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The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions: Tai-Nui. [Vol. IV]

Chapter XI. — Paoa. (Nga-Ti-Maru.)

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Chapter XI.
Paoa. (Nga-Ti-Maru.)

Thy sacredness, O Rangi-takahia! is of
Tu-hokai-nuku and Tu-hokai-rangi;
The sacred songs of Turi, chanted
By him o'er his mighty spear of war.
Led by their power, go tread the pebbly bed
Of flowing river Oao, where thou,
So feeble now, mayst feel enchantment's power
Asked from the gods for thee by all
The host of these thy people here.
O son of Hine-manu, take now
Thy child far out on jutting promontory
E'en to the farthest wave-washed rock,
And glut the fishes of the sea;
Then bring him back to rest on O-kare,
That I may call my welcome thus:
“Come, come to this the feast
Now all prepared by these thy tribes for thee.”

Paoa (smoke) was a son of Kahu-ngunu (garment of the dwarf), and came from the district in which his parents lived at the Whai-a-paoa (skate, or following of Paoa; Hicks Bay) even to the Ua-pata (rain in big drops) in the Wai-kato district, and took Tau-hakari (year of a feast), the daughter of Mahuta, to wife, and begat Toa-whane (growing brave), and Toa-poto (short brave); but Tau-hakari was not hospitable to her elder brother Mahuta. Paoa heard of the fame of Tukutuku (spider's web), who lived at Raupa (chapped), and at Rua-wehea (pit page 219 separated), who was, on account of her hospitality, much liked by her people, from Rua-wehea even to Moe-hau (Cape Colville). Paoa determined to have her as his wife, and, leaving the Hoe-o-tai-nui (paddle of Tai-nui), he went towards Raupa to see this daughter of Taha-rua; and, when he had seen her, she also determined to take him as her husband. He was courted by her, but did not show any return of affection for her. She told her mother of the fact, who said, “Go and prepare a house, and invite him to stay there.” She did so, and he took her as his wife, and when the time was near that her first-born was expected Paoa had a wish to return to his home, so he went to Ti-kou (good Cordyline), which is in the Pi-ako (young bird taught) district.

Tukutuku had two children, Tipa (dried up) and Horo-whenua (swallow earth). When these were men, Tipa said to Horo-whenua, “Our father should go to Ua-pata to visit his other wife and children.”

Horo-whenua said, “Let not our father go there.”

Tipa said, “Our father must go.”

After a long dispute Tipa carried his point, that his father should go on a visit to his wife and children at the Ua-pata.

The old man Paoa went on his journey with five companions, and when seen by the people of Ua-pata they called, “Here is Paoa! here is Paoa!” but at first they did not recognise him, as through age he had changed in appearance.

He said to his children who were living at this place, “Horo-whenua will soon come to accompany me back to my home.”

One of his children called Toa-whane said, “I will kill Horo-whenua with one blow of my weapon.”

Paoa said, “Be gentle in your words in regard to your one of no rank, to Horo-whenua.”

Toa-whane again said, “I will kill Horo-whenua,” and disputed with his father for some time.

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Paoa stayed with them for some time, and Toa-whane asked him to go and chant the usual incantations and perform the ceremonies over the growing crop of kumara (Ipomæa batatas); and before the full dawn of the following morning the old man was in the midst of the crop, performing the required ceremonies. At this time Horo-whenua and a body of men were on their way to attend Paoa back to his home in Piako. The party slept on the first night at Tikitiki-maurea (effigy with light hair), where they encouraged each other with speeches, the purport of which was, “Be brave;” but when they slept that night the priest of the party had an omen of evil—he dreamt his side was laid open.

Horo-whenua slept, and dreamt that his hand was being pulled by a man, and was not pulled away by his combatant. He awoke and told the dream to his companions, but said, “I will sleep again, and when I awake let one man go to fetch Paoa.” When he awoke he told another dream he had, and said, “I have seen my father.” One of the chiefs of the party asked, “Who shall go for Paoa ?” Horo-whenua said, “I will go for him.” He put his war-belt on and went on his journey, and found Paoa in the midst of the kumara-crop, where he was chanting the incantations and performing the usual ceremonies over the crop of Toa-whane. He coughed; and Paoa asked, “Who is that?” Horo-whenua said, “It is I, Horo-whenua.” The old man uttered a “Humph, humph,” in an undertone: this he did, as he expected the young man would be killed by the people of the settlement.

Horo-whenua asked, “Why did you utter that sound of surprise? Come; let us depart.”

Paoa said, “You depart—I will follow. But make haste, or you will be overtaken by Toa-whane.”

Horo-whenua said, “He cannot kill me. But let us depart.”

Paoa rose and went with Horo-whenua; and Paoa said, “Let us proceed in a hurry.”

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The people of the settlement observed that they could not hear the voice of Paoa chanting over the growing crop, and did not know whether he was dead or had been taken away by Horo-whenua, and sent one to see the cause of his silence. The spy could not find him in the cultivation. He called for the old man, but there was not any answer. He could not find him, and all the people of Toa-whane felt sure Paoa had been taken by Horo-whenua.

The spy returned to the settlement. The warriors put their war-belts on, and followed the path taken by Paoa and his son Horo-whenua, and overtook them at Manga-wara (indistinct noise of a brook). This is a branch creek of the Wai-kato River: the confluence of this creek with the river is a little below Tau-piri (walk arm-in-arm), but on the opposite bank of the river. Here a battle was fought, and five of those who were taking Paoa away were killed; but Toa-whane called to his brother Toa-poto and said, “Charge! We too will give battle.” Horo-whenua went on; but his men uttered the cry, “Men are slain! Men are slain !” Horo-whenua turned, and was charged by Toa-whane, who made a blow at Horo-whenua; he parried the blow, and struck Toa-whane a blow and laid him prostrate on the earth. Toa-poto saw his brother killed, and attacked Horo-whenua and struck a blow at him. Horo-whenua again parried the blow, and struck Toa-poto prostrate before him. The people fled, and one hundred were killed.

Paoa was taken by Horo-whenua to Piako, where Tipa and Horo-whenua took wives, and Tipa begat Kau-ahi (the stick laid on the ground by which fire is obtained), who is the progenitor of the Nga-ti-paoa Tribe. In time Paoa died.