Art. II.—Notes upon the Historical Value of the “Traditions of the New Zealanders,” as collected by Sir George Grey, K.C.B., late Governor-in-Chief of New Zealand.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 16th September, 1871.
In the following notes I propose to inquire how far the “Traditions of the New Zealanders,” as collected and published by Sir George Grey, are to be relied upon, taken by themselves, in any investigations into the history of the race, either before or since the commencement of their occupation of these Islands. I think it desirable, however, before entering upon the proposed inquiry,
shortly to discuss the nature of the rules by which we ought to be guided, in giving or in refusing credit to narratives of this kind in relation to a savage people, who possess no other materials from which we can arrive at a knowledge of their history. It may be assumed that a narrative of events which have not come under the actual observation of those to whom they are communicated, receives credence, amongst civilized people, in direct proportion, not only to the faith of the hearers in the truthfulness of the narrator, but also to their own experience as affecting the probable occurrence of the events narrated; and that, even then, the narrative has no higher value, so far as the actual knowledge of those to whom it is communicated is concerned, than a plausible fiction, against which they are either unable or unwilling to raise any presumptions, and which they accordingly accept, without further proof, solely on account of their faith and experience. But if the narrative in any degree conflicts with a knowledge on their part of circumstances which, in the ordinary course of things, must have so controlled the possible occurrence of the events narrated as to render the narrative at all improbable, then faith in the truthfulness of the narrator will not prevent doubt or disbelief, unless the alleged occurrences are supported by independent proofs sufficient to remove such doubts. Educated men refuse, in such a case, to accept any speculative theory, however otherwise plausible, until they have received some positive testimony in support of it. With uneducated people, on the other hand, with whom I should class such an intelligent savage race as the New Zealanders, the acceptance or rejection of such narratives rests on a different basis, and the credit given depends upon a different class of feelings. In such cases imagination takes an active part in inducing belief, and the delight with which narratives involving the marvellous are usually received, if the events narrated be sufficiently removed either in point of time or of distance, indicates not only a less critical judgment, but also that faith is but little controlled by the teachings of experience, and that even in cases which, to the educated mind, would appear very glaring and absurd. I take the following illustrations of these positions from Chambers' “Book of Days”:—“Hasted, in his History of Kent, states that the popular belief as to the two female figures, side by side, and close together, impressed upon the Biddendon cakes, is, that they represent two maiden ladies, named Preston, who, at a remote period, were born twins, and in the close bodily union represented on the cakes; whereas he ascertained, beyond a doubt, that the impression in question was of quite recent origin, and that the figures were meant to represent ‘two widows as the general objects of a charitable benefaction.’ The story of the conjoined twins—though not inferring a thing impossible or even unexampled—must, says the writer, be set down as one of the cases of which so many are to be found in the legends of the common people, where a tale is invented, by a simple and natural process, to account
for appearances after the real meaning of the appearances is lost. In this way, too, a vast number of old monuments, and a still greater number of the names of places, come to have grandam tales of the most absurd kind connected with them, as the history of their origin. There is, says the same writer, in the Greyfriars' Churchyard in Edinburgh, a mausoleum, composed of a recumbent female figure, with a pillar-supported canopy over her, on which stand four female figures at the several corners. The popular story is, that the recumbent lady was poisoned by her four daughters, whose statues were placed over her in eternal remembrance of their wickedness; the fact being that the four figures are those of Faith, Charity, etc.—favourite emblematical characters in the age when the monument was erected, and the object in placing them there was purely ornamental.” But where intrinsic presumptions can fairly be raised against the truth of a narrative, however plausible it may be on a cursory view, we are entitled to require that it be supported by some independent and positive testimony, which shall raise it to the undoubted dignity of a truth. In this, however, lies the chief difficulty in dealing with the case of Traditions of the class now under consideration; for, it being manifestly impossible to support them by any positive testimony, we must be content to arrive at an estimate of their value, for historical purposes, by a careful and reasonable criticism, and then to accept them as narratives of fact in proportion, but in strict proportion only, to the probabilities by which they can be supported.
Under any circumstances, indeed, the origin and history of a savage race, possessing neither written nor pictorial records, must be a difficult subject to deal with, but more especially so when the race in question has, for some period of unknown duration, occupied a position of quasi-isolation from the rest of mankind. Those who have attempted to investigate the origin and history of the races which occupied Western Europe before the Roman conquests, have experienced and commented upon this kind of difficulty, and have found it impossible to arrive at any conclusions which can be treated as demonstrable, notwithstanding the material assistance derived from the accounts of ancient writers, the examination of monuments of various kinds, and the careful analyses which, of late years, have been made of the languages spoken by the descendants of those races. They have been obliged, in effect, to adopt a course very similar to that which I propose to follow in the present inquiry, and have ultimately accepted such only of the Traditions still extant, relating to the races in question, as do not conflict with probabilities still ascertainable. In this connection it must be manifest that the term “Tradition,” applied to narratives of the class under review, at all events when presented to us in the character of historical tales, ought to have some definite meaning, and I shall assume that, for the purposes of criticism, they must be provisionally accepted
as “oral records of past events,” but that they are entitled to be received as such, only in so far as they bear the test of reasonable criticism, and can be supported by probabilities arising from the character, position, and circumstances of the people to whom they are applied. In the present inquiry I propose to act upon the rules which I have thus ventured to lay down, and so to ascertain to what extent the “Traditions” in question (using the term provisionally) may fairly claim to come within the foregoing definition.
It will have been observed by those who have perused these “Traditions,” that the ancestors of the present race of New Zealanders are invariably represented as having migrated, at a comparatively recent period, from a place called “Hawaiki,” the locality of which, however, is utterly unknown to the present people, and has, certainly, been equally unknown to their ancestors for very many generations. Now, if the migrations mentioned in the “Traditions” had taken place at periods so recent as those which are assigned to them, the loss of all knowledge of the actual position of Hawaiki by so enterprising a race as the New Zealanders, would be extremely singular, it appearing, if we are to credit the narratives in this respect, not only that the voyage from Hawaiki to these Islands and back again, had more than once been undertaken without hesitation, and performed without difficulty, but that on one occasion, at least, it had been successfully performed by persons who had not made it before, guided solely by instructions from a previous explorer. Still the fact of migration is insisted upon in all the narratives, and although, in our present state of geographical and nautical knowledge, the possibility of any such migrations as those which are narrated, is scarcely admissible, we should not, for reasons which will appear in the sequel, be justified on this ground alone in rejecting the “Traditions.” A precisely similar difficulty presents itself in regard to the inhabitants of Madagascar, who, even in a higher degree than the natives of New Zealand, offer an exception to the ordinary rules by which we are guided in fixing the origin of Island populations. Madagascar lies at a distance of only 300 miles from the Eastern Coast of Africa, and, in accordance with observed rules, we should, in the absence of proof to the contrary, unhesitatingly assume that the affinities of its Flora and Fauna, including man, as well as of its language, would lie with those of that continent. But this is not the case as regards its people, who belong to the same branch of the Polynesian races, to which the inhabitants of these Islands, lying 130° to the eastward, and between the 35th and 40th parallels of south latitude, and the inhabitants of the Sandwich Islands, lying 155° to the eastward, and in the 23° of north latitude, also belong. Now the nearest land to Madagascar, which is occupied by people allied to its inhabitants, is nearly 3,000 miles distant, without any intervening station, making the peopling of that Island, if it was effected by migration, a greater difficulty than the
peopling of New Zealand from the supposed centre of dispersion of the common race. The case of Madagascar has, in effect, been long treated as an ethnological mystery, and I think that the case of New Zealand will, when the “Traditions” now under discussion are reduced to their true value, be looked upon as involving little less difficulty. Comparing the manners and customs of the inhabitants of Madagascar with those of the New Zealanders, we find that the former are almost entitled to the position of a civilized people, and yet, so far as I have been able to ascertain, they possess neither historical records, nor monuments of any kind calculated to throw light upon the time or the manner in which they first occupied that Island. Baron Humboldt, brother of the great traveller, thus expresses his opinion on the subject:—“There is no doubt that the Malagasi belongs to the family of the Malayan languages, and bears the greatest affinity to the languages spoken in Java, Sumatra, and the whole Indian Archipelago, but it remains entirely enigmatical in what manner and at what period this Malayan population made its way to Madagascar.” Mr. Ellis remarks, however, that it has been generally admitted that there is reasonable evidence that the vessels of the Polynesian races were formerly much larger than they are at present, and that we have sufficiently well authenticated accounts of voyages, long in point of duration and of distance, having been performed by people of these races in recent times, to raise a fair presumption of their former ability to spread themselves over even the widely extended regions which they now occupy. It would, indeed, be even more singular than the actual occurrence of such migrations, that a people occupying a country at such a distance as New Zealand from any other land, and so entirely out of the ordinary line of the navigation of the Polynesian races, should possess traditional accounts of such events, unless they were founded upon some long antecedent fact. But whilst this circumstance gives weight to the proposition involved in the “Traditions,” that the ancestors of the present people migrated to these Islands from some part of Polynesia, then inhabited by the same race—and justifies us, more especially when taken in connection with the case of Madagascar, in accepting migration as a fact—it affords us no clue whatever to the locality of “Hawaiki,” or to the probable date of the events in question. My own belief is, that the whole of the narratives based upon this recollection, are, so far as they pretend to give historical accounts of contemporaneous events, pure fictions; and that, so far as they represent actual events at all, they only represent comparatively recent occurrences, which have been engrafted upon the leading idea by some imaginative minds. Accepting migration, however, as a fact, I will now proceed to inquire to what extent we are aided by the “Traditions” themselves, in fixing either the locality of Hawaiki, or the probable dates of the various migrations referred to in them.
It is noteworthy, in regard to the latter question, that the migrations
recorded are all supposed to have taken place within a comparatively limited time, and, in effect, the narratives in question, when reduced for the purposes of criticism, to their simplest elements, give the following as the sequence of the events leading to, during, and immediately after the alleged migrations.
1st. That the intention to migrate was formed in consequence of dissensions in Hawaiki, followed by long and sanguinary wars, in which the tribes to which the intending emigrants belonged had already suffered severely, and apprehended further disasters.
2nd. That the first person who undertook the voyage to New Zealand with the intention of migration was Ngahue, who went forth, as the story tells us, “to discover a country in which he might dwell in peace,” and that “he found, in the sea, the North Island of New Zealand,” which he named Aotea-roa, or the long day.*
3rd. That Ngahue returned to Hawaiki, and reported his discovery to his people, commenting upon the beauty of the country, and that a migration was at once determined upon, and soon afterwards undertaken.
4th. That, for the purposes of this migration, a number of canoes were constructed, amongst which the ‘Arawa’ and the ‘Tainui’ are specially mentioned.
5th. That, when the canoes were completed, the emigrants started for New Zealand—the ‘Arawa’ under Tama-te-Kapua; but the actual commander of the ‘Tainui,’ which was to have sailed under the charge of Ngatoro-i-rangi, is not mentioned.†
6th. That during the voyage the ‘Arawa’ and the ‘Tainui’ separated, the former narrowly escaping shipwreck.
7th. That the ‘Tainui’ arrived first, followed almost immediately by the ‘Arawa,’ and that both reached the East Coast nearly at the same point.
8th. That the immigrants, though in comparatively small numbers, soon separated, and, in different parties, occupied stations on both coasts of the North Island.
9th. That the whole of the northern tribes are descended from these immigrants.
10th. That this migration took place not more than 350 years ago.
I propose to examine the above points very much in the order given, and
[Footnote] * The name of Aotea-roa is remarkable as indicating that the people by whom it was given had previously occupied a tropical country, in which, of course, the summer days were much shorter than they are in the latitude of New Zealand.
[Footnote] † The ‘Arawa’ evidently made the voyage only once, for we find that Raumati, one of the chiefs of the people who had come over in the ‘Tainui,’ and who had settled at Kawhia, hearing that she was laid up in a creek at Maketu, went across the island and maliciously burnt her.
I think we shall find that the proposition I have already laid down, namely, that the narratives in question are not entitled to be regarded as records of events contemporaneous with the original introduction of the New Zealanders into this country, is well founded.
I may at once say that I do not propose to offer any speculations of my own as to the locality of “Hawaiki.” Those who are curious upon this subject may consult the pages of Dieffenbach, Colenso, Shortland, Ellis, Captain Erskine, and others who have inquired into the matter, and particularly the writings of the Rev. Richard Taylor, who has solved all difficulties in connection with the alleged migrations and the locality of Hawaiki, in a manner highly satisfactory to himself, if not to those who may be indisposed to put faith in speculations unsupported either by reasonable conjecture, or by the faintest testimony. In effect, a perusal of the writings of the several authors referred to (except, of course, the Rev. Mr. Taylor) will show that, apart from any other question touching the origin of the New Zealanders, the locality of Hawaiki is involved in great mystery and difficulty, and when I have called your attention to certain passages in the narratives under consideration, we shall find that they afford us no assistance whatsoever in solving the mystery or in dispelling the difficulty.
From an examination of the various legends, we find the following persons mentioned as principal actors in connection with the original discovery of these islands,—in the alleged dissensions and wars at Hawaiki,—and in the various migrations which resulted from these dissensions:—
Uenuku, a great ariki or high-priest.
Manaia, a chief, married to Kuiwai, the sister of Ngatoro-i-rangi, and supposed ancestor of the Ngatiawa tribes.
Houmai-tawhiti, father of Tama-te-Kapua, who commanded the ‘Arawa’ in the great migration.
Ngatoro-i-rangi, who was to have had charge of the ‘Tainui,’ as before mentioned.
Ngahue, alleged to have found the North Island when searching for a new abode.
Kupe, a previous discoverer of the Islands, and claimed by the Muaupoko as their ancestor.
Turi, the supposed ancestor of the Wanganui tribes; and others, whom, for my present purpose, it is not necessary specially to refer to.
As I before mentioned, Ngahue was the first who visited New Zealand with the intention of making it his future abode, but we are informed, in the legend of the Emigration of Turi, that both islands had previously been discovered by Kupe (a contemporary of Turi), in a canoe called the ‘Mata-
horua,’ which, as well as the ‘Aotea,’ had been constructed by Toto, the father-in-law of Turi, from a log of timber obtained on the banks of a lake (I presume in Hawaiki), named Waiharakeke. This canoe (the ‘Matahorua’) had been given by Toto to his daughter Kumararotini, the wife of Hoturapa, Kupe's cousin. Kupe killed this cousin, and carried off his wife, and is said, whilst flying in the ‘Matahorua’ from the vengeance of Hoturapa's relatives, to have discovered the Islands of New Zealand, and to have circumnavigated them without finding any inhabitants.
A curious circumstance is mentioned in connection with this supposed voyage, namely, that near Castle Point the voyagers saw a huge cuttle fish, which fled before their canoe in the direction of Cook Straits, and which was afterwards killed by Kupe in Tory Channel. It is somewhat strange that, in the course of last year, accounts reached us of an enormous cuttle fish, nearly seven feet long, having been found dead on the beach near Castle Point.
When Turi, in dread of the vengeance of Uenuku, for having killed and eaten his infant son, determined to leave Hawaiki, he obtained from his father-in-law, Toto, the ‘Aotea,’ the sister canoe to the ‘Matahorua,’ and having received from Kupe, who, in the meantime, had returned to Hawaiki, full instructions (the singularity of which will appear in the sequel) how to reach New Zealand, started on his voyage, accompanied by some of his people in another canoe, named the ‘Ririno.’ We are told, in the legend, that the voyagers took with them, in the ‘Aotea,’ “sweet potatoes, of the species called Te Kakau, dried stones or berries of the Karaka tree, live edible rats in boxes, tame green parrots (I suppose the Kakariki), pet Pukekos (Porphyrio melanotus) and other valuable things.”
In this account of the “‘Aotea's’ valuable freight,” as it is termed in the legend, we have not only a very remarkable instance of early labours in acclimatization, but an invaluable clue to the identification of “Hawaiki,” and it will certainly be an interesting surprise when some island is discovered in the Polynesian group, producing the Karaka, the Kiore, and the Pukeko, and in which the two former are used as food by its human inhabitants. Returning to our voyagers, we are told that they halted on their way at a small island named Rangitahua, where they rested for some time and refitted their canoes. During their stay at this island, they are said to have killed two dogs, (of which they are said to have brought several as being valuable stock, though not mentioned in the ‘Aotea's’ manifest), and one of which was devoted to the gods as a propitiatory offering, to insure the continued success of the voyage. It appears that when the ceremonies attending this sacrifice were ended, “a very angry discussion arose between Poturu (who had charge of the ‘Ririno),’ and Turi, as to the direction they should sail in. Turi persisted in wishing to pursue an easterly course, saying, ‘Nay, nay, let us still sail towards
the quarter where the sun first flares up;’ but Poturu answered him, ‘But I say nay, nay, let us proceed towards that quarter of the heavens in which the sun sets.’ Turi replied, ‘Why, did not Kupe, who had visited these Islands’ [speaking of the Islands, it will be observed, in the present tense] ‘particularly tell us, now mind, let nothing induce you to turn the prow of your canoe away from that quarter of the heavens in which the sun rises?” Poturu, however, appears to have prevailed, and having started from Rangitahua, the party followed his lead in the ‘Ririno,’ but soon came to grief, the ‘Ririno’ being wrecked. The ‘Aotea’ then changed her course according to Kupe's original instructions, and ultimately reached Aotea, on the West Coast of the North Island, Kupe himself having first made the land on the East Coast.
All the particulars of this voyage, and the acts of Turi and his people on their arrival at Aotea, are related in the narrative with great exactness and detail, but the sailing directions given by Kupe are evidently quite different from those which could have led him to the East Coast, and from those which were used by the ‘Arawa’ and the ‘Tainui,’ which, as will shortly be seen, arrived from the eastwald. It would, indeed, be difficult to conjecture, from Kupe's sailing directions, the locality from which Turi and his people had started, no land lying to the westward or north-westward of New Zealand, except Australia, from which, it is very clear, the New Zealanders did not come.
Nor do some of the other circumstances stated with respect to this voyage add to the credibility of this particular narrative.
As I have before observed, the “Traditions” give us accounts of at least two independent discoveries of these Islands by voyages from Hawaiki, before any of the “migrations” took place, namely, that by Ngahue and that by Kupe, and we are led to believe that in both cases the discoverers found no difficulty in performing the voyage here and back. We are further told that the instructions for the voyage were so simple, that Turi and his people, as well as the commanders of the ‘Arawa’ and the ‘Tainui,’ were enabled, by following those instructions, to make their land-fall with as much certainty as the most experienced navigator of the present day could do. All this becomes the more astonishing when we know the great straits to which shipwrecked Europeans, even with the aid of the compass, have been reduced in attempting to reach land far less distant from the scene of their disaster, than New Zealand is from the nearest land which can possibly be looked upon as Hawaiki.
Turning now to the migration of Tama-te-Kapua, and those who accompanied him in the ‘Arawa,’ the ‘Tainui,’ and other canoes, we are informed, by the legends, that on the return of Ngahue to Hawaiki, he found the people all engaged in war, and that when he reported his discovery and the beauty of the country, some of them determined at once to emigrate to it. The chief
of these was Tama-te-Kapua, son of Houmai-tawhiti, whose people had suffered severely in war with Uenuku, and who dreaded further reprisals for some unjustifiable acts of cannibalism which they had recently committed. Having constructed several canoes, amongst which the more celebrated were the ‘Arawa’ and the ‘Tainui,’ they left Hawaiki for New Zealand, and in due time arrived on the East Coast, the ‘Tainui’ first reaching the land. In consequence of disputes as to the ownership of a dead whale, the immigrants soon separated, some going to the northward, some to the southward, and some, crossing the portage at Otahuhu, proceeding to occupy the country on the western side of the Island. It is evident that the incident of the dead whale mentioned in the account of this principal migration, is the same which is referred to in the “Legend of the Emigration of Manaia,” for we find the ‘Toko-maru,’ the canoe in which Manaia is reported to have made the voyage from Hawaiki, amongst those which were dragged across the portage at the time above referred to.
It is not necessary for my purpose to go any further into the particulars attending the alleged voyages, but I think I have shown, that although we may accept as a fact, singularly preserved, that the ancestors of the present New Zealanders came to this country from some other land, the accounts given of the incidents which occurred during the voyages are in themselves too improbable to justify our treating them, in any degree, as records of contemporaneous events.
I will now proceed to inquire into the date assigned by the legends to these migrations, and the result will, I think, strongly confirm the above position.
Amongst the persons who are said to have arrived in the ‘Tainui,’ with the great migration was Hotunui, who, after the separation of the people consequent upon the disputes about the whale, went and settled at Kawhia. Here he had a son born to him, named Maru-tuaha, whom, however, he never saw until the latter had reached man's estate, for it appears that on account of some false accusation of theft, Hotunui had, before the birth of his son, abandoned his family and his settlement at Kawhia, and gone to live at Whakatiwai, in the Gulf of Hauraki. Here he married a sister of a chief named Te Whata, by whom he had another son, whom he named Paka. When Maru-tuaha reached man's estate he went to seek his father, and on his way across the island, and when close to his father's new settlement, was met by the two daughters of Te Whata, the elder of whom at once fell in love with him. The account of the meeting of the father and son is very interesting, as well as that of the circumstances under which Maru-tuaha and his half-brother Paka afterwards married the two daughters of Te Whata, the former, however, marrying the younger and more comely of the two. Maru-
tuaha appears to have settled at Whakatiwai, with his father, Hotunui, and to have engaged in wars with neighbouring people, in which he was successful, adding greatly to his father's territory. We then learn that Paka, the younger son of Hotunui, had a daughter named Te Kahureremoa, famed for her beauty, and whom her father was desirous of uniting in marriage to a son of the then chief of the Great Barrier Island, in order that the ultimate possession of that island might be secured for his own family. Now this project did not suit the fancy of Te Kahureremoa, who, with the caprice common to beautiful women, had chosen to fall in love with another, in the person of Takakopiri, chief of Otawa, whom she had seen and admired during a visit he had paid to her father, and whom she had made up her mind to marry. We are not informed, in the legend, whether any understanding on the subject existed between Te Kahureremoa and the young chief of Otawa, but it is probable that he had expressed some admiration of her during his visit, and that she felt pretty sure of her ground, for we find that when her father broke his wishes to her respecting the Barrier Island chief, she at once made arrangements for flight, and, accompanied only by a single female slave, actually fled towards Otawa. Having nearly reached this place, she fell in with Takakopiri, who was out upon a hunting expedition, and the result was that they were shortly afterwards married with great pomp and ceremony.
Now, Te Kahureremoa is said to have borne a daughter to Takakopiri, named Tuparaheke, “from whom,” in the words of the legend, “in eleven generations, or in about 275 years, have sprung all the principal chiefs of the Ngatihaua tribe, alive in 1853.” Adding the lives of Tuparaheke, of Te Kahureremoa, and of Paka, the son of Hotunui, who is said to have accompanied the first great migration from Hawaiki, to these eleven generations, we have only fourteen generations, or about 350 years ago, as the assigned date of that event.
It will thus be seen that the “Traditions,” if entitled to be taken as narratives of events contemporaneous with, or immediately following the alleged migrations, would lead us to the following conclusions, namely:—
1st. That these islands were twice discovered, within a limited period, by voyagers from Hawaiki.
2nd. That upon the visit of Kupe, the supposed first discoverer, and who expressly reported that he had circumnavigated the islands, they were found to be uninhabited; whilst Ngahue, being silent on this point, may be said to have affirmed the same fact.
3rd. That the migrations consequent upon the reported discoveries of Kupe and Ngahue, though successive, all took place within a very limited period, and were not followed by any further arrivals from Hawaiki.
4th. That although the number of persons who emigrated was not large,
their increase must have been extraordinarily rapid, for we find, from the legends themselves, that very soon afterwards the people were settled in great numbers in various parts of both islands, and were often engaged in sanguinary wars.
Indeed those parts of the “Traditions” which purport to give accounts of events immediately subsequent to the migrations, depict the habits and customs of a long-settled people, well acquainted with the topography and with the natural productions of the country, affording, in my opinion, irrespective of any outside considerations, conclusive evidence that the whole of the tales, founded upon the bare recollection or tradition of a foreign origin, are in the nature of historical novels, in which a few real and comparatively recent events are made the ground work of a large amount of fiction, suited to the imaginative and speculative character of the people to whom they were addressed.
It is unnecessary for me to go any further into detail in criticising these tales in order to satisfy those who choose to peruse them with a reasonable appreciation of the questions which they purport to solve, that so far from solving these questions they are calculated either to check inquiry, or to envelope the matters in point, in deeper mystery and confusion. But whilst I do not hesitate in stating this opinion, we must not therefore assume that these tales are, or rather must necessarily continue to be, without value in connection with the history of the New Zealand race. Indeed, we are under great obligations to Sir George Grey for having recorded them, and if the same care is bestowed in preserving the legendary tales of other branches of the race in other places, we may possibly arrive, in the future, at some reasonable idea of the circumstances which led to their dispersion over the enormous area which they still occupy, and of the means by which that dispersion was effected.
And now, in closing these remarks, I cannot do better than refer those who are desirous of fuller information on the general question, to Mr. Colenso's valuable “Essay on the Maori Race” (published in the first volume of the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute), in which the foregoing arguments have been anticipated, but only in general terms, and which embodies opinions in which I entirely coincide; and I have no doubt that, even when all the facts which can properly be used in elucidating the mystery in which the origin of the New Zealanders, as a branch of the Malayan race, is at present shrouded, have been collected, and carefully and honestly digested, we shall be obliged to conclude, with the writer of that Essay, that the first occupation of these islands by the race whom we found here, is a very old story indeed.