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No. 11 (July 1955)
– 23 –

The warrior often gets but the wanderer's scanty pittance, but the husbandman eats the industrious man's full and hearty meal.

This proverb is for a fighting party.


He who talks till he splutters, is sure to tell some lies.

This is for the person known to tell many falsehoods.


Two years of crops parched by heat, Two seasons when produce is scarce, Two seasons in which crops fail, Two seasons of abundance—prosperity comes at last.


Go my children and when you reach land, do not take up the tikanga of Tu or War, but rather that of Noho, or dwelling in peace, and then the huhu shall undergo his change to the moth or pepe in your bones,—you will die a natural death.

This was Hou's advice to his sons, Tama and others when they left their island home about 1350 A.D.


Twice eight are sixteen. Sixteen and one are seventeen.

This is for number, and a further application. “Oh, yes, I'm a fool, and you're a fine fellow, I dare say, but I know that twice eight are sixteen, as well as you do; or that sixteen and one are seventeen.”


In planting (digging) time, friends to help you are scarce, when the crops are gathered, they come in shoals. Eat the little green parrots at once whether they are well done, or under-done.

Meaning, warriors on the warpath, have no time for dainty cooking.

Some city restaurants should read this. They're always at war.

I can still recall a story told to me by the late Taite Te Tomo. A Tuhourangi party was ambushed and murdered, and later this deed was squared off. The treacherous tribe was attacked and killed, some were eaten, others taken prisoner. The victorious Tuhourangi chieftain was known to have exclaimed: “Kakariki tunua Kakariki otaina.”