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

[Chapter I]

page (5)

and that Totara-i-a-hua (the totara, podocarpus totara) near by at the side of Hua (fruit). The younger brother of Awarua was Te-kawau (big black shag) and these were the chiefs of the Tamaki (start involuntarily) district.

A black and white diagram showing the whakapapa from Tara-ra-moa to Totara-i-a-hua.

We will now give the reason why this tribe Nga-ti-whatua came into the Kai-para district.

The original home of this tribe was in the north at Muri-whenua (the rear land or lands end) at the Au-pouri (dark with smoke) at the end of this (north) island Ao-tea-roa (long fair dawn) at the locality where spirits leap into the other world, and this district was the home of our people, as the ancestors from whom we are descended all were born (or grew up) there.

The reason that our people left that district, was a murder committed by the Nga-ti-kahu-mate-ika, the people who occupied, and were the original inhabitants of the Hokianga district, who murdered my ancestor called Tau-reka (year of sweet (food)) for the death of whom our people sought revenge, and we killed that people, and took possession of that district in days long long ago. Our people took all the Hokianga district even up to Maunga-nui (great mountain) on the west coast, and we occupied the land as we had killed all the original owners of that district.

When our people had lived for a long time in page (6)in that district, Ka-wharu (will be flaccid) commenced a war in the midst of the Kai-para district, and the first Pa he attacked and took was called Motu-remu (island of the skirt of a dress) which stood in the sea or in the water, and had a cliff on each side, and this Pa was taken by his people, as Ka-wharu was the ladder by which they climbed up over him into the Pa, as he stood against the cliff and he took the Pa and killed the people, as he was a brave and strong warrior in battle. He was a tall man, and was four spans high, and his body was one span in width, and his face was as long as from the finger end to the doubling of the arm, on to the shoulder, so that it is thought that he was twenty four feet high, and his body was six feet thick, and the length of his face was one foot six inches, and great was his power to exterminate the people on the east coast of the Kai-para district. In one day he took two Pa's and on the next day he took three Pa's more, and on the following day he took two more, and he slew that people till he arrived at Mahurangi (pulp of the kumara) and he continued his war, and attacking and killing this people even up to Motu-karaka (island of the karaka, corynocarpus laevigata) tree, near to Te-puru (the dam) opposite to Papa-roa (long flat) near Howick, and Motu-karaka was the last Pa he attacked in this war expedition in that district, and he returned to Kai-para.

After he had returned to Kai-para, he lived in quiet and did not undertake any war expeditions, but soon after this his people went on a visit to Hiku-rangi (tail of heaven) consisting of one hundred. They arrived at Hiku-rangi near to Wai-takere (channel of the water) where they visited the tribe called Te-kawe-rau (straps of the nikau (areca sapida) leaves, to carry with) and this tribe of Kawe-rau murdered sixty of them, forty escaped and fled home to Kai-para, and told Ka-wharu of their misfortune, so Ka-wharu made war on the Kawe-rau page (7)on the west coast, and he first attacked the Pa situate at the mouth of the Wai-takere river. This Pa is situate on an island which stands on the sea coast, and stands on the north side of the entrance to that river Wai-takere. And the water that is obtained by the occupants of that Pa is a spring of water which bubbles up on the top of the island Pa, this Pa he took, and then Ka-wharu went and laid siege to the Pa which was at the mouth of the Wai-takere, where the Pa stood was all bay, and the Pa was built on totara posts which were stuck up in the bay, and on a stage made on these posts the occupants built houses, protecting these with a fence made on the outside of the stage all around the Pa, encircling it all in one, but the war party of Ka-wharu swam to it in the night and in the dark made the attack, they took this Pa and killed all the occupants, and then Ka-wharu and his war party went to attack the Pa at the Ana-whata (cave of the ladder) and the day the attack was made on this, Ka-wharu and his war party took two Pa's, and he killed every one of the Kawe-rau he could take, and continued his pursuit of them even up to the mouth of the Manuka, where he rushed or attacked a Pa which had been built on the branches of a growing kauri (damara australis) tree, which stood on the bank of the creek coming in from the Piha beach, the head of which runs towards to the head of the Ana-whata creek when he and his war party had taken this Pa, they went and attacked the Pa on the island which stands on the sea beach of the Piha (small kumara, or kumara collected after the main crop had been gathered into store houses) and the name of this Pa was Piha. When this was taken they went and attacked the Pa in the Karekare district, this was taken, and they went on and attacked the Pa situate on the Para-tutae on the north head at the mouth of the Manuka river. This was the last Pa they attacked at that time, and they went back to Kai-para page (8)as they had obtained ample revenge for the murders committed on his people.

He and his people did not stay long idle, but went on a war expedition on the other side of Kai-para to Te-wai-herunga (the water where the head was counted). When they had got to the place, Ka-wharu went out in the scrub to call to the chief of the Pa called Te-huhunu (double canoe). And Ka-wharu called to him, but he called by making a whistling sound by inserting his forefinger into his mouth, being doubled, he placed it on the end of his tongue and made the whistle which is called koro-whiti which whistle is often used in times of war by some in an attacking party, to convey an intimation of a war party, and that those to whom such warning is given, for them to hide or escape, Ka-wharu made a koro-whiti noise, and by it conveyed these words:

Who am I? Who?

Te-huhunu answered by saying:

It is you, who so much is heard in the past.

The people of the Pa knew that this was Ka-wharu, the warrior whose fame had been heard by all tribes.

Soon after this, or on the following day Ka-wharu went to that Pa to see his sister who was the wife of one of the men of that Pa, thinking that the people of the Pa would not attempt to murder him. As soon as he had entered the Pa, all the people there collected to look at him, and to rub noses with him and his companions, as so soon as this ceremony was performed, he was attacked by those of the Pa, Ka-wharu fled, and the gates of the Pa were shut, so he jumped over the fence of the Pa, and he had jumped over two or three fences, when he was overtaken and killed, having killed him, the occupants of the Pa went out of their Pa to attack the war party of Ka-wharu, as they had killed the great warrior of the enemy page (9)but the war party of Ka-wharu withdrew, and they were pursued by those of the Pa, so the nephews of Ka-wharu said that they might as well flee and let those of the Pa follow them, so the nephews of Ka-wharu fled so that they might entice the people of the Pa to follow them to a great distance so that the people of the Pa said Ka-wharu's people were fleeing in dread, so the people of the Pa bowed their head, and held their ears down and pursued the war party of Ka-wharu.

The people of the Pa ran in pursuit, and the people of Ka-wharu fled as in fear, thus they ran till the people of the Pa had gained on the people of Ka-wharu, and were now near to them, and some of the Ka-wharu people said "Let us turn and charge" but others said "Not yet, till we can see the sea near our home," so the people of the Pa followed on in pursuit till they were close to the people of Ka-wharu, then the nephews of Ka-wharu turned and charged the pursuing army, so all the nephews turned and slew the people who had murdered Ka-wharu. Now those of the Pa fled back towards the Pa pursued by the people of Ka-wharu who killed the people of the Pa as they fled before them, and as those of the Pa entered their own Pa, the people of Ka-wharu entered with them, and took the Pa, so that those of the Pa not only were beaten in open battle, but their Pa was also taken on the same day. And all this took place to avenge the murder of Ka-wharu and all the Kai-para district was taken, and the people killed for the murder.

Soon after this battle, the Kawe-rau attacked the Nga-ti-whatua, on the sea beach of Rangatira (chief) to avenge their defeat at Piha and Wai-takere and Huka-raerae (foam of the promontory) was killed. This battle was avenged by Hau-moe-wa-rangi (sleeping wind in the space of heaven) who killed Tawhia (food) so the Nga-ti-whatua killed as many as they could of this tribe the Kawe-rau, but up to this time the Nga-ti-whatua had not obtained possession of the whole of the Kai-para district, but the Nga-ti-whatua under Hau-moe-wa-rangi was only page (10)fighting with the people, as he was a brave man in war.

Not long after this, the Nga-ti-whatua lived in quiet, but Hau-moe-wa-rangi, wished for some food which might be obtained at the island of Te-kawau (big black shag) and he went to obtain the food, and the people who had murdered Ka-wharu saw him (Hau-moe-wa-rangi) and as they had observed that he was a great warrior, they murdered him, so he of my ancestors was the second that this people had murdered. Tumu-pakihi (head land where fern root is dug) was set apart to prepare himself to be a leader of the people to avenge the murder not only of Hau-moe-wa-rangi but of Ka-wharu also.

After some time Tumu-pakihi sent his wife to Tangi-hua (cry for preserved birds) to go and borrow the two canoes from his grandson Maiki (pet child) that he might use these two canoes in obtaining revenge for the murder of Ka-wharu and Hau-moe-wa-rangi, and also to take possession of the land and also the sea (rivers) of Kai-para.

Maiki lent the two canoes, and sent them to Tumu-pakihi, these were called the first Te-potae-o-wahie-roa (the cap of Wahie-roa (long firewood), name of ancient ancestor see Vol I page 67) and the name of the other canoe was called Wharau (booth).

The canoe called Te-potae-o-wahie-roa was given in charge of Te-ati-kura (the red phacton subricauda bird) and Pou-ta-puaka (stick to beat the dead scrub) and the canoe the Wharau was commanded by Tumu-pakihi, and these canoes were manned and Te-wharau was taken up the Kai-para river, where the crew killed all the people they could find up to the head of the Wai-te-mata (creek of the obsidian) and Tumu-pakihi took possession of all this district for his people. Te-ati-kura and Pou-ta-puaka, went in their canoe west to the west part of the Kai-para district, to kill the people there, and to divide the land amongst their people the Nga-ti-whatua, and one of the chiefs of the page (11)war party of Pou-ta-puaka was the swiftest travellers to make boundaries to cut the land into blocks, and he came to Te-taupaki (apron of a female) where he met with Te-au-o-te-whenua (king of the land) who had also come there to mark the boundaries of some land for himself, he said to Pou-ta-puaka "Where are you going?"

Who said "I am going to Hiku-rangi, to see the namesake of my ancestor."

Te-au-o-te-whenua said "No, you must go back from this." And they disputed, and Pou-ta-puaka took his hoe-roa (a weapon of war made of whale bone, about 5 feet long, and about3 inches round) and with it dug a pit at Taupaki, and into this he stuck up his hoe-roa, which should be the dividing boundary of the land owned by the Kai-para people, and this was the act by which we the Nga-ti-whatua tribe took possession of the Kai-para district, and we took up our abode in Kai-para, as we had killed and overcome all the original owners of this district. The descendants of those men was Matangi (light wind) who took Tai-hua (flood tide) and had Waru (cut the hair) and the descendants of these men are the Nga-ti-whatua people, and this is the proverb of the descendants of Tutaki (meet):

"Tutaki's is the basket of Toheroa (a large shellfish found in the sand of the sea shore) not divided."

We will now relate other acts of that tribe (the tribe who murdered Ka-wharu). Te-raraku (the scratch) wished to murder some of the Nga-ti-whatua tribe, so he sent his ngakau (a gift, the purpose of which is that the receiver of the gift, must do as the gift maker requires) to Kiwi (the apteryx) the head chief of the Tamaki district. Kiwi meditated over the matter and took action, in attacking the Pa at Te-wai-tuoro (noise of the water) which he approached in a deceitful manner. He went to that Pa with the feigned appearance of going in the act of weeping regret on the death of Tumu-page (12)pakihi, and the Nga-ti-whatua were not on their guard, as they thought that Kiwi and his party really went there to weep for the death of Te-tumu-pakihi, and hence the Nga-ti-whatua were taken unawares, when the Wai-o-hua under Kiwi, rose and attacked them. So the people of the Pa at Te-wai-tuoro were killed by Kiwi and his people, and two hundred of them were killed. This was an act of murder on the part of Kiwi.

Of the principal chiefs of the Nga-ti-whatua killed in this murder were Tapuwae (foot mark), Maihamo (back of the head), Tu-ka-riri (god of war will be angry) and the head chiefs who escaped were Waha-akiaki (mouth that urges on, again and again) and Tupe-riri (deprive the power of war, of it's evil by ceremonies and incantations) who fled to the Pa at Makiri (false) which was a Pa occupied by the Nga-ti-whatua people, and only sixty of the Nga-ti-whatua people escaped from this murder.

This sixty waited for some time, and lived in quiet, but not long after this event, they again collected, and met as one party, to seek for revenge for the death of Tapuwae and his friends. This sixty formed themselves into a troop for war, and went in the direction of Tamaki and attacked the Pa's in that district, and the first Pa they attacked was called Tau-rere (fleeing beloved) which was taken, and the head chief Taha-ponga (side of the cyathea dealbata or medullara) head chief of the Wai-o-hua (water or gourd in which water is kept of Hua) was killed. And all the tribes of the Tamaki district rose in a body to take for revenge for the death of those of their people who had been killed by the Nga-ti-whatua at Tau-rere. So the sixty of Nga-ti-whatua went back to Kai-para (eat the marattia salicina fern bulb) and the thousands of the Wai-o-hua who had assembled for battle followed them into Kai-para, where they killed of the Nga-ti-whatua, Huru page (13)(dog skin mat), Kaura (break or chop off in a rough way) and Pani (orphan) and then returned to their own land.

Thus the origin or reason of our taking the Tamaki district took place, and the cause of our its whakatauki.

The Nga-ti-wahatua lived in quiet for some time, and then a war party went forth to seek for payment for the death of Kaura and his companions. This war party was commanded by Waha-akiaki and Te-wai-taheke (the descending water or waterfall) and they went to Manuka (fret) to that portion of Te-wai-o-hua tribe who live on the shores of the sea. They crossed from the north to the south head of the Manuka river and attacked the Pa called Tara-taua (spirit or dark of a war party) and they took it, though there were two thousand (about) in it, whom they killed, and they stayed there two days, and then went back to Kai-para (by way of the west coast by Wai-takere).

When Kiwi knew (heard of) how few the war party of the Nga-ti-whatua under Waha-akiaki was composed, he sent messages to all the Pa's in the Tamaki district occupied by Te-wai-o-hua, with the orders that they were to go and kill the men of the war party of Nga-ti-whatua.

The Pa's of Te-wai-o-hua to which Kiwi sent his message were Maunga-kiekie (mountain of the freycinetia banksii, One Tree Hill, or Totara-i-a-hua (totara tree with Hua)), Remu-wera (lower hem of the garment burnt), Mahu or O-mahu (wound healed), Maunga-whau (hill of the entelea arborescens, Mount Eden), Puke-tapapa (flat hill, or hill that lies flat), Wai-raka or O-wai-raka (sacred water, Mount Albert), Mokoia (tattoo (him)), O-tahuhu (roof of a house), Mangere (a certain star), Puke-tutu (hill of the juice of the coriaria ruscifolia), Moerangi (a certain star), Ihu-matao (cold nose), Manu-rewa (find floating in the air) and Matuku-rua (two bitterns) and many other of the Pa's of that district, which were occupied by Te-wai-o-hua (the drinking bowl or gourd of Hua).

page (14)

The people of the Wai-o-hua, collected in a body, and pursued the Nga-ti-whatua under the leadership of Waha-akiaki. When Waha-akiaki and his troop of men saw that they were being pursued by the Wai-o-hua, Waha-akiaki said to his younger relatives "Let us go on, and leave a body of our men to entice the enemy to follow us on." So they went on, and a party enticed the enemy on, and when the Wai-o-hua saw the Nga-ti-whatua flee before them, they pursued them with more rigour. On the Nga-ti-whatua fled, and the Wai-o-hua hotly followed till the Wai-o-hua had got near to the vanguard of the Uri-o-hua then the younger relatives of Waha-akiaki proposed to him that they should turn and give battle, but Te-waha-akiaki and also Te-wai-taheke said "Wait till we see the Wai-te-mata river, then we will turn and charge on them." This was said by these two chiefs by way of proverb, to encourage their people, and make them all equally brave.

This war party of Nga-ti-whatua had with them one indication of war, which was in the possession of Te-waha-akiaki which was a calabash (gourd) of oil, this he never allowed out of his presence. On he and his party fled, and the Uri-o-hua pursued them, and when the Uri-o-hua got close to the Nga-ti-whatua, the Nga-ti-whatua turned on them and Waha-akiaki put his gourd of oil down, and he lifted his weapon to kill the first slain, and he killed two men, one with the blow of his weapon given with a righted blow and a second with a blow of his weapon given with his left hand, and the Wai-o-hua fled before him and his people, and the Nga-ti-whatua slew them as they pursued and overtook them as they fled even down to the tide flat at Paru-roa (big muddy creek) where Kiwi was captured, and the chief of the Nga-ti-whatua called Te-wai-taheke, out ran his comrades in pursuing the fleeing enemy, and he overtook the Wai-o-hua on the beach, embarking in a canoe to escape, so he page (15)lounged his whale bone weapon (paraoa) against the canoe, which was afloat in the, which stuck in the canoe, and he pulled the canoe towards the shore, there were some men in the canoe who were killed by the Nga-ti-whatua, and on that day were killed three thousand of the Wai-o-hua, and Kiwi, the chief of the Wai-o-hua was killed in this battle.