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

Chapter II

page 48

Chapter II.

O Rangi and Papa! my own beloved has gone.
Oh! what has severed me from my beloved?
“Tis true, I cursed in angry tone;
But does mine enemy that course repeat?
Yes, sins of old are ever near,
And that old curse now lives again.
Hosts live far in the west;
But vain their aid or power.
Hosts live far in the south;
But vain their aid or power.
Thus evil ever follows me,
And I am lost
In its undying fury.


Rua-tapu was ashamed because of the remarks of his father Ue-nuku in respect to a sacred comb which Rua-tapu had used. The comb was one of some that Mara-paua (the kumara made green by the sun) had made.

Ue-nuku had said, “It is right for my son Ka-hutia-te-rangi to use my comb.” Rua-tapu heard the remark of his father, and was so ashamed that he left his home and went to stay with his mother, who told him to embark in the canoe called Nuku-te-pewa-raki (the arch of heaven shifted), which was also called Te-o-te-poa-raki (offerings to heaven for the dead), and go to his ancestors Tau-kato (poor year) and Tau-nui-a-tara (great year of Tara), who lived far away on the open ocean.

Rua-tapu with his companions put to sea, and Rua-tapu kept his foot on a hole in the bottom of the canoe until far out on the page break
Toko Papa Mokau Heads N.Z.

Toko Papa Mokau Heads N.Z.

page 49 ocean; he then lifted it and the canoe foundered, and Pipi (ooze), Te-ara-tamahine (daughter's path), Runga-tapu (sacred above), Tahao (cease to rain), Waki (Whaki)-tata (confess at once), and Mata-tiki (face of the effigy of man) were all drowned; but Paikea and Rua-tapu escaped. Rua-tapu went to his mother; Paikea swam back to land and told his father of the accident, who said to Paikea, “Keep this my injunction ever in your mind: On the seventh, eighth, ninth, or tenth moon of the year I shall be with you.”

On the seventh and eighth moon the father put his power on the ocean, and on the ninth and tenth, and also on the first moon of the new year, rain descended, and the winds called Pu-nui (great cause), Mara-kai-a-tinaku (the garden-plot of the kumara-crop of Tinaku seed), and Te-ope-rua-riki (the company of the little pit) began to blow, and the sea began to rise and flow over the land, and it overwhelmed many pas, including Paroro-uri (dark storm), Paroro-tea (white storm), and others; but the pa to which some of the people fled, the pa Hiku-rangi, stood beyond the force of the flood, and a remnant of the tribe was saved.

Rua-tapu went to his ancestors Makara (head), Tau-nui-a-tara (great repose of Tara), Hika-iti (short sacred ceremony), and Hua (the lever), who were gods of, and ruled, the tides. They sent the sea on to the land and drowned the inhabitants. The Hiku-rangi hill alone rose above the flood. The flood receded, and the sea went back to its ancient level, and Paikea and his father fled to the hill Hiku-rangi, and were saved.

Moa-kura-manu (the red moa-bird) drank the blood (overcame the destructive power) of the tide of Rua-tapu.

Ue-Nuku. (Nga-I-Tahu.)

When Ue-nuku returned from his journey he sought for his comb: not finding it, he asked, “Where is my comb?” Some of the people said, “Rua-tapu has used your comb to comb his head.” Ue-nuku said, “I thought that only Ka-hutia-te-rangi page 50 might use my comb, as he is the child begotten on the sacred mat called Takapau-hara-(whara)-nui (mat of the great transgression); but this Rua-tapu, who has used my comb, is the child begotten without object, and of low rank, whose house was covered with the kawakawa-leaves (lowest rank in society), and who has no right to use my comb.”

Rua-tapu heard the remarks of his father, and was cast down in spirit, and went to his canoe called Tu-te-poa-raki (offering made to gain the favour of heaven), and put to sea, and went to his ancestors Tau-kato (end of the year), Tau-nui-a-tara (great song to encourage), and Tama-ra-kai-ora (child of the day of much food), to their calm home on the ocean, where the sacred altar stood, and where Hine-o-hua (daughter of the bloom), Hine-opohia (daughter who in handfuls brought forth the food), Hine-raka (ranga) -tai (daughter of the ceremonies to the sea), Te-warenga (the detained), Te-maihi (the window), and Te Horonga (the offering for the invited), were living. When Rua-tapu landed he met Hine-motiti (daughter of scarcity), Hine-motata (daughter of the thrashed), and Pou-ho-ata (the pillar of pumice-stone), and remained with them.

Ue-Nuku. (Nga-Ti-Kahu-Ngunu.)

Ue-nuku was the father of Rua-tapu, and when Ue-nuku was on a visit to another settlement Rua-tapu entered his father's house and took the comb and used it, but accidentally put it in a different place from that in which his father kept it. It was a sacred comb.

Ue-nuku returned, and asked for his comb. The people said, “Rua-tapu has used your comb.” Ue-nuku was angry, and said, “Ah! and is it for the low-born child who slept on the leaves of kawakawa (Piper excelsum), and in a place where the wind blew on him, and surrounded with the leaves, to use my comb? I did think that Ka-hutia-te-raki, he who was begotten by me on the Takapau-whara-nui, should be my only child to use my comb.” These words made Rua-tapu ashamed, and incited him page 51 to build a shed of leaves, where he resided for a time. He obtained a canoe called Tu-te-poa-raki (propitiatory offering given to gain the favour of heaven), and dragged it to the sea, and went on a voyage, accompanied by many young chiefs, to visit his ancestors called Tau-kato (cold year) and Tau-nui-a-tara (great year of nipping cold), who resided far out in the stream of the ocean. His companions thought they were going on a pleasure-trip. As the canoe left the shore Paikea, though uninvited, jumped on board, as she belonged to his younger brother Rua-tapu. They went far out on the ocean, and still went on. Paikea said, “Where are we going to?” Rua-tapu answered, “We are going below” (to the north). When in mid-ocean Rua-tapu turned the bow of the canoe towards the south, and went on to the Moana-toto (sea of blood, or red sea). Rua-tapu lifted his foot, which had been kept on a hole in the bottom of the canoe. She filled with water and upset. The name of the part of the sea where they upset was Te-wai-a-rua-makia (the pit of the water of the invalid), near to Rae-mate (cape of death). All perished save Paikea and Rua-tapu. Paikea saved himself by chanting incantations to his god. When Paikea parted with Rua-tapu, the latter said, “Go to the Hiku-rangi Hill, to Turuturu-a-marae-re-a-tango (the courtyard where the sacred post is stuck up, and where plenty is obtained by mere taking), so that a remnant of our people may escape destruction. I shall not come to you on the seventh, eighth, ninth, or tenth moon; but in autumn I shall be with you.”

Paikea was two moons on the sea ere he got back to land. Ua-nuku (Ue-nuku), Ka-hutia-te-rangi, and he went to reside at Hiku-rangi, there to wait for Rua-tapu.

In the Marua-roa (June, or autumn) Te-pu-nui-o-tonga (the great origin from the south) forced the sea over the land, and swept it over the pas, and drowned the people, save those who had gone to the mountain Hiku-rangi. Those who perished were the people who disbelieved the injunctions of Ue-nuku, and for their unbelief they perished.

page 52

Moa-kura (red moa) drank the flood, and made it recede or go back to the ocean.

Moa-kura was sister of Rua-tapu. The fish Rua-mano (two thousand) carried Paikea back to land, after he had parted from Rua-tapu.

Rua-Tapu. (Te-Arawa.)

Rua-tapu was a son of Ue-nuku-nui by his wife Pai-mahutanga (the wound nicely cured).

Rua-tapu was a very conceited young fellow, and to check his pride his father said, “It is not becoming of you to enter the house of your elder brother, as you are a child of low degree.” This the old man said in reference to the mother of Rua-tapu, who was a woman of inferior rank.

Rua-tapu determined to punish his father by destroying some of the sons of the senior chiefs of his tribe. He therefore ordered a canoe to be made, and called it Huri-pure-i-ata (the sacred ceremonies which were performed over the kumara-bulbs at dawn of day), and when ready for sea he invited one hundred and forty of the sons of chiefs of highest rank to accompany him on a voyage to some distant islands; but before they put to sea Rua-tapu had made a hole in the bottom of the canoe, and as they started he put his foot on it. When they had paddled far from land he removed his foot, and the canoe filled with water and upset, and all in her perished save Paikea. This chief was endowed with the power of the gods, and transformed himself into a fish, and passed through the ocean and landed at Ao-tea-roa (Great Barrier Island), where he resumed his human form and resided on the east coast of that land.

Some of the tribes who now reside on the east coast of these islands (New Zealand) claim this chief as their progenitor, and in pride quote this proverb: “Marvellous was the work of Paikea, the chief who turned himself into a fish.”

page 53

Rua-Tapu. (Nga-Ti-Hau.)

Before the tide of Rua-tapu this land was all one, and not two islands as at present; but that great tide came and rent the land and formed these islands we now see.

The land called Ara-hura (road opened) or Kai-koura (crayfish eaten)—that is, the Middle Island of New Zealand—was an island long before the time that Maui pulled his fish (the land) up.

The North Island of New Zealand is called Te-ika-a-maui (the fish of Maui). Its head is at the south end of it. The right eye is Te-whanga-nui-a-tara (the big harbour of Tara — Port Nicholson), the left eye is Wai-rarapa (glistening water), Lake Taupo is the belly, and Muri-whenua (the last land—North Cape) is the tail.

In ancient days the priests of these islands did not agree as to the pora (ship) in which Maui sailed when he drew the land up, nor did they agree as to the land whence he sailed. Some said he sailed from Hawa-i-ki: some said his pora (ship) was a ship of the gods, that his hook was the jaw-bone of one of his ancestors, that the bait was blood from his own nose, and that where his hook caught the land was that part of it which was nearest to the surface of the sea, and when he pulled the land up the sea was so agitated that his companions were afraid they would be swallowed up.

Rua-Tapu. (Nga-I-Porou.)

Rua-tapu, the son of Ue-nuku by his slave wife Pai-mahutanga (favourable healing), lived in Hawa-iki. One day, as he was flying his kite and slacking out the line, the kite made a swoop and came down on the top of his father's house. Rua-tapu went on to the house for it. His father was in the house and heard the noise of his tread, and asked, “Who is treading on my house?” Rua-tapu answered, “it is I.” Ue-nuku asked, “Who are you?” Rua-tapu answered, “It is I, it is Rua-tapu.” Ue-nuku said, “O young man! get down, and go from my house. How dare you get above my sacred head (d)! Such a page 54 daring act might be committed by Ka-hutia-te-rangi, who was begotten on the sacred mat; but you were accidentally begotten by me.” Rua-tapu felt hurt by the words of his father, and a spirit of revenge at once arose in him and aroused him to action. He made a canoe which he called Tere-hapua (float in a pool); but some priests say she was called Tu-te-pewa-rangi (the new moon in the sky), others say she was called Rangi-pato-roa (the sound of long beating or tapping in the heavens). When the canoe was ready for sea Rua-tapu invited seventy young chiefs of highest rank to accompany him in her to see how fast she would sail. When they embarked Rua-tapu took the position the baler of the canoe occupied, and when they had gone far out on the sea he drew the plug out and put his foot on the hole, and asked his companions to watch and say if the canoe leaked, that they should not be swamped. Water was seen in the hold of the canoe, it increased, and her head was put towards the shore, and all paddled with the utmost exertions to gain the land, Rua-tapu all the while pretending to bale the water out. The canoe had got near to the shore, and the water had got up to the between-decks, when she capsized, and all were thrown into the sea. As they were scrambling around the canoe Rua-tapu drowned many of them by pressing their heads under water. Hae-ora (cut open when alive) called and said, “Who of us shall escape to land?” Paikea replied, “I, the son of the peti-peti (Portuguese man-of-war) and of the ranga-hua (porpoise), will.” Hae-ora asked this question as he knew that, if any escaped, the parents of those drowned would, according to the ancient custom of Hawa-iki, kill those who might get to land. This custom is declared in the proverb which says, “Those who escape the blows of Tanga-roa (god of the sea) will be killed by those on shore.” This custom was followed to prevent the offspring of those who escaped disputing the title of the people to the land.

In the days of Rua-tapu the people of Hawa-iki had voyaged to and from Hawa-iki to Ao-tea-roa (New Zealand), and had sailed over all the ocean.

page 55

Hae-ora again said to Paikea “Go; and when you land teach Kahu-tu-a-niu all the knowledge you possess of agriculture and the signs of the seasons of the year, so that when he sits by his fireside he may have a broad chest to battle with the years of want, and may enjoy himself in times of peace and plenty.”

Rua-tapu pursued Paikea to destroy him also, but could not overtake him; therefore Rua-tapu called and said, “Paikea, go; and when you land on Ao-tea-roa collect the people and let them reside on Puke-hapopo (hill of the decaying), and the long nights of the eighth moon will take me there; but if I do not come at that time then I am not the child of Ue-nuku.”

The meaning of his words, “If I do not come then,” was that he would send a tremendous wave to submerge the land, but to escape death the people should go to Puke-hapopo in order that some might be saved, and the tribe be not exterminated.

It is said Rua-tapu was also drowned at the time he thus killed his companions, and his bowels burst with such violence that it caused waves on the sea so high that they swept the coast of Hawa-iki and Ao-tea-roa, and cast pumice-stone and gravel into the interior of these islands.

Paikea landed on these islands (New Zealand) at the season when the kumara was planted, in the eighth moon, when the land-breeze blows the seed of the pere-hia (Agrostis aemula) into the sea. And when Paikea had been here five months the waves of the sea overwhelmed all these islands save the tops of the highest mountains, and carried the pumice which is now seen on to the Kainga-roa (long eating) Plains at Taupo.

As instructed by Rua-tapu, Paikea collected all the people and led them to Puke-hapopo, where they were saved. The tide of Rua-tapu drowned those who were absent from that pa.

Paikea performed ceremonies and chanted incantations, and took a reed of pere-hia and threw it at the waves as they rolled page 56 to the land, and broke their power: thus the peaks of the mountains were not submerged.

The mare-mare-tai (jellyfish) and all the other jellyfish of the sea are portions of the entrails of Rua-tapu.

When Paikea had passed through these adventures he performed the ceremonies of washing and anointing himself, that he might regain his former power. This is the incantation he chanted to recover his wonted strength:—

It uncovers, it uncovers;
The sea uncovers;
The sea and its progeny uncovers;
It uncovers the sea of nothingness.
'Tis thy spirit,
'Tis my spirit;
'Tis Hou-tina (the established one),
'Tis Hou-taiki (the provoked one),
The gashed one, the fleeing one.
The earth sobs,
The sky sobs.
The eddying breeze.
'Tis firm and lasting,
And Bend's (a sea-god) pinions
Screen the ocean.
Let the spirit of man
Arrive on shore.

Paikea now called on his progenitors, the sea-gods, by name-Paikea-ariki (Paikea the supreme lord), Whainga-ariki (food of the supreme lord), and Huru-manu-ariki (supreme lord of the feather of birds) —to carry him on shore, and chanted this incantation:—

Paikea-ariki, oh, come!
I am swimming, swimming.
Whainga-ariki, oh, Come!
I am swimming, swimming.
Huru-manu-ariki, oh, come!
I am swimming, swimming.
Lift me, I swim; lift me, I swim.
Have recourse to the fierce one
Of Tane (gales and storms),
And land me on shore.
Come with the big wave,
And sever it with the
Axe that overthrows the earth.
Now comes Tonga-ariki (god of the south wind),
And Maru-whatu (downpouring hail),
page 57 And (my enemies) flee.
Fasten it,
My breast-shield;
Fasten my defence,
My breast-shield;
Lift up
My breast-shield;
My breast-shield;
And wait for
My breast-shield—
My breast-shield and my spear.
Swim, oh! swim,
O goblins!
Swim, oh! swim,
O gods!
Swim, oh! swim,
O sea-monsters!
Swim, oh! swim,
O man!
Yes, we are
Out in the sea
Yes, we are
Out on the plain;
Yes, we are
‘Midst the streaks of dawn;
Yes, we are
With my bird unsheltered.
Yes, we are; yes.
O Rua-tapu! use your paddle
Ere drowsiness hath come,
And stay me from Ka-hutia-te-rangi,
The great commander at Whanga-ra.
And as visitor I onward pass, And vainly seek for Tai-o-rutua (rippling sea).
Come, O canoe of Paikea!
Ere stormy days arise,
And energetic Tane (canoe)
Bring the Kahu-o-wai-rau (scraps)
O'er the screened sea.
Let the spirit of man
Arrive on shore

Paikea concluded his chant, and by the aid of his progenitors he landed on shore, and began to scoop the sand in heaps to warm himself, and called the place Ahu-ahu (heaps), which name that place has retained to this day.

page 58

Paikea went to Wai-apu (lift the water to the mouth in the hollow of the hand), where he took to wife Hotu-rangi (sob of heaven), and begat Pou-heni (the breeze that died away), who begat Porou-rangi (ceremony to heaven), who was progenitor of the tribe now called —Nga-I-Porou.

Ue-Nuku. (Nga-Ti-Kahu-Ngunu.)

Te-maru-nui-o-rangi (the great screen of heaven) was father of Timu-whakairia (poles on which offerings to the gods are lifted up), Ue-nuku, and Te-a-maru (the sail) by his first wife. Timu-whakairihia had charge of the wananga (medium). Rua-wharo and Tu-pai were children of another wife of Te-maru-nui-o-rangi; therefore Ue-nuku was elder brother of Rua-wharo and Tu-pai, but Timu-whakairia was the elder brother of them all.

When Ue-nuku made a fishing-net, Rua-wharo and Tu-pai were idle and did not help, or even make one mesh of the net. When the net was used and fish were caught, Rua-wharo took the best of the fish, such as the shark, stingray, and haku (Latris liniata). And each time the net was drawn he took some fish. One day Ue-nuku said to him, “O my younger brother! cease to take the fish of my net, lest you have your stomach filled with salt water.” But on the following day he again plundered the net, and whilst in the act Ue-nuku called to Pou-tama (reliance for the son) to pull the top and bottom of the net together. He did so, and Rua-wharo fell into the belly of the net, and was besmeared by the slime of the fish, which made him angry and ashamed. As he wept, his mother said, “Cease your crying, and go to your elder brother Timu-whakairihia, and ask him to teach you the ceremonies and chants to call the whale to the sea-coast: if you obtain this power you can overcome your elder brother Ue-nuku.”

Rua-wharo and Tu-pai went to the settlement of Timu-whakairihia. Whilst they were on their journey Timu-whakairihia said to his wife, Hine-hehei-rangi (daughter to ornament the sky), “Go and get two lots of covering for the page 59 floor on which two guests can sleep: two men will be here soon.” She went to get grass to place under the mats on which people sleep, and met the two men, who took liberties with her. Two pet birds were kept by Timu-whakairihia: these were with the woman. These were the birds called miro-miro (Petroica toitoi). One of them was called Hine-pipi-wai (daughter that twits over the water), the other Hine-papa-wai (daughter that touches the water). These whirled up and down and around their mistress, and, having witnessed the insult offered to her, went home and informed their master. When Hine-hehei-rangi got home she said to her husband, “O sir! I met two men.” He asked, “Where are they?” She said, “They are coming.” He asked, “Did they insult you?” “Yes,” she said. He asked, “How can you prove it?” She produced some strings of one of their garments, and said, “That is the proof.” He took the strings and placed them on the upper sill of the door of the house in which he would entertain them, that their heads might enter beneath these strings, which would degrade them as chiefs and lower their dignity.

They arrived at the settlement and entered the house. Timu-whakairihia said to his wife, “Go and get some fish and cook it for our guests.” That night the fish of which they had partaken made the visitors exceedingly ashamed. On the morrow, Timu-whakairihia, addressing them, said, “Evil has overtaken you to punish you for the insult you offered to me.” Thus his wife was avenged. Timu-whakairihia said, “O sir! what have you come for?” Tu-pai answered, “Ue-nuku has caused Rua-wharo to fall into the body of his fishing-net.” Timu-whakairihia asked, “Then you have come to obtain power to be revenged on your elder brother?” Tu-pai said, “No; we have come to obtain the power to call whales to the coast and to capture them, and if Ue-nuku comes to us and gets on one to obtain blubber, we may be able to throw him into the stomach of a whale, and treat him as he has treated Rua-wharo.” Timu-whakairihia page 60 answered, “You can return home to-morrow with the gravel (d) which will draw the whale near to the coast.

Ue-nuku was informed of the object of the visit of Rua-wharo and Tu-pai to Timu-whakairihia. He therefore performed the ceremonies and chanted the incantations to prevent them obtaining the power sought.

Rua-wharo and Tu-pai stayed some time with their elder brother Timu-whakairihia, and were taken by him into the sacred house (temple) to be taught the sacred ceremonies (te wananga) and incantations. Only Timu-whakairihia and Rua-wharo went into the house. Tu-pai stayed outside as guard, to prevent any one listening to the lessons taught.

Timu-whakairihia occupied the whole day in teaching Rua-wharo, and, as the sun set, Tu-pai entered the house to listen to that which was being taught to Rua-wharo. When Timu-whakairihia had taught all, he asked Rua-wharo to repeat the lessons. He did so; but when he had got to the middle of one lesson he made a mistake (tapepa), and repeated part wrong. Timu-whakairihia then appealed to Tu-pai, and asked him to repeat what he had learnt of the lessons. He did so, and repeated all the lessons correctly.

Timu-whakairihia now wished them to depart, and said, “If you meet a dog or bird, and can kill it by the power of the lessons I have taught, you have learnt my lessons correctly. Try your power on a great tree, and if it wither or fall you have obtained the power you sought.”

They departed from the presence of Timu-whakairihia, and when they were alone Tu-pai suggested that they should kill Timu-whakairihia; but Rua-wharo said, “Do not let us kill our elder brother and teacher.” Then Tu-pai suggested that they should kill an oii (Puffinus tristis) as a first offering to the gods. They killed an oii near to the settlement of Timu-whakairihia, who, having heard a hum of blowflies, went out of his house, and, looking around, saw some flies on the sacred page 61 place. He was angry, and ordered them to depart. Rua-wharo and Tu-pai laughed at him; and for this insulting act of the two brothers the bird oii was made feeble, and has been used in sacrifice to the gods on the other side of the ocean (at Hawa-iki), as was also the tutu (Coriaria ruscifolia), karaka (Corynocarpus loevigata, and kotukutuku (Fuchsia excorticata). On account of the insult to Timu-whakairihia in the laughing of Rua-wharo and Tu-pai, the oii and these shrubs have little power as sacrificial offerings when used in the sacred ceremonies.

The wananga (medium) had been obtained, and Rua-wharo and Tu-pai asked each of the other, “What shall we do?” One said, “Let us go and learn something of Whaka-rau (captive), Tu-taka-hinahina, and Tu-taka-oreore (Tu the singer), and ask them to let us have their canoe Taki-tumu to take us home; and those of them who go to bring the canoe back must bring their mats with them.” They went and asked for the canoe. The owners remarked, “The canoe sails as fast as a pere (arrow) flies. As the proverb says, ‘Who shall follow the son of Mumu-whango (humming noise)?’”

They went home and began to pack the mats and the gravel obtained from Timu-whakairihia, the use of which would induce whales to come near to the coast. When all were packed they placed them in the canoe, and a crew of two hundred men went on board; but they left their food and clothing on shore. Rua-wharo and Tu-pai determined to take the god Kahu-kura with them, and placed him in the centre of the canoe, that he might direct the canoe in her course. This god was guarded by the priests who had possession of it; but Rua-wharo and Tu-pai had agreed to get possession of the god. Tu-pai said to his brother, “Let us kill those who guard the god.” Tu-pai killed Tara-kumukumu (barb of the gurnet), Tara-tu-a-neinei (the barb partly stretched forth), Tara-mongamonga (power of the marrow), Tara-hiku-mutu (barb cut short off), Te-ao-whano-ke (the changed cloud), Te-ao-hiku-mutu (the cloud with the point cut off), and te Mote-pua (the sucker of the flower), and conveyed the god on board Taki-tumu.

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Taki-tumu was now afloat on the sea, and Rua-wharo rose and chanted this incantation, calling the gods by name:—

It is Peka (the branch)—
Yes, Peka at Whiti,
And Peka at Tonga.
The making of the canoe,
The surface of heaven.
I am not on a raft
That carries Tu-taka-hinahina
But Peka and Iki (the devourer).
O Iki! stretch forth and lift it.
O Hiki (lift) ! stretch forth and lift it.
Lift the earth, lift the sky,
Lift thy procreating power.
Lo! let it be; so let it be.

The crew did not understand the meaning of this incantation, nor any part of it.

When the canoe was far out on the sea the crew wished to return; but Tu-pai objected, and said, “Let the mountains be lost to sight; then we can return. Ours is a swift canoe, and will soon be back again.”

They lost sight of land, and night came on. They had left their garments on shore, and were nipped by the frost; but they nestled together to keep each other warm with the one mat each had on.

One, who was called Pito (the end), was deputed to kill one of the crew, and stood near the mast with a mere (greenstone weapon) in his hand to slay his victim when hunger pressed on them. Pito took hold of the head of a man to kill him; but the victim exclaimed, “Do not kill me;” and, offering a hapuku (codfish), said, “Accept this in lieu.” Thus, as each one was selected to be killed he produced something for the crew to eat, even to the time the crew landed here in these islands of Ao-tea-roa.

The bows of the canoe which came from the other side were not sacred—that part was where food could be cooked, and therefore was not sacred; but the centre of the canoe was sacred. Taki-tumu only of all the canoes was sacred in every part.

page 63

These are the names of most of the canoes which crossed the sea: Horo-Uta (pass swiftly along the coast), Arawa (a shark of a certain kind), Tai-nui (great tide), Mata-atua (face of a god), Toko-maru (bruised pole), Kura-hau-po (red glow of the windy night), Nuku-tere (distant voyager), and other canoes. All these canoes had some part not sacred; but Taki-tumu was all sacred.

The fish caught by the crew of Taki-tumu during her voyage over the sea was all they had to live on, and hence this canoe was the most famed of them all.

Taki-tumu came across the sea, and landed at Muri-whenua (the rear land) (the North Cape of New Zealand), where they lived for some time; but they again embarked, and sailed along the east coast in search of some place that might resemble a part of the old home called Te-mahia-mai-tawhiti (the sound heard from a distance). When they came to Toro-uka (headland), near Te-ika-a-tauira (the fish of Tauira—disciple), they saw the places now called Wai-kawa (water of baptism) and Kahu-tara-ria-kina (garment of baptism rushed for) far ahead of them. Rua-wharo stood up and said, “This is Te-mahia;” and when they got near to Nuku-tau-rua (moving double canoe) point, they landed and examined the place. But it was not exactly like the Mahia they had left at home. They, however, took possession, and took from a basket in which they had kept them some earth and some gravel, which they had scooped up with the hands from the beach of Te-mahia-mai-tawhiti, in their old home across the sea; and, performing the ceremonies and chanting the incantations which they had learnt from Timu-whakairihia, they poured the earth and gravel into the sea.

On the morrow they found a whale stranded on the shore; so they fulfilled the request of their mother, who had said to Rua-wharo and Tu-pai, when they left the other shore, “Wherever you find a whale stranded on the beach, take up your abode there.” So they stayed there for a while.

But they had to leave the Mahia, on account of Rua-wharo page 64 beating his son Ngotu-a-rangi (fine bird of heaven), who on that account left his father Rua-wharo, and came up the coast southward, and took a wife, and begat Ranga-tira (form the travellers into line). When the news of the birth of this child was heard by Rua-wharo, he rejoiced greatly at the birth of a grandchild.

Rua-wharo went to visit his son at Ahu-riri (evil omen of the heap of earth used as an altar of offering); but the child had died before he arrived there, and Rua-wharo and his son cast the corpse into the Ahu-riri harbour; but Rua-wharo left mussels there as food for the people residing in the district, in honour of his grandchild Ranga-tira.

Rua-wharo asked his son to return with him; but Ngongo-tu-a-rangi refused. His father departed in his canoe on his return-journey to Te-mahia, and Ngongo-tu-a-rangi performed the ceremonies and chanted the incantations to cause the winds to swoop down on the canoe of his father, and swamp it; but the father, being also learned in all the knowledge of commanding the elements, escaped the fury of the storm and landed at Te-mahia, where he resided a long time, and then went and lived at the south end of the North island, and did not again return to Te-mahia, but left Te-mahia district for his children called Mati-u (old and stale) and Makaro (out of sight), the names of the two islands in Port Nicholson.

Some time after this Paikea went to Te-mahia (but the canoe Taki-tumu had not landed there at that time); and when Rua-wharo heard that Paikea had arrived at Te-mahia, he and Tu-pai went to plant a crop of kumara there, with the intention to kill Ira, and eat him as a savoury morsel at a feast of kumara to be given by them to Paikea; but Paikea condemned their intention, and said, “What presumption on your part in daring to consult to kill our elder brother, and to bring the remembrance of evils committed on the other shore (in Hawa-iki) to this land, and attempt now to get revenge for evils of the past! Dare not to put your intention into effect.” They chanted page 65 the incantations and performed the sacred rites to prevent evil from falling on them for their intended act of murder, and returned to Te-whanga-nui-a-roto (the great harbour of the lake—now Port Nicholson), Pori-rua (the two vassals), Pa-tea, and Ara-paoa. The canoe Taki-tumu was thus brought to and kept at the head of this fish (south end of the North Island).

The reason why Rua-wharo and Tu-pai wished to kill Ira was, Rua-wharo had been thrown into the body of a fishing-net, and he felt vindictive on that account, and sought for revenge for the insult thus put on him.