The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions: Tai-Nui. [Vol. V]
O son so deaf, whose hair was cut
So short just o'er thine ear!
I am very small, but thou art great,
And dost thine ear now turn to gain the news.
Man has not come to life again,
Nor made his journey back from Hawa-iki.
Yes, Rangi-roa died on ridge of Rau-kawa,
And Karaka-hua-uri and Kare-ue
Came on shore to glut revenge
For all the evil they had felt so long.
They dug a well, a bubbling spring,
For all the female gods, and then
A well the spring of which was
For the men, and hence the water
Used by wizard now to deaden Kewa's rage.
Journey Of Tara To Katikati.
Tara said, “I will go to Katikati.” And he collected a body of men; and three hundred and seventy twice told assembled. This seven hundred went with him, but some remained in the pa to guard the women and children and the aged men and women.
This party, with Tara, went and attacked the pa at Motukeo and took it, and killed Miti-nui (great ebbtide), and they put a stone up where this chief was killed. Tu-te-rurunga (Tu the bound together) they also killed, and put a stone up where they killed him. Great was the slaughter at the taking of this pa; but it was only the chiefs for whom stones were put up, at page 36 the spots where each was killed. The attacking enemy put those stones up for the chiefs they killed; but they pursued those who escaped from the pa, and killed as many as they could, and followed them as far as the pa at Korokoro (loose, not tight), which is inland of the pa Wai-hi, which pa Tara and people also attacked and took, and pursued the fleeing enemy from that pa and killed them as they followed, even to Kari-oi (trembling clump of trees). Kari-oi is in the Wai-hi district, where Ha-nui (great breath) was killed by the people of Tara. There also a stone was put up at the spot where he was slain. Makau-rangi (spouse of heaven, or stranger spouse) and Uenuku-kopako (trembling of earth at the back of the head) were also killed. About this time Tu-panapana (twitching of the flesh—an evil omen) and Tara-tu (anger roused) were seen running to the people of Tara to propose terms of peace, to whom Tara called and said, “The lower part—that is, the lower end—of your pa is sacred. That is the place which is called Tawhiti-araia (screen of a distance). But the end towards Katikati, leave that open, so that I may again come by that way with a war-party to Katikati, and even to the other sides of the hills.”
Tara-tu took Hine-waha (daughter carried) to wife, and thus obtained [or held] the land from Wai-hi even to Motu-keo, which was owned by Tara and his descendants and tribe. The boundary on the north was at Tawhiti-araia; and at Karioi Tikite-aroha built a pa; and one hundred and seventy men twice told held possession of Wai-hi; and He-Kei and one hundred and twenty twice told returned to live at O-wharoa; and one hundred and eighty twice told, as a guard, took Tara back to Pirau-rahi, as Tara had become very old in those days. His fame as a warrior had been heard at Kapiti (pass in a gorge), Au-to-roro (stream of your brain), and by the Nga-ti-raukawa Tribe.
When Tara was very very old Tiki-te-aroha and He-kei went to Katikati with a party of men consisting of one hundred and twenty twice told, and attacked the pa at Whatiwhati-rau-rekau (break the leaves of rau-rekau, one of the Coprosma) and took page 37 it. This pa stands on the peak of Tawhiwhi (entangled), on the Katikati side of Wai-hi. Tiki-te-aroha went back to O-hiwa and Pirau-rahi, to the main body of the tribe. In those days the people of the tribe were increasing in numbers.
Hine-waha became the mother of children in those days. In the years since she took a husband she had borne these children: Hakiri (hear indistinctly) and Poro-kaki (nape of the neck). These were born at Tawhiti-araia, and Tara was very old in those days, nor could he walk erect, but only in a stooping position or crawling on the ground. And in those days a band of warriors consisting of one hundred and seventy twice told, led by Tiki-te-aroha, He-Kei, Awa-i-haea (creek that was marked), and Honu-manawa-nui (fresh water of the brave), went to war on O-tawhi-nohi (ngohi) (food of fish); but the greater part of the people of Tara stayed at Pirau-rahi to guard the old people and children and women, and also to guard Tara, their aged chief.
The war-party went to attack O-tawhi-nohi at Katikati, and when they had been there some time Te-awa-i-haea (the marked creek) was sent out as a spy; but, on account of the misconduct of Te-awa-i-haea, confusion came on this war-party by the act of Taka-nui (great fall), of the Nga-marama Tribe, who killed here one hundred twice told of the people of Tara, and one hundred and twenty fled back to their home. And in those days Honu-manawa-nui was head chief of Pirau-rahi; and Tara, with Whaka-maro, were chiefs at Maioro, and Te-awa-pu at O-wharoa; and Hakiri, Tu-noho-pana, Poro-kaki, and Honumanawa-nui also lived at O-wharoa.
The tribe of Tara in those days was very numerous, and Te-au-to-roro, with Rau-kawa (a certain plant), came to attack them, in revenge for a former defeat which they had sustained at Katikati. At this time Te-whakamaro with his family tribe lived at O-wharoa, and numbered two hundred and fifty twice told. When Poporo (Solanum aviculare) saw the defeat of Te-au-to-roro he sent a messenger to the Hau-raki (Thames) people page 38 to ask the tribes there to go and avenge the defeat [death] of Te-au-to-roro. A war-party collected in Hau-raki to the number of four hundred twice told, who when they had arrived at Te-rua-o-te-waro (cave of dense blackness), at O-wharoa, said they would go on to Koutu-rahi (great rock jutting out into the water), at Katikati. Some of the people of Tara went, but some of them-two hundred twice told-stayed to guard Tara in his pa, with Whaka-maro as the leader or head chief.
The war-party went and attacked the pa Koutu-rahi, and burnt it with fire, and when this part of the plan had been executed by them they went to Tawhiti-araia; but Tewhakamaro and his companions went to Te-kiko (the lean flesh) with Haua (the stupid), who were of the tribe of Tara, and attacked that pa, took it and burnt it with fire. When Poporo, Pukeko (Porphyrio melanotus), Te-whare-iro (house of maggots), and Te-tahiwi (the ridge of the mountain) saw the pa Tawhiti-araia in a blaze, they, with their four hundred twice told, ran along the sea-beach (or river bank); but by the time they had got to Wai-hi the land had all been subdivided amongst the people by Kiko. Haua claimed the land near to the sea, and Tu-panapana took the outside part of the pa, and claimed it jointly with Whaka-maro, Hakiri, Maioro, Poro-kaki, and Awa-puni (closed creek), and all the two hundred and fifty twice told of the tribe of Tara.
The descendants of Tara, with Maioro, stayed at Wai-hi even to the day that Tu-waruhia (Tu the scraped, or whose hair was cut) died; and they stayed there and kept possession of the land to the day on which Te-raho (the piece of wood left in the inside of a canoe to which the thwart is fastened) and Ama-rere (flying outrigger) died. Thus they kept Wai-hi.
But the days came that the offspring of Tara were conquered by their enemies at Wai-hi. They had disputed the right to the land even to the time that the pa at O-ngare (the contest) was taken, which took place in the days when Tu-awa-ruhia (stand page 39 on the bank of the creek weary and powerless) went back to his cultivations (on which cultivations peach-trees are seen at this day), and the descendants of Tara went back to Wai-hi, where they still remain. The acts of the Nga-ti-tama-te-ra (descendants of Tama-te-ra) were therefore only against the people of the place, who were killed by them at Tauranga, but they left the land for the Nga-ti-rangi (descendants of Rangi), as this is their proverb:-
The neck of man alone was killed,
The neck of the land still lived.
Though the Nga-ti-tama-te-ra conquered in many battles, and took many pas (forts) at Tauranga—although they took the pas Maunga-nui (great mountain), Te Papa (the flat), Ruone-atua (trembling sand of the god), and Tahu-tonu (still set fire to), and other pas, and fought other battles, the land was not taken, the land was not occupied, nor was a fire kept burning on it. The land was not cultivated, nor was the fish of the sea taken with bait, nor was the fish of the sea taken with a net, nor were the eels taken in the holes by hand of man, nor were the birds of the land caught or food collected. Fern-root was not dug, nor were rats taken in traps or snared, nor were birds killed with bird-spears. Taunga was not taken as a district of Nga-ti-tama-te-ra. If the descendants of Tara had not kept possession of it by occupying it, the Nga-ti-awa (descendants of Awa) would have taken the district, including Wai-hi; but the descendants of Tara have occupied and kept possession of Wai-hi to this day.
When Te-poporo and his army of four hundred warriors once told came back from his attempt to take the pa Koutu-rahi, which he did not capture, he was ashamed for his want of power to take that pa, and he discarded his wives, called Te-nihooroia (the rubbed or sharpened teeth) and Te-whaka-maro (the stretched out, or made stiff or straight). And Poporo, with his sub-tribe, went back to Hau-raki (Thames), and left his discarded wives to live with the descendants of Tara—that is, with the Nga-ti-tara Tribe.page 40
When the Nga-ti-raukawa (descendants of Raukawa) heard that Te-poporo had discarded Te-niho-oroia, Pu-rangi (trumpet of Heaven), with fifty and one men twice told, came to Pirau-rahi, to demand that Te-whaka-maro, of the Nga-ti-tara, should be given as wife to Haere (go), and that Niho-oroia should also be given to him (Poporo) to wife. That which prompted him to ask this was that Tara was of the Nga-ti-raukawa people, and also that the Nga-ti-raukawa had always taken up the cause of Nga-ti-tara, and avenged any defeat or insult that might have fallen on them or been offered by an enemy to Nga-ti-tara.
The cause of the defeat of the Nga-ti-tara at O-kukuru (strike again and again with the fist), at Katikati, was the arrival of Te-atua-roro (the god of brains) and the coming of Nga-ti-raukawa. The Nga-ti-raukawa killed Te-atua-roro and his company in open battle on the open country, which battle was called Tuna-kai-roro (eels that eat the brains).
And again the Nga-ti-raukawa came, and they murdered Tua-waruhia (perform the sacred ceremonies and cut the hair off the head) at Wai-hi. And the Nga-ti-raukawa came to support the Nga-ti-tara, and thus the Nga-ti-tara were again avenged for their defeat.
It was by the aid of Nga-ti-raukawa that the Nga-ti-tara stormed and took the pa Tuna-pahore (the eel whose skin peeled off) at Maketu, and also the pa at Te-papa, at Tauranga, in revenge for the death of the one hundred once told of the Nga-ti-tara who fell at O-kukuru, at Kati-kati, and also for the death of Au-tu-roro, Tua-waruhia, and Te-raho, and for the mother also of Te-raho, and also for the murder of the ten at Wai-hi, who were murdered by the Nga-ti-rangi (descendants of Rangi).
There is not any right on the part of the Nga-ti-tama-te-ra to claim the land of Tara, because in the days of Whaka-maro, Hakiri, Maioro, Awa-pu, Poro-kaki, and Uru-iki (consuming west) the Nga-ti-tara were a great tribe, and could command two hundred and fifty warriors twice told; but in the days of Pupu (tied in bundles or shells) the Nga-ti-tara were few in page 41 number; and their influence was limited. Still, they had power enough to hold the pa called Te-pae-o-tura-waru (the ridge of the bald who has had his hair cut), situate at Matamata (the extreme end), which was held against an attempt of the enemy to take it in an attack made by one hundred and seventy men twice told.
In the days of Whaka-tiori (to wave to and fro), Mata-rehua (bedimmed eye), Tu-ranga-tao (stand in the face of spears being pointed at us), and Patu-po (kill at night), the Nga-ti-tara were a brave people, and showed their bravery in the battle which took place in Hau-raki, as also in the battles between the Nga-puhi and the Hau-raki Tribes in which the descendants of Tara took part; and hence they were able to hold the lands they claimed at O-wharoa, Wai-hi, and Pirau-rahi. And in those days the Nga-ti-tara consisted of one hundred and twenty twice told who were able to use weapons of war; but now, since Europeans have come to these Islands, and have brought diseases in their train, such as the rewharewha (cough, influenza), and karawaka (measles), and other diseases, the only remains or survivors of our tribe are represented by thirty-six people who are able to use weapons of war; but, all told, of men, women, and children, old and young, we count one hundred and twenty-six who live at Wai-hi and Ohine-muri.
The boundaries of the land owned by Tara commence at Pirau-rahi, and on to O-wharoa at Wai-hi. These belonged to Tara, and we his descendants now own them. These are shown in the plan intended to be given in this history.
The boundaries of Wai-hi were laid out by Tara. Those of Oro-kawa (to remove the tapu) were laid out by Tangata. Those of Ara-rimu (path of moss) were laid out by To-kani (your sawing). Each piece thus given was owned by one of our progenitors named.
The pa at Tawhiti-araia belonged to Kiko, Haua, and Tu-panapana right out to the sea; but Te-popo knows the boundaries of the little pieces, the stones showing the page 42 boundaries of which were put there by Tara, as also the pas taken by Tara are still to be seen. The southern boundary is at O-potaka (whipping-top), and on to Nga-uru-kehu (red heads), turning at the sea; thence on to Papa-kawau (flat of the shag); turning, it goes to Mata-ingia (mistaken face), and on to O-kari (the clump of trees), at the sea.
Ue-nuku-whangai (trembling earth-fed), who had taken to wife the sister of Ranga-pu (placed in lines), went with his brother-in-law to the island Karewa (buoy), to catch or kill the bird called takupu (gannet) (syn. taiko).
They occupied some time at their sport; and when they had obtained many birds Ue-nuku looked at Ranga-pu and felt jealous of him; so he left the island in the canoe, and thus left his companion and brother-in-law Ranga-pu alone on the island. When Ue-nuku landed on the mainland, and his wife, the sister of Ranga-pu, said, “Where is Ranga-pu?” Ue-nuku answered, “He did not go with me”
The wife replied, “Yes; but the sound of the trumpet of Ranga-pu is not heard in these days; but in the days past, when it was still dusky dawn, the sound of the trumpet of Ranga-pu was heard to call the people to rouse from sleep; but in these days the sound of his trumpet is not heard.”
Ue-nuku said to the woman, “Yes; but I have told you that Ranga-pu did not accompany me.”
The woman said, “Yes; but how in respect to the absence of Ranga-pu, who is absent now? It may be that evil has overtaken him; and you do not make an attempt to look for my brother.”
Ue-nuku answered, “Is he my slave that I should keep guard over him?”
The woman said, “You may think as you like, and I will have my thoughts as I like.”page 43
Ranga-pu lived on the island Karewa for some time; but was perplexed for want of a canoe by which he could cross over to the mainland. As he was completely frustrated in his attempts to obtain a canoe, he made up his mind to perform the sacred ceremonies and chant the sacred incantations to Tanga-roa (long assembly) (god of the sea); in answer to which a sea-monster came; and he got on its back and crossed over to the mainland, and at once went to that great lord called Ao-piki (the ascending cloud), who was at that time living at Rangi-whao (day of grasping), to whom he told the tale of his having been left on the island Karewa by Ue-nuku-whangai. Ao-piki answered, “Leave the matter to me. I will think over it [or take action].”
Ranga-pu went back to his pa at Te-whanga, where he and his tribe and wife lived. And, as he was one of the principal chiefs of the tribe, and had got back to his home, his wife asked, “You were at the island Karewa, were you not?”
He asked, “What is the proof that I was there?”
His wife said, “Yes; you and Ue-nuku went together in a canoe to the island Karewa.”
Ranga-pu answered, “I went on all the places (roads) of our land.” But he did not confess to his having gone with Ue-nuku to Karewa, nor did he now confess to his hatred of Ue-nuku.
Soon after this Ue-nuku told the people to build a house for him, and he sent his wife to Ranga-pu to ask him to order the house to be built, and that the people should also be ordered by Ranga-pu to cut raupo (Typha angustifolia) for the house. Ranga-pu consented to do as asked by Ue-nuku. When the people had cut the raupo, and it was sufficiently dry to carry to where the house was to be built, Ranga-pu said to those who had procured the raupo, “Each of you push his weapon of war into the bundle of raupo that he carries, so that the weapon may not be seen; and I will tell you the time when you can use those weapons on that on which I wish you to use them.”page 44
The raupo was taken to where the house was to be built, and the carriers of it found the people of Ue-nuku bathing, as it was summer; and Ue-nuku was bathing with them. Ranga-pu saw them, and said to his people, “Tap them on the head and make them drink water.” So all the people in the water were killed, including Ue-nuku; and the whalebone weapon called [name not given] was taken by Ranga-pu, and he was ever after looked up to as the supreme chief of the tribe, and the arbiter of war, and director of all the acts of the tribe.
The Murder Of The Grandson Of Te-Karawa.
The grandson of Te-karawa (bed in a garden), of Nga-ti-rua-nui, came to Tara-naki (thorn of thenaki plant) to visit his relatives, who were with the Nga-ti-awa. He was murdered at Whakatu-rangi(give the first note of a tune to a song). The cause of his murder was that the Nga-ti-awa wished to have a war with the Nga-ti-rua-nui. Therefore the body of the boy was cooked and eaten by them, and his bones were made into fishhooks to catch fish off the sea-beach at O-puna-ke (the other spring of water), and some of the fish caught with the hooks made of the bones of this boy were sent to his relatives, who ate the fish, and afterwards heard that the fish they had eaten had been caught with hooks made of the bones of their boy, who had been murdered, and cooked, and eaten by the Nga-ti-awa.
The Nga-ti-rua-nui assembled a war-party, and went and killed Te-karawa, the head chief of Nga-ti-awa, and, when they had killed him, took the rape (tattooed skin of his thighs), cured them, and tied them round a hoop, which they bowled between two parties of men, who with short sticks struck it from one party back to the other in a game of amusement.
Old Ngatata (cracked), father of Tako (gums), while residing at his place at Pari-tutu, heard of this game of hoop having been played, and determined to avenge the death of Te-karawa. page 45 He therefore went to Wai-kato to get Te-wherowhero (red) to come with a war-party and make war on Nga-ti-rua-nui.
The Wai-kato came with a war-party two thousand strong twice told, and first attacked the people at Wai-tara (the water where the sacred ceremonies have been performed to make rain), who were of the people who had asked them to come and attack the Nga-ti-rua-nui; and those who escaped fled to other districts. And the Wai-kato attacked all the tribes they found located anywhere on the west coast, even to Patea, and on to Wanga-nui.
Te-Karawa and Nga-Ti-Awa.
The Ati-awa [Nga-ti-awa] killed the son of Raua-ki-tua (gather them together in a heap behind) called Te-karawa. The Ati-awa caught and killed Te-karawa, and skinned the tattooed part of his thighs, and cured the skin, and covered a hoop with it. Then the tribe of the Ati-awa assembled, and bowled the hoop on the marae (open space) of the pa. Some of the people stood at one end of the marae, while others stood at the other end, and in the hands of each party were held short sticks with which to strike the hoop. One had to trundle the hoop towards the other, when the other party beat it back. The game consisted in this: If trundled by those of one end of the marae, and the hoop was beaten back, it was again trundled back; but if it was not beaten back, but fell in the space between the parties, then those to whom it was last trundled must take and trundle it to those of the opposite end of the marae, who will attempt to knock it back with their sticks.
Thus the people used the hoop covered with the tattooed skin of Te-karawa to afford a game for them. Two parties stood one at each end of the marae with nothing but a maro (apron) round the waist and a stick in the hand; but the body of the people sat on each side of the marae, and enjoyed the sight of the game being played.page 46
As the hoop was being trundled from either end this was the song which was chanted as the game was being played, the words of which were sung as the hoop rolled:-
Oh! bowl it, bowl it.
It is as if Te-karawa
Is skipping about
On the marae
[In the presence of]
When the chanters came to the last words, “Bowl it,” then the hoop was thrown towards those who should strike it back to the throwers; and if those to whom it was thrown were able with the blow of the stick to send it back again, those who struck it back counted one; but if those to whom it was trundled were not able to strike it back with the stick those who trundled it counted one. Those who were first able to count ten gained the game.
Now, when Raua-ki-tua and Ngatata heard that the flayed skin of the tattooed thighs of their son [child] had been so used they felt pained; so they sent messengers to Wai-kato, to Te-kanawa (he who stares wildly), and to Te-tihi-rahi (great pinnacle) and all the tribes, to go to Raua-ki-tua and avenge the evil that had befallen him.
The Wai-kato people assembled, and in a body went into the Ati-awa district and attacked that tribe; but the Ati-awa caught the great chief Te-hia-kai (the hungry) and other great chiefs in open battle, and killed them, which made the Wai-kato war party go back to their homes, where they felt exceedingly annoyed by their defeat and on account of their great chiefs who had been killed by the Ati-awa.
The Wai-kato people again met in their own country, and, after a long consultation, in which they discussed the question, “How are we to be avenged for our defeat?” and after they had laid their plans, they again started on a war-expedition to Tara-naki to avenge the death of Hia-kai and the other chiefs. This body of warriors went to the district of the Ati-awa, who, with the Tara-naki and Nga-ti-rua-nui tribes, hemmed in the Wai-kato page 47 party in their pa. The Wai-kato were so watched that they could not by any means escape from their confinement, and the Ati-awa called those who were hemmed in “Raihi-poaka” (enclosure of pigs, or pig-sty).
The Wai-kato saw how unable they were to rescue themselves from their present difficulty. They sent a messenger to Wai-kato, who went by way of the mountains to escape the hands of the besiegers. When he had passed the enemy he went by the mountains to Wai-kato; and, in answer to his message, those in Wai-kato mustered in force, and started to rescue their friends, and gave battle to those who were surrounding the pa. The new arrivals passed through the besiegers, and got into the pa of their friends; and from the pa they made a sortie, and caused the enemy to flee. And Wai-kato again went home; but they were followed on the road by the Ati-awa, Tara-naki, and Nga-ti-rua-nui; and a battle ensued in which the Ati-awa lost many. The Wai-kato went back to their own home, where they could live for some time in quiet; nor did Wai-kato follow the fleeing Ati-awa when they were repulsed in the attack on the road, but the Wai-kato let them flee back to their own country, as the Wai-kato were weary with having been besieged in their pa, and felt downcast.
After they had been at home in Wai-kato for some time, and had recruited themselves, all the tribes of Wai-kato assembled, consisting of one thousand twice told, and, after agreeing to certain action, they again started on a war-expedition to the Tara-naki country; and as they went on their journey they attacked and took each pa they came to-even the pa of Raua-ki-tua they attacked and took, as it was at his invitation that the Wai-kato had gone to war in that district, in which war Wai-kato had lost so many chiefs and people.
The war-party from Wai-kato attacked every tribe they came near till they arrived in front of the great pa Puke-rangiora (hill of the Brachyglottis repanda), which was a large log fort, page 48 and contained a great multitude of people; but the Wai-kato laid siege to it and took it, and then attacked the Manu-korihi (bird singing at dawn) Pa, which they took; and Wai-kato again went back to their own country.
After staying at home some time, they again left on a war-expedition for Tara-naki, to take the pas which they had not attacked on their former expedition. These they attacked and took, and Ati-awa fled to Kapiti and crossed over to Te-wai-pounamu (Middle Island); and the Wai-kato expedition went along the sea-coast of Tara-naki, and, having arrived in the vicinity of the Tara-naki people who had hemmed them in in a pa on a former expedition, they attacked and killed them, and went on to the Nga-ti-rua-nui, and took every pa held by this tribe.
The Wai-kato now went home, and, as missionaries, had then arrived in Wai-kato, they were preaching the gospel of God to the tribes there.
Again the Wai-kato assembled a war-party to go and punish the Tara-naki enemy, because they still thought they had not yet obtained sufficient revenge; so this war party went to attack those (the Nga-ti-rua-nui) who had hemmed them in in the pa, and attacked the pas of that district and took many; but when they had taken the pa Ruaki (vomit) they ceased to make war in that part of the country and came back to Wai-kato. And at that time some of the tribes of Wai-kato accepted the teaching of the missionaries, so did not go again to make war on the Ati-awa; but the Wai-kato people took the land of that tribe.
Some time after this, Maori teachers went from Wai-kato to teach the word of God to the Tara-naki people, and some of those Wai-kato teachers were murdered by the Nga-ti-rua-nui and Whanga-nui people; but the Wai-kato Tribe did not send a war-party to take revenge for the murder of those teachers: as the Wai-kato had accepted the gospel of peace, they did not make war on those murderers.
The Far-Famed Taiaha Called Matua-Kore.
The taiaha (d) called Matua-kore (without parent) was one of great note, and was also sacred, because it gave such true indications of coming events—of evil or good, or death or life, that was to come on man: its signs were held as indisputable.
This taiaha belonged to the Nga-ti-mania-poto Tribe, who carved it, and adorned it with feathers near the carved tongue, and it belonged to Te-hore (burial-place under tapu), and had been used in three great battles against the Nga-ti-awa, and it was by this weapon that Nga-ti-awa were conquered.
Te-tauri (sacred feathers tied on the taiaha near the carved tongue of the weapon), of Nga-ti-tu-whare-toa (descendants of Tu-whare-toa—stand near the house of the brave), had asked for that weapon to be given to him, and when he obtained it he wrapped the body of it in a garment, but the tauri and the tongue of the weapon he did not cover in the days when war was spoken of. Hence Te-tauri kept this taiaha as his god to consult, and to know who had been predestined (herea) to death in any future battle which might take place between his people and their enemies.
The signs given by Matua-kore by which future events could be read were given by the tauri of the weapon. If, when the cover was taken off, the tauri of Matua-kore and the red feathers of the tauri shone with a flash, it was a sign of life [propitious in every way] for the tribe in whose possession Matua-kore then was. But if the red feathers of the tauri were a pale red it was an evil sign of death; and if the red of the tauri was a dull red, it was a sign of evil, but not of great evil—only that the tribe in whose possession the weapon was should flee before their enemies, but not be beaten. As also the sign of a dull red of the feathers of the tauri of that hani was an evil sign, indicating that the man in whose possession the hani then was, page 50 if he was on a journey from home, was ill, but not unto death. Also, if when the taiaha was taken out of the cover in which it was kept it looked dirty and mouldy-like, this was an evil omen—that the tribe in whose possession it was would not be brave, but would succumb to the enemy.
Te-tauri had this sacred weapon in two battles whilst it was in his charge. The names of these battles were, first, the battle of Pataua (surface-, not spring-water), and the second Huna-wi (hide the agate, or ironstone).
The battle of Huna-wi was fought between Te-tauri's people and Nga-ti-raukawa; and when that tribe were beaten by Tauri's people, and when the greater portion of them had fled, the men called Matua (parent) and Tangata (man) were stricken down by Tauri with the sacred hani Matua-kore. When Tauri was in the act of killing Matua with his mere, Tangata rose to his feet, snatched the sacred taiaha, and ran off with it. As it was evening, and dusk, Tauri chased him in vain, and he escaped with the sacred weapon. Now that the Nga-ti-raukawa Tribe held possession of this god-like taiaha, they were afraid lest it should be seen or recognised in their possession, so they chipped the carved tongue off it, and it became like a pou-whenua (a hani-like weapon, save the tongue at the upper end), and from that time this sacred hani was lost.