children.
Uta was now very much afraid of his wife, lest both himself and two children should be swallowed alive by her, and therefore one day he said to his children, “O my children! this is my word to you two: Whenever I may order you to go for drinking-water, do not obey my orders; when I threaten you for disobedience, do not hearken to my words; when I say I will beat you with a stick, even then do not go for water; when I with a loud and threatening voice say all sorts of evil things against you, so that you may be afraid, and go for water, do not go even then.” Not long after this the father ordered the two boys to go for water, but they sat still and did not heed his words. Uta turned to his wife and said, “O mother! will you not go and fetch some water to drink? Verily I am dying through want of water. Here I have been repeatedly ordering those children to go, and they will not move nor do anything, but sit as if deaf to my orders.”
Hou-mea went to fetch water for him; but when she had gone out of sight of Uta and the two boys Uta began to chant this incantation: —
Be the water absorbed
(Sunk into the earth);
Be the water decreased;
Be the water dried up.
Proceed onwards, O Hou (-mea)!
Proceed onwards, away, away,
Up to the very head
Of the streamlet—
To the hills of
The far-away land.
And so it came to pass, as Hou-mea went onwards, the water also retreated before her, going out of sight, sinking into the earth, and drying up.
Uta said to his two sons, “Let us go away.” They went to the page 171 beach where the big canoe of Uta was left. Then by gestures Uta taught and showed to the village, the houses, the clump of trees growing near to the village, the filth-pit, the temple or look-out post on the top of the hill, how they should act when Hou-mea returned and called the names of Uta and his children—they should answer her call, and not one of them should keep silent. Uta and his boys launched the canoe and hoisted the sail, and fled in the canoe before the wind away, far away, to a great distance.
Hou-mea returned to the village, and, not seeing her husband and children, she went about calling them loudly, saying, “Oh! where can you all be—you and my children?” An answer came from the filth-pit, and from the houses, and from the clump of trees, and from the temple on the crest of the hill. At last her heart failed her, and she became weak, and began to pant and weep. Then she went to the temple on the peak of the hill, and looked out to sea, looking long and closely. She saw a canoe far away, a mere speck on the horizon. She went to a sand- bank in the river and entered a shag (Graculus varius), and went out to sea, floating on the ripple of the waves. The two boys in the canoe at intervals looked back towards land, and saw Hou-mea coming after them, and cried to their father, saying, “O aged! O aged! here verily is the atua (goblin) coming.” Uta was at this time asleep; but, waking up, he said, “O my children! what shall I do lest I be swallowed by that atua?” The children answered, “We two will hide you below the platform-deck of our canoe, that you may be fully concealed.” They hid him there, and he was out of sight. Hou-mea was rapidly coming on to kill Uta and eat him. As she came near to the canoe she opened her big throat wide to swallow them all, and cried out in a loud voice, “Where is my food?” The children replied, “There, indeed, left behind on the land. We two came out to sea to catch fish, and were carried away by the force of the wind.” Again she called aloud, and said, “I am nearly dead for page 172 want of food.” The two boys gave her some roasted fish. She ate it, but was not satisfied. Again she asked, “Have you plenty of fish? I am not satisfied.” They answered, “O mother! here is a thumping big morsel of food for you which is still on the fire.” She cried, “Give it, that I may eat it at once.” They answered, “Open your mouth wide;” and with a pair of wooden tongs they threw a big hot stone into her open throat, which went down into her stomach and burnt it. So Hou-mea perished there on the open ocean; and to this day she is seen on earth—that is, her representative is the big shag (Graculus varius), which still lives here amongst us.
This is the account of Hou-mea of old; and of Hou-mea who now dwells in this habitable world, this is the proverbial saying,—
Hou-mea, rough and ugly flesh.
And so the name of Hou-mea still remains amongst us, and is used and applied to all evil women—that is, to adultresses and thieves—found dwelling amongst men.
Tu-Tawake (Tu-Tawhake). (Nga-ti-Hau.)
Tu-tawake came out of dense darkness, with all evil and daring with him. Even before he came forth from his mother, Hou-mea, evil had grown in him; it was from the internals of his mother that he became possessed of every evil. Before he was born he was a saucy and quarrelsome man, and even then demanded to be allowed to kill his elder brothers, and said to his mother, “Pull the maipi (hani or tai-aha) close to your side.” With this he wished to go to war. When he was born he rushed forth to kill his elder brothers. All men fled from him in fear (to whom it was said), “Why did you flee? Why not stay and explain the news of the tai-paruparu (preserved cockles), at the time the miki (oat-like grass) grows, and the Katote (unstable), Paka (the dried), and Wiki (the lauded) come forth?”
Tau-Tini-Awhitia the Brave. (Nga-Ti-Kahu-Ngunu.)
Poro-ua-no-ano (short space of rain, of no import) lived in ancient times, and his wife was called Huru-ma-angi-angi (thin feather).
They dwelt together for some time and the time came when they expected to have a child. Huru-ma-angiangi felt a longing for a bird, and said to her husband, “I am feeling a great wish for a bird to eat.” He took his bird-spear, and went to the forest, but did not obtain any of the kinds of birds usually eaten, but he brought back two living birds, one of which was a huia (Heteralocha gouldi) and the other a kotuku (Ardea flavirostris). These the wife would not eat, but kept as pets.
Some time after this Poro-ua-no-ano went to reside at his other home, but his wife remained at her place. At the right moon she had a son who was named Tau-tini-awhitia (fondled for years), who was fed, nourished, and brought up by her. When he was a big boy he played with the other children of the place at the games of sailing canoes, whipping tops, running races on the sandy beach, and snaring and spearing birds. Ofttimes the other boys, who had fathers at home, would say of the acts of Tau-tini-awhitia, “The doings and acts of the fatherless boy are the most successful.” When he heard these words Tau-tini-awhitia was very much ashamed, as he had not seen or known his father; so he went crying to his mother, and said, “O mother! where is my father?” She replied, “Your father is not here—he is a long way off, at a very great distance. Look towards the sunrise: there far away in that direction is your father.”
The boy went into the forest and sought about, and brought a seed-pod of the rewa-rewa (Knightia excelsa) back with him. This he took to a stream, and tried how it would float, and found that it kept upright as it floated in the water, and did not upset. He then went to the dwelling of his mother, and said to her, “O mother! I am going to the residence of my page 174 father;” and added, “on no account will I remain here in this place—I am so much ashamed.” His mother answered, “O son! stay till I cook some food for your journey, that you may be strong to go on the path you will have to travel.” He answered, “I will not eat. A spear-thrust can be parried, but the thrust of a spoken word cannot.” So saying, he departed, and went on his voyage in his canoe of the rewa-rewa-pod. His mother cried after him, and he answered her with his weeping. He repeated his last words to her, and she gave him her last commands.
He went far out on the sea, and his mother chanted this charm for him :—
From whom is this canoe?
From whom is this canoe?
The cunning snares of Rei
Are as nothing to all.
The canoe glides swiftly.
Let the threatening winds coming hither
Be all stayed.
Pass through space,
Pass through gloom,
Pass through billows.
Lo! the earth glides by.
Sail on to the good landing.
Now land quietly, gently, thus.
A canoe lightly passing over waves.
The passing-away, such is now.
I behold with satisfaction.
Onward the lad sped in his canoe, away, away, until at last he reached the very place where his father dwelt. Jumping on shore, he dragged his canoe up on the beach, and hid it under the gravel. The young people of the village, seeing the new arrival, came running down to where he was, each exclaiming, “My slave, my slave;” and Tau-tini-awhitia was taken in charge by them and led up to their home and the old people, where each boy and girl and each adult claimed Tau-tini-awhitia with much clamour and gesture as his or her own. At last he became page 175 the property of a very little boy, who was also the son of Poro-ua-no-ano, by another mother; and this small boy ran off to his father in great glee, shouting as he went, “O old man! behold, here is my new slave.” The father was much pleased at the new acquisition of his child, and said, “Take him away to dwell in the scrub.”
One day, soon after this, the boys of the settlement went as usual to their play, some to catch birds, some to sail their toy-canoes, and others to the various other games that children play at; Tau-tini, however, went into the forest, whence he brought back two birds similar to those he was longing for ere he was born. One was a huia, the other a kotuku. He taught these birds, and said to the huia, “This is the cry which you must utter, ‘The fire does not burn brightly—dark, dark, darkness prevails.’” And to the kotuku he said, “This is the cry you must utter, ‘The fire does not blaze, it is very dark all around.’” And thus he taught these two birds what they had to say, in the scrub where he dwelt with them.
One night he went to the great house where the chief and the principal men of the tribe slept, and found them all fast asleep and snoring. He returned to the scrub, and took his two birds to the great house. He opened the sliding-door carefully, and without noise entered and put his birds down, placing their supplejack cages amongst the ashes of the fireplace. Suddenly the huia cried out, “The fire does not burn—dark, dark, darkness prevails,” and the kotuku also cried, “There is not any blaze of this smouldering fire— dark.” The sleepers all awoke at the shrill cry and human words uttered by the birds. Sitting up, they looked and expressed their feelings of admiration and wonder at the birds.
Then the father of Tau-tini-awhitia rose up and stood looking for some time in silence. He at last exclaimed, “Verily this lad is my son, for those birds are of the very kind which his mother longed for.” He with his own nose pressed that of his son, and wept over him and rejoiced, and at dawn of day he took him to a stream of water and chanted the incantations and performed the usual and proper ceremonies fitting for a chiefs son.