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No. 5 (Spring 1953)
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Na Mohi Turei

This story is a real classic of Maori literature, and the bestknown literary work of Mohi Turei. It is reprinted by the kind permission of the Journal of the Polynesian Society, where it first appeared in 1911, in an issue now extremely rare and valuable. The circumstances leading up to Tu-whakairiora's conquest of the Ngati-Ruanuku, some time in the sixteenth century, are told in Colonel Gudgeon's paper, The Maori Tribes of the East Coast of New Zealand, also to be found in the Journal of the Polynesian Society (Vol. IV). The places mentioned in this story may still be found near the East Cape today.—Editor.

Poroumata and his wife Whaene were well born, being descendants of Porourangi. Their tribe was Ngati Ruanuku. The chief clans of the tribe were Horo, Mana, Te Koreke, Te Moko-whakahoihoi, Te Pananehu, and Pohoumauma.

When the tribe procured food, they brought for Poroumata game, fish, and all other kinds of food. When the tribe made a catch of fish, the attendants of Poroumata's pa went to the landing places to fetch the fish day by day; for some time all went well with the fetching then trouble arose. It had come to be the habit for them to take the fish themselves from the thwarts: the fish that were left they cut off the tails, the belly-fat, and the heads of the hapuku. * His sons had been taking part it this business; for himself, he knew nothing of it; he cherished only kindly feelings for the tribe.

The tribe laid a plot to slay Poroumata. One night he looked at the clouds beyond the crayfish beds, resting close and compact, at the Milky Way and the Magellan Clouds, at the flakes of mist running together and settling in masses on the mountains. He said: ‘It will

*These were the choice portions of the hapuku.

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be settled calm to-morrow, the wind will be a light sea-breeze making gentle ripples on the water; I shall put to sea.’ In the morning he embarked in one of the canoes and reached the fishing ground. A number of canoes made up the fleet. While he was occupied with baiting his hooks, the men in the bow exchanged knowing glances with those in the stern, and those in the stern with those in the bow.

All the men of the canoes exchanged similar glances, indicating that he was to be slain. They slew him and he died. They tore out his entrails and vitals, and threw them into the sea, and they were cast ashore. The place where they were cast ashore came to be called Tawekatanga o te ngakau o Poroumata (the place where the vitals of Poroumata hung entangled). The fishing ground was called Kamokamo (knowing glances). Those names still remain.

So Poroumata died, and who was there to avenge his death? For the tribe was rejoicing, and ate its own food with no one to interfere. His daughters, Te Ataakura, Materoa, and Tawhipare, mourned for their father. Long was the mourning and grieving of these women for their father. Enough of that.

Tumoana-kotore was also a descendent of Porourangi, he as well as Poroumata. Tumoana-kotare married two sisters; Rutanga was the elder, Rongomai-tauarau the younger. They were both of them his wives. The elder had a child, Hinemahuru. The younger had a child, a son, Ngatihau.

When Tumoana-kotare died, the days of his mourning were such as befitted the mourning for a chief. They wrapped him up and took him and suspended him in a puriri near to Waiomatatini. The resting place for the bones, Parororangi, was a little above on the mountain. When a year had passed and the flesh decomposed, they would carry away the bones to that resting place. The men who had suspended him in the tree returned home. They had crossed a small stream when a voice reached them. They stood and listened. The cry was repeated. They said, ‘It is just as if it were the voice of our old man.’ They shouted, and the voice protested from above, ‘I am still alive; let me down.’ His relatives returned, let him down, and undid the wrappings. He looked up to the puriri and went on to say, ‘My eyes were still open, and yet you suspended me alive.’ Many years passed, then he really died. Enough of that.

His son, Ngatihau, took Te Ataakura, the daughter of Poroumata, as his wife. She was still mourning for her father. She conceived and bore a child, a daughter; she mourned

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deeply for her pains, and her hopes that it might have been a son to avenge the death of her father. She gave her the name Te Aomihia (the cloud that was welcomed); that is, the clouds which her father welcomed when he put to sea to his death.

She conceived again while she and her husband were living away at Opotiki. She was still mourning for her father. As she was mourning, the child moved violently in her womb. Then she uttered this saying:

‘Ah, move thou violently within me, a son,
It is for thee to avenge the death of my father.’

The child was born a son. She gave him as a name the name of his grandfather, Tumoanakotare-i-whakairia-oratia (Tumoana-kotare, who was suspended alive). This was shortened, when they called him, to Tuwhakairiora.

She cherished her child, having constantly in mind that the death of her father will be avenged by her child. She performed the ceremony following his birth and the place where she did so was called Te ewe o Tuwhakairiora. The tohungas tended the child with their incantations — Whakanihoniho, Whangawhangai, Ihotaua,* and other incantations. He grew up and came to man's estate, constantly hearing the tohungas who were tending him speaking ever of the saying of his mother.

He had taken part in sportive contests, and had smitten his man. He had taken part further in serious engagements; he had gone into the very heat of the battle; he had gathered in a bundle and turned aside the weapons which beset him on all sides like faggots in a fire. He had won the pitched battle at Paengatoitoi. His fame as a warrior had gone abroad; he had acquired the emblems of bravery in battle whereby the enemy is overcome. At last he bade adieu to the tribe. ‘Farewell! I go in accordance with the saying of my mother, which is still repeated, and which I still hear; it was perhaps because I was moving violently within her that she said:—

“Ah, move thou violently within me, a son,
It is for thee to avenge the death of my father’.”

The tribe knew that the death of his grandfather, Poroumata, was the reason Tuwhakairi-

*The names of incantations intended to produce strength and courage.

These contests beginning in sport ofter ended in bloodshed.

The okooko was a regular form of karo.

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ora was going. The tribe wished that there should be a large force to conduct him to avenge the death of his grandfather, Poroumata. He said, ‘Enough, I alone will go. There will be the tribes connected with him to conduct me.’ Alone he set out.

The tidings of the beauty of the daughters of Te Aotaki, Ruataupare, and Auahikoata, had spread even to Opotiki. When he arrived at the mouth of the Wharekahika River these women were gathering cockles, while the girls who accompanied them were sitting beside the fire, with the clothes lying in a heap. He questioned the children, and they told him it was Ruataupare and Auahikoata. He called to mind the tidings which had reached him of these women. He had taken his seat upon the clothes, and the children expressed their disapproval, the women looking on. The children went and told them and they said, ‘Well, tell him that you must bring us our clothes.’ When the children came he got up at once and gave them up, and sat down again. While the women were putting on their clothes, they gazed intently at him and the emblems of high birth and bravery which he bore with him. He was asking himself why he had not questioned the children as to which was Ruataupare.

The two women clothed themselves, and the children took up the cockles. They made their way to the south end of the bay, to Nukutaharua; the beach there is called Kaiarero. When they were some distance off, he rose up. He was walking, treading in their footsteps, and saying to himself, ‘Are these Ruataupare's, or are those?’ So he walked on, treading in their footsteps. When they turned round he was treading in this way in their footsteps. When he reached the turning he turned also, and continued following them till they reached the pa, Te Rahui. This was the pa of Uenuku-te-Whana, but he knew that the pa of Te Aotaki was above, on the mountain-face. When they had passed this pa he still walked on, following the women. Then Ruataupare and her companions hastened their pace to carry the news quickly to their father, and he walked on slowly.

They described to their father the emblems of high birth and bravery, and how he had persisted in following after them. Te Aotaki drew a long breath* and then sighed deeply. ‘Ah, well, he is perhaps your cousin Tuwhakairiora; it seems so from the emblems you describe.’ ‘Where is he?’ he asked. ‘Here he comes.’ ‘Was he not detained at the pa yonder?’ ‘No!’ Then he uttered this saying, ‘Enough,

*The pumanawa was a process of divination.

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let him come hither to Hikurangi, to the mountain on which rests the snow.’ He said to his daughters, ‘Adorn yourselves, and go to call a welcome to your cousin.’ He had divined it with that deep sigh of his that it was Tuwhakairiora. His daughters stood at the right of the front of the house, in the court, with their mother, Hinemaurea. He (Te Aotaki) was in the space by the window, reclining on the beam in the front of the porch, gazing with an intent look. The tribe with his daughters were waying a welcome. He (Tuwhakairiora) stood in the court and remained standing a long time. The tribe was gazing at the emblems of high birth and bravery, the plumes of white crane, and crest of sparrow-hawk feathers, ranged close together, and stuck into his hair; with the highly ornamented cloak, and dog-skin cape worn over it, and the decorated taiaha in his hand.

The tribe and the daughters were still standing, being in awe of Te Aotaki. He was still reclining and gazing at Tuwhakairiora. Some time passed, then he rose, grasped him by the left shoulder, and took him behind the left wall of the house without, where they descended together to the running stream, and Te Aotaki performed the tohi* rite over Tuwhakairiora. When Te Aotaki had ended his invovations [sic: invocations] he invoked Rangipopo. It was not long before she spoke with the voice of the thunder-clap to the tribes on the west side of Pukeamaru, including the tribes inland from Wharekahika, and the tribes on the sea-coast at Taungaihe and Owhiunga, the multitudes of Ngutuau. Those tribes said, ‘Eh, whoever is this man, that Te Aotaki keeps agitating the thunder-clap?’ They were both still standing when he called again to Rangipopo, ‘Old lady, old lady, old lady, arise, arise, arise; announce thy son; give voice.’ The sound of the thunders turned to the south side of Pukeamaru, over the pas at Puketapu, Kotare, Te Rangihuanoa, Tarapahure, Totaratawhiti, Okauwharetoa, and the other pas. They both remained standing. There spake the voice of the first thunder, Haruru-ki-te-rangi, and the pas were listening. When that ceased, there spake the voice of the second of the thunders, Whetuki-ki-te-rangi, over the same pas again. When that ceased, there spake the voice also of the third, Ueue-ki-te-rangi. Thereupon the chiefs and the tribes in those pas said, ‘What a disturbance Te Aotaki is making, rending asunder his mountain Pukeamaru; to-morrow we shall hear the tidings.’

When all the incantations of Te Aotaki were ended, they returned; when they came, the food

*Tohi was a rite for causing bravery.

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had been arranged on the stands. They ate the food out of doors, and a tohunga was appointed to feed Tuwhakairiora. When that was over they entered the house. Ruataupare's sleeping place was immediately beneath the window, but she betook herself to the inner end of the house to sleep, and left her sleeping place for Tuwhakairiora. As for the old man, he was beside the fire on the narrow side of the house, making his greetings to him. After some time he called Ruataupare, and his daughter arose and sat beside him. After some time, when she had finished her ngunguru incantation, he then said aloud, ‘Go down to your cousin that he may stretch his feet.’ Ruataupare arose and married Tuwhakairiora, then she went outside.

i. e., on the left of the centre passage as one entered.

The Ngunguru was an incantation in connection with marriage.

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The lady shown on this cover is Mrs Heather, granddaughter of Mr Iaki Hira, the well-known Maniapoto leader. Mrs Heather has won considerable fame as a horsewoman in recent years. An article on Mr Hira and his family will appear in the Summer issue.

Ko Poroumata raua ko tona wahine ko Whaene he rangatira, he mokopuna na Porourangi. Ko to raua iwi ko Ngati Ruanuku. Ko nga hapu nunui i roto ko Hore, ko Mana, ko Te Koreke, ko Te Mokowhakahoihoi, ko Te Pananehu, ko Te Pohoumauma.

Ka mahi te iwi i te kai, ka kawe ma Poroumata, i te hinu, i te ika, me era atu kai katoa. Ka hi te iwi i te ika, ka haere nga tumau o to Poroumata pa ki nga awa ki te tiki i nga ika i tena ra, i tena ra; nawai ra i pai te tiki, kua kino. Kua riro ma ratou e tango nga ika i nga taumanu. Ko nga ika i mahue atu ka kotia mai nga tata, nga whatu-aro, nga upoko o nga hapuku. Kua uru hoki nga tama ki taua mahi. Ko ia kaore i te mohio: tana he atawhai tonu i te iwi.

Ka whakatakoto whakaaro te iwi kia patua a Poroumata. I tetahi po ka titiro ia ki te po tu i waho i te Omanga e taruru ana, ki te Ika o te rangi me nga Patari, ki te tae pukohu tataiore e taipua ana i nga maunga. Ka ki ia ‘He marino tua-ukiuki apopo, he kawatawata tata moana te koangiangi; ka haere au ki te moana.’ I te ata ka eke ia ki tetahi o nga waka, ka tae ki te taunga. E kupapa ana te tini o nga waka. Ka wara ia ki te mounu i ana matau. Ka kamo nga whatu o nga tangata o te ihu ki o te ta, me o te ta ki o te ihu. Ka pera katoa nga tangata o nga waka ra, ka kamo katoa, me te tohu mai kia patua. Ka patua, ka mate. Ka pokaia te puku me te ngakau, ka maka ki te moana, ka pae ki uta. Waiho iho nei hei ingoa mo te wahi i pae ai, ko Tawekatanga o te ngakau o Poroumata. Huaina iho ki te taunga ko Kamokamo. E. mau nei ano aua ingoa.

Ka mate ra a Poroumata, ko wai hei ngaki i te mate? Kei te hari ra hoki te iwi, ka kai noa ia i ana kai. Ka tangi nga tamahine ki to ratou papa, a Te Ataakura, a Materoa, a Tawhipare. He roa te tangihanga me te mamaetanga o nga wahine nei ki to ratou papa. —Kati tera.

Ko Tumoana-kotore, hei mokopuna ano ma Porourangi, raua tahi ko Poroumata. Ka moe a Tumoana-kotore i nga wahine tokorua, ko Rutanga te tuakana, ko Rongomai-tauarau te taina. Tokorua moe anake i a ia. Ka puta ta te tuakana, ko Hinemahuru. Ka puta ta te taina, he tama tane, ko Ngatihau.

Ka mate a Tumoana-kotore, ka rite nga ra e tangihia ana ki to te rangatira tangihanga. Ka takaia, ka kawea, ka whakairia ki runga ki te kauere, e tata ana ki Waimatatini. Ko te toma koiwi, ko Parororangi, kei runga tata ake, kei te maunga. Kai taka te tau, kia pirau, ka kawe ai i nga iwi ki taua toma. Ka hoki nga tangata whakairi ki te kainga, ka whiti i te tahi awa iti nei, ka pa te waha. Ka tu, ka whakarongo. Ka karanga ano. Ka ki ratou, ‘Mehemea tonu ko te waha o te koroua nei.’ Ka whakahu ake ratou, ka akiaki iho te waha, ‘Kei te ora tonu au, tukua au ki raro.’ Ka hoki te whanau, ka tukua, ka wetewetekia nga takai. Ka titiro ake ki te kauere ra, ka whai te waha, ‘E titiro tonu ana aku whatu, ka whakairia oratia.’ He maha nga tau, katahi ka tino mate.—Kati tera.

Ka moea e tana tama, e Ngatihau, a Te Ataakura, te tamahine a Poroumata, hei wahine mana. Kei te tangi tonu ki tona papa; ka mamae, ki tana wahara hoki he tane hei ngaki i te mate o tona papa. Ka huaina e ia te ingoa ko Te Aomihia, ko nga ao i mihi ai tona papa, i haere ai ki te moana i mate ai.

Ka hapu ano ia, noho rawa atu raua ko te tane i Opotiki. Kei te tangi tonu ia ki tona papa. I a ia e tangi ana, ka takatakahi te tamaiti i roto i tona puku. Katahi ia ka whakatauki iho:—

“E i, kia takatakahi koe i roto i a au, he tane,
E ea i a koe te mate o toku papa.”

Whanau ake he tane. Ka huaina te ingoa ko te ingoa o tona tipuna, ko Tumoana-kotore-i-whakairia-oratia. Ka whakapotoa ki te karangatia, ko Tuwhakairiora.

Ka atawhai ia ki tana tamaiti, me te mahara tonu ka ea te mate o tona papa i tana tamaiti. Ka tanumia te ewe; kiia iho te wahi i tapukea ai ko Te ewe o Tuwhakairiora. Ka mahia e nga tohunga te tamaiti ki a ratou karakia Whakanihoniho, Whangawhangai, Iho-tau me era atu karakia. Ka tupu, ka pakeke, me te whawarongo tonu ki nga tohunga mahi i a ia e korero tonu ana i te whakatauki a tona koka.

Kua uru ia ki nga whakawai riri, kua pa i a ia te tangata. Kua uru tonu ia ki nga whawhaitanga nui, kua puta tonu ia ki te kainga ahi, kua okooko i nga rakau o te tutakitanga o nga motumotu. Kua hinga te parekura nui, ko Paengatoitoi. Kua haere ona rongo-toa, kua mohio ia ki te tohu toa o te riri e hinga ai te hoa-riri. Katahi ia ka poroaki iho ki te iwi: “Hai konei, ka haere au ki te whakatauki a toku koka, e korerotia nei, e rongo nei au: noku pea e takatakahi ana i roto i a ia, ka ki iho nei:—

“E i, kia takatakahi koe i roto i a au, he tane,
E ea i a koe te mate o toku papa.”

Kua mohio te iwi ko te mate o tona tipuna, o Poroumata, ka haerea e Tuwhakairiora. Ka mea te iwi kia nui te ope, hei kawe i a ia ki te mate o tona tipuna, o Poroumata. Ka kiia e ia “Kati, ko au anake e haere. Tena ona iwi hai kawe i a au.” Ka haramai ia, ko ia anake.

Tera nga rongo ataahua o nga tamahine a Te Aotaki, o Ruataupare, raua ko Auahikoata, kua hau noa atu ki Opotiki. Ka tae mai ia ki te ngutu-awa o Wharekahika, ko nga wahine ra e kohi pipi ana, me nga tamariki wahine, o raua hoa, e noho ana i te taha o te ahi, me nga kakahu e pukai ana. Ka patai ia ki nga tamariki ra; te kianga mai ko Ruataupare raua ko Auahi-koata. Ka mahara ia ki nga rongo kua puta atu ra o nga wahine nei. Kua eke ia ki runga o nga kakahu noho ai. Kai te riri mai nga tamariki ra, kai te titiro mai nga wahine ra. Ka haere nga tamariki, ka korero atu, ka ki mai raua, ‘Tena koa, ki atu, kia mauria mai e koutou o maua kakahu.’ Te taenga atu o nga tamariki, ka whakatatanga ia, ka riro atu, ka noho ano ia. Kei te kakahu nga wahine ra, kei te titiro whakatau mai ki a ia, ki nga tohu o te rangatira, o te toa, e mau atu ana i runga i a ia. Kei te mea hoki ia ki tona kore i patai ki nga tamariki ra ko tewhea a Ruataupare.

Kakahu ana raua, na nga tamariki i mau nga pipi. Ka ahu mai ki te pito ki te tonga, ki Nukutaharua, ko te ingoa o te one nei ko Kaiarero. Ka mamao mai raua, ka whakatika ia. Kei te takahi haere atu i nga tupuae, kei te penei, ‘Koia nei ranei o Ruataupare, ara ranei ko tera ra?’ Ka takahi haere atu i o raua tapuae. Ka tahuri mai raua, e pera ana te takahi atu i o raua tapuae. Tae noa ki te pekanga, peka tonu hoki ia, whai tonu i muri i a raua, tae noa ki te pa ki Te Rahui. Ko tenei pa no Uenuku-te-whana; kua mohio ke mai ia ko te pa i runga i te aromaunga to Te Oataki. Ka pahure te pa ra, whai haere tonu ia i nga wahine ra. Katahi ka kaha te haere a Ruataupare ma kia wawe to raua papa te rongo, ka ata haere atu hoki ia.

Korero atu ana raua ki to raua papa ki nga tohu o te rangatira, me nga tohu o te toa, me te whai tonu mai ia i muri i a raua. Ka hotu te mauri o Te Aotaki, ka pumanawa, ‘E i, tena pea ia ko to korua tungane, ko Tuwhakairiora, ina te rite o a korua tohu.’ Ka patai ia, ‘Kei wheat?’ ‘Ina tonu e haramai nei.’ ‘Kaore ia i puritia atu i te pa ra ra?’ ‘Kaore!’ Ka whakatauki ia: ‘Kati, tukua mai ki Hikurangi, ki te maunga e tauria e te huka.’ Ka ki ki nga tamahine, ‘Rakai i a korua ka whanatu ki te karanga ki to korua tungane.’ Kua mohio ia, na tona pumanawatanga i whakaatu, ko Tuwhakairiora. Ka tu nga tamahine i te mataihi katau o te marae, me to raua koka, me Hinemaurea. Ko ia ki te takiwa ki te mataaho, e tapapa, ana i runga i te paepae nui o waho, e titiro whakatau atu ana. Kei te pohiri te iwi me nga tamahine. Ka tu ki te marae, ka roa e tu ana. Kei te titiro te iwi ki nga tohu o te rangatira. o te toa, ki te takotuku, ki te pare-karearea, apititia ai, poua ai ki te upoko, me te kakahu paepaeroa, uhia iho te mahiti, me te taiaha-a-kura ki te ringa.

Kei te tu te iwi nga tamahine, kei te wehi i a Te Aotaki. Kei te tapapa tonu ia, kei te titiro tonu atu ki a Tuwhakairiora. Ka roa, katahi ka whakatika atu ka mau ki te pakihiwi maui, ka numia i te pakitara maui o waho o te whare ka heke atu raua ki te wai-rere, ka tohia e Te Aotaki a Tuwhakairiora. Ka mutu nga karakia a Te Aotaki ka kerohia e ia a Rangipopo; kihai i roa ka ki te reo o te whaitiri paorangi ki nga iwi i te taha hauauru o Pukeamaru, puta noa ki nga iwi i roto o Wharekahika, me nga iwi o te taha moana i Taungaihe, i Owhiunga, nga tini o te Ngutuau. Ka ki nga iwi ra, ‘E, ko wai ra tangata nei, ina he akiaki tonu a Te Aotaki i te whaitiri paorangi?’ Kei te tu tonu raua, ka karanga ano ia ki a Rangipopo, ‘E pou, e pou, e pou, whakaaraara, whakaaraara, whakaaraara; whaka aturia to mokopuna; e tangi.” Ka huri te tangi o nga whaitiri ki te taha tonga o Pukeamaru ki runga ki nga pa ki Puketapu, ki Kotare, ki Te Rangihuanoa, ki Tarapahure, ki Totaratawhiti, ki Okauwharetoa, me era atu pa. Kei te tu tonu raua. Ka ki te waha o te whaitiri tuatahi, o Haruru-ke-te-rangi, kei te whakarongo nga pa ra. Ka mutu tera, ka ki ano te waha o te rua o nga whaitiri, o Whetuki-ki-te-rangi, ki runga ano ki nga pa ra. Ka mutu tera, ka ki ano te waha o te tuatoru, o Ueue-ke-te-rangi. Kei tenei ka ki nga rangatira me nga iwi o roto o nga pa ra, ‘Ehara te whakararu e wawahi nei a Te Aotaki i tona maunga, i Pukeamaru; apopo taua te rongo ai i te korero.”

Ka mutu nga karakia katoa a Te Aotaki ka hoki raua; tae atu, kua rite nga kai ki runga i te takotoranga. Kainga i waho, ka whakaritea he tohunga hei whangai mo Tuwhakairiora. Ka mutu, ka tomo ki te whare. Ko te moenga o Ruataupare kei raro iho o te mataaho, ka tau ia ki te tuarongo moe ai, ka waiho te moenga mo Tuwhakairiora. Ko te koroua ra kei te taha o te ahi i te tara iti o te whare e mihimihi atu ana ki a ia. Ka roa, ka karanga atu ia ki a Ruataupare; ka whakatika mai hoki te tamahine, ka noho ki tona taha. Ka roa ka mutu hoki tona ngurunguru, katahi ka ki nui atu, ‘Whanatu ki raro i to tungane na, hei wharorotanga mai mo ona waewae.’ Ko whakatika a Ruataupare, ka moeo e Tuwhakairiora, ka puta ia ki waho. (Kote wahanga whakamutunga kei muri).