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The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions. Awatea, Taranaki, Nga-Ti-Hau Nga-Ti-Rua-Nui [Vol. VIII, English]

Chapter 5

page (17)

Chapter 5

Thou is the Pleiades swimming in space,
May be it is Pehi now returning;
Come back o Mother come,
That you may once again
Be seen, and we may weep over you.
They decked you oft with southern mats
And beautiful tattooing marks, were
Figured by Kahu ngunu on you
Like figures which confused Tere
And caused old Nga-tai-whakarongo
Of Taha-wai to leave his home,
And go on ………. by sand
On Ponga unu coast
To spirit-world and evil there.
You might have eaten Huri hakari
To give you power to travel for.

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Kupe and Turi

The first canoe that landed on these Islands (of New Zealand) was that of Kupe (obstinate) and this was the canoe that first landed on the Ika-roa (long fish) of Maui (weary) which is now seen, (being the New Zealand Islands). The name of this canoe was Mata-horua (the drooping face) and she was originally owned by Toto ( ………. ). She was part of one tree, which tree was felled and was split in two, of which the canoe Ao-tea (white cloud) was made out of one slab, and Mata-horua out of the other slab. The canoe Ao-tea was given or was owned by Rongorongo (hear news repeated) and the canoe Mata-horua was given or was owned by Kura-maro-tini (many red apron mats) as those two women Rongorongo and Kura-mara-tini were sisters of Toto.

The tribes who have come from the loins of Kupe are Nga-ti-apa, Rangi-tane, Mua-upoko and Nga-ti-kahu-ngunu.

The second canoe mentioned is Ao-tea, and the owner of this canoe was Turi (deaf) and this is the canoe in which the kumara (ipomoea batatas) was brought with the karaka (corynocarpus laevigata), kiore (rat) and the bird Pukeko (or Pakura, porphyrio melanotus) and the locality where he landed was at Kawhia (will be embraced) but Turi came from Kawhia to Patea, to the spot of which he was informed by Kupe; on the return of Kupe, from New Zealand to Hawa-iki (litter gills) where (at Hawa-iki) they met on the beach there, as Turi was then on his way to these Islands, and Kupe gave him the directions by which he Turi could come to these Islands, and Kupe said "O Turi, come, go on your voyage, but keep the bows of your page (22)canoe to the part where the sun comes up, do not deviate from that part, and when (you land in New Zealand) and see the creek (or river) the mouth of which looks to the west, land your canoe there."

Turi said to Kupe "Come, let us two proceed (together on this journey)."

Kupe ………. "Kupe return?" (or shall Kupe go back to where he has been).

Turi stayed at Pa-tea (light-coloured fort) and he built a house for himself there, and he planted the kumara there and the names of the plots of ground he thus set with the kumara were named "Ko nga tarawa a (o) te moana" (the lines of the ocean) and "Hekeheke i papa" (descend from the flat). And Pa-tea was the district in which Turi cultivated the kumara and set the karaka, and this is the proverb to this effect:

"Great you are o Kurakura (kumara)
Who wert planted on Rangi-tawhi"

Now the name Rangi-tawhi (day of food) is that of a Tu ahu (altar) which is now in the Pa-tea district, which altar was where the god Maru (shade or protection) resided, but this altar was brought by Turi from Hawa iki as his presiding god.

The tribes who have come from the loins of Turi are Tara-naki, Te ati-awa, Nga-ti-rua-nui, Nga-rua-hine, Nga-rauru, and Whanga-nui. The Maori is not like the European, who have but one line of history (or who do not differ in the account which they give of the past). Now Kupe had one line of teaching which he taught to his descendants, and Turi also had his.

There were many canoes which called on these Islands in days of old, but it will be for each page (23)tribe to give the history of the canoe in which they came, as I now am doing in giving the history of the canoes which landed on the west coast (of New Zealand). The canoe in which were brought the Taro (colocasia antiquorum) and the Hue (gourd) was called Haki-rere (flying being). Do not be weary with the multiplicity of these words.

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Kupe first landed at Te-reinga (name of the spot where it is said the entrance to the world of spirits is situated on the west side of the North Cape) on his arrival in New Zealand, and he then killed his two dogs, one of which he cooked as an conciliatory cooked offering to the gods, the other he hung up as a raw offering to the gods. From that part he sailed on to Hokianga when he left his dogs at the mouth of the Whirinaki (lean against) river, and his canoe baler he left a Tarata-troto-rua (polisporum double lake) in the Kerikeri (pebble) district, and he gave a feast at the whakarara o Kupe (the food stage of Kupe) and he also gave another feast at Tohora nui (great whale) in the Whanga roa (long harbour) district. He went from Tohora nui towards the south, and he left his paddle at Manuka (regret) and he went to Ripiro (the bad smell of the screen) which is situated on the South side of Maunga-nui (great mountain) where he left one of his sailors called Whitianga-te-ra (sun shining) from where he sailed to Kawhia (embraced) where he saw the tribe of people called Tu-rehu (fairy) who were the offspring of Rua rangi (full grown) and Rua rangi was their leader. He went on in his canoe till he got to Nga motu (the Islands, Tara naki, and he sailed on across Rau kawa (a sweet smelling plant, Cook Strait) where he in his canoe narrowly escaped death, and wreck by the power of an wheki (octopus) from which place he went back to Kahiti, where he went to the top of a mountain, where he left a Red Kaka (nestor productus) from where he sailed to the Whanga-nui-a-tara (great harbour of Tara, Port Nicholson) with his two daughters Matiu (north) and Makaro (out of sight, dropped) one of which went up on to the page (25)top of the mountain, and Kupe wept for her, as she stayed in the mountains. Kupe sat and wept and cut himself in grief, and the blood flowed on the ground, and stained the flax, and even the fish of the sea at that part of the district, and the flax and the fish of that part are red by the stain of the blood of Kupe, and the name of that part is called Te tangihanga a Kupe (the weeping of Kupe) which is a little to the south of Pori-rua (two vessels) on the sea coast, and Kupe went by the west coast back to Hokianga where he left Niu (a certain performance performed with fern stalks, to divine the future) and Arai te-uru (obstructing the west) which were two pet guanas belonging to Kupe, from which he went back to Hawa iki (gills felled).

When Kupe arrived at Hawa iki, he told the news of his adventures to his grandson Nuku-tawhiti (distant extent, or distant land) and he told his grandson Nuku-tawhiti the signs or names of the stars by which he could be led across the ocean to these Islands (New Zealand) and this grandson sailed away from that land to these Islands (New Zealand) where he found the people of Tuputupu whenua (king of the land) who were the original possessors of these Islands, these people had also been seen by Kupe at the Reinga (North Cape). Nuku-tawhiti took up his abode (with his people) on shore and his offspring took the daughters of Tuputupu-whenua to wife and these people became one people with the Nga-puhi, and Nuku-tawhiti went and bathed in the water where the Tuputupu-whenua people bathed and he became a lunatic, and he went and lived at Motu whanawhana on the east side of the entrance to the O-rina (strong) a branch river of the Hokianga, and there he died.

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When Nuku-tawhiti (distant-space) was old, that is when he was a very old man he and one of his daughters lived at Wha-nui (wide) and when he died, that is when he was near death he spoke to that daughter and said "When I am dead cut my head off, and kill one of the slaves, the one called Kekero (blink) and cut his head off, and put his head on to my body, and take my head and secrete it, or hide it away, that it may not be known where it is." All this was done according to his orders, and when the news of the death of her father had been conveyed to the daughter who was living at Wai-mamaku (water or lake of the cyathea medullaris) she left her home and came to O mapere (third finger) where she embarked in a canoe and paddled away to Whanui, and when the sister who was with Nuku tawhiti saw the sister coming in the canoe, she began to chant an incantation which begins "Papa te whatitiri" (crash then pealing thunder) and have the origin of that which is the chant used at the funeral of the dead, and rain and wind and thunder came, and when the sister in the canoe saw the storm of the elements, she also began to chant and hence the origin of that part of the same Pihe (girdle of a warrior or incantation chanted at a funeral) which begins with "Totara te wai puna" (Distant is the water spring) and up to the end of the chant as now chanted.

Here is a map of the land named. (See map in the M.S.S. Maori copy.)

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Hawa-iki and these Islands (New Zealand) were close together in days long past that is they were one land, and Kupe put one (each country) apart from the other, and that these Islands should stand far apart from Hawa-iki; and he put the sea between them, and when he came to the main land (Islands of New Zealand) he found people of the land living here who were called the Kahui-toka (the flock of the overflowing) and the names of their leaders were Kehu (red haired), Rehu (flute) and Monoa (deprive of power by incantations) and these people had not any other food to live on save fernroot, and when they saw the canoe of Kupe they were afraid and fled into the interior of the country and lived there, and Kupe and his companions went as they liked over the land, and when they were tired they returned to Hawa-iki.

And when Kupe (obstinate) had gone back to Hawa-iki Turi (deaf) came from that place to these Islands (New Zealand) where he also saw the people who had been seen by Kupe, and he killed them, and he took the land of that people himself, and he occupied that land till he became sorrowful for his home at Hawa-iki, and, he became insane through grief and drowned himself in the Pa-tea river.

Soon after Turi left Hawa-iki for these Islands, the canoe Taki-tumu or as she is also called Horo-uta left that land for these Islands, and she landed at Whai-apu (something to put into the mouth by hands full) and from that place she sailed away for the Wai-pounamu (Island of green stone, South Island) where she was wrecked, and her broken parts are now seen on the sea coast turned into stone.

A canoe called Au-raro-tuia (sown from page (26B)beneath) and another called Tane-a-rangi (Husband of Heaven) were made out of one tree, and a man called Tu-tara-naki (stand with ………. around) split the tree in two, and made two slabs of it, and of each slab made a canoe, and the canoe Au-raro-tuia was owned by Maui (power) in which he sailed from Hawa-iki to these Islands (New Zealand) and in which he also went back to Hawa-iki.

It is also said by the Priests of Nga-puhi that the canoe Mamari (sail of) was the canoe in which their ancestors came to these Islands (of New Zealand) and Nuku-tawhiti (land at a distance) was the name of the leader of those who came in that canoe, and they landed at Hokianga, and hence the name of that river Te hokianga-nui-o-Kupe (the great return of Kupe or the Return) and Kupe saw Nuku-tawhiti there, and Kupe went back to Hawa-iki, from that River hence its name, and the canoe Mamari is there turned into stone.

(26B to follow this)

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Kupe and rua-rangi

Kupe landed at Kawhia (embraced) where he found Rua-rangi (full grown animal) and his people, called Turehu (with a flute) who lived there, and when Kupe and his people dug the fern root up for daily food, these Turehu went on to the tops of the hills to look at the fern-root diggers, where these Turehu in the afternoon of the day stood up and said "You dig fern root up now with your Koo (a long piece of hard wood (maire) used as a spade) for your self and (we) will have tomorrow, to dig fern root up for my self (me) to-morrow". If the people of Kupe persisted to dig fern root up that day after the Turehu had thus in ………. their wish, all the fern-root dug up after the instruction was given would be bad, that is would rot. If the people of Kupe did persist to dig fern root after they had been called to by the Turehu, the Turehu people with one accord would sing this song to them:

Is it the disgusting screen?
Is it the bristling spines?
(Of the dreaded guana)?
It is I. Who am
Rangi-pu iri (double versed song)
To whom already females
Come to me at once.

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Kupe and his feast

Kupe gave a feast at the Koraha (open country) between Te Kerikeri (digging) and Whanga-roa (long harbour) and he used long stands as posts, and not timber posts, like the timber poles used in giving a feast in those days, and around these store posts was the food stacked for the feasts, and which was to be gazed at by the guests at the feast. So soon as the feast had been partaken of, and the guests had dispersed, the store posts still stood where they had been placed by Kupe for his feast, and are still standing where they were, even to this day and are now called Te Whakarara-o-Kupe (the food stage of Kupe) and are to be seen on the open country of Tarata-roto-rua (pittosporum eugenioides double lake).

The bailer of the canoe of Kupe is not far from where these posts of the feast of Kupe are, and are in Te tou o-puraho (kindling of the fire of the messenger). And another of the bailers of the canoe of Kupe is at the Kokukohu (moss) in the Hokianga river, on the main land opposite to the Motiti (not any) Island, but this has been broken to pieces by man since the days the Europeans first went there.

(24A to follow this)

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The stone carried by Kupe

When the feast given by Kupe at Tarata-roto-rua had been given, and the guests had departed, Kupe took a stone on to his shoulder, and went by Te-Whakarara-o-Kupe and on in the direction of Hokianga, and he came out of the front at Te urupa (the tomb) and there in the water in the Wai-hou (water digging into the ground) and to Te-puru (the blocked up) where he left the stone he was carrying, where it was sacred, and if a traveller at this day pass by it, such must chant an incantation acknowledging the sacredness of the stone and the mana (power) of Kupe by chanting:

Arrived at a distant land
Arrived at a distant ski
Here is the liver of a stranger
As food for thee, a, a, a.

When he had chanted this acknowledgement of his having participated in the sacredness of the stone, he then takes the young shoots of the Raurekau (one of the coprosmas) and throws them onto this stone, and again he chants an incantation to give him power to go on his journey. He chants:

Climb, climb up the mountain,
Thy ………. past,
Ascend, ascend up the Mountain
Thy ………. past
Here is the liver of a stranger
As food for thee.

He now takes the young shoots of Karamu (coprosma) and the young shoots of Kawakawa (piper excelsum) and some pebbles out of the creek, and throws them onto this stone, and then proceeds on his journey, nor will he turn round and look behind him till he is far out of sight of the stone, but goes on looking straight before him.

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The anchor of the canoe of Kupe

The anchor of the canoe of Kupe is at a place in the Hokianga river called Rangi-ora (brachyglottis repanda) in the Whaiti (Narrows) of that River, not far away from beneath the old Rangi-ora Pa which stands on a hill on the west bank of the Hokianga River.

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The dog of Kupe

The old people say that the dog of Kupe is/ are at the mouth of the river Whirinaki (lean against) in the Hokianga river, this dog was left by Kupe when he paid a visit to that part of the country, and this dog became stone, this is on the East side of the entrance to the river Whirinaki.

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The foot-prints of kupe's feet

At Wharo (stretch out) are the foot prints of Kupe, where these marks are to be seen to this day on the west coast, as also are the foot prints of the feet of Kupe's dog at the same place on the west coast.

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The food of Ue-nuku

Ue-nuku (trembling of the distance) the man whose Kohoho (solanum aviculare) was stolen by Tama-te kapua (son of the clouds, or he who walked on stilts) was a person who was ………. given to eating dogs flesh, and he therefore continually had dogs flesh as a relish for all the other food of which he partook, and hence the origin of the Proverb:

"The food of Ue nuku was dogs flesh."