Part II.—The Period of the Ancient Heroes.
The following tales are so well connected with one another that they seem to rest on an historical foundation. I am inclined to think that they refer to a period when the ancestors of the Maori race were migrating among the East Indian Islands, or thereabout, where they must have come in contact with such different races as these tales show they have, and that the ugly people spoken of as belonging to the whale kinds may have been tribes of the Negro race. The dwellings in the sky, mentioned in these tales, will easily be understood to mean islands lying beyond the visible horizon, where the sky and ocean appear to meet.
1. Kaitangata and Whaitiri.
Kaitangata means a man-eater; but this formidable name had nothing to do with his character: on the contrary, Kaitangata was a simple, harmless, man; but there was a woman, named Whaitiri (Thunder), who dwelt in the sky, and who was very fond of human flesh. When she heard that there was a man on earth called Kaitangata, she believed him to be a real cannibal, and therefore came down and took him to her husband; but was disappointed, when she afterwards found that he was such a simple man.
Kaitangata's time was mostly occupied in fishing, to provide for their daily food; but he caught very little, and often came home without any fish because his hooks were not barbed. He was either too simple to understand his wife, who wanted to teach him better; or her designs were too wicked, and he was too good, to adopt them. At last she made a net for herself; and one day while her husband was out fishing, she saw a canoe passing by, with two men in it. Having armed herself with a stone weapon, and taking her net, she went and swam toward the canoe, now diving, now coming to the surface again. When the two men saw her they wondered if it were a bird or a human being. She had now reached the canoe and was diving under it. One of the men took a spear to have a thrust at her; but while he was bending over she came suddenly up and struck him with her weapon, ripping him quite open, when he fell into the sea and she caught him in her net. Now the other man tried to spear her, but met with the same fate as his companion. Then Whaitiri swam back to the shore, dragging her net behind her. She left the net in the water and went home and told the women there to go and fetch home the fish she had caught. By this time her husband had also come home and, as was often the case, without fish. So he assisted the women to draw up his wife's net; but they were horrified to find instead of fishes the net filled with arms and legs and other mangled parts of human bodies. Whaitiri insisted that they should be cooked.
But now there arose a difficulty: there was no priest to perform a religious ceremony over the slain bodies, and without that it would not be safe for health or life to cook and to eat them. Then Whaitiri turned to her husband, Kaitangata, requesting him to perform that ceremony. But he answered, “I do not know how to pray.” His wife insisted that he should perform that ceremony, telling him that it was his duty for their child's sake—for she was then advanced in pregnancy. But to all her demands he only answered: “I do not know how to pray.” At last she tried herself, but not being initiated into that mystery, she could only imitate a priest's invocation, and produced nothing but a mumbling sound. After this the human flesh was cooked and eaten, but, as it appears, only by Whaitiri. The bones were tied up and hung under the roof of the house. Her husband afterwards used some of them for fish-hooks, with which he caught more fish than he had done before. In due time a son was born, who was named Hema, who will be the next link in this generation.
Some time after that cannibal-feast Whaitiri found that she was losing her eye-sight. Then one night while she was troubled in her mind about it, there appeared to her a woman from the nether world, who said: “It is because the bones of the slain men, lacking due invocation, have been used by thy husband as fish-hooks, and thou hast partaken of the fish so caught.” It may be wondered why her suffering was traced to such a secondary cause, through hooks and fish, and not direct to the eating of the men; but such is Maori reasoning.
Whaitiri's eye-sight did not get better; she was therefore generally sitting in the house. One day Kaitangata had visitors. They were all sitting outside talking, except Whaitiri, who alone stayed inside the house. Then one of the visitors, a female, asked Kaitangata: “What sort of woman is that wife of yours?” “That wife of mine!” he replied, “her skin is as cold as the wind, her heart is like snow.” He did not know that his wife had heard every word. When the visitors were gone and he came inside the house his wife asked him: “What have you been talking?” “Nothing in particular,” he replied. “What have you been talking about?” she repeated. “Only common talk,” he replied. “What have you been talking about me?” she asked again. “O, Whai-tane (man-pursuer or husband-hunter) asked about you, that is all,” he answered. But she had heard all and was sorely offended. She spoke to her son Hema thus: “You cannot come up to me. When you have posterity they may come up to me in the sky.” Then she jumped up. Her husband tried to catch her by the clothes to hold her back, but was too late. She went up to her former home in the sky, to a place called Puotetoe (bunches of reeds).
When Hema, the son of Kaitangata and Whaitiri, was grown up, he took to wife Karenuku. They had three children, a daughter named Pupumainono and two sons named Karihi and Tawhaki; the last, though the youngest, will be the next link in the generation. Hema, the father, was slain and the mother taken a captive by the Paikea, Kewa and Ihupuku people. The names of these people allude to different kinds of whales, and are spoken of as ugly and disgusting.
In Sir George Grey's book on the Maori mythology (in the Maori language), there is a beautiful tale of how the two young men, Karihi and Tawhaki, liberated their mother out of the captivity in which she was held by a disgusting people. But that tale is not known here; I must therefore leave it out.
3. Karihi and Tawhaki.
When the children of Hema were grown up, the two boys, Karihi and Tawhaki, made excursions over the sea in order to avenge the death of their father; but they could not find the land of their enemies. Once, when they came home from a fruitless voyage their sister, Pupumainono, said to them: “You should have asked my advice.” Then she taught them an invocation, by the reciting of which she said they would be more successful.
It will be remembered that the grandmother, Whaitiri, having taken offence, left her husband and child and went away to her former home in the sky. That place, it seems, was not in a perpendicular, but in an horizontal direction, far away over the sea. By virtue of the invocation taught them by their sister, the two young men, Karihi and Tawhaki, found the place of their grandmother. The old woman, who was now quite blind, was sitting among bunches of tall reeds, beating about her with a weapon, so that if anything came within her reach she would kill it, and then add it to the store of her food. She happened to be in the possession of ten pieces of provision which she was in the habit of counting now and then feeling them with her hands. She did not know that her grand-children were then standing before her and watching her movements. So she began to count her provisions: “One, two, three,” and so on. But meanwhile Karihi took away one piece, and when she had counted so far as nine she felt about for the tenth, but it was nowhere. Thinking she might have made a mistake, she began again to count: “One, two, three,” and so on. But now Tawhaki had also taken away a piece, and when she had counted as far as eight, then there was no more to be felt. Again she began to count, but found every time that there was a piece less. Now she suspected that she was being robbed or made a fool of, and became very angry, scolding and beating about; but her grandsons kept out of her reach.
When her rage had exhausted itself and she was calmed down, then Karihi went near her and struck her a gentle slap on one of her eyes. She started and uttered an exclamation of joy, for with it there had come a light in her eye. Immediately, Tawhaki hit her a gentle slap on the other eye, with the same result. Now her eye-sight was restored; and when she then learned that the two handsome young men were her grandsons she became very friendly and asked them what the object was of their coming to her. They told her that they were going to avenge the death of their father, and wished her to show them the way. “Stay with me for a while,” she said; “by and by I will show you.” Then she took them to her house near by.
It seems that they had already partly avenged their father's death when they liberated their mother from captivity, but the accounts about that are not clear here, therefore I left out that part—it is clearer in Sir George Grey's collection. However, there are several people named who had taken part in that murder, and it may be that there was still a party left who had not yet been punished. The young men did not feel at ease in their grandmother's house, for in it there lay a large heap of human bones, the flesh of which had been eaten by her. They could not trust her; they feared that she might kill and eat them also. So they determined to be very watchful. But it was impossible to keep awake always, and she might kill them while asleep. They must, therefore, try to deceive her. For that purpose they went to the sea-shore and got some shells from the rocks, which looked just like eyes. When they put them on their closed eyes they gave them the appearance of open eyes. Then, at night, when they could keep awake no longer, they fastened the shells over their eyes and went to sleep, and when their grandmother looked at them she believed that they were wide awake, and was therefore afraid to kill them.
However, the young men did not like to prolong their stay, and kept on asking the old woman to show them the road. But she put them off, saying, “by and by she would show them.” After some time and trouble she showed them a path, and then they took leave and went on; but they found that the path only led into the bush, where firewood had been carried, and no farther. So they had to go back and beg the old woman to show them the right road. After some delay and more deceiving she at last said: “Well, if you are determined, I hold the road to that part of the sky you want to reach.” “Then, where is the road?” they asked. “The road is on my neck,"she replied; “loose this cord.” When they had untied the cord on her neck they found that the other end was fastened to the sky. “Now,” she said, “you must climb up by this cord. But I am afraid the wind will blow you from one side of the heavens to the other, and you will lose your hold and fall down;
yet, if you are determined to go, mind with whom you may meet on the way. If you meet with women who talk much and behave in a rude way, have nothing to do with them; they are some of Tangaroa's descendants. But if you meet with women who walk quietly and behave modestly, they are of your own nation, and you may make friends with them.”
After these instructions the ascent began. Tawhaki remembered the prayer his sister had taught him, and said it; but Karihi forgot to say his prayer. Karihi climbed before, and Tawhaki after him. When they were a little way up the wind began to blow, and swung them, first to one side of the heaven; then the wind changed, and swung them to the other side. Karihi could hold on no longer; he fell down and was killed, and afterwards eaten by Whaitiri. Tawhaki came down so far as to see the fate of his brother, and then climbed up again till he reached a land in the sky.
The first person he met was Tuna (eel), who came down from places (or descended from persons; it is not clear), the names of which denote shining phenomena and lightning. Might that allude to electric fishes in some waters of hot climates? Kawa (bitter, as pepper) and Maraenui (great courtyard or sacred enclosure) were hanging over Tuna's forehead, like veils. Probably there is some allegory in this, but I do not know the meaning of it. Tawhaki asked Tuna: “What are you coming down for?” Tuna answered: “The above is burned up, is hard and dry, there is no water.”
After that he met a company of women; but, as they talked much and were not modest in their behavour, he remembered that he had been warned against them, so he kept out of their way. Soon after, he met another company of women, different from the former; they did not talk much, and behaved modestly; with them he made friends, and stayed at their place. One of these women, named Hine-nui-o-te-kawa (Great Maid of Pepper) took a fancy to Tawhaki. She was the wife of Paikea (a species of whales). Paikea did not like that, and when they were sitting and talking, Paikea grinned at Tawhaki, and Tawhaki grinned at Paikea. The end of it was, that the woman left Paikea and become Tawhaki's wife.
When Tawhaki had lived a good while with his wife, and she was. far advanced in pregnancy, it happened one day that they were short of firewood; and when the dependents were in a lazy mood, and would not get up to fetch some, Tawhaki went himself and brought home a large long piece. From this occasion, the child, which was born not long after, was named Wahie-roa (a long piece of firewood)—It is still sometimes the custom of the Maori that, when an offence is taken, a name corresponding to the vexation is given to a child. Wahieroa will be the next link in the generation.
After this the tale about Tawhaki becomes hazy, and I cannot find much
meaning in it. He went to the sky or heaven of Tama-i-waho (son on the outside) to avenge the death of his father. He found Tamaiwaho's place crossbarred, but got over it. Tamaiwaho retired behind another crossbar, and called to Tawhaki: What are you pursuing me for, you ugly man?” Tawhaki replied? “I am a handsome man, you are the ugly man. Give over some to me as a satisfaction for the murder of my father.” “Never, never,” cried Tamaiwaho. Tawhaki got over the barricade and Tamaiwaho retired behind a third. There some fighting happened in which Tama was wounded. Then he called to Tawhaki; “You are a handsome man.” “Give over some to me,” cried Tawhaki. Tama gave over some, and then said: “that is all.” “Give up all,” demanded Tawhaki. Tama gave up to him Ateatenuku, Ateaterangi, Harihangatepo, Harihangateao, Koruehinuku, Mataatawhaki, and others. If these names represent persons or places I do not know. Possibly they are names of stars, or may signify islands.
In Sir George Grey's book are different tales about Tawhaki. There, they end with an interesting tale of Tawhaki going up to the sky in pursuit of his wife, who had left him in a pet for a trivial offence. But that tale is not known here.
When Wahieroa, Tawhaki's son, was grown up, he took to wife Matokarau-tawhiri. In the course of time the wife became pregnant, and then had a wish to eat a bird, a tui (koko in this dialect), and her husband went into the bush and caught her one. Some time after, she had again a fancy for a koko, and again her husband went, with a servant, into the forest. As he could not find a koko in his own district, he went into that of Matuku. Here Matuku surprised them, slew Wahieroa, and took the servant with him as a prisoner. Some time after this event a child was born, who was named Rata.
When Rata grew up, he asked his mother: “What has become of my father?” “He has been murdered,” said the mother. “Who murdered him?” asked Rata. “Matuku did,” said the mother. Before you were born I had a fancy to eat a koko, and your father went into Matuku's forest, and there Matuku murdered him.” “Where is Matuku now?” asked Rata. “Look where the sun rises out of the sea: there, in that direction. It is far away; you cannot yet get there,” said the mother.
Some time after this conversation, the mother went into the forest to find a tree that could be made into a canoe. She found a large totara tree which would answer the purpose. A branch of this she took home with her, and in the evening she spake thus to her son: “I have been in the wood, and found
a tree for you, a large totara tree, that can be made into a good canoe. Here is a branch of it. To-morrow you go and have a look at it.”
Next day Rata went, and when he came back in the evening he told his mother that he could not find the tree. But she told him to try again: “You cannot miss it,” she added, it is a large tree, with a rough bark.” Next day he went again, but came back in the evening without having found the tree. However, the mother encouraged him not to be disheartened at first failures, but to try again. The next day he found the tree, and felt more happy in the evening when he came home. He asked his mother how he should go to work. “There are the axes of your ancestors,” she said. Rata looked at them, and then said: “But they are blunt.” “There is the grindstone of your ancestors,” said the mother. Then Rata set to work, and the old grindstone made a noise which seemed to say: "Kia koi, kia koi! (to be sharp, to be sharp).
Next day, when the axes had been sharpened and tied to handles, Rata went into the forest and set to work to cut down his tree. At last it fell; and then, when he had chopped off the top it was evening, and he went home, well satisfied with his day's work. Next morning he went again, with the intention of working and shaping his tree into a canoe; but, to his great astonishment, he found his tree standing upright again, as if it never had been cut down. However, he would not be beaten, so he went through the same work again as the day before; cut the tree down, chopped off the top, and then went home, telling his mother of his strange experience. “Did you not invoke the spirits of your ancestors before you went to work?” she asked. “No,” said Rata, “I do not know how to do that.” However his mother encouraged him not to give up. Next morning he found his tree standing up again, as he had half expected, and he cut it down again and chopped off the top the third time. But now he did not go home, but hid himself under thick bushes near by. He had not sat long in his hiding place, when, in the waning twilight, in the solemn solitude of the forest, he heard a mysterious noise, like voices, by which his own name was mentioned. That noise glided into a singing tune; and then he heard distinctly the following incantation:—
O Rata! O Rata! Wahieroa's son!
Thou fellest, thou fellest, uninitiated,
In Tane's sacred grove,
Tane's flourishing tree.
Now fly the chips to the stump,
Now fly the chips to the top:
So they close; so they fit;
So the branches spread.
Now take hold, and up with him!
Then the whole tree rose, and stood up again. Now Rata came forth from his hiding place, and just caught a glimpse of the spirits, who, shrinking together into themselves, vanished. Then Rata said: “So they have done with my tree; so they have undone my work, and I have been made a fool of.” Then a spirit's voice spoke to him saying: “Go home; leave the work for us, thine ancestors; we will finish the canoe.” So Rata went home and told his mother what had happened. Next morning, when they got up they found the new canoe quite finished, standing at the side of their house. Then there followed religious ceremonies, to free the canoe from the spirits, so that it could be put to common use. It was named “Niwaru.” When all was ready the canoe was launched and manned, and Rata went out on his first war expedition. But little of this is known or remembered, and that little seems more to have been a fight with rats than with human beings. However, kiore-roa (long rat,) and kiore-poto (short rat,) may have been proper names. They came back victors, but the mother declared that Wahieroa's death was not avenged so long as Matuku lived.
After this, Rata sailed to Puoronuku and Puororangi (the islands where Matuku lived). He went ashore, and found the former servant of his father, whom Matuku had carried away a prisoner. Rata asked him where Matuku was. “Yonder, in his cave,” replied the servant. “I am placed here to attend to the plantation.” “Will he not come this way?” asked Rata. “Not yet,” said the servant, “he comes in the seventh, or in the eighth month, to perform the ceremony before we begin our thistle-cutting.” Rata then requested the servant to show him Matuku's abode. It was a cave. Rata placed a noose over the entrance, and told the servant to stand in the plantation, and keep on calling for Matuku to come out. When all was ready, the servant called, “Matuku, e! come to perform the rites for our thistle-cutting.” Matuku answered in his cave, calling: “Thou art mistaken in the seasons of Matuku. In the seventh, in the eighth, months, I come to perform the rites of our thistle-cutting.” The servant called again: “Matuku, e! come to perform the rites for our thistle-cutting.” Now Matuku got angry. He called out: “Thou weariest the patience of Matuku. Now thou shalt see Matuku coming.” But as soon as he put his head through the entrance Rata pulled the rope, and Matuku's head was fastened in the noose. Then Rata killed him with an axe. Now Wahieroa's death was avenged.
Matuku is also the name of the slate-coloured herou.
Rata left a son, called Tuwhakararo. Little is known about him here. His wife's name was Apakura. Once he made a voyage, and was slain
—through a love affair with a woman named Hakirimaurea—by the Raeroa (long foreheaded) people.
There is a tale in Sir George Grey's book which seems to be identical with this murder, though it stands in a somewhat different context. It says that Tuwhakararo had a sister, who was married to the son of Poporokewa (kewa in this dialect means a whale). Once he went to visit his sister, when his sister-in-law, named Maurea, fell in love with him. But she was already affianced to a man of that tribe. In the evening, the lover of Maurea challenged him to a wrestling match, and was thrown twice by Tuwhakararo, and laughed at by all the people. This made him feel ashamed and vexed, and when Tuwhakararo was putting on his clothes again he threw a handful of sand in his eyes. Then, while Tuwhakararo was rubbing his eyes, his adversary murdered him. Afterwards he was cut up and eaten by all the people in the house, and the bones tied under the roof.
I have taken this passage out of Sir George Grey's book because it not only explains the murder, but shows also that those people were cannibals, whereas the Maori at that time seem not to have been such.
Whakatau was the son of Tuwhakararo and Apakura. When the news was brought home that his father had been murdered, and when he heard his mother cry, he resolved to avenge his father's death. He painted one side of his canoe black and the other white, and then sailed for the place of the murderers. When the canoe was seen by the people there, they wondered if it were a large seal or a canoe. Several rushed into the sea and swam toward it. When the first swimmer came near, he called to Reinuiatokia (this seems to have been a brother to Whakatau), who was steering, to turn back. Reinuiatokia told him to pass on. He then swam to the fore part of the canoe, where Whakatau killed him with the blow of an axe. The next swimmer met with the same fate, and so on, till a great many were killed. Only one, called Mongotipi, escaped and returned alive to the shore. He told the people that it was a canoe, that one of the men was Reinuiatokia, but that there was another great man whom he did not know. In the night Whakatau landed alone, and sent a message to his mother by the canoe, to watch at night to see the burning of Tihiomanono. Then he hid himself in the bush and disfigured his body with ashes and charcoal, so that he had the appearance of an old mean man.
Next day there came people into the bush to get firewood. Whakatau, disguised as an old stray slave, joined them, took a bundle of firewood on his back like the others, and went home with them. When they came to the
place the wood-carriers called to the people there: “We have found a slave.” In the evening all the people assembled in the large house, Tihiomanono. Whakatau walked in with them and sat down, as an old slave, in whom no one took any interest. The people talked over the affair that had happened the day before; and Whakatau silently surveyed the house, so as to form his plan. While he was doing this, the bones of his father, which were hanging under the roof, began to cry to the son. The people heard the sound in the dry bones, and remarked that they were crying for vengeance, and wondered whom they could mean to be the avenger. Then the conversation turned upon the stranger who had slain so many of them the day before, and they questioned Mongotipi, the man who had returned alive, what sort of man that stranger was. Mongotipi said he could not describe him, he was such an extraordinary man. Some one of the company asked, “Was he like me?” “No, not at all,” was the answer, “he was a very different man.” “Was he like me?” asked another. “No, not at all; there is no one like him here,” said Mongotipi.
"Was he like me?” asked Whakatau, who had by this time rubbed off the ashes and charcoal, and who had now drawn himself up in his natural bearing. Mongotipi looked at him, stared in silent wonder, and then exclaimed: “That is the man!” Now all the people jumped up to rush at him. But Whakatau quickly caught up a vessel with water and poured it over the fires. Now all was confusion and darkness, and while the people were scrambling one over the other Whakatau snatched the bones of his father, rushed with them out of the house, barricaded the door, and then set fire to the house, and burned the people in it.
That night Apakura, Whakatau's mother, was sitting on the top of her house, watching the sky in the direction of Tihiomanono. At last there shot up a red glare, and then she rejoiced that now her son Whakatau was a hero; he had avenged the death of his father.
With Whakatau the line of those ancient heroes ends; at least as far as is known here in the south.
As, at the end of the period of the gods, in Part I., we had a rounded-off tale in the mythical figure of Maui, which, though not connected with the preceding gods, yet partook something of their supernatural mysteries: so likewise here, at the end of the period of the ancient heroes, we have again, in the following, a well rounded-off tale, which, also unconnected with the preceding heroes, represents, like these, the human side of that period.
The northern natives, according to Sir George Grey's book, make the heroine of the following tale to be Maui's sister, whose husband was transformed into a dog by her wicked brother; and who thereupon threw herself
into the sea to drown herself, but was washed up at a distant shore, where she was found by two men, who revived her. But it seems to me that the following tale belongs to a later period than that of the Maui family.
8. Tinirau, and Hine-te-iwaiwa.
Tinirau was spoken of as the most handsome man of his time; and when his fame reached the ears of Hine-te-iwaiwa she was determined to have him. So she made up her mind to go to the place where he lived. Her heart was already so full of him that, as she went along the sea shore every time she found a fish thrown up by the waves, she sang, “Fish, fish, art not thou a fish thrown here by Tinirau?” When she came to Tinirau's place, and before she was seen by any one, she found his looking-glass wells, where Tinirau used to go to dress and to look at his handsome image in the water. There were three wells, with railings and sheltered seats. She broke all the railings and the shelter.
Now it happened that two servants of Tinirau's house passed by the wells. The name of one servant was Ruru-mahara (remembering, or intelligent owl), and that of the other Ruru-wareware (forgetful, or stupid owl). When they came home, Intelligent Owl said that Tinirau's looking-glass wells were broken. Tinirau, upon hearing this, asked for the particulars. Stupid Owl said, “I saw nothing broken; the wells are all right.” “But they are broken,” said Intelligent Owl, “I have seen it.” “I saw nothing broken,” said Stupid Owl. Then Tinirau said he would go and see for himself.
When he came to the place, there stood Hine, by the broken wells. She darted a flash of lightning at him; he darted a flash of lightning at her; and then they fell in love with each other, and sat down together and talked of love. When they had sat awhile, Tinirau said to Hine, “Let us go home.” “No,” she replied,” “let us stay here.” “But we have nothing to eat here,” said he. Then she chanted—
"Let down, let down! drop down, drop down!"
and there lay a heap of food by their side. Toward evening, when the air began to feel chilly, Tinirau said again, “Let us go home.” “No,” said she, “let us stay here.” But the night is chill, and we have no warm clothes here.” Again she chanted—
"Let down, let down! drop down, drop down!"
and there lay a heap of warm clothes by their side.
Tinirau had two wives at home. The name of one was Makai-atua-uriuri, and that of the other Makai-atua-haehae. When Tinirau did not come home, the wives, next day, sent the two servants to look for him. When the
servants came back, the wives asked, “Have you seen him?” “Yes.” “Where is he?” “By the wells.” “What is he doing there?” “He is not alone,” said Intelligent Owl, “there is some one with him.” “I saw no one with him,” said Stupid Owl, “he was quite alone.” “He was not alone,” said Intelligent Owl, “there was some one with him.” “No, there was no one with him,” said Stupid Owl. Then Intelligent Owl said, as if in desperation, “I assure you I saw two heads and four feet.” That was enough for the wives; they both got up, each armed with a club, and went to the wells.
When they were seen coming, Tinirau said to Hine, “There come your sisters-in-law; now defend yourself.” Hine replied, “If they come with evil intent, I shall be a match for them.” Then she caught up a flint in one hand and a club in the other, and stood on her defence. First, one of the wives aimed a blow at her head, but missed, because Hine jumped aside, and at the same time struck her assailant with the club and killed her. Then the other wife struck at her, but missed also, and was at the same time killed by Hine, with the flint in her other hand.
Now the two lived happily together for some time. In due time also a child was born. But their happiness was disturbed by a brother of Hine, called Rupe. In former heathen times Maori brothers could sometimes be cruel to their sisters, their love to them being of such a selfish nature that they disregarded their sisters' happiness. But this brother appears here more like a spirit than a brother of flesh and blood. One day Tinirau and Hine with their child were sitting in the pleasant shade, and were very happy, cleaning each others heads, when all at once there came a cloud of thick mist, shaped like a large owl. This misty apparition contracted and became a man, who sat down by them and began to cry, as was the custom when long separated friends met again. In the cry the stranger sobbed:
Then Hine answered in her cry:
Thereupon the brother snatched up his sister and her baby and hastened away with them. Tinirau cried after him, “O Rupe! bring back our sister;” but that was of no avail.
When Tinirau had somewhat recovered from his surprise and sorrow, he thought of a way to follow his wife and child. He bad a large tame fish, which was one of his ancestors, called Tutunui, on which he occasionally took a ride over the sea, his pet seabirds accompanying him on such excursions. Now he went to the sea shove and called for Tutunui, who soon made his
appearance, and Tinirau got on his back and rode away over the sea, his pet birds flying and screaming over him. When they came near an inhabited place, then the birds hovered and screamed over the same, to see if Hine was there; and when they ascertained that she was not, then they flew screaming away to another place, Tinirau following them on the back of his fish, Tutunui.
While so proceeding, he happened to meet an old acquaintance, named Kae, who came paddling along in a small canoe. They both stopped to have a little chat, in which Kae persuaded Tinirau that they should change their conveyances. Then Tinirau stepped into Kae's canoe, and Kae got on the back of Tinirau's fish. Before they parted, Tinirau charged Kae to get off while still in deep water, and on no account take their ancestor into shallow water. Kae promised that he would do so. Then each pursued his way.
Tinirau paddled away in the small canoe, following his birds. But he found it slow work, and not so easy as riding on his tame fish. Luckily he met another acquaintance, named Tautini, who possessed a large tame Nautilus, which he kindly lent him. On this he could sail nicely by the wind, following his screaming birds. So they went on over the sea, trying many places, over which the birds soared for awhile, circling and screaming, and then flew away to another place. At last they came to a place where the birds would not leave. They kept on flying round and round and screaming always over that place. By this Tinirau knew that his wife must be there, so he let go his Nautilus and went ashore.
When he had gone a little way inland, he met a girl carrying baby's clothes. He asked her, “Where are you going?” “I am going to wash the clothes for my sister's baby,” said the girl. “And who is your sister?” asked Tinirau. “My sister's name is Hine-te-iwaiwa, and her baby's father is called Tinirau,” she said. “Let me help you to wash the baby's clothes,” begged Tinirau. “No,” said the girl, “I can do that myself well enough.” However, Tinirau begged so hard to let him help her washing the baby's clothes, and to beat them to make them soft, that she at last let him. Then the girl went home with them, leaving Tinirau there by the water.
When the girl came home, she told her sister that she had met a stranger, who had insisted on washing some of the baby's clothes, and that she had let him. Hine asked what sort of man he was, and when the girl described him, she asked for some karetu grass, which she wound into a charm, called a tamatane; this she gave to the girl and told her to go and throw it at the stranger, and then to come back and tell her if he had caught it or not. The girl did so; and when she came back she told her sister, “I just threw it at him, and he caught it at once.” Hine was satisfied.
In the evening she told the girl to go to the common house, to sleep there.
"If they will not let you,” she added, “tell them that I sent you because I wished to be alone with my child.” So the girl went. But the common people would not let her sleep there, arguing that, as she was the nurse of a sacred child, it was against the rule of the tapu that she should sleep in a house among common people. But the girl said, “Hine has told me to sleep here because she wished to be alone. And as for the child being tapu, that might be if it had a father; but a child without a father———.” At last she was permitted to stay.
The door of Hine-te-iwaiwa's house was a slab of polished greenstone, and had, therefore, a metallic sound when moved. In the night a noise was heard as of the door being opened. Then some of the common people called out, “Hine! who is there that opens the door of your house?” “I myself,” she replied, “I wanted to go out.” But it was Tinirau, who had found his wife and child. Next morning she called all the people together, saying “Come and see your brother-in-law.” Then there was a great meeting and crying to welcome the stranger, the husband of Hine-te-waiwa and father of that wonderful child, that was made so much of by all the people of the place. Now Tinirau abode at that place. It is still the feeling among the Maori—and Europeans who have lived long among them feel it too,—that when there is one child, a descendant of high chieftainship, everyone in the community is concerned about that child.
We must now return to Kae, whom we left riding away over the sea on the back of Tutunui, Tinirau's pet fish. When he came near shore, and the water began to shoal, Tutunui shook his back, intimating to Kae that he must now get off. But Kae, contrary to his promise to Tinirau, kept his seat and urged the fish on toward the shore. When they came into shallow water the fish kept on shaking to get Kae off; but he held on, and drove the fish still further into the shallow water; when at last his gills were filled with sand, and he died. Then Kae cut him up and roasted and ate him.
While Tinirau's mind was occupied with seeking his wife and child he had no time to trouble about his pet fish; but now, since he had found them, and when the crying over the reunion was over, he became uneasy about Tutunui, and what might have become of him. Day after day he sat on the brow of the headland and looked over the sea, and sniffed at every wind, but no sign of his fish would come to him. At last the south wind blew, and then a savoury smell was wafted to him from some distant shore. Then he knew at once that it was the savour of Tutunui, his fish and ancestor, being roasted by Kae. He went home crying, “O! the savour of Tutunui, that the wind is bringing to me!” Then all the women of the place gathered together and assisted Tinirau, crying over the death of his ancestor.
After some days of crying and howling Tinirau felt his mind so far relieved that he could think of vengeance. He wished now to get Kae into his power; and to attain this he persuaded some women to form a band of dancing girls, to go out performing from place to place; and so, when at Kae's place, to get him by subtilty into their power and to bring him over alive. You can know him,” he added, “by a peculiar fastening of his clothes, and by his upper front teeth being broken, which he shows when laughing.”
When all had been arranged, the band of the dancing girls, called by courtesy Tinirau's sisters, sailed in a canoe over the sea, following the pet sea-birds as their guides. When they came to a settlement they performed there for the night, and then continued their voyage next day. So they went on from place to place. At last they came to Kae's settlement, over which the birds kept up a long and continuous screaming. The girls landed, and arrangement was made for their play. Kae was sitting by the middle post in the large house, in which the performance was to be given. His appearance answered the description given them by Tinirau; still the girls wished to be sure to get the right man, and therefore tried to make him laugh. But Kae seemed to be wary; he kept his face bent down, and his mouth shut. The dancing went on and the spectators laughed; but Kae did not laugh. Wilder and wilder went the dancing, louder and louder rang the applause and the laughter of the spectators, till at last Kae too laughed and thereby showed his teeth. Then the girls saw that his upper teeth were broken and they were satisfied that he was the man. By and by the play ceased, the house was hushed, and all the people, Kae among them, fell into a deep sleep, through a charm laid on them by the dancing girls. But these kept awake. They went outside to arrange the net in which Kae was to be carried away, and to perform the enchantments so that he could not wake up.
When all was ready, they went again into the house, lifted Kae gently into the net, and carried him to the canoe, and then started for home. They landed about day-break and informed Tiniran that they had got him. Now all the people came together to look at Kae, who was still fast asleep. Then Tinirau made him wake up. At first Kae believed that he was still at his own home and that Tinirau, with his people, had taken the place by surprise; but Tinirau bade him to look round and see if that was his own place. No, it was not; he found himself a prisoner. Then Tinirau began to kill him, and Kae howled. “Ah,” said Tinirau, “Tutunui also cried for his skin, when you had no pity upon him.” So Kae was killed, as a satisfaction for Tutunui.
After Kae had been killed Tinirau lived an easy, lazy life. This made the people grumble. It seems they were willing enough to work for Hine and her wonderful child; but they did not think that Tinirau, who was a stranger
to the place, was entitled to such a consideration. One evening, when Hine, with some other women, was sitting by the fire, one of them said to her, “Your husband seems to take it very easy; he never goes to work to get food for you.” At this casual remark Hine felt sorely offended. She went away, and was afterwards found by her husband, sitting alone and crying. He asked her what the matter was; and she told him that she had been so much hurt by having heard the people grumbling about him that he never worked to get food for her. “O,” said he, “do not take it so seriously; we will satisfy them.”
That evening Tinirau said to Hine, “To-morrow you tell your people to go to the forest and cut down trees, and carry the timber home, and build storehouses and stages for food.” Hine did so; and the people obeyed her. The work went on; day after day timber was cut and brought home, and stores and stages were built. The people began to grumble, saying, “Where is the food that is to be stored.” Still Hine, at the instigation of her husband, kept them at work, till the grumbling became very bad, when they were told they might leave off and rest.
In the evening Tinirau went to the sea beach, with a new kauati (pieces of wood by the friction of which fire is produced), and performed his enchantments till late at night. When the charm was well laid on he went home, and and the sea began to throw out fishes. The first fish fell in the yard of the private house, where the child and its parents lived, but the rest fell on the new stages. That night the people in the common house were still talking about the useless work they had performed in erecting those stages when there was no food to be stored, when they were startled by a strange noise, a continuous bumping on the new built stores, with sounds like live fish kicking with their tails on dry ground. The night was so dark, and the noise so awful, that no one ventured to go out. By and by there was a crash of a store breaking down under the weight of the fish; still the bumping and kicking went on, even close before their door, and then there was another crash and break down of a whata or store. So a fearful night was passed. With the breaking of the day the sounds had ceased; and when the people opened the door, there was a sight! Fish and broken down stores were mixed into a huge heap. There was no road for the people, they had to climb over the heap of a confusion of fish and broken timber.
But the yard of the child's house was clear. There was only one fish, the first one, lying before the door of the house.