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THE MAKERS OF AUSTRALASIA 


EDITED BY 

JAMES HIGHT, M.A., Litt.D., 

PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND ECONOMICS, 
CANTERBURY COLLEGE. 


(I 







THE MAKERS OF AUSTRALASIA. 


EARLY VOLUMES 


(READY) 

THE EXPLORERS OF AUSTRALIA, by ERNEST FAVENC. 320 

pages. 

" Those stories which Mr. Favenc relates deserve to bo read, because their lesson 
is one of the truest and most unselfish patriotism .”—Lyttelton Times. 

" Mr. Favenc’s volume brings into concise and simple form a mass of information 
concerning many of the heroes of Australian inland discovery and development, and 
is an important contribution to the historical records of this country .”—The Aram 
Melbourne. 

Admirably written as it is, this accurate historical account of the great work of 
Australian exploration should have a lasting value.”—Daily Telegraph, Sydney. 


SIR GEORGE GREY— Governor, High Commissioner, and Premier. 

An Historical Biography, by J. COLLIER. 245 pages. 

“ A carefully constructed narrative, and an absolute impartiality. We have never 
seen a biography in which the subject has been so frankly and faithfully dealt with ” 
—The Spectator, London, 18tli Sept., 1909. 

The story of Sir George Grey’s long official life, covering as it does some of the 
niost trying periods in the history of South Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, 
is one which no student of Imperial problems can read too often, and we can recom¬ 
mend Mr. Collier’s work to such wuth as much confidence as to those to whom as yet 
the great Empire statesman is but a name .”—The Standard, London. 

“ Mr. Collier .... has caused the dry bones of the history to live with the breath 
which comes from personal intercourse with the man whose life and character are 
being described. The result is a very delightful and interesting work "—The Press 
Christchurch. 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND, by JAMES COWAN. 380 

pages. 


(IN PREPARATION) 

THE EARLY GOVERNORS OF AUSTRALIA, by FRANK 
Bladen. 


a a 


EDWARD GIBBON WAKEFIELD, by The EDITOR. 






From a photo., 15)08. 


PATARA TE TUHI. a celebrated Waikato chief, and one-time Editor of the Kingite Hokioi.' 





THE 


Maoris of New Zealand 


BY 

JAMES COWAN. 


WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS FROM PHOTOGRAPHS 

AND DRAWINGS 



Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin, N.Z.; 
Melbourne and London : 

WHITCOMBE AND TOMBS LIMITED. 

1910. 


UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA 

LIBRARY 






EDITOK’S NOTE. 


The inclusion of a “Life of Grey” and a History of the 
Explorers of Australia” in a “Makers of Australasia Series” 
required no explanation; tlie pertinency of this, the third volume, 
on “The Maoris of New Zealand” may not be so readily 
acknowledged, but is nevertheless real, founded, as it is, on the 
firmly established principle of the sequence and continuity of 
History. 

The British colonisation of New Zealand involved a violent 


change in the conditions of life in these Islands; but it did not 
break all connection and interplay between the Maori era and 
the Pakeha age that was then beginning: the dispossessed people 
had a distinctive native culture, the product of centuries of 
evolution, and they were not decimated by the process of 
settlement and conquest. The life we live to-day is coloured, it 
may be faintly in some of its forms, but still undeniably tinged, 
by the light streaming fitfully out upon us from the past when 
the Maori possessed the land. And it is worthy of remark that 
this influence is strongest, not on the lower planes of existence, 
but in the higher stages of our thought and feeling. The Maori 
had done little to shape the country so as to satisfy the Pakeha’s 
economic needs: still a barbarian, he had not learnt how to re-act 
upon Nature and to modify his environment with the skill of 
the Englishman, “heir of all the ages”; and, therefore, for the 
reading, bridging, deforesting, prospecting, and even the 
cultivating that were the Pakeha’s first tasks, he had laid but 
a slight foundation; though his centuries-old experience was 
freely drawn upon by the colonist in learning the natural 
resources—the economic value of the plants, fishes, etc., and the 
weather cycles. 

But in other domains the influence of the Maori, always 
sensible, has of late increased rapidly in volume, and will 
extend until much of the art and poetry and science and 



VI11 


editor’s note 


philosophy of the Dominion will find inspiration in the faithful 
pictures of the old Maori community drawn by diligent, truthful, 
and sympathetic students and historians of the race, such as 
Mr. James Cowan, the author of this book. And when the 
conditions of life in New Zealand have been raised to that 
degree which will ensure that more leisure shall be available for 
the satisfaction of our higher needs; when the people, through 
their rich men, their Government, and their University, will 
provide adequate means for the growth of culture and of that 
knowledge which has no obvious immediate or direct practical 
utility, but which may nevertheless be of immense ultimate 
significance for the well-being of the nation, then attention will 
be much more firmly fixed upon the achievements, customs, and 
habits of the Maori as presenting a store of facts illuminating 
vividly certain important stages in the history of religion, of 
language, of human institutions, and indeed the general 
development of the human mind. 

It is a just reproach against most New Zealand students of the 
political, economic, and general social development of mankind 
that they are content to take their illustrations of the principles 

of the social sciences—sociology, economics, ethnology, etc.,_ 

from the experience of other races in other lands.' with no 
thought of the valuable data awaiting research in the records 


of the native civilization. The reason, therefore, for including 
this volume in the Series is not only because New Zealand and 
the New Zealanders of to-day would have been different from 
what they are, if there had been no Maori occupation of the 
country, but also because it is hoped that a book, such as this is. 
adding greatly to the authenticated facts relating to Maori 
culture may help to turn the thoughts of those who wish to 
know the Story of Man in all his manifestations towards the 
tieasuies that may lie unlocked at the touch of the investigator 
ol human evolution in the traditions and annals of the 


Maori-Polynesian. 


Mr. Cowan's book embodies the results of observations and 
enquiries made during a life-long intimacy with the Maori 
people. From his earliest years, he has known the Maori, and 
the work of collecting, translating, and interpreting the history, 
’k-lore, and poetry of the race has occupied 


traditions, folk 


editor’s note 


ix 

whatever time he has been able to spare from journalistic work 
during a period of many years. 

Even if we accept one of the narrowest definitions of 
History, we must acknowledge that tin* presence of the Maori 
bestows on New Zealand, as contrasted with Australia, great 
historical interest. The early trading adventures, and the 
wars—particularly those of 1860-70—have given us much 
picturesque material and a military record, at times creditable 
to both Pakeha and Maori—which Australia entirely lacks. 
Disastrous though these wars seem from most points of view, 
they are not altogether to be regretted, for they brought out 
some of the best qualities of both races; and some of the most 
striking examples of the exercise of these, Mr. Cowan now 
records for the first time. 

JAMES HIGHT. 

Canterbury College, 

Christchurch, N.Z. 

November 23rd, 1909. 













AUTHOR’S PREFACE. 


Tii this study of the Maori race an endeavour has been made 
to show something of the history, religion and mythology, 
customs, and social life and institutions of the people. 
Many an interesting survival of ancient faiths and 
ancient ways is to be noticed amongst the Maoris of 
to-day, and the stories illustrating these beliefs are now 
published for the first time, as also are those dealing with 
the intertribal wars of old. Amongst the other matter new to 
print are numerous folk-stories and examples of nature-lore and 
forest-craft, specimens of karakia or ritual and incantations 
for the various needs of life, and examples of the beautiful 
Maori poetry. Students of New Zealand history will find an 
entirely new version of the Wairau “massacre” of 1843, as 
narrated by a Maori warrior. The story of the battle of Orakau. 
by Tupotahi and others, contains much that has not been given 
in previous narratives, and throws a new light on certain 
episodes in that heroic last stand of the Kingites. The life of 
the Maori of to-day is dealt with in several chapters. 

The notes used in this book have been gathered at first hand 
■ from the kaumatuas, the old and learned men, of many tribes, 
but chiefly those of the Waikato, Ngati-Maniapoto, Arawa, 
Ngati-Tuwharetoa, Urewera, and Taranaki. Whatever new 
matter is here presented is offered as a small contribution 
to the great work of Maori research done in the past and still 
being done by Mr. S. Percy Smith, Colonel W. E. Gudgeon. 
Mr. Hare Hongi, Mr. ELsdon Best. Mr. Edward Tregear, the 
Rev. T. G. ITammond. and other Maori-Polynesian scholars. 

The traditions, folk-stories, and songs given were gathered in 
all sorts of places and under varied circumstances from the 
elders of the race—around the camp fire on summer nights on 
the shores of one or other of the beautiful lakes in the Rotorua 






PREFACE 


Xll 

country, in the Taranaki bush, in the settlements of the King 
Country and Taupo, in the homes of the Waikato canoe-men, in 
the bark-roofed wharepunis of the Urewera forest-dwellers. 
Many of the fine old men who were my tutors in things Maori 
have passed to the Reinga; amongst them Tamati Hapimana, of 
Mokoia Island; Te Araki, of Owhatiura, Rotorua; Waharoa, of 
Rotorua; Paora Tuhaere, of Orakei, Auckland; Honana Maioha, 
of Manukau. To these and to many men who are still in this 
Land of Light, such as the venerable Patara te Tuhi, of the 
Ngati-Mahuta tribe; Taua Tutanekai Haerehuka, Te Matehaere, 
and Rangiriri, of the Arawa; and Tupotahi, of Ngati-Maniapoto’ 
I have a deej) sense of gratitude for my initiation into some of 
the mysteries of the Maori mind, and for stories and songs 
without end. 

I hose who really know the Maori, know his good points as well 
as his failings, cannot but have a liking for the race, 
particularly the men of the old generation, such as the chief 
described in the opening chapter. Those who, like the writer, 
have seen the Maori at his best and at Ids worst, have shared with 
him m his pleasures and sorrows, and have seen him when the 
old savage blood surged up again and lie rushed for his gun in 
defence of what he considered to be his rights, have a lively 
sympathy with his aspirations and a hope that he will 
regain his ancient vigour and vitality, if not the ancient fire 
and live to develop the best that is in him on level terms, social 
and political, with bis white fellow-countryman. 

Most of the illustrations used in this book, over sixty in 
number, from photographs and drawings, are now reproduced 
for the first time. Amongst them are some of historical value. 
One of these is a sketch of the famous llougi Hika, drawn 
recently by Major-General Robley from the oil-painting of 
llongi and Waikato in England in 1820; this is the only authentic 
picture of llongi in existence. Two smaller sketches are also 
fro... General Robley’s pencil. The frontispiece to the book is a 
new portrait of the celebrated Kingite chief Patara te Tuhi. the 
one-time editor of the “Hokioi,” and Sir John Gorst’s old 
antagonist and friend. Another full-page illustration is a pen- 
and-ink drawing of a remarkable Maori shrine, the stone carved 
linage of the goddess I Ioroirangi, at the Tihi-o-Tonga which 



PREFACE 


xiii 

though within ;i few miles of Rotorua town, has been kept 
secluded from all pakeha eyes till quite recently. For the 
drawing of Ahumai. the heroine of Orakau, and several photos 
of old fighting-men of the Ngati-Tuwharetoa tribe, I have to 
thank Captain T. Ryan, of Taupo; and for several pictures of 
canoeing on the Waikato River, Mr. L. Hinge, of Christchurch. 
The two sketches depicting fights in the Waikato War of 186:1-4 
are from water-colour drawings by the celebrated Major Von 
Tempsky, who was killed at Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu, Taranaki, in 
1868; these pictures are in the possession of Von Tempsky’s 
daughter, Mrs. Kettle, of Napier, who kindly permitted photos 
to be taken of them. 

JAMES COWAN. 


Wellington, New Zealand, 

November 10th, 1909. 


b 







NOTE ON MAORI PRONUNCIATION. 


The system of writing to which the early missionaries reduced Maori lias 
a phonetic basis, and once the vowel sounds are learned pronunciation is 
not dillicult. The learner should remember that there are no silent vowels 
in Maori. Every syllable ends with a vowel, and every vowel must be 
sounded. The vowel sounds are much the same as in Italian. 

There are fifteen letter-sounds in the Maori alphabet, viz.: 

a, e, h, i, k, m, n, o, y, r, t, u, w, ng, wh. 

Each vowel has a long and a short value, which can be exactly indicated 
only bv accent marks. 

A has one sound, Italian a, but with long and short values. The long 
sound is much the same as in the English words ‘‘father,” ‘‘part,” 
‘‘path.” The short a is pronounced as iu the English words “pat,” 
‘‘matter,” ‘‘cat.” Examples:—Long sound: pd (fort); hangi (oven) = 
ha-ngee; tune (husband )=tah-nay; tudhu (altar) =too-ah-hoo ; tuyere 
(mirth) =tah-perray; Tcard (a stone). Short sound: pdtu (club); laid 
(near); tdngi (to cry). 

E is pronunced as a, as in English ‘‘pate”; not like ‘‘ee” in ‘‘eel.” 
Examples:— pehea (how)=pay-hay-ah; koe (thou)=ko-ay; tena (that) 
=tay-nah. Short e as in ‘‘pet,” ‘‘send,” ‘‘ferry.” Examples: mere 
(club) =merray; kerikeri (gravel) =kerrykerry; peke (jump)=pekkay. 

I is pronounced as ee in ‘‘keep,” or “sheep”: Ariki (chief)=a-ree-kee; 
miere (honey) =mee-eh-ray. Short i: as piri (to cling) ; Tciri (skin). 

0 is pronounced as o in the English word “note”:— torori (tobacco) = 
toh-roh-ree (this shows both the long and the short sounds) ; Botorua= 
Ro-to-rua, not Rot-er-rua, as often mispronounced. 

U is pronounced like oo in “cool,” and u in “pull”; puta (opening) = 
poo-tah; pure (a religious ceremony) =poo-ray; puke (hill)— poo-kay ; hue 
(vegetable gourd) — hoo-ay. 

There is no arbitrary rule in regard to the accenting of vowels, and the 
long and short vowel sounds must be ascertained by practice. Generally, 
however, words of two syllables are accented on the first syllable, as in 
tane ; paru-, mdru-, mokai; pdtu ; etc. There are exceptions, as kard ; matd-, 
para. Words of three syllables are accented sometimes on the first, some¬ 
times on the last syllable, as in tdpere, and matatd. 

The diphthongal sounds require careful pronunciation. The diphthongs 
are: — 

ae; aij ao; au; ei; ou; 

besides those which are simply doublings of the letters as aa; ee; oo: ii; 
uu; which are given a fuller aud stronger sound iu consequence. 

Ae, as in such words as waewae (feet), is pronounced broad and full, 
as in the English word “aye,” and should not be given the more slender 
sound of i in “ shine. ’ ’ 

Ai is pronounced much as i in “strike.” Examples: tai (sea), kai (food) 
mai (hither). 





XVI 


NOTE ON MAORI PRONUNCIATION 


Ao is distinct from au, which has a shorter, sharper sound. The o should 
be sounded, but not abruptly separated from the a. Ao is often mispro¬ 
nounced as “ay-oh, ” as in the name of New Zealand, Aotea-roa. The 
proper pronunciation is, deliberately, Ah-oh-tay-ah-ro-ah, or, more quickly, 
Ow-tay-ah-roa. 

Au, as in hau (wind), and maumau (waste), is sounded much as “how” 
and ‘ ‘ count ’ ’ in English. 

The exact sound of ei and ou can be perfected only by practice; the best 
rule for the learner’s guidance is to remember that the second letter of the 
diphthong must not be suppressed, but must be distinctly indicated in 
pronouncing the syllable, as ou in koutou (you). 

The consonant ng must be pronounced as one letter and given somewhat 
the sound of the nasal in the French word “encore.” The English words 
“singing” or “bringing” divided thus:—“si-nging,” “bri-nging” will 
be some guide to the pronunciation of the Maori “ ng There is no g 
alone sounded in Maori. For instance the word tangata (man) is divided 
into syllables thus:—Ta-nga-ta, not tan-gata. Tangi (weep) is pronounced 
Tah-ngee; rangi (sky), rali-ngee. Tauranga is pronounced Taii-ra-nga, not 
Tau-raug-ga, as is often done. Tongariro, To-nga-ree-ro. Runanga, 
Roo-nah-nga. 


J.C. 



LIST OF CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER T. 

The Maori: Past and Present. rA(JB 

Hau-auru, “The West Wind”— A Chief of the Olden Time—The 
Patriarch of the Ngati-Matakore—A Visit to Araikotor6—The 
Life of a Maori Warrior—“We fought for Women and Slaves”— 

A Kingite Patriot . . . . . . . . . . 1 


CHAPTER n. 

The Maori: Past and Present ( continued ). 

Polynesian Rovers—Bold Seamen and Explorers—The Maori’s Home¬ 
land—The Polynesian Populations—The name “Maori”—The 
Maori and the White Man—Mutual Obligations—A Bangatira Race 
—Physique—The Urewera Bushmen—A Hardy Mountaineer—The 
Future of the Maori—The Complex Native Character—A Poet and 


CHAPTER III. 

Population, and Distribution of Tribes. 

The Maori Census—The Race not now Decreasing—Tendency to 
Absorption by the Whites—Proportions of the Sexes—Location 
of Tribes—Half-castes . . . . . . . . 21 


CHAPTER IV. 

The Origin of the Maori. 

Maori Traditions of Migrations—“I came from Great-Distance”— 
Ancient Place-Names—The Maori of Caucasian Origin—His 
Asiatic Birth-lauds—Theory of Arabian, Semitic and Egyptian 
Origins—Common Customs of Arabs and Maoris—The Great Helce 
to the East—Early Navigators—Through Indonesia to the Pacific 
—The Urukehu —Dim Legends of the Tropics —Ngarara and 
Crocodile—Probable Date of the First Polynesian Voyages—The 
Maui Legend—A Story of Niue—The Genesis of a Polynesian 
Island . . . . . . .. . . . . 29 


CHAPTER V. 

The Canoe-Voyagers. 

How the Maoris Came to New Zealand—Polynesian Sailors and their 
Long-Ships—Double and Outrigger Canoes—Turi’s Paddling Song 
—Pioneer Voyagers—The Historic Canoes—Paikea, a Polynesian 
Ulysses—Stories of the Takitimu, Arawa, Tainui, and other Canoes 
—The Mystex - y of the ‘ ‘ Korotangi ” . . . . . . 45 




XVI11 


LIST OF CONTENTS 


CHAPTER VI. 

The New Land, and How it w t as Settled. page 

A New and Wonderful Country—Exploring and Place-naming—The 
Aboriginal Tribes—Wars and Intermarriage—The Name 

‘ ‘ Aotea-roa ’ ’—‘ 1 The Land of Long-Daylight ’ ’—The Magical 
Deeds of Ngatoro-i-Rangi—A Maori Moses—Tama-o-hoi, the Demon 
of Tarawera Mountain . . . . . . . . . . S5 


CHAPTER VII. 

Maori Cosmogony and Religion. 

The Maori a Nature-worshipper and Ancestor-worshipper—The Religion 
of Animism—Maori Conception of the Creation—Evolution from 
Chaos—A Ngati-Maniapoto Genealogy—The Powers of Darkness 
and Light—The First Man—Divine Descent of Man—‘‘A Child of 
Thunder”—Personification of the Elements—Man’s Mauri and 
Hau —The Wairua, and Dreams . . . . . . . . 102 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Tapu and the Tohunga. 

Tapu as a Social and Religious Law—The Maori Quarantine—The 
Priestly Guild—The Lore of the Whare-maire -—An Old-time 1 
Tohunga —Te Knhe and Tare Nelson—A Tapu'A Palcelia —Some 
■ Latter-day Tohunga, s—The “Bush-Doctor” and Faith-healer— ] 

Charms and Spells—An Atahu or Love-charm— Makutu, the “Black 
Art”—Wizards and Wizardry—Some Curious Beliefs—Ceremonies 
to avert Malcutu — 1 Tutanekai and the Sacred Stone . . .. 114- 

CHAPTER IX. 

Papataunaki, the Enchanted Tree. 

The Story of a Retribution—Hare Eruera and his Tree-Ancestor—The 
Sacred Totara —Trampling on the Tapu —A Maori Boycott—A 
Pagan Ceremony—Old TTopa Removes the Ban—The Fatal Tapu.. 121) 

CHAPTER X. 

The Shrine of. an A tv a 

The Pinnaclc-of-the-South—An Ancient Hill-fort—Rangiriri, the 

Tohunga —The Steps-cut-by-Tutanekai—The Carving on the Cliff_ 

The Goddess Iloroirangi—A “Mossy Stone of Power”_The 

Ceremonies at the Tudhu —Maru the War-God . . . . 134 


CHAPTER XT. 

Maori Social Life. 

Tribal Organisation—'A Savage Socialism—The Position of the Chiefs 
—No Servility to the Aristocracy—Village Life—Arts and 
Industries—The Fortified Pa of olden Times—Food— 
Cultivations Children—Marriage Customs—Ruatapu the Prophet 
and his Seven Wives—Marriage WhakaMaori —Village Amuse¬ 
ments—The l'ni —The Pastime of the Kolci —Diving-Parties_ 

“ I here is no Law in Ruapeka”—Welcoming Visitors—The 
Ceremony of the Tuku-kai— The Tana Mum— Tu-ata the Spearsman 
—“Sunshine’s” Adventure 


LIST ()F CONTENTS 


XIX 


CHAPTER XI r. 
Thk Wharf. Whakairo. 


l'AOK 


Village Carved Halls—Night Scene in a Meeting-House—“ The Basket 
of Plenty,” Te Kooti’s Prayer-House—In Ilinemoa’s Home Why 
the Maori Carved Three Fingers on his Images—Tangaroa and the 
Carven Statues—The Tapu of Carved Houses—A House warming 
Ceremony—Tutanekai the Tohunga —An Ancient Ritual Preserved 
_The Invocations of the Whai-kawa —Treading the Threshold . . 163 


CHAPTER XIII. 

The Maori Canoe. 

The Waka-taua —Canoeing at the Present Day—The Sacred Canoe-Tree 
—The Wounds of Tane—Canoe-Carvings—The “ Taheretikitiki ’ ’— 
Waikare-moana Canoes—Some Paddling Songs—“Te Riwaru” .. 179 

CHAPTER XI V. 

Tattooing. 

Polynesian Tattooing—The Maori Moko —Women only Tattooed now 
Tattooing-artists—Hiki’s Tohu —The Operation of Tattooing 
Patara te Tuhi’s Moko —A South Island Survival of Ancient 
Hawaiikian Tattooing—Lindauer’s and Goldie’s Maori Portraiture 188 

CHAPTER XV. 

Nature-Lore and Forest Craft. 

The Wisdom of the Wilderness—The Maori and the Bush—Star-lore— 

The Weatherwise Trees of Rotoiti—“The Slaves-of-Tarawhata”— 

The Grey Warbler and the Cuckoo—Bird-Hunting Customs—Fire¬ 
making—The Flames of Mahuika . . . . • • • • 196 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Some Folk-Stories and Fairy-Tales. 

Told in the Wharepuni —The Home of the Fairies—A Fairy Haka—A. 
Waitara Story—Te Rii’s Adventure in the Haunted Forest—The 
Tale of the Enchanted Stick—The Loves of the Mountains, 
Kakepuku and Karewa—A Titanic Battle—Karewa “Treks” to 
the Sea—Kawa’s Misty Love-Message—The Story of Tokatoka 
Peak . . . ■ •• •- • • • • •• 203 


CHAPTER XVII. 

Omens. Tipuas, and Taniwhas. 

‘ ‘ Lightning-Mountains ’ ’—Te Kauae, the Rotorua Hill of Omen—The 
Portents of the Lightning—The Passing of Petera—Enchanted 
Trees and Demon Logs—The Taniwha- trees of Lake Rotoiti—The 
Banshee of the Wairoa—Kaipara Taniwha Tales—Pokopoko and 
his Parade of Sea-monsters—The Fall of Okaka Pa— The Taniwha 
of the Utuhina Stream—Very Like a Crocodile . . . . 210 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

The Poetry of the Maori. 

Elegiac Chants—Poetic Funeral Addresses—A Wife’s Lament— 
Ilinemoa’s Love-songs—A Nose-Flute Ditty—Specimens of Love- 
songs—The Dirge for Morere . . .. . . . . 217 


XX 


LIST OF CONTENTS 


CHAPTER XIX. 

The Maori in War. 

PAGE 

Every Man a Soldier—The Old Maori Warrior—War Ceremonies—War- 
dance Songs War-path Charms—The Return of the Warriors—A 
Mokoia Island Custom—The Ritual of the Priests—The “Pilgrims 
Tu’ —Sentinel Songs—A South Island War Incident—How the ■ 
Taranakis Burned the Titalii Tribe in their Wharepuni —Maori 
Women on the War-path—The Last Intertribal Fight—The Wiroa 
Breastworks—The Last Quarrel with the White Man—Hone Toia 1 
and his Mahurehure Warriors—The Fire-brands of the North . . 223 


CHAPTER XX. 

“ Kai-tangata. ” 

^Cannibalism—Araki’s Complaint—The Unpalatable Pakeha _‘ ‘ Maori 

Flesh is Sweet''—The Last of He Cannibals—Titokowaru’s Man- 
eaters—Cannibal Feasts in the Last Taranaki War—Tamaikowha, 
the Eater of Hearts—Patara’s Taste of Human Flesh—Araki’s 

Account of the Feast at Te Tumu—“The Fish-of-Whiro ”_The 

Old Adam—The Eating of Parents, a Filial Rite—Story of the 
Cannibal of the Swamp Hihi-o-Tote and his Victims, and how he 
was Slain 


CHAPTER XXL 
A Calabash of Meat. 

A Tale of the Tihi-o-Tonga—Ihaka’s Grand-daughter Stolen bv 
Cannibals—The Meal in the Forest—Potted Mokopuna, a Present 

for Te Purewa—The Slaves’ Interview with the Urewera Chief_ 

An Unexpected Sequel—“I’ll Eat You Instead!” 


The 


CHAPTER XXTT. 

The Story of an Utu Account. 

Passion for Revenge—The Vendettas of Old—Native Land Court 
Records—The Ancient Wars of Rotoiti—Tuhourangi and Ngati- 
I ikiao—A Fatal Sham-fight—Kotiora and his Slave-wife—Tribal 
Frofit and Loss Account—Pu-stormings and Reprisals— 0^0^— 

11 e^Squariugo f the Accoun t- 

i. ust blood” to Ngati-Pikino _ -- gqp 


CHAPTER 
Torek a he’s 


XXIII. 

Revenge. 


A Tale of Lake Rotoiti—Maori Military Strategy and Resource-The 
**/ Cann.ba < aterans of Pao-hmahina—A Meat-hunting Expedition— 
I he Ambush—I mekahe s Wonderful Escape—His Sisters Killed— 

with Ve r F°J. S nr0 "n 11 ~, A ” Ar "' V of Vengeance-The Skirmish 
u.th the Fishermen—Pae-hmahma Pn Invested—Torekahe and the 

Pohutukawa ^Tree-The^ Pole of Spears- Torekahe’s Daring 
hmb The hirst I* ish —Sentinel Songs—The Chant to the 

Jf H the n port ® Sl * ,ml f ° r the Assan ^ Storming and Capt.ire 


25(5 







LIST Ob’ CONTENTS 


XXI 


CHAPTER XXIV. 

The Maori and the Musket pauk 

“The Fire of the Gods’’—Tamarangi’s Story—Hongi Ilika and his 
Muskets—The Attack on Mokoia Island—The Man in the “Iron 
Hat”—Capture of Mokoia and Slaughter of the Arawas—The 
Ovens of Ngapuhi—Moko-nui-a-Rangi’s Daring Exploit -To 

Rauparaha, and how lie Slew the Muaupoko—The Lake-pa* of 
Horowhenua—Their Construction and their Capture—The Prison- 
isle of Namu-iti—How N gati-toa Killed their “ Meat”—Kapiti 
Island and the Ships of tfltT I’akcha ~ TT~ r. . . 205 

CHAPTER XXV. 

The Maori and the White Trader. 

European Traders in Request—The Traffic in Arms—The First White 
Men in Kawhia—Ilow the Maoris Bought their Guns—Loading 
Kauri Spars in the Early Days—The “St. Patrick” in the 
Hauraki—Peter Dillon and Pomare—A War-canoe Fleet—The 
Crew at Quarters—“Stand By!” —A Narrow Escape .. .. 276 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

A Maori Version of the Wairau Affair. 

Te Oro’s Narrative of the Fight at the Wairau in 1843—Te Raupa¬ 
raha ’s Strategy—Consulting the Niu —The Spearsman’s Challenge 
—An Unlucky Omen—Repulse of the Whites—Te Oro and Captain 
Wakefield—Tomahawk versus Sword—Wakefield’s Surrender and 
Death . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 281 


CHAPTER XXVII. 

The Kingites and the War. 

A Patriotic War-song—The Lost Lands of Waikato—“The Land is 
Our Mother’s Milk”—William Thompson and his Son Taingakawa 
—How the Maori King Movement Began—The Waikato War— 
Patara at Meremere—The First Steamboat on the Waikato River— 

The Maoris’ Cannon—End of the War—The Kingites “Come Out” 
in 1881—“The King of the Cannibal Islands” .. .. 286 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

The Defenders of Orakau. 

A Heroic Fight—The Rewi Fiction—The Pa in the Peach-groves-—Three 
Hundred Maoris Against Seventeen Hundred Soldiers—The Three 
Days’ Defence—Tupotahi’s Story—Shot and Shell—Sufferings of 
the Garrison—“We will Fight On!”-—The Last Day—“Let us 
Charge Out!”—The Demand for Surrender—The Maori Reply— 

Te Heuheu’s Battle-song—The Dash for Life—Major Mair’s 
Narrative—The Real Hero of Orakau—The Brave Ahumai . . 297 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

A War-Canoe Expedition. 

Queenites versus Hauhaus—How the Arawas Went to Battle—A 
Rotorua War-canoe Parade—A Picturesque Spectacle—The Kilted 
Captains—A Great Canoe Song—The Fight at Te Komuhumuhu, 
Lake Rotoiti . . . . . . . . . . . . 312 




xxn 


LIST OF CONTENTS 


Te 


CHAPTER XXX. 


The Hauhaus. 


page 


Ua, the Founder of Hauhauism—The Pai-marire Fanaticism— 
Some Curious Chants-—The Ceremonies Round the Niu — 
Titokowaru’s War in Taranaki—Wild Scenes in the Forest—Te 
Kooti, the Ilauhau War-chief—The Skirmish at Te Kapeuga, 
Rotorua—Te Kooti and his ‘‘Praying-House” at Te Kuiti— 

Te Whiti, the Prophet of Peace . . . . . . . . 318 


CHAPTER XXXI. 
A Day at a “ Hux. ’ ’ 


Canoeing on the Waikato—A Visit to Waahi, the Home of the Maori 
King The ‘ ‘ Hui ’ ’—Maori Music—Gay Village Scenes—Maori 
Hospitality—The ‘‘Flute Band”—The' Dance on the Green— 
‘ ‘ Haere ra!” 


CHAPTER XXXII. 

The Tangi. 

‘‘The Canoe of Death”—King Tawhiao’s Wake—A Great Tangihanga 
—The Sacred Mount of Taupiri—Reception of the King’s Body— 
A Thrilling Scene—A Magnificent Dirge —“Te Taniwha o te Rua” 
—Rifle and Dynamite Salutes—‘ ‘ Haul up the Canoe'”—The 
King’s Last Bed 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 


PAGE 

Patara to Tuhi . . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece 

The tutu-ngarahu, or war-dance . . . . . . . . 4 

Butene to Uamairangi . . . . . . . . .. 0 

A Waikato Canoe Crew . . . . . . . . . . 16 

Scene in the Urewera Country .. . . . . . . 25 

To Araki to Pohu . . .. . . . . . . 33 

An Urewera Maori Type .. . . . . . . 31) 

A Samoa Girl: Polynesian Type .. .. .. ..41 

A Tonga Sailing Canoe .. .. . . . . 47 

A Taranaki Pot-girl . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 

A Descendant of Turi .. . . . . . . . . . . 65 

Maketu, Kawliia Harbour . . . . . . . . . . 68 

The Sacred Grove of the Tainui Canoe, Kawliia . . . . . . 70 

The Korotangi .. .. . . . . . . 72 

The Arrival of the Canoes .. . . . . . . 75 

The “ Puke-ki-Hikurangi ” .. .. .. .. ..79 

The Moeraki Boulders . . .. .. . . . . 84 

Hera te Ata . . . . .. .. . . . . 91 

Te Heuheu Tukino .. . . . . . . . . . . 100 

A Greenstone Tiki .. . . . . .. .. ..106 

A Maori Tuahu, or Altar .. . . . . . . ..110 

The Tohunga Werewere te Bangi-pu-mamao .. .. ..118 

Bangiriri .. . . .. .. . . . . .. 135 

Carved Image of Horoirangi . . . . . . . . 137 

Buatapu, the Urewera Prophet . . .. .. . . .. 148 

The moari . . . . .. . . .. . . . . 152 

An Arawa Woman, Eotorua . . .. . . . . .. 153 

Maori Women’s Canoe Bace .. .. .. .. .. 156 

Tu-ata, of Waahi, Waikato .. . . . . . . 161 

Carved House at Mataatua, Urewera Country . . .. 164 

Interior of Carved House, Eotorua .. .. .. ..167 

Carved Doorway of Maori House . . . . . . . . 17.) 

Maori Wall-patterns in a Eotorua Church . . . . . . . . 175 

Bacing-Canoes at Ngaruawahia .. . . .. . . .. 180 

Parade of Canoes, Ngaruawahia . . . . . . . . 183 

Canoes on the Waipa Biver, Ngaruawahia .. . . . . 185 

Ngakuru Pana, a Earawa Chief . . . . .. . . 189 

A Tattooed Maori Woman .. . . . . .. . . 190 












XXIV 


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 


Wetanui, of the Ngati-Haua Tribe 
Olden South Island Maori Tattooing 
A Maori Chief s Molco Signature . . 
Te Aho-o-te-rangi 
A Taranaki Woman 
Carved Gateway of a Modern Pa 


A Waikato Chieftainess 
Hamuti Haukino, a Hauhau Warrior 
Taonui, Chief of Ngati-Mauiapoto 
ITongi Hika 

Rangihaeata’s Tomahawk 
Head-piece from the Ivingite Newspaper 
The Skirmish at Waiari, Waikato 
Rushing the Maori Trenches 
Tupotaki 

Ahumai te Paerata 
Rawiri Kahia .. 


Tutange Waionui in War-costume 
Te Rangitahau 
Major Ropata Wahawaha 
Whareaitu, of Ngahau, Taranaki 
Ruatapu and Some of his Family 
A Waikato Kingite Flag 
Maori Newspaper “Te Paki-o-Matariki ” 
A Waikato War-dance .. 


PAGE 

. . 191 

. . 193 

. . 194 

. . 200 
. . 209 

. . 231 

. . 234 

252 
. . 257 

. . 267 

.. 283 

. . 2S8 

. . 291 

. . 295 

. . 299 

. . 307 

. . 314 

.. 323 

. . 328 

. . 331 

.. 334 

. . 336 

. . 340 

. . 343 

.. 354 


Map of Maori Tribal Districts 


MAP. 


Facing p. 24 












The Maoris of New Zealand. 


Chapter 1. 


THE MAORI: PAST AND PRESENT. 


Hau-auru— “The West-Wind”—is a picturesque figure 
who, in my memories of the past, personifies much of the 
departed savage glory of the Maori race. He typified the 
splendid dying manhood of his people. Born in the 
New Zealander’s Stone Age, he survived to near the 
end of the miracle-working white man’s nineteenth 
century, flotsam of the primitive world stranded on the 
shores of modern progress—“like an old canoe,” to use 
his own image. Well I remember that tattooed 
patriarch, the head-chief of his little clan, the Ngati- 
Matakore, though it is more than twenty years since 
I Last saw him. It is long since he joined the shades 
of his warrior fathers in the Reinga, the Maori Ghost 
Land, hut he was of those bold characters that one 
never forgets. His bom e-kainga, the little reed-thatched 
village of Araikotore, with its surrounding cultivations, 
stood on a sunny northward-looking sweep of hill-slope 
in the King Country, on the old road which wound over 
the fern-lands from the frontier township of Kihikihi to 
the then purely Maori settlement of Otorohanga. To 
the north you saw the triple parapeted round hills of 
Tokanui, which the white settlers called the Three 
Sisters; southwards over many a mile of flax and fern 
and forest rose the misty blue mountains of the Rangi- 
toto Range. Hau-auru and his tribe cultivated 
industriously, and their fields of wheat and oats and 
potatoes and maize made a pleasant oasis in the wastes 



9 


THE MAORIS OF HEW ZEALAND 


of rank green fern and tutu scrub. Here the stray 
pakeha traveller, riding past, would receive a hospitable 
call to join the hapu at their meal, a welcome with shawl- 
waving and long-drawn ont cries of “Haere-mai, e te 
pakeha! Ilae-ere mai-i! Haere-mai hi te kai-i-i!” 

And when the steaming pork and potatoes, fresh from 
the earth-oven were placed before the pakeha —whose 
long breezy ride had put a handsome edge on his appetite 
—and were followed by a bush dessert of tender 


boiled cobs of kaanga —maize—or a basket of peaches, 
he would say to himself that there were worse things in 
the way of food than a hdngi- cooked Maori meal. For 
drink there was a calabash of cold water, for the hue 
gourd from which calabashes or taha were made were 
still grown here, and this was the last kainga at which I 
ever saw a taha used; later there was perhaps a “billy” 
of hot tea. And old Hau-auru, after his two wives had 
fed his youthful pakeha guest, would squat there on his 
flax mat smoking his torori —the mighty odour whereof 
has been compared to old boots burning—with a beaming 
grin of huge kindliness wrinkling his corrugated old face, 
and enquire the news of the frontier township. 

There was something grimly grand about that ancient 
man, as he sat there in the sun in front of his raupo hut. 
He was of broad strong frame, square-shouldered, with 
a pugdistic depth of chest. His head, high in forehead, 
was uncommonly massive and powerful; his great brows 
overhung deep keen old eyes, and his face was closely 
tattooed in deep-chiselled lines and spirals, so com¬ 
pletely tattooed that he seemed blue-black of visage. This 
white hair, cut short, had a combatant wiriness; his face 
had been divested of every hair. One ear-lobe was 
enormously distended, with a hole in it several inches 
long ,u which he wore on special occasions a large bunch 
f wh ; te ,Im ' n . v Jlll) ”tross feathers; from the other ear 
"|]|g h y a ril,bon « heavy greenstone pendant, A shirt 
;1 * on £ blanket were all the clothes he wore when 

h °™' A n ° meric Personality was that of this old 
canmha' warrior, a savage but a gentleman, full of 



THE MAORI : PAST AND PRESENT 


*) 


courteous friendly feeling for the whites whom lie had 
oiKie fought and bitterly hated, and full of the hospitable 
generosity of the true Maori langatira, who would share 
his last basket of potatoes with the stranger without 
expecting anything in return. 

Hau-auru was born early in the second decade oi the 
last eenturv, a period when the interior oi New Zealand 
knew almost nothing of pakcha manufactures. He 
was a big strong youth before he ever saw a white- 
skin. The son of a fighting-chiel of A t iki rank, lie was 
soon after birth dedicated to the service of the war-god 
Tu with priestly sprinklings and incantations, and a ti- 
palm—which the white man calls “cabbage-tree”—was 
planted to mark the tapu spot where he was born, within 
the stockade of the liill-fort Te Paiti. When he grew to 
manhood and followed his elders on his first war-path, 
the white man had not much voice in New Zealand 
affairs, save as a coast-trader and purveyor of muskets 
and ammunition. The Maori would give all he possessed 
in those days of almost constant warfare to obtain the 
new weapons in which his heart delighted most, the 
bright-barrelled flintlock musket, with a keg of powder 
and a bag of bullets. The musket was a necessary of 
life, and the Maori’s desire for it rose to frenzy. Young 
Hau-auru and his comrades,with their slaves and women, 
toiled like madmen in the manufacture of hemp or 
muka from the flax-plant for barter to the traders at 
Kawhia, the nearest port frequented by the two or three 
trading brigs and schooners from Sydney that ventured 
iu over the West Coast bars; they even bore their loads 
of flax—or made their slaves bear them—as far away as 
Tauranga, on the opposite coast, in search of arms and 
powder. Every tribe lived in strongly stockaded 
villages on terraced hill-tops; you may count these 
ancient ruined parapeted forts, now covered with fern, 
by the score in Hau-auru’s old tribal territory. Long 
war-canoes swept with flashing paddles up and down 
the rivers. The people were beginning to add the blanket 
to tlieir woven flax mats, but refused the restraint of 


4 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


other pcikeha garments. The law of tapu was the 
supreme Criminal Code Act, enforced not by musket and 
tomahawk but by dreadful malevolent spirits; the 
tohungas or sorcerers plied their occult trade, and 
performed the thousand religious rites necessary for the 
preservation of life and of tribal mana. Slain enemies 
were not wasted, for they went into the oven, and the 
young warrior Han-anru many a time ate human flesh. 



From a tkrtrh by Major! irnrral Roblry. 
at Matala, Hay of Vlrnty, in 1H85. 

The Tutu-ngaralni or Peruperu 
(War-Dance). 

heavily defeated, 
savage 
pi La us 
baskets and 
meat was in 
to a friend, 
of salmon 


His flrst raid with gun and 
war-axe was about the year 
1830, when Waikato and 
Ngati-Maniapoto made al¬ 
most yearly war-expeditions 
to Taranaki, and marched 
home again with long 
strings of wretched slaves 
bending under back-loads 
of “man-meat”—the bodies 
of their own tribesmen and 
relatives. “We fought for 
slaves and for women,” he 
would say, “ we did not 
want the land.” About 
1835 he marched with his 
black-tattooed soldiers of 
Ngati-Matakore and Ngati- 
Maniapoto in the army led 
by Te Waharoa against the 
Arawa tribe of the Hot 
Lakes, and fought a battle 
at Mataipuku, near the 
present town of Rotorua' 
here tin 1 Rakes-men were 
a great cannibal feast the 


and after 

aim\ returned to their Waikato homes withmai 
or hack-loads of cooked Arawa flesh in fh 
in calabashes. A calabash of preserved ma 
those (lays often sent as a thoughtful prese 
a dainty dish that was as welcome as a t 
is to-day to a South Sea Islander. 


THE MAORI: PAST AND PRESENT 


The Hau-auru could tell of many a wild ceremony of 
the war-path, of the strange tapu laid upon the warriors 
when they marched away to battle, and of the rites 
observed upon their victorious return—the high 
chant of the home-dwelling tohunga, the high-priest, as 
he went forth to greet the returning men of blood, naked 
save for the mat'o-taua, the war-girdle: 

“T haere inai Tu i wheal” 

(“Whence comes the war-god Tu?”) 

and the air-shaking response of the war-party as they 
waved their brightly-polished guns and quiveied then 
tomahawks and stone patus on high, and roaied theii 
chorus of reply: 

“I haere mai i te kimihanga, 

T te hahaunga 

I a Tu! ’ 

Te-ere, tere, tere-nui na Tu! 

(“We have come from the seeking-out, 

From the searching 
Of Tu! 

Travellers, great travellers of Tu!”) 

Raid and foray, massacre and pillage. The wild 
inland tribes carried fire and tomahawk as far away as 
Maketu, on the Bay of Plenty coast, and not until the 
general adoption of Christianity by Waikato and Ngati- 
Maniapoto about 1840, did these terrible wars of exter¬ 
mination cease. Later, Hau-auru, now leader of his 
hopu , threw himself with savage energy into the national 
movement for the establishment of the Maori 
Kingdom, together with Te Heuheu, Rewi Maniapoto, 
Patara te Tuhi, Taonui, Te Rangi-ka-haruru (“The 
Thundering-Heavens”) and many another patriot chief. 
He fought the pakeiia in the Waikato War which 
followed, and survived to see the garden-lands of his 
people covered with the redoubts and farm-houses of the 
conquering race, and for many a year he camped sullenly 
with his fellow Kingites behind the border-line of the 
Puniu, planning the re-conquest of the Waikato, a scheme 
that was never carried into effect, for the Kingite cause 
was lost for good and all. 


6 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 



The Haii-aurii, diving- back into the days of pure 
savagedom, could tell of strange men and stranger 
happenings; of his ancestral canoe, the Tainui, and the 
wizard chief who sat in her hows; of wondrous star- 
myths, and of the rainbow-god Uenuku, who guided 
Tainui over the stormy Ocean-of-Kiwa, to this country; 
of the ancient tribal wars of the Waikato, when every 
bend of that great river, in Maori proverb, had its 
taniwha, its powerful chief— “he piko he taniwha, he 

piko he taniwha ” 
—of the priestly 
powers of the 
Wh auwhau-Ha ra- 
heke , that tribe, 
gifted by the gods, 
whose members 
were able to 
“ charm ” a school 
of whales ashore 
for a chieftain’s 
funeral feast; of 
the murderous 
wiles of the To- 
hunga Mahutu , 
the dreadful sor¬ 
cerer, who could 
kill men by the 
mere projection of 
the will, or strike 
them with insanity 
. or the living death 

ot ngerengere, the Maori leprosy. But more wonderful 
Ilian <m\ of the miraculous works of the medicine-men 
ol Ins nation was the transformation which had taken 
place in Aotea-roa before his living eyes—the passing 
away of old Maoridom like a tale that is told, and the 
enthroning of the white man with his cities and railroads, 
Ins steamers and telegraphs. 

And now in his peaceful old age, reconciled to his white 
supplanters hut abating none of his pride of race and 


Photo Igi Copt. T. Ryan , Toujk>, UXK 

Hutene to Uamaarangi, a Kingite Warrior, of Taupo. 


the MAORI: PAST AND PRESENT ' 

tribe and arms, be sat there on his mat, quietly watching 
the work of bis well-ordered little village. I le could have 
soliloquised with Ossian’s grim hero, the grey-bearded 
ancient Col la: 

“Friends of my youth . . • the darkness oi age 

comes like the mist of the desert. My shield is worn 
with years! My sword is fixed in its place. 1 said to 
my soul, Thy evening shall be calm, thy departure like 

a fading light.” 

So haere-ra ! Vale, O West-Wind! It is well that your 
bones repose in the tribal grave on yonder teilaced bill. 
The white man’s flocks graze over your old home; the 
white man’s locomotive screeches through your old 
battlefields and hunting-grounds; the sacred memorials 
of the past are obliterated; your tribe is a remnant. 
Haere-ra! for the aukati border-line which you drew 
against the white man has vanished before his breath. 
The romance of the Rohe-potae has gone with you, and 
few there be who can tell where once stood the 1 eed- 
tliatched homes of your fighting ’Matakore. 

******* 

Decidedly a more interesting type, that blanketed 
tattoo-spiralled old warrior, than the present generation 
of Maori rangatlra, who as often as not wears tailor- 
made clothes of the latest pattern, has a piano and a 
graphophone in his European-built house, is proud of 
his break at billiards, and whirls to the races in a 
motor-car. 

Hau-auru’s early training and environment and his 
outlook upon life bore about the same relation to those 
of the modern Maori, though so short a period of years 
separates them, as the early Briton’s life and sur¬ 
rounding bears to ours. His education, admirably fitted 
as it was for the preservation of life and the attainment 
of the good things that constituted happiness in his time, 
was that of the man of forest and fern, of raupo hut 
and dug-out canoe, the man of the Age of Stone. 


8 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


lliis was the Maori whose past and present we shall 
consider, the race whose history is the most fascinating 
of am primitive people’s, whose record of wanderings 
on and on over the vast many-islanded seas from their 
remote birthlands is the most wonderful in the traditions 
of human adventure and endeavour. A people whose 
restless energy and daring, whose passion for explora¬ 
tion, for migration to and colonisation of new lands, 
whose love of the sea and pride in deeds of battle show 
strangely close affinity to some of the dominant traits of 
the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic race. For they are a people 
whom ethnologists now have come to recognise as a long- 
severed offshoot of our own Caucasic stock. 




Chapter II. 


THE MAORI : PAST AND PRESENT {continued). 

It was a full century and a half before Columbus 
spread the sails of his high-pooped Santa Maria to the 
North-east Trades and steered boldly out into the 
unknown wastes of the Atlantic, that the band of 
Polynesian sailors from whom most of the Maoris of New 
Zealand trace their descent beached their long canoes on 
the shores of Aoteii-roa, after one of the most 
adventurous ocean voyages that oral tradition or 
written history has to tell of. The Pacific rovers, 
whose canoes are usually spoken of as the historic 
“Fleet,” were seamen and navigators beside whom 
our own European ancestors of that age were 
mere coasters. The names of the Aotea, the 
Tokomaru, the Tainui, the Arawa, the Takitimu, the 
Mamari, the Arai-te-uru crystallise stories of epic 
courage, of devoted enterprise, and remarkable seafaring 
skill. They are the recognised Pilgrim Ships of the New 
Zealand Maori, their ports of departure the reef-guarded 
lagoons of the Eastern Pacific Islands. 

But even they were not the first Pacific craft that made 
landfall on these shores. Centuries before, how many it 
is difficult to say, other wandering canoes had made these 
long-stretching islands, the first no doubt by accident 
of wind and weather rather than design. It is known 
that there was already a very considerable population in 
these islands, at any rate near the coasts, when the 
historic Fleet arrived. Though it is from the crews of 
the Aotea, the Tainui, the Arawa, and other canoes of 
the mid-fourteenth century that most accepted Maori 
genealogies spring, and the earlier aboriginal element is 
largely ignored, it is known that the Maori inter¬ 
married freely with the people whom he found already 


10 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


in the land, and that the present native race is a mixture 
of the Tahitian and Earotongan immigrants and the 
earlier race—called by some tribes Te Iwi-a-Maui, or 
“Maui’s Nation”—who were found already in possession 
of most parts of the North Island coast-lands. 

From the evidence of tribal history and tradition and 
the genealogical lists which the Maoris memorise so 
remarkably, the traces of ancient human inhabitants 
sometimes revealed in the course of excavations, and 
those wonderful monuments of communal industry, the 
immense scarped and terraced liill-forts that abound in 
the northern parts of New Zealand, it is certain that the 
Maori immigrants of the Tainui and Arawa period landed 
in a country that was already fairly well-peopled. I am 
convinced that more than a thousand years before 
Captain Cook first explored these shores in the 
Endeavour the brown-skinned restless Polynesian, 
probably with a strain of the Melanesian black, had 
already settled in New Zealand, finding here the spacious¬ 
ness and freedom and peace denied him in the 
comparatively tiny islands of the mid-Pacific. Thus, 
before even the fearless Northmen in their long 
dragon-headed boats had sailed down upon the coast 
they named Vinland, and anticipated by five cen¬ 
turies Columbus’s discovery of America, the forefathers 
of our Maori tribes had steered their frail outrigger and 
double canoes far down into the mysterious South Pacific, 
leaving the soft tropics for one of the stormiest seas on 
the globe, and had undauntedly made their homes in a 
new and wonderful and very wild country, where all the 
conditions of life were much more strenuous and rugged 
than in their languorous palm-clad equatorial isles and 
atolls. 

Such in briei was the immediate origin of Ihe Maori 
•‘‘ice whom the early white explorers found in these 
islands, the most vigorous and enterprising, proud, war- 
loving and ferocious of primitive peoples. The probable 
whence ol the race will he dealt with in succeeding pages; 
just now it will he sufficient to indicate that their last 


THE MAORI: PAST AND PRESENT 


11 


Hawaiikis, or home-lands, before reaching New Zealand 
were the Oceanic groups of which Tahiti, Raiatea, and 
Huaheine, in the Society Islands, and Rarotonga, 
Mangaia, and Aitutaki, in the Cook Croup, are the 
principal islands, and also, in the case ot the earlier 
ininiigrants, probably Samoa and Fiji, before tin* latter 
group was overrun by the Melanesian or negroid type of 
people from the West. 

* The Maoris of New Zealand are the most important 
and numerous branch of the great Polynesian family, 
the races known to ethnologists as the “Sawaiori”—a 
combination of the names of the three chief Polynesian 
nations, those of Samoa, Hawaii, and Maori. Out of 
approximately 180,000 Polynesian [slanders, spread over 
the vast Pacific from the Marshall and Hilbert Islands 
in the west to lonely Easter Island or Rapanui in the 
east, and from the high volcanic islands of Hawaii in 
the north away down to New Zealand and the Chatham 
Islands,the Maori people of this country number between 
forty-seven and forty-eight thousand, or more than one- 
fourtli of the population of Polynesia. The Samoans 
number about 38,000, and are in point of native purity 
of blood stronger than the Hawaiians, who though 
nominally 39,000 in population, have intermarried with 
whites, Chinese, and Japanese to such an extent that they 
are more than lialf-alien in breed. In French Oceania 
(including Tahiti and the other islands of the Society 
Group, the Marquesas, the Paumotu or Low Archipelago, 
and Mangareva or the Gambier Group) there is a native 
population of 25,000; the language of these Islanders, 
particularly the Mangareva people, closely resembles 
Maori. In Tonga, the Friendly Islands, there are about 
18,000 natives, having their own King and Parliament, 
under a British Protectorate. The population of the 
Cook and other islands annexed to the British Crown, 
and governed from New Zealand, is between 12,000 and 
13,000; the most populous of these islands is Niue, the 
Savage Island of Captain Cook, with 4,500 inhabitants; 
the others in order of importance are Rarotonga, 


12 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Mangaia, Aitutaki, Atiu, and Mauke, of the Cook Group, 
and the isolated atolls of Penrhyn (Mangarongaro), 
ATanihiki, Rakahanga, and Pukapnka (Danger Island). 
The natives of most of these little tropic dependencies of 
New Zealand closely resemble our Maoris in colour, 
physique, language and customs; the exception is Niue, 
whose people approximate more to the Tongan type, 
which appears in ages past to have received a consider¬ 
able admixture of the Western or Melanesian element. 

The origin of the name Maori has been much debated 
by our Polynesian philologists. The word Maori as a 
race-name is used chiefly by the New Zealanders and the 
Cook Islanders, and to a lesser extent by the Hawaiians, 
who have referred to themselves as Maoli. Literally it 
means “indigenous,” as applied to trees, birds, etc., and 
“fresh” as applied to water, i.e., “ wai-maori 11 ; in 
contradistinction to (i icai-tai, 11 salt-water. My old 
friend Mr. Charles E. Nelson, a remarkable linguist, and 
one of the best of Maori scholars, a man who delighted 
in tracking a Maori name or word back through its 
various Hawaiikis to its original birth-place, held that 
“Maori” as a generic appellative was of Cushite origin. 
He considered it was derived from the Hebrew word 
»iaor , or aor , meaning “light,” and that the remote 
Asiatic forefathers of the Polynesians so called them¬ 


selves, just as the gipsies of Arabia bore the name Nawar 
Irom nur, also light; as the Japanese named their chief 
island Nippon, the Land of the Rising Sun, and the Incas 


of America called themselves the Children of the Sun. 
The ancient Greeks, too, were the Hellenes, the children 
ol Helios, the Sun. A New Zealand native, speaking of 
the aboriginal people of another country, will refer to 
* hem as “ nga Maori o irra ichenua ,” “the inhabitants of 
I hat land. Idle deities and ancestral spirits of his race 
he will speak ol as "'Aina Maori . 11 Maori, therefore, is 
used both as a substantive, as in i( nga Maori o tcra 
a henna, and as an adjective. I sually in specifically 
referring 1 to his race a New Zealander will make use of 
the expression “m/u tangata Maori ,” meaning the Maori 


Till', MAOKI : PAST AND PRKSKNT 


13 

people, or “/c iwi Maori," the Maori nation. Edward 
Tregear, in his Maori-Polvnesian Dictionary, gives 
Maori as signifying “indigenous, not foreign, native,” 
in Tahiti, the Marquesas, tin* Paninotn Archipelago, and 
the (lanil)ier Islands (Mangareva) ; in the last-named 
Eastern Pacific (ironp, where tin* pure Maori language 
is spoken, it also denotes “one who belongs to the 
Polynesian race” and “royal.” Then away to the North 
of the Equator, in Hawaii, we have the word again, in 
its variant form of maoli, with precisely the same 
meaning as in the islands of French Oceania and New 
Zealand. But in very few places outside New Zealand 
does it appear to be used as a racial designation. If the 
word Maori as a race-name really came from the South 
Asiatic fatherland of the Polynesians, it has been 
dropped as an ethnic title by most of the branches of 
I the Polynesian stock. 

By purchase and by conquest the lands owned by the 
Maori have been reduced since 1840 to something a little 
under seven and a-half million acres. The total area of 
the islands of New Zealand is about sixty-six million 
i acres. When Briton and Maori joined hands in the 
Treaty of Waitangi sixty-nine years ago, the British 
Crown guaranteed to the aboriginal inhabitants their 
title to the whole of their lands. Whatever unfortunate 
quarrels, official blunders, wars, there have been since 
the chieftains of the North met Governor Hobson on the 
beach of Waitangi and signed allegiance to the White 
1 Queen, the broad principles involved in that Treaty have 
nevertheless been generally recognised by Europeans 
as binding and inviolable; and taking it altogether the 
Maoris have not been badly treated with respect to their 
landed possessions. Sharp war there lias been, followed 
; by confiscation of lands, and many hundreds of 
thousands of acres of the best Maori land were taken by 
right of conquest. The law of the strong arm, the 
ringa-haha as the Maori has it, he could well understand, 
if he could not quite appreciate its justice. But the great 
bulk of the Maori lands were alienated by peaceful 







14 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


purchase—often for absurdly inadequate considerations, 
judged in the light of to-day; vast areas were paid for 
chiefly in muskets, kegs of gunpowder, cases of hatchets, 
bales of prints, boxes of fish-hooks, jew’s-liarps, and so 
on. Yet to the savage those were treasures of vast 
value; and he did not make such bad bargains after all 
-—for himself; it is his descendants who suffer. 
The Maori, like his average pakeha cousin, did not give 
much thought to posterity. 

But if the Maori has been on the whole treated with 
honourable consideration by the white colonist, the 
white has much to thank the Maori for. It 
was the grandfathers of the present Maori who 
welcomed and kindly treated the pakeha when the latter 
were very small fry indeed, a weak handful of coast- 
settlers and traders as compared with the warlike 
numerous people of the soil. Had Tamati AYaka Nene 
and Patuone and Te AYherowliero and other great chiefs 
of the early days been endowed with the priestly gift of 
Matakite, the second sight, and had “dipped into the 
future” a few years, and beheld their people a mere 
remnant beside the swarming pakeha, their reception 
of the first British Governor and his Treaty 
might have been very different indeed. Our security 
and our development as a white community in 
the Southern Seas were due to the Maoris of 
1840 in a far greater measure than the pakeha 
colonist acknowledges—if indeed the average pakeha of 
to-day cares or knows anything about it. The present 
generation of white New Zealander is too often ignorant 
of bis national history, too often knows little of the 
circumstances that led to his own presence here, and in 
bis ignorance presumes to look upon the Maori, who 
clings with affection to the remnant of his land, as a 
cumberer of the earth. 

The Maori would probably have been treated with as 
little consideration as the Australian black, had he not 
bet'ii well able to maintain bis own rights and dignity. 
Ilis quick intelligence enabled him to recognise the 


Till', MAOKI : PAST AND PUKSKNT 


15 


immense material advantage <>f accepting the white man 
as a eo-settler and a friend; but lie was constitutionally 
short in the temper, as quick to take offence and 
pick a quarrel as any Scottish Highland chief or any 
Spanish hidalgo, and always ready to enforce with gun 
and tomahawk his own peculiar way ol looking at a 
racial problem. And he had no cringing humilit\ ; he 
despised the diffident man; he feared no one; Ik* con¬ 
sidered himself quite as good as, and generally far better 
than, the pakehn, particularly in all the arts of war. 1 he 
Maori will no more descend to the social level of a Hindu 
coolie or a Japanese ricksha man or a Zulu house- 
servant than the Samoan will become a plantation- 
labourer; that is for the iiri taurekareka , the slave races. 
His whole plane of culture, in his savage state, was 
relatively high; and his senses of dignity and of humour 
—two qualities that do not always go together—were 
quick and keen. We can hardly imagine a Maori 
rangatira allowing a white Governor to decorate him 
patronisingly with a tin name-plate, and christen him 
“King Billy.” 

Whatever advantages civilisation may have conferred 
on the Maori, there is no doubt that his physique has 
deteriorated. Speaking generally, the race has grown 
flabbier, more susceptible to disease, since the white man 
came. Many Maoris are too obese to be healthy; but 
then we can say exactly the same of the pakeha. Every 
Maori in the savage old days was an athlete, always iu 
training. He needed no calisthenics, no dumb-bells, no 
punching-balls to keep him in trim; for he had his canoe¬ 
ing and his labour with axe and adze to develop his 
muscles of the shoulders and hack and chest; his forest 
hunting expeditions, his daily climbing to and from his 
hill-pa, his often-practised war-dance and his haka, to 
make him agile and hard-limbed, sound in wind and 
tireless of leg. The ten years’ war of 1860-70, while a 
vast misfortune in other ways, at least revived the half- 
forgotten military exercises of savagedom that helped 
to keep the Maori in perfect physical trim, and that were 



16 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


the life and soul of the old generation. The peaceful 
farmer and trader, the village lay-reader, tore off all 
vestiges of civilisation with their trousers, and leaped 
into the wild action of the peruperu with a joy and fire 
that were all the greater because so long repressed. 
Every Maori was a soldier by instinct and by training, 
like the Highlander of old. It is hardly reasonable to 
suppose that the modern Maori has lost this instinct; 
the spirit of soldiering is in his blood, and given proper 
training the thousands of young natives in the land 
would be a splendid auxiliary to the white forces in 
time of war. 





Photo bp II'. Prattle, Auckland, 1SK)6. 

A Waikato Canoe Crew. 

Certain of the Maori tribes seem, because of their 
•environment, to have escaped that general physical 
slackness which in most cases follows the loss of a 
definite object in life, such as war. The people who live 
along flu* banks of the Lower Waikato River are often 
of splendid physical development, the result of their 
continual exercise with the canoe-paddle. The women 
arc as good canoeists as the men, and many of them are 
of .J nnoesque figure, without the disfigurement of 
superfluous flesh. The mountaineers of the Urewera 
country, allhough a small-built race as a rule, have no 
superiors as hard-working, last-travelling buslnnen, 
with a tireless capacity for arduous hill-work. They 
have had for generations to wrest their living from a 





Till'. MAORI: CAST AND PRESENT 


17 


wild forest-land, and cany their loads and fight their 
enemies in the roughest conceivable kind of country, 
mostly river-gorge and wooded range. Perhaps the 
coming generation of Prewera highland people will l><* 
less hardy, for roads have been out through the country, 
and every man lias a horse of a kind, a sturdy mountain 
pony. But the average man, and woman, too, is a won¬ 
derfully good bush-traveller and tracker and swag- 
carrier as compared with the dwellers in the open 
country. I feel tired yet when I think of my old 
Hauhau friend Paitini and our tramp across the Huiarau 
mountains from Ruatahuna toM aikaremoana some twelve 
years ago. Paitini was nearly sixty, and no Hercules 
in size or muscle; but he loped along that rough bush 
track, up hill and down,with the easy,noiseless,seemingly 
effortless pace of a Red Indian, carrying a good-sized 
swag, a pace that left his pakeha companion toiling hard 
behind him as if he were in a foot-race. Yet Paitini 
seemed to be only taking a quiet stroll through the bush. 
It was his home from childhood, that sombre twilight 
forest, with its roaring creeks and its rocky precipices; 
he had carried gun and tomahawk all over it in the 
Hauhau wars, and had snared and speared the forest- 
birds in its remotest depths. He was a forester and a 
mountaineer by heredity; and he was hard as iron by 
continual usage of those hard forest-trails. Perhaps, 
too, the short-kilted shawl costume had something to do 
with it; for the old man travelled most of the way in 
his national rig, the best for this land of bush and creek; 
like Kipling’s Gunga Din: 

“ The uniform ’e wore 
Was nothin’ much before 
An’ rather less than ’arf o’ that be’ind.” 

Work and a healthily occupied mind, an object in life, 
are what the Maori requires, if he is to live and increase 
in the land. The Urewera people, though a small tribe, 
have not suffered so much as some other divisions of the 
Maori race from the coming of the pakeha, because their 


B 


18 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


mountains isolated them until quite recent years, and 
their food gave more trouble to secure. They had little 
time to waste in idleness. Now that they are tasting the 
sweet things of the outer world—many Ureweras go 
round shearing for the white settlers and earn large 
cheques annually, and are even taking to dairying, 
and making money at it—they will perhaps begin to look 
down with scorn upon their old ways. Certainly there 
are some things they could with advantage abandon; 
hut their general mode of life, hard as it was, suited 
them, kept their bodies strong, and their intellects 
keen. Of those tribes which have made more 
progress in civilisation, probably the most energetic 
and profitably occupied are the Ngati-Porou 
and their kindred ha pus, between Gisborne and 
the East Cape. The Ngati-Porou own and manage 
several large sheep-runs, with all the latest European 
plant and improvements;these slieep-farms are conducted 
on the co-operative principle—a wise concession to the 
old communistic habits of the race—and all the brains 
and muscle employed are Maori. All the villages and 
stations of the tribe are connected by telephone; the cost 
of construction was borne entirely by the Maoris. These 
enterprising people, led by Apirana Ngata and other 
educated chiefs of the young generation, are prospering 
materially, are increasing numerically, and are giving 
their more conservative or less fortunately captained 
countrymen a useful lesson m life; they are showing 
them that it is possible, while preserving their pride of 
race and of ancestral tradition, to develop on certain 
lines on equal terms with their white neighbours. 

The life on the land, the healthy life of the agricul¬ 
turist and the pastoralist, is the life for the Maori. 
Gifted individuals, the Pomares, the Ngatas, the 
Ivangihirons ol the race, will always rise, as they have 
liseu, 1<> high official and professional honour and even 
outstrip New Zealanders of European birth and greater 
opportunities. But the Maori people, if they are to live, 
must dwell on their ancestral lands and win their bread 


THE MAORI: PAST AND PRESENT 


ID 


from those lands with the energy and industry that their 
forefathers brought to hear on every phase of life, from 
hewing out a eanoe to planning and executing a 
campaign. 

******* 

The Maori character strangely blends souk 1 apparently 
incongruous qualities. In some respects intensely 
practical and matter-of-fact, and keenly alive to his own 
material interests, he is also intensely poetical. lie is 
permeated with the poetic sense, and with the super¬ 
natural. A Maori’s soul finds natural relief in song, 
particularly in time of sorrow and bereavement. In this 
lie resembles the Scottish Highlander and the Irish 
peasant. No Maori speech is considered complete 
without a chanted waiatu to emphasise it, a poetic 
peroration. His poetry, so full of simile and metaphor 
and expressive image, gathered from the wild nature 
with which he lived so intimately, or from the moving 
episodes of his life and the deeds ot his ancestors, is 
very beautiful and very touching even when judged by 
the standard of the cultured European. His love of his 
land and home impressed itself deep on his language 
and his poetry; and his very place-names often reflect 
the soul of the bard. Here, as Robert Louis Stevenson 
lias written of that other home ot the Maori, Tahiti— 

“Cape and village and river, and vale and mountain above, 

Each had a name in the land for men to remember and love; 

And never the name of a place but lo! a song in its praise: 

Ancient and unforgotten, songs of the earlier days.” 

Kind in domestic life, the Maori lavished affection on 
his children; many beautiful chants heard to-day were 
originally composed as oriori, or lullaby-songs, and 
laments for children. But this race of bards was also a 
race fierce and pitiless in war. The Maori seldom spared 
a foe; he slaughtered indiscriminately, unless he 
required women or slaves or both, then he spared such 
as he required. He was a horrible cannibal, and boasted 
of it; and even as late as the Taranaki War of 1869 


20 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


human flesli was eaten in sacrificial war-rite. A few of 
the old kai-tangata, the man-eaters, are still alive, the 
last of the anthropophagi. 

The Maori’s moral make-up, indeed, like that of every 
race, held much that was admirable and much that was 
the reverse; of which let the stories that follow tell. 



Chapter 11 I. 


POPULATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF 


TRIBES. 


The last New Zealand census, taken in DOG, showed 
the total Maori population to be 47,731 persons, 
an increase of 4,588 persons as compared with the 
previous census, that of 1901. The first native census 
was taken in the year 1874, but in 186/, and again in 
1871, the various officers residing in native districts had 
been instructed to furnish estimates of the number of 
Maoris in their respective districts. These estimates 
were, however, merely approximate, and are known to 
have been imperfect. Since 1874 a census of the native 
population has been taken coincidently with the 
European census. 

The following table shows the population at the 


census years 





Persons. 


Persons. 

1867 (approximate 


1881 

. . 44,097 

estimate). . 

38,540 

1886 

. . 41,969 

1871 (approximate 


1891 

. . 41,993 

estimate) . . 

37,502 

1896 

. . 39,854 

1874 (first census) 

45,470 

1901 

.. 43,143 

1878 . . 

43,595 

1906 

. . 47,731 


Of the fluctuations exhibited in the above table the 
Under-Secretary for Native Affairs, Judge H. F. Edger, 
remarked in his memorandum to the Native Minister, in 
laying the census before him, that “they cannot be 
regarded as normal, and conclusions deduced from the 
figures must be regarded to a large extent as conjectural. 
It was doubted whether the large decrease shown by the 
census of 1896 was a real decrease, or merely due to the 
non-inclusion of a number of natives either by accident 


•21 





90 

t-J __ 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


or through refusals to give proper information to the 
sub-enumerators. Similarly, the large increase shown 
by the present census may in part be attributed to more 
favourable circumstances permitting a closer enumera¬ 
tion to be made on this occasion.” 

Taking all the circumstances into consideration, it is 
evident that the decay of the race has at last been stayed. 
The 1906 census is probably the most reliable one that 
has yet been taken by the Government. A significant and 
pleasing feature is the increase in the number of children 
since the 1901 census. The 1906 census showed the 
number of persons under the age of fifteen years to be 
18,417, whereas in 1901 it was 16,082; there was thus an 
increase of 2,395 during the five years. 

r l hat there is a tendency to gradual absorption in the 
European population is undoubted. The proportion of 
half-castes is increasing. The last census showed that 
in the five years since 1901 the number of half-castes 
living with the Maori tribes had increased by 815. The 
total number of half-castes living as members of Maori 
tribes was 3,938. Besides these there were 2,578 half- 
castes returned as “living as Europeans,” thus giving 
a total of 6,516 persons of mixed European and Maori 
blood. There were 211 Maori wives living with European 
husbands. 


By far the greater portion of the Maori population is 
in the North Island, which has 44,962, as against 2,256 
in the South Island, and 100 in Stewart Island, besides 
1 1 - Maori and 30 Moriori people living in the Chatham 
Islands. This tiny remnant of the ancient and once 
numerous Moriori aborigines is being reduced year by 
year; there are at the present time not more than half-a- 
dozen living persons of pure Moriori blood. 

I he proportions of the sexes as revealed bv the 1906 


census were 23,387 males and 20,406 females of pun 
Maori blood, besides 2,151 male and 1,787 female half 
castes living as members of Maori tribes. This excess 
ol males over females is not a good feature, and unti 
the relative proportions are reversed, or at any rati 


POPULATION AND D1STUI BUT ION OF TKIBK8 


23 


equalised, the pernmnent preservation ot the race cannot 

be regarded as assured. ^ 

The geographical distribution of the Maori people lias 

naturally been influenced very largely by climate and 
other natural factors. The warm and pleasant North 
Auckland country, the Waikato, the vicinity of the 
Rotorua Thermal Springs, the shores ot the Bay ol 
plenty and the fruitful coastlands about the Hast < ape 
and down to Hawke’s Bay hold the most numerous of the 
Maori tribes. The northern part ot the Auckland 
province has probably always been the most thickly 
populated of all districts. Here the Maori found con¬ 
ditions of climate, soil, and general surroundings more 
nearly approaching those of his ancient Oceanic homes 
than those of the more southern parts of New Zealand 
Here the introduced tropic esculents, the kwmarci and 
faro, grew luxuriantly, seldom injured by frosts, and 
other foods of land and sea were in the greatest 
abundance, while the mildness and geniality oi the 
climate permitted of a life in the open all the yeai lound 
with little clothing. There were no winters of severe 
frost and snow such as were familiar to the mountaineers 
of the Urewera country or the tribes of the South Island. 
The almost incredible numbers and dimensions of the 
old terraced and trenched liill-forts or ioas which stud 
the Auckland district from the Tamaki isthmus to the 
far North are memorials of the great numbers as well 
as the wonderful patience, industry, and military, 
engineering skill of the ancient people. E\en to-da\ ve 
find that the Ngapuhi, Rarawa and allied tribes of North 
Auckland are stronger numerically than their more 
southern cousins. In the Mangonui county, the most 
northern in the Dominion, there were at last census 
2,053 Maoris, in Hokianga county 2,769, and in the Bay 
of Islands 2,571. Adding to these figures those of the 
Whangaroa, Hobson, Otamatea, Whangarei, Rodney, 
and Waitemata and Eden counties and the adjacent 
islands of the Hauraki Gulf, we find that the total Maori 
population of the Auckland province north of the 





24 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 

/ 


Tamaki the ancient border-line between the northern 
and the Waikato and other southern tribes—is 11,029 
persons, or nearly one-fourth of the entire Maori people. 
^ To the south, the Waikato and allied tribes of 
Tamm stock, who lost the greater part of their lands bv 
confiscation after the Waikato War of 1863-64, occupy 
the western side of the Waikato River, that broad and 
beautiful stream flowing for two hundred miles through 
the heart of the Island, fed by the snows of Ruapehu 
and the huge reservoir of Lake Taupo. In the Manukau, 
\\ aikato, A\ aipa, Raglan, and Kawhia counties there are 
•j,958 natives, and in the large district known as the 
‘‘King Country, extending from Kawhia Harbour and 
the basin of the Waipa down south to the upper waters 
ot the Wlianganui and to the northern part of Taranaki 
province, there are 2,342, most of whom are members of 
that famous old warrior clan the Ngati-Maniapoto and 
the neighbouring clans of the Ngati-Raukawa and Ngati- 
1 uwharetoa. On the eastern coast of the Auckland 
province, ^ the fertile country sloping down to the 
shores ot the well-named Bay of Plenty holds a 
numerous and generally prosperous population,' the 
ti'hes of the Ngaiterangi, the Ngati-Pikiao and Ngati- 
Rangitiln sections of the great Aiwa tribe, Ngati-Awa 
vvhakatohea, etc., numbering in ail in the Tauranga 
\\ hakatane and Opo tl ki census districts 5,(i!)l persons.’ 
nl.ind i om hakatane and Opotiki are the Urewera 
mountain-people. In the Rotorua county there are I 2G0 
Maoris, being the majority of the Arawa tribe; most of 
lose live III the various villages around the shores of 

'? y orlla - , hl 1:,ast Taupo there are 889 Maoris 
most ol them living in the Ngati-Tuwharetoa country on 
(lie. .shores of the great central lake; they are closely 
connected with I he Arawa nation. Then,'going south 
wards from the East Cape, through the line slieep- 
anmngand maize-growing coastal country of the Ngati 
I <>••<»■ mid other tribes of Takitinm descent we 

numerous andI well-to-.. the ccn'sus f 0 , he 

Waiapu and Cook counties gives the number of Maori 






















































IMUl'RATION and DISTRIBUTION of tribes 


25 



A Scene in the Ureweral Country .—The picturesque valley of the Whirinaki, at To Whniti, in the Drew, ra Mountains. al>out 
sixty miles from Rotorua. The round hill-top seen rising from the bush in the right distance is the ancient Maori /’<< Umurakau 





THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


26 


inhabitants as 4,370. Tn Hawke’s Bay and the great 
stretch of country extending from the populous valley 
of the Wairoa to the Lower Wairarapa, the territory of 
the Ngati-Kahungnnu tribe, there is a numerous popu¬ 
lation, and many of the tribes-people are wealthy land- 
owners and sheep-farmers; the total native population 
of this Ngati-Kaliungunu country is 5,255. On the 
western side of the Island south of Cape Egmont the 
population is not quite so numerous. lu Taranaki, the 
province of the fiercest of the native wars against the 
whites—the Taranaki campaigns lasted with little 
intermission from 1860 to 1869—there are 3,090 natives, 
belonging chiefly to the Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngati-Ruanui, 
and Nga-Rauru tribes, most of whom were until lately 
the disciples of the celebrated prophet Te Wliiti, and 
the most inimical of all Maoris to the progressive and 
aggressive European. Of the other West Coast tribes 
the most important is the Whanganui, inhabiting many 
villages on the banks of the great river from which they 
take their name, from Putiki-wliara-nui at the mouth up 
to Pipiriki and the vicinity, a race of famous warriors 
and canoe-men; they number now in the Whanganui 
county 782 people. About the banks of the Waitotara 
River, just to the north of the Whanganui, there are 348 
natives allied partly to Whanganui and partly to 
Taranaki. In the Ilorowhenua county, further south, 
the low-lying fertile belt of country near the sea through 
which the Manawatu section of the Main Trunk Railway 
runs, there were 1,015 people at last census; these 
belong to the Ngati-Apa, Muaupoko, and Ngati-Toa 
tribes, Otaki is the headquarters of the Ngati-Toa, 
the descendants of the great Rauparaka’s tribe of 
cannibal conquerors who migrated here from Kawliia 
more than eighty years ago and wrested these coastlands 
and Kapiti Island from Ihe Muaupoko and Rangitane 
tribes. 


Crossing Cook Strait—the Maori “Sea of Raukawa” 
to the wonderfully dovetailed coastline of the South 
Island, we have a much sparser Maori population. The 


POPUI.ATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF 'BRIBES 


'll 


tribes are niueli more scattered and are but luorehu, mere 
remnants of their olden strength. A few villages of the 
Ngati Kuia, Rangitane, Ngati-Awa, Ngati-Rarua, etc., 
are to be found here and there in the sheltered inlets ot 
the Marlborough Sounds and the northern shores of 
Nelson province; the Marlborough and Nelson h<tpns or 
sections of tribes number only 137. Down the wild West 
Coast, the Maori Poutini, the land of greenstone, there 
are a very few hamlets, containing at the 11)0(5 census 
onlv 44 people; one of these villages is on the banks of 
the famous greenstone-bearing river Aralmra, and 
another is far down the torrent-split littoral of West land, 
at Makawhio, or Jacob’s River, where a few people of 
the Ngati-Mahaki hcipu live a very lonely and remote 
bush life. Crossing the great Alpine range and 
travelling down the Canterbury Plains to the eastern 
seaboard, we find here and there the people of the Ngai- 
Tahu tribe, whom the first white settlers found in 
possession of the whole country, and from whom they 
purchased vast tracts of prairie land for trifling con¬ 
siderations in trade-goods and money. The principal 
northern village of the Ngai-Talra is Tuahiwi, close 
to the site of the celebrated old fortified town Kaiapohia, 
a few miles from Christchurch. The other principal 
kaikas or villages of the tribe are those at 
Tenmka (properly Te Umu-kaha), Taumutu, Little 
River, Akaroa, and Waihao in the Canterbury province; 
Puketiraki, Otago Heads, and the Taieri River in Otago 
province; and Riverton and Oraka (Colac Bay) in 
Southland. Tn Otago and Southland the Ngai-Tahu 
blood has an admixture of the ancient Ngati-Mamoe, 
vanished as a clan and absorbed (very literally in one 
sense) by the Ngai-Tahu conquerors. The Ngai-Tahu 
tribe, with its blending of the olden Ngati-Mamoe and 
Waitalia strains, numbers in all about two thousand 
souls, scattered over hundreds of miles of country, their 
little settlements mere lonely dots amongst the farms 
and villages of the white man. 


28 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


The proportion of half-castes to pure-bred Maoris 
varies considerably in the various large tribes. In the 
Waiapn county, tlie district around the East Cape, the 
Ngati-Porou and contiguous tribes have 246 lialf-castes 
in a total population of 2,611, or about ten per cent. In 
the Waitomo county, in the centre of the King Country, 
there are 130 half-castes of the Ngati-Maniapoto tribe, 
which numbers in this district 1,075 persons: the pro¬ 
portion of part-whites here is about one in every eight 
natives. In the Whanganui district the strain of pakelia 
blood is greater; out of 782 natives 115 are half-castes, 
or something over one in every seven. In the South 
Island, where in the early days the white whalers, sealers 
and traders intermarried freely with the Maoris, the 
strain of white blood is much more pronounced. White 
greatly predominates in Canterbury at any rate, and it 
will soon be difficult to find a pure-blooded Maori there. 
Out of the 2,266 people of the native race returned in 
1906 as living in the South Island and Stewart Island, 
865 were lialf-castes (451 males and 414 females). 



Chapter IV. 

the origin of the maokl 


“I ha ere niai alum no Tawhiti-nui, no / a wh iti-i on, no 
Tuivliiti-pa-mawao, i to Hono-i-W (lima, i llawaiiki. 

“1 came from Great-Distance, from Long-Distance, 
from the Very-Distant-Places, from the Gathering- 
Pi ace-of-Sou Is, from llawaiiki.’ 

This was the rather cryptic reply, delivered in a sing¬ 
song chant, that one of my Maori tohunga friends gave 
me when 1 first made enquiry of him as to the traditional 
origin of his race. It was a formula that summaiised 
the Maori’s idea of the migration of his ancestors, from 
one Tawhiti or Hawaiiki to another across the mysterious 
Pacific. The traditions of the last migration, that from 
Tahiti and Raiatea and Rarotonga, are widely diffused 
and are well authenticated; and Maori tribal historians 
have preserved in minute detail, handed down from 
tohunga father to son through many generations, the 
stories of the dissensions amongst the people in these 
last Hawaiikis, the building of the canoes, with the 
attendant ceremonies and priestly invocations, and the 
great voyage across the Ocean of Kiwa to these shores. 
But beyond that all is vague, and it is to the white 
tohunga that we must go for the piecing together of the 
earlier migrations of this far-travelled people. 

In Maori tradition numerous place-names besides 
those mentioned above are preserved as those of ancient 

-Compare this with the following extract from a poetical address 
presented recently to the lion. James Carroll. Native Minister, by the 
Maoris of the Ngati-Kahungunu and other tribes of “Takitimu” descent: — 

“Turn once again your face to the shadowy land from which we came, 
to the homes of our ancestors far away, to Great-Hawaiiki, to Long- 
Hawaiiki, to Hawaiiki-of-Great-Distanee, to the Hono-i-Wairua (the Place 
of Spirits), the land where man was formed from the earth by Great-Tane- 
of-the-Sky, and had life first breathed into him. So begin our 
genealogies. ’ ’ 


•29 




30 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


homes; of these are Waeroti, Waerota—to be heard to 
this day in fomara-planting chants—Mataora, Wawau, 
Nukuroa, Rangiatea, and other places, and even 
mountains, such as Idiknrangi, and rivers, such as Piko- 
piko-i-wliiti. But as to where these places were, the 
Maori is unable to tell ns; and it is left to the 
sciences of ethnology and philology to trace them. Of 
Waeroti and Waerota we are told by the Maoris that they 
were the islands whence they obtained the kwnara, the 
sweet potato. As to such localities as Wawau and 
Hikurangi, there are several places bearing those names 
in the Pacific Islands, hut they must lie names of very 
great antiquity, going hack to the remote Asiatic lands. 
The place-name Wawau we can trace back westwards 
through the Pacific; it is a sign-post on the ocean-rovers’ 
ancient track. In the Society Islands we find it first; 
the ancient name of the beautiful fantastically-pinnacled 
isle Porapora, or Borobora, is Vavau; Mr. Percy Smith 
says he has little doubt that it was from this island that 
the ancestors of the Ngati-Whatua tribe of Kaipara came 
to New Zealand in their canoe the “Mahuhu.” Sailing 
westwards, there is Vavau (Maori, Wawau), one of the 
principal islands of the Tonga group. Then, Fornander, 
the great Polynesian student, considers that Babao, the 
ancient name of Coupang, Isle of Timor, in the East 
Indies, and probably the name of the whole island before 
the Malays conquered and settled it. is identical with 
Vavau or Wawau. Further back still it goes, and it is 
most probably a very ancient one referring to one of the 
old Continental home-lands, perhaps India, or the shores 
of the Persian Gulf. 

That the Maori-Polynesian is a branch, though a 
distant one, of the Caucasian race is now generally 
accepted by scientific investigators. The evidence 
in support of this, ethnic, philological, and anthro¬ 
pological, is so strong that the European need no longer 
hesitate to claim (lie Maori as his long-severed kinsman. 

The opinions of ethnologists differ as to when and 
where the liiving-off began: as to when the ancestors of 



the OK1GIN OK THE MAORI 


31 


tli<> Maori began their great eastward migration, and as 
to when* they first ventured on the great waters and 
became navigators and seamen. Some go no lnrther 
back westwards than India; but all the evidence of 
feature and language and custom seems to point to a more 
distant Hawaiiki than this. Custom is more persistent 
than language, and some ot the commonest habits and 
customs of the race are identical with those that have 
been observed amongst seafaring peoples on the 
coast of Arabia, and on the shores ot the Red Sea. 
Certainly there seems to be adequate evidence to justity 
us in arriving at these general conclusions: that it was 
on or near the shores ot the Persian Cult and ot Arabia 
that the ancestors of the Maori-Polynesian lived; that 
they had racial affinities with the ancient Chaldeans, 
from whom they gained most of their astronomical know¬ 
ledge; that they also were blood relations of the 
Phoenicians, who were the most adventurous of ancient 
mariners; that they had affinity with the Egyptians, 
some of whose religious traditions they absorbed. 

Professor A. TT. Keane is one of the leading ethnolo¬ 
gists who are convinced of the Caucasian origin of the 
Polynesians. In his “Man, Past and Present,” he says 
that the Eastern Polynesians (those living in the groups 
east of Fiji, namely, Tonga, Samoa, Tahiti, Hawaii, New 
Zealand, etc.) “constitute the purest and most interesting 
section of the Caucasian Indonesians. Their claim to 
belong to this connection can no longer be seriously 
questioned. There have been from the remotest times 
both a dolicho and a brachy section of the Caucasic 
division. To the former belong our Eastern Polynesians, 
who are mostly long heads with remarkably regular 
features, often of a distinctly European stamp, and 
other characteristics of a pronouncedly Caucasian type. 
The hair is mostly black and straight, but also wavy, 
though never frizzly or even kinky. The colour also is 
of a light brown compared to cinnamon or cafe-au-lait, 
and sometimes approaching an almost white shade, 


32 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


while the tall stature, averaging 5ft. llin. or 6ft., slightly 
exceeds that of several European groups in Sweden, 
Norway, North Britain, and Ireland.” 

“But the language, it is objected,” Professor 
Keane goes on to say, “is not Aryan or European. No 
doubt this is so, but Caucasic people of the New Stone 
Age spread over North Africa, Europe, and Asia and 
most of them spoke non-Aryan idioms, as we see very 
well from the Hamitieo-Semitic, and the allied Basque 
blends those of the Caucasus and Yagnobi, which in its 
remarkable survival may be called the ‘Basque of 
Central Asia.’ ” 

Without going deeply into the vast mass of evidence 
available on this subject, there are many superficial links 
between the Polynesian and the Old-World peoples who 
developed civilisations on the plains of Southern Asia, 
the peoples who sprang from common Caucasic stock. In 
physical appearance many points of resemblance can be 
detected between the Maori and the Arabs and their 
neighbours; and in that singular survival the Urukehu, 
the fair-haired type to be seen in some Maori 
villages in the interior, we have the pure Caucasian. 
There is a remarkable Hebraic likeness in many a Maori 
face, particularly amongst the men of the Arawa tribe. 
One old Arawa chief in particular, Araki te Pohu, (see 
page 33) impressed me as of strangely Jewish 
appearance; he had a Semitic cast of features, with the 
strong hooked nose which the Maori calls ihu-kcika, or 
“parrot-beak,” and with his fine mystic eye and his 
white beard he might have sat for a picture of some 
ancient Jewish patriarch, had it not been for the tattoo- 
marks on his nose and cheeks. The law of tupu with its 
myriad ramifications suggests the old Hebrew quaran¬ 
tines and prohibitions as detailed in Leviticus and 
Deuteronomy. Between the ancient Egyptians and 
the Maori there are some singularly strong like¬ 
nesses. The heads on the large whare-whakairo or 
carved houses in Maori villages have often quite an 


THE ORIGIN OF THE MAORI 


33 



Egyptian and Sphinx-like gaze out into space. I have 
seen a very old canoe-prow from the West Coast ol the 
South Island carved in the semblance of a human face 
which was most remarkably like the Egyptian type of 
face as depicted in statues in the Lower Valley of the 
Nile. In ancient Egypt, too, as has often been noted, we 
have the name of the sun-god, Ra, which is that of the 
sun throughout Polynesia and New Zealand, and 

probably the most 
widely spread of 
all names of deified 
forces of nature. 
Other Maori names 
of divinities, such 
as Maui, are appar¬ 
ently of Egyptian 
or Semitic origin. 

Such a widely- 
travelled observer 
as C. E. Nelson 
was able to cite 
some strong anal¬ 
ogies between the 
Maoris and the 
people of the south 
coast of Arabia, 
particularly in cer¬ 
tain customs such 
as the cooking of 
food by steaming 
in earth-ovens—the Maori hdngi, the drying of 

sharks for food by splitting them and hanging them 
up on stages in the sun; the blue lip and chin tattooing 
of the women. Nelson, in his sailoring youth, once served 
in an Arab dhow engaged in trading from Quiloa up 
tlie African coast to the Red Sea; and amongst the wild 
sea-loving Arabs on the coast near Muscat he observed 
customs which he was long years afterwards surprised 
to find obtaining universally amongst the Maoris. 


Photo by J. McDonald, N.Z. Govt. Tourist Dept. 
The late Arakite Pohu, of Rotorua- 


C 


34 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


The Semitic peoples, the Egyptian and Arab, all 
no doubt influenced the remote ancestral parent-race, the 
proto-Maori, and gave it some of its distinguishing 
physical, features, some of its customs and social laws, 
some of its deities. 

As to the period at which the ancestors of the Poly¬ 
nesians began their great heke, their migration 
eastwards from the shores of south-western Asia to 
India and Indonesia, and finally to the Pacific, we have 
no data that will enable us to fix even an approximate 
date. Mr. S. Percy Smith, whose excellent little book 
“Hawaiiki” is recognised as the standard work on the 
subject, does not carry his investigations further back 
than India. He agrees with Mr. J. H. Logan that the 
Polynesians formed part of the very ancient “Gangetic 
Race,” which had been in India from remote antiquity, 
but which had been at various periods modified by the 
intrusion oi Semitic, Tibetan and other races. Mr. 
Smith concludes, from a mass of most interesting Raro- 
tongan traditional as well as scientific evidence which he 
cites, that the Polynesian ancestors were living in a land 
known as Atia-te-varinga-nui, which he holds is India, 
about 450 b.c., when they were ruled over by a great king 
or supreme chief named Tu-te-Rangi-marama; that not 
long before the beginning of the Christian era they 
began to migrate to the islands of the East Indies, and 
settled in Java, thence gradually moving eastwards into 
the Pacific. 

Professor . Macmillan Brown’s theory, as set out in 
his book “Maori and Polynesian,” is that there was in 
pahrolithic times a great eastward migration of a section 
of the Caucasian race, from the shores of the 
Mediterranean Sea; it divided into two streams, one 
passing through Siberia to the East Coast of Asia and 
Japan (whence some found their way to Alaska) thence to 
the Philippines, Lad rones, Carolines, and other Western 
Pacific Groups and eventually to Samoa; the other from 
India to Indonesia (where the first stream was found 
already in occupation), and thence from island to island 


T11 K OKKilN OF TIIF. MAOIU 


nff 

.50 

eastwards into the Pacific. The second stream, the 
Professor believes, entered the Pacific long after the 
first but before the metals came into common use, hence 
the neolithic stage in which the white man found the 
Maori-Polvnesian. Such broadly is Professor 
Macmillan Brown’s theory, expanded fascinatingly in 
his book. 

To the present writer it seems reasonable to suppose 
that right from the start the eastward movement of the 
migrants was for the most part by sea; from tlie shores 
of Arabia and the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf across 
the Indian Ocean to India, thence by the island stages 
upon which most students are agreed. The ocean, with 
which the Arabs and their kin were familiar, offered an 
unobstructed highway to the East, whereas by land 
there were the enormous difficulties and dangers of 
rugged mountain country, deserts, hunger and thirst, 
and hostile tribes. The coastal people of South-Western 
Asia were from ancient times navigators with a know¬ 
ledge of the stars; they, and probably the early 
Egyptians, were amongst the earliest sailors. They 
coasted down the eastern shores of the African Continent 
at any rate as far as the Zambesi, and they also visited 
and probably partly colonised Madagascar; this would 
account for the resemblances between the Maori- 
Polvnesian language and the Malagasy. 

That these proto-Maoris were fearless and enter¬ 
prising seafarers is evident; they would have little 
hesitation in pushing out across the ocean Indiawards. 
But they could hug the coast if they wished, and probably 
did so, landing here and there along the shores of Persia 
and Baluchistan, and making their way along the long 
coastline of India. No doubt generations would be 
occupied in such a migration, and the sojourn in India 
might extend over centuries. The prevailing winds, an 
all-important condition to a sea-travelling people, would 
be favourable to the migration eastwards. The south¬ 
west monsoon would take them across the Arabian Sea 


36 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


to India and again across tlie Bay of Bengal to Indonesia. 
In Sumatra they probably remained for some centuries; 
several eminent Polynesian scholars look upon Sumatra 
as one of the great Tawhitis or Hawaiikis of the race. 
Java and Borneo were later Hawaiikis. Then the north¬ 
west monsoon, ranging ten degrees each side of the 
Equator, would carry them on to Ceram, G-ilolo, and 
other islands of the Molucca Archipelago, thence to the 
great island of New Guinea, and so fairly on into the 
Western Pacific. 


These stages in the migration of the race would not 
be covered quickly; they would probably occupy 
hundreds of years; and in each stopping place the people 
would probably encounter aboriginal tribes, who would 
in one way or another leave their impress on the new¬ 
comers, in a partial blending of blood and in traditions 
and folk-story; there would too be preserved, as we shall 
see, memories of the animals of those lands. 

The old theory of Polynesian writers that the Maori 
were, in part at any rate, descended from the Malays, is 
now considered untenable. That the ancestors of the 
Maori occupied those parts of the East Indies now 
peopled by Malays is undoubted, but they found no 
Malay element there then; otherwise the Malay would 
exhibit itself to-day in the racial type. The Maori is not 
Malay in feature or in tongue. That the Polynesians 
found some earlier inhabitants already in possession in 
Sumatra, Java, Borneo and other stages on this great 
heke towards the rising sun is no doubt a fact; it was 
here probably that they first met the negroid type that 
is to some extent still to be recognised in certain Maori 
tribes. The Malays, who were a Mongoloid race, came 
later, alter our Maori ancestors had passed on towards 
the Pacific—probably, however, leaving some of their 
people settled in the land, afterwards to amalgamate 
with the Mongol immigrants from the nor’-west. 


That the fair-haired lighter-complexioned strain in 
the Maori came with them from Asiatic shores there is 


THE ORIGIN OK THE MAORI 


37 


little doubt. 11 is not always easy now to distinguish a 
pure fair-haired urukehu, so widely spread is European 
blood. But in the Urewera country, on the head-waters 
of the Wanganui River, and certain other parts of the 
interior that have been comparatively isolated until 
recent years, the urukehu (literally “red-hair”) can still 
be seen as in the olden days, undeniably pure Maori, and 
with a dull golden tinge in the hair that a careful 
observer can clearly separate from that ot the halt- 
bloods. 

As far back as 1772 Crozet, the French navigator, who 
came to the Bay of Islands with Marion du Fresno’s 
expedition, noted this and other Caucasic characteristics 
of the race. Describing the Ngapuhi people whose 
stockaded villages dotted the coast-line, he says: “Their 
colour is, generally speaking, like the people of Southern 
Europe.” Some of the men were as white as the French 
sailors, and there was a young girl of fifteen or sixteen 
“as white as our French women.” Crozet saw several 
people “with red hair.” But while noting the numbers 
of the tall fair-skinned straight-haired people with little 
beard (no doubt the hair had been eradicated in the 
usual way with shell tweezers), and noting also the 
somewhat yellowish complexion of some, he recorded 
the presence of the more Melanesian type, shorter in 
stature, “slightly frizzled” as to hair, more swarthy and 
more bearded than the others, in fact more negroid¬ 
looking. Crozet did not know of the Western Pacific race 
we now call Melanesians, nor did he know anything of 
the history and migrations of the Maori; his testimony 
is, therefore, all the more valuable as a faithful 
observer’s record of the very evident differences of type 
in the Maoris seen in even the one district he visited—a 
district where all the ancient differences of physiognomy 
and other physical points have been obliterated by the 
pakeha blend. 

It is now easy to picture the eastward progress of our 
daring sailors through the Pacific. From one island to 


38 


THE MAOKIS OP NEW ZEALAND 


another they spread, exploring each and carefully 
\\ eighing’ its suitability as a home. They gradually 
vi orked southwards from the torrid equatorial latitudes, 
which eastwards of New Guinea did not hold many 
islands of great size or fitness for settlement. Touching 
at the Solomon Islands and the New Hebrides, they 
leached Fiji, and made it their home for many genera¬ 
tions ; then they spread on to the Tonga Group and the 
beautiful high, well-watered and fruitful islands of 
Samoa. Fiji (Whiti, or Viti) and Samoa appear, from 
the. evidence of history, tradition, and song to have been 
their homes for many a generation. From Samoa as a 
centre they made many great canoe voyages, exploring 
all paits of the Pacific, north, south, east, and west, in 
search of new homes, new kinds of food, new adventures. 
What Mr. Frank Bullen remarks in “Our Heritage the 
of the earlj Italian and Spanish and Portuguese 
navigators is equally true of these still earlier and even 
more daring seamen, the Polynesian pioneers: 

“They had become so far familiar with those 
apparently illimitable breadths that they put forth in all 
confidence that they would fetch somewhere or another, 
and that wherever it might be it would he well worth the 
visiting and annexing.” 

That great migration eastwards through Indonesia 
and the thousand isles of the sea left indelible traces not 
only on the physical type, physiognomy, and race-liabits 
of the proto-Maori, but also on his legends, traditions, 
and folk-songs. Tlie memories of the terrible creatures 
of the river and the forest in India and the Fast Indies 
survive to-day in countless Maori stories, which have in 
course of time become localised in New Zealand. The 
legends of man-destroying reptiles, known as taniwha 
and ngarara, some living in the water, some on the land, 
evidently refer to the crocodile and the huge serpents of 
tropical countries through which the ancestors of our 
Polynesians passed in their wanderings. Mow very 
numerous these tauiivha and iif/anira stories are all who 


THE OliiaiN OF THE MAORI 


39 



From a photo, 1908 . 

An Urewera Maori Type, showing Melanesian strain. Patu, one of the Wives of the 
Prophet Ruatapu, Maungapohatu. 


40 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


have collected Maori traditional lore can tell; every lake,, 
every stream, every deep uncanny pool held its reptilian 
monster—known by its special name, and with some 
strange story attaching to it. Sometimes these ngarara, 
according* to tribal legend, were pets or mokai of some 
chief or other—as in the case of the one which haunted 
the well-known Hamurana Spring (Te Puna-i-Hangarua), 
near the shores of Lake Rotorua. Some were 
frightful devouring monsters, such as Pekeliaua, the 
fabled ngarara of the Awahou stream, Rotorua, of 
whose snaring and slaying hv a party of Maori braves a 
most circumstantial story is preserved. Pekeliaua, 
Korowhakatupua (of the Utuliina), and Kataore (of 
Lake Tikitapu), could hardly have been mere fantasies 
of the Maori brain; they are no doubt traditions of the 
g 1 eat saurians that swarm in India, Indonesia, the 
Solomon Islands and other western ILawaiikis of the 
race. There are dim memories too of the huge creatures 
of the ape family, particularly the orang-utan of 
Sumatra and Borneo. The wild hairy mohoao and macro, 
the man of the woods, with his terrible voice and his 
huge teeth, was probably originally that formidable 
man-like inhabitant of the equatorial forests. The 
Rotorua legend of Hatupatu and the female ogre 
Kurangaituku I have often thought may have borrowed 
some of its features from the far-away lands of the 
orang-utan. There are recollections of the monkey tribe 
in the stories of the Nuku-mai-tore, the tree-dwelling 
people, of small stature and always chattering 
(korerorero), as an old Ngai-Tahu Maori described them 
to me; a tribe who lived, like the fairies, in the great 
bunches of ivharawhara and kiekie, the long-leafed 
astelias and grasses growing in the forks of the trees. 

The taniwha, the water-monster of which we con¬ 
tinually hear amongst the Maoris, besides being 
probably a survival of crocodile stories, may also 
preserve recollections of the man-eating sharks of 
tropical waters. The large shark of the Bay of Plenty 


THE ORIGIN OK THE MAORI 


41 




waters, whose teeth are prized as ear-ornaments by the 
Maoris, is called by them mako-taniwlia. This is not a 
man-eating member of the shark family, at any rate not 
in these waters, though very powerful; but in Samoa a 
dangerous and monster shark is called a tanifci. 

As to the period 
when these olden 
sailorinen li rst 
sailed into the 
Pacific, we have 
little to guide us 
with exactitude 
but the Polynesian 
genealogies and 
traditions. Some 
of these genea¬ 
logies, however, 
are of extraordin¬ 
ary length, and the 
system of preserv¬ 
ing and handing- 
down the ancestral 
lists was such a 
careful one—it was 
a sacred a nd 
priestly d u t y— 
that there is re¬ 
markable agree¬ 
ment between the 
genealogical tables 
of various widely- 
severed groups; 
common ancestors 
are mentioned in 
identical sequence. 
Mr. S. Percy Smith stands pre-eminent amongst 
students of Polynesian genealogies, and the conclusions 
he draws from them are on the whole unassailable. His 
estimate of the length of time the Maori has been in the 
Pacific goes back to near the beginning of the Christian 


Photo by G. Andrcir, Apia, Samoa. 

A Samoa Girl: Polynesian Type. 


42 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


era. In “Hawaiiki: The Original Home of the Maori,” 
taking ancient Earotongan genealogies and traditions as 
his main working cine, he arrives at the deduction that 
shortly before the Christian era began, the ancestors of 
the Polynesians had worked from India and Burma down 
the Straits of Malacca and spread into the islands of 
the East Indies. It is several centuries later, about 450 
a.d., according to his approximate chronology, that Fiji 
and Samoa are first mentioned as having been settled. 
Probably, however, the Pacific was reached much earlier 
than that date; the various homes of the race mentioned 
under the ancient legendary names are difficult to 
identify now. But the date of the later great voyages 
mentioned in Polynesian tradition can be fairly 
accurately estimated from genealogical and traditional 
evidence. The first colonisation of the islands of Hawaii 
by Polynesians took place about 650 a.d.; Samoa was 
then apparently the great headquarters of the race. It 
was probably about that time that the Pacific explorers 
first visited New Zealand. They had already no 
doubt settled Tahiti and the Marquesas and Panmotn 
Archipelago, before venturing down into the more 
turbulent waters of the South, leaving their palm-clad 
isles, 

‘ 1 The blaze of the blue noon, and that lingo voice. 

Incessant, of the breakers on the shore,” 

and sailing adventurously away into less warm latitudes 
close-hauled to the South-east Trade, sailing they knew 
not whither, but braced to all the perils of the ocean and 
believing, as they would by this time, that the whole 
vast Pacific was strewn with islands, great and small. 

In the legends of the Pacific there are many pic¬ 
turesquely allegorical descriptions of the first discoveries 
of the atolls and islands of Polynesia. The story of 
Maui “fishing up” the North Island of New Zealand 
from the depths of the Ocean is found localised in 
other parts of this great Ocean, and the marvellous deeds 
ascribed to this hero or deity seem to place him far away 


THE OHKilN OF TIIF MAO HI 


43 


back in tlu* remote history of the race. The Maui legend 
is generally regarded now as an ancient sun-myth. At the 
same time there was probably more than one Maui. Many 
Maori genealogies go back to the ancestor of this name 
who is credited with the hauling-up of the North Island 
(Te Ika-a-Maui) from the deeps; and Maori traditions 
seem to show that a Maui was amongst the earliest 
visitors to this country. 

One of the ancient legends of Niue, or Savage Island, 
attributes to Maui, the god, the creation of that isolated 
coral island, the largest of New Zealand’s tropic pos¬ 
sessions. The following is the opening portion of a 
narrative of Niue traditions written for me in 1901 by 
Lupo, an old Samoan chief who had settled on Niue in 
his youth. In Lupo’s narrative (the translation is by 
my wife) we can recognise, stripping it of its outer husk 
of fable, an epitomised life-history of a South Sea 
Island, following the coral isle up through all the ages, 
from the time it was a bare bank of rock and sand, freshly 
emerged from the great blue deep, until it in time 
became clothed with vegetation, and became peopled by 
the daring brown-skinned sailors of the Pacific : 

“In the beginning this island, now called Niu-e, was 
nothing but coral rock [‘he punga’], lying in the great 
sea. There came a god, an aitu, from the southwards—a 
spirit-god who sailed to and fro, wandering on the face 
of the ocean. He looked down here and saw, far below, 
down in the clear sea-depths, the white punga rock. He 
let down his hook and hauled the punga up to the surface, 
and lo! there stood an island. At this time the heavens 
hung low, so that they touched the land. Then that 
spirit-god, whose name was Maui, stood on the solid 
earth, and exerting his divine strength forced away and 
propped up the leaning sky [Langi], chanting as he did 
so his lifting-song: 

‘Tokotoko e Langi, to-o-e! 

Tokona e Langi, to-o-e! 

Tokotoko e Langi, to-o-e! 

Tokona e Langi, to-o-e! ’ 


44 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


‘Lift up, O Sky, heave away! 

Be thou propped up, O Langi! 

Lift up, O Sky! 

Be thou propped up! ’ 

“And at tlie word Langi the Sky was heaved forth and 
np from the face of the island, and has since remained 
above there in his place.”* 

The Nine legend goes on to describe how the island first 
got its coco-nuts—which are not indigenous on every 
South-Sea Island: 

“The first name given to this island was Motu-tofua. 
The first mortals who dwelt on it were two people named 
Fao and Huanaki. It is said that they came from below 
(i.e., from the westward or leeward) from the direction 
of Tonga. And in those days the island was a hungry 
land. There was little food; no coco-nuts or yams or 
bread-fruit were there to furnish food for man. Naught 
could be seen but the wild trees, the norm, the patu-luku, 
the muka-le, and the la-fa. No pleasant foods grew 
there; only the undesired and tasteless fruits of the 
woods. And man grew and grew upon the island. And 
the land was hungry. 

“And Fao and Huanaki put out to sea in their canoe 
and sought for food for their starving home. They 
wandered to and fro and sailed over the great ocean. At 
last they reached the island of Tutuila, in Samoa. There 
the people gave them coco-nuts (niu) to plant, and they 
returned with them, and set them for food, and that was 
how this island got its forests of coco-palms and came 
to be called ‘Niii-e.’ ” 

Such was the genesis of a South Sea isle, in Polynesian 
folk-lore. 

It now remains for us to see how the Polvnesians, 
these Oceanic sailors, warriors, and explorers, reached 
the shores of New Zealand in their canoes. 


This story, us those acquainted with Maori traditions will see, resembles 
the old Maui fishing story, but with the addition of the immeasurably more 
ancient legend of the separation of Rangi and Papa—Heaven and 
Earth—which Maori mythology attributes to Tane-Mahuta aud other 
children of the Sky-Father and Earth-Mother. The Niue story evidently 
refers to the “pushing-up” of the sky from new horizons as the voyager 
sailed on into new and unknown seas. 




Chapter V. 


T HE CANOE-V()YAGERS. 


Float lightly, float lightly, my sailing-canoe, 

Like a bird of the air, with thy soft-flapping wings— 

We’ll anchor ere long on far-distant shores; 

Thy spouse is Ariki-tapu, the Sea. 

Soon shall we drink of Whakatau’s waters. 

Avaunt all ye dangers, death rocks in the ocean; 

Ye clouds of dread gloom, may our prayer-charms dispel ye! 

O Tane, Tree-Lord, let us peacefully glide! 

—Ancient Chant for the Canoe TaMtimu when 

leaving Haiuaiiki for New Zealand. 

The Maori lias forgotten the art of building the 

particular form of sea-going craft in which his ancestors 
reached the shores of New Zealand from the islands of 
the Central and Eastern Pacific. We sometimes hear 
the question: “How could Maori canoes make a long 
ocean voyage?” Put the ordinary river-canoe of 

to-day is a very different vessel from the ocean 

sailing-canoe of Polynesia. The craft in which the 

progenitors of our Maori made such extraordinary 
voyages were large double or outrigger canoes, built 
with great care, and navigated with a skill that, con¬ 
sidering the primitive state of the Polynesian civilisation, 
is nothing short of wonderful. 

Maori traditions tell us very little about the build and 
rig of these canoes. In only one instance is any such 
description recorded; this is the story of the canoe 
Arawa, which tradition says was a large double canoe— 
some say the largest that came to these islands—and 
had three masts. Most of the ocean canoes were 
probably double canoes, that is two fastened 
together strongly by cross-beams and a deck; but some 
were no doubt outrigger canoes. Tainui was probably 
an outrigger vessel. A large strong sailing-canoe fitted 


45 


46 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


with an outrigger would no doubt be safer and more 
seaworthy on a long voyage than a double canoe, which 
would be liable to disaster in bad weather; the two canoes 
would be apt to work apart in a rough seaway. 

It is from the observations of European navigators in 
the South Seas that we are able to form an exact idea of 
the kind of craft the old Polynesian sailors used in their 
daring voyages of discovery and colonisation. Captain 
Cook and the missionary Ellis give us some interesting 
notes. Cook, when at Tahiti in 1769, on his first voyage 
round the world, took note, as any sailor would, of the 
excellent sea-going canoes or pa’i ( pahi ) which the 
natives used. One pa’i or double canoe he measured was 
51 feet in length, carrying a lofty mat-sail shaped some¬ 
thing like what pakeha sailors call a “leg-of-mutton” 
sail, running to a point at the head. These canoes were 
most cleverly constructed. The keel-part consisted of a 
hollowed-out log—like our ordinary Maori dubbed-out 
canoes. Above this the vessel was built up with hewn 
planks sewn together with sinnet, the planks being very 
carefully smoothed and fitted together, and supported 
by wooden stanchions; the sinnet or coco-nut fibre 
plaited cords were passed several times through holes 
bored in the planks with a bone gouge or auger; above 
again were topsides curved inwards, hewn out of a solid 
log. The fitting together of the planks was so carefully 
done, Cook says, that caulking was unnecessary; but such 
a craft was sure to leak in a seaway, and the seams and 
holes must have been caulked with some Polynesian 
substitute for oakum and tar. An illustration of some 
of the Tahitian canoes in Cook’s “Voyages” shows.one 
with a single mast stepped right amidships, and stayed 
on each side to the end of a plank outrigger projecting 
I rom the hull; another canoe has two masts and her rig is 
at first glance not unlike that of a modern fore-and-aft 
schooner, except that her sails have neither boom nor 
gaff, and there are no head-sails. 

Another type of large sea-going canoe, such as 
probabh voyaged lor great distances in ancient times, 


’I'll K CANOK-Vl)YACiKHH 


47 


is a Friendly Islands craft, depicted in tin* frontispiece 
to the portfolio of “Pacific Views” by dames Webber, 
who was the draughtsman with Captain Cook in the 
“Resolution,” 177(5-1780. This is a large double canoe, 
with not quite so much “sheer” fore-and-aft as that 
of the Tahitian pa’i; there is a single mast and a 
large lateen sail. The head of the sail is cut out in a deep 
curve such as we sec in pictures of New Cuinea canoes. 
The two canoes are joined by a platform, with a 



From a sketch by James Webber, draughtsman with Captain Cook. 

A Tonga Sailing Canoe. 


low rail running round its sides; on this platform there 
is a thatched structure, a kind of deck-house; and on the 
top of the house, which is just clear of the sail, figures 
are seated. On first seeing this picture I was at once 
reminded of the Maori account of the Arawa canoe and 
her voyage to New Zealand. The Arawa, we are told, 
was a double canoe, with a house built on her deck; and 
the narrative describes how Ngatoro-i-rangi, the high 
priest v 1 loin Tama-te-kapua carried off by strategy to 
he his tohunga, climbed up to the top of the house to see 
his homeland fade in the distance, and how he mounted 



48 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


tlie house at night, probably for astronomical observa¬ 
tion, while the sly Tama’ took advantage of his absence 
to make love to Kearoa, Ngatoro’s wife; and how again 
the tohunga climbed the deck-house to chant his incan¬ 
tations when the canoe was endangered by the terrible 
mael strom 11 W alia-o-P arata ’ ’—perhaps an oceanic 
disturbance caused by an earthquake or a submarine 
eruption, or possibly a water-spout. These Tonga 
(Friendly Islands) canoes were beautiful sailing 
machines. Cook says that he went on board one 
of them when it was under sail, and by several 
trials with his ship’s log found that the canoe 
travelled at the rate of seven knots in an hour, 
close-hauled in a “gentle gale.” “From this I judge,” 
he wrote in his “Journal,” “that they will sail on 
a medium with such breezes as generally blow in their 
sea, about seven or eight miles an hour.” “In their 
longer voyages,” Cook says, in describing the brown 
navigators of Tahiti, “they steer by the sun in the day, 
and in the night by the stars, all of which they distinguish 
separately by name, and know in wliat part of the 
heavens they will appear in any of the months in which 
they are visible in their horizon; they also know the time 
of their annual appearing and disappearing with more 
precision than will easily be believed by a European 
astronomer.” 

Picture, then, a fleet of these ancient Polynesian 
sailing-craft taking their departure from a tropic island 
for the far-away Long Bright World, or the Land of 
Long-lingering Daylight—the Maori name of New 
Zealand will bear both these interpretations.* 

The great canoes, some double, some outrigger, are 
launched down the white coral beaches, and ride on the 
calm waters of the lagoon. The shore is crowded with 
the Island people, farewelliug their departing relatives 
and friends with many cries and many tears. 
The emigrants climb aboard, men, women, and 
children, and complete the lading of their sea-homes 


See pages 80 and 93. 




TIIK CANOK-VOYAOKKS 


4 !) 


with their household treasures. The canoes are 
already stored with their sea-provisions, securely 
stowed from damage by salt water—coco-nuts for 
both meat and drink, calabashes of water, bread¬ 
fruit, the staple vegetables hue, kumara, and taro, 
preserved birds, and other foods of the plantation and 
the forest. The priests or tohunya are there, reciting 
their final invocations, placatory and propitiatory, for 
the safety of the ships and crews. Every important part 
of the canoes’ equipment has been appropriately 
karnkiaW over—“blessed”—for the great voyage. 
Paddles, sails, bailers, all are consecrated for their 
duties; and are given the names of ancestral heroes, 
names the very recital whereof is in itself a prayer. The 
canoes have already been consecrated, in the ritual of the 
Whai-kawa , for their passage across the whare- 
hukahuka-a-Tangaroa, the “Sea-god’s foamy dwelling.” 
The aiva-moana, the sea-smoothing chants, in strange 
rhythmic time, with their frequent repetitions, have been 
recited. To the priest of each canoe have been entrusted 
the sacred carven images, in wood and stone, of the 
ancestral deities, and those thric e-tapu treasures, the 
wliatu-kura, which are to be borne to the new homes of 
the tribe as talismanic relics. There is a carven figure¬ 
head to each canoe—not, however, worked in the 
elaborate Maori patterns we now see; the figure is the 
image of a deified ancestor; he looks out with fierce 
staring eyes at the ocean he is to ride over and conquer. 
The canoe is Tane, the God of Forests, the Father of 
Man; Tane the Sea-rider. 

In the stern is the whakarei, the sacred seat for the 
high priest of the canoe. The stern-piece is dressed with 
plumes of feathers; the upper plumes, or puhi-kai-ariki, 
are dedicated to the divinities of the sky; the lower 
plumes, the puhi-moana-ariki, dipping in the sea, are for 
the spirits of the ocean. 

The last food-loads and the last passenger are on 
hoard; the lofty mat-sails are hoisted, the sinnet halliards 
and sheets belayed, and with the brisk trade wind 


D 


50 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


catching the sails, the fleet begins to move. There is a 
great wail of voices; the voices of the shore-people and 
the lond cries of the emigrants. “Haere atu ra, haere 
ra!” “Farewell, depart, depart!” the Islanders cry. 
The swishing heads of the tall palm-trees that lean 
around the shores of the lagoon bend, too, as in farewell. 

Out across the sheltered lagoon they sail, one after 
the other, straight for the reef-passage, where the great 
natural breakwater of coral opens in a channel to the 
sea. Gliding into this, the ocean swell heaves them 
giddily aloft and down again, and the great sails take a 
tenser curve. The thundering surf breaks white and 
fearful on either side, but now they are safe in the deep 
water outside the reef, and sails are trimmed for the 
far sou’-west. Away they slide over the long easy swell, 
fairly started on their voyage of two thousand miles and 
more. The watchers on the shore stand, still waving 
their garments and green branches, and crying their 
poroporoaki of farewell; but soon the brave trade-wind 
whisks the lofty-winged children of Tane the Tree-god 
down into the sunset, and the last brown mat sail fades 
away into the dancing blue. They are alone on the vast 
moana-uliuli, the dark-blue tropic sea. 

It will be their home for many days, perhaps many 
weeks, that sea of mystery, and many a time will the 
sea-worn, brine-sore, hungry and thirsty emigrants long 
for the shady groves and delicious fruits and cool waters 
of their old Island homes. 

Making a “soldier’s wind” of the South-east Trade, 
the sailing canoes would carry steadily on until 
they had covered the greater part of the ocean-journey. 
For day after day they would need to shift neither tack 
nor sheet—or their Polynesian equivalents—with the 
splendid and regular trade singing aloft. Before their 
bows would dart schools of flying-fish, their little wet 
wings shining in the sun ns they whirred from wave to 
wave, in terror of their ocean-enemies. Around them 
played swift and arrowy porpoises, Tritons of the deep; 
and sometimes lingo Tohora, the Sperm-whale, would 


'I'll K CANOK-VOYAGURS 


51 


rise majestically, and spout beside thorn, and the people 
would say, low and with wide eyes, “l>ehold our god, the 
Tmi iii'lia ! ’ ’ 

Night after night the stars came out to cheer and guide 
them; Maahu-tonga, the Southern Cross, high on their 
weather how; red-eyed Reliua and all the twinkling gods 
of the sky; and in the mystic dim dawn the men on watch 
chanted their songs to Tawera and Tariao, the bright 
morning stars. 

Sometimes, down would shriek a tropic rain-squall, 
and it would he down-sail and hold her head to wind 
until the puff passed; then out shone the rainbow in the 
path of the sun, and looking on it the sailors would say 
one to the other:— 


“See, Uenuku, the god who dwells in the Rainbow, 
shows himself to us—our guardian on the sea.” 

So they sail on and on, sou’-west, until some day- 
dawn a long high coast-line breaks on their eyes, 
and they see with delight, as they sail nearer, 
the groves of red-flowered pohutukawa crowning 
the white cliffs, and the clear and sparkling water¬ 
falls quivering in the sun as they leap to the sea, or the 
wider streams that, flowing in powerful volume into the 
tideway, tell of a vast land beyond, a land where there is 
room and to spare for all the Islanders of the Great- 
Ocean-of-Kiwa. 


There was much danger on the deep for those ancient 
sailormen, putting to sea in what were practically long 
open boats, such as most white mariners would now 
hesitate to make a coasting voyage in. They had no 
compass, sextant, chronometer, or other nautical 
instrument; their guides were the sun by day, the stars 
by night, the steady trade wind and the regular run of 
the easy Pacific swell; perhaps also the flight of certain 
birds. The ocean was for them full of wonders and 
strange enchantments, for it was the domain of Tangaroa 
and his myriad satellites, the taniwlia and the maraki- 
liau, who sometimes rose and destroyed whole fleets. 


f 


52 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Indeed all space, whether land, sea, or sky, held its 
unseen maleficent beings and influences, which must be 
placated and allayed. 

Maori legend and song tell us of three dreaded ocean- 
waves or rollers, which are called Tai-pupuni (the 
towering- crested wave about to break), Tai-wawana (the 
swirling foaming billow), and the Tai-ciropuke (the wave 
rising like a mountain). Such great waves, generally 
three in succession, are familiar to South Sea Islanders, 
who must carefully watch their time and paddle with all 
their might to prevent these rollers dashing them on the 
reefs. In the ancient story of the canoe Takitimu, 
and her departure from the isles of Hawaiiki for New 
Zealand, we find these three terrifying waves mentioned 
by their descriptive names, and the chief’s sacred paddles 
are named, ‘ ‘ Rapanga-te-ati-nuku ” and “Rapanga-te- 
ati-rangi,” as the paddles with which the vast waves of 
ocean will be conquered. Then earthquake-waves, water¬ 
spouts, and other dangers of the sea may have been 
encountered, as the Arawa tradition of the “Walia-o- 
Parata” seems to show. Islands have been frequently 
thrown up by volcanic action in the South Seas—as for 
instance that strange spot Falcon Island, near Tonga— 
and again islands have disappeared mysteriously, and 
Pacific navigators have been unable to find them. The 
hurricanes to which the tropics are liable from December 
to March sometimes swept the low atoll islands almost 
clean of life and vegetation. With these terrifying 
phenomena of the seas our Polynesian sailors were 
acquainted, by long experience and by tradition handed 
down through many generations; they were resourceful 
and courageous seamen, and put boldly out into the deep, 
fortified by their mystic religion, which lay largely in 
spells and storm-assuaging charms. 

The South-east Trade would carry the canoes on until 
they were about in t lie position of the Kermadec Islands; 
then they would perhaps pick up the north-east wind, the 
marangai, one of the prevailing winds on the northern 


Till’, C A N O E -VO Y A (i E H S 


coasts of New Zealand, and this would carry them down 
to the long-stretching shores of Aotea-roa. Most of the 
canoes made the coast between Doubtless Day and the 
East Cape. 

Many a canoe must have been lost, and many must 
have drifted away to other islands than those for which 
they set out. Such accidents happen now in the Pacific. 
Native canoes and boats voyaging from island to island 
are frequently blown away to strange lands, sometimes 
many hundreds of miles away from their homes. It was 
no doubt in this way that many South Sea islands and 
atolls were first peopled, and New Zealand itself may 
well have been so colonised originally. Some extra¬ 
ordinary canoe voyages are occasionally reported in the 
Pacific. Only this year a Chinese fishing-junk picked up 
off the island of Chusan and handed over to the steamer 
“Tamsui” for conveyance to Shanghai, a party of three 
dark-skinned South Sea Islanders who were adrift in a 
canoe. They had mother-of-pearl shell fish-hooks and 
other South Sea fishing-tackle with them. It was found 
that they had drifted fully two thousand miles from a 
German possession in the Western Pacific; they had gone 
out to fish, and were blown helplessly away to the 
westward. There were originally five of them, but two 
had died at sea from starvation and exposure. 

The Song of the Aotea Canoe. 

I give the following chant as a specimen of the sacred 
awa-moana or sea-assuaging songs (literal meaning 
“ocean-path,” “sea-passage”) which the chiefs and 
priests of the Polynesian canoes composed and recited to 
their crews, to animate them and to smooth the ship’s 
progress over the Great-Ocean-of-Kiwa. I have it from 
Ngarauru and Ngati-Ruanui (Taranaki) sources as the 
karakia which Turi, the commander of the Aotea 
canoe, chanted to his men. Its tine rhythmic measure 
made it an excellent time-keeping chant. So chanted Turi 
the Epic of the Paddle: 


54 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Ko Aotea te waka, 

Ko Turi tangata ki runga, 

Ivo te Roku-o-Whiti te lioe. 

Piri papa te hoe! 

Awhi papa te hoe! 

Toi tu te hoe! 

Toi rere te hoe! 

Toi mahuta te hoe! 

Toi kapakapa te hoe 
Kai runga te rangi. 

Ko te hoe na wai? 

Ko te hoe na te Kahu-nunui; 

Ko te hoe na wai? 

Te hoe na te Kahu-roroa. 

Ko te hoe na \va i ? 

Ko te hoe no Rangi-nui-e-tu-nui. 
Tena te waka, 

Ka tan ki Tipua-o-te-Rangi, 

Ki Tawhito-o-te-Rangi, 

Nga turanga whatu o Rehua. 
Hapai ake au 
I te kakau o takn hoe, 

I te Roku-o-Whiti. 

Whiti patato, rere patato, 

Mama patato. 

Te riakanga, te liapainga, 

Te komotanga, te kumenga, 

Te riponga, te awenga 
A te puehutanga 
O te wai o taku hoe nei. 

Kei te rangi, hikitia! 

Kei te rangi, hapainga! 

Kei te a we a we nui no Tu. 

Tena te ara ka totohe nui, 

Ko te ara o tenei Ariki, 

Ko te ara o tenei matua iwi, 

Ko te ara o Rangi-nui-e-tu-nei. 
Nguaha te kakau o taku hoe nei, 
Ko Kautu-ki-te-Rangi. 

Ki te rangi, hikitia; 

Ki te rangi, hapainga; 

Ki te rangi tutorona atu, 

Ki te rangi tutorona mai. 

Ki te rangi tu te illi, 

Ki te rangi tu te koko, 

Tu te mana, tu te tapu, 

E tapu tena te ara, 

Ka totohe te ara 
O Tane-matohe-nuku, 

Te ara o Tane-matohe-rangi, 

Ko te ara o te Kahu-nunui, 

Ko te ara. o te Kahu-roroa, 

Ko te ara o tenei Ariki, 

Ko te ara o tenei tauira. 

Tawhi kia Rehua, 

Ki uta mai, te ao marama; 

E Rongo-ma-Tane, 

Whakairihia! 


( Translation. ) 

Aotea is the Canoe, 

And Turi is the Chief. 

The ‘‘Roku-o-Whiti’' is the Paddle. 
Behold my paddle! 

It is laid by the canoe-side, 

Held close to the canoe-side. 

Now ’tis raised on high—the paddle! 
Poised for the plunge—the paddle! 
Now, we spring forward! 

Now, it leaps and flashes—the 
paddle! 

It quivers like a bird’s wing, 

This paddle of mine! 

This paddle, whence came it? 

It came from the Kahu-nunui, 

From the Kahu-roroa, 

It came from the Great-Sky-above- 
us. 

***** 

See! I raise on high 
The haudle of my paddle, 

The ‘ ‘ Roku-o-Whiti. ’ ’ 

Ha! the quick thrust in, 

The backward sweep! 

The swishing, the swirling eddies, 
The boiling white wake 
And the spray that flies from my 
paddle! 

Lift up 

The paddle to the sky above, 

To the great expanse of Tu. 

There before us lies our ocean-path, 
The path of strife and tumult, 

The pathway of this chief, 

The danger-roadway of this crew; 
’Tis the road of the Great-Sky- 
above-us. 

Here is my paddle 
‘ ‘ Kautu-ki-te-rangi ’ ’; 

To the heavens, raise it; 

To the heavens, lift it; 

To the sky far drawn out, 

To the horizon that lies before us, 
To the heavens, whence come all 
things 

Holy and mighty, 

Before us is our ocean-way, 

The path of this canoe, the child 
Of Tane, who severed Earth from 
Sky, 

The path of the Kahu-nunui, the 
Kahu-roroa, 

The pathway of this chief, this 
priest. 

In Rehua is our trust, 

Through him we’ll reach the Land 
of Light. 

() Rongo-and-Tane! 

We raise our offerings! 


I'll K CAN OK YOYAUKKS 


55 


This ancient song is to this day sung as a poi-chant 
by Turi’s descendants in Taranaki. At the final word 
“Whakairihia!” the dancers raise their twirling poi- 
balls above their heads at arm’s length; this is in imita¬ 
tion of the olden custom of the priests in lifting up their 
first-fruits offering of kmnara (sweet potatoes) to Kongo, 
the god of cultivated foods, who in chants like this is 
often coupled with Tane, the god of the forests and of 



Ui-te-Rangiora ; Ti- 

WAKAWAKA; RaKAIHAITU. 


Photo by Collin, New Plymouth. 

A Taranaki Poi-girl, Parihaka. 


The voyages of the 
South Sea canoe-sailors 
to New Zealand ranged, 
as far as we can gather 
from tradition, over a 
period of some seven or 
eight hundred years. 

Rarotongan native history shows, according to Mr. 
Percy Smith in “Hawaiiki,” that Ui-te-Rangiora, who 
lived in Wliiti (Fiji) in the seventh century of our era, 
made some remarkable voyages in his canoe, Ivi-o-Atea 
(“The Bones of Atea”), and discovered a great many 
new islands in the Pacific, amongst them New Zealand. 
The name given to New Zealand in the tradition is 
Avaiki-tautau, which may he translated as “Burning- 
Hawaiiki,” from the active volcanoes of the North 


birds, also the father of 
man. Rehua, the god 
mentioned in the chant, 
dwelt, according to Poly¬ 
nesian mythology, in the 
tenth or highest heaven ; 
he was a beneficent deity. 
Rehua is also the name 
of the star Sirius. 


Some Early 
Explorers. 



56 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Island. (It is possible, however, that this Avaiki-tautan 
may have been one of the numerous active volcanoes in 
the tropical zone of the Pacific.) Two centuries later a 
Polynesian navigator named Maku, who sailed from the 
island known in tradition as Mataora, visited New 
Zealand, but there is only the bare mention of that fact 
and no more. Ui-te-Eangiora is not known as an early 
visitor in the New Zealand traditions, but in one legend 
I have collected it is given as the name of a sacred 
Hawaiikian axe, no doubt named after the explorer. 

The legends of the Ngati-Awa tribe, of the Bav of 


Plenty, state tliat the first inhabitants of this country 
ailived from a far land called Mataora in the canoe 
Ara-tau-wliaiti, commanded by Tiwakawaka. The 
number of generations given on a Ngati-Awa genealogy 
from the present day back to Tiwakawaka is 38, which 
allowing 25 years to a generation, is 950 years. Mr. 
Smith in his “Hawaiiki” gives 850 a.d. as the probable 
date of Tiwakawaka in New Zealand. From Tiwakawaka 
sprang the famous Toi (Toi-kai-rakau, or “Toi-wlio- 
lived-on-Forest-Foods’’ of Maori tradition) and Eauru, 
who is credited with having invented the present style of 
tattooing and carving, and other chiefs of the aboriginal 
people whom the Maori immigrants of the Arawa and 
Mataatua and other canoes found living here when they 
arrived in the fourteenth century. 

An early canoe called Uruao was commanded by the 
chief Eakaihaitu, and came to New Zealand forty-two 
generations from the present time—over a thousand 


years ago. The only traditions obtainable about this 
canoe are those of the Ngai-Talm tribe of the South 
Island. Some Ngai-Talm Maoris say Eakaihaitu was 
the first man who landed in the Wai-pounamu, the Land 
of Greenstone Eivers, but it is pretty certain that there 
were inhabitants there before his day. The traditions I 
have been able to gather, from old men of Ngai-Talm and 
Ngati-Mamoe descent, go to show that Eakaihaitu was a 
greal explorer, lie and his companions took possession 
of the eastern shores of the South Island, and named 


THE (.'AN(>K-VOYAGKIts 




many prominent features oi* the landscape after them¬ 
selves, and so tapnW the country for tlieir families and 
descendants, Rakaihaitu, in common with many other 
Polynesian chiefs, was in time credited with the deeds 
of a demi-god. r Phe classical name for tin* South Island 
kes is “ Nga Ihma-wai-karikari-a-Rakaihaitu” (“The 


Water-pools-Dug-by-Rakailiaitu”). The energetic chief 
is said to have begun his labours by scooping out with 
his great ko (the wooden digging implement used in the 
kumara plantations) the bed of the lake known as Rotoiti, 
south of Nelson. Then he strode southwards, halting 
frequently to form a lake where he thought it was 
needed. His crowning triumph was the great Alpine lake 
Wakatipu (properly Whakatipu, or, fully, “Te Roto- 
Whakatipu-whenua”), whose deep and winding channel 
he hollowed out between the mountains, assisted by his 
gods to whom he repeated powerful karakia. Travelling 
north again, he completed his herculean pilgrimage by 
digging out Lakes Waihora (Ellesmere) and Wairewa 
(Lake Forsyth), near Banks Peninsula—and rested 
from his labours. “Nga-Wai-karikari-a-Rakaihaitu” is 
a proverbial expression still used by the Maoris in 
allusion to the lakes, as the figurative phrase “Nga 
Whata- tu - a - Rakaihaitu ” (“ Rakaihaitu’s- Lofty- Food- 
stores”) is used to describe the high cliffs of the South 
Island coast. 


Nuku-tai-memeha (Maui's Canoe). 

In East Coast legend the Nuku-tai-memeha was the 
canoe of Maui, the craft from which that Polynesian 
hero “fished-up” (or discovered) this North Island of 
New Zealand. The old men of the Ngati-Porou say that 
lit is to be seen now in a petrified form on the summit of 
their sacred mountain Hikurangi, inland from Waiapu, 
near the East Cape. Some of Ngati-Porou trace their 
ancestry back not only to the Hawaiikian immigrants by 
the Takitimu but also to the “ Iwi-a-Maui, ” “Maui’s 
Tribe,” the aboriginal people who settled here hundreds 


58 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


of years before the Takitimu came across the sea. 
The number of generations to Maui from the present day, 
as given in several genealogies, varies from forty-five to 
fifty. In the South Island Mahimui is given as a 
name of Maui’s canoe. The Ngai-Talm and Ngati-Mamoe 
learned men say that Malmnui is in point of fact the 
South Island, and that it was from the South Island that 
Maui fished up the North. The expression “Te Waka-a- 
Maui”—“Maui’s-Canoe,” is therefore applied to the 
South Island, and occurs in old songs. The idea that it 
was from the South Island that Maui hauled up the 
North is, however, chiefly confined to the Southern part 
of New Zealand; few North Island Maoris are likely to 
concede the greater antiquity to the Land of Greenstone. 

‘ ‘ Te Taumanu-o-te-W aka-a-Maui ’ ’—meaning ‘ ‘ Tlie- 
Thwart-of-Maui’s-Canoe”—against which that herculean 
fisherman braced his foot while hauling up his colossal 
Ika, is said by the Ngai-Tahu to be the name of a place 
in the neighbourhood of Kaikoura. And far in the South 
is Stewart Island, the very ancient and mythological 
name of which is “Te-Puka (punga) -o-te-Waka-a-Maui, ’ ’ 
which means “The-Anchor-of-Maui’s-Canoe. ” The usual 
native name of Stewart Island is Raki-ura (“Glowing- 
Sky”), or in the Northern tongue Eangi-ura—which is 
itself a Pacific Islands place-name mentioned in the 
Hawaiikian legends. 

Ngahue. 

A later Polynesian explorer-sailor to visit New Zealand 
and return to Hawaiiki with reports of the new country 
was Ngahue, who was a chief of either Tahiti or Raro¬ 
tonga. The exact date of bis visit is unknown, but it was 
probably towards the end of the thirteenth century, 
because it was evidently the reports brought back by him 

and also by Kupe—that induced the people of the 
Society Islands to fit out their great fleet for New 
Zealand. Tin* giant moo bird was not extinct in New 
Zealand at that time, for Ngahue killed one, and took 
some of ifs flesh back with him to Rarotonga, preserved 


Til K CANttK VOVAGKKK 


5 !) 


in a taint or calabash. He appears to have landed first 
at Whangaparaoa, near the Hast ('ape, and after visiting 
Tanranga, Te Aroha, and other places, Ik* made bis way 
south to Cook Strait, and sailed down the West Coast. 
He landed at Arahura, which he evidently named,' and 
there discovered greenstone (pounamu). He took back 
to Uawaiiki a block of the greenstone, and displaying 
Ids treasures, told bis kinsmen of the grand new country 
many days’ sail to the sou’-west. The greenstone was 
wrought into axes and ornaments; one of the jewels made 
with patient labour was an ear-pendant named 
“Kaukaumatua,” which was brought to New Zealand 
in the Arawa canoe some time afterwards, and was pre¬ 
served until quite recent times, when it was lost by its 
wearer, a woman of the Heulieu family, in the waters of 
Lake Taupo—an accident which caused loud lamentations 
in the home of the I leulieus. 

Kupe’s Voyage. 

Ivupe, who visited New Zealand in the canoe Mata- 
hourua, is probably the most celebrated of all the ancient 
island-seekers. He sailed down the West Coast of the 
North Island, naming many places, from Hokianga to 
Cook Strait, and he explored the fiord now known as 


*It is possible that “Araliura” was the name of Ngahue’s canoe, and 
that this was why the name, commemorating not only his vessel but also 
one of his home-islands, was given by him to the West Coast river where 
he found the greenstone. Ara'ura (New Zealand Maori Arahura) is the 
former name of Aitutaki Island, one of the Cook Group. 

In modern times there is an instance of the ancient name of Aitutaki 
being given to a vessel, and a palceha craft at that. Many years ago the 
writer had occasion in the course of journalistic work to board a small 
topsail schooner beating up into Auckland Harbour, loaded with oranges 
from Aitutaki, and with but one white man on board, the rest natives. 
She was formerly the “Julia Pryce” of Auckland, and had been wrecked 
on Aitutaki. The natives had bought her, refloated her, patched her 
up, and sent her up to Auckland for coppering, and had renamed her the 
“Ara’ura, ” after their island. There are other instances of ancient and 
honoured Polynesian names being bestowed upon modern vessels. A 
Rarotonga-built schooner of the rough-and-ready home-made type, which 
traded to Auckland some years ago from the Cook Islands, manned by a 
white captain and Maori crew, bore the historic name “Takitimu, ” and 
voyaged over the same ocean route that her frailer namesake sailed so 
adventurously six hundred years before. 



60 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Queen Charlotte Sound, entering through Tory Channel. 
An ancient song often on the lips of Maoris to-day is that 
which commemorates Kupe’s explorations. It was Kupe, 
say the Maoris, who severed the North and South Islands 
and so formed Cook Strait—that is the figurative 
aboriginal fashion of saying that he discovered the Strait 
—and also cut off Ivapiti and Mana Islands from the 
western mainland of the North Island. 

This is the olden song (beginning “Ka tito au, Ka tito 
an, Ka tito au ia Kupe”) :— 

“ I sing, I sing, 

I sing of Kupe, 

The man who cut the land in twain, 

Who cut these islands off— 

The isles of Kapiti, of Mana, 

And Arapaoa. 

Those are the signs 
Of my ancestor, Kupe, 

Who sailed the sea 
And scoured the land. ’ ’ 


Kupe entered Porirua Harbour and the harbour on 
which the city of Wellington now stands; numerous place- 
names hereabouts remind us of the early navigator, 
Captain Cook’s brown-skinned prototype. Te Ure-o- 
Kupe, the Pinnacle Rock off Seatoun, in Wellington 
Harbour, Nga-Tangihanga-a-Kupe, and other localities 
perpetuate his name. Te Hokianga-a-Kupe, the full 
name of Ilokianga Harbour in the North, is a reminder 
of the fact that it was from that port that Kupe returned 
( hoki ) to Hawaiiki. 

Until recently the venerated stone ‘'Te punga-o-Mata- 
hourua,” said to have been the anchor, or mooring-stone, 
of Kupe’s canoe, the Matahourua, lay on the sandhills 
near Plimmerton, in Porirua Harbour; it lias now been 
removed for safe-keeping to the Dominion Museum in 
Wellington. 


Tairea. 

The canoe Tairea is remembered chiefly by the Ngai- 
r l aim and Ngati-Mamoe people of the South Island. She 
arrived some time before the main fleet. Her commander 


THE CANOE-VOYAGERS 


(il 


was Tama-ki-te-liangi. One of the places where she 
called was Kaikoura, on the east coast of the South 
Island; the full name of that locality is, as I was 
informed by the late Ira Herewini, of Moeraki, “Te A hi 
kai-koura-a-Tama-ki-te-Rangi,” meaning “ The-Place- 


where-Tama’-kind led-a-fire-to-cook-a -meal -of - koiu a 
(crayfish).” The Tairea appears to have afterwards 
gone on round to the west coast of the South Island, 
and some curious allegorical legends are preserved of 
Tama-ki-te-Rangi’s adventures there and his search for 
greenstone. If the tradition 1 have heard from the Ngai- 
Taliu and Ngati-Mamoe people is reliable history, he 
even went as far down as Milford Sound. The story, as 
given by the South Island kaumatuas, is that he was in 
search of his missing wives, and on the shores of Milford 
found one of them transformed into greenstone. As 
Tama’ wept over her, his tears flowed so copiously that 
they penetrated the rock, and that is why the clear kind 
of bowenite found on the slopes and beaches of Mitre 
Peak in that great Sound is called tangiwai, “tear- 
water,” or the water of weeping. (Marks like tear-drops 
are sometimes seen in this greenstone, hence the name). 
The flax-like kiekie (Freycinetia banksii) which fringes 
the fiord shores for miles, sprang, says the legend, from 
the shreds of Tama’s fibre shoulder-cape or pokeka, torn 
off in his forest travels.* 


Arai-te-uru. 

The Arai-te-uru, one of the large pora or sailing- 
canoes which reached New Zealand, came most probably 
from Tahiti. She first made the land on the east coast 
of the South Island, and the Maoris say her hull, trans¬ 
formed to stone, is to be seen in the sea close to Matakaea, 
now known as Shag Point, near the southern end of the 
Katiki beach, some miles south of the Moeraki Peninsula. 
She was capsized there; her crew landed safely, but her 


*Mr. John White, in the “Ancient History of the Maori,” Vol. II. 
pages 178 and 183, gives Rangi-ua-mutu as another name of the Tairea. 




62 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


lading of seed -kumara (sweet potatoes) and hue gourds 
was scattered along tlie beach, and, according to the 
Maori legend, became petrified, forming the celebrated 
Moeraki boulders—remarkably spherical in shape, with 
a crystalline centre-—whose origin has puzzled geologists. 
Should you doubt this tale, you have but to chip the 
outside oft' one of the round boulders, and you will see 
that the inside is of a reddish or yellowish colour, 
“exactly like a kumara,” says the Maori! 

The memory of many of the Arai-te-uru’s crew is 
preserved in the names of mountains in the South Island, 
not only near the landing-place at Matakaea but as far 
inland as the Alps. The great Aorangi itself, the 12,000- 
feet-high monarch of the long icy range, is, according to 
the Ngai-Tahu Maoris, named after a chief called 
Aorangi, who was one of the canoe’s passengers from 
Hawaiiki. (It is also worth noting that Ao-ra’i, or 
Ao-rangi, is the name of a mountain in Tahiti). Kirikiri- 
katata and Aroaro-kaelie, two of the other immigrants 
by Arai-te-uru, had their names bestowed upon parts of 
the Mount Cook or Aorangi Range, and the name of 
Maunga-atua, another of the canoe crew, was given to the 
mountains now known as the Ben Ohau Range, over¬ 
looking Lake Pukaki. 

Then, close to the coast at Matakaea are the high hills 


known as Pakihiwi-tahi and Puke-tapu, also com¬ 
memorating Arai-te-uru people. In the figurative fashion 
of the Maori, the former mountain is spoken of as the 
actual Pakihiwi-tahi, who was so named because he had 
one shoulder higher than the other. He went out bird- 
limiting one night, luring the easily-caught wcka by 
imitating its cry. lie had omitted to perform the 
ceremonies necessary to propitiate the gods of the new 
land and the spirits of the forest, for when daylight came 
there he was, immovably fixed, changed into a mountain. 
There is his shaggy head, set between his unequal 
shoulders, tin* lower one—on which the cairn in memory 
of Sir John Mclxenzie stands—depressed as if (say the 
Maoris) he were still hauling away at his capsized canoe, 


THE CANOE-VOYAGERS 


63 

Ara i to uru, endeavouring' to drag her on shore. A 
little 1 further south, near the present railway station at 
Palmerston, is the sharp, conical hill Puke-tapu (“Sacred 
Mount”). Puke-tapu, in the symbolism of the Maoris, 
is Pakihiwi-tahi’s slave-wife. She was sent out to gather 
firewood, and, venturing into the uncanny fairy country, 
she was metamorphosed into a mountain. On the steep 
green slopes of the hill-cone you may see two gullies or 
watercourses, marked by lines of waving toetor (swamp- 
flag). These are the kawac or strips of flax-leaves which 
the luckless Puketapu took with her to carry home her 
load of firewood. 

The Fleet of the Fourteenth Century. 

Most Maoris can trace their descent back to one or other 
of the historic canoes, Aotea, Tokomaru, Tainui, Arawa, 
Mataatua, Takitimu, which arrived on these shores from 
the Society and Cook Islands in the early part of the 
fourteenth century. In addition to this line of descent 
many Maoris can repeat their genealogies back to various 
other canoes and to the tangata-whenua, the ancient 
people of the land who were already settled here. But 
they pride themselves most on their aristocratic descent 
from the later canoes, the Arawa-Tainui fleet. Of these 
six celebrated canoes, the Aotea is said by the descendants 
of her crew, who peopled the Taranaki province, to have 
come from Rangiatea, which, as has been discovered by 
Mr. S. Percy Smith, is identical with Raiatea Island, in 
the Society Group. The others came from the island of 
Tahiti, calling at Rarotonga on the way. All the canoes 
but Takitimu ended their voyages on the coast of the 
North Island; and Takitimu sailed to the far South, and 
according to legend was hauled ashore at Murihiku, the 
“Tail-of-the-Land,” the general name of the present 
province of Southland and the shores of Foveanx Strait. 
It is probable, however, that most of her passengers 
landed in the North Island, for most of the East Coast 
tribes, from the East Cape down to the Wairarapa, claim 
descent from the Takitimu people. 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


64 


All these canoes brought with them seed -kumara, also 
the hue gourd; some also brought the native dog and 
various birds for liberation in the new land, and slips or 
seeds of the aute or cloth-bark tree. 

The Aotea. 

The canoe Aotea—or to give the full name, Aotea-nui- 
no-Toto, meaning ‘ ‘ Great- Aotea-from-Toto ’ ’ (Toto 
being the Hawaiikian chief who gave her to her captain, 
Turi, his son-in-law)—is said to have sailed direct from 
Raiatea for New Zealand, no doubt guided by definite 
sailing-directions from previous visitors to the new 
country. She called on her voyage at an island, called 
Rangitah.ua, which is believed to be identical with Sunday 
Island, in the Kermadec Group; and there she took on 
board the crew of the canoe Kurahaupo, which had also 
sailed from the Pacific Islands for New Zealand but had 
been so badly damaged at sea, or in attempting the 
dangerous surf-landing at Sunday Island, that she was 
abandoned as useless. The Aotea coasted down the 
western side of the North Island until she sighted the 
great snow-clad peak of Mount Egmont, which the Maoris 
called Puke-haupapa (“Snowy Mountain”) and later 
Taranaki; in the beautiful and fertile country at its base 
she landed her immigrants. Turi left the canoe on the 
northern coast of Taranaki, and travelled overland until 
he arrived at the mouth of the Patea River; there he 
settled, and made his first /lommru-eultivations. Turi’s 
settlement was at Rangitawhi, on the south bank of the 
Patea, near the Heads; there he built his stockaded pa, 
Matangi-rei; his /cifwaru-garden, called Ifekeheke-i-Papa, 
was made where the harbour signal-station now stands, 
dust below, on the bank of the Patea, is his water-spring, 
Te-Wai-o-Turi, still running after the lapse of six 
centuries. It is related of Turi that when he reached 
this district he took up a handful of the rich dark-red 
soil and smelt it, and pronounced it a good land; hence 
the pepeha or proverbial saying which is on the lips of 
every Patea and Whenuakura Maori in allusion to this 


THE CANOE-VOYAGERS 



South Taranaki country: “To wlienua i hongihongia e 
Turi” (“The land which Turi smelled”). Later the 
pakcha, too, smelled out the fatness of this soil, and 
found that it was very good. 

The memory of Turi is held in great veneration by the 
Taranaki people, and songs commemorating him are 
often heard at the present day, particularly at Parihaka, 

the town of the 
departed prophets 
Te Whiti and 
Tolm. The name 
of Rangiatea, the 
ancestral home of 
the race, is, too, 
held in high hon¬ 
our. “FromRangi- 
atea is the seed of 
our coming,” is a 
saying that Te 
Whiti was fond of 
quoting in his 
oracular addresses 
to his people ; but 
the old mystic 
went back much 
further. He was 
strongly imbued 
with the idea, the 
result of an extra¬ 
ordinarily close 

A Descendant of Turi. Tutange Waionui. of Pariroa, Study of the white 

ratea " man’s Bible, that 

the Maoris were descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes, and 
that they were in fact Iliaraira , or Israel. “Yes,” he 
said to me one night in his big meeting-house at 
Parihaka, as we sat watching his white-plumed poi-girls 
rehearsing their dances, “I came from the Island 
Rangiatea, in Hawaiiki-kai. But I really came from a 
more ancient and greater Hawaiiki; I came from the 
land of Kenana [Canaan].” 


E 




66 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


The Tokomaru. 

This canoe, originally from Tahiti, called at the Island 
of Rarotonga. She ended her voyage at the month of 
the Tongaporntn River, on the West Coast of the North 
Island, between Waitara and Mokan; her mooring- 
stone, or anchor—a large stone about three feet long, 
shaped somewhat like a pear, with a hole bored through 
the small end for the anchor rope—is hidden at the 
Mohakatino. The Tokomaru immigrants, it is said, 
encountered a tribe of aborigines on landing, and 
conquered them, killing some and enslaving the others. 
Her people were the ancestors of some of the Ngati- 
Ruanui, Ngati-Awa, Ngati-Tama, and Ngati-Mutunga 
tribes of Taranaki. Some of the remnant of the No-ati- 

_ <z_> 

Tama, once a very powerful tribe of warriors, still live 
in the vicinity of their ancestors’ landing-place. 

The Tainui ; and the Mystery of the Korotangi. 

The Tainui and Arawa seem to have kept in fairly 
close company on the voyage from the Eastern Pacific. 
Both made the land near the East Cape, no doubt running 
down on it before the favouring hau-matcmgi, the north¬ 
east breeze of summer-time. Tainui and Arawa both 
visited Whanga-paraoa, or “Sperm-whale Bay,” just to 
the westward of the East Cape. Thence Tainui sailed 
across the Bay of Plenty and entered the Hauraki Gulf. 
After calling at various places in the Gulf her crew 
paddled her up the Tamaki River to the isthmus where 
the town of Otahuhu now stands, and hauled her ashore 
there in order to drag her across the neck into the 
harbour of Manukau, or Manuka as it is often and 
Perhaps more properly called by the old Maoris. Some 
accounts say that she was successfully hauled across, 
but the majority of the traditions aver that the canoe 
stuck when part of the way across, and that no efforts 
on the part of her crew could move her. This, it is said, 
was a punishment by the gods for an offence committed 
by the chieftainess Marama, wife of Hoturoa, the com- 


THE CANOE-VO YAGERS 


07 


niandor of Tainui. Marama had misconducted herself 
with tier male slave, wherefore the curse fell, quite after 
the Maori fashion, on her crew. They placed skids and 
rollers beneath the keel of the canoe and toiled away at 
the drag-ropes, but in vain. This is the hauling-song 
chanted by the chiefs—one account 1 have says by 
Kakataura, the priest of the canoe, others by Marama 
herself—to encourage the crew as they hauled. It is an 
unu-waka, or “canoe-releasing” song, and is often to be 
heard sung to this day by the descendants of Hoturoa 
and Marama and Kakataura: 


Toia Tainui, 

Tapotu ki te moana. 

Ma wai e to? 

Maku e to, ma Whakatau. 

Te rongona atu nei, 

He tare-wainuku, 

He tare-wairangi 
Pu-nui e! 

Nau-mai! 

Nau-mai, e Tane! 

Ka kau taua i te aw a 
I Pikopiko-i-Whiti, 

Kia matakitaki a taua 
Te tini e te mano. 

Naku koe i tiki atu 
I te Wao-nui-a-Tane. 
Kimikimi e Tane, 

Koakoa e Tane. 

E turuturu haere ana mai 
Te w T ai o te hika o Marama. 

E patu ana mai 
E te komurimuri hau 
Na runga mai o Waihi, 

Te iringa mai te ra o Tainui. 
U-ura te ra, 

Wewero te ra, 

Nga tangata i wkakiririka 
Mamau ki te taura. 

Kia tu matatorotia atu 
Taku tu-matatoro. 

Ihu o waka! 

Turuki, turuki! 

Paneke, paneke! 


(Translation.) 

Haul away Tainui, 

To float upon the ocean! 

Who shall haul her? 

I and Whakatau shall haul! 

Hear ye the troubling of Earth’s 
waters, 

The troubling of the waters of the 
sky? 

Come, come, O Tane!* 

Scon shall we float upon the waters 

Of Pikopiko-i-Whiti,t 

And there behold 

The myriad tribes of man. 

’Twas I that brought thee forth 
From the Vast-Woods-of-Tane. 

Now rejoice, O Tane! 

The dew of Marama’s sinful love 
Drips from her like the rain. 

A gentle breeze blows hitherwards 
From Waihi, where Tainui’s sail 
Was spread out in the sun. 

How red the sun! 

Like spear-pricks its hot rays. 

Now, all hands on the rope 
And haul away! 

Be strong, and move her. 

Canoe-bows there! 

Move, lift, and glide along! 

Haul away! 

Haul away! 


*The canoe is here poetically addressed as Tane, the God of the forest, 
hence of all hewn timbers and of canoes. 

tPikopiko-i-Whiti is a river in Hawaiiki, often mentioned in legends and 
songs. When the hull of the Tainui was first launched it is said to have 
been floated down "this stream. 



68 


THE MAOBIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


The final words “Turuki, turuki, pdneke, pdneke!” 
were repeated as a chorus by all the people on the drag- 
rope. 

The unu-waka was chanted in vain, however, 
according to most accounts, and Tainui was re-launched 
on the Tarnaki, and sailed out of the Hauraki and all the 
way up round the North Cape, thence down the west 
coast to Ivawliia and Mokau. Rakataura, the tohunga, 
it is said, left the canoe at Tarnaki, with a number of 
followers, and travelled down the western side of the 
island. He afterwards met the Tainui people on 
their landing on the West Coast. Tainui visited 
the Mimi, near Pukearuhe (White Cliffs), and 



Maketu, Kawhia Harbour. The landing-place of the Tainui Canoe. 


making North again entered the mouth of the Mokai 
Ivivei, wheie IToturoa planted three poles in tokei 
of his taking possession of the new land. Here 
at Mokau Heads, are to be seen the celebrated groves 
of Pomaderris tainui , a small tree with a leaf somewliai 
like that of a loquat tree, which is found here and nowhen 
else m New Zealand; legend says that it sprang from tin 
skids laid down on the beach for the purpose of haulins 
the Tainui up above high-water mark. Here, too 
on the beach close to the Mokau settlement, is tin 
anchor or mooring-stone of the Tainui, a peculiarly- 
shaped grooved and polished rock something like ai 
hour-glass in outline, and about four feet in length. This 
stone punga or anchor is to this day regarded with grea' 




THE CANOE-VO YAGERS 


G9 

veneration by the Tainui people at Mokau Heads, and is 
looked upon as the local mauri-ika or sacred emblem 
which ensures an abundance of fish. 

Rut the Mokau was not the final resting-place of 
Tainui. Her crew sailed her back up the coast to Kawliia 
Harbour, which she had been unable to enter coming 
down. Hoturoa and Rakataura had met by this time; 
they had quarrelled but now became reconciled, and set 
up a joint tuahu or sacred altar at Moeatoa, and Hoturoa 
gave the priest his daughter, Kahu-rere (Plying 
Hawk), to wife. 

The canoe was hauled up on the shore at Healiea, on 
the northern side of the harbour, and close by the immi¬ 
grants built their first village, and named it after Maketu, 
a village in their far-away homeland. On this same spot 
stands to-day the little Maori settlement of Maketu (see 
page 68); it was an important Kingite gathering- 
place in the two decades which succeeded the Waikato 
war of 1863-64, and was for a time the home of King 
Tawliiao. Near by Hoturoa set up a tuahu or altar, 
and called it Ahurei, after a sacred place in Tahiti. The 
traditional resting-place of Tainui is to be seen to this 
day, in a clump of tall manuka just to the south of 
Maketu village. It is a very tapu spot in Maori eyes. 
Two white stones, each about four feet high, and sunk 
in the ground, mark the bow and stern of the canoe, 
which was buried here, say the Maoris. The distance 
between the two rocks is a little over sixty feet, which 
would probably be about the length of the canoe-hull; 
and it is remarkable that the clear space of ground in 
the heart of this tapu thicket, with the white stones at 
each end, is somewhat the shape of a Maori canoe. 
Whether the Tainui was actually buried here or not, 
there is no doubt it is the spot where she was finally 
drawn ashore. The Maoris aver that she lies there 
beneath the soil, turned to stone; but some inquisitive 
pakehas who wished to satisfy themselves of this with 
the help of a spade, were threatened with shooting. The 
sacred shrine of Tainui is jealously watched by Hoturoa’s 


70 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


descendants. The two white stones were, according to 
Tainui history, set up there by Hoturoa and Rakatanra. 
That nearest the beach is known as “Puna,” and the 
other as “Hani.” Hoturoa planted ‘‘Puna” as an 
emblem of fertility and of the increase of population 
( whakatupu-tangata ); “Iiani,” set up by the priest, was 
emblematical of the destruction of men in battle, the 
war-spirit (whakarere-tangata, i runga i te tikanga o 



The Sacred Grove of the Tainui, Kawliia. 


1 u). The photo on this page shows these two stones 
and the supposed resting-place of Tainui. 

Some years ago the old Kingite chief Patara te Tuhi 
(whose photo appears as a frontispiece to this book) 
carved a very artistic model of his famous ancestral 


canoe I ainui. Patara is something of a tohunga, and 
was in his younger days noted as a very skilful wood- 
carver. This canoe model he carved in the best Maori 
style, a single canoe, equipped with little triangular sails 
of raupo , paddles and bailers, and all complete I said 
to the old man: 


THE CANO E-VO V A G E RS 


71 


“But was not Tainui a double canoe? How could a 
long narrow single canoe like that cross the ocean in 
safet.v ? Were there not two canoes joined by a platform, 
like the Arawa?” 

“Kaliore! [No!]” emphatically replied Patara. “It 
was a single canoe, just like my model. That is the 
description handed down from my ancestors. As for 
crossing the Great-()oean-of-Kiwa, why it is under the 
protection of our gods. Our wise men, the tohungas, 
were on hoard, and by their prayers and invocations they 
placated Tangaroa and Tawhiri-matea, the gods of the 
dee]) sea and the winds, and made a path through Ihe seas 
for Tainui. And up above was Uenuku, the atua of the 
sky. it was Uenuku who guarded my canoe and brought 
it safe to shore. Uenuku was the protector of my 
ancestors, and be is the guardian of the Waikato people 
to-day. He is up above there”—and the old chief pointed 
to the sky; “you Europeans call him God or Jesus Christ, 
we Maoris say he is Uenuku. When you see the rainbow 
shining in the heavens that is his aria , the form and shape 
of Uenuku.” 

That Patara was correct in describing Tainui as a 
single canoe I have no doubt; it must have been one of 
the strong outrigger canoes called va’a-motu (“island- 
canoes”) used in former days in the Society Islands. 

Each of the canoes brought to New Zealand its sacred 
emblems, carven stone images of gods, and its wliatu- 
kura or talismanic stones karakia’d over by the priests 
and deposited in the new land as mauri, to pupuri 
(literally “hold”) the fertility of the soil, the abundance 
of fish and birds, and other food supplies, and the vitality 
and increase of the tribe. The Arawa canoe brought the 
stone images Matua-a-Tonga (a kumara god) and 
Itupawa. The Tainui brought amongst other sacred 
treasures the famous stone-carved bird known as “Koro- 
tangi,” which is still in existence, and is probably the 
most remarkable of all Maori relics, pointing as it does 
to a remote connection with Asiatic shores, a memento 
of the sea-roving Polynesians of untold centuries back. 


THE MAORIS OF HEW ZEALAND 


The “Korotangi” is in possession of a half-caste 
family, of high rank on the mother’s side, and is at 
present in safe-keeping in a bank in the city of Wel¬ 
lington; there are casts of the original in several 
museums. I give a photo which the owners permitted 
me to have taken some years ago. 

The Maoris say that the “Korotangi” was brought to 
these shores in the Tainui canoe from the olden home of 
the race. Te Heuheu, of Taupo, in giving me an ancient 
song about the carved bird—he sang it over ‘ ‘ Korotangi ’ ’ 
when we inspected the famous relic one night—spoke 
of it as “he taonga, no rung a i a Tainui, he mea 
hari mai no Te Hono-i-Wairua ” (“a treasure, from 

on board Tainui, 
a thing brought 
here from the 
Meeting - place - 
of-Spirits.”)*Be- 
yond that its 
history is un¬ 
known. It is 
not of Maori 
manufacture— 

The Korotangi. ** at is , certain. 

I he old song 

says:— L hara tena he manu Maori”— 1 “That is not a 
Maori bird.” It has been compared with an ancient 
Japanese bronze bird in a New Zealand museum; the two 
carvings are in some respects very similar. 

The stone bird is not unlike a pigeon; a Polvnesian 
interpretation of its name would be “The Crying Dove.” 
It is carved as on a perch, measures ten and a-quarter 
inches from point of beak to tip of tail, and is carved 
with high artistic finish out of a very hard and heavy 
dark-green metallic stone. Its weight is four pounds ten 
ounces. The carving is in a wonderful state of preserva- 
tion (except that a portion of the tail has been broken off) 



I lie Hono-1-Wniriia, or Meeting (or Joining) Place of Departed Spirits 
is a symbolical term for some of the ancient homes of the race most 
probably in the Central Pacific. ’ 






TJIK CANOK-VO YAGERS 


7:5 


considering the vicissitudes through which it must have 
passed since first the unknown artist fashioned it so 
cunningly. 

What a romantic mystery envelopes this little “Crying 
Dove!” What questions does it not suggest! Was it 
borne like the Roman eagle in some ancient Asiatic ship? 
Ts it the one lone relic of some captured foreign ship, cut 
off by the piratical Vikings of the mid-Pacific? For how 
many long centuries has it not traversed the Great-Ocean- 
of-Kiwa, from island unto island where the Son of Day 
has his flaming uprising—first, perhaps, in some far- 
cruising proa or junk, then in the long sailing-canoes of 
the Polynesian sailormen! If the “Crying Dove” could 
but speak wliat an Odyssey-like epic could it not tell us? 

The Maoris say that the Kawhia and Waikato people 
—the descendants of the Tainui stock—carried “Koro- 
tangi” with them on their expeditions of war, and 
consulted it as an oracle. The bird was set up on a hill¬ 
top ( taumata ) by the taua, the war-party, and karakia ’d 
to and invoked for assistance and good fortune. It was 
a tribal mauri or talisman, the bare-legged army’s 
mascotte. 

“Korotangi” was lost at Kawhia some generations 
ago (probably its last tohunga custodian died without 
revealing its keeping-place), and remained hidden for 
many years, no one knowing its whereabouts. Waikato 
and Tainui grieved greatly for their treasured bird, and 
dirges and laments were composed bearing on its dis¬ 
appearance. In course of time these poetical waiata 
tangi were adopted as funeral songs; a lost loved one 
was compared to “Korotangi,” beautiful and rare, 
vanished for ever. But in modern times (about 1880) it 
was recovered, found at Kawhia under the roots of an 
old kaliikatoa tree which had been blown down (where 
it had no doubt been hidden), and came into the posses¬ 
sion of the Maori wife of the late Major Wilson, of 
Cambridge, Waikato. From far and near the Maoris 
(who instantly recognised the bird from the description 
preserved in tribal traditions) came to weep over it as if 


74 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


it were a friend back from the dead. Old King Tawliiao, 
the celebrated warrior-chief Rewi, the Kingite leader 
Te Ngakan, visited it, and tangV d londlv over their bird, 
sacred to them as the Ark of the Covenant which the 
Israelites bore in their weary journeyings. 

This is the ancient song which the Maoris chant over 
“Ivorotangi”—a lament composed by a Kawliia woman 
long generations ago, when the bird was lost, and snug 
to this day by the Waikato and allied tribes at funeral 
gatherings as a waiata-tangi, a poetic “keen” for the 
illustrious dead. The Maori version begins :—“Kaore 
te aroha, Mo taku nei manu ’ ’: 

(Translation.) 

Deep is my grief, 

My little bird, for thee! 

Nightly my sorrow bubbles up, 

As low I lie within my house, 

And ever long for thee, 

My darling vanished one! 

See ye, 0 maidens mine, 

The water-birds at play— 

(But Koro’ is not like those), 

’Tis not a Maori bird. 

Oh, give it to me that I may 

Gaze upon its curling feathers carved 

In distant lauds. 

Brought hither from Tawhiti.* 

Daily I pine for thee, my bird, 

I tarry day by day and ask, 

‘Oh. where lias Korotangi gone? 

Haply he has flown afar 
To feast on green pohata leaves. ’ 

Nightly I sleepless lie, 

And call for thee; 

Thou wert the guardian of our treasures, 

The warrior’s oracle 
Set up on battle-hill. 

And now for help I turn my face 
To Kawa-tapu-a-rangi! ’ ’ 

According to the Maoris of Waikato, this stone bird 
lias a mana tapu, a sacred influence or spell, attaching 
to it. The possession of it involves the proprietor in as 


*In the original: 

“ Homai me titiro 
Ki te huruhuru whakaingoingo 
Mai no Tawhiti.” 





T1IK CANOE VOYAGERS 


r* ** 

7o 


serious a responsibility as that of the owner of a 
“hoodoo” ship, The Maori wife of its late owner, Major 
Wilson, was a lady of rank. When she had it in her 
charge, (lie chief Te Ngakau urged her to throw it into 
the Waikato River, which flowed past her house, for fear 
she would he bewitched (makuturia). In fact her death 
was by some of the Natives put down to the “evil eye” on 
account of her possession of “Korotangi.” The relic is 
now in the hands of Major Wilson’s children. 

“Korotangi” is certainly not Maori; it is plainly the 
handiwork of a people more advanced in industrial art. 
Then where did the ancestors of the Maori obtain it? 



This picture, a woodcut used as a head-piece in a genealogical document printed 
by the Ngati-Maniapoto tribe a few years ago, represents in Maori idea the 
arrival of the Tainui and Arawa canoes from Hawaiiki. The man paddling his own canoe 
is Rakataura the priest. Some of his descendants say that he did not come in the 
Tainui, but that he crossed the ocean riding on the back of a taniwha , a great fish called 
Pane-iraira ” (‘ Speckled-Head”), while his son, Hape-ki-tuarangi, accompanied him in 
a whirlwind (hau-rauwhakarewarewa ). Others again claim that, as shown above, he 
came neither in the Tainui nor on the taniwha, but that, like the founder of the Clan 
McPherson, who declined a passage in the Ark at the time of the Deluge, he had “ a boat 
o’ his ain.” 


The Arawa. 

The Arawa was a large double canoe; she came from 
the island of Tahiti, calling at Rarotonga. Her captain, 
Tama-te-kapua, by stratagem, enticed Ngatoro-i-rangi, 
a celebrated priest or toliunga, on board the canoe, and 
carried him off, together with his wife Kearoa. Ngatoro- 
i-rangi was to have sailed in the Tainui, but Tama-te- 













76 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


kapua, being without a priest or wizard of sufficient 
mana, had to resort to kidnapping one. Out at sea, Tama’ 
seduced Kearoa—apparently she was very ready to 
accept his love-making. Then in revenge the priest drove 
the canoe into the very jaws of the terrible maelstrom 
known in Arawa tradition as “Te Waha-o-Parata,” 
(“ Parata’s Mouth”), or “Te Korokoro-o-Te-Parata” 
(“The Throat of the Parata”), an emblematical term 
apparently for some unusual disturbance of the ocean, 
probably by a submarine earthquake or volcanic eruption. 
The canoe swiftly approached the spot where the ocean- 
monster sucked down the waters with an awful roaring 
noise. The story is told in much detail in Sir George 
Grey’s “Polynesian Mythology.” I give the following 
brief narrative as told me by a direct descendant of 
Ngatoro-i-rangi. It contains the invocation of the chief 
Ika, which does not appear in Grey’s version:— 

“When Ngatoro-i-rangi found that his wife Kearoa 
had committed adultery with Tama-te-kapua, he was 
stricken with great anger. ITe turned the bows of the 
canoe, by his powerful karakia, so that the Arawa 
headed straight for Parata’s-Throat. The canoe 
began to descend into the Throat; then the people cried 
out to him, '0 Ngatoro’! the pillow has fallen from 
under Kearoa’s head; release the canoe [Unuliia!].’ 
But Ngatoro’ would not pay any heed to them, and the 
canoe was in great danger. Then up rose Ika, one of the 
chiefs on board, and he lifted up his voice in a prayer to 
the gods for help. Tie recited an incantation beginning 
‘ Tenei taka nuku, te kiri o Tane’ in which he 
appealed to his atua to save the Skin-of-Tane the Tree- 
God floating on the waters, to hold it firmly back from 
the destruction that threatened it; he called to Bangi 
the Sky-god to descend and save the drowning Ribs-of- 
Tane, and cried, too, to Tangaroa [the Maori Neptune] 
to beat down the destroying waves of ocean.* 


*As this ancient karakia has not previously been recorded, I give the 
original here, as a specimen of the Polynesian invocations to the gods in 
time of danger at sea; it is a ruruku or “firmly-binding ’’ spell: 




THE CANOE-VOYAGERS 


r- f 7 

i 7 

“Hut tlu* canoe did not respond to this powerful spell, 
and continued to drift to destruction. Great confusion 
and terror tell upon the people on board, the men, women, 
and children. Then they cried again to Ngatoro’ to save 
them. And the priest now took pity on his people, and 
he recited his most powerful karakia, his spell to release 
the canoe from the Throat. By this time some of the 
cargo of the Arawa had fallen or been washed overboard. 
The invocation which Ngatoro’ recited was that 
beginning: 

“ ‘Unuhia, unuhia 
Te pou tapu, 

Ko te pou mua, ko te pou roto,’ ” &c. 


Tenei toku nuku, te kiri o Tane; 
Ko tai-pito, ko tai-ngahoa. 

Hoa ita, lioa ita. 

Te kupu tenei lioki te ruruku 
Ka mau, ko te ruruku nui na Ika. 
Rukutia mai hae kia u. 

Tapu te raka kia u 
Rukutia nga atua kia u. 

Tapu te raka kia u. 

Rukutia Tainui, te Arawa, 

Kia u! 

Tapu te raka kia u. 

Rukutia nga tangata kia u. 

Tapu te raka kia u! 

E— i! 

E Rangi e! 

Ko Rangi tana iho, 

Ko Rangi taua ake, 

Ko Rangi tau apiti te tuahiwi, 

Te tuahiwi o te Rangi. 

Ka moumoua te Kaokao o Tane, 
Tena toka whenua. 

Wliakainau atu te ruruku 
Ki te ihu o te waka; 

Whakamau atu te ruruku 

Ki te ihu (? iho) o nga tangata. 

Turou parea. 

Pera lioki ra Tangaroa 
I te horomea 
I tukitukia ai, i taitaia ai. 

O—oi! 

Kani Tangaroa! 

Whano, whano! 

Haramai te toki! 

Haumi e! 

Ui—e! 

Taiki—e! 







78 


THE MAORIS OP NEW ZEALAND 


“In this the tohunga besought the gods to draw out the 
canoe from the terrible Throat, the sacred canoe that 
once grew as a tree ( pou-tapu ) in the Great-Forest-of- 
Tane; he called upon the spirits of Ruarangi, of Maui- 
tikitiki-o-Taranga, to descend by the path of Tawliaki 
the god, from the high heavens, and clear from perils 
Ngatoro’s ocean track, the way by which Ngaliue had 
aforetime sailed to the far land. 

‘ ‘ The chant went on: 

‘ ‘ ‘ Rise, O Tangaroa, rise! 

Rise, O canoe and glide along! 

We gather way, 

’Tis a propitious tide; 

The danger’s o ’er! ’ 

“And immediately the priest had ended the recitation 
of that sacred awa-moana, the tumult of the ocean ceased, 
the Throat-of-Parata closed, the heavens grew light, and 
the canoe was saved.” 

The other incidents of the Arawa’s voyage need not 
be recounted here, as they have already been fully- 
recorded. Her people landed at Maketu, and took pos¬ 
session of the country extending thence to Rotorua, and 
eventually settled it here and there down as far as Lake 
Taupo. We know it must have been about midsummer 
when the canoe made the coast at the East Cape because 
the traditions tell us that the rata and pohutukawa trees 
that fringed the cliffs were in full bloom. 

Paikea. 

One of the most celebrated Hawaiikian immigrants 
was Paikea, about whom some marvellous legends are 
told. He arrived apparently shortly before the Takitimu, 
from Rarotonga; some accounts say he swam across the 
ocean, others that he came riding on his taniivlia, a sea- 
monster. Evidently his descendants have forgotten the 
name ol his canoe. Paikea, it is said, escaped from the 
destructive Tai-o-Ruatapu—the “Tide of Ruatapu”— 
probably a great earthquake wave, which devastated his 
Island home; some East Coast legends say that Ruatapu 


T 11 K C A N () K V () Y AG l'.RS 


T<> 


scuttled his canoe at sea (apparently near Rarotonga) 
and that Paikea alone oi all the crew escaped, and that 
lie gathered his people on llikurangi Mountain and so 
saved them from the terrible wave with which Ruatapu 
threatened them. (Tkurangi is the present name of a 
mountain on Rarotonga Island). Some of Paikea’s long 
incantations, supposed to have been uttered while lie was 
swimming, as potent charms to bear him to land, are 
preserved by Ngati-Porou. 

Tuta Nihoniho, one of the kaumatuas of Ngati-Porou, 
tells me that Paikea, he has heard from old toliungas of 



[NXtoA 16. O IE TAU TUAWHA 4 J WAIRARAPA HAVUERE PARAIRE 31st 1903 No IJ 


This picture is from the title-page of the Maori newspaper “ Te Puke-Ki-Hikurangi ” 
(‘The Mount at Hikurangi ”). It depicts the Maori conception of this famous 
traditional peak as the Polynesian Ararat, where the people took refuge from the 

Flood of Ruatapu. 

his tribe was the first to give the name “Aotea-roa” to 
this country. Paikea, he says, came across the Great- 
Ocean-of-Kiwa on a taniwha’s back—which recalls 
sundry fables of the Old World, such as the Greek story 
of the dolphin on whose back the musician Arion was 
borne safely to the shore, the benevolent sea-creature 
now immortalised in the constellation Delphinus. The 
first land Paikea reached was the Great Barrier Island 
(at the entrance to the Hauraki Gulf) which he named 
“Aotea,” after a certain place in Tahiti, meaning “clear 
day,” or “broad daylight.” Then, sailing his taniwha 















80 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


The following genealogy gives 
the descent of a member of the 
Ngai-Tahu tribe (South Island) 
from Paikea: 

Uenuku 

I 

Paikea 

I 

Tahu-potiki 

Ira-tuhoe 

I 

Raka-te-huru-manu 

I 

Tahumuri 

I 

Nukuroa 

I 

Raka-waha-kura 

I 

Rakai-whaka-ata 

i 

Tuhaitara 

I 

Tama-raeroa 

I 

Te ao-hikuraki 
I 

Tu-ahuriri 

I 

Tane-tiki 

I 

Moe-ka-herehere 

I 

Te Rua-tu-whenua 

I 

Pualta 

I 

Te Raki 
I 

Te Ua-wkakataka 
I 

Te Hau-raraka 
I 

Te Who 
I 

Ka Hoihei (f) 

I 

Kumea (f) married Thomas Green 
I (a pakeha) 

T. E. Green 

(Half-caste Chief of the Ngati- 
ITinematua hapu, Tuahiwi, 
now about 65 years old). 

The genealogy of which the 
above is a portion goes much 
further back, and traces the de¬ 
scent of Green’s mother Kumea 
from the traditional Polynesian 
hero Maui. The number of 
generations from Maui to T. E. 
Green is given as fifty; this 
would indicate that Maui the 
navigator lived 1,300 years ago, 
about the beginning of the 
seventh century. 


further on, he reached the 
mainland, the tuawhenua , the 
North Island of New Zealand, 
which he named Aotea-roa — 
“ Long-Aotea.” It was after 
this, says Tuta, that Tamatea, 
the captain of the Takitimu, 
making the New Zealand coast 
near Wlianga-paraoa, in the 
vicinity of the East Cape, and 
gazing upon the far-stretching 
glittering white cliffs of the 
new land {pari ted , paid kanapa) 
shining in the summer sun, 
also called the Island “ Ao-tea- 
roa,” which in that sense would 
signify “ Long Bright World.” 
This was Tamatea’s pepelm for 
the new country. 

Some accounts say that 
Paikea first landed at Ahuahu, 
the island now known as the 
Great Mercury, lying off 
Mercury Bay, on the East 
Coast of the Auckland pro¬ 
vince. Ahuahu (literally mean¬ 
ing the little mounds of earth 
heaped up round kumara 
plants) is identical with A’ua’u, 
the ancient name of Mangaia 
Island, in the Cook Group. It 
is probable that Paikea named 
Ahuahu after some fancied 
resemblance to the tropic island. 
Mr. Percy Smith, however, 
thinks that Paikea, after escap¬ 
ing the general fate of those 
who went to sea in the canoe 
which Ruatapu scuttled, landed 
on the island now known 


T11K CANOK VOYAGERS 


81 


as Mangaia and then as A’ua’u, which in later times 
became identified with the New Zealand island so named. 

The Takitimu. 

The Takitimu (or Takitunm) canoe brought Tamatea 
and other chiefs; Ruawharo was her priest. Her 
crew were the ancestors of the Ngati-Porou, Ngati- 
Kalmngiinu, and other Hast Coast tribes, and also the 
ancestors of the Ngai-Talm tribe of the South Island. 
Her voyage from Hawaiiki must have been a very pro¬ 
tracted one, seeing that according to legend some of her 
people (probably slaves or children) were killed and 
eaten at sea, because the food supplies had given out. 
She sailed down the East Coast, calling at various 
localities and leaving some of her crew here and there, 
and ended her voyage in Murihiku (Southland), where 
the Takitimu range of mountains is called after this 
H a wa i iki an pil gr im-ship. 

Takitimu was a very sacred canoe, not only by reason 
of the many and varied ceremonies performed over her 
by the tohungas to render her seaworthy and proof 
against the waves and tempests of the Gfreat-Ocean-of- 
Kiwa, but because her chiefs and priests were the 
repositories of the ancient lore (. kura) of their race, and 
it was they who brought much of the old Ilawaiikian 
knowledge taught in the wliare-wanangci or lodges of 
instruction to this new land of Aotea-roa. 

There is a celebrated East Coast haka chant and 
chorus, frequently performed by the young men of the 
Ngati-Porou tribe, which embodies a portion of the 
ancient paddling-song of the Takitimu. This canoe- 
chant ( hautu-waka) is a fine example of the rhythmic 
songs, with their regular beats and frequent repetitions, 
in which the Maori delights. The original is said to have 
been chanted by the chiefs of the Takitimu on their 
voyage from Polynesia to New Zealand; it is an excellent 
time-song for canoe-paddlers. 

The kai-hautu or kai-tuki ivaka, the fugleman or 
captain, standing up amidships, begins: 


82 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


(Translation.) 

Papa te whatitiri, hikohiko te uira, The thunder crashes, the lightning 
I kanapu ki te rangi; ru ana te flashes, 

whenua. Flashes in the heavens, and the earth¬ 

quake shakes the land. 

Then, waving his whalebone patu or his paddle, now 
on one side, now on the other, he chants: 


He tia, he tia, he tia, 

He ranga, he ranga, he ranga, 
Whakarere iho te kakau o te hoe 
Ko a Manini-tua, i Manini-aro 
I tangi te kura, i Tangi-wiwini 
I tangi te kura, i Tangi-wawana. 
Tera te haeata takiri ana mai 
I runga o Matatera 
Ana Whaiuru, Whaiuru, Whaiuru 
Ana Whaiato, Whaiato, Whaiato 
I arara tini, i arara tini, 

I arara ri-i! 

E ko tena, tena; 

E ko tena, tena; 

E hara ko te wai o taku hoe, 

Ko te wai o taku hoe. 

Hei koti, hei koti, hei koti-i-i! 

E ka rere te rere i te waka, 

E kutangitangi, e kutangitangi; 

E kura tiwaka taua, 

E kura tiwaka taua! 

E kura wawawa wai, 

E kura wawawa wai i-i! 


Dip lightty, dip lightly! 

Now a long stroke, a long stroke! 
Plunge deeply your paddles, 

The paddles Manini-tua and Manini- 
aro 

Tangi-wiwini and Tangi-wawana.* 
See, dawn is breaking yonder 
On the peak of Matatera. 

Now, Whaiuru, Whaiuru, 

Now, Whaiato, Whaiato !t 
Now a long strong stroke! 

(Here the paddlers pause, while the 
canoe sweeps through the water 
under the impulse of the last 
stroke.) 

Now, again, again! 

Again, and again! 

That was not the water from my 
paddle, 

The water from my paddle. 

Now dig in, cleave it, 

A long strong stroke! 

Now we’re going along, 

How the canoe flies! 

How fine the paddles sound 
All together! 

My grand canoe, 

My treasured canoe, 

A treasure of the waters! 

(A long strong stroke). 


Other Canoes. 

The canoe Maliuhu, the ancestral pilgrim ship of the 
Ngati-W liatua and certain other Northern tribes, is 
believed to have come to New Zealand many generations 
before the Arawa and other historic canoes of the great 

fleet. Her people settled at the month of the Kaipara 
Harbour. 

I lie canoe Maniari, from whose crew most of the 
numerous Ngapuhi tribe, of North Auckland, are 
descended, landed at Hokianga Heads, where the majority 

* Names of sacred paddles belonging to the Takitimu 
tNames of Hawaiikian chiefs. 


THE CANOE-VO YAGERS 


83 


of her crew settled. Her chief was Nuku-tawhiti, and 
her time of arrival was about the period of the Arawa, 
Tainui, etc. She is said to have come from the Society 
Islands (Tahiti or Raiatea) and to have called at 
Rarotonga. 

The tribes of North Auckland are also in part 
descended from some of the arrivals by the Mata-hourua 
(Kupe’s canoe) and Mataatua; the former called at 
Holdanga, on the west coast, and the latter visited the 
northern coast before going south to Whakatane, where 
she landed the people who became the ancestors of tlie 
Ngati-Awa and (in part) the Urewera tribes. 

The canoe Horouta is believed to have arrived here 
about a hundred and fifty years before the arrival of 
the main fleet. Some of the descendants are amongst the 
Ngati-Porou tribe, East Cape, and also amongst the 
Tulioe or Urewera tribe. A curious story about the 
Horouta is told by Mr. Elsdon Best, in his “Notes on 
Ancient Polynesian Migrants.” There is a tradition, he 
says, that a number of black men came with the Maoris 
in the canoe; they spoke a different language from that of 
the Maori people, and were known as Ngai-Tama-Whiro, 
being the tribe or descendants of Whiro. These black- 
skinned men, who are surmised to have been Melanesians 
of Fiji, settled near Matata, and no doubt intermarried 
with the Maoris. This evidently is one of the sources 
from which some of the Maoris derive their part- 
Melanesian physiognomy. 

Other canoes, whose arrival on these shores has been 
recorded by Mr. John White, Colonel Gudgeon, and Mr. 
Elsdon Best, were the following:—Nukutere, crew landed 
on east coast; Rangimatoru and Oturereao, landed at 
Ohiwa, Bay of Plenty; Mangarara, landed at East Cape; 
Pangatoru or Papakatoru, Ariki-mai-tai, landed in 
Taranaki; Te Rua-karamea, Waipapa, Te Mamaru, 
Riu-kakara, and Moe-kakara, east coast of North 
Auckland district. 

More than one canoe of olden times not only reached 
New Zealand from the Islands of the Eastern Pacific, but 
also boldly sailed back again, making a round voyage of 


84 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


probably from four to five thousand miles. Ngahue auc 
Ivupe were, as has been seen, captains of two of these 
canoes, and Maku was an even earlier sailor-visitor 
Later, some six or seven hundred years ago, there was 
the remarkable voyage of the Ara-tawhao, manned by a 
crew of the aboriginal people of New Zealand, from this 
country to the islands of the Eastern Pacific, for seed- 
kumara. The story of this canoe has been gathered 
in interesting detail from the Ngati-Awa tribe, of the 
Whakatane Valley, by Mr. Elsdon Best, and is told in 
his “Notes on Ancient Polynesian Migrants” (Transac¬ 
tions of the New Zealand Institute, vol. xxxvii., 1904). 







Chapter VI. 


the new land, and how it was settled. 


These islands of New Zealand, with their great extent 
of coast-line, their immense, apparently illimitable 
expanse of forest, their many large rivers, and their 
towering mountain ranges, must have seemed a vast 
and wonderful land to the immigrants from Polynesia 
after the confined spaces of the mid-Pacific islands and 
atolls. They had left their tropic homes in search of a 
place where they might have more freedom and more 
spaciousness, where one tribe need not jostle another 
and fight for the possession of a breadfruit-tree 
or a taro- patch. Here surely in this big new country 
there would be room enough and to spare. There 
was; but it was not always easy to select new homes, for 
some of the most inviting parts of the coast were already 
occupied by the tangata-whenua , the aborigines, who no 
doubt opposed the landing of the new-comers in several 
cases, though only one Maori tradition mentions the 
fact. This was most probably the reason why most of 
the canoes made long voyages from place to place along 
the coast before their crews eventually landed. In the 


end, as they increased in numbers, they got the better of 
the tangata-whenua, sometimes by peaceful alliance but 
more often by conquest, or, as the Maori phrases 
it, by the ringa-kaha, the “strong hand,” by force of 
rau-patu, “the blade of the weapon.” 

With joyful feelings these brown-skinned colonists 
beached their long canoes on the sands of Maketu, 
of Kawhia, of Whangara, of Taranaki, and found 
themselves free to explore the strange new land of 
Aotea-roa. They wandered up the valleys, crossed the 
wooded ranges, built mokilii or rafts of flax-stalks to 


85 


86 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


oross the deeper streams, and looked with wondering 
eyes on the wide plains of the interior, covered with 
forests or with leagues upon leagues of flax and fern and 
taupo and white-flagged toetoe, through which wound the 
sih ei thread of many a river. They appraised with the 
true eye of the pioneer the “eyes” of the land, the most 
suitable places for settlement, where they might build 
their thatched huts and plant their crops. The chiefs 
takahi’d (literally “trod”) the land, claiming it for 
themseh es and those who were to come after them, and 
gave names to all the principal features of the landscape 
mountains, hills, lakes, rivers, often even to particular 
or remarkable trees and rocks. A chief frequentlv named 
places after himself or his relatives; this constituted a 
full and complete title to the land, that is provided 
he was the. first of the explorers so to name or 

ffmf ! t- . Pointin S to a mountain range, he would sav, 
ihat is my backbone” (tuara ); or to a hill, “That is 
mv head” (upoko ); or he would name a tree under which 
he rested, his rakau-whakamarumaru, his “sheltering 
tree.” These names were preserved, and in modern 
days they have been successfully adduced in the Land 
Courts as proofs of ancestral discovery and occupation. 

1 hough m many parts there were aboriginal tribes, 
yet. the interior the immigrants prospected must have 
been almost a virgin land. Dense forests, dark and 
mysterious, covered the greater part of the country 
wild birds swarmed in incalculable numbers. The voice 
ol man could scarce he heard on the forest outskirts in 
the ear y morning for the chiming and chanting of the 
turds, the teeming tui, the sweetly-tinkling bell-bird the 
screaming noisy kaka parrot, the ku-kn -ing pigeons,’and 
the countless other feathered children of Tane the 
Forest-Father. The pioneers set up their cunningly 
devised snares for the forest-birds, and speared them 
with long limber barbed spears; they made rat-pits and 

ratThlf eT f ? r -wo* the native 

rat, built eel-weirs of stakes, and set hinaki-tuna or 

woven eel-pots for the myriads of eels in the creeks; and 


the new land, and how it was settled 


87 


manufactured long seines of flax for sea-fishing. I liey 
religiously sot up their tunliu or shrines ol worship and 
oblation immediately they settled anywhere; these tuahu 
consisted generally of' stones, sometimes roughly carved, 
representing the various gods whom they held in fear or 
reverence. Their hereditary priests offered to the gods 
the first-fruits of everything, whether a bird taken in the 
snare or with the spear, a fish taken in the net, the fiist 
of the kumara or taro crops—or the heart of the fiist 
enemy slain in battle. They discarded their too aim 
tcipci garments for the more substantial ones woven fiom 
the useful fibre of the harakeke, or tiax, and the toi, the 
strong-leaved mountain-palm. They foraged mountain 
and bush and swamp for the foods of Aotea-roa. Such 
well-schooled children of Nature as they were not long 
in finding out for themselves the usefulness or otherwise 
of every plant that grew. Of some trees and shrubs they 
ate the berries, from other berries they expressed juice 
that made an agreeable drink; of the fi-palm or kauru 
they cooked and ate the saccharine roots. 

In such fashion they lived. They multiplied, and became 
numerous enough to construct great hill-forts with fosse 
and palisade and entrenched tihi or citadel; and soon held 
dominion over the old tangata-whenua, the aboriginal 
tribes. 

Many natural objects in New Zealand bear names that 
are identical, after allowing for slight dialectical 
differences, with those of somewhat similar objects in 


Samoa, Tahiti, Rarotonga, and other Hawaiikian islands. 
Many trees and birds in these islands bear names that 
are widely distributed through the Pacific; but it does 
not follow, however, that the species are the same. They 
are not, but the general resemblance led the Maori 
pioneers to bestow upon the creatures and forest-trees 
of the new land names they had brought from their 
tropic homes. The name of the nikau palm is an in¬ 
teresting instance. Niu, with its variant forms of ni’au 
and ni’ao, is the present general Polynesian term for 
the coco-nut; an exception is to be noted in Mangareva 


S8 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


(G-ambier Islands), far to the east, where a remarkably 
pure form of the Maori tongue is spoken. It has been 
surmised that the Maoris gave the New Zealand palm 
N/ ecch sctpidci its name nikau because to their disappoint¬ 
ment it was unlike the useful coco-nut of their old homes 
and bore no milk-nuts 0=milk), and therefore was 
m-kau ‘‘nothing but leaves.” But the fact that far 
away m Mangareva, the coco-nut is still called nikau and 
that in some islands the tree is called ni’au or ni’ao goes 
to show that nikau was the original name of the tree, and 
that m the intervening islands the “k” has in course of 
time been elided, as in so many other words.* The 
beautiful karaka, one of the most ornamental of New 
Zealand’s indigenous trees, the berry of which was 
universally used as food by the Maoris, is said in 
tradition to have been brought from Hawaiiki; but 
lotamsts say that this particular species does not grow 
m the South Sea Islands. It is the opinion of some 
Maori investigators that some karaka- berries may have 
been brought from Sunday Island, in the Kermadecs, at 
w mil the Aotea” canoe is believed to have touched 
and planted by the Maoris in their new home. Certainly 
the Taranaki natives believe that Turi, the captain of 
the Aotea, introduced the karaka. “Look around you at 
these plains of Waimate,” said the old tohunga- warrior 
Iauke to me one day at his little village Iiokorima ; “and 
see those karaka trees. They are not of this land, they 
aie irom Hawaiiki; it was my ancestor Turi who planted 
! 10111 liere an d covered the country with them.” There 
is a tree very similar in appearance to the karaka 
growing on Niue (Savage Island); it has the same shining 


by*the pZtTl'TtiV'lZZ™ "* ^'ng-sticks or rods used 
piactice-is also Tha £ H do u t TTV'" ZTT Asiatic Hebrew 
of Polynesia. In certain of the P i traced back to the niu or coco-nut 
the wizards to i, t 0 "as customary for 

part in a Samoan kava dr,n£ 1J! matlon i those who have taken 
deft fashion in which the el.i'ef S g send'th^nobsl I emember . tbc Peculiarly 
back across the floor after they have drunk ’ , , C0( “°'" llt ® heb s P innin g' 

war, the Maoris applied the term f i V days of the Hauhau 

mast, round which they marched in their Pai-m^ ^ceremonlef 6 * 8hip ’ S 






T1IK NEW LAND, AND HOW IT WAS SETTLED 


8 <) 


rich green foliage and the same abundance of yellow 
drupes, and it is called the kalaka; but it is said to be 
of a different species from that of our familiar New 
Zealand tree. On Niue, too, is a shrub called poro, 
very similar to the poroporo of New Zealand. 
Both plants bear an abundance of berries, which are 
eaten by the natives. [t is rather curious that 
the Niue people, who anciently had no direct 
communication with New Zealand, as far as is 
known, should possess Maori names for plants which 
are identical in general appearance with those of 
Maori Land. Some other Niue tree-names, such as the 
kafika, closely resemble those of common forest trees in 
New Zealand; but the resemblance in the case of the 
kafika is only in name; our New Zealand kahika-tea and 
kahika-toa are not found in Niue. 

Had the northern part of New Zealand extended only 
a few hundred miles nearer the tropics, there is no doubt 
the coco-palm would have been successfully introduced 
here by the Polynesians. Most likely they planted coco¬ 
nuts on their arrival, and probably they also planted the 
breadfruit, but New Zealand is too far south for these 
tropic children of Tane. The mu hi ( ufi ), or yam, it is 
said, was grown in the North for a time, but died out. 
The taro, kumara, and hue were the only food-plants that 
survived. The ante, or paper-mulberry, was grown for 
a time in certain parts of the East Coast, but has long 
been extinct. Its light bark-cloth, beaten out like South 
Sea Island tapa, was often used for kites, which were 
called manu-aute, or “birds-made-of-cmtfe-bark.” 

Maori songs and chants often contain words and 
names imported from Hawaiiki, of which the original 
significance lias been lost to the New Zealand natives. 
The names of places, trees, etc., of old Polynesia are 
recited in these poems, but the Maoris who so carefully 
rehearse the centuries-old chants can seldom 
explain much about them. It remains for pakehas who 
are students of Polynesian history, the traditions and 


90 


THE MAORIS OP NEW ZEALAND 


legends of Tahiti and Raiatea and Rarotonga, to elucidate 
these allusions. 

Recently I obtained from an old member of the Arawa 
tribe a song which I found crystallised a reference to 
the breadfruit tree of the Pacific Islands, a tree quite 
unknown to our Maoris. This song is a tau or lament 
composed and chanted by one Hinewai, a woman of the 
Ngati-Uenukukopako hapu, for Te Arakau, her grandson, 
who was killed at Ohinemutu about a hundred years ago 
by Ngati-Wliakaue. She was living at Te Ariki, on the 
shore of Lake Tarawera, when the news of her favourite 
grandson’s death reached her, and she sang her song of 
lamentation, a chant well-known in all Rotorua villages 
to-day. This is a portion of the tangi chant for the 
young warrior who had, as the mourner phrased it, 
“gone to the Night”: 

Wawa tangi o te moana 
Ki Rotorua, 

Wawa tangi ki to tupuna, 

E wheoro iho nei i te rangi. 

Te kite an i to matenga, 

Iva wliakaliehe mai an i Tarawera. 

* * * * 

Rakau tapu o Ilawaiiki, 

O tera talia o Tawhiti-nui, 

Ivo te kuru wliakamarumaru 
O te wliare o Uenuku, 

Ko aho-tea, ko nga pu-rakau o te Arawa. 

Ivo tou rite ia i tuaina 

Ivi te toki nei ki a Hahau-te-rangi 

Ka hinga i te awatea na, 

Ka kino te kiri o Ka hukura-i-te-Rangi e! 

(Translation.) 

Sadly the murmuring waters roll 
On Rotorua’s shores. 

Crying thy death-song to thine ancestors 
Whose fame sounds through the sky. 

I did not see thv death, 

And when I heard of it believed it not. 
****** 

Oh, thou wert as the sacred tree 
Of far Hawaiiki, beyond the isle 
Of Great-Tawhiti, 

The breadfruit-tree that shaded Uenuku’s house. 

Thou wert as the trees cut down 
To build the Arawa canoe, 

The trees felled with the axe Hahau-te-rangi. 

The glory of the heavens has gone! 


TllK NEW LAND, AND HOW IT WAS SETTLED 


01 



Hera te Ata, a Chieftainess of the Ngati-Kahungunu Tribe, Wairarapa. 
Died at Tatiern, 1398, aged about one hundred years- 





92 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


The line in this song which will particularly interest 
students of Polynesian folk-lore is that referring to the 
“tapu tree of Hawaiiki,” “te hum whakamarumaru o 
te whare o Uenuhu .” 

Uennku is remembered as a great priest and chief 
who lived in Hawaiiki (either Tahiti or Rarotonga) ; 
his dwelling was shaded by a tree of whose fruit 
Tama-te-kapua, the commander of the Arawa canoe, 
was said to have surreptitiously eaten, having entered 
the garden on stilts ( poutoti) in order to prevent dis¬ 
covery. Now, in most Maori traditions, including the 
history of the Arawa written for Sir George Grey by 
Wi Maihi te Rangikalieke and other Rotorua Maoris, 
this historic tree is spoken of as a poroporo , which is the 
solanum , a common New Zealand berry-bearing shrub—- 
the early settlers’ “bull-a-bull.” The present song tells 
us what the tree really was that shaded Uenuku’s house; 
it was the hum, which is the general Polynesian name 
of the breadfruit, that beautiful and useful tree which 
is so highly prized in all South-Sea villages, and which 
is often planted around the natives’ houses, to give both 
fruit and shade. The Maoris have long forgotten what 
the hum tree was; but the word has been carefully 
handed down through many generations. 

One other instance in which the hum tree is mentioned 
in song occurs in a pihupiha-ho-humara, or humara- 
planting chant, recited to me by old Tamarangi, of 
Mokoia Island, Lake Rotorua. This chant was repeated 
by the tohungas on Mokoia when the planting of the 
humara began each season. There is reference to 
Waeroti and Waerota, the legendary Soutli-Sea Island 
homes of the sweet potato, and the h or ah in proceeds: 

“ Te tan mai ai tc Inin Turn , horahia irhakatake te hua o te kauri.” 

(Though wo have not here the fruit of the kuru, spread out, fallen, is 
the fruit, of the kauri.”) 

Scveial New Zealand birds have widely-known 
Polynesian names, such as the haliu, or hawk. Rape, the 
ancient Maori poetical name for the wood-pigeon, we 


TIIE NEW EAN1), AND HOW IT WAS SETTLED 


9:5 


find as lupc in Samoa. There is another bird name, the 
•makomako (or Icorinidko), our New Zealand bell-bird 
whose sweet notes are seldom heard in the North Island 
now, but are familiar in the South, and on some of the 
outlying islands—which is similar to that of a forest-bird 
in Samoa, a resemblance that has not been previously 
noted, as far as I can ascertain. This Samoan bird, 
which has a very sweet note, and is, like our bell-bird, a 
harbinger of dawn, is called the ma’oma’o —the New 
Zealand name with the “k” elided. 

As for place-names, the Polynesian was as fond as any 
English or Gaelic emigrant of taking his loved home- 
titles with him across the sea. Our New Zealand maps 
are covered with names which have been transplanted 
from Tahiti, Raiatea, Rarotonga, Samoa, and even more 
distant Hawaiikis of the race. Such New Zealand names 
as Rangiatea, Aorangi, Arorangi, Whangara, Tawhitinui, 
Tokomaru, Aliurei, Maketu, Motutapu, Hawai, Rakiura, 
Arahura, Ahuahu, Aotea, Tokerau, Rapanui, Wailii, 
Morea, are of Hawaiikian origin, and it is through them 
that we are often enabled to trace with exactness former 
abiding-places of the Maori in the tropic seas. 

The Name “Aotea-roa.” 

In the legend of Paikea, given in the previous chapter, 
there is a Maori explanation of the reason why the name 
Aotea-roa was bestowed upon the new land. The name 
is indeed capable of many interpretations, of which 
“Long White Cloud” is the least acceptable. “Ao” in the 
sense in which it is used in this name connotes, indeed, 
anything but a cloud. “Ao-tea” signifies the aether; the 
bright light of morning, the brilliantly clear light of 
day; it is really a variant of “awatea,” clear daylight; 
the full dawn. “Aotea-roa” thus may be literally 
interpreted as “Long Daylight”; or' “The Long- 
Lingering Day.” 

Then there is another permissible translation, sup¬ 
ported by a tradition of the Takitimu people. Tamatea, 
the captain of the Takitimu canoe, sailing in towards the 


94 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


land at Whanga-paraoa (near Cape Runaway) bestowed 
the name “Aotea-roa” on the new country, as his pepeha 
or terse descriptive phrase for the land that lay stretched 
out before him. He called it “Aotea-roa”—“The Long 
Bright World”—because of the long white cliffs shining 
in the sun (pari ted, pari k an a pa), that belted the land 
as far as the eye could see. Here the adjective “tea” 
carries the idea of brightness and light, just as it does 
in “Titi-tea,” the Maori name for Mount Aspiring, in 
the South Island—“the sharp peak of glistening white.” 

To understand the full descriptiveness of such a name 
one should cruise along the East Coast anywhere north¬ 
wards of Hawke’s Bay. Lit up by the morning sun, some 
of these great cliffs glitter like chalk or pumice, land¬ 
marks a long distance away at sea. A typical precipitous 
stretch of coast bluff, such as I can well imagine would 
have justified the Maoris in naming this country “The 
Long Bright Land,” is the singular “tattooed cliff” at 
Kaokaoroa, near Matata, in the Bay of Plenty; a flashing 
white wall of rock, its brightness intensified by the 
beautiful groves of pohutukawa that droop their great 
boughs over the edge of the bluff.* 

The late Judge J. A. Wilson, in his “Sketches of 
Ancient Maori Life and History,” gives “Long White 
World” as his interpretation of the place-name 
Aotea-roa. The Maoris bestowed this name upon the 
new country, he writes, because when they arrived off 
the coast and sailed along it for hundreds of miles they 
“were impressed with its extent and its white appear¬ 
ance. From the western precipices of the Great Barrier 
and Mercury Islands, to the beaches and headlands of the 
Bay of Plenty, and from Te Mahia to past the East Cape, 
all the coast-line was more or less white in colour as the 
eastern summer sun shone upon it. The few dark rocks 
brought the white into relief, and increased the 

M .H. [ Mr. William Baucke], of Te Tvuiti, in one of his fine articles 

under the title of “Where the White Man Treads,” considers that the 
general idea meant to be conveyed in naming New Zealand Aotea-roa was 
“The Land Made Bright by the Rising Sun.” 



THE NEW LAND, AND HOW IT WAS SETTLED 


95 


impression, and they were partially hidden too, by the 
foliage of the pohutukawa tree, that was not to know 
the white man’s axe for several hundred years to come.” 

However, Mr. S. Percy Smith, in his hook “Hawaiiki; 
the Whence of the Maori,” states that Aotea-roa was an 
old name of the island of Tahiti, the last Maori Hawaiiki. 
It is indeed very probable the name is an extremely old 
one, a term coined by the ancient Polynesian sailors long 
anterior to the historic migration. 

‘‘Te Aotea-roa o te Maori,” Mr. Smith also notes, 
is an expression which occurs in an ancient Tahitian 
chant, evidently referring to New Zealand, the latest 
Aotea-roa. 

Whatever the exact circumstances were that led to the 
first giving of this name, I think we are fairly justified 
in making use of it nowadays as a descriptive term; and 
that “The Land of Long Daylight” or “The Long Bright 
Land” are permissible interpretations. 


The Tangata-whenua. 

Of the tangata-whenua, the ancient aboriginal tribes, 
there are a great many interesting traditions, legends 
and songs. As a race they bore many names, some of 
which are plainly allegorical or mythical; the Turehu or 
Patu-paiarehe, the fairy people, who dwell high up on 
the misty mountains and in the tangled depths of the 
forests, are evidently really memories of conquered 
aboriginal tribes whose remnants took to the more 
inaccessible places in the land. The Kahui-maunga or 
People-of-the-Mountains are remembered as one of the 
aboriginal tribes of Taranaki driven into the wilderness 
by the more aggressive and enterprising descendants of 
Turi and his people of the historic canoe-fleet. The 
tangata-whenua tribes seem to have been particularly 
numerous on the eastern side of the island. Those who 
lived on the shores of the Bay of Plenty appear to have 
been in general known as Te Tini-o-Toi, “the Multitude 
of-Toi,” called after their eponymous head-chief. This 


96 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Toi-kai-rakau (“ Toi-tlie-Eater- 
| of-Forest-Foods ”) 

Rauru 

Ha tonga 

I 

Maahu-nuku 

I 

Maahu-rangi 

Maahu-titi 

I 

Maahu-tapoa-nui (This chief’s 
son is said to have 
become a taniwha, 
or water monster, 
and is credited in 
Maori fable with the 
formation of Lake 
W aikare- Moana. 

Te Rangi-taupiri 

Tamaka 

I 

Wairere 

I 

Te Rangi-hinepi (a woman of 
the tribe Tini-o-Toi; 
she married Tane- 
potakataka of Ngati- 
Ruapani) 

Te Kapiti 

I 

Tope 

Hoputaua 

I 

Hine-te-moa (married Pakatoi) 
Hinekahu 

I 

Te Amotaua 

I 

Pakitna 

I 

Karatau 

I 

Hinemare 

i 

Tohi ' 

I 

Paora Puketapu (died 1899) 

Hurae Puketapu (born about 
| 1855) 

Te Horehuia (Hurae’s daughter, 
aged about 80) 
Tare Paroa (a child) 


Toi is generally known as Toi- 
kai-rakau, or “ Toi-who-lived- 
on-forest-foods ”—the principal 
vegetable fare of the aboriginal 
people being, besides the hue 
gourd, the pith of the mamaku 
fern-tree, the shoots of the 
pilxopiko fern, tawliara (the fruit 
of the kiekie or Freycinetia 
banksii), the karakci , taw a, 
hinau , koroi (kahikatea) and 
other berries, and above all the 
fern-root or aruhe; the kumara 
and taro were not introduced 
from the Pacific Islands until 
the canoes of the fleet brought 
them in the fourteenth century. 
The Tini-o-Toi were a very 
numerous tribe, with large 
villages and many strongly 
trenched and walled hill-forts. 
The people who came in the 
canoe Mataatua intermarried 
with them, and with the other 
aboriginal tribes that held the 
valleys and mountains from 
Whakatane to the East Cape 
and inland to Lake Waikare- 
moana. A genealogy from Toi- 
kai-rakau to a present Waikare- 
moana family is given in the 
margin (allow a generation of 
twenty-five years for each 
name). The Tini-o-Te-Ma- 
rangaranga were an important 
and numerous section of the 
tangata-whenua ; they occupied 
the valley of the Rangitaiki, 
and the adjacent country, and 




THE NEW LAND, AND HOW IT WAS SETTLED 


97 

wore conquered by the descendants of the Hawaiikian 
immigrants. 

The following names of the ancient tribes of tang at a 
it'll<')i ii< i or aboriginal people who occupied the Rotorua 
district and the shores of the Bay of Plenty prior to the 
Arawa immigration are given me by a member of the 
Ngati-Whakaue tribe of Ohinemutu. Most of these tribes 
were named after trees and plants and other natural 
objects: 

Waiohua; 

Kalm-Pungapunga (garments dyed yellow with the 
raupo bulrush pollen); 

Pakakohi (a kind of edible fern-root); 

Kokomuka-Tutara-Whare (the creeper that spreads 
over the sides of a house); 

Tururu-Mauku (the drooping fern-tree); 

Raupo-Ngaoheolie (the quivering raupo bulrush); 

Haere-Marire (travel peacefully); 

Te Ngaru-Tauwharewliarenga (the curling wave); 

Te Hune-Raupo (the soft fluffy down of the raupo 
rush); 

Te Pirita (The supplejack); 

Te Arulie-Toro-rararo (the long creeping fern-root). 

Most of these tribes were conquered by the descendants 
of the Arawa and Mataatua immigrants. 

The Waiohua were also the people who thickly 
inhabited the Auckland isthmus in ancient days, and 
terraced the many great pas on the volcanic hills of 
Tamaki-makau-rau. 

The urukelm or fair-haired strain in the Maori race 
is said to have come from some of these tangata-whenua 
tribes. 

The Travels of Ngatoro-i-Rangi. 

The descendants of the various pioneer canoe crews 
have preserved in great detail the accounts of the 
exploration, naming, and settling of the new land by their 
Polynesian ancestors. I will give something of the 
Arawa story as illustrating the way in which these 
chiefs and priests of ancient days takabi’d the new land. 


98 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


The Arawa’s crew, landing on the Bay of Plenty 
coast, gradually made their way southwards until they 
had explored the land as far as the great central lake of 
Taupo, and the volcanic mountains of Tongariro, 
Ngauruhoe, and Ruapehu. 

Just as iu the case of the Tainui, the priest or toliunga 
of the Arawa was the most enterprising explorer of all 
his crew. Tama-te-kapua went north as far as the 
ITauraki Gulf, and died, and was laid to rest on the lofty 
summit of the mountain-cape which pakehas call Cape 
Colville, but which to the Maori is Te Moehau-o-Tama-te- 
kapua, “Tama’s Sacred Sleeping-place.” But it 
is Ngatoro-i-rangi, the high-priest of the Arawa, 
whose exploring deeds are handed down in tradition, 
hazed by the lapse of time with a mist of the super¬ 
natural and the miraculous. 


Ngatoro-i-rangi, with a number of companions, set out 
from Maketu southwards to view the land. Penetrating 
the forests, he emerged on the shores of Lake Rotorua, 
and passed on south to Lake Tarawera. Thence he 
struck out across the desolate Kaingaroa Plains, the 
great pumiceous plateau which extends eastwards to 


Galatea, in the valley of the Rangitaiki, and southward 
to the eastern shores of Lake Taupo, a huge prairie 
expanse clothed chiefly with tussock grass and the 
manoao shrub, and dotted with G-palms, or cabbage 
trees. The middle of the plateau is practically waterless; 
only at the eastern and western sides are there springs. 
About three miles from Waiotapu, in the direction of 
Galatea, eastwards, just where the Kaingaroa is 
entered, there is a water-spring famous amongst the 
Maoris; it is known as “Te Wai-puna-i-takahia-a- 
Ngatoro-i-rangi’’—‘‘The Fountain caused by Ngatoro’s 
Stamping. ’ ’ 

The legend accounting for the origin of the spring says 
that Ngatoro-i-rangi, when crossing this part of the 
country from Tarawera, became very thirsty, and sought 
in vain for water. So, like Moses, lie struck the 
ground with his staff, and he stamped upon it and 


THE NEW LAND, AND HOW IT WAS SETTLED 99 

uttered an invocation to tiis gods, and immediately a 
beautiful fountain burst forth, and be and his followers 
drank and were satisfied, and ever since the spring has 
borne the name of the great magician of the Arawa. It 
is an ever-flowing clear spring of very cold pure water 
welling mysteriously from the earth, and disappearing 
as mysteriously a short distance away. This “fans 
Bandusice ” of Maori Land is close to the old Maori track 
from Waiotapu across the plains. Should you drink 
from it, say the Maoris, you must be careful to observe 
a little ceremony before you quench your thirst, for this 
is a sacred spring and one that should be highly thought 
of. You must with your hand scoop up a little of the 
water and throw it out to each side of the well, two 
handfuls to the right and two to the left. This is a 
thank-offering to the gods of Ngatoro-i-rangi and the 
ancestral spirits, the Wananga, the Tauira. Should you 
fail to observe this Maori grace before drinking, the 
spring will dry up. This ancient observance resembles 
the Samoan custom, to be observed to this day at any 
ceremonial kava- drinking, of pouring out on the ground 
a libation from the kava -cup before drinking, as an 
offering to the Aitu, the deities of the household, the 
ancestral lares. 

Another legend of the semi-deified wizard of the 
Arawa contains a reference to the £Lpalms of the 
Kaingaroa Plains. Some of these ti, it is said, were 
originally women, and were changed by enchantment into 
trees, which for ever kept moving about the plains in the 
strange days of old, so that the traveller might set his 
course towards them but never reach them. They are 
called “Nga Ti Whakaaweawe-a-Ngatoro-i-rangi” (“The 
Elusive Palm-trees of Ngatoro-i-rangi”). One of these 
tall ti, tapu to Ngatoro-i-rangi, is, however, to be readily 
approached by the wayfarer, who may see it by the side 
of one of the old Maori tracks over the plains, some 
distance from the present road to Galatea, about half-way 
across the plateau. It has three branches, and 
its butt is curiously carved with stone axes. 


100 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Ngatoro-i-rangi, say the Maoris, was passing this spot 
when he plucked a hair ( mokawe) from his sacred head 
and uttering a charm ( karakia) cast it down here. 
Immediately this ff-palm sprang np to mark the place. 
In after years it became a tiulhu, or shrine, where pious 
Maori travellers laid offerings as they passed, and 
repeated short invocations to propitiate the genii of the 
plains. At the foot of the tree lies a heap of matd-tuhua, 
splinters of obsidian, used by the natives to lacerate their 
flesh at funeral gatherings, and also to cut the hair of 
tapu persons—an operation always performed at a 

sacred place. This is but one of 
innumerable instances of tree- 
veneration amongst the Maoris. 

Ngatoro-i-rangi travelled south 
to Tongariro and climbed that 
mountain. The story of how the 
sacred fire—the fabled genesis of 
the thermal district hot springs— 
was sent to him from Hawaiiki to 
save him from perishing of cold has 
often been told, therefore I need 
not repeat it here. 

A story of Ngatoro-i-rangi that 
has not been told, however, is that 
of his encounter with Tama-o-hoi, 
Tarawera mountain. Tama-o-lioi—who was evidently a 
chief of the tangata-wlienua, the aboriginal people—was 
the man who owned Tarawera, and he dwelt there at the 
foot of the mountain. He was a cannibal, and frequently 
waylaid and murdered and ate stray travellers passing 
through his lakeland domains. The Arawa high-priest 
determined to put a stop to this. lie went to Tama-o-hoi’s 
kainga, and meeting the cannibal of the mountain, he 
said to him: 

“So you are the man who slays and devours travellers, 
are you? (Jo down into the earth and remain there for 
ever!” 



A Descendant of Ngatoro-i- 
rangi : Te Heulieu Tukino, 
tlie head-chief of the Ngati- 
Tuwharetoa tribe, Taupo. 


UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA 

LIBRARY 

1/! _ • n /■* 








THE NEW LAND, AND MOW IT WAS SETTLED 


101 


So saying lie stamped with his foot on the ground and 
formed a magical run or chasm, into which he forced 
Tama-o-hoi, and takahiW (literally “stamped”) him into 
the earth, which closed over the tangata-whenua chief. 
And Tama-o-hoi dwelt there in the heart of the mountain 
in a slumber of full five centuries, the (piiescent demon 
of the land. Until Tuhoto aroused him. Tuhoto was the 
much-feared reputed sorcerer, a centenarian in years, 
who in Maori belief caused the eruption of Tarawera in 
1886, by invoking his long-slumbering ancestor Tama-o- 
hoi and Ruaimoko, the (Hod of Volcanoes, to rise and 
destroy Te Wairoa and the Tuhourangi tribe. In that 
outburst half the Tuhourangi tribe perished; and let us 
hope that Tama-o-hoi, too, was finally disposed of when 
his ancient mountain-home was shattered in his terrible 
vengeance on Ngatoro-i-rangi’s descendants, and that 
the volcano-god of Tarawera will no more arise to trouble 
Maori or pakeha. 

The Maori was now cut off from Hawaiiki. Canoe- 
voyaging to the distant tropic isles ceased alto¬ 
gether, and for probably three and a half centuries, 
until Captain Cook brought Tupaea to these shores in the 
“Endeavour” in 1769, the Maori neither saw nor heard 
of his Tahitian cousins. He was isolated in Aotea-roa, a 
South Sea navigator no more. 


Chapter VII. 


MAORI COSMOGONY AND RELIGION. 


The ancient religion of the Maori-Polynesian may be 
broadly said to have consisted in, first, a belief in and 
reverence for the personified powers of Nature, and 
secondly, a worship or propitiation of the spirits of dead 
ancestors. A belief in the animation of all Nature 
pervaded and influenced the whole life of the Maori, and 
equally strong was his faith in the divinity of his great 
Ariki forefathers, ancestors who had long passed to the 
Reinga-land, yet whose spirits still held dominion over 
their descendants, and were powerful to bless or ban. 
To the Maori 

‘ ‘ All Nature was a human face, 

A sybil with a thousand tongues. ’ ’ 

He invested the elements and forces of Nature with 
names and human attributes; these and his reverenced 
dead stood to him for deities. That universal primitive 
religion which takes the form of Animism is nowhere to 
be found more copiously embodied in priestly ritual or 
karakia and in sacred legend than amongst the native 
people of New Zealand and the Islands of Polynesia; and 
nowhere are ancestral spirits so revered, their names 
held so sacred that their repetition is in itself a prayer. 
Nowhere are genealogies more carefully preserved, so 
carefully that their recitation forms a large portion of 
many a karakia or prayer and any mistake made in 
repeating them destroys their efficacy, and is even fatal 
to the suppliant. 

It is impossible to obtain from the average Maori of 
to-day a connected idea of the ancient and very grand 
cosmogony of his race. White missionary teaching has 
transformed his mind, to this extent at any rate that the 



MAORI COSMOGONY AND RELIGION 


103 



Biblical versions of the Creation and other matters are 
often contused and intermingled with those of the Maori- 
Polynesian. But there are still men, the kaumatuas of 
the tribes, who are able to recite much of the old Nature- 
mythology and explain the successive aeons of Bo 
(Darkness) and Kore (the Void) which preceded the 
giving of form to the Universe, the coining of Light and 
the birth of the Heavens and the Earth. Many tribal 
genealogies go back to the Source of all things, to the 
time when the world was “without form and void.” 

Beneath all the personification of natural things, of 
the Sun and Moon and Stars, the Winds and the Ocean, 
there are faint traces ol* some still more ancient faith, 
the belief in a great First Cause. This supreme being 
or power is To, a name occasionally to be heard in ancient 
chants and genealogies. The resemblance of the name 
to Devus, Deo, Zeus, Tonis, and other forms of the 
Old-world names for the Supreme God has frequently 
been remarked upon, but probably the likeness is merely 
verbal; To is no doubt a form of iho, the core, or 
animating force of all things, the primal energising 
principle. The name is an exceedingly sacred one in 
Maori ideas, and is not to be lightly mentioned. “Io was 
really the God (Te Atua) ” says a Maori; and in John 
White’s and C. 0. Davis’s writings there are invocations 
addressed to and referring to this deity. “Te maru a 
Io “the protection or shelter of Io,’-’ is an expression 
in an ancient karakia* 

There is something very grand in the ancient Maori 
cosmogonies. The Maori could conceive of uncountable 
ieons of Chaos and primeval Darkness, these gradually 
giving place to light until the Ao-marama, the World of 
Light, was evolved. Ages upon ages of Nothing, as the 
old tohungas recite, preceded the gradual Dawn of Life 
and the coming into being of the Heavens and the Earth. 
It is a stupendous conception. 

*In a Ngati-Porou (Takitinm) cosmological recital given to me Ha is 
coupled with Io as one of the two high deities. Ha, however, really means 
the breath of life, the original vivifying force. 




104 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


But the idea that seems most strongly to pervade the 
Maori mind, the conception that colours all his theories 
as to the origin of everything in nature, is the dual 
principle, the great generative power of male and female, 
of the active and passive forces. Everything he endowed 
with sex, even the successive periods of Darkness and of 
Light, before man was. Light was to him the primal 
active generating force, operating upon Po, the Darkness, 
the passive, the receptacle for the mysterious Vivifier. 

The following cosmological recital is the first portion 
of a very long genealogy which I obtained some years ago 
from one of the chief families of the Ngati-Maniapoto 
tribe in the King Country. The whakapapa or genealogy 
begins with the seldom-uttered name, Io, the mystic First 
Power, and then come the successive cycles of Darkness 
and Light opposed to each other as Female and Male: 

io. 

I 

WHETU (the Stars) 

(Female Line) (Male Line) 


Te Marama (the Moon) Te Ra (the Sun) 

Te Po-nui (the Great Darkness) Te Ao-nni (the Great Light) 

Te Po-roa (the Long Darkness) Te Ao-roa (the Long Light) 

Te Po-papakina (the Darkness that Te Ao-papakina (the Light that can 
can be felt) be felt) 

Te Po-pakarea Te Ao-pakarea 

Te Po-ki-tua (the Darkness Beyond) Te Ao-ki-tua (the Light Beyond) 

TePo-ki-roto (the Darkness Within) Te Ao-ki-roto (the Light Within) 

Te Po-tawhito (the Ancient Darkness) Te Ao-tawhito (the Ancient Light) 

Te Po-rnru (the Sheltered Darkness) Te Ao-ruru (the Sheltered Light) 

Te Po-aio (the Calm Darkness) Te Ao-aio (the Calm Light) 

Te Po-whero (the Red Darkness) Te Ao-whero (the Red Light) 

Te Po-ma (the White Darkness) Te Ao-ma (the White Light) 

Tc Po-pango (the Black Darkness) Te Ao-pango (the Black Light) 

Te Po-whakaruru (the Darkness Te Ao-whakarnru ( the Light Agi- 
Agitated) tated) 

Te Po-kumea (the Darkness Drawn Te Ao-kumea (the Light Drawn Out) 
Out) 

Te Po-whakarito Te Ao-wliakarito 

Te Po-i-runga (the Darkness Above) Te Ao-i-runga (the Light Above) 

Te Po-i-raro (the Darkness Below) Te Ao-i-raro (the Light Below) 
r Ie Po-i-matau (the Darkness to the Te Ao-i-matau (the Light to the 
Right) Right) 

Te Po i-rnaui (the Darkness to the Te Ao-i-maui (the Light to the Left) 
Left) 

Papa-tu-a-nuku (The Earth) Rangi-nui-e-tu-nei (The Heavens) 



MAO HI I’OSMOOONY AND RKLIGION 


1 OS 

Rangi and Papa, the Sky-Father and Earth-Mother, 
were the parents of the following deities, who are the 
chief gods of the Polynesians and the Maoris: 


Kongo (God of Cultivations). 

Tane (God of Man, also Forests and Birds). 

Tangaroa (God of the Ocean and Fish). 

Tawhiri-matea (God of the Wind and Storms). 

Ilaumia (God of Fern-root and Uncultivated Foods). 
Ruai-moko (God of Volcanoes and Karth(|uakes). 
Tu-mata-uenga (God of Man and of War). 

To resume the genealogical recital: from Tu-mata- 
uenga the divine descent to Tiki, the first man, is as 
follows, each name representing a distinct stage in the 
evolution of man: 

^ Aitua; Aituere; Aitu-kikini; Aitu-tamaki; Aitu-whakatika; Te Kore; 
le Kore-nui; Te Kore-roa; Te Kore-para; Te Kore-te-whiwliia; Te 
Kore-te-rawea; Kore-te-oti-atu-ki-te-po; Ngana; Ngana-nui; Ngana-roa; 
Ngana-ruru; Ngana-maoe; Ilotu-wai-ariki; Tapatai; Tiki; Tiki-te- 
pou-mua; Tiki-te-pou-roto; Tiki-i-aliua-mai-i-Hawaiki (Tiki-who-was- 
made-in-Hawaiki; the first human being). 


Following upon the begetting of their seven children 
(there are many others mentioned in legends and 
genealogies, but the foregoing are the principal and 
deified ones), came the separation of Heaven and Earth. 
For ages Rangi, the Sky-Father, and Papa-tu-a-nuku, 
the Earth-Mother, clung closely to each other and no 
glimmer of light penetrated to their numerous children. 
At length these rebelled, and forcibly parted the primal 
pair. One of the carvings on the very tapu old Hauhau 
prayer-house at Te Murumurunga, Te Whaiti, in the 
Urewera Country, represents the God of the Forests, 
Tane-mahuta, who is carved head downwards, in allusion 
to the mythological concept of the separation of Rangi 
and Papa. It vas 1 ane-maliuta who forced his parents 
apart by standing on his head and thrusting Rangi 
upwards with his feet. Pane’s limbs were the trees; it 
was with these forest-pillars that he propped up the 
leaning sky, so that the Sky-Parent henceforth dwelt on 
high, dropping down his tears on Papa’s face in the form 
of rain and dew. “Tears” are a poetic euphemism for 


106 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


the procreating and fecundative powers of the Sky, the 
Clouds, the Rain, and the Sun. These potent influences 
Rangi showers upon his spouse the Earth, who in return 
brings forth abundantly of all plants and trees and 
foods, and who ever exhales her tokens of love or aroha 
in the form of mists and soft clouds. These vapours of 
aroha are night after night wafted on high to her Sky- 



Husband, her Tane, 
whose face and breast 
are so grandly adorned 
with myriads of stars. 
Papa (a term interchange¬ 
able, as word-students 
know, with the equally 
universal “mama,”) is the 
all-nourishing, all-beget¬ 
ting one, the great Mater 
Genetrix. 

Tane, the God of Man 
and of the Forests and 
all that dwell therein, is 
in Maori mythology the 
creator of man. There 
are numerous legends 
describing in great detail 
bis formation of a woman 
from the earth, named 
Hine-ahu-one,the“Earth- 


formed Maid.” Into her 

A Greenstone Tiki. h g breathed life, aild 

when she became a living being, he took her 
to wife, and their son was Tiki, the parent of 
mankind. One of Tane’s daughters was named Tiki- 
kapakapa, which seems to be an allegorical name for the 
birds of Hie forest, sometimes spoken of by the Maoris 
as “Nga aitanga kapakapa a Tane ” (“Tane’s wing- 
flapping children”). It was Tane’s daughter 
Hine-a-Tauira who descended to the Po, the Underworld, 
and took the name of Hine-nui-te-Po, the (Ireat-Woman- 
of-Night. She is ihe personification of Death. Human 


MAORI COSMOGONY AND RELIGION 


107 


beings are spoken of as “Nga-aitanga-a-Tiki” the 
begotten of r Tiki. The Maori greenstone neck-pendant, 
carved in grotesque resemblance to a human form, and 
called Tiki, is probably a representation of Tiki, the 
lather of mankind. It is an interesting coincidence, if 
nothing more, that the image of the goddess Tliinei was 
worn suspended from the neck by the chief judge in 
ancient Egypt. 

The Maori strongly believed in his divine descent. Mis 
genealogies all go back to the gods. The following is a 
translation of an oriori, or chief’s lullaby to his little son, 
frequently sung at the present day in the Wairarapa and 
along the East Coast by the people of Takitimu descent: 

From heaven’s pinnacle thou comest, 

O my son, 

Born of the very Sky, 

Of Ileavcn-that-Stands-Above. 

Yes, from the Sky-God thou art, 

From the vast and lofty Rangi; 

From Tane, too, and Paia, 

Who raised on high the firmament 
At the separation of Heaven and Earth. 

From the very elements, the Winds, 

The whistling, swirling Winds of Heaven, 

The brightly flashing Lightning, 

And the rumbling, loudly crashing Thunder. 

Deep in the heart of the Maori-Polynesian was the 
belief that everything in nature had its mauri or soul- 
force. Everything,” says a Ngati-Porou tohunga , 
“has a mauri: Heavens, Sun, Moon, Stars, Seasons, 
Lightning, \\ ind, Pain, Fogs, Winter, Summer, 
Dai kness, and Light—there are religious ceremonies 
appropriate and peculiar to each. Man has a mauri, so 
also have animals, the earth, mountains, trees, food, 
birds, rivers, lakes, and the many things of the earth, 

and there are incantations and ceremonies proper to 
each. ’ ’ 

The term mauri is a difficult one to explain clearly to 
the pakeha mind. It can be generally translated as 
“soul,” but the Maori does not intend to convey the idea 
that animals ( kaiat6he ) have souls, when he speaks of 


108 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


their mauri. Again forests and cultivation-grounds have 
their mauri, the intangible quality that makes them 
fruitful as sources of food supply. When the historic 
canoes landed in New Zealand, the new arrivals 
deposited their sacred stones (kura, or mauri-kohatu) in 
the forests to preserve the hau of the birding-grounds, 
that is their power of productiveness. The expression 
hau, as applied to man, is used in the sense of soul or life- 
essence, but it is not always easy to distinguish between 
hau and mauri. A man’s hau, the intangible embodiment, 
if the expression is intelligible, of his vital principle, 
could be taken by an enemy, by means of witchcraft, and 
unless the spell was counteracted, his mauri-ora would 
depart from him, and he would die. Man’s mauri-ora 
has been interpreted as “vital spark.” 

Wairua is the common Maori term for man’s spirit or 
soul, which is capable of leaving him at times and com¬ 
muning with other souls. When a person is asleep, the 
wairua wanders abroad, and visits the Reinga, the 
underworld, or spirit-world; visions in dreams are those- 
which one’s wairua sees when temporarily absent in the 
spirit-land. An often-sung Maori love-ditty begins: 

Hokihoki tonu mai te wairua o te tau, 

Ivi te awlii-Reinga ki tenei kiri e. 

(Oft may the spirit of my love return to me, 

To embrace in Reinga-land this form of mine.) 

The Reinga is here the Land of Dreams. 

Besides the great deities, the seven of Rangi and Papa,, 
there were tlie innumerable lesser deities of the Maori 
pantheon, a vast company of atua, to whom invocations 
and propitiatory incantations were addressed; atua of 
earth and sky, of cultivation and food, of fishing and sea¬ 
faring, of the forests and waters, and particularly of 
war. These were in general deified beings of mortal 
origin. Amongst a people whose great glory was in: 
battle deities of war held high place. Each tribe had 
its war-god, and each god had its kaupapa or medium.,. 


MAORI COSMOGONY AMI) RELIGION 


109 


the person into whom the god was supposed to enter, 
when it was desired to invoke or consult him. I'ennkn 
was the special war-god of several tribes, including 
those ot Waikato and Taranaki; his aria or visible form 
is the rainbow. The god Mam is the Mars of the 
\\ hanganui tribes. Kalmkura (synonymous with 
renuku) is the principal god of the Ngai-Tahu tribe. The 
Arawa tribe recognise Cenuku, Maru, Rongomai, 
Itupawa, and Makawe as their war-gods. The Urewera 
people have several who were invoked in time of war; 
belief in them has not yet disappeared. Em Tamaikowha, 
the fierce old fighting chief of the Ngai-Tama and 
Urewera at Waimana, in the Whakatane district, 
professed not long ago to he the medium of the war-gods 
Te 1 lukita and Te Rehu-o-Tainui. 

Besides the national and tribal deities, each family 
also had its special atna, its ancestral spirits, the 
manes of chiefs of sacred rank and priestly powers. A 
person often had—and still has, in Maori belief—a kind 
ot astral guardian. Says Te Heulieu Tukino, the present 
head-chief of Ngati-Tuwharetoa, of Taupo: 

“Our tribal gods are Rongomai, Uenuku, Kahukura, 
Tawliaki, Puhaorangi, and others. Some of these were 
ancestors. Rongomai is my personal god. I am a 
Christian, and believe in the pakeha God, nevertheless 
my own god has not vanished. The saying of my family 
is ‘Ko Rongomai te Atua, ko Te Heulieu te Tangata,’ 
[‘Rongomai is the God, Te Heulieu is the Man’]. H e is 
our guardian atua, and our god of war. His aria [form] 
is a stai, m the olden days it was a shooting star 
[whetu-rere]. Rongomai still appears on certain 
occasions. He has accompanied me on my travels at 
night. I was once riding along the shore of Lake Taupo, 
when the tohu [sign] of Rongomai appeared to follow' 
me in the sky as I went on my way. He is my kai-tiaki 
my protector. ’ ’ 

In this case Rongomai appears, from the Ngati- 
Tuwharetoa genealogies, to have been an ancestor, 'who 


110 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 



lived five centuries ago, and who was deified, probably 
on account of his warlike deeds. 

There is a remarkable modern instance of this 
tendency to exalt tribal and national heroes to the rank 
of gods. Te Kooti, the famous—or notorious—warrior 
(the adjective depends on the point of view, that of the 
Maori or the pakeha) who led his wild Hauhaus from 
1868 to 1871, continually chased by the Government 


From a photo. 1JK)7. 

A Maori Tuahu , at Hauraki, near Puhirua, Rotorua. The stones set in the ground 
represent the principal gods of the Arawa tribe : Maru-te-whare-aitu, Rongomai, 
Ihungaru, and Itupawa. The tualiu was the sacred altar of the priests, and here the 
gods were placated by karakul and offerings. 

forces but never captured, is regarded as little short of 
a god by the ITrewera people. “For three years he 
fought your Government troops,” they will tell you, 
“and yet you never got him. He was a wonderful man, 
and he had mana-tapu and influence with the gods. 
Indeed lie was a god himself (he atua ano). ,, Many 
singular stories are related of Te Kooti’s supposed 
supernatural powers—he was undoubtedly a very clever 







MAORI COSMOGONY AND RELIGION 


111 


follow, and very successfully imposed upon his super¬ 
stitious followers—all of which go to satisfy the Maori 
mind that he was in himself an atua. 

the Arawa tribal god Makawe, it is said that he was 
an atua-kahukahu, the deified spirit of a still-born child— 
the frequent genesis of an atua in Maori stories. TJis 
earthly mother was a woman of Rotorua; his father 
AY ainui, ol the Ngati-Maru tribe. One of my Arawa 
to hung a friends, a descendant of Oho-inai-rangi, speaks: 

u Makawe is still prayed to if needed. No set karakia 
is really required, though the prayer of ‘whaka-ngungu’ 
to him is sometimes used to avert the evils of tapu. But 
it one of our people,when in dire need,calls upon Makawe, 
addressing him as ‘E Para,’ he or she will be saved. AVe 
call upon him when our lives are in danger or we are in 
fear of the evil powers of makutu [witchcraft]. I was 
once on a visit to Te Wairoa, on the East Coast, and 
while there an old witch-woman would have caused my 
death by means of makutu, had I not uttered an appeal to 
my god Makawe. His aria [incarnation] is that of a 
noble young man clad only in a waist-mat of £oi-palm 
leaves, and bearing a taiaha [spear walking-staff] in his 
hand. But he is visible only to the tohunga, and this 
only in twilight or in the very early morning.” 

Rongomai and Makawe are two typical tribal and 
personal atua. A deity of another kind is the astral 
guaidian 01 palladium ot the W aikato people, the starry 
cluster of Matariki, the Pleiades, that constellation 
of world-wide reverence. 

then theie weie the genii loci, the deities of particular 
forests and lakes and streams, to whom incantations of 
the uru-uru-whenua order were repeated whenever their 
sacred homes were approached. These were the dryads 
and water-wraiths of Maoridom. In many a native 
district, certain trees, rocks, etc., are pointed out as being 
inhabited oi haunted by these local atua. An example 
of these is the sacred matai “Hinehopu,” a tall tree 
standing just bj the side of the main road leading from 
Rotoiti to Rotoeliu, along “Hongi’s Track,” in the 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


112 


Rotorua Lakes District. The Maoris say that 
* 1 Hinehopu.’ ’ is the material form or abiding-place of an 
ancient chieftainess of that name, who was wife of the 
chief Pikiao. She is a tipua , a spirit, of the place. In 
the foot of the tree there is a hollow, facing the road; 
and to this day natives from other districts, when passing 
the famous sacred mated, never fail to pluck some leaves 
of vaurekau or other shrub, growing close by, and place 
them reverently in the hollow opening. Should a 
traveller omit this observance of P'pim-placation, it is 
believed a storm of rain will surely come on and delay 
him in his journey. The last time I saw the sacred tree 
“Hinehopu,” there was a heap of freshly plucked 
leaves lying at her feet, the offerings of a party of 
Ngati-Awa people who had passed through that morning 
on their way to Wliakatane. 

This is a fragment of tree and ancestor worship, which 
prevails in many countries. In Erman’s “Travels in 
Siberia” mention is made of a sacred larch tree, in a 
hollow opening of which the superstitious people were 
accustomed to place their offerings. Travellers have 
observed similar examples of reverence for the forest 
spirits in Sumatra, the Philippine Islands, Mexico, and 
■elsewhere—and indeed our own British and Celtic 
ancestors were tree-worsliippers. 

At the foot of the lofty fern-clothed Ngatuku Hill, 
round which the coacli-road winds before sweeping down 
to the Waikato bridge at Atiamuri, the traveller will see 
on the roadside a great rock, known as Hatupatu’s Stone. 
Ages ago this rock tumbled from the precipitous liill-side, 
and for generations past it lias been venerated by the 
Maoris, who to this day perform there the ancient rite 
of “ uni-uru-a'liniua” the propitiation of the genius loci. 
There is a deep cavity in this fetish stone—a hollow so 
smooth and regular that it almost seems as if it were 
artificially carved. The cavity is generally found to 
contain a heap of small branches of manuka, the offerings 
of passing Maori travellers. It is the custom to break 
n green sprig of manuka and place it in the hollow stone; 


MAORI COSMOGONY AND RKLIGION 


113 


should a passer-by who is from another district neglect 
this ancient rite it will he uncomfortable for him, for a 
great storm of wind and rain or hail will surely befall 
him. By the imaginative local Maori it is said that this 
was the very rock in which their ancestor Hatupatu took 
refuge when pursued by the ogress Knrangaitnku from 
her cave on the mountain above, and, in proof of this, 
certain grooves or scratches on the stone are the marks 
of Kura’s sharp claws. 


H 



Chapter VIII. 

TAPU, AND THE TOHUNGA. 


The system of tapu, so widely spread throughout the 
islands of the Pacific, was carried to its highest pitch 
of development as a social law in the land of the Maori. 
Its operation was arbitrary, and often ridiculous to 
European ideas, but it had its uses. It was really the 
only law save that of the spear and the patu that the 
Maori possessed, and the fear of tapu and the unseen 
tempered the too free exercise of brute force in a com¬ 
munity where war was the chief end of man. 

Tapu was the “ noli me tang ere ’ ’ of Maori Land. 
Literally the word may be briefly translated as “sacred” 
or “holy” or “forbidden,” but its variations and 
peculiar applications are innumerable. There was a 
personal tapu and a local tapu ; and tapu of some kind or 
another faced the ancient Maori everywhere. It was the 
Maori’s quarantine law, and it served the same purposes 
as some of the old Jewish laws of prohibition. With the 
Ariki, or sacred high-chief of priestly rank, and the 
tohunga or ordinary priest and sorcerer, lay the 
exercise of many of the mystic powers of tapu, and they 
were respected and dreaded accordingly. Domett wrote 
of the tohunga class in his epic “Ranolf and Amoliia,” 

“ Departed spirits were their dumb police 
And ghosts enforced their lightest law. ’ ’ 

The inherent personal tapu of the priests was partly 
hereditary and partly acquired as the result of their 
education in the sacred house of instruction ( ivhare- 
maire, whare-wananga, or wliare-kura) . A great Ariki 
such as Te Heuheu Mana-nui, of Taupo, was exceedingly 
tapu in person; his head especially so. No man would 
dare to touch any remains of food of which the Heuheu 



115 


TAPU, AND THE TOHUNGA 

had partaken, to use a drinking-vessel which lie had 
used, or to touch his sacred sleeping-mat. His mana-tapu 
—an expression which it is very difficult to translate into 
English that will convey its true sense, hut which may 
be baldly rendered as personal sacred power and 
essential psychic force—was something of which the 
ordinary man stood much in awe. The ancient karakia, 
or prayers, and whakapapa, or genealogies, were in them¬ 
selves exceedingly tapu, the former being supposed to 
have been communicated by the atua or gods to man, and 
the latter possessing a sacred character because of the 
names of atua and of Ariki ancestors which they 
enumerated. Of these karakia and whakapapa and the 
other sacred lore of old, the religious ceremonies for the 
various needs of life, the traditions and history of the 
tribes, the art and ritual of makutu or witchcraft, the 
tolmnga were the repositories. The Maori looked upon 
his great tolmnga with an exceeding respect, which 
carried more of dread than of love. To his superstitious 
mind a sacred priest was surrounded by multitudes of 
spirits, was the medium of communication with the 
numerous atua of heaven and earth and ocean, and 
indeed was a god in himself. The remains of the dead 
and of all connected therewith were (and are) highly 
tapu ; and such places as ivahi-tapu (burial grounds) and 
the sites of ancient tiiahu or priestly altars and places of 
offering, are not lightly to be approached. The associa¬ 
tion of food, particularly cooked food, with anything 
tapu is most objectionable in Maori eyes. A man who 
handled the remains of the sacred dead became infected 
with a particularly powerful form of tapu, and could not 
dare to touch food with his hands until he had been freed 
from its malign influence. Food should not be taken into 
a sacred house. This belief is strong to-day amongst the 
Maoris; an illustration of it is the custom, frequently 
observed, of leaving such articles as pipe and tobacco 
outside a church before entering. Tobacco is regarded 
by the Maoris as food; they speak of smoking as 
“kai-paipa,” that is, ‘‘eating-pipe.” A Maori asking 


116 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


another to bring him some tobacco will often say ‘ ‘ Tikina 
mai he kai paipa moku ” (“Bring me some food for my 
pipe”). 

The applications, ramifications and trammels of tapu 
were innumerable. As a general religions institution 
and social law it has long been superseded b} r the religion 
and customs of the pakeha, and personal tapu is no 
longer what it was, but local tapu is still strong in many 
districts. On Mokoia Island, in Lake Rotorua, for 
example, one cannot go many yards without learning 
that such and such a place is tapu because someone died 
there, or that yonder tree is tapu because some ancestor’s 
bones were hung up there, or that this little reed-grown 
spot on the verge of the rippling lake is tino tapu —highly 
sacred—because of the fact that in olden days it was the 
place where warriors, returning from a fighting expe¬ 
dition to the mainland, used to land from their canoes 
and be exorcised by the heathen priests. In many cases 
the younger generation deride, in public, the efficacy of 
the tapu, but the older generation in such places as 
Rotorua, the Urewera Country, Taupo, Taranaki, still 
respect certain forms of the tapu. The karakia or 
formulas for removing the ban of tapu from afflicted 
persons are still known and are often used by the learned 
men and women. 

A special tapu attached to the cultivation of the 
kumara, the sweet potato. The old chief Tamati 
Hapimana, of Mokoia Island, Lake Rotorua— a patriarch 
long since gathered to his fathers—describing to me the 
ceremonies of his youthful days, said: 

“When the time to plant the kumara came, the priests 
went forth to the woods for branches of the sacred 
mapau tree. On that day and the day following, every¬ 
thing was tapu. The people fasted and did no cooking. 
The waters of the lake were tapu ; no canoes were 
allowed to put out and no fishing was done. The priests 
took the mapau twigs to the stone image of the kumara - 
god, ‘Te Matua-a-Tonga’ [which is still kept on Mokoia 
Island], and laying them on the image repeated 


I AIT, AND THE TOHUNGA 


117 


invocations to I’ani, the deity ot the kumara , to Maui and 
Kongo and other gods of tlie Maori, praying for an 
abundant harvest. In the evening they went to the 
garden-grounds and stuck the tapu’d branches in the 
earth, repeating the appropriate incantations. Then in 
the morning the people (altered tin* sacred hounds of the 
cultivation and planted the seed-kit inara, while the 
tohunga again recited their karakia, and chanted sacred 
songs. And the skull of a tribal chief of Ariki rank was 
disinterred from its place of concealment and was placed 
beside the mapau sticks, so that the man a of the dead 
chieftain might watch over the plantation and assist in 
bringing a bountiful harvest.” 

The ban of tapu is frequently applied to rivers, lakes, 
or other waters in which people have been drowned. After 
the wreck of the steamer “Wairarapa” at the Great 
Barrier Island, in 1894, with the loss of a hundred and 
twenty-five lives, the Maoris of that Island, who live in a 
bay a few miles from the scene of the wreck, tapu’d all 
fish within a certain area for a long period. During this 
time of interdiction no native would eat or touch any 
food of the salt sea. 

The great tohunga, the men of rank and learning in 
the sacred ivhare-maire, the priests from whom John 
White and Richard Taylor received so many of the 
traditions and incantations which they have recorded, 
have long since passed away. There are tohunga of a 
sort to-day, but those who so.style themselves are chiefly 
really faith-healing “bush-doctors,” who travel from 
place to place practising their particular brand of the 
Christian-Science doctrine amongst the natives. They 
use incantations or prayers of meaningless and unin¬ 
telligible character, often composed by themselves, over 
their patients, and these and cold-water bathing and 
sprinkling seem to be their principal stock-in-trade. But 
they are very often successful, for the Maori imagination 
is strong, and the patient’s faith works wonders. These 
tohunga generally profess to have special gods or family 
spirits of their own. 


118 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Apart from these faith-healing professors, however, 
there are many Maoris of Ariki descent who have been 
schooled by their fathers in the sacred lore and prayers 
of the past, and it is from these that the real Maori 
ideas of the supernatural and the unseen are to be 
gathered to-day. Some priests of reputed great and 
uncanny powers survived up to quite recent times. One 
of these was the celebrated Tulioto Ariki, who was buried 
under the volcanic debris in the Tarawera eruption in 
1886 but was dug out alive after four days’ imprison¬ 



ment. Another was the 
savage old priest Te Ao- 
Katoa (“The Whole 
World”), of the Ngati- 
Raukawa tribe, who died 
in the Waikato in 1885. 
Werewere te Rangi-pu- 
mamao, of Taupo, was 
another. A pupil, or tauira, 
of Werewere’s was Te 
Rangi-tahau, of Opepe, 
who escaped with Te 
Kooti from the Chatham 
Islands in the schooner 
“ Rifleman ” in 1868 and 
was one of the Hauhau 
leader’s fiercest fighting- 
men during the three years’ 
war that followed. Te Rangi-tahau, or Tahau, as he was 
generally called, a dour, tattooed, white-moustaclied old 
warrior, died suddenly at Rotorua in 1900, shortly after 
performing the ceremony of wliai-kaiva or removing the 
tapu from a newly-built carved house. His death was 
by some of his people attributed to his having inad¬ 
vertently committed what is known as a whati, that is 
an omission or mistake in repeating some of the 
incantations, and also to makutu, or the exercise of the 
“black art,” by a rival tohunga, old Tumutara Pio, of 
the Ngati-Awa tribe, who took part in the tap u-\ay mg 


From a Photo by Burton Bros. 
A Tohunga, Werewere te Rangi-pu-nmmao, 
of Taupo (died about 1892). 


TAP IT, AND THE TO HUNG A 


119 


rites. But the venerable Pio himself survived the 
opposition wizard only a few weeks. 

From one of my notebooks I take the following descrip¬ 
tion of an old-time toliunga, given me in 1902 by the late 
Mr. Charles E. Nelson, of Whakarewarewa: 


‘•Thirty-five years ago, when 1 was living in the bush 
at the Kaipara, I stayed for some months with Te Kahe, 
an old toliunga of the Ngati-Whatua tribe. He was an 
excellent type of the Maori priest and seer. In figure 
lie was a man rather on the small side, thin and lean. 
His eyes were his most striking feature; they were very 
powerful, hard and glittering. His hair was long and 
hung in curls and twists something like a Polisli Jew’s, 
and his heard was long and white, lie had very sharp 
find hawk-like features and nose. ITe used to take me 
into the bush, far away from the kainga , and go through 
his karakia and sacred ceremonies. Once, when travelling 
through the bush from the Kaipara to Whangarei, Te 
Kahe took up some of the kara stone (a very hard black 
stone anciently used for making axes) from a creek-bed 
and showed me how the tohungas were able to split it by 
magical means and so save the trouble of much grinding. 
He repeated a karakia and struck the stone with a 
karamu wand, breaking it in two pieces exactly in the 
place he wished. Again, he would sometimes say ‘So- 
and-so is coming to-day,’ and sure enough the person 
named would come. I am convinced he had the gift of 
telepathy, and knew a good deal about what we call 
magic. I, being so much with old Te Kahe, and being liis 
tauira or pupil, acquired a l-eputation as a toliunga, and 
when he died, the Ngati-Whatua people looked upon me 
as his successor.” 


In later years, “Tare,” as the Maoris called Mr. 
Nelson, was certainly looked upon as a toliunga by the 
Maoris of the Arawa tribe, some of whom had not a 
little dread of his uncommon knowledge of karakia, and 


120 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


in particular of those relating to makutu or the “black 
art.”* 

There is little doubt that the old Maori tohunga pos¬ 
sessed some of the strange powers that Indian priests 
and fakirs exercise to-day. They certainly seem to have 
had the ability to make people believe that they have seen 
things which as a matter of fact did not exist. I have 
heard of numerous instances of this strange power, 
mesmerism or hypnotic suggestion or whatever it may be, 
and it has not yet been quite lost to the race. Telepathic 
powers the Maori tohungci undoubtedly had, and the 
power of projection of the will, by which he was enabled 
to afflict his enemies fatally. Many of the singular 
stories told of the occult powers of the adepts ii\ 
tohungci -ism are obviously exaggerations and fables, but 
there is sufficient of fact left to suggest that the Maor. 
priest enjoyed certain faculties which were widely 
possessed in the early stages of human history, but which 
through disuse—and civilisation—have been lost to 
common knowledge. 

Of the multitude of spells and charms in the Maori’s 
armoury of karakia, such invocations as the atahu or 
love-cliarms are well known to-day. These atahu are sup¬ 
posed to have the value of tiie Indian mantra, the 
repetition of which, accompanied by personal psychic 
influence (what the Maori would call mana tangata ), 
causes any person to be obedient to the will of the 
invoker. 

The following, given me in the South Taranaki district, 
is a potent atahu, in Maori belief, for gaining a girl’s 
affections. 


• Judge Maning, in “Old New Zealand,” narrates how he once was under 
the ban of tapu because ol having handled a human skull. “Tare” Nelson 


wcis .n a s,mdar plight °n one occasion long after Maning - s experience 

! h u'Va 1 N^-Whatua people he coffined an old chief who 
dud (I think it was this same Te Kahe). “In consequence,” lie said “I 
was /",m d for a week or two and had to be fed just like the tohunqa in 
um.iuers picture in Mr. Partridge’s Art Gallery in Auckland. A girl 
used to come and bring me food three times a day, stick bits of meat and 
potatoes on the on,I of a piece of fern stalk and feed me in that way I 
was not allowed to touch the food with my hands.” 7 ' 



TAPU, AND THU TOillJNGA 


121 


Should the lover he doubtful of his success, he must 
go out into the hush and by using a papa or call-leaf, or 
by chirruping in imitation of bird-notes, gather the birds 
around him. He then kills one of the little birds with a 
stick, and taking it in his hand (“a bird in the hand is 
worth two in the bush”) repeats the charm, likening the 
desired girl to the captured bird. Straightway, should 
the lover have sufficient wana tang at a, the girl’s heart 
no matter at what distance she might be—will till with 
love for him and she will be his “manu-tupu-tangata.” 
These are the words of the charm: 


He liara \va te maim? 

He pitori to maim, 

He hara \va te maim ? 

He karewa te maim, 

I wliano ki reira, “Ti-ti” ai, 

1 wliano ki reira, “Ke-te” ai, 

I wliano ki reira tutu mai ai; 

To nianu atu tupu ra tangata, 

Matua i a Tane. 

Tahu—e 
Nan mai, 

Kia piri, kia tata. 


(Translation.) 

What is this bird? 

It is a wood-robin, 

What is this bird? 

Now, ’tis a sparrow-hawk. 

’Tis jumping hither and thither, 
chirping “Ti-ti!” 

’Tis jumping there, calling 
‘ ‘ Ke-te! ’ ’ 

It is skipping, flitting from bough 
to bough. 

This is the bird that is to bring 
forth men, 

The parent of mankind. 

O wife of mine, 

Come hither! 

Approach and fly to my embrace. 


Again, to come to more prosaic matters, should you 
get a fish-bone stuck in your throat, and be in danger of 
choking, the tohunga Maori is useful. You must send 
for the medicine-man and leave the case to him. He will 
tap you smartly ou the back of the neck, with his hand 
held edgeways, and repeat his powerful incantation 
beginning, ‘ ‘ Whiti, whiti—whiti rawa te paraOa and 
ending, 

‘ ‘ Nuku ki roto. 

Nuku ki waho. 

Tukua ai, e Poke! ’ ’ 

(“ Move inside, 

Move out of that, 

Let go, oh Poke!”) 


(Poke is the demon who is holding the bone fast in your 
throat.) 


122 


THE MAORIS OP NEW ZEALAND 


Only, seeing' that the karakia is a rather long one, and 
takes some considerable time to repeat, as fast as the 
tohunga can lay tongue to it, you may be beyond all aid 
by tlie time he reaches his heathen doxology. 

* The belief in matakite or the gift of second-sight is 
universal amongst the Maoris. Those pakeiias who have 
lived much with the natives and understand them do not 
laugh at matakite. 

The following story illustrates the belief that dreams 
are often warnings from the spirit-world:— 

About two hundred yards out in Rotorua Lake from 
the headland of Kawaha, there is a venerable post, a 
totara tree, which was hewn into a pole and carved, and 
driven into the bed of the lake. It used to project above 
the water until recently, when the crew of one of the 
lake-launches tried to haul it out because it was a source 
of annoyance to fishermen; they succeeded in breaking 
off the upper part of the post. This old sunken post is 
known as Te Purewa; it is a post to which the koura 
(crayfish)-catchers of old used to fasten the lines of 
their nets, and it belonged to the ancestors Wahiao and 
Tunohopu. One night, eighty-six years ago, a woman 
named Tona, while sleeping in her house at Ohinenmtu, 
had a strange dream in which this pou-totara was con¬ 
cerned. She dreamt that she heard the carved post Te 
Purewa calling to her and singiug a mournful song; and 
as she listened she caught the words of the song. These 
are the words the singing tree uttered: 


Kaore te arolia i au 
Ki Mokoia ra e, 

E tu kau noa ra 
Ki Rotorua moana, 

E tore noa mai ra. 

Ka ngaro te tangata, 
Ku moinene ki tawliiti, 
Ka nui i au te arolia 
I—i—i! 


(Alas! the sorrow within mo 
For Mokoia’s isle, 

Standing desolate yonder 
In the sea of Rotorua, 

Whose waters drift lonely to and fro. 
Lost are the people, 

Dispersed and driven far away. 
Sorrow wells high within me, 

Alas!) 


In the morning Tona told her dream to the assembled 
people, and repeated the ominous words of the singing 
totara. This dream was interpreted as a matakite , a 


TAP It, AND THK TOIIUNGA 


123 


prophetic communication from the spirit-world, and a 
tohu-mate, an omen oi* disaster and death. The people of 
Rotorua were indeed at that time in imminent danger of 
disaster and death, for Hongi Nika, the Maori Napoleon, 
with his musket-armed warriors, was even then preparing 
to set sail with his canoe-fleet for the Bay of Plenty, on 
his way to invade Rotorua. The dream was verified, for, 
as the old Maoris relate, in three moons from the time 
Te Purewa’s warning voice was heard by Tona’s 
wairua, the Ngapuhi under Hongi had assaulted and 
captured Mokoia, and routed the Arawas with great loss. 
The waters of the lake drifted lonely and desolate, 
ruffled only by the canoes of the cannibal conquerors. 
On Mokoia’s isle rose the smoke of the ovens in which 
the Arawa dead were cooked, and the survivors were 
scattered to the forests and the wilderness. Te Purewa’s 
song and Tona’s matakite were fulfilled. 

The Maori tohunga was often accredited with terrible 
malevolent powers. For instance, a legend of Lake 
Rotoma, in the Rotorua district. There is, according to 
the Maori story, a sunken pa in Rotoma, a village which 
was submerged by supernatural agency about sixteen 
generations ago (four centuries). Its name was Motu- 
tara; it was an island occupied by a populous village 
which was defended by stockades. From the antiquity 
of the village it is probable that it was inhabited by some 
of the pre-Maori inhabitants, the ancient aboriginal 
tribes who occupied this country before the historic 
Hawaiikian canoes arrived, and who were gradually 
absorbed in the new comers. The Maori narrative of the 
submergence of the pa —a catastrophe which was in all 
probability caused by an earthquake—is told me by 
old Nga-Malianga of Lake Rotoiti, the descendant 
of a long line of priestly ancestors. It was Nga- 
Mahanga’s toliunga ancestor Te Rarau, in fact, who 
is credited with having destroyed the pa. Te Rarau, 
who was a priest of god-like powers and a dreaded worker 
of makutu , or witchcraft, arrived on the shores of this 
lonely lake of the woods one day after a long and 


124 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


wearisome journey from W aitahanui, ueai tlie gieat 
Otamarakau Pa, on the sea-coast between Maketu and 
Matata.' Desiring to cross the water to the pa , he looked 
about for a canoe but could not find one. The island was 
only a short distance from the shore, so Te Karan 
shouted to the people of the village to send a canoe for 
him. “IIaria mai te tvaka! ’ ’ he cried, but there was no 
response. Again he shouted, but in vain. Xo one took 
any notice of him. Deeply affronted, he resolved upon 
revenge. He set to at Ins terrible haiatia to the powei >> 
of darkness, to the demons of the waters, to the 
gods of the underworld, to destroy the pa. And he 
combed his hair with a heru or sacred bone comb, an 
operation which was supposed in Maori eyes to give 
additional efficacy to the invocations, and by his wizardry 
he called spirits from the deep. A taniwha, or water- 
monster, at his behest undermined the doomed island, 
and that night it suddenly subsided into the lake, and all 
its people were lost. Those who were not drowned fell 
to the taniwha. So Motu-tara was severely punished for 
its inhospitality to “the cloth” of Maoridom. 

The following genealogy recited by Nga-Mahanga is 
interesting as showing his descent from the wizard- 
priest Te Karan and from Puliaorangi, a great Poly¬ 
nesian ancestor who was deified, like so many other 
illustrious men in Maori legend; it goes back twenty - 
seven generations, or over (175 years. 

Puliaorangi 

O homairangi 

1 

Muturangi 

I 

Taunga 

Ma\vak<*-Nui 

I 

Uruika 

Taravvhata 


ITruika-tuarua 

(('anii' to Now Zealand in the Arawa 
Canoe) 


TAIM , AND Till-; Toll UNGA 


1 25 


Te Ilengia 

I 

Te Kahotapu 

I 

TE KAKAU 

I 

Te Ao-koarangi 

I 

Mairo-kai-toki 

I 

Te Aotapairu 
Te Gongorere 

I 

Te Tauru 

I 

Tawari 

Rangitihi-rere-i-walio 


Ara-rakau 

I 

Te Rangi-tukutehe 
Te Rangiwawahi 
Te Tope-o-Hou 
Te Aliirara 
Tau-karioi 
Taunga-a-Tara 

„ ~ I 

Reihana (died in 1906) 


Rongo-mauri-ao (younger brother of 
Ara-rakau) 

I 

Hake 

Tuhourangi-korokoro-nui 

I . 

Te Tumunui 
Te Manu-whiti-tua 

I 

Noliorua (a woman) 

Nga-Mahanga, or Te Rua-huihui-tu- 
ki-te-rangi (born about 1830) 


Old Nga-Mahanga,whose face bears the tattoo scrolls of 
a past generation, is himself something of a tohunga, 
and has a memory stored with a great number of stories, 
legends, songs, and karakia of his tribe, Ngati-Pikiao. 
Many chiefs named on his ancient family tree are 
famous amongst the Rotoiti Maoris, because of the 
wonderful powers of occultism said to have been 
possessed by them. The first two were atua or gods, 
so-called; then down to Nga-Mahanga all were of wliat 
is called the Ariki-taniwha line, the “Lords of Dragons,” 
and all but one were of the male line, alio-tane. Te 
Aotapairu is said to have upon his death become a 
taniwlia. Tuhourangi-korokoro-nui (“ Great-throated 
Tuhourangi”) was another notable man. He is said to 



126 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


have had an extraordinarily powerful voice; he could 
make himself heard over many miles, and upon occasion 
would shout from the pa on top of Mount Matawhaura, 
Lake Eotoiti, to his servants at Maketu and at 
Kaikokopu, on the coast, some twenty miles away as the 
wild duck flies, ordering them to prepare food for him. 
Which interesting story is, no doubt, as Mark Twain said 
of the report of his own death, “greatly exaggerated.” 

The Maori tribes still credited with a knowledge of 
the incantations and ceremonies used in makutu or 
the art of fatal bewitchment (the projection of thought, 
and the malignant use of the power of suggestion) are 
the Ngaiterangi and Whakatohea, of the Bay of Plenty, 
the Urewera people, Ngati-Porou of the East Cape, the 
Ngati-Kahungunu living in the Wairoa (Hawke’s Bay) 
district, the Waikato, and the Ngati-Ruanui of Taranaki. 
The spells believed to be efficacious in counteracting the 
makutu are also known, and will be handed down for 
many a generation yet. The efficacy both of the makutu 
and the anti -makutu incantations depends to a large 
extent on the secrecy with which they are used. The 
karakia must be repeated early in the morning or late at 
night; and not in a house used in common by the people 
or in a house in which food is eaten. 

The late Hone Heke, M.P. for the Northern Maori 
district, a young Ngapuhi chief with a good English 
education, was warned in 1900 against the Waikato 
people makutu -ing him in revenge for his political cam¬ 
paign undertaken against the mana of the Maori 
“Kingdom.” His old people were very angry with him 
for liis want of caution in daring Waikato, and in 
spending so much time in their country on a mission 
which won for him Waikato animosity. To this 
day amongst Ngapuhi (and some other tribes) if a person 
is going on a journey to a distant place, lie or she is often 
karakia ’d over by the old people as a measure of pro¬ 
tection against the spells or the “evil eye” of some ill- 
disposed tohunga of an alien tribe. 



TAI’U, AND TilR TOHUNGA 


127 


The practice of the “black art” in modern times 
amongst the Maoris lias its humorous side. A few years 
ago, in a football match played between teams from 
different ha-pus or sub-tribes of the Ngaiterangi, near 
Tauranga, the losers attributed their defeat to the fact 
that they bad played on land belonging to the opposing 
hapu, who had made sure of victory by carefully 
makutu- ing the playing ground beforehand; and they 
decided that in future they would play only on Crown 
land, which, being the property of the white man, was 
exempt from the baleful influence of the makutu l 

Another whimsical instance of the belief in the 
multitudinous ways in which one’s precious life can be 
attacked by the tohunga-makutu. —A number of deaths 
having occurred in one of the hapus of the Ngaiterangi, 
the clan held a meeting and came to the conclusion that 
a certain bridge, over which vehicles containing food had 
passed on their way to the village, had been makutu' d by 
an evil-minded tohunga belonging to another section of 
the tribe. The bridge was under a ban; and no more food 
could be brought in over it; so, to get over the trouble, a 
rival practitioner of the “black art” was called in to 
remove the curse with his karakia and his baked 
kumara and other Maori equivalents of the Old-world 
tohunga’s bell, book, and candle. 

There are means, in Maori belief, by which one can be 
rendered proof against makutu. Taua Tutanekai 
Haerehuka, an elderly Rotorua native, who is a lineal 
descendant of the Tutanekai of romantic memory, and 
who comes of a long line of priestly ancestors, noted for 
their skill as tangata-makutu or workers of witchcraft, 
says that he himself was rendered immune against 
sickness or makutu at the hands of other tohungas by 
the celebrated old priest Tuhoto Ariki, him who was 
buried at Te Wairoa by the showers of volcanic mud in 
the Tarawera eruption of 1886, and who was, wonderful 
to say, dug out alive four days afterwards. When Taua 
was a boy he was tapu’d by Tuhoto—who was even then 
an old man—and he swallowed the sacred whakangungu 


128 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


stone. This was a small black volcanic stone ( rangi- 
toto) about half an inch in diameter. Tnlioto, after 
reciting certain karakia over the boy, who was a relation 
and protege of his, gave him this stone, and told him to 
place it on his tongue and swallow it; it would preserve 
his mauri-ora, or life-principle, and avert witchcraft and 
untimely death. Tntanekai did so, and he attributes his 
freedom from illness and from the machinations of rival 
toh ungas to the ivhakangungu ceremony and the potent 
tapu of Tnlioto Ariki. 

It was pointed out to Tntanekai that swallowing a 
stone of that size would probably cause serious trouble 
in the interior of even a Maori tohunga. 

“E tama !” said Tntanekai, “an ordinary stone, 
might, indeed, kill a man if he swallowed it, but this was 
no ordinary stone. It was a very potent and tapu one, 
charmed by the greatest tolmnga of the Arawa, for the 
very purpose of averting death. And see, it has fulfilled 
the purpose, for I have never had an illness, and, though 
I have been in battle, I have never been touched by bullet 
or tomahawk; and I am alive and well yet and am going 
to live to be a hundred!” 






Chapter IX. 


PA PAT A UNA K I, THE 


ENCHANTED TREE. 


The Story of a Retribution. 

My old friend Hare Eruera was a King Country half- 
caste wlio had received a fairly good English education. 
A stout, black-bearded, stalwart fellow, he was quite 
“pakeha- tied,” played the violin well, wrote shorthand, 
and, amongst his more solid accomplishments, he was a 
good carpenter. He once built a church at Kihikihi, 
though at the same time he scoffed at all “sky-pilots,” 
both pakeha and Maori. His principal and most 
remunerative occupation was that of Native interpreter 
and agent; being a very capable man, Hare (Anglice, 
Harry) conducted many cases in the Land Court. And 
though he ridiculed all toliunga -ism and occultism, and 
anything that was not hard matter-of-fact and 
materialistic, still, as I very well remember, Hare in 
the course of his fight in the Land Court for 
his own particular block at Kiokio, in the King 
Country, based his claim to the land on the ground 
of his direct descent, on his mother’s side, from 
a renowned ancestor of the Ngati-Maniapoto tribe who 
crossed the Pacific Ocean from Iiawaiiki to New 
Zealand on the back of a great fish, and from another 
ancestor, who was whisked from the summer isles of 
Eden to these shores in a whirlwind. And he got his 
land, too. 

Now, three centuries ago a certain ancestor of Hare’s, 
a chief named Rua, lived on the banks of the Upper 
Waipa, near the present township of Otorohanga, 
through which the Main Trunk railway line runs. This 


129 


I 



130 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Eua possessed a great treasure, a fine greenstone axe, 
which was extremely sacred, and possessed a special 
mana of its own, being accounted the abiding-place of 
a spirit. 

One day, according to the tribal legends of the Ngati- 
Maniapoto and Ngati-Matakore people, Eua was out 
parrot-snaring, on the banks of the Manga-o-Eongo 
Greek, which flows into the Waipa Eiver some miles below 
Otorohanga, when he had the misfortune to lose his 
much-prized axe, the name of which was Papataunaki. 
He was endeavouring to get some young kaka parrots 
from a nest which he had discovered in a big, hollow 
totara tree by the river-bank, when his sacred axe 
slipped from his grasp and fell clattering down into the 
inner recesses of the great tree, lost for ever. Eua was 
greatly distressed, but he had the satisfaction of knowing 
that the sacred mana of the greenstone weapon had 
entered into the tree, which now became known as 
Papataunaki. 

In the course of years, Eua died, and was borne to the 
tribal burial cave, and in time the tree by the Stream-of- 
Eongo became associated with his name and fame, and 
was reverenced by the Maoris as the material embodi¬ 
ment of the chiefly ancestor. 

Several generations later the venerable tree fell and 
lay partly on land and partly in the Manga-o-Eongo 
Creek. The sacred spell still clung to it, and it was 
honoured and feared as a tipua , a demon-tree, with which 
it was not wise to take liberties. Some curious tales are 
told of manifestations of Papataunaki’s mana. 

The next I know of Papataunaki’s history is that in 
the eighties a very heavy flood shifted the old tree 
from its resting place on the creek-side, carried it down 
the stream, and deposited it at last across the creek close 
to Hare Eruera’s house, where he lived surrounded by 
his family of pretty olive-coloured children, and his! 
tribal relatives. The subsiding waters left the tree lying 
across the stream, supported by its roots and branches; 







I’A PAT A UN A K I, Till'. ENC11ANTK0 TREE 


:?i 


one of the large branches broke off; and gradually the 
old totura became a fixture on the bank. 

Then began the work of desecration, which was Hare’s 
undoing. The impious man was fully aware, from what 
the old chiefs and historians of bis tribe bad told him, 
that this tree was, so to speak, his own ancestor, and as 
such invested with a terribly thick coat of tap a. But 
Hare, being an advanced man, and, therefore, believing 
in nothing, laughed away the warnings of bis tribes- 
people, and, horrible to relate, actually cut bis sacred 
ancestor up for fencing posts. In vain did old Hopa, the 
Rangianini, and other wise men of the tribe implore him 
not to lay axe or maul to the venerable relic. Hare 
informed them that they were a pack of old women, and 
forthwith set two Europeans, who were in his employ 
fencing his section, to split up Papataunaki. This was 
in the year 1893. 

The brown-skinned descendants of Matakore gathered 
by the dark sluggish Manga-o-Rongo to see the sacri¬ 
legious work, fully expecting to witness some aitua or 
omen of vengeance from the dread spirits of Maoridom. 
And they were not disappointed. 

One of the men splitting up the tree was a big 

Irishman, M’G- by name. The other was a poor 

Sassenach. They had split the trunk of the tree in half, 
and were proceeding to split one of the halves, by means 
of wedges. The Irishman stood on one end of the tree 
and the Saxon at the other, and they were pounding 
away with their heavy mauls, when the totara suddenly 
split into pieces. One half sprang up and in a trice 
hurled the Irishman off the hank into the water, and the 
man at the other end, not being quick enough to get clear 
in time, was also knocked over by Hare’s wooden 
ancestor, and fell into the creek. 

As the dripping Celt emerged all he could say was, 
“Wurra! Wurra! Sure and the divil’s in the tree!” 
But the Maori onlookers were delighted, and none more 
so than old Hopa. Here was a real miracle, the hand of 
the gods, before their living eyes! “ Anana !” they cried; 



132 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


“the spirit of Papataunaki still lives! He Atuci ra! A 
god indeed!” 

Bnt signs and omens were lost on the interpreter. In 
due course the hones of Papataunaki stood round the 
paddocks holding up the wires. And, worst of all, Hare 
gathered the small pieces and chips of his ancestor, and 
with a certain mischievous satisfaction at knocking the 
bottom out of the silly old superstitions of his people, 
used them for cooking purposes. 

This was the finishing stroke. The horrified Maori 
members of the household withdrew, and all the women¬ 
folk as well as the men left Hare to his own resources for 
some months. The awful impiety of using one’s own 
sacred tupuna for cooking one’s daily food was too much 
for even the modernised billiard-playing Ngati-Matakore. 
Not a Maori would enter the house, fearful of the tapir, 
and Hare began to feel that an iconoclastic policy had 
its drawbacks. 

After a time the tribe, in conference assembled, took 
pity on the victim of the tapu, and decided that Hare 
had been sufficiently punished by the three or four 
months’ boycott. So one day an ancient pagan ceremony 
took place in front of the interpreter’s house. The old 
warrior and tohunga Hopa—whom, I remember from my 
boyhood as a small-bodied man with a very massive head, 
and a very thickly tattooed dark grim face—was the 
master of ceremonies. A fire was kindled, and some 
kumara roasted. The food cooked, it was handed round 
to the Maoris, who ate the sweet potatoes while the old 
chief recited his potent karakia, incantations to the 
Maori deities, for the purpose of lifting the tapu. This 
done, the house and the half-caste were noa and free to 
all again. 

The interpreter’s crime, however, was too heinous to 
be overlooked by the invisible spirits of earth and sky 
and wood, or else Hopa’s personal mana was not 
sufficiently powerful to overcome the virulent effects of 
the Maori tapu. Whatever the cause, Hare 
sickened and took to his bed. Paralysis crept over 



PAl’ATAUNAKI, T1IE ENCHANTED THEE 


133 

his limbs. The doctors could do nothing for him. They 
said it was locomotor ataxia; but the tribal elders of 
Ngati-Matakore, as they sat in the wharepuni by the 
Manga-o-Rongo, knew better. It was a case of aggravated 
tapu, which no pakeha doctor can cure. 

A visit to the Rotorua hot springs did Hare no good, 
and he returned to his home in the Rohepotae. Towards 
the end of 1897 I saw my old friend again, and he 
laughed as lie told me the history of his totara progenitor 
and of the tapu’s ban. 

One night the Maoris on the Manga-o-Rongo, ever on 
the look-out for signs and omens, beheld the forked 
lightning strike three times on a hill behind the inter¬ 
preter’s house. The cry was raised, “lie tohu mate! 
A portent of death!” It was the last aitua for the 
doomed half-caste. 

In two days, Hare died; and nothing would persuade 
his Ngati-Matakore relatives that his death was not the 
direct effect of his infringement of the tapu of 
Papataunaki. 



Chapter X. 


THE SHRINE OF AN ATUA. 


Old Rangiriri took his pipe and tobacco and box 
of matclies out of liis pocket and laid them on the 
ground beside a flax busli. ‘‘Now,” be said, ‘‘we will 
enter the urupa, the sacred burial-place of my tribe, and 
view the Whetengu pa. And should you have tobacco 
or pipe with you, it will be well to leave them here with 
mine, for it is not right to contaminate sacred places 
with anything of that sort. Perhaps the tapu might not 
have any influence over you, because you are a pakeha, 
but it certainly would smite me were I to violate it by 
taking tobacco, which is food, into the shrine of the 
gods. ’ ’ 

We had dismounted and tethered our horses to the 
shrubs on the crest of a long ridge, the Tihi-o-Tonga 
(“Pinnacle of the South,”) which swells gently up from 
the plains of Rotorua in beautiful green slopes and then 
falls precipitously on the southern side to a woody valley. 
South of this sudden cliffy break, the valley stretches 
away for two or three miles, then rises again into very 
wild and bold volcanic country, the forested ranges of 
Paewhenua and the remarkable crateral cone of 
Haparangi. Right on the crest of the Tihi-o-Tonga are 
the fern-grown earth walls of an ancient pa, long 
deserted and abandoned to wild Nature, to the flax and 
fern and the black-berried tvtu -thickets. From the 
shadowy woods below came the song of the tui, now like 
a flute and again ringing like a bell. 

To this lonely beautiful spot, the blue lake of Rotorua 
spread out to the north, and many a misty purple peak 
cutting the skyline to the south, my old Maori friend 


ISI 





THE SlIIUNE OF AN ATUA 



had brought me to show me one of the most sacred spots 
of the Arawa country, the “holy of holies” of his hapu, 
the carved stone goddess lloroirangi and the tuahu of 
the pagan priests, lie was the last keeper of these sacred 
relics of his tribe. 

Within the green-embowered ramparts of the old pa, 
right on the edge of the cliff, was a little clear space, 

surrounded by a 
low bank. This 
Kangiriri explain¬ 
ed, was the site of 
the sacred tualiu 
of the priests who 
once dwelt in the 
pa, the place where 
the images of cer¬ 
tain of the tribal 
gods were kept, 
and where the 
operation of cut¬ 
ting the chiefs’ 
hair with flakes of 
mata-tuhua or ob¬ 
sidian— always a 
semi-religious cere- 
111 ony—was per- 
f o r me d by the 
priests. Just to the 
east, and occupy¬ 
ing the highest 
part of the ancient 
village, was the 
the old rua or 


From a Photo. 


Rangiriri. 

urupa, the burial-place where 
kumara -pits were used as graves. The bones of the dead 
had been removed, but the tapu of the tribe’s departed 
ones, long gathered to tlieir Earth-Mother, still clung to 
the sacred hill-top. 

“I was born in this pa,” said Rangiriri, “and my 
grandfather was buried here. My grandfather was a 
powerful toliunga, and he taught me many karakia and 





136 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


sacred ceremonies, and now I alone am left of all tlie men 
of my hapu who know the history of this exceedingly 
sacred spot and who possess the knowledge necessary to 
avert the evils of the tapu. Let us rest awhile on this 
taumata in the sunshine and view the land, and I will tell 
you the story of this hill-fort, Te Whetengu, before we 
descend the path which is called The Steps-Carved-bv- 
Tutanekai, and look upon the stone face of my goddess 
Horoirangi.” 

And Rangiriri, a small-built wiry veteran of about 
sixty, who had carried rifle and tomahawk on many a 
wild forest trail in the campaigns against the Hauliaus, 
told of the building of this pa by his ancestor Paiaka. 
This Paiaka was a chief of the Ngati-Uenukukopako 
section of the Arawa tribe, and he lived about two 
hundred and fifty years ago. Paiaka named his hilltop- 
hold Te Whetengu, but when, after his day, it was 
occupied for a time by Tutanekai—the famous young 
chief of Mokoia Island, for whose sake Hinemoa swam 
Rotorua Lake—it was called Te Pa-Arakari-a-Tutanekai 
(“The Fort-where-the-Path-was-Carved-bv-Tutanekai”) 
because of the fact that the chief had steps cut down the 
cliff face from his pa to the bush below and to the spot 
where the images of the gods reposed. Tutanekai and 
his liapu, the Ngati-Tuara, had come to the Tihi-o-Tonga 
for the purpose of growing kumara in the rich warm 
volcanic soil of these uplands—where their descendants 
raised fine crops of wheat fifty years ago—and of snaring 
and spearing the birds that abounded in the woods below. 

Leaving the breezy taumata, we presently descend 
the shrub-hung cliff by a rather slippery row of roughly- 
cut steps, hacked out with stone axes from the soft 
rock two centuries ago. The steps are half covered with 
decayed vegetation. They end about twenty feet below 
the edge of the cliff, where suddenly we come face to face 
with the carven atua in a kind of little recess sheltered 
by the cliff-wall and the surrounding trees and shrubs 
and ferns. A sphinx-like little effigy in stone looks out 
at us from the clift on the right. It is a relief carving 

u o 


THE SHRINE OF AN ATUA 


137 



From a sketch, 1909 

Image of the goddess Horoirangi, carved ou the cliff at Tihi-o-Tonga, Rotorua. 












138 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


in the semblance of a human figure, with the out-turned 
knees always seen in stone carvings, and with its hands 
held in front of it. The figure is about two feet in height 
and about ten inches wide. It is covered with a smooth 
coat of beautiful red moss and a little aka forest-vine 
that has grown up across it adds to its appearance of 
great age. It is a perfectly preserved little figure except 
for its nose, part of which has been irreverently chipped 
off, but the friendly moss has endeavoured to repair the 
injury done by man. Rangiriri says that a A\ aikato and 
Ngati-Maru war-party, which passed through here about 
eighty years ago on an expedition to Lake Taupo, 
wrought the damage, but that the gods squared accounts 
with the raiders for their sacrilege. They were defeated 
at the Motu-o-Puhi Pa, on Lake Roto-a-Ira, by the Ngati- 
Tuwliaretoa, and lost many men. 

It is a beautiful little object, this atua, sacred as 
* l Odin’s mossy stone of power,” contemplating us 
silently from the wall of its tapu grotto. How many a 
wild savage scene it has looked out upon since it was first 
carven with obsidian axes from the rocky cliff! For here 
came the cannibal war-parties, headed by their leaf-girded 
priest with his terrible offering, a human heart, and here 
rose the chant to Tu, the Angry-Eyed, the deity of war 
and blood. 

Just opposite the carved figure and close to the foot 
of the stone stairway is a singular cave-like opening, a 
recess cut in the face of the cliff. It is about four feet 
deep, and about the same width, but the mouth is much 
smaller, about twelve inches by fifteen inches; the sides 
are squared and shaped as if a wooden door once closed 
it. This rua or cave, Rangiriri said, was the sacred 
pataka, or storehouse of the gods, and in it was kept the 
image of the great war-god of the Arawa tribe, Maru-te- 
whare-aitu. 

Standing there before this curious altar of the ancients, 
the old toliunga gave an uncommonly interesting 
account of the stone image and the sacred pataka, and the 
religious ceremonies connected therewith. 


THE SHRINE OK AN ATUA 


130 

The stone-carven figure, he said, represented the 
goddess lloroirangi, who was a deified ancestress of the 
Ngati-Uenukukopako tribe, a powerful elan of the 
Arawa. It was carved out of the rock three hundred 
years ago, before the steps known as the Ara-kari were 
cut. The image was the mauri or emblem which ensured 
the fertility of the land about the pa, and enabled tbe 
tribe to hold that land ( il hei pupuri te iitaiia o te u'henua, 
hei pupuri te kaha o tc tangata ,” as Rangiriri put it), 
and it was also the guardian spirit which preserved 
the wild birds and fruits in which the surrounding forest 
abounded. At certain times sacred food was offered to 
the image by the Ruahine or priestess of the pa, and 
incantations were recited before it. The first-fruits of 
the hit mar a harvest, and the first birds taken in snaring 
or spearing expeditions for koko ( tui ), kaka parrots, 
kuku (pigeons), and korimako (bell-birds), and other 
“wing-flapping children of Tiki” were also laid at 
Horoirangi’s feet. “In the morning other incantations 
to the gods were repeated by the priests,” said Rangiriri, 
“after the people’s sleeping-mats had been turned [i muri 
i te hurihanga o te takapo—te takapau-wharanui ]. 
Three earth-ovens were made in which sacred food was 
cooked by steam. One was the umu-parapara, containing 
food for the priests only. One was the umu-kaha [oven 
ot strength] for the ure-tu, the males, of ariki or first¬ 
born aristocratic blood, and the third was for the women 
of rank. Then, besides, there was a fourth oven, a 
ivaharoa, of larger size, in which food was cooked for the 
general body of the people; this was a hangi-kai, an 
ordinary food-oven. Some of the food cooked in the 
sacred oven was laid before the image; this was what 
was called whangai-atua, or feeding the god. All these 
ceremonies were accompanied by appropriate prayers of 
placation and propitiation recited by the toliunga. 
After these sacred feasts were held, any remnant of 
food was carefully buried in the earth at the tuahu 
or altar; it must not be left to be eaten by those 
not entitled to do so, for it was tapu, nor allowed to lie 


140 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


where any enemy could get it, for by its means he could 
makutu or fatally bewitch the tribe.” 

The original Horoirangi, Eangiriri explained, was a 
waliine-atua, or deified woman, who was the wife of 
Taharangi, the younger brother of the chief Wliakaue, 
who lived about three hundred and fifty years ago. But 
there was also a Polynesian goddess of that name, 
invoked by the ancestors of the Arawa tribe before the 
canoe migration from the islands of the Eastern Pacific 
to New Zealand. 

The story of the ancient moss-fringed cave-storehouse 
was next told by the old warrior. 

“The name of that stone pataka or rim,” said he, “is 
Pata-to-rangi. In it my people kept the exceedingly 
sacred symbol of Maru, our god of war. This symbol 
was a lock of human hair, which was enclosed in a ivaka 
or wooden box hewn out of a block of totara. The box 
had a lid fitted to it, and was wrapped round with rimu 
bark, and with aka, forest vines. The priests came here 
to invoke Maru in time of war, and repeated the prayers 
when the war-party was about to set out; and here after 
a battle human flesh was brought, often the heart of the 
first of the enemy slain in the fight, and offered as food 
to the image of Maru. This man-flesh ( kiko-tangata) 
was placed in file .pataka alongside the receptacle in 
which Maru lay.” 

The pataka where the horrid offerings from many a 
cannibal fight were laid is now empty. Maru has 
disappeared. Many years ago Eangiriri and another 
man of tohunga rank removed the waka-atua and its 
sacred relic from the shrine and concealed it in a cave 
below. The other tohunga is dead, and Eangiriri alone 
of all his tribe knows the hiding-place of the war-god. 
□Biis is as well, for lie alone in his hapu has the knowledge 
of the karakia necessary to avert the tapu’s spell. The 
younger people, in spite of their civilisation, dread the 
tapu, and still in their hearts believe that something very 
serious, perhaps even death, might befall them if they 
handled the symbols of their fathers’ gods. 


THE SHRINE OF AN ATI'A 


141 


There is another venerated relic in these secret places 
oi the Tihi-o-Tonga. Down in the forest below us is a 
sacred stone, a tuapa or pae-manu, resorted to in former 
times by the bird-hunters of the Pa-Arakari. A favourite 


device of the Maori birding parties and one to be observed 
to this day in many native districts was the pepe or call- 
leal. This leaf, often of the raurekau shrub, is held 
between the lips in a certain way, and a peculiar cry or 
whistle is made which quickly attracts the Icaka and other 
inquisitive birds to the spot where the hunter with his 
fatal stick is-in hiding. The leaf used in the pepe method 
of bird-killing was first of all laid on the sacred stone so 
that it might imbibe the mana or power of the mauri, the 
emblem which stood tor the productiveness of the 
forests, the birds, and fruits, etc. Offerings of miro and 
other berries of the woods and also of the birds caught 
were laid before the mauri by the hunters, with 
appropriate prayers. 



Chapter XI. 


MAORI SOCIAL LIFE. 


The social organisation of the Maori tribe was as well- 
nigh perfect a commune as can be imagined. It was 
co mm unism almost pure and undefiled; a commonwealth 
in which practically all had equal rights—except the 
slaves, who were not of the tribe, but had been taken from 
other tribes in war—and in which every man was a self- 
respecting and respected unit. In the Maori society each 
individual took a full share of the tribal duties, and in 
return each individual had the whole tribe at his or her 
back to redress an injury or avenge an insult. 

The Maori was a barbarian, but he had no starving 
poor, no neglected and unfed children. There were no 
loafers, no unemployed, no criminal classes, no “unfor¬ 
tunate women,” no hereditary non-workers. These, at 
least, were the advantages of a pure and savage socialism. 

The autocracy of the chiefs was really a nominal one. 
The Maori commoner considered himself as good as his 
lord or Ariki in most points. If a chief lost the respect 
of his people, his place as leader in emergency, such as 
war, could be filled by others. AYhat he could not lose 
was his sacred MWAh-ship, which was vested in him by 
heredity. The real ruler of the people was the institution 
of tapu. 

The abject serfdom in which certain classes of the 
community in Polynesia and Melanesia were held by the 
high chiefs did not prevail in Maori Land. In old Tonga 
and Fiji, and in some of the islands of Eastern Polynesia, 
a subject could approach some of the great chiefs only on 
hands and knees or in some other servile fashion. The 
Maori, in these more temperate climes, had cast off this 
servility, or else had never known it. The average Maori 
held too good an opinion of himself to be thrall to any 



MAOKI SOCIAL LIFK 


14.4 


man; and this is a strong characteristic of the race 
to-day. 

There were no very rich men in Maoridom, even as the 
riches of those savage days went. The custom of muru — 
referred to later in this chapter-—operated against the 
excessive accumulation of wealth. The principle, if 
crude, was not a had one; there was always the chance 
that you might he able to vwru some one else some time 
or other in retaliation for the spoliation of your own 
goods and chattels. 

Life in a Maori kaivga in ancient days was the reverse 
of idle, though it may often have been monotonous. 
There were the hnnara and other crops to be attended 
to; there were fish to be caught, the birds of the forest to 
be speared and snared, trees to be felled, houses to be 
built, canoes to be hewn out. In all important under¬ 
takings, the full force of the tribe was employed, and, 
though it had its drawbacks in other ways, in these the 
communistic stage of society showed its advantages to 
the full. The felling and splitting of a great forest tree 
and the burning-out and stone-axe-hewing of a shapely 
canoe from its trunk were probably the most laborious 
works devolving upon the Maori of old. They were really 
tremendous undertakings, when we consider the very 
primitive appliances at the command of these people, 
who had never seen or known of an iron tool till the white 
man came. 

Every man in the Maori commune was a skilled artisan 
in a variety of crafts. Some attained exceptional skill 
in arts such as wood-carving, tattooing, and canoe- 
buildmg, and devoted themselves to those occupations; 
a professional tattooer, or tohung a-td-moko, was held in 
high repute. The women were hard workers, in the food- 
gardens, and at the cooking ovens; and from their skilled 
fingers came the beautiful soft cloaks and shawls of 
dressed flax, often with institched plumage of birds, the 
kaitaka, the korowai, the kahu-kiwi, and kahu-kura, and 
other handsome articles of Maori attire. The art of 
weaving ( wJiatu-pueru) has fortunately not deserted the 


144 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


ivahine Maori. There lias been quite a revival in it of 
late years, and in many a native home, particularly in 
such districts as Rotorua, the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, 
and the Urewera Country, you may see the turuturu or 
weaving'-sticks of the lady of the household with a 
partially made korowai or hihima or other garment 
stretched thereon. But your glimpse of them as they 
are set up may be only momentary; for it is a native 
weaving custom to suspend work and lay the turuturu 
down should a stranger enter, otherwise the unseen tapu 
that belongs to the whatu-pueru art may give trouble. 

The fortified village of the olden time was a well- 
ordered one, with everything in its place, and all its 
appurtenances betokening a considerable degree of 
savage culture. M. Crozet, who visited the Bay of 
Islands in 1792, as second in command of the French 
expedition under the unfortunate Marion du Fresne 
(who was killed there by the Maoris), has left on record 
an excellent description of the pas that studded the coast¬ 
line of the beautiful Bay, the Tokerau of the Maoris. 
Crozet’s Journal details with praise the large well- 
constructed cleanly villages that stood on the com¬ 
manding liill-tops overlooking the Bay: their stout rows 
of palisading, and deep trendies; their fighting-towers 
25ft. above the ground, commanding the narrow 
entrances to the forts; and their complete magazines of 
food, of arms, and of fisliing-gear. The navigator 
particularly describes tlie armoury, or store of weapons, 
one of which stood in every village. These Maori temples 
of Mars contained large numbers of every kind of native 
weapon—bone and whalebone patus, spears and taiahas, 
dart-tlirowing sticks ( kotalia ), and so on, some stacked 
around the house-pillars just as pakelia soldiers stack 
their rifles around the tent-poles. The large storehouse 
in which the fishing-gear was kept was full of ropes and 
cordage in various stages of manufacture, nets, bone 
and wood and shell fish-hooks in great numbers and of 
every size, sinkers, floats, and other fishing appliances, 
and the paddles of the war-canoes. 


MAORI SOCIAL UI-'E 


145 

The old-time wliare, roofed with raupo, nikau, or 
toetoc, and the floor covered with native mats (takapau 
or whnriki) is disappearing. The less picturesque and, 
says the Maori, less comfortable weatherboard house, too 
often an ugly shanty, is taking the place of the olden reed 
hut. The old people like the low-eaved whares of their 
ancestors. Communal habits are still strong; and in 
eating, working, and sleeping the Maori likes plenty of 
company. Periodical feasts, tangis and political 
meetings relieve the monotony of life in Maori kaingas. 
In the North a party of tribespeople go off to the 
gumfields, in times of scarcity of food or when money 
is particularly needed, to “keri kapia ” or dig for kauri 
gum for a few weeks or months. It was in this way that 
several Maori tribes in the Auckland province a few 
years ago raised the necessary funds for the establish¬ 
ment of brass bands. These brass bands were at that 
time the prevailing craze amongst the Maoris, who 
readily adopt any new idea, and often drop it as quickly. 
There are still a number of bands amongst the native 
tribes, and some of them very good ones too. 

The Maori menu is not usually a veiy varied one. 
European food is used generally by the Maoris who live 
in the neighbourhood of townships and stores; but in 
the Maori kainga, as a rule, the staple diet consists of 
potatoes, kumara , pork, eels, fish, and occasionally 
mutton. Pigeons and other forest birds, when available, 
are added to the list, and in bush districts these birds 
form a very considerable portion of the food supplies. 
Kaka, wild duck, tui, and other birds are eaten; and in 
the Urewera, Tuhua, Upper Wanganui, and other bush 
districts, the natives frequently pot the pigeons and tui 
in large numbers, preserving them in their own fat in 
totara -bark baskets, in which they will keep for months. 
Mutton-birds, or titi are largely preserved in the south 
in polia, or receptacles made of the great seaweed called 
bull-kelp. The ancient art of taking the birds of the 
forest by snaring them is practised now only amongst 
the older men and in a few localities, chiefly 


K 


146 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


the Urewera Country, where the people’s fare for 
centuries past has largely consisted of birds. 
Along the Waikato river and its tributaries and 
similar places, eels form one of the great staples 
of food, the hauls made in the big eel-pots in the 
creeks and swamps of the Lower Waikato are sometimes 
very large indeed. Inanga, or white-bait, are taken in 
many streams and lakes. In Lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti 
the fresh-water koura, or crayfish, was also a plentiful 
food until the pakeha trout was introduced. Nor must 
we forget the oyster, the pipi, the kutai, and other 
shell-fish, and the finny food-treasures yielded up by 
Tangaroa, the God of the Ocean; the coastal tribes enjoy 
a much more varied diet than those of the interior. 

Of the Maori cultivated foods, the kumara was the 
most important in ancient days, and even in these times 
it is more valued than the potato because, unlike the 
pakeha’s esculent, it is not much affected by blight. 

The garden patches in a Maori village of to-day, such 
as the reposeful little kaiuga Owhata, on Lake Rotorua, 
are a pleasant sight. Potatoes, kumara , maize, and 
torori, or native tobacco, grow particularly well on this 
rich warm volcanic soil. The well-sheltered kumara - 
plots face the east; and the rows of kumara- plants run 
diagonally across the garden-patch. Great care is 
observed by the villagers in the cultivation of the sweet 
potato, for it is a semi-tropical plant and requires much 
attention. The tubers are set with the cut ends facing 
the rising sun; sand is carried up from the beach and is. 
mixed with the earth in the little hillocks (aliuahu) 
heaped round each plant; and the women diligently weed 
the beds. The young torori (tobacco) plants, in the heat 
of midsummer, are carefully protected from the scorching 
midday rays of the sun by a screen of three or four 
small stones set up around and over each plant. 

Children in the Maori commune are petted and given 
a great deal of liberty by their parents. A father may 
often be seen nursing his potiki or youngest child for 
hours, carrying it about with him on his back in his 


MAORI SOCIAL LI KK 


147 


shawl or blanket. Young girls were allowed to do pretty 
well as they pleased, and they and the hoys enjoyed full 
liberty in sexual matters, unless indeed a girl was a 
■pithi } like the tempo or village maid of Samoa, or was 
tapui ’d or betrothed to some young chief. But when a 
girl became a wife all that was changed, and promiscuous 
love-making was interdicted, punishable by a tana vutru 
or often the tomahawk. 

A plurality of wives is in some quarters still con¬ 
sidered the perquisite of a rangatira. A man with more 
than one wife is called a puna-rua, a man of “two wells.’’ 
A few of the old stock, like Tamaikowha, the sturdy old 
fighting chief of the Ngai-Tama and ITrewera tribes, at 
Waimana, generally have two or three wives to uphold 
their dignity and keep their kumara patches in order, 
and are not averse to taking a fresh spouse or two 
oeasionally. The most-married Maori of to-day is 
Ruatapu, the prophet of the “Rocky Mountain.” 
Ruatapu has constituted himself the arch-priest and 
political leader of the Urewera people, and in his new 
weatherboard town of Hiruharama Hou (“The New 
Jerusalem”) away up on the woody slopes of Maunga- 
pohatu, he has his harem of seven wives. These wives 
have been sealed unto him quite in the Brigham-Young 
manner. I once asked Ruatapu whether he had any 
precedent for taking seven wives, thinking that he would 
point to the fact that a Maori rangatira in former days 
took as many wives as lie liked, and that, as in the case 
of the celebrated Te TIeuheu Mana-nui, of Taupo—who 
had eight wives—a plurality of ivahines was indicative 
of rank and influence. But the long-haired prophet based 
his title to the harem on a very different authority. He 
took Biblical sanction for it. “You know the Bible, don’t 
you?” he said. “Well, doesn’t it say this in the fourth 
chapter of Isaiah, Hu that day seven women shall take 
hold of one man’? That’s my authority. I am the one 
man appointed by the Wairua-tapu [the Holy Spirit], 
and my seven wives came to me. I didn’t take them; the 
people gave them to me; they came and wished to be my 
wives, one from one tribe and one from another.” 


148 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


This is marriage whaka-Maori, in native fashion. 
Although there was a ritual or karakia for marriage, 
invocations pronounced by the tohunga over young 
couples, the practice does not appear to have been much 
observed except in the case of those of considerable rank 



From n photo., 1!K)8. 

Ruatapu, the Prophet of the Ur ewer a Country. Ruatapu is about 
forty years of age. His fa tiler, Kenana [“ Canaan was killed in 
a fight with the Government troops in December, 1868. at Wliare- 
kopae. Ho and many of his followers wear their hair long, following 
an ancient practice; Iiuatapu also iiuotes the example of Jesus 
Christ, whom he fancies he resembles in appearance. 

and importance in the tribe. As in olden days, before 
a man and girl become husband and wife the consent of 
the two interested hapus or families still has to be 
obtained in formal council meeting. Otherwise, there is 





MAORI SOCIAL LIFE 


149 


no ceremony—unless the minister or priest of a 
European church is called in—beyond the marriage feast 
gathering, the pd-kuha. 

“What is your marriage ceremony here? FFave you 

any karakia V ’ T asked old K-, the head man of a 

little ITauhau liapu who was temporarily squatting on 
another tribe’s land at Otautu, in the South Taranaki 
bush. A youth and girl of the liapu were being married 
on the day T visited the settlement, and a barrel of beer 
had just arrived—in contravention of the law—from the 
nearest township for the wedding festivities. It was 
rolled up on to the marae, where a merry and noisy 
crowd welcomed it with a song and dance. 

“Karakia! This is my karakia said the old 
reprobate, grinning. He filled a tin pannikin with beer 
and held it up. “I say to Timi—that’s the boy—‘You 
drink this,’ and then to Pare, the girl, ‘You drink.’ 
When they take a drink each, I say to them, ‘Now, you 
are married’ {me moe korua). That’s all my karakia — 
good enough, net” 

There was no lack of amusement in the kainga Maori, 
either by day or by night. Of the olden games and 
amusements that have survived to this day, the poi and 
haka posture-dances, with their amusing and often 
Rabelaisian songs, are the most popular. The “dancers” 
do not really dance, but stand in rows and twirl the light 
poi-balls (made of dry raupo- leaves) over their heads, 
from side to side, beating them at intervals on 
their heads, breasts, shoulders, and even their feet, all 
in perfect time to the rhythm of the song or the musical 
accompaniment. The poi is often an action song—some 
represent the work of planting food, some the action of 
paddling a canoe, some imitate the fluttering of the wild 
birds. The Taranaki Maoris are amongst the cleverest 
poi-dancers in New Zealand, but the poi has always been 
something of a religious ceremony in their district. The 
Maori prophet Te Whiti and his chief men at Parihaka 
village had their oracular utterances and their chants 
and prayers rehearsed and publicly sung by the poi- 


150 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


women. It was a very pretty sight to watch a large party 
of these girls and women, their heads all decked with 
white feathers—the tohu or emblem of Te Whiti-ism— 
going through the evolutions of the poi, with wonderful 
rapidity and deftness, to the accompaniment of a very 
high and wild chant—for the Prophet of the Mountain 
did not look with favour on accordeons and mouth-organs 
and other pakeha innovations. 

A specimen of an ancient karakia now sung as a poi- 
chant is Turi’s Paddling-Song, given in Chapter V., p. 54. 

In places like Rotorua—where a number of the 
interesting old games have been revived for the amuse¬ 
ment of white visitors—and in many a little settlement 
around the Bay of Plenty and the East Cape and the 
ITrewera Country, such amusements as the wliai, or cat’s 
cradle, matimati and titi-to-ure (now bowdlerised in 
Rotorua to titi-torea) are still to be observed. One old 
Arawa man at Oliinemutu is particularly expert in the 
intricate wliai string-work intended to represent Maui, 
the magic fisherman, and his brothers, the Aratiatia, or 
“Ladder,” Rapids, etc.; and the titi-torea game is 
played with four sticks in a wonderfully deft fashion by 
several of the Oliinemutu women. The players, six or 
more in number, sit or kneel in a circle, a little distance 
apart; four of them hold sticks, about 3ft. long, in the 
right hand. A rhythmic chant is sung and in time to the 
words the sticks are swung to and fro or up and down, 
and at a certain word in the song they are thrown from 
one to the other and caught. There are variations of the 
movements, all of which are done in exactest time to the 
song chanted by the leader. 

Another game, matimati, performed sitting, is played 
with the hands, in pairs, the two players sitting opposite 
each other; words and short sentences are repeated by 
the players very quickly and at each cry the hands are 
moved in a particular manner. One must watch it to 
appreciate the great dexterity and mental alertness 
required in what at first may appear a childish game. 



MAORI SOCIAL LIFE 


151 


These and many other games, the musical poi, with 
its rhythmic tap-tap-tapping, and the exciting haka made 
the evening hours pass away in the crowded whare- 
iapere of old. Nowadays pakeha games have been added 
and the pack of cards and draughts or kai-mu are seen 
in most meeting houses where the sociable Maori hapu 
congregate after the evening meal. 

Of outdoor games, the pastime of the koki was an 
interesting one, in which the Rotorua and adjacent tribes 
were particularly fond of engaging. 

Nearly half way up the lofty precipitous face of Mata- 
whaura, where that beautiful forested mountain juts out 
like an enormous wall over the deep waters of Lake 
Rotoiti, there is a bare bluff called Pakipaki, to which a 
steep track leads from the canoe landing below, and on 
which in former times a little fortified pa stood. Here, 
high above the blue lake, the young people of the 
Matawliaura stockaded refuges used to gather and amuse 
themselves with the koki (from kokiri, to dart). For 
this diversion they gathered the large handsome leaves 
of the wharangi plant ( Brachyclottis repanda) which are 
dark green on the upper and white on the under side. 
These were attached to a light stem of some strong grass, 
and tails or streamers (hihi) were added, made of iviwi or 
other light reeds or rushes, sometimes two or three feet 
in length. Then the broad leaves were held up and 
balanced in the hand, with their streaming tails, and 
after repeating a song in chorus the players darted them 
out over the lake, each striving to cast his rau-wharangi 
farthest. If there was a fail* wind blowing, the leaves 
with their dancing hihi were carried for considerable 
distances before falling into the water far below. This 
is the little song which the players chanted as they held 
their sailing-leaves aloft, a chant often heard at the 
present day as a haka song amongst the Maoris of 
Tapuaeharuru and adjacent Rotoiti villages:— 


Ma tiki koki ki runga, 

E tae ra koe 
Ki wai-o-rikiriki, 

Ki wai-o-rakaraka, 

Te piho o te rangi. 

Hoki koki koki mai, koki! 


(Translation.) 
Sail away, my leaf on liigk, 
Sail tkou o ’er tke waters far, 
Fly up to tke sky, and tken 
Come, come back to me again. 


152 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Tlie moari, a kind of swing', or rather “giant’s stride,” 
was formerly to he seen in many a Maori village. There 
is a good picture of the moari in G. F. Angas’s “New 
Zealand Illustrated,” from a sketch in the Taupo district 
in 1844. There were many moari around the shores of 
Lai <es Rotorua and Rotoiti till recent times. The moari 



From a skrtvh by (». F. Anyas. 

The moari. 

was a tall elastic tree or richer stripped of its branches, 
and with five or six long flax ropes attached to its head. 
It generally stood on the edge of a stream or a lake. 
The players would each grasp a rope and, after singing 
a song in chorus, swing off all together into space and 
land either on the ground again or drop off with a splash 
into the water below. The old people of Mokoia Island, 
Lake Rotorua, point out the site of a celebrated five-rope 




Maori social life 


153 



hioari which once stood on the hill-slope at Te Rewarewa, 

an ancient pa on the top of the island, now a tribal 
burying place. 

Another diversion, one hugely enjoyed by the water- 
loving Maori, was that known as rerenga-wai, or “flying 
into the water.” At many of the Rotorua lakeside 
villages, for instance, certain trees, chiefly pohutukawa, 
which extended long strong branches out over the water, 
were made use of as diving-boards. A suitable limb of 
the tree would be stripped of its twigs and leaves, the 
upper side adzed down and smoothed, and the end of the 

branch ornamented with 
carving. One noted Roto¬ 
rua valian - rerenga - wai 
was that which stood on 
the banks of the Waiteti 
stream, overhanging a 
deep pool in the river. 
On hot summer days, 
when the cool clear 
waters of the beautiful 
streams and lakes glis¬ 
tened so invitingly, the 
young people of the vil- 

From a photo, by Allen Hutchinson. lage would often gather 
An Arawa Woman, Rotorua. ^3 fhe Watei’-Slde foi' the 


rri . ^ . & pu^ oi me rerenga-wai. 

Throwing oft their garments, the young men and girls 
would stand out along the elastic tree spring-board 
holding each other’s hands, and sing in chorus a lively 

song. The following is a specimen of these Rotorua 
divmg-songs:— 


Te koko e rere atu ra ra, 

E rere ra i Puke-whanake, 

Ki te kawe-korero 
Kia Te Iripapa; 

Kaore e lioki-i. 

Ka tu au 1 te rahui whakairoiro 
Na Tokoahu. 

Kai te ruhi noa, 

Kai te ngenge noa, 

Ta te raumatikanga. 

Po-o-o ki roto wai 
Kuhi ai! 


( Tran slation. ) 

See yonder tm-bird that flies 
O’er the slopes of Palm-tree Hill; 
’Tis a little messenger 
Carrying tales to Iripapa. 

It flies away, and won’t return. 
Here I stand 

On Tokoahu’s carven tree; 

Here I stand 

Weary of the summer’s heat, 

So into the water I’ll go! 




154 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


And at the final word all together the divers dropped 
down with a mighty splash into the cool waters, and 
there they swam and chased and splashed each other like 
a company of brown mermen and mermaidens. The 
young women were not without vanity even in that 
primitive social state; the softer sex delighted in having 
their hips and the upper parts of their legs blue-tattooed 
in symmetrical spirals and in the artistic design known 
as the puhoro (which can be seen to-day used in the 
decoration of rafters in a carved house), for the public 
admiration when they went out to bathe from the carven 
tree that stood by the diving-pool. A really well tattooed 
man or woman in ancient Maoridom created as much 
admiration and envy as a pakeha lady of to-day in an 
expensive up-to-date costume and the latest Parisian 
picture hat. 

The bath was often the social gathering-place, par¬ 
ticularly in the Hot Lakes country. Ruapeka, the little 
sandy bay at Ohinemutu, Rotorua, was the great bathing 
place of that Arawa village. Here in the pleasant warm 
waters, heated by many hot springs, practically the whole 
population of Ohinemutu would gather in the evenings 
for social gossip and song. It was the most unconven¬ 
tional of “musical evenings.” There is a local 
proverbial saying that indicates the free-and-easy 
conditions which obtained amongst this water-loving 
tribe, where mixed bathing was the fashion —“Kaore he 
ture ki Ruapeka ,” which means “There is no law in 
Ruapeka.” That is to say, should a man discover, for 
example, that his wife was flirting with another man at 
one of these social gatherings, he need not complain 
about it, for men and women could do as they pleased in 
Ruapeka; it was a place where the customary code of 
conduct was relaxed. If he wished to keep his wife to 
himself, he should keep her away from Ruapeka. She 
could “hang her clothes on a gooseberry bush,” in the 
words of the old rhyme—or in lieu thereof, a flax bush— 
but she mustn’t go near the water. But as the husband 
often preferred to indemnify himself by making love 


MAO HI SOCIAL LIFE 


155 

under cover of the darkness and the steam to someone 
tdse’s wife, matters were adjusted all round and everyone 
was very merry in Ruapeka Bay. 

The South Sea Island sport of surf-swimming 1 and 
surfboard-riding is not unknown amongst the Maoris on 
the East Coast of New Zealand. The children in some of 
the seaside villages near the East Cape are fond of 
swimming out into the surf taking with them a piece of 
hoard, and lying on this they come riding shorewards on 
the top of a wave. This was also an old-time sea-sport 
on some parts of the South Island coast, such as the 
beaches at the entrance to Waikouaiti Harbour, Otago. 

Most of the primitive customs of the native people 
have disappeared since the pakeha tide swept over them, 
but one still sees certain phases of old Maori life in the 
villages, on the occasion of large meetings or at the 
mournful tempi. The dances of the tutu-waewae and 
haka ; the picturesque tuku-kai, or formal presentation 
°f food to guests, and the powhiri, or reception of 
visitors from a distance, with songs of welcome and 
waving of green boughs and garments, are still universal. 
An often-sung chant of welcome to visitors, particularly 
appropriate in such places as the Waikato River villages, 
where guests arrive by canoe or boat, is the ancient 
powhiri- song beginning “ Kumea mai te waka ” (“Haul 
up the canoe”), ending with a stentorian chorus of 

Toia mai te waka ki te urunga” (“Pull the canoe to the 
resting-place”). In welcoming visitors and in making 
set speeches the Maori follows the poetical custom of his 
ancestors. 

Up in the North, the Hokianga waters and the West 
Coast generally are known as “Te tai tama-tane ,” which 
literally means “the man-like sea,” having reference to 
the boisterous and stormy sea of the West Coast. In 
contradistinction to this the Bay of Islands and 
neighbouring localities of the East Coast of the Island 
are figuratively referred to as “Te tai tamahine ” (“the 
sea of girls”) because of the more tranquil sheltered 
waters of that coast where girls might safely paddle out 
in their canoes. 


156 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Thus when a party of natives from the Bay of Islands 
pay a formal visit to a tangi or other social gathering at, 
say, Waima, Hokianga, they are welcomed with cries 
of:— 

“Haere mai! Ilaere mai! e te manuhiri tua-rangi! 
Ilaere mai! e te iwi tai-tamahine! Ilaere mai !’ ’ 
which means:— 

“Welcome hither, 0 strangers, from beyond the sky! 
Welcome, 0 the people of the peaceful sea, welcome 
hither! ’ ’ 



Maori Women's Canoe Race, on the Waikato River. 


L. Hinge, photo. 


And when the Omanaia or Mangamuka people leave 
the Hokianga district to discuss kumara and dried shark 
with their cousins at Kerikeri or Waitangi, Bay of 
Islands, the hosts will welcome the coming guests as 
visitors from the “tai tama-tane ,” whose home borders 
the thundering surf and the flying surges of the wild 
AVest Coast, an essentially “man-like” sea. 

A cei emonious and pretty rite of hospitality is the 
formal presentation of food to visitors, the hari-kai , or 
tuku-kai (“food-bringing”), as it is called. The guests 
remain seated on the ground in the marae or village 
green and their hosts bring them their meals, to the 
accompaniment of song and dance. 






MAORI SOCIAL LIFE 


157 


At a tuku-kai I witnessed not long ago, on the occasion 
of a large congress of the tribes, there first advanced a 
long line ol merry girls and women, each carrying a 
plaited basket or kono, of green flax, containing a 
steaming “first-course” of potatoes and pork, hot from 
the hangi. As they came they chanted a lively song, 
keeping time with a skipping dance, a kind of “TTere-we- 
come-gathering-nuts-and-may” turn, swaggering and 
swinging their plump bodies from side to side. Then 
they retired in good order for another course. Next a 
number of young men advanced in two long lines, yelling 
a Jiaka song as they did so, each bearing a loaf of bread 
or a handful of biscuits, and others carrying buckets of 
tea, all of which were laid out on the grass in front of the 
visitors, a large party of Arawa tribespeople. Then a 
squad of Ngapuhi natives came forward carrying more 
bread, and pannikins for the tea. They, too, haka’d as 
they performed their share of the tuku-kai, and shouting 
a welcome song. “Here we come,” chanted their leader, 
“bringing our gift—the fifteen pannikins of Ngapuhi!” 
Next, half-skipped, half-danced forward, singing lustily 
as they came, a large party of Whanganui men, carrying 
baskets and dishes of boiled kumara and preserved 
pigeons. Then there marched up, bringing more kai, 
headed by a brass band of Maori youths playing a quick¬ 
step, a party of Ngati-Apa and Ngati-Raukawa people. 
Ngati-Apa were headed by an enormously stout woman, 
whose fat body quivered and shook as she danced along 
the line, grimacing. The Ngati-Kahungunu people in 
their turn advanced, singing as they stamped, and turned 
this way and that, “Here we come, bringing hamcira and 
birds,” and swishing their flax waist-mats in Highland 
fashion as they swung up to the dining-table of the 
Arawa—the grassy green—and laid their offerings on 
the ground. 

The bill-of-faie completed, the hosts fell back a space, 
and their spokesman formally presented the food to their 
guests. A tattooed old chief, for the people of the Lakes, 
acknowledged the gift in his dignified fashion, and in a 


158 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


few moments thereafter the happy Arawa were making 
serious inroads on the heap of kai-kai and the steaming 
buckets of tea. 

Sometimes the entertainers will jocularly lament their 
inability to provide a fitting feast for their visitors. In 
a Rotorua tuku-kai song, often chanted when presents 
of food are being carried into the marae and placed 
before visitors, these words occur:— 


Hai aha Kawaha? 

Te whenua kai-kore! 

Ka pa tau ko Mokoia 
Tenetene ana to korokoro 
I te kumara. 


(Translation.) 

What’s the good of Kawaha? 

It is a foodless place! 

Now, if you were at Mokoia 
Your throats would be distended 
With the abundance of the kumara. 


(Mokoia Island is famed for its fertility and for its 
abundant yields of the kumara or sweet potato.) 

There is sometimes an amusing introduction of English 
phrases or popular catcli-words into these tuku-kai 
chants. For instance, a song I once heard a jolly gang of 
young fellows bawl out lustily as they danced into the 
meeting-square, laden with hard ship’s-biscuits, their 
contribution to the feast:— 


lie aha te pihikete? 

Pihikete? 

Ilei whakapiri ki te taha o te kau 
Ooh-ooli-ooh! 

What ho she pump! 


(Translation.) 

What are the biscuits for? 

The biscuits? 

Why, to stick close alongside the beef! 
(imitating the ante-mortem bellow of 
the ‘ ‘ beef ’ ’). 


And at the word “pump” each cheery youth appro¬ 
priately bumped his burden down beside the boiled beef 
and the potatoes with a hearty thud energetic enough to 
shatter the most adamant of “hard-tack.” 

Occasionally the easy tenor of life in peace-time was 
varied by a little diversion in the form of a taua-muru or 
“robbing party.” This forcible distraint upon property 
for offences committed still prevails in some Maori 
districts, particularly Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty, 
and in the Urewera Oountry. Women and land were 
the roots of all evil according to the Maori. Disputes 
about both very often ended in war; but it was often 


MAORI SOCIAL LIFE 


159 


possible to settle a matter in which the ladies were con¬ 
cerned by a peaceful robbing-party. The usual take or 
pretext for a taua-muru is matrimonial infidelity. 
Lapses ot this sort generally become quickly known 
amongst a communistic people like the Maoris, where one 
person’s business is everybody’s. The injured husband, 
or wile, and their friends go in a body—in former days 
they always went armed—to the kainga of the offender, 
and there, after angry speech-making and a good deal of 
abuse, the visitors lay hands on the goods and chattels of 
the villagers. In old days the place was given up to 
general plunder at the cry of “Murual” (“Loot!”) 
from the chiefs. A general confiscation of valuables in 
the dwellings o! the offender and bis relatives is still 
carried out in some instances, when a taua-muru visits 
a \ illage on utu intent; in others a certain quantity of 
property, in the form of clothing, heirlooms of green¬ 
stone, horses, cattle, pigs, saddles, vehicles, or what not, 
is formally presented to the visitors in satisfaction of 
the trouble.* 

About a year ago an old Maori acquaintance of mine 
in a native district near Rotorua invited me to join a 
taua which was setting out from his village that morning 
to mui u the people at another village a tew miles away. 

“Tuki’s wife has been naughty again,” he explained, 
and we ie very angry about it, so as Tuki belongs to 
us we’re going to muru the other man and the wife’s 
people. It’s very bad, very bad, all this puremutanga. 
Rut I might get a good kahu-kiwi or something of that 
sort out of it if I’m smart. Tuki’s grandfather married 
Rauriki, you see, and Rauriki’s younger brother was my 
wife’s uncle, so that’s why I’m going with the taua. 
Come along, and see all the raruraru ,f and you might 
pick up something yourself if you’re lucky.” 


A recent instance of a taua-muru was one which took place at 
Ohinemutu, Rotorua, m October of the present year. The cause was the 
usual one, a marital trouble; the offender and his relatives were visited bv 
a large punitive party who danced hakas and made violent speeches, which 
they followed up by confiscating a large number of articles, such as green¬ 
stone treasures flax and feather cloaks, clothes, guns, etc., belonging to the 
co-respondent” and his hapu. g g to tne 

t Raruraru: trouble, confusion, turmoil. 






160 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


A feeling of pakeha delicacy about robbing a fellow 
for a little thing like that prevented my joining the taua, 
and moreover I was not related to Tuki’s grandfather. 
But I was rather sorry next day that tauas weren’t 
for pakehas when I met the old man strutting around 
with a fine korowai flax cloak over his shoulders. He 
informed me that he had done pretty well out of the taua. 
Though someone else secured the valuable kahu-kiwi, the 
beautiful cape of kiwi feathers, which the naughty Mrs. 
Tula was known to possess, he had managed to “mum” 
not only the korowai, which was nearly as good, but also 
a couple of fowls, which were by this time cooking in the 
hot spring at the back of his 8 x 10 domicile. 

Not so many years ago, however, a taua was often 
attended with rather serious consequences for the Don 
Juans of Maoridom. They had to submit to the ordeal 
of the spear. I remember a yarn a certain other Maori 
acquaintance of mine once told me. 

We were at Waahi, the village of Mahuta the “King,” 
on the banks of the "Waikato River. An old, old man, 
thickly tattooed, with long white hair and beard, an old 
blanket around him, was squatting blinking in the sun 
on the grassy marae in the centre of the village. It was 
the ancient man Tu-ata, one of the highest born chiefs of 
Waikato, and some sort of great-uncle of Mahuta’s. 

“Look at old Tu-ata,” said my friend, “Sunshine,”— 
lie was well-named, a big jovial man, with a face like a 
rising sun, slightly browned. “You wouldn’t think he 
had been a smart fighting man once, would you? And 
even when he was an old fellow, he was a very good man 
with the spear, too, my word! ’ ’ 

“Sunshine” chuckled to himself a while, and I asked 
him what he was grinning at. 

“I was thinking of something,” he said. “This was 
the way of it. A good many years ago, when I was a 
young fellow, I lived with the Kingites at their big 
settlement on Hikurangi hill, which is away up on the 
slopes of Mount Pirongia, where the track to Kawhia 
goes up from the Waipa. [This was about the year 1878.] 



MAORI SOCIAL LIFE 


1 01 



Old King Tawhiao lived there, in a fine large nikau 
house at the top of the hill. Now, Tawhiao was very fond 
of young wives, and every time he went away on a trip 
to other Maori tribes lie was presented with a new young 
wile, and lie brought her home to put with the others. 
Well, I was a young autaia those days, and I couldn’t 

help making love 
to the girls. There 
was one of the 
King’s wives, and 
she was a very 
nice girl. I became 
very fond of her, 
and she liked me 
much better than 
the old King. But 
some inquisitive 
old woman found 
Hera in my whare 
one night, and then 
there was trouble 
—a great raruraru, 
and talk, talk, talk. 

“ Well, then the 
i tana. All the peo¬ 
ple gathered on 
the marae , and I 
had to stand out 
there before them 
all, to be speared 
at in punishment. 
And that old Tu- 
ata was the spears- 
man. lie was an old man then, and he was 
Tawhiao’s foster-father [matua-whangai]. He it was 
who made sharp his hardwood tao to avenge the King. 

I stood there, with only a blanket on, tied round my 
waist. I was not allowed to have a spear to defend 
myself; all I was given was a short stick, a karo, to ward 
off the spear. 


From a photo, by ir. Beattie, 1906. 
Tu-ata, of Waahi, Waikato. 


L 



162 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 




“Now, Tu-ata came dancing and taki-mg forward, 
slapping bis thigh, and looking very angry, as if he were 
determined to kill me. He charged at me, and lmrled his 
sharp spear with all his force. Anana! it whistled 
through the air. I just dodged it by jumping aside. I 
made a quick hound—like this—else had I been speared 
through the body. That was all, except the muru-mg; 
I lost most of my clothes and my watch and gun. The old 
man was only allowed to throw one spear. But, my word, 
I did jump!” 

“And you didn’t make love to any more of Tawhiao’s 
wives?” asked the pakeha. 

“No,” said “Sunshine,” “not for a long time after 
that. ’ ’ 








Chapteh XII. 


THE WHARE-WHA KAI.RO. 


There are three things, say the Maoris, the possession 
of which is the mark and token of a chief—a patu- 
pounamu, or sharp-edged club of greenstone, a 
knhu-waero or dogskin cloak, and a whare-ivhakairo or 
carved house. 

Most Maori villages of any importance contain at least 
one whare-ivhakairo, a large house which is used as the 
communal assembly hall, council-place {whare-runanga ), 
house of amusement ( whare-tapere ), and guest-house 
( whare-maniihiri ). Often, too, it is the village sleeping 
house, or wharepuni, where the whole of the people, men, 
women, and children, spend the night. The erection of 
these carved houses is generally a tribal affair, but 
occasionally a moneyed chief will put up one at his own 
expense, and very proud he is of it, when the whai-kawa 
ceremony is over and the people are admitted to admire 
the tattooed figures of ancestors grouped round, the 
bright scrolled rafter designs, and the beautiful arapaki 
lattice work, and to recline on the soft flax whariki mats 
that cover the floor. 

Some of the best known carved houses are those at 
Ohinemutu and Whakarewarewa, in the Rotorua 
distiict. Rotorua is the home of the best carvers 
in New Zealand, members of the Ngati-Whakaue 
and Ngati-Tarawhai tribes, and such men as 
Anaha, Neke Kapua, and Tene Waitere have turned 
out much really beautiful specimens of the wood- 
carver’s art. But in many lesser-known districts there 
are some very large tribal whare-whakairo adorned 
inside and out with fine carvings, the product of many 
months’ patient work with axe and chisel and mallet. 

163 



164 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


About the largest of these is the great council-house 
“Te Wliai-a-te-Motu,” at Mataatua, in the Euataliuna 
Valley, the ancient headquarters of the Urewera tribe, 
deep in the wild mountain-land. It is over eighty feet 
in length. A photo of this big whare is reproduced on 
this page. The house was really a Hauhau temple; it 
was built by the Ureweras in 1890 for the war-chief 
Te Ivooti, and for some years it was held so sacred that 
no white man was allowed to enter it. 

A night in such a house as this is an interesting 
experience. 



Photo, by IF. A. Neale, Tajmi. 

" Te Whai-a-te-Motu,” the carved meeting-house at Mataatua, Ruataliuna Valley, 

Urewera Country. 

A bell at the porch of the “Whai-a-te-Motu” tinkles as 
the darkness falls over misty peak and woody valley, 
and fires twinkle here and there through the village. The 
bell is the signal for evening prayers. The Urewera 
here still hold to the faith promulgated by Te Kooti, the 
ritual known as the “ Ringa-tu ,” the “Uplifted Hand” 
—a medley of the Psalms of David and the Church of 
England prayer-book. “Te Wliai-a-te-Motu” (“The 
Chase of the Island”—so named in allusion to the 
pursuit of Te Kooti by the Government soldiers for over 
three years) is soon packed with people, and the scene 



THE W J I A It E-W ] IA K A1110 


1 65 

is passing weird. The only light is a fire on the earth 
floor, just at the foot of the central house-pillar, the 
sacred poutoko-vianaica, where the carven wooden statue 
of Toroa, a semi-deified kingly ancestor of the tribe, 
stares forth with scornful visage, beautifully scrolled 
with blue lines of tattoo. Strange shadows dance with 
the flickering of the fire, and the carved effigies of ances¬ 
tral heroes grouped round the walls seem alive, ready to 
start forth on the war-path again—stern figures 
grotesquely fearful with their huge distorted heads and 
leering mouths from which project enormous red-painted 
tongues, their three-fingered hands grasping stone 
weapons, their faces tattooed in exactest imitation of the 
intricate moko of men. Some of the wall-slabs are carved 
into fantastic figures of fabulous water-monsters, 
taniwha and maraki-hau, scooping in their victims with 
long funnel-shaped tongues; others represent the 
mythical creatures known as the manain and wlieku, with 
bird-like beaks and snaky tails all coiled in endless 
spirals. The wide rafters are decorated with handsome 
black and red scroll-work and with rude paintings of 
trees and birds and bird-spearing. On the latticed walls 
hang weapons of war and implements of the chase—a 
Terry carbine, trophy of the war; some rifles and shot¬ 
guns, glistening greenstone clubs and bone-handled 
tomahawks, and a bundle of long limber smoke-blackened 
bird-spears, tipped with sharp bone and iron barbs. 

Another large tribal meeting-house of this character 
is “Te Tokanga-nui-a-noho, ” at Te Kuiti, in the King 
Country. It belongs to the Ngati-Maniapoto tribe. The 
wlnare is 75 feet in length by 32 feet in width, with a 
height to ridge-pole of about 20 feet. It was built in 1878 
as a Hauhau tvhare-karakia, or prayer-house, for Te 
Kooti, and first stood at Tokangamutu, half-a-mile or 
so from the township of Te Kuiti. This house-name, 
“Te Tokanga-nui-a-noho,” holds a story. It means “The 
Great Food-basket of the Stay-at-homes,” or “The 
Basket of Plenty.” This is part of a famous proverbial 
saying or whakatauki amongst the Ngati-Maniapoto. 


166 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Its origin dates back to the ancient figliting-days. A 
dispute arose in this district between two high chiefs, 
one of whom was anxious to lead his followers to battle 
against a distant tribe, while the other preferred to 
remain peacefully at home. After an angry discussion 
the war-chief rose and calling on his followers said, 
“Come with me, leave the abundant food baskets of the 
stay-at-homes [te tokanga-nui-a-noho ] ; for us are the 
small handfuls of the war-party [te rourou-iti-a-liaere ],” 
meaning thereby that he and his would desert their homes 
and cultivations and be content with the short commons 
of travellers through a far and hostile territory. His 
tribesmen followed him, and they became great warriors; 
and “Te rourou-iti-a-liaere” is an expression still used 
in reference to any bold undertaking involving privation, 
or adventurous travelling.* 

Though a modern house, the carvings in “Te Tokanga- 
nui-a-noho” are interesting as being representative of 
nearly all the important tribes of the North Island; in 
fact the house is a national Maori art gallery in its 
primitive way, containing effigies of the founders and 
heroes of various tribes from Auckland to Cook Strait, 
besides some of the mythological Polynesian gods and 
demi-gods. The slabs and posts were carved by men 
from many different tribes—Ngati-Maniapoto, Waikato, 
Whakatohea, Urewera, and others—as contributions to 
the whore from the various Hauliau tribes under the 
influence of Te Kooti. The kakaho or reed-panel work, 
however, is base imitation, the work of the pakeha saw¬ 
mill. The parata or carved portion of the massive 
ridge-pole in the porch represents Rangi and Papa (as 
also does that in “Te Whai-a-te-Motu”), the primal 
parents in the Polynesian cosmogony, the Sky-father and 
Earth-mother. Maui, the Maori Hercules and Sun-god, is 
depicted on the walls, with his plaited rope noosing a 

Hail and farewell! I must arise 
Leave liere the fatted cattle. 

And paint on foreign lands and skies 
My Odyssey of battle.” 

—Robert Louis Stevenson (“Songs of Travel.’’) 


V-i ( 




THE W IT A HE - W11A K A1RO 


107 



Interior of a Carved House, Rotorua. 












168 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


smiling-looking sun—in allusion to the Polynesian myth 
of his snaring of Tama-nui-te-Ra, the Sun, and there, 
too, is his magic fish-hook with which he drew up the 
North Island of New Zealand. A curious little relief- 
carving is an effigy of Maniapoto, showing this famous 
old chief crouching in a limestone stalactite cave. This 
cave is Te Ana-Uriuri (‘‘The Gloomy Cavern”), which 
is near Te Kuiti, and Maniapoto, according to tradition, 
sometimes lived in it. There, again, is Tuwliaretoa, the 
great ancestor of the Tanpo people, with his sacred 
mountains, Tongariro and Pihanga. There is a white 
line of steam or mist streaming from Tongariro into 
Pihanga’s crater. This is in allusion to the legend that 
Pihanga was Tongariro’s wife, and that the steam and 
clouds sometimes seen drifting from Tongariro towards 
Pihanga are the visible tokens of his love for his 
mountain-spouse. And on another slab is Maalm (he 
like the others, is carefully labelled with his name lest you 
should not know him), the forest-chief, one of the very 
remote ancestors of the Lake Waikaremoana and 
Urewera Maoris. He has a tawhara, the fruit of the ! 
kiekie climbing plant, in his hand; for such were the foods 
of the bushmen of yore. This slab was carved by a 
descendant of Maalm. 

In a little Lakeland village, the kainga Owhata, on the 
tree-bowered eastern shores of Lake Rotorua, there 
stands a ivharepuni which the people of the village have 
named “Hinemoa,” after their renowned ancestress, 
whose home this kainga was in the long ago. It is quite 
a pretty little house, with its carved front-slabs and 
barge-boards, and its tekoteko or figurehead crowning 
the junction of the barge-boards, and the interior is 
bright with beautiful scroll-painted rafter-patterns. 
There are many varieties of patterns on these 
rafters and wall-plates, exhibiting some of the 
graceful designs evolved by the Maori artist from 
his study of natural objects—the curve of the wave, 
the volute of a shell, the drooping beauty of the kowhai- 
blossom. And you are reminded that you are in the 





THE \V 11 Alf E-W 11A K AI HO 


1 (if) 


ancient home <>i Ilinemoa, tor here on one of the wall- 
slabs is a quaint little picture in black and white by 
some village impressionist illustrating the legend of the 
love-led swimmer. On the right is the hill of Owhata, 
on the left a pyramidal island-bill represents Mokoia; 
between them stretches the lake. .Midway on the waters 
is seen Hinemoa, or rather her head above the waters, 
facing a steam-jet coiling from the shore of Mokoia, 
indicating the hot bath wherein the girl rested after her 
great swim. This steam-jet is labelled with its name, 
“A\ ai-kimiliia, ’ for the information of the stranger; 
and above all the crescent moon and many stars watch 
over the heroic swimmer. 

In the village of Whakarewarewa, Rotorua, there 
are two or three good specimens of whare-tvhakairo. 
All are of recent erection, but are carved in accordance 
with the approved traditions of the tohungas of Rauru’s 
chisel. In Mita Taupopoki’s big whare, “Wahiao,” a 


remarkably good piece of carving is that at the top of the 
central pillar ( poutoko-manawa ) representing the god 
1 ane-Malmta, he who separated Heaven and Earth, with 
his arms upraised supporting the ridge-pole or taliuliu, 
which is Rangi the Sky. Rangi, indeed, or his Maori 
presentment, appears on the under-surface of the broad 
taliuliu\ his mouth is open, the carver shows him weeping 
for his wife, ‘Papa, the Earth. Lower down the great 
house-pillar is a carving of Maui, the magic fisherman, 
in the act of hauling up from the sea this North Island of 
New Zealand—* ‘ Te Ika-roa-a-Maui-tikitiki-o-Taranga ’ ’ 
-represented by a skilful carving of a fish. Maui’s red- 
painted tongue protrudes in his great lifting effort. He 
has a canoe beneath his feet; this is in Arawa mythology 
the 11 Nuku-tai-maroro, ” from which he fished up—that 
is, discovered—this island; his enchanted fish-hook 
caught m the loot of the house of Tangaroa. At the foot 
of the post is carved the effigy of a chief with stern 
tattooed face, a stone club in his right hand and a beauti¬ 
ful taniko- bordered korohunga waist-mat around him. 
The interior of the house is rich and bright with scrolls, 


170 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


tattooing, and painting. The heke (rafters), kaho 
(cross-beams), and wall-plates all bear tlieir appropriate 
designs. The rafter patterns are particularly fine, 
showing the black and white scrolls known as the puhoro , 



the mango-pare 
(hammer - headed 
shark), the kowhai, 
&c., and the wall 
plates are painted 
all round with the 
geometrical pat¬ 
terns, in white, 
red and black, of 
the taniko mat- 
border design. 

The almost uni¬ 
versal Maori fash¬ 
ion of carving the 
hand with only 
three lingers has 
often puzzled Eur¬ 
opeans. This is a 
Maori explanation 
of the practice as 
given me by a 
carver: 

The first man 
of the Maori race 
to carve and dec¬ 
orate houses as we 
carve them to-day 
was Nuku-mai- 
teko, or Mutu-wai- 

Carved Doorway of a Maori House. The carved piece , i 4 - .'1 

above the door is the pore, and those at each side the bOlvO, as SOllie hi IOCS 
waewae or lens. The figure on the door is intended to have it a mail of 
represent Tutanekai playing on bis flute to Hinemoa. , r ... . rT , 

llawauki. ITe had 

only three lingers on each hand, and he perpetuated 
this in his carvings. All his figures he carved with 
only three fingers on each hand, and this has been kept 
up even to this day by Maori carvers. This was in the 









THE W]fARK-WHAKATRO 


171 


very remote past, when the ancestors of the Maori lived 
in the islands beyond the Moana-nui-a-Ki wa.‘ 

One day Tangaroa the chief paid a visit to the 
wonderful house which Nuku-mai-teko had built and 
adorned with carved figures. These effigies were carved 
on the side-slabs within tin* house. Tangaroa entered, 
after greeting Nuku with the customary hongi or nose¬ 
pressing. Then, seeing in the dim light of the interior 
a tattooed chieftain-like figure standing at the side of the 
ichare, he approached and advanced his nose to that of 
the other in the greeting courtesy of the hongi. To his 
amazement he found that the tattooed chief was nothing 
but a wooden effigy, lie was wonder-stricken and chag¬ 
rined to find that he had been so deceived by the cunning 
art of the wood-carver. And when you look upon the 
strangely carven and tattooed figures of the Maori 
houses to-day, bethink you of the father of carving 
Nuku-mai-teko, the three-fingered, the skilful worker in 
wood whose chisel-art deceived Tangaroa. 

Amongst the Arawa and Ngati-Awa and their 
neighbour-tribes Bauru, the son (or grandson) of the 
aboriginal chief Toi-kai-rakau, who lived some seven 
hundred years ago, is said to have been the inventor of 
the present style of Maori carving. 

The varying designs in the lacework panels ( tukutuku) 
which separate the carved wall-slabs are effective 
and pretty. A frequent lattice-scheme ( arapaki ) is the 
poutama, a series of steps in black and white. A constel¬ 
lation of coloured crosses here and there bears the poetic 
name of purapura-ivhetu, “star-seed.” Another design 
much used is quaintly called roimata-toroa, “albatross- 
tears.” Other patterns of arapaki are the kaokao, or 
“ribs,” a succession of chevrons; waewae-koura, “crav- 
fish-feet”; waewae-pakura , “ swamp-hen’s-feet, ” and 

tapuae-kotuku, “heron’s-feet.” 


*The representation of the human figure with three-fingered hands is not, 
however, confined to the Maori. The three fingers have been noticed in 
ancient Chinese ideographs, in Eastern sculpture, in Peruvian Inca relics, 
and in other forms of antique art. 






172 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Iii this arapaki work, light horizontal laths or splints 
(kaho-tarai) , half an inch to an inch wide and of even 
thickness, are closely laced to vertical stalks, generally j 
of the kakalio reed, with narrow strips of kiekie fibre, 
white or dyed black, and occasionally with pingao, an 
orange-coloured grass or flax. The kaho-tarai are 
painted red, sometimes red and black. The various I 
patterns are formed by the variations in the method of 
winding and lacing the strips of kiekie. 

There is considered to be a peculiar sanctity pertaining 
to a house containing figures carved in the semblance of 
gods or great ancestors. The Rotorua carvers of 
to-day are very careful not to infringe any of 
the unwritten laws of the art and of tapu. For 
instance, neither they nor any of their people would ever 
think of using the chips or shavings from the carvings 
for cooking food; neither will a carver blow the shavings 
off while he is at work on a slab or a post. The breath 
is pollution; he turns the timber on its side and shakes 
the shavings off, or brushes them off. 

A “House-warming” Ceremony. 

How the Tapu is Removed. 

An ancient Maori belief which prevails to this day is 
that which pertains to the tapu of newlv-carved houses. 
This tapu or baleful enchantment has its origin in the 
fact that the sacred children of Tane the Forest Father 
have been felled by human hands, and have been carved 
into the semblance of gods and ancestors. The tapu 
must be disposed of, or its dangerous powers averted, 
before the house can be safely occupied. This priestly 
ceremony of “laying” the tapu is known as whai-kawa 
or ka wanga-wha re. 

Amongst many tribes the branches of the kawakawa 
slirul) or the karamu are used in these whai-kawa cere¬ 
monies. But amongst some of them, such as the Ngati- 
Awa and the Frewera, the rata branches or twigs are 
used; with these the priest strikes the maihi, the tokoilii, 



Till', WHAHE-WHAKA1R0 


173 


the pare and (lie various other principal carved slabs and 
pillars, repeating his prayers the while. The rata tree 
is sacred amongst Ngati-Awa in connection with such 
ceremonies. Its classical name is “To maro-a-Tane,” 
(the loin-mat ol Tone the god), as applied to its leaves. 

The following is the form of ritual still used in the 
Arawa country for the purpose of—not “consecration,” 
as it has been sometimes termed, but the reverse—the 
removal of the tapu of carved houses; this instance 
( 11 ) 08 ) was the occasion of the opening and “house¬ 
warming” of the fine large carved whare called 
“ Wahiao ,” built at Whakarewarewa, Rotorua, by Mita 
Taupopoki, a house beautifully adorned with wood¬ 
carving both inside and out: 

Taua Tutanekai Haereliuka was the tohunga selected 
to recite the necessary formulae for the purpose 
ot removing the tapu from the carved timbers 
and allowing the tribe and their guests to enter and 
occupy the house. Outside in the carved maihi or barge- 
boards on the front of the house were placed the chisels, 
the bone and wooden mallets, and the other tools used 
by the carvers in their work. These tools were for the 
time being sacred, and special karakia were pronounced 
over them. 

Spear-tongued taiaha in hand and a kiwi cloak around 
him, Tutanekai advanced to the right front of the house 
and stood there by the side of the spiral-carved tnaihi or 
baige-board, while he recited in a loud voice his ancient 
charms to propitiate Tane, the god of the forests, from 
which the sacred timbers came. This was his first 
karakia :— 


(Ko te tuanga o te rakau ki raro) 
Kakariki powhaitere, 

I te Wao-nui-a-Tane, 

I te urunga tapu, 

Kua ara, kua ara 
A Tane ki runga; 

Kua kotia nga putake 
O te rakau o te whare nei; 

Kua wailio atu 
I te urunga tapu; 

Kua kotia nga kauru 




174 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


O te rakau o te whare nei; 

Kua wailio atu 
I te Wao nui-a-Tane. 

Kua tae au 
Ki nga pukenga, 

Ki nga wananga, 

Ki nga tauira. 

Patua kuru, 

Patua whao, 

Patua te toki a Tai-karuru. 

Kua piki lioki nei 

Ki te maro-kukahuka-nui 

A Tangaroa, 

Te ngaru ai e whati ai 
E Nuku-tai-maroro. 

Kaore ko au 

E kimi ana, e kakau ana 
I nga uri o te wkanau a Rata 
Hai pokapoka ia Tane 
E tu nei-i-i. 

Kaore i kitea, 

Kua mate noa atu 
I te awa i Pikopiko-i-Wkiti. 

Ma te maranga mai ai 
Ko kiki-nuku e! 

Ta taua rangi! 

Tlie translation of this invocation is as follows:— 

‘ ‘ For tke Felling of tke Tree: 

“King of tke forest-birds, ckief of tke parakeets tkat guard Tane’s 
mighty woods, Tane’s sacred resting place (listen to my prayer)! Tane 
(tke Tree) stood erect, stood erect, amidst tke forest skades; but now lie’s 
fallen. The trunk of Tane has beeu severed from tke butt; tke stump of 
tke tree felled to build this house stands yonder in tke sacred resting place. 
The branchy tree-top, tke leafy head, has been cut off; it lies yonder in tke 
Vast-Forest-of-Tane. I have performed my ceremonies of propitiation; 
I have appealed to tke spirits of our priestly ancestors, and to tke sacred 
ones. I have struck these timbers with mallet and chisel; I have struck 
them with tke axe of tke Sounding-Seas. I have mounted up on tke great 
foaming girdle of tke sea-god Tangaroa, the waves beaten down and 
divided by tke canoe Nuku-tai-maroro. 1 am seeking, searching for tke 
descendants of tke children of Rata, to carve these timbers for me. I 
found them not; they were slain at the river Pikopiko-i-Whiti. O ancient 
ones, return and aid me on this our sacred day.” 

The knkanki powhaitere invoked in the first lines is 
the bird which is said to lead the Hocks of parakeets in 
the forests; it is in Maori mythology the guardian of the 
sacred woods of Tane-mahuta. The leader ot the 
parakeets is an ariki, “a priest and king” of the birds. 
The karakia appeals to the bird for its help and sanction; 




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Tukutuku and ArapaTci work on the walls of the Roman Catholic Church, Ohinemutu, 
Rotorua. Ecclesiastical emblems are imitated in some of the devices. 




















































176 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


the ancient belief was that if the forest-creatures were 
not appeased by supplication and by pious rites when 
a great tree such as a totara was felled by axe and fire, 
the birds and the fairies would set it up again during the 
night. Rata, mentioned in the chant, was a Polynesian 
chief and canoe-voyager who lived centuries ago in one 
of the islands of Polynesia, most probably Upolu, in the 
Samoa Group; the lines alluding to Rata and his children 
memorise the fact that he and his people were great 
carvers and canoe-builders. 

The second karakia in the ceremony was for the 
removal of the enchantment of the carvers’ sacred 
implements, and of the tapu attaching to the carving of 
the trees into the semblance of gods and of sacred 
ancestors. It began :—“Takina te kawa o te whare e tu 
nei, he kawa tuatahi ”—“Rehearse the sacred ritual of 
the house standing here, the first tapu -&verting spell,” 
etc., to the tenth kawa or charm for the lifting of the tapu. 
Then the chant proceeded: “This is the prayer of Maru- 
te-wliare-aitu, of Maru-wliakawliiwhia [deified ancestors 
of the Arawa tribe], the prayer of the house Hau-te- 
Ananui” [a great whare-maire, or sacred house of 
instruction for the priests, which stood in ancient times 
in Arorangi Pa on the eastern slopes of Mokoia Island]; 
and ended with these words, always used at the end of 
invocations of this kind: 


Wliano, whano, 

Haramai te toki, 

Haumi e! 

(Bring hither the axe, 

’Tis finished!) 

The last two lines were repeated by the assembled 
people in a chorused shout. As Tutanekai recited the 
kawa he struck with his taiaha the various carved slabs 
and posts on the front of the house. 

The third and final kawa was the “Ruruku o te 
whare” an appeal to the gods to make the house stable 




T11 E \\ r HAR E-W J1A K AI HO 


177 


and firm, to avert all accidents and ills, and make it a 
warm and pleasant dwelling-place. Lt began: 

Rukutia, 

Rukutia nga pou tanhu 
() to whare nei; 

Rukutia nga poupou 
() te whare nei; 

Rukutia nga tukutuku 
O te whare nei; 

and so on, invoking the gods to bind firmly and make 
strong and fast the various parts of the house, so that 
all its posts and pillars, its rafters and beams and carved 
I slabs, its thatch and roof might stand firm and never be 
overturned. 

Then the chant proceeded:— 

Rukutia, rukutia, 

Kia u, kia man, 

Kai tae mai 
A te Anu-matao 
Ki roto i a koe—e! 

Kia ninihi atn ai 
A Ua-whatu, a Ua-nganga, 

Kai whakamai hoki 
A Hau-nui, a Ilau-roa, 

A Tawhiri-matea. 

Taku hoki i pai ai 
Mo roto ia Tane 
E tu nei-i, 

Ko Maliana, 

Ko Pu-mahana 
Ko Werawera 
Ko Kohakoha, 

Nga tangata mo roto 
I a Tane e tu nei! 

Whano, whano, 

Haramai te toki, 

Haumi e! 

Ui e! 

Taiki e! 

In the above beautiful chant the house is considered 
■ as Tane the Tree-god personified. This is a translation 
' of the invocation: 

“Bind, bind together that all may be firm and steadfast, so that into 
thee, O Tane, may enter not the cold and stormy elements, the Frost-wind, 
the Great-Rain, the Long-Rain, the Cold Sleety Rain, the Hailstones; that 
thou mayst stand against the assault of the Mighty Wind, the Long- 
prevailing Wind, the tempests of the wind-god Tawhiri-matea! May all 
be warm and safe within thy walls! These shall dwell therein—Warmth 
Heaped-up Warmth, and Glowing Heat, Joy and Gladness, these are the 
people who shall dwell within Tane standing here before me! Now ’tis 
done! Bring hither the axe, and bind it on. Our work is o’er! ” 

M 




178 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


And as Tutanekai ended, all the people said—not 
“ Am en,” but its ancient Maori equivalent: 

Haumi-e! 

Ui-e 

Taiki-e! 

Next came the ceremony of takahi-paepae, treading 
the threshold. In accordance with immemorial custom 
this was done by a woman, one of ariki rank, a Ruahine, 
being of necessity chosen for the crossing of the door-sill, 
so that the house might henceforth be free to women to 
enter. This woman was Mere Kanea, daughter of Mita 
Taupopoki, and cousin of Hune, the chief carver. 
Tutanekai, the tolmnga, accompanied her, and gave her 
the customary sacred food, a kumara or sweet potato, 
which had been cooked in a tapu oven, the “tire of 
Ngatoro-i-rangi,” one of the boiling springs. This was 
finally to remove the tapu from the interior of the 
building, so that food might be brought into it, and that 
people might eat and sleep there without fear. 




Chapter XIII. 


THE MAORI CANOE. 


It was in the building and decoration of the war-canoe 
that the Maori gave fullest expression to his industrial 
skill and artistic design. A large thoroughly-equipped 
canoe, riding like a duck on the waters, was a 
beautiful object. With its long narrow hull and its 
high and warlike prow, the war-canoe or waka- 
taua is not unlike the pictures we have of the 
old Viking-ships of the Norsemen. The principal 
districts in which canoes, both large and small, are 
still in use are those of the Waikato and Wanganui 
Rivers, and a number of the rivers which flow into the 
Bay of Plenty, besides several lakes—Rotorua, Rotoiti, 
Taupo, and Waikare-moana. On the Waikato and 
Wanganui scores of canoes are still to be seen, and on 
the former waterway canoeing is given some practical 
encouragement by the paddling regattas held annually, 
at which large sums are offered as prize money. The 
racing canoes are of the class known as waka-tiwai, 
which have no topsides lashed on or carved bow and 
stern pieces. They are, however, of large size, from 50 
to 80 feet in length, and from 3ft. to 5ft. greatest beam. 
They carry crews of from twenty to forty men, and a 
race between two or three of these craft, with a captain, 
or hau-tu, standing amidships encouraging his men with 
chant and shout, is an uncommonly exciting sight. 

I have before me a couple of clippings from illustrated 
papers that are of great interest as showing the close 
resemblance between Asiatic and East Indian boats and 
i canoes and those of the Maori. One is a picture from 
“Leslie’s Weekly” (Feb. 16tli, 1905), showing a long 
Chinese “dragon-boat,” with about fifty half-naked 


179 




180 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


paddlers, winning a race at tlie Hong-Kong regatta in 
December, 1904; the boat is exactly like a Maori canoe 
in outline and has a carved fignre-liead and stern- 
decoration, and a man stands amidships—just like a 
Maori kai-hau-tu —beating a dram to keep the paddlers 
in time,while two others,with fans in their hands, urge on 
the crew. The other picture is one from “The Sphere,” 
a drawing from a photo, by F. Matania, depicting an 
exciting race between large boats, or rather canoes, each 
with fifty paddles going, on a river at Sarawak, Borneo. 
There are fuglemen in these canoes inciting the toiling 
crews, and the whole picture compels close comparison 



L. Hinge , photo. 

Racing Canoes at Ngaruawaliia, Waikato River. 


with our Maori canoe-races. The paddle and the canoe 
are widespread amongst primitive races, but it is curious 
indeed to find the war-canoe race amongst the Chinese, 
who have in other respects nothing in common with the 
Maori. 

The felling of a forest-tree to be hewn into a canoe 
was attended by careful ceremony, up to recent times. A 
tohunga learned in forest-lore superintended the work, 
and recited the proper incantations over the trees and 
over the axes used to fell it. The following was the 
procedure in Taranaki:—AY hen the first chip flew from 
the tree (usually a totara) it was burned in a sacred fire 
which the tohunga kindled some distance away. A 
humara or sweet potato was then roasted, and after 


T1IK MAORI CANOK 


1 SI 


being karakiaW over by the priest, it was taken to the 
tree and placed in the gap from which the first chip had 
been cut. The purpose of this was to whakanoa or 
remove tlie tapu, the sacredness, from the tree, which 
now being made “common’' or noa, was free to the axe 
of the canoe-men. The roasted kumara, now considered 
to he permeated with the tapu of Tane’s holy tree, was 
taken to a hollow tree on the outskirts of the forest, and 
placed within its hollow trunk, and no man could 
approach that tree until the felling of the totara and the 
liewing-out of the canoe had been accomplished. 

Tn the Waikato districts similar customs were 
observed in former days whenever a tree was felled for 
canoe-building; and in addition it was usual to place fern 
fronds on the stump after the tree was felled, to cover 
the naked wounds of Tane. 

Many of the splendid carvings seen in the New Zealand 
museums illustrate the remarkable skill and artistic taste 
which the Maori expended upon the construction and 
decoration of his great waka-taua. The carved figure¬ 
heads were each worked from a solid slab or block of 
totara. To the figureheads a great deal of time and 
labour was devoted, and they were very highly prized; 
no large canoe was complete without one. Most of them 
are beautifully open-worked or fret-worked in the double 
spiral design known as pitau. The term pitau is derived 
from the young just-unfolding fronds of the fern-tree, 
which, some Maoris say, the native carvers took as their 
pattern. Other natural objects, too, provided the Maori 
with inspiration for these and similar patterns—the 
cloud-forms, the web of the spider (the pitau spiral is 
remarkably like a web) the curve of a wave, the singular 
wave-like markings on certain water-worn cliffs; and 
again the pitau may have been derived from the coil of a 
rope, or from the spirals seen in a thumb print—this 
indeed is given by one native wood-carver, as the origin 
of the design. 

The Maoris figuratively speak of a canoe as Tane, the 
God of the Forest personified; it is Tane the Sea-rider. 


182 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Tlie threatening-looking' figure on the prow, with staring 
eyes and arms braced stiffly back, is the forest-god 
dividing the waves before him. 

Some of the beautifully carved stern-posts or taurapa 
are from six to ten feet in height. The stern-post was 
much higher than the figurehead of a canoe, and it stood 
up at right angles or nearly right angles to the hull. 
Like the figurehead, it was carved out of a solid slab of 
totara, the best of timbers for wood-working of this kind, 
and one that would last for generations. 

One or two of the big canoes equipped in the old 
manner of the true ivaka-taua are still occasionally to be 
seen afloat. On Lake Rotorua there is the historic war- 
canoe “Te Iroiro,” which used to carry over fifty 
paddlers, with their arms and supplies. In later years it 
was under the ban of tapu, and lay half buried on the 
shores of Rotoiti, until it was repaired, with a damaged 
section of the hull cut out, refitted with topsides and 
carvings, and once more took the water. 

On the Lower Waikato River is another and larger 
waka-taua , the ‘ ‘ Taheretikitiki, ’ ’ Mahuta’s royal barge, a 
handsome and shapely craft more than eighty feet in 
length, and beamy enough to carry three people abreast 
amidships. The “ Taheretikitiki ” ( meaning literally the 
topknot in which chieftains were anciently accustomed to 
tie up their hair), was cut out of a great forest tree in 
the Kaipara bush many years ago, and is built in several 
sections. The hull is in three pieces, cleverly dovetailed 
into each other, the painted topsides are lashed on with 
flax, the tall stern-post and projecting bow-piece and 
figurehead are bright with carving and red and white 
paint, and from the sheering prow wave long, slender 
feathered puhi or decorative wands, while plumes dangle 
from the lofty stern. 

This Waikato River was lively with fleets of war- 
canoes in the days of old. The canoe-parades at the 
large political gatherings just before the Waikato War, 
too, must have been imposing sights. At the great 
meeting at Rangiriri, on the Waikato, held in May, 1857, 




THE MAOKI CANOE 


183 



Parade of Canoes at a Maori Regatta, Ngaruawahia, Waikato. 





184 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


in connection with the establishment of the Maori 
Kingdom, there were more then 2,000 Maoris. The 
Natives, it is recorded, were mustering for several days 
at Kahnmatnkn, above Rangiriri. The last to arrive 
were the Ngati-Maniapoto tribe. Then, on May the 10th, 
the whole body started down the river “at a tremendous 
pace” for Rangiriri, twelve miles distant, in about fifty 
canoes. 

A canoe-captain is often a brave sight, with his 
feathered head, his warlike air, and his glistening club, 
beating time for the strokes of the paddles. Short sharp 
commands as “Hukere! Hukere!” are given in frequent 
and rhythmic repetition, until the paddles are going well 
all together, taking the water as one. Then comes the 
high lilting boat-song. 

The following is a short specimen of a Waikato canoe 
time-song still occasionally heard; it is chanted by the 
kai-tuki, or kai-hautu, the captain of the canoe, standing 
amidships and waving his paddle or weapon now on 
this side and now on that: 


Kei runga riro 
Nga manu mohio, 
No Mumuhau, 

Ko te Kareto, 
Tirana ka waiho 
Nga ki-titiro. 

A tena, tena! 
linker^, hukere! 


(Translation.) 
Above us fly 
The birds of knowledge, 
Mumuhau and the Kareto, 
Wise birds that bid us watch 
The omens of the sky. 

That’s it, go along! 

Quickly, quickly dip! 


Ngiha te ahi 
Ki Maunga-tautari, 
Ilei a Rangi-ngatata. 
No na no, 

Te huruhuru 
Kei ana tapa. 
llOkere, hukere! 


Yonder burn the fires 

On the slope of Maunga-tautari, 

The fires of Rangi-ngatata. 

See our feathers flying, 

The plumes of our canoe. 

Now quickly dip your blades. 


The two birds mentioned in this song as manu-moJiio 
or “wise birds” were legendary ones that according to 
the Maoris foretold the weather; that is by their cries 
and the manner of their flying the people knew when rain 
or high winds were coming. 


THE MAORI CANOE 


185 


In olden days there were many canoes of large size on 
the waters ol Lake \\ aikare-moana, and the natives of 
the Ngati-Ruapani tribe were expert in the management 
of their long dug-outs; indeed they had need to be for 
furious mountain-squalls frequently swept down on the 
lake, and lashed it to a fury of white water, and the 
canoe-crews caught in these sudden gales had to paddle 
for their lives until they reached tbc shelter of some 
friendly bay. 

A celebrated canoe on Waikare-moana up to within 
recent years was “Hinewalio,” a totara waka of ancient 
build, much used by the Hauhau natives in Te Kooti’s 
wars of 1868-70. A large carved canoe, with topsides, 



L. Hinge, photo. 

Racing Canoes on the Waipa River, at Ngaruawahia. 

etc., was the “Ilinerakai.” Another canoe of those days, 
a very large war-canoe, was the “Tutonga.” Another, 
said to be of unusually great beam, was the “Tarake.” 
This craft, ITurae Puketapu informs me, was capsized in 
the war-days of 1869 when crossing the lake with forty 
of Te Kooti’s armed followers; it was caught in a 
hau-tonga —the dreaded southerly wind—which suddenly 
sprang up when the canoe was off Tikitiki headland. 
Fortunately the land was not very far away, and the 
crew reached it safely, but they lost their guns and 
ammunition. They had put off in the canoe contrary to 
Te Ivooti s instiuctions; and the rebel chief drew a moral 
fi om the accident by pointing out to his superstitious 
warriors that if they had obeyed him, who was the mouth¬ 
piece of God, the canoe would not have been swamped, 





186 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


and that the disastrous liau-tonga was the breath of his 
Atua. 

This is an old Waikare-moana canoe-cliant:— 


Ilukere, ka hiikere! 
Hukere, ka hukere! 
Te iku takoto atu, 
Waenga kia liinga, 
Te kei akina. 

He pi'ko tango mai, 
He rae kape ake. 
Tahi taku pu 
Kia Te Mau-paraoa, 
Neke, nekehia! 


(Translation.) 

Dip fast your paddles, 

All together! 

Bows there—all together! 
Amidships, all keep time! 

Now, stern paddles, all together! 
Round the curving coast we go! 
There, we’ve passed another cape. 
Here I come, bringing my gun 
To Te Mau-paraoa, 

Now, lift her along! 


Another lively canoe-song, reminding one of our 
pakeha sailors’ chanteys, and often used as a liauling- 
cliant when dragging a heavy object such as a log of 
timber or a canoe, is this tau-waka of the Tulioe and 


Ngati-Ruapani tribes: 

Piki, piki, 

Kake, kake, 

Ki te rangi, aue! 

Karearea, karearea, 

Hopu te kiore! 

Hopu ki waenga. 

Po, ka po, 

Haramai ra 
Hei awhi liei ai! 


(Translation.) 

Climb up, 

Soar away, 

To the sky above there, 

As soars the sparrow-hawk. 

See how it darts to seize the rat, 
Darts down upon its prey. 

Come night, come night! 

So swiftly will I dart 
To seek my love! 


The following is another specimen of the Waikare- 
moana boat-songs and “ pulley-haul ey” chants of other 


days:— 


(The Captain, solus : 

A-a! Toia te waka 
(All): 

Toia te waka-e! 
(Captain) : 

Toia te waka! 

(AH): 

Toia te waka 
Ki runga kei te maunga 
E tu mai nei. 

Ka whakatakotoria 
Te ngaro parapara, 

Koa me ho tete waka, 
Me lie pitau whakarei! 


(Translation.) 

Oh, haul up the canoe! 

Haul the canoe! 

Oh, haul up the canoe! 

Haul the canoe! 

Ay, drag up this canoe 
To the mountain-top 
Above us there. 

Lay down beneath its keel 
The skids of parapara, 

Let them be to it 
As a darting figurehead, 

As a scrolled and carven stern! 


TBK MAORI ('ANOK 


187 


The parapara alluded to here is a small tree which 
grows plentifully on the shores of Waikare-moana. This 
was the favourite timber used as skids or rollers when 
launching or hauling up a heavy canoe; it is described 
by the Maoris as a “ rakau Vino mania,” that is to say, an 
exceptionally slippery wood, and one therefore well 
suited for the purpose of rollers. 

One of the paddling-chants of the Arawas (takitaki- 
hoe-waka), centuries old, lends itself to translation thus: 


My great canoe— 

How speeds to shore my long canoe! 
Light as the fleecy cloud above 
That bears to Tauranga my love! 

My carved canoe 
To Riwaru! * 

O dear canoe! 

That featly o’er the waters flew 
Prom Arorangi—Island home 
Par in old Kiwa’s ocean foam. 

The paddles in the toiling hands— 

How plunge they at Ilautu’s commands! 
My own canoe, 

Te Riwaru. 

Oh urge along 
My brave canoe! 

O viewless powers of earth and air, 

O Uru, list! O Ngangana! 

Drive on with lightning stroke and free! 
O’erwhelm with storm our enemy! 

Oh swiftly paddle, swift and true, 

Our proud canoe 
Te Riwaru. 


*The Riwaru was a famous legendary canoe of Hawaiiki, fabled to have 
been built for the Polynesian hero Rata by the forest fairies. 




Chapter XIV. 


TATTOOING. 


The Maori is pre-eminently the face-carver of mankind. 
Other tattooing nations, such as the Japanese, confine 
themselves to the body, sketching indelible pictures often 
from neck to foot, and the old British sailor-man is often 
wondrously moko’d, as the Maori would say. In 
Polynesia the Marquesans and Tahitians formerly 
tattooed their faces in strange patterns. The Samoan 
to-day is almost invariably tattooed, but on the legs and 
body only. No man in Samoa is considered a warrior, 
or is even accounted worthy the name of man until he 
has undergone the process of tattooing. Every adult 
male Samoan is tattooed very closely from the waist 
down to the knees, and the lines of the marking are so 
close together, and so elaborate, that the skin is quite 
covered with the blue-black patterns. At Samoa, during 
the war of 1899, I watched Malietoa’s native soldiers as 
they marched, rifles on shoulders, out of Apia, on their 
daily fighting-expeditions. The sole garment of the 
warriors was a coloured print lavalava , fastened 
round the waist and falling to the knees, and it was 
generally caught up high on one side to show the 
remarkable leg-tattooing. These Samoan jungle-fighters 
were as proud of their barbaric skin-ornament as the 
white soldier is of his smart tunic, his rakish cap, and 
his other martial trimmings. 

But it was the Maori of New Zealand that elaborated 
and perfected the faae-moko , which is the true finishing 
adornment, in his eyes, of the chieftain and the toa. 
Some of the pictures in this hook will give an idea of 
the intricate and really artistic designs expressed in the 


188 



TATTOOING 


18!) 



lace-tattooing. Several of the chief patterns in wood- 
carving will he found reproduced in the fac e-moko of 
the old men, particularly the double spirals on the 
cheeks. There is a special name for each line; the curved 
lines above the eyes, for instance, are known as tiwhana, 
which means to span like a rainbow. Only the Maori 
women now tattoo their faces; the tdnga-moko, face- 
engraving, of the men ceased about the time of the last 

Maori war. The 
sight of a tattooed 
Maori man, once 
so familiar to us 
in the north of 
New Zealand, is 
now very rare in¬ 
deed ; and a few 
years will see the 
| last of the moJco'd 
warriors, their 
faces blue-carved 
and chiselled like 
the graven images 
in their council - 
houses. In North 
Auckland, Wai¬ 
kato, the Bay of 
Plenty coast, the 
Rotorua and Tau- 
po districts, and 
the Urewera coun- 
„ . „ . try there are a 

tew ie±t; and some of these, besides the face-adornment 
of Rauiu s chisel, also have their hips scrolled with the 
tattoo-designs of the rape, or tiki-hope. A really well- 
tattooed old Maori is quite an art-gallery of curious 
devices; and the finely cut designs of scroll-work and of 
curve within curve and spiral within spiral on cheek and 
forehead and nose and cliin give an added force and a 
barbaric dignity to the brown man’s face. One can easily 
imagine how it was that in former days an untattooed 


Ngakuru Pana, a Rarawa Chief, of Wainiamaku, 
Hokianga. 


190 


THE MAOKIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


man was called a “naked fellow.” The term for a face 
devoid of moko is “papa-tea,” which may he interpreted 
as ‘ ‘ bare-boards. ’ ’ 

Some years ago a tattooing - artist from the Urewera 
country made a tour through the Bay of Plenty district, 
performing the operation of tanga-kauae on the chins 
of the young women. He earned considerably over £100 
in cash as the result of his trip, and business was so 
good, in fact, that a Rotorua tohunga of the art 
announced his intention of touring the same district and 


decorating the faces of 
the young ladies at 
prices which, as pakeha 
shopkeepers would say, 
“ def}^ competition.” 
At Rotorua there is a 
female tattooer, a lady 
who combines faith¬ 
healing with kauae- 
engraving. She uses 
needles set in a row 
in the uhi instead of 
the old-stvle chisel of 

\j 

bone or steel. A tat¬ 
tooer of to-day usually 
charges IT or £ 1 10s. 
for the kauae operation 
on the chin of brown 
beauty. 



From a sketch by Major-General Holley. 

A Tattooed Maori Woman. 


T asked Hiki, a handsome half-caste woman, why she 
had submitted to the chisel of the tohunga-td. Said Hiki, 
with a curl of her patrician blue-lined lips, 

“I like it because it is a tohu [a badge] of New 



they squeeze their waists in small, to try and look pretty. 
Well, that is a mark of the pakeha. My kauae is the 
ornament of the Maori.” 

To be tattooed, the fair subject lies down full length 
on a whariki, of flax floor-mat, and the operator squats 


TATTOOING 


191 



behind her, with her head resting against liis knees. 
First of all, the intended pattern is lightly traced on the 
chin, and the artist then sets to work with his little 
chisel, usually ol steel, a blade a couple of inches 
long and less than half an inch broad, fastened to a 
small wooden handle. This is tapped sharply with a 
little mallet or striker. The blood which flows from each 
incision is carefully wiped away, and a tiny stick is 
dipped in the colouring matter and drawn along the 

lines. This colour¬ 
ing substance is 
generally soot col¬ 
lected in burning 
c e r t a i n w o o d s, 
often Jcapara, the 
heart of the white 
pine, sometimes 
from the burnt 
gum of the kauri. 
Songs are some¬ 
times sung during 
the operation to 
distract the atten¬ 
tion of the subject, 
and next day her 
face swells pain¬ 
fully, but soon she 
is herself again, 


Photo by Putman , Auckland. 

Wetanui, a man of the Ngati-Haua tribe, Waikato. 


and very proud of 

her blue-black chin with its lyre-like tracery. 

At Hipaua, the steam-saturated hillside above Te 
Rapa, neai Tokaanu, at the south end of Lake Taupo, 
there is a certain warm bath, a wai-ariki, in which the 
luxury-loving Maoris used to recline when their faces 
were being tattooed, their heads resting on the sinter 
edge of the shallow pool. 

The old Kingite chief Patara te Tuhi (see frontispiece) 
once gave me an account of his face-tattooing, which was 


192 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


done about 1842, at a Maori fisliing camp on Motn-tapu 
Island, in the Hanraki Gulf. The tattooer was a man 
named Mokomoko, from the Waikato. The principal 
part of the tattooing was finished in four days; the work 
on each cheek took one day, that on the nose another, 
and that on the forehead another. The tenderest parts 
were the lips and the corners of the eyes. The 
tattooer used a steel chisel, in place of the toroa, or 
albatross-hone. The ngarahu or blue-black colouring 
matter was obtained by burning the heart of the 
kahikatea pine and collecting the soot, which was then 
mixed with oil and made into small balls. Patara’s 
brother, the late Honana Maiolia, was tattooed at the 
same time; he was tattooed on one hip as well as on the 
face, in the spiral fashion known as the rape. 

This rape design is curiously widespread. In Ratzel’s 
“History of Mankind,” vol. iii., p. 22, there is a picture 
of a tattooed Shuli negro, in the Upper Nile region. His 
face is tattooed, and his thigh is marked in a pattern 
very like the Maori tattoo; there are incomplete spirals 
which resemble the curves of the rape. 

In the South Island I have noticed a peculiar moko 
which has not been recorded by any previous writer, 
though it must surely have been observed by men like 
Hr. Shortland, the Rev. Stack, and the Rev. Wohlers. 
Some of the elders of Ngai-Tahu—I particularly 
remember two old men at Moeraki (see sketches)—were 
tattooed in parallel straight lines horizontally across their 
cheeks, a fashion unknown in the North. Though the 
men I saw had forgotten its origin, this is the old, old 
moko, the last relic of their Eastern Pacific fatherland. 
It is believed to have been the tattooing of Tamatea (Te 
moko a Tamatea), the chief of the canoe Takitimu, who 
settled at the south end of Lake Te Anau, in the South 
Island, six hundred years ago. Tamatea’s tattooing was 
probably identical with the Tahitian and Marquesan 
patterns of rectilinear devices, described by Herman 
Melville in “Typee,” and observed half a century later 
bv Robert Louis Stevenson, whose two-line picture of a 


TATTOOING 


193 

Manpiesan <^liit‘l' in one of his South Sea ballads might, 
no doubt, well apply to the captain of the Takitimu: 

“Kouml all his martial body and in bands across his lace, 

The marks of the tattooer proclaim his lofty place." 

A Wanganui Maori informs me that in his family the 
term Mali id a has been handed down as the name of the 
ancient form of face-tattoo practised bv the people of 
Hawaiiki. 



Olden South Island Maori Tattooing, from sketches at Moeraki, Otago, 1905. 

Major-General Robley, in his book “Moko,” has 
produced a very fine monograph on the subject of tattoo; 
no other man has been able to sketch from life so many 
fine examples of the face-carved warriors of fifty years 
ago. Later came Herr G. Lindauer, whose oil-paintings 
of famous chieftains now passed away are photographic 
in their meticulous fidelity to life. An Auckland art- 
lover and old student of the Maori, Mr. H. E. Partridge, 
has a large collection of Lindauer’s paintings; these are 
housed in a private art gallery which the owner has 
generously thrown open gratuitously for the public view. 
As a study in moko alone the gallery is of great value to 


N 



194 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


those interested in the Maori; the collection should really 
he a national one. Many of the celebrated history- 
makers of the Maori race, both our olden enemies and 
our allies, during the last century, are depicted there— 
dour King Tawliiao, chivalrous Tamati M aka A ene, 
Patuone the peace-maker, Rewi Maniapoto, gigantic 
Wahanui the orator, Taraia the cannibal, Ropata 
Waliawaha; priestly wizards, fierce warriors and noble 



{Stk a a* fit X 


'VJrrrff 


A Maori Chiefs Signature. Tuhawaiiki, a celebrated Ng&itabu rangatira, drew this 
picture of his own face-tattoo on a land-sale deed, about the year 1840. 


women of the native race. A clever artist of the younger 
generation, Mr. Charles P. Goldie, of Auckland, has 
devoted himself to recording on canvas the tattooed laces 
of the rapidly-passing venerable chiefs and rancjatira 
women, and he has produced much splendid work in 
Maori portraiture; some good examples are to be seen 
on the walls of the Auckland Art Gallery and other New 
Zealand galleries. 11 is studies of the fine old chief 










TATTOO I NO 


195 


Datura to Tulii, in particular, have become famous in the 
Dominion. Mi'. Goldie is doing valuable work in this 
direction, and one only hopes he will be able to paint the 
now few remaining tattooed kuumutuas ol A\ aikato and 
Rotorua and Taupo before they, too, pass away to the 
Reinga. 



Chapter XV. 


NATURE-LORE AND FOREST-CRAFT. 


Living very dose to Nature, tlie Maori was an acute 
observer of the ways of the wilds; he caught strange 
whisperings of unknown things, and his mind was 
saturated with the magic and mystery of the bush. The 
forests from which he drew much of his means of life 
were familiar to him from his childhood; they were his 
home, defence, and refuge place; yet he had careful 
respect for the spirits which haunted them, and a dread 
of offending the tupw-hedged deities that made the woods 
their abiding-place; and he has not yet lost that ancient 
instinct. 

He was prone, too, to invest prominent features of the 
landscape, the overhanging cliff and the purple mountain- 
peak, with strange and poetic legends, and with even 
human attributes. Nature-worshipper as he was, every¬ 
thing was personified—the trees, the streams, the rain 
and dew, the mist, the sunshine. As we have seen, in 
previous chapters, he had great respect for the “Wao- 
tapu-nui-a-Tane, ’ ’ the “Vast and Holy Woods of Tane.” 
Tn the moist fogs that rose like fleecy wraiths from the 
rivers and the swamps were the Hau-maringiringi, the 
dewy children of Rangi and Papa. These, too, were the 
divine offspring of the Sky-father and Earth-mother: 
the Ilau-nui and Tomairangi, the dew; Tane-uarangi, 
the heavy rain; Hau-marotoroto, rain in big drops; 
and the grateful warmth of midsummer days was the 
Touarangi. 

With the stars the Maori is familiar from of old, and 
many a curious story he has to tell of the Bright- 
Child ren-of-Rangi. Atutahi or Autahi, the Star of 
the South; Kopu-parapara or Tawera, the bright 

196 



NATUKK-LOKE AN'I> I'OKKST-C BA I'T 


11)7 


morning star, and its harbinger, twinkling Tariao; 
blazing Reliua or Sirius, and Matariki, or the 
Pleiades, these and many another planet and 
constellation are enshrined in song and nature- 
myth, on which many chapters could be written. 
Like (lie Creeks who saw Argo the Ship blazoned in the 
heavens, the Maori sees the starry outlines of classic 
canoes, Te Waka-o-Pipiri, and To Waka-o-Tamarereti. 


The Milky Way is Te Ika Mango-roa, “The Long Shark- 
fish.” The Southern Cross, his ancient steering-mark at 
sea, is Maalni-tonga (Maahu-of-the-South), and again is 
called by some tribes Te Whai-a-Titipa“Titipa’s 
Sting-ray”—probably in allusion to its shape; the 
“Pointers,” Alpha and Beta Centauri, are the tail of the 
starry “Whai.” The Eiu-o-Maahu, or “Maalm’s Hollow 
Trunk” (the hold of a canoe) is the Coal-Sack, the black 


space near the Southern Cross. Te Rua-o-Matariki is 
the cave into which the Pleiades are supposed to 
disappear when they set beneath the horizon. There is 
a poetical expression sometimes used in referring to the 
death of a chief: he has vanished to Matariki’s dark run. 

Tn many native districts there are certain trees which, 
say the Maoris, indicate by their manner of flowering and 
bearing fruit what the season’s weather and the harvest 
will be. On the southern side of Lake Rotoiti, in the 
Arawa country, stand two large and ancient pohutukaiva 
trees famous in the forest and nature-lore of the lake 
people. They are what the Maoris call rakau-tohu-kai, 
“food-prophesying trees,” and rakau-tohu-tau, “season- 
omen-trees.” One, called “Tukurukuru,” stands on the 
cliff-top overhanging the lake at Hauparu, just on the 
western side of that hamlet; the other known as 
“Whakaue,” stands on the western side of Ruato village, 
on the little beach, quite close to the coach road. The 
local Maoris, by noticing the manner of flowering of these 
trees early in the summer, profess to predict to a 
certainty what the season will be in their food planta¬ 
tions, whether good or the reverse. If the pohutukawa 
started to flower on the lowest branches first and so 


198 


THE MAOBIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


gradually burst into blossom from tlie bottom up ( haere 
ake i raro), it is a whakarua , an omen of a warm and 
pleasant season ( tau-mahana ), and a fruitful and 
abundant year for crops. But, if, on the contrary, the 
buds burst first at the top and the tree flowers downwards 
or partially down, it is a tohu-kino, a sign of a cold and 
inclement season ( tau-huka ) and a disastrous year for 
the food gardens, a “hungry year” {tau mate kai). 

A scrap of Rotoiti folk-song describes the order in 
which some of the lakeside trees blossomed and fruited. 


I hea koia koe 
I te whitu, i te warn, 

I te kokatanga o te pohutukawa? 

To te titoki, whero te rata, 

I te waru e. 

(Where indeed were you 

In the seventh month of the year, in the eighth, 
When the buds of the pohutukawa opened? 

Then burst open the red titoki berries 
And the rata’s red flowers appeared 
In the summer-time.) 


The seventh and eighth months of the Maori year 
correspond to our November and December. 

Another item of Lake Rotoiti forest folk-lore:— 
On the cliffy side of lofty Matawhaura Mountain, as we 
pass out of Pararaki Bay, there are a number of large 
and ancient trees growing in a row along the mountain 
wall, and bending downwards over the deep water. They 
are chiefly pohutukawa, with here and there a tawa; 
they grow just below the point known as Te Koroki-te- 
wao. These trees are called by the Maoris “Nga-mokai-a- 
Tarawliata,” which means “Tarawhata’s Slaves.” They 
were so named centuries ago by some of the early lake 


people; Tarawhata was a brother of the renowned 


Hawaiikian ancestor Tuamutua, of six hundred years 
back. The trees used to sigh and loudly complain 
in the frequent strong winds which came down Pararaki 
Bay, and like other prominent cliff-growing trees their 
huge branches would be seen swaying in the air, and 
heard creaking and groaning against each other even 


NATUKK-LOKK and kohkst-crakt 


191 ) 

when the passing air currents failed to disturb the 
sheltered lake below. They make a loud moaning sound 
like “iliHiMM,” says Nga-Mahanga. And there was a 
certain woman of the lake-side tribe who lived in 
Tapuaeharuru village near by. Her husband deserted 
her, and she was like to die in her despair—the 
Maori whakamomori. And as she nursed her grief, 
she remembered how she had listened when out in her 
fishing canoe to the melancholy song ol the mountain 
trees above, and she composed a lament ol which these 
words are part: 

(Translation.) 

Ko te rite i ahau [ am liko yon trees, 

Kai Nga-Mokai-a-Tarawhata, The Slaves-ot'-Tarawhata, 

E au-u nei Crying “Au-n,” 

I nga po katoa; Night after night; 

E an a Tarawhata. I weep like the Slaves-of-Tarawhata. 

From my Maori natural history notes [ take the 
following, given by a member of the Ngati-Rarua tribe, 
Wairau, Marlborough:— 

“The riroriro [grey warbler] is a mcmu moliio, or a 
manu tohunga, that is, a bird of knowledge, one able to 
foretell events. When the riroriro builds its nest high up 
in the trees it is a sign that the summer will be one of 
hau-auru, that is, of westerly winds, which are usually 
accompanied by pleasant and warm weather. But when 
we notice the bird building its nest low down in the 
sheltered branches near the ground, then we know that 
the tau-tonga is coming, a season of cold southerly winds, 
which will be bad for our food cultivations. 

“The cry of the pipiwharauroa [shining cuckoo], 
which arrives here in October from the Pacific Islands, 
is when it first lands ‘ Kii-ui, ku-uiV in a long sweet 
whistle. When we hear this tangi of the pipiwharauroa 
we know that summer is at hand. Then as the year 
advances and the warmth of summer is felt, the bird’s 
note is changed, and it sings quickly and joyously its 
‘Kiii, kui /’ followed by ‘ Whiti-whiti-ora!’ which means 
that the summer has come and that the sunshine is life.” 


200 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Many semi-religious customs and observances were 
observed in the capture of the forest-birds, the flapping 
children of Tiki and Tane. When the season came for 
the snaring of the wood-pigeon, the tui, the kaka, and 
other birds, they were careful to offer the first bird taken 
to the spirit of the forest; were this neglected it would 
be most unwise, for the birds would desert the place. 
In some bush districts there may be seen lying beneath 

trees such as the 
miro, old wooden 
troughs shaped 
like a canoe. They 
have been placed 
there as wakci- 
whangcii , being 
tilled with water 
for the birds. The 
pigeons, when 
thirsty after feed¬ 
ing on the miro 
berries, would i\y 
down to drink in 
the waJca. Just 
above the canoe 
rows of running- 
loop snares (here) 
would be set by 
the bird-hunters, 
and in these snares 
the pigeons would 
often be caught by the neck. The first bird caught would 
never be taken home by the Maoris; it must be left by 
the side of the canoe, dead or alive, as a thank-offering 
to the gods. "When using the long bird-spear they were 
very careful not to allow any blood to touch their hands, 
in pulling out the barb from the bird’s body. Should the 
bird’s blood stain the fowler’s hands, the spear used 
would lose its special viana, and could no longer be used 
with success. 



From a photo by C. Edward *, Mercer, 1898. 

Te Aho-o-te-Rangi, an old Waikato warrior and 
celebrated Canoe-a rch i tect. 





NAT17HK I.OHK AN'I) I'OKEST-CHAI'T 


201 

Opposite Ongarue Station, King Country, on the Main 
1 rimk hailway line, in the hills across tin* Ongarue 
hi\(M', about a mile and a half away, is IV Rongoroa 
hush, a clump of woodland famous from time immemorial 
amongst the Maoris as a place for snaring and spearing 
the tui or parson-bird. At a certain season of the year 
the tui gathers here in great numbers, circling round 
and round with many cries, as if this were some social 
assembly-place of Bird-land. This forest consists of 
timbers which are not the favourite feeding tree's of the 
tui, so that they do not gather here for food. The Maori 
explanation of this congress of the tui is that the 
Rongoroa bush contains the sacred mauri, or talisman, 
of the native birds; this mauri is a stone placed here by 
a tohunga of old, and duly karakia’d over. This emblem 
has ensured an abundance of birds. To this day tui 
abound in the Rongoroa bush in the snaring season, and 
old Tu-tahanga, a member of the Ngati-Maniapoto tribe, 
who lives at the little Maori village of Ongarue, still 
takes out his snaring tackle to the sacred woodland, and 
returns well laden with birds. 

The most rudimentary art of primitive man, the 
obtaining of tire from wood by friction, was often 
practised in the bush in modern times, especially 
in the war-days of the “sixties,” when the Maoris 
seldom had matches and only a few of them 
possessed flint and steel. The' mako, or kaikomako, 
tree was the one most used for fire-making;' 
an expert in bushcraft can obtain fire from a 
good dry piece of this timber in a few minutes. The 
kaikomako is the fire-goddess’s tree, in Maori legend. 
Mahuika was the goddess; she literally had fire at her 
finger-tips. To her the cunning Maui, half god, half 
tnoital, went in the dim old days when wonders w r ere 
vi ought in the Maori Isles of the Sea, and cajoled from 
ler all her fiery finger-nails and toes except one. This 
she refused him, and he by his incantations brought down 
i deluge of rain, which threatened to extinguish the fires 
)f Mahuika. The goddess, to save the remnant of the 


202 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


fire, threw it into the kaikomako tree, which holds it 
to this day. Wherefore it was that the Maori sought out 
the kaikomako in the Great-Forest-of-Tane and with a 
rubbing-stick of taiva wood coaxed the saving tire from 
its heart. 

An old pakelia- Maori, who lived with the Taranaki 
Hauhaus all through the wars of 1865-69, tells me that 
he had frequently to procure tire by friction in this way 
when out pig-hunting or on the war-path. “I would 
hunt around,” he says, “until I found a good dry 
kaikomako , and would set a chunk of this on the ground 
and get to work with a sharp-pointed piece of taiva. The 
dust from the groove formed by the rubbing would collect 
at one end and this would at last ignite, and then I would 
have some dry moss or a piece of old flax mat or some¬ 
thing of that sort ready for the tire. If I wanted to carry 
tire when on the march through the bush, I would cut a 
short piece of the hollow rata vine and set fire to one end 
of it; it would burn away slowly inside, and all I had to 
do was to stuff up the ends and wrap up the rata in moss 
and it would smoulder away slowly for hours. Thus, 
when it was time to camp, we could quickly get a fire for 
warmth and cooking without the trouble of hunting for 
a dry kaikomako and sweating over it with a rubbing- 
stick. ’ ’ 



Chapter XVI. 


SOME FOLK-STORIES 


AND FAIRY-TALES. 


Night after night in the crowded wharepuni , tlie 
strange tales of old were told until every person in the 
community was acquainted with the folk-lore and hush- 
lore and fairy legends of the tribe. The Maori’s belief 
in the unseen and the supernatural is deep-rooted, and 
is intensified by his life in a bush country; he feels from 
his earliest years the soul-mastering grip of the forest. 
The bush-dwelling tribes like the Frewera are 
full of singular beliefs that are a reflex of the 
vast untrimmed wilderness in which they live. When 
the Hauhau war of the sixties began, the semi- 
civilised Maori cast off the tatters of white missionary 
teaching, the only half-comprehended ideas taught by 
the white man’s church and school, and back in the great 
bush stood in his wholesome savage skin again. 

Many a blue and misty mountain was an enchanted 
place, the bower of the fairies, the Patu-paiarehe. Mount 
Pirongia, in the Waikato, is one of these, the fabled 
abode of hosts of fairies, who, it is said, take a malicious 
delight in making periodical nocturnal excursions to the 
home of the plains-dwelling Maori and carrying off their 
wives. The “little folk” peopled the high mist-laden 
ridges and dim gloomy valleys, and in the dark moonless 
nights the lone Maori eel-fisher out on the Waipa banks 
would hear them singing their fairy songs, and would 
take good care that his torch did not go out, for fairies 
fear the fire of mortals. 

Another famous fairy-mountain is Ngongotaha, close 
to Lake Rotorua. When the mists hang low on the ferny 
flanks of Ngongotaha, say the old Maoris who live 
below, the Patu-paiarehe are abroad, and it is not wise to 


203 


204 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


go up there pig-lmnting on such a day. The fairies were 
sometimes heard singing their fairy hakas. The elder 
people say that long ago their fathers heard these dance- 
songs chanted high up in the mountain, on still calm days 
when fog enveloped the upper parts of the range. This 
is one of the fairy liakas, as recited by old Huhia: 


Horahia te marino, 
Horaliia i Rotorua; 
Tukua te rangi mo te ruri, 
Kia rerehu-i 
E hinawa-e! 


Spread out below lies Rotorua Lake; 
How calm and still it lies! 

This is our dav for dance and song. 
How far the sound will travel! 


Te Rii and the Enchanted Forest. 

One night some years ago, as the people of a little hapu 
on the Upper Waitara River, in Taranaki, sat smoking 
their pipes of strong torori round the tire in the whare- 
puni, after the prayers were over, the rambling white 
man who was camped with them asked Hakopa, the chief, 
to tell him of the fairy people of the bush, of whom he 
had heard much but had never had the fortune, good or 
ill, to encounter in all his wanderings. 

“Friend,” said the old man, “the Patu-paiarehe are 
still a numerous people in this land, and their dwellings 
are the great bunches and bushes of kiekie and 
kowharawhara which you see growing in the forks of the 
forest trees. They live ever in the forest, and you may 
pass their homes a hundred times and never see them, 
yet they are still there, as I myself well know, for I have 
seen them in the night and heard them singing their 
fairy songs.” 

“And I, too, have heard the Patu-paiarehe, and T do 
not wish to hear them again.” 

Tt was Te Rii, the Red-head, who broke in on old 
JTakopa’s explanation of the habits and customs of the 
Patu-paiarehe. 

Te Rii was a Ngati-Maru man, a bearded middle-aged 
follow with a shaggy head of hair that had the fair 
coppery tinge called by the Maoris uru-kehu or “red 
hair.” 



SO.MK FOLK STOKIKS ANI) FA I It Y-TA LKS 


205 

lit 1 liad lived nearly all his life in the bush country of 
tli(‘ l pper Waitara, and talk of the fairies and the woods 
s(‘t him story-telling. He handed his pipe to his 
neighbour at the fireside, a young 1 woman, who put it in 
her mouth and sucked at it contentedly. 

“It was up on the ridge of hills called the Pae-Patu- 
paiarehe that \ fell in with the fairies,” said Te Rii. 
“This ridge of rough mountainous land is covered 
everywhere with thick forest. It lies away on the upper 
part of this Waitara River, not far from Purangi 
village. The bush there is full of birds, and it is a 
grand place for the fruit of the kiekie, but there is a 
peculiar thing about the kiekie there—the fruit is quite 
red inside, instead of being white as it is elsewhere. This 
is because it is the food of the fairies; and if we go there 
for that fruit we shall have to propitiate them with a 
karakia , else things may perhaps not go well with us. 

“Immediately a stranger, a Maori or a pakeha of this 
outer world, enters those tapu forests his presence is 
detected by the fairies, and they will sometimes play 
stiange ti icks on him. He will perhaps hear a strange 
wild woman’s voice calling, thin and high, our Maori cry 
of welcome to visitors: 

“Haere-mai e te manuhiri tuarangi,” 

and so on, but when he follows in the direction whence 
the invitation came, he will find no one—it was the 
phantom voice of the Patu-paiarehe. 

“Now, some years ago, I went up to the Pae-Patu- 
paiarehe hunting the wild pig. Up near the top of the 
forest range I killed a pig, and after cleaning it I 
strapped it on my back, with bands of flax over each 
shoulder, and started to return to my camp in the bush 
below. The country was all ridges and gullies—so, like 
the fingers of my hand—and everywhere the trees, and 
ferns and shrubs grew thickly and were tied together 
with vines and kareao, and the fairy flax, the 
kowharawhara, grew in great hunches of long leaves in 
the tree-forks. I walked on and on, and scrambled 


206 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


through tlie gullies and up and down steep banks, and 
after travelling a long time I suddenly came on the very 
place where I had killed the pig. I had lost my way. 

I started off again, and walked and walked, with my 
pikau of dead pooka on my back getting heavier and 
heavier. At last, after I had travelled a great way, 
seeing nothing but the trees around me, I found myself 
back at the same place again! Aue! It was witchcraft 
or something very like it, I thought. I began to be in 
great fear of the fairy forest, but it was now very nearly 
dark, and I could not travel out of it by night. So I 
camped where I was, and kindled a fire with my flint and 
steel to keep myself warm and frighten the Patu-paiarehe ; 
and the Maero away. And I lay down by the fiie and 
kept it going till late. I had thought to stay awake all I 
night, for fear of the fairies, but I was very weary, and 
I fell to sleep. 

“Nothing harmed me in my sleeping. When I rose in 
the morning, and I was about to strap my pikau of meat 
on my back, I saw a stick lying on the ground in front 
of me. Just as my eyes lighted on it, I saw it move. 
Aue! He rakau tipual An enchanted stick! I started 
forward and seized it.” 

“E—el but that was brave of you, Red-head,” said one j 
of the women, taking her short black pipe from between 

her tattooed lips. I 

“Ae pea!” (“Yes! perhaps it was”) said Te Bii 
modestly. “Anyhow, I took hold of the stick. As soon 
as 1 grasped it I felt it move and draw me away. I did | 
not let go though I knew there was wizardry in it, but it 
was daylight now, and 1 did not feel as much fear as in 
the black night. I retained hold of one end of the stick 
and it drew me on and away; the fairies had hold of 
the other end, though 1 could see no one. I left my pig 
lying on the ground; tlie stick would not wait for me to 
take it, and 1 thought it best to leave it there as a peace¬ 
offering to the spirits of the bush. The stick led me down 
out, of the forest and set me on the homeward path, and j 
then it vanished. And as 1 left the forest of enchantment i 



SOME KOLK-STORIEK AND FAIRY-TALES 


207 


I heard a voice call after me, a thin voice from the 
shadows of I lie hush, 

<k> (io, and beware! Do not come into these forests of 

ours a grain!’ ” 


The Loves of the Mountains. 

Many a singular folk-storv and nature-mytli story 
clings round the mountains of Maori Land. As an 
example, there is the tale of Kakepuku and Kawa. 

Mount Kakepuku is a remarkable hill in the valley of 
the Waipa, just within the northern boundary of the 
King ( ountry. It is an ancient trachytic volcano-cone 
whose fern-clad spurs rise from the plain until they 
culminate in a crater summit some fourteen hundred feet 
high. Kakepuku is a perfect type of a dead volcano, with 
its hollow, basin-like head; it is all rich volcanic soil, with 
patches of bush in the gullies. Away up on the mountain¬ 
side, in the warm sheltered hollows between the ferny 
ridges, the Maoris grow early potatoes to perfection. A 
few miles to the east of Kakepuku stands Kawa, a 
rounded hill with a crater on its southern side and its 
slopes cut into the terraces of an ancient pa. The Main 
Trunk Railway now passes between these two hills, a 
few miles beyond the Puniu. 

Now, in the dim long ago, says the Maori, these 
mountains were sentient beings, with human-like 
passions. Kawa was a female mountain; Kakepuku was a 
male. ^ And in those days there stood near Kakepuku 
and Kawa another hill called Karewa, who was also a 
man-mountain. Kakepuku had come originally from the 
South, “searching for his father.” He was strolling in 
mountainous fashion up the Waipa Valley, when he spied 
Kawa, the daughter of Mounts Pirongia and Taupiri 
and fell in love with her. So he remained there, by the 
side of the Kawa Hill. Karewa and Kakepuku both made 
fieice love to Miss Kawa after the primitive fashion of 
volcanoes, and, for jealousy of each other, quarrelled 
The result was a Titanic fight, a battle of the mountains' 





208 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Karewa was badly beaten by his big rival, and had to 
“trek.” He took np his rocky traps in the night and 
marched westward by way of Kawliia, striding into 
the deep ocean, and there he let down his moorings 
and stayed where the dawning found him. And so out 
in the Tasman Sea to this day sits the lone isle of 
Karewa (which the pakeha calls Gannet Island), while 
back in the valley of the Waipa Mount Kakepukn keeps 
a majestic watch over Kawa, his gently rounded, fern- 
clad spouse. 

Kakepnku is the weather-glass of the country-side. 
When he puts on his white cloud-cap and his old crater- 
mouth is hidden in the fog you had better not start 
out for a ride without your mackintosh strapped on 
your saddle-bow. But when on Kawa’s ferny head the 
soft wet mists come down and when the long wispy 
streamers of damp smoke-like vapour cling round her 
terraced slopes, and then are wafted over the plains on 
the gentle seawards-blowing breeze—that is Kawa 
sending her tearful mihi of love and sorrow to her far-off 
lost lover Karewa. 

Another mountain of which one hears Maori folk-tales 
is Tokatoka, a shapely pointed peak on the Northern 
Wairoa riverside. The legend says that in the mist- 
laden days of the past, Tokatoka, like many other 
mountains, had human attributes and the power of 
moving from place to place. He was originally the 
vassal of the chieftain Manaia, who came to New 
Zealand from the South Sea Hawaiiki, and whose 
petrified form you may see looming majestically above 
you as you steam out of Whangarei Heads. Manaia, in 
a fit of anger, evicted his mountainous satellites, 
Tokatoka, Maungaraho, and Taungatara, and kicked 
them out westward. So all through one night the solid 
hills took their strange flight across country, marching 
over mountain and plain and crossing wide rivers 
at a stride. Taungatara was the swiftest traveller, and 
had reached the West Coast when the daylight came and 


SOM K KOLK-STORIRS AND I'AIRY-TALES 


209 


stopped his magic pilgrimage. (It is curious that in all 
these I airy stories and mountain-myths the daylight ends 
the enchantment.) Tokatoka and Maungaraho were less 
Heet, and I he day-dawn fixed their rocky feet on the 
eastern side of the tidal Wairoa. Maungaraho you 
can see, too, from the river at Tokatoka—a great black 
rocky splinter like some Titanic arrow-head; from 
another view-point higher up the Wairoa its bald summit 
has the gigantic shape of a cathedral dome. It is an 
immense mass of volcanic rock. The upper portion of 
the peak is largely composed of loose stone; it is said 
that when a thunderstorm prevails the whole mountain 
seems to be a-quiver, the myriads of rocky fragments 
shaking and rumbling and quaking with each reverbera¬ 
tion as if the mountain were trembling before the 
artillery of the sky. 



A Taranaki woman, wife of Tutauge Waionui, 
of Pariroa, Patea. 


O 








Chapter XVII. 


OMENS, TIPUAS, AND TANIWHAS. 


Every Maori tribe lias its omen-mountain, where 
lightning flashing in a peculiar manner, particularly in 
fine calm weather, is read as an omen of death or 
misfortune. In Waikato and other districts these 
mountains are called mcLunga-hikonga-uiva ,—“peaks 
where lightning flashes”; in the Urewera country they 
are known as rua-koha ; in the Hot Lakes district as 
rua-kanapa. A noted rua-kanapa in the Lakes Country 
is Matawhaura mountain, at the eastern end of Rotoiti; 
lightning flashes darting downwards from immediately 
above this peak are interpreted as an omen of death for 
members of the Ngati-Pikiao tribe, of Eotoiti. Else¬ 
where, Moehau, or Cape Colville, Rangitoto (the King 
Country range), Pirongia, Wharepulmnga, Karewa 
Island, are such peaks of omen. Rangitoto is the 
lightning mountain of the Ngati-Matakore tribe, of the 
Rohepotae. When lightning flashes straight downwards 
on that range a chief of the tribe will die. Says a song 
of lamentation: 

“ Fearfully flashes the lightning 
On Rangitoto’s peak. 

’Tis a message to me, 

A sign of Death 

To my children, to my tribe, 

Of evil to fall upon 
The people. ” 

Te Kauae—“The Jaw”—the bold ridge, bare of trees, 
which stretches out from Ngongotaha mountain towards 
Lake Rotorua, and ends in a steep rock-strewn and fern- 
clad bluff, sloping abruptly to the plain close to the 
railway line, is a lightning-mountain of great man a. It 
is regarded by the Arawa as a place of omen, and it is 


210 





OMENS, Tll'UAS, AND TANIWHAS 


moreover tapu because of the fact that in the rocky caves 
and recesses on its face lie the hones of many generations 
of the people. It was Ngati-Whakaue’s great burial-place, 
and it is their rua-kanapa. The portents are read 
thus: When two flashes of lightning are seen, in 
tine weather, in quick succession like the opening and 
closing of one’s hand, above the Tvauae Bluff, then a 
rangatira-taitamariki, a young chief of the tribe will 
quickly die. Should three or more bright flashes be seen 
in quick succession, a rangatira kaumatua, an aged man, 
is called for by the gods, and will presently pass to the 
Reinga-land. 

When the last high chief of the Ngati-Whakaue, the 
aged Petera te Pukuatua, died at Otaki in 1906, this 
lightning portent was seen, say the Ohinemutu people. 
It was a calm still evening, and the people were 
gathered in the marae in front of Tama-te-kapua, the 
carved meeting-house, after the evening meal. Suddenly, 
as some of them happened to be looking out to the 
westward, they saw four bright flashes of lightning in 
quick succession, just above the sacred mountain. 

“Aue /” they cried, “he aha ter a! Ka mate he 
rangatira /” (“Alas! What is that? A chief will die!”) 

There was much anxious speculation that night as to 
whom the tohu-aitua, the death warning, indicated, but 
next morning it was explained. A telegram arrived 
from the South announcing the death of Petera, who, 
although the head-chief of Ohinemutu, had lived for 
several years near Otaki, where he had married a Ngati- 
Toa woman. The old rangatira had left his people and 
his land, but when at last his spirit, his wairua, left his 
body it returned to his tribe, say the Maoris, and above 
the sacred mountain of his homeland it announced its 
passing by the lightning flashes that all might know, and 
then it flitted northward on its way to the Leaping-place- 
of-Souls, the Rerenga-wairua, at the far Land’s End. 

Strange tales are told about enchanted trees and 
demon-haunted logs, which sail uncannily about the 


212 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


lakes and rivers, plunging along like the Flying Dutch¬ 
man, head to wind. Says old Nga-Mahanga, of the 
Ngati-Pikiao tribe, Rotoiti:—- 

“In my younger days there was an enchanted tree, a 
sacred taniwha- log, which used to drift about this lake, 
Rotoiti. Its name was Mataura. It had originally been 
a pou-tau-koura, that is a post to which the crayfish nets 
were fastened or stretched for drying; it stood on the 
east side of Pateko Islet, the side facing Tapuaeharuru 
village, but it broke adrift and used to go sailing about 
the lake, and it was regarded as a taniwha [demon]. Its 
owner was one Kalm-Pukatea, of the Waitaha tribe, and 
he alone could approach it. It was a toliu-aituci, an evil 
omen, to see it at close quarters, should one be out in a 
canoe; it usually appeared to the people only as a har¬ 
binger of misfortune or death. Should you come across 
it in a year when war prevailed, it was a sign that there 
would shortly be a battle in which many lives would be 
lost. Should you see it in a tau-aio, that is, a year of 
peace and quietness, it was an omen of misfortune to 
your tribe in the form of a fatal visitation of sickness 
or of deaths caused by makutu —witchcraft. It was last 
seen floating about, with its head raised above water, in 
the year of the great fight at Te Ranga, near Tauranga 
[in the year 1864] when the white soldiers so terribly 
defeated the Maoris and shot and bayoneted many of 
the Ngaiterangi and also the Ngati-Pikiao of this 
district, and the Ngati-Rangiwewelii of Rotorua.” 

Another eccentric timbev-taniwha that used to go 
cruising round Rotoiti was a totara- log called “Te 
Upoko-o-Huraki-tai” (“Huraki-tai’s Head”). It was 
a rakau-tipua, a magic tree. Lt would go sailing about 
the lake, witli a broken branch at one end sticking up 
above the water, and sometimes when it appeared at 
Tapuae-haruru, at the eastern end of the lake, the 
people would go out to it and would recite karakia or 
charms to propitiate the spirit which inhabited it and 
would adorn its branching head with feathers, just as if 
it were a living person. 




OMKNS, TIPUAS, AND TAN IW HAS 


Another Maori banshee was—and perhaps still is 
the enchanted log Rangiriri, which, when I last heard 
of it, lay stranded below Dargaville, on the Northern 
Wairoa River. Rangiriri is a rakau tipua, a demon-tree. 
It is a log of totara, whose erratic cruises up and 
down the river were looked on by the Ngati-Whatua 
natives with superstitious dread. Rangiriri used to play 
some <|ueei* pranks on the Wairoa. Ife would sometimes 
run into a raft of logs and break it up for sheer devil¬ 
ment. I To would he seen steering straight up the river, 
with his wooden tail sticking up, right against tlx; ebb¬ 
tide, or he would take a run down stream in spite of the 
fact that a strong flood-tide was setting in his teeth. 
That sort of thing invested him with supernatural 
attributes. Often, again, a bird, a kukupa (pigeon), or 
a kawau (shag)—the bird of ill-omen—would he seen 
perched silently on the log as it ploughed its ghostly way 
through the yellow waters of the Wairoa. That was a 
sign that never failed. It told the riverside people that 
some one of their headmen was soon to die. As fateful 
and significant an omen as the down-flashing of the 
summer forked-lightning on the sacred peak of Tutamoe 
was the appearance of that demon-log at a kainga on the 
river-bank. When Rangiriri leaves his bed on the muddy 
shores and goes nosing up the river, ’tis not long before 
the tangi’s mournful wail will be raised along the 
Wairoa.* 

This and other weird folk-tales of the Wairoa were 
told me once by the late chief Te Rore Taoho. He was a 
wizened grey old fellow, wearing a fine shark’s-tooth 
pendant in each ear. Squatting beside him in his 
weatherboard house by the Kaihu’s banks, was another 
veteran, the tattooed, saturnine Iiapeta. And the tales 
came forth of the Taniwhas of the Kaipara and Wairoa. 
There were taniwhas and demons of land and water 


"“Here (at Brereton, in Cheshire) is one thing incredibly strange; but 
attested to myself by many persons, and commonly believed. Before 
any heir of this family dies there are seen in a lake adjoining, the bodies 
of trees swimming on the water for several days. ”— Camden’s “Britannia.” 




214 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


haunting all this district, said the old men, in the days 
that are past. From the Kaipara Heads right up the 
Wairoa and the Kaihu, these dragons and leprechauns 
held sway. The high clay and sandy hills at the mouth 
of the Kaipara were once the homes of powerful sea- 
gods. If a canoe and its crew disappeared there, was it 
not the work of the water-monster, who raised the angry 
waves and drew the dug-out and paddlers down into his 
awful maw? Koia ano! These taniwhas must certainly 
be propitiated if the mariner is to live. And when pcikeha 
ships go to pieces on the Kaipara Heads shoals, who 
shall say that it is not the work of the taniwhaf 

The great dragon of the Kaipara was Pokopoko 
(apparently a deified or taniwha- fied hero of olden days) 
who dwelt in a cave under a half-tide rock at the western 
head of the Kaipara River, close to which the white 
man’s steamers pass. Not far away is Shelly Beach, a 
native settlement, and in its vicinity are the vestiges of 
a cliff on which once stood the great Okaka Pa. This 
was Pokopoko’s hunting-ground. Here he was wont to 
assemble his army of sea-monsters, of gambolling 
taniwhas and maraki-hau ; they would gather here and 
perform their singular evolutions before the dread 
cavernous eyes of their sea-lord. And he would place 
his sacred brand on their backs, a mark in kokowai 
(red ochre), and the wonderful inspection parade 
of the Maori Tritons would be dismissed. The 
only taniwhas, say the Northerners, who would 
not bow before Pokopoko and submit to the sea- 
god’s ear-mark were Niua and Arai-te-uru, who 
now dwell under the Heads of Hokianga Harbour. 
Possibly the sea-creatures of Pokopoko’s marine parade 
were a school of blackfish, or of porpoises, or a herd of 
the vanished sea-lions, which would readily become 
taniwhas to any Maori of a reasonably imaginative 
mind. 

Seven generations ago Pokopoko destroyed the Okaka 
Pa and all its inhabitants. A tohunga named Mawe, 
who cherished a grudge against the Ngati-Whatua 


OMHNS, TIPUAS, AND TANIWHAS 


215 


people of the Kaipara, journeyed here from the Bay of 
Islands and invoked the assistance of the Lord of the 
Taniwhas. He performed his makutu ceremonies and 
repeated liis incantations, and called upon Pokopoko to 
rise and destroy the Pa which stood on the cliff-top. 
And tlie monster, responding, roused himself in his salt- 
sea cave, hung with thick waving masses of kelp. He 
raised his voice in a growl like the rolling of thunder, 
and burrowed under the cliff-face, and fhe winds and 
the waves came at Popopoko’s call, and lightnings 
flashed and thunder crashed, and in the turmoil of the 
elements the Pa collapsed, the hill crumbled, tottered 
and crashed down into the furious surf, carrying with it 
the people and their dwellings. All perished and Mawe’s 
victory was complete, and what a feast was Pokopoko’s 


when Okaka fell! 

Taniwha tales are legion in the Rotorua-Taupo 
country. This is one which has not been previously told 
in print. The Utuhina stream, like most of the other 
watercourses flowing into Rotorua Lake, was in Maori 
legend the haunt of several malevolent reptilian 
monsters, described by the imaginative natives as 
resembling gigantic lizards, which were man-eaters. 1 he 
principal creature of this kind which inhabited the 
Utuhina was called Korowhakatupua, and was a member 
of a numerous family of ngarara or taniwha, one of 
which lived in Ruapeka Bay, Ohinemutu. Korowhakatu¬ 
pua was a female ngarara ; she made her watery home in 
a deep hole at the side of the stream where a powerful 
spring bubbles up from mysterious depths. This water- 
hole or rua is about three miles up the stream from the 
lake; the place is marked by a large tawa tree standing 
near by. She was the mohai or pet of a chief whose 
village stood on the banks of the river, but, as the legend 
shows, she was a rather dangerous and vindictive kind of 
mohai to have around. One of the wives of the chief 
had in some way offended the ngarara, who straightway 
laid in wait to kill her. One day the woman went down 
to the stream in order to catch hour a, or crayfish. 


216 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Wading 1 into the water, she began to pick up the 
wriggling hour a from the sandy bottom, placing them 
in the flax basket that she carried slung over her bare 
shoulders. The river-demon, in order to entice her 
further in, cunningly stirred up the sand, and made the 
hour a come out in numbers, so that the woman, delighted 
with the abundance of the little crayfish, waded into 
deeper water, intent on filling her basket. All at once, 
when she was in as deep as her waist, the scaly monster 
seized her, and opening his tremendous jaws swallowed 
her, hour a, basket and all, first biting off her head, which 
she spat out and set on a flat stone at the river-edge, as 
a warning to others not to offend the Taniwha and 
Ngarara family. There the head long remained, no one 
daring to touch it; and there is the very rock to this day 
to convince all unbelievers, white or brown, of the truth 
of this tale of the Taniwlia* 


Several other Rotorua taniwha stories speak of these legendary water- 
monsters as having been kept as mokai or “pets” bv certain chiefs A 
very suggestive parallel, and possible source of these stories, is the ancient 
Egyptian practice, as mentioned by Dr. Kitto in his Biblical notes of 
keeping and feeding tame crocodiles. The same custom has been noted 
amongst he negroes of West Africa. Dr. Kitto identifies the crocodile 
ot the Nile with Leviathan as described in the Book of Job. 







Chapter XVI [T. 


THE POETRY OF THE MAORI. 


Full of bold images of speech and often of much 
pathos and beauty are the elegiac ballads and dirges 
aa 1 11 <'1 1 foim probably the largest section of the poetry of 
the Maori. The mourners as they gather on the marae 
at the wailing-place liken the dead chief to a lofty forest- 
tree overthrown —‘‘kun hinga te totara ”—to a carved 
war-canoe shattered by the waves; to a sweet singing- 
bird whose voice is hushed. The leading men of the 
assembled tribes will pace to and fro, tine flax or feather 
mats thrown across their shoulders, over their European 
clothes and greenstone, whalebone or wooden weapons, 
cherished family heirlooms, in their hands, and thus 
address the dead:— 

“Go, 0 Sire! Go to the black pit of death! Go to the 
Reinga, the Ieaping-off place of departed spirits! 
Popart to the underworld, to the home of Hine-nui-te-Po 
[The Great Lady of Night], for that is the great abode 
ot us all! Go to greet your ancestors who have gone 
before you! Go! ” 

And then they will chant a wild lament in which often 
the whole assemblage joins, a tangi -poem perhaps 
centuries old. 

And again: 

“Who is this person, Death? [Ko wai tenei tangata 
Aituaf] Had lie but taken the form of a man I could 
fight him with this taiaha of mine! But he is intangible 
and he cannot be conquered.’’ 

Many a chanted lament heard in the kainga echoes 
the words of Ossian, bewailing the deaths of Rvno and 
Orla: 

‘‘They have fallen like the oak of the desert; when 
it lies across a stream and withers in the wind.” 


217 



218 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


In the flying clouds, the passage of the wind, the 
surging sea, the on-rolling river, the Maori singer finds 
inspiration. A deserted wife chants: 

The sun shines forth, 

Pleasant, to the skin; 

But thou art gone. 

The tideway rolls, 

Down speeds the swift river; 

But the husband comes not again. 

Yet on this salt sea-breeze 
He may return to me. 

A native lament frequently begins with such lines as 
these: 

E to e te Ra, rehurehu ki te rua; 

Ringi-ringi a wai te roimata i aku kamo. 

(The sun is setting, sinking to his ocean cave; 

Like water the tears flow down my cheeks.) 

And an ancient man, seated on some tree-shaded 
eminence overlooking his ancestral lands, chants in his 
droning sing-song a lament for his old home and his 
friends of other days: 

Rippling afar are the 
Waters of Waikato, 

Parted from you am I 
By the fast-flowing tide. 

Oh, shores of Kawhia, 

Separated I ’in from you 
By the swift-speeding, 

Fast-rolling tide. 

Another song of love and regret, a uillii avoha, begins: 

The fresh South wind, 

Blowing cold from Tongariro’s snows, 

Feeds upon my skin; 

and in the breeze the singer imagines the message of 
a parted friend is borne to her. 

Love-songs or pao and rurerure, too, form a large 
section of Maori poetry. Many of these are historic, 
handed down by word of mouth. The romance of 
Hinemoa and Tutanekai, for instance, is simg in eveiy 
village of the Arawas. One day on Mokoia Island, a 
blue-tattooed old dame said: 



THE POETRY OK THE MAORI 


219 


“Liston, () pakvha! This is tin* koauau song handed 
down amongst our people, the waiata which Tutanekai 
composed for a flute-song, when he and Tiki played 
to Hinemoa of Owliata’’—and she wagged her close- 
cropped venerable head, and imitated the sound of the 
playing of the koauau, the nose-flute, with the breath 
of the nostrils, and at the same time the nasal long- 
drawn singing of the waiata: 


“Nn-a te waka-ra 
Kai te Kopua-a, 

Hai-i wa-aka mai mo-ou 
KL-i Mokoia-a. 

Kai rangi na koe-e, 

Kai rangikura-a te tau-e! 

Ko’ai ra-a i runga 
I-a-a Iri-iri-Kapua? 

Ko Hinemoa pea-a, 

Ko te-e tamahine o-o Umukaria-a; 
Hai tau naku ki te whare ra-a.” 


(Translation.) 

‘‘In yon canoe 

Thou’It paddle to Mokoia’s isle. 
Kroni heaven art thou, 

From heaven’s crimson light, 

O darling of my heart! — 

See yonder lonely form 
On Iri-kapua’s distant rock— 
Perchance ’tis Hinemoa, 

The maiden child of Umukaria— 
A loving wife of mine thou’It be.” 


‘And this,’’ said the tattooed descendant of Hinemoa, 
‘‘is the song which Hinemoa is said to have sung as she 
sat lonely on yon rock at Owliata when she found that 
she could not launch a canoe to paddle to her Tutanekai” 
—and she chanted a plaintive little low-pitched waiata: 

‘ 1 Aue, my well-beloved! 

Oh that thou would ’st come for me! 

Then searching, slowly paddling, 

Thy willing bride would’st find, 

And both would flee together. 

Here on this lonely resting-place, 

Like grey night-owl, 

I sadly crouch and wait. 

Would that I were in thy dear home, 

On Whitirere’s threshold there above! 

I’d greet thee fondly and embrace 

Thy lordly form, with chief’s tattoo adorned— 

O lover mine! ’ ’ 


An often-sung waiata-aroha or pao to-day is the 
pretty love-song which begins: 


Ho'kilioki tonu mai te wairua o te 
tau, 

Ki te awlii-Reinga ki tenei kiri-e! 

I tawhiti te aroha e pai ana e te 
tau. 

Te paanga ki te uma mamae ana, e 
te tau! 


(Translation.) 

Oft the spirit of my love returns to 
me 

To embrace in Reinga-land 
This form of mine. 

Though far away, I ever dream 
Fondly of thee, 

And a sweet pain is ever in 
My bosom, 0 my Love! 


220 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Another poetic love-song with some beautiful meta¬ 
phors is the following, which I first heard sung in a poi- 
chant by a party of Wanganui and Turakina girls: 


Wliakepukepuke ai au-e! 
Te roimata i aku kamo, 
He rite ki te ngaru 
Whati mai waho-e! 

Taku turanga ake 
I te take o te rata, 

Ka titiro atu 
Ki te akauroa-e! 


(Translation.) 

Like a flood, ah me! 

The tears flow from mine eyes; 
They burst like ocean-waves 
Breaking yonder on the shore. 
Ah me! 

Lonely I sit 
Beneath my rata tree, 

Gazing, ever gazing 
Upon the long sea-strand. 

Ah me! 


Ko te rite i aku kamo 
Ki te pua korari; 

Ka pupuhi te hau, 

Ka maringi te wai-e! 


My weeping eyes 
Are like the drooping flax-flowers; 
When the wind rustles them, 
Down fall the honey showers. 

Ah me! 


Ko te rite i ahau 
Ki te rau o te wiwi, 

E wiwiri nei 

He nui no te aroha-e! 


I am like unto 

The leaves of the wiwi- reed— 
Quivering, shaking, trembling 
With the strength of my love. 
Ah me! 


He arolia taku hoa 
I huri ai ki te moe, 

Hei hari atu 

Ki raro Reinga e te tau-e! 


Ah! Once love was my companion 
When I turned me to slumber; 

It was the spirit of my love 

That joined me in the Land of Dreams. 


The Dirge for Morere. 

The most beautiful native waiata-tangi or lament I 
have ever heard, I think, is the Taranaki dirge for the 
Hauhau warriors who fell on the fatal glacis of Sentry 
Hill in 1864, when the rifles and the cohorn mortars of 
the British garrison poured a shower of death on the 
prophet TTepanaia and his charging fanatics, who boldly 
advanced on the redoubt in open day. It is often sung 
to-day in the villages of the Ngati-Ruanui and Nga- 
Ruahine on the Waimate Plains, and from Waitara to 
the foot of Taranaki Mountain. It is Tamati Hone’s 
lament for his sons and tribesmen who were killed at Te 
Morere, as the Maoris called the ferny mound (near the 
present railway station at Sentry Hill, North Taranaki) 
on which the redoubt of 1864 stood. 





'I’ll!', POETRY OK THE MAORI 


221 


I translate from the poem dictated to 
Wliarenitu, of Ngaliau, Hawera: 

Brightly flushed the lightning’s spear 
On Turainoe’s peak, 

I orient ot warriors’ death and women’s woe. 
O Tiopira—why did ’st thou fall? 

Thou who stood’st so boldly forth 
In the bows of the canoe, 

And thou, Hapeta! cold thou best. 

Death spread his lure for thee; 

The dragon of the cave 
Was loosed on thee. 

Ah ine, my children! 

My flock of happy forest-birds, 

I hat flew from tree to tree in brighter days— 
Now fast in woodsman’s snare. 

My beautiful, my slender totara— 

’Tis snapped by wintry gale. 

My tall red-painted warrior-sons— 

Alas, alas! 

How grand ye dashed upon the foe, 

And I—I saw ye go; 

T, too, rushed naked to the fight, 

O sons—at Morere! 

O heroes of my house! How grand 
That charge! 

Above Whakaahurangi’s woods that day! 

Lonely I lie within my home 
Beside Kapuni’s river-mouth, 

And cherish bitter thoughts and ever weep— 

My children! 

Lofty and lone stands Taranaki 
In the West; 

So tall and splendid thou, O Kingi— 

And now thou ’rt gone! 


Still o ’er the forests, still above the clouds 
Towers Taranaki; 

But Kingi’s gone. Foremost in council, 
Foremost in the fight— 

T seal died the fatal field, I found him dead 
At Morere! 


O restless sea 

Beating for ever on the sounding sands 
Below the cliffs of Wharau— 

Like thee for ever I’ll lament. 


me by To 


222 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


0 son, arise! Return, return! 

Cannot thy prophet make thee live again 
Restore thy breath, and bind thy wounds? 

Ah me—my hopes! 

****** 

The billows from the west roll in 

And thundering crash on ’Taraimaka’s shore— 

There, too, my children fought, 

In days gone by. 

On Morere’s battle-hill they fell; 

There shattered lay my tribe, Ah me! 

O simple ones and brave! 

How strong is Whiro’s snare— 

The snare of Fate! 

Ye charged along the path of Death, 

Ye were deceived, 

Beguiled in that false path, 

The path of ’Hau. 

How vain your valour, vain your charge 
Against Morere’s walls! 

Lost on that rocky coast of death 
Are all my crews— 

Tainui, Tokomaru, Kurahaupo, Aotea— 

Ah me! my brave canoes 
Lie wrecked upon the shore! 



Chapter XIX. 


THE MAORI IN WAR. 


The Maori had successfully solved for himself the 
problem of defence. Every man was trained to arms; 
every man was a soldier when the war-call came, 

11 He ivhakaariki, he whakaariki e!” 

In a savage society there was at least this advantage, 
that the whole male strength of the community—and 
sometimes the female as well—could take the field when 
necessary, fully equipped at short notice for defence and 
offence. There was no calling for volunteers, no hasty 
drilling of Territorials,no trouble with skulkers. This was 
the natural outcome of the communal system, the 
gradual evolution of the family into the tribe, which was 
really only the family on a larger scale. Whether it was 
a home-fort to be built or an enemy’s stockade to be 
stormed, the whole force of the tribe was at the command 
ot the war-chief or chiefs. From his early years every 
Maori was trained in the use of the spear, the taiaha, 
the patu, and later the gun of the white man, the 
wonderful pu, that darted its bullets with a voice of 
thunder and a tongue of tire. He learned, too, the 
various charms and spells, the kitcio and other invoca¬ 
tions, that gave manct to his weapon and “more power 
to his elbow.” On the war-path his commissariat did 
not trouble him overmuch; he needed no waggon-loads 
of “bully-beef” and hard biscuit; was not his enemy’s 
own body to provide the rations? In the delightfully 
simple economy of the Maori, he not only killed his foe 
but lie also ate him. 

The olden Maori warrior liked to die in battle. He 
disliked the idea of a slow, ignominious, peaceful end on 


223 



224 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


his bed. A poetic illustration of the native feeling on 
this subject is given in a lament composed and sung bv 
one Te AVaero over the remains of the celebrated fighting- 
chief Miti-kakau, of Te Atiawa tribe, Taranaki. Aliti- 
kakau was renowned for bis daring and success in war 
and particularly in hand-to-hand combats with indi¬ 
vidual toas or braves of the enemy. It is related of him 
that on one occasion, about eighty years ago, when the 
Atiawa fortress at Paritutu, near where New Plymouth 
now stands, was besieged by the warriors of Waikato, 
Miti-Kakau issued a challenge to any of the besieging 
toas to meet him outside the palisades in a duel, and he 
met and killed the champion who was sent out to slay 
him. In after years he joined Te Rauparaha and the 
Ngati-Toa in the southern part of the North Island, and 
fought in the battle of the “Kuititanga” on the sand- 
dunes at Waikanae in 1839. AA 7 lien he died, in the days 
of peace, Te AVaero, an old warrior and comrade-in- 
arms, sang a lament in which these lines occurred: 


E kore au, e te hoa, 

E tangi kia koe 
Me kapohia koe 
E te ngutu o te pu; 
Ko te riri tuku-turi 
Kei o matua, 

Kei waho i Omiku, 

Kei ruuga Te Morere. 


(Translation.) 

Oh friend of mine! 

Less keen had been my grief 
Had’st thou but died in battle. 

By the mouth of the musket. 

Or had’st thou fallen 
As fell thy fathers 
In the days of Maori weapons, hand- 
to-hand. 

Beside Onuku’s palisades, 

Or on Morere TTill. 


The old Maori warrior, too, when faced with sudden 
death, liked to he killed with a patu-rangatira, a chiefly 
weapon. Sometimes, when a tribe was defeated in battle 
or a pa taken, a captured chief, submitting to the inevit¬ 
able, would calmly await the death-blow and would hand 
liis captor his own weapon, generally a treasured and 
sacred patu or mere of greenstone or whalebone. “Take 
this my weapon,” he would say, and bow his head for the 
tipi, the death-stroke. Me was content for in that he was 
being seal to the Reinga-land with his own good patu; 
it was no rakau-tutua, that is, a mean or plebeian weapon, 
that touched liis proud and sacred head. 



'NIK MAO I! I IN WAR 


oo 


.) 


The A ’in, 11 K‘ sacred divining-rods, had to be cast, the 
orach's consulted, and the warriors sprinkled and 
“hardened” for the path of death, before they set out on 
an expedition of battle. 

The late Te Araki to Polm, of Owlmtiura,Rotorua, thus 
described to me the tohungas' preliminaries to the great 
Arawa expedition of 183(5 against the Ngaiterangi of Te 
Tuinu, in which be took part: 


“Our tohungas (those of Ngati-Tu) were Tiinmma, Te 
Piwliara, and Tapui-a-Rata. They recited their karakiu 
for success in war to our gods Maru-te-Whare-aitu, 
Rongomai, Tamaiwaho, Utupawa and Ihungaru. Utu- 
pawa or Itupawa [the semblance or image of this atua 
Maori is said to have been brought to New Zealand from 
Hawaiiki in the Arawa canoe] was the particular 
guardian deity of my hapu Ngati-Tu; its tuahu or shrine 
was in yonder tangled bit of shrubbery on the rocky face 
of Owhatiura Hill. Thither our priests led us, repeating 
their sacred karakia continually, and there we were 
made tapu for the war-path. Te Wlietu was there with 
the tohungas too; he was the kaupapa (medium) of the 
god; into him the spirit of Utupawa would enter and he 
would utter strange words, as if the atua indeed 
possessed him. And our priests read the omens, and 
divined for us; for all Ngati-Tu were anxious to hear 
whether we would he successful on the red field of war. 
They performed ceremonies too, to weaken our enemies 
and draw their spirits into our hands (kukume ai nga 
wairua). 


“Many were the omens of war that were observed by 
us Maoris in those days. Sometimes, when an expedition 
of blood was proposed, we would see on the horizon, in 
the direction of our enemies’ country, a strange red glow 
as of a great fire. That was the ahi-papakura, and it was 
a sign of success for us and of disaster for our foes. 

“If the rainbow, which was the visible aria or form of 
the god Uenuku, appeared on high in the rear of the war- 
party, it was a good omen. But if it spanned the path 


p 


226 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


by which we were to go, on onr front, it was a warning* 
from onr god of battle, a portent of defeat, and we would 
remain at home.” 

Of endless number are the war-songs, or ngeri and 
puha, chanted by the soldiers of old Maori Land. This 
ancient war -ngeri of the Taranaki Maoris embodies the 
national affection for Taranaki mountain—Mt. Egmont 
—the mighty symbol of their tribal glory and the citadel 
of their ancestral lands. It has often been sung in 
modern times at meetings of the Ngati-Awa and Ngati- 
Ruanui tribes and other Taranaki clans. It was chanted 
with thrilling force on one particular occasion just after 
the Maori war, when a very large armed force of Tara¬ 
naki natives who had been in arms for several years 
against the whites gathered on the beach at Moturoa, 
near New Plymouth, and made formal peace with the 
Government authorities: 


(The Chief, solus, pointing with his taiaha to the snowy peak 
of Egmont behind the war-party) : 

Ko hea, 

Ko hea, 

Kohea tera maunga 
E tu mai ra ra? 

(Chorus) : 

Ko Taranaki! 

Nukunuku mai, 

Nekeneke mai! 

Nukunuku mai, 

Nekeneke mai! 

(Solo): 

Ivi taku tauaro 
Kikini kikini ai! 

(Chorus): 

I-i-a! I-i-a! 

Kekeke noa, Kekeke noa! 

(Translation.) 

(The Chief): 

What is yonder mountain 
Standing in the sky? 

(Chorus) : 

’Tis Taranaki’s peak! 

Oli | addressing the mountain] draw near to us, 

Come (dose to us, 

Draw near to us, 

Come close to us. 




T 11 K MAO It I IN W AH 


007 


(Solo) : 

That wo may tightly embrace you, 

And clasp you close! 

(< ’horns) : 

Ah-h! Ali-h! 

We crunch the sands beneath our feet 
Iiiko this! 


The loudly yelled finale 

‘ ‘ KekeJce noa, Kckeke non!” 


imitates the sound of hare feet or of gun-butts being 
brought down with a crash and thud on the gravel and 
sands of the seashore where the fighting men danced 
their great war-dance. 

As in the Iliad and in the great Hindu epics, warriors 
in battle can conceal themselves in magic mists to escape 
their assailants. Charms or karakia for concealment 
from the eyes of the enemy are called huna (literally 
“to hide”). The following is a specimen of such a spell, 
recited to me by an old Arawa warrior, who himself 
professed to have found it of service in bush-fighting 
aforetime: 


Punga were were, heiheia mai aku 
mata, 

Popokorua, heiheia mai aku mata. 

E Moko e! 

Tu mai ki waho 
Moku to taua rua. 

Titiro ki runga, 

Titiro ki raro, 

Titiro ki whenua noa atu. 


(Translation.) 
Spiders, hide my face; 

Ants, obscure me from the foe; 
O ’Moko, 

Come forth from out thy pit, 
And let me enter it. 

Search all around, 

Gaze up and down, 

See nothing but the empty land. 


This charm was often repeated not only in ancient 
times, but also in the modern wars of the Maoris against 
the white troops. When a Maori was hard pressed, 
endeavouring to escape from his pursuing enemies, he 
would, if he knew it, recite this appeal to the spirits of 
the earth to conceal him from the eyes of the foemen. 
He appealed to the spiders to weave their webs across the 
oath by which he had gone, and to the ants (which my 
nformant described as “he iwi i roto i te whenua,” “a 
oeople of the earth”) to hide him in the ground with 
hem. “Moko” is a contraction of the name Ruaimoko, 


228 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


in Maori mythology the god of volcanoes and earth¬ 
quakes, whose home is deep beneath the surface of the 
earth. Many a Maori warrior attributed his escape from 
the Government forces during the wars of 1860-70 to his 
presence of mind in reciting this or a similar huna charm 
(sometimes also called rnata) as he ran endeavouring to 
conceal himself from his pursuers. It was believed that 
a karakia would sometimes have the result of causing a 
friendly fog to descend suddenly and hide the flying son 
of the soil from his foes. Certainly a very useful kind 
of charm to the Maori who ran away in order to fight 
again some other day. 

The return of the warriors from an expedition was 
attended by much priestly ritual, for they were under the 
tapu of blood, which must he removed before they could 
resume their ordinary life. 

One of the immeasurably tapu spots of Mokoia Island, 
in Maori eyes, is Matariki, on the white sandy beach at 
the north side of the island. Here, under the shade of 
the weeping willows, is a tiny grassy alcove where you 
may see lying the mouldering remains of a small Maori 
canoe. Just a bit of rotting wood, says the paleface 
picnicker whose beer-bottles and lunch-papers bestrew 
this aboriginal holy place. The pakeha “turuhi” may 
desecrate the place, but the reverent Maori will not so 
much as set foot on it, and old Tamati Hapimana, when 
first lie escorted me to this thrice-hallowed spot, was 
careful, though a churchman after the heart of the mis¬ 
sionaries, not to tread the ground where the canoe lay. 
For this was the abiding-place of the olden heathen 
gods; it was the primitive altar where offerings were 
made to the spirits of earth and sky, and where the gods 
by their oracles would make known their wishes and 
respond to the divinations of the tohungas. This 
decaying canoe was half a century ago, and more, the 
sacred boat of the famous high-priest Unuahu, he who, 
according to the Maoris, by his potent incantations and 
sacred mana could wither trees, kill men, calm a storm, or 
cause the powers of the air to wage war, the lightning 




T111'i MAO HI IN WAR 


229 


to flash, and tlie thunder to resound. E Inna i tc haruja! 
So wonderful were those wise old men. I nuahu used 
this little red-painted ivaka for the purpose of paddling 
out to lvis sacred place by the “Holy ’Water,” the wai- 
tapu, which ripples by our feet on this very beach. A 
few yards out in the lake you will see, hard by a flat rock, 
the tops of some ancient totara -posts projecting 
from the clear water, and enclosing a little rectangular 
space. That is the Holy ’Water, on which only the priest’s 
canoe was allowed to float. 

“Now, my pa-keha friend,” said blanket-kilted Tamati, 
as he stood bare-footed and bare-headed, his long white 
locks floating in the breeze, a twig of willow in his hand, 
on the margin of the sacred beach, “My friend, listen 
to me. When our war-parties returned to the island in 
the days of the past from a fighting expedition on the 
mainland, their war-canoes would paddle up to this 
place, Matariki, and as they drew near, the chief priest 
of the Island, naked save for a waist-circlet of leaves, 
would stand on the shore and wave a leafy branch—as I 
wave this willow-bough—and cry in a loud voice to 
them: 

“ ‘I haere maL i whea? 

Te-ere, te-ere, tere-nui na Tu? 

(‘Whence come ye, 

Great Company of Tu 1 ?’) 

“And the war-priests standing amidships in the canoes 
chanted in reply, 

“ ‘ I haere mai i uta, 

I haere mai i tai, 

I haere mai i te 
Tu parekura— 

Te-ere, te-ere, tere nui o Tu. ’ 

(‘We come from the land, 

We come from the sea, 

We come from the battle-field of Tu— 

Pilgrims, great pilgrims of Tu.’) 

“Then the priest on the shore enquired, 

“ ‘Whence come ye, 

Great travellers from Whiro?’* 


*Whiro, the god of evil and darkness and violent deeds. 






230 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


and the warrior-priests answered in a chorused shout: 

‘We come from above, 

We come from below, 

We come from the seeking-out, 

The searching— 

Pilgrims, great pilgrims of Whiro. ’ ’ ’ 


Then, said Tamati, the soldiers would leap naked into 
the shallow water and remain there until the high priest 
had performed the ceremonies to remove the tapu of 
blood which had been imposed on them when they went 
forth to fight. And the great tohunga, dandling to and 
fro the sacred offering from the field of battle, the 
emblem of the slain, to the Maori gods of war, would 
chant: 

Hikitia mai tana kai, 

Hapaiuga mai tana kai, 

Ki runga rangi taua kai. 

Kia kai mai Rongomai, 

Heke iho i te rangi—taua kai. 

(Raise up the food, 

Lift up the food. 

Raise up to the heavens that food. 

Come aud eat, Rongomai; 

Descend from the heavens—that food.) 


And soon the warriors were free to mingle with their 
friends again, the tapu safely lifted. 

Many interesting songs are included in the watch- 
chants or Whakaaraara-pa of the Maoris. This is a 
brief example of a sentinel’s chant, said to have been 
sung nearly two centuries ago by the chief Tore- 
kahe, on Motutawa, when that island-pa in Roto-kakahi 
was beleaguered by a war-party: 


Whakarongo ake au 
Ki te tangi mai o te manu nei, 
‘ ‘ Takoikoi, takoikoi! 

‘ ‘ Takere, takere! ’ ’ 

Ka whakarara koa 
Nga tai o te Mata-tahuna 
E tu te hau ki waho, 

Ki waho i, e! 

A-liahal 


(Translation.) 

1 listen to the cry 
Of yonder bird. 

It cries “Takoikoi, takoikoi, 
Takere, takere!” 

('Tis a warning cry). 

(iently flows the tide, 

Rippling on the shore; 

Outside our walls the foemen stand, 
Outside! Ha, ha! 


The sharp bird-cries which the sentinel imitated are 
those which, the Maori says, are made by the kaka 


Till-: MAO HI IN WAR 


2 :n 

parrot. The Aa/.a is 11 1 (» first bird of the forest heard in 
the dawning of the day; its cry, or rather screech, is an 
intimation that morning is at hand, and often also, as in 
this instance, a signal of danger, for the bird was 
disturbed by men moving about in the trees. The “gently 
rippling tide” was a metaphorical expression meant to 
convey the intimation to the garrison of the pa, that the 
watcher on the puhara or tower could see from his 
elevated position that the enemy were scattered here and 
there outside the fortress, and were not formed in war 

array for the assault. (In 
Chapter XXJIL some other 
historic whakaaraara-pa of 
Torekahe are given.) 

Often the look-out men in 
the puhara towers that stood 
at the pa angles and over the 
main gateways would exchange 
challenges and taunts with the 
besiegers. An example of these 
interchanges of civilities con¬ 
cerns the ancient Pa-a-Te- 
Wera, “ Te Wera’s Fort,” which 
stood on the green peninsula 
of Huriawa, or Karitane, near 
Puketiraki, on the Otago coast. 
Taoka’s army, the besiegers of 
Te Wera’s Fort, pitched their 
camps on the long island-sandspit called Ohinepouwera, in 
Waikouaiti Bay, just to the north of the pa. Here they 
lived for some six months, also occupying at times 
portions of the mainland. Sometimes assaults were led 
against the great fort; these were always repulsed. 
Sometimes the attacking force cut off stragglers from the 
pa ; these went into the cooking hangi. Taoka’s warriors 
would gather for leaping parade on the heach near the 
narrow neck below the pa, and when the war dance had 
been furiously performed the loud threat would be borne 
to the ears of the garrison: 



Carved gateway of a modern 
Maori model pa. 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


11 Me whakatikei koutou ki te kai!” (“We’ll starve you 
out!”) 

Then the defiant reply would come, shouted by a 
Ngaitahu chief on the puhara above the Ivutu (Ngutu)- 
a-Toretore, the great gateway: 

“E kore ai, e kore! E kore au e mate i te kai, e kore 
ma te matua whakatakoto ki te Kutu-a-To retore—e kore 
e taea! Engari ma te matua mate-wai ka mate, ai!’' 
(“Never, never! We will never die for want of food, 
neither will we be conquered by the army lying there 
below the Lips-of-Toretore! Yon shall never reach us! 
Only by the army of thirst shall we be overcome”— i.e., 
if the water supply should be cut off or give out.) 

In Maori history we frequently find instances of the 
destruction of unsuspecting parties of enemies by 
burning them to death in their large wharepunis, which 
were constructed of very combustible materials. In 
Taranaki particularly there are numerous traditions of 
this sort. One instance is that of the burning of a whole 
hapu, the Titahi, whose stronghold was on a hill called 
Whakamere, beside the Patea River; this now peaceful- 
looking grassy flat-topped mount can be seen from the 
train near Pariroa, a short distance from the present 
town of Patea. The Titahi were a turbulent tribe of 
Ishmaelites numbering about 140 warriors, who had 
migrated here from the north, and who had made them¬ 
selves particularly disagreeable to the Taranaki people. 
The Ngati-Ruanui tribe decided to extirpate the new¬ 
comers, and selected a very wet stormy night for the 
deed. About seventy armed men embarked in a large 
canoe some distance above TTnkatere, descended the 
river, and silently surrounded the Whakamere Pa. They 
discovered that the whole of the people were assembled 
in a large reed-lmilt meeting-house in the middle of the 
village; and as the night was so cold and tempestuous no 
sentinels were posted. The Ngati-Ruanui warriors 
quietly fastened the door of the big house securely on the 
outside, and then set lire to the whore and burned it and 




THK MAO HI IX W A If 


.)•>■> 


every person it contained,—not a soul escaped. Thus 
etleetuallv did the Taranakis rid themselves of their 
obnoxious neighbours. 

A Polynesian parallel to this is the famous old legend 
of (lie destruction of the great house Tilii-o-Manono, 
evidently in the Samoa (iroup, by tli(‘ hero Whakatau; 
another is in the “Song of Raliero,” a legend of Tahiti, 
as versified by Robert Louis Stevenson in his “Songs of 
Travel.” Raliero’s clan, the victims of a tribal vendetta, 
to the number of forty score, were treacherously feasted, 
and, while they lay asleep in the great house, fuel was 
piled around the walls outside, the door fastened, and 
then the place was set alight. 

“About the blazing feast-house clustered the eyes of the foe, 

Watching, hand upon weapon, lest ever a soul should flee.” 

Far back, too, in the ancient fatherland of the race we 
find these ivharepuni-b timings. In the great Hindu 
story the “Mahabharata, ” the enemies of the Pandavas, 
the five sons of Pandu, plotted to burn them to death in 
a house made of combustible materials which was to be 
erected for their reception at Varanavartha (the modern 
Allahabad); but the plot was revealed to the brothers, 
who themselves turned the tables by quietly fastening 
the doors of the great house one night when one of their 
arch-enemies lay asleep within, and setting fire to it, and 
burning their foe to death. 

The Maori women often accompanied their lords to 
war; they could fight as well as the men if need be. The 
women frequently went out on the war-path in the wars 
of 1860-70; at Orakau they fought and died heroically. 

The Maori ivahine could be a horribly savage Amazon 
when on the war-path in ancient days. A particularly 
barbarous incident which followed the capture of Mokoia 
Island by Hongi Hika and his musketeers of Ngapuhi in 
the early part of 1823 was the torture and death of 
Te Kuru-o-te-marama, an Arawa chief. Te Kuru’ had 
incurred the special hatred of Ngapuhi because of the 
fact that he had the previous year assisted in the 


234 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


massacre of Te Pae-o-te-rangi and his party of Ngapuhi 
visitors from the Bay of Islands, at the Tnlionrangi Pa 
on Motu-tawa Island in Roto-kakahi. He fled after 
Mokoia had been stormed; but he was captured and 
brought into the midst of the cannibal men of the north 
for execration and execution. A sharp spear was thrust 
into his throat and other parts of his body, and then, 
while he was still alive, three of the women who had 
accompanied the Ngapuhi expedition, widows of Te 
Pae-o-te-rangi and others killed at Motu-tawa, applied 

their mouths to the 
wounds and drank the 
flowing blood until he 
expired. 

The last intertribal 
tight amongst the Maoris 
occurred as lately as 
1888, amongst two fac¬ 
tions of the North Auck¬ 
land natives. Away up 
near the head-waters of 
the Northern Wairoa, not 
far from the great Wairua 
Falls, there still stands 
on a manuka ridge the 
modern pa of Wi-roa, 
thrown up in that year, 
when a skirmish occurred between the Parawhau and the 
Uri-roroi sections of the Ngapuhi tribe. The two hapus, 
closely related to each other by marriage ties, quarrelled 
over the money accruing from the renting of a gum-field 
near Poroti to the Europeans. Arming themselves they 
skirmished over the bare tea-tree spurs and clayey 
hollows of Poroti and Wairua. A number were shot; 
three deaths on each side was the tally. This breastwork 
on the Wi-roa ridge was constructed under the direction 
of the old chief Taurau Kukupa, who with the tattooed 
Tito Papa, of Pukekohe, led the riflemen of the Para¬ 
whau. The Uri-roroi were headed by the prophetess 



From a photo by Putman , Auckland. 

A Waikato Cli ieftainess. 



TIIK MAOHI IN U AH 


225 


Te K 11 , and 0110 Kin lliri. For two weeks after the fatal 
skirmishing ilie Parawhau war-party lived in tents and 
break-winds of manuka in this fortification on the hill¬ 
top, waiting for the enemy’s attack. The work is simply 
a little redoubt of clay and sod walls thrown up to the 
height ol lour or five feet, a parallelogram about a chain 
long, with rectangular flanking angles, and two narrow 
entrances covered by small parcpare or breastworks. 
An insignificant sort of pa this Wi-roa; in a few years 
the tangled manuka will cover it again, but it will be 
memorable in the annals of the battle of Poroti, the last 
Maori fight in Aotea-roa. 

A short distance beyond the Wi-roa fighting-ground 
in the direction ol \\ hatitiri (Thunder) Mountain, there 
rises out of the plain the remarkable hill-pn Okoihu, a 
perfect type of the olden forts of the Maori. The hill is 
a network of terraces rising in regular tiers, trenched 
with the wooden spades of the aboriginals, to the lofty 
summit. There on a little piece of ground slightly 
hollowed in the centre stood the tiki, the citadel, where 
dwelt the chief families of the ancient pa. The walls 
and parapets are fine examples of barbarian military 
engineering, but all are now covered with a beautiful 
mantle of native verdure, the brown bracken fern 
mingling with the flax and the sweet pinkey-white 
blossoms of the koromiko , and the dainty flowers of the 
trailing convolvulus. On the uppermost terrace, in the 
sand\ walls of the tilii, are a series of old kumava store- 
pits, their arched roofs as perfect as when they were first 
hollowed out many generations ago. 

In North Auckland, too, were fired the last shots in 
anger between Maori and white man. This was in the 
Maori anti-dog-tax and land-tax “rising” of 1898. The 
(ro\ eminent column, under Polonel Newall, very 
narrowly escaped a disastrous attack by the force of 
armed Maoris under Hone Toia and Romana, who were 
posted in the bush on either side of the hill-road leading 
from Rawene, on Hokianga, southwards to the Waima 
Valley. About eighty Maoris of the Mahurehure tribe 


236 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


were in ambush there, many of them armed with modem 
rifles and the rest with shotguns, and they could with 
little difficulty, owing to the strategic advantage of their 
position, have “howled over” half the Government force 
of 120 Permanent Artillery and police. Onr rear-guard 
had just entered the bush when two shots were suddenly 
fired over our heads from the cover on the left; it turned 
out that these had been fired by an old fanatic named 
Wiremu Makara, as a signal to the rest of the Maoris, 
not one of whom was visible from the road, but who 
were quite close by. Fortunately the word had been 
sent along by Hone Toia, at the urgent appeal of the 
late Hone Heke, M.H.P. for the Northern Maori distiict, 
ordering the natives not to fight but to retire through 
the bush to the Waima Valley (where their leaders 
surrendered next day). This order arrived onl\ just in 
time to prevent serious bloodshed, for there is no doubt 
that the Mahurehure, who have always borne the 
reputation of being turbulent and war-loving, would have 
fired on the troops from their well-arranged ambush, 
with murderous results. It is a rather remarkable fact 
that the Maoris of Waima and their cousins of Kaikohe 
and vicinity, who have been longer in contact with the 
white man than most other tribes, should retain this old 
war-spirit; they are the most “touchy” people in the 
Island, and have ever been ready to rush for their guns. 
But they are of the true ancient figliting-blood of the 
North. 



Chapter XX. 


“KAI-TANGATA.” 


lt Hu\ He was bitter,” said old Araki te Pohu,— 
“Tino kawa ! A\ e could hardly eat him. Von pakehas 
are no good for food. You are kawa, very kawa. Kapai 
te Maori! Ka reka te Maori, te kai mo te toa!” (“The 
Maori is sweet—the food for the warrior.”) 

The ancient warrior of Owliatiura, a man nearly a 
hundred years old, was describing to me an incident of 
his far-away youth, his first taste of human flesh. The 
dish was a sailor from an English brig which had been 
captured by the Maoris at Moutohora (Whale Island), 
off Whakatane Harbour. 

Other Maoris, long before Araki made this jocular 
complaint, have said the same tiling. White sailors were 
seldom very tender or palatable; tough old tarbuckets, 
saturated with tobacco and “salt-horse,” were not so 
well appreciated by that epicurean eater-of-man the 
Maori as his own countrymen were. 

“ Kai-tangata” —“eat—man,” or “man-food”—is the 
Maori term for cannibalism. The Maori was a cannibal 
from very ancient times; he had inherited the practice 
from his Polynesian-Melanesian ancestors, and followed 
it not only as a sacrificial war-rite, hut also from a 
craving for “meat,” as he bluntly expresses it. Endless 
stories confirm this; and very probably the custom arose 
through the absence of other big game in the islands of 
the Pacific. 

The eating of human flesh was usually a sequel of 
battle. In peace, however, slaves were frequently killed 
as a kinaki, a relish, for the monotonous fare of kumara 
or taro , or fern-root. Sometimes a chief would become 
meat-hungry ’; then a slave, preferably a girl, would be 


237 



238 


THE MAORIS OE NEW ZEALAND 


slaughtered and cooked to appease the aristociatic 
appetite. 

It has been the habit of some writers on the Maoris to 
refer to Taraia, of Ohinemuri, as “the last of the 
cannibals.” This is an error, for human flesh was eaten 
in New Zealand long after Taraia’s cannibal raid on 
Onare Pa, Katikati, on the Bay of Plenty, in 1842. 
In the Hauhau war with the white troops, cannibalism 
was revived, and as late as 1869 the flesh of colonial 
soldiers killed in bush fighting in Taranaki was frequently 
eaten by the Maoris of Titokowaru’s savage band. This 
practice was instituted by Titokowaru and his war- 
priests not only as a rite of war—for the Hauhaus here 
reverted to the worship or invocation of their ancient 
war-god Uenuku—but also with the object of striking 
terror into the hearts of the whites. But there were some 
old cannibals amongst the Taranaki warriors who 
welcomed the revival of human flesh-eating for its own 
sake, because “the fat of man was sweet.” 

There are many Maoris still living who witnessed, if 
they did not actually join in, the cannibal feasts that 
were held in the Ngutu-o-te-Manu forest-stockade, after 
the repulse of McDonnell and the death of A on 
Tempsky, and in the pa at Moturoa, in 1868, and 
again on the banks of the Waitotara in 1869. The flesh 
of the pakeha was cooked in the hangi and served up to 
the people in flax baskets with potatoes and Tmmara. 
Many another barbarous custom was revived by 
Titokowaru’s wild bushmen in that war. The heart of 
the first man of the enemy killed in a fight was cut out 
and offered as a burnt-sacrifice to Uenuku; this was the 
ancient rite of the whangai-hau. 

Big Kereopa, a Waitotara man, who died a couple of 
years ago, was a notorious cannibal, and boasted of 
having eaten the leg of Sergeant Menzies, who was killed 
in an ambuscade at the Papatupu peach-groves, on the 
Waitotara, on February 18th, 1869. 

Eru Tamaikowha, the old fighting-cliief of the Ngai- 
Tama section of the Urewera tribe, who is still living at 


K AI-TAN(iATA 


i i 


y y 


2:j ( j 


Waimaua, Wlmkatane, was a cannibal in the irauhau 
wai-s of the sixtit-s on the East Coast. lie and liis 
raiders, who were expert in the murderous art of laying 
ambuscades, ate the hearts and other parts of three men 
whom they killed at various times in 1860 and 18G7, two 
<>!' them whites, and the other an Arawa mailman. 
Tamaikowha offered part of the hearts of the slain men 
m sacrifice to his war-gods Hukita and Te Rehu-o-Tainui, 
repeating the incantation of the whangai-hau. 

Old Patara te Tuhi, the Kingite chief depicted in tlie 
frontispiece to this book, once told me of his first and 
only taste of human flesh. He was a youth, living with 
his father at Ivawhia, at the time, which was about the 
year 1840. A slave-woman in a neighbouring settlement 
was killed by her owner in punishment for some offence 
and a portion of the meat was thoughtfully sent to 
latai a s family as a present—much after the manner of 
the settler of to-day who, when he kills a beast, sends 
some round to his neighbours. 

Te Araki te Poliu, the venerable Arawa warrior quoted 
at the beginning of this chapter, thus described to me 
the cannibal feast which followed the storming of the 
Ngaiterangi Pa, Te Turnu, on the coast near Maketu, in 


When we returned from pursuing those of the enemy 
who escaped from the Pa, we feasted upon the Ika-a- 
Wlnro.* We cut off the heads of the slain, to be smoked 
and preserved as trophies of war, and we cooked and ate 
the bodies. ^ That was indeed the warrior’s food, the flesh 
of man. There was no other meat to equal it In 
appearance it was like pork when cooked, and it tasted 
like pork, only sweeter. I ate it, and I also drank human 
blood (mu i te toto ).f That was the custom of us all in 
those days. This was also a custom of our people: when 
a. man had succeeded in killing a foe whom lie par- 
ticularly hated, he would drink the blood of the slain 


*‘ ‘ The Fish-of-Whiro ’ ’—the slain, 
and death. 

tThe drinking of human blood was an 
a Phoenician usage. 


Whiro is the god of violent deeds 
ancient Asiatic and in particular 






'240 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


man, and would cook the body and consume every portion 
of it —kai katoa ! 

“After this battle some of the human flesh was carried 
hack by onr slaves to Rotorua, as presents for the people 
there. A chief in those days liked to have some preserved 
man-flesh in his pataka [storehouse], so that in the 
mornings when he felt inclined he could go to the pataka 
and take out a little basket of meat as a relish for Ins 
kumara .” 

Some of the flesh of those killed at Te Tumu was also 
potted in bark receptacles by a section of the Tuhoe or 
Urewera tribe who fought there, and was carried all the 
way home to Maunga-pohatu, in the Urewera mountains. 

Old Araki told a story that curiously illustrates the 
longing for human flesh which is said to return even after 
many years to the man who has once eaten it. 

“It was at Kaokaoroa,” he said, “near where the 
tattooed cliffs are, the white precipice that rises from the 
beacli-way between Matata and Otamarakau. We were 
pursuing the Hauliaus, who had marched on Maketu, 
eastwards along the beach, shooting and tomahawking 
them. I was one of the Government men, and I was 
armed with a Government rifle, and there I ran, a man of 
fifty, on the war-path again after many years—chasing 
Hauliaus. The bodies of Ngati-Porou strewed the beach 

_here one, there another, along the sandhills near the 

sea. And as I ran along and looked at those bodies, the 
old craving for kiko-tangata returned to me. I stopped, 
and looked at those Fisli-of-Whiro lying stretched out 
there, and I had a great longing to eat them. How I 
would have liked to have had them cooking in the hangil 
But I had to leave them, for it was now the day of the 
Whakapono, the new religion.” 

Some African tribes seem to look upon the flesh of man 
with as favourable an eye—or tooth—as old Araki. An 
African traveller says that the Bengalas of the Upper 
Congo call human flesh “a noble food.” 

Patara te Ngungukai, the tattooed saturnine tribal 
bone-scraper of the Arawas, who died at Rotorua a few 



i i 


KAI TAN(!ATA 


241 


} y 


yoars ago, was a cannibal of many feasts, lie bad fought 
and ate at Te Tnmn in 18116, and at various other places; 
and lie and bis brothers ate their own father. Lest you 
should shudder at this bald fact, let me hasten to explain 
that this filial cannibalism was regarded as meritorious. 
Patara told the tale himself as one of the little incidents 
ot‘ his earlier years. When the father died, the sons 
divided the corpse amongst them, and cooked and ate it, 
both as a mark of respect and in order to acquire the 
inherent sacred virtues and mana of their parent. This 
devouring of parents appears to have been looked on as 
a semi-religious act; but it could not have been a frequent 
practice; Patara’s is the only definite case of which I 
have heard amongst the Maoris. That the custom of 
parent-eating was not confined to Patara’s people is 
illustrated by this extract from M. Elie Rectus’ 
fascinating book “Primitive Folk”: 


“The Brahmins and Mussulmans considered it a crime in the nomad 
Birhors of India that they are man-eaters, but we do not reproach them 
for it, as their cannibalism is inspired by filial piety. The parents, in 
articulo mortis, beg as a favour that their corpses may not be left upon 
the road or in the forest, but may find a refuge in the stomach of their 
children. These cannot refuse, but they make no unseemly haste to enjoy 
the funeral banquet.” 


A similar custom is said to have prevailed amongst 
the blacks of North Queensland, and also in some parts 
of Africa. 

Sometimes a Maori would become so fond of “man- 
meat” that he would reject all other flesh-food for it, and 
would take to the road like a pakeha highwayman, and lie 
in wait for unsuspecting travellers. Up in the Ngapulii 
country I heard this ghoulish story of Hilii-o-tote and 
his victims, the tale of 


The Cannibal of the Swamp. 

North away yonder, where the old Maori track from 
Kaikohe to Otaua, in the rich volcanic uplands, descends 
into a marshy hollow and closely skirts the raupo swamp 
known as Wharerimu, there dwelt in the years gone by, a 
fierce warrior whose name was Hilii-o-tote. Here he 


Q 


242 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


lived alone, for lie was an Islmiael of the plains, a 
man whose strong hand was against everyone’s. He 
had no wife, no friend. lie was a linnter, and his prey 
was man. 

Hihi-o-tote had his home amongst the thick high reeds 
of the dismal swamp, on a little plot of firm soil, 
surrounded by quaking hogs and eel-swarming waters. 
Here he lived in a low-roofed raupo- thatched lmt, walled 
in with a wattled fence. He slew men for food, and the 
marsh was strewn with the hones of his victims. 

Hihi’s plan was to lie in wait amongst the raupo close 
to the Kaikohe track until he spied a single person 
coming along. As the lonely traveller approached, the 
cannibal of the swamp would leave his lair and go forth 
to meet the stranger, and pretend to greet him with the 
hongi, or rubbing of noses. ‘ ‘ Ten a ra ko koe ! Haere- 
mai, Haere-mai!” lie would exclaim. “Salutations to 
you! Welcome! Welcome!” And, as the unsuspecting 
wayfarer stopped and approached his face to Hihi’s for 
the friendly liongi , the man-eater would suddenly snatch 
out from under the folds of his flax cloak a concealed 
weapon, a little patu-maire, described as a very sharp 
wooden spike or dagger about six inches long. With 
this he would swiftly stab the traveller in the throat just 
under the chin. Just one dexterous lunge and the victim 
was dead at his feet. The body was quickly dragged 
into the ogre’s den in the raupo , its blood sucked, and the 
flesh cooked in a steam- lunigi by the murderer. 

After some time, however, when many travellers by 
this track had mysteriously disappeared, suspicion was 
aroused in the neighbouring villages, and in some way— 
probably through some one luckier than his predecessors 
evading the fatal embrace of Hihi-o-tote—it became 
known that a mysterious murderer lived in the swamp 
and slew men with a wooden needle or dagger while 
pretending to salute them after the fashion of the Maori. 

So a valiant man, Mahia by name, resolved to put an 
end to the ogre of the swamp, lie took his little boy 
with him and gave his stone club to the child, telling him 



K A I TANUATA 


i » 


J J 


243 


to conceal it (carefully under his mat. Mahia himself 
went unarmed, hut took his family bugle with him, a 
pu-tatara or shell-trumpet, which emits a loud doleful 
sound not unlike that of the pakeha’s trombone. So off 
marched Mahia, blowing away at intervals on his pu- 
tatara. 11 ihi-o-tote, hearing the melancholy trumpet blast, 
fixed his sharp patu-rnaire in its accustomed place inside 
his shoulder-mat, and went out to the point where the 
track passed the edge of the swamp. Presently Mahia 
came in sight, along the track in the fern, putting his 
mouth to his trombone and now and again blowing a call 
as if for amusement. He met ITilii, and there was an 
exchange of greetings. 

“Tana koe, e hoa! Tena ra ko koe! lian a mai, haere 
mai /” exclaimed the cannibal. “I heard you coming 
along; I knew you by your pu-tatara sounding as you 
travelled down the road.” 

With these words, Hilii advanced as if to rub noses. 
Mahia let the villain approach, but warily watched him, 
and, as Hihi suddenly drew his dagger, the other jerked 
up his trumpet, warded the patu-maire off with it, and in 
the same movement struck Hihi so severe a blow on the 
head as to knock him off his balance. In another moment 
Hihi was on the ground with the avenger of blood on top 
of him. 

Mahia called loudly to his boy to bring him his club, 
and with it he promptly beat out Hihi’s brains. And 
these were the swamp-cannibal’s last words as he saw the 
boy running up with the deadly mere:—“I taki-ruatia 
i mate ai a Hihi-o-Tote ” (“By two was Hihi slain”)—an 
expression which has passed into a proverbial saying. 
So died the ghoul of the Wharerimu; and, when Mahia 
searched out the den in the raupo sedges, he found the 
posts surrounding it decorated with the skulls and 
severed heads of the victims whose bodies had been 
devoured by the Cannibal of the Swamp. 


Chapter XXI. 


A CALABASH OF MEAT. 


Sitting on tlie breezy cliff-top at the Tilii-o-Tonga 
where the Steps-carved-by-Tntanekai descend to the 
tapu shrine of Horoirangi, Rangiriri the tohunga told 
the tales of the times of old. And one of these tales has 
a grim humour in it, the story of a cannibal raid, and a 
fitting retribution. 

Early one Sunday morning about seventy-five years 
ago—I gather from the old historian—Iliaka, the native 
teacher of Te Ara-kari Pa, which stood on this liill-top 
where we are sitting, left his thatched ivhare and walked 
across the marae, the village square, into the low-eaved 
reed-built church. His grand-daughter, a merry little 
girl, was playing about the front of the hut, and 
the old man told her to follow him to the whare- 
karakia, the prayer-house. Then he forgot all about her 
for a while, for he was soon busily engaged in banging 
away with a short iron stick on an old musket-barrel 
that hung in the porch of the raupo -thatched chapel, the 
only church bell that had yet reached the Tilii-o-Tonga; 
and shortly thereafter he was vigorously expounding to 
his tattooed flock an Old Testament chapter that was a 
special favourite with the old warrior because it con¬ 
tained an account of a rattling good liip-and-tliigh 
combat, in which the Israelites slew their thousands. 
This pakrha religion was quite a new thing in the Rotorua 
district, and being an interesting novelty, it put the old 
heathen tohungas quite out of business for a while. So 
Iliaka, once a cannibal, and now a lay-reader of the 
church, was an important man in Te Ara-kari, and so 
intent was lie on that thrilling chapter that he quite 
forgot his mokopuna, his little grand-daughter. 



A CALABASH OK MEAT 


245 

It was not until the congregation had sung their last 
livmn, elmntod slowly through the nose, that he noticed 
her absence. Returning to his whare, he called her, hut 
she did not appear, lie searched for her, thinking she 
was playing some game of hide-and-seek with him, but 
there was no sign of the child. Ihaka called Ids nearest 
neighbours, but they had seen nothing of her. At last 
they came to the conclusion that something serious had 
befallen her, and a party of men descended tin; “Ara-a- 
Tutanekai” to the forest below the steep southern face 
of the pa, and made a careful search for any trace of the 
missing girl. 

By the side of the forest track they found her little 
single garment, and prints of strange men’s leet. The 
child had vanished. The searchers returned, gathered a 
stronger armed party, and again hunted the thick hush, 
but found nothing more, except the trail of the unknown 
men, leading away down into the valley and finally 
disappearing in a stream, down which the strangers had 
evidently walked to hide their tracks; the spot where 
they left the water could not be discovered. 

The poor little girl’s fate was unknown for many days. 
One evening a messenger arrived in the pa from the 
far-off mountains of the Urewera Country, the strong¬ 
holds of the Tuhoe tribe of hillmen, some of whom were 
kinsmen of these Arawa Maoris of Te Pa Ara-kari. He 
was from Te Purewa, the head chief of the Tuhoe, whose 
village was at Ruatahuna, in the heart of the misty 
mountain-land. He had a story to tell that solved the 
mystery of Ihaka’s missing mokopuna. 

That Sunday, the Ra-tapu, when all the villagers were 
gathered in the praving-house of the new religion, a little 
band of wild-looking half-starved fellows were prowling 
round the southern face of the Ara-kari pa. They were 
fugitive herehere, slaves, from the Waikato country; 
they had escaped from their captors and were now 
making their way back to their old homes, on the East 
Coast, near Wairoa, Hawke’s Bay. They were of the 
Ngati-Kahungunu tribe, and had been taken as prisoners 


246 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


of war by an expedition of musket-armed Northerners 
some years before. Now they were endeavouring to reach 
their own country again, an undertaking of great 
difficulty and danger, for they had to penetrate the 
territory of the Arawa, the Tuhoe and other tribes, most 
of whom were enemies of the Ngati-Kahungunu. They 
were therefore forced to avoid the ordinary routes of 
travel, and to live on the foods of the forest, or what they 
could secure by stealth on the way. The little girl had 
evidently been playing about outside the fence of the pa, 
or had descended the track to the forest; the meat- 
hungry fugitives seized her, killed her before she had 
time to cry out, and retreated to the forest below. 

For many miles they carried the stolen girl before they 
dared to halt, then in the shelter of the woods they 
kindled a fire by friction, cooked and ate the greater 
portion of the body, and potted the rest, the huha or 
thighs—considered by the man-eaters of old a most 
excellent joint—in a large taha or calabash. Meat 
preserved in taha in this way was hermetically sealed by 
the fat being poured in over the top until the receptacle 
was full; it was then carefully wrapped in bark or leaves 
of flax. 

This calabash of meat was carried by the cannibal 
raiders right up into the Urewera Country, until they 
reached Ruatahuna. That was the only route by which 
they could hope to reach their East Coast homes, and 
they intended to make a present of the delicacy to old 
Te Purewa, the Tulioe war-chief, upon whose favour 
their lives would depend. The escaped slaves, it seems, 
were ignorant of the geography of the Rotorua country, 
and only found their way to Ruatahuna with the 
assistance of some natives whom they found friendly to 
them, living near the Rangitaiki River, which divides 
the desolate Kaingaroa Plains from the sharp-cut blue 
mountain walls of the Urewera Country. They did not 
know the name of the village where they had captured 
their meat, or the tribe that held it. 






A CALABASH OK MEAT 


247 


When they arrived at Ruataliuna, the fugitives asked 
to see To Purewa, and were taken before him, where lie 
sal in his big whare, with some of his followers around 
him. The leader of the hereliere related their adven¬ 
tures, and requested permission to proceed on their 
■journey, and at the conclusion presented the calabash ol 
liesli to the chief. 

The old warrior sniffed the packed taha of meat he 
was a notorious, or rather let us say famous, eater-of- 
man’s flesh—then he said with a laugh: 

“Ho-ho! this is prime meat indeed. How lucky you 
were to get such fine kiko-tangatal And where did you 
obtain it?” 

“It was a child we killed,” said the spokesman of the 
escaped slaves, “a girl whom we found outside a pa on 
a hill-top, far away to the west of the plains, near a high 
mountain above a moana [sea or lake]; we do not know 
the name of the mountain or the lake.” 

Te Purewa quickly guessed. He looked at his tribes¬ 
men and said, 

“Friends, I know where that is. The mountain must 
be Ngongotalia, and the lake Rotorua. This calabash of 
meat must be from some village of the Arawas. The 
girl must even be related to me, for I am, as you well 
know, part Arawa and part Tuhoe in blood. My Arawa 
tribes are Ngati-Whakaue and Ngati-Tunohopu. ” 

Then turning with a terrible grin to the waiting- 
fugitives who sat cross-legged before him on the floor- 
mat, he said: 

“So you have killed my children, have you! You have 
treacherously slain my young relative, this child of 
Ngati-Whakaue. Well you must die. I shall not eat 
your taha of meat, but I shall eat you instead!” 

The terror-stricken herehere said not a word. They 
were led outside, at Te Purewa’s order, and tomahawked. 
Presently the cooking hangi received their bodies, and 
there was great feasting in the mountain valley of 
Ruataliuna. What was left of them after Te Purewa and 


248 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


his people had dined well was packed in baskets of 
totara -bark and in taka calabashes and sent as presents 
to the tribe of the Hot Lakes; and had not old Ihaka been 
a reformed cannibal and a respectable Christian lay- 
reader, he would have taken substantial utu with his 
teeth out of the potted herehere —which restriction, to 
Ihaka’s mind, was always one of the great drawbacks 
of the New Religion. 



Chapter XXIX 


THE STORY OF AN UTH ACCOUNT 


JMaori tribal and intertribal history is for the most 
]>ai( a succession of stories of the eternal struggle for 
a hi payment, satisfaction, vengeance. The spirit of 
revenge was. strong in the savage, and no insult—how¬ 
ever trivial it may appear to Europeans—was allowed 
to pass if the aggrieved individual or clan could possibly 
lesent it. 11 a tribe was not strong enough numerically 
—tlnough a decimating war or other circumstances—to 
carry out immediately the scheme of vengeance, it would 
set itself to whakcitupu-tangata— 11 breed men”—in view 
°f futu re campaigns. The boys as they grew up would 
be most carefully schooled in the art of war, and imbued 
with a deadly hate of tlieir father’s foes, and a blood 

tend would in this way be carried on from generation to 
generation. 

h oi the ground-work of a faithful picture of the ever¬ 
lasting vendettas and vengeance expeditions that 
troubled ancient Maoridom, the New Zealand historian 
cannot do better than turn to the manuscript records of 
the Native Land Court, which contain a vast amount of 
raw material. I will give as an example a chapter of 
the little-known history of Lake Rotoiti, in the Thermal 
Country. Searching the minute-books containing the 
evidence given before Major W. Gk Mair, who, as Judge 
of the Native Land Court, held a long sitting at Talieke 
Rotoiti, m 1886, to investigate the Maori title to the 
alieke block of land, I was able to piece together a 
connected story of the quarrels and wars which led to 
the conquest of the shores of Rotoiti by the Nanti-Pikino 
Mbe, and the expulsion of the Tuhourangf IhoTe 
descendants live in Whakarewarewa at the present dav. 


219 



'250 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


The witnesses who detailed the story of the Lake weie 
two genealogists and historians of the old school deeply 
versed in the traditions of their race—Podnpi _ te 
Rakatahi and Ereatara Rangihoro. The account wine 1 
follows, compiled from their evidence, is grimly business¬ 
like in its strict observance of the lex talionis, an etema 

squaring of the utu account. 

Tmnoana, that picturesque green island-peninsula 
on the southern side of Lake Rotoiti, was the source 
of the trouble that led to Tuliourangi’s undoing. 
Both Tuhourangi and Ngati-Pikiao were sections of the 
Arawa nation, but the tribes and sub-tribes, even of the 
one “canoe” or root-stock, were seldom loath to fly at 
each other’s throats, and they dwelt in their several 
securely-stockaded villages generally perched on a 
hilltop or other commanding and strategic spot, where 
they could enjoy a far-reaching view and keep a watchful 
eye on the avenues, by land or water, by which an enenrv 
could approach. The Tmnoana pa was in those days, 
two hundred years ago, occupied by the Tuhourangi 
tribe, who held a number of other palisaded villages 
on the shores of Rotoiti, and were the owners of that 
beautiful lake, abounding in food for its savage lords in 
the form of the kali alii shellfish, the koura crayfish, and 
the inanga, or whitebait, now almost depleted by the 

pakeha’s greedy rainbow trout. 

Tmnoana’s chief was a man called Rangiunuora. Now* 
one day when there appears to have been a large 
assembly of Tuhourangi warriors on Tmnoana, there 
oanie paddling dowm a Rotoiti tana, or war-party, from 
Rotorua, headed by Tutanekai, the famous chief of 
Mokoia Island, for whose love Hinemoa swam the 
lake. The armed canoe-party were bound for the 
eastern end of Rotoiti, whence they were to go by the 
forest track to Rotoehu, to settle a little business matter 
with the edge of the patu, hut they halted awhile at 
Tmnoana. The customary ceremonies of welcome were 
performed, as the Rotorua men landed; then followed an 
exciting war dance, in which the two parties encountered 


TIIK STORY OF AN IJTl 7 ACCOUNT 


oiu* another iii the manner of a sliain fight. The mimic 
war, however, developed unexpectedly into a real fight 
with spear and taiaha and stone axe. In the melee a 
young man named Tamakari, son of the chief Pikiao and 
related to Tutanekai, was killed. Tutanekai and his men 
were driven to their canoes, leaving behind them the body 
of Tamakari, and they retreated to Mokoia Island and 
Rotorua. The body of the slain man was taken by tin* 
men of Tumoana to Omawhiti Pa, where it was cooked 
and eaten. 

For the purposes of account-keeping in this game of 
war now opened, the score may, at this stage, be stated 
thus: 

Tuhouraugi .. .. One 

Tutanekai and others .. Nil 

Now began the misfortunes of the descendants of 
Taketake-hikuroa, the men of Tumoana. Tutanekai 
and the Mokoia and Owhata people made preparations 
for a campaign against the Tuhourangi of Rotoiti. They 
endeavoured to strengthen the expeditionary force by 
inviting the assistance of the Ngati-Awa tribe, of the 
Bay ot Plenty shores, to accompany them in the quest 
for utu. 

Ngati-Awa, however, were not inclined to fight in 
another tribe’s cause just then, and declined. The 
Waitaha tribe, who dwelt in the great walled pa 
Otamarakau, still to be seen as one travels along the 
beautiful coast between Matata and Maketu, were also 
approached by Tutanekai’s delegates. They at first 
refused to assist, but some time afterwards consented, 
and with Ngati-Pikiao and a war-party of Tutanekai ’s* 
made a fierce attack on Tumoana. They captured the 
peninsula-pa, killed a chief named Iiioi, and numerous 
others, and took a number of prisoners. Tutanekai 
returned in triumph to Rotorua in his war-canoe, 
carrying with him the body of Hioi, to be cooked and 
eaten as utu for the slain Tamakari. 

The Waitaha and Pikiao warriors went from Tumoana 
to Tapuaekaruru, at the eastern end of Rotoiti, and 


252 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 



leaving their canoes there marched on to Rotoehu (by 
which way they had evidently come to join Tutanekai); 
the Ngati-Pikiao people were then apparently living at 
Rotoehu. When they arrived at that lake, they killed all 
their prisoners except one, and cooked and devoured 
them. 


If 

sJuM&M &&& jmr jt » s 

Photo by Copt. T. Upon, Toupo , 1SX)8. 

Hamuti Haukino, an old Hauhau warrior, of Tokaanu, Lake Taupo. 

r rlie score was now equalised, except in the detail of 
the number of heads taken and bodies eaten:— 

Tutanekai and Ngati-Pikiao and allies . . One 
Tuhourangi .. .. .. .. One 

The solitary prisoner permitted to live was a woman 
named Te Aoniwaho. Kotiora, a chief of Pikiao, spared 


THK STORY OK AN I'TU ACCOI'NT 



captivity; then she took an opportunity of escaping and 
returned to her people at Te Whangaikorea Pa, on the 



joy by her relatives, and was wept over by the tribe in 
a ceremonious tangi, for she was the sole survivor of the 
prisoners taken at Tumoana. She informed her friends 
that her ex-husband Kotiora had spoken insultingly of 
her and her relations, and they straightway resolved to 
continue the vendetta by destroying Kotiora and his clan 
if they could. 

So the next entry in this tribal profit and loss account 
was made at Rotoeliu Lake. A war-party of the 
Tuhonrangi stealthily and by night canoed to the end of 
the lake, loped down to Rotoeliu, and lay in wait in the 
forest close to the Nukumaru palisaded village. The 
lady Aoniwaho accompanied them as a guide, and 
pointed out the ivhare where her one-time husband slept. 
When all were asleep in the pa, in the midnight hours, 
the tana burst in with a wild rush and a terrifying war- 
song, and began their work of slaughter. Kotiora they 
caught alive, and they took him back with them to 
Whangaikorea, where he met his inevitable fate, the club 
and the oven. 

Thus the Tuhonrangi were avenged upon Ngati-Pikiao 
and the A\ aitaha for the loss of Tumoana and its people. 
Score:— 


Tuhonrangi 

Ngati-Pikiao 


Two 

One 


And, says Ereatara Rangihoro, when the Waitalia 
and Ngati-Pikiao tribes heard of this sudden and well- 
planned expedition of reprisal, they were in a fury of 
rage to avenge the sack of the Rotoeliu pa. They 
gathered a war-party, and embarking on their long- 
canoes at Tapuaeharuru beach, the eastern end of 
Rotoiti, they went flying up the lake on the quest for utu. 
They attacked the Whangaikorea stockaded village and 


254 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


took it by storm, killing the Tuhourangi chief Te Karere- 
pounamn, and a great many others, and then returned to 
their homes in triumph with their spoil of human flesh. 
“And so the descendants of Taketake-hikuroa,” says 
the old tattooed historian, “no longer lived near the 
eastern end of the lake.” 


Two 

Two 


Ngati-Pikiao 

Tuhourangi 


But the utu account, though again equalised, was not 
allowed to stand there. The descendants of Taketake- 
the-Long-Tail, recruiting their forces and nerving them¬ 
selves with many a fiery speech and furious war-dance 
for another foray, took the route for Rotoelm to obtain 
utu for the slaying of the chieftain, Te Karere-pounanm. 
Landing from their canoes on the sounding sands of 
Tapuaeharuru, they marched along the forest trail that 
a century afterwards became known as Hongi’s Track, 
through the beautiful Tahuna Bush, which covers the flat 
neck of land between Lakes Rotoiti and Rotoelm. There, 
in the woods, the taua suddenly encountered a party of 
Ngati-Pikiao people, including the children of the chief 
Te Takinga, and attacked and slew them. Cutting off the 
heads of the slain, they danced their haka of terrible glee, 
and taking the bodies they turned right about and filed 
hack through the forest to Rotoiti, for they had won 
their utu. Home they paddled to Motu-tawa pa, which 
stood on the top of yonder white cliff-peninsula near the 
western end of the lake. They carried the heads of their 
foes stuck upon short poles in the hows of their canoes— 
the bodies were for the cannibal feast—and as they went 
past the pas on headland and island, they spread the 
news of their latest victory. 


Tuhourangi 

Ngati-Pikiao 



which, of course, left the Rotoelm people one utu to the 
had. The bodies were laid before Rangipuawlie, the 




Till', STOKY OK AN UTI' ACCOUNT 


255 


the strongest of tlieii* stockaded positions around the 
western (Mid o! the lake- the pas known as Pukuralii, 
Kakanui, Te Weta, Titaka, Te Pukeroa, Makamaka- 
liinaki, Kopuaroa, Motu-o-IIiwa (“Iliwa’s Isle”)—the 
little island now covered with willows which you may see 
in the Talieke arm of Rotoiti—and Motu-tawa, the lofty 
peninsula-pa on the opposite side of the lake. 

fhe Rotoehu people who escaped the clubs and spears of 


the war-party in the Taliuna forest had, of course, quickly 
informed their tribe, and the red axe was raised again 
by Waitaha and Ngati-I’ikiao, wild with anger at the 
persistently bellicose policy of the insolent Tuhourangi. 
Preparations were made for a final desperate attempt to 
sweep the western Rotoiti inhabitants out of existence, 


or at any rate out of the Lake pas. The inland-dwelling 
A\ aitaha sent to their kinsmen living at Otamarakau 
and elsewhere on the Bay of Plenty coast, and a 
formidable column of brown warriors soon thereafter 
appeared in light marching order, on the Sounding- 


Sands, and manned every available canoe for their great 
foray against Tuhourangi. 

They paddled swiftly up the lake by night, and just 
at break of day attacked and took Te Weta Pa, which 
stood on the island-like peninsula in the beautiful bay of 
Wai-iti, near the western end of Rotoiti. They wasted 
little time,, for hurrying on from Te Weta they also 
stormed in succession Kakanui, Motu-o-Hiwa, Te 
Pukeroa, Makamaka-liinaki, and Kapuakino forts, all on 
the Talieke block. The refugees fled to Motu-tawa and 


settled on that side of Rotoiti nearest Rotorua, which Te 
Rangipuawhe, their head-chief, soon abandoned to 
Ngati-Pikiao, removing witli his people to Rotorua and 
Roto-kakahi. 


And so the Rotoiti war-game, begun by the sham fight 
on Tumoana, ended in a final squaring of accounts in 
favour of the spearsmen of Ngati-Pikiao and Waitaha. 
Score:— 


Ngati-Pikiao .. .. Three 

Tuhourangi . . . _ Three 

So ’Pikiao drew “last blood” and the land. 


Chapter XXIII. 


TOREKAHE’S REVENGE. 


Just opposite the little burial-island Pateko, about 
half-way down Lake Rotoiti, on the southern side, is the ! 
steep woody headland or matarae known as Ngarehu; | 
behind it is a deep gully, and then rises the cliffy hill 
Pae-hinahina (“ridge covered with hinahina trees”). 
This hill is the site of a celebrated fort of ancient times, 
a pa which occupied a very strong position. On three i 
sides it was defended by cliffs; the only entrance, or 
kuwaha, was on the south side, where the approach was 
along a narrow ridge, which could be easily defended by 
the garrison. The spot was an excellent one for a 
fortified village, for any canoes on the lake could be seen 
while yet a long way off, and the cliffy walls made the pa 
impregnable against a sudden assault. The pa was 
captured, however, on one occasion in a rather remark¬ 
able fashion. The story is worth telling as a hitherto 
unchronicled and interesting episode in Lakeland history, 
and particularly as an illustration of the resource and 
strategy of the Maori warrior of those days, a man who, 
though a cannibal savage, was a man of brains, and a 
master of military tactics. 

No Maori tribe undertook a war-expedition without 
some take, or cause, sufficient to justify taking up spear 
and club. Some of these takes seem very ridiculous to 
the white man, but in the case of Pae-hinahina the 
provocation was a cruel murder which brought a deserved 
retribution. 

One day, a hundred and fifty years ago, a small 
company of Ngati-Pikiao warriors, numbering a score 
or so, filed out from the gateway of Pae-hinahina Pa, and 
took the narrow trail through the forest and over the 


266 




tohkkaiik’s hkvk.nck 


257 

nm/w/ru-clol hod hills in the direction of their enemies’ 
country to the southward. “They went out to eat men,” 
said the old Rotoiti man who told me the story, “they 
hungered for kiko-tangata , the sweet flesh of man.” The 
cannibal meat hunters marched cautiously along, with a 
scout out a little distance in front, until they readied the 
vicinity of the stream called the Waimata—“Obsidian 



Photo by Pulmcm, Auckland. 

Taonui, Chief of the Ngati-Maniapoto, and one of the founders of the 
Maori King movement. 

Creek”—now the source of the Rotorua town water- 
supply, under the western bluffs of Moerangi hill, about 
three miles to the east of the Whakarewarewa geyser- 
valley. Here the war trail intersected the track which 
led from Roto-kakahi through the Pareuru Valley to 
V hakarewarewa and Rotorua, one of the usual routes of 
travel for the “Shellfish-Lake” Maoris right up to the 
time the road was blocked by the Tarawera eruption in 
1886. 


R 



258 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Here tlie scout reported that there were three people 
in sight, coming along the track from Boto-kakahi. The 
“meat” was walking into the trap. The Ngati-Pikiao 
taua sank to the earth instantly, for fear they might have 
been observed by the wayfarers; then their leader posted 
them ready for the deed of blood, half the taua on one 
side of the track and half on the other. The ambnsli laid, 
the man-hunters waited for their prey. 

The three travellers were a chief named Torekahe and 
his sisters, young women named Uakura and Ngarehu. 
Torekahe was a warrior of some fame, an active daring 
man who had had many a narrow escape from the club 
and the oven; he was the chief of the fortified village of 
Ngati-te-Whetu, the “Tribe of The Star,” on Motn-tawa, 
the island in Boto-kakahi. The brother and sisters were 
journeying to Te Whakarewarewa on a visit to relatives 
in that pa. They came along in single file, all un¬ 
suspicious of the hungry savages who crouched in the 
roadside thickets. 

Suddenly Torekahe’s quick eye noticed something 
moving a moment in the low manuka shrubbery just 
ahead. It looked like a spear projecting above the 
bushes. Then he heard a sound of a breaking branch 
close by the track, and he caught a glimpse of a feather 
head-plume such as warriors wear. That was enough for 
the chief. He knew that he had walked right into an 
ambush. Torekahe, death’s hand is at your throat! 

The brave chief of Motn-tawa divined instantly that he 
could not save his sisters, and that it would be mar¬ 
vellous if lie succeeded in escaping himself. He turned, 
and exclaiming, “It is death!” he quickly pressed his 
face to the faces of his sisters in succession, in the 
greeting of the hongi, the touching of noses—his last 
farewell. The women, too, had instantly realised their 
hopeless case, for none but deadly foes could be lurking 
in those bushes. 

The next moment with a terrible war-cry the Ngati- 
Pikiao men leaped from their hiding-places, and charged 
with spear and mere on the three. 


tohkkaiie’k hevenoe 


259 


Torekfihe, leaving 1 1 is terrified sisters, and gripping 
tightly his tongue-pointed taiaha, sprang to one side of 
the track and made a feint at the enemy there; then like 
lightning he faced about, and leaping to the other side 
charged through his adversaries before they could bring 
a weapon to play on him. Darting through the scrub he 
outran his pursuers; they soon gave up the chase and 
returned to the main body, who had seized and bound the 
two women, and were even now making horrible 
preparations for a cannibal feast. 

Torekfihe cautiously made his way to a near-by hill 
brow, from which he could watch his enemies and their 
captives in the valley below. He made sure that his way 
of escape was clear if he were again pursued, and then he 
cried exultingly to the Ngati-Pikiao, who were within 
easy hearing: 

“Haere, e lioki! E kore ahau e mau ia koutou; he maim honenga ahau 
no te pae!’ ’ 

(“Go, return whence you came! I shall not be caught by you; I have 
escaped like a bird from the snare set for it! “) 

Then, as he expected, lie saw his two unfortunate 
sisters killed. Each was felled with a blow on the head 
from a patu. Their heads were hacked off with the 
sharp-edged stone weapons, and held up and waved in 
derision at the grief-stricken Torekahe on the hill above. 
And the brother, who had but a few minutes before 
farewelled his sisters with the hongi of sorrowing 
affection, now cried his poroporoaki, his parting message 
to their unheeding ears: 

“ Aku tuahine e! Haere, haere! Mo korua te tai awatea, moku te tai po! ” 

(“Oh sisters! Farewell, Farewell! 

Go you on the tide that ebbs in the light of day; I will follow you on 
the evening tide! ’’) 

And Torekahe turned and pressed homewards again 
over the spurs of Moerangi, and spread the news of 
invasion and murder. And the savages of Pae-liinahina, 
bearing the dismembered bodies of their victims with 
them, cut up into pieces and packed in flax baskets, made 
their wav back as speedily as possible to their lakeside 


260 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


fort. And there the cannibal feast was held, and war 
dances of furious sound were danced, and preparations 
made to resist the certain attack that must follow the 
murder at Obsidian Creek. 

Torekalie speedily raised an armed force to avenge the 
treacherous slaying of his sisters. The expedition 
consisted of one hundred and seventy men. He himself 
had his matua or company of seventy men, ( hokowhitu ) 
all tried and skilled warriors, the pick of his tribe, 
Ngati-Te-Whetu. The remaining hundred men, from 
Motu-tawa, Te Puia (Whakarewarewa), Owhatiura, and 
other pas of the Tuliourangi tribe and kindred hapus, 
were under the command of his old comrade Te 
Rangikotua. This ope, or army, after being karakia' d 
over for the war-path by the priests, and after the niu or 
sacred rods had been duly thrown to divine the issues of 
battle, and the warriors sprinkled with the sacred waters 
to tapu them for deeds of blood, set out for Lake Rotoiti 
to work vengeance on the cannibals of Pae-liinahina. 
They marched by way of Rotokawa (“Bitter Lake”) and 
Tikitere, and reached the shores of Rotoiti close to the 
place where the hot sulphur spring Manupirua bubbles 
up under its overhanging pohutukawa tree. Thence they 
travelled along the coastline until at night they reached 
a bay not very far from Pae-hinahina and lay in ambush 
there, having ascertained from a man who lived by the 
lakeside that a party of fishermen from the fort would 
shortly come down to draw their seine for inanga (white¬ 
bait), which at that season swarmed on the Lake. 

Early in the morning the men of Ngati-Pikiao came 
along in their canoes, and sweeping their long fine- 
meshed net of flax round the shoals of the inanga, drew 
the ends in to the beach. Then Torekalie’s warriors 
rushed down and seized the net as it was being dragged 
ashore, and played patu and spear on their astonished 
enemies. There was a lively little battle there that raw 
early morning-time; heads were split and bodies speared 
through and through. The fishermen were easily 
defeated; a number were killed, and the rest fled at top 





TORKKAIIK’s REVENUE 


2()1 


speed in their canoes, and spread the alarm at Pae- 
hinaliina. Ngati-Pikiao gathered within their strong 
cliff-top stockade and waited the shock of war. 

The pa was too well defended to carry by a coup-de- 
niain. Torekfdie and his comrade Te Rangikotua had, 
therefore, to set their wits to work to devise some more 
subtle method of attack. The plan hit upon was an 
astute and, as events proved, a completely successful one. 

The assailing war-column was divided into two parties. 
Te Rangikotua’s hundred men formed the inatua to 
make the frontal attack, while Torekfdie remained in 
hiding, awaiting an opportunity to scale the walls 
secretly at the flanks or the rear of the pa. The main 
body therefore advanced boldly, and with much defiant 
yelling and war-dancing took up a position on the ridge 
leading to the kuwaha or front gateway of the fort. 

The occupants of the hill stockade, seeing no other 
enemies than those who thus openly invested them, 
concluded that the hundred men of Te Rangikotua were 
their only assailants, and all the eyes of the pa were 
for the warriors on their front. There was no fear of an 
attack from the other three sides, for no enemy had ever 
attempted, at any rate successfully, to scale those cliffs. 

Night came, a dark moonless night, which helped 
Torekfihe’s scheme. He quietly reconnoitred the position 
in a small canoe, and then returning to his hidden 
hokoivhitu, led them to the north-eastern side of the pa. 
Here they crouched without a sound, concealed from 
view by the vegetation and by the cliffs that formed the 
ramparts of Pae-hinaliina. 

Torekahe had observed that on this side of the pa 
a large pohutukawa tree grew just on the cliff-top; it 
leaned outwards as these picturesquely twisted and 
gnarled trees generally do on a hillside, and some of its 
branches stretched far out towards the lake. It was 
just under this tree that he posted his men. The pa was 
full of all the excitement of war that night—watch-fires 
blazing, war-trumpets braying, chiefs shouting speeches 
of encouragement and instruction to their men. The 


262 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


watchmen, perched aloft in the puhara or slender tower¬ 
like balconies that rose above the palisades, chanted at 
intervals their wild songs of battle. On the woody ridge 
burned the camp fires of Te Rangikotua. 

Torekahe now instructed his followers to take a 
number of their spears and splice them firmly together 
with flax cords so as to form a long pole the height of 
the cliff above them. This was done, and then to the 
end of the long limber pole was tied a large wooden hook. 
The pole was carefully raised, and the warriors grappled 
with the hook one of the branches of the overhanging 
pohutukawa. 

Making sure that the hold was secure, the daring chief j 
then swarmed up the pole of spears, hauling himself up 
hand over hand until he reached the tree, and drew 
himself up safely on the bough to which the hook was 
attached. He crawled cautiously along the branch and 
down into the pa, into the nest of his enemies. With the 
wariness and cunning of a scout of many war-paths and 
many close calls, Torekahe crept about the cliff-side, 
spying out the position. 

Quite close to the huge knotty butt of the pohutukawa, 
a small hut stood by itself. Just at the entrance to this 
whare lay an old man asleep. Alongside him was a 
partly plaited flax rope; it was intended for one of the 
hauling ropes of a kupenga, or fisliing-net; the old fellow 
had been working at it before he fell asleep. It was his 
last sleep, for Torekahe quietly drew his stone pain from 
liis flax waist-belt and swiftly dealt the man a death¬ 
blow on the side of the temple. Then, tying the rope to 
the body, he lowered it down to his men below. It was 
the mata-ika, the “first fish” slain. 

Dawn was approaching, and the sentinels on the 
stockade were chanting their songs to the morning stars. 
After lowering down the body of the unfortunate maker 
of ropes, Torekahe made fast the end of the flax rope 
to the pohutukawa, and bis men quietly ascended one 
by one. 




TOHKKAIIK’s KKVKNOK 


Now the daring leader raised his voice in a loud 
sentinel song or W'hakaaraara-pci. In the gloom ol the 
early morning lie was not recognised by the people of the 
pa, who thought he was one of their own sentries. 

This, translated, is part of his song, a chant well- 
remembered to this day by his descendants; an “All’s- 
well ’ ’ song to Tariao and Kopu, the first and morning 
stars: 


This is the pa! 

These the high palisades, 

Bound with the forest vines. 

Ami here within am I 
Singing my song. 

Shine brightly, O Tariao! 

Let fear seize on our foes, 

Death’s fateful harbinger 
Howl fearful in their ears, 

Ngahue’s red-toothed dog— 

‘ ‘ Moo-oo-i! Au-u-u ! ’ ’ 

Keen blows the western wind, 

Wafting a sound of war. 

Aid us, shades of our sires, 

Ahi-koriki, Rongotaha! 

Here on the watch am I, 

E-e! I aha-hal 

Wakeful on watch am I, 

Ready to rush to the fray, 

Charge on the thickets of spears! 

E-e! I aha-ha! 

Keen for the conflict are we, 

Hot for the slaying of men, 

Hungry for eating of men! 

Like a ngarara monster our host— 

Lo! the murderous sweep of its tail! 

The snapping, the foam of its jaws! 

Kopu beams forth in the sky, 

Here on the watch am I, 

E-e! I alia-ha! 

There was a pause, and then a sentinel in another part 
of the pa, all unknowing of the fact that the singer who 
had just ended his loud chant was an enemy, lifted up 
his voice in a song of his own. When he had ended, 
Torekalie sang a second watch-song; and then when 
grey dawn was just approaching, and it was necessary 
to give the pre-arranged signal for the assault, he 


264 


THE MAORIS OF HEW ZEALAND 


chanted loudly his third Wliakaaraara. These were the 
words: 

Te alii ra ra, 

Te ahi ra ra, 

Tahia ki uta, 

Tahia ! 

Ko au kai tai, 

E-e-i! 

Aha-ha-! 

In this chant, which Torekalie shouted so that it would 
be plainly heard by Te Bangikotua and his hundred men 
camped in front of the pa, he addressed his comrades as 
‘‘The tires burning yonder,” and warned them to gather 
on the land side and sweep down on the pa. “Sweep 
it!” he cried, “Here am I by the water-side.” 

In another moment Te Bangikotua had given his men 
the order to charge—“Kokiritia!” and they dashed with 
fury at the stockade of their foes. 

The garrison rushed to defend the main gateway and 
the stockade. Then Torekalie, in the rear, made his 
attack. In the resultant confusion, the front matua 
swarmed into the fort, hacking their way through and 
over the stockades and gateways, and joined with their 
cliff-climbing comrades in the work of slaughter. 
Pae-hinahina fell. Many of its garrison went into the 
ovens of the conquerors, and many others were taken as 
slaves. Thus did Torekalie quickly take utu for the 
murder of his two sisters. 

This warrior chief Torekfdie was born about eight 
generations ago. Tie was seventh in descent from 
Kahureremoa, a famous puhi or tapu’d maiden; she was 
a chieftainess ol Tainui stock. Kahureremoa married 
Takakopiri, and her daughter was Tuparahaki, another 
celebrated puhi of high rank, many of whose descendants 
are living at Rotorua and Tauranga and Maketu at the 
present day. 







Chapter XXI V. 


THE MAORI AND THE MUSKET. 


“The great god of the white man is the pw,” said 
old Tamarangi, with an air of wisdom, as we sat under 
the willows on the little white beach on Mokoia Island, 
in Lake Rotorua, on the spot where Hongi and his 
musket-armed Ngapuhi warriors leaped ashore from 
their war-canoes in 1823. 

Pu is the Maori word for firearms. Literally it 
means to blow; it is one of those sound-words so common 
in Maori. A cannon is a pu-repo; a revolver is a pu- 
ririki-hurihuri , or ‘ ‘little-gun-that-turns-round. ’ ’ 

“Yes,” said the old man, “the pu is your god. We 
Maori people, when we first heard the pu, thought 
it was a new kind of pu-tatura [trumpet], but, when we 
came to know how deadly it was, we called its flash ‘the 
fire of the gods’ [te ahi tipua]. 

“Now I will tell you of Hongi and his Ngapuhi, and 
how they took this island from us with their rdkau* the 
pu. It was almost entirely new to us then—we had only 
two muskets amongst all our tribes on the island, and 
scarcely any ammunition for them—and we—that is, my 
father’s people—were helplessly slaughtered.” 

And then the chief of Mokoia told the tale of the 
Arawa’s conquest—which happened just about the time 
of his birth—by the black-tattooed men of the North, 
when their great canoes from Tokerau for the first time 
floated on Rotorua-nui-a-Kahu. 

The story of the investment and fall of Mokoia is a 
remarkable illustration of Maori military enterprise. 
Hongi Hika, the great war-chief of Ngapuhi, was seized 
with the bold ambition of a conquering march through 


*Bakau—\\e apon. 


265 





266 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


the whole North Island, of making his name ring to the 
boundaries of the sky. He went to England in 1820, 
sailing from the Bay of Islands in the whaler “New 
Zealander,” with the expressed intention of procuring 
.arms with which to overcome his enemies, particularly 
those of the Kaipara and Hanraki districts. 

In England he was made much of, particularly by the 
Church Missionary Society people, who had his portrait 
painted, with the chief Waikato. He was presented by 
the Prince Regent, afterwards King George IV., with 
some gifts, including steel cuirasses and helmets, the 
armour of old. He was given many other presents, but 
most of them, except the armour, he exchanged when he 
reached Sydney for flintlock muskets, powder, and 
bullets. From Sydney he took passage to his native land. 
Straightway he armed his men with the wonderful new 
weapons, and led them on campaign after campaign, 
shooting and eating his way southwards, paying oft' old 
scores and running up new ones. The heart of the Island 
he raided, the West Coast and the East, the victims 
falling in many hundreds to his musketeers. 

Then he turned his guns on this “Takiwa Waiariki.” 
For the invasion of the Lakeland district Hongi was not 
without take, or cause, in Maori eyes. In the previous 
year the Tuliourangi tribe had murdered the Northern 
chief Te Pae-o-te-Rangi and a visiting party of Ngapuhi 
on the island Motu-tawa, in Lake Roto-kakahi. Eagerly 
the dark conqueror seized on this take, and, early in 
1823, he set sail with several hundreds—one account says 
1200—of his warriors from Whangaroa and the Bay of 
Islands, in a fleet of war-canoes. Under sail and paddle 
they voyaged down the coast to the Bay of Plenty. Then 
entering the Waihi, they paddled up the Pongakawa 
River, which bursts from the ground a few miles from 
Lake Rotoehu, and when they had reached the head of 
navigation, they bent on the drag-ropes and hauled the 
canoes over the hills to the Lake. Meanwhile a portion of 
the army had already marched on Rotorua. 


Tin: iuaoki 


AND THE MUSKET 


'21U 


From a sketch by Major-General G. Robley, after 
the portrait painted in England in 1820. 



Hongi Hika. 


268 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


The Arawa gathered for defence on Mokoia, taking 
with them every canoe that floated on the lake. On their 
island-fortress they fancied themselves secure. Hapu 
by hapu the Arawa paraded on the island, under their 
chiefs, Moko-nui-a-Rangi, Iiikairo, Rakau, Haereliuka, 
Te Kahawai, Te Awaawa, the priests Unuahu and 
Tnlioto, and other men of high and sacred rank. 

From Lake Rotoehu Hongi hauled his canoes across 
the Taliuna forest portage—where the road is to this 
day called “Hongi’s Track”—and launched them on 
Rotoiti. Paddling up that lake and breasting the swift 
current of the Ohau stream the Ngapulii warriors rested 
triumphantly at last on the waters of Rotorua. 

The Mokoia garrison now observed an unusual stir in 
the Ngapulii encampment on the curving sands of the 
Ohau, and to their consternation they beheld a fleet of 
strange canoes on the beach. Then one day the attack 
was made. The army of Northmen embarked, each long 
narrow craft packed with men, their polished muskets 
and tomahawks flashing back the sun. Hundreds of 
paddles plunged deep; spray flew from each gargovled 
bow and each sharp manuka blade as the canoes dashed 
forward, the chiefs perched up amidships swaying from 
side to side, and beating time for the paddles with their | 
weapons, while the awful war-song boomed across the 
lake. In the foremost canoe, her fifty paddles dipping 
and poising in air as one and dipping again, stood Hongi 
Hika, in his suit of armour, surely the strangest, wildest 
man of war the Maori had ever looked upon. A 
glittering helmet—the “ Potae-rino” or “Iron Hat,” as [ 
the Maoris called it—crowned his ferocious tattooed face, 
and a cuirass of steel protected his body, in strange 
contrast with the naked brown limbs of the athletic 
savage. His hand gripped a double-barrelled flint 
musket, his tapu gun “Patu-iwi” (“Slay the People”), | 
and in his flax waist-belt was stuck a sharp short-handled 
tomahawk. Like some medieval hero he led on his 
barbarous horde, a helmeted Crusader of this “Fish of 
Maui.” 



THE MAO HI AND THE MUSKET 


2(V.) 

While Ngapuhi swept on to the attack, tlie Arawa, 
according to Tanmrangi, reposed their faith in their 
soothsayers and medicine-men. The tohunga of the lakes 
recited their most powerful spells to unnerve the enemy, 
to afflict them with deadly fear, and to cause the demons 
ol the Lake to rise and overwhelm them. The diviners 
prophesied that the taniwha of the Lake would raise a 
terrible sea when the invaders’ canoes neared tin* island, 
and that all would be drowned. The priest Tuhoto 
Ariki, after calling on the gods of the Maori, spoke: 
“The spirit ol the Lake, the Taniwha Rongomai, will 
surely destroy our enemies before they reach the shore.” 
And another tohunga, the high priest Unuahu, took his 
father’s sacred bones, and muttering a thric e-tapu 
incantation, cast them into the lake waters, to arouse 
the taniwha of storms. The priests called aloud in their 
frenzy, as the prophets of Baal cried to their god who 
perchance was on a journey or haply was sleeping and 
must be awakened. But Ngapuhi just swept on and in to 
the beach, and carried all before them. 

Hongi was standing up in his canoe when, nearing the 
beach at the rock called Tu-Waitara, he was fired at by 
the chief Te Awaawa. This man had taken aim at him 
from a flat-topped grey rock which juts out into the lake 
near the sacred place Matariki,—on this northern side 
where we are sitting—a rock known to the Maoris as 
Te Toka-i-Hoturapa. But Hongi’s steel helmet saved 
his life. The bullet struck him on the side of the “iron 
hat, and the mail-clad cannibal was knocked backwards 
into his canoe, but was unhurt. In another moment the 
invaders’ keels had grated on the white beach of the 
Sacred-Isle-of-Tinirau. 

^ * . d Tamai an^,i, as he goes through the 

fight m pantomimic fashion, “the Ngapuhi leaped on 
shore; then resounded their guns, dealing sudden death 
from afar. The Arawa had gathered on the beach to 
withstand them; the many hundreds of the Arawas, a 
great multitude, but powerless before Hongi’s muskets. 
The\ left their liill-forts, thinking to overwhelm Ngapuhi 


270 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


as they landed on the beach—but how could Te Arawa 
stand against them, Te Arawa whose only weapons were 
rakau maori —weapons of wood and clubs of stone and 
bone? They had but one or two guns; they must fight 
the enemy with the strength of their hands. 

“The guns sounded; the Arawa fell in heaps: from the 
sacred place of the gods at Matariki here, even to Te 
Paepaerau yonder, the warriors of the North rushed, 
shouting and shooting and tomahawking as they went. 
Came Hongi the Man-Eater, wearing his sacred potae- 
rino ; came the army of Ngapulii with their many guns. 
So fell the island-men. The hill-forts were captured; 
many scores of men, women and children were slain, and 
great numbers were taken prisoners. Then rose the 
smoke of the man-cooking ovens along this Huruliuru 
flat where now you see the kumara and the potato and the 
maize growing; and from the forests on the mainland 
the remnant of Te Arawa raised the tangi for their 
dead. ’ ’ 

A daring exploit was that of the chief Moko-nui-a- 
Rangi, who escaped from the island. When the Arawa 
were repulsed Moko’ and numbers of his people took to 
the water and struck out for the mainland. He was 
swimming in close company with two others when he was 
overhauled by a small party of Ngapulii in a canoe and 
pulled on board. Not recognising him, but knowing the 
chief was amongst the escaping men, they inquired the 
whereabouts of Moko-nui-a-Rangi. “There he is,” said 
Moko’, pointing to the leading swimmer. The Ngapulii 
picked up the second man, and threw him into the bottom 
of the canoe, and then overtaking the remaining Arawa 
they laid down their paddles and leaned over in their 
eagerness to haul their prize on board. Moko’ and his 
companion instantly seized a paddle each and killed or 
stunned their captors. Throwing the Ngapuhis over¬ 
board, rescuing their comrade, and picking up others as 
they proceeded, they reached the shore in safety, and 
disappeared in the friendly woods. 


Til E MAORI AND THE MUSKET 


27 I 


Te Rauparaha, and How he Slew the Muaupoko. 

'IV Rauparaha! It was, indeed, a name to invoke in 
the early decades of last century. Some say the cannibal 
warrior became a Christian convert in his last days, and 
died in all the odour of sanctity. It is, however, difficult 
to accept the belief that the Rauparaha, the “Old 
Sarpint” of the early Yankee whalers, who had all bis 
lile revelled in the roar of battle and the feast on the 
human “Fish-of-Tu,” should so completely renounce the 
citua Maori and all their works as to become a humble 
follower of the mild and peaceful divinity of the pakeha. 
If he really did so, the idea suggests itself that it was 
only for the same reason for which old King Thakomhau 
of Fiji—the original “King of the Cannibal Islands 
in his declining years abandoned man-eating—because 
he had lost his teeth. One prefers to believe that 
Rauparaha remained to the last a sturdy heathen in his 
heart—in spite of his benevolence to the early 
missionaries and his latter-day church-building. 

It was as early as 1817 or 1818 that Rauparaha 
realised the practical advantages of cultivating the white 
man’s friendship. His descendants at Otaki and Porirua 
tell the story to this day. Tamati Waka Nene (of 
Ngapuhi), Rauparaha, and other northern chiefs, led a 
destroying army down the West Coast from Kawhia, 
killing and eating as they went. On the seas of Cook 
Strait they saw the white sails of a pakeha ship, and as 
they gazed on the rare sight Waka said, “Oh, ’Raha, 
those white people are a good people and a useful! If 
you obtain possession of this land you will become a 
great man—you will possess guns and powder in 
abundance.” And straightway Rauparaha resolved to 
take the land, so that he might be near the European 
traders, and obtain the muskets that were to become the 
most potent gods of the Maori. About a year later he 
and all his tribe of Ngati-Toa abandoned their homes on 
Kawhia harbour, and after many months’ marching and 
fighting, at last arrived in their promised land, and 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


272 

proceeded to establish their title by the summary process 
of eating the then owners, the Muaupoko, Bangitane, and 
kindred tribes. 

The islet-dotted, shallow lake of Horowhenua (close 
to the present township of Levin) was the scene of some 
of Bauparalia’s most frightful slaughters of the 
unfortunate Muaupoko. On the northern and western 
shores of Llorowhenua the remnant of Muaupoko live 
to-day. They have not yet forgotten (or forgiven) the 
conquering raid. 

The most remarkable features of Horowhenua to-day 
are the six artificial islands, or lake-pus, which were 
built about the year 1820 by the Muaupoko as a means 
of protection against Bauparaha. At the northern end 
of the lake are the islets of Karapu and Namu-iti. Near 
the south end are the islands Wai-kiekie, Boha-o-te-kawau 
(which are close to the ITokio stream, the outlet of the 
lake), Waipata and Puke-iti. The waters of the lake are 
nowhere more than twenty to twenty-five feet in depth; 
one of the deepest parts, opposite the road leading from 
Levin township to the lake side, is the fabled dwelling- 
place of the taniwlia Ivawau-a-Toru, Muaupoko’s genius 
loci. The largest of these artificial islands are Karapu 
and Wai-kiekie. Most of them are in shallow water, not 
more than six or seven feet in depth. They are now 
luxuriant tangles of raupo, toetoe, flax and shrubbery; 
one or two of the southern ones are mere dots of flax- 
clumps, with here and there an ancient palisade-post. 
In building them—as the late Bangi-mairehau, of Horo¬ 
whenua, described it to me—the Muaupoko first of all 
drove down lines of strong stakes in the lake-bed, making 
large circular fences. The tussocks, flax, raupo, etc., 
were brought in canoes and pressed down over the 
sharp-pointed stakes, so as to form a wall; and baskets 
upon baskets of earth from the shore were emptied 
within the enclosure, until the islands were made. Inside 
the encircling fence more saplings and stakes were driven 
down into the soil and others crossed upon them, and 
as the ground grew solid, huts were built thereon, and 


THE MAORI AND TJIE MUSKET 


'll.* 


strong lines of stockades were built round all. The 
approaches to the islands (all of which are close to the 
mainland) were defended by a series of marine cheraux- 
de-frisc —rows of sharp stakes driven into the water 
until their points were just below the surface, in such 
positions as to offer serious obstruction to canoeists who 
were not acquainted with the intricate channels. When 
Rauparaha came, he found that most of the Muaupoko 
had taken to these lake-stronghohls, where they fancied 
themselves quite secure from even the conquering 
Ngati-Toa. 

Rauparaha’s men attacked the lake-dwellers, some 
firing at them from the adjacent mainland and some 
paddling out to the islets on rafts made of korari (fiax- 
stalks), and in canoes brought up from the sea-coast 
through the Hokio stream, and storming the island- 
stockades. The southern pas, near the Hokio, were first 
attacked. A story is told of Muaupoko’s first intimation 
that the gun was mightier than the old Maori weapons. 
A chief named Te Rangirurupuni was standing at the 
waterside on Wai-kiekie Island, when Rauparaha’s force 
opened fire. “Ah!” said he; “Listen! ’Tis thunder 
sounding.” But it was dangerous thunder, for presently 
the bullets began to strike the Muaupoko down, and Te 
Rangirurupuni received one through the hand. Then 
the islanders saw that it was not good to be there, and 
they fled in their canoes. Wai-kiekie and Te Roha-o-te- 
kawau fell easily, and many scores of Muaupoko were 
shot down and tomahawked here, so that the lake was 
red with their blood. The defenders had only their 
spears and clubs and axes, besides pounaro, or slings, 
with which they cast stones. The islets at the northern 
end were similarly invested and taken. 

The little island Namu-iti, now shady with willows, 
became a prison-isle, on which large numbers of miserable 
captives were penned in, while their cannibal captors 
camped on the mainland opposite, literally living on their 
prisoners. Whenever the cooking-ovens needed filling, 
the Ngati-Toa would wade out through the shallow water 


274 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


to the island, fifty yards away, pick out the fattest 
Muaupoko, kill them, eviscerate them, and drag the 
bodies back through the water to the shore. For many 
days the waters were stained red with blood for great 
distances, and ghastly tales are told of how the monster 
eels of Horowhenua congregated there, and gorged till 
they lay, helplessly bloated, on the lake, and how the 
seagulls from the coast, and the hawks from the plains 
hovered continually round the scene of butchery, feasting 
on what the Ngati-Toa left, and screaming the dirge of 
the daily-lessening hand of captives. 

In Lake Waiwiri (or Papaitonga, as it is generally 
called), south of Horowhenua, there is a similar low- 
lying artificial island, named Papawharangi, now covered 
with a beautiful grove of karaka -trees and rich with 
ferns and thpalms. This island pa was also taken by the 
invaders, and at the same time the larger island (Papai¬ 
tonga) in the lake was captured. Many of Ngati-Toa! 
swam across to the island, and so ferociously dauntless 
was their onslaught that the place was easily stormed. 
One warrior, Te Tipi, armed with a double-barrelled 
flint musket, struck terror to the hearts of Muaupoko by 
firing his gun as he swam—a veritable water-god. 

Kapiti Island was Te Rauparaha’s stronghold for 
many years after that, and with his muskets he held it 
against all-comers. And here he traded with the white 
man, and ever added to his store of firearms by barter 
with the captains and supercargoes, right up to the 
arrival of the “Tory” with the pioneers of Wellington 
in 1839. Many a European vessel cast anchor under the 
lee of Kapiti in those days, for it was one of the most 
important trading stations in the land of the Maori.; 
Old ships and quaint. First the whaler—long 
vanished from these waters—bluff and tubby, with her 
row of long sharp-ended boats hoisted to the cranes on 
either side, crow’s-nest at the main, the crew often a 
motley gang of all nations, booted into order by a rough 
and masterful “old man” from New Bedford or 
Martha’s Vineyard. Trading brigs and schooners from 


THE MAOltl AN1) THE MUSKET 


Sydney side, well-armed as befitted the times, carronades 
in the waist and swivels by the taffrail; ready to trade 
for anything from a ton of flax to a kit of dried tattooed 
heads, and equally ready to repel boarders or fire a 
Maori pa. Sometimes a stray Government vessel from 
across the Tasman Sea; occasionally some craft or other 
bearing a missionary, when Christianity and pot-hats 
became fashionable amongst the reformed cannibals of 
Ngati-Toa and Ngati-Awa. 



Chapter XXV. 


THE MAORI AND THE WHITE TRADER. 


It was the immense demand for firearms and ammuni¬ 
tion that made the early European trader such a power 
in the land of the Maori during the two decades 1820 to 
1840. The wars waged by Hongi and Te Rauparaha with 
their newly-acquired muskets fired every tribe with the 
desire to obtain supplies of the new weapons and so place 
themselves on something like equal terms with an 
invading army. The white coast-trader was the man who 
could supply them, in return for dressed flax and other 
commodities, and accordingly every tribe was eager to 
obtain a trader who would be its own special pakeha. 

The Maori story of the first white men who came to 
Kawliia Harbour furnishes a good illustration of the way 
in which the Maori chiefs sought and obtained the 
services of European traders. I extract the narrative 
from a MS. record of the evidence given by Major 
AY iremu te Wlieoro, the Lower Waikato chief, during the 
hearing of the Rohepotae cases before the first Native 
Land Court at Otorohanga, King Country, in 188(i:— 

“Shortly after the cessation of fighting between the 
Waikato people and the Ngapuhi, of the North 
the Kawliia chief Te Puaha went on a visit to the 
Ngapuhi country [Ray of Islands]. When he returned to 
Kawliia Harbour he brought with him a European 
named ‘Amukete.’ lie got him to come in with his ship 
as far as Ileahea, at the entrance to Kawliia. The 
Waikato people then resident at Kawliia asked him, the 
captain of the ship, to supply them with powder and with 
firearms. He sailed away to Sydney and brought back 


276 




I'UK MAORI AND TIIK WHITE TRADER 


277 


with him several other white men, including ‘To Kaora,’ 
*Te Rangitera,’ and ‘Tamete.’ These Europeans came to 
live with the Maoris as traders. They were claimed and 
taken away by the various chiefs as their pakehas. Te 
Wherowhero claimed ‘Amukete’ [or ‘ Hamukete’ ]. Kiwi 
claimed ‘Te Kaora.’ Te Tulii claimed ‘Te Rangitera’; 
Te Kanawa claimed ‘Tamete.’ Kiwi settled ‘Te Kaora’ 
on Pouwewe [(-lose to where Kawliia township now 
stands]. ‘Amukete’ occupied ITealiea. ‘Te Rangitera’ 
also lived at Healiea. ‘Tamete’ lived at Maketu, the 
large village on the north side of Kawliia Harbour [about 
a mile seaward of Pouwewe]. ‘Amukete’ was given Te 
Wherowhero’s daughter Tiria as his wife. ‘Te 
Rangitera’ was married to lieihei, Te Tulii’s daughter. 
‘Tamete’ was married to Rangiatea, niece of the chief 
Te Kanawa. 


“The Waikato people were then ordered by the chiefs 
to prepare flax to be sold to the European traders in 
exchange for guns and powder. The Ngati-Maniapoto 
tribe, from the inland country, came over to Kawliia and 
occupied Wailiarakeke, oil the shores of the harbour; and 
other tribes also came to Kawliia to exchange their 
dressed flax for guns and ammunition. When the Waikato 
had procured guns and powder, they invaded Taranaki to 
avenge the defeat and slaughter of their people at 
Pukerangiora, on the Waitara River, by the Atiawa tribe. 
Ngati-Maniapoto went with them, and they stormed and 
took the Pukerangiora Pa. ’ ’ 

These events occurred between 1825 and 1831. 
“Amukete” is the Maorified name of Captain Kent, the 
first white trader—so far as is known—to take his ship 
into Kawliia Harbour. Captain Kent’s first visit to 
Kawliia was some time between 1825 and 1828; his vessel 
was the brig ‘ ‘ Macquarie. ” ‘ ‘ Te Kaora ’ ’ was the pakeha- 
Maori John Cowell, who was for a time supercargo and 
interpreter on the notorious brig “Elizabeth.” Who 
“Te Rangitera” was I do not know; “Tamete’s” 
English name was apparently Smith. 


278 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Trading for Kauri Spars. 

A Story of Peter Dillon and Pomare. 

Ln a rare little book by Captain George Bayly, “Sea- 
life Sixty Years Ago,” an excellent account is given of 
the exciting business of trading on the cannibal coast of 
New Zealand in the early days. Bayly served under the 
celebrated Captain Peter Dillon—wlio discovered the 
remains of the ill-fated La Perouse expedition at 
Vanikoro in the New Hebrides—and was third officer of 
Dillon’s ship, the “St. Patrick,” on a voyage from 
Valparaiso to New Zealand for kauri spars, and thence 
to Calcutta, in 1825-26. The “St. Patrick,” a ship of 
430 tons, loaded her spars at the Firth of Thames, 
Hauraki Gulf. On the voyage across the Pacific Dillon 
had a lot of old muskets which he bought in Valparaiso 
repaired and polished up, to be bartered to the Maoris 
for the timber. Immediately the ship anchored (evidently 
the locality was near the entrance to the Southern Wairoa 
River) she was put into a proper state of defence against 
the Maoris, who, though generally friendly disposed 
towards traders, were nevertheless “kittle cattle,” and 
not to be given any chance of capturing the vessel. Bayly 
thus describes the methods of defence: 


“An arms-ehest was hoisted into each top, containing half-a-dozen 
muskets, as many pistols, cutlasses, boarding-pikes, and a good supply of 
ammunition. The two carronades were hauled into the round house;' one 
mounted in eacli doorway commanded the deck on both sides, in the event 
of the natives making a rush on board in great numbers/ These were 
loaded with charges of musket balls and slugs. Tnside the round house the 
bulkheads were fitted with racks for firearms, cutlasses, axes, and so on. 
The captain and officers were provided with weapons at hand, so as to be 
able to rush up on deck, armed at a moment’s notice. The crew wore 
stationed as follows: six hands each in the fore and main tops, four in 
the mizzen-top, six m the roundhouse, and the rest about the main deck 
and forecastle Tf a host of natives were attempting to board on all 
sides, the deck-hands, after firing their muskets, were to retire to the round¬ 
house and defend it. A general order to the officer in charge of the deck 
was that if more than one large canoe came alongside, half the crew were 
o be kept at the stations; but if a disposition was observed on the part 
of he names to create a disturbance, all hands were to be summoned to 
quarters at once. In this case everyone was to drm> 1 

and hasten to his station, seize his musket, and be prepared LTt No 
one was to fire without orders.” 1 J act - iN ° 


THE MAORI AND THE WHITE TRADER 


279 


It was well that Dillon and his men were on the qui viva, 
for during the work of loading the kauri spars early in 
January, 182(i, a quarrel occurred with Poinare, the 

Ngapuhi chief, who had come down with some of his 
warriors from the Bay of Islands. Pomare had 

endeavoured to force his way on deck from his canoe, but 
the sentry held his cutlass across the gangway, and the 
chief, seizing hold of it, had his lingers cut. This 

exasperated him so greatly that he called to his friends 
to paddle away ashore and rouse all the natives to come 
off and avenge the insult. Captain Dillon detained 
Pomare (“Boo Mar ray” is Bayly’s spelling) as a 

prisoner on deck in view of the Maoris, who soon came 
dashing off to the ship in twelve large war-canoes, armed 
with their muskets, spears, clubs, and axes. 

“Each canoe,” narrates Captain Bayly. “had seventy or eighty men 
in her, in all about nine hundred stark-naked savages, mustering about sixty 
muskets between them. They formed in two lines on our port quarter, 
where, finding a crew of the ‘St Patrick’ at quarters prepared for a 
stand-up fight, and well knowing how we were armed, and that they might 
expect a warm reception, they hesitated, and held a council of war as to 
whether they should take the ship at once or wait for a more convenient 
opportunity.’ A few moments later, at a signal from the chiefs, the 
twelve canoes shot up abreast of the gangway. 

“We were held in breathless suspense for about five minutes, then 
suddenly the whole of the native warriors started to their feet. 

“ ‘Stand by!’ shouted the Captain, covering Boo Marray with his 
pistol. 

“If one trigger had been pulled at this moment, in all human probability 
there would have been a bloody battle. Happily every man had caught the 
spirit of the matter. Every musket was pointed at a foe; the gunner and 
his crew stood by the earronades match in hand; but not a shot was fired. 

“The savages stamped all together from side to side of their canoes, 
rolling them with a tremendous splash either way, till the gunwales were 
within two or three inches of the water. They uttered diabolical threats; 
with frantic gestures and the most hideous contortions of countenance, 
they yelled out their war-cries. They thrust out their tongues like thirsty 
dogs (they were indeed thirsting for our blood). Nothing more Satanic 
could well be conceived. After keeping this up for a few minutes, they 
paused. Finding that we were not to be intimidated, and that Peter would 
hold no parley with them, they composed a sort of recitative, the burden 
of which was that, if we had not been prepared to fight them, or if Boo 
Marray had not been in our power, they wo\ild have taken the ship and 
would have killed and eaten us all before the morning. They then dashed 
their paddles again into the water, many of them fired their muskets ahead 
as they spun round the bows, and all returned on shore, leaving Boo Marray 
to his fate. 


280 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


“Peter lowered his pistol, congratulated the chief on his narrow escape, 
and invited him down to the cabin to feast on cold roast pork and 
potatoes. ’' 

Next morning Pomare was sent safely ashore, after 
the Captain had presented him with the cutlass which 
had cut his fingers, and with a half-pound bag of gun¬ 
powder; and the loading of the spars (which were paid 
for with muskets, gunpowder, and hatchets) was 
presently resumed. It was this chief, Pomare, who, soon 
after the incident just related, led an expedition of several 
hundred Ngapuhi warriors up the Waikato in canoes, and 
was ambushed by the Waikato men and killed, together 
with nearly all his followers, at Te Bore, on the Waipa 
River. 



Chapter XXVI. 


A 


MA()R L VE US I ()N 0F T11E WAIR A U AF FA 11 1. 


Numerous accounts have heeu given of tlie unfortunate 
affray ol the Wairau, Marlborough, in 1843, when 
Captain Wakefield and a score of his men were killed by 
a party of Maoris under Te Rauparaha and Te Rangi- 
haeata, as the result of an injudicious attempt to arrest 
Rauparaha for resisting the survey and occupation of 
certain land, the purchase of which was in dispute. 

1 he published narratives of the Wairau massacre, as 
it is usually called, have all been from the European side. 
Here, however, is a Maori story, which, it will be seen, 
differs very considerably from the usually accepted 
accounts of the fight. 


Whether it is a perfectly accurate one it is difficult to 
say, but it is the story current amongst some of the North 
Island Maori tribes whose members were concerned in the 
encounter with Wakefield and his men. It is worth 
recording, at any rate, as throwing a new light on the 
tragedy by the banks of the Tuamarina, and as showing 
how much the whites were at the mercy of the man they 
had come to arrest, and how little they really knew of 
Maori ways. The incident of Te Oro and Captain 
"Wakefield is an illustration of the high regard a Maori 
warrior holds for a brave foeman. (The very word for 
an enemy, hoa-riri, literally means “fighting-friend. ”) 
The narrator was Hikaia te Oro, of the Ngati-Haua 
tnbe, son of Te Oro, who was one of Te Rauparaha’s 
chiefs. Hikaia, whose home was at Taumarunui, on the 
upper waters of the Wanganui River, died in the winter 
of 1909. The following is his story, as heard from his 
father’s lips: 


281 



282 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Te Rauparaha and liis men were camped on the bank 
of the Tnamarina Stream, a branch of the TV airan River 
(in wliat was afterwards the Marlborough province). On 
the opposite bank of the river lived a white man and his 
Maori wife. Word was brought to Rauparaha that a 
man-of-war had landed Captain Wakefield and a party 
of thirty or forty men in Cloudy Bay. Wakefield and his 
party arrived at the white man’s house and camped for 
the evening. The native woman cooked food for them 
and listened to their conversation, and, while they were 
eating, she told her husband she was going for a swim. 
She went out, and crossing the stream, which was spanned 
by a canoe, went to Rauparaha’s camp and told him the 
pakehas intended to cross the river and attack him at 
daylight. She then came back, and wetting her head in 
the stream, so as to cause the Europeans to believe she 
had been bathing, returned to her whare. 

Early next morning Rauparaha sent a man to remove 
the canoe as soon as the pakeha crossed, and thus cut off 
their retreat. The tohunga consulted the gods by means 
of the niu* and found that all the omens were in favour 
of Te Rauparaha. 

The Europeans advanced and crossed the river. As 
soon as they were over and into the scrub, the canoe was 
removed by the native placed there for that purpose. He 
had hidden himself in the creek, alongside the canoe, with 
only Ids head above the water. One of Rauparaha’s men 
now advanced to ivero the pakehas, that is to cast a light 
spear at them in challenge. Some of the whites who were 
in advance, not knowing this Maori custom, turned to ask 
Wakefield, who was in the rear, what it meant. This 
turning the face from the tangata wero or challenger was 
accepted by Rauparaha as a sure sign of victory, and he 
at once called out to his men, “lie korapa ”—(“an 
unlucky turning”). 

*In this ceremony of divination short sticks or rods called niu were 
thrown by the priest., who prophesied the result of the fight according to 
the manner in which they fell. 




A MAORI VERSION OE THE WAIRAU AFFAIR 


283 



After a discussion with Te Rauparaha and the 
failure to arrest him, some of the whites tired at the 
natives, who were crouching on the ground. Two were 
struck, a woman and the native who had taken the canoe 
away and was just returning to join his party. Before 
the smoke cleared, the natives advanced with a rush and, 
as the Europeans raised their guns to lire another volley, 
again threw themselves fiat on the ground. Not one 

native was hit. Springing 
to their feet again, the 
natives closed in, and the 
first white fell beneath the 
tomahawk of Te Oro. 

In a few moments the 
Europeans were fleeing in 
disorder for the river. When 
they reached it, they found 
the canoe gone. Some 
who could not swim were 
drowned in the river, others 
succeeded in crossing. The 
natives pursued them hotly. 

One white man, finding 
himself being overtaken, 
turned and, taking a biscuit 
from his haversack, bit off 
a portion and offered the 

The Tomahawk with which Rangilmeata remainder to llis DUl’RllPr AS 
is said to have killed the white prisoners . , i , 1 , f 

at the Wairau in 1843. It is now in the a COKeil 01 SUlTeildei'. It 

was accepted, with the re- 
, mark, ‘ Ko hoe he taure- 

kareka maku (‘‘You shall be my slave”), and he was 
spared. 

Captain Wakefield, who was wearing a long cloak and 
gaiters, was pursued by Te Oro. Wakefield reached the 
water and waded out to his waist. Te Oro, armed with 
a long-handled tomahawk, waded after him, but being a 
much shorter man, soon found himself in up to the arm- 
pits. \Y akefield now turned, and drawing a short sword he 
carried, awaited the Maori’s attack. 


284 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Te Oro did not keep him waiting long. Carefully 
measuring liis distance, he made a terrific blow at 
Wakefield who parried it with perfect ease. Once more 
the long-handled tomahawk flashed through the air, and 
again the blow was parried. 

Te Oro now hesitated, believing that if he made another 
blow and failed, he would be killed, as the white officer 
was evidently a skilful fighter. 

While he was still wondering as to what was the best 
thing to do, Wakefield addressed him in broken Maori, 
and with signs made him understand that he wished to 
surrender. To this Te Oro gladly agreed, and the two 
waded ashore, where Wakefield handed to Te Oro his 
sword, spy-glass, overcoat, gold watch, and some money, 
after which the chief assured Wakefield of his friendship 
and protection. They then returned to the main body, 
where they found the white man who had surrendered 
and his captor. (The other whites captured were killed, 
being tomahawked by Te Rangihaeata). 

Te Rauparaha was quite willing to spare the two white 
men, as he wanted to hold them as hostages in the event 
of any trouble over the fight. After his speech was 
concluded, the whole party started to shift camp. 

As they were marching along, one of the South Island 
natives sprang at Wakefield, and with a back-handed 
blow of his tomahawk, struck him just below the shoulder. 
Hearing the scuffle, Te Oro turned to see what was the? 
matter, but before he could interfere, Wakefield received 
another blow on the back, which felled him to the ground. 

Wakefield now called to Te Oro, and asked him, as his 
friend, to despatch him with his own hand, as he did not 
wish to die like a slave. 

Te Oro was greatly touched by this mark of esteem, but 
did not care to comply. 

Wakefield again urged him to kill him quickly. 

Bowing liis head in grief, Te Oro wept over his friend, 
and then killed him with a blow of his tomahawk. Then 
turning fiercely on the South Islander, he challenged 
him to single combat. 



A MAORI VERSION OK THE WAIRAU AFFAIR 


285 


r riie friends of each man closed around, and there was 
every chance of a savage fight, as Te Oro declared he 
would have the life of Wakefield’s murderer. Just at 
this time Rauparaha came up and got between the two 
parties, and forbade them to quarrel, saying, “Why 
should we kill one another for this pakeha? He is dead, 
let that be the end of it.” 

But it was not the end of it, for the other unfortunate 
white prisoner, who was only looked on as a slave of 
Wakefield’s, was in the words of the narrator, “sent with 
his master”—he was killed that his spirit might go with 
his superior’s to wait upon him. This was done to 
honour Wakefield and to show that he died as a chief. 

When Te Oro died some years ago, the watch 
belonging to Wakefield was buried witli him, and bis son, 
Hikaia te Oro, had in his possession in recent years a 
gun and belts belonging to one of the Europeans who fell 
at Wairau. 



Chapter XXYII. 


THE KINGITES AND THE WAR. 


Ka ngapu te wlienua, 

Ka haere nga tangata lei whea? 

E Buaimoleo! 

Purutia! 

Tawhia! 

Kia it a! 

A-a-a ita! 

Eia man, Ida man! 


The earthquake shakes the land; 
Where shall man find an abiding- 
place? 

O Ruaimoko! 

(God of the under-world) 

Hold fast our lands! 

Bind, tightly bind! 

Be firm, be firm. 

Nor let them from our grasp be torn. 


This Kingite war-song, chanted in every village in the 
days of the Waikato and Taranaki campaigns of the 
sixties, is still on the lips of the Waikato people. I have 
heard it sung with inexpressible earnestness and force 
at a political gathering of the Ngati-Hana, the clan of the 
honest and patriotic William Thompson, the “King¬ 
maker,” and his no less honest and patriotic son Tnpu 
Taingakawa te Waliaroa, the present head of the tribe. 
There is ever before the mind of the Waikatos the 
memory of the war. For in it they lost their patrimony 
(Ngati-Hana themselves did not come so badly out of it 
as the Waikato people proper)—the beautiful fertile 
lands on which they had lived for generation after 
generation, and which they loved with a passion that few 
pakehas realise. “The land,” says the Maori, “is our 
iv(tin, our mother’s milk. It is all we have; without it we 
are as birds whose tree lias fallen and who have no 
resting-place. It is our life to us from childhood, our 
mother’s milk.” 

The other day Taingakawa, the “King-maker’s” son, 
addressing some Ngati-Awa people, originally from 
Taranaki, at Otaki, said: 





THE KIN HITES AND TI1E WAR 


287 


Now, it was you Ngati-Awa who started the fire in the 
let'll which burnt us all up. You should remember that, 
and come over and help us.” 

Taingakawa was referring to the Ten Years’ War 
which started at Waitara, in Taranaki, in 1860, and which 
spread all over the island, and he used this as an 
argument in support of his appeal to the other tribes to 
join Waikato in their agitation for fuller political rights 
and control of their remaining lands. 

But a member of the Ngati-Awa retorted: 

“E tama, ’tis not so! The fire burnt us up, but only 
singed you. Look at me; l lost all my land, while you 
have still thousands of acres left.” 

ft was indeed the war in Taranaki, provoked by the 
unhappy A\ aitara land purchase, that precipitated the 
Waikato War, and it was such fiery warriors as Rewi 
Maniapoto and some others that upset all the efforts of 
Thompson (Wiremu Tamehana) in the cause of peace. 
Had Tamehana had his way, war would never have 
occurred, and his people would never have had their land 
confiscated. 

The setting-up of the first Maori King, Potatau Te 
Wherowhero, in 1858, was not intended as an act of direct 
hostility to the point of war against the white settlers; 
but the political complications which followed it widened 
the breach between the pakeha Government and the Maori, 
and in five years after the proclaiming of the King (or 
the Ingiki Inca—as he was called by the Maoris, who 
had read a translation giving something of the history 
of Peru), the first shot was fired in Waikato. 

The Kingite movement was nobly conceived by Tame¬ 
hana and his fellow-patriots. It had for its object the 
preservation of the land, mana and national independence 
of the native people. My old Kingite friend Patara te 
Tuhi says that the notion of a King for the Maoris 
originated with Tamehana Eauparaha (son of the famous 
warrior Te Eauparaha), who went on a voyage to 
England and returned convinced that it would be an 


288 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


excellent tiling for the Maoris to have one head chief over 
them, to be called a King. He vigorously promulgated 
the idea, and Matene te Whiwhi, of Otaki, took it up, and 
commenced the Kingite crusade. He visited the Rotorua 
tribes, the Urewera mountain dwellers, the Taupo people, 
and the Waikato tribes, haranguing them to unite and set 
up a King, and prevent the pakeha from usurping their 
mana and acquiring all their lands. 



A bead-piece from the Kingite newspaper, “ Te Paki-o-Matariki.” 

The first large meeting in connection with the King 
movement was that held at Manawapou, in Taranaki, in 
1854. It was there that the great war-song was first 
chanted by the assembled people: “E kore Taranaki e 
makere atu,” etc., (“Taranaki will not be cast from us.”) 
A high chief of the Ngarauru tribe, named Whitikau, was 
one of the first approached by the council of chiefs and 
asked to allow the people to elect him King, and head of 
the anti-land selling league. He refused. Then— 
according to a Taranaki account—they asked Tamati 
Hone, and he refused. Other chiefs were then suggested, 


















T11J5 K1N(SITUS AND TIIK WAR 


28!) 


suid t»i t hoi* refused or were not approved of by the whole 
people. A deputation went to Wanganui, to the high- 
chief Pelii Turoa, but he declined to be King. They went 
inland, and endeavoured to persuade Te lleuheu Iwikau, 
tin 1 head chief of the Ngati-Tuwlmretoa, to take the 
position, but in vain. They even sent away to the distant 
East Cape, and made the same request to Te Kani-a- 
Takirau, a chief of the highest rank in that part of New 
Zealand, but he declined the honour. It was also found 
impossible to get an Arawa chief of high standing to be 
King. 

At last, in 1857, a great meeting of the tribes was held 
at Pukawa, Te Heulieu Iwikau’s village, on the southern 
shore of Lake Taupo, to decide the question of who was 
to be King. There gathered the tribesmen from many a 
remote village, earnest, serious, tattooed men, whose 
prime thought was for their country and its salvation. 
Patara and his fellow chiefs of Waikato were there; they 
had come a long and weary journey over devious bush and 
mountain paths from the distant North. There, too, was 
the venerable warrior-chief Potatau te Wherowhero, who 
had come on liorse-back, riding with difficulty, from his 
Waikato home. The great Iwikau, quite equal in rank 
and importance to the Waikato ariki, and his fellow-chiefs 
approved of Potatau being made King. Soon thereafter, 
in June, 1858, Potatau was proclaimed King with much 
ceremony at Rangiawhia, the green and beautiful 
‘‘Garden of the Waikato.” 

The Kingite party adopted as their motto, “Te 
Whakapono, te Aroha, te Ture” (“Religion, Love, and the 
Law”), and Potatau, Tameliana, and the other leaders 
said: “The Queen and the King, they are one. Each is 
on the piece which belongs to each, but Love and the Law 
surround them, and above is God.” Noble words these, 
but the aspirations of Thompson and the like-minded 
amongst the Kingites were to-come to disaster and death. 

All might have gone well had the Kingites been able to 
restrain their more turbulent spirits, but many of the 


290 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Waikatos and Taranakis were bent on a bitter war. The 
leaders, too, conceived the idea that the object of the 
Government in beginning a military road np from Drury 
to the Waikato River was the stealing of their land by 
force. Bitterness and hate were engendered between the 
Maoris and the pakehas of Auckland and near-by dis¬ 
tricts. In Taranaki the sturdy Devon men who had sailed 
round the world to build homes in this new country were 
not to be turned from their purpose by a few tribes of 
half-savages who did not use a tithe of their lands. 

The war in Taranaki began in 1860; and in it many of 
the Upper Waikato men, headed by Rewi and others, took 
a leading share. In July, 1863, the Waikato war began. 
Thousands of Imperial troops, colonial volunteers and 
militia took the field, and marched for the Waikato Valley. 
The British regiments in the field, under General 
Cameron, included the 65th, 40th, 50th, 43rd, 12th, 68th, 
and 70th Regiments, the 2nd Battalion of the 14th, the 
18tli Royal Irish, Captain Mercer’s Field Battery of 
Royal Artillery, and detachments of Engineers. To the 
Army’s aid, too, came the Naval Brigade of seamen and 
marines landed from the British ships of war on the 
station, under Commodore Wiseman, of “H.M.S. 
Curagoa. ” Then there were the volunteers, in particular 
Colonel Nixon’s Cavalry, and Captains Jackson’s and 
Von Tempsky’s hard-figliting corps of Forest Rangers. 

The Waikato held few white men in 1863. Te Awamutu 
was the principal pakeha settlement; at the Government 
station here Mr. Gorst had his industrial school and his. 
printing press—the press on which the famous 
“Pihoihoi” was printed. Mr. Gorst was evicted by Rewi 
and his warriors under pain of death if be remained. lie- 
left New Zealand to win fame in the Parliament and 
Government of the Old Country, and returned forty-three 
years after his eviction, a knight and a King’s Counsel, 
to look again on the scenes of his youth. Here and there 
along the Waikato banks are the sites of the early mission 
stations, tangles now of soft green acacia and sweet-briar,. 







I'llK KINUITKS AM) TIIK WAR 


or marked by 11 k* venerable moss-grown fruit-trees 
peaches, almonds, apples, pears—with which the 
(’luired 1 pioneers loved to surround their lonely homes in 
the wilds. The spirit of commerce was represented in 
those days by the enterprising trader, who bartered the 
pakeha’s goods for pigs and dressed flax, and other native 
commodities. 



From a ttrail ing by Major von Tempaky. 

A skirmish at Waiari, Mangapiko River, Upper Waikato, on Feb. 11,1864, between 
the Forest Rangers and the Maoris. 

Up iii the rich Waikato Valley and the plains of the 
Waipa in those old romantic days before the war, the 
Maori was an industrious agriculturist. It is on record 
that in 1852 the natives of Rangiawhia—which is at the 
present day one of the prettiest and best cultivated 
farming districts in the Waikato—had 800 acres in wheat, 
the produce of which (estimated at twenty bushels per 
acre) was set down at a total value of about £4000. The 
Natives took their wheat to Auckland, carting it first of 
all to the banks of the Waipa, thence canoeing into the 




292 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Waikato and down to the Awaroa portage, where they 
crossed into the Manukau Harbour—a toilsome journey 
occupying days which now we cover in as many hours. 
But the tide of war swept over Rangiawliia and many 
another Waikato village, where the people grew their 
maize and wheat and potatoes, ground their wheat into 
flour in their own water-driven mills, and lived under 
the heavily-laden branches of their own peach and apple 
trees and their trailing vines, and the happy industrious 
age vanished before fire and sword. 

The first fight was at Koheroa, where the troops 
carried the Maori trenches at the point of the bayonet. 
Then the Waikatos fell back on Meremere, just above the 
present site of Mercer, and there Patara te Tuhi, my old 
historian of the war, squatting in the midst of the 
tattooed, stern-eyed garrison on the long rifle-pitted and 
trenched fern ridge, overlooking the sweeping river, with 
his tupara* across his knees, saw the first steamer that 
ever floated on the waters of the Waikato come puffing up 
the wide swift stream. This was the gunboat “Avon,” 
armed with a 12-pounder Armstrong. Then came the 
gunboat “Pioneer,” built in Sydney, an iron shallow- 
draught craft with two cupolas on her deck pierced for 
rifles, and entered from below. Early in October the 
“Avon” and the “Pioneer,” with troops on board, 
steamed up the Waikato past Meremere, and those on 
board met with a surprise, for, besides being fired on by 
riflemen from the hill trenches, they were saluted with 
shots from big guns humming about their ears. The roar 
of artillery was a sound unlooked for in these Native 
parts, and there was much enquiry to what the pieces 
were and how they came there, mounted on the remote 
ridge of Meremere. 

Patara tells me that the guns were two old pieces of 
ship artillery, given to liis people many years ago on the 
West Coast by Captain Kent, the trader. When the war 
broke out, the Ngati-Tahinga tribe and others dragged 


Tupara two-barrels, the Maori term for a double-barrelled 


gun. 







TIIK KI N(i ITES A NI > III K WAH 


293 

tlie .nuns with great labour over the ranges from Wlmi 
ligaroa I larbour, transported tliem in big canoes down the 
Waikato to the mouth of the Whangamarino, and set tliem 
uI> there on the ridge overlooking the creek, under the 
shadow of the Kingite war-flag, which flapped and 
fluttered in the breeze over the entrenchments. The 
Maoris worked the guns, they had been instructed by an 
old East India Company gunner, using iron weights taken 
from European stores, old iron, and anything in fact 
which would go into the muzzle, as projectiles. Once, 
when the “Pioneer” was steaming up past Meremere, 
the Maori bullets rattling on the iron turrets, and her 
riflemen hanging away in reply, the native artillerists on 
the ridge plumped a heavy steelyard-weight into her. The 
shot struck the bulwarks and embedded itself in a beef 
cask, and was long thereafter preserved as a trophy by 
Commodore Wiseman. 

A chivalrous action is set down to the credit of the 
Maoris at Meremere. Guessing that their white foemen 
would be glad of fresh provisions, they one morning con¬ 
siderately filled a canoe with potatoes and other food 
stores ot their own, and paddled it down to the neigh¬ 
bouring British camp, under cover of the white flag, as a 
little present to General Cameron. Their enemy hungered 
and they gave him to eat. 

For weeks the Kingite garrison remained in the works 
at Meremere, watchfully scanning the river waters, from 
the grey dawning—when a long white sea of mist 
stretching away down and up past their ridge, with here 
and there the treetops peeping through, shrouded the 
silent river—through the long, exciting days, till the more- 
pork cried in the kahikateas , and the swamp-hen craked 
and the bittern boomed in the marshes; listening morning 
after morning to the distant reveille in the sleepy camp 
of the soldiers, and wondering at the long-drawn sweet 
bugle calls in the still early evening hours, when every 
sound seemed near. The Maori gunners fired their two 
ancient pieces of artillery now and then, and the small- 


294 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


armsmen practised at the steamers or at the British 
redoubt on the opposite ridge. Patara was there amongst 
them, letting drive with his tupara, and using up much 
ammunition without any loss to the European soldiers, 
and taking safe cover in the rifle pits when the Arm¬ 
strongs on the gun-boats began to speak. 

Then came a time when the Maori had to fall back on 
Rangiriri, and further back still, when that redoubt had 
been surrendered—after a disastrous assault in which 
six British officers and thirty-seven men were killed. Up 
the Mississippi of New Zealand poured the steamers, the 
transport boats and canoes, and the regiments and Naval 
Brigade of the British. Sorrowfully and angrily retiring, 
the Waikatos canoed up their ancestral water-way, 
chanting the old songs of war as their paddles dipped and 
rose, and dipped again, and now and then raising a 
ivaiata of grief as they swept past some olden hamlet, 
some much-prized cultivation, or a sacred burial-place of 
their tribe, sheltered by the low-bending foliage of the 
forest. They fell back on Ngaruwahia, the beautiful 
mountain-shadowed spot where the waters of the Waikato 
and the Waipa meet. But before the soldiers came they 
abandoned that place, the old capital of the Maori King; 
built a formidable pa at Paterangi and waited long for 
the assault which never came. On the parapets of 
Paterangi, from which they could survey the whole green 
plain of the Waipa and see the rivers threading down 
through the ferny valleys to the lost Waikato, they danced 
their wild dances of battle, and yelled their challenges to 
the tented encampment of the troops. Thereafter the men 
of the “Kingitanga” skirmished stoutly at Haerini and 
Rangiawhia, in the Waipa basin, and finally faced death, 
fighting “like the shark,” in the famous redoubt at 
Orakau, on the borders of what afterwards came to be 
known as the King Country. 

Thus fell the Maoris’ Kingdom; their lands went to 
the conquering pakeha. Across the pale of the Aukati 
fled the exiled Waikatos, and there King Tawhiao, Patara, 



THE K1NQJTES AND THE WAR 


295 


Wahanui, Ivewi, Whitiora, and many another sullen 
<hieftain dwelt for many a year afterwards, and grieving, 
nhvavs grieving, for their lost ancestral lands, the wide 



From n sketch by Major von Tempsky, 18(54. 
Bushing the Maori trenches : An incident of the Waikato war. 

valley of the Waikato, where now stood the redoubts and 
the farm-houses of the white man. 

It Avas not till 1881 that the Waikatos smoked the final 
pipe of peace. Then they made a procession through the 
frontier settlements, when the long-banished Kingites 


296 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


once more visited their olden homes, wept over the battle¬ 
grounds of the past, danced wild war-dances, blazed away 
much blank ammunition, and feasted mightily. 

The present writer witnessed their martial entry into 
Kihikihi township, six hundred strong, with old Tawhiao 
seated in his buggy in the midst of his armed men. There 
was a touch of humour about the march from Alexandra, 
on the Waipa, to Te Awamutu. The Te Awamutu Cavalry 
Band turned out and headed the procession, in compli¬ 
ment to the Maori King and his chiefs, and played them 
into the township to the air of “The King of the Cannibal 
Islands.” Tawhiao was much taken with the rousing 
tune, and when the march was ended he enquired what 
it was. When the title was interpreted to him, the King 
was very wroth indeed at this impolite if musical 
allusion to the “long-pig” proclivities of his family, and 
said some cutting things about Bandmaster Sibley. 





(/hai’thh xxvm. 


THE DEFENDERS OF ORAKAU. 

Song and story have woven romance around the last 
tight of the Waikato Kingites, the dying effort of a lost 
cause, the Battle of Orakau; and much that is inaccurate 
has been written about that heroic defence of the pa in 
the peach-groves, particularly in reference to the now- 
famous cry of defiance, “We will fight on for ever and 
ever.” The fighting-chief Rewi Manga Maniapoto is 
generally credited with that reply to the British demand 
for surrender, and is usually spoken of as the “hero of 
Orakau.” I have seen some artist’s highly imaginary 
picture representing Rewi the dauntless, wearing only a 
flax waist-mat, standing on a parapet hurling defiance at 
the pakeha soldiers below. Tt is a pity to knock the 
bottom out of a pretty story, but the truth must be told, 
lhe fact is, as far as T am able to gather from those who 
aie qualified to speak on the point, that Rewi plaved 
anything but a heroic part. It is said that he was smitten 
with what the Maoris call piki-ariki, in consequence of 
having had an unlucky dream and heard or seen ill 
omens ; and he did not take an active personal part in 
the fighting. But this must not be put down to cowardice, 
for Rewi had elsewhere proved himself a most daring 
warrior. It wasn’t his “fighting-day,” that was all. 

But even if we drop Rewi out of the list as one of the 
real tons of Orakau, there is enough thrilling and devoted 
courage in the story of the fight to justify us in placing 
the three hundred Maoris who held the fort on a pinnacle 

*Rewi, some time before the fight, had dreamt that he was flyino- a native 
kite near the Maori church at Orakau, and that it fell and was broken This 
was a matakite or “second-sight” vision of bad omen; he interpreted it as 
a token of defeat. 


297 





298 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


of fighting fame level with Leonidas and his three 
hundred heroes of Thermopylae. 

Hauraki Tonganni, of Taupo, who died a few years ago, 
was the man who delivered the famous reply of defiance 
in answer to the call to surrender, and it was a Taupo 
woman, the brave Aliumai, who said that the women, too, 
would die if their husbands were slain. 

The battle, or rather siege, of Orakau, the last fortified 
hold built by the Kingites, took place on the 31st of March 
and the 1st and 2nd of April, 1864. A band of about three 
hundred Maoris, including many women and some 
children, shut themselves up in a hastily-built redoubt at 
Orakau, about three miles beyond the Kihikihi military 
post. Here they were attacked by the Imperial and 
Colonial troops, 1,700 strong, under Brigadier-General 
Carev—[General Cameron arrived later]—but they held 
out for three days, against artillery-fire as well as rifle, 
and against bayonet-charges. At last, in a despairing 
break for freedom, they charged out of the pa, leaving 
more than half their number dead. 

Nothing now remains to mark the site of that unforget¬ 
table fight. The peach-trees that grew so abundantly 
there in the old days had disappeared—cut up for fire- 
wood—when last T visited the place. That sacred spot, my 
father’s old farm of Orakau, with its fine groves of Maori- 
planted peaches and cherries, and its relics of vanished 
Maoridom, is my earliest memory of childhood. Some of 
the peach-trees alongside the road were riddled with 
bullets; the holes made by the projectiles of those days 
of big-bores were easily to be found; and Enfield bullets 
were sometimes to he picked out from the tree-trunks. A 
few years after the battle, when my father settled in that 
then remote and disturbed district, one of the furthest-out 
pioneers, relics of the fight were often ploughed up. The 
present public road passes through the redoubt site;, 
and the traveller may now drive over the spot wherei 
scores of slain Maoris were laid in the trenches, their 
self-dug graves. 


THK DKKKNDERK OK ORAKAU 


299 



From a photo hij J. McDonald, 
Govt. Tourist Dept., 1905 . 


Tupotahi, the narrator of the Story of Orakau. 


300 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Tupotahi’s Story. 

The best narrative of the Orakau fight 1 have gathered 
from the Maori survivors is that of the old Ngati- 
Maniapoto chief, Wini Tana Tupotahi, who was one of 
the heroes of the defence, and who was severely wounded 
by a British bullet. Tupotahi is a first cousin of Rewi 
Manga Maniapoto, who died in the Waikato in 1894. He 
is a small-built, white-moustached old man, with a thin, 
keen face, bearing the tattoo marks of a past generation. 
He is now about seventy-seven years of age, and has his 
home in the little village of Puke-kawakawa, on the banks 
of the Puniu River—the olden aukati or boundary line 
between the Upper Waikato and the King Country. 

“It was at Orakau,” said Tupotahi, “that we made a 
final stand against the Queen’s troops. We had been 
driven back all the way up the Waikato River, from 
Meremere, where I and my tribesmen were in the trenches 
overlooking the river. I was in Paterangi pa, which we 
abandoned after the fight at Rangiawhia. Then, as we 
fell further back, leaving our villages and food-culti¬ 
vations to the pakelia soldiers, we took counsel together 
and resolved to make one last effort to retain the land of 
our ancestors. We assembled close to the village of 
Orakau, a beautiful fertile place, celebrated amongst ns 
for its abundant food-crops and its large groves of 
peaches—and there we built a redoubt. Tt was not in a 
strong position, but some of the old men would have it 
built there, so we deferred to their words. The pa we 
built was oblong in shape, about a chain and a-half long 
by something less than a chain in width. Tt had flanking 
angles or outworks at two of the corners—one of these 
angles, that facing the south-east, was held by the 
Waikato men; the other, facing the direction of Kihikihi, 
was manned by the Ngati-Raukawa tribe (Ngati-Te 
Koliern, etc.). An earth parapet, six or seven feet high, 
surrounded the pa, together with a ditch and a hastily- 
built fence. The pa was built partly in a grove of peach- 
trees; some of these we cut down for firewood. Fern and 




T11 !•: DHl'KNDKKS OK OHAKAU 


301 

flux partly masked the entrenchments; on the south side 
there was a high growth of flax and shrubs; then the land 
sloped steeply to a large swamp—through which we 
survivors afterwards made our escape to the Puniu 
River. 

“We numbered something over 300. Of these about 
twenty were women, who followed their husbands and 
brothers to battle. The Ngati-Maniapoto tribe formed 
the greater part of the garrison; there were TOO of us; 
the chiefs were my cousins Rewi | Manga] and Raureti, 
and myself. Of Waikato proper there were only 20, under 
Te Whatarau, Nuimoa te Paewaka, and Wi Karamoa. 
There were about 50 fighting-men of the Urewera tribe, 
from the distant forest-valley of Ruatahuna, under 
Hapurona and the very brave chief Te Heuheu. Of 
Ngati-Raukawa and Ngati-te-Kohera, from the Taupo 
district, there were about 130, mostly of the former tribe, 
under the old warrior Te Paerata and his sons ITone Teri 
te Paerata and Hitiri. Of food we had but a small supply 
—some potatoes, kumava, and pumpkins. We had no 
water in the pa, and suffered great thirst on the second 
and third days. The only way in which we could moisten 
our throats was by eating the potatoes raw and drinking 
the juice from the pumpkins. 

“The pakeha soldiers advanced on our position before 
we had it quite completed. Early one morning we were 
outside the pa, holding a religious service, as was our 
custom, and singing hymns and repeating prayers from 
the Church of England ritual. One of our chiefs, who was 
a minister, was praying to Jesus Christ to guard and 
uphold us, and protect us against the anger of the pakelia, 
and all of us were bowed with our hands over our eyes. 
I happened to look up and saw a Ngati-Raukawa man, who 
was standing on an elevated position, beckoning to me 
and pointing with his hand. I looked and there came 
the white soldiers. When prayers ceased I gave the alarm 
and we quickly manned the trenches and parapets. Our 


302 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


arms were mostly double and single-barrelled smooth¬ 
bore guns; our ammunition supply was short. I was 
armed with a tupara [double-barrelled gun], and wore 
two hamanu [cartridge-belts] one strapped round my 
waist, the other over my shoulder. Some of us had 
European clothes, some Maori garments of flax. Round 
our loins we wore shawls or short flax mats. Rewi 
Maniapoto had a short parawai mat of soft flax round his 
waist; over that he wore a flax piupiu kilt; he also wore 
a shirt and waistcoat. He did not carry a gun, but bore 
a whalebone mere or patu-paraoa. Rewi did not 
personally take part in the firing, but gave orders to his 
people and served out powder, bullets, and paper with 
which to make cartridges. 

“So on marched the soldiers, tramping through the 
fern and flax and along the narrow paths between the 
plantations and fruit-groves, until they arrived near our 
earthworks, and, as soon as they came within close range, 
we fired heavy volleys at them. They quickly surrounded 
the pa, and then gradually drew their lines closer, firing 
into us continually. On a hill close by (near the spot 
where the pakeha blockhouse was afterwards built) they 
planted a gun and began to shell us. Others with spades 
began to sap towards us, and dug their trench close up 
to the corner nearest the gun-hill. When this sap 
approached completion, the soldiers in it threw hand- 
grenades over the parapets into the pa. Sometimes these 
things burst with terrible noise and killed and wounded 
many Maoris. Sometimes, however, the wiki [“wick”; 
fuse] did not burn quickly enough and we were able to 
hurl them back again into the sap where they exploded 
amongst the men who had first thrown them. The big 
gun battered away at our defences, and all the time the 
bullets were singing round our heads. 

“We made several sorties into the sap. Twenty of us 
made a kokiri [charge] into the trench as it was being 
driven up to the walls. The chief Te Huirama was shot 


Till'. DKKKNDKliS Oh’ OKAKAU 


303 


(load outside tlie pa. AVe killed and wounded several 
soldiers. I shot a soldier that day on the eastern side of 
the pa. All day the firing was lieree; nor did it cease 
when darkness came. Both sides continued firing during 
the night, though we could see nothing but the flashes of 
the guns. And now began our sufferings, for we had no 
water, and dead and wounded men lay about the pa. 

“All next day (the second of the siege) we continued 
fighting. Our ammunition began to fail, and as we had 
very few bullets we cut up small bits of wood, branches of 
peach and apple-trees, and put them in the cartridges to 
serve as bullets. The day was very hot, and we were 
parched with thirst. But all this time the people withstood 
the pakeha to the death. I proposed to Rewi that we 
should fight our way out that night, else, did we remain 
till day, we were all dead men. 

“Rewi agreed with me, and went to speak with the other 
chiefs and get their opinions. He went to Raureti, to the 
Paerata, to Te Heulieu, of the Urewera, but all returned 
the same reply: ‘AA r e will not retreat,’ said they, ‘we will 
fight on.’ [Kaore e pai kai haere, engari me whawhai 
tonu. ]. 

“ l E pai ana,’ [‘It is well,’] said Rewi. 

“All day and night the bullets and the shells fell amone- 

• « O 

us, killing and wounding many. AA^e cooked some food, 
but could eat little, for our throats were sore and dry. 
But our chiefs encouraged the garrison to fight on, and 
the men and women sang songs to encourage one another 
and to inflame their souls to battle. This was one of the 
war-songs sung by the people at night—a song comparing 
the Governor and his land-hunger to a bullock devouring 
the leaves of the raurekau shrub: 


‘ ‘ He kau ra, 

He kau ra, 

U-u! 

He kau Kawana koe 
Kia miti mai te raurekau — 

A he kau ra—he kau ra! 
U-u-u! 


(“ Oh, a beast, 

A beast that bellows— 

Oo-oo! 

A beast art thou, O Governor, 

That liekest in the leaves of the 
raurekau, 

A beast—oh, a beast! 

Oo-oo!) 


304 


THE MAORIS OF HEW ZEALAND 


“The early morning of the third day was overcast and 
foggy, and as the day began to break faintly, I again 
suggested to Rewi, ‘Let us charge out before it is quite 
light; in the fog we may fight our way through.’ 

“To this Rewi assented, and again sounded the chiefs. 
But they would not agree, and repeated that they would 
fight and fight on. So Rewi and I and all of us remained 
to resist to the end. The firing was hot, and the hand- 
grenades from the men in the sap fell and burst amongst 
us. That day the white General sent his interpreter, Mr. 
Mair [afterwards Major Mair, Judge of the Native Land 
Court], to us with a proposal that we should surrender 
and so save our lives. We refused to surrender, and 
replied that we would continue to fight. The interpreter 
asked us to let the women and children leave the pa, so 
that if we persisted in our resistance they at least might 
be saved. But our women were as determined as the men, 
and they replied that if their husbands were to die they 
would die too.* 

“The brave chief Te ILeuheu, of the Urewera company, 
was one of the most stubborn in his determination to hold 
the pa. The firing recommenced, hotter than before, and 
the chiefs loudly encouraged their warriors. Te Heuheu 
was a man of between 40 and 45 years of age, with a 
tattooed face and of fine appearance. Up he sprang, girt 
about the waist with a shawl, his gun in his hand and 
his cartridge-belts buckled round him—he leaped in the 
air and rolled his eyes in the pukana grimace as he ran 
up and down. He waved his gun, and he and his men 


*A Ngati-te-Kohera account T have received states that Hauraki Tongauui 
was the man who replied to the pakeha demand for surrender. This 
corroborates Major Mair's account given elsewhere. Hauraki said to the 
interpreter: 

“No, we won’t surrender to you. Let all of you go back to Kihikihi 
and we will go home and leave Orakau.’’ “ Holcihoki koutou katoa lei 

Kihikihi; ka lioki matou ki In mat on kainga, me wniho atu Orakau nei.” 

Then Ahumai, Te Paerata’s daughter, who was in the outer trench with 
the men, stood up and made a similar reply, adding that if the men died 
the women would remain and die with them. 





TilK DEFENDERS OF OKAKAU 


.‘505 

danced their war-dance and shouted altogether this ngcrl 
or battle song: 

“ Avvhea toil ure kn riri? 

A when toil lire ka torn? 

E kite tai ka wiwini, 

E kite tai ka wawara. 

Tukua te ilm ki te tamaiti. 

Me pewhea? Ka kite koe 
1 nga tai wha'kainanainana 
Te toa haere ana— 

Ka riro he Rongo-mai-whiti! ” 


[This is the famous traditional war-song of the Ngati Toa 
and allied tribes, ami it must have been sung with 
thrilling effect that morning by the desperate men of 
Orakau. The nge.ri has been translated thus:— 

“ When will your valour rage? 

When will your manhood burn? 

Now the tide murmurs, 

Now the tide roars. 

Take farewell of your children, 

For what cau you do? 

Behold like the triumphant 
And proud waves of ocean 
The warriors marching on!”] 

“It was that afternoon that we made our rush out of 
the redoubt,” continued Tupotahi, after reciting the great 
war-song. “We decided to fight our way out, for we could 
hold the pa no longer. Our dead and badly wounded we 
left in the pa. We loaded our guns with the last of our 
ammunition, then we burst out of the southern side, near 
the flanking angle, and headed down the slope in the 
direction of the swamp and the Puniu. Our women were 
in the centre. Raureti led the warriors. There was high 
flax growing on this side in places, and the scrub and fern 
were thick. We saw that we should have to cut through 
the soldiers who guarded that side of the pa, on the steep 
hill slope. Prayers were uttered by us all—prayers to the 
God of the pakehas and some also repeated karakia to the 
Maori gods for help. 

“I was just in the act of getting over the timber fence 
that surrounded the pa, in company with my people, when 
I received my wound. A soldier shot me in the neck 


u 


306 


THE MAORIS OF HEW ZEALAND 


here”—and the old man bared his neck on the right side 
and showed a deep scarred mark where the bullet had 
passed in at the collar-bone. “The bullet broke the bone 
and went out at the back of my right shoulder. I fell in 
the fern, and my gun was hurled from my hand two or 
three yards away. I got up and tried to pick up the gun, 
but my right arm hung helpless, as if it were paralysed. 
I took the gun in my left hand and ran on after the others. 
I could not fire a shot, and to support my right arm I 
carried the hand in my mouth so,” placing his fingers 
between his teeth. “I went on like that for a little 
distance; but I was biting my fingers so hard that the 
pain made me take them out, and I then supported my 
right hand and arm with my left, leaving my gun on the 
ground. As I travelled along so, I suddenly saw a bayonet 
shining in front of me, and a gun levelled at me through 
the fern, but I was not hit again, though the bullets were 
flying all round. We hastened down to the swamp-edge, 
and into the shelter of the manuka scrub. My comrades 
fell all around me. I saw the old chief Te Paerata killed, 
he was shot dead while descending the hill to the swamp. 
Nearly all his family were slain—Hone Teri amongst 
them, and his daughter Ahumai was wounded in several 
places. The brave Urewera chief Te Heuheu was shot 
dead while fighting his way to the swamp. I saw the 
Taupo chief Te Koliika in hand-to-hand conflict with a 
soldier. Raureti, too, fought bravely. I saw him shoot 
a soldier as we made our escape. The troops were now 
behind us and on our flanks, and the mounted men, armed 
with swords, rode round the swamp to cut us off as we 
fled to the Ngamoko hills and the Puniu. 1 struggled on 
.through the high manuka until 1 heard the soldiers’ bugle 
sound to call them back from the chase, ns it was now 
darkening. Then as 1 was half-dead with pain and loss 
of blood, and thirst, I lay down unable to move any 
further. I lay there for some time, tortured with thirst, 
for the swamp was dry and I could find no water. At last 
I rose again and made my way through the manuka to 


TIIK DEFENDERS OK OHAKAU 


• > 
* > 


07 



From a drawing by Capt. T. Ryan, Taupo. 

Ahumai te Paerata, the heroine of Orakau. Ahumai died at Mokai, Taupo, in 1908. 






THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


308 

the hills on the other side, and then travelled slowly along 
alone through the fern to the banks of the Pnnin. There 
the survivors gathered, and I was taken to the Otewa 
village, on the Upper Waipa, where my wound was 
tended. 

“One hundred and sixty Maoris were killed in the three 
days’ battle—about half of us—besides many wounded. 
Some of the women were killed and wounded. Great was 
the lamentation for the brave, fallen in defence of the soil 
of their ancestors. Our lands went to the pakeha, and we 
were as a remnant. But it was a good fight and we took 
our honour with us.” 

Major Main’s Narrative. 

Major W. G. Mair gives me the following account of 
his interview with the Maoris when he, as staff 
interpreter, was requested by General Cameron to 
communicate with them and summon them to surrender. 
He wrote the narrative in the form of a letter to a 
relative immediately after the capture of the pa: 

“I got up on the edge of the sap and looked through a 
gap in the gabions made for the field-piece. The outwork 
in front of me was a sort of double rifle-pit, with the pa 
or redoubt behind it. The Maoris were in rows, the 
nearest row only a few yards from me. 1 cannot forget 
the dust-stained faces, bloodshot eyes, and shaggy heads. 
The muzzles of their guns rested on the edge of the ditch 
in front of them. One man aimed steadily at me all the 
time [his name was Wereta], 

“Then I said: ‘E hoa inn, whakarongo! Ko te kupu 
tend a te Tienara: ka nui tona miharo ki to koutou maia, 
kali, me main te riri, puta mai kin matou, kia ora o koutou 
tinana 

[‘Friends, listen! This is the word of the General: 
Great is his admiration of your bravery. Stop! Let the 
fighting cease; come out to us that your bodies may be 
saved.’] 



THE DEFENDERS OF ()HA K A l' 


309 


“I could see the Maoris inclining their heads towards 
each other in consultation, and in a few minutes came the 
answer in a clear linn tone: 

“ ‘E lion, ka whawhai tonn (than kin Lot', aka, aka!’ 
[‘Friend, I will fight against you for ever, for ever!’] 

“Then 1 said: ‘ E pat ana tena via koutou tangata, 
engari kahore e tika kia mate nga ivahine, me tig a 
tamariki. Tukuna mat era.’ [‘That is well for you men, 
hut it is not right that the women and children should die. 
Let them come out.’] 

“Some one asked, ‘A J a te aha koe i mohio he ivahine Jcei 
koneif’ [‘ Mow did you know there were women here?’] 

“I answered, ‘/ rongo ahau hi te tangi tnpapakn i te 
po.’ [‘I heard the lamentations for the dead in the 
night. ’] 

“There was a short deliberation, and another voice 
made answer: 

“ ‘AT te mate nga tone, me mate ano nga ivahine me nga 
tamariki . ’ [‘If the men die, the women and children must 
die also.’] 

“I knew that it was over, for there was no disposition 
on the part of the Maoris to parley; so I said, ‘A pai ana, 
kua mutu te kupu’ [‘It is well, the word is ended’], and 
dropped quickly into the sap. 

“Wereta, the man who had been aiming at me, was 
determined to have the last say in the matter, and he 
fired at me. His bullet just tipped my right shoulder, 
cutting my revolver strap, and tearing a hole in my tunic. 
Wereta did not long survive his treachery, for he was 
killed by a hand-grenade soon after. 

“The people in this outwork were Ngati-Te-Kohera, of 
Taupo, under their chief Te Paerata, whose sons Hone 
Teri and Hitiri and his daughter Ahnmai (wife of 
Wereta) were with him in the trench. There were also 
some of the Urewera under the chief Piripi te Ileulieu. 
Very few of them escaped. 

“When I dropped back the Maoris renewed the firing, 
and our people crowded round me to hear the news. I 


310 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


said, ‘They mean to fight you for ever.’ The soldiers 
cheered and the fire on both sides became very hot. 

“I went straight back to General Cameron to tell him 
the result of my mission. He was deeply impressed (he 
certainly did not like killing them) and Sir Henry 
Havelock said, in his jerky way, ‘Rare plucked ’uns, rare 
plucked Tins!’ It was not long after this that Captain 
Hurford and others made a rush from the head of the 
sap and drove the Maoris out of the double rifle-pit. A 
connection was soon made with the sap, and the end was 
approaching. ’ ’ 

Major Mail* further informs me that Rewi did not to 
his knowledge connect himself with the famous reply until 
he came to Auckland, about 1878, at the request of Sir 
George Grey and Mr. John Sheehan, Native Minister, who 
introduced him to the public as the “hero of Orakau.” it 
being necessary to make some political capital out of his 
visit. “I was repeatedly asked to contradict the fiction,” 
Major Mair says, “but I declined to do so while Rewi was 
alive. I am satisfied that it was Ilauraki Tonganui, a 
chief of Ngati-Parekawa—a hapu of Ngati-Tuwharetoa 
and Nga t i - Rank a wa (of Taupo)—that spoke to me first, 
and then Aliumai, Hitiri’s sister. No doubt Rewi in the 
end really believed that he was the speaker in the 
trenches, just as King George Til. believed in his dotage 
that he commanded the British and their allies at the 
Battle of Waterloo.”* 

To this it may he added that one of the real heroes of 
Orakau was Hitiri te Paerata, who stole out from the pci 
at night, dodging the British soldiers, to fetch water 
from the adjacent swamp for the wounded Maoris. 
Nearly all his relatives in the pa —his father, uncle, and 

Liist year. Major Mair, when holding a sitting of the Native Land 
Court at Killikihi. was invited one Sunday by Mr. Andrew Kay, who lives 
near the historic spot, to meet the Orakau settlers on the site of the pa 
and tell them its story, lie did so, and as some of the land had been 
recently ploughed there was no difficulty in finding relies of the battle. 
Old Kn field bullets were gathered by the handful, and an unexploded hand- 
grenade found on the site of the pa was given to the Major. He has 
always regretted that the famous redoubt was levelled and destroyed by the 
troops. 









TllK DKI'ENDKUS OK OKA KA U 


311 

brothers were slain; the only one who escaped was his 
sister Ahumai, who was wounded in tour places. She was 
shot in the right side, the bullet going through her body 
and coming out on the left; she was shot right through 
the shoulder, the bullet coming out at her back; she was 
also shot through the wrist; and her left thumb was shot 
away. Yet she recovered, and lived at Taupo for Iorty- 
four years afterwards. She died in 1908 at the little 
settlement of Mokai, on the northern shore ol Lake 
Taupo, and her valiant brother, Hitiri te Paerata—a fine 
old type of the tall, straight, athletic Maori fighting-man 
died a few months ago. Theirs is a family story of sad¬ 
ness and glory that our writers of the future may well 
employ in touching song and thrilling saga. 

Memorials have been erected in the little churchyard 
at Te Awamutu over the graves of the white soldiers who 
fell at Orakau. But nothing marks the last resting-place 
of the Maoris who died there, except a few clumps of blue- 
gums planted by the settlers to denote their burial- 
trendies. Some day it will be recognised that the brave 
men and women of the native race are deserving of at 
least as much honour as the whites, and then perhaps a 
fitting monument will stand on the site of the Orakau pa. 



Chapter XXIX. 


A WAR-CANOE EXPEDITION. 


In the days of the Maori campaigns of 1863-71 Rotorua 
was lively with all the turmoil of war-time. The Arawa 
tribe were nearly all “Qneenites,” supporters of the 
white Government; those hapus who were hostile to the 
pakeha were a section of the Ngati-Pikiao, who lived on 
the shores of Lake Rotoiti, and some of the Ngati-Rangi- 
wewehi, whose headquarters were Te Awahou and 
Pnhirna, Lake Rotorua. In those times the only craft that 
floated on the waters of these lakes were Maori canoes; 
there were great numbers of them, and some were of 
large size and were fully equipped as war-canoes, with 
carved figureheads and stern-posts, and other appur¬ 
tenances of that triumph of savage naval art the 
waka-taua. 


Tana Tntanekai Haerelmka, the Arawa tohunga and 
historian, from whose lips have come some of the songs 
and chants and stories already set down in this book, 
gives an account full of picturesque detail of one of the 
war-time canoe expeditions at Rotorua, in which he 
shared as a boy—a Maori “powder-monkey” in fact—in 
the early part of the Tlauhau wars. 

It was towards the end of 18(5-1, just after the Hauhau 
fanaticism had spread from Taranaki to the tribes of the 
eastern side of the Island, that news reached Rotorua of 
a rebel invasion from the Tai-Rawhiti, the “Tide of the 
Rising Sun,” that is to say, the East Coast. A large war- 
party of the Ngati-Porou and Whakatohea and allied 
tribes, newly infected with the Pai-marire craze and 
roused to a frenzy of hatred against the whites, had 
marched round the Coast, and up from Whakatane, and 



A WAK-CANOE EXPEDITION 


wore approaching Lake Rotoiti, there to meet the rebel 
section of tin* Ngati-Pikiao and march thence to the 
Waikato, join the Maori King and renew the struggle 
with the Queen’s troops. There was a (Jovernment oflicer 
(Dr. Nesbit) then residing at Maketn, <»n the Day of 
Plenty (’oast, and lie quickly set to work with the co¬ 
operation of the Arawa chiefs to raise a war-party and 
drive hack the llanhaus. All was excitement and battle 
fury in Ohinemutu, the big stockaded village by the lake¬ 
side. Seven large war canoes were fitted out as the 
flotilla of the Arawa expedition, to proceed to Tapuae- 
liaruru, at the eastern extremity of Rotoiti, and there 
await the enemy. 

The four principal canoes were manned as follows, 
by the warriors of the several clans of the Queenite 
Maoris, including a party of armed men from Lake 
Taupo: 

War-canoe “Te Iroiro,” containing seventy men of the 
Ngati-Uenukukopako section of the Arawa tribe, and Dr. 
Nesbit, Government Officer. 

“Te Arawa,” manned by fifty warriors of the Ngati- 
Tuwharetoa tribe, from Taupo. 

“Te Popokorua” (“The Ant”), with fifty men of 
N ga t i -'Wha k a u e. 

“Te Ngaungau,” thirty-five men of Ngati-Whakaue. 

The other three canoes were manned by members of 
the Ngati-Whakaue tribe, of Ohinemutu and other 
villages. 

Each canoe, as it was launched and manned, was taken 
charge of by its captain and time-giver, the kai-hautu 
or kai-tuki-waka, who stood amidships, chanting canoe- 
songs and war-songs and giving the time for the strokes 
of the paddles. The kai-hautu of the great canoe 
“Iroiro” [this canoe, reduced in size, is still in existence, 
at Mokoia Island] was the young chief Te Waharoa [who 
died at Utuhina, Rotorua, in 1908]. He was stripped to 
the waist; his only garment was a koroivai mat, which 
was belted around him; in his head-band was a huia 


314 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


feather; in his hand he waved a glistening greenstone 
patu or sharp-edged club. “Te Arawa,” paddled by the 
wild-eyed men from the shores of the great central Lake, 
was commanded by Rawiri Kahia, a fine-looking young 
chief with a tattooed face. In his hair was stuck a huia 
plume, and he, like Waharoa, gripped a greenstone patu. 
The kai-hautu who balanced himself amidships in “Te 

Popokorua,” and 
urged on Ngati- 
Wbakaue with 
shout and song, 
was Ivohai Tara- 
liina, a smart and 
active young war¬ 
rior from Oliine- 
mutu, with a repu¬ 
tation as a toa or 
fighting man. He 
was a noble figure, 
the ideal of a sav¬ 
age hero, as he 
stood there, grace¬ 
fully and easily 
turning now to 

this side and now 
to that, beating 
the measure for 

the paddle dips 
with his weapon 
of wood, a paiaka; 
the black-and-white tail-feathers of the huia and the 
beautiful snowy plumes of the rare kotuku, or 
white heron, waving in his head-cliaplet; a fine 

woven flax garment of the kind known as the 

korohuuga, with an ornamental border in the taniko 
pattern, round his waist; his athletic brown torso 
bare; fire in his eye and vigour and determination 
in his every gesture—siu*li was old Kohai in his prime. 
(Only the other day Kohai showed that he was still 



Photo hi/ Cftpt. T. Ht/itn. Taupo, IDO*. 

Rawiri Kahia, of the Ngati-Tuwbaretoa tribe, Taupo. 
Died 1909. 




A WAB-CAN0E EXPEDITION 


animated by something ol* tlu* olden spirit, for it was lie 
who was one of the tarujata-ivn o or spearsmen who gave 
challenge after the ancient manner to Admiral Sperry 



entry into the Government grounds at Rotorua.) “Te 
Ngaungu, ” the fourth large canoe, was captained by a 
chief named Te Tieke, who brandished a taiaha ; his only 



twelve or so, on my first war-path. My weapon was a 
pistol, which my father allowed me to have. The warriors 
were armed with tupara, douhle-barrelled guns, and other 
firearms, some given to them by the Government; some 
had Maori weapons, such as stone hand-clubs [patu or 
mere], taiaha, and whalebone hoeroa; all they wore was 
a waist-mat or shawl of some kind, fastened round the 
body and falling to the knees.” 

Shoving off from the beach at Ohinemutu, the canoes 
set out across the lake, hound for the mouth of the Ohau 
River. As soon as they had got well off from the shore, 
they ranged alongside one another, hows level, in order to 
advance in true warlike order down the lake. Now for 
the songs of the kai-hautu. Paddles swung and dipped and 
rose again and fell in time to the chants of the captains, 
and every paddle took the water as one, for the captains 
all chanted the same song, young Waharoa giving the 
word to begin. And this is the wild boat-song of the 
Arawa that rang far across the lake, as the sharp-pointed 
manuka blades of two hundred and fifty brown paddlers 
sent the gargoyle-decorated bows of the seven war-canoes 
hissing through the water:— 


Rite, ko te rite! 
Te ihu takoto atu, 
Waenga kia hinga, 
Te kei akina— 


Together—all together! 

Bow-paddles there, all together; 
’Midships there, keep time! 
Stern-paddles, all together. 

Now we’re going along! 

See yon brightly shining star 
Tioriori, flashing in the morning sky. 
My eyes are dimmed with the heat of 


(Translation.) 


Aha-ha! 

Tera koia ko Tioriori 
E purehurehu ana i runga ra. 
E aku kai-kamo e wairntu nei. 
Tiaia, a tiaia! 

Toki hika toki. 

Toki hika toki! 


paddling. 

Plunge in your paddles! 
Dig away, dig away! 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


316 


(Silence for a while, a breathing space, the kai-tukis 
heating time for the paddles; then they began again.) 


E te tahakura 
Wkakarika rawa mai 
I te ahiahi, 

Kia toku an 
He tukunga talia mai 
No taku lioa e. 

Ka hoki an. 

Tiaia, e tiaia! 

Toki hika toki! 

Tera koia nga lioa, 

Wini a Te Haimona, 

I kite ake te pari ki Tukua. 
E kai ongeonge taku tou 
Ki te noho; 

E tuia ake ana 
E puruhi ngau papa, 

To runga tapu o taku kuka. 

E titiro pi au ko Honekone; 
Wkakamau kau atu te titiro 
Ki te wakapu ki Okau ra. 
Tiaia! 

Rite, ko te rite! 

Hukere, ka kukere! 

Ka rere-e, a ka rere 

Te pai kurukuru 

Ki te papa o te waka nei. 

Toki liika toki. 

Toki liika toki! 


All, wken evening came 
And slumber closed my eyes 
Tlie spirit of my love 
Did visit me. 

My side twitcked as I dreamed, 

’Twas a sign my love was near. 

Ak, let me soon return! 

Paddle away! 

Yonder see our leaders 
Winiata and Haimona. 

Wko gazed upon tke cliffs of Tukua. 
I’m weary sitting at my paddle; 

But soon I ’ll leap to battle 
As if T kad been bitten. 

Now our eyeballs madly stare! 
Steersman, straight for tke Okau 
River mouth— 

Paddle away! 

All together, all together! 

Quickly plunge your paddle blades. 
How bravely fly tke feathers 
That deck our war canoe! 

Paddle away, 

And away! 


So chanting and paddling, all the crews keeping their 
long narrow craft level with each other, the Qneenite 
warriors swept across the lake. Then in single file they 
entered the Oliau stream and came abreast again when 
they reached Rotoiti. Paddling down that lake in the 
evening they ran their canoes up, as darkness fell, on the 
sandy beach of Te Ngutu-o-te-koko (“The Beak of the 
Parson-bird”), at Tapuae-haruru (“Sounding-Foot¬ 
steps”). Mere the path known as “Hongi’s Track” 
emerged from the forest that lay to the east. In that 
dark forest were camped the men of Ngati-Porou and 
their Lakeland allies, the Ngati-Pikiao. 

The Rotorua war-party sent out scouts to ascertain the 
whereabouts of the enemy. ( hie of them, the chief Petera 
te Pukuatua, saw a light in the bush and cautiously 
approaching in that direction heard voices and recognised 
the dialect of Ngati-Porou. Me returned and gave the 


A WAK-OANOK KXPKIUTION 


nows, and after discussion amongst tin* chiefs, it was 
decided to leave Tapiiae-lianiru, and give battle to the 
“Tai-lvawhiti ” at To Koninhnmnhu, a short distance up 
the lake on the southern shore. Re-launching the canoes, 
the Arawa quietly paddled up to the place selected, and 
landed there just as daylight was beginning to appear. 

Ngati-Porou came on after the apparently retreating 
Arawa, and marching along the Rotoiti shore found their 
way blocked at Te Koinuhuniuhu, which lies between 
\\ ai-iti and the pretty bay of Ruato (where the present 
coach road turns off to Lake Okataina). Mere the tight 
was fought. The men of the Tai-Rawhiti took post behind 
the fern-grown earthworks of an old pa above the track, 
but the Arawa soldiers charged and drove them out of it. 
The skirmish went on along the shores of the lake, 
and much powder was burned, and it was altogether quite 
a pretty little battle. But the slaughter was not very 
terrible. The Queenite and Hauhau sections of the Arawa 
nation, it is said, did not do each other very great damage. 
Of the Ngati-Porou and other invading tribes twelve were 
killed and were buried on the lake-side. An Arawa named 
Te Pia, of the Tuhourangi tribe, was shot through the 
body and killed, and nine or ten others of the Queenite ope 
were wounded. Young Tutanekai, not being old enough 
to take a place in the fighting line, was employed in 
carrying powder to the men of his tribe, the Ngati- 
Whakaue. The battle of the Komuhumuliu ended in 
Ngati-Porou being driven back the way they came, and 
they did not again venture into Lakeland. And the 
warriors of the Arawa returned in triumph to their homes, 
and great was their reception as they swept up in their 
grand canoes to Ruapeka Bay, and danced their pern pern 
of victory on the shining pumice sands of Ohinemutu. 



Chapter XXX. 


THE HAUHAUS. 


The strange fanatic faith of Hauhau-ism or Pcii-marire, 
which spread from the foot of Taranaki mountain 
throughout the North Island in 1864-65, banded together 
the unfriendly tribes in a bitterly savage confederation 
against the white man. It was a semi-religious crusade, 
a kind of “Holy War,” and it had its Mad Mullahs, its 
prophets like Kereopa and Hepanaia, who carried the 
gospel of blood from tribe to tribe, and bore the fiery 
cross, or its symbol, a white soldier’s severed head, from 
kainga to kainga, from the plains of AA aimate to the 
distant forests of Tuhoe-land. It was a crazy cult, but it 
knit together tribes which otherwise would have stood 
aloof from each other and sent them into active hostilities 
against the Government troops, and protracted until 1871 
a war which otherwise would have ended probably in 
1864. 

Te Ua, of Taranaki, the founder of the Hauhau 
religion, was from all accounts a harmless tellow, who suf¬ 
fered from a mild form of religious mania,but who did not 
anticipate or realise the extraordinary hold his fantastic 
faith would have upon the people, or the excesses' into 
which it would lead them. The later prophets and war- 
leaders, of whom Te Kooti was the greatest, were proto¬ 
types of the Egyptian Malidis, who gave many a British 
regiment a “cutting-up” in the Soudan. The blind faith 
which the Hauhaus reposed in their leaders had its 
counterpart in the Mohammedan religious frenzy. To 
the chant of “Matua pai mar ire [Father, Good and 
Gracious]— rirc, rire — hau!” the Maori warriors rushed 
into battle, with uplifted right hands making mystic 


318 



Tin; li.UM IA us 


1519 


passes; this incantation ending in the loudly-harked 
“ linn /” [from which came the name “Hauhau”] was 
accounted a powerful spell, for it was believed to ward off 
the white man’s bullets—and any luckless Maori who fell 
lmd but his own want of faith to blame. So said the 
Hauliau prophets! And to this day, night and morning, 
in some of the bush kaingas of Tuhoedand the cult of the 
“Ringa-tu”—the “Uplifted Hand”—is honoured with 
chant and gesture as of old, though the old fanatic fire has 
gone. 

In every Hauliau village, in some places long after the 
war had ended, there stood a Niu, a sacred flagstaff, 
rigged with yard and flag-halliards. Round this niu were 
performed the singular ceremonies of the Pai-marire. 
Morning and night, and sometimes several times a day 
the people would march in procession round the pole, 
chanting the wild music of the Hauliau ritual. 

It was a most curious medley of words and phrases 
learned from the Europeans, a jargon which Te Ila had 
originated; his followers, in mouthing the senseless 
mixture of pidgin-English, imagined they had been given 
the Biblical gift of tongues. Military words of command 
heard in soldiers’ camps and sailor-phrases learned on 
coasting craft were mingled with the karakia. 

A Hauliau who followed the savage old war-chief 
Titokowaru’s fortunes throughout the bush-fighting in 
Taranaki in the later sixties, has described to me the 
karakia of the Niu, and chanted again and again the 
Hauliau waiatas. Let me introduce a typical scene in 
1866-7 in the big Maori village Taiporohenui—near 
where the present town of Hawera stands—the great 
gathering-place of the Taranaki tribes then in rebellion. 

“ Porini, hoia /” (“Fall in, Soldiers!”) shouted the 
priest, the big black-bearded fighting chief Tito te 
Hanataua, his blanket girded round him. He stood at the 
foot of the flagstaff, and all the people, men, women, and 
children, ran to take their places in a dense ring around 
the pole. 




320 THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 

“ Teihana!” (“ Attention!”) and they stood still 
waiting. Then—“Piki mauteni, rongo mauteni, piki 
Niu, ’ ’ and so on the leader chanted, and round the 
praying-pole they went in a ring. This is some of the 
gibberish the propliet-delnded people intoned as they 
marched. The translation reads ridiculously, hut in the 
many-vowelled Maori tongue the words were softened 
and long-drawn out till they sounded like some ancient 
heathen hymn; the illusion, however, was broken by the 
shouted “Teihana!” at the end of each rangi or verse: 


Mauteni 

Mountain 

Piki mauteni 

Big Mountain 

Bougo mauteni 

Long Mountain 

Piki Niu 

Big Staff 

Bongo Niu 

Long Staff 

Teihana! 

Attention! 

Nota 

North 

No te pihi 

North by East 

No te hihi 

N.Nor '-east 

Norito mino 

N.E. by North 

Noriti 

North-east 

Koroni 

Colony 

Teihana! 

Attention! 

Hai 

High 

Kamu te ti 

Come to tea 

Oro te mene 

All the men 

Banna 

Bound 

Te Niu 

The Niu 

Teihana! 

Attention! 

T Tern a 

Shem 

Bur aw ini 

Buie the wind. 

Tu mate wini 

Too much wind 

Kamu te ti 

Come to tea 

Teihana! 

Attention! 

Kira 

Kill 

Wana 

One 

Tu 

Two 

Tiri 

Three 

Wha 

Four 

Teihana! 

Attention! 

Bewa 

Biver 

Piki rewa 

Big River 

Bongo rewa 

Long Biver 

Tone 

Stone 

Piki tone 

Big Stone 

Teihana! 

Attention! 





TUB IIAI'IIAl’S 


321 


Rori 

Piki rori 
Ron go rori 
Puihi 

Piki puihi 
Teihana! 


Big Bush 
Attention! 


Road 
Big Road 
Long Road 
Bush 


Rongo puihi 
Rongo tone 
Hira 


Long Bush 
Long Stone 


Piki hira 


mu 

Big Hill 


Rongo hira 
Teihana 


Long Hill. 
Attention! 


Then the measure of the incantat ion would change, and 
take a less staccato and more musical note. 


E te Matua pai marire! 

(O Father good and gracious!) 


the leader would begin, and all the people would respond 


'Eire, Wire, hau ! 


Then they would chant in a wild sing-song, sometimes 
falling softly away and then rising and swelling into a 
volume that throbbed with fanatic fervour, such words 
as these, which were used as a part of the ritual of 
“Waiata mo te ata ” or “Morning Song”: 


To mai Niu kororia, mai merire! 

To mai Niu kororia, mai merire! 

To mai Niu kororia, mai merire! 

To rire, rire! 

(My glorious Niu, have mercy on me! 

My glorious Niu, have mercy on me! 

My glorious Niu, have mercy on me! 

Have mercy, mercy [or peace, peace])! 


Another burst of “Morning Song” would follow: 


Atua pai-marire, 

Atua pai-marire, 

Atua pai-marire, 

Rire, rire! 

Atua Taniaiti pai-marire, 

Atua Tamaiti pai-marire, 

Atua Tamaiti pai-marire, 

Rire, rire! 

Atua Wairua Tapu, pai-marire, 
Atua Wairua Tapu, pai-marire, 
Atua Wairua Tapu, pai-marire, 
Rire, rire! 


X 



322 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


This chant, rhythmic and haunting in its frequent 
repetitions, seemed to be taken from the Church of 
England , prayer-book. It called upon God the Father, 
God the Sonj and God the Holy Ghost to “have mercy 
upon us—mercy, mercy. ’ ’ 

In the evenings, too, there were weird pictures and 
weirder sounds in the great meeting-house of Taiporo- 
henui. Before the night’s speech-making and gossiping 
began, there were the Hauhau prayers, intoned by many 
earnest voices, and there was much of wild beauty in the 
chanting. This is one of the evening chants: 

To tangikere Pata, mai merire, 

To tangikere Pata, mai merire, 

To tangikere Pata, mai merire. 

To tangikere Titekoti, mai merire. 

To tangikere Titekoti, mai merire. 

To tangikere Titekoti. mai merire. 

To tangikere Orikoti, mai merire, 

To tangikere Orikoti, mai merire, 

To tangikere Orikoti, mai merire. 

To rire, rire! 

Translated, and avoiding the repetitions of the Maori, 
these lines were: 


“ O Father, have mercy on me. 
Holy Ghost, have mercy on me, 
Holy Ghost, have mercy on me. 
Mercy, mercy! ’ ’ 


Peace and piety were apparently the special characteris¬ 
tics of the Hauhaus, if one judged them by their hymns 
and prayers; but all these chants were regarded as so 
many potent incantations, all designed to exalt the Maori 
and obtain for him spiritual and material advantage over 
the hated white man. 

These Hauhau chants survived long after the war in 
Taranaki and elsewhere, and were to be heard amongst 
the Waikato and Ngati-Maniapoto people up till com¬ 
paratively recently. King Tawhiao’s followers had a 
somewhat similar ritual in the “eighties,” a service 


THE JIAU1IAUS 


QO*> 
») If) 



From a photo , 1908 . 

Tutange Waionui, of Patea, one of Titokowaru’s most active scouts and fighting-men in the 
Taranaki War of 1868-69. Tutange is here shown in war-costume similar to that of 1868. 


X 2 






324 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


called the “Tariao” (the “Morning Star”), a very 
musical series of chants, all the people joining in the long- 
drawn responses. 

In the Ilanlian wars which were waged from 1864 to 
1871 much of the savagery of ancient days was revived— 
the beheading and mutilation of bodies, the cutting out of 
hearts, and cannibalism. After 1865 the work of fighting 
the Ilauliaus fell wholly upon the Colonial forces—what 
British regiments remained in New Zealand did garrison 
duty—and a hard tussle it was for the pakeha columns in 
the Taranaki bush and on the East Coast. Much has 
appeared in print in narration of that six-years’ Hauliau 
struggle, but a really good history of the war has yet to 
be written. 

Taranaki was the scene of the sharpest fighting. Here, 
beneath the towering form of his mountain-god, whom the 
pakeha calls Mount Egmont, the war-chief and priest 
Titokowaru gathered his wild followers and launched 
them against the whites. He revived many a pagan rite 
of old, and in his forest-stockades the heart of the first 
pakeha slain in a skirmish was offered in burnt sacrifice 
to Uenuku, the God of War. 

Titokowaru had a sacred ope or war-party called the 
Tekau-ma-rua (“The Twelve”), who preceded the main 
body of figliting-men on the war-path. Says Tutange 
Waionui, the ex-Hauhau warrior, of Pariroa, Patea: 

“I was on many occasions a member of the tapu war- 
party of twelve, all tino toa, or tried soldiers, called the 
Tekau-ma-rua. Titokowaru so numbered and named 
them, because of the mystic force or prestige supposed to 
attach to the number 12. There were the Twelve 
Apostles in the Scriptures—Titokowaru and all the 
Hauhaus were great students of the Bible; there were the 
twelve sons of Jacob | it was really these that the Tekau- 
ma-rua were named after] ; and there were twelve months 
of Hie year. Titokowaru would choose the members of the 
Twelve in bis praying-house, divining by means of his 
sacred taiaha, which pointed towards each man, 


THK IIAUHAUS 


325 


directed by tlio breath of liis god lenuku, the war-god, 
whoso breath was the sacred wind called the WUaharua. 
The Twelve would take the war-trail first, and the rest of 
the warriors would follow us.” 

Many a wild and savage scene there was on the 
stockaded marae of such forest forts as Te Ngutu-o-te- 
nianu. There was the war ceremony known as the wero, 
the ordeal of the spear. Whenever an engagement was 
expected or a raid projected, Titokowaru would parade all 
his men and divide them into two parties or ope, which 
would take up positions facing each other, a hundred 
yards or so apart, fully armed. The warriors had feathers 
stuck in their head-bands; they wore nothing but a maro 
or loin-mat, or a dangling piupiu round the waist; some 
of the wild old fellows disdained even that and paraded 
quite naked. Their cheeks and brows they daubed with 
red ochre, the war-paint of the Maori, or rubbed with 
charcoal. 

The two opes sank to the kneeling position; each man 
on one knee; in his right hand he held his gun, butt on 
the ground. Suddenly, from the ranks of one ope out 
darted a young warrior, the fastest runner in the 
company. In his hand he carried a light spear or a stick; 
this was the wero. He ran towards the opposing ope 
until within a dozen yards or so of them, then cast his 
ivero at them in challenge, and instantly turned and raced 
back to his comrades. Immediately the wero had been 
thrown a runner from the challenged ope rushed out in 
pursuit, leaving his gun on the ground. It was a wild 
chase, each warrior racing as if for life, breathlessly 
watched by the two companies and by the assembled 
crowd of women and other non-combatants. If the 
Pursuing warrior managed to overtake and touch the 
tangata-wero, the spear-thrower, before lie reached his 
comrades, then it was an omen of success in the impending 
fight for the men of the challenged ope-, and of misfortune 
for the spear-thrower and his men. If on the other hand, 
the tangata-wero was fleet enough of foot to reach liis 


326 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


company without being caught, he and his comrades could 
enter upon the battle with the pakehas with a light heai t 
and with assurance of victory. Such was the omen of the 
wero. 

Then, the exciting race over, each ope leaped to its feet, 
and each in turn danced with terrible noise and fury of 
action that wild dance the tutu-ngarahu, the dance 
of battle and death. With feathers waving, eyes glaring, 
and guns held butt up, now above their heads, now swept 
low to the ground, the buslnnen stamped the earth in far 
resounding tread, then jumped into the air, facing this 
way, then the other, all together in exactest time; and, 
as they danced and leaped and stamped, they chanted iii 
a roaring chorus an awful war-song that rang far through 
the listening forest. It was an intensely savage, terrifying 
scene; except for the firearms and cross-belts and 
cartridge-boxes of the naked brown warriors it might 
have been a picture of a war-party back in the days of 
Captain Cook. Every vestige of the white man’s civilisa¬ 
tion but his weapons had been utterly cast aside. 

Then, when the Tehau-ma-rua and their comrades 
had filled their cartouche-boxes and made all ready for 
the war-path, their sisters and sweethearts and wives took 
a hand. Attiring themselves in their waist -piupius of 
coloured flax, adorning their hair with white feathers, and 
dabbing red ochre on their cheeks, they lined up on the 
marae and danced the merry and voluptuous poi, to send 
the warriors oft" 44 in good heart’’ as the Maori has it. 

Then, on the other coast of the Island, the Tai-Rciwhiti, 
there were the campaigns against Te Kooti, or Turuki te 
Rikirangi as he was also called. Te Kooti figures in the 
recorded story of New Zealand as a Maori Nana Sahib. 
But, ruthless butcher as he was, there were traits in his 
stern pdilcss character that gave an air of heroism to 
his wonderful fight against the pakeha forces. There are 
all the elements of a thrilling tale of adventure in his 
almost incredible exploits. From the day he “broke 
bounds” in the prison-isle of the Chatliams, and seized 


THE 11 AT HATS 


327 

tlu' throe-masted schooner “Rifleman,” in which he and 
his fellow-exiles regained the coast of New Zealand, his 
was an extraordinary career of bloodshed and barbarous 
warfare. Sometimes victorious, hut more often routed 
by the Government troops (white and Maori), three times 
wounded in action, surprised innumerable times, his 
warrior band decimated, fleeing through hungry forests 
and stormy wastes, now pillaging and carousing like a 
pirate, now running for life with rifles cracking all around 
—from these vicissitudes this master of stratagem and 
guerilla warfare emerged, a worn and broken man, but 
free. For more than three years he eluded all the troops 
that the Colony could put in the field against him, and 
when he died—pardoned—in 1893 he was revered as a 
very demi-god by his followers. He had that Napoleonic 
personal magnetism that grappled his cut-throat 
followers to him “with hoops of steel.” He proclaimed 
himself a prophet; he founded a fanatical religion of his 
own; he was as rigid and uncompromising and as severe 
a disciplinarian as Mahomet. 

A Skirmish with Te Kooti. 

One of the sharpest encounters Te Kooti and his men 
ever had with the Government forces was the running 
fight of Te Kapenga, near Rotorua, on February 7th, 
1870, a fight in which Captain Gilbert Mair earned his 
New Zealand Cross. Te Kooti and a strong force had 
attacked Oliinemutu, the Arawa lake-side village, but 
made off when Mair—“Tawa” the Maoris called him— 
and his native constabulary appeared. 

Mair and his men—he had only about twenty-five picked 
fighting-men with him that day, the rest were old fellows 
-—pursued the retreating Hauhaus up the Ilemo Hill, past 
the geyser-valley of Whakarewarewa, and out across the 
plains south-eastward; Te Kooti was making for the 
Urewera Mountains again. Seventy or eighty men, all 
trained fighters, formed the enemy’s rearguard. Some of 
them were Ureweras; others were East Coast escapees 


328 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


from the Chatham Islands. Te Kooti and his 
wife were both mounted. The black-bearded Hanliau 
chieftain, as picturesque a figure as a Wild West 
bandit, galloped about the plain, shouting to his followers 
and waving his revolver. He wore a grey shirt, riding- 
trousers and high boots, and a wide soft felt hat. His 
soldiery were a half-naked body of savages, whose brown 



skins glistened in the 
warm sunshine as if 
they had been oiled. 
They had that morning 
killed a number of pigs, 
and had greased their 
bodies well with pork- 
fat in anticipation of a 
running fight through 
the clinging fern and 
thick manuka. Like 
FalstafFs ragged army, 
there was barely a shirt 
and a half in all the 
company. Every war¬ 
rior had stripped to a 
gantlin’; the clothing 
worn was in most cases 
simply a shawl or piece 
of blanket or a flax 
mat round the waist. 
Each man wore cart¬ 
ridge-belts—some had 
three or four; some 
were armed with revolvers as well as breech-loading 
rifles, carbines, or double-barrelled shot-guns, and a 
sharp tomahawk stuck in the waistbelt completed the 
Hauliau equipment. 

On a little ferny rise above the Puarenga creek—just 
to the right of where the coach to Waimangu splashes 
through an intercepting rivulet- the enemy turned and 
opened a heavy fire. Mail- extended his men, panting and 


Photo by Putman, Auckland, altout 1883 . 

Te Rangitahau, of Opepe, Taupo. This 
Hauliau warrior escaped with Te Kooti 
from the Chatham Islands in 1868, and 
fought against the Government troops up 
to 1871. Died at Rotorua, 1900. 





TIIK 11 AU'IIAUS 


329 

blowing from their sharp run, took cover, and replied with 
his thirty or thirty-live rifles—the rest of the Arawas had 
been knocked up by the severe cross-country work. The 
rearguard fell back, lighting every yard. A mile ol this 
work, then another stand on the summit of a small 
plateau, where the young white lieutenant, with less than 
twenty followers, was almost surrounded by about sixty 
of Te Kooti’s picked men. Here Mair shot Timoti te 
Kaka (one of the Rev. Mr. Volckner’s murderers in 18G5), 
smashing the lower part of his face with an expanding 
bullet. Desperately the Hauhaus charged, clubbing their 
rifles as they came to close quarters—so close that an 
Arawa was tomahawked—but Mair’s fellows stood firm, 
shooting five of the rebels dead. 

This Timoti te Kaka was one of the most thoroughly 
barbarous of Te Kooti’s desperadoes. His was a remark¬ 
able reversion to primal savagery under the influence of 
a fanatic impulse. He had been one of Mr. Volckner’s 
deacons at Opotiki, and for some time strenuously 
opposed Hauliauism. But at last he became a convert to 
the doctrine of fire and sword, and, after sharing in the 
murder of his old pastor, he plunged into rebellion. Said 
he to his tribe: “I stood firm in the missionary’s faith, 
but at last I turned. Now you are going to do evil, carry 
it through—be strong in your wickedness!” No Hauhau 
exceeded him in ferocity. He was one of Te Kooti’s 
“butchers”; the others were Te Rangitahau (who died 
at Rotorua, 1900), Horotiu, and Peka Makarini. These 
were the men told off to execute prisoners and mutilate 
them with swords and tomahawks. 

Now, charging through a swamp away to the right of 
the present coach-road, after the retreating Hauhaus, 
“Tawa” suddenly noticed the corner of an embroidered 
Maori mat showing above the muddy ooze. He stooped 
and hauled on it, and doing so dragged up a big Hauhau, 
still gasping for breath. He had fallen mortally wounded 
in the rushes just a minute or so previously, and his 
comrades, thinking him dead, had hastily trodden him 


330 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


down underneath the surface of the swamp, in order to 
conceal his body from the Arawas. 

Fighting stubbornly, as they retired across the 
Kapenga plains, the Hauhau rearguard made a short 
stand at every rise, and laid frequent ambuscades in the 
thickets and fern. All this time their women were kept 
safely in advance. Men dropped frequently, and the rebel 
line of retreat was a trail of blood. At last as the sun 
set over the blue ranges Waikato-wards, the enemy 
reached the friendly gloom of the Tumunui bush. Here, 
to the far rear of Pakaraka village, the forested mass of 
Tumunui mountain rises from the plains, and up its cliffs 
clambered the Hauhaus, Te Kooti and his own bodyguard 
striking oft' around the mountain flank, where they were 
soon beyond pursuit. Just at the foot of the range, where 
the undulating ground sweeps away to table-topped 
Horohoro Mountain, “Tawa” fell into an ambuscade laid 
by about thirty Hauhaus, and having only three men with 
him he had a very narrow escape. Firing right and left, 
as rapidly as he could shove the cartridges into his 
carbine, he kept the enemy off, well-supported by his all 
but exhausted soldiers, and here he shot the ruffianly half- 
caste Peka te Makarini, who was Te Kooti’s bugler, and 
probably the best fighting man in the Hauhau forces. 

Peka te Makarini (Baker McLean) was an athletic 
young savage, so singularly fair-skinned that lie seemed 
almost a pakcha. All his clothing was a pair of tweed 
trousers, rolled up above the knees. He was barefooted 


and bareheaded; cartouche-belts were strapped round his 
waist, a revolver and a bugle hung from crossed belts over 
his shoulders, a short-handled tomahawk was stuck in his 
leather girdle. Across his broad chest was tattooed in 
blue letters in the shape of a half-moon his name, “Peka 
te Makarini,” and on one arm was the name of his sister, 
“ Huliana” (Susan). Peka rose suddenly in Mair’s path 
and fired at his pursuers. The bullet struck an Arawa 
just behind Mail*. The Hauhau bugler, re-loading as he 
ran, rushed at Mair, who let him come to within fifteen 


THE 11A1THAUS 


paces and then fired. The ball smashed Peka’s hip-bone 
and lie pitched on his face in the fern, his carbine falling 
from his grasp just out of his reach, lie died in a few 
minutes. When their leader dropped, the enemy 
continued their flight to the Rangitaiki, and “Tawa” and 



The late Major Eopata Wahawaha, of Te Aowera hapu, Ngati-Porou tribe. 

his exhausted Arawas were left with the honours of 
victory and a tally of about twenty dead Hauhaus. 

From the time of that skirmish up to about the end of 
1871, Te Kooti and his Hauhaus were chevied persistently 
through the forests of the Urewera Country by Major 
Ropata Wahawaha and Captain (now Lieut.-Colonel) 
Porter and their Ngati-Porou soldiers, and many a time 



332 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


the forests of that wild mountain land rattled with the 
rifle-fire of skirmish and ambuscade. It was a rough and 
cruel country to fight over. The expeditionary forces 
under Major Bopata and his men were very often on 
starvation rations, and were frequently reduced to eating 
tawci berries and fern-root ( aruhe ), and when in the 
forest country they could not even get fern-root. The 
Urewera Hauhaus did not build strong stockades, but 
relied on ambuscades and on their knowledge of the 
rugged forest country. Their refuge was the ngaherehere, 
the deep and tangled forest. One of the bush villages 
captured by Bopata was Toreatai, high up on the 
shoulders of Maungapohatu, the sacred “Bocky 
Mountain,” close to where the modern prophet of the 
Ureweras, the long-haired many-wived Buatapu, has built 
his “New Jerusalem.” 

The bush-fighting costume of the Government Con¬ 
stabulary in those later Maori wars, 1868-71, was 
picturesquely simple, not to say brigand-like. Colonial 
soldiers who had to do much bush-marching and 
campaigning discarded the trousers of civilisation and 
took to the “garb of old Gaul,” the kilt, worn alike by 
the Scottish Highlander and the Maori. This kilt was 
usually a coloured shawl, strapped round the waist and 
falling to the knees. Colonel Porter, in his expeditions 
with the Ngati-Porou and Arawa Maoris on the Hast and 
West Coasts and in the Urewera Country, used to take 
the war-path thus equipped: rapaki or shawl-kilt; grev 
woollen shirt and uniform coat; boots with eyelets cut in 
the toes to give free passage to the water when on the 
march (a very necessary thing when so much marching 
had to be done up and down creek-beds and across rivers); 
long stockings; leather pads for the knees (a great 
protection when penetrating thick scrub, etc.); a Colt’s 
six-shot revolver, slung round the neck by a lanyard; a 
short Terry carbine with gun-stock, slung over the 
shoulders; and a prismatic compass for use in the bush 
and in foggy weather and night-marching. 


THU 11AU HA US 




As tor the Maoris, whether friendlies or hostiles, they 
liked to take the war-trail with as little clothing as 
possible. When a fight was imminent, they used to “dear 
for action” by stripping to the waist-mat or shawl. In 
many a bush fight those brown ITauhau figures flitting 
from tree to tree in the half-gloom of the woods with 
Indian-like celerity, and slipping away like eels when the 
combat went against them, seemed true forest-demons to 
many a white soldier, and their yells and battle-cries gave 
them an added savagery. Often, as in the last Taranaki 
campaign, they streaked their faces and bodies with red 
and black ochre or paint. Their firearms were at first 
mostly muzzle-loading smoothbores; later they captured 
many breech-loading rifles and carbines. In their girdles 
they carried short-handled tomahawks, for work at close 
quarters and for despatching the wounded who fell into 
their hands; and round their waists, or buckled across 
their shoulders, they wore their cartouche-belts, some¬ 
times military belts and pouches captured from the white 
soldiers, sometimes home-made wooden cartridge-holders. 

The Prophets. 

For long after the war, and in fact up to the time of 
his death, Te Kooti was regarded as the high-priest of 
the Waikato, East Coast, and Urewera Hauhaus. lie was 
certainly a clever man, and knew well how to work upon 
the superstitious minds of the people. 

I will give an instance, told me by one of his own 
ex-Hauhaus as a clever bit of “business”:—For a 
number of years, during the eighties, the big meeting¬ 
house at Te Kuiti (described in one of the chapters in 
this book) was used by Te Kooti as his praying-house and 
hall of exhortation. Here, years before any Europeans 
settled at Te Kuiti, the adherents of the Hauhau chief 
gathered for nightly worship after the “Kinga-tu” ritual. 
Where the house stood on its original site at Tokanga- 
mutu, Te Kooti had a hidden door cunningly contrived in 
the raupo wall at the extreme rear of the whare, an 


334 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


entrance just big' enough to admit a man, which would 
close again after him. This secret “stage-door” he 
turned to account. He would prophesy before his people 
in the carved house,—the only light perhaps the smok\ 
fire in the centre of the hall, faintly illuminating the forms 
of the squatting silent Hauhaus and the grinning wooden 
statues round the walls—just the sort of dim half-light 



A. Qungall, Hairera, photo . 

Wbareaitn, of Ngahau, Taranaki, costumed as one of the leaders of the 
Parihaka uoi-girls, at Te Whitt’s monthly meetings. 

appropriate to gliost-tales and oracular deliverances. The 
prophet, his sermon over, would walk through the midst 
of the people to the front of the house and disappear 
outside, and all hands would breathe more freely when 
their tohunqu had made his exit. l»ut, in a lew moments 
there right before them at the rear end of the house, 
suddenly stood Te Kooti again—his grey beard falling 


TIIK UAUirAUS 


OoJ 


over his blanketed breast, his irauliau hook of ritual in his 
hand—gazing grimly at his flock. “ Anana! A miracle!” 
his confidential acolytes would exclaim. They had so 
disposed themselves as to hide from the common view 
their chief’s second coming, through the secret back-door, 
and now, when he so unexpectedly revealed himself, his 
appearance was set down to supernatural means. “How 
could he come in? We saw him leave, but no eye beheld 
his return! He atua ra! He is a god!” 

In Taranaki after the war, the Hauhaus who had 
followed Titokowaru on many a war-path gathered at the 
feet of Te A\ hiti and Toliu in the large native town of 
Parihaka, and there until the recent death of those two 
prophets the faithful of the tribes congregated to listen 
to their oracular deliverances. Te Whiti 1 believe to have 
been a much misunderstood man. He suffered imprison¬ 
ment lor his people, and he was at one time the most 
abused and most hated of all men by the pakeho settlers; 
but his influence was always for peace, and had it not 
been for him there would have been war again in 1881, 
when Mr. John Bryce, then Native Minister, marched his 
troops on Parihaka. Toliu, the rival prophet, was a dour 
old fighting man, very different in character from Te 
Whiti. He was a big, strong, thick-set man. He 
fought all through the wars in Taranaki, and had been 
one of Titokowaru’s best warriors. In the fighting with 
the British troops at Pukerangiora in 1861 he lost the 
sight of his left eye by a splinter from a palisade post 
struck by a bullet. He and Titokowaru were both 
one-eyed. 

Toliu was always anxious for war, and, had it not been 
for Te Whiti, he would have attacked the Government 
forces at Parihaka in 1881. Toliu, I have heard, was 
furious with Te Whiti for forbidding his people to renew 
the war. The Ngati-Ruanui in Parihaka were all bush- 
fighters, and skilled in ambuscades. Toliu’s proposal was 
to take a force of his young men out by night and lay an 
ambuscade at a suitable place along the road between 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 



Rahotu and Parikaka by which Mr. Bryce and liis troops 
were to come. Had this been agreed to by Te W liiti, the 
course of Taranaki history would have been altered, and 
the disastrous war which ceased in 1869 would have been 
renewed. There were between three and four hundred 
armed men in Parikaka. But a large number of guns 
were quietly taken out of the kainga just before the 
invasion. Those remaining, about a hundred and twenty 
stand of arms, were in the large wharepuni, where Major 
Take afterwards found them and seized them. Te Whiti 
was very anxious that he should take them, and so ensure 
peace. 


From a photo, 19u8. 

Ruatapu, the Prophet of Maungapohatu, Urewera Country, and some of 
his wives and daughters. 






Chapter XXXT. 


A DAY AT A “HUT.” 


A\ e are seated amidships in his Maori majesty’s state 
canoe “Taheretikitiki,” flying down the broad-bosomed 
willow-tringed Waikato River. A score of paddles are 
dipping and flashing in the morning sun, and perched in 
front of us is old Paki, kilted with a tartan shawl, a red 
handkerchief round his head, his whalebone club in his 
hand, swaying this way and that and beating time, and 


now and again yelping—no other word seems to suit so 
well—at his crew. “A-a-a! Tiaia! Tinea, Tinea!” he 
yells, and they dig away as if in a race. There is a big 
hui, a gathering of the clans, at Waahi, “King” Mahuta’s 
settlement, to discuss the interminable land question, and 
most of the tribes in the Island are represented, and we 
are bound thither from Huntlv, in company with certain 
political notables, to whom Mahuta is doing honour by 
ferrying them down-river in his war-canoe. 

Old Paki balances himself precariously on a thwart, 
and barks out an ancient Waikato river-song; all the 
paddlers join in the chorus. We flatter ourselves we are 
making a brave show. Presently the sound of music 
comes down the river after us. It is a “pakelia- Maori” 
blending of ancient and modern—a brass band in a canoe. 
The musicians are Maori youths, in smart blue uniforms, 
white-braided; the gentleman with the big drum squats 
confidently amidships and secures the instrument firmly 
with one hand while he pounds it with the other. The 
trombone player is behind him, imprisoned Laocoon-like 
in the glittering coils of his brazen music-weapon. The 
cornet player and a solemn youth with the triangles stand 
to their work, and in the bow a belltoppered and 


337 




338 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


spectacled old chief kneels holding the gav flag of Ins 
“Tautoko” village band. The canoe, a light swift one, 
shoots down close under onr stern, and so we paddle on, 
our water-serenaders hanging away vigorously at Safe 
in the Arms of Jesus” and ‘‘Pull for the Shore.” They 
have the latest coon songs, too, these brown musicians, 
but good rousing hymn tunes are their favourites. 

“ Haere-mai, haere-mai, hae-e-r e-mai! Nau-mai, 
nau-mai /” This is the Maori welcome we get in high and 
musical chorus as we sheer in through the softly sucking 
eddies of the river to the further bank where the weeping- 
willows trail their fingers in the water. The shore is lined 
with brightly-garbed, great-eyed buxom women and girls, 
shawls and mats and green boughs in their hands. The^ 
wave their garments and their leafy branches to and fro, 
swaying from one side to the other in a semi-dance, and 
as we jump ashore there conies the ancient song of 
greeting: 

“ Haere mai, haere mai! 

E te manuliiri tua-rangi! 

Na taku potiki koe i tiki atu 
I tc taka atu o te raugi, 

Kukume mai-ai! 

Haere mai, liaere mai, haere mai!" 

(“ Welcome, welcome! 

Strangers from the far horizon, 

From the dim and distant sky-line, 

’Twas our dearest child that brought ye, 

Brought ye to our home and people. 

Welcome ye! Oh come, oh come! ’ ) 


The Maori’s warm-hearted “ Haere-mai ” to visitors 
lias nothing of our stiff and formal pakeha address of 
welcome about it. It is a Maoriland head Malle t ailte. 
So we fall in on the river bank for the parade up to the 
village marae, where the koi’cro is to take place. Mote 
brass bands are waiting for us, and beaded by the 
Ngeangea Band (Malmta’s own) we march along, in 
couples, trying to look very serious and dignified 
rangatiras, along the winding path to the royal kainga — 
a procession irresistibly bringing up to the mind the 
darkey-minstrel song of the animals and the Ark. 


A DAY AT A 


II I I 


4 4 


y y 


• >.) 


<> 


Music in frout and more behind—bands to tlie right and 
bands to tin* left of us, “volleyed and thundered,” one 
playing the pakcha’s National Anthem, while the other, 
heedless of its rival’s proximity, blew away cheerily at 
its one and only melody, “Oh, You Must He a Lover of the 


Lord, or You Won’t go to Heaven W hen vou Die. 


The 


half-stripped crew of “Taheretikitiki” meanwhile came 
dancing in the rear, flourishing their paddles in high glee 
and pirouetting to and fro as they sang lusty haka -songs 
—“Kutnea mai te ivaka ” (“Haul up the canoe”) and the 
rousing old chorus “An male, ka male — ka ora, ka ora ” 
(“’Tis death, ’tis death! No—’t is life, ’tis life”). 

So, all very merry and delightfully noisy, we passed 
into the village square, the bands, halting, opening out 
into a guard of honour when we reached the green marae, 
and giving us a parting blow as we marched through the 
double line of brazen artillerv. 


Now we have time to look round us on the Waahi mar art. 
A bright and varied mass of colour is this assemblage of 
the tribes, a great half-moon shaped body of people 
squatting on the ground facing us. There are fine-looking 
full-blown Maori women with tattooed lips and a haughty 
tilt to their plump chins; strapping handsome girls, many 
of them half-castes. The womenfolks’ rainbow-coloured 
raiment is just the sort of thing that is needed to set off 
their flowing black hair, their dark liquid eyes, their full 
lips, and their rich warm colour that eludes the artist’s 
brush. In contrast is that little knot of “old hands,” 
deeply tattooed veterans of the war, greenstones and 
shark ’s-teeth hanging from their ears. Would you know 
them ? Then that sage with the straggling white beard 
is Tu-ata, a relative of the first Maori King, his years 
verging on ninety; the clean-shaven, sharp-eyed old man 
beside him, spliinx-like and grim of feature, and wrapped 
in a red blanket, is Piripi te Whanatangi; another is 
the celebrated Patara te Tulii, benevolent-looking, 
with a shrewdly humorous twinkle in his eye; another 
is the grim old war-hawk and famous canoe architect Te 


340 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


Ako-o-te-Rangi-—all true types of the old order. European 
garments are the rule, though here and there the 
people air their much-prized carefully-worked flaxen mats 
and shawls; and some wear rough flax kilts ( piupiu ) 
which rustle loudly at every movement, coloured in bands 
of black and white with a dye from the bark of a forest- 
tree. 

Facing the square, beneath the folds of the Kingite 
banners, stands King Makuta’s guest-house, a large low- 
eaved house, roofed with rciupo reeds and supported by 



One of the Waikato Kinyite Flays at Waahi. The canoe represents the Tainui; the 
rainbow is the symbol of the yod Uenuku, and the seven stars above the rainbow are 

the Pleiades (Matariki). 


carved wooden posts. Maliuta himself occupies a carved 
and decorated house at the other end of the settlement, 
surrounded by a neat fence, near the residence of the 



boasts a Premier and two Houses of Councillors. The 
other native houses are arranged round an open square 



Tynwald Hill, where 1 He speeches are made and the laws 
discussed in the bright light of day. Tn addition to the 
houses, there are scores of tents and temporary reed huts 












A DAY AT A “jlUl” 341 

for the accommodation of the guests, and in the real- are 
the cooking-places and stores of provisions, from dried 
shark to potatoes and live pigs and bullocks, to feed the 
hungry mouths inseparable from a Maori “//a/.” 

The royal town is gay with flags. A tall flagstaff stands 
near us, flaunting to the wind four or five brightly 
coloured banners of curious design. The topmost flag, a 
long white one, is lettered “K« Maliuta te Kingi” 
(“Maliuta is the King”), with an over-arching rainbow, 
which is to the Maoris the personification and outward 
and visible sign of their ancient god Uenuku. On the 
second flag, a very large one, is painted a war-canoe, with 
paddlers and hau-tu, representative of the historic 
Tainui, the craft in which the ancestors of Mahutu and 
the Waikato people crossed the Pacific Ocean. Tainui 
is surmounted by a rainbow, as in the case of the other 
flag, and there are various other devices such as stars (the 
Pleiades constellation) and crosses, all of which bear 
meanings familiar to the Kingites. The rainbow-god 
Uenuku, say the Waikatos, guided the Tainui across 
the lonely ocean to this country. On the topmost flag 
there are worked two large stars. One of these 
represents Tawera, the morning star, and the other 
Meremere, the evening star (Venus). Tradition states 
that when Tainui was crossing the great sea from 
Hawaiiki, the ancient fatherland, to the shores of New 
Zealand, these bright Shining-Ones cheered the brave 
hearts of those Vikings of the Southern Seas, whose 
descendants now manifest their gratitude by placing the 
starry emblems on their flags. 

For Uenuku, the Rainbow-God, and for the sacred 
cluster of the Pleiades the heaven-gazing Maoris have 
a deep veneration. Matariki is the Maori name of the 
Pleiades. The Waikatos regard Matariki—whose 
advent marks the beginning of the planting season—as in 
a sense their celestial palladium. “Te Paki o Matariki” 
—“The Halcyon Sign of the Pleiades”-—is the title of the 
Kingite newspaper or gazette, a sheet printed at erratic 


Y 


342 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


intervals by the Waikatos on tlieir own press; above tlie 
quaint wood-cut on the front page are the seven lustrous 
stars, the beloved of the old Greek navigators, the constel¬ 
lation whose annual rising was the occasion of feasting 
and worship amongst South American as well as 
Polynesian savages. The benign rays of Matariki are 
to the Maori verily the same as those which prompted 
the voice “out of the whirlwind” in the Book of 
Job—“Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, 
or loose the bands of Orion?” The Rainbow-god Uenuku 
and the seven of Matariki are as sacred omens to the old 
school of Waikatos. King Tawliiao, shortly before his 
death in 1894, farewelling his followers in the village 
marae at Parawera, chanted these oracular words: 

“ Papa te whatitiri, 

Ka puta Uenuku, 

Ka puta Matariki— 

Ko Maliuta te Kingi. ’ ’ 

(“ The thunder peals, 

The Rainbow-god appears, 

The Pleiades shine forth— 

Maliuta is the King.”) 

It was in this poetic way, in the figurative language of 
his race, that the dying chieftain announced his eldest 
son as his successor, the last of the Maori Kings. 

But we have gotten up amongst the stars, and the King 
is coming. Stray dogs are kicked out of the marae, and 
“down the valley came again the music on the wind.” 
The Ngeangea band, preceded by an old white-moustached 
chief carrying a Union Jack, marches into the square, 
playing a rather pretty melody, an English popular air 
Maorified. This is Maliuta’s royal anthem. The band 
plays a verse and then a band ol men and women sing the 
words of the hymn. It begins: 

“ Ko Maliuta te Kingi. 
llei Kingi lion, 

Hei Kingi tua-toru 
Mo te ao-katoa”— 

that is to say, “Maliuta is the King, the new King, the 
third King in the whole of this land.” The Maori version 


A DAV AT A 


HUI 


11 


y f 


343 



NO. 6| 


MAUNMAKAWA, CMBWDOt WAIKATO. NKW Z LA LAND, Til LEM A It. 18)5. 


it (la'hi o HI a lari In. 


KaTVOOTU (ITU PaKI KO »«■ AKIT-XU ATM 


MAUNOAKAW’A, TIHEMA l«. 1895 

rn»llUI[KRENi 1TKTAU . 

H K knpu ano enei e taimaha nna ki 
roto i te Ilmcngnroo in Tunguta iti, 
mo in Tangnta rahi, am. nga knpu «• who- 
knhokoa noi ki roto i nga Taring* ruua ko 
te Ngakau. 

Tern pea nga Ilea ka titiro iho, me te 
knrero ano ki ora atu o ana hoa kurero 
Nupopa, :—Penoi atu ” E Iloa ma lie 
haoro noa mni in noi to Pena ki ahau. Kn 
rore to nutai r iga Hoa. 1 kobi Tawa tn« 
ha pea ioe, hoi Poapoa atu no. ? Katabi 
torn ka mea atu, ao, i roua ra ano, K;i 
patai ano nga Hoa, I nawhoa rawa. ? E 
i te Tau ano e Iwa tekau marua n». Ka 
tahi nga Hoa ka moa ato, “ koia ano ” Ka 
mutu koa ka talari ano i to Putangn mai 
Iuh koe a muri akc noi:— Am — rcre tena 
hangn. E ki ana te Whakatanki a o taua 
Pakokc. “ Komaru kai atu, “ Komaru kai 
mai, ka ngohe-ngohe, o harn to kai a to 
tanguU ho kai Titougi (Patoi) kn-ki, Him 
atn mahia o tona ringa, tino kai, tmo 
makona. 

T£ 

HAERE A TE KIINGI. 

KI TE HAUAURU 

No te 6 o nga ra o Hepetema, ka haem 
atu To Kiingi i Ilanutereka tikn te 


linamhi i to Puia Waiupnro. Ohmilim, kn 
pnln ki to huarmhi o WaitoluuH. toe tonu 
utn ki Mutahnhaia. I mau atu a to Who- 
nnrhero touu Toipa ki n-ira , Haoro tonu 
utu ratou, i tika ma to Makaka, tuku®wa 
atu, kua rupoko nga tangnta o rciru Ki Ra 
oraokanoro. haore tonu atu ratou kl reira, 
i tno pea ratou ki to 80, i rupeke katou nga 
Iwi o Aoton ki Raoraokauero, ki to tatari 
mai i te Kiingi, ratou ko onn Toina, 

No to 9 o nga ra i tM atu ai ki rmra, ko 
nga korero o teno ra, mo nga Mnte anake 

I te aongn ako o te rn. ku to mm ko te 
Wharcroa Rukcna, mo nga Mato ano to ti¬ 
le angn o nga kupu, ko etehi enei o ana ku- 
pu — Haerc atu, haore atu ■— Haore atu 
nga tangata kunre, rorororc tain mai i mua 
i taku aruuro E ki ana tcnei hauga te ta- 
ngata, ki a tntuki i a in Una niuukn koro 
noa ako, p ki ana ko oti i a ia, hon noa ake 
ko tunei —Haore mai e to Whanftu. 

•• Wai«ta " Tfm la Komaru • at* ham 
■naira, kia aU hangaia U aku am titiro 
Tara ata U» roaoga 

Haero mai o Tama roa, tukua atu ki a 
haefe nga tangnta Whakaaro korc — 
Haerc ngu UngaU Whaknoro kore, “te Ai 
noa ake he ponongntangu " Haore mm 
ki Aotea, hei aha maku a Kawhia. 

Haoro mai, ki nga tangnta i wont i to 
ahi. Haore mai ngn tangatu o Wai-mahuru 
Hbcit mai te Kiingi o te troha o te Ra- 
ugimario. 

ROTA KAKEHA - Haoro mni te 
Kungi o te Rangimone, hana mai to aroha. 

•< T*wbi*hi-Tu tn u RaoR' E Ronjp* T* 
ina *o PuratAnR* to Taabanga to Tauma 
an ko to Motu nai, ko aga Tan got* 

Hoere mai ki a kite atu, Tena koutou, 
tona koutou. 

TUAWHENUA TAU IRA ;— Hatir mm 


U- Kungi. lucre mai Waikuto, haerc mai 
“ngn tangnt.i o Wal-maburu. haoro mat ki 
Tuwhiti-apowa 

* VVoiata 

E Ua • t* Ua-a, Kingia kt a aul-l, E ail- 
bo aaa auu, Tn koko ki Kaipara. 

Tara atu to roooga 

Haero mai to Kungi o to Rangimarie 

RiU to-t'ulungo • Rata ki u pulangm Ra • 
Wlut»whiti-ora U* ogokau taogi nawa »-• 

Haero maiki Aotoa, Haero mai lu Ka- 
whia. 


RITJA KOrUERA — Haero mai tc Kii¬ 
ngi o to aroha, te Kiingi o te Rangimwie 
Haero mni kiakite i nga Morehn noi, i 
nga Mokni liei, Te take i Tu ake ai ahau 
ki runga, ho kitcuga atu noku i te Ilekerc- 
tun o te Koroni. i nga Minita hoki, he wha 
kaatu naku i oku mamac ki to Hekeretari 
i oku mate hoki, i ahau e noho noi. 

Ki a rongo niai koo. ko ahau e noho noi 
kei roto i nga ringnringa 0 te Pakeha, taku 
. kainga ko to Wharc. ’.lOrebcre, ko te Puta- 
ko o tenei Mate i pa ai ki ahau. he huna no 
ngn Minita i ngu Ture o te Whare k. ahau, 
kin kite ahau i nga Ture moku, tao noa ki 
to Whenua, tae ooa hoki ki aku K ararehe, 
E liopungia ana ahau o te Pakehft, mo aku 
Knn tae nna ki nga Reiti a te Kao-anal* 
nga i runga i tenei Whenua. 

E tono a.iA ahau ki a koo inaiebB* ki a lu 
kna mai e koe nga Ture o tc - Who r »’ ki. 
maloti. ko tona-ahna tenei t noho t.t • ' ’• 
l te mate, mohemcn pea c kite ih"» .* . 
nga Ture, e noho niaranm ana to ng.«v u. 
mo tc tac mai o te Pak/ lu e niHP.m.i ana to 
hoatu o nga kupn • runga i nga liknnga o 
tc Ture, kn rougu mni noi koo ki tc.ahua o 
i nga mihi, 1,0 Waiinalturu koutou, tro tc 
! Mate enei, koi noi tona nhnn, he liki noa 
| mai ma te Pnkebn ho h.ni no* atu ki to 
1 Whare hcjrlinc. knin alia., i ton ■ tn *■' » 


Front page of the Waikato Kingite newspaper, “ Te Paki-o-Matariki.” 
































344 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


of “God Save the King” disposed of, the Ivingites salute 
their sovereign chief, the descendant of the mighty Te 
Wherowhero. 

As Mahuta walked slowly into the marae the people 
rose as one, and uncovered their heads. Big Te Rawhiti, 
the suave and smiling secretary', advanced and cried with 
a loud voice the mandate “ Wliakahonare ki te Kingi! 
(“Make obeisance to the King”). The assemblage! 
bowed low, with the exception of some of the visitors from 
other tribes, who were not all enamoured of Kingism. 

‘ ‘ Kei rung a V ' (“Up!”) and the people stood upright 
again. Once more the order, “ Wliakahonare ki te Kingi'* 
was cried, and once more the brown-skinned subjects 
bowed deeply and reverently and uprose at ‘ ‘ Kei 
rung a!" For the third and last time the command was 
repeated; and after the final “Kei runga" the people sat 
down, and the speeches began. They were long-winded, 
those speeches, both on the pakeha side and on the Maori, 
but they breathed throughout the warmest friendship. 
Chief after chief arose from the crescent of natives, 
chanted the melancholy-sounding waiata which is the 
usual preface to a Maori oration, some performing the 
taki (a little run or liop-step-and-jump up and down the 
marae), hy way r of punctuation marks between tha 
sentences. Full of poetic metaphor and apt simile were 
the addresses of the Kingite leaders—dignified, self 
possessed orators, weighing their sentences well, but a' 
no loss for words. 

But now comes the call to kai. We are taken to a large 
dining-hall, where food is spread in European styde 
Maori waiters, deft and eager to serve, place before us 
the best fare of the kainga. Mahuta’s chiefs even take 
a hand and show that they have pleasure in serving tlieij 
pakeha friends. Mahuta believes in the good old Maori 
principle of generosity to visitors; we are open-handedly 
liospitised here in a fashion to which the close-fisted 
paleface is generally a stranger. 



345 


A DAY AT A “lIUl” 

“Now tlien! Fall in te front ban’!” is the cry when 
lunch is over, and we walk out on to the marar. 11 is a 
musical interlude before the speeches begin again. 

The “flute band” falls in. It is a bevy of a dozen good- 
looking gilds and young women, all playing long fife-like 
tin whistles, augmented by the necessary male in the way 
of a drummer-boy. The effect, with the addition 
of the drum, is just that of a drum and fife 
band. The feminine musicians play really well, and 
as they pipe away, with modestly downcast eyes, at 
“Beulah Land,” or “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” 
(this air is a great favourite with the melody- 
loving Maoris), or some romping dance tune, garbed in 
their brightest yellow and pink and red and blue “round¬ 
abouts” and their equally gay gowns, they make a picture 
besides which the ordinary masculine band is prosaic in 
the extreme. Their hair is prettily coiffured and ribboned; 
one handsome plump girl is remarkable because of her 
peculiar golden-reddish head of hair. She is a pure- 
blooded Maori, an urukehu, a survival of tbe ancient 
golden-haired strain in the race. 

To lend an artistic accompaniment to the fair bands- 
women’s performances, out come the dancers. First, a 
couple of uncomely tattooed old dames sidle out, rolling 
their eyes and wriggling their bodies in the movements of 
the “w}iatiwhati-hope.' , ' > Then one after another of the 
young lady musicians takes her whistle from her full 
round lips, empties it of its accumulated moisture 
quite in masculine fashion, gives her flaxen kilt a 
swing with the swagger of a Highland piper, and glides 
into the measure of the native dance. She pukanas with 
her eyes, now set and glassy, now wildly rolling, throws 
her shapely head back, and gives herself up to the 
elemental passion of the kanikani, of “woven paces and 
of waving hands.” All the muscles of her trunk and 
lower limbs seem to be at work; the lascivious spirit of the 
untamed sex-instinct shines out in her. 


346 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


The lookers-on gaze greedily and breathlessly: they 
have before them the priestess of the most ancient world- 
cult, the devotee of the Hebrew Ashtaroth, the 
Phoenician Astarte, the dancing-girl of Egypt, the hula -, 
hula damsel of Hawaii. The dancer’s body swings and 
quivers, faster and faster; it is the danse du ventre, the 
consummation of the act of Venus-worship. Her eyes 
are widely staring but seeing nothing in their intense 
self-concentration. 

Then the audacious climax comes, and the danseuse 
stops dead, her hands on her well-curved hips. If she 
be young and not yet case-hardened she actually looks as 
if she could blush: and glowing all over with her self- 
evolved emotions and sensations, she glides to her place 
and takes up her tin flute once more. And throughout 
the dance the band-girls, their eyes fixed on the ground, 
are piping away at a Moody and Sankey hymn-tune, to 
which, indeed, through all her Daedalian performances the 
dancing-girl keeps exactest time. 

More speeches, that lasted till after dark. The stars 
were out; over the hlack shadows of the western hills 
hung glittering Meremere,and to the north the faint silver 
swarm of Matariki, “shedding sweet influence,” with the 
keen eye of Rehua blazing earthwards from the high east 
—the stars were out, and our sharp bow cut through the 
glistening star-lit waters as we made our return trip to* 
Huntly in the “Taheretikitiki,” after a long and merry 
day in the home of the Waikatos’ lord paramount. A 
courteous laughing crowd escorted us to the river-side, 
and cried us loud farewells of “ Haere ra, haere ra !” 

The brawny-sliouldered crew dipped their paddles, the 
fugleman amidships raised his wild canoe-song. “ Hoea 
te waka ” (“Urge on the canoe”) was the word, and the 
Kingite crew put their shoulders into it. Quicker and 
quicker came the strokes—“ linkere, linkere, linkere!” 
Presently, 11 Taring a whakarongoV ’ (“Ears, listen!”) 
shouted the captain; this by way of caution, or call to 
attention. Then—“ HikitiaV' (“Lift up!”) and at the 




347 


A DAY AT A “l£Ul” 

sharp command every paddle was lifted clear above the 
canoe-side, missing one stroke. ” Rukia /”—and with a 
deft movement one hand, the inboard one, was slapped on 
the wet blade and clapped on the handle again, all in 
perfect unison. Then once more every man plunged deep 
his dripping hoe, and the captain began again his slow 
and measured time-song, “Rite, ho te rite, rite, ho te 
rite!" gradually quickening it as before; and the royal 
canoe swept on over the old waterway ot the war-parties, 
leaving the King and his people to seclusion untroubled of 
the white man. And as we climbed the bank to the hotel 
at Huntly we could still hear, faint and sweet in the quiet 
night, the silver piping of the King’s “froot ban’.” 



Chapter XXXII. 


THE TANGI. 


“ I saw the lightning’s glare 
Upon the peak of Taupiri; 

There the thousands of thy people sleep 
Their last long sleep; 

They rest forever on the 
Plains of Tangirau. ” 

—A Waikato Lament. 

When sorrow smites the people, when loved ones are 
seized by the hand of the Unseen and hurried away in the 
Waka o Aitua, the Canoe of Death, then the soul of the 
Maori is bared, and the primal grief-note, the coronach 
of the tangi, sounds through the stricken kainga. It is 
at a tangihanga , a funeral gathering, that one sees some¬ 
thing of the real Maori. Old customs are revived, brown 
nose is pressed to nose, and the orations over the dead 
are rich in song, in proverb, and in touching symbol and 
imagery. 

Much that is pctkeha and incongruous nowadays often 
creeps into the tangihanga, but in some of the purely 
Maori districts the funeral observances to a large extent 
follow tlie fashions of old, with the exception that the 
dead are now generally interred in a graveyard, often 
within the fern-grown walls of some ancient hill-fort, 
instead of being hidden in caves or lowered into abysses, 
as was the case in former days when the preservation of 
the bones of the dead from the sacrilegious hands of 
enemies was a holy duty. 

The most remarkable tangihanga I have ever seen was 
the great funeral gathering of tribes held at Taupiri, on 
the Waikato River, in October, 1894, over the remains 
of King Tawhiao, the son of the famous Potatau te 
Wherowliero. Here were witnessed, probably for the 
last time on such a scale, some thrilling pictures of old 


348 




I'llK I'A.Nlil 


349 

Maoridom. The tduyiltanfju carried to some of us more 
than a lamentation over the <lead chief; it was the crying 
lor the final passing away of the restless ancient order, 
for with the tattooed grim old King there died too the 
futile torty-year-old dream of an independent Maori 
kingdom. 

Taupiri was a fitting spot for the great tarifjihanfja; it 
is the famous burial-place of Waikato chieftains. Above 
the Waikato River rises the beautiful wooded peak of 
Taupiri, creased with many a deep green gully rich in 
fern-trees. The great hills close in on each side of the 
broad Waikato, which has in this place in ages past cut 
out a channel for itself through the mountain range. 
Looking across the \\ aikato, is a noble picture. 
The river, as it takes a splendid sweeping bend on 
its passage through its self-hewn gorge, is here a 
quarter of a mile wide, swift, strong, but glassy-smooth. 
Over on the western shore the bank is a soft and tender 
green, a tangled forest of acacia. The time-stained 
buildings of the old mission station gleam greyly through 
the thickets. Then the wrinkled shoulders of the further 
hills rise up, blue-liazed mountain ramparts, fern-covered 
to the summits, treeless but grand. Away in the distance 
bush shows again; the high range begins to clothe itself 
in forest-trees against the sky-line. Weeping-willows dip 
their soft trailers in the stream on either side and as far 
as one can see up and down the shining river. Imme¬ 
diately above the rail-line is the green foothill of the 
Taupiri range, its sides trenched in the lines of an ancient 
fort, its summit crowned with a white-painted enclosure. 
This is the sacred burying ground, the aristocratic 
Waikato wahi-tapu. “In death the tribe are one.” 
Taupiri Mountain is famous in Maori song and story. It 
is spoken of as a “ maunga-hikonga-uira ,” a “lightning- 
mountain.” That is to say, it is a peak of solemn omen. 
If lightning flashed downwards repeatedly immediately 
over Taupiri’s sacred peak, it was regarded as a portent 
of the death of some notable person of the Waikato people, 
or of some impending misfortune. 


350 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


At this great tangi over the remains of Tawhiao, the 
crying of the dead monarch to the Maori Spirit-land, tlieie 
were at least three thousand Maoris present, belonging 
to some thirty tribes from all parts of the “Fish of 
Maui.” Long thatched nikau and raupo whares were 
built by the hosts—the Waikato tribes proper—for the 
accommodation of the army of visitors; tlieie veie 
hundreds of tents pitched, and immense quantities of food 
—pork and beef, potatoes, fish, dried eels, shellfish, and 
pakeha bread—were provided to feed the hungry multi¬ 
tude. The smoke from scores of liangi, the primitive 
eartli-ovens, rose into the air night and morning. There 
was to be daily seen the pretty ceremonial of the Tuku-kai, 
the formal presentation of cooked food in little round flax 
baskets to the guests, with the accompaniment of dance 
and song; there were almost continual performances of 
the haka and powhiri of greeting; and the wdd military 
parades of the past were revived in honour of the sacred 
dead. 

One thrilling scene stands out before all the others in 
the many-coloured panorama that passes before the 
mind’s eye as I recall the stirring week at Tawhiao’s 
tangi. This was the reception of the old King s bod\ as 
it was borne into the Waikato camp from distant Para- 
wera, on the King Country border-line, after a long and 
weary pilgrimage through the Upper Waikato, a journey 
prolonged by wailing tangis and funeral feasts at each 
settlement. Close on a thousand people of the Ngati- 
Maniapoto, Ngati-Raukawa, Ngati-Haua, and other 
up-country tribes reverently escorted the remains; more 
than two thousand Waikatos, swayed by the intensest 
feeling, awaited them here on the Taupiri river-side. 

The people wore the universal sign of mourning— 
sprays of green willow or of koromiko, or the beautiful 
trailing creepers ot the lycopodium lein wreathed 
round their heads and over their shoulders. Guns and 
Maori weapons of wood and stone were in every hand, 
and here and there a sword—a trophy of the war. Flags 




TIIK TANG I 


>f)1 


ot bright colour and curious design flapped at half-mast 
in the centre of Ihe marae, the campus. Some hundreds 
ot \Y aikato men, under their chiefs, were drawn up in 
soldierly formation just inside the fence of the murua 
enclosure; the ranks ten or twelve deep, all stripped to 
a waist-garment—shawl, blanket, or mat; feathers in 
hair—the lordly huia plume and the feathers of the 
albatross, the pigeon or the wild goose; all were armed 
with rifles or double-barrelled guns and had cartridge 
pouches strapped round them. The chiefs carried their 
treasured weapons, ancestral emblems of rank, greenstone 
metes and whalebone patus , and carved and plumed 
spear-lieaded taiahas. 


The long cortege of Upper Waikato men wound in sight 
round a turn in the road, with a Maori band at their head 
playing the “Dead March”—an innovation borrowed 
from the military funerals of the pakeha. Behind the 
band came the coffin enclosing Tawhiao’s body, borne by 
sixteen half-naked brown figures. Beside his father’s 
remains walked Maliuta. Then marched the armed men 
of the King Country, in fighting costume, a splendid 
savage battalion three to four hundred strong, their only 
garments a shawl or sheet round ther loins, their black 
hair dressed with feathers, cartridge-belts round their 
bare shoulders, and ammunition-pouches at their waists. 
All carried guns, and, as they slowly advanced, they fired 
their rifles and fowling-pieces loaded with blank. Eight 
deep came the wild soldiery, led on by Arakatare 
Bongowhitiao, a big black-bearded Ngati-Raukawa chief, 
stripped to a waist-sheet, quivering a glistening whale¬ 
bone mere in his hand. Then came the rest of the singular 
procession, hundreds of natives with their heads and 
bodies profusely wreathed and entwined with green leaves 
and nodding branchlets; it seemed to us almost a 
“moving grove,” like Birnain Wood which came to 
doomed Macbeth in Dunsinane. 

Volleys of musketry, then single and irregular shots, 
were fired, continually, both by the oncoming host and the 


352 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


waiting Waikatos; a hum of lamentation rose on the heavy 
air; the gunpowder smoke hung around the wailing 
throngs; and all the time on the “green hill knowe” under 
the dark shoulder of Taupiri puffs of smoke were seen 
and reports like cannon were heard, waking the mountain 
echoes. It was the Maoris at the burial-place exploding 
dynamite round the sepulchre destined for the King. 

The sorrowful procession, every man and woman 
marching with head bowed in grief, slowly approached the 
entrance to the camp. The hundreds ot T\ aikato, silent 
now as death, were massed some eighty yards inside the 
enclosure, the armed men in front with their guns at the 
“port,” behind them the general body of the people 
including the women. As the coffin was borne through 
the gate, the Waikatos bowed their heads low three times 
and at the same time the colours on the tall flagstaff veie 
dipped. On trod with measured step, painful and slow, 
the visiting host, crying in the inexpressibly sad monotone 
of the tangi. Waikato slowly retired a few paces and once 
more bowed to the ground. Then they raised their three 
hundred guns and fired a thundering volley of blank 
cartridge in honour of the mighty dead. 

Now came Waikato’s great song and dance of greeting 
and of grief. Led by a furiously gesticulating wild 
captain, they roared out with one voice their song of 
lamentation," their chant for the home-bringing of the 
King. To the song they kept splendid time with their 
war-dance, bending to die ground as one man until the 
muzzles ot the guns nearly touched the eaith, holding 
their firearms near the breech, and then giving a sudden 
spring upright with their weapons raised at arms -length 
above their heads. To the right they faced, then to the 
left, then up and down, like a marvellous machine. 


The lament they sang was a tangi poem specially com¬ 
posed and rehearsed for the great occasion. It was 11 Te 
Taniwha o te Una" (“The Dragon of the Cave”), 
likening the departed chief’s spirit to a great taniwha 01 
irod-like monster of the depths. They chanted, as they 

n 




THK TAN01 




leaped in the terrifying war-danee, 
slapping the hard ground as one, 


rolling, this stentorian dirge 

Ka ahua ahau ki te wliatitiri 
E whakatupuru nei 
Runga te rangi; 

Kaore ko te unuhanga 
O te Taniwlia i te rim. 

A ue! Aue! Aue! 

Te mamae i au! 

Ka ngaue Mokau, 

Ka ngaue Tamaki; 

Ka ru te whenua; 

Ka mate te marama; 

Ka taka te whetu o te rangi; 

Ka ara Waikato i te rua. 

Aue! Aue! Aue! Taukiri e! 


six hundred bare feet 
guns flashing and eyes 
for their dead A riki: 

(Translation.) 

I hear the thunder crashing, 
Rumbling o’er me in the sky, 

Heaven’s sign for the mighty dead; 
The Taniwlia leaps forth from his 
cave. 

Alas! Alas! Alas! My grief! 

From Mokau unto Tamaki 
The earthquake shakes the land; 

The moon has disappeared; 

The stars fall from the heavens. 

’Tis Waikato rising from the deep. 
Alas! Alas! Alas! My woe! 


Then the wild waiata changed and they chanted all 
together: 

Waikato’s waters 

Lie lonely before me; 

Waikato tribesmen 

Weep long for the lost one. 

Ah me, Ah me! 

Alas, O ’I’upu! 

Where is your AriM? 

Lo, lie stands there above you, 

At the shrine of our fathers. 

But below we wail sadly; 

Like rain our tears fall fast, 

We weep for the Chieftain. 

Ah me, Ah me! 

But no words can convey the full and thrilling effect 
of this mighty dirge for the dead. The chorus, chanted 
by hundreds of voices, “Aue! Aue! Aue! Te mamae i au ,” 
was sung with a terrible heart-piercing intensity of 
expression, the very soul of grief. 

The death of a great chief was associated in Maori 
ideas, as indicated in this chant, with convulsions of 
nature, portentous phenomena that accompanied the 
dissolution of the wairua’s earthly frame, the quaking of 
the solid land, the lightning flashing above the tribal 
burial hills, and the thunder rolling along the mountain 
peaks. 


354 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


The roaring chorus rang out far across the wide river 
and was sent back by the listening hills, and before the 
echoes had time to die away they were roused again by 
volleys of musketry. Both the armies joined in the general 
fusillade, the men reloading with blank as fast as they 
could push the cartridges in and blaze away into the air. 

The coffin was borne to the foot of the flagstaff, and 
there it was at last at rest, enshrouded in soft feather 
cloaks and fine flax mats. The Upper Waikato men, when 

the Lower Waikato sol¬ 
diers fell back on the 
main body, replied with 
rifle firing and with a 
song of their own, raising 
a thunderous chorus that 
might have been heard 
for miles around, and 
with an earth-shaking 
simultaneous stamp of 
hundreds of feet on the 
soil of the marae. 

Then came the general 
tangi, the “keening” for 
the dead chieftain. The 
Waikato people now for 
the first time had the 
opportunity of crying 
over their King. The 
visiting tribes, who had 
in the body from the south, maintained 

their position thirty or forty yards away, allowing 
Waikato proper to gather round the coffin. The 

Waikatos formed a large and dense half-moon close 
under the colours, with the armed men on the right 
and the green-garlanded women on the left. Some of the 
women had bared themselves to the waist, and wore 
weeping-willows and ferns entwined about their shoulders 
and bosoms. In former times they would have scarified 
their faces and arms and breasts with sharp shells or 



Pcgler, photo , lw)4. 

One of the Waikato war-dances at 
Tawliiao’s Tangilumga. 


brought 


TIIE TANG I 


355 


flakos ot obsidian. Men and women, young and old, joined 
in Hie tangi, and the air was full of the low inarticulate 
hum of grief. The people all sat with their heads bowed, 
some of them with their blankets or mats over their faces. 
Through the dull moan of grief that came from the bowed 
tribespeople like the noise of distant surf on the seashore 
there rose now and then a more piercing note, a woman’s 
ecstasy of sorrow. Tears streamed down many faces. At 
intervals a body of the mourners raised a song,a mournful 
funeral waiata, and for a while the general lamentations 
ceased while the tattooed and grey old warrior Whitiora 
te Ivumete, Tawhiao’s first cousin, who had been a 
leading spirit in the Waikato War of 1863-64, rose and 
welcomed the visiting tribes, pacing quickly to and fro, 
spear-tongued taiaha in hand, as he cried his greetings. 

This ceremonious salutation over, the whole of Waikato 
leaped into the grand action of the war-dance, and again 
shouted with one voice their great tangi song, “Te 
Taniwha o te Run ,” sweeping their firearms to right and 
left, up above their heads and low to the ground, and all 
treading the resounding earth as one. When they had 
ended, the visiting Maoris—Ngati-Maniapoto, Ngati- 
Haua, and the other Upper Waikato clans-—fired several 
yolleys of blank cartridge, their soldierly salute to the 
dead King; and again the white puffs of smoke were seen 
on the funeral hill, and the boom as of cannon came down 
the wind; it was the explosion of salvoes of dynamite 
around the open grave. 

Then came more rousing songs and funeral dirges from 
the mournfully excited multitude, punctuated by rifle 
cracks; and the “greeting of the bones” was closed by 
the chanting by all Waikato of the grand old song of 
welcome, “Ivumea mai te Waka” (“Haul up the Canoe”), 
with its long-drawn far-echoing refrain: 

Toia mai te waka ki te urunga, 

Ei te moenga—te walca e.” 

(“ Haul up the canoe to its pillow, 

To its sleeping place—the canoe.”) 


356 


THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND 


And so came the dead King to his home pillow, to his last 
bed in the midst of his tribe. 

But it is now known that Tawliiao’s remains were never 
laid on the summit of that burial hill. The bod\ was 
secretly removed from the camp at midnight Ip a pai t\ 
of Ngati-Mahuta and Ngati-Haua chiefs and taken away 
in a vehicle to a distant part of Waikato, where it was 
interred in a well-hidden cave, an ancestral necropolis. 
This was no doubt an arrangement with Tawhiao’s 
family, but it would have been strongly opposed by the 
Waikato tribe had it been generally known at the time. . 
This secret removal is quite in accordance with am lent 
Maori custom; the object is to ensure perfect security for 
the sacred bones of the dead. There is no longer the olden 
dread of a hostile Maori tribe disinterring the remains, 
but I am sorry to say the Maori fears the desecrating 
search of unscrupulous white men, who have no reverence 
for the graves of native people. Indeed there were 
rumours amongst the Maoris that the pohelicis desiied the 
tattooed head of the old King as a museum curiosity, and 
so angry were some of the Ivingites that I believe any 
prying white man would have received the contents of a 
sliot-gun had he been found exploring the burial hill. But 
the heavy coffin which the procession of tangi -ing people 
Pore with them as they wound up the tapu’d mountain a. 
few days after the events I have described, led on by a 
venerable wizard-like tohunga, whatever else it contained, 
did not enclose Tawhiao’s remains; and less than half-a- 
dozen men know the actual burving-place of the Maori 

King. 


Printed bv Whitcombc and Tombs Limited, Christchurch, iSlew Zealand. 

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