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Revenge: A Love Tale of the Mount Eden Tribe

Chapter Five: The Story Told by Maro's Mother

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Chapter Five: The Story Told by Maro's Mother

The people of the various pa assemble for the pakuha and the speeches begin. Kapu's widow's cap causes consternation to an old chief, Rahi promises to marry Kapu, but she will not consent unless he assents to the marriage of Mihi and Niho. The oldest woman of Mount Eden, Te Manu o te Ata, denounces Rahi, and insists on the marriage of the young people.

The day dawned and the people were soon stirring. The young folk were all life and animation, while the old people came out into the verandahs of the houses and looked at the bustle and movement as the food was prepared for the feast.

All the best and fattest dogs were killed and dressed, all the dried shark and mussels were brought to the pa and given to those chiefs who were to order the arrangement of the piles of food for the different hapu. Hither and thither ran the girls and women taking the various good things to the marae, where they were placed in heaps. The smoke that rose from the hangi blotted out the sun.

Mihi had come and gone. No one except Mapu, Popo, and one or two others knew how she had come to the pa, nor where she had stayed, nor could they guess where she was at this time with the sacred hei in her ear. Tata had not said when the young chief from the north had returned to his own land, nor durst page 101Black and white fascimile page image anyone ask, as to make inquiries about a chief is in most instances prompted by desire for revenge for ancient deeds of wrong. The house of Tata was sacred, as are all the houses and marae of priests, so that no one could tell whether the young chief was still there.

As the meeting had dispersed the previous night, Tata had sent a special messenger to the neighbouring pa with these words: On the morrow come and see what will be said and done at Maunga-whau. One young man had crossed over to Takapuna, another to Mangere, to Ihu-matao, to Manurewa and Matuku-rua. They had crossed in small canoes, and had Amused themselves and beguiled the loneliness of the solitary trip in the moonlight by singing extempore songs to the rhythm of their paddle strokes, thus affording the young people of the pa as they approached in insight into their mission.

The smoke of the hangi had given place to the steam that was caused by sprinkling the hot stones with water to wash any particles of soot that might have adhered to them. The ovens were covered over just as the canoes could be seen putting off from the shore at Takapuna. Eventually they landed on the Waipapa beach and came up the ridge that leads from Wai-ariki and down by the great spring where Tata had taken the water to make his friend noa 1 when he had been to the tuahu with the mats given for the recovery of Popo.

They came up the spur that leads by Tata's house to where we now sit. They had scarcely arrived when the people of Mangere and the Ihu-matao could be seen crossing in their canoes to Onehunga. At the page 102Black and white fascimile page image same time the people of Totara-i-ahua, Remu-wera, Papanga-te-uira, Tikopuke and the adjoining pa could be seen coming out of the gates. In long lines they descended the hills, on which the pa were built, and in long, winding lines they came out on to the main road that leads to Otahuhu.

Soon they met the Mangere and Ihu-matao people, and, as they met, they danced a haka. The noise they made with the thud of their feet on the ground made us feel that our tribe was indeed a great body of warriors. The young folk of this pa became so excited at the sight that they ran to the foot of the outermost fence of the pa on the east, overlooking the advancing people, and joined in a war-dance. Ah, then could be seen the daring and agility of many of our future great men and warriors. As our young people chanted the words of the hari 2 the visitors stood still. When the dancing was over they gave a shout of applause, which could be heard all over the country.

As each party arrived they took their places on separate parts of the marae. Usually both visitors and hosts should sit in silence for some time until the old people had exchanged speeches of welcome, when each and all could do just as they wished without breaking any of the rules of our ancient etiquette. But on this occasion, as the common people in each party came first, followed by the ordinary imen, with the chiefs last, they all joked and laughed together, and called to acquaintances from other pa. The old chiefs joined in with their deep voices. We all felt proud of them in those days, for the voice of a chief is loud and deep like the voice of the sea when it speaks to the rocks and cliffs. A chief may be known by his full page 103Black and white fascimile page image and commanding voice, as a common man may be known by his shrill, poor tone, like that of a tui when struck by the spear of a bird-killer. Ours was a tribe of chiefs in those days, when our women knew how to make good mats, and when all our men were tattooed. In those days you could not see one mokau 3 face, for all were brave enough to be fully tattooed.4

As this meeting had been called in a hurry, the only question that was asked was, "What is the cause of our being sent for?" Popo and Tahau had not been seen by any of the newcomers, nor could any answer be given to their question. No speeches of welcome were given to our friends, nor could they obtain any clue as to what was to take place in this assembly of warriors.

When the food had been cooked it was placed in a long pile, which extended from the old people's meeting house all along the marae on the south bank close to the inner fence of the pa, and as far as the whare matoro of the young people.

The father of Popo rose when the food had been brought out. He had a long sapling in his hand as he paced up the marae in front of the food. When he had traversed the length of the pile, he stood still and called out, "O all ye people, listen!" With his sapling he struck the first division of the long pile, and called out slowly and distinctly, "This is for the people of Totara-i-ahua." The second division he struck and allotted to the people of another pa. Thus he apportioned the food, each pa receiving its due portion, and when he had distributed everything he sat down with our page 104Black and white fascimile page image people. The men of each pa took the food which had been given to them and, placing it before their people, the feast was eaten. When everyone was satisfied the residue of the food was taken up by its owners and placed in heaps until they should all return home, when it would be carried away again.

While the feast was being eaten there was a constant hum of voices—laughing and joking and asking of questions. Old Rahi was there, but he did not seem to be participating in the general excitement. He appeared to be very observant, but said little.

At the east end of the marae a man came out from the door of the strangers' house. He had an old mat on his shoulder, a fine mat tied round his waist, and a hani 5 in his hand. He came on to the marae and bowed his head for some time, while all eyes were fixed on him. The noise was hushed, for everyone could now see that the meeting had commenced.

The chief was Tahau, the father of Popo. He raised his hand, and without moving, asked, "Who knows what I must say? Why have I been made to stand here and say what others do not like to repeat? Who can know what other people think? I only see what is in my own heart; I cannot say what others think. Let each speak for himself." He walked steadily to where Tihe was and sat down next to her.

An old, bald-headed chief who had come from the Mangere pa came on to the marae, the middle of which was clear. Our own people and the visitors were sitting in groups round it. This old chief had a cap made of the finest flax, which covered his head and hid his want of hair. He was ashamed of his baldness, as were all our ancestors whose hair had fallen out. No one, not even his wife and children, had seen his bald head. In page 105Black and white fascimile page image his right hand he held a mere poimamu, which he waved to and fro as he passed up and down the marae.

"If we are to hear any news," he cried, "if we are to listen to any wrong, why do you not tell it to us? Even the trees speak in a storm, the water talks in a flood, the birds sing in the air, all things speak in their own way. Then why does not man possess the power to say what he thinks? The only time in my life when I could not speak was when I was near the girl I loved. That is all I have to say."

A chief from Otahuhu rose and said, "I will not speak from where I am sitting. The sun has not been warm enough to make its heat go through the hair of my head, so my thoughts will not jump about and leap out over my tongue. If our father who has a warm cap will let me have it for a short time, I will let him hear how I can speak—not only in the presence of those I love, but in the presence also of those to whom I must speak in anger."

Tohi had been sitting near to his father on the previous evening when Popo gave the widow's cap to Rahi. Tohi had kept the cap as something very amusing, for it was the first he had ever handled. It had, of course, been sacred, and had never previously been taken off the widow's head, for such caps are usually allowed to wear away in the course of time after the days of mourning were over. Tohi had kept it as something to look at, and hearing what the Otahuhu chief had said about the cap worn by the bald-headed chief, he jumped up, and in as great a hurry as etiquette would allow, he left the assembly and went to the place where he slept in the strangers' house and tucked the cap under his mat. As he returned he passed across the marae and dropped the cap at the feet of the chief who had just spoken.

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As it was dropped, it was seen by everyone except the bald-headed chief, who at that moment was in the midst of one of his harangues, denouncing the chiefs who had sent for the people to eat, and then had not told them what the feast was given for. As he turned and came back at the conclusion of his speech, he saw the cap. e stopped as though he had been turned to stone, for it was in the very path he had gone over and over in making his speech. Recovering himself, he made a detour round it. His words were frozen, and when he reached the end of the marae and came back, still to his amazement, the head-dress lay there. This time he made a detour to the other side, for he durst not come near it. Thus he passed, sometimes on the right and sometimes on the left of the cap, but not one word did he utter from the time he had first seen it. At last he stood and looked round at the people. The younger folk had their heads in their mats, and some of the very young ones who had only one small mat round their waists hid behind their elders. Some of them could contain themselves no longer, and, fearful of shewing disrespect to their elders in council, they smothered their laughter, and rising from their places, they ran off in fear and shame. When they reached the shelter of the houses, they gave way to unrestrained amusement.

The old chief looked at the cap again, and at the people, but not being able to obtain any clue to its meaning, he said in a strained voice, "O Tohi, is this your cap?"

"No," said Tohi, "it is yours. You asked for a cap to make your thoughts warm to assist you in speaking; put that on your head and you will see what effect it will have." page 107Black and white fascimile page image "I will," said the old chief, but he took up the cap in fear. He could not have been more frightened, even if it had been a lizard.6 With trembling hands he put it on his head. The old man's face was only half tattooed; his moko was full on one side and not marked on the other at all. He was tattooed thus on account of an uto. 7 Only when his enemy was killed would he have the other half of his face tattooed. He put the cap on and the fringe of dog's hair hung down over his old face, making it unnaturally pale by contrast. By this time the young people who had been forced by their laughter to leave the assembly, had returned to their places. The old man walked up and down the marae, and as he went to and fro, all heads turned, following his every step. "O people, you have seen this cap on my head," he said at last, "but to whom does the cap belong? Why was it put before me?"

"You asked for it," Tohi replied.

"No," said the old chief, "I did not."

"Well, you asked for a cap, and that cap belongs to someone in this assembly."

"It does not," said a woman's voice. "It belongs to two people, and it is this cap which has brought us here to talk. It belongs to Rahi." It was Mihi who had spoken, and hearing her, the old chief stuck his spear in the ground and put the cap on it, and went and sat down without another word.

A young man of the Mount Eden pa rose and walked on to the marae and said, "O old man, you need not fear evil—the cap has not been on the head of Rahi. It is not tapu from him, that you should fear now that you have put it on your head. You need not fear any evil." He turned to the old man, with his page 108Black and white fascimile page image arms outstretched. "Why, O father, did you say you would speak great words ? Why do you sit down when you could have told us why you have come here? You come from the pa of Rahi, and Rahi has not answered Tata's question. O father, do not be angry at the words of a child, but hearken to my words."

Before the old man could reply, another old chief who had come from the pa Takapuna rose and gave a hollow cough, as old men alone can do. All eyes were now turned to him as he shook the outer mat from his shoulders and, with a stick which he used as a staff, he walked out on to the marae. He leant on the stick and turned round slowly and looked at the assembly. "It may be good for you young people to conduct yourselves as you do in assembly," he said, "but if those who were boys when I was a boy; if those who were men when I was a man; if your fathers, the chiefs of old, were here, they would not know that you are their children! I do not think that my eyes or my ears can be telling me the truth. Perhaps you were never told how the men of old conducted themselves in a meeting of our people. The children of my day did not do as your children have done this day. The chiefs never called us together till the matter for consideration had all been arranged. You laugh. You interrupt each other. The speakers talk like men who have lost their senses, and all you do is as the work of the untaught. I shall go home to my pa and weep all the days that are left to me, for I am dark in my heart. Ah, that I might have gone with the setting sun before ever I saw this day!" He shook his head sorrowfully and hobbled back to his place.

Reko next rose and, with a beautiful light mat tied round her waist with a karetu belt, and with a fine kiwi mat thrown over her shoulder, and a mere pou- page 109Black and white fascimile page image namu in her hand, stood erect in the middle of the marae and said, "O fathers, the word of our grandfather is true. But we young people are not at fault. We are not the children of slaves. We know what should be done at a meeting of our people. Is not this the great pa of our people ? Is not this the marae where all our fathers have spoken? O grandfather, it is the fault of one of those chiefs of days gone past. Let Rahi speak, and we shall all know what we are called here to listen to. I am not a man or I would tell you what the men have said; but let the men say to you what they have said to us women and then you will all know why you are here."

An old chief of Totara-i-ahua, having paced up and down the marae, said, "The widow's cap has been woven by a woman. A woman will not wear a cap like that unless she is a widow. A widow is not a girl, or she would not have been old enough to wear such a cap. You, O people, have said that the cap I am looking at was given to Rahi. Rahi has no wife now, but widows wear the widow's cap until it is all worn away by being kept on the head. If this cap has been taken from the head of a widow and has been given to Rahi, Rahi must tell us what it is and how it was taken from the widow's head. Speak, O Rahi!"

Everybody looked at Rahi, expecting that he would rise and answer the last speaker. But Rahi neither moved nor gave any sign of having heard the challenge. After waiting for some time, a chief of Taka-puna asked, "Who has the words which will show us why we were called here to meet you? Are we to come and do nothing but eat? We eat to be strong in fight, not to be idle. We have food of our own which we eat in our own pa. We do not ask you for food. You give food to us that we may eat while we speak page 110Black and white fascimile page image for the good of the people." Raising his voice, he said, "Speak, O man who will tell us what we will come here for!"

Tata the priest rose from where he was sitting, and said, "Our child Popo can tell you why you are here, yet it is not he who is the cause of your coming I spoke to our people last night, and now Popo will tell you, even though he is a child. It is Rahi who should have spoken."

Popo rose to his feet. He had an old mat tied round his-waist and a little ngeri 8 round his shoulders. As he went on to the marae he held the branch of a tree, from which he had broken the twigs, in his hand. He was not yet strong after his recent illness, and he spoke with difficulty. "O father, yours are the words of wisdom. I am a child and do not know what is good and what is evil. I have not lived in the days of the past, so I cannot tell from experience whether it is best for men to have a warm garment, a good house, a large cultivation, or to live in peace. You know more about these things than I. O father, I have spoken and am told that my words are the words of a child, and that if I continue to speak I will bring evil to you. My fathers, I am not afraid of you. I have a heart that does not fear death, but I do fear any wrong which our people commit against each other. O father, bear with my words, with the words of a child. I am old enough to love, and I know what pain love gives when it rests with one only. I can see the evil that will come to two of our young people when they love each other if the old people, like the frost in the Spring, nip the love at the tips of its growth, without killing the root. I, who am a child, said that the girl is the daughter of the woman who was angry because all the gurnet fish was page 111Black and white fascimile page image not given to her. O fathers, you know who Niho is, and you know that the daughter of Rahi is loved by Niho. The evil I have done was this—I said Rahi must say that Niho is to take Mihi as his wife. This is my evil. I am told by Rahi that I am a child, and Rahi came here to look at the boy who was so bold as to say this: if I have said more than I ought to have said, O people, say that I am wrong. As I have said my words, let Rahi now speak."

"No," said the old, white-headed and white-bearded chief who had spoken the previous night when Rahi would not answer Tata's question. "No, I must speak before him. Why did not Kapu tell us last night what Rahi had said to her? Why did she keep his words hid in her breast? I came here to tell Popo that he had done wrong in speaking of Mihi as he had, but I did not know till I came here that Rahi had made love to Kapu. O people, Kapu is a widow, and the mother of Popo is the sister of Kapu, therefore Tahau has the right to say who Kapu is to take as husband—that is if he does not take her in accordance with our custom as his second wife. Kapu has no brothers or cousins who might have given their consent to any husband Kapu might select. O people, you can say if Popo, as the ariki 9 of Kapu, has the word 'yes' or the word 'no' for Kapu."

"Yes," said all the people, "Popo is the ariki of Kapu. Let Rahi now speak."

Rahi rose, and said, "I do not speak to you all. I speak to the old men only." As he came on to the marae he looked at Popo and at Mihi, who was sitting near him. "I did speak to Kapu at the great meeting, but as Reko would not allow Tahau to have a second wife, I did not consider it necessary to ask Popo to say page 112Black and white fascimile page image 'yes' to my word to Kapu. I spoke to Kapu, but not to Popo. Why should I speak to a boy? I will take Kapu to my pa and let her be my wife?"

Kapu rose quickly, and said, "I will now speak, O Rahi." She waited until he had sat down. "O father, it is time that Rahi did ask me to be his wife. I have not seen any evil in Rahi and could have said 'yes' to his word, but I heard the word of the people about Mihi and the words of Rahi about Niho. I did not say 'yes' to his word, nor shall I ever say 'yes' unless he says 'yes' to the word of my child Popo. Popo is the child of my sister and I love him because he is good to all our people. If Rahi says 'yes' to Niho and Mihi, I will say 'yes' before you all, O our people, to the word of Rahi. But if Mihi is not to be the wife of Niho, Kapu will not be the wife of Rahi. I love Rahi, but I also love Popo. Though Popo is only a boy, he has spoken good words and great to our people. I will not do anything that is not in accordance with what Popo wishes. Popo has not told me to say what I am saying, but I know that he has a great love for those who feel dark in their hearts on account of the acts of others. I will live a widow and die a widow if Mihi and I are not accepted as wives before all of you people in one day. This is the last word I will say; it is the word of my whole body."

Turning to the cap that had hung on the stick all this time, she put it on her head and said, "I gave this to Popo and he gave it to Rahi. If he wants it back he must take me with it; but Mihi must be the wife of Niho before Rahi can again call this cap his." As Kapu left the marae she looked at Rahi with a look that all could see said more than her words of determination.

For some time all was silent. No one moved or page 113Black and white fascimile page image looked up, but all appeared to feel that there was something coming that might lead to a tribal quarrel.

Now at this meeting there was a very old woman, one who had seen the summers and winters of many years long past, the knowledge of which no one but herself had any conception. She was the oldest woman in all our hapu. She had been a noted beauty in her day, and it is said that more than one young man had killed himself because she would not love him and be his wife. She was not an evil woman, but one who spoke as she thought, and did as she said. She had loved but once, and had but one husband, and when he died she never could be persuaded to marry again. She had been a widow before the oldest of our chiefs Who were at that meeting were born. She was called Te Manu o te Ata, "The Bird of the Morning." This name had been given to her on account of her early rising, for though our people were ever up with the sun, she was never known to be in her hut when the sun rose. She was a great worker, and had the largest kumara, taro and hue 10 plantations, and the finest of mats. Her baptismal name11 was Mihi Rangi, "Wonder at Heaven," and Rahi and his wife had called their daughter after her. This old lady of high degree, who had all the knowledge of our tribe hid in her breast, had a fine mat on her shoulders, and round her body, kept in place by a band of flat plaited flax, was a mat woven with the feathers of the various birds of the forest.

With a steady step she came on to the marae, and said, "Am I to ask anyone if I am allowed to speak?"

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Though her wrinkled brow and her thin, reedy voice spoke of great age, the flash of her eye, and the thin lips with the female tattooing on her chin told of a mind that could command. She looked round at Rahi. "I have been at the meeting all this day. I have eaten of your feast of food, but, O Rahi, I see you are still what you ever were, a greedy man in your words. When you cannot get your own way, you visit the power of your evil heart on others. I was at the meeting last night when you would not tell us why you came here. One of your old chiefs who was a boy long after I had taken my husband Tatota said he came with you to take revenge of Popo for something that Popo had said. He did not! You made him believe this, but you came to get Kapu. Why do you try to deceive those of your own age by such acts? Your name now is Rahi, but you know that your name is Rahi nukarau.12 You were not called this when your name was first given to you; you were called Te ite ra, 'Sit with the sun/ as your grandfather died at sunset. You hid that name, but your second name, nukarau, was given to you by your playmates, as you were the most deceitful boy in the tribe. Do you remember, O Rahi, that beautiful girl who threw herself off a cliff on account of your deceit and your lies about her when she would not have you as her husband? And do you remember the dog you killed, and the blame that fell on the son of a chief? It was not till that young man had died of shame for being so constantly pointed at as the son of a thief that it was known that you had done this evil. Kapu can have you, but none of those who know you as I do would have anything to do with you. O Rahi, why do you hide in your heart your secret revenge towards Niho? Is not Niho a son of that ancestor who made page 115Black and white fascimile page image your father give up the property he had stolen and kept hidden for so many summers? I mean that mere pounamu that was said to have been lost out of the canoe that was upset in the Manuka waters. When your father pretended to find it, all of us knew that his word Was false. Did not Niho's ancestor make your father give it to the proper owner?

"It was you, O Rahi, who wished to find some fault with Niho's mother, and you made Hotu ask for all the gurnet that Niho's mother had caught. Not till she had given all the fish away did Hotu ask for them, when they could not be given. We old people know that this was in revenge for the stolen mere pounamu, that you might have the power of making Niho miserable, for we could all see at that time that Niho and your child loved each other. There is a voice much louder than thine, O Rahi, and more powerful than that of one man, and a voice that must be obeyed. You know the proverb, 'the chief is not a chief who is without a tribe.' As you have not told us what you have to say about Mihi and Niho, you shall not speak now, but the big voice shall say what is to be done and you dare not act against it as there will be none to assist you."

Old Manu waved her right hand and turned to the people. "I ask you all, O people, what is Niho to do? You have heard at this meeting, and at the meeting last night, how Rahi has kept his tongue still, save in insult to Popo, whom he calls a boy. I say, let those who are not afraid speak. I will stand here and tell your word to Rahi and he shall obey you."

All the people said, "Let Niho have Mihi as his wife."

Manu turned again to Rahi. "I will tell you, O Rahi, that Mihi shall not go to your pa with you, but we shall have a feast at this pa, at which all those page 116Black and white fascimile page image young people who are old enough to say whom they will take as husband or wife may speak fully in the presence of all the chiefs. You, O Rahi, can then say whom you will take."

Again old Manu asked, "O people, is that your word, or is it mine alone?"

The people, with a loud voice, shouted, "Oh no, it is your voice that says it, but it is our determination."

"Then let all the tribe be summoned," said Manu. "Blow the pu-tara and let me, before I die, see a meeting of all our tribe. Let me see how beautiful the young women and the young men can look, and how they can tell in a true word what they have to say about each other. Let no one be like old Rahi nukarau. Let none be afraid to say whom they love! I am here and can say if there is any good reason for saying 'no' when it ought to be 'yes' for am I not acquainted with more of the past than any of you? I will listen, and will hear everything that is said."

The meeting broke up, and again Rahi went to the strangers' house. The young people of the different pa amused themselves by playing games, the boys at niti, 13 the girls at poi, 14 and others played at ti rakau, 15

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while the older ones had a haka. The young men made kites of the toetoe-whatumanu, 16 and on the east side of the pa many of them could be seen rising in the air sailing above the pa Remu-wera. Some of them sailed away, dragging the holding-stick at the end of the string through the bushes, and came to the ground at Orakei, at Tamaki, and even further away.

The night was very bright, for the moon was rakannui. 17 Tahau, who was the best blower of the pu-tara, stood on the marae and sent a blast to the east and to the west, to the north and the south. Then he blew a long blast in the face of the slight wind from the west.

Later that night a flame was seen glowing in the Takapuna pa. At times it was stationary, but at others it moved from east to west. Again and again the distant torch was moved in this manner, and it was known that a grandson of Mihi Rangi and some of the Thames people had come there, and would arrive with the rest of the people on the morrow.

At sun-rise the sky was clear. The people of each pa could be seen at intervals coming from their homes. All our young people, together with those who had arrived to partake of the feast (to which the people had been invited by messengers), joined in parties, each lot occupying a different gate of the pa, and waving their garments to the newcomers. When everyone page 118Black and white fascimile page image had arrived and the feast had been eaten, all the food kits were collected by the slaves and common people and put in the wahi tapu. The sub-tribes and families took their seats round the marae, each family sitting apart, and waiting for the chief speaker to say what the meeting was called for, and how it would be conducted. The old woman Manu, or Mihi, which ever you like to call her, rose and stood in the open space on the marae. She had a beautiful, clear green pounamu in her hand; her head was decorated with the huia and white crane feathers. In her ear dangled a very large mako, and on her neck hung an ancient and sacred heir tiki, while on her shoulders was a fine mat made of the white hair of the dog, and round her waist, reaching down nearly to the ground, hung a kaitaka. She said, "O my children, I do not stand here to speak of my own desire. There is a chief who ought to have spoken to our people, but who, since he was a boy, has never been known to act in a direct manner. Because of his prevarications I am compelled to speak to you. The chief to whom I refer wishes to take a widow as his wife. But she is the property of Popo, as the father of Popo took her sister to wife, and these two sisters have no brothers, cousins, father or mother alive. Popo has the right to say yes to anyone who asks Kapu to be his wife. Kapu will say yes to the word of Rahi, but Rahi will not say yes to the word of Niho who asks for Mihi, his daughter. Now, O people, I say that this night we will have a pakuha to let all the young people say whom they love. Then I shall see, ere I go with the setting sun, who are man and wife. Then I may see the children of those who were my playmates long ago married to each other. Now, my children, you know why you have been called here. It was I who made Tahau blow the pu-tara. You can now speak to each other."

1 Free from tapu.

2 The song which accompanies a dance.

3 Not tattooed.

4 The Maori fashion of tattooing was an extremely painful operation, for the moko was literally carved into the skin. It was not unknown for men to die under the operation or its after-effects. Only a little could be done at a tune, so a number of years were likely to pass before a warrior could be described as fully tattooed.

5 A carved wooden weapon, used principally by chiefs.

6 The lizard is the symbol and omen of death.

7 An enemy, on whom revenge is to be taken.

8 A rough cloak.

9 Head or first-bom chief.

10 Gourd. Lagenaria vulgaris.

11 The principal purpose of the baptismal rite (tohi ariki—the baptism of children of good birth) was consecration to the gods. At this ceremony the chosen name was given to the child by the chief priest (tohunga tohi). For a full description of this rite see The Maori, by Elsdon Best. Vol. 2, pp. 13-14.

12 Deceit.

13 Darts. "The dart was made from a straight fern frond, about three or more feet in length and, at the butt end, had a knob made by the winding of flax strips round the shaft. The base-line was usually in the form of a mound and the dart was thrown (under-arm) so as to strike the mound, glance off it and glide along the ground. He whose dart flew the furthest won the game." The Games of Ao-tea-Roa. Leslie Lockerbie, p. 26.

14 "This is the only ball game of the Maori. There are many forms, or movements in this dance, which is for girls and women only. The poi was very carefully made. A finely woven outer cover was made from flax fibre and was ornamented with attractive designs. It was then stuffed with soft material obtained from the bulrush. The game is played in both standing and sitting positions, and the poi is kept twirling while the body executes a swaying motion to the accompaniment of a rhythmical song." Ibid., p. 12.

15 "In this game, sticks are thrown (always in a vertical position) and caught. It was considered a most desirable exercise. The sticks (toi) used were about two or three feet in length, and an inch or more in thickness. They were often made from young tawa and were sometimes ornamented. In a game, mentioned by Mr. John White, the players stood in a circle facing inward, while a man occupying the centre (putahi) caught and returned the sticks thrown to him.' Ibid., p. 4.

16 Long grass or rushes, very light and therefore useful for this purpose. Mariscus ustulatus.

17 Full: sixteenth, seventeenth or eighteenth night of the moon. A careful note was taken of the progression of nights, each having its own name—though these varied somewhat in different districts. Agricultural employment was regulated by the phases of the moon.