Art. V.—Sketch of the Traditional History of the South Island Maoris.
[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 6th September and 4th October, 1877.]
|Sources of Information|
|Classification of Traditions|
|Difficulty of unravelling the Thread of the History|
|Ogre of Matau|
|Destruction of gigantic bird of prey.|
|Ngatimamoe till 1677|
|Connection with Chathams|
|Causes which led to their migration from North Island|
|Commencement of War with Ngatimamoe|
|Capture of Te Rapa a te Kuri|
|Battle of Ika a Whaturoa, or Tete|
|Capture of Waipapa|
|Battle of Opokihi|
|Battle of Kahutara|
|Siege of Peketa|
|Attack on Omihi|
|Capture of Kura te au|
|Siege and capture of Pakihi, or Pariwhakatau|
|Taking possession of the land|
|West Coast Natives|
|Discovery of Greenstone|
|Expedition against West Coast|
|Raid on South|
|Battle of Teihoka|
|Final destruction of Ngatimamoe|
|Genealogy of Ngai Tahu, etc.|
|Map showing the extent of various occupations|
As the value of this paper must depend entirely upon the trustworthiness of its contents, it is important that I should state at the outset the sources from whence my information was derived.
Sources of Information.
In the first place, then, I am indebted to the late Peta Te Hone, of Kaiapoi, for most of these traditions. That chief was universally acknowledged by the Ngai Tahu to be a high authority on all questions relating to their past history. Since 1863, I have repeatedly submitted my notes to chiefs in all parts of this island, and have carefully recorded their comments, and this paper contains the result of my inquiries.
Amongst others whom I have consulted I may name Hapakuku Kairua, Hakopa te Ata o Tu, and Wiremu te Uki, of Kaiapoi; the late chief Whakatau, of Kaikoura; Tamati Tikao, and Apera Pukenui, of Banks Peninsula; Te Mararoa, and Tarawhata, of Arowhenua; Matiaha Tira Morehu, and Natanawhira Waruwarutu, of Moeraki; Tarekahu, of Otago Heads; Pukuheti and Hutoitoi, and Rawiri, of Riverton; and Wereta Tainui, of Greymouth; besides very many others.
Classification of Traditions.
The traditions may be divided into three classes—the mythical, the uncertain, and the reliable. The mythical relate to pre-historic times, and
to supernatural beings; the uncertain relate to those tribes which have perished, and whose only memorial is contained in the fragmentary notices which occur in the story of those who superseded and survive them; the reliable comprise the history of Ngai Tahu during the last 200 years.
But as the reliability of any oral tradition may fairly be questioned, I will endeavour to show why these may be considered worthy of credit, and also how, in the absence of a written language, the Maoris were enabled accurately to preserve their history. Every tribe was composed of hapus, and every hapu of families. Each family, hapu, and iwi carefully preserved the names of their ancestors, and their ancestors' wives and offspring. In transmitting this knowledge, the greatest care was taken to avoid errors, because, as the Maoris were very punctilious in the matter of precedence, a mistake made on the occasion of any public assembly of the tribes might be construed into an insult, and result in a blood feud. Such mistakes were all the more likely to happen from the custom which prevailed, when speaking of a chief, of alluding to him as a relation—“Brother, uncle, son, grandson, nephew, brother-in-law,” etc. very accurate knowledge of tribal genealogies was therefore required to enable a speaker to apply to any given person that term which exactly described the rank to which he was entitled in the tribe. This knowledge was not confined to a class of learned genealogists, but was possessed by every rangatira or native gentleman. To acquire it, each one from childhood up was obliged to make this subject a constant study; and the public recitals which were held at frequent intervals kept the names and the facts connected with them always fresh in their memories; for, besides the names of their ancestors it was held to be of equal importance to know the deeds for which they were distinguished. The value attached by the Maoris to land is too well known. From the time that the first arrivals from Hawaiki ascended the highest mountains to partition all the country they could see from thence amongst themselves, the title to land has been a fruitful source of strife. Every part of the country was owned and named. Not only wer the large mountains, rivers, and plains named, but every hillock, streamlet, and valley. These names frequently contained allusions to persons or events, and thus served to perpetuate the memory of them and to preserve the history of the past. Every Maori was required to know by what title the land claimed by his tribe was held, whether by right of original occupation, conquest, purchase, or gift; and thus it happened that traditions relating to the same transactions were preserved by tribes whose interests were antagonistic; and several opportunities have been afforded in recent times of comparing these accounts, which have been transmitted for several generations through separate and independent channels, and they have
invariably been found to agree. With this fact before us, it is hardly possible to deny the historical value of a large portion of these traditions, which have been preserved by the same method but which cannot be vouched for in the same manner.
Difficulty of unravelling the Thread of the History.
I experienced considerably difficulty at first in disentangling the complicated narratives, because my Maori informants being themselves so familiar with the history did not see the necessity of explaining as they went along why things happened as they did. They would repeatedly break off from the continuous history of the tribe to follow the fortunes of a favourite hero, and again as abruptly leave him to resume the thread of the original narrative. One prolific source of confusion arose from the intermarriages which took place between the members of hostile tribes. It was bewildering to find the same person fighting for one tribe but wishing success to the other, and guilty of treachery towards both. The man who married a Ngatimamoe woman would be found plotting the ruin of his wife's relations; and the Nagitmamoe man who, by marriage with a Ngai Tahu woman, was admitted to that tribe, would still sympathize with his own people, and betray his connections whenever he could. Another element of confusion arose from the two tribes being spoken of as totally distinct from each other, whereas they had a common origin, and this fact afforded the only explanation of many strange things done on either side. The history throughout is one dark narrative of treachery and ferocity, brightened here and there by displays of great courage and occasional acts of generosity.
The method I have adopted for ascertaining the chronological order in which the various events occurred, has been first to form a genealogical table, and then allowing* twenty years for a generation, to count back the generations from the present time, and thus fix the date of any event by the position in the table which the persons connected with it occupy. For instance, to ascertain the date of the death of Manawa, take Hakopa te Ata o Tu, now living, and who is at least seventy years of age, counting back from his birth to Manawa's there are eight generations, equivalent to 160 years, which added to 70 gives a total of 210. Manawa, therefore, was born about 1667; and, as he had a grown-up son, he was probably not less than forty years old when he was killed. His death, then, occurred about 1707. Of course this plan only gives an approximate date, but it
[Footnote] * I have fixed on twenty years, as the Maoris married early.
is sufficiently near to render the history intelligible, though further investigation may lead to some alteration being made here and there in the sequence of events.
The history may be divided into four periods:—
Prior to the arrival of Waitaha.
Waitaha occupation, 1477 to 1577.
Ngatimamoe occupation, 1577 to 1677.
Ngai Tahu occupation, 1677 to 1827 (the date of Rauparaha's invasion).
The Kahui Tipua or ogre band, a mythical race, are said to have been the first occupants of this island. They are described as giants, who could stride from mountain range to mountain range, swallow rivers, and transform themselves into anything animate or inanimate that they chose. The legend of the ogre of Matau (Molyneux) may be taken as a specimen of this class of tradition.
When Te Rapuwai who dwelt at Matau went in small parties of ten to hunt for wekas they never returned. Tens and tens went out and never came back. Then every one felt sure something was consuming them, but what it was they could not tell. A long time passed, and then it was found out how these people perished. It was learnt from a woman—the sole survivor of one of these hunting parties. She said that on the hills they were met by an ogre, accompanied by ten two-headed dogs. After killing all the men he carried her to his cave near the river, where she lived with him, and in time became covered all over with scales from the ogre's body. She was very miserable and determined to escape; but this was not easy, as the ogre took care to fasten her by a cord, which he kept jerking whenever she was out of his sight. As the cave was close to the river, she crept to the entrance where raupo grew thickly, and, having cut a quantity, tied it in bundles. The next day when the monster slept, she crept out and formed the raupo bundles into a raft, then tying the string to the rushes, which, being elastic, would prevent the immediate discovery of her flight when the cord was jerked. Getting on to the raft, she dropped down the river, the swift current bearing her rapidly towards its mouth where her friends lived.
The ogre did not wake for a long time, when he did he called out, “Kai a mio, E! where are you?” Not receiving an answer, he went to the entrance of the cave and searched; not finding any footprints there he smelt the water, and at once discovered how she had escaped. Then in his rage he swallowed the river and dried it up from end to end, but not before Kai a mio was safely housed in her native village. After cleaning herself from the scales which covered her body, the woman told her people all she
knew about the ogre, and they resolved to put him to death. “When does he sleep?” they asked. “When the north-west wind blows” was her reply, “then he sleeps long and heavily.” So they waited for a nor'-wester and then proceeded to the cave. Having collected a great quantity of fern which they piled at the entrance, they fired it. When the heat awoke the monster, he could think of no way of escape, except through a hole in the roof; while struggling to get out through this, the people set upon him with clubs and beat him to death. Fortunately the ogre's dogs were away hunting, or else he never could have been killed.
It was during this period that the canoe called Arai te uru was capsized off Moeraki and the cargo strewn along the beach, where may still be seen the eel-basket of Hape ki tauraki, and the slave Puketapu, and the calabashes and kumeras.
Passing on from these legends, we come to the traditions which I have classed as unreliable, relating as they do to tribes that have been utterly destroyed.
Te Rapuwai or Nga ai tanga a te Puhirere succeeded the Kahui Tipua and rapidly spread themselves over the greater part of the island. They have left traces of their occupation in the shell-heaps found both along the coast and far inland. It was in their time that the country around Invercargill is said to have been submerged, the forests of Canterbury and Otago destroyed by fire, and the moa exterminated. I am inclined to think it is not at all improbable that Te Rapuwai and Waitaha were portions of the same tribe, Te Rapuwai forming the vanguard when the migration from the North Island took place. Several of my Maori authorities incline to this opinion, others maintain that they were separate tribes; if so they were probably cotemporaries, and like Rangitane and Ngai Tahu in subsequent times—one may have come from the west, and the other from the east coast of the other island.
Of the Waitaha very little is known, their traditions having almost entirely perished with the extinction of their conquerors. But there is sufficient evidence to warrant the supposition that the few traditions which still remain were preserved by the remnant of Waitaha; who were spared by Ngatimamoe to work their fisheries and kumera plantations till they thought it necessary for their own safety to exterminate them in order to prevent their alliance with the invading Ngai Tahu. There is no reason therefore to regard the traditions relating to the Waitaha as mere fables.
It would appear that Waitaha—one of the original immigrants from Hawaiki—was the founder of the tribe. He came with Tama te Kapua and
Nga toro i rangi in the canoe Arawa, and his taumata near Taupo is still pointed out. But at a very early date he or his immediate descendants must have left that locality, and travelled south. Separated by the stormy straits of Raukawa from their countrymen, Waitaha were long left in the enjoyment of peace and plenty, and as a consequence rapidly increased, till as the natives say “they covered the land like ants.” The size of the pas, and the extent of the kitchen middens along the coast attributed to them, afford conclusive evidence as to their numbers. At Mairangi and Kapukariki (Cust) the remains of a walled pa extending for about three miles along the downs, existed till the settlement of Europeans in that locality. Wiremu te Uki, Henare Pereita and others, who frequented the place to gather the stems of the cabbage-palm,—which grew luxuriantly there in “soil enriched by the fat of man”—for making kauru, a favourite article of food—assert that twenty years ago, the broad outer ditch of the pa could be seen, and that from the bottom of it to the top of the bank was about seven feet, and that at regular intervals along the wall there were openings showing plainly where the gates had been. They recollected old men saying that these gates were known to have had names which were now forgotten. Te Wai manongia and his son Tauhanga ahu are said to have ruled these pas at the time that they were destroyed by Ngatimamoe.
Some time before the Ngatimamoe invasion, about the year 1550 as near as we can guess, there lived on the banks of the Rakaia a chief named Tutewaimate, regarding whom a story worth recording has reached us. Moko, a robber chieftain, had fixed his stronghold on the Waipara, the choice of the spot being determined by the existence of a cave in close proximity to the highway, along which a regular trade was carried on up and down the coast; the preserved mutton-birds, dried fish, and kauru from the south being exchanged for preserved forest-birds, mats, etc., from the north. Moko was in the habit of robbing and murdering any small parties of carriers who might venture too near to him, and he might have continued to do so without molestation, as the carriers were for the most part slaves, whose death was not worth avenging, had he not been so unfortunate as to kill a near relation of the great Tutewaimate. This chief, already smarting under previous losses of property, was exasperated beyond all endurance by the murder of his kinsman, and summoned his tribe to destroy Moko and his band. The people responded in such numbers to his call, that when they started on their march, the dust they raised resembled the smoke of a great fire on the plains, and their spears darkened the sky. Leaving the bulk of his forces at Kapukariki, Tutewaimate pushed on early one morning with a few chosen warriors to Moko's stronghold. He found the place quite unprepared for an attack, all the men except Moko being away.
Having ascertained from some women whom he questioned that the robber chieftain was asleep in a cave hard by, he quietly approached the spot, where he found him lying asleep on a mat, all unconscious of danger. But like a true knight he scorned to strike his sleeping foe, and raising his voice he uttered the following challenge:
|Tutewaimate a Popotahi||Tutewaimate, son of Popotahi,|
|Te hau tuku mai i roto Rakaia||Swift as the wind from the Rakaia Gorge|
|Te mahea te hauku o te ata.”||Have forestalled the drying of the morning dew.”|
The startled robber, raising himself to a sitting posture, replied:
|“Ho, Moko||“Ho Moko,|
|Moko a Hautere||Moko, son of Hautere,|
|Te hau tuku mai runga maunga tere||The wind rushing down from Mt. Tere,|
|Te tangata i whangai nga ki te mango mata.”||The man fed upon uncooked shark.”|
As he uttered the last word the treacherous Moko, by a sudden and unexpected thrust, felled his generous foe to the ground, and soon put an end to his existence.
It is from the Waitaha that the following account of the destruction of a gigantic bird of prey has been handed down. The event occurred in times preceding Tutewaimate and the period referred to in the scraps of Waitaha history which have survived. The story possesses peculiar interest when considered in connection with the discovery of the Harpagornis moorei at Glenmark. Does it prove that the Maoris knew that bird, or is it to be classed with the Taniwha stories common in the north, is it an imported, and localized tradition?
A Pouakai had built its nest on a spur of Mount Tawera, and darting down from thence it seized and carried off men, women, and children, as food for itself and its young. For, though its wings made a loud noise as it flew through the air, it rushed with such rapidity upon its prey that none could escape from its talons. At length a brave man called Te Hau o Tawera came on a visit to the neighbourhood, and finding that the people were being destroyed, and that they were so paralyzed with fear as to be incapable of adopting any means for their own protection, he volunteered to capture and kill this rapacious bird, provided they would do what he told them. This they willingly promised, and having procured a quantity of manuka saplings he went one night with fifty men to the foot of the hill, where there was a pool, sixty feet in diameter. This he completely
covered over with a network formed of saplings, and under this he placed the fifty men armed with spears and thrusting weapons, while he himself as soon as it was light, went out to lure the Pouakai from its nest. He did not go far before that destroyer spied him, and swooped down upon him. Hautere had now to run for his life, and just succeeded in reaching the shelter of the network when the bird pounced upon him, and in its violent efforts to reach its prey, forced its legs through the meshes, and becoming entangled, the fifty men plunged their spears into its body and after a desperate encounter succeeded in killing it.*
The Waitaha, after a peaceful occupation of what was then known as the “food-abounding island,” were obliged to resign possession of it into the hands of Ngatimamoe, and were ultimately destroyed or absorbed by them.
Ngati ma moe A.D. 1577 to A.D. 1677.
The origin of the Ngatimamoe is nearly as obscure as that of their predecessors. Like them they came from the North Island, being probably driven down before a stronger tribe. Their pitiless treatment of Waitaha was afterwards repeated upon themselves by the stronger and more warlike Ngai Tahu. Their destruction of the Waitaha and their own subsequent destruction, accounts for the absence of all traditions relating to the visit of Abel Tasman in 1642. Just as the destruction of the tribes inhabiting the shores of the straits by Rauparaha in this century, explains why no account of Captain Cook's visit in 1769 has been preserved amongst the natives now residing in that neighbourhood.
From the natives at the extreme south of the island, I obtained a genealogical table which traces their origin to the offspring of Awatopa. The following legend states the cause of their leaving the other island:—
Awatopa and Rauru were brothers, sons of Ruarangi and Manu tai hapua. They both commenced to build houses for themselves at the same time. Rauru was the first to finish; and having performed the ceremonies of purification, he announced his intention of going off on a voyage. His elder brother begged him to wait till he had completed his house, but this he refused to do, and, overcome with rage at his refusal, he killed him. The tribe hearing of what had taken place, avenged Rauru by killing Awatopa. This led to the secession of three families, children of the elder brother, namely—the Puhi kai ariki, Puhi manawanawa, and Matuku herekoti, who came south. The rest of the tribe remained behind. Relationship is claimed by the descendants of Ngatimamoe with Waikato through a Puhi of
[Footnote] * Wereta Tainui, of Greymouth, says that near Inangahua there is a place called the Pouakai's Nest, and where tradition tells of one being killed. Irai Tihau of Wairewa saw at Poupoutunoa in Otago, in 1848, near the river Kaeaea, what was said to be a Pouakai's nest. The name may be translated the “old glutton.”
the Awatopa clan who settled there, and to Ngapuhi hrough Muru nui, who was connected with Maru kore, one of their ancestors.
During the Ngatimamoe occupation, an event occurred which seems to throw some light upon the origin of the Chatham Islanders:—
Tradition says that a canoe, manned entirely by chiefs whose names are forgotten, but who are known now as “Nga toko ono,” or The Six, went out from Parakakariki to fish, and when a long way off from the shore a violent nor'west wind sprung up and drove them out to sea, and they were never heard of again. It is not at all improbable that this canoe reached the Chathams, and that the crew became the progenitors of one section of the present inhabitants. Te Koti, a Maori Wesleyan minister who was stationed for some years on the principal island, states that the Morioris have preserved the names of many of the headlands around Akaroa, and that they number Mamoa (probably a corruption of Mamoe) amongst their ancestors. It is an interesting fact that many of the words in use by the Morioris are nearer akin to the Rarotongan form than the Maori equivalent.
It is quite clear that the Ngatimamoe, like the Ngai Tahu, came from the east coast of the North Island. How long it was before their possession of this island was disputed it is hard to guess correctly; but judging from their numbers, and the total subjugation of Waitaha to their rule when the Ngai Tahu appear on the scene, they could not have held it for less than 100 years.
A small tribe called Ngaitara were the first to make alliances with Ngatimamoe, and were the cause of Ngai Tahu crossing the straits.
Ngai Tahit.—Causes that led to their Migration.
About the year 1650 we find the Ngai Tahu located at Hataitai, between what is now called Wellington Harbour and the coast. In this pa dwelt a band of warriors renowned for courage and daring, whose warlike propensities had made them rather obnoxious to their kinsmen and neighbours, the Ngatikahununu. Among this band dwelt an old chief named Kahukura te paku, who was connected with the Ngaitara tribe, then settled at Waimea, in the South Island. His son, Tu maro, was married to Rakai te kura, daughter of Tama ihu poro, the seventh from Tahu, the founder of the tribe. Shortly after his marriage Tu maro was called away for a time from Hataitai; and during his absence his wife, who was pregnant, contracted an improper intimacy with Te ao hikuraki. Tu maro returned just before his wife gave birth to a child, and, being ignorant of her misconduct, proceeded, when the pains of labour began, to repeat the customary charms to aid delivery. Having exhausted his store of charms, and repeated all the genealogies of his ancestors in vain, he
began to suspect that something was wrong, and questioned his wife, who, after a little delay, confessed that one of his relations had been to her. “But who was it?” he demanded. “Te ao hikuraki,” she replied. The moment that name was uttered the child was born. Tu maro, without going near his wife, kept removing her from house to house till her purification and that of the child was accomplished. Then he came to her early one morning and told her to paint herself and the infant with red ochre; to put on her best mats, and to adorn her head with feathers. The woman did as she was bid, wondering all the time what her husband meant to do. When she had finished adorning herself, Tu maro led her into the court-yard of Te ao hikuraki, whom he found sitting under the veranda. “Here,” said he, “is your wife and child!” and then, without another word, he turned away and went back to his own house. He then summoned all his immediate friends and relations, and informed them that it was his intention to leave the place immediately, as he could not live on friendly terms with those who had dishonoured him. His father approved of the proposed step, and acting on his advice their hapu, carrying with them their families and all their moveable goods, crossed the straits and entered Blind Bay, along the coast of which they sailed till they reached the mouth of the Waimea, where they landed and built a pa. Here, for upwards of twenty years, the Ngaitara, Ngatiwhata, and Ngatirua, sub-sections of the Ngai Tahu tribe, separated from their main body at Hataitai, grew into such importance through their alliance with Ngatimamoe, that they came at last to be regarded more in the light of independent tribes than parts of one and the same; and this often complicates the narrative.
But what serves to complicate still further the history of this period was the existence of small settlements in the sounds of natives from the west coast of the North Island including detachments of Rangitane, Ngatihauwa, Ngatihape, Ngai te he iwi, Ngai tawake, Ngati whare puka, and Ngai tu rahui. The Rangitane appear to have been the most important. Te Hau was their chief, and his cultivations at Te Karaka, known as Kapara te hau and O kainga, are still pointed out. Kupe, the great navigator, is said to have poured salt-water upon these cultivations for the purpose of destroying them, and so formed pools which remain to this day(?). These natives never seem to have extended their settlements much beyond the sounds, and little of their history worth recording has been preserved by the remnant of their descendants who escaped destruction at the hands of Te Rauparaha.
Beyond Waimea, the Ngatiwairangi and Ngatikopiha, who in common with Ngatimamoe and Ngai Tahu were descended from Tura, took up their abode and spread from there all down the west coast.
About twenty-five years after the secession of Kahukura te paku and his
followers, communication with Hataitai was reopened under the following circumstances. Tuahuriri, deserted in infancy by Tu maro, had now attained to man's estate, and had settled with his wives on the south-east coast of the North Island. But he could not rest till he had solved a question which had troubled him all his life. Once when a child he had been startled by hearing the mother of one of his playmates, whom he had struck, exclaim, “What a bullying fellow this bastard is.” Running up to his own mother he immediately asked if it was true that he was a bastard. “No,” she said. “Then where,” he asked, “is my father?” “Look where the sun sets, that is where your father dwells.” He kept these words treasured up in his memory, and now, having attained to man's estate, he determined to go in search of his father. Leaving his wives behind him he embarked with seventy men in a war canoe, and crossed the straits to Waimea; arrived there he landed and drew up the canoe in front of the pa. The inhabitants came forth to welcome him in and invited him to occupy the residence of their chief. On entering the house Tuahuriri laid himself down on his back near the door, whilst his companions seated themselves round the sides of the house. As no one in the place recognised any of them, the usual preparations were made for their destruction; as it was always held by Maoris that those who were not known friends must be regarded as enemies, and treated accordingly. Kahukura te paku stationed armed men all round the house, and while he was preparing to attack the new comers, the women and slaves were busy heating the stones and preparing the ovens to cook their bodies in. While these preparations were being made, and everyone was longing for the time when the bodies would be cooked and ready for them to feast upon, the children of the village came flocking round the entrance curious to see the strangers. One more venturesome than the rest climbed up to the window, and communicated to those behind him what he saw; while so occupied Tuahuriri looking up at the roof said “Ah, just like the red battens of my grandfather Kahukura te paku's house which he left over the other side at Kauwhakaarawaru.” The boy on hearing this ran and told the men who were lying in wait. They made him repeat the words several times, and then Kahukura te paku said, “I never left any house or painted battens on the other side, only the boy on whose account we came across. Go, ask him his name.” Then one arose and approached and called out, “Inside there. Eh! Sit up. Tell me who you are!” Then Tuahuriri sat up and said, “I am Te hiku tawatawa o te raki” (the name given to him by his father when he was born). The man went back and told Kahukura te paku, who was overwhelmed with shame when he discovered that he had been craving after the flesh of his own grandson. Approaching the house he told him to come forth, not by the door, but the
window, so that they might take the tapu off the wood and stones which they had got ready to cook him and his friends with, as the intention had defiled them. Having clambered through the window and embraced his grandson, Tuahuriri felt that he was safe; nevertheless he did not forget the indignity to which he had been subjected by his own relations, and he determined to take the first opportunity of punishing them for it. When returning to his own home with Kahukura te paku a few weeks afterwards, the people of Waimea begged Tuahuriri to come back and visit them in the autumn, when food would be plentiful, and they could entertain him more hospitably. But instead of doing so, he waited till he knew that they had planted their fields, and had nothing in their storehouses, then, taking one hundred men in addition to the seventy who went with him before, he re-crossed the straits. When he landed with all his followers the inhabitants of Waimea welcomed him very warmly, but apologised for the smallness of the quantity of food which they set before him, which, they assured him, was owing, not to inhospitality, but to the emptiness of their stores. When every particle of food in the place was consumed Tuahuriri returned home. Shortly after his departure the house he occupied was accidentally burnt down; the site of it was soon covered with a luxuriant crop of wild cabbage, which the people of the pa were driven by hunger to gather and eat, and in consequence of their doing so, they all died. For the greens were tapu, because grown on the site of a house once occupied by Kahukura te paku and his grandson. The colic produced by famished people gorging on greens proved fatal because the pain was attributed to the agency of the offended atuas of their chiefs. This incident throws light upon the frequent occurrence in past years of fatal effects arising from breaches of tapu.
The taking of Te mata ki kai poika is the next event of importance in the history of Ngai Tahu.
Tuahuriri had from some cause incurred the ill-will of a powerful member of his own tribe, the veteran warrior Hika oro roa, who assembled his relations and dependents and led them to the attack of Tuahuriri's pa, situated somewhere on the east coast. They reached the place at dawn of day, and as the leader was preparing to take the foremost place in the assault, a youth named Turuki, eager to distinguish himself, rushed past Hika oro roa, who uttered an exclamation of surprise and indignation, asking, in sneering tones, “Why a nameless warrior should dare to try and snatch the credit of a victory he had done nothing to win?” Turuki, burning with shame at the taunt, rushed back to the rear and addressed himself to Tutekawa, who was the head of his family, and besought him to withdraw his contingent and to attack the pa himself from the other side, and for ever prevent such a reproach from being uttered again. Tutekawa,
who felt the insult as keenly as his young relative, instantly adopted his suggestion; and so rapidly did he effect the movement, that his absence was not discovered before he had successfully assaulted the pa and his name was being shouted forth as the victor. Tuahuriri was surprised asleep in his whare, but succeeded in escaping, leaving his two wives, Hine kai taki and Tuara whati, to their fate. These women were persons of great distinction and were related to all the principal families in that part of the country, and their lives ought to have been quite safe in the hands of their husband's relations. But Tutekawa, who was a man of cruel disposition, finding the husband had escaped, killed both the women. As the war party were re-embarking a few hours after, Tuahuriri came out to the edge of the forest, which reached nearly to the shore, and calling Tutekawa, asked him if he had got his waist-cloth, belt, and weapons; on being answered in the affirmative, he begged that they might be given back to him. Tutekawa then stepped forward and flung them towards him. After picking them up, Tuahuriri threatened his cousin with the vengeance of his atuas for the injury he had done to him, and retiring into the depths of the forest he invoked the help of his familiar spirits, and by their agency raised the furious gale known as Tehau o Rongomai. This tempest dispersed Tutekawa's fleet, and many of his canoes were upset and the crews drowned. He with much difficulty reached the South Island, where to escape the vengeance of Tuahuriri, he decided to remain. He had nothing to fear for the Ngatimamoe, to whom he was related on the mother's side, and he knew that his presence would be still more welcome to them, because he was willing to turn his arms against the remnant of Waitaha who still maintained their independence. We now take leave of Tutekawa for some years, and return to trace the fortunes of the warriors at Hataitai, of whom we have heard nothing since Tu maro's secession.
Though constantly at war with their neighbours or quarrelling amongst themselves, they had succeeded hitherto in maintaining their ground; but certain events occurred after the fall of Te mata ki kai poika and the defeat of Tuahuriri, which ultimately led to their migration to the South Island.
The first was the marriage of Tiotio's two daughters to Te Hautaki, which was brought about in the following manner:—Te Hautaki, who was the chief of a hapu living at Kahu, and allied to Ngatimamoe, was one day driven out to sea from the fishing ground by a gale of wind. Fearing that his canoe would be upset, and being unable to get back to his own place, he tried to reach the opposite shore of the straits, and with much difficulty effected a landing after dusk at Whanga nui a tara, just below the Ngatikuri pa. “We are all dead men,” he said to his crew, “unless we can reach the house of Tiotio unobserved.” Tiotio was the upoko ariki, or
hereditary high priest of the tribe, and probably Hautaki regarded him in the light of a connection, since his son Tuteuretira was married to a Ngatimamoe woman and living amongst that tribe. “Is there any one of you,” he asked, “who can point out this chief's house?” Fortunately one of the crew had been before to Hataitai and was able to act as guide. Having drawn up their canoe, they all marched noiselessly in single file till they reached the remotest of the chief's houses, which were distinguished from others around them by their great height and size. Passing by those of Maru, Manawa, and Rakai tauwheke, they came to that of Tiotio. Entering the house they found his wife seated beside a fire near the door, and the old man himself lying down at the farthest end. Roused by the noise of their footsteps, the old chief stood up and asked who they were, Te Hautaki replied “It is I.” No sooner were they aware who it really was than the old wife set up a cry of welcome, but she was instantly checked by her husband, who dreaded the consequence of rousing the pa, and begged her not to attract attention, as that would endanger the lives of the whole party. He then told her to set food quickly before them, as they could not be killed after having been entertained as guests by the chief tohunga of the tribe. In obedience to his wishes, she placed a poha of preserved koko before them, and when they had finished their meal, she went over with a message from her husband to Rakai tauwheke, who was married to two of their daughters, Tahupare and Rongopare. That chief, in hearing of Te Hautaki's arrival, asked whether he had been allowed to eat in his father-in-law's house; on being answered in the affirmative, “That is enough,” he said, “I will come and see him in the morning.” Before doing so, however, he sent to inform Manawa and Maru and others, and as soon as what had happened became generally known throughout the pa, the warriors assembled round Tiotio's house, and with yells and frantic cries hurled their spears against the roof and sides, and behaved as if they intended to pull the house down. When old Tiotio remonstrated with them, they ceased their violence, and invited Te Hautaki to come out to them, when there was much talking and speech-making of a friendly kind, which finally ended in a proposal that Tiotio's remaining daughters—Rakai te kura and Mahanga tahi—should be given in marriage to Te Hautaki. As all the parties concerned were agreeable to this, the marriage took place without any delay. The Ngai Tahu chiefs asked many questions of their visitor about his house in the other island, and were so favourably impressed with his answers, that many responded to his invitation to accompany him when he returned. The final migration, however, did not take place till some time after Te Hautaki's return.
What caused the step to be taken was this: Tapu, a Kahununu chief,
heard those who had seen Rakai tauwheke's house at Hataitai praising the workmanship of it, and, being jealous, said—“What is his house to my Kopapa, which will carry me along the backbone of Rongo rongo.” These words coming to Rakai tauwheke's ears, were interpreted by him to mean a curse, and when Tapu afterwards came on a visit with some friends to Hataitai, Rakai tauwheke fell upon him and killed him, but spared all his companions, whom he allowed to return safely home. But dreading the vengeance of Tapu's tribe, the Ngai Tahu abandoned Hataitai, and crossed over the straits in a body to Moioio, an island in one of the sounds close to Kai hinu, where there was a mixed settlement of Ngaitara and Ngatimamoe. Here they lived peaceably with their neighbours for some time till their anger was aroused by the discovery that they had joined in eating the corrupted body of a Ngai Tahu man which they had found in the forest, where, unknown to his friends, he had died. This was considered a very gross insult, and was avenged in the following manner:—Someone was sent to fetch the leg and thigh-bones of Te ao Marere, a Ngaitara chief, whose remains had been lately discovered in a cave by some Ngai Tahu women when gathering flax on the slopes of Kaihinu. Out of these bones hooks were made, and when Ngaitara went out to fish a Ngai Tahu man, taking one of the hooks, went with them; and when the fish greedily attacked the bait, and were drawn up to the surface in rapid succession, he said, in a tone to be heard and remarked, “How the old man buried up there nips.” The words were noted, and it was agreed that they could only refer to the desecration of their chief's grave, and to set the question at rest a person was sent to examine it, when it was found that part of the skeleton had been removed. As the Ngaitara did not regard this as a justifiable act of retaliation for their having eaten the body which they found, they determined therefore to avenge it. An opportunity of doing so was afforded to them shortly afterwards, when a party of Ngai Tahu women came as usual to the neighbourhood of Kai hinu to gather flax. While they were busily employed at their work, the Ngaitara attacked and killed the whole of them, amongst whom was the daughter of Puraho. This chief mourned sorely for his child and vowed to avenge her; but before he could do so, he was himself killed by the same people, who, feeling that they had incurred the vengeance of Ngai Tahu, were resolved to follow up what they had done and to be the first in the field. Observing from the mainland, which was only a short way off, that Puraho and Manawa went every morning at dawn to perform certain offices of nature at a particular spot where they had dug two holes together for the purpose, it was arranged to plant an ambush near the spot to lie in wait for them. Accordingly, during the night, two warriors were sent to secrete themselves in the holes, where,
hidden by the cross beams, they awaited the coming of the doomed men. At break of day the two approached; Puraho being in advance was the first to turn and sit on the beam, and Manawa was about to do the same, when he was startled and prevented by the uprising of the warrior under Puraho, who killed that chief by a sudden blow on the back of the head. Manawa immediately fled and escaped into the pa.
The death of Puraho convinced Ngai Tahu of the insecurity of their position at Moioio, and they determined to abandon it and to remove to O te Kane, at the mouth of the Wairau river, where they built a strongly fortified pa. As soon as they had provided for the safety of their families, they began to take measures for avenging the death of Puraho, and the women so mercilessly slaughtered by Ngaitara.
Commencement of War with Ngatimamoe.
They first attacked a neighbouring pa, and captured it. Amongst the prisoners was the chief Te Rapa a te kuri, who was brought by his captors to Maru, in order that he might have the satisfaction of putting him to death as utu for his father and sister. But contrary to their expectations, and to the annoyance and disgust of everyone, Maru spared the prisoner's life. Waitai was so exasperated by his culpable leniency, that he immediately withdrew with 300 followers, and sailed away to the south, settling for a time at Pukekura. On taking his departure he warned those who remained against a leader who would encourage them to attack his enemies and then deprive them of their right to put their captives to death. “I will never again join with Maru,” he said, “but will fight my enemies where I shall not be interfered with.” Though considerably weakened by the secession of Waitai, Ngai Tahu wished to continue the war, but were opposed by Maru, who, being related to Ngaitara, did not like to see them crushed. While the Ngai Tahu chiefs were disputing about their future plans, Te Kane and Tau hiku went out one day to fish, in order to silence the cries of their grandchildren for a change of food. They had not gone far from the shore when both canoes were enveloped in a fog; the crews could hear the splashing of the paddles, but could not see each other; they succeeded, however, in reaching the fishing ground, and Tau hiku was the first to drop his anchor, and just as Te Kane was about to do the same, he became aware that they were being pursued, and that the sound of paddling proceeded from canoes sent after them by Ngatimamoe. Te Kane turned at once and pulled towards the shore, but Tau hiku was surrounded and taken prisoner. A running fight was then maintained between Te Kane's canoe and Ngatimamoe. The fog prevented the position of affairs being seen from the shore, where Ngai Tahu were in complete ignorance of the danger their friends were in, though, as the canoes approached the land, sounds of strife reached their ears.
Te Kane managed to keep the enemy from coming to close quarters by the help of his nephew, who, acting upon his instructions, watched his opportunity whenever they came close enough to seize the man nearest to him, jerk him on board his own canoe, and kill him by cleaving open his skull; and as his blood spirted out over his comrades, they drew back with horror, and gave Te Kane a slight advantage in the race. This was repeated again and again till they got quite close to the shore, when the fog rose and discovered the combatants to the people of the pa, who were wondering what it could be that was causing such a din. Manawa and others ran down to the landing place, where they saw Tau hiku, their tohunga, lying bound in the bottom of the Ngatimamoe canoe, which had pursued Te Kane to within a few yards of the beach. The Ngai Tahu were overwhelmed with grief and alarm, and wailed forth their last farewell to the old priest doomed to fill the enemy's oven; in acknowledgment of their parting cries, he held up two fingers.
Ngai Tahu were paralyzed by the loss of their wisest tohunga, for there was no one to take his place—no one who could read the omens and tell the propitious time for attack, or forewarn them of approaching danger. The chiefs assembled and continued long in anxious consultation. “Have we no one,” they asked, “of the race of Tau hiku who can enlighten us—one with whom he has left his knowledge?” They called his daughter and questioned her. She advised them to summon Tau hiku's son Pohatu, but they ridiculed the idea; he had never displayed any talent, and had from boyhood consorted with slaves in preference to persons of his own rank. “Can such a one as Pohatu enlighten and direct us? His place is in the kitchen beside the cooking fire; what can the defiled know about sacred things!” Still his sister urged that he might be sent for and questioned; so at last they took Pohatu, and, having stripped him of his clothes, they took him to the water and cleansed him, and then performed certain incantations over him to consecrate him and make him “tapu.” When the ceremonies were completed they asked him what Tau hiku meant by holding up two fingers. “Two years,” he replied. “You must wait for that time before you attempt to avenge his death, in order that the grass may hide the oven in which he was cooked.”
During this period of forced inaction, the Ngai Tahu were particularly anxious to know what their enemies were doing, and in this they were greatly assisted by a man named Kiti, who was related to both tribes, and who by common consent acted as spy for both. Kiti alarmed the Ngai Tahu with the reports he brought to them of the formidable preparations being made by Ngatimamoe for the coming struggle. Besides the ordinary weapons, they had prepared spears pointed with the barbed and poisonous
sting of the ray—of which everyone appeared to stand in great dread. As the time approached for commencing hostilities, all hearts were filled with alarm, and as this feeling of dread increased the older chiefs felt that something must be done to counteract it, or their defeat and destruction were certain. They decided, therefore, to take the initiative, and to commence hostilities at once. Then Maru rose and called upon the veteran warriors, the heroes of former battles, to recount the story of their deeds so as to inspire the tribe with courage:—“Rise up, Te Kane, and tell the people what thou achieved at Whanga nui a tara!” But Te Kane kept his seat, and replied: “Ah! that was accomplished in the midst of thousands supporting me, but here, single-handed, what can I do!” Turning to another, he said: “Rise up, O Manawa, and tell the story of thy brave deeds at Waihao!” But Manawa only repeated Te Kane's words: “They were done amidst supporting thousands.” One after another the heroes were appealed to, but all in vain; till Maru turned to Rakai tauwheke: “Rise, O Wheke!” “Yes,” he said, “I will; since all these brave men decline, I will force the way—I will charge the foe—I will lead the people on to victory! Rouse thyself, Pohatu! Rouse thyself, O seer! Dig the wells, rear the mounds that you may see how the tatare (dog-fish) of Tane moehau (his mother) will burst the nets!” The bold bearing of Rakai tauwheke revived the drooping spirits of his tribe. His words inspired them with courage; and the omens given by Pohatu decided Ngai Tahu to attack the enemy at once. They swarmed up the hill-side that separated them from the pa; but Ngatimamoe, thanks to Kiti, were well informed of their movements, and before they could reach the top, came pouring over the ridge, filling the air with their yells of defiance, and raining down their dreaded spears upon the advancing ranks. Rakai tauwheke kept well in front, and succeeded in warding off every weapon aimed against him, and finally reached the top of the hill, where he was soon joined by others, and there, by a prodigious display of valour, he completely routed the enemy, who broke and fled in every direction. Tu te uretira pursued after Tu ma taiao, a Ngatimamoe chief married to a sister of Maru, and would have caught him but for an accident to his foot, which obliged him to give up the chase. As he did so he called out to his flying foe: “It is only this painful foot prevents my overtaking you.” To which the other sneeringly replied: “Are you the one who can catch by morning the moving feet, swift as the raupo swaying in the wind?” “Ah!” said Tu te uretira, “Can you escape by morning the cutting toetoe of Turau moa?” No vain boast, as he afterwards proved.
Among those who fell upon this occasion was Kana te pu, who had sadly misread the omens. In his island home at Rakiura he dreamt that he
caught a white crane, which kicked him in the chest while vainly struggling to get free. Interpreting this dream to mean that he was destined to overcome some famous Ngai Tahu warrior, he went to a neighbouring stream to bind the omen, and then eager to distinguish himself summoned his followers and took his departure for the seat of war. In the crisis of the battle when Rakai tauwheke was slaying those to the right and left of him with his taiaha, Kana te pu, watching his opportunity, sprang upon his shoulders, and held him so firmly that he could not draw his arms back again. He tried in vain to shake him off, but by a sudden movement of his hands he jerked the point of his weapon against the head of his opponent, and then, by a violent contortion of the body, succeeded in inflicting a mortal wound, and the white crane fell dead at his feet.
After the defeat of Ngatimamoe at Te Whae, or battle of the ray-barbed spears, peace was restored for some years, and Ngar Tahu were permanently settled at Wairau.
But trouble was brewing for Ngatimamoe in a quarter whence it was least expected.
For many years two Ngai Tahu chiefs had lived amongst them, and having married their women were regarded as being thoroughly identified with them. One appears to have been of a moody sullen disposition whilst the other was quite the reverse, and made himself so popular that he was elected chief of the hapu with whom he lived. Apoka lived a solitary life with his two wives and a few slaves while Tu te uretira ruled a pa containing three hundred Ngatimamoe. Apoka's ground was too poor to cultivate and game rarely frequented the woods in his neigbourhood. He was forced to depend for subsistence on fern root. He bore his privations cheerfully till his suspicions were aroused that his wives partook of better fare than they chose to set before him. He daily noticed that their breath gave evidence of their having eaten some savoury food. He remarked that although they paid frequent visits to their relatives who resided at a place celebrated for the variety and plenty of its supplies, they never brought anything to vary the sameness of his diet. He was convinced these visits were made to replenish secret stores concealed from him by his wives at the suggestion of their people, who perhaps thought that if he once tasted the good things of Waipapa he might advise his tribe to take possession of it by force. His wives when questioned indignantly denied that they ate anything better than the food given to their lord. Convinced, however, that they deceived him, and brooding over his wrong, he resolved to seek his cousin's advice. On drawing near the settlement he found Tu te uretira in the midst of a large kumera plantation urging on the labours of a hundred men. His cousin asked whether he should cause the men to desist from
their work and to adjourn to the pa to listen to whatever he might have to say. “No,” replied Apoka, “my business is with you alone, let the men continue their work.” The two then visited the tuahu, where they performed certain rites, and then retired to the veranda of the chief's house, where one of his wives had arranged some food for the refreshment of the visitor. Tu te uretira blessed the food, and then invited his cousin to partake of it, begging him to refresh himself, and then tell him his business before the people returned from the field to prepare a feast in his honour. Apoka bent his head a long time in silence, and then said, “I am stupefied, I am amazed at the variety of food;” then pointing to each basket before him in succession he asked what they contained. He then resumed his silence, and fixing his eyes on the ground remained in that position for some hours. He was roused from his reverie by the arrival of the tribe bringing the feast they had prepared, and which they set down in little piles before him. He made the same answer to all their pressing invitations to eat, “I am overcome, I am astonished, I cannot eat.” “But how is it,” enquired his cousin, “that you who married Ngatimamoe women should express such astonishment at the every-day fare of that people, surely you enjoy the same advantages as myself by your connection with them?” In reply Apoka told him his suspicions respecting his wives, which had received confirmation by what he had seen during his visit. Tu te uretira advised him to refer the matter to the elders of the tribe at Wairau who would be only too glad to take up his quarrel that they might dispossess Ngatimamoe of Waipapa. Apoka, satisfied with the advice, rose and returned fasting to his home, where his wives brought him the usual meal, of which he partook, and then retired to rest. To lull any suspicions that might arise respecting the object of his visit to Wairau, he set off for Waipapa early the next morning accompanied by a slave bearing his fishing tackle. The canoes were already launched when he arrived, and all the men were about starting on a fishing expedition. On seeing him, however, the principal chief of the place gave immediate orders that the canoes should be drawn up, and that everyone should return to the pa out of respect to his son-in-law. But when Apoka assured him that his only object in coming was to go with them, and that he would be disappointed unless they went, the canoes were manned and they all started for the fishing ground. Only two fishes were caught, and these by Te Apoka. The whole party were much annoyed at their want of success, and regarded it as an ill omen. On landing, his friends begged Apoka to remain and partake of their hospitality, but he refused to stay and ordered his servant to bring the fish and to follow him. The first thing he did when he got home was to hang the fish up on the tuahu as an offering to his atua. He then ordered his wives to prepare a quantity of fern-root as
he intended to take a long journey. When his arrangements were completed, he took one fish, and fastening it to the end of a rod, bore it on his shoulder to Wairau. His tribe no sooner saw him than they recognized the symbol which indicated a troubled mind, and immediately guessed his errand. They gave him a hearty welcome and crowded eagerly round to hear the story of his wrongs. As he detailed the various circumstances their indignation rose higher and higher, and when he proposed to lead them against the Ngatimamoe young and old shouted with delight. It was agreed that the close relationship existing between himself and his wives shielded them from punishment, but that the insult they had offered must be wiped out by the blood of their tribe. Fearing to go near Tu te uretira lest the enemy should be warned, they took a very circuitous route and came upon the doomed pa at dawn. Apoka knowing it was the custom of the place to go early every day to fish, placed his men in ambush round the pa; directing Uhikore, a warrior famed for his bravery, to lie in wait under the principal chief's canoe. His arrangements were scarcely completed before Paua himself appeared. He was a very tall man, and so powerful that, unaided, he could launch a war canoe. He placed his shoulder against the bow of his canoe to push it as usual into the water, when Uhikore rose and felled him to the ground. The cry that Paua was killed struck terror into the hearts of the Ngatimamoe, and ere they could recover themselves the place was stormed and taken. A few only escaped; the rest were either eaten or reduced to slavery.*
Apoka, whose hatred seemed implacable, resolved to destroy that portion of Ngatimamoe over whom Tu te uretira ruled. He sent Uhikore clothed in the spoils of Paua to inform him of his design. As he approached, the garments he wore were recognized by Paua's relations, who bewailed his sad fate with loud lamentations. Deserted by Tu te uretira, who returned with Uhikore to the camp of his victorious countrymen, and dreading an attack, the Ngatimamoe abandoned the settlements, and fled down the coast towards Kaikoura, where they remained undisturbed for some years. Having chosen a strong position at Peketa, on the hill-side at the mouth of the Kahutara, they built a fortified pa, and being joined by other sections of the tribe, they were emboldened to attack a fighting party of the Ngai Tahu. They succeeded in capturing all the canoes but one, that of Te Kane, which escaped with the loss of the most of the crew. This led to a renewal of hostilities between the two tribes; a battle was fought at Opokihi, and again on the banks of the Kahutara, in both which engagements Ngatimamoe were defeated. They then retired within their fortifications, and Ngai Tahu laid siege, but failed for many months to effect an entrance. A council of chiefs
[Footnote] * Fall of Waipapa is placed by some before the battle of Ika a whaturoa.
was then held, at which Rakai tauwheke proposed to draw the enemy out by stratagem. His plan was approved of, and he proposed to carry it out on the following morning. Putting on two feather-mats, and armed with a patu paraoa, he went before dawn to the beach, and entering the surf threw himself down and allowed the waves to carry him backwards and forwards, occasionally raising his arm a little that it might appear like a fin. The sentinels soon took notice of the dark object in the water, which they concluded must be either a seal or a yoxing whale. The cry of “He ika moana! he ika moana!” brought the whole pa to their doors, and a general rush towards the beach followed, each striving to secure the prize. The pa was so close to the shore that the people did not hesitate to open the gates, and the foremost man plunged into the surf, but before he could discover his mistake the supposed fish rose and struck him dead. The alarm was immediately given, and the crowd fell back within the stockade and the scheme failed. Weakened and wearied by the war, the two tribes laid down their arms and made peace, which continued till broken by Manawa's raid on Omihi.
The Ngatimamoe at that place were partly ruled by Takiauau, a Ngai Tahu and nephew of Te Rangi whakaputa, who was related to the former tribe on the mother's side. For some reason Manawa attacked these people. Having approached the pa with six companions for the purpose of reconnoitring, he caught sight of the tu ao kura, or head ornament of Rakaimomona, father of Tukiauau, who was sitting outside his house. Manawa hurled a spear in that direction and pierced the old man through the heart, then without being aware of what he had done, he returned to join the main body of his followers, resolving to attack the pa at dawn. Within the pa all was confusion, the death of Rakaimomona produced a panic, and it was decided to evacuate the place during the night, but in order to conceal their intentions from the enemy, they left fires burning in every house. Manawa, ignorant of what had happened, cautiously approached at dawn to invest the place, but not seeing anyone moving about, he sent scouts to the top of a neighbouring hill from which the pa could be overlooked, and they soon returned with the intelligence that the place was deserted. Manawa immediately returned to Waipapa and reported what had happened to Maru, whc offered to follow the fugitives and to bring them back; his secret reason for doing this being that his Ngatimamoe connections might have an opportunity of avenging Rakaimomona's death at some future time. He found Tukiauau at Tutae putaputa where he was preserving his father's head, which he intended to keep, according to custom, at one end of his house, where, surrounded by mats, he and his children could look upon it, and think the old man was still amongst them. Maru urged Tukiauau not
to go any further, but to build his pa where he was, at Pakihi. This he consented to do, and Maru returned home. Not long afterwards a circumstance occurred which indicates the existence of such a curious state of things, that it is hard to understand how any tribe could exist when subjectto such internal disorders, and where its leading members were animated by such opposite motives.
Maru's daughter Rakai te kura was betrothed in infancy to Te Rangi tauhunga, son of Te Rangi whakaputa; notwithstanding this, she married with her father's consent Tu a keka; this so incensed Te Rangi whakaputa that, on hearing of it, he went straight to Maru's enclosure and killed one of his servants, Tu manawa rua, right before his face. So gross an outrage could not be patiently borne, and Maru sought the protection of Tukiauau with whom he remained till Te Rangi whakaputa was forced by the Ngai Tahu, who regretted the absence of a favourite chief, to go and ask him to come back. On his arrival at Pakihi Maru presented him with a large poha or kelp-vessel full of preserved birds, which was called Tohu raumati. Te Rangi whakaputa, while accepting it, refused to allow it to be opened, saying, “It shall be for you Maru when you return to us.” As soon as Maru did reach Waipapa he proposed that the poha should be eaten on the war path, as they had a death to avenge. Maru could not kill the man who insulted him, nor any of his people, but he hoped that in fighting the common enemy some of Te Rangi whakaputa's kin would be killed, and so payment for his murdered servant and injured honour would be obtained. Ngai Tahu, always eager for war, responded to his invitation and followed him to the attack of Kura te au, a pa belonging to Ngaitaka. It was taken, and amongst the prisoners was Hine Maka, a woman of rank, who was brought to Maru in order that he might put her to death; but instead of doing so he gave her in marriage to his son, and when asked the reason for this strange act his reply was, “When my descendants, the offspring of this marriage, are taunted with being slaves on the mother's side, the particulars will be enquired into, and then it will be found that the mother was taken prisoner when the death of my father was being avenged, so that the memory of my father's death having been avenged will be better preserved by sparing this woman than by killing her.”
It was about this time that Ngai Tahu had a visit from a celebrated Ngatimamoe chief Te Rangitauneke, who lived at Ohou near the Opihi river. He came as the champion of his tribe for the purpose of challenging Manawa to single combat with spears. But Manawa's friends would not allow him to accept the challenge, fearing that he might be killed. Maru, however, was allowed to take it up, and at the appointed time, in the presence of the assembled warriors, the two chiefs encountered each other.
Rangitauneke was the first to hurl his spear, which Maru parried; then Maru, not wishing to kill him, threw his spear in such a manner as to pass between his legs and through his apron. Te Rangitauneke acknowledged himself beaten and returned home, where he was, shortly after, reported to be killed at Upokopipi, having been surprised by his enemies while sleeping with a woman in the grass outside his pa. His atua matamata, however, came to his rescue and licked up his blood, when he recovered and re-entered the pa, now in his enemies' hands; having routed them he set fire to the place, and retired with friends towards the south, where, after many encounters with Ngai Tahu, he eventually died at Waihopai.
During the peace which followed the taking of Kura te au, the most friendly intercourse existed between the various Maori communities; to such an extent did this prevail that Manawa even ventured to visit Tukiauau, whose father he had killed a few years before. The object of the visit was to see the far-famed beauty Te ahua rangi, daughter of Tu whakapau, with a view to making at some future time a proposal of marriage on behalf of his son Te rua hikihiki. He did not conceal from his own people that he hoped, by means of this marriage, to secure the Ngatimamoe hapu, to which the beauty belonged, as his son's serfs. The idea tickled the fancy of his followers, who, while employed fastening the side-boards of his canoe preparatory to his departure, could not refrain from joking about the people who were so soon to become their chief's pori. “Eh! this is a grand idea,” said one. Ah! said another, “wait till you have successfully snared the thick-necked bird of Hika roroa.” The visit passed off pleasantly, and Manawa was returning home; the people were flocking to the beach side of the pa to wish him good-bye, when Te Rangi whakaputa hearing some one sobbing, turned round and saw it was Tukiauau. “Are you a woman that you cry?” “No,” said he, “I am only grieving at my brother's departure.” “Beware!” was the reply. “Do not use green flax, but whitau. Do not take the foremost nor the hindermost, but the one in the middle, kopu para para, the star of the year himself. Do not divulge this hint of mine.” The suggestion, so treacherously made by Manawa's friend and companion in arms, was not forgotten, as the sequel will show. Having waited an appropriate time, Manawa returned to Pakihi to obtain the formal consent of Tu whakapau to his daughter's marriage with his son. Accompanied by 100 followers he approached the pa, being welcomed with the customary greetings. Amongst his party were Maru's brother and several other relations of his; these were led by Hine umutahi to her house, while the rest were shown into a large house set apart for their reception. Manawa was the last to enter the pa, and as he bent his head in passing through the low gateway, Tukiauau, who was standing just inside it, struck him a violent blow with
a stone axe. Manawa staggered forward, but before he reached his companions he received a still more violent blow on the head. Immediately he got into the house the door was closed, and the old chief, after wiping the blood from his face, addressed his men. He told them that their case was hopeless. Caught in a trap and surrounded by overpowering numbers they must prepare to die; all that he desired was that an attempt should be made to convey to the Ngai Tahu tidings of their cruel fate. Many volunteered for the dangerous service. One having been chosen from the number, Manawa, after smearing his forehead with the blood from his own wound, charged him to be brave, and committing him to the care of his atuas sent him forth. Hundreds of spears were aimed at the messenger, who fell transfixed before he had advanced a pace. Again and again the attempt to escape was repeated, but in vain. The imprisoned band grew dispirited, and Manawa failed to obtain a ready response to his call for more volunteers. At length a youth closely related to him offered to make a last attempt. The moment was propitious; the enemy, certain of success, guarded the door with less vigilance. Smeared with the dying chief's blood, and charged with his last message to his family and tribe, Tahua sprang forth; warding off the spears hurled at him and evading his pursuers among the houses and enclosures he reached the outer fence, over which he climbed in safety and turned to rush down the hill. But the only path bristled with spears. His enemies were pressing upon him. One chance for life remained. The pa stood on the edge of a cliff; by leaping down upon the beach below he might escape. He made the attempt; and a shout of triumph rose from his foes when they saw his body extended upon the sands; but their rage knew no bounds when he sprang up, and in a loud voice defied them to track the swift feet of the son of Tahu. To allay the suspicions of those whom he met as he fled along the coast, he gave out that he was returning for something forgotten at the last camping-place, and thus successfully passed on to Waipapa. The Ngatimamoe now proceeded to kill and eat the victims of their treachery.
The Ngai Tahu were quite unmanned by the startling intelligence brought by Tahua. After Manawa's friendly reception on a previous visit to Pakihi, they were unprepared for this act of revenge for the death of Tukiauau's father. They determined to let a year pass before they avenged the death of their chief, fearing lest a panic might seize them should they fight too soon on ground where blood dear to them had been so recently spilt. They preferred waiting till the grass had overgrown the oven in which Manawa was cooked, and hidden all traces of his sad fate. When that time arrived a war party was summoned, and it was decided to proceed by sea. All the chiefs except Te Kane were ready on the appointed day, and he was told to
follow. Vexed at being left behind he urged his men to hasten the fittings of his canoe, and as soon as they were completed he launched forth and sailed in quest of his friends. On the second day he saw their fires, but passing by them landed on a point which served to conceal his canoe, but from which he could watch the Ngatimamoe pa. Seeing the enemy leaving the shore to fish in the morning he waited till they anchored, and then, issuing from his retreat, charged down upon them. He succeeded in capturing one canoe, and having killed all on board except the chief, he rowed back to the place where he had last seen his comrade's fires. They took him at first for an enemy and were not a little surprised when they recognized the very man whom they were waiting for. Seeing he had a prisoner, they called to ask who he was. “Tukaroua,” replied Kane. “He is my brother-in-law,” shouted Maru, who came running down to the edge of the water with a mat* to cover him. Kane, fearing his life would be spared, stooped down and bit off his right ear and ate it. “Oh! oh!” cried the man. “Aha,” said Kane. “Did Manawa cry out when he was struck?” and stooping down, he bit the other ear off. The brother-in-law seeing Kane's determination to retaliate Manawa's death upon the prisoner, reluctantly gave him up to be eaten.
The next day Ngai Tahu laid seige to Pakihi, but its strong position baffled every effort made to take it. Food failed besiegers and besieged. The Ngai Tahu were about to retire, when Tu te rangi apiapi who was related to persons in the pa, hit upon a plan for its destruction. Without divulging his design he asked permission to visit the Ngatimamoe for the ostensible purpose of offering conditions of peace. He was well received by the besieged and his visits became frequent and long continued. The Ngai Tahu grew impatient at the delay and wanted to know how he was to effect his object. “Wait,” he said, “till a nor'wester blows, and then seize the opportunity afforded to you.” When the wind blew from the desired quarter, Tu te rangi apiapi went as usual and seated himself in the doorway of a kauta, near the lower end of the pa and on the windward side. Having procured one of the long stones with which the women prepared the fern-root, he fastened one end to a piece of green flax and put the other into a fire; when it was red hot he watched his opportunity and slung it into the thatch of an adjoining house. A cry of fire soon arose. The unsuspected perpetrator of the deed rushed out to assist the crowds who were trying to extinguish the flames, but in his apparent haste to pull off the burning thatch, he threw it in such a manner that the wind might blow it on to the other houses, and in a few moments the whole place was involved in the
[Footnote] * If a chief wished to spare a particular prisoner he threw one of his garments over him.
conflagration. Under cover of the smoke, the Ngai Tahu entered and a general massacre ensued. Amongst those who fled was Tu mataiao. Tu te uretira, mindful of his former boast, pursued after him, and this time caught him. “Let me live,” he begged. “Ah! was it not you who said I could not catch by morning the feet moving like the swift quivering raupo? Come with me to the camp.” Arrived there, Maru beckoned for Tu mataiao to be brought to his side, where he made room for him upon his mat. The poor wretch thought his life was now safe, when to his dismay Maru the merciful rose up, and, addressing the tribe, said—“Here, take your food, only take care first to burn off the skin that has nestled beside that of your sister.” Tu mataiao was then seized and put to death and eaten.
Weakened by successive defeats the Ngatimamoe gradually retired southwards, and we do not hear of their making any very determined stand between the fall of Pakihi, or Pari whakatau, and the great battle on the banks of the Aparima thirty years afterwards, when their forces were completely annihilated, although constant petty encounters between the two contending tribes continued up to the very last. It was during this interval that the fugitives from Pakihi are said to have lived in caves, where traces of their occupation are shown in the rude drawings overlying those of a more ancient date; the reason given for their choosing such temporary shelter being that they thought they were less likely to be attacked, and if they were they would be in a better position to escape. Tukiauau, who escaped with his son and a few followers, separated from the main body of fugitives and went down to the Waihora lake where he built a pa. While there his son Koroki whiti made the acquaintance of Haki te kura, the daughter of the chief whose pa stood at the mouth of the Taiari. This maiden, unknown to her friends, used to meet her lover on the sands when the tide was low, and these clandestine meetings continued up to the time of Tukiauau's departure further south; for, hearing rumours of Ngai Tahu movements, he became alarmed and determined to place himself beyond pursuit. Accordingly he abandoned his pa at Waihora and embarked with his followers in a large war canoe. As they were passing below her father's pa, Haki te kura, eager to join her lover, jumped off the cliff into the water, but in doing so either fell upon a rock or on the edge of the canoe and was killed. Tu wiri roa, overwhelmed with grief and rage, swore to destroy the man who was the cause of his daughter's death. Waiting for a while to lull suspicion he followed in Tukiauau's wake, but could not for a long time discover his retreat, which was at length betrayed by the smoke of a fire on the island of Rakiura. Concealing himself behind some islets he waited till a canoe, manned by a large number of persons, came out to fish;
when they had anchored, and their attention was fixed upon their lines, Tu wiri roa bore down upon them and cut off their escape. Taken unawares without their weapons the crew were easily overpowered and put to death, and all their companions on shore soon after shared their fate.
It does not appear that Waitai, after separating himself from the main body of Ngai Tahu and fixing his residence in the south, was ever as successful in his encounters with Ngatimamoe as those whom he deserted; whilst they made a clean sweep of their opponents driving them steadily down the coast before them, Waitai seems to have been content to plant stations here and there amongst Ngatimamoe without attempting their subjugation. We find him in alliance with Te Rangi tau neke, and joining with him in expeditions against Te Kapuwai or Waitaha who were still numerous inland. Thirty years after the conquest of the northern part of the island, Ngatimamoe were still so strong in the south that they threatened the existence of the Ngai Tahu settlements there.
Amongst the most noted chiefs who followed in Waitaha's wake was Te Wera, who for a time occupied a strong position at the mouth of the Waikouaiti river. He is more distinguished for his achievements against his own tribe in the south than against the common enemy. He finally settled at Rakiura, where he lived principally on seal's flesh and grew very fat. At the “Neck” a place called “the Fright of Te Wera” is pointed out where his first encounter with a seal took place; when he confessed that he, who never knew what fear was in any battle with men, felt terrified then. On his death-bed he advised his family to return to the main land, “that they might lie on a fragrant bed, and not on a stinking one like his.” An oven in his estimation being preferable to a grave.”
Wharau nga pu raho nui.
We now enter on the second period of the Ngai Tahu occupation, the first having closed with the fall of Pakihi and the dispersion of its inhabitants. The invaders now held entire possession of the country from Wairau southwards as far as Waihora, and occupied fortified pas here and there throughout the Ngatimamoe country as far south as Rakiura.
The second period opens with the arrival, about the year 1727, of a party of young chiefs at Kaiapoi, known as the Wharaunga puraho nui, or colonising noblemen, consisting of the sons of the principal Ngai Tahu chiefs, some of whom had been brought up in the other island by their Kahununu relations. Amongst them were the sons of Turakautahi. This chief had selected Kaiapoi as his residence, where he established a reputation for hospitality—a virtue which on his death-bed he enjoined his posterity to continue for ever the practice of.
Taking Possession of the Land.
These young chiefs having ascertained from persons familiar with the physical features of the country the names of the various localities, proceeded to divide the unallotted part of the country amongst themselves. And their procedure on this occasion is of particular interest, as it serves to illustrate one method by which the Maoris acquired title to land.
Kakapo skins were at that time highly prized, and every one of the party was desirous to secure a preserve for himself. As they approached the mountain known as Whata arama, they each claimed a peak of the range. “That is mine,” cried Moki, “that my daughter, Te ao tukia, may possess a kilt of kakapo skins to make her fragrant and beautiful.” “Mine,” cried Tane tiki, “that the kakapo skins may form a kilt for my daughter Hine mihi.” “Mine,” cried Hikatutae, “that the kakapo skins may form a girdle for my daughter Kaiata.” Moki, one of the party, had his servant with him, who whispered in his ear, “Wait, do not claim anything yet;” and then the man climbed up into a tree. “What are you doing?” said the rest of the party. “Only breaking off the dry branches to light our fire with;”—but he was in reality looking out for the mountain Turakautahi had told his master was the place where the kakapo were most abundant. Presently he espied the far-famed peak. “My mountain Kura tawhiti!” he cried. “Ours!” said Moki. The claim was at once recognized by the other members of the exploring expedition, and Moki's descendants have ever since enjoyed the exclusive right to hunt kakapo on Kura tawhiti.
Hostilities against Ngatimamoe were renewed on the arrival of these young chiefs and the infusion of new blood into the Ngai Tahu war counsels. An expedition under the command of Moki was sent in the canoe Makawhiua against Parakakariki on the south-eastern side of the peninsula. After destroying that pa Moki returned to Koukourarata, where he landed and proceeded over the hills to Waikakahi, where Tu te kawa, who killed his grandfather's wives, was still living, though now a very old man. This chief, whose flight south has already been mentioned, settled first at Okohana because eels were plentiful there, but finding those of Waihora were of a better quality, he removed to the shores of that lake, and built a pa at Waikakahi, while his son Te Rangitamau built another at Taumutu. Surrounded by his allies and at such a great distance from his enemies, Tu te kawa thought himself quite safe; but the avenger of blood was already on his track, and he was doomed to die a violent death. The shadow of Moki's form across his threshold was the first intimation of immediate danger which the Waikakahi people had. The old chief, infirm and helpless, was found coiled up in his mats in a corner of his house, and a natural impulse prompted Moki and his brothers at the last moment to shield their
kinsman, but the avenger of blood thrust his spear between them, and plunged it into the old man's body.
Having ascertained that Te Rangitamau was away at Taumutu, and not knowing what course he might take, Moki gave orders that a watch should be kept during the night round the camp to guard against surprise, but his orders were disregarded. Te Rangitamau, whose suspicions were aroused by observing a more than ordinary quantity of smoke arising from the neighbourhood of his father's pa, set off at once for the place, which he reached after dark. Passing through the sleeping warriors he approached his father's house, and looking in saw his wife Puna hikoia sitting by the fire. Stepping in he touched her gently on the shoulder, and putting his finger to his lips as a signal to keep silence, beckoned her to come outside. There he questioned her about what had happened, and finding that she and his children had been kindly treated, he told his wife to wake Moki after he was gone, and to give him this message, “Your life was in my hands, but I gave it back to you.” Then taking off his dog-skin mat he placed it across Moki's knees, and hurried away to his own stronghold on the hill close by. When Puna hikoia thought her husband safe from pursuit, she woke Moki and gave him the message. Moki felt the mat, and was convinced the woman spoke the truth. He was greatly mortified at being caught sleeping, as it was always injurious to a warrior's reputation to be discovered off his guard. Issuing from the whare he roused his sleeping followers with the words which have since become proverbial, “Ngai tuwhaitara mata hori.” O, deafeared Tuwhaitara! The next day negociations were entered into with Te Rangitamau and peace restored between him and his kinsmen.
West Coast Maoris. Discovery of Greenstone.
It is not till the Ngai Tahu conquests reached Horowhenua that we hear anything of Ngati Wairangi, the tribe occupying the west coast, who, like Ngatimamoe and Ngai Tahu, were descendants of Tura, and crossed over to this island almost the same time with them. Hitherto they had been shut off from communication with the east coast by what were thought to be impassable natural barriers, till a mad woman named Raureka discovered a way through them. Wandering from her home this woman went up the bed of the Hokitika river, and then across what is known as Browny Pass, and thence down to the east coast. There in the neighbourhood of Horowhenua she came upon some men engaged in shaping a canoe, and taking notice of their tools remarked how very blunt they were. The men asked if she knew of any better. She replied by taking a little packet from her bosom, which she carefully unfolded, and displayed a sharp fragment of greenstone. This was the first the natives there had ever seen, and they were so delighted with the discovery that they sent a party immediately
over the ranges to fetch some, and it subsequently came into general use for tools and weapons, those made of inferior materials being discarded. Raureka's packet marks a period, though not a very distant one, seeing that if she was a co-temporary of Moki she arrived at Horowhenua about 1700.
It does not follow from this account of the discovery of greenstone that it was unknown to all in the North Island, for the Hawaikians acquired their knowledge of the existence of New Zealand from Ngahue, whose god was a sea-monster called Poutini. A woman named Hine tuaohoanga caused this man to be driven away from Hawaiki. He rode on the back of his sea-monster to Tuhua; but being pursued thither by Hine tuaohoanga, he passed on to Ao-te-aroa (North Island); but fearing it was too close, continued his voyage and settled at Arahura, where he discovered the greenstone, which was valuable enough to ensure him a safe return to Hawaiki, and it was with axes made of this greenstone that the canoes were shaped in which the first immigrants arrived. There is strong presumptive evidence that this story is a myth, but it is just possible Ngahue's monster may have been a proa or junk, as European vessels, when first seen, were called atuas by the Maoris. The descendants of Maru tuahu at Hauraki show a hei tiki, which they say he wore when he arrived in New Zealand. It has been handed down from generation to generation, being alternately in possession of his Taranaki and Hauraki descendants. It is quite possible, too, that traffic in greenstone between Ngati Wairangi and the North Island tribes bordering on Cook Straits may have been in existence for many years before it became known to Ngai Tahu.
The discovery of greenstone brought Ngati Wairangi into collision with Ngai Tahu, and blood was shed. To avenge this, Turakautahi asked Te Rangitamau to undertake the command of an expedition, which he accepted. The route chosen was up the Rakaia, with which locality Te Rangitamau was familiar. Somewhere between Kanieri and Kokatahi he fell in with Te Uekanuka, a chief celebrated as much for his enormous size as for his great courage, whom he killed. Having accomplished his object Te Rangitamau returned. The next expedition was attended with very disastrous results, being defeated by Ngati Wairangi at Mahinapua, where Tane tiki, Tu te pirirangi, and Tutae maro were slain; the survivors with difficulty effecting their retreat.
To avenge this loss a third expedition was sent under the command of Moki and Maka, who defeated Ngati Wairangi at Otuku whakaoka.
The struggle between the two tribes continued till within the last fifty years, when Tuhuru and his brother Te Pare overcame Ngati Wairangi at the battle of Paparoa, and, assisted by Te ao whakamaru and Puku, completed their destruction. The present residents on the coast are Ngai Tahu.
Raid on the South.
The sons of Turakautahi, who were eager to emulate the brave deeds of the Hataitai warriors, determined to follow up their successes and complete the conquest of the Ngatimamoe. They planned a raid on the south, and Kaweriri was placed in chief command. On crossing the Waitaki the force divided into two parts, one proceeded by an inland road, the other along the coast; by this manœuvre they succeeded in driving those of the Ngatimamoe who were not in alliance with Ngai Tahu hapus before them, till they reached Aparima, where, at Tara hau kapiti, or Wai tara mea, they were brought to bay. Both sides displayed the greatest courage, and for a while the issue of the struggle was uncertain. To the consternation of Ngai Tahu, their leader and foremost warrior, Kaweriri, was mortally wounded by Tu te makohu, and for a moment they wavered, but observing that they rallied again, that chief dreading the consequences of his deed retired from the field; but he was observed and pursued by a young warrior, Te mai werohia, who thought to earn a reputation by avenging the death of his leader. Hearing the sound of footsteps Tu te makohu turned and asked who it was that was following him. On hearing the name and recognizing it, he asked whether his pursuer was the son of Kiri teka teka (a relative of his own married to a Ngai Tahu). When told that he was, he said “Turn back, lest you fall by the hand of your mother's kinsman.” In the meantime Parakiore having recovered from the shock produced by his brother's death, was now in hot pursuit of Tu te makohu, and this parley afforded the opportunity of overtaking him. The fugitive was making his way up a steep hill-side, and already heard the hard quick breathing of his pursuer when he invoked the aid of his atua, who caused a friendly mist to descend and hide him from pursuit: reminding us of the scene on the plains of Troy, when Menelaus with vindictive strides rushed again
“On Paris spear in hand, but her involved
In mist opaque, Venus with ease divine
Ngatimamoe being defeated retired some miles up the river, where they took up a fortified position, and being still superior to their assailants in number hoped to make a successful stand. But their hopes were doomed to disappointment, for in a few days they were again attacked, and after a desperate resistance defeated with great slaughter at Teihoka, where, till quite recently, the bleaching bones witnessed to the numbers of the slain. The few who escaped fled into the forests towards the west, across the lake Te Anau.
Those portions of the tribe scattered along the coast from Otakou to the sounds, were in the course of a few years destroyed or absorbed into the
Ngai Tahu; and the Ngatimamoe, as a distinct and independent tribe, may be said to have perished at Teihoka. Those in alliance with Ngai Tahu were still numerous, but their position was felt to be so insecure that, on the return of Turakautahi's sons from their successful raid, Te Rangi ihia, a noted Ngatimamoe chief residing at Matau, determined to proceed to Kaiapoi and make lasting terms of peace with the conquerors. He was kindly received; and to cement the treaty then made, Hine hakiri, one of the ruling family of Ngai Tahu, was given to him in marriage; and his own sister, Kohiwai, was married to Hone kai, son of Te Hau. Rangi ihia resided with his wife's relations till after the birth of his son Pari, when they advised him to return, as it was their wish to embody Rangi ihia's hapu with their own and to make the boy chief of both. Te Hau and Turakautahi's sons escorted Rangi ihia to the south. On reaching home he was shocked to see one of his sisters cooking food like a common slave. When leaving her behind, he had taken care to provide such attendance as befitted her rank, and he could not account for her being reduced to such straits as to be obliged to cook her own food. Suppressing his indignation till night-fall, he took the opportunity when all was quiet of asking her why she had so demeaned herself. She then told him that, after he left, her maids married and deserted her. Seizing his weapons, Rangi ihia having ascertained where they were to be found went to the house occupied by the runaways and killed both the women. As he turned his back to go out again, one of the husbands drove a spear into his shoulder, the point breaking off against the bone. On reaching his own whare, Te Hau pulled this out with his teeth, and applied a toetoe plaster to the wound. While Rangi ihia was recovering, he unfortunately sneered at the weakness of the arm which had struck him: “Had it been my own the thrust would have been fatal.” This coming to the ears of the injured men, they scraped the end of the spear and got off the dry blood adhering to it, and, by performing incantations over it, produced symptoms of madness in Rangi ihia, who shortly afterwards died. Before his death, he turned to his friend Te Hau and said, “When I am gone, do not let my brothers live; they are bitter men, and will slay my children.” It was at Otepoti where he was being treated for his wound and died. His brothers and their people were camped at a short distance off on the other end of the bay. On calling out one day to ask how the patient was, their suspicions were roused by the way in which the answer was given. The person replying called out, “He is——,” and then paused suddenly as if being remonstrated with, finishing the sentence by saying—“gone with his wife and children.” Ngatimamoe entered the Ngai Tahu camp shortly after, when Te Hau, mindful of the dying chief's charge, fell upon his brothers, Taihua and Te Rangiamohia, and killed them.
Te Rangi ihia was buried in accordance with his own desire on the peak Te raka a runga te raki, “that his spirit might see from thence his old haunts to the southward.” His wife and children were sent back to their friends in the north, while Te Hau took up his quarters at Pukekura.
Final Destruction of Ngatimamoe.
Many years after Rangi ihia's death, his bones were carried down by a landslip to the beach, where, being picked up by a Ngai Tahu, he made a fish-hook of one, and when using this made some insolent remark about the old man on the hill holding the hapuku well. A Ngatimamoe who was present reported the words to his companions, who remarked, “The two brothers died in open fight, but this man has been dishonoured after death, and the insult must be avenged.” An opportunity occurred shortly after for accomplishing their meditated act of retaliation. A party had been sent from Pukekura to Rauone to collect fern-root. There Tane toro tika, son of Taoka and grandson of Manawa, a young chief of very high rank, was surprised and taken prisoner; on being carried to the presence of Te Maui, that chief seeing him said, “This comb-fastening is equal to that comb-fastening,” and thereupon killed him. Tai kawa, a Ngai Tahu warrior, immediately after the deed, came upon the band of Ngatimamoe and asked what had become of the prisoner. When told that they had killed him, he said, “You have done foolishly, for not a soul of you will now be spared; you will be banished to the haunts of the Moho, and in the depths of the forest will be your only safety.”
This threat was soon after carried into effect by Te Hau, who, after a series of engagements, drove the remnants of Ngatimamoe into the dense forests that cover the south-western coast, where further pursuit was useless. Traces of these fugitives have been met with up to a very recent date.
About fifty years ago Te Rimu rapa, while on his way to plunder a sealing-station, discovered a woman who called herself Tu ai te kura; finding that she was a Ngatimamoe, he cruelly killed and devoured her on the spot. About six years afterwards Te wae wae surprised two men while he was out eel-spearing near Aparima, but they escaped before he could catch them. In 1842 a sealing party, while pulling up one of the sounds, observed smoke issuing from the face of a cliff. Climbing to the spot they found a cave evidently just deserted. It was portioned across the middle—the inner part being used as a sleeping place, the outer for cooking. They found a handsome feather-mat, a patu paraoa, some fish-hooks, and some flax-baskets in process of making. An attempt was made to pursue the late inmates, but it had to be abandoned, for the undergrowth in the forest was so dense, and the paths so numerous, that the pursuers were afraid of
being lost in the maze or falling into an ambuscade; they, therefore, returned to the boat, carrying with them the articles they found in the cave. These were exhibited at Otakou, the Peninsula, and Kaiapoi. The mat was sent to Otaki, and the patu paraoa was eventually given to me by Te muru, an old chief at Port Levy.
Aperahama Hutoitoi of Nga whakaputaputa affirms that four years ago, when sealing in the sounds, he saw smoke in the distance, and visiting the spot the next day observed the footprints of several persons on the sands, evidently Maoris from the shape of the feet.
Having suffered so cruelly from Ngai Tahu, the survivors of the persecuted tribe seem to be always in a state of flight, imagining that their ancient foes are still in pursuit. Though the country has of late years been well explored by “prospecting” parties without any people being found, it is just possible that a small remnant may still remain secreted in the recesses of that inaccessible region.
No sooner were they freed from anxiety about the common foe than old feuds revived, and fresh quarrels broke out between the different hapus and sections of hapus of the Ngai Tahu, till the whole country presented such a scene of anarchy and strife, that it is hardly possible to give a connected account of the innumerable petty contests which took place at this period.
One event which occurred on the peninsula, and which is almost comic in its ghastliness, will serve as a specimen of the warfare in those times. Ngatiwairua and Ngai Tuwhaitara being involved in a quarrel, Te Wera took up the cause of the former, and in the fight at Tara ka hina a tea killed Kiri mahinahina. This man was a tohunga who taught history incorrectly. It was he who told the younger Turakautahi that Tiki made man, whilst the fathers had always said that it was To. Te Wera adopted a novel method of preventing his teaching surviving him or his spirit escaping and perverting the mind of any other tohunga. Having made an oven capable of containing the entire body, he carefully plugged the mouth, nose, ears, and rectum, and then cooked and ate the heretical teacher.
The history of Ngai Tahu from this period till the taking of Kaiapoi by Te Rauparaha in 1827, is but a repetition on a smaller scale amongst themselves of the scenes enacted during their struggle with Ngatimamoe, and may very well be omitted from this paper, which does not profess to be anything more than a brief sketch. It may prevent misapprehension if I here state that in tracing the history of Ngai Tahu, I have purposely avoided alluding to the exploits of particular hapus,—a favourite practice of the Maori annalist, but fraught with confusion to the European reader, who would be sorely puzzled amongst the multiplicity of so-called tribes, to know which
belonged to the invaders and which to the invaded. I have classed the allies, hapus, and sections of hapus of each tribe under one common appellation: Maoris may say I am wrong, but I appeal from them to the common sense of my English readers, and am hopeful of their verdict in my favour.