Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (digital text)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

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

Chapter VI

page break

Chapter VI.

Oh! cease to speak, nor words repeat
To me. I would that I could quiet have,
And let my troubled brain have rest.
Oh! let me live alone, and ponder
O'er the deadly past; and give me time
To rid me of the blighting power
Of gods unknown to me,
Whose omens flit around,
While dread forebodings bind my very soul.

Tara-Ki-Uta and Tara-Ki-Tai.

The Nga-ti-kahu-ngunu Tribe, who now occupy the Here-taonga(taunga) (Napier) District, were in generations past the occupants and owners of the Turanga (Poverty Bay) District; but, on account of the murder of two children, twins of Kahu-tapere and Rongo-mai-tara, sister of Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa, they were driven from that part of the land.

The names of the children were Tara-ki-uta (the side inland) and Tara-ki-tai (the side towards the sea). This is the reason why those children were murdered: Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa (who was grandson of Kahu-ngunu, and fourth from Tama-tea, who, with Rongo-kako, came from Hawa-iki to these islands in the canoe Taki-tumu) felt annoyed that birds preserved in calabashes in their own fat were given to these twins, instead of being kept for his son Tu-purupuru. He therefore determined to destroy these children, who were the sons of his sister Rongo- page 119 mai-tara. The twins were in the habit of going from their home, and joining in the game of whipping-top with the children in Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa's pa called Maunga-puremu (which stood near to the spot now occupied by the village of Ormond). On the side of the path near the pa there was an old kumara-pit (d), into which Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa knocked the children's tops, and told the twins to fetch them. When they were in the pit he covered them with rubbish, and filled the pit, and smothered them. As evening came on the parents missed them. Search was made, but they could not be found. To aid them in their search they made kites of the raupo-leaf (Typha angustifolia) in the form of hawks, covering the outside with aute (Broussonetia papyrifera). These were sent up into the air till they were on a level with the pa of Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa, when they hovered over his house and nodded their heads. This indicated who had killed the children.

Kahu-tapere (whose pa, called Puke-poto, stood near where Mr. W. Charles now resides, at Repo-ngaere) called his tribe together, and attacked Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa, and took his pa, and killed Tu-purupuru, the son of Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa, and many of the tribe. Those who escaped with Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa fled to a pa called Uku-rarenga, on the Mahia Peninsula. The body of Tu-purupuru was cooked in an umu (hangi—oven) called Whakatau-ai. The stones used were called Rehu, or Whatu-kura, or Whatu-ranga-hua—resembling scoria—with a mere-pounamu called Whaka-tangi-ara.

After Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa and his people had resided some time at Uku-rarenga, Kahu-paroro determined to go to Turanga. When Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa heard of his intention he said, “O friend! go in peace to where our child sleeps, but let his spirit hover in quietness over Turanga” (“Do not disturb his bones”). When Kahu-paroro arrived at Turanga he collected the bones of Tu-purupuru, and brought them to Te-mahanga, near to Te-mahia, and left the skull there, and went on to Nuku-tau-roa (rua) (Table Cape), and there made fish-hooks of the page 120 shoulder-blade bones, and used them to fish with from the rock called Mata-kana. When he threw his hook out into the sea he chanted this hirihiri (short incantation):—

Divide, divide the waters of Ta-wake
With the red ornamental weapon
Of Tu-purupuru and Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa.
Who is thy ancestor?
He is Taki-ta-maku,
Tihito-rangi, and Pahi-to-weka (Tahito-weka).

He pulled his line in and had caught a hapuku (cod). Tama-i-wiriwiri heard the words of the chant, and thought it was Tu-purupuru who was fishing, and hastened to Uku-rarenga and told Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa what he had heard; but Tama-rau-hiri had discovered that the bones of Tu-puru-puru had been used by Hauhau to dig fern-root. War was declared to avenge this insult in which Hauhau and many others were killed.

Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa and his followers retreated to Te-wai-roa; but the people there did not make them welcome, nor did they supply canoes for them to cross that river; and, as Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa had few followers at the time, he ordered the faces of the women to be marked to resemble the tattooing on the faces of men, and marked a number of calabashes with moko (tattooing) to resemble men, and performed this haka (d), which was led by Hine-kura:—

A black mat (or black puffin) O me! Tieke i (a bird of feeble flight),
A black mat, O me! Tieke i,
Black, black mat, O me! Tietieke i,
A black mat, O me! Tieke i,
Dark puffin Tie-hakoa-koa (dark puffin).
So it is. Now, now. Koa ei-ei.

As this was being performed the Wai-roa people collected in groups to witness the performance and hear the song. As these were without their weapons Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa and party rushed on them and killed many of them, and went on to Ara-paua-nui. When they arrived near to the pa of Taranga-kahu-tai, that chief saw them, called, and asked, ‘Where is Taraia?” Taraia, who was with Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa, answered, “I am here.” Taranga-kahu-tai shouted and said; “Stand forth, that I may page 121 recognize you.” Taraia was clothed with a mat made of feathers, and stood where he could be seen. Taranga-kahu-tai said, “I shall soon distinguish you: your heart will be eaten by me.” Taraia took a stone, and, repeating a Tipi-hou-mea incantation over it, threw it at Taranga-kahu-tai, and knocked the feather-plume or head-dress off his head. At the same time Taraia rushed towards him, and the plume fell at Taraia's feet, which made him exclaim, “I know that I shall eat your heart presently.” A battle ensued, and Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa and party were repulsed. A woman of the party, called Hine-pare, seeing her friends draw back, thought they were defeated. She took the calabash in which they carried the gods, ascended a rock, dashed the calabash to pieces, and exclaimed, “Evil be on the mothers of these men. Presently our nakedness will be seen by our enemy.” Her brothers, having heard the crash of the breaking calabash, and the curse she uttered, and the voice of the lamenting woman, imagined the skull of one of their people had been smitten. This roused them to action, and, led by Taraia, they rallied and again charged the enemy, and killed Taranga-kahu-tai, Ra-kai-weriweri, and many others; but Wai-kari and some of Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa's party also fell in this battle.

A dispute arose over the body of Ra-kai-weriweri as to the family to which he belonged. To end the matter Taraia took two pieces of toe-toe (Arundo conspicua) to cast lots with the niu, and chanted this incantation:—

Pull it from the foundation, Unuhia i te pu,
Pull it from what is known (history), Unuhia i te weri,
Pull it from the root, Unuhia i te taketake,
Pull it from the heart of Hawaiki. Unuhia i te tamore i Hawa-iki.

He held the toe-toe on the extended open palm of his right hand, and said, “If you are of the family of Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa” (shaking his hand) “go; but if you are of this family, hold.” The toe-toe stayed on his hand, and Ra-kai-weriweri was declared to be of the family of Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa. This was the fourth death in revenge for Tu-purupuru.

page 122

Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa and followers went to the pas Whaka-ari, Tauranga, and Hei-pipi, near Ta-ngoio, the commanders of which were Tau-tu and Tu-nui. While Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa was there a man called Totara arrived from Here-taonga, and boasted of the abundance and goodness of the food procured in his district. A chief called Ta-wao remarked, “Te-whanga-nui-o-rotu (Napier Harbour), so celebrated for its shell-fish, shall be the mara (garden) of Ta-wao.” Ta-raia remarked, “Ngaru-roro, celebrated for its fish, kaha-wai, shall be the ipu (calabash or bowl) of Taraia.”

Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa and party went to the mouth of the Ngaru-roro stream, and drove Ha-tupuna, Awa-nui-a-rangi, and Whatu-ma-moa, and their people off the land, and captured their principal pa, called O-tatara (Redcliffe, near Taradale).

Kahu-kura-nui (father of Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa), after he had returned from Motu-o, took Tu-te-ihonga, who was a widow and woman of high rank of the Whatu-ma-moa people, to wife. Taraia and Po-ranga-hau had avenged the death of her former husband, who had been killed by the people of the Here-taonga district, and the Kahu-ngunu people were amalgamated with the Whatu-ma-moa in the second generation after the arrival of Taki-tumu from Hawaiki.

Tama-Te-Ra and Iwi-Ka-Tere. (Nga-Ti-Kahu-Ngunu.)

The tribes who now occupy Te-aute and Pou-ka-wa in days long past were the owners and occupiers of the Wairoa district, near Napier. The reason for their leaving Te-wai-roa was this: A chief named Iwi-ka-tere, who lived at a pa near Turi-roa, at the Wai-roa, had a pet tui (parson-bird), which had been taught to repeat the incantations chanted while planting the kumara, taro, and other crops, and was thus a valuable economizer of time and labour, for the priests otherwise would have been obliged to chant these incantations themselves.

Tama-te-ra, a chief of an adjoining pa, borrowed the bird from Iwi-ka-tere. Having kept it for some time, the owner page 123 sent for his pet; but Tama-te-ra would not part with it, and Iwi-ka-tere went and took it to his home. One night Tama-te-ra, with his companions, went by stealth and took the bird; and whilst being carried off the bird kept repeating these words, “I am gone; I am gone on the handle of a paddle. I am tired of fighting. Oh! I am gone.” It was waste of words on the bird's part, as its master did not understand their meaning, and Tama-te-ra took it away. On the following day Iwi-ka-tere attacked those who stole the bird, but was repulsed; but to gain his object he obtained the assistance of Ra-kai-paka, chief of Te-mahia district (who had been driven from Turanga), and attacked and killed Tama-te-ra, Tau-para, and others. In the battles fought on account of this bird many on both sides were killed. This was the cause of Ngare-ngare and people, including his grand-daughter Hine-te-moa, leaving Te-wai-roa, and going to Here-taonga, and settling in the neighbourhood of Pou-ka-wa and Te-aute, and expelling Tare-nui-a-rangi and people, the original owners, from that district. A great battle was fought on the site of the present town of Danevirke, near Tahora-iti, in the Seventy-mile Bush; and from the length of time taken to cook the slain in the hangi, or umu (oven), the place was called Umu-tao-roa (oven that took long to cook the food).

These events took place in the days of Ra-kai-paka, a contemporary of Kahu-kura-nui and Ra-kai-te-hiku-roa, in the second and third generation after the arrival of the canoe Taki-tumu from Hawaiki in these islands.

Te-Rapu-Wai. (Nga-Ti-Kahu-Ngunu.)

Tane-nui-a-rangi took Hine-ahu-one and also Hine-ti-tama to wife, and from Hine-ahu-one, who was the elder or senior wife, the old priests say, sprang another race than our people, the Maori. The progenitor of that race was called Te-rapu-wai, and when the Europeans were first seen by the Maori in New Zealand they were said by the old priests to be the descendants of Te-rapu-wai.

page 124

Te Rapu-Wai and Kahui-Tipua. (Nga-I-Tahu.)

Te-kahui-tipua were the first to occupy the South Island. They were giants who could stride from mountain-range to mountain-range, and transform themselves into anything animate or inanimate. When Te-rapu-wai, who dwelt at Matau, went in small parties to hunt for the weka and other birds, they never returned. Tens and tens went out, and never came back; then every one of the tribe felt sure something was consuming them, but what it was they could not tell. A long time passed, and then they found out how their people perished. It was learnt from a woman called Kai-a-moe, the sole survivor of one of those hunting-parties. She told her people her party met a tipua on the top of a hill, accompanied by ten two-headed dogs. After killing all the men the tipua carried her to his cave, which was situate near the river. There she was forced to live with him, and in time became covered all over with scales from the tipua's body.

She was very miserable and determined to escape; but this was not an easy task, as the tipua took: care to fasten her by a cord, which he kept jerking whenever she was out of his sight.

As the cave was on the banks of the river, she crept to the entrance, where raupo grew in abundance. She cut a quantity and tied it in bundles, and on the following day, when the tipua slept she crept out and made the raupo bundles into a raft, and tied the cord which the tipua had fastened to her body to a root of growing rushes, which, when jerked, being elastic, would prevent the immediate discovery of her flight. She got on the raft (moki), and, carried by the current, dropped down the river, at the mouth of which her friends lived.

The tipua did not awake for some time, and when he did he called, “Kai-a-moe e—where are you?” As he did not receive an answer he went to the mouth of the cave and searched for her footprints. As he did not see any he smelt the water, and perceived how she had escaped. In his rage he swallowed the waters of the river, and it dried up; but Kai-a-moe had escaped page 125 to the village and her friends. She cleaned herself of the scales which had covered her body, and told the people all she knew of the tipua. They resolved to put him to death. They asked, “When does he sleep?” She replied, “When the north-west wind blows he sleeps long and soundly.” When this wind blew they proceeded to the cave, and collected a quantity of fern, which they piled up at the entrance of the cave, and then set on fire. The heat awoke the tipua, who had no way of escape but by a hole in the roof of the cave; and whilst attempting to escape by this the people attacked him with their weapons and beat him to death. Fortunately for the people his dogs were out hunting, or these would have prevented him being taken or killed.

It was about this time that the canoe Arai-te-uru was upset off Moe-raki, and her cargo, strewn all over the beach, was the eel-baskets of Hape-ki-tu-a-raki, and the slave Puke-tapu, and the calabashes and kumara.

Te-rapu-wai, or Nga-aitanga-a-te-puhi-rere, succeeded the Kahui-tipua, and soon spread all over the Island (South Island), where traces of their occupation may be seen in the shell-heaps along the coast and far inland. The old priests say it was in their time that the country around where Invercargill now stands was submerged, and the forests which stood where Canterbury and O-takou now stand were destroyed by fire, by which the bird moa became nearly extinct in that district.

Some of the priests say that Te-rapu-wai and Wai-taha were distinct families of the same generic tribe, and Te-rapu-wai were the vanguard when that people migrated from the North Island. Others of the priests say Te-rapu-wai and Wai-taha were sections of separate tribes.

Of Wai-taha very little is said by the conquerors, the Nga-ti-mamoe. By a few of the Wai-taha who were spared by the Nga-ti-mamoe to work their fisheries and kumara-plantations the little history of that tribe we have was given, and those few who were spared for a time were exterminated by their masters page 126 to prevent an alliance with the invading Nga-I-Tahu, the enemies of Nga-ti-mamoe.

It is said that Wai-taha who came from Hawaiki with Tama-te-kapua in Te-Arawa, was the founder of the tribe which bears his name. His tau-mata (temple, or look-out post) is still pointed out near Taupo, and at a very early date in the history of Te-arawa he must have migrated to the South Island, where he and his descendants for long years lived in peace and plenty; which to some extent is asserted in the remark of the modern Maori, who says, “Wai-taha covered the land like ants.”

The size of the pas and the extent of the kitchen-middens now seen on various parts of the coast, attributed to the Wai-taha, prove the assertion as to their great numbers.

At Mai-rangi and at Kapuka (Kapunga)-riki (Cust) the remains of a walled pa, extending for about three miles along the downs, existed till the settlement of Europeans in that locality. Wiremu Te Uki, Henare Pereita, and others who frequented the place to gather the stems of the cabbage-palm, which grew luxuriantly there in “soil enriched by the fat of man” for making kauru, a favourite article of food, assert that twenty years ago the broad outer ditch of the pa could be the seen, and from the bottom to the top of the ditch was about seven feet, and that at regular intervals of the wall there were openings, showing plainly where the gates had been. These men also say that they recollect old men saying that these gates were known to have had names, which are now lost. Te-wai-manongia and his son Tau-hanga are said to have visited these pas at the time they were attacked, taken, and destroyed by the Nga-ti-mamoe.

Whare-Patari. (Nga-Ti-Kahu-Ngunu.)

Whare-patari (enchanter of the winds) came from the east, and, having heard that a tribe called Nga-ti-rua-roa (the sons of the long pit) were adepts in the art of ruling the elements, he paid a visit to them to test their knowledge of ruling the winds and seasons.

page 127

He went into the forest and got a young tawa (Nesodaphne tawa) sapling, and pinched the bark off it in places, making it speckled; he then marked it into twelve divisions, and stuck it up in the house before the fire, and went to sleep. Rising early in the morning, whilst it was still dark, he chanted an incantation which shadowed forth his knowledge of the seasons of the year. This was the incantation he chanted:—

It is Pi (faint glimmer of light)
And Paa (first throb of life).
The brow is raised, and
Eyebrow is alone, where
My procreative power is,
And follows on, till
The face of heaven heaves
And casts its power forth.
Stand thou aside. If I
An evil parent were,
In shame I should
From perspiration come,
Deformed and bent as
Is the lizard's limbs,
And as repulsive as
That perspiration is.
Sleep, O winds!
At dawn of day
On the ocean-face,
When dark, long nights
And nights of dread
Shoot their power
And evil to the
Offspring of Ro-aka (abundance),
When incantations of ignoble
And offspring of the listener
Presume, and occupy the earth.
Shine red, O sky! shine out,
And let the earth glow red,
And glimmer on the coast,
And on the aged shine.
Of whom shall I inquire?
Of Whare-patari
(Enchanter of the winds),
To say when shall
The warm, the calm,
And great prolific
Season be. And he,
page 128 The active one,
With hands to labour,
Then behold the kowhai
(Sophora tetraptera) bloom,
And when the twittering
Voice of birds re-echoing
Loud and long is heard.
Now is the song
Of toriwai (the bird of dawn),
And pigeon, and miromiro
(Petroica toitoi).
But thou, O man
Of evil deeds and
Incantations false!
Let all thy acts
And incantations fail
And on thee turn
By power of Whare-patari.

He chanted this incantation in the presence of those who had not recognized him. He concluded his chant by inserting his name in the last line. They asked him, “Are you Whare-patari?” He answered, “I have told you in the past.” The people were ashamed, and said among themselves, “We have heard of the name of this man, and the fame of his great knowledge has been heard of by us; but now that he has appeared in person we have not recognized him.”

Some proposed to question him, that he might teach some of his wisdom to them. Others asked, “But how shall we question him, and what questions shall we ask?' It was agreed that he should be asked how many months he said were in the year. They held a consultation, and one of them was authorized to ask the question. When it had been asked he looked at them, taking the sapling tawa he had stuck up before the fire, and gave it to them. They counted the twelve divisions marked on the stick, and said, “There are two more marks here than we allow for the months in a year.” He said, “Have you not noticed the feathers in the wings of the birds—that there are more than ten in each wing? Also there are two more months than ten in the year.” They asked, “Then are we wrong in taking our page 129 kumara-crop up in the eighth moon?” He said, “Yes; and you must also leave the broken pieces of kumara in the ground, that they may grow. I will teach you what to do with these broken pieces.”

He waited till the tenth moon, and said to them, “Now see what the crop is like.” They took the crop up, and found it most abundant, and the kumara was very mealy.

Ever after that the Nga-ti-rua-roa Tribe followed the teaching of this man, and planted and harvested the kumara-crops as he advised, and have kept such custom even to the present day.

Rangi-Whaka-Oma. (Nga-Ti-Kahu-Ngunu.)

The principal place of residence (pa) of this chief Rangi-whaka-oma (day of racing) was at Rakau-puhi (tree with a plume on it). There he dwelt. One day he went to the entrance-porch of his kumara-store, and there he sat down. The name of that store was Raumati-rua (double summer), and whilst he was there a lad named Tawake-ariki (the lord Tawake), the son of Te-ao-tata (bounding cloud), went up also to that spot, and Rangi-whaka-oma said to him, “O friend! whither are you going?” The boy replied, “Just here to this place, to look at the kumara in your store.” Rangi-whaka-oma said, “Stay a bit. It is not so very good to look about here (in the kumara-store). Far better is it, O thou! below in the unseen world (reinga), that the looking-about may be both beautiful and pleasing.” Then the boy went quickly below to the lower world (reinga) to observe and look about at the steep cliffs of Hawa-iki. There he expressed his admiration at the beauty of the kumara, and while he was thus admiring, lo! the whole piled-up stack of kumara (in the store) was made to fall down suddenly on him, so that he was immediately killed. His friends, on finding that he was dead, sent a messenger off to U-awa, to his father, Te-ao-tata. On hearing the sad news Te-ao-tata exclaimed, “By whom was my son slain?” The messenger said, “By Rangi-whaka-oma.” The father, having mourned over his son, assembled a band of his followers. On their leaving to seek page 130 revenge the principal chief, Hau-iti (little sacred power), called to them, and said, “O friends! listen. If you should capture a daughter of Rangi-whaka-oma let her be kept alive, to become my wife.”

The army of Te-ao-tata went to Rakau-puhi, and invested the place, assaulted, and took it, and killed the people, including Rangi-whaka-oma. A remnant, however, escaped, and of those they caught alive they slew some as food for themselves, saving alive three women, named Rakau-manawa-he (the weapon of the weary warrior), the daughter of Rangi-whaka-oma, and two other young women of rank named Ra-kai-parore (day of eating the parore-fish) and Hine-pa-rata (daughter of the rata-tree, where birds are snared).

The army now returned home to their own place at U-awa, and Hau-iti took Rakau-manawa-he to wife. One day in summer the two captive young women, Ra-kai-parore and Hine-pa-rata, were bathing as usual in deep water and they amused themselves, as water, women do in bathing, by causing their arm-pits to make a great noise, while lashing the water with their arms. The noise was heard by some men at work, who cried out, “Those women are deeply affected,” and then a taunting song was sung by the men respecting them. Through this the two young women felt greatly ashamed. So they both together rose and left the place, and travelled a long distance by the sea-coast until they reached a place called O-rere-wa (place of fleeing), where they stayed, and afterwards both took husbands of the men of that place.

In course of time Rakau-manawa-he, the wife of Hau-iti, gave birth to two children: the first-born was called Karihi-mama (light sinker), the second Nga-toro-taha-tu (seek for the sides). Being in want of seed-kumara, Hau-iti said to his wife, “Go to the Nga-ti-ira (descendants of Ira) and fetch some seed-kumara for us.” She went in company with another woman, named Tahi-pare (one plume). When these two arrived at the pa of Nga-ti-ira page 131 called Pakau-rangi (kite of heaven) the people of the place rushed out and killed Rakau-manawa-he, but saved her companion. They cut up the wife of Hau-iti, and cooked and ate her. Then the woman who was saved returned to Hau-iti, and related all that had taken place. Then the son of Hau-iti, and husband of the woman who was saved, called Kahu-kura-nui (great red garment), became exceedingly cast down, and immediately began to assemble an armed band to go and take revenge; but whilst this band were getting ready a woman came over from the Nga-ti-ira people to see Kahu-kura-nui, being incited thereto by her sympathy for him, and showed him how the Nga-ti-ira pa could be taken, saying, “By means of crawfish the pa can be overcome.” Kahu-kura-nui's army was not physically strong enough for the purpose. On hearing this Kahu-kura-nui commanded an immense taking of crawfish to be made, and all the people joined and went willingly about this work. Crawfish were caught in great numbers and dried. They were brought from all the fishing-stations on the rocky sea-coast. From Te-haha (the seeking), Tao-parapara (heating the bruise), Te-ika-a-tauira (first fish offered to the gods in the season), Tatara (old garment), Mai-tara (charm repeated), and from Whangai-ariki (the lord fed), and from all the many creeks and seas the crawfish were collected, and, when ready, were carried away for Nga-ti-ira. Hence it was the Nga-ti-ira people afterwards suffered dreadfully in the fort for want of water; for the water of the place, being outside of the fort, was soon in the possession of the besieging party, and the people of the fort could not get at it with their calabashes. But those in the besieged pa who had friends and relatives with the besieging party, when they went out of the pa to see these relatives, took their heavy thick flax garments with them, and these they used instead of calabashes to carry water to the besieged, soaking them in the water; and when they returned to the pa (fort) they wrung the water out for the women and children, while others chewed and sucked the loose hanging flax fringes of the wetted garments, just to moisten a little their parched throats. page 132 The water to drink was also the more required through their still eating the dried crawfish, being impelled thereto through hunger. For some time they miserably managed in this way, but at last, on trying it again, they found an armed party, who had become suspicious, guarding the water, so that when the women and others went into it to wet their heavy garments, as before, these guardians rushed on them, and drove them back to the pa.

Soon after this the final assault was made, and, though the picked band of brave and fearless fighters, Kopara-kai-tarewarewa (kopara or kori-mako bird that eats high up) and his friends went boldly outside and withstood the besiegers, and more than once obliged them to give way, being all faint and half-dead through want of water—for it was this alone that slew them—the Nga-ti-ira were killed, and the pa, Pakau-rangi (kite of heaven), was taken. This battle was called “The death in the wet garment,” or “The death in the time of the wetted garment.”

The remnant of Nga-ti-ira who escaped fled various ways. Some went to Kai-ora (eat and live), and dwelt there, and built a pa for themselves; some fled further north; some haunted the neighbourhood of the old home, but away up on hills and mountains, and in cliffs, and in the inaccessible sides of streams.

Those who did make a stand, and dwelt at Kai-ora, led a wretched life through constant dread. At last some of them fled south to Wai-rarapa (glistening water), and even crossed over to the South Island to Kai-koura (eat crawfish). And thus the refugees of Pakau-rangi were widely dispersed.

This battle was known by our fathers by the name of “The death in the time of the wetted garments,” and this conquest was achieved by Kahu-kura-nui.

Hau-Iti (Nga-Ti-Kahu-Ngunu.)

The chief Hinganga-roa (long falling) had three sons. The first was Taua (mourning), the second was Mahaki page 133 (convalescent), the third was Hau-iti (little sacred power). These grew to manhood, and lived at U-awa, and agreed to make a large seine-net each. Each, with his followers, made a net. Hau-iti made one, and called it by the name of Whaka-pau-pakihi (take all at low tide). He gave it this name because of its immense size.

One day they each cast their net and had a large haul of fish, but the net of Hau-iti contained a great deal more than the other two. His elder brothers and their men went and forcibly (muru) took the prime fish out of his net, and at every subsequent casting of the net it was robbed in the same manner by them. Then Hau-iti began to think what he should do to overcome his elder brothers; but at that time he could not see any way of attaining his object. He went on a visit to Tau-ranga (lying at anchor—of Te-arawa), and went also far inland, to Maki-hoi (deaf invalid or obstinate sick one), to see Maru-ka-koa (Maru who will be delighted), who was a priest of note; and to him he put this question: “How can the killing or discomfiture of a relative be effected?” Maru-ka-koa replied, “Shut your eyes close, and when you open them to see he will be prostrate on the ground. Another mode of killing is by fire.”

Maru-ka-koa then lit a fire in his house, and placed some tii (Cordyline australis) upon it. This tree in burning emits much smoke, which causes the eyes to smart. Hau-iti asked, “What is this for, O Maru-ka-koa?” He replied, “This is the killing of a relative.”

Hau-iti returned to his home and his people, and began to build a pa which he called Te-pito-o-hau-iti (the last end of Hau-iti, or the termination of his forbearance), and said to his followers, “Be courageous, be brave, and daring. Do not consider relationship of the elder brother, or of the younger, or of the father. Let the eyes be firmly closed.” He then gave his orders, saying “Put the net into the canoe.” All being ready, he sent a man up to the top of a hill to watch the shoal of fish, and when the man saw them come close in to land he gave the signal to cast the net, and a great many fish were taken. Then the elder page 134 brothers and their followers came forth again to muru (plunder) the fish of the net. Hau-iti and his followers attacked them, and they were beaten, and retired, and let fall from their hands the kaha-wai (fish) they had taken. Hence this fight was called “The dropped kaha-wai” (Arripis salar).

Some time after this Hau-iti said to his people, “Come, and let us cast our net again.” They did so; but before the two ends of the net were drawn on shore the fish-robbing people came down, and began to muru the net again, and while they were taking fish out of the net Hau-iti called out in a loud voice and said “Close up.” His people knew the import of this order, and they brought the bottom and the top of the net together, and enclosed in one mass both fish and men. Hence the name of this quarrel: “The joined top of the net.”

The two elder brothers of Hau-iti became very angry at this act of insult being practised on them, and said “Koia kei a papa” (“He is a daring fellow”), and sent a herald to all their followers to assemble and come to their aid, to destroy their younger brother with all his people.

Hau-iti was informed of what they had done, and at night said to his people, “Let us depart, and go and seek some home where we may dwell in peace and live well.” This he said because his followers were but few in number—only about three hundred— and those of his brothers were about two thousand. So they left their pa by night, and travelled till they reached Whanga-paraoa (whale-harbour); but in the morning they were surprised by the two elder brothers and their warriors, when a battle took place, and several were killed on both sides, but the two brothers lost most men. Hau-iti was also wounded in the leg by a spear. The name of the battle was “Werewere” (suspended); but they fought again, as they said, “Who cares for loss of men in war, when they are numerous!” That night Hau-iti and his people left that place, and travelled on and bivouacked at another spot. On the following day his brothers page 135 again pursued him, and when Hau-iti had nearly got to the pa of Tama-tauira (son of the first offering), at Rangi-ta-wahi-kura (the heaven besmeared red), he was again overtaken by his brothers, and a battle was fought; but Hau-iti beat them. Many fell in this battle, which was called Kau-neke (come in a body, or shift a little). Then it was that his friends came forth to aid him, and another battle took place, in which his elder brothers were worsted. This battle was called Te-ngaere-nuku (earth quaking), or Te-ngaere-rangi (heaven quaking).

As Hau-iti had been reinforced by his friends he turned on his brothers and their followers, and pursued them, and fought another battle, and again defeated them. This battle was called Te-rangi-hi-wera (ray of the burning sky) or Para-wera-nui (great fire on the fern-plain). This was the last battle between these brothers, as the two elders had been utterly routed.

When their wrath was subsided they ceased to fight, and dwelt together peaceably; but their descendants, in after-years, again fought, as the account of these battles to be told now will show.

Taua, the eldest brother, had a son named Apa-nui (great company of workmen), and Hau-iti, the youngest brother, had a son called Kahu-kura-nui (great red garment). A feud took place between Apa-nui and Kahu-kura-nui on account of Apa-nui calling “Moi” to Kahu-kura-nui after the mode of calling to a dog. The inciting cause of his thus calling to his cousin was the whiteness of the hair of the head of Kahu-kura-nui.

Though greatly displeased, Kahu-kura-nui kept his deadly anger in his own breast. He brooded over the insult, and schemed how he could get ample revenge on Apa-nui. At last he devised a plan. He determined to give his son as a husband for the daughter of Apa-nui. When the two fathers had agreed Kahu-kura-nui began to build a large carved house for the occasion, which was named Whaka-rei (the high priest's seat, carved and ornamented with feathers, at the stern of the ancient outrigger canoe called Ama-tiatia—outrigger).

page 136

The house was finished, and Apa-nui was informed of the fact, and the day was fixed for him to bring his daughter, whose name was Rongo-mai-hua-tahi (whale of the one offspring), to become the wife of Kapi (filled up), the son of Kahu-kura-nui.

Apa-nui, with his daughter and all his people, came and entered the house, and Kahu-kura-nui gave orders to all his tribe to prepare an abundance of food—that they were to make a good feast of eels, codfish, taro, and other dainties; and they feasted that day. On the following morning the people of the place baked their morning's food for the guests: that is, they pretended to be cooking food; but they put pieces of wood, bits of kareao (supple-jack), the flowers and flowering-stems of the korari (Phormium tenax), stones, and earth, and all kinds of rubbish; and when this so-called food was placed before Apa-nui and his people the tribe of Kahu-kura-nui suddenly fell upon them, and killed them all. Hina, the district of U-awa, was taken from the descendants of the elder son, and became the possession of the youngest son, Hau-iti.

Rua-Tau-Pare. (Nga-Ti-Kahu-Ngunu.)

This is the tale of Rua-tau-pare (the obstructed food-pit or store). She was a woman of rank, and the wife of Tu-whakairi-ora (man hung up alive), to whom she bore six children, of whom two were boys and four girls, and these were their names: Mariu (the gap or valley), Ao-tina-roa (day of the long party of travellers), Tu-kakahu-mai (stand fully clothed), Ata-kura (red dawn of day), Tu-te-rangi-ka-whiu (day of the pain of man), and Wehiwehi (fear). The last-mentioned two were the sons. When Wehiwehi was born the mother received serious injury, so that she dwelt apart in the sick-house, as she was tapu (sacred) on account of her pain. Some time after the birth of the last child her husband thought she was getting well; but, no, she continued very ill. On a certain day her husband went to the house to see the mother of his children, and after some talk she said, “O sir! listen to me. Will you consent to go and page 137 fetch the daughter of Te-ao-mania (the day of tingling) as a wife for you?” He replied, “But, O mother! what of her present husband?” She answered, “O my lord (ariki)! you must also be saying you are a great chief.” He consented to act on the request of his wife, and he and a large party of his friends went together. On arriving at a forest on their journey they made a kau-hoa (litter) to carry the daughter of Te-ao-mania in. This they took along with them, and when at last they got near to the village to which they were going they left the kau-hoa there, and went on to the village of the woman and her husband. The name of the husband of the daughter of Te-ao-mania was Tu-hau-anu (the cold wind). On seeing the party coming the man and his wife loudly welcomed them to their village with the usual cry of “Come hither, come hither.”

The visitors entered the big house and sat down, and all wept with their hosts. The woman then prepared food for them. When the repast was over the visitors rose to return to their home, and the woman also went out in the usual way, to repeat the last parting word of “Go in peace,” to which the visitors replied, “Dwell in peace at your place;” but when they were all near to where they had left the kau-hoa they caught the woman and placed her in it to carry her off, and then called loudly to the husband and said, “Your wife is gone: she has been taken forcibly away.” He heard the words, and took up his topuni (dogskin mat), and followed them, crying, “Go along, but go gently.” He pursued them and overtook his wife, and they wept and mourned together. When they had ceased to cry he spread his mat over her. Now, this chief Tu-hau-anu in this instance did two noble acts — he gave up his wife, and also gave his valuable mat.

The name of this woman taken by Tu-whakairi-ora was Ihiko-o-te-rangi (flash of heaven), and she bore seven children to him. Their names were, Te-ao-wehea (the cloud separated), Mariu-te-rangi (valley in heaven), Raka-ao (entangled in the day), Te-rangi-tau-popoki (the day when he was covered over), page 138 Tu-Horo-Uta (swift man on shore), Tina-toka (steadfast rock), and Kin-ariu (cold skin).

Of all the family of Tu-whakairi-ora these following are the names of those who were highly spoken of and became the common boast—namely, those of the first wife, the two sons called Tu-te-rangi-ka-whiu, and Wehi-wehi; and those of the second wife Te- ao-wehea, Tu-Horo-Uta, and Tina-toka. These are continually called and spoken of approvingly, day after day, as “The noble offspring of Tu-whakairi-ora.” Hence the first wife, Rua-tau-pare, became greatly displeased and ashamed on hearing her children always spoken of as those of her husband, and bearing only his name, while her own name was never once held up (mentioned). So she commanded a canoe to be got ready, and she paddled to Toko-maru, the place of her own tribe. Arriving there, she was ridiculed and mocked by all the people on account of the mishap which befell her on the birth of her last child. This made her very wretched, and she wept. Then she said to her brother, “Will you not go and see our grandchild (child), that he may come and visit us here?” Her brother went to see the child at Rangi-tau-ki-waho (that day when they sat outside), and brought him back to Toko-maru to see his grandmother (mother). When the ceremonies of the usual welcome were over the grandmother (mother) told her grandson (son) the cause of her being a constant invalid. On hearing this the grandson (son) remained there, and ordered a large house to be built, which he named Te-kohere-aruhe (the cake of pounded fern-root). When this house was finally complete a herald was sent to Wai-apu (water baled up into the month with the hand), Awa-tere (fast-flowing creek), Whare-kahika (house of the ancient), and to all the tribes, and to the chief Kau-waka-tuakina (swimming to the canoe, and the stomach cut open), to the descendants of Hine-rupe (daughter of the pigeon), to the offspring of Tu-whakairi-ora, and to the tribe of Nga-ti-porou, to assemble, and come and page 139 attack all those who were dwelling on the land belonging to Rua-tau-pare.

The people assembled and war began, which continued for a long time. The first battle fought was called Kohere-aruhe (cake of fern-root), the second Upoko-paru-puwha (head be smeared with cooked sow-thistle), the third Tai-timu-roa (long ebb-tide), the fourth Tai-paripari (flowing tide), and the fifth was called Wai-koropupu (bubbling water). Thus all those who dwelt on the lands of Rua-tau-pare were killed, and the lands which had descended to her from her ancestors were cleared of them. And her name was loudly proclaimed, and was now as great in her female children as that of her husband, Tu-whakairi-ora, was in his sons. And the descendants of her daughters came and occupied her ancestral estates.

War Between Tu-Ere and Tangi-Haere. (Nga-Ti-Kahu-Ngunu.)

A chief of old, whose name was Te-awa-riki (the small river), began this quarrel. This fight is known in history as “The bird—the flying kite.”

One fine day the chiefs were flying their kites, when the sons of Tu-ere (stand low) and Tangi-haere (depart crying) were cursed by Te-awa-riki. He cursed them because the lines of their kites went above that of his own. At this Tu-ere called, and said to his sons, “Say to him, Yonder is your leg.” This remark made them all very angry, and Awa-riki killed some of them; but the wrath of Awa-riki did not end here. He rose with his followers, when a furious battle ensued, and Awa-riki was slain. The name by which this battle is known is Te-uira-rapa (the flashing lightning). In this battle the followers of Te-awa-riki suffered greatly. Tu-ere, however, died at his own place at Wai-totara (the water of the totara), and was buried in a small wood called Kani-awhea (dust scraped up).

His sons and people continued to dwell for some time at that place, and at the proper time they exhumed the body of their father, and made his bones into fishing-hooks, and took them page 140 out to sea, and with them caught a great lot of fish. Paddling back to the shore, they did not take any of the fish out of the canoe, nor did they remove the lines, sinkers, hooks, paddles, or balers, but those who had been in the canoe landed stark naked, and then went back to their settlement.

This was all done not of their own devising, for their father ere he died had planned it all, and by his last words (poroaki) bade them fulfil his commands.

The canoe which contained the fish was sent adrift, to go whither it would. They knew it would reach some inhabited village on the coast where the people would take and eat the fish, and by so doing they might all die by the power of the god which was in the bones of Tu-ere. And so it was, and the slaughter occurred as they wished, and the victory was gained by the descendants of Tu-ere.

When the death of those who ate the fish was known the sons of Tu-ere left those parts and migrated northward to Make-tu and Tau-ranga, where some of their descendants live to this day, and are known as “the descendants of Rangi-hou-whiri” (the day of bearing the plume).

Pukoro-Au-Ahi and Puha-Ure-Roa (Nga-Ti-Kahu-Ngunu)

In olden times there lived a chief called Tara-nui-o-matenga (barb of the great spear of death). His wife's name was Puha—ure-roa (owner of the round stone axe), and her male cousin's name was Pukoro-au-ahi (halo caused by smoke). These three lived together at one place. The cousin was skilful at snaring birds for them to live on, while the wife and her husband lived quietly at home.

Each day the husband ate the choice fat birds, leaving for his cousin, who obtained them, the lean ones, such as kahu (hawks), ruru (owls), kaka-riki (parrots), and crows (Collæs cinerea). These the cousin Pukoro-au-ahi set apart, and secretly ate them by the light of the smouldering birds at the cooking-fire, where also his eyes were made sore with the smoke; but page 141 his cousin Puha-ure-roa very often managed when cooking the birds to hide a nice tit-bit for him.

One day Pukoro-au-ahi went as usual to the woods to catch birds, but on this day he intended to catch small birds by imitating their cry, such as the ko-tihe (Pogonornis cincta), korimako or kopara (Anthornis melanura), and koko (tui) (Prosthemadera novæ-zealandiæ). While thus engaged he saw a kereru (pigeon) drinking water. He got some flax and made snares, and caught a large number of them, which he laid in heaps. He returned to the settlement, and told his female cousin to make proper baskets to bring the birds home. His cousin was pleased. The baskets were made, and they went to collect the birds. When she saw them she was so elated that she danced with joy and sang this song:—

Even so is hanging out thy tongue:
Snared securely upon the very perch
Which was set for snaring thee.
Good, good, very good.

They collected all the birds, which filled many baskets. They were all caught by one stream, and the name of the stream was Pou-taru (post of delight).

It was thus that Pukoro-au-ahi was able to take so many pigeons: The food of the pigeon is the red toro-miro (miro) (Podocarpus ferruginea) berry; and there, just above the creek Pou-turu, on a cliffy spot, were innumerable red pebbles, which the pigeons mistook for the berry of the miro-tree, and, congregating at this spot in great numbers, swallowed them. This caused the birds to feel great thirst, and fly to the water over which the snares were, and they were thus caught. The names of the peculiar snares put there by Pukoro-au-ahi were Pare-kauae (turn the jaw) and Whakao-au (enter the current of the stream).

The two cousins, having gathered the birds up, carried them away to their home, which took the whole day till evening. When the husband, who had also been on a bird-killing expedition, returned from the forest, and saw the pile of baskets of birds, he became angry with his wife, thinking the birds had been page 142 stolen from some preserve. At length the wife said to her husband, “If you do not believe what I say, come and let us go and see the place where the birds were snared.” At dawn of day they went thither. Reaching the creek Pou-turu (erect staff), they saw the red pebbles and the snares: thus the husband saw that the birds were not stolen, and was ashamed. They went back to the settlement, and the cousin said to the wife, “Kindle a separate sacred fire to roast the birds for your husband, my cousin; also kindle a common fire to roast some for yourself.” She roasted birds for her husband, and, when cooked, carried them to the door of the house in which he was. Entering the house she said, “O friend! rise, sit up. Here are choice birds nicely cooked. Rise, sit up.” But he did not move. She went back to the fire where her cousin was, and said, “O Pukoro-au-ahi! he did not move or rise. He must be sleeping soundly.” The husband's manner towards his wife was rough and unkind. She said to her cousin, “Let us two eat our food.” He replied, “Let the preparatory ceremony first be performed.” These were the words of the ceremony:—

The ceremonial performance
Of Tara-nui-o-matenga.
The performance of
The performance of
The performance is
Fully done.
The performance is
Excellent. Excellent is the
Food first ceremonially prepared;
Excellent the birds
First ceremonially prepared.

They ate the birds, and the wife again went to see what her husband had done. Finding him as she had left him, she spoke and said, “O friend! arise, sit up.” Then she looked more closely at him, and saw that blood had trickled on to the mat he slept on. She went up to arouse him. Pulling his loose covering down, lo! he was quite dead.

page 143

She left him in haste, and called to her cousin and said, “Alas, O Pukoro-au-ahi! the evil thing is dead.” He asked, “Of what did he die?” She answered, “He strangled himself;” but added, “The troublesome, grumbling creature is quite dead.” They took fire, and burnt the house in which he lay, and they heard the bursting of his stomach in the flames.

They now roasted and potted the birds in their own fat, and filled many calabashes with them. Thenceforth the young man took his cousin to wife, and had a child who was named Tapora-riroi (rat-basket).

Hotu-Ngakau. (Nga-Ti-Kahu-Ngunu.)

Hotu-ngakau (sobbing heart) was a great thief. He went by night and stole taro (Caladium esculentum) from the taro-plantation of Tama-tea-titaka (Tama-tea the unsettled); and all he stole each night he cooked and ate at once, and went back to his own house and slept. In the morning the chief to whom the taro belonged went to his taro-field, and saw that some one had been plundering it. He said to his friend, “My friend, our taro is being stolen by some one, and if we do not watch the field we shall lose all our taro. I will come here tonight and watch.” When it was dusk Tama-tea-titaka went and sat down and concealed himself. Soon after Hotu-ngakau came, and was busy taking the taro up, and Tama-tea-titaka threw his spear at him, which struck him on the side of the breast. The pain of the wound made him run off to his own house, and when there he bound his girdle lightly around the wound and lay down to sleep. The pain was very great, and the blood, though confined, flowed inwardly. By-and-by Tama-tea-titaka went to the house of Hotu-ngakau; but the fire in the house had gone out, so he sat at the door and said, “Friend, kindle the fire. Make it blaze, that it may be light.” The fire was lit and soon burnt well, and Hotu-ngakau was awaked out of his sleep, and sat up. Then Tama-tea-titaka told the story of the stolen taro, and added, “Hotu-ngakau, it seems to me you page 144 are the very man who was wounded by my spear.” Hotu-ngakau replied, “It was not me, for here have I been sleeping ever since the sun ceased to shine this day.” All this time Hotu-ngakau was suffering intense pain. Tama-tea-titaka said, “The man I threw my spear at was exactly like you.” Hotu-ngakau replied, “I say it was not me; and you are indeed entering on an evil altercation with me.”

Tama-tea-titaka went to his own place, and Hotu-ngakau died at dawn of day on the following morning. His sudden death was greatly lamented by the people of his village. His father Rongo-mai-ko-hina (Rongo-mai of the partially-grey hair), was much ashamed at the deeds of his son, and went quietly and wrapped the corpse of his child in a garment, put it into a canoe (d), and paddled away with it.

But before he left the house where his son had expired, to avenge the death of his child, he performed the ceremonies and chanted the incantations of a deadly spell over the place, and then went by sea even to Wai-kawa (unpleasant water), to which place some of his people pursued him overland, because so many of his tribe had died through the power of the spell he had left on their settlement.

A herald went to Rongo-mai-ko-hina and said “There are few of your people left alive, owing to the effect of your spell. What shall we do that a remnant may escape?” He answered, “Kindle a fire by friction, and in obtaining it perform all the sacred rites and chant the incantations usual on such occasions. In obtaining the fire by friction let a female tread on the lower stick used, to keep it steady; and through that the power of my man-destroying spell shall be destroyed.”

Rongo-mai-ko-hina never afterwards returned to his former place of residence.

page break