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

Chapter VIII

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Chapter VIII.

Yes, I heard in days now gone
The question asked, “What man
Can show the path that spirits go,
And, unabashed, maintain his act?”
Though I be caught by
Snares and traps of those
Who stay where Karihi
And Ta-whaki have home,
Yet, though my bones you lift,
And change my bones,
And lift and alter each,
Yet I shall see
And be possessed
Of that food counted by
That ancient one, the
Female Mata-morari.
Perhaps you deem
My ears are deaf and
Numbed by Rakei-ora's blows,
As were the ears of him
My younger brother Toro.

Rau-Rika (Reka).

Rau-rika(reka) (restless or sweet leaf) was a woman who came from Pou-tini (many stakes—the west coast of the Middle Island). She had a desire to have a view from the peaks of the mountains of the interior, and ascended them; and, seeing the ocean on the east coast, she came down to the east coast, to the settlement of Pu-hou (Coriaria ruscifolia), at the river Ra-kaia (entangled). The settlement of Pu-hou was at Tau-mutu (end page 176 of the year), at the mouth of that large river. Rau-rika made herself known to Pu-hou, who at the time was preparing some timber with his stone axes. Rau-rika asked him, “Are these the axes you use?” He answered, “Yes, these are the sort of axes I use.” She remarked, “Your axes are not good ones.” He answered, “My axes are sharp: they bite the wood.” She said, “Your axes are objectionable; my axes are good.” At the same time, taking two greenstone axes out of her garment—one called Atua-whaka-taratara (the notching god), and the other Atua-whaka-nihoniho (the god that has teeth—she handed them to him. He took and used them. They were so sharp, and made the wood so smooth, compared with those he had used, that he was delighted with these greenstone axes. He asked her, “Where do you procure the stone of which these axes are made? Where is the country from which you get this greenstone?” She pointed out to him the road leading to the greenstone country. All the people of Pu-hou assembled, and went on a journey to procure greenstone. One hundred men went with Pu-hou, and one hundred went with Whaka-ariki (war-party), the son of Pu-hou. When they had gone some distance they came to the confluence of a swift-running stream. Here the father and the son, with their men, parted. One party went along the bank of one branch of the stream, and the other the other branch. Whaka-ariki and his party perished.

When Pu-hou got to the west coast he met the parents of Rau-rika. The father was called Te-ihi (the dread), and his wife Hika-mata-whare (rub the face in the house). Pu-hou was accompanied by the dog of Rau-rika. Te-ihi and his wife, seeing the dog of their daughter, wept in dread, as they expected to hear of the death of Rau-rika. They inquired of Pu-hou and said, “Perhaps you have killed our child?” He answered, “No; she is not dead: she is on the east coast.” Rau-rika's parents were in search of greenstone when they met Pu-hou; and, having obtained some, which they called Whaka-rewa (like running water), they gave it to Pu-hou. Pu-hou took it and broke it to page 177 pieces, and gave a piece to each of his men, and returned to his own home; but on his way back he was told of the death of his son and all his party. Pu-hou at once cast away the piece of greenstone he had obtained; but his men kept the pieces they had. He arrived at his home and never again left it. Rau-rika also stayed there, at Tau-mutu, at the mouth of the river Ra-ngaia(kaia) (entangled), and took as her husband Te-korari (the flax), and begat Te-ura-o-meho (the glare of falsehood). Te-korari was of the Wai-tahi (near the stream) Tribe, and all the people of the settlement in which he lived were vassals. These were of the tribes Wai-tahi, Hawea (doubt), and Kopu-ai(wai) (water-pool, or sodden).

Rangi-Tama. (Nga-i-Tahu.)

Rangi-tama (the heaven defied) was from the North Island—that is, he came from that part of the North Island called Moua (back of the neck), and went on a war-expedition to the Middle Island, and invaded the territory of Taka-ahi (keep near to the fire) and Pa-keha (village of the fairy of the flood), who were captured and killed by Rangi-tama; after which he went to Pou-tini, on the west coast of the Middle Island, where he found the people of the woman Rau-rika living in peace. These he killed, and took all the greenstone he could collect, and returned to his own home.

Ue-Roa. (Nga-i-Tahu)

You, the Nga-ti-kahu-ngunu, must not believe that you speak a different language from that which is spoken by us, the Nga-ti-tahu-potiki. No; but our languages are the same, and the two men from which each of our tribes had their origin spoke the same language and lived at the same place. Kahu-ngunu (garment of the dwarf) and Tahu-potiki (husband of the last-born) lived in the districts called Turanga-nui-a-rua (the long standing of Rua) and Te-poroporo-ki-hua-riki (the poroporo— page 178 Solanum aviculare—of the small fruit), and it is in that locality where the cultivation of our ancestor Ue-roa (long paddling) is situate, which was called Tuara-haua (the cut back). It was only in the generation of men after the time of Kahu-ngunu and Tahu-potiki that their descendants began to separate, and some came across to this, the Wai-pounamu (South Island). There were two reasons for these people separating—one was on account of a woman and the other was on account of a dog; and it was on account of the quarrel about this dog that part of the Nga-i-tahu-potiki left the main tribe and came to the South Island; and these were ever after called Nga-ti-kuri (the descendants of the dog). And those of the Kahu-ngunu who left the main tribe were called Tu-te-kawa (Tu the baptized).

This is the song of welcome which we shout to any visitors who come from the East Cape:—

Seeing the men of Rata (or Ata),
The presence of man.
Looking on men
Is delight;
And hope revives,
And the soul is clear.

This song of welcome we also chant when strangers come from those parts. In this we call the names of the strangers.

We chant:—

O (call the names)!
[Who answer, “Yes.”]
It is you.
[Who answer, “Yes.”]
It is you—
You who have come
From Turanga-nui-a-rua,
And from Te Poroporo-hua-riki.

We do not receive you, our relatives, in silence, as the European receives his guests who are relatives; but we, the Nga-i-tahu, welcome you as those of our own people.

page 179

Rangi-Tane At Hataitai. (Nga-Ti-Kahu-Ngunu.)

The greater portion of the Hataitai Peninsula was occupied by the Rangi-tane (day of man) Tribe in ancient times. It is said Te Rere-wa (runs between) built the pa called O-rua-iti (the small hole). The head chiefs of the people who occupied that pa were Te Rere-wa, Te-hua-taki (take the fruit off), Rangi-taha-titi (day of the steep cliff), and Tu-kanae (look in doubt).

Te Rere-wa made his lands over to the Nga-ti-kahu-ngunu Tribe, and migrated to Aro-paoa (the beaten chest), on the Middle Island. The O-rua-iti Pa was then occupied by a sub-tribe of the Nga-ti-kahu-ngunu called Nga-ti-kahu-kura-awhitia (descendants of the red garment which was embraced), and by another tribe called Nga-ti-hakeke (an edible fungus which grows on trees). Their principal chief was called Kainga-kiore (eaten by rats). During the days of Kainga-kiore the Nga-ti-kahu-ngunu were at war with the tribes Nga-ti-apa (descendants of Apa—company of workmen) and Nga-ti-hau (descendants of Hau — the scalp of the slain), of Whanga-nui (great harbour), between whom many battles were fought in the vicinity of the O-rua-iti Pa, as the two allied tribes invariably attacked the Nga-ti-kahu-ngunu in their own territory. When the last battle was raging Kainga-kiore consulted with the chief of his people as to the expediency of attacking the enemy on the open space outside of the pa. The son of Kainga-kiore and his chiefs objected to such an act. Kainga-kiore was submissive to the ruling of his chiefs for a time. At last he could not endure the indignity of the continuous attacks being made on him, while he, like a coward, kept himself shut up in his fort. He rushed out, and in a loud voice exclaimed, as he dashed forward to meet his enemy hand to hand, “Tukua te kiore a Raka-i-mahiti kia tete, tete ki waho” (“Allow the rat of Raka(Ranga)-i-mahiti (the troop that leaped) to wage his war—to meet his enemy outside in the open”). Followed by a troop of his people he attacked his foes. A desperate conflict page 180 followed, and the enemy were driven back, and retreated to an adjoining gully, from which they again rallied and renewed the struggle, in which Kainga-kiore was killed just as his people had gained the victory over their enemies. During these engagements the Nga-ti-apa and Nga-ti-hau lost many of their bravest warriors, as did the tribe of Kainga-kiore.

Some time after these battles the district in which they took place was occupied by other hapu (family tribes) of the Kahungunu, and one hapu, called the Nga-ti-hine-pari (daughter of the cliff), built a new pa called Mau-puia (hold to the scrub), whose chief was called Te-rahui (prohibited); and, though battles of slight importance took place when the old enemy attacked that pa, other battles were waged in the Harbour of Tara (Wellington), at Koko-tahi (one tui—parson-bird), and at Te-taniwha (the goblin), in which the Nga-ti-apa were beaten.

At Te-mahanga (the trap) (Cow Bay) there was an outpost”-not a fort, but a large village—which was occasionally occupied by the resident people when they were fishing or gathering the eggs of sea-birds in summer, near to which was a cave, which they also occupied at night. This cave was said to have been the home of a sea-monster in the days of Tara, the discoverer of this harbour. A large pa was also made on the north-west point of the peninsula, which was named Tapu-te-rangi (sacred day). From this time no battles took place save a few slight skirmishes between fishermen; and gradually, for the next seven generations, the people left the Hataitai district, and resided in other homes on the main land. But one hapu (family tribe) called the Nga-ti-puku (the stomach) still kept possession, who were located there till the days of Te Rau-paraha, when he and his tribe (the Nga-ti-toa) visited this part of the country.

Tuahu-Riri. (Nga-i-Tahu.)

Ahu-ku-rangi (foster in the sunlight) was the parent of Tuahu-riri (altar of anger), and the sister of Ahu-ku-rangi, page 181 named Te-whata-rau (hundred stages), was the parent of Kahu-patiti (clothed with grass garments), who was parent of Tutu (messenger). Tutu was a female, who was the parent of Horomona Pohea (or Pohia) (blind).

Tuahu-riri took to wife Hine-to-wai (daughter dragged in the water), and begat Tura-kau-tahi (Tura all by himself), who took to wife Hine-kakai (daughter of the great eater), and begat Kawe-riri (anger continued) and Hurihia (turned over), who begat Taka-rau (go round), who begat Te-wera (the burnt) and Huru-huru (feathers) and Te-rehe (the enfeebled), who begat Mo-hena (flaccid), who begat Ti-hope (small waist), who begat Haere-roa (long wanderer).

Te Ahu-ku-raki also begat Hine-te-ao (daughter of daylight), who was taken as wife by Raki-nuku (sky far away) and begat Mate-rau (hundreds killed), who was taken by Rua-tuwhenua (pit of the leper) and begat Poho-mare (stomach of coughing), who was taken by Kura-i-waho (red outside) and begat Panu (slide), who was taken by Ti-pare (head dress of Ti) and begat Puku-kaikai (glutton), who was taken by Raki-pa-taua (day of mourning) and begat Hikaka (reckless), a man, who took Kahu-potiki (child's garment) and begat Wahena-komako (white one).

Matua-hai-tiri (thunder) owned the canoe which was wrecked near Wai-taki(tangi), of which the following were part of the cargo: Whi-teko, a very small fish, which was owned by Mate-wawao (attempt to separate enemies), who, with Tako-roto (gums inside), were of the Roroa (long) people. There was also the kaeo (fresh-water mussel), found in the kelp belonging to Pukapuka-tawiti-witi (thick mat of the trap).

Tu-Ahu-Riri. (Nga-i-Tahu.)

The people living at Kai-koura (eat the crawfish) felt a longing to see those of their own people who lived at Moe-raki (sleep in the calm). They therefore proceeded overland by the road to O-tau or O-tii (the barking of the dog, or the place of page 182 the tii), and returned to Te-ra-whiti (the east), and went to Te-tau-mutu (end of the year), to see Mata-uira (flashing face) at the pa of Tu-ahu-riri (the dam in the creek). Mata-uira and Tu-ahu-riri were chiefs of high rank.

Mata-uira and a party went to Haka-roa (long haka) (d), and Tu-ahu-riri invited the visitors to stay at his pa. So soon as Mata-uira and his followers had left the pa of Tu-ahu-riri, Tu-ahu-riri sent a messenger called Whana-kai, or Whaka-kai (the ear-ornament), to Kai-a-poi (game at balls), to collect a war-party. The warriors of Tu-ahu-riri collected (but they were only his vassals, and not men of his own tribe), and came and secreted themselves near to the Tau-mutu Pa, and sent word into the pa of their arrival to Tu-ahu-riri, saying, “Here are the men.”

Tu-ahu-riri now allowed the visitors to proceed on their way to Haka-roa; but so soon as they had left the pa and gone some distance, Tu-ahu-riri rose and waved to the war-party in ambush, and gave orders to surround the strangers now on their way to Haka-roa. The vassals rose and pursued them, and killed all but three women and one man, who were taken as slaves. Kiore (rat) was the chief of the strangers, who was also killed.

When the news of this was heard at Moe-raki by Kanapu (lightning), Uri-haka (little offspring), and Tau-maro (waistcloth-string), they felt sorry for the death of this party. They collected their warriors and went to Tau-mutu, where the people had been killed, and in the dark entered the pa and concealed themselves at the sides of the houses. One man, named Ure(Uru)-pihanga-iti (heads laid in a heap), came out of a house, at whom Kanapu made a blow with his taiaha and killed him. All those in the pa were taken prisoners. A chief called Ku-whare (stay in the house) was, by the orders of a young chief called Korako (white hawk), of high rank, taken from the prisoners of the pa by four warriors, and carried to Mua. This man was intended by the young chief as a sacred victim, as the first killed by him in battle. When the victim had page 183 been taken to Mua, Korako was told to “kill his man—to use his weapon.” The boy struck the victim; but those holding the prisoner became afraid and fled into the Wai-horo (swift water) Stream. The victim also ran into the same stream, and swam across to the other bank, and performed the ceremony of sprinkling his head, and ran off as fast as he could to Wai-kakahi (water of the unio), and thence on along the mountain-range to O-nau-ete or O-ma-neti (where the game of neti or niti was played), which is a mountain. Thence he descended to the plain, to Oka-poho or Oka-pako (cut the stomach open), and pressed on to get to Kai-a-poi (game played with balls), where his people were. But at Oka-poho he was seen by a noted and swift runner called Te-whaka-rae (the headland), who gave chase to the fugitive. Papa-rae, or Te-whaka-rae, called to him and said, “Go, run swiftly, that you may escape.” This has become a proverb in these days. The fugitive went on, and passed Wai-kuku, or Wai-pupu (water of the mussel, or water of the pigeon), which is a branch creek of Wai-hora (water spread out). Here he felt fatigued, and went on the other side of Wai-hora, and came to Pako-rau (small open space in the forest), and on to Wai-whio (water of the Anthus novæ-zealandiæ), and on to Wai-kirikiri (water of the gravel), and on to Paka-ra (burst as a heated stone when water is put on it), and thence on by the plain of Oka-pako (rip the black open), and on to Te-wharo-kuri, or Hora-kuri (dark cave of the dog, or the dog spread out), and on to Here-one, or Here-aro (repeat incantations on the land, or repeat incantations over the front of the body); thence on to Te-wai-a-tane (the water of the forest-god), which is a great river; and on to O-tane-mana (the power of Tane), and arrived at Kai-a-poi.

It was determined by the people of this pa to revenge the death of those killed. All the people were assembled, and when the tribes had proceeded on their war-expedition, and had arrived at Moe-raki, they placed their swift runners in ambush near to the Moe-raki Pa. Four men came out of the pa and page 184 were pursued by the runners. Two of the four were taken, and the swift runners entered the pa with the two who escaped, which caused the occupants to rise in a body and prepare for battle. But they turned their gaze on the sea and not on the numerous enemy; so that they should not cause a panic. The two priests of the pa, called Rahui (made sacred) and Tauira (disciple), chanted their incantations over a sacred tahaa (calabash), and performed the ceremonies. With staring eyes they moved their hands round and round the calabash, as if in the act of whirling the souls of their enemies into it. Having done this the priests said, “The souls of all our enemies are in the calabash, and the spirit of the great chief Te-mata-uira (the red face) has also gone in.” When the wind had changed Rahui and Tauira-ki-waho selected ten men, who were to go out of the pa and challenge the enemy. They went and defied their foes, and attacked them with their spears. The enemy accepted the challenge, and they fought, but no one was wounded. The ten men came back into the pa and were pursued by the enemy up to the gate, where they were met by a body of men from within, and Rahui and Tauira-ki-waho gained a victory over the attacking party; but Te-mata-uira was killed in leading on his men in the attacking party. The enemy fled and were pursued by the people of the pa. One thousand four hundred were killed and two hundred escaped. The fugitives escaped to Wai-ana-ka-rua, or Wai-a-nuku-rua (water of Nuku-rua—two worlds), to which they were followed by the visitors; and when the pursuers had gone back the fugitives sent a messenger to Tu-ahu-riri saying, “You are requested to come back and witness the death of your father.” When he heard that his father Mata-uira had been killed, Tu-ahu-riri went and entered the pa of the fugitives and said, “I will go back.” The people said, “We will go with you;” and all the people went with him. They went by way of Moe-raki, and when near to the pa of Te-kanapu, the latter saw them, and also discovered that all the people were page 185 returning in company with Tu-ahu-riri. So Te-kanapu laid before Tu-ahu-riri the corpse of his father. When Tu-ahu-riri came near to Te-kanapu, Te-kanapu sang this song:—

You have come direct to me.
Then let firewood be broken, so
That I may be cooked. In future
Will some chiefs of higher rank
Or nobler mien be here to kill.
The oven now gapes wide,
And maybe I shall lie therein.
Even now, at once, this day.

Te-kanapu said to Tu-ahu-riri, “Stand you on one side: let me and my stone axe have our will on it.” And all the people of Tu-ahu-riri were killed; but Tu-ahu-riri was spared, and kept in slavery.

Te-Rua-Pu (Nga-i-Tahu.)

Te-rua-pu (the pit of ceremonies) lived at Te-tau-mutu (the broken waistbelt), and went in a war-party to Wai-koua-iti (the water become little), where Te-kanapu lived. (The warriors of the war-party were from Te-tau-mutu.) The pa was surrounded by the warriors, and Te-kanapu came out of the pa and encouraged the defenders. The enemy were out on the plain. When he had again entered the pa the enemy followed him, and attempted to take possession of the puharas (towers); but so soon as they came near to the towers stones were hurled down from the towers on them, and they fled, and built houses in which to rest and look at those in the pa. When it was dark Tara-tu (anger aroused), the priest of the war-party, chanted the incantations and performed the ceremonies to the sky that heavy rain might descend. That night a storm of rain came down, and the attacking party moved up to the gate of the pa with the hope that in the deluge of rain the besieged were not watching; but as they gained the outer work of the pa they were surprised to find the sentinels watching, and as they went back to their houses one of the watchmen repeated this call of the sentinels of a besieged pa:—

page 186

Give the food to the parent,
Give the water to the parent,
And he will place it
Before the mouths (of his children)
It will not be so;
It will not be so.

The evening of another day came, and Te-rua-pu said, “Not any death has been caused by the attacking party.” So when the darkness of another day came Te-rua-pu entered the water which ran round part of the pa, and crept along in the water to one end of the pa, and entered it, and went to where the people kept the symbol of the god Roko-nui-a-tau (Rongo-nui-a-tau) (Rongo, the god of the kumara, of great fame through all the year), and stole it, and brought it away to his people, the attacking force. When the god had been stolen and taken away, Tara-i-tu, the priest of the pa, who had charge of the god, dreamt, and in his dream he heard the god Rongo calling to him and saying,—

Tara-i-tu, this weapon
Is being taken away.

At dawn of day Tara-i-tu went to see his charge, and discovered that the god had been taken from the place in which it was kept. He sought for it amongst the various things which were kept near the god; but the god was gone. He called all the people, and went to Mua, and there sought for the missing god. As the people sought for the god Tara-i-tu vociferated the sacred chants, which were heard by the enemy outside. As the people continued the search Tara-i-tu with his hands made a small space of the ground clear, so as to resemble a cultivation, and then he made the mounds on it similar to the mounds made for the kumara-crop, in honour of Rongo, the god he had lost. The attacking force now left their houses, and in a body proceeded on their return home. Tara-i-tu saw them depart, and called to them and said, “Return, return, O you Rua-pu of great slaughter! You have got possession of your ancestor. Go; but return, and take these scraps.” The besiegers left with the god page 187 in possession, and on arrival at Te-tau-mutu they took it to Mua, and there left it. But the god felt sorrow for his priest Tara-i-tu and the people of Wai-koua-iti, and the priest felt sorrow for the god, and he wept, and in a dream he heard the god say, “Tara-i-tu, cease to sleep: rise up. The war-weapon has come back, and here it is in the place in which it is kept.” When daylight came he went to where the god was kept, and found it in its old place; and all the people came, and Tara-i-tu performed the ceremonies and chanted the incantations in welcoming the return of the god.