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The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions. Nga-Puhi [Vol. X, English]

Chapter XVIII

Chapter XVIII

A curse uttered in a song on Hongi-hika

This is the song of Tama-rehe (wrinkled son) against Hongi-hika and is a song of extreme insult on Hongi-hika on account of his killing people, and he could not be stayed in his murderous acts, or revenge be taken on him for his deeds of death. The song of Tama-rehe was the following:

Who of yours o Hongi
Were taken by these of our people?
There are the Nga-ti-whatua
Who killed and cooked and eat
Hou-wawe and Hou-moka
And the killed in the battle
In which they too fell
Were eaten by the Sea-gull
Your skull (a curse) o Goblin (European)
Of the distance, who really gave,
The newly known power (guns)
To fell (kill) these Islands (the people)
And to exterminate the race.

This song conveys a curse on Europeans, who first gave the gun and ammunition to the Maori people and is uttered in the words "your skull o goblin". The Europeans was thought to be a goblin or god. The Tupua was an animal or reptile of ancient days or a stone or unknown monster in the bowels of the earth which had been there since the first creation of the world, which had not been seen by man, and the European was thought to be like that goblin, at the time when the Maori tribes were ignorant of the European folk.

page (217A)

Te Pa at Haruru at Wai-tangi

The people over which Puhi (plume) of Whanga-roa (long harbour) attacked the Pa at the Wai-tangi (crying water) but they the Nga-ti-uru tribe did not succeed in taking the Pa.

The reason the Nga-ti-uru attacked that Pa, was on account of the Nga-ti-uru being driven from the land at Manawa-ora which is situate to the east of Korora-reka (sweet Penguin) by the people who occupied the Wai-mate (dead or dried up water) and the people of Tai-a-mai (surf of the sea) and Wai-mate occupied that Pa in the season of the year to catch fish, but as the Nga-ti-uru did not take the Pa, they went back home to Whanga-roa by way of Te-kerikeri (the digging) and took up their abode in the cave over which the water of Aniwaniwa (rainbow) falls, and a pursuing war party under Hongi-hika (smell the friction) overtook them in that cave, and he killed all that section of Nga-ti-uru there, and cooked and eat them there.

The oven in which these were cooked were seen for years there, but in the years that the Europeans came there the ovens were lost to sight.

Te Kerikeri was a home of Hongi Hika, where he lived in the fishing season, where he could obtain that food when he had a hunger for it.

page (218)

War at O-tu-ihu

Rangi-wehe-kura (day of separating the red garments) was a female slave taken in the wars of Nga-puhi from the southern tribes, and she had been taken to wife by the Nga-puhi chief Hau-pokia (wind sweep down) and she was murdered at Pa-keretu (fort of clods) on the road from Ahuahu (mound) to Wai-ma (white water) by one of the men of the Mahurehure the tribe of Pi of Wai-ma.

Hau-pokia was a Priest, and as some of the Mahurehure tribe (the people of Pi) had died that tribe accused old Hau-pokia for bewitching them; so these people killed Rangi-wehe-kura the wife of Hau-pokia in revenge.

Rangi-wehe-kura was of the Nga-ti-kahu-ngunu people of Ahuriri, and also Mau-paraoa also a slave taken from the same people was living in the Bay of Islands, but on account of his bravery and his knowledge and ability to lead in war, he had been allowed by the Nga-puhi to associate with their chiefs and as a Nga-puhi woman of the Nga-puhi people of the name Kiri-mahore (skin peeled off) had disappeared from the Bay of Islands, the Mau-paraoa had been blamed for murdering her in payment for Rangi-wehe-kura the wife of Hau-pokia, Kiri-mahore has disappeared from a place in the Bay of Islands, called Te-uru-ti (thicket of Ti tree) near to Korora-reka (sweet Penguin) and Mau-paraoa was at the time living with Po-mare (night of coughing) and Kauiti (barb of fishing hook) in their Pa (fort) at O-tu-ihu (nose held up) and of course these two chiefs became involved in the supposed murder of Kiri-mahore.

To avenge the death of Kiri-mahore Titore and Pi attacked the Pa O-tu-ihu, and a war was the consequence, in which Pi (young bird) Koukou (owl) and Moe-atarau (sleep in moon light) were killed, and Kiri-mahore returned from the south where she had gone in a vessel.

page (218A)

History given by Te-au-pouri

A vessel came here to the North, a long time previous to the arrival of one vessel that came to Mango-nui (great shark) and it is said the name of the land from which this vessel came was Te-upoko-o-tamoremore (the head of the bald) and the name of the ship was Te-putere-o-waraki (float in a body, stranger of Waraki (strange language, or jabberer or gabbler)) and it was not till long after this vessel came to the North that the first vessel came to the Bay of Islands in the day of the life time of the father of Nene (dare, challenge) and Patu-one (kill on the sand).

A very old man of our people often spoke of the days of old, and of matters he had heard from the old men of his days. This old man said he was well acquainted with the history of old, of the wars, of the migrations, and of the canoes that had gone from the Au-pouri (dark smoke) and also about the ships that had come there, that is the ships that came near to the coast to which some of his people paddled out in canoes to look at these vessels.

That old man in the year 1859 told Mato (green, tender shoot) and Mato told what he heard from him to Patiki (flat fish) that there had been twenty eight generations since his ancestors came to Ao-tea (world of light or cloud) to him, and he was the one of his tribe who was set apart for a priest for his people and to teach the past history, that he had been taught by his grandfather, and had learnt all the history of the past, and that he knew the names of each man who was given in the twenty eight generations spoken of.

What he learnt from those who taught him, was their ancestors came over in canoes, and that they came from the Islands of the Ocean of Kiwa (blink) and the page (218B)name of one of the Islands they came from was Wai-roto (water of a lake) and the name of another was Hawa-iki (filled gills) and the name of another was Mata-ti-ra (in a line).

The Island Wai-roto was the first Island from which his ancestors departed, and came to the Island Hawa-iki, and after living there some time they came on to the Island Mata-ti-ra, and after living there some time they voyaged on to Ao-tea (New Zealand) where they took up a permanent abode, because this was a great land, and they came towards the rising sun, that is they came towards the East, and they came from the west. The cause of this migrating from the Island called Wai-roto was on account of the jealousy of the younger brother of the elder, and also on account of a dispute in regard to a kumara plantation and the elder brother and his descendants migrated to some of the Islands of the ocean, and arrived here in Ao-tea, (New Zealand) and his ancestors found an aboriginal people in possession of these Islands, some of which were living at Wai-apu (water dipped up in the hollow of the hand, or water drunk by the handful) how they found these at Wai-apu, is, the canoes did not land and the crew stayed permanently at Muri-whenua (land end, or after land) but they paddled or sailed on to look at each and every part as they sailed on, to see the goodness of each spot, but they found the people Te-uri-o-Toi (the offspring of Toi) were in possession of the O-hiwa (watchful, on the alert) and the ancestors of the old man who tells this tale remained there for a long time, and then came back to Pa-rengarenga (sandal, or ward off the nettle) where they took up their permanent abode, but the original people of Kai-taia (food beaten with a whip) were the people of Kui (little, dwarfs) and the Nga-ti-whatua tribe drove them out of that district, and they migrated to Kopu-tauaki (Mount Edgecumbe) in the Bay of Plenty, page (218C)to the south of Tauranga, and the ancestors of the old man occupied the district of Kai-taia.

The Island from which the ancestors of Mato came was a land of food in plenty, the kumara grew on all open spaces on the Island, and the people had much food, and lived in plenty, but the younger brother felt jealous of the elder, and wished to be the leader of the people and the younger brother caused a war to expel the elder brother, and the elder brother migrated with all his descendents and family on the sea, in search for a Home.

This migration landed at Wai-apu, where they stayed till three children were born (to the leader) and Po was the youngest of the three, when he was a large boy, the people migrated back to Kai-taia, and they remained there till a son called Puhi (plume) was born from whom the Nga-puhi people take their origin, and the people began to separate and fill the country, and they expelled the Nga-ti-awa people, that is the Nga-puhi expelled them from Kai-taia to Hokianga, and the Nga-ti-awa went by way of Kai-para to Tara-naki and the Nga-ti-awa who occupied the Mango-nui district migrated under the leadership of Kauri and went to Tauranga.

In the days of old these people the Au-pouri did not have wars, but only fought with or disputed with their tongues, they made war with words, and did not carry weapons of war.

There were many canoes in which our ancestors of the Au-pouri came over, and the old man from whom Mato obtained this account, says the canoes were large canoes, and that they had canoes to tender the large ones, that is food was carried in the tenders, the large canoes were sacred, and could not carry food, and these carried food for the people in the large canoes, thus our ancestors were sacred, men were sacred, houses were sacred, garments were page (218D)sacred, and all that belonged to our lords were sacred.

These ancestors said that the beasts or dogs of the old home were very large, that is these beasts of a large Island which was near to the Island from which they came called Wai-roto, and that our ancestors did not eat men in those days, but not till the days in which war was practiced was human flesh eaten, then they eat our enemies, to appease the hatred of the heart, man was not eaten because of the want of food, but rather man was eaten as an enemy, to satisfy the anger felt towards him.

Those Islands were very warm, and men went naked most part of the year, but when man did cloth himself it was very scant, and only a maro (apron) was worn.

Some of the people of the Islands from which our ancestors came were a pokerekahu (black) that is the skin was exceedingly black, and they had a very disagreeable scent if you sat near to them, but some also of the inhabitants of those Islands were of a fair skin, and these were a peaceable people, and had long straight hair, and were very industrious, but the dark or black people those who had a disagreeable smell had curled black hair, and were not a very clean people but they cultivated food, but were not very industrious and were very clannish, but not kind to the fair skinned people, and these black people went naked, their hair was of a reddish color, they did not tie it up in a knot on the top of the head, but frizzed it out in a large bundle to extend far round the head, and it looked like a Wharawhara (parasite that grows on trees).

The canoes in which our ancestors came were left at Ranga-unu (a company of persons, to migrate) where they decayed, a ship came to this place and one of our people was taken away in her and was lost to us, page (218E)soon after this another ship came, and she came perhaps to get firewood, as firewood was that which the people of that ship took most of, and the people of this ship gave red garments to the people of the land, and some time after this Governor King came, and it was he by whom Pigs were seen here, and also potatoes and cabbage.

The garments that our ancestors wore in the land they came from was Aute, the bark of which was made into garments, and the wood of the tree was used as floats for nets, and the fruit of trees of the land were used to obtain oil, that is the inside (kernel) of the fruit of the trees were cooked, and oil obtained from them, these were called Ni, and were as large as a child's skull, and this sort of food was brought here, also the Uhi-kaho (long uhi) was brought here, but they each decayed and are now lost to us, in these days.

page (219)

Genealogy of Tarewarewa of Manga muka


A black and white diagram showing the whakapapa from Te-ahi to Wi Patene.

Hoterene Tawatawa Genealogy

A black and white diagram showing the whakapapa from Marua to Hoterene Tawa Tawa.

page (220)

Genealogy (Whakapapa) of Nga-ti-uru of
Whanga-roa the tribe who took the ship "Boyd"
and killed the crew in 1809


A black and white diagram showing the whakapapa from Tuturu to Weru.

A black and white diagram showing the whakapapa from Uinga to her children and grand-children.

page (220A)

The sacred hills of the Nga-ti-hine
(Nga-ti-hine, Nga-puhi)

These are the sacred hills of the Nga-ti-hine (the hills to which offerings are made, and incantations shouted by the Priests when the tribe leaves home for war).

These hills are Umu-whao (oven put into) Matori (extend) Motatau (name of one of the door ways into the world of spirits) Te-tarai-o-rahiri (the combing of the hair of the head of Rahiri, rope) Te-kiekie (the freycinetia Banksii) Whawha-nunui (take hold of and handle the great) which were sacred hills to us.

page (221)

Genealogy of Nga-ti-hine
(Whakapapa o Nga-ti-hine)
(Nga-ti-hine, Nga-puhi

A black and white diagram showing the whakapapa from Pare to Hori Tahua.

A black and white diagram showing the whakapapa from Kapaeta to Maihi-te-puaha and Tipene Hari.

A black and white diagram showing the whakapapa from Rangi-tapapa to Tere and Tumakere.

(See next page to follow on)

page (222)

A black and white diagram showing the whakapapa from Tu-ma-kere to Puka pakaru and Noa.

Four black and white diagrams showing the whakapapa from Moe-ahu to his grandchildren and beyond.

page (223)

Two black and white diagrams showing the whakapapa from Moe-ahu to his grandchildren and beyond.

Two black and white diagrams showing the whakapapa from: Tao-ngahu to his grandchildren; and Whata to his grandchildren.

page (224)

Three black and white diagrams showing the whakapapa from Moe-anu, Waka and Meheke tanga to their children.

Five black and white diagrams showing the whakapapa from Whare-rua, Moe-ahu, Topuni kuru tahi and Nga-rongo-a-pokaia to their descendents.

Three black and white diagrams showing the whakapapa from Tuia, Ruki and Mana to their descendents.