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Volume 41, 1908
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He Ako Koko.


Uia te manuhiri me ko wai. Uia te manuhiri me ko wai. Ko Tu koe, ko Rongo koe, ko Whakamau-tarawa. Tahia te wananga—e. Ko Matiti, ko Matiti-kura, ko Matiti-aro.


Ko Tupato, ko Hikairo, te Kuti, te wera, te rapa, te haua. E, ko Apanui, Apanui—e! Mau ki te hoe. Tutaki—e! Mau ki te hoe. Ko te hoe nui, ko te hoe roa, ko te hoe na Matatua. Tikina ra, kaua te tai o Pakihi, kai hika mokai ko koe. Moi, moi—e! Haere mai! Ehe! Ehe! Kai tuwha!


ai ana, tataki'ana te waha o to puta. Ka rure te wahine—e! Te wahine takiri tohetohe, e rere taua. Korihi ake te ata. Karangatia, e! Haere mai! Haere mai, e te manuhiri tua-rangi. Kaore he kai o te kainga. Kai tawhiti te kai. Moi, moi—e! Haere mai! Ehe! Ehe! Kai tuwha!


Koka—e! Tahia te marae. Koka—e! Me tohutohu tu te kai. Me tohu te rua iti. Me tohu te rua rahi. Koi tae ki te whitu, me te waru. Tukutuku karere ki raro ki te whakahawea na. E! Haere mai! E te manuhiri tuarangi. Kaore he kai o te kainga. Kai tawhiti te kai. Moi, moi, e-! Haere mai! Ehe! Ehe! Kai tuwha!


Ko te wheu, ko te whare. Te whare patahi—e! Hui te rangiors. E rongo ki waho, e! Haere mai! Haere mai! E te manuhiri tuarangi. Kaore he kai o te kainga. Kai tawhiti te kai. Moi, moi—e! Haere mai! Ehe! Ehe! Kai tuwha.

On comparing a number of versions of the above koko speeches I find that part 5 is the latter portion of part 1, and should be added thereto. It will be seen that these birds were taught to cry a welcome to visitors, and to give orders that the plaza of the hamlet be swept and made presentable.

Tamati Ranapiri, of Ngati-Raukawa, states that Maoris know the sexes of some birds, and can distinguish them—i.e., the kaka, kereru, tui (koko), kokomako (syn., rearea, kopara), and huia. He says also that manu tute (quarrelsome birds) and manu taupua are always males, no matter of what species.

Manu tute is a term applied to birds that bully and drive other birds away from a food-bearing tree, as the koko are sometimes seen to drive pigeons away from a tree (tutetute = to jostle).

Manu whakakenakena is an expression applied to a bird when it causes its neck-feathers to stand up like a frill, as the koko sometimes does.

The Maoris have a belief that when the koko becomes excessively fat, as it sometimes does, it is in the habit of pecking its breast so as to cause much of the surplus fat to exude. I must decline to guarantee the truth of this statement.

That the koko is a somewhat strenuous and interfering sort of creature we know well. It has not much use for birds of other species. Some months ago, when ascending a bush-clad hill near my camp I heard a series of angry shrieks and (apparently) shocking oaths, and presently came upon a strange scene. A gentle ruru (morepork owl) was standing on the ground, and a koko was wheeling and making swift dashes at it, and evidently trying to frighten or drive it away by means of these attacks and discordant shrieks. At last the ruru fled down a gully, pursued by its assailant, who again attacked it as it sat on a branch, and the owl again fled. This process was repeated until I got tired of following them, and probably longer. The owl seemed to make no attempt to retaliate or defend itself.

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The skins of the koko (and also those of some other birds) were used as pohoi, or ear-pendants. The skins, with feathers on, but minus heads, wings, and tails, were prepared by inserting a round stick in them, and hanging them up to dry. Thus the skins assumed a cylindrical form. They were suspended from the ears.

Besides being potted and steamed in an earth-oven, the koko was often cooked after being wrapped in leaves. A favourite method was roasting before a fire. A green stick with one end cleft, split down the middle, was used as a spit. It was termed a rapa or korapa, whereas an unsplit stick used as a spit is called a kohuki. Five or more koko or other small birds were stuck in the cleft of a korapa, and the spit was stuck in the ground near a fire.

When fowlers were counting a day's takings they did not count two koko as a brace, but reckoned two birds as one, or, in some places, three as one. Hence a pu koko, or brace of koko, consisted of four birds, or, in some parts, of six birds. This was on account of their small size.

Tahei koko, or snares for taking this bird, were set all over the top branches of trees frequented by them. When visited again by the fowler, he would often find dozens of birds caught on one tree. Then would be heard the saying, “Me te raparapa tuna.” So many birds were hanging from the snares that they looked like a lot of eels hung on a stick to dry. Another such simile was applied to pigeons when so caught in large numbers: “Me te rau rangiora” (Like rangiora leaves). In this case the birds are compared to leaves of the rangiora, which are white on the under-side.

He koko kai kohe” (A kohe-eating koko). When these birds are feeding on the berries of the kohe tree they become very fat. This saying is applied to a stout person as a simile. He is compared to a koko that has fattened on kohe berries. Both the koko and pigeon eat these berries.

He koko whakamoe, ka mate te tangata” (When like a benumbed koko, men perish). Applied to sleepy-headed, lethargic persons who do not keep a good watch at night; hence they are surprised and slain by enemies. The koko gets so benumbed on frosty nights as to be unable to fly, and is then taken by hand.

Me he korokoro tui” (Like a tui's throat) is said of an eloquent speaker. This is given by Sir George Grey in his “Maori Proverbs.” I have not heard it used among Tuhoe.

Kotare (Halcyon vagans; Kingfisher).—The kingfisher is not numerous in the Tuhoe district; a few are seen, usually on the outskirts of the forest region. I have seen them pecking into dead, half-decayed tree-trunks in order to form their nests. At a place called Te Puta-kotare, at Whirinaki, these birds used to make holes for nests in a bluff overlooking a lagoon: hence the place-name. The Natives say that these birds eat lizards, and hence some persons will not use them as food. The young were in former times taken from the nest just before they could fly, and eaten by those who were not too deeply imbued with superstitious dread of consequences.

Kotuku (Herodias timoriensis; White Heron).—This bird is no longer seen in these parts, and seems to have been only occasionally seen in former times: hence the saying, “He kotuku taunga kotahi.”

In olden days the kotuku is said to have frequented a pond or lagoon at Manuoha, a very wild spot and remote, and also the Kaipo Lagoon, which is the source of the Mokau Stream, at Wai-kare Moana.

The plumes of the kotuku were highly prized by the Maori in former times, being used by chiefs for sticking in their hair. These feathers or

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plumes were known by several names, the three kinds used for the above purpose being the whaitiri, tatara, and titapu (or rau o titapu). The tatara were the outside plumes. Another Native states that the bird has four of these prized long plumes in each wing: the first one is called a kapu, and the other three are kira. Women were not allowed to wear these plumes: they were only permitted to wear the shorter ones, which had a distinctive name. If a woman were to wear one of the long plumes, all her hair would fall off. Or, as another Native put it, if a man wearing kotuku plumes is sitting among us as we partake of food, no woman may come and join in the meal. If one does so, then all her hair will fall off. But if the plumewearer takes it out of his hair and lays it down, then women may join in the meal. These hair-shedding episodes must have been truly annoying to the fair sex of neolithic New Zealand.

Tutaka states that the titapu was a very tapu object. Perhaps that was why it acted as a depilatory.

The awe kotuku are even now much prized. These are very fine and graceful feathers, of delicate texture and appearance, that overlap the tail-feathers of the kotwku.

Kukurutoki; syn., Toetoe, &c. (Sphenceacus punctatus; Fern-bird).—This bird is usually termed toetoe by the Tuboe Tribe, and kukurutoki by Ngati-Awa. It is seen flitting among the fern (bracken) and about the edges of swamps. Its ordinary cry is rendered by the Maori as “Te, te, te!” but it has other cries which are regarded as tokens of approaching good or bad fortune by Natives. For this bird is a manu tohu. By its cry we can foretell the success or failure of an expedition, or hunting-trip, or kai taonga (muru) raid. If you hear the toetoe cry “Kore ti, kore ti!” you will not be successful—not at all. That cry is a puhore (token of nonsuccess). But if the cry of that bird is “Toro ki, toro ki, toro ki! Kuri, kuri!” that is a sign of good luck: you will gain your object. When its cry resembles “Kuri whatia!” that is a sign of disaster or death; while the cry “Kuri ora!” is a token of life, peace, and prosperity.

Matapu.—A large bird, says my informant, of black (or dark-coloured) plumage. It is like a kawau in appearance, but has a shorter neck. It frequents forest-streams.

Matuku (Botaurus poeciloptilus; Bittern).—Sometimes called matukuhu-repo, because its peculiar booming cry is heard in swamps. Several auguries are drawn from the cry of this bird. Thus it gives notice of an approaching wet season, when floods are to be many.

Old Pio, of Awa, rambles on anent birds in his usual style: “In the tenth month (April) the sun changes its course and returns to the ocean, to his winter wife, Hine-takurua (Winter Maiden). The sun has many descendants out on the ocean. These are Hine-karoro (origin and personification of the karoro, or black-billed gull), the next born being Hine-tara (the tara, or tern); the next is Hine-tore. The last born of that lot was Punga, the origin of lizards. This Punga also had Haere-nui, then Nohoturnutumu (origin of the kawau), then Moe-tahuna (origin of the parera, duck). The next born after Punga was Matuku (origin of the matuku, or bittern). I will speak of this person, of how he makes the booming sound. There are two signs in the call of this bird—it calls to its parents, and also gives certain tokens regarding the months and seasons. This person, the matuku, goes wandering about in the swamp. It sees a hole, and thrusts its beak down into that hole. The food it contains is an eel. The bird thrusts its head down into the mud and seizes the eel. Then the bird gets

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out of breath, its fundamental orifice opens and emits a booming sound. Such is the cry of the matuku.”

The bittern is now scarce in this district, but few are heard.

Mimiro.—See Miromiro.

Miromiro; syn., Mimiro, Tarapo (Petroica toitoi; Pied Tit).—These little birds are still fairly numerous in the forests of Tuhoeland. The sexes are known by their different colours, the male bird having black and white plumage, while that of the female is of a dingy pale (koma) colour. The female bird is called tarapo.

There are two items to record in reference to the miromiro. When Maui, the famous hero of Maori myth, went in search of his mother, he reached Paerau, where he found the folk of that place busily engaged in planting their crops. Maui transformed himself into a bird, a miromiro, which bird perched itself on the whakamarama (crescent-shaped handle) of a ko (diggingimplement) and sang a tewha, or planting-song. After divers adventures, Maui assumed the form of a kereru, or pigeon, and finally found his mother.

Again, the miromiro bird was often employed to carry love-messages to a sweetheart or absent wife or husband. There was a certain amount of ritual pertaining to this practice. Certain charms, termed iri or atahu, were recited, and it is said that they were very effective. The bird would go forth and find the desired person, however distant, and perch itself on him or her. At once such person would be seized with a great desire to go to the sender of the bird messenger. Runaway wives or husbands were often brought back by such means, the bird being the active medium employed. I am informed that the above statements are quite true—and who am I that I should doubt them?

Ma te kanohi miromiro” is a saying preserved by Sir George Grey. (It will take a sharp eye to see or find something mentioned—an eye as quick as that of the miromiro.)

Missionary Taylor states that the miromiro “generally flies about graves.” After having known this bird for nearly fifty years, I have come to the conclusion that it gets along very well when there are no graves handy.

Moa.—This creature is no longer met with in the forests of Tuhoeland, I may observe, but it has at one time roamed far and wide over the steep forest ranges of this district. Moa bones have been found near the summit of the Tara-pounamu Range, at an altitude of quite 2,500 ft. above sea-level, and probably 2,700 ft. These were found by road-workmen at the base of a rimu tree, on a steep sideling. A leg-bone was sent to the Auckland Museum. Natives report moa bones as having been seen in caves or rock shelters in the wild forest country at the head of the Tauranga River (called the Waimana by us), and near the summit of Maunga-pohatu—viz., at Nga Whatu-a-maru. A moa skeleton was found in a chasm near Awaawaroa, at Wai-kare Moana, by Mr. McGrath.

Native tradition speaks of the moa having lived on the Poho-kura Block in times long past away, and also of a lone moa that lived on the Tawhiuau Range, at Galatea. Presumably these upland moa were mountaineers, for they certainly roamed in very rough high-lying country.

The word moa is oftne found to occur in place-names, but whether or not these names have any connection with the bird it is now impossible to ascertain: thus, Moa-whara is a place-name on the upper Whakatane River; Tapuae-moa, a place near Te Teko; Moa-nui, a place on the Waioeka River; Whanga-moa, on the shores of Roto-kawa; while rau-moa is a plant-name.

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Tradition states that a moa was killed at Whakatane by one Ngahue, a very early voyager to New Zealand, who returned to the isles of the north. Mr. Percy Smith heard this same tradition repeated by a very old Native of Rarotonga.

Pio, of Awa, born about 1823, has his little budget of notes concerning the moa: “There were certain folk on this island in ancient times. They were like birds in appearance, and also resembled man in structure. They had two legs, two arms (?), and a head, and a mouth too, but they could not speak. They stood on one leg and held the other up—drawn up. It always kept its mouth open, because it lived on air (or wind). It always stood facing the wind, no matter whence it blew—north wind, south wind, east wind, all were food for those folk. Those creatures had fine plumes, like birds' plumes, that grew under their armpits. These plumes were called rau o piopio, and were worn by chiefs in ancient times. They were also used, together with huia and kotuku plumes, when dressing the hair of a dead chief for the lying-in state. A certain ancestor of ours, whose name was Apa, came across one of those folk on the western side of Putauaki (Mount Edgecumbe). It looked like a man standing there. Apa struck a blow at the leg it was standing on, whereupon the creature kicked Apa so violently with the drawn-up leg that he was hurled over a cliff and killed. Hence that place has since been known as the Takanga-o-Apa. Those folk of that tribe were called moa. I say those folk who stood on one leg and held the other up are lost: our ancestors killed them. Those moa are no longer seen, but their bones are found—huge bones, like those of cattle or whales in size. They were descendants of Tutunui. They were all slain in ancient times. It was said that survivors of the moa were living on high ranges, on precipitous places, in gullies, at Tawhiuau and elsewhere. I saw some of their bones at the base of Tawhiuau (near Galatea). After Christianity was introduced, a party of Maoris went with a European to search for moa, at Tawhiuau. They did not find any.”

The above is the only tradition concerning the moa that is known by the Natives of these parts. The ancestor Apa here mentioned flourished about four hundred years ago. The tribe Ngati-Apa, of Putauaki, were apparently of the early inhabitants of New Zealand. The Tuhoe people have preserved no other traditions concerning the moa. Their history, legends, folk-lore, songs, &c., are silent as to the moa, save for the few notes given here. And Tuhoe are truly of the old-time people of New Zealand, who were in camp here long centuries before the last migration of Polynesians to these shores.

A very singular statement appears at page 494 of vol. vii of the “Transactions of the New Zealand Institute.” It is quoted from a letter written by the late Judge Maning: “There is no subject, except perhaps the history of their wars and migrations—none on which the traditions of the Maori are so numerous and particular as those regarding the moa.” &c. This is somewhat startling when we know that early European settlers and sojourners in New Zealand could gather but very little information anent the moa from Natives then living, or from song, story, and legend. Colenso is correct in his statement that scarcely anything anent the moa has been preserved save a few fabulous stories. He made inquiries at Te Whaiti and Te Reinga, and many other places, in 1841, but could gain nothing authentic. The Reinga Natives spoke of a lone moa that lived in a cave (guarded by a reptile) at Whakapunake. They also stated that a few years before Colenso's visit in 1841 they had been raided by the Ure-wera Tribe

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and forced to fly to the rugged Whakapunake Mountain for refuge, and where many of them were slain by the Ure-wera (Tuhoe) raiders; but they saw no moa in those wilds. Colenso never met with the moa in Maori legend, save in that of Ngahue, given above. He collected nine old-time aphorisms concerning the moa, and a few references in poetry, but very little else. There was no more moa.

Na te moa i takahi te rata” (The moa trampled on the rata), or “He rata te rakau i takahia e te moa,” is an old saying that I first heard from Ngati-Hau, of Whanganui. That tree sometimes grows far from upright, and is said to have been forced into that position by a moa treading on it. Sir George Grey has preserved “He mihiau te kohatu i taona ai te moa” (The mihiau stone was used for cooking the' moa).

The expression moa kai hau, or “air-eating moa,” is sometimes met with in poetry, as—

Kia noho atu au i konei
Hai moa kai hau ki Whakapunake ra.

Moho.—Tutaka states that the moho was a flightless forest-bird, but is now extinct; also that the mohorangi was a flying-bird found in open country, in fern and swamp. Williams gives moho-patatai as the landrail (Hypotcenidia philippensis). The moho-patatai, says Paitini, is a longlegged bird with a small body. It is no longer seen in the Tuhoe district. The last one here seen was caught at Te Whaiti about the year 1890 or 1892.

Momotawai.—Given by Williams as the bush-wren (Acanthidositta chloris). I have been told by Natives that momotawai, momoutu, tititipounamu, and toirua are all names for the bush-wren. But others say that the momoutu is smaller than the momotawai, and the latter has disappeared, while the former is still seen; also, that both are distinct from the toirua and tititipounamu. Another ruffian says, “The toirua resembles the momoutu, but is larger, and has no tail. It is the same as momotawai.” Te Pouwhare also says that the toirua and momotawai are one and the same bird. The toirua is said to be also known as pipitori.

To take the momoutu the fowler imitates the cry of the bird, and takes a leaf in his fingers, which leaf he shakes and twirls about. This attracts the bird, so that it comes close enough to be caught by hand, even perching on the hand of the operator. Natives say that it mistakes the twirling leaf for its own young. It is a dark-coloured bird.

Nakonako.—See under Koekoea.

Nonoroheke.—See under Riroriro.

Oho; syn., Oho-mauri.—Given in Williams's list as the land-rail, same as moho-patatai, &c. My Maori notes say: A bird of light-coloured, marked or patterned plumage. A difficult bird to take. It has a habit of appearing suddenly by the roadside as one passes: hence its name, “the startler.”

Pakura.—See Pukeko.

Papango (Fuligula novce-zealandice).—Black teal.

Papua or Papu.—A species of kawau (cormorant).

Parera (Anas superciliosa; Grey Duck).—A flock of parera, is termed kawai parera when in the water, but pokai parera when flying. When young ducklings take to the water, which they do early in life, they are called kawaiwai. When the parera and whio are moulting they are extremely fat, and were in former times caught in large numbers with dogs and even by hand at such times. At other times they were snared. A long cord,

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termed kaha, was stretched tightly a little above the surface of the water, being fastened to stakes thrust into the bed' of the lake or stream. To this cord were attached innumerable loop snares (tahei, tahere), which were attached to the main cord so as to hang down and bring the open loop just above the surface of the water. In swimming to and fro the ducks were caught by the neck in this running noose. Favourite feeding-grounds of the duck in lakes or wide river-mouths, &c., were sometimes entirely surrounded with a ring line of snares.

Maoris do not appear to have been in the habit of taming birds, or keeping them as pets, save in the case of the koko. The kaka were so kept for use as, decoys. Occasionally one hears of other birds being tamed, or partially so. For instance, one Tohi-ariki so kept a parera as amokai or pet, and named it Korotau. On going a journey he left the bird in care of his wife. She neglected to feed it: hence it left the hamlet for pastures new. When Tohi returned he composed the following lament for his lost bird:—

Kaore te aroha ki taku nei manu
Titoko tonu ake i te ahiahi
Ka tomo ki te whare takuate kau au
E whae ma, e!
Tirohia atu nga parera e tere atu ra
Ehara tena, he manu maori.
Waiho me titiro ki te huruhuru whakairoiro
Mai no tawhiti.
He rangi au e tatari akuanei
He raro au e tatari apopo
Kai hea Korotau ka ngaro nei
Tena ka riro kai te katokato i te rau pohata
Ka whakataiore tu nui ki te po me te ao
Ka oho ai au
E waiho ana koe hai tiaki hanga
Hai korero taua ki tona taumata
Waiho me ui ake te iwi ngaro.

Pekapeka (Bat).—The bat is termed a bird by the Maori. They are not often seen in this district.

The pekapeka was eaten in former times by the Natives. They usually are found living in hollow trees, and in former times, it is said, large numbers frequented such holes. To take them, a fire was kindled in the hole, and the entrance stopped up in order to prevent the escape of the birds. Thus the birds were stupefied by the smoke, and fell to the bottom of the hollow of the tree, where the merry fowler secured them. These resorts of the bat have a powerful and evil odour. The Natives were careful to kill the first bat caught, as this insured a good bag. If this first one escaped, then but few would be taken.

Pihere; syn., Karuwai, Kakaruwai, Pitoitoi, Tataruwai, Toutouwai (Miroaustralis; Robin).—This bird was called pitoitoi on account of its cry (which is rendered by the Maori as “Pitoi-toi-toi”), and karuwai (watery eye) because small drops of water are seen exuding from its eyes. Ngati Awa and other tribes call these birds pitoitoi; Tuhoe style them pihere, while Ngati-Kahungunu, of Te Wairoa, use the name karuwai. Tuhoe call the female of this species mokora.

The robins practically disappeared from the forests of Tuhoeland years ago, and were rarely seen, though numerous in pre-European days. But in the summer of 1901–2 they reappeared in limited numbers at Ruatahuna, as also did the rearea, or bell-bird. Mr. R. C. L. Reay, surveyor, writing from Wai-maha, east of Maunga-pohatu, in 1903, stated, “The

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piloitoi are numerous in the Hangaroa district. They come near our camp, and follow along the survey-lines we cut. They appear to be darker in plumage than the pitoitoi I remember north of Auckland many years ago, and without the white lumps at base of beak.”

When in going hunting or fowling in the forest you hear the cry of the pitoitoi far in the forest-depths, that is a sign of non-success: your trip will be a failure.

The pihere is taken by means of a trap termed a korapa, or whakarapa. To make this trap a piece of supplejack is bent so as to assume a U shape. Across the two ends a stick is lashed so as to cause the supplejack to retain its shape. It is now like a capital U with a closed top. Dried strips of flax are netted on this frame so as to form a net with a mesh small enough to hold such small birds as the miromiro. The trap now resembles an enlarged section of a snow-shoe—not the ski, but the Canadian snow-shoe. The straight cross-piece is termed a kurupae, and its ends project a few inches on either side of the trap. The trap is placed in a vertical position on the ground, the kurupae resting thereon. Two pegs are thrust in an oblique manner into the ground just above and resting on the projecting ends of the kurupae, and on that side of it on which the trapper takes his stand. The trap will probably be held in an upright position by the pegs; if not, then a slight stick will be used to prop it up. A cord some 30 ft. in length is attached by one end to the top of the frame of the trap. This cord is passed through a small hoop of supplejack, like a diminutive croquethoop, fixed in the ground just in front of the trap. The cord is carried on to the fowler's stand, he holding the end in one hand. In the other hand he holds a stick, with which he keeps striking a block of wood lying on the ground by his side. This tapping attracts the birds. The Natives say that the birds think it to be caused by some person chopping grubs (huhu) from a decayed tree, a common practice in Maoriland. It is a fact that the robins will collect around persons working in the bush, as I know full well, having often watched and fed them under such circumstances.

A bait of berries, earthworms, or huhu grubs is placed on the ground immediately in front of the standing trap, and close to it, so that the trap covers it when it falls. The birds, attracted by the tapping sound, draw near, and soon espy the bait and flock to it. When many are collected round the bait the fowler pulls the cord, which causes the trap to fall upon the birds and thus imprisons them. The cord, being passed under the little korowhiti, or hoop, holds the trap down close and prevents the birds escaping. All the fowler has to do is to retain his strain on the cord when he advances to secure the birds.

Other small birds, such as miromiro, &c., are taken at the same time. It is not the pihere alone that is attracted and so taken. No bird is too small to serve as food for the Maori, as witness the taking of the pihipihi.

Pihipihi; syn., Karu-patene (Zosterops coerulescens; Blight-bird, Silvereye).—This bird appeared in this district before there was any fighting with Europeans in Tuhoeland. It was known here at first as karu-patene (? button-eye). This bird is taken in great numbers in the Rua-tahuna district by the call-leaf and striking process, exactly similar to that method of taking parrakeets termed tanga porete and tanga kakariki, for which see under Kakariki.

The decoy pihipihi are tied by the beak to the cross-cord with a short string. The fluttering and struggles to escape attract other birds, which perch on the cross-rod, and are struck down by the fowler, who

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is half-concealed within a shelter of branches or fern-fronds. A call leaf is also used by fowlers. These birds are preserved in fat in great numbers in the interior of Tuhoeland. They are not carefully plucked—many feathers are left on—and they are not cleaned. But that matters not. The hardy Tuhoean bush-folk crunch up the birds—head, bones, inside, remaining feathers, and all—with great zest. But the pakeha looketh sideways at this delicacy.

Piopio; syn., Koropio (Turnagra tanagra; North Island Thrush).—The North Island thrush is almost gone from the forests of Tuhoeland. There are said to be some still in the Parahaki district, a wild uninhabited tract of rough forest country but seldom visited by Natives, and which but few Europeans have penetrated. These birds are said to have been numerous in former times all over the Tuhoe district, and fowlers used to take them in considerable numbers, attracting them by means of a lure-call. A leaf was generally used whereby to make most of these lure-calls. The plumage of this bird is described by Natives as pakaka, or whero popouri, in regard to colour. (See Pohowera.)

Pipitori.—Said to be another alias of the toirua.

Pipiwharauroa.—See under Koekoea.

Pitoitoi.—See Pihere.

Piwaiwaka; syn., Tiwaiwaka, Piwakawaka, Tiwakawaka, Tirakaraka, Hirairaka (Pied Fantail).—This is the bird that caused the death of Maui, the hero who endeavoured to gain eternal life for man, and failed at the task, as many others have. In this and some other myths birds are alluded to as Te Tini o te Hakuturi, though it would sometimes appear that the term is applied to fairies. In like manner the expression Tini o te Mahoihoi is sometimes explained by Natives as being a sort of general term for birds, though others state that it is applied to plants, &c.

Pohowera.—I have heard this name applied to the piopio, but I do not know that it is a genuine name for that bird. Pohowera is certainly the name of a sea-bird. This bird is also found a certain distance inland at times. If its nest is found in a kumara cultivation the eggs are carefully counted, for it is, or was, believed that the field will produce twenty baskets of kumara (sweet potatoes) for each egg the nest contains.

Porete.—This is the most common name for the parrakeet among the Tuhoe Tribe. (See under Kakariki.)

Pukeko; syn., Pakura (Porphyrio melanonotus; Swamp-hen).—These birds were never numerous in the Tuhoe district, which is essentially a forest country, the realm of Tane. I have not yet seen this bird hereabouts. In former times they were numerous in the Ngati-Awa district, which contains a great area of swamp-lands. They were snared in a similar manner to that employed in taking ducks, except that the apparatus was fixed on land. A long cord was stretched tightly from stake to stake, and from this cord hung many loop snares, at such a height above ground that a pukeko, in walking, would be likely to thrust its head into the loops. The expression kawau moe roa, or “long-slumbering shag,” was applied to all such snares as were so left, unattended by the fowler, for the birds to catch themselves in. It was also applied to eel-pots and all such nets as are left in the water.

The pakura, or pukeko, was a troublesome bird to the Maori agriculturalist, for it entered the fields at night and scratched out and ate the tubers of the kumara (sweet potato).

As we have seen, the pakura and kokako are sprung from a mythical being known as Hine-wairua-kokako, a tipua, or supernatural being. Says

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Pio, “The pakura are a troublesome folk. They are the offspring of Hinewairua-kokako. Most evil are the actions of that ancestress and her offspring sin pulling up and devouring the food of the Maori people. When seen assailing the crops a person goes to hiehie them (to drive them away by shouting at them). This is the whakahiehie:—

Hie! Hie!
Haere ki te huhi
Haere ki te repo
Haere ki a Hine-wairua-kokako.
Hie! Hie!
Haere ki a Hine-wairua-kokako
Hie! Hie!

The sign by which the Maori knows the approach of daylight comes from the pakura. Its cry is heard about midnight, again later on, and again a third time. The third cry tells us that daylight is at hand.”

Quail.—The New Zealand quail was known in this district, but disappeared many years ago. It was once numerous in open country, and was taken with nets. It is Coturnix novce-zealandice. The Native names of the quail given by Williams are koreke, koikoiareke, koitareke, kokoreke, koutareke, and tareke.

Rearea; syn., Korimako, Korihimako, Kopara, Kokomako, Kokorimako (Anthornis-melanura; Bell-bird).—The rearea was sometimes speared, and also taken by means of a puaka, which is an enclosure made by thrusting sticks or branches into the ground so as to form a sort of fence. Small openings were left by which the birds entered to eat the bait placed inside. Loop snares were arranged in these open spaces, by which the birds were caught. The porete was also taken in this manner.

The bell-bird had long disappeared from Rua-tahuna when I first visited those sylvan wilds in 1895, but reappeared there in the summer of 1901–2. I often heard them near my camp in that year; but they were not numerous. It was not like the delightful clamour heard in the bush of the Wellington District in the early sixties: that was something to remember.

Riroriro; syn., Nonoroheke, Nonoroheko, Horirerire, Hirorirori, Korirerire, Totororire (Totorori?) (Pseudogerygone igata; Grey Warbler).—This is a manu tohu tau of the Maori. It shows them what the coming season will be by its manner of building its nest. If its snug little roofed nest is built with the side entrance thereto facing the north, then the prevailing wind of the coming season will blow from the south, and vice versa. If the opening of the nest faces the muri wind a tau tokerau will follow—that is, easterly winds will prevail, and it will be a pleasant, prolific season. If the nest faces the east, that means a tau hauauru, he upoko maro—a westerly and cold, inclement season: crops and forest products will not be satisfactory. The muri is a wind that blows from the coast up the Whakatane Valley. This wind betokens good fishing weather. It is styled a hau aroha, a favourable wind. Upoko maro is a term used to denote cold weather—the cold south winds, or tonga kokoti.

The cry of this bird is rendered by the Maori as “Riro, riro, riro!” When this cry is heard in winter or early spring it is a sign for man to be up and doing—to commence the work of preparing cultivations for crops, &c. It is urging the Maori people to commence the work of the year.

Two authorities give me totorori as a name of the riroriro. Another Native says it was a bird similar in size and appearance to the riroriro, but not the same; that it was a forest bird, but is no longer seen.

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Ruru (Ninox novce-zealandice; Morepork).—This well-known bird is some times known as koukou and peho! As Mihi-ki-te-kapua of old sang, when left lonely in he old age at Wai-kare Moana,—

E peho, e te ruru, he tokorua ano
Tena ko au nei, he kotahi.

If a ruru is heard to utter its cry at a junction of two tracks it is looked upon as a sign that a hostile party is approaching—a war-party is at hand—look out for squalls. As old Pio put it, “I begin another subject—the warning given by the ruru when danger is nigh. If a war-party approaches a hamlet, this bird gives warning of its coming. It calls out to the people of the place in this way: ‘Kou, kou! Whero, whero whero! Then the people arise and fly to the forest. The enemy assaults an empty place.’ So much for the wise owl.

A Native states that the morepork has four different calls, and that if a person imitates the bird's cry it will answer him. Its first cry is “Kou, kou!” hence the bird is in some places termed koukou—an example of onomatopoeia. The next cry is “E—e—e!” which is he tangi aroha ki te tangata—a kindly greeting to man. Another cry is “Whe, whe, whe!” and then “Peho, peho!” which latter is thought to betoken anger. Pio, of Awa, says that the bird' will answer a mimic call three or four times: “Ko te ruru, tana korero, kou, kou! Ka utua e te tangata, ka tahi pona, kou, kou! Ka rua pona, kou, kou! Ka toru pona, ka whakarene. Ka wha pona ranei, ka whakarere.”

These birds were, and are still, eaten by Natives. They are simply knocked down with a stick, or snared by means of a slip-noose on the end of a stick. The fowler takes a leaf between the thumb and one finger of his left hand, and twirls it in order to attract the attention of the bird as he slips the noose over its head.

Native children will cook and eat a morepork, or any other bird, wherever they happen to kill one.

I have a friendly ruru at my camp here, beneath the frowning defences of the old Hau-kapua pa. On cold winter mornings, when the frost is keen, this bird comes forth from the bush as soon as the sun rises, and perches himself upon my garden-fence, where, with closed eyes, he suns himself for an hour or more. Though very close to the camp he does not get alarmed, knowing by experience that he will not be molested.

In only one case have I heard of a ruru being looked upon as the form of incarnation of an atua maori. Karukaru, an atua or demon of the Natives of the Whanganu River, was brought to this district some years ago (i.e., his cult was so brought, I presume). The aria of Karukaru is a ruru. This was the familiar demon of Matoru, a would-be shaman of these parts, whose nose was put out of joint by Rua the keka. This demon, Karukaru, guards his human mediums from danger, warns them when any one is attempting to bewitch them, &c. One evening old Paitini returned to his home at Heipipi and found a ruru perched under the porch of his cabin. The bird was startled and flew away to an open shed, where it perched itself upon a buggy that old Pai had bought. The old man at once suspected something was wrong. A most superstitious man, your elderly Maori. He suspected the poor ruru to be the worthy Matoru's demon, sent for no good purpose. He went to the shaman and made inquiries. Matoru told him that he had sent his familiar demon to take possession of the buggy; which was henceforward to be the property of the dread Karukaru. Pai was also told that if he did not quietly give up possession of the buggy, then both he and his

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wife would die—that is, be slain by black magic. Hence this couple were much disturbed: they wished neither to die nor yet lose their buggy. At this juncture the godless pakeha stepped in, and, with incisive vocabulary and impious disregard for gods or demons, broke up the game.

Tarapo.—Williams gives this as a name of the kakapo. Akuhata te Kaha, of Tuhoe, says it was a forest bird, smaller than a kakapo, and no longer seen. Te Pou-whare states that tarapo was the name of the female miromiro.

Tataeto; syn., Tataeko, Tataihore, Tatangaeko, Popokotea, Tatariheko (Certhiparus albicapilus; Whitehead).—These birds are still seen in the Rua-tahuna district, though not numerous as of yore. I have come across flocks of them in remote places there—or, rather, they have come across me. They move in flocks, flitting quickly from tree to tree. Natives say that the tieke and tihe birds join flocks of whiteheads and accompany them; a few will be seen with each such flock. A flock of whiteheads will sometimes set on to a ruru and chase it about, even as the koko does.

A flock of whiteheads is termed a ta tataeto by Tuhoe and taki tataeko by Ngati-Awa. Ngati-Kahungunu, of Te Wairoa, call this bird tatai-hore.

Tieke (Creadion carunculatus; Saddleback).—This bird has entirely disappeared from the forests of this district, albeit there are here hundreds of thousands of acres of wild forest lands, within the shades of which man is but seldom seen. The Natives say that bees have destroyed the tieke by occupying the holes and hollow trees where the bird was wont to breed. This is absurd. Such holes and hollow trees are here by the million in this great forest, but bees' hives are scarcer than in any other part of the Island I have camped in. In the fair vale of Whare-kopae, Poverty Bay, I found nine hives within half a mile of my tent. To find one in the Tuhoean forest would need about a day's search.

When going a-hunting or fowling, if you hear the cry of a tieke on the right-hand side of the track it is a marie, or token of good luck—you will be successful; but if you hear it to the left, that is a puhore, or sign of nonsuccess.

At Repanga, or Cuvier Isle, there are said to be two tieke birds, named Takereto and Mumuhau, which are atua, or supernatural beings. They are claimed by the migrants of both the “Matatua” and “Arawa” canoes.

In taking the tieke—for all forest birds were food for these bushmen—in some cases a fire was kindled. This is said to have attracted the birds.

Tihe (Pogonornis cincta; Stitch-bird).—The male bird is termed tihewera. Its plumage is described by Natives as being where manaeka (? yellowish-red). The female is called tihe-wai. This bird disappeared years ago from the forests of this district. It was taken by means of the puaka snare-trap.

Titi.—This sea-bird was formerly found in large numbers on the rugged ranges of this district, where they had breeding-places to which they came every year. The Natives used to visit these places every year to take the birds, both young and old. These were preserved in fat in great numbers. They were placed in calabashes by the inland people, but those who had access to the coast used vessels made of a large species of seaweed or kelp. These latter vesssels were called poha. The advent of the Norway rat put an end to this food-supply, for they devoured the young birds; hence the titi ceased to come to these parts to breed.

Places where these birds were taken by fowlers are known as ahi titi (titi fires), because a fire was always kindled on such occasions. The tops

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of cliffs, hills, and ridges seem to have been selected as places whereat to take the titi. A net about 20 ft. or 30 ft. in length was set up on the edge of such cliff or slope. This net was fastened to poles or stakes inserted in the ground. Each pair of stakes was lashed together at the top, thus forming an inverted V—so ∧ Where these two stakes crossed and were lashed was termed the mata tauira. The upper rope of the net was called the tama-tane, and the rope on the lower edge the tama-wahine. The net was made of flax-fibre. Old persons, past their hard-working days, spent much of their time in making nets, snares, &c. These birds were taken at nighttime, about November. A fire was kindled in front of the net and a little distance from it. Behind the fire, and immediately below the net, the fowlers were seated, each having a short stick in his hand wherewith to strike down the witless birds. The birds, attracted by the fire, flew to it, and came into contact with the net. Ere a bird recovered from the shock it was struck down by the fowlers. A foggy or misty night was considered best for taking these birds. Two men only remained standing: their task was to strike down the high-flying birds that flew against the mata tauira. Should the first bird taken chance to fly against the tama tane, or mata tauira, that was looked upon as a sign of poor luck—but few birds would be taken that night; but should it strike low down the net, at or near the tama wahine, that was an excellent omen—many birds would be taken. If a menstruating woman chanced to be among the party of fowlers a very poor bag was the result—the birds would fly about, screeching loudly, but keep clear of the net. Also, the fowlers were careful not to cause any of the birds to bleed. If any blood were drawn, then no more birds would come near the fire.

Great numbers of these birds were taken by such means in former days, before the European rat appeared on the scene. The birds were plucked, cleaned, and the bones taken out; then they were prepared at the ahi matiti for potting.

A large number of places are pointed out here as former ahi titi, mostly on the higher ranges, as those of Huiarau, Maunga-pohatu, &c., and at Wai-kare Moana, O-tukopeka, Te Rua-ngarara, Taumata-miere, and countless other places.

Titiporangi.—The only note I have anent this bird is, “A forest bird, smaller than a titi. It has disappeared from this district. It was darkcoloured on one side and light-coloured on the other.” This is the rendering of the original Maori. Williams gives titiporangi as a name of the black teal.

  • Tititipo.—This was given me as a bird-name, but more I cannot say.

  • Tititipounamu.—See Toirua.

  • Tiwaiwaka, Tiwakawaka.—See Piwaiwaka.

  • Toetoe.—Same as kukurutoki. (See latter.)

  • Toirua.—See under Momotawai.

  • Totorori.—See under Riroriro.

  • Totororire.—See under Riroriro.

  • Turi-whekoi-rangi.—A sea-bird.

Tuturiwhatu (Ochthodromus obscurus; Dotterel).—The name of this bird is connected with that of one of the sisters of Taukata—he who brought the knowledge of the kumara to Whakatane. The two brothers, Taukata and Hoaki, had two sisters, Kanioro and Tuturiwhatu. These were the children of Rongoatau, of Hawaiki, and descendants of Pani and Rongomaui. This Tuturiwhatu met with an accident and had her chest burnt. The bird

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of the same name is said to be her, or represent her. It has no place in this list, save the fact that it is sometimes seen on the river-beds of this district.

Weka (Wood-hen).—These birds are not numerous in this district, but are said to have been so formerly. In those days they were snared, and also hunted with dogs.

Whekau.—See Hakoke.

Weweia (Podicipes rufipectus; Little Grebe).—Natives state that a pair of these birds are always seen in a crateral pond on the summit of Mount Edgecumbe by those who ascend that isolated cone.

Whenakonako.—See under Koekoea.

Whio (Hymenoloemus malacorhynchus; Blue Mountain-duck).—One often sees these birds when traversing the rough streams of the high-lying interior, as at Rua-tahuna. These birds were taken at night, the fowlers carrying torches, which they flashed suddenly on the birds when near to them. This is said to cause the birds to settle, whereupon they are struck down and secured.

Whioi (Anthus novce-zealandice).—Ground-lark.

The following is a list of the birds that have disappeared from the Tuhoe district, and several other species may be marked as doubtful, as the kokako, piopio, and others. It must be remembered that nearly the whole of this district is covered with dense forest, with few clearings, and that the Native population is small, and residing principally on the outskirts.

Hakuwai. Kea. Moho-patatai.
Hakoke, or wnekau. Koitareke. Moho-rangi.
Kaha. Kotuku. Momotawai.
Kakapo. Moa. Tieke.
Kareke Moho. Title.

Cutting out the hakuwai and moa, we have here a list of thirteen species that have disappeared from this district since the coming of Europeans to these isles, whilst some others have almost, if not quite, disappeared. The species that have survived have almost all become greatly reduced in numbers.

The koroire is said to have been a water-bird, a species of duck. Mr. C. E. Nelson tells me that he got the name from an old Native of Ngati-Whatua, who had seen it in his youth. It has not been seen for many years. This was the origin of the place-name O-koroire.

We will now endeavour to explain the Native theory or belief as to the cause of the disappearance of native birds—for they firmly believe that it is primarily due to certain ancient customs and faiths having been abandoned by themselves, the Maori people of these isles. They believe that the degeneration of the Maori, and the serious lessening of the Native population, have been brought about by their forsaking ancient customs and old-time cults—by their having become noa, or free from tapu—debased, in fact—through contact with Europeans. And they hold a very similar belief in regard to the cause of the disappearance of birds, or the lessening of their numbers.

The old-time Maori was, or believed himself to be, an extremely tapu person. His system was, as it were, imbued or permeated with a highly sacred, semi-volatile, and all-pervading non-material ichor, a spiritual and intellectual essence or ether. And it was this that preserved man from death or disaster of certain kinds. When speaking of a person's hau or kawa ora, it is this that is in the speaker's mind. It is the mauri ora of

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man. Even land possesses this quality, as we shall see anon. It is the very essence of vitality. If lost or debased in any way, the person, or tree, or forest, or land is in a truly bad way, and armourless against shafts of magic or other evil influences. Broadly speaking, the above state may be termed tapu; but there are many inner terms and definitions which cannot be understood by the pakeha.

Said Ngahooro te Amo, of Ngati-Mahanga, “Birds were exceedingly numerous in former times, before Europeans came. In the days of my youth, at Te Whaiti, when the multitude of birds were singing in the early morn, a person's voice could scarce be heard in the forest, so great was the noise. Birds were numerous so long as we cooked, them in the ancient manner—that is, in a hangi (steam-oven); but when we began to cook them in the kohua (iron pots) obtained from Europeans, then it was that the evils of the tawhanarua came upon us. For it was unlucky and of evil omen. Then it was that birds began to decrease in numbers.”

The word tawhanarua means “to cook a second time.” When cooking birds, should they be found to be underdone when the oven was opened, then the proper thing to do was to use them in that state, and, not attempt to recook them. If they were cooked again, then the birds of the adjacent forest would surely disappear. So sayeth the Maori.

Said Himiona Tikitu to the writer, “In olden times birds were always cooked in the evening. If cooked in the daytime, then all birds would desert the forest. They would be heard flying away in myriads in the night-time, migrating to other parts. The tawhanarua or tao rua (second cooking) would have the same effect, as also would the use of European cooking-vessels. Because the forest and its denizens became tamaoatia (defiled) by these things. Hence the birds would disappear, even as we Maori people did after we became nao (defiled, free of tapu) by washing in water heated in the cooking vessels of the white men. But remember that the above restrictions only obtained during the busy part of the bird-taking season—that is, while the birds were being potted down for future use. When this labour was ended, then the above restrictions were, removed.”

In the above remarks we see how the life principle, the vitality, of man, birds, forest, and land were seriously affected, and endangered by certain simple acts of omission or commission.

The scarcity of birds now so remarkable in this forest district became most marked about the middle eighties, though they had been gradually decreasing in numbers for many years before that time.

When forwarding my first contribution of these notes on forest-lore. I remarked that the balance must lie over for another year. Alas for human hopes!—for there is still a balance, and a bulky one, I ween. Peradventure we may prepare that balance were the sun again returns to Hinetakurua, the Winter Maiden, and send it forth as an amonga to the modern whare takiura, whose priests are the men of the linotype.

It was Kuha-tahi, the husbandman, who cried, “Hoatu, hoatu! He ra tapahi.”