Ko Te Mata Tenei A Tui, Matenga I Tahuri Ai Rai-Kapua.
[Tui's Song before the Capture of Rai-kapua.]
Takoto paranga he matuku
Takoto paranga he matuku
Ka whaterotero mai te arero huare ki waho
Hora ana te huruhuru o tona ure
Te hokinga mai o te Parekura i te koru ra,
Aha ha he pane whiti, aha ha he pane taonga,
He niho tete mai i runga o te turuturu,
A taina a he aha ka nene ka tangi koe e.
This waiata is a vision and a prophecy as to what the result of the assault on Rai-kapua would be.
After this, a woman of rank belonging to Ngati Wairiki was killed near Turakina by Ngaiti Whiti, so Tama-te-kura collected people from Whanganui and Manga-whero to avenge her death. The party travelled to Rangitikei and took a pa called Toko-rangi (Whanga-ehu), where they killed the chief Poa-tawa and a great number of people, and after the usual celebrations returned home. After this Tawhero-haki was killed in retaliation;
consequently Pehi Turoa, the great Whanga-nui chief, went to Manumanu's relatives and said, “We must have payment for this man's death.” So they gathered a force, and went to seek revenge at Muri-motu, where they killed Tama-te-kura, Te Kahu, Toetoe, and others belonging to Ngati Tu-whare-toa. They afterwards had another fight at Tiki-rere, where more people of this same tribe were killed. And so the quarrel went on; but, as the complicated law of utu entailed fighting among various tribes outside the Rangi-tikei district, these quarrels need not be followed further.
After this, more civil trouble arose owing to one of the Kauae people named Te Hina beating and otherwise ill-treating his wife. She objected to this, and fled across the river to her people to complain. They were angry with Te Hina for this, and to square matters they took from the woman a famous tiki belonging to her husband; and when she afterward returned without the tiki, he bethought him of ancient grievances (although up to this time Kauae and Maero had lived together as neighbours), and remembered the annihilation of his people by Rangi-te-muri; so he gathered some of his people, made a raid, and captured Maero, Tau-iri, Te Hanea, Mokomoko, and Pauhu, as well as many others. He also recovered his tiki and other property, and, to properly punish these people for taking his wife's part, or else taking his tiki, he made a great fire and scorched his prisoners over it, in much the same manner as eels are treated for fattening. (It was an old-time custom with the Maoris on this coast, when on an eel-fishing expedition, to gather together all the small and skinny eels caught, and then light a fire of fern down by the water's edge. Then the contents of the hinaki were emptied into the middle of the fire, and it was supposed that by this persuasive treatment the unfortunate eels that managed to crawl through and reach the water would eventually grow large and fat; and who would doubt it? This custom was called Tunutunu ki te ahi).
After the burning, Te Hina had his prisoners liberated and sent them away, and, as they were his wife's relatives, he acted kindly, and did not kill any of them except Pauhu; but they resented his kind treatment, and immediately commenced to make plans for avenging their insult. First they commenced going to Oroua, but eventually decided to go to Awa-mate. Soon after settling there they received a visit from a chief named Tama-whi-rangi, of Ngariki, who was connected with Maero, but who was also related to Te Hina. Him they took and killed as a first blow in revenge for their burning. When Te Hina heard how his relative had been received at Awa-mate, he left his pa at Tu-nuku, above Kara-riki, and hastened with a war-party to revenge that death; but he was himself killed, and his party driven home. When Wai-tene heard that Te Hina had been killed, he sought assistance to punish Maero, and was aided by the Muaupoko, Ngati Kahu-ngunu, Nga-wai-riki, and other hapus of Ngati Apa. This large force attacked Te Awa-mate, which was an island in a lake, but did not take it, not having canoes.
(The Awa-mate Lake is a long, narrow body of water, curved round something after the shape of a horse-shoe, lying on Mr. Dalrymple's property at Parewa-nui. When the writer first saw it, many years ago, the island referred to had a peculiar appearance, owing to a number of trees standing with their roots upwards—the remnats of ancient fortifications, called puwhara, upon which platforms were built. The same thing was noticed at other places when we were children, but not to the same extent; but these, like many other object of which we then took but little notice, have long since disappeared.)
Finding they were unable to take the island, the war-party retreated, but almost immediately returned to the attack, and on this occasion they killed Kakaho, the daughter of Te Ahuru, and others; but again they were unsuccessful in taking the pa, and so again they retired.
“The murder of this poor girl,” said my informant, “was a very discreditable act”; and while he gave the following details, the old man's eyes filled with tears.
Before Te Ahuru went to fight Te Rau-paraha at Kapiti he had a presentiment that he would be killed at that battle, for in a vision (dream) he had seen his own head fixed on the top of a pole; so he gave to his daughter his mere pounamu called Te Rito-harakeke (young blade of the flax), with the instructions that she was never to part with it, and also that she was to wear it night and day, but in such a manner that the cord which held it round her neck was to be kept concealed beneath her mat.
When the poor girl was captured at Awa-mate, her captors formed a ring round her, and she was ordered to sit down in the enclosed space; but she refused, and said, “Why should I sit down to be killed? Allow me to stand and sing my death-song, after which I will be ready.” Then she asked Te Kahawai to give her his mat so that her body might be covered after she was dead, and Te Kahawai without a moment's thought complied with her request and laid down his mahiti (dog-skin mat) on the ground before her.
While she was singing Te Kahawai noticed the tears trickling down her cheeks, and when the tangi was finished he said to her, “Why were you crying just now?” Kakaho replied, “Do you ask me why I was crying? If you were a woman, as I am, you would know very well why I was crying.” Continuing, she said, “I, like you, am going to be a fish of the sea, for I am a woman of much blood; and may this thought carry you to death, for you are not a man of your word.” (Some reference to the fact that the kahawai fish, when caught, bleeds more freely than any other fish known to the Maori.)
Then one of the party took a tokotoko, and, giving it to another chief, he said, “Kill her with this.” Kakaho overheard the order, and immediately cried out, “Let me not die by such a mean weapon. If die I must, kill me with this.” And as she spoke she drew from her bosom the mere Te Rito-harakeke, and held it aloft. The man who had the tokotoko seized the mere, calling out, “Yes, it is a good weapon, and a good girl,” at the same time striking her a blow that laid her low for ever.
Then it was noticed that her body was tapu, being protected by the mahiti, which by this time was wet with blood welling from the death-wound; consequently she was not eaten, but buried as befitted a chief's daughter.
As soon as it was discovered that the girl was dead, Te Kahawai turned to Paihure, the man who had killed her, and said, “Why did you kill her in defiance of my protection?” and, receiving no satisfactory answer, he took the mere, and Paihure also fell to the ground, a dead man.
After the siege, Maero and Tau-iri were so worried by the appearance of the Ngati Apa almost daily, and also by the shortage of their food-supply, that they determined to evacuate the pa and go to Ao-rangi. So they quietly left Te Awa-mate and went to Oroua; but the Ngati Apa people followed them up and killed several, but the chief person killed was a woman named Hiango, and she was killed by Wai-tene. After this the Maero people resolved to scatter; so Hura, Rihi-mona, and Rene-hura went to Horo-whenua for safety, the others all going to different places.