At the risk, perhaps, of becoming tedious, and of being accused of repeating matter, I now give the original answers of my correspondents to the questions which I drew up for Professor Fischer; and I take this opportunity of thanking them for the trouble they have taken. I set out the questions in full, in order that the answers may be fully appreciated, and in the hope that their publication may induce other Maori scholars to send me further information.
Questions asked by Mr. F. R. Chapman, of Dunedin, for Professor Fischer, of Freiburg.
You are requested to return this paper with answers to these questions, giving all possible details, and stating any facts within your knowledge besides those touched upon in these questions.
1. How did the natives make the figures known as hei-tiki, and what was their method of working greenstone?
2. In the process did they use chipping-instruments, or was anything done by grinding?
3. Are these objects idols or gods, or the portraits of ancestors, or what do they represent?
4. Are the existing hei-tiki the result of the patient labour of modern or comparatively modern people, or are they objects remaining in the hands of the Maoris from a former age, the relics of an earlier vanished culture?
5. Is such a vanished culture to be inferred as well from these highlyworked objects as from the fine wood-carvings of this race? Is it supposed that they came to New Zealand with a knowledge of these advanced arts, or that they have so advanced themselves here?
6. Do the natives continue to make these objects? Do they make them in their ancient fashion or by means of modern appliances?
7. Have the Maoris any traditions or superstitions on the subject of or with reference to these objects? Are individual hei-tiki treated with reverence? Are they highly prized by Maoris beyond their money value?
8. Do the Maoris make other objects in greenstone than hei-tiki, and articles of actual use, such as axes, chisels, &c.?
9. How many varieties of greenstone do the Maoris recognise? What are their names and description, and what peculiar use or value has each?
10. Where is greenstone found in sitâ in a virgin state? Whether in more than one place?
11. Is a rusty yellow-coloured nephrite known in New Zealand? Is a peculiar nephrite with thread-like streaks, having a beautiful silky lustre like asbestos, common in New Zealand?
12. Is the true name of the South Island “Te Wai Pounamu,” The Water of Greenstone, or “Te Wahi Pounamu,” The Place of Greenstone?
13. Have the Maoris any traditions as to when they first found and began to work it?
14. Have the greenstone objects occasionally seen in other oceanic islands been carried from New Zealand, or is the stone native elsewhere?
15. Are the greenstone and other hard-stone axes first chipped to shape and then polished, or are they all ground to shape from water-worn stones?
16. Can you state any special native customs, superstitions, traditions, or other lore relating to greenstone, or objects of greenstone?
17. Was greenstone really the object of Rauparaha's invasion of this Island?
18. Are there any other traditions of wars on this account?
Answers of John White, Author of the “Ancient History of the Maori.”
10. The pounamu was found in blocks in the rivers and creeks at the south end of the South Island. Some was also found in the creeks which run into the lakes of that part of New Zealand. Some was also found in the creeks and sounds in that part of the South Island.
13. Tradition says that a chief called Nga-hue was driven out of Hawaiki by Hine-tu-o-hoanga; that Nga-hue, after landing on various islands, at last arrived in New Zealand, and, having found the pounamu on the South Island of New Zealand, on his return to Hawaiki he took some pounamu with him, and with axes made from that greenstone some of the canoes were made which came over to these Islands with Kupe, Turi, Hotu-roa, Nga-toro-i-rangi, and others.
14. All that can be said on the question is answered in No. 13.
1, 2, and 15. The pounamu was broken as best they could break it into pieces when in boulders or large blocks, but it was not chipped— it was bruised to take any angle or point off. It was then rubbed into shape with a stone called mataihona, takiritane, hoanga, onetai, patutane, and ureonetea, with chips of kiripaka as a drill. These stones were called by different names in the localities (by the natives of the districts), in which they were obtained. In some instances a piece of pounamu would be found of a flat or slab shape. The mataihona was then used to cut a line on each side of the slab, and when the cut was sufficiently deep the slab was broken into pieces, thus cut into a rough form of a mere. The ureonetea, takiritane, patutane, and kiripaka were used as drills to cut holes in the pounamu to form a hei-tiki, and when the holes were made to form the arms and legs of the Tiki then the mataihona was used to form the Tiki. The drill used to make the hole in the mere was made with kiripaka and ureonetea. These were broken into spike-like shapes, and placed in the end of split wood [drill-spindle], and tied tightly, the upper end of this wood being placed in a block of timber placed in position to receive it [mouthpiece, or drill-cap]. Two stones [weights] were tied to the upper end of the drill [to steady it], the kiripaka or ureonetea being placed on the mere where the hole was to be made, and a string was wrapped round the drill above the stones [weights], and next to the block of wood [mouthpiece, or drill-cap]. These strings were pulled first one and then the other [the unwinding of one causing the other to wind round the spindle], thus giving a rotatory motion to the drill. A little of the pounded dust of the mataikina and water were put to the point of the drill at various times of the work. [Observe that Mr. White describes a piece of wood by way of a mouthpiece or drill-cap. He does not say whether it was held in the mouth or pressed down with the flat of the chin or the breast of the workman. Compare Mr. Wohlers's interesting description, and Note 3, post.]
3 and 7. These objects were not idols or gods, nor were they the portraits of ancestors, but, as the name implies, hei (for) -Tiki, or, for, or to be used as, Tiki, or to be like Tiki. The value or sacredness of these was derived from the fact of their having been worn or handled by the dead of past ages.
4 and 6. Some of the hei-tiki now seen are many hundred years old, others are of more modern date. The mode of making the hei-tiki in ancient times is that now practised.
5. They brought the knowledge with them.
8. Yes; toki (axes) and eardrops, as kurukuru kapeu, mako (of greenstone), kani (ring), porotti, and many others.
9. Many sorts of greenstone—namely, kahurangi, inanga, tangiwai,
totoweka, and fourteen others, all of which are grades less in value than the kahurangi. [I have never seen a list containing eighteen names, but I have seen some with some of the names I have collected repeated with qualifying adjectives to describe minor variations. There is one word here, totoweka, which would mean weka's blood, which does not occur in my other lists. It must be the variety with red streaks or spots.]
11. This is called totoweka [weka = the bird Ocydromus]. This, or something like it, is called inangatangiwai. [The rusty yellow-coloured nephrite for which Herr Fischer inquires is extremely rare. I have seen one piece that would answer this description. The expression inangatangiwai evidently indicates one of the numerous grades described in Answer 9, the names of two kinds being combined to describe it.]
12. “Te Wai Pounamu” is the correct name.
16. Yes, but it would fill a book of moderate size to give it. As I am bound to time in writing the Maori History I am compelled to give these answers in this very short way; but all these questions will be fully answered in the history now being compiled. [Mr. White's history had reached the completion of vol. v. when he died, and one volume has appeared since. A mass of MSS. was left, and it is to be hoped that this will some day see light. The published portion does not treat of greenstone save in the chapters incorporated from the Rev. Mr. Stack's writings, the substance of which I have incorporated in this paper.]
17. No; not in the first instance. His invasion was to obtain a home for himself and tribe, as he was being pressed by his enemies the Kahungunu, and being urged on also by his revenge for his relation Pehi.
18. Yes; but in the first instance all the wars undertaken by the natives of the North Island were for conquest of country, and consequent on their being driven out of their homes by fear of stronger enemies; but eventually it became a great point to obtain possession of a land in which the greenstone might be obtained.
Answers of the Rev. J. W. Stack, Missionary to the South Island Maoris.
[Note.—I have thought it best to leave in the signs of quantity placed by Mr. Stack over the vowels to aid pronunciation.]
1 and 2. The tools used in the manufacture of greenstone were—
(a) Kūrū Pōhātū.—A stone hammer. Nothing more than a conveniently-shaped boulder of greenstone about the size of a human skull. If the piece to be broken off was for a mere it was necessary to insure against any cracks. This was done by cutting a deep groove before striking the piece off. [I have made a large and interesting collection of stone hammers, some of which must have had wooden handles, while others were used in the hand. They are of trap, quartz, and various other stones. I have never seen one of greenstone. I have a great many hammers of very small size, evidently for very fine work. Bruising is mentioned by White and others as a mode of reducing angles and points. Two unfinished axes in the Colonial Museum, at Wellington, show admirably that bruising was used to reduce the size of the handle part.— F. R. C.]
(b) Pūrihi pōhātū.—A sharp-edged chip of trap or any other hard stone for cutting grooves. [Called a hard cutter in the text.]
(c) Hōāngū.—Sandstone or other gritty kind of stone for rubbing down the rough surface and polishing. [For this I have adopted the word “rubber,” as the words “grindstone” and “whetstone” are inapplicable. They are coarse or fine according to the work to be done.—F. R. C.]
(d) Kūrūpākū.—A micaceous stone, plentiful on the West Coast,
used for rubbing down and polishing. [See references to Brunner and Heaphy's Journal.]
(e) Mātā.—Obsidian for pointing the drill, or pirori. [I have many of these in flint and quartzite, commonly but erroneously called chert: they are in every stage of wear.—F. R. C.]
Having procured a suitable-sized piece of stone for the article to be made, the workman placed it either on the ground or on a slab of wood cut to fit it. The surface was then rubbed down with a hōāngā, the greenstone being kept constantly moistened with water. The only tools employed in forming the hei-tiki were those above mentioned.
3. They are portraits of ancestors, and were highly valued. [“Mementoes of ancestors,” used later by Mr. Stack, is a better term.—F. R. C.] It was the custom to bury them with the wearer after death, and then to remove them when the bones were taken up for final sepulture. The nearest of kin employed in the rites connected with the removal of the bones to their final resting-place became the possessor.
4 and 5. The custom of wearing the hei-tiki was probably imported from Hawaiki. During a visit to the Thames about twelve years ago, Paraone, a chief residing in Grahamstown, showed me a small illformed hei-tiki which, he said, had once belonged to Marutuahu, son of Hotunui (vide “Polynesian Mythology,” by Sir G. Grey, p. 246), one of the original immigrants from Hawaiki. One branch of the family resided near Taranaki; one at the Thames. This hei-tiki had passed backwards and forwards from one branch to the other during successive generations, the relatives who performed the ceremony of hāhūngā taking possession of it each time. If this particular hei-tiki was a fair specimen of the workmanship of the original settlers, the Maoris in later years had improved in the art of making them. Both the knowledge of macrving wood and working in stone must have been imported by the original immigrants from Hawaiki. Most of the hei-tiki in existence were made before the beginning of this century, and are of comparatively modern workmanship. As far as I can recollect, the best specimens I have seen were those said to be about a hundred or a hundred and fifty years old.
6. No. Since intercourse with Europeans became constant (say, 1820), the Maoris have ceased to make hei-tiki. They were difficult to make, only the most skiful tohungas, such as could macrve and tattoo, undertaking the manufacture. Meres, axes, pendants, &c., required little skill, and their manufacture was the favourite occupation of elderly gentlemen.
7. They are very highly prized as heirlooms for having been actually in contact with the sacred bodies of their revered and noted ancestors.
8. Axes, chisels, adzes, meres, ear-pendants, as well as hei-tiki.
9. Seven different varieties:—
(a) Inanga.— A whitish stone, not much prized, rather opaque. [I cannot quite assent to the expression “not much prized,” as I have been informed by many good authorities that it comes next to kahurangi, which is the rarest stone.—F. R. C.]
(b) Kāhōtēa.—A dark-green with spots of black through it, rather more opaque than the other varieties. [I presume the expression “spots of black” would include patches and streaks. A large number of chisels, &c., of this description have been found at Murdering Beach. Vide post, Dr. Shortland's answers, tuapaka.—F. R. C.]
(c) Kāwākāwā.—A very bright green; semi-transparent. [This is the beautiful greenstone of commerce, much used by lapidaries.— F. R. C.]
(d) Aūhūngā.—Pale-green, between inanga and káwakawa. Not so transparent as the latter.
(e) Kāhūrāngī.—A darker green, without flaws or spots; semitransparent.
(f) Kahurangi.—Like the former, but with pale streaks of inanga through it.
[As kahurangi is repeated, I presume that the former is a hard clear stone, and the latter similar but with beautiful fleecy clouds in it of the whitish tint of inanga. The most beautiful piece I ever saw is in the possession of Wi Parata, of Waikanae, the grandson of the great Te Pehi.—F. R. C.]
(g) Kōkōtāngīwāi.—A soft and brittle variety found at Piopiotahi or Milford Sound, and in small pieces along the beaches to the northward of that place. Beautifully clear and transparent, with the appearance of water-drops in the texture of the stone. Hardens on exposure to the air. When first taken from the block can be worked with an ordinary knife and file.
All the other varieties of greenstone are extremely hard. When found in the river-beds the surface of the stone resembles that of the surrounding boulders, and only the trained eye can detect its presence among them.
[When free from cracks, flaws, or joints, all the kinds of greenstone save kokotangiwai or tangiwai (tear-water) are so hard that the steel point of a penknife will not scratch the stone, but will leave a metal trace.— F. R. C.]
10. Up the Arahura River and other streams between Hokitika and Greymouth, and at Milford Sound. As far as I have been able to ascertain, greenstone has only been found in detached blocks, varying in size from pebbles to rocks 20ft. square.
11. I do not know.
12. Wai Pounamu. All greenstone, till the occupation of the country by Europeans, and the consequent clearing of the forests on the West Coast, was found either in river-beds or along the beaches.
13. Vide “Polynesian Mythology,” by Sir G. Grey, K.C.B., page 132. [Already narrated.]
14. I heard from the late Tamihana te Rauparaha that when the Rev. Riwai te Ahu returned from a cruise in the Melanesia Mission vessel he brought back from some island a piece of greenstone.
15. The boulders were broken up with hammers into convenient-sized pieces, and then ground down with hōāngā.
16. I can recall nothing at present.
17. I have always been told that Rauparaha came for greenstone, Rerewaka's curse giving him a good reason to put forward for his invasion. Rerewaka was a Kaikoura chief, and after his destruction and that of his people there was no reason for Rauparaha going a hundred miles further south, unless he went, as alleged, for greenstone. Just before the European occupation of the country greenstone was fast being recognised as the medium of exchange, and the Maoris, since they became familiar with our money, have often spoken of greenstone as the Maori's money in time past. Rauparaha was shrewd enough to see the advantage of possessing an unlimited supply of the existing medium of exchange.
18. I do not know of any in particular, but I do know that in times past wars occurred from one tribe, or a section of a tribe, desiring to get possession of articles of value as ancestral relics, which were wrongly retained by others. Most of the greenstone worked up in the South Island was macrried across the Southern Alps on men's backs in a rough state. The labour of procuring the stone was very great. The tracks across the mountains were most dangerous, and some one skilled in prayers and charms always attended the party of macrriers, who led the
way, uttering petitions for safety whenever the party reached any particular difficulty. On reaching the coast the tohunga performed certain religious rites, and retired to rest alone, and in his dreams a spirit would come and indicate the spot where a stone would be found. On waking, he would summon his companions, and, spreading themselves along the river-bed, they would proceed up stream till they reached the spot indicated in the vision, when the stone was sure to be found, and received the name of the spirit who revealed its position. This method of discovery is still adopted; and I have a piece of greenstone in my possession that is known by my name, the finder, an old chief at Arahura, having found it in a place indicated to him by my spirit during the visions of the night.
Supplemental Answers by the Rev. J. W. Stack.
Dear Sir,— Duvauehelle's Bay, 31st July, 1881.
I have just received from an old Maori chief, Hakopa te Ata o Tu, at Kaiapoi, the following replies to a translation of the questions forwarded to me by Dr. von Haast. I attach great value to them, as the writer is a very intelligent man, who occupied a leading position in the Maori community here at the time of Rauparaha's invasion. James W. Stack.
1. I never saw the process of making hei-tiki being macrried on here (South Island) when I was a child. [Hakopa is at least eighty-three years old.—J. W. S.] Hei-tiki were all made in the North Island.
2. Obsidian and chips of hard stone, but no chisels, were used in making hei-tiki. Very hard stone, obsidian, and a grindstone were the tools used in shaping greenstone.
3. People never prayed to hei-tiki. They were mementoes of deceased ancestors, to remind their posterity.
9. (a) Hauhunga [hauhunga=frost, cool.—F. R. C.]; (b) kawakawa; (c) inanga; (d) kahurangi; (e) tangiwai; (f) matakirikiri—greenstone pebbles; (g) aotea—a counterfeit greenstone, opaque; often mistaken when in the river-beds by the unskilful.
10. Arahura, Waininihi, Hohonu (Taramakau), Piopiotahi, were the streams in which greenstone was formerly found.
14. When I see you I will tell you of the discovery of greenstone [Already related above.]
15. Some greenstone could not be broken by any other stone but greenstone.
Answers of Dr. Shortland, formerly Native Secretary.
1. The method of working is described in Shortland's “Southern Districts of New Zealand” (London, Longmans, 1851). Holes are drilled by a drill of native invention, the grinding apparatus being a sharppointed stick of soft wood, sand (fine, and of a biting quality). The patu, axe, implements, &c., were rubbed into form on slabs of sandstone. The supply of water for such operations dripped through a small orifice in some vessel conveniently placed. The hei-tiki was similarly fashioned by rubbing with a pointed stick, sand, and water. [The above work by my correspondent, Edward Shortland, M.A. Cantab. (a physician, who was formerly Native Secretary, and is the author of several works on New Zealand), is an admirable account of the state of the Maoris in the South Island in 1842–43, before there was a single inhabitant where the cities of Dunedin and Christchurch now stand. Visiting Waikouaiti, Dr. Shortland says, “Here I saw for the first time on a large scale the native method of grinding pounamu, or greenstone, from the rough block into the desired shape. The house belonging to the chief Koroko was like a stonecutter's shop. He and another old man were
constantly to be seen there seated by a large slab of sandstone, on which they by turns rubbed backwards and forwards a misshapen block of pounamu, while it was kept moist by water which dropped on it from a wooden vessel. While one rubbed the other smoked. They made, however, so little progress on it during my stay that it seemed probable that it would be left for some one of the next generation to finish the work. It is not, therefore, to be wondered that what has cost so much labour should be regarded as the greatest treasure of the country.” Elsewhere he says, “When procured it is fashioned and polished by rubbing it on flat blocks of sandstone. This is a work of so much labour that to finish such a weapon as that of Te Heuheu often requires two generations.” Mr. John Richard Jones, who as a boy knew Dr. Shortland at Waikouaiti, tells me that he never saw the Maoris working greenstone or making stone implements, but saw them using stone implements of black trap in building canoes.]
2. No chipping instruments were used—simply sandstone, fine sand, and water, and a stick for drilling or groove-work. Stones were reduced in size by rubbing them with laminæ of sandstone used like a saw. I have specimens of incomplete work done in this way: one where it was intended to make a pair of axes, the faces of two axes being partially complete, and the stone to be divided in twain about one-third completed.
3. They are merely grotesque representations of the human form. The name is derived from hei, which seems to mean a necklace, and Tiki, the progenitor of the human race, the Epimetheus of the Greeks. Any image of a man is known as Tiki. Their value greatly depends on their antiquity. It is the practice to bury such and other valued articles with the dead. After a time they are removed, and then are specially valued. I remember a chief excusing himself from giving me an eardrop because it was a pirau-tupapaku—i.e., a thing with a dead taint.
4. The art is of ancient times, and endured till recently.
5. The wood-macrving skill was in full force when the colony was formed. They came to New Zealand with the art, and practised it continually here.
6. Our grindstone has been used for making patus, and a cross-cut saw and sand and water for sawing blocks into slabs, after the manner of stone-cutters.
7. A celebrated eardrop (Kaukaumatea) is reported to have been brought from Hawaiki by Tama te Kapua, a chief of the Arawa Tribe, and was in the possession of the chief Te Heuheu, with whom I have conversed, but was buried with him and others in a landslip at Taupo, and has never since been recovered.
8. This is answered in No. 2.
9. I have recorded six varieties,—
(a) Kahurangi.—Bright green, translucent, the most prized; used for eardrops and other valued objects.
(b) Pipiwahairoa [Pipiwarauroa: Buller].—White and green. So named from a bird resembling it in plumage [the shining cuckoo— Chrysococcyx lucidus].
(d) Kawakawa.—Bay-green. From resemblance to leaves of a shrub of same name [Piper excelsum].
(e) Kawakawa tangiwai.—Resembles the colour of greenish glass. [This name is probably a mistake for kokotangiwai.—F. R. C.]
(f) Tuapaka.—Inferior stone; green and black intermixed. [A large number of pieces in Mr. White's collection correspond to this. It seems to have been used up for chisels and small tools. See Mr. Stack's answers—kahotea.—F. R. C.]
10. In the South Island, on the west coast, in several mountain-streams. [Dr. Shortland, in his “Southern Districts of New Zealand,” says, “Specimens of stone are found in detached blocks or pebbles… The places most renowned near which it is sought are Arahura and Ohonu [Taramakau], on the north-west coast; Wakatipu, a lake in the interior, one of the sources of the River Matau (the modern Clutha, or Molyneux); and Piopiotahi, a torrent on the south-west coast.” No white man had then seen Lake Wakatipu. The errors in this statement are elsewhere explained.—F. R. C.]
11. A dirty-yellow colour I have seen, but understood that it resulted from the action of fire. The sort with a silky lustre like asbestos is found on the west coast of the South Island. It is said to be found on the beach after heavy gales—possibly derived from some reef seaward.
12. I do not think the name Wai Pounamu was applied to the whole Island. [See on this subject a reference to Dr. Shortland's memorandum elsewhere.—F. R. C.]
13. Vide Sir George Grey's “Mythology and Traditions.” [Referred to fully ante.—F. R. C.]
14. Vide idem.
15. Made by rubbing on sandstone or otherwise, as described above.
16. Vide Sir George Grey's “Mythology and Traditions.”
17. Vide Shortland's “Traditions and Superstitions of New-Zealanders,” p. 253, ed. 2; the account of the wars being translated from a narrative by his son. The cause was a curse by Rerewaka, a chief of Kaikoura (called the Looker-on Mountains by Captain Cook), as stated to me by his son. The following-up of the war to Kaiapoi was caused by a chief or relative of Rauparahu named Te Pehi going into a large pa there in a peaceable manner with the object of obtaining a patu-pounamu as a present. He and his party were murdered. This led to the continuation of the war, and a great distrust of all natives as far as Taumutu.