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The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions. Te Arawa [Vol. VII, English]

Chapter XIV — Te Arawa (Nga-ti-hau)

Chapter XIV
Te Arawa (Nga-ti-hau)

Light a fire on board of the Roa,
The firelight for Whaka-turia,
For him who was the branch
That broke from off the tree
And, crashing, fell to earth.
Now, now collect and take the food
Prepared for warriors in the war.
And weep, O Rehe! weep,
But bind the girdle round the waist,
For none can take revenge for thee,
And thou must now, in meditation
Deep, go ponder all the heart can think,
And see if ancient times can yield
Abundant harvest now to slake thy
Fierce revenge for these, and deaths
Of thy loved ones of days long past.
How loud the voice of wail
Of these the women of the west!
But let them come, come near,
And let us see the offspring
Of Motu-tawa; and Whare sees,
And Ngae will push them all aside.
But what do we obtain for
All that days of past have done?
Though paths have led on
Mountain-range, and yet on
Mountain-range go on, that
Host with host might come
From fountain-head of living life.
Still, all for disappointment still!
Oh! come, our parent, back
By path along the inland route,
Lest thou be hurt, and thy own skin
Be smeared by scum of river-bank.
Yet there are kauri-trees still
Growing on Wai-harakeke Stream,
And show as does the nose
Of noble shark, which, cast
On shore, lies on the sandy beach.
And I am lost, my tribe.

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Raumati and his associates set fire to the Arawa and burnt her, and Ha-tu-patu and his elder brothers attacked Raumati and killed him in payment for the Arawa being consumed by fire.

The Arawa canoe is said by the Ngapuhi to be still in existence at Maketu; that the place where she is to be found is between the Island Motiti and Rahiri: Motiti is inside of the place where she is, and Rahiri is outside. The canoe Mata-atua is at Whaka-tane, near a waterfall called Wai-rere.

Ha-tu-patu and his associates went from Roto-rua, and the elder brothers of Ha-tu-patu went from O-hine-mutu in a canoe to the other side of the lake. These elder brothers wished their younger brother (Ha-tu-patu) to accompany them in the canoe, but he answered them and said, "I will not go in your company, but I will meet you on the road."

The elder brothers proceeded on their journey, and when they had been lost to his view he took a chip of totara (Podocarpus totara), over which he performed ceremonies and chanted an incantation, and that chip became like a canoe; and he got on board of that canoe and sailed over the lake to the other side of the lake, and he arrived first at the place to which he and his elder brothers were going. He again performed certain ceremonies and chanted incantations over the totara canoe, and it again became a chip, and this chip grew into a tree, and is the only totara-tree which is growing on the island of Mokoia in the Rotorua Lake.

Here Ha-tu-patu met his elder brothers, and they all went to __________, and when they arrived at a steep cliff in the district between Maketu and the inland country, where they met the people of that locality, who consisted of a greater crowd than the men of Ha-tu-patu; and they spoke of war to each other, and Ha-tu-patu and people spoke of war amongst themselves; and they were enticed by Ha-tu-patu to come near to the foot of the cliff, when Ha-tu-patu chanted incantations to his gods that they might cause the cliff to fall on the enemy; and the cliff fell on them and killed some, and Ha-tu-patu attacked the rest, and there was a battle, and the people were killed by Ha-tu-patu; and he at once after this battle attacked the pa at Maketu, which was taken, and Raumati was captured by Ha-tu-patu, whose head he hid beneath his garment, and his associates did not know that he had the head of Rau-mati. Soon after which he and his associates left, and went back to their father, because their father had not gone with them, his sons, to revenge the destruction of the Arawa by fire; and when this party had arrived at home each one of them rose and made a speech, and related his exploits in the attack on Rau-mati for the destruction of the Arawa to their father; then the eldest son rose and gave his account; and the reason he rose before his other brothers was because he was the eldest son, and had the right to speak first. He related all he had done in the war-party, and he said he nearly killed Rau-mati. Then the next brother rose and gave his account, and made the same statement; he also said he had killed Rau-mati. So when the father heard the different accounts of the killing of Rau-mati he rose and asked his sons if they would describe what Rau-mati was like, and what the tattooing on his face and body was like. And these sons each rose and described the tattooing of Rau-mati; but the father did not agree with any account given by his sons of the tattooing or the appearance of Rau-mati, but as Ha-tu-patu had not given any account of Rau-mati or his tattooing his father asked him to speak. He rose and spoke, and then took the head of Rau-mati and held it out to view, that all might see it. The father looked at it, and knew it was the head of Rau-mati, and he said, "My youngest son has the hand of power by which he has taken Raumati;" and the father rejoiced over Ha-tu-patu.

The rock to which the Arawa was tied in the Maketu River is still seen there, and the old people point it out to this day.