Art. XIX.—Stray Thoughts on Mahori or Maori Migrations.
[Read before the Auckland Institute, 30th October, 1876.]
Two papers of great interest on the subject of “Mahori or Maori Migrations,” and on “The Probable Origin of the Maori Race,” have lately appeared—the former from the pen of Mr. W. H. Ranken;* the latter, by Mr. Vaux.†
Mr. Ranken's paper relates chiefly to the supposed earlier migrations of the race in tropical regions, and is very entertaining, embodying many valuable facts and traditions, which summarizing, he has fixed upon the Samoan or Navigator Group, containing amongst others the islands of Savaii and Upola, as the secondary starting point of the migrations which have peopled so many islands in the Pacific Ocean, spreading over a vast space of some 60 to 70 degrees both of latitude and longitude, comprising within its limits both this country and the Sandwich Isles.
Mr. Vaux, on the other hand, almost confines his subject to migrations to New Zealand, entering very minutely into the ethnological and linguistic affinities of our natives with those of other islands. Both these writers agree in maintaining that the intertropical migrations were made from west to east, in the teeth, as they admit, of the prevailing wind and current.
I have ventured to throw together a few facts and arguments, partly as criticizing, partly as supplementing, the above-mentioned papers. I will take Mr. Ranken's first.
[Footnote] * In the “New Zealand Magazine” of July, 1876.
[Footnote] † Of Baliol College, Oxford, published in “The Trans. N. Z. Inst.,” Vol. VIII.
I do not propose now to enter minutely into a discussion of the assumption that all the Maori or Mahori populations have been derived from the same stock as the Malay, or that even somehow—via Papua—Samoa may have received its first inhabitants, except that, whilst the similarity of speech and idiom prevailing throughout the whole of that part of the Southern Ocean with which we are now dealing demonstrates, I may say, to a certainty, that if all these races sprang at some time or another from a common origin, the discrepancies and differences between Malayan and Samoan forms of speech are so great as to cause a difficulty. The arguments would stand in this way: that as identity of language proves identity of race between Samoa and the rest of the islands, yet that difference of language between Samoan and Malayan is no bar to the supposition that Samoa was peopled by a race cognate with the Malay in addition to the change of tongue, for it is nothing less. There are only two per cent, of Malay words in Maori, and these are Javanese. The structure of the languages in formation, grammar, and pronunciation, is utterly distinct. The Mahori had lost the arts of writing and metallurgy, which were known to the Malay.
But having once established his people at Samoa, Mr. Ranken proceeds to distribute them, and relates several traditions bearing on this subject. One of these—the account of the voyage of Tangiia—seems feasible enough. The party sailed from Avaiki, Savii perhaps, to Tonga, then to Vavao; were blown away in attempting to return, got too far south, were caught by the westerly winds outside the tropics (22° 40′ S., 152° 20′ W.), and first made Rimitara, thence to Tubuai, again to Akau and the Paumotu Isles; on down the wind to Tahiti. Ultimately Tangiia moved on and settled at Rarotonga. Such a voyage, though a protracted one for a canoe, is natural enough with the ordinary winds. We have thus a legend of direct settlement at Rarotonga, of people who had themselves left Au Avaiki, said to be Savaii, at Samoa, and therefore would expect to find a great resemblance between the dialects of these two islands. Such, however, is not the case, the diversities between Samoan and Rarotongan being greater perhaps than between any two islands in the South Seas. Of course I mean islands peopled by the race of men of whom we are speaking.
I spent during the years 1844 and 1845 rather more than twelve months amongst the South Sea Islands, chiefly at Tahiti and the neighbouring island of Eimeo or Moarea, making several trips between these two places, the nearest portions of which are some eighteen miles apart. I usually made the voyages in whaleboats; and if leaving Papetoai, the chief settlement on Eimeo, for Papeiti, would start in the afternoon, pull some five miles to the eastern point of the island, and then, hauling up our boat, wait
till near midnight for a land breeze, which would generally carry us six or seven miles on our way. The trade wind dies away near land at night, and a wind off the land takes its place for a space varying in proportion to the size of the island and the heat of the weather.
On one occasion we found at our stopping place, hauled up on the beach, a large double canoe, not made like the Mangaea or Aitutake double canoes, of two trees each fitting into and over one another at the centre, but built of many pieces of Tamanu wood, the largest probably not exceeding four feet in length by one foot in width, and of all kinds of shapes, sewn together with cocoa-nut fibre or sennet, and thus forming a pair of vessels of thirty-five feet or so in length (they were longer than the whaleboat), seven or eight feet in breadth, and five feet deep. These canoes were joined by beams across their gunwales, being some nine or ten feet apart. On the beams a platform, on which was a small hut of palm leaves. Each canoe had one mast, near the bows of one and near the stern of the other.
This canoe contained some nine or ten men, four or five women, and as many children, belonging to an island of the Paumotu Group, some 200 or 300 miles to the eastward. I forget the name of the spot. They had left their home in search of a party who had been blown to sea some time previously, and had visited many islands during their voyage—Huahine and Riatea among the number—without hearing tidings of their lost friends, and were now on their return home; having got thus far on their way back, they had hauled their canoe ashore, and were waiting for a fair wind for its continuance.
Our party went on that night, and I thought no more about that canoe, until rather more than six months later I again made the same trip, and to my astonishment at the same place was the same canoe. We learned that the wind had never changed in all that time but once, and then had reverted to its wonted direction by the time the craft was afloat. The people had lived upon fish and the cocoa-nuts, bread fruit, taro, faiis, and other vegetables which were to be had for gathering. One child had died, and another been born. I remember that I subsequently heard that they had departed.
I mentioned these facts to the missionaries living on the island—a Mr. Simpson, who having been master of a collier between London and the North was likely to notice changes of weather, and Mr. Henry, who was the survivor of the first missionaries to Tahiti, having sailed from England in the good ship “Duff,” in 1796—and was told by them that occasionally the easterly wind blew the year through, unvaried save by three or four squalls of a few hours' duration, though in other years two or three weeks westerly wind in October to December was customary.
It must be borne in mind that Tahiti is beyond the range of the hurricanes which visit the Fijian seas. These islanders having lost their friends went to the westward to look for them, and had a tedious return voyage.
At a later period of my sojourn at Eimeo I heard of the arrival of some strange people in a canoe. I went to the settlement at which they were located to see them. These strangers were two men and two women, who having left the island in the Low Archipelago in which they dwelt, in a large canoe to obtain cocoa-nuts from some small uninhabited island in the vicinity, on their voyage back with their cargo, had all fallen asleep, drifted, lost their reckoning, and existing on the cocoa-nuts had in about a fortnight sighted Eimeo. One of the women married a Tahitian, and I think that the party had made up their minds to remain, and not again trust themselves to the winds and waves.
Nor is this prevailing east wind merely local. During my sojourn on the island of Eimeo, a Sydney vessel, a two-topsail schooner, named the “Sarah Ann,” owned and commanded by a Capt. Dunnett, called in Taloo Bay. The Captain had been establishing parties for pearl shell fishing and cocoa-nut oil manufacture on several of the outlying islets, trading round elsewhere whilst these articles were being procured. On seeing me making preparations for starting in a whaleboat for Papeiti he cautioned me as to the risk I was running, telling me that just previously the oars of a boat belonging to one of his parties had been washed up on Tahiti, and as they had been lashed together, he on learning it, feeling anxious, had gone to Chain Island, and found that his mate left there in charge had gone away in a boat, and had not returned, and that he could get no trace of him beyond these oars at any of the islands about, and was obliged to conclude that the crew had perished.
Some months subsequently, on the eve of my departure from Tahiti, I met on the beach this mate, a Mr. Clarke, a mere skeleton to look at. He narrated his wonderful escape. I accidentally fell in with the story in print a little time back, and give it to you condensed as an illustration of what I have said as to winds:—
“The time for the return of the schooner had now expired, and being short of provisions I proposed with a boat's crew to visit Hanea, an island about forty-five miles south-west, to learn if any vessel had called from Tahiti; if not, to proceed thither, a distance of about 250 miles. I got ready a Greenland whaleboat, and put in her 301b. of biscuits, a small cooked pig, four gallons of water, and six young cocoa-nuts. On the 15th August, 1844, we left—four grown-up men, three youths, and myself. I had my dog with me and my chest. We had a nice breeze and soon sighted Taitea. The wind soon freshened and blew pretty stiff. At 10 p.m. I
proposed, as the wind was fair and strong, to steer for Tahiti. They consented. We had no compass, so steered by the stars, as we supposed, due west. At 2 a.m. we shipped a sea which nearly filled the boat to the thwarts. We then lashed the oars, made a raft, and rode to it with four fathoms of native rope, and had some bread which we found soaked. In about two hours the rope parted, and we got broadside on. I could not induce the natives to jump overboard and secure the raft, there was so much sea on, and a sea filled us. I put the boat before the wind with the steer oar, and the natives baled. We had to run, and did so for three days. On the fourth, having my sextant and epitome, found we were 80 miles south of Tahiti, and supposed 150 miles to the westward. The weather now moderated, and I steered for north-west. Next day the natives insisted upon taking charge, and began steering after birds that passed. Our water was expended, but we caught a little during a shower. I allowanced the bread half a biscuit a day. On the seventh day they killed my dog, made a fire by rubbing two sticks, broke up some of the lining, and cooked the poor beast in the saucepan. I could not eat any. For five days now they steered west, hoping to make some island of the Hervey group. The water had been out two days, except a little mixed with brandy I had in a bottle, and with which I wet my lips at night. The natives now slept a great deal, and ran the boat about by day, lying to by night for fear of passing land. They would not follow my advice as to our course. On the nineteenth day our bread was completely expended, and the crew began howling and lay down to die. They now gave me charge, and I tried to get to the south, so as to reach Aitutaki. I had a little laudanum, I mixed a little with salt water and took it, easing my pain. On the 24th day the natives ransacked my chest whilst I was asleep, and drank some laudanum, castor oil, and sugar of lead, which were in it. Two slept 48 hours without waking after this. On the 28th day caught a little rain in a squall. One man became insane, and I induced the natives to give me up their knives and hatchets for fear he should do harm. I dropped them over the side and felt more comfortable. On the next day he died and was thrown overboard. On the 31st day a youth died, and on my going forward to do something with the jib, his father threw me overboard, but I caught the gunwale and clambered in. We had no more rain, and on the 35th day two more died. They had eaten the leather from the rowlocks and part of the sails. On the 36th day two more died and were thrown overboard, leaving only myself and another, and on the next day he succumbed. Being an enormously big man I had much trouble to throw him out.
“I was now alone and so weak I could not hold the steer oar, so I lashed it amidships, and laid myself down in the bottom of the boat. While lying
there I heard something jump. I knew it was a fish, and, rousing up, I got a pearl hook that I had brought with me, and caught three albicore. I sucked their blood and swallowed their eyes, but could not eat the flesh—my throat seemed stuck together.
“It was now four days since the last native died, and the 40th of my voyage, when looking overboard I saw land, what I could hardly imagine, but supposed it must be the Navigators. It now fell calm and remained so two days, but on the 42nd day I saw ten canoes with five men in each, pull towards me. I raised my head over the side when I judged they were pretty close. They raised a cry of horror and pulled away. I beckoned to them, and intimated I wanted something to drink. They returned and gave me a cocoa-nut.
“One of the chiefs proposed to kill me—I understood this from their language, resembling that of Chain Island—but others said ‘no.’ Eight of them came with their paddles into my boat and pulled it ashore. I found that the island was Manua. I was kindly treated, and after a while went to Tutuila, and thence to Upolu. I found there a vessel, the “Currency Lass,” bound for Tahiti. I was offered a passage. We sailed on the 30th January, 1845. We met with nothing but contrary winds. Our food and water was expended, and had only yams to eat for twelve days before reaching Atiu, and it took us 43 days to make Tahiti, 1,200 miles—just one day more than my voyage in the boat, which had been 100 miles longer.”
Thus a boat without oars, steered first in one direction than in another, next left to itself, actually made the voyage from Chain Island to the Navigators in less time than a well-appointed vessel could make the return trip to Tahiti. The lost oars also had set from east to west.
You see the detention experienced by the double canoe, and the “Currency Lass's” tedious voyage from west to east, and how a canoe and open boat made the reverse voyages, as it were, on their own account, and all this took place in one twelve months. Cook found at Tonga a canoe which had drifted from Tahiti, and mentions finding at Wateoo three men, the survivors of a party, who having set out from Tahiti for Ulitea had been blown past their destination, and had fetched Wateoo, 200 leagues to the westward, and observes “that this serves to explain better than a thousand speculative conjectures how the islands of the South Seas had been peopled.”
Had the question at issue been merely whether a single eastern island, say Tahiti, had received its inhabitants from a single western island, say Savaii, the facts of winds and currents prevailing, though not uniformly, would have less weight. A casual voyage against the wind could be performed, and the wind does change and blow from the westward at times,
or, as we have seen, canoes getting to the south would find westerly breezes, and might, having run down their westing, haul up to the northward. The “Bounty's” crew went from Tahiti to Pitcairn. But there are hundreds of inhabited islands in the South Seas, and though it would be idle to suppose that all these were peopled by direct immigration from an original source, small parties, no doubt, leaving one island and occupying a neighbouring one. Yet the distinct groups or isolated islands, each requiring an independent colonization, are many, and it seems hard to admit that all these streams of immigrants came either from one small source, like the Navigators, or invariably against wind and current. Had there been in the latitude of the Paumotu group, an island as large as the one on which we are, to serve as a depôt on which an immigration from Samoa having once landed and then multiplied re-emigrated, and thus spread over all the intervening isles, the whole difficulty would vanish. But as a fact the islands most to the eastward are small, with the exception of the Marquesas, very small. Nukuhiva, the largest of the Marquesas group, is only eighteen miles long by ten broad, and most of the islands of the vast Paumotu and adjacent Archipelago, owing to want of food and water, cannot support a dense population.
To understand the subject properly it is necessary to consider the size of the various groups, their present population, and its amount in earlier times. Probably an estimate of one million would not be excessive for the total of the race a century ago, though now dwindled down to about the third of that number. We find then the following groups:—
[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]
|Name.||Area, Square Miles.||Population.|
|Friendly or Tongan Islands||Some 150 islands||25,000|
|Samoan or Navigator Islands||1,750||56,000|
|Society Islands||58 ½||21,000|
These populations, however, are the mere relics of former multitudes. Captain Cook, a most accurate observer, estimated the number of the people in this country at 200,000, and that was a century ago. The missionary bodies compiled a return in 1840, and gave 120,000 as the census
[Footnote] * According to official census, 1874, the Maori population was 45,470.—Ed
of the northern island. In 1850 the Government published a return, carefully put together by Mr. Fenton, which, including the Chatham Islands, totalled 56,049. In 1870 another census accounted for only 37,000.
In Cook's time inter-tribal hostilities were frequent, and slaughter great. Tasman, in 1642, mentions seeing people in great abundance. Was the population even then larger than in Cook's day? Had it previously been larger still? Judging from the reception Tasman's crew received, the Maoris were addicted to fighting long ago.
So also of the Sandwich Islanders, by Cook set down at 400,000. An actual census in 1832 gave 130,315; another, in 1836, 108,579; in 1850 there were not 80,000 remaining; whilst the latest return makes the number 56,897.
The Society and Hervey groups have probably suffered a proportionate reduction in their inhabitants. A known loss, of large amount, is certain. Cook saw at Tahiti a review of 330 canoes, with crews numbering 7,760. Immense numbers of men were spectators, and all these were from a part of the island. Wallis and Bougainville corroborate the account of a large population.
Although bees swarm more readily from a small hive than from a large one, being driven thereto by want of space, so most of the human offshoots which have afterwards attained large proportions have first been sent out from small parent stocks: witness the Phœnician colonies; those from Greece, in Italy and Sicily: in recent times, the United States, Canada, Australasia, from our mother land; Brazil, from Portugal. Yet, in all these cases the people of the original home bore a much higher numerical proportion to its colonies than Samoa (with its limited area and people) would have done to the multitudes dispersed throughout the countless isles a century ago.
At what era did the progenitors of the former hosts quit Samoa in their canoes? How many ages must be allotted for the increase?
Let us turn now to the linguistic affinities. Mr. Ranken writes:—“The purity of race in Samoa is only one of many facts showing the first settlement in the South Seas to have been in Samoa. Their language shows it in the retention of the use of the ‘s’. No other Mahori dialect has it. Even the Tongans, in all their intimacy with Fiji and Samoa, have lost it. Language is limited by scenes, wants, objects, etc. As people spread into smaller communities, each isolated, their dialect became reduced and also fixed. There was no one to borrow terms from; not even use for all the words they had. Thus: a small colony leaving Samoa for a coral atoll, having only a few cocoanut trees, lost the names of every tree and bird in the Samoan forest; lost the names of distinctions, uses, customs, laws, and every term connected with
these objects. And the words becoming reduced, sounds became fewer, and were modified by climate and surroundings. Being always in small scenes, it is no wonder that the dialects of the Pacific are meagre, and that the use of many words, and of the sibilant were lost. Only Samoans now, of all the Mahoris, retain the ‘s,’ but it is remarkable that the New Zealanders, who, some think, only left Savaii some few centuries ago, must hardly have lost the ‘s’ when first discovered by Europeans. For Dr. Marsden, who could only have acquired native names from Natives, in his visits to the country, speaks of the Chief ‘Shunju’ and the place ‘Shukianga,» for names ever since known as Hongi and Hokianga.” Thus far Mr. Ranken.
Much more weight could be allowed for resemblance or dissimilarity in language, had the Mahori race possessed any means of reducing to writing their respective dialects; but it must be borne in mind that we Europeans have fitted their sounds to our letters, and that this even has been done by different people with diverse accoustic perceptions: thus, two different people hearing the same individual pronounce the same word might spell it differently, many words they certainly would not agree upon using the same letters to express; and in instituting comparisons between vocabularies of the speech of different islands allowance must be made for this. As an instance, the word for “land,” “whenua” in New Zealand, beginning with “wh” is “fenua,” commencing with “f” in Tahiti, as spelled, yet the sounds are all but identical.*
Mr. Ranken contends that the Samoan emigrants lost their “s” on the coral atolls, having there no use for that letter; but how did the inhabitants of the rich islands of Tahiti, Rarotonga, Marquesas, Sandwich Islands, all alike lose it? Did the population which at one time crowded densely all these places undergo a preliminary term of probation on atolls till they dropped their “s”? “Would rovers or cast-aways in canoes be likely to see only low reefs, and pass by, unobserved, islands many thousand feet high? If Samoa was the source of the second migration to the South Sea Islands, does it not seem more feasible that the “s” was introduced into their speech after their colonies had been thrown off, than that every colony without exception had dropped that one particular letter?
The Samoans have no “r,” on what principle have New Zealanders, Tahitians, and Rarotongans, invented for themselves that letter. Samoans have neither “k” nor “w”; why are these letters in use amongst our Natives and the Kanakas of the Sandwich Islands? Were these three letters required by the dwellers on coral atolls for the purpose of expressing terms for which an “s” was inadequate, and therefore invented by them? Or, if derived, whence?
[Footnote] *Mr. Vaux gives due weight to these facts.
Now, as to the use of a sort of “s” amongst the native inhabitants of New Zealand. There can be no doubt that an “sh” or rather a sibillated “h” was in use, not throughout the islands, but among the Ngapuhi: a few years ago the older Maoris and early settlers in the north had this form of pronunciation strongly, our old charts even had “Shouraki” as the name of the gulf at the head of which we live. “Shoutorou” for the Little Barrier Island. The Mission Station on the Bay of Islands was called “Paishia,” and many other instances could be cited. This sound, however, has gradually been falling into disuse with the Ngapuhi, partly owing to the large admixture of other tribes who were devoid of this expression of sound, caused by wars, notably “Shongis,” and capture of slaves, from whom the bulk of the present people are descended; partly owing to this sound being unrepresented in the alphabet used by the missionaries in their books, only “h” indicating all aspirated sounds in the translation of the Scriptures and other works of general circulation, hence, probably in another generation, all trace of the existence of any articulation of an “s” will be lost from the New Zealand tongue.
But the tribes of this island had other distinctions in their speech. The Bay of Plenty tribes ignore the “ng” or nasal “n” using the plain “n” only, as the Tahitians and Sandwich Islanders. Again, in some words the Cook Strait people make their “k” almost if not quite a “g.” Captain Cook, following the sound caught by his ear, spells Motukokaka, the perforated island off Cape Brett, Motugogogo, with three “g's”. A “d,” too, used to find a place in some words, early travellers terming our pine a “coudi.” Mr. Maunsel affirms that the “r” should in some words be pronounced almost as a “d” or “1.” Again, some tribes hardly have the letter “h” at all.
The Mori-ori of Chatham Islands, and some few scattered people on the west coast of the Southern Island, speak another dialect. The difference between the tongues of the two islands was noticed by Captain Cook. I would note here a custom which makes changes in the vocabulary of different tribes—that of a chief taking as a new name either some article of food or something used in the preparation of food. Thus should a chief take the name of “taro” some fresh word must be invented for that article, as to say that one was eating “taro” would be indeed a great kanga towards the chief, and amongst his own people the once familiar word would cease to be applied to the esculent.
Diversities of customs and habits as well as of speech are caused by circumstances. All the Mahori tribes dwell in islands, and use canoes and paddles as means of travelling. These latter differ as much as the patterns of tattooing. In the Sandwich Islands the handles are straight and the
blades circular. Here the handles are crooked, the blades long, narrow, and pointed. Is this a mere matter of fashion, or is any reason assignable for the change? Timber here would be available for paddles of any width.
Captain Cook mentions that the double canoes he saw in New Zealand were like those of the Society Islands, and also that the “hongi” or nasal salutation was common to both countries. Though this latter practice still prevails in New Zealand, I cannot call to mind its existence in Tahiti when I was there. Likely enough the missionaries had set their faces against this as being a heathen custom.
Double canoes have been largely superseded at the Society Islands by outrigger canoes, that is a single canoe with a light ricker of “puron” wood in the place of the second canoe, as described by Dampier in use at Guam. Drake, in 1579, found at the Carolines, canoes with an outrigger on each side. Similar vessels were used by the Acheen Malays a century later. Double canoes do still exist at the Society, Hervey, and Paumotu groups, but I never saw one in this country, neither has the oldest white inhabitant, nor even any of the present Natives, though they have heard of their fathers having employed them.
Several causes may have contributed to the change. 1. The growth here of large pine trees from which single canoes of sufficient size could be made. 2. The unhandiness of double canoes in the rougher seas prevalent beyond the tropics. 3. The numbers of rivers and creeks unknown in coral islands but common here, many of which through narrowness would be inaccessible to double canoes.
Where are we to look for the prototype of the double canoe? Can we find it in Malaya? The only vessel with which I am acquainted of similar construction is the immemorial “balsero” of seal-skins, used by Peruvian fishermen. In default of seals the islanders, retaining the model, used wood.
Occasionally two canoes were lashed together in New Zealand that a temporary stage for fighting men might be supported between these, but this was quite another thing from a canoe intended to be permanently double.
Tradition tells us that seven canoes brought to this country the ancestors of the present Native inhabitants; and in compiling genealogies, the same number of generations appear to be allowed for the descent of any leading chief to his immigrant ancestor. But it is rather remarkable that one line of descent, as far as I know, is given for each canoe for seven generations. Chiefs of note of the present day always descend from the main stem of their respective canoes. Are not these earlier generations mythic?
Is it probable that the arrival of these seven canoes was simultaneous, or nearly so? Is it probable that their point of departure for New Zealand was the same? I should answer each question in the negative.
Captain Cook learned through Tupia, his Tahitian, that canoes from an island called by them Ulimaroa, to the north-west, had reached New Zealand subsequent to its settlement by themselves.
Some years ago, while travelling afoot through the north of this island, in company with an old chief well known for his store of Maori legends, I put the question to him as to whether cannibalism was a habit of the race before their arrival in New Zealand, or a custom having its origin amongst themselves subsequently to their arrival here? The reply was, that it began in this island. I asked, what was the beginning? This is the story:—“A chief at Hokianga had a pet kaka, of which he was extremely fond, as the bird was the best decoy ever known. One day a young man, playing with it, loosened it from its perch, and the bird flew away with the string attached by a ring to its leg. It flew some distance and alighted, the youth following it; and it repeated the process, attempting to get rid of the string with its beak. Whilst going on after the kaka the youth fell in with a friend on some outlying cultivation, and persuaded him to join him in the chase. It is enough to say that they followed the bird all day, as it stopped repeatedly; they hoping that the string might become entangled in the bush, and they might then secure it. Towards night the bird alighted in the forest, and the men, tired out, lay themselves down to sleep. Next day they found that while keeping their eyes on the kaka they had neglected to notice the route by which they had travelled, and had lost themselves in the dense bush. They walked all day, without food, still entangled in the forest, and passed a second night in it. On the evening of the third day they came to a small clearing, utterly strange to them, and found in it a pataka with some kumera. Of these they took some, and after eating them they fell asleep, worn out, but first resolving that at dawn they would provision themselves for their return. They slept too late, and saw on waking a strange man near the pataka. Afraid to show themselves, they retreated into the bush, and after a while they perceived that they were followed. Concealing themselves, they rushed upon the stranger as he was passing, and killed him, and, impelled by hunger, eat part of him then, and took more of the flesh to eat on the road. Ultimately they found their way back, bringing a hand of the man whom they had killed, and saying that a strange man had stolen away the kaka, and that they had chased and killed him. This was to conceal the negligence of the youth. It was then first that the people of Hokianga knew that there were other people on the island besides themselves.” It was afterwards discovered that the person slain belonged to
Ngatimaru, now living at the Thames—but then at the north, and the place where he was killed was near the Ngaere, opposite the Cavalli Islands.
I have told you this legend, not on account of the incident of cannibalism, but as accidentally showing that Ngapuhi believed themselves to have been the only inhabitants of the island; and that, therefore, if all the seven canoes reached its shores from Savaii, their canoe should have been the first to arrive, or at any rate to start; that they had no knowledge of any prior migration likely to have landed in New Zealand; and yet, as Ngapuhi did not lose the “s,” they ought to have been the latest arrivals here.
My views are, that though Savaii and Hawai are radically the same name, and have been applied respectively to islands so far apart as the Samoan and Sandwich groups, yet it is not in the least proved that either one place was settled from the other; that, more probably some former Hawai, or Savaii had its name transferred to each of these places, and that we have yet to discover the source from which these islanders sprang.
Looking again to the fact that some of the old pahs in this island have, standing on their embankments, or in their trenches, trees of at least two centuries growth, trees which the garrison of the pah certainly would not have allowed to grow in such positions (though they might have had trees within the pah itself,) for fear of loosening the palisadings as the wind rocked these trees; the areas of these pahs; the depth of their trenches, and height of embankments,* proving, when we consider the insufficiency of their tools, that large numbers of people were employed in their construction; the vast piles of pipi shells heaped up outside such pahs, even when situated some miles from the sea, and on elevated sites, incontestibly indicating a long period of occupancy: we have evidence to prove that many large pahs have been deserted for, say, two centuries; had been occupied for a great length of time; had required a large population already existing at the time of their construction. Pahs of this class, too, are thickly dotted over large districts.
Is it not a reasonable deduction that some centuries back New Zealand had already a large number of inhabitants? Look at Tasman's and Cook's accounts of the people at the time of their visits.
If we must believe that the progenitors of such multitudes came in seven canoes, how indefinitely we must put back the date of their arrival, and add to the fixed number of generations assigned by the Maoris as having existed since that time.
May not the New Zealand immigration have been simultaneous with,
[Footnote] *Cook mentions a ditch and bank at Mercury Bay, 22 feet inside, 14 feet outside; and another 24 feet deep.
produced by the same causes as, or be part and parcel of that amazing dispersion throughout the South Seas of a race which has peopled so many isles; a race which, wherever located, looks back to Hawai as its old ancestral home?
The New Zealand traditions allude to two distinct places called “Hawai.” One may be “Savaii.” The one used as a resting place on the way. Where was the original? In Malaya? How long did it take to develop the lithe and active but somewhat diminutive Malay into the sturdy and robust Maori of New Zealand, or into the grand colossal form of the Tahitian, the most magnificent in stature of the human race?
Did the descendants of miserable atollers construct the stone fortifications of Opara, the maraes of Raiatea, Tahiti, Eimeo and Marquesas, or carve the statues and build the walls on Easter Island, all of these being works of ages long past. No account of the erection of these places can be gathered even from tradition, so remote is their date. As to their character and workmanship even Mr. Ranken admits the “maraes or terraced enclosures for sacred purposes are exactly like those of Mexico and Peru. That of Pachacamac is a duplicate of that at Nukuhiva at Marquesas. Pachacamac stands on the sea coast some 25 miles south of Callao, and the style of masonry is identical.
I believe that we are too old-world in our ideas, and have got into the habit of looking to Asia for every migration, because the human race first sprung thence; but had not America ages before the time of Columbus attained a high degree of civilization, and supported a dense population? witness the ruined cities of Central America, the temples of Mexico, the fortresses and teocalli of Peru. These last we know were in many instances the work of the Toltecs, a race who, having for some centuries occupied a portion of the present country of Peru, were expelled thence a few years earlier than the Norman conquest of England, or rather more than eight centuries ago. What became of that nation no one knew. Gacilaso de la Vega, himself the son of a companion of Pizarro, and the sister of Huayna Capac, one of the last of the Aztec Incas, who was born at Cuzeo, and went to Spain in 1560, in his history of the Incas, compiled from the “guipus,” or annals in the temple of the sun, states that though tho Incas conquered subsequently the Aynnaru, Quichna, and other neighbouring nations, the Toltecs they never again heard of. Whence they originally came rests only upon a tradition assigning the year 591 as the time of their passing the Isthmus of Panama on a southwards migration.*
If it is urged that the voyage from the coast of Peru to the Marquesas would be too long for canoes; read Dampier's account, how the party of
[Footnote] * Prescott, in his “Conquest of Mexico,” says 648.
200 buccaneers, amongst whom he was, went in 1688 from the coast north of Panama to the isles of Juan Fernandez in native “pirogues” or canoes, and returned again thence, attacking, unsuccessfully, Arica on the way. The distance from Panama to Juan Fernandez is fully as great as from Callao to the Marquesas.
If it is merely an accidental coincidence that somewhere about the same period one people entirely disappeared from the shores of Peru, and that another people, arriving from the opposite side of the world, built on the islands to leeward of the Peruvian coast, places of worship in exact resemblance of those erected by the missing nation, and adopted similar human sacrifices; the coincidence, if coincidence only it be, is most wonderful.*
[Footnote] * Compare Cook's account of the human sacrifice at Tahiti and those mentioned by Veytia, Torquemada, etc., among the Aztecs.