The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions: Tai-Nui. [Vol. V]
Confused I am, nor can my thoughts
Be clear to think of thee, O Iti!
And, though so near to death,
Yet still the scar I bore
Could well be seen as back I came to life.
But who can live to be the mark
Of jests for all the crowd, who folly past
Repeat in angry taunt, and blight the joys
Of this my day, as thou, my love, at distance art
At Papa-kauri? How dim my sight,
As tears roll down my cheeks!
Nor can I see the passing cloud
Voyage on its way o'er mountain-peak at Tahu,
Where Parera, my own beloved, now rests.
But I will hide me in the forest wild,
And be as hidden as the hidden moa bird.
What good can come from mountain-peak—
Yes, from that peak that hides my sight from him—
Save but a chilling blast of mountain air
From that great hill Te-amo-hau!
Oh! could I order warriors in the war!
Nor could I then deceitful be, as thou
Hast been, and then cast me aside.
The War Between Nga-Ti-Maru and Nga-Ti-Whanaunga.
The war between the Nga-ti-maru and the Nga-ti-whanaunga originated with a woman called Rangi-uaina (day when rain fell on them). An account of this war will be given in its place.
The Wars Between Nga-Puhi and The People Of Hau-Raki.
Do you ask how the war between the Hau-raki tribes and the Nga-puhi was conducted? Listen. The angry heart knows its page 141 own devices in war; but these wars originated in the evil acts of the ancestors of old. We now can see the evil of eating man. The Maori people say that Maui and Hine-nui-te-po were the origin of evil amongst the progenitors of the Maori.
Now, hearken to what shall be said of the war between the Hau-raki people and the Nga-puhi. The Nga-puhi lived in their own land, and Nga-ti-maru lived at Hau-raki, and the Nga-puhi led their body of people to war into the Hau-raki (Thames), and thus a cause of war sprang up between them. The Nga-puhi came and went back, and in these wars each of them had some of their people killed.
There was a battle which was called Wai-kohu (water of the mist), which took place at O-rua-rangi, at the pa which was attacked and taken by Tauru-kapakapa for his wife Waenganui, who had been taken prisoner by the Nga-uri-o-pou, of Hau-raki. After that pa was taken by the Nga-ti-maru at that time they occupied it as a permanent residence.
All the Nga-ti-maru were living in that pa, and were found there by the Nga-puhi; but the battle took place outside the fort. The Nga-puhi laid siege to it. The principal part of the Nga-ti-maru people were not in the pa, but were away employed in work at a distance, and were employed, as all industrious people are, in cultivating food at various places. These, on their return to the pa, found it besieged by the Nga-puhi, and every road by which they could get into the pa was occupied by the Nga-puhi, and they could not assist those of their people in the war who were not hemmed in in the pa by Nga-puhi. The places which were occupied by the Nga-puhi were O-riri (the place of battle) and Tarahanga (place of speaking). Now, it was at night that the sentries in the pa were alert at their work, and it was at night that the people of the Nga-ti-maru wished to enter the pa, as that was the time when they might pass without being seen by those who conducted the siege. The sentries of the pa gave the signals by which those of their people who wished to page 142 get into the pa might get there. The sentries were able to tell their people what places were occupied by the enemy. And these were the words which were called aloud by the sentries of the pa at night, and were intended to give information to their people who wished to enter the pa:—
They are at O-riri,
They are at Tara-hanga.
Come straight to me,
O Parera! oh!
These words were repeated many times every night by the sentries, who called them loudly, so that they might be heard at a great distance from the pa. The word Parera (duck) was the name of the leader of those of the Nga-ti-maru who were wishful to enter the pa, but who were kept out by the enemy having surrounded the pa and having possession of all the paths leading to it.
Though all the war-party of the Nga-puhi heard these words, they did not know that they were to teach those of the Nga-ti-maru who were out of the pa by what way they might get in, nor did the Nga-puhi know that these words told the Nga-ti-maru who were outside the localities which were occupied by the Nga-puhi; but the Nga-puhi thought these were the words used by the sentries on all occasions, and that these words were to keep the people of the pa from sleeping too long at a time, and to prevent them from having to awake just as the enemy had taken their fort. But the acts of Maru-kowhao-rau (Nga-ti-maru of a hundred devices) were not known to all men. On account of all these people of the Nga-ti-maru, with Parera, being outside of the pa, to save Parera and his followers the people of the fort did not leave the pa and give battle to the Nga-puhi in the open country. But at last Parera and the force under him got into the pa, and then those in the pa sallied out and gave battle to the Nga-puhi, and the enemy fled and were killed as they were pursued by the Nga-ti-maru.
The Wai-kato people were not far from the pa. They had come to give battle to the Nga-puhi, who were besieging the page 143 Nga-ti-maru pa. It was at night when the Nga-puhi fled before the Nga-ti-maru, and went towards the Wai-hou River, to which place the war-party of Wai-kato had come. When the Wai-kato saw Nga-puhi fleeing from the charge of Nga-ti-maru they thought it was the people of Nga-ti-maru fleeing before the Nga-puhi, and thought the Nga-ti-maru pa had been taken by Nga-puhi; and the Wai-kato people fled. The Nga-puhi, seeing these flee before them, of course knew who they were, and killed them as they pursued them in their own own flight from their enemy, and by this they thought they could obtain revenge for those of their people who had been killed in the attack on the Nga-ti-maru pa.
The Nga-ti-maru did not pursue their enemy, the Nga puhi, very far, but let them flee as far as they liked. The Nga-ti-maru did not care, as they were left in possession of the battle-field.
Now, if the Wai-kato Tribe had known that it was the Nga-puhi people who were fleeing from the Nga-ti-maru, perhaps the Nga-puhi would have severely suffered at their hands. So ends the battle which was called Te-wai-kohu (water of the fog).
But a bitter feeling to continue the war was now felt by each of these tribes against the other, and so they continued to fight. But who shall tell how the Nga-puhi fought in the days when there were not any but Maori weapons to use in war, and when battles were fought according to the customs of ancient times, in the days of cannibalism! The Nga-puhi were in war the most powerful tribe of all the tribes of Ao-tea-roa—that is, they were powerful to travel to the most distant parts of the Island—and, as the Hau-raki tribes saw that the Ngapuhi came to make war in Hau-raki, they went to meet and give them battle whenever the Nga-puhi came there.
All the wars which took place between these two tribes cannot be given, but only the great battles shall be given, in which the greatest power of each tribe was exerted against the other.page 144
The Nga-puhi sent a war-party out to kill and obtain men to eat; at the same time the Nga-ti-maru had sent a war-party out for the same object; and these two parties fought a battle at O-whanake (steam), on the Wai-heke Island. The Nga-puhi were defeated by the chief Hau-auru (west wind). Hau-auru killed the first man—the mata-ngohi—of the Nga-puhi. Hau-auru was grandson of Nga-whakawakanga, the daughter of Koroki—the Koroki who was father of Hape and Haua. After the battle at O-whanake, Nga-puhi went to their home, and Nga-ti maru went to their home; but soon after this the Nga-ti-maru went from the Thames to Tai-a-mai (the tide that has great seas), at Toke-rau (east) (Bay of Islands)—that is, to the district occupied by the Nga-puhi. This was the first time that the Nga-ti-maru had ever been at Tai-a-mai. There the Nga-ti-maru found the Nga-puhi in their pa. A swamp was on all sides of the pa, and there was not any path by which the war-party could charge up to the pa; but the war-party of Nga-ti-maru soon made a road across the swamp to the pa, according to their wish. The Ngati-maru made a road across the swamp with trees, which were put on the bog, over which the attacking party went on in a bold and daring manner. Now, the pa was that part of the swamp which was occupied by the Nga-puhi. The Nga-ti-maru crossed over towards the locality occupied by the Nga-puhi, and as soon as these two tribes saw each other a fierce battle took place between them, and soon the Nga-puhi gave way before the Nga-ti-maru, and eventually the Nga-ti-maru conquered.
The name of this battle is Te-wai-whariki (the water covered over with brushwood), because of the bog which was covered so that a path could be made to pass over it. The Nga-ti-maru came back to their home at Hau-raki.
After this the Nga-puhi again came to Hau-raki to kill men. This war-party stayed at Kauwae-ranga (jaws laid in a line), and, on account of the dread which the Hau-raki people felt for the Nga-puhi, they all fled to the mountains, to escape death at the hands of the Nga-puhi. The Nga-puhi sent a messenger page 145 to one of the Hau-raki chiefs, called Hau-auru (west wind), to come to them. Hau-auru was the chief who had killed the first man of the Nga-puhi in the battle at O-whanake, which was fought at the island Wai-heke. These are the words taken by the messenger of the Nga-puhi, “Go to Hau-auru, and say that he is to come here to us to fetch a canoe for himself: the name of the canoe is Kahu-mau-roa (the garment that has worn long).” Hau-auru knew that he would be killed by Nga-puhi when he went to see them. The fact that he would be killed was indicated by the plume of kotuku (white crane) feathers which he took with him to put on his head as he went to his house to dress himself, so that he should look comely to stand in the presence of Nga-puhi. In putting the kotuku plume in his hair he saw the omen of his death. The Maori in those days were very learned in knowledge, and were able to read omens, predictions, and signs of evil or death that would come on them, and also they had the active knowledge to discover the right action by which they might escape such impending evil.
The whole tribe wished to detain Hau-auru for fear he would be killed by the Nga-puhi: but he, a chief, did not care if death did come to him; so he went to fulfil the request made in the invitation sent by Nga-puhi. He went to Kauwae-ranga, where the Nga-puhi were, and there he was killed by them. This was a murder. Now, the reason they murdered him was on account of some words spoken by his father, Pokere (very dark). Pokere had been murdered also by the Nga-puhi people at Whare-kawa—by this same body of men.
These are the words uttered by Pokere at the time that Nga-puhi murdered him: he said, “What if I am killed, there is an aute (Broussonetia papyrifera) tree which I have planted at the side of the house.” The Nga-puhi knew that the aute tree spoken of was intended for Hau-auru, and on that account they murdered Hau-auru. The Nga-puhi were warriors in battle, page 146 but they did evil in such acts as these murders. The Maori looks on murder as a very evil act.
The Nga-puhi went back to their home, but they came again to the Thames. It is not known that they really went quite back to their home, or that they only went some distance along the east coast and then returned. The Nga-ti-maru went on an expedition to kill men in the Nga-puhi district. The Nga-ti-maru sent a party of warriors, consisting of two hundred once told. These went from the Thames to the Wai-te-mata; but soon after this two hundred warriors had left their home at the Thames, a party of warriors consisting of seventy men twice told, also of the same tribe, started with the same object from the Thames, and these went as far as Te-whanake (steam), in the Tamaki (river not far to the east of Auckland), a little inside of Te-komiti (the licking). These seventy did not know where the two hundred were, but slept at Te-whanake; and at dawn of the following day they saw a Nga-puhi fleet paddling from Motu-korea Island (Brown's Island), and thought they were the two hundred of their own warriors who had started before them on their war-expedition; but they were soon undeceived by the number of canoes in the fleet. One of the leaders of this seventy rose, and, calling to the coming fleet of the foe, said, —
Lightly strike the head
Of the descendants
Of Mahanga (twins)
Who forsake their canoe.
The seventy of Nga-ti-maru left their canoes and went down to low-water mark to look at Nga-puhi as they paddled towards them. The face of the sea was covered with the Nga-puhi canoes, and hence the words repeated by Wai-aua (water of the herring) when he called to the people in the fleet of canoes, and said,—
Lightly strike the head
Of the descendants
Of Mahanga (twins)
Who forsake their canoe.
Now, this is the origin and the meaning of these words: Mahanga was the father of the mother of Maru-tu-ahu; but Mahanga left his own tribe and came to Hau-raki, and became part of another tribe. He left his own tribe, or canoe (as the tribe is called the canoe).
These twice seventy warriors of Nga-ti-maru had left their canoes, and as they now saw that the approaching fleet belonged to Nga-puhi, their enemies, the Nga-ti-maru fled and went inland. The Nga-puhi saw this, and pulled with utmost exertion to get on shore to give chase to the fleeing warriors. Each crew pulled as fast as they could, so that they might be the first to land and take possession of the Nga-ti-maru canoes, as there were three canoes belonging to the Nga-ti-maru.
The Nga-puhi thought that the seventy warriors twice told were really fleeing with fright; but they were merely fleeing to induce the Nga-puhi to follow, and not leave one man in possession of their canoes. And all the Nga-puhi followed the fleeing Nga-ti-maru.
The Nga-puhi had got near to the fleeing Nga-ti-maru, when some of the Nga-ti-maru called and said, “They are near now—turn and charge on them;” but another Nga-ti-maru chief called aloud and said, “No, no; they are still far behind us.” The chief who uttered this was called Tu-whakau-hoa (Tu—the god of war—who supports his friends), and the Nga-ti-maru fled, followed by the Nga-puhi.
In the days of the past the Tamaki district was covered with thick scrub, and the seventy twice told had to clear a path by which they could flee, and, of course, by which the Nga-puhi could follow them; hence Nga-puhi could sooner get near to the Nga-ti-maru, so it was not long before the Nga-puhi were able to come up to the Nga-ti-maru at O-maru (place of shelter or shade), a little inland of Whamaki (have the trouble of), in the Tamaki River, at which place the advance party of the Nga-puhi were almost near enough to strike the fleeing foe with their weapons.
The young people of the fleeing seventy twice told were first, and were engaged in making a path in which the rest might page 148 follow, and the older warriors were following in the rear. Tu-whakau-hoa gave a glance behind him, and saw the Nga-puhi close on them. Though he was helping to clear a path for the Nga-ti-maru, he saw the Nga-puhi close on them, and at once came to the rear, which act induced the Nga-puhi to come on with redoubled fury; and Tu-whakau-hoa stood facing the Nga-puhi, but stood to breathe for rest. The Nga-puhi saw him, and rushed on to kill him as the first slain of Nga-ti-maru; but Tu-whakau-hoa parried the blow of the weapon intended for him, and with a blow of his weapon he killed two men. His tribe, seeing this, rushed back and gave battle to Nga-puhi, and, though only seventy twice told, they beat Nga-puhi, who fled, and the Nga-ti-maru killed them as they followed them back towards where the canoes were. The Nga-puhi took courage in their flight and stood, and actually killed one chief of the Nga-ti-maru named Te-ra-ka-herea (the sun that was tied); but this was the only charge they made, and now they fled to their canoes, and those of the Nga puhi who were not killed in this battle got away in their canoes; but the canoes of those who were killed were taken by the Nga-ti-maru. The Nga-ti-maru only lost one man in this battle; and when the other war-party of Nga-ti-maru, who were in the Wai-te-mata district, heard of the success of this seventy twice told they were very much annoyed at the report, because they had not met the enemy. The name given to this battle was Te-ringa-huru-huru (the hairy hand).
The Nga-puhi chiefs of note who were killed in this battle were Toa-kaupapa (the warrior of the raft) and Hau-turu (actual lock of hair from the slain). These were killed by Te-ika-ha (fish breathed on), but many other chiefs of Nga-puhi of high rank were killed by others. And Nga-puhi went back to their own home.
When the daughters of Toa-kaupapa and Hau-turu heard that their fathers had been killed by Ika-ha, they composed some words to sing with a ngeri (a certain obscene dance), which words are these:-page 149
Open your mouth, O Ika-ha!
That I may wring the filth
Of a garment into it.
The Nga-puhi had many of their principal chiefs killed, so that when the descendants of Hau-auru, who had been murdered by the Nga-puhi, saw the slain chiefs Toa-kaupapa and Hau-turu, they gave the names of these chiefs to their kumara-plantations.
Soon after this event the Nga-ti-maru went in a war-party to the Nga-puhi district, and passed through the Wai-roa and Kai-para, Kawakawa and Toke-rau, but were not able to kill any persons save one man, who was called Piki-kaka (the kaka—Nestor productus—feather used as a plume for the head), who was killed by Te-aua (the herring). But this war-party took the canoe spoken of at the time that Hau-auru was murdered, called Kahu-mau-roa, which was found hid in a clump of manawa (Avicennia tomentosa) trees.
The Nga-puhi gained a victory over the Nga-ti-maru at the battle called Wiwi (dread).
No other war-parties of the Nga-ti-maru went into the Nga-puhi district to Tai-a-mai, but the Hau-raki people met the Nga-puhi in battle on the sea at Tawa-tawhiti (distant ridge), on the sea-coast, towards the north of the Thames.
The battle called Te-wai-kopiro-po (the water in which they were ducked at night) is one in which the Nga-puhi were beaten by the Hau-raki people, and this is the account of that battle:-
A great force of warriors from the Thames had gone to attack the Nga-puhi, but soon after them a single canoe, with warriors, which had been left behind, followed; but this canoe went by itself. The Nga-puhi had sent a war-party to attack the Thames. This party had not met the Thames war-party which had left before the one-canoe warriors. Now, a Maori war-party on the sea moves at night from place to place in canoes, for fear of being seen by the enemy. The Nga-puhi were voyaging along page 150 the east coast in the night, while the one canoe of Nga-ti-maru was near a rocky point lying at anchor, from whence the Nga-ti-maru saw the fleet of war-canoes of Nga-puhi coming towards them. As soon as the fleet got near to the point the one canoe was paddled as fast as the crew could propel her towards one of the canoes of the coming fleet. On to this canoe she went, and turned it over, and put the crew of Nga-puhi warriors into the sea. The crews of the other canoes of the Nga-puhi fleet, seeing this, became intimidated, but the one canoe of Nga-ti-maru dashed on to another of the Nga-puhi fleet, and this also was upset. This so frightened the crews of some of the other Nga-puhi canoes that in their dread they upset their own canoes; at the same time the warriors of the Nga-puhi canoes saw the rocks which stood out on the point in-shore of them (from which point the one canoe had rushed out against them). Being dark the Nga-puhi thought these rocks were warriors of Nga-ti-maru in great numbers, waiting to join in the battle. But how the darkness deceives man, as also did the tactics of Maru-kowhao-rau (Maru of a hundred devices)! And in this attack at night the Nga-ti-maru took the canoes of their enemies, but the canoe they took whose fame was the greatest was Tangaro-awha-niwha (god of the sea, with his storm of hook-barbs). And this was called the attack of Te-wai-kopiro-po (the water in which [they were] ducked at night). The meaning of this name is that the attack was made on the sea at night. After this attack the Nga-puhi went back to their home, and this one canoe of the Nga-ti-maru went back to their home at the Thames. The sub-tribe of the Thames tribe of Nga-ti-maru who gained this victory was the Nga-ti-rongo-u, descendants of the first born of Tama-te-po, who was the eldest son of Maru-tu-ahu.
A full account has not been given of all the wars which took place at this time, nor have the localities in which these battles took place been given; but a war-party from the Thames went to take revenge for the murder of Hau-auru, who was murdered page 151 by the Nga-puhi. The great canoe, and the one most noted of the fleet which went to take vengeance for the murder of Hau-auru was Nga-tai-o-te-puruhi (the stream of fleas). This fleet went and attacked the pa of Whiti-rua (two sails), which in those days was a very formidable fort; but it was taken by stratagem by the Nga-ti-maru, in this way: The warriors of the Nga-ti-maru went into it one by one—they did not go towards it in a body; so that when Whiti-rua saw a body of men going towards his pa he brought his warriors out of his fort and gave the enemy battle on the open. As soon as the body of the enemy saw the warriors of the pa coming out to meet them they fled in feigned fear, and those of the pa pursued the fleeing enemy; but this was a feigned fleeing—the enemy did this to entice all the people out of the pa to some distance from it, so that whenever they turned and charged those of the pa they would have a longer distance over which they could pursue and kill them.
A number of the Nga-ti-maru warriors had been left to guard their canoes, and some of these, who were old men, seeing the people fleeing towards them, pursued by the warriors of the pa, stood out by themselves, and waited the charge of the pursuing enemy. When the pursuers had got to where these old warriors were, a battle ensued. The old warriors made a charge, and at the same time their people who were fleeing turned and gave battle. The old warriors gained a victory over the people of the pa, and these fled in disorder back towards the fort, and were pursued by the Nga-ti-maru, and killed as they fled, and the Nga-ti-maru entered the pa with those who were its warriors, where they made great slaughter and took it, killing Whiti-rua, the head chief.
The following is a lament composed for him by his widow:—
O thou Whiti lost for ever—
Lost at early dawn of day!
Thou wast killed by subtle warriors,
One by one who came to thee.
page 152 Thou wast charged by cunning foeman
With the weapon throwing stone.
As the single peal of thunder
Heard to boom in open sky,
So the cave in which the goblin
Lived is empty—so the goblin
Has been driven to the south.
A long time afterwards Captain Cook came to this Island, and his vessel lay at anchor at Turanga-nui-o-kiwa (the long standing of Kiwa) (d), and his boat was pulled on shore to buy provisions for himself and his men; but the people of the land stood up with their weapons in their hands to kill him and his men with their taiaha, mere-mere, tokotoko, and huata. He then said to his men, “We must go back to the ship, lest we be killed.” Captain Cook said that place was deficient of provisions, and perhaps the people there lived on the flesh of man (this was stated by him to the people of another district soon after this event took place), and hence the reason for calling that bay “Bay without Food” (Poverty Bay).
He then went in his ship and anchored at U-awa (land in the river), where he saw the chief Whakatatare-o-te rangi (leaning forward to look into heaven), to whom he called and said, “Tatare, Tatare, give [me] some provisions.” And a quantity of provisions was given to him And from this act came the words of Captain Cook, when he said, “Tatare, Tatare is a chief.”
Captain Cook gave Tatare a fine garment, a gun, a cask of powder, and a piece of sheet-lead, and asked that the gun might be tried. The gun was loaded, the stock put against the cheek, and the gun fired. As it went off the heart of the man who fired it gave a quick start, the gun was thrown down on the rocks and was broken, and fell into the water.
Then the cask of powder was opened, and this was so like the pua-korau (seed of wild cabbage) that it was said to be such; so a space of land was cleared, and when the scrub was dry it page 153 was burnt, and some of the powder sown on it for korau (wild cabbage), and the people rejoiced and uttered this proverb, “Now, for the first time, will the women and children have sufficient to eat, as the seeds of food have been sown in the ground;” but some said, “Why, O son! speak of the matter? Good and delight will follow.” Rain fell on the land, and man said, “Now will come the power to sprout, and the great bushes will appear from the seeds sown.”
The lead was made into axes, and sharpened, and put on to handles; and the fame of the axe belonging to Te-whakatatare-o-te-rangi was heard by all the tribes all over the land; and they came to look at it, and the axe was tried by using it to cut wood; but when it was struck against wood, alas! the sharp point turned all awry, bent upwards towards the head of the axe. Then all the tribe said, “This is because it was not burnt in the fire. If it had been burnt in a fire, it would have been hard.” The people said, “True, true. Collect firewood. Let the wood collected be that of green trees, that it may be long in burning, and that this axe may become very hard.” A fire was lit, and the axe put into it; but the axe had not been there long when it began to run like water, and men called and said, “Pick it out of the fire, and let the matter in regard to making this axe hard by fire be carefully considered.” Many men rose to pick the lead axe out of the fire, and they used many sticks to pick it out; but as they picked at the axe it broke to pieces, and lay in bits here and there: so they left it, and there ended this act of stupid men.
The Forts Mau-Inaina and The Totara.
Who shall tell the evil deeds committed by the people of old in the days when Maori customs were the laws which guided the actions of men; or who shall speak of the evil of the heart in those days, and of the jealousy felt by it! These were the cause of the great wars which were waged between Nga-puhi and page 154 Nga-ti-maru. Each tribe was as evil as the other, but the bravery of Nga-puhi was not a genuine feeling—it was mixed with acts of murder.
The feeling of revenge caused by these wars between the tribes Nga-puhi and Nga-ti-maru was allayed, and, as these wars were conducted in open day, they were not felt or thought on by Nga-ti-maru; but Nga-puhi felt evil continually in their hearts, which led to the act of Hongi-hika (smelling the hika) taking a voyage to England to obtain guns and powder to enable him to exterminate the Nga-ti-maru and Nga-ti-whatua Tribes, with those of Wai-kato, and all the tribes who had warred against him.
When he arrived in England, King George gave guns and powder to him. This was an act of extreme murder on the part of King George of England against the Maori of New Zealand. When Hongi obtained guns and powder he came back to this island [North Island of New Zealand]. He first used the force of those guns and powder on the pa called Mau-inaina (mountain where people bask in the sun). This fort is on the west bank of the Tamaki River, and was owned by the Thames tribe called Nga-ti-paoa.
The Pa Mau-inaina was stormed and taken in the month of November, and in December the Pa Te-totara was taken. That these two forts were taken in the months given is known, because we Maoris say that the ono (sixth) and whitu (seventh) moons of our year correspond to the European calendar of November and December, as the first moon of the Maori year corresponds to the European month of June. We are certain as to the months when these two forts were taken, as also are we certain of the fact that Hongi-hika went to England to obtain guns and powder to exterminate our tribe; and hence the indifference shown by part of the Hau-raki Natives to invitations sent to them by the Government; nor can it be said that all the Hau-raki tribes ever met together on any occasion of a Government meeting. And when a chief of the Thames page 155 spoke he uttered his own sentiments, not those of the tribe; but if the Europeans [Government] wished to learn the intentions of this tribe [Nga-ti-maru] they had to go to Hau-raki for it. The Thames tribes say that the evils which have been practised on them by Hongi-hika with his guns and powder were due to the Europeans and Hongi conjointly. We will not say more on this point, but proceed to give an account of the taking of the Totara Pa.
The Pa Mau-inaina had been taken by Hongi, who, with his war-party, had come to the Thames in the month of December, and the Totara was the largest pa of that day in the Thames.
The Nga-puhi force led by Hongi was large. Not any available man had stayed at home, but all had joined Hongi in this expedition. Nga-puhi ever acted thus: they went to war with a will and took all the force they could. But what made them feel confidence was that they had become possessed of guns and powder, which the other tribes had not obtained. When the Nga-puhi war-party arrived in the Thames they occupied the spot called Te-amo-o-te-rangi (the rush or charge of heaven), and at once besieged the Totara. But, as this pa was guarded on every side, they did not take it at once. Though those in the pa could not send a messenger to the tribes who were not in the pa, yet these soon learnt that Nga-puhi were besieging the Totara, and they all fled to the mountains, because there was not any other stronghold into which they could escape with any prospect of safety from Nga-puhi.
There were only two hapu (family tribes) in the Totara Pa—these were called Te-uri-ngahu and Te-tawera—but all the Nga-ti-maru were scattered over the country. But so it is with a noble district. The reason I call it a “noble district” is because the tribes of the south had never dared to come and make war on us in our district.