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No. 5 (Spring 1953)
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He Korero Pakiwaitara

Janet Lives at Ruatoki and attends the Maori School at Tawera. She is aged 13. Although she understands English quite well and of course does all her school work in that language there is no doubt whatever that Maori is still the language in which Janet and her companions feel most at home. Unfortunately, no one had ever asked her to write anything in Maori, nor taught her the simple spelling scheme of her native tongue. She was, therefore, quite embarrassed when I asked her to write me a story in Maori and her first attempt was only passable. You see she had to teach herself a system of spelling as she wrote and that probably prevented her ideas from flowing freely. Teach herself she did, and her third attempt was the little masterpiece of Tuhoe dialect that is printed below. She based her story on a fairy tale she had read in English some months before. She wrote the whole story at one sitting, then read it over to me just as it is printed here, in the musical dialect of Ngaituhoe.

Ka noho tera wahine raua ko ana tamariki e rua. Ao ake i tetahi rani(1) ka mea atu te wahine ra ki a Hoani kia haere ki te mahi. Ka haere a Hoani ki te mahi ka heria e ia etahi paraoa mana hai(2) kai. Tae mai a ia(3) ki tetahi rakau ano, ka kite atu a ia ki te mapu(4) naro e rere mai ana ki a ia. Ka porowhiua atu e ia etahi paroa(5) ma na naro nei, ka rere mai ratau(6) ki te kai. Te mututana o te kai a na naro ka mea atu ki te tamaiti ra pena he rarurau ra tona me haere atu ra ki a ratau, ma ratau kia mahi. Whakaae atu te tamaiti ra, ka haere. Tae mai ana ki te whiro(7) ka ka kite atu i tetahi kuia ano, ka haere atu ka mea atu kia haere mai raua ki te kai. Ka mea atu te kuia ra, “Kai te pai. Kaina o paraoa mo to haeretana ki tetahi wahi, ana, kai te toe to paraoa.” Ka mea atu te kuia ra, “Pena he raruraru tohou(8), me haere mai koe ki ahau.”

Ka haere te tamaiti ra ka tae mai ki he taha o tea moana ka rere mai he torea ka porowhiunia atu e te tamaiti ra tetahi paraoa, ma te manu ra. Ka mea atu te torea ra, “Me haere mai koe ki ahau pena he raruraru tohou.”

Ka haere te tamaiti ra ka tae mai ki te taha o te wai ka kite atu i te ika e kaukau haere ana mai, ka mea atu, “Kai te hiakai koe?” Kare(9) he ika e mea mai. Ka hoatunia e te tamaiti ra he paraoa. Ka mea atu te ika, “Pena he raruraru tohou me haere mai koe ki ahau.” Ka whakaae atu te tamaiti ra, ka haere. Tae atu te tamaiti ra ki tetahi rori(10) ano ka kite atu ia i tetahi hiwi teitei ano. Ka haere atu ia, ka piki i te hiwi ra. Tae atu ana ia ki runga o te hiwi ka kite atu a ia ki te whare o te kingi ka haere atu a ia ki reira. Tae atu ana ia ka mea atu te kingi he aha tana pirani. Ka mea atu te tamaiti ra i haere mai a ia ki te mahi. Ka heria e te kingi ra ka mea atu me poro e ia na paina(11) katoa, ka kore, ka pora e ia te kaki o te tamaiti ra. Te hokitana o te kingi ki tana whare ka tati(12) te tamaiti ra ki te ue. I aue a ia ka puta atu te kuia ra ka mea atu he aha tana raruraru. Ka mea atu te tamaiti ra e mea atu te kingi me poro katoa e ia nga paina ra, ka kore ka poroa tana kaki. I tera tonu ka mea atu te kuia ra, “Me hoki koe ki te moe, maku hai poro.”

Te hokitana o te tamaiti ra ki te moa ka tati te kuia ra ki te whakakoi i tana toki. Mutu ana tana poro i na paina ra ka haere a ia ki te whakaoho i te tamaiti ra. Kare noa iho i roa te hokitanga atu o te kuia ra ka awatea. Ka kite atu te tamaiti ra i te kingi e haere mai ana. Tae atu ana te kingi ra ka mea atu te tamaiti ra he aha he mahi mana. Ka mea atu te kingi ra mana e rui nga peke(13) paraoa e rima mano katoa. I te kore e oti i a ia nà paraoa te kohi i te po ka poroa e ia te mahuna o te tamaiti ra. Ka haere te kingi ra. Ka mea te tamaiti ra me aha a ia. Ka mahara ake a ia ki na naro ra, ka karakia a ia kia haere mai na naro. I a ia e karakia ana ka puta atu na naro ka mea atu, “He aha to raruraru?” Ka mea atu te tamaiti ra, i mea atu te kingi ki a ia me oti a ia nga paraoa ra te kohi, ka kore, ka poroa e ia tana mahuna. Ka haere na naro ra ki te kohi i nga puehu paraoa ka haere atu te tamaiti ra ki te herehere i nga peke paraoa. Te mututana ka hoki na naro ra, ka hoki te tamaiti ra ki te moe.

Tae atu ana a ia ka kite atu a ia i te kingi e haere mai ana. Ka mea atu te kingi ra ki te tamaiti ra pena i oti katoa a ia te kohi. Ka whakaae atu te tamaiti ra, ka haere te kingi te titiro. Tae atu ana a ia kare ke it kitea

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e ia he paraoa i runga o te oneone. Ka mea atu te kingi ra mana e tiki etahi wai kia rua te kau na pakete(14). Ka haere te kingi ra ki te tiki. Tae ana mai a ia ka mea atu te kingi me putu e ia na wai o roto, ka kore, ka poroa tana kaki. Ka haere te kingi ka piki te tamaiti ra ki runga o te rakau tangi ai. Ka rere mai te torea ka tau mai ki runga o te rakau ra ka mea atu, “he aha to raruraru?” Ka mea atu te tamaiti ra, “I mea mai te kingi me putu e ‘hau na wai o roto no na pakete na, ka kore, ka poroa e ia taku kaki.” Ka mea atu te torea ra, “Me haere koe ki te moe. Makuhai mahi.”

Ka haere te tamaiti ra. No tana titirotana atu kua kore ke te manu ra. Ka haere a ia ki te tiro kua pau katoa na wai o roto i na pakete. Tae mai te kingi ra, ka haere ki te titiro. Ka hoki te kingi ra ki te tiki i te ringi(15) ka porowhiua ki roto i te wai. Ka haere te kingi ra. Ka noho te tamaiti ra i runga o te paepae aue ai. Ka piki ake te ika ka mea atu, “He aha to raruraru, ka mea atu, “Kare e kitea atu e ‘hau te ringi i porowhiunia atu e te kingi.”

Ka piki ake te ika ka whiuatunia e ia te ringi. Ka hoki te tamaiti ra ki te here i te ringi ki te kingi. Tana taehana atu ka mea atu ki te kingi, “Anei te ringi.” Ka tikina atu e te kingi. Te rirotana atu i a ia o te ringi ka riri te kingi nei ki te tamaiti ra, ka heria e te kingi te tamaiti ki roto i tetahi kohatu rauna(16) ano i raro ra ano. Ka mea atu te kingi, i te kore a ia e hemo kua riro a ia e hemo kua riro a ia tana tamaiti. Ka whakatakatia e te kingi ra tetahi piki(17) kohatu ano. Kare i tika i te tamaiti ra na te mea i hiripi(18) te kohatu ma te taha. Te pikitana ake o te tamaiti ra ka heria e te kingi ra ki tana tamaiti ka moe raua. Ka noho raua i to raua whare. Ka haere mai katoa na tanata ki te titiro i to ratou kingi hou, ko tana inoa ko Hoani.

(1) Rani. Some speakers of the Tuhoe-Ngatiawa dialect do not use the ‘ng’ sound (velar nasal), at all; they replace it with ‘n’ (palatal nasal). Others use the velar in the middle of words but not initially, that is they say naro (fly), but rangi (day). Others, including some of the elders, use the velar ‘ng’ in both positions as is done in the other dialects. Janet belongs, together with most of her school friends, in the first category. (She uses ‘ng’ however in the loan words kingi and ringi.)

(2) Hai. The tribes of the Bay of Plenty, of the East Coast, together with Tuhoe, replace e by a in several words including hei and kei.

(3) Tae mai a ia. Grammar books do not generally recognise the use of the particle a before ia standing as the subject of a sentence, but it is so used in several districts in spite of them and has been for at least a century.

(4) Mapu. Janet and her friends use fewer English loan words than do the children of most other districts, but quite a few may be heard, puzzling the student who relies solely on his Williams's dictionary. Mob is one of these loan words.

(5) paraoa. Bread — from flour.

(6) ratau. au instead of ou in tatou, matou, and ratou is widely heard even in such far spaced tribal areas as those of Ngatiporou and Upper Wanganui River.

(7) whiro. Willow.

(8) tohou. Also mohou, for tou and mou. A fairly widespread variation.

(9) Kare. Kaore.

(10) rori. Road.

(11) paina. Pines.

(12) tati. Started.

(13) peke. Bags.

(14) pakete. Buckets.

(15) ringi. Ring.

(16) rauna. Round.

(17) piki. Big.

(18) hiripi. Slipped.