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

Chapter III

page (26A)

Chapter III

Then fly o sun, descending now
But wait, and I will go with thee
O let me weep, and bid farewell
To friend for ever even now
O hand that ever did protection give
And even kept so close to me
In spirit now I feel thee near
But o how far away am I
Now parted, diverted, kept from thee
And lost in daily love and grief,
Nor can I stifle all my love
Through Tama-tea light a fire
Within my home, and speak of
Youth, and tell me I am youthful still
But I feel not the slightest glow
Of youth upon me now
I now am but a dried up skeleton
But not the least decay in love
For you, now flight on my affection come.

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Paikea of Kai-para is the direct descendant of Hau-moe-wa-rangi (see page ___)and hence this song for peace and good, and also this account of the gods of the seasons, called E-piri and Whakaahu, in honour of Paikea.


Song For Peace
Here my valuable property is
Kept in my ………. of valuables
And fondly on my pillow kept
To aid me in my earnest act
And help me to exhume, and bind
The ocean-fish (the ………. son) of Tanga-roa
He on his shoulder carries now
The axe, the story bird?
The axe of Puku-nui god
And like a nursling child
Doeth whine his sorrow to
To the sea of Whare-ngarara-ihu-mata god,
And you o Ware-ihu and Ihu-mata
The din of noise of pebbly stones
Shall wake you up with open face
And Ariari-nui with Ari-roa
And Tiki-rau-maewa shall
Stretch forth their arm behind
The war canoe, to hold her back
And mat of peace, extended
Then shall be stretched out
And colour of quiet these shall
Rest and brood on all around
Chip clean each part
Chip the weeds off from above
And from below, and from beyond
And from outside
And from the land dip precipice
Which descends to the moon?
And doeth freeze, speak evil of
And feast given, a calm is now.

This was an incantation chanted for peace, and that all the people may know, or understand the meaning of its words, and we think that all the tribes of Ao-tea-roa are still resting on the policy of their ancestors and through the prowess of Oi-piri (shout as one voice) and Te-riri-o-te-po (the anger of darkness) are strong with that of their assistants.

Now listen to the account of the policy of the descendants of a certain man and his wife who was called Ao (day) as father, and Po (darkness) as mother and they had two daughters, who were born at the place called Takiwa, that is the Rangi (space, sky).

Oi-piri knew the thoughts of Po (night) but Whakaahu followed the thoughts of Ao (light, day). The parents knew of this, and the father let his servants go to Whakaahu and the servants of the mother were allowed to go to Oi-piri.

Oi-piri was the female of great power and influence, rich, had land and estates, had tribes of people, and she had all the tribes of this earth at her command, and he had possession of all things on this earth, her refugees, that is her workmen had these names: Rangatira (chief), Tohetohe (uvula), Hao (enclose), Ru-te-uaua (sinews shut in with a screen) and Rita (spirit) and great was or is the power of these workmen to utter the wishes of this woman Oi-piri and these workmen have this proverb which they utter:

"You go to another sea,
And hold to the tide of Tu (war)
Then (comes) weariness and gales."

and here is another or their proverbs:

"Stand up
Hard and dry."

and these proverbs are repeated for Oi-piri and her attendants.

Whakawha is a poor woman, has no property, no land, no tribes in these islands (of New Zealand) and her workmen are called by these names: Arero (tongue) and Mau-kiri-ngutu (held by the skin of the mouth) and they live at the place called Pati-arero (flatter with the tongue) and their tribe is called Nga-ti-take-kore (descendants of the no origin) and this is their proverb:

"Hold to the tide of sit-still
And obtain, the grub, decay and shame."

and they also utter this proverb to their lord, to Whakaahu:

"Sit down
And let warmth come."

Now the workmen of these two women contest with each other, and quarrel in Takiwa (space) and in Rangi (heaven) for their spot of earth, and they give contest each to the other, and they wrestle with each other, but may be not one of them will gain the victory so that the thoughts of Po (night) may be known with those of his daughter Oi-piri, and her workmen.

The meaning of this god the Po, is Po-uriuri-kerekere (darkness of intensity) and Po-tangotango (superlative darkness) and out of these Oi-piri grew and she had Rehua (multitude) who is the great star of the heavens (star that rules in summer).

The meaning of this name Oi-piri is Oi-piri-whea or Taku-rua-huka-nui (winter of great frost) and her work is to bring huka-rere (snow) and she is equal or like to Whiro (god of theft) or as he is sometimes called Wiro, and her refugees are like these of Whiro (the thief) and hence also her power is like that of Whiro.

Now Whakaahu the other wife of Rehua, came of or had her origin from Ao (the world) and the meaning of this name Whakaahu is Te-ao-marama (the world of light), that is Marama-kehokeho (supreme light).

Another meaning of this name Whakaahu is Hiringa-ki-te-mahi (assiduous to work), that is Rau-mati (summer) and the meaning of the names of her workmen: Te-arero (the tongue) and Mau-kiri-ngutu (hold to the skin of the mouth) are: Te-arero is the knowledge gained of the tongue, only, and by the mouth alone (not that which is gained by manual labour) and hence the name given to the Pa in which these two live is Pati-arero (flattered of the tongue) and is the flattering and it's knowledge gained by the tongue alone.

The name of the tribe of these two is Nga-ti-take-kore (descendants of the foundationless) and is given to them on account of their want of knowledge, and hence the origin of the spoken on account of these two women, which is this and it says:

"One man at Hawa-iki
Is Whakatau alone."

and as Whakatau was a women, she is likened to Oi-piri-whea, and another proverb is this:

"One man at Ao-tea-roa (New Zealand)
Is Tama-ua-whiti (man of the braced up sinews)."

That is Tama-nui-te-ra (son of the great sun) who is equal in power to Whakaahu, who is also called Hiringa (assiduous), that is the assiduous acts of the heart to gain knowledge, and strength, and to cultivate food for the body, and to seek and obtain the great things of this world, which is the fountain of knowledge.

Paikea (of Kai-para) is descended from Pokopoko-whiti-te-ra (extinguished, yet the sun shines again) and hence this song is sung:

They walk, but merely walk
For tis the foot of Tama-te-kapua
O do not look, but turn
And scarcely see, and do not
Swing on the swing, oh me

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How oft repeated, comes
The southerly blast, that
Gnaws the heart to death
And leaves a vacant space
Within my chest, from Tonga-riro
And sleeps with me, o it is
The din of war party of
Te-ara-kau-ra, and I
Was all enclosed, that I
Might be held on rank,
But here is now all flat
By you o Ta ………. god of war.
And now is beheld the way
By sea of Roto-rua lake
And dark as night to me
Upon my soul is Tawa-tawhiti
And am in act of dividing
The crop of kumara with
Paikea-huru-kuri (a dog skin mat)
Which like great heap of
Sand ochre of the fruits
Will bring the warmth of peace, o me
I now at Tamaki am o me

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Words Sung to a Haka, By a War Party

This song was composed by Te-tahuri (the turned sound) for Awarua (ditch) her father, who was killed by witchcraft by the Wai-kato people:

O people, o people, weep
O Te-tawa, O Te-tawa weep
Weep and what? The feeling god
Nor hidden is that which
Is now shut in and sleeps
As on the bed of Moe-para-kuri
Nor can the hatred be avenged
But turn he on his own
And takes revenge, I will not weep
But with one eye, look up
And faces make, while staring at the sky

This song was composed and sung by Te-tahuri, to invite her tribe Te-tao-u (spear stuck secure) to avenge the death of her father, who had been bewitched by a chief of the Wai-kato people.

Awa-rua (her father) had procured some tawa (nosodaphene tawa) wood and was making and carving a paddle of it, he became hungry and called for food, which was given to him, consisting of pipi (cockles) and pohue (convolvulus) roots in a basket, and he was seen by a chief of Wai-kato of the Nga-ti-teata, descendants of Te-ata-i-rihia eating this, this chief bewitched him, because his own daughter had been killed and eaten, so in revenge he bewitched old Awa-rua in revenge for his daughter. Awa-rua ceased to eat the food, turned round with his back to the food, fell on his face and died.

The people of Awa-rua, the Tao-u collected their forces, and go from Wai-te-mata (water of the obsidian) to the tongue of land that stretches north from Wai-uku towards the Manu-kau heads to a placed called Te-aio-tini (the peace of long endurance) where they attacked the sub-tribe page (33)of Wai-kato called Nga-te-teata and killed many and beat them. In this battle the grandfather of Awa-rahi Te Katipa, of the Nga-ti-teata, having broken his spear tao, struck his opponent one of the Tao-u on the temple with his fist, the blow was so heavy that the fist broke the skull of the man struck at, and the striker had to draw his fist out from between the broken bone, this so lacerated his hand that he lost the use of it for that time.

Awa-rua was making a paddle and carving it of the Tawa wood, and to keep the ………. of his having been bewitched by Wai-kato, Te-kawau a chief of the Nga-ti-whatua, of Kai-para, descended from a female of the Wai-kato tribe was called Te-tawa, and it is to Te-kawau-te-tawa to whom Te-tahuri addresses the poem she chants for the death of her father, but it is intended for the tribe of Te-kawau called Te-tao-u, so that their feelings might be excited to war-like action, and induce the tribe to take immediate steps to avenge her father's death.

The allusion to the name of the slave Te-moenga-paru-kuri (bed of dog dirt) who was of the lowest grade of slave was intended to convey her utter contempt of so cowardly a tribe, who had resorted to witchcraft to kill a warrior as her father was, whom they feared to meet in fair fight, her feelings of rage were greater than her sorrow, and instead of gazing mournfully on the corpses of her parent, she would turn her eyes to the heavens to watch the clouds which were approaching from the direction in which the village of Nga-ti-teata was who had killed her father.

Paru-kuri was a slave but he had killed a man who had not any weapon to defend himself and those who had killed her father were cowards greater than Paru-kuri.

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The Deeds of Tama-kaea and Tama-kou

These two men Tama-kaea (wandering son) and Tama-kou (son of the good) lived at Kaeaea, not far from Wai-uku (water of the day used as soap). Tama-kaea was the elder brother and Tama-kou the younger. Tama-kaea was a fine looking fellow, and of a fine appearance, and stately gait, but he was a very lazy fellow indeed. Tama-kou was rather a mean looking fellow, and had nothing in his appearance to recommend him, but he was an industrious fellow, and he kept his store houses ever full with kumara (sweet potato, the ipomoea batatas) and there was not any time of scarcity of food at his home, and all there had plenty of food summer and winter.

There came a time when a party left the home of Tama-kaea to go to Whainga-roa (long battle) but Tama-kaea did not go with them, as this party consisted of young people, who took this journey to see their relations, and to see the district, and also to amuse themselves with what young people like, viz: haka (grimace with words and song) and kanikani (noise like dancing and with words of a song) and to see the young people of the tribes of that district.

When they had arrived at Whainga-roa, they saw a female called Hau-kotara (a war dance) who was a young woman, but she was better looking than all the other women, and when these young people had seen all that could be seen in that district, and when they had become tired of staying there, they came back to their home near to Wai-uku, and told Tama-kaea of the good looking woman they had seen called Hau-kotara. Now Tama-kaea had a pet tame bird, which was a female and was a karoro (sea-gull).

Tama-kaea meditated long, and at last determined to act, and he went to a priest of his own people the Nga-ti-teata, and he said to the priest "Chant your page (35)incantations over my bird, so that it may fly to Karioi (fruitful spear) and take with it my hei (ornament from the neck) so that the thoughts of the woman Hau-kotara may be favourable towards me."

The priest answered him and said "As you ask, so it shall be done, but let your kindness to me be great, I have but little land in which to cultivate at Titi (mutton bird) and at Kaeaea (sparrow hawk) but you can enlarge it."

Tama-kaea said "Let me think over the matter. The time is long for you an old man."

But the priest again said "Well then, let me have your hei (necklace)."

So Tama-kaea took the hei which he had suspended to his breast, and gave it to the priest. This hei was made of the plaited karetu (hierochloe redolens group) and was made like a ball and filled with piripiri (acaena sanguisorbae) and all the sweet scented herbs and sweet scented gums of the trees the Maori use to scent oil.

The priest took the hei and left the settlement and went into the scrub, and then took off all his clothing, and sat down near to a creek, and looked towards the east, and he broke a stick, on which to suspend the hei in the creek, and he stuck the stick up in the middle of the creek and tied the hei to the top of it, he then stood up in the creek and extended his arms towards the east, and rose his voice and chanted:

Here is the whip
Here is the beater
Here is the joiner
Join us two o hear
The riddle of Hurihuri (turn over)
The riddle of Taitai (explain)
The riddle of Tanga-roa (god of the sea)
Wipe your teeth

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Sharpen your teeth
And if you be deceitful
And cause your self
To be like the tribe of Tanga-roa (fish)
Then O Kahu-kura (rainbow)
Out on yonder sea, a
Now hearken to
Yours and mine property
Which is being taken by Whiro (god of theft)
And by Kepa
And by Wha-tino
And by Wha-rona
And by Rangi-roa, a
And by Rere-hau, a
And by Rere-pau, e
The men thieves
Who came from the
Other side of the sea e
Beat them, thrash them
And throw them up
On o the tree
As the fish (corpses)
Of Te-whiu (the beaten)
As the fish (corpses)
Of Te-ta (thrashed)
As the fish(corpses)
Of Te-rongo-mai-whiti
(God of produce who
Came over the sea)
And up to the south
Now o aged woman
The knee-joints of
Your father have
Been taken

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And ye o aged
The rays of disgust
From the home
Are now put
Up as a shed
(Like a house top)
And he was the parent
Who fished up this land
Which now tis home
And so is uplifted
And rises Hiku-rangi
Above all
O aged

When he had chanted his incantation, he took the hei from off the stick, and took it to Tama-kaea and Tama-kaea caught his tame sea-gull, and the priest went and tied the hei to the neck of the bird, and he gave the bird to Tama-kaea to hold, and the priest stood up and with his right arm outstretched, with a finger of the right hand he pointed at the bird, and he again chanted another chant, to cause the bird to fly to Whainga-roa, and that it might find the female called Hau-kotara. He lifted up his voice and chanted:

There is my wand
There is my wand
Let it go straight
Let it go straight
Let it go straight
To Hau-kotara
And if you find
Her sleeping awake her
Or pluck her chest
Go straight, go very straight
And lift her eyes up

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That she may awake from sleep
Or cause her to
Double her feet up
Or lift her head up
There, now, go
Straight to her chest

When the priest had chanted all the words of this incantation, and Tama-kaea still holding the bird, the priest then called to Tama-kaea and said "Let the bird go." So he let it go, and it flew away towards the south, and flew until it got to the mountain Karioi (loiter) and this bird found the woman called Hau-kotara weeding the kumara crop, it flew till it was above her and let the hei drop from it's neck down in front of her, she saw the hei (necklace) and took it and tied it on her neck, and as the hei had been enchanted, so as she put it on her neck as a necklace, she fell in love at once with the owner of the hei.

Soon after this she began to be disquieted with her home, and felt a wish to travel, so on a certain day she left her home, and went on to the sea beach of the west coast, and travelled along the beach towards the north till she crossed the head of the Wai-kato (nipping water) river, and on till she arrived at Kaeaea (sparrow hawk) where she saw Tama-kaea, and became his wife.

She lived at Kaeaea, and on a certain day she went with the young women of the settlement to pluck the kakaho (arundo conspicua) bloom of which to make head dresses to shade the head in the heat of the day, which is a custom of the young females, to make them look flaunty in the summer. This assembly of young females became hungry so they went to the settlement of the younger brother of Tama-kaea who was called Tama-kou, where they met the page (39)mother and sister of Tama-kaea, who at once gave orders to their dependants to cook food for this bevy of young women. Hau-kotara took note of the manner in which the dependents took the cooked kumara out of the umu's (ovens) and she saw that the food of the centre of the umu only were taken out, and the food at the sides (or all around) the oven were left in the oven, so she thought that such acts as this, were acts of waste of good food, and when she had partaken of the repast, she went to see the food stores of Tama-kou, and she saw that these food stores were filled with kumara, but the food stores of her husband Tama-kaea were filled with the roots of panahi (convulvulus) so she asked the sister of Tama-kaea and said "Where is your brother Tama-kou?"

That was answered by the mother of Tama-kou by saying "He is not a man with notice, his garments are all dirt and dust, why ask about so dirty a man?" So Hau-kotara asked one of the dependents of the place to go and bring Tama-kou, that she might see him. The dependents went and delivered this message and Tama-kou called for one of his slaves to go and fetch some uku (white clay used as soap). Now the huia of his head had become matted by his neglect to comb it. He washed and clothed himself with his best garments and he went to see Hau-kotara, and while at a distance he was seen by her, and she fell in love with him at first sight. After a while the companies of Hau-kotara proposed that they should return to the home of Tama-kaea but Hau-kotara refused to go with them and said "I have a liking for Tama-kou, and he shall be my husband, and I will stay with him." So she lived with Tama-kou.

So soon as the young women returned to Tama-kaea they told him what his wife had said to them, which made page (40)Tama-kaea very angry, and he went to the settlement in which lived the first born of Tama-kou and killed him, and soon after this he went to the place where the second son of Tama-kou lived and killed him also, but his anger still raged against his younger brother Tama-kou, and against his wife who had deserted him.

He collected a war party consisting of two hundred warriors, and with this party he went to kill Tama-kou and Hau-kotara, but Tama-kou and his men of one hundred and seventy met them in battle array the forces met and joined battle, and the two brothers, Tama-kaea and Tama-kou met, and Tama-kaea was speared by his brother and killed and the troop of Tama-kaea fled before the troop of Tama-kou, and those of Tama-kaea went to a place called Wai-au (water of the stream or current), at the east side of the entrance to the Wai-uku river, and some time after this they went up the Wai-kato river to arrange the death of Tama-kaea, where they caught a boy, and brought back Wai-au, and tied him to a post, who after three days called to his father and mother to bring him some water to quench his thirst. Some Wai-kato people heard the boy call for water, and went to Wai-kato and gave an account of all they had seen and heard, and a war party at once collected to avenge the death of the boy. This party came over land by way of Manga-tawhiri (branch of tawhiri tree), Te-maro-o-hine-wai (the apron of Hine-wai (daughter of water)), O-paheke (slippery) and on their way attacked, took and killed everyone in the Pa's they possessed. They came on to Wai-tete (water of the canoe of a plain figure head) which is up the Wai-uku river, which they surrounded, and on the horror, those who had murdered the boy left the Pa and asked the war party if any of their relatives were in the war party, these were saved by their relatives in the war party page (41)thought they had murdered the boy, but the rest of the people in the Pa were taken and all killed.

The descendants of Tama-kaea, led the war party to Wai-uku, and gave them possession of the district called Te-whakaupoko (head) and Pae-tawa (ridge of hill of tawa trees).

The descendants of Tama-kaea now reside with the Nga-ti-tipa, with Arama-Karaka and his people, and the descendants of Tama-kou are now the Nga-ti-teata tribe with Awa-rahi Te-Katipa, and these are the people to whom the song of Te-tahuri refers, and it was in the battle which this song caused that the ancestor of Awa-rahi Te-Katipa hurt his fist, in the battle at the Aio-tini, the account of which has been already given.