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The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions: Horo-Uta or Taki-Tumu Migration. [Vol. II]

Chapter IX

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Chapter IX.

Who shall avenge thee in this world
For evil deeds and spiteful words of yore?
Ye hosts of lower world shall act.
I look and watch in vain;
My kindred all have left my home,
Lift your breast-ornament, and put
It on the sacred place, and look contemptuous
Till Hiki-hiki and Rapa-rapa weep.
Let Tini-rau arise and fly,
And skim along the ocean waves.
'Twas there you met the evil blow,
And not at Whanga-paraoa.
But at Whaka-moe-toka
They bound with new-cut flax
Thy mangled corse, and laid it as in sleep
Where Pou and Hine dwelt.
And loud with chant they cried,
And offerings made to gods of Raro-tonga,
Asking stern revenge and retribution dire
O'er all the world—to Nuku-mea
And e'en to Hawa-i-ki.

Tini-Rau and Hine-Te-Iwaiwa.

Tini-rau took Hine-te-iwaiwa to wife; but he soon left her, and went to live with another woman. When she knew that she was about to become a mother, Hine-te-iwaiwa sent some of her dependents to fetch Tini-rau, that he might procure some fish for her. The servants went as directed, and when they arrived near the pa they called “Tini-rau, O!” He answered “.1” They said, “We have come to you. Your wife expects soon to become a mother, and she wishes you to go and catch some fish for her.” He got into his canoe, and went to where Hine-te-iwaiwa page 142 was, and inquired about her health, and built a screen of nettles, brambles, and flax for her, and left her in a house. This grieved Hine-te-iwaiwa. Her child was born soon after, and when Tini-rau heard its voice he tore aside the screen he had made, and Hine-te-iwaiwa uttered this cry :—

O Rupe! come down,
And take me and my child.

And whilst Tini-rau was still employed in cutting the bands which held his screen around the house, Rupe flew down and folded the mother and her child in his wings, and took them away. Then Tini-rau called and said,-

O Rupe! bring your sister back
With the child.

But Hine-te-iwaiwa said, “O Rupe! do not let me go, but drop his child down to him.” The child was caught by Tini-rau, and fed with water; and the child grew, and its name was Tu-huruhuru (Tu the hairy).

When the boy was old enough he joined in the games of his companions, and excelled them all in the game of niti (d). Their niti would not fly as far as his, because when Tu-huruhuru was about to dart his niti he chanted this incantation :—

My teka (dart) here.
The teka of whom?
The teka of Tu-huruhuru.
Not overtaken, not overtaken.
I dart it now.

When he had thrown his teka (niti—dart) some of his companions, seeing it go beyond all those which they had thrown, said, “Well, the teka of this boy does fly far; but he is a bastard, for where is his mother?” Tu huruhuru heard these words, and left his play, and went to his father and said, “Where is my mother?” His father answered, “I do not know. You cannot go to her.” Tu-huruhuru again asked, “But where is she? If you say where she is, I will go to her.” The father said “Go then, page 143 and when you arrive at a place where a fire has burnt the scrub, go into it and make yourself as black as you can with the soot, that you may be mistaken for a slave.” Then, looking at his child, he said, “Has your heart determined to go?” The child, said, “It has determined.” The father pointed out the path his child should take, and said, “Come, now, depart. And if you are asked to go and fetch water for Rupe to drink, do not pour it into his mouth (d), but on his nose; and if Hine-te-iwaiwa and her sisters join in the evening dance, do you repeat your chants.” The child asked, “But what chant shall I repeat?” Then his father taught him these words: -

The band of the apron
Of Hine-te-iwaiwa
Is fallen—is fallen.
The apron of Hine-te-iwaiwa
Is fallen—is fallen.

As soon as he had learnt these words Tu-huruhuru left his father and set out on his journey; and when he arrived at the settlement of Hine-te-iwaiwa, he saw two females going for firewood. So he went to a spot which had been burnt, and besmeared himself with soot, so that they might think he was a slave. He then went and lay down beneath a clump of trees, and when the women saw him they exclaimed, “Ah! here is a slave for us, and he shall be a vassal for Hine-te-iwaiwa.” The women took him to the settlement, and gave him as a servant to Hine-te-iwaiwa, who said, “Let the child be a water-carrier for Rupe” Rupe soon sent the boy to fetch water, and on his return, as Rupe put his two hands together to form a cup for the boy to pour the water into while Rupe drank it, the child poured it on Rupe's nose. Rupe lifted his head in a rage and said, “This slave pours the water on my nose, so that I am not able to drink.” Then he struck the child, who, as he sat weeping, murmured to himself, “I thought when I came that Rupe was my relative, and Hine-te-iwaiwa was my mother, and Tini-rau page 144 was my father.” Rupe heard him uttering these words as he wept, and said, “Why, this slave is grumbling as he weeps.”

When night came, Hine-te-iwaiwa and her companions began to haka, and as the boy saw them he chanted his incantation and said,-

The band of Hine-te-iwaiwa
Is loose—loose.
The apron of Hine-te-iwaiwa
Is loose—loose.

Hine-te-iwaiwa heard the words, so she turned herself away and arranged her apron securely, as it had become a little loose; but one of her younger sisters said, “This slave is uttering some charm in regard to your apron.” Hine went and slapped the boy, who again began to cry and to say, “I thought when I came that Rupe was my relative, and Hine-te-iwaiwa was my mother, and Tini-rau was my father.” Then he ran out of the house to weep. But when Hine-te-iwaiwa heard his words as he wept she followed, but could not lay hold of him because he still fled, repeating the same words. At last she exclaimed, “Oh! it is my own child I have been beating.” Now, when the boy found that he was recognized he fled to the water and dived into the mud to drown himself. Hine-te-iwaiwa, seeing this, called out “O Rupe! rescue your child.” Rupe then rushed after the boy and caught him, and brought him back to the settlement. Hine-te-iwaiwa was then convinced that he was the child she had forsaken, and wept over him, and said, “I thought he had died.” When she had ceased to weep she asked the boy, “What did your father say to you?” The child answered, “He said Rupe and you were to come with me to witness my baptism.” Rupe and his sister Hine-te-iwaiwa agreed to this, and rose and took the child to Tini-rau. Tini-rau was glad to see them at his place, and on the following day sent messengers to call all the people together to witness the baptism of his child. So all the people assembled, and Kae came with them, and baptized the boy, and called him Tu-huruhuru; but Tu-ai (wai) -taka-roro page 145 (giddy one at the brink of the water) was his old name; and the name of his companion, who ever attended him, was Nga-huruhuru-o-Rupe (the feathers of Rupe).

When the ceremony of baptism was over the people returned to their homes; but Kae remained with Tinirau, because he wished to borrow the pet (whale) of Tinirau, called Tutu-nui. And one day, when a good opportunity offered, Kae asked Tini-rau, “Where is the pet (whale) belonging to Tu-huruhuru?” Tini-rau answered, “You cannot have the whale to carry you home—it might get killed.” Kae said, “I will be very careful with him;” and at last Tini-rau agreed to let Kae have the whale, and said, “If you wish to do anything on the way do it over the left side of the fish; and when you come to the coast in front of your pa, and the fish shakes himself, get off and go on shore. Do not let him go into shallow water, lest his belly should get cut and he should die.” Kae consented to all this, and said, “I know (will do) all you say.”

Kae got on the pet whale; but when he got far out on the ocean he disregarded all that Tini-rau had said to him, and threw the filth over the right side of the fish; and when he came to his home, and the fish shook himself, instead of getting off he sat still, and the fish went on into the shallow water, and got its belly scraped on the bank, so that it died. Then the people of the place assembled and cut the fish up.

Tini-rau waited for many days, but his pet did not return. One day a south wind blew as the people were cooking the portions of Tutu-nui, and the smell was thus conveyed to Tini-rau, who immediately guessed what was going on. Tini-rau wept, and sang,-

The sweet smell of Tutu-nui
Comes even to Haruru-a-tea.

Tini-rau then ordered a search to be made for Kae, and that he be killed in retaliation. Tini-rau said to his wife and all the women of the settlement, “Go and fetch Kae.” The women page 146 answered, “We do not know what Kae is like.” Tini-rau said, “He is known by his teeth.” They asked, “But how can we see his teeth?” He said, “You must play at games, and you must haka, and do all those things which will amuse the people and make them pucker their cheeks and laugh.”

The women embarked in a canoe and paddled to the home of Kae, and the same night began playing their games and riddles, and making grimaces, and dancing the haka, and singing songs; but, though they made their best efforts, they could not make Kae laugh. Then they consulted together, and agreed to make one more effort, and play the hakas called the Pua-pua (the bait), Wai-toremi (dipped in and out), and Te-anaana (the exuberant). Then, putting forth their utmost effort, they performed the Wai-toremi dance, and Kae laughed. His broken tooth was seen, and the women were satisfied. Then all lay down to sleep, and the women repeated the charm of Rotu (rob of power) over all in the house. These were the words of that charm :—

Your eyes which look this way,
Tu, oh! bedim them,
Tu, oh! make them sleep-

And all slept, and Kae amongst them; and while he slept the women carried him into their canoe, and paddled back to their home, and laid him down on a stage near the front of the house, and lit a fire, and laid food near to his couch, and then they awoke him by saying, “O old man! O old man! look and see if this is your own bed.” He said, “Yes, it is my own bed.” Then they said, “Come and partake of food.” Tini-rau directed him to sit in a place where leaves and ferns were covered over a heated oven, and as he put out his hand to take the food before him the women poured water on the leaves and ferns, and the steam came up and scalded Kae to death.

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Tu-Whaka-Raro and Apa-Kura. (Nga-i-tahu.)

Tu-whaka-raro (Tu of the north) and his wife Apa-kura (red visitors) begat a son called Whaka-tau (imitator). Tu-whaka-raro, with a body of men, went on a foraging expedition, and took a woman called Hakiri-maurea (fair skin) as a captive; but Tu-whaka-raro himself was killed in the affray by the people called Te-aitaka(aitanga)-a-he-roa (the descendants of continued wrong).

When Whaka-tau heard of the death of his father, and saw his mother weeping, he built a canoe, one side of which he painted black and the other side white, and, selecting a company of chosen warriors, he went off on a voyage, and at last arrived opposite to a settlement. The men of the place, when they saw Whaka-tau and his companions, called out, “A whale, a whale;” and some of them rushed into the sea. Moko-tipi (tattooed in stripes) was the name of one of those who swam out to the canoe of Whaka-tau; and, having got near to her, he called to those on board, “O Rei-nui-a-tokia! (big chest of the severed) remain floating where you are now.” Rei-nui-a-tokia, who was one of those in the canoe, answered, “Make way, stand aside.” Whaka-tau snatched an axe and made a blow at Moko-tipi, but missed his aim; and Moko-tipi went back and told his friends on shore, that what they saw was not a whale, but a canoe, and that Rei-nui-a-tokia was on board, and another man who was a stranger to him. Then another of the people of the shore dived out; and when those in the canoe saw his face, Rei-nui-a-tokia called to him and said, “Do you intend to stay where you are? Give place, stand aside.” Then the man swam near to the bows of the canoe, and Whaka-tau made a blow at him with an axe, but again missed his aim; and the man went back to land, and told the people that there was one man he knew, but another he did not know. Soon a battle ensued, in which many were killed on each side. Then Whaka-tau left the coast to return home; but when the canoe had got some distance away he requested to be put on shore again, page 148 and directed his people to go and hide in the forest while he himself journeyed back overland to the settlement of the people whom he had attacked, but failed to conquer.

On his journey he met a party collecting firewood, to which he joined himself, and asked that some wood might be broken and put into a bundle for him to carry. On the way to the settlement he made his face and body dirty with ashes so as to appear to be a man of mean origin. On arrival at their home the men of the party called to the people, and said, “Look here, we have captured a slave.” The people said, “Lead him this way.” While being led along in compliance with this direction. Whaka-tau saw the bones of a man hanging up in a house, and heard these bones rattle together in honour of his presence. Whaka-tau at once recognized these as the bones of his father, Tu-whaka-raro, The people of the place also heard the bones rattle, and exclaimed, “Who will come to avenge you? The name of this house is the Tihi-o-manono” (the pinnacle of the sea-dashed rock). Whaka-tau asked, “What people are you? Relate your history that I may know if I can recognize you. Who are you like?” One man answered, “I am like myself; but you are like some one I have seen.” ‘And another said, “Oh, no! he is only like himself.” Another said, “But I am looking at him: he is like a man I have seen.” Whaka-tau said, “Was the man you saw like me?” The man answered, “You are the man himself,” and all rushed on him to catch him; but thick darkness suddenly came down, which enabled him to hide himself at the side of the house, and at a good opportunity he rose and put the fire out that was alight at the back of the house. He then took the bones of his father out, and closed the door on the people, and then lit a fire by friction, and burnt the house called Te-tihi-o-manono and all the people in it. This was called the burning of Ruru-rama (the torches made). Then he turned towards his home, and that night, as his mother looked out of her house, she saw the red glow of the fire in the sky, and exclaimed in delight and in praise of her page 149 son, “Whaka-tau, my last-born, has acted like a true man.” And on the following morning, when she went into the presence of (the god) Mua, she met her son, and there rejoiced that the death of her husband had at last been avenged, and Whaka-tau rejoiced that atonement for his father had been obtained by his hand. Then they wept together for joy. And this weeping of Apa-kura for Tu-whaka-raro occasioned the sullen roar of the sea, which may still be heard.

Apa-Kura And Tu-Whaka-Rako. (Nga-ti-Hau.)

The lament of Apa-kura (visitors clothed in red), the daughter of Huia-rei (clasped to the breast), the descendant of Whati-tiri, for Tu-whaka-raro (Tu of the north), who was killed by the Poporo-kewa (whale came to an end):—

In the event of a murder or an intentional insult, if the tribe was diffident, and slow to seek revenge, the widow or other relative of the deceased, or the relatives of the insulted persons, would send a messenger to distant relatives for the purpose of evoking their sympathy.

The mode usually employed was this: the messenger either adopted the words of an ancient song, or composed a new song reciting the circumstances of the occasion, and chanted this, with appropriate gesticulations, in the hearing of those whose aid was sought.

These are the words which Apa-kura sang to incite Whaka-tau to seek revenge for the death of Tu-whaka-raro:—

List, ye stars! Hearken, O moon!
My arms, and hands, and feet
Shall wage a lasting war.
Wail the dirge of Apa-kura
To her elder kindred,
And wake the sleeping heart
To act, and slake revenge
For death of him, Tu-whaka-raro.
Drink ye, drink deep of bowls—
Those bowls kept on high.
In vain do I essay to climb
The spider's web: my path
page 150 Is less than nought beneath my tread.
That brave and only one
Must not be lost to me,
Nor would he set at nought
The anguish of a blighted heart.
Here, O god! Oh! here
Are all the chants and charms
To hold me back in life,
And Rakei's mighty power
To stay, and charge, and stem
The burst of yelling, dashing foe.
Plait the cord—yea, plait
A tenfold cord to hold
Thee and thy will unchanged
Till full revenge is thine.
Hesitate not for one moment now,
Or less thou art than slave.
One brave heart still remains,
Though insignificant its power.
Ye gods, the brave one
Still remains in me,
And Whaka-tau alone
Can calm my soul to rest.

Her elder brother Whaka-tau, thus addressed, took ample revenge by annihilating Te-uri-o-manono (the offspring of Manono), the people to which the Poporo-kewa belonged, by setting fire to their land with a torch called Ruru-te-haku-rama (the binding of the amazing torch).

Te-uru-o-manono (glow of the sea-dashed rock) was one of the houses thus burnt down by Whaka-tau (or Whaka-tau-potiki) in revenge for the murder of his father, Tu-whaka-raro.

The Burning of the Tihi-O-Manono by Whakatau-Potiki. (Nga-ti-Hau.)

Of all her friends Apa-kura selected Whaka-tau as the person most able, as well as most worthy, to avenge the death of her child (husband), Tuwhakararo. She went to Whaka-tau's place at Papa-rahi (big plain), and called out to him, “I have come to fetch you to avenge the death of your younger brother (father), because you were begotten in the same womb, and came of the same blood.”

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Whaka-tau replied, “Return, and when you get home make a canoe, and a ko (an implement of agriculture), and a spear, and fill several calabashes with oil for me.”

When Apa-kura got home the men of the place asked, “What did Whaka-tau say?” Apa-kura answered, “He bade me make a canoe for him, also to adze a ko, and fill some taha (calabashes) with oil for him.” The men of the place were soon at work, and it was not long before they had finished the canoe and the ko, and had filled the calabashes with oil as directed, and when Whaka-tau arrived all the people were there waiting, and ready to accompany him in a war expedition. Whaka-tau asked for what purpose so many had assembled. The men of the place answered, “To be your companions in the fight.” Whaka-tau said “No. Rather let a few only be my companions to bring the canoe back.” And when he had selected these, his party embarked in the canoe called Hiku-toto (revenge for blood), and paddled away in the night until they arrived opposite the pa, where they anchored the canoe. In the morning some of the people of the pa came outside, and, seeing the canoe of Whaka-tau, said, “Here is a kumete” (a bowl). Then a cry was heard all through the pa, “A kumete, a kumete.” Then one of the chiefs of the pa named Mango-uru-nui (shark of the big head) said, “I will go and fetch it,” and swam out to the canoe of Whaka-tau; but when he approached the side of it he was speared with a ko, and killed, and his body pulled on board. The men of the pa saw that Mango-uru-nui had been killed. They said, “It is the fault of the swimming. Let me fetch my swimming-stroke to the prow direct.” And this has ever since been used as a proverb.

Mango-uru-roa (shark of the long head) then entered the water and swam to the canoe. He swam to the bow. Whaka-tau saw him, and poured some oil on the water from a taha (calabash). The water became transparent. Whaka-tau saw Uru-roa diving, and speared him with a ko. He pulled his body into the canoe. When Mango-uru-tapena (shark of the insulting head) saw this he said, “It is the page 152 fault of the diving. Let me go, and I will dive to the stern of the canoe.” He entered the water, and dived. Whaka-tau saw him, and again poured some oil on the water, and saw him clearly, and speared him with a ko, but only succeeded in wounding his tongue, so that he was able to swim back again on shore. Then Whaka-tau set out on his return; but when they had got some distance he called to his friends, and said, “I must go inland. Return you with the canoe to the kainga (our home), and if in the dawn of the morning a great redness is seen in the sky, the Tihi-o-manono (temple) will be burning. It will have been set on fire by me, and the multitude of Poporo-kewa (last extinguished) will have been destroyed. If there be but a faint glow seen, it will be a sign that I have been killed by Poporo-kewa.” When he had finished his words his friends returned with the canoe, and he set out alone. When he arrived at the outside of the place, the people were busy carrying firewood. He thrust his taiaha (d) into a bundle, and carried it into the pa unrecognized by the people, because it was evening and dark. The men of the pa assembled in the whare-matoro (council-house) to question the man who had been speared from the canoe by Whaka-tau. One asked, “Of what appearance was the man who stood up? Is he like me?” The man whose tongue had been wounded by Whaka-tau said, “Short person, large face, great eyes.” Another man rose and asked, “Was he like me?” The other replied “No,” and repeated his description. That man sat down; and thus they went on until every one in the house had in turn stood up to question the man. At last Whaka-tau stood up and said, “Was he like me?” Mango-uru-tapena looked steadfastly at Whaka-tau, and, after examining his person attentively, exclaimed, “I am nearly certain that you are the man himself. Yes, you are.” Whaka-tau immediately raised his weapon, and, brandishing it from one side of the house to the other, escaped by the pihanga (window) in the roof, which he instantly closed and fastened. He then rushed to the window and to the door and fastened them, and set fire to page 153 the house. At dawn of day the men of his home looked towards the place, and saw the sky was very red. They then knew that the Tihi-o-manono had been burnt by Whaka-tau, and that the thousands of Poporo-kewa had perished in its flames. And Whaka-tau sang this song:—

From the tying of the bark together
To make the torch.
From the roasting of the lungs
As a sacrifice to Haere-iti.
Truly the flame of the roasted lungs.
The heavens were red
From the dawn of day.

Whakatau-potiki asked a slave whose life he had spared, “Where is the road by which Poporo-kewa comes from his abode?” (for he did not live with his tribe in the Tihi-o-manono). The slave said, “By the pihanga” (a window in the roof). Whaka-tau said, “When he comes forth, snare him. But what is the call?” The slave said, “‘Poporo-kewa, O! arise.’ He will growl, and then you must cry, ‘It is spring, and time to earth up the kumara?” Whaka-tau went to the house of Poporo-kewa and ascended to the ridge-pole and pushed aside the covering of grass, and discovered the path described by the slave, by which Poporo-kewa ascended. He laid his snare on the mouth of it, and called, “Poporo-kewa, O!” A growl was heard. Then Whaka-tau said, “Oh, come forth, come forth! this is the spring time. The kumara is being planted. Come to karakia (chant the charms) then.” Poporo-kewa answered, “Yes,” and appeared. His head came up, his shoulders entered the snare; then Whaka-tau pulled it tight and killed him: and thus he and his thousands perished by the hands of Whaka-tau. Thus having finished his slaying, Whaka-tau returned to his own land at Papa-rohia (flat screened with bushes). Thence is the proverb, “By the Muri-whaka-tau-potiki was the Tihi-o-manono burnt”

This is the song sung by Whakatau-potiki after he had burnt the Uru-o-manono (Tihi-o-manono—head or peak of Manono):—

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Peal, thou thunder in the sky,
That I may hear thy booming,
Like to that of rushing tide.
Cast down the prop of life,
That gods above and gods below may hear
The utterance of Apa-kura. Now
She utters words of dread
And of lonely desolation,
And laughs the laugh of madness
To those of her own kindred blood,
And begs for retribution for
The death of Tu-whaka-raro.
His sister wails in agony of woe,
As on the ocean-shore
She makes the sacred mounds
To smite the soul of him
Who did the murderous deed.
Now to her aid comes Nuku-mai-pahua.
As darts the flash of keen revenge
From piercing eye of deathless spite,
The hosts of Kewa come,
Assembled with the clan of those
Of Hui-te-ata and Pokai-taua,
To aid the matchless Whaka-tau.
I, Whaka-tau, will now embark
In my own spider-web canoe,
And I the battle-axe of Hau-mia
Will wield with heroes' might
To Tu-ta-kau. Come, welcome now.
I'll carry thee to thy famed
Mountain-peak, to where thou
Didst adorn thy head with plume—
At Uru-ma-ngangana's stream.
But, ah! thy deeds have made thee slave—
Yes, vassal now to Whaka-tau.