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

Introduction. — Tribal Disputes Of The Maori People In Respect To The Kumara—How And By Whom It Was Brought To These Islands (New Zealand)

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Tribal Disputes Of The Maori People In Respect To The Kumara—How And By Whom It Was Brought To These Islands (New Zealand).

O Petu! oh, how impatient thou art!
As Kahu-kura now is dimly seen—
As, near to death, I join myself
To Roha's warriors now,
That I may feel no pain from want of food.
Yes, kumara were landed here
And put in store; but then
The insect-tribe destroyed them all.
Maybe they were Te-whiti's power,
Who called on them to hide and to destroy
For ever all that there on cliffs
Might grow. Go, O food!
To distance go. My appetite
Shall still itself appease with thee,
Nor shall I or my children feel
Our future need or want of thee.

Major Ropata Wahawaha, of Nga-ti-porou [East Cape]:

It was then agreed to go and bring the kumara from Hawa-iki, and the people assembled at night and held a council, and the gods were sought unto and propitiated, so that they might close the pits of the winds (d) and stay them, and calm the waves of the ocean, and that they should shield and uplift and aid in propelling the canoe, and enable her to sail swiftly. Then the canoe Horo-uta was drawn down and launched into the sea, and seventy [one hundred and forty] men embarked in her. Seventy sat on each side, to paddle. Kahu-kura also went page 4 on board, and the canoe proceeded on her voyage to Hawa-iki to obtain the kumara. Kahu-kura remained in Hawa-iki. The kumara was obtained in Hawa-iki, and Horo-uta returned to these Islands (New Zealand), and landed at Ahuahu (mound), Whanga-paraoa (harbour of the whale), Wai-apu (scoop water up in the palm of the hand), Turanga (lie at anchor), Nuku-tau-rua (extend two years), Here-taunga (propitiate to be allowed to remain), Te-whakawhitinga (the crossing), and Kai-koura (eat the crayfish), and at every place the crew left some kumara; and hence the words of the Horo-uta incantation, which is repeated when the kumara-crop is being planted. This is the incantation:—

Land of Ahuahu, where the kumara grows—
We were screened from the wave.
Land of Whaka-tane, where the kumara grows—
We were screened from the wave.
Land of Wai-apu, where the kumara grows—
We were screened from the wave.
Land of Whanga-paraoa, where the kumara grows—
We were screened from the wave.
Land of Turanga, where the kumara grows—
We were screened from the wave.
Land of Nuku-tau-rua, where the kumara grows—
We were screened from the wave.
Land of Here-taunga, where the kumara grows—
We were screened from the wave.

The name of each locality at which the kumara was left was thus repeated as part of this incantation.

Iraia Tu-Tanga Wai-O-Nui, of Whanga-nui:

O friends, the Maori people! I object to the words of Major Ropata Wahawaha, when he rehearsed the account of the kumara in the presence of the Nga-ti-porou Tribe. He states that Kahu-kura went to Hawa-iki and obtained the kumar,a [sic] and that the canoe in which he went on that voyage was called Horo-uta. Friends, his assertions are all a myth. He has invented them while sitting in front of his house. Now, my ignorant friends of that tide (East Coast), and even those men who uttered these words, hearken. This food, the kumara, was page 5 obtained by my ancestor Turi, and the canoe in which he brought the kumara here was called Ao-tea, and the locality in which the kumara was planted in these Islands (New Zealand) was called Hekeheke-i-papa (descent from the flat), in the Patea (fair pa) district. Friends of the Nga-ti-porou Tribe, of the East Coast, do not believe, nor state, that the kumara was brought here in the canoe Horo-uta, nor state that your ancestors went to and brought the kumara from Hawa-iki, lest your children believe that false statement—lest they rest their belief on false knowledge and ignorance.

The Rev. Mohi Turei, of Wai-apu:

This is my answer to the words of condemnation spoken by Iraia Tu-tanga respecting the words of Major Ropata, of Nga-ti-porou, regarding the introduction of the kumara in the canoe Horo-uta.

O friend! the man who contradicts the words of Major Ropata, you are verily the man who utters myths, and you call on us, the people of the East Coast, to hearken to your words. Friend, do you really know that we, the Nga-ti-porou, are descended from Turi? You speak falsely. Do you know that we, the Poro-u-rangi Tribe, came in the canoe Ao-tea? You speak a falsehood. What you state in regard to your kumara-cultivation called Hekeheke-i-papa is true, and in the days of your ancestor Turi the kumara was cultivated in Hekeheke-i-papa; but does the kumara still grow, or are the offshoots of that kumara which you say your ancestors introduced into New Zealand still growing, at Hekeheke-i-papa to this day? If this is the case, then you are right in what you say in respect to our tribe, the Nga-ti-porou.

This is what I would say to you: You possess your kumara, and your own ancestor, and your kumara-cultivations; and I have my kumara, my ancestors, and my kumara cultivations.

The water of the hold of the canoe Horo-uta was baled out at Wai-apu: hence my proverb in regard to the abundance of food we possess. The proverb is this:

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“How great is the quantity taken out of the hold of Horo-uta! too much to be collected;” and another of my proverbs says, “Food has come on shore on the coast of Wai-apu, and abundance is in the valleys of Tapui-para-heka (familiar spirits of the soft and mouldy).”

When the canoe Horo-uta landed at Wai-apu the kumara was at once planted to produce a crop, and the name of this plantation was Whaka-rara-nui (ridges spread out to great extent), where to this day the offspring of that kumara may be seen growing, and where I, the Nga ti-porou Tribe, go and take up the crop of such in the tenth moon of the year, and where we leave the vines of the kumara, so that in taking the crop up we cover those vines in the soil, and these grow again and yield a crop. This we have done since the days when Horo-uta landed the kumara, and even down to the present time.

Friend, hence I say unto you, be clear and correct in what you say against Major Ropata, and listen to what is said respecting the kumara brought here by my ancestors, and which is still growing and yielding a crop; as is also the hutu-kawa (Metrosideros tomentosa), which points out the site of that kumara-cultivation, and which is still growing on one side of that garden. The name of that garden is O-teko-mai-tawhiti (rock from a distance). The mapau (Myrsine urvillei), the sacred rod used by the priests while performing the ceremonies and chanting the incantations when the crop is being planted, is still seen growing near the garden, and is called Atiati-hinga (drive away to fall).

Hoani Nahe, Of Hau-raki [the Thames]:

O friends, all the tribe! salutations to you all. Now hearken. We have heard the words spoken by the Nga ti-porou at Mata-ahu (face turned towards) to you all, where Major Wahawaha, chief of the Nga-ti-porou, spoke about Kahu-kura, who he states went to Hawa-iki in the canoe Horo-uta to fetch the kumara.

Now, O my friends! I have heard of the words spoken there by Major Ropata; but at the time I heard of the words of his speech I did not take exception to them, as I then thought his page 7 words were his own, and were a myth of his own invention, composed in front of his own house; but when I heard of the words of Iraia-tutanga-wai-o-nui (portion, division), son of Maru-era of Whanga-nui, condemning what Major Ropata had said, I noticed that he had made use of this sentence: “What Major Ropata has said, and what the Nga-ti-porou Tribe also say, is not true. It was not Kahu-kura who went to Hawa-iki and brought the kumara in the Horo-uta; but my ancestor Turi brought the kumara thence in the canoe Ao-tea.”

Now, all ye tribes of these Islands (New Zealand), of the South and the North, hearken to my words in respect to what these men say. These two men are each confused (led astray), and appear to think that their two tribes are the most learned of all the tribes who inhabit these Islands of New Zealand, and that they two are the two most learned men, and are the most able of all men to rehearse the genealogies and history of all the tribes who inhabit these Islands. But my objection to Iraia-tutanga-wai-o nui (portion of the great water) is because of the attempt he makes to take the beclouding object out of his friend's eyes, while he has a cause of blindness in his own eyes.

Now, hearken, O ye tribes of these Islands of New Zealand! Each tribe has its own kumara, which were brought in the canoes in which its ancestors migrated to these Islands. I have my own kumara, which was brought over to these Islands on board of the canoe Tai-nui, which was the canoe of Hotu-nui (great sob) and Hotu-roa (long sob); in which also came the women Marama (light) and Whaka-oti-rangi (the heavens complete), with many others; and these were the women who brought the kumara, the hue (gourd), the aute (Broussonetia papyrifera), and the paraa (Marattia salicina) with them in that canoe from Hawa-iki. Also the karaka (Corynocarpus laevigata) was brought in this canoe; but the karaka here spoken of was used as skids in hauling Tai-nui up on to the sea-beach in the Manuka (anxious) (Manu-kau — all birds) Harbour, near to Auckland, and is to be seen growing at Awhitu page 8 (regret) to this day.

Tai-nui (great tide) was dragged across the neck of land at Tamaki (invalid) into the Manuka (regret) Harbour on her voyage to Ka-awhia (embraced) (Kawhia), where she is to be seen to this day, turned into stone.

When the Tai-nui arrived at Kawhia the seeds which the two women, Marama and Whakaoti-rangi, had brought with them from Hawa-iki were planted; but each female set the seeds which she had brought in a different plot of ground from that occupied by her friend. The district in which these seeds were cultivated in Kawhia was called the Papa-o-karewa (the uplifted flat). When the seeds which were set by Marama grew, the kumara grew into the po-hue (Convolvulus clematis), and the hue grew into the mawhai (Sicyos angulatus), and the aute grew into the whau (Entelea arborescens), and the paraa grew into the horo-kio (koro-kio) (Veronica); and thus it was seen that all the seeds, and roots, and bulbs set by Marama changed their nature and grew into that which was not like the seeds or bulbs which she had planted. The cause of this transformation was the sin she had committed with her slave man on her trip from the Thames overland to O-tahuhu (ridgepole). But all the seeds and bulbs set by Whaka-oti-rangi came up the same plants, bulbs, and roots as those set by her. The kumara produced the kumara, the hue came as the hue, the aute as aute, the paraa as paraa; and hence the proverb, “Great is the joy produced by the small basket of food of Whakaoti-rangi.”

Do you hearken, O all people of these Islands! The canoe Tai-nui brought her own kumara, hue, aute, paraa, and also the skids of kopi (karaka), with the kiore (rat). And the canoes of the other migrations brought their own kumara with them.

Now, O Major Ropata and Iraia Tu-tanga! you say that the canoes Horo-uta and Ao-tea brought the kumara to these Islands of New Zealand. You, of all men, repeat the most absurd myth, falsehood, and invention. I ask, what canoes are those page 9 whose arrival in these Islands of New Zealand was not known? What canoes were they whose names were not repeated in the list in which Tai-nui, Arawa, Mata-tua, Kura-hau-po, and Toko-maru were named, as these were the principal canoes which arrived in these Islands when the Maori people took up their abode in New Zealand? Now, though when the history of those canoes is rehearsed the name of Tai-nui is invariably repeated first, and before the names of all the other canoes which arrived here, yet it is not asserted that Tai-nui is the only canoe of all the migrations which brought the kumara to these Islands of New Zealand. Nor can it be asserted that the learned men of old ever made such a statement as that, of all the canoes of the various migrations, Tai-nui was the only canoe which brought the kumara to New Zealand.

An account of all the canoes of the various migrations is given in the song composed by Peau (turned aside), of the Nga-ti-raukawa Tribe, in remembrance of Te-tahuri (the turned) and his wife, which song has been heard, known, and sung by all the tribes, even to that of Tu-roa (long standing) at Whanga-nui (great harbour). And, O Iraia-tutanga! perhaps you have an intimate knowledge of that song, as you are of the Whanga-nui people. You tell us the name of your father, and maybe he is the most learned man in these Islands, and perhaps the greatest and most powerful chief of all chiefs.

Now listen, and I will tell you another reason why I believe in what is said— “Tai-nui brought her own kumara to these Islands of New Zealand” —which is contained in the following song composed and sung by an old man of ancient times on account of his crop of kumara having been destroyed by rats. The old man was so despondent that he gave utterance to his grief in song, as follows:—

Here I sit, and heart of man
Requires to find some powerful charm
To counteract the ill befallen me.
Oh! now confusion's here confounded.
page 10 But grow, O tendrils! grow,
And flourish where ye sprout;
The while I climb and sit on hill
In lonely mood outside my home.
O birds! whose voice is hushed
Below me now at Rangi-ahua,
Come, meet again and sing your song.
I sacred am, and feel a dread
Of Rongo-tapu-hirahira (hingahinga)
(The great and sacred kumara).
But thou, O Tane! promoter,
And he who calls great evil,
And parent of the forest-land,
Art not abashed to stand
In presence of the little mouth (man),
Or see the child of piercing tooth (rat)
Devour and blight my growing crop,
Which in days past sat sheltered
In the prow of Tai-nui,
And passed across the sea
With Hotu-roa in his canoe;
When Hotu brought the kumara,
And blessed the sun-lit world with food.
Ah! why now heed the gods' commands,
Or think their power as aught?
Then cast thou all behind thy back,
And deem their power as ornaments;
While Heaven propitious smiles,
And screens at once from evil's power.
Then cease thy charms to chant
And incantations sing to Hau-turu
And Te-whara. In those though sacred hills
Confusion and mistaken trust are placed.
Then press towards those hills, and see
If thou canst bite, and make an impress
Of thy teeth in them. But, oh! the kumara
Still grows on cliffs in Hawa-iki,
Where germ, and sprout, and life
Of such were seen the first.
But rats have blighted all now here.

Now, o people of these islands of New Zealand! do not live in quiet joy, and tell your tales of myth to all around, lest your ignorance and pitiable imbecility be seen.

That which causes me to feel sorrow is, lest the myths which have been related as facts by those of my freinds who will persist page 11 in dealing in fiction be believed by the people. Truth is ever truth; but we, the relaters of history, utter fiction instead of truth.

Te-Moana-Roa (long sea), of Whanga-ehu (harbour of mist), near Whanga-nui:

Let all the tribes hear what I say in condemnation of what the Rev. Mohi Turei, of Wai-apu, has spoken, in which he disputes the statements of Iraia Tu-tanga, son of Manuera-whakarewa (cause to float).

And you have spoken, O Rev. Mohi Turei! Salutations to you and to the words uttered by the people of that sea-shore of the east (East Cape)! We also, of this the west coast of New Zealand, have something to say.

O my friend Mohi! you ask, “Where did the kumara first grow in New Zealand?” and “Does the kumara still grow there?” I answer, “Yes; it is still growing, and I am in possession of it.” The name of that kumara is Kahu-toto (garment of blood). I also possess the karaka, and these two were the food brought here by my ancestor Kupe from Hawa-iki.

When Turi came here he stayed in these Islands, and did not return again to Hawa-iki. But your canoe, O Mohi! returned to Hawa-iki. You make this assertion. But my canoe, called Ao-tea, in which my ancestors came here, did not return to Hawa-iki.

O friend Mohi Turei! your proverb which you repeat in regard to Wai-apu is true; and I also have a proverb for the kumara which my ancestor Turi brought to these Islands of New Zealand, which is this: “The girdle of Rongorongo.” [Rongorongo was the wife of Turi.]

O friend Mohi Turei! do not suppose that you [your tribe] are the only descendants of those who came over the sea in the canoe you claim to be exclusively yours. No; you and I came over in that canoe [I as well as yourself am descended from those who came in that canoe]. I am here, and I am descended from Rongo-kako (trifling news), Ihenga-ariki (king of the page 12 swordfish), Whe-puanaki (dwarf with seed to plant), and Takou (sacred red ochre): I am a direct descendant of these men. Now, O friend! look at the matter thus: I am descended from Ihenga, I am his offspring known in the world at this day; but Ihenga did not possess the kumara. Also Ihenga was one who came in [descended from those who came in] that canoe (the canoe you call yours), Horo-uta; but the kumara which is cultivated by the tribe of this West Coast [the Taranaki Province] is all from the kumara brought here by Turi.

My friend, the food brought over by the canoe in which my ancestors came is this: the kumara. I will not dispute or contradict what you have said. Enough.

Hohepa Te-Poki-Tauwhitu-Pou (substantial prop), of Whanga-ehu, near Whanganui:

Friend, these are my words in answer to those of Hoani Nahe in regard to his contradicting the words of Major Ropata and Iraia Tu-tanga.

Friend Hoani Nahe, these are my words in answer to yours. You regard your words as correct. Do you think you are the only man who can rehearse our history from the most remote ages (po), and is it thus you assume such supreme knowledge? Why did you not remember that all men derive their origin from the gods, who first came from the world of po (spirits)?

Friend, you are truly the most incorrect man who attempts to rehearse our old history. In proof of this you ask about the canoes Ao-tea and Horo-uta. Maybe you are deaf. Ao-tea was the canoe in which Turi migrated to these Islands of New Zealand, and the god he had in that canoe was Maru (shade, shelter); the paddle of Turi was called Rakau-awhiti (wood of caution), and his baler was called Whakawaha-taupata (the carrier of the taupata —a shrub not unlike the laurel, the Coprosma baueriana). And the cargo of that canoe—that is, the food brought in her by Turi when he migrated here from Hawa-iki—was the kumara called Kahu-toto—which to this page 13 day is still being cultivated by the descendants of Turi — and the karaka, which is still growing to this day; and the fruit of the karaka is still being plucked from trees which grew from seeds of that tree.

Friend Hoani Nahe, why did you forget that man came from the po (world of spirits)? By such knowledge you would have abstained from contradicting the assertions of other men. Though your ancestors came from Hawa-iki in your canoe, and though they brought a cargo with them, still I am your equal in rank, as I [my ancestors] came in our canoe from Hawa-iki, and also brought a cargo in her. The name of the locality in which we [our ancestors] cultivated our [their] kumara is Hekeheke-i-papa (descend from the plain), and the hill on which my karaka grove grew is called Papa-whero (red flat), and the proverb for my kumara when scraped for kao (dried kumara) is, “That is the food to be swallowed—sweet food to be eaten.”

Friends, the tribes of all these Islands of New Zealand, how deaf this man (Hoani Nahe) must be! which defect in his hearing has caused him to utter these words: “I have not heard of these canoes, Ao-tea and Horo-uta.” Friend Hoani Nahe, you perhaps are verily a deaf man, as the fish in the water, the birds in the forest, the dogs in the scrub, have heard of the history of these canoes, which history has been rehearsed by the old men of the days of ancient times.

O son (Hoani Nahe)! here is a song of mine for the song which you chanted to us:—

I am sitting near my dwelling now,
Of the Ao-kai-whitianga-te-rangi
(Day of plenty, shone on by the sun),
But my ears are tingling with the flow of words,
That makes me ask, “In what house was
The muka (flax) grown for Kaha-whiri-kau
(The tree of genealogy so glibly given)?”
I have my flax [genealogical tree]—my own,
Which grew in Aro-au-hitianga-rangi
(The open stream the sun shines on).
But winds [disputes] confuse the sky [our history],
page 14 And sever first from last of my descent
[Confuse the line of right descent].
But give the origin from the gods,
And tell of power and vast command.
I thought my offspring of the sea,
And children of the forest-land,
And all the insects of my house and home,
And that deaf tribe the food of man,
And drinking-bowls of god Maru
Would speak; but silence reigns unfruitful still.
But chants are sung when priests adorn their heads,
And all in vain, as ancient flocks are lost in night,
Nor can we see or hear Turau (the mighty host), of locks of grey.
Lift, lift on high the niu and wananga
(Enchanter's rod, and divination's altar),
And let the seer now show the flock of Kahui-rua
(The twofold power of life and silence give),
And bind them each as one; then shall be seen
The land of Ngahue. And incantations chant
To raise the land and lift the mountains up,
And raise the peaks far in the sky,
And then extinguish earth's fierce hidden fire,
And lift on high the sacred gift of power
And offer it to Maui and Awhio-rangi,
Then raise it high, that heart of life,
To Taretare-ki-ao and Kopu-huri
(Who gasps in life with heaving chest),
The first-fruits of the slain.
Now heed my words: ‘Tis not that Toki-ihu-wareware
(Soulless, thoughtless dupe)
Is the god to whom thy offering should be given.
He the offspring is of Hine-nui-po
(Goddess of death) and Ira-pawake
(Who tempts and snares the wanderer).
My ancestors recrossed the sea in their canoes
Toro-kaha (impelled by power)
And Te-rangi-amio (sail round the sky);
And great of worth their cargoes were.
They brought the Toro-haki-uaua
(Brave life and muscle, mighty power),
With Whaka-mere (cause of joy and music's charms),
As offering gifts to all the gods.
But what canoe was thine? or what did it contain?
The scroll-marks on thy nose, or slander
Spoken loud to all around, and paraa-bulb,
And small black eel, the climax of thy feast?

page 15

Now, O friend! I ask, what is the name of the original kumara brought to New Zealand by your ancestors? The names of mine are Rongo (fame), Tama (son), and Matua-rangi (firmament of heaven), which were originally found on the back of the seashore of Hawa-iki. Now let me know the name of your kumara.

Tamati Tautuhi (imitator of scrolls), of Mata-ahu (face turned towards):

These words are in regard to what has been said to contradict what Major Ropata said about the god Kahu-kura having gone to obtain the kumara from Hawa-iki.

Now, O friend Hoani Nahe! I am the man who wrote down all that was said by Major Ropata, and there were very many who heard what he said. There were about three thousand, consisting of the people of Te-wai-roa (long water), Te-ure-wera (burnt auger), Whanga-paraoa (whale harbour), Kaha-nui (great boundary), Te-tiki (the effigy), Torere (cliff), O-potiki (food of the infant), and the people who live at Here-taunga (become familiar), with those from Moe-hau (Melicytus ramifiorus). All these people heard the words spoken by him as he rehearsed the history of the return of Kahu-kura to Hawa-iki to obtain the kumara; nor did one of these people utter a word of dissent, or dispute the correctness of what he said on that point. Now, O son! (young man), the very old men of this district believe in and make the very same statement regarding Kahu-kura and his voyage to obtain the kumara at Hawa-iki as that given by Major Ropata. These old men only give an account of that which was seen by the men of old who lived in ages before. The old men of the most remote time related the past history to those of a later age, and thus each generation related the past history to the next generation, giving the history from the first days of man even down to the generation in which we live. It is not asserted that Major Ropata saw Kahu-kura depart in his canoe for Hawa-iki. No; but he heard the ancient men relating the page 16 history of that voyage; and this history is still repeated in these days, and may be related to you whenever you like to listen to its rehearsal. It would not be correct to say that Major Ropata obtained his knowledge from his own self, as the knowledge of history is not of his own invention; but he derived his knowledge from the teaching of the very old men. Nor was his knowledge “a myth concocted in front of his own house.”

I will now answer your taunting words. You say, “Iraia Tu-tanga is wrong in contradicting the history given by others as he does:” then why do you not see that which dims his eye, and then try to take away that which blinds the eyes of men?

Now, O friend! ponder this matter, lest you take for granted and for truth what you have been taught by your ancestors, and think what our ancestors have taught us is all fiction; lest your similes turn on and condemn you; and also lest you believe all that you have been told, but which you have not actually witnessed, and lest you persist in upholding the statements of others relative to history of which you have not been an eyewitness, so that your insanity may be known by all people.

You also say to us—myself and my tribes— “We are not to repeat with delight, or promulgate, fiction, lest our stupidity be seen, and men be led to believe fiction as if it were truth.” I will answer these your words. Why do you not also believe that all that is said regarding the history of the canoes Tai-nui, Arawa, Mata-atua, Kura-hau-po, and Toko-maru, is also fiction, and cast aside all that is said of these canoes, so that the way may be clear in which truth alone may be stated, which truth may be given by those who are not insane? I also have seen that you have said that you are not sorry at what has been stated in regard to your canoe, as you say you merely state what has been told to you by your ancestors: then why do you contradict the statements of Major Ropata? He merely states what we have been told by our ancestors.

page 17

I am also one who contradict all that is given by our ancestors of this district (East Cape) in which I live, as they relate what they know, but do not give dates, or the month or the day when Kahu-kura went to Hawa-iki to obtain the kumara; but, O friend! perhaps these ancestors with whom you are acquainted can give these dates.

O young man! there has not yet been any assembly of the tribes of these Islands called together at which these disputed matters might be discussed—where each tribe could rehearse its history, and come to a final agreement as to which account of our past history—that of the East or of the West Coast—is the true history. I suggest this [or, my remarks are] in answer to what you said: I have never heard in days gone by of migration canoes the names of which were not given in history.

Hoani Nahe, of Hau-raki (north wind, or dry wind) (the Thames):

I will answer Hohepa Te-poki-tauwhitu-pou.

Now, O friend! I am not grieved at what you have said. It is the outcome of your thoughts, and your words are correct, and show your supreme knowledge, and the truth of what you state must be palpable to all the tribes of these Islands of New Zealand. Surely they must see that you are verily the man who tells all the truth, assisted by your friend Iraia Whakarewa.

In regard to what you ask about the canoes Ao-tea and Horo-uta, which canoes I stated had not been mentioned in the migration history of all the other canoes, I agree that you are correct in condemning me for my assertion in regard to them. But allow me to explain the reason why I made the statement in regard to these two canoes.

There were only two canoes named by Major Ropata and Iraia Whakarewa, and Ao-tea and Horo-uta were the two named by them. Major Ropata has asserted that Horo-uta was the only canoe that brought the kumara to New Zealand; but Iraia Whakarewa says that Ao-tea was the only canoe that brought the kumara to these Islands. Maybe these two men page 18 ignore the existence of the canoes in which my ancestors came to New Zealand; or maybe these two men had never heard of the canoes of my ancestors. Perhaps they two, and all your tribes also, believe that Ao-tea and Horo-uta were the only canoes which landed on the Islands of New Zealand; and perhaps they and you all believe that the ancestors of all the tribes who now inhabit New Zealand [who brought the cargo of kumara and other things which were brought in those canoes], were the sole ancestors of those tribes, and that the kumara possessed by these tribes was the origin of all the kumara now known on these Islands. Hence, then, the reason of my query respecting those two canoes.

O friend Te-poki-tauwhitu-pou! perhaps you have not heard what Major Ropata and Iraia Whakarewa have said regarding our history. I would say to you, Ask and obtain a knowledge of what they said; then you will be better able to see the reason for my contradicting them. But, if you have heard their statements, then ponder over and try to obtain the gist of their arguments. But first of all hear what Major Ropata said; then look at that which was said by Iraia Whakarewa; then, last of all, see what I have said; and conclude by again looking at what you yourself have said. By so doing you will be able to see in a true light the point of dispute between us.

I imagine I can see the object of what you have said. You have seen that I dispute that which is stated in regard to the canoes in which it is said your ancestors came to New Zealand. Having seen that, you lost your temper and became very angry, and hence you gave that insulting song which you have quoted in your answer to me. You give that song as if I were not aware of its meaning and origin, and also of the insult contained in it; but in these days that insult, and the hints of ancient deeds of war and murder, do not contain sufficient pungency to cause a war.

Now, my friend, you say you came from Hawa-iki, and in your own canoe, and that canoe had a large cargo; and you also page 19 say you and I are one [or alike] of equal rank: then why do you contradict Iraia Whakarewa, as he contradicts not only the statements made by Major Ropata, but those of all the tribes of the East Cape, especially that statement of Major Ropata where he says, in teaching his tribe Nga-ti-porou, “Do not rest in the belief that the kumara was brought over in Horo-uta, lest the children of the Nga-ti-porou Tribe accept such statement as truth, and so remain in ignorance of the true fact”? These are the very words of yourself and your friend.

Friend, I gave you the knowledge which caused you to admit that the canoe in which my ancestors came to these Islands brought a cargo of kumara, and you say, “You and I are one [or alike in rank].”

I do not see sufficient reason for my taking any pains to dispute your statements; but I must say, in regard to that part of your speech in which you hint, “It was my ancestor Turi who was the only one who brought the kumara to these Islands of New Zealand,” you were afraid to put your thoughts into such definite words as I have now put them in for you. I do not say that the words I quote were uttered by you, but you wished what you said to be understood as I have put it. You took deliberate care to tell the names of your god, your paddle, your baler, and you gave the name of your original kumara; at the same time you asked me to tell the name of the kumara which I first possessed. Perhaps you asked the question about the kumara with a view to saying, if I did not divulge the name of my kumara, “The canoe Ao-tea and the chief Turi first brought the kumara to New Zealand.”

Friend, according to your knowledge you believe the kumara called Kahu-toto (garment of blood) is the only sort of kumara known in New Zealand. Friend, at the commencement of this dispute I did not assert that “Tai-nui was the only canoe that brought the kumara to New Zealand;” but now, for the first time, do you, the descendants of those who came here in the page 20 canoe Ao-tea, admit that “Tai-nui brought a cargo [of kumara] here;” but you also say, “There was not any kumara brought over in the other canoes: our ancestor Turi alone brought the kumara to New Zealand.” Therefore, as the dispute now stands, why should I tell the name of my original kumara, as you will not give credence to my assertion?

Hata-Rio, of Wai-ngongoro (snoring water), in the Waitotara (water of the totara) district:

This is an answer to the statements made by Hoani Nahe, of Hau-raki (Thames):—

Friend, your statements are wrong [false]. Then, hearken. The bird koekoea (Eudynamis taitensis) did not know how or when the wharau-roa (Chrysococcyx lucidus) came to New Zealand in search of the summer season. Kupe was the first man to land in New Zealand. Then you may ask, “In what canoe [what was its name] did he come here?” Kupe saw two men in these Islands: one of these shook the middle of his body, and the other pulled as a man would pull in using a paddle; and when Kupe returned to Hawa-iki he saw Turi and said to him, “I have seen an island, and have seen two men [human beings].” Then you may ask, “Who were those men?”

Now, Turi embarked in the canoe Ao-tea with the kumara and the karaka-tree, and voyaged to New Zealand, and left behind him all the other canoes. You may ask, “Why did he leave all those canoes behind him?”

The canoe Ao-tea voyaged towards New Zealand. Her cargo consisted of three things: there was the kumara, of which my proverb [that of our tribes] says, “The door, or belt, of Rongorongo;” and there were also the karaka-tree, and a god: these were her cargo.

I [my tribe] have also a song in which are recounted the various articles of which her cargo consisted. But this song does not specify the kumara, in which case you, Hoani Nahe, may say, “My kumara is that which my ancestors brought to New Zealand.” I will show you the song I allude to, which is this:—

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O my youngest nursling! O Wharau-rangi!
(House of heaven). The knowledge of your
Ancestors was left with me, my daughter.
With the seed [kumara] were strict injunctions given
How to plant, and store, and keep—all
Taught to me in sacred house Kahui-rongo
(The tribe of the kumara) in my ever-dry storehouse,
And where all enticing sounds were heard,
Ere winter followed on bright summer days.
Come, O daughter, back to world of light,
And flaunt before those beauteous birds,
The men whom Toi (the pinnacle) o'ercame
And left as heirlooms to us two.
O daughter thou of mine! now weeping for thy food,
Now sip of Ngata (satisfied) water; then
Suck through a tube to quench thy thirst.
Now frowns the face of Ta-whaki
(The god of war); but thou arise, now
In the bright third moon.
The kahu mounts up in the sky,
The bird of Tui-rangi (charmer of all birds)
And Kapo-kai (the good collection of food).
I ask, O child! and seek in vain
The origin from Hawa-iki far away,
And whence came hands and feet,
And how the face came into being.
Now floats the old canoe of Rua-tea
(The daylight pit), and Kura-hau-po
(The blushing cloud, indicative of storm)
Lands here [in New Zealand], and we two
Come in the Ao-tea, Turi's canoe,
And land at Ngutu-whenua-kura
(The open, dark, red land), and build
The Rangi-tawhi (day of food) house,
And kumara set and plant the karaka -tree
In daylight world, and raise the pole
To female gods of old, the female children
Of Nonoko-uri (the dark ant)
And Nonoko-tea (the white ant),
And bind it round with tow of prepared flax.
When Hau (wind) took soil into his hand,
And, holding Tu-roa's (long standing) rod,
He crossed the stream and drank,
He called that river Whanga-nui
(Great harbour). The mist rose from another stream,
And this he called Whanga-ehu
(The misty river). Then he felled
page 22 A tree across another stream,
And this he called Turakina
(The tree laid down). Thence on he walked
And crossed a stream, and called it Rangi-tikei
(Day of travel with long steps). And then he rested
At a stream, and gave its name Manawa-tu
(The heart content in rest). The wind passed by
And whistled in his ear: he called the stream
Which next he crossed Hokio
(Giddy and sit down). Then, next,
The ancient name of river Awa-iti
He changed to that of O-hau
(The offering lifted to the gods); and, holding up
His staff, he called the stream he next came to
O-taki (speak to a tribe). Then he felt lonely,
And called the stream near which he sat
Wai-meha (stream of loneliness), and sighed aloud
He followed on to find his spouse, and came
To the river where she was; but anger still
Roused all his soul. He used his divination-power
And with enchantments turned her into stone.
Then hot revenge was cooled, and glistening eye
Bespoke delight. He called the stream Wai-rarapa
(The glistening stream). Yes, O my child! thy ancestor
Then smiled, and all the world to him was joy.
And gods Whai-tiri (thunder) and Warea-kai-tangata
(Occupied in eating men) were seen far
Out in mid-ocean. Now build thy home,
And threshold for thy house now make,
E'en as the steadfast morning star Meremere,
And let thine offspring ever hold
The power, fame, and rights of thy canoe
Far as the great Hau-mea
(Lock of the slain, killed on the battle-field),
Now called Te-awa-ma (the clear white stream).
But now, my child, I'll cease my song to thee.

Uma-Kau-Oho-Mata-Kamokamo, of the East Coast, near Tauranga of Te Arawa:

These words are in regard to the history given by the priests of Horo-uta, Ao-tea, and Tai-nui, which they have published to all the tribes now living on the island of Ao-tea-roa (North Island of New Zealand).

O my relatives! we all migrated from the islands of the dark sea, and I also claim to come from those islands.

page 23

And I also have heard your rehearsals, as each has given his version of our history, and in particular that part in which you state, “It was our canoes alone that brought the kumara, taro (Colocasia antiquorum), and all those other necessary articles of food now known in these Islands on which our ancestors lived, and on which we now subsist to this day.” True, true, very true; I agree with all this.

But wait awhile; let me explain what I mean. There is also a history of this other canoe which belongs to us all, the history of which is still kept in a basket [memory of man], which I will on some future day rehearse to you, and thereby claim to be one with you.

Then go, O my assertions! and let the tribes hear what I have to say, that they may agree to what my friends the priests of the other canoe, Hoani Nahe and others, have stated, that their ancestors, as I say mine also, migrated from the islands of the sea of Hawa-iki to New Zealand.

Now, my friends, take particular notice of the manner in which I rehearse history. You are all my children— this you have made clear to me; and yours were the canoes in which the kumara, taro, and hue (gourd), and all the other kinds of food by which we are enabled to live, were brought to New Zealand. Yes, I agree it is correct. I agree to what my friends those priests say in regard to their canoes: they say theirs were the only canoes in which food was brought from the islands to New Zealand. Yes; your canoes brought all the food to these Islands; and hence not any food was brought in this—another canoe belonging to all the tribes. But this canoe of which I am about to speak was a carved canoe, a sacred canoe, and was a canoe in which the priests and chiefs alone came, and hence not any food [seed for future cultivation] was brought in her; but the others of our canoes were prepared to carry food and be as tenders to the canoe of which I am speaking. I mean the canoe known by the name of Mahanga-a-tua-matua (the twins of the ancient father).

page 24

In regard to what Hoani Nahe has said—viz., “Whaka-oti-rangi (termination of heaven) came over in the canoe Tai-nui (great tide) with her small basket of seed-kumara;” and that this assertion has become a proverb, and was originally repeated as such at Kawhia (embraced):

He also said, “Tai-nui was the first of all the migration canoes which landed in New Zealand.”

Friend, Whaka-oti-rangi was the elder sister of my progenitor, and I still possess her “small basket” [the history of her people from her days to the present], and therefore I, her elder male descendant, am still in possession of that history.

I state that Tai-nui was made after the time that the canoe Mahanga-a-tua-matua was finished, in which canoe I [my progenitors] came to New Zealand; but I [the priests of my progenitors] made those two canoes, and I still possess the priests who made those canoes, and the axes that they used in making them [I know the history of the whole]. Mahanga-a-tua-matua was the very first of all the canoes to land in Ao-tea-roa (long daylight) (North Island of New Zealand).

If you agree to what I say in respect to my canoe, then explain by telling me the history of my father and mother [my progenitors], and also tell me who was the husband of Whaka-oti-rangi, and what were the names of her children, as I am confused in this part of our history.

I ask again, Do you know all about the “small basket”? and what does “small basket” mean? I ask you these questions because you are, or assume to be, the descendant of the firstborn of our original family, and you also presume to rehearse our history. If I had been the first to rehearse our history, as you have been, I might have given our history in a clear and true manner, as I am descended from the elder sister of Whaka-oti-rangi.

Friend Hoani Nahe, I and Whaka-oti-rangi, the younger sister of my progenitor, did not come to New Zealand in the canoe Tai-nui, nor did we [our ancestors] cultivate food at Kawhia. Tua-matua (ancient father) was son of the first page 25 Maranga (rise); but you, o Hoani Nahe! [your progenitors], are my descendants [descendants of my progenitors], as also are many of the tribes now inhabiting New Zealand, and all your ancestors are descendants of those ancestors who came in the migration canoe Maha-nga-a-tua-matua.

But I will wait and see the answers you give to the questions I have asked, in hope that you will be able to enlighten me [teach me something I do not know]. After which I will give a clear and full history of all the ancestors, and also of other matters about which I have not yet spoken.

Hoani Nahe, of Hau-raki; of the Nga-ti-maru Tribe (of the Thames):

O father Uma-kau-oho-mata-kamokamo! salutations to you, who have asked me what is “the little basket.” Friend, a “rukuruku” is a basket which is not quite filled with food. As it has but little food in it, such food is tied up in one corner of such basket. That is the meaning of “rukuruku” or “putiki” (tied up), as each of these two words is contained in the proverb of which they are a part, as you will see the proverb in question has two readings, which are these: “The rukuruku of Whaka-oti-rangi,” and “The putiki of Whaka-oti-rangi.” Such, therefore, is the meaning of the word “rukuruku.” Now, a fishinghook or fishing-line is kept in a gourd, which gourd and what it contains are called “taputapu” (property).

You also ask this second question: “Who were the father and the mother and the husband of Whaka-oti-rangi?” I will repeat what I have before stated. Pu-hao-rangi (origin of encircling the horizon) was the owner of the canoe Arawa, which was obtained by him in recompense for his house having been broken by Tama-te-kapua (son of the clouds—he who walked on stilts); and hence Pu-hao-rangi remained in Hawa-iki. But Nga-toro-i rangi (he who went to discover what was in the far horizon) was of the Tai-nui [originally belonging to the people page 26 who were migrating in the canoe Tai-nui]. No doubt you are aware of this fact; and these men, Tama-te kapua and Nga-toro-i-rangi, were priests.

According to what you know of history, who was the captain [leader] of the people who migrated in Tai-nui, after the days when Nga-toro-i-rangi was taken away in the Arawa? and where did Tama-te-kapua die? and where is his grave? [where was he buried?] I ask these covert questions as you also asked questions of me in the same manner.

I agree to your assertion that I was born in your people [I take my origin from your ancestors].

Now, friend, I ask, what ancestors of these Islands have I passed over unnoticed? [or, what ancestors have I left out of the history given by me who ought to have been mentioned?].

I do not contradict anything said by you in respect to the canoe Mahanga-a-tua-matua, as the history of that canoe is not in the least known [has never been heard] by the tribes of New Zealand.

Now for the first time do I utter the words of dispute in regard to the migration canoes; but how can I avoid noticing such contradictions as that the men of Tai-nui were so noble that the females of your canoe would insist on having them as husbands in preference to all other men, your own included, and take this as a reason for taunting me as you have done?

Friend, does the man exist, or has he ever existed, who assumes the name of Uma-kau-oho-mata-kamokamo (all chest, with starting, winking eyes)? [This, I presume, is an assumed name.]