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No. 13 (December 1955)
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TE KORERO MO POTAKA-TAWHITI

Ko tenei Potaka-tawhiti, he Kuri-mokai, na Tamatekapua, raua ko tana teina, ko Whakaturia, he tamariki raua na Houmaitawhiti. Ko tenei korero no te wa ano, i te iwi e noho ana mai i Hawaiki ano no mua tata atu, i te hekenga mai ki tenei whenua, ki Aotearoa.

Ina te whakapapa mai i a Houmaitawhiti, ki tenei wa. Na Atuamatua ko

1.

Houmaitawhiti

2.

Tamatekapua

3.

Kahumatamomoe

4.

Tawakemoetahanga

5.

Uenukumairakotonga

6.

Rangitihi

7.

Tuhourangi

8.

Uenukukopako

9.

Whakaua

10.

Tutanekai

11.

Te Whatumairangi

12.

Taiwere

13.

Pukaki

14.

Te Rangitakuku

15.

Te Whanoa

16.

Te Koaitua

17.

Te Tupara

18.

Temueka

19.

Paora te Kaikorero o tenei pakiwaitara.

Kei te takatu te iwi mo te heke mai, kua kitea hoki, kua kore i kaha nga moutere e nohia nei e matou, ki te whangai i te iwi. Tuakau, kua noho ririri, i waenganui i nga hapu, e noho tahi ana i runga i nga moutere, mo nga wahi tupunga kai whenua, kai huarakau, a whanaunga tata tonu ki a Uenuku, me Toitehuatahi, engari he pa ke to Hou, wehe ke i to Uenuku, me Toi.

I tetahi wa, ka whakaaro a Uenuku ki te haere ki te toro atu i tana tuakana i a Hou, kua roa hoki te wa, i ngaro mai ai i a Hou. Ka rongo a Toi ka hiahia hoki te haere tahi me Uenuku. Ko tenei Uenuku, he tohunga, a he rakau-poroporo tana, kei te taha tonu o tana whare, e

 

THE LEGEND OF POTAKA-TAWHITI

Potaka-tawhiti was the name of a pet dog belonging to Tamatekapua and his younger sister, Whakaturia, who were the children of Houmaitawhiti. This legend belongs to olden times, to the time when our ancestors were still living in Hawaiki and to the period immediately preceding the great migration to Aotearoa.

This genealogy which follows, traces descent from Houmaitawhiti to the present time.

Atuamatua begot

1.

Houmaitawhiti

2.

Tamatekapua

3.

Kahumatamomoe

4.

Tawakemoetahanga

5.

Uenu Kumairakotonga

6.

Rangitihi

7.

Tuhourangi

8.

Uenukukopako

9.

Whakaua

10.

Tutanekai

11.

Te Whataumairangi

12.

Taiwere

13.

Pukaki

14.

Te Rangitakuku

15.

Te Whanoa

16.

Te Koaitua

17.

Te Tupara

18.

Temueka

At that time, the people were becoming anxious to leave their land for it was clear that the islands upon which they lived were unable to support them. Squables over food and fruit plantations were also growing and had come to assume the form of open warfare.

Now Houmaitawhiti was closely related to Uenuku and Toitehuatahi, though he lived separately from them. One day, Uenuku decided to visit his elder. Hou, whom he had not seen for some time. When Toi heard of this he was seized with a desire to journey with him.

The same Uenuku was a tohunga, and was the possessor of a Poroporo tree which grew by the side of his house. It was the only tree of its kind on the island and its fruit were coveted by all; but as these were the property of a tohunga, no one was prepared to pluck them without his permission.

In due course, the men reached the home of Hou and there they were welcomed in the traditional manner. With these formalities over,

 
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tupu ana; ka mutu ano te poroporo, i runga i taua moutere, ona hua he minaminatanga na te katoa, otira i te mea na te tohunga kore hanoa e taea te tiki atu te kato mai, ma tua rawa i te whakaea mai e te tohunga.

Ka tae nga tangata nei ki te pa o Hou, ka powhiritia mai e te tangata-whenua. Ka mutu nga mihi whakatau ka whina te kai, hua noa nga tangata nei tena noatu te kai ma raua, te homaitanga, ko taua taro nei ano, me etahi kumara torutoru nei. Ka mutu ano, kaore he kinaki.

Ka mutu te kai, ka poroaki iho ki a Hou ka hoki ki to raua nei pa me te pukuriri, hiakai hoki.

I a raua e haere ana, ka whai tahi te Kurimokai a Tamatekapua raua ko te teina i nga tokorua nei. Ka tawhiti atu i te pa o Hou, ka hopukia te kuri a Potakatawhiti e Uenuku raua ko Toi, ka patua, ka kainga. Ko te wahi i a Toi he wahi iti nei.

Te hokianga mai o Tamatekapua me te teina i te kau haere, karanga noa i ta raua mokai korekore ana. Ui atu ki to raua papa kaore hoki tera i mohio kei hea. Katahi ka ki atu ki a Tamatekapua kia haere ki te pa o Uenuku raua ko Toi tera pea i whai i a raua.

Ka tae ki te pa o Uenuku raua ko Toi ka timata te karanga haere i ta raua mokai. E po! E po! Ka tae ki waho o te whare o Toi ka rongo i te aue. Katahi ka tomo atu ki roto me te karanga haere atu, e po! Rokohanga atu e Tamatekapua me te teina, e ngana ana a Toi ki te kokopi i tana waha ki ona ringa, e rua, heoi kei te Aue! Aue! ake te kuri i roto i te puku o Toi.

Te kitanga mai o Toi i a Tamatekapua me Whakaturia ka whakatauki—“Peni au i huna ai i a koe ki roto i te puku-nui-o Toi, tena koe e ata noho, tenei i na ano koe e auau tonu nei.”

Te mohiotanga o Tametekapua kua kainga ta raua kuri e Toi ka noho te whakatakariri. Ko te kiinga atu “Mo tenei mahi kino, kohuru a korua ko Uenuku tera korua e rongo ki ta maua mahi ki a korua apopo!

Te hokianga o Tamatekapua me te teina ki te kainga ki to raua papa, ka korerotia atu te tukunga iho ki ta raua mokai. Ka pouri a Hou.

Katahi a Tama me Whakaturia ka hanga whakaaro hei takitaki i te korerotia atu te tukunga iho ki ta raua mokai. Kohuru, o ta raua kuri o Patakatauwhiti.

Ka oti ta raua whakaaro, ka hangaia he panote. Ko te whakaaro i oti nei i a raua—me haere raua ki te pa o Uenuku raua ko Toi ka muru mai i nga hua o te proporo a Uenuku, a me nga nuinga atu i nga poutoki.

Ka oti ta raua whakariterite i te po ka haere. Ka tae te wahi i tupu ai te poroporo a Uenuku ko te haerenga atu o Tamatekapua i runga i ana poutoti, ka timata te katokato i nga hua o te poroporo Kotahi ki roto i te waha, kotahi ki roto i te kete, me te tukutuku iho i etahi ki tona teina ki a Whakaturia. Ka kii o raua puku me a raua kete, ko te hokinga ki te kainga. I te po

 
 

food was then brought before the visitors; but instead of the rich variety which they expected, all they were offered were the common taro and a few kumara. There was not even anything to go with them. After they had eaten they bade Hou farewell, and returned to their own home incensed, and hungry.

On the way, they were followed by the pet dog of the children of Hou, Tamatekapua, and his sister, Whakaturia. After they had travelled some distance from the home of Hou, the dog, whose name was Potaka-tawhi [ unclear: ] i, was seized by Uenuku and Toi and was slain and eaten. Most of it was consumed by Toi, only a small portion being eaten by Uenuku.

When Tamatekapua and his sister returned from their wanderings, they called in vain for their dog. They enquired of their father, but even he could throw no light on the matter; but he suggested to Tamatekapua that he should go to the pa of Uenuku and Toi, in case the dog had followed them thither.

When they arrived at the home of Uenuku and Toi they began calling to their dog by name. “E Po! E Po!” they cried. Then, as they stood outside the home of Toi, they perceived a baying moan, and thereupon they entered the house calling to their dog as they entered.

When Tamatekapua and his sister came upon him, Toi was stirring with all his might to close his mouth with both his hands, but the dog kept on baying from within the confines of his stomach.

On seeing Tamatekapua and Whakaturia, Toi exclaimed: “I concealed you in the spacious stomach of Toi thinking you would be quiet. But here you are baying and moaning for all you are worth!”

Tamatekapua then realised that their dog had been eaten by Toi, and a great anger welled up within him. “For this foul deed and murderous act,” he said, “you and Uenuku will, with certitude, hear more anon.”

When Tamatekapua and his sister returned to their home and father, they, told of the fate of their dog, and Hou was greatly disturbed.

Tamatekapua and Whakaturia then applied themselves to the problem of avenging the killing of their dog Potaka-tawhiti. Having decided on their plan, they set to, to make a pair of stilts, for it was their intention to return to the home of Uenuku and Toi and, with the aid of stilts, to rob Uenuku's Poroporo of all its fruit.

 
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tuarua ka hoki ano nga tangata nei ki te muru mai i nga hua o te poroporo a Uenuku. Te aonga ake i te ra tuatoru ka haere atu a Uenuku ki tana poroporo, te tirohanga atu makua nga hua.

Katahi ka taria me kore e mau te tangata tahae.

I te po tuatoru ka haere ano a Tamatekapua me te teina ki te whakaemi mai i te toenga atu o nga hua o te poroporo a Uenuku. Tera a Uenuku me tona iwi e noho tauwhanga mai ra. Ka kitea mai ah! Ko Tamatekapua me te teina e haere atu ana. Kotahi kei runga i nga poutoti kotahi kei raro e haere ana. Ko te huakanga atu e nga kai tutai, ka mau ko Whakaturia, ka pahure a Tamatekapua. Ka whaia e nga kai whai a Tamatekapua, ko te rerenga i runga i ana poutoti ki te moana.

Katahi nga kaiwhai ka mea kia tuaina nga poutoti kia hinga atu ai ta ratou tangata ki te wai kia toremi atu. Ko te karangatanga a Tamatekapua kia tukua atu ia ki uta a ka tua ai i ana poutoti. Te taenga atu katahi ka tuaina, te hinganga iho o Tamatekapua; ko te whakatakanga ki runga ka oma ka kahaki i a ia whai rawa ake te hoariri kua pamamao ke ta ratau tangata e rere ana. Whai noa kore rawa i mau.

Katahi ka arahina a Whakaturia e te iwi o Uenuku ki te pa, ko etahi i mea, me patu kia mate, ko etahi i mea kaua. Engari me whakairi ki te tahu o te wharerunanga o Uenuke, ka tahu he ahi ki waenganui o te whare, a ma te auahi e patu. Ka rite te korero ka whakaoraia a Whakatureia, ka tahuna te ahi, a ka piki te auahi ka whaka-minamina auahi i ta ratou herehere.

Ka noho ki te haka, ki te whakatuwaewae, ka whakatumatuma ake ki ta ratou tangata.

Ka tae te kororo ki a Tamatekapua ko tana teina kei te peratia te tukino i a Whakaturia. I te po tuarua ko te haeranga o Tamatekapua ki te whakataki i te teina. Ka tae ki waho o te whare ka pikitia te taumaihi, ka eke ki runga katahi ka karohia iho i te wahi i mohio iho ai ia kei reira a Whakaturia e oi ana. Te hounga iho ana, koia ano tika tonu iho ki te teina.

Ko te pataitanga iho, “E tu. Kei te ora tonu koe, ka whakautua ake e tera. “Ae, ko koe tena e Rapu, ae.”

Katahi a Tamatekapua ka timata te akoako iho i te teina ki nga kaupapa e marere ai a Whakaturia i roto i nga ringa o te iwi, engari ake ra i raro. “E tu kei te whakaronga kau koe, ae. Tuatahi me karanga iho koe ki te hunga ra, kaore o ratou painga ki te haka, ki te whakatuwaewae, ki te waiata, mehemea ko koe ara ke atu te tikanga o te haka me te whakatuwaewae na ki te tukaa atu koe ki raro, ki atu, kia ata horoi koe i a koe, kia muhua te kiri ki te hinu, ka teti i te Kura ki te mahunga, ka toro atu i tetahi taiaha, katahi koe ka timata ki te tupeke me te pukana me wheterotero i to arero. Katahi koe ka rere haere i roto o te whare, Ka tae ki te tuarongo, ka hoki mai ki te papa o te whare. Ko te toru o hokinga mai i te tuarongo, kei waho ahau o te tatau, maku e whakatuwhera te kuaha

 
 

On the appointed night, they left on their mission. When they reached the tree, Tamatekapua mounted his stilts and began gathering the fruit. He himself would eat the first berry, the second he would put in the basket and the third he would hand down -to his sister, Whakaturia. In due course, with their basket full and themselves replete, they made their way back to their own home. On the second night, they returned once more to relieve the tree of Uenuku of more of its fruit.

On the morning of the next day, Uenuku himself visited the tree and was chagrined to find that much of the fruit was missing. He decided to lay in wait for the thieves.

On the third night Tamatekapua and his sister again returned to gather what fruit was left on Uenuku's poroporo. Uenuku and his people who lay watching saw Tamatekapua and his sister approaching, the former on stilts and the latter on foot. They rushed out upon them and caught hold of Whakaturia, but Tamatekapua managed to escape. Whereupon they gave chase, but Tamatekapua, still mounted on his stilts, made rapid flight towards the sea.

But he could only proceed so far, whereupon his pursuers conceived the plan of cutting the stilts down so as to cause their prey to fall into the sea and drown. On perceiving this strategy, Tamatekapua besought them to allow him to come ashore for the planned ordeal. When he reached the shore, they cut down the stilts and Tamatekapua fell to the ground; but forthwith he jumped to his feet and sped away in flight. And even though the enemy was quickly in pursuit, their quarry had gained a flying start. They gave chase, but in vain.

Whakaturia was taken by Uenuku's people to their pa where some advocated her being struck to death. While others opposed it, but proposed rather that she should be tied to the ridge pole of Uenuku's house, a fire lit under her and the smoke allowed to suffocate her to death. When this plan had been agreed to, Whakaturia was tied to the ridge pole and a fire lit under her, and the smoke as it rose to the ceiling began to affect the prisoner.

Below her, her tormentors danced and gesticulated and hurled defiance at her.

In due course word reached Tamatekapua of the violence with which his sister, Whakaturia, was being treated, and on the second night he set out to seek her. When he arrived at the house he climbed the outside wall until he reached that spot under which he considered Whakaturia would be hanging. There he began to bore a hole and when the roof had been penetrated, lo, there was his sister immediately below him. “Tu,” he called, “are you still alive?”. “Yes,” she replied. “Is that you Kapu? Yes, I am still alive.”

Then Tamatekapua began to prime her with advice for effecting her release through cajolery. “Tu,” he whispered, “you are listening? Yes? First, exclaim to your tormentors that they are but learners in the art of the haka, the dance and the chant. If you could but perform, what artistry and perfection there would be. If, on this challenge, you are lowered to the ground, say that you must first wash and smear you body with oil, and decorate your head with feathers. Then ask for a taiaha, and with this in your hand, commence the leap, gesticulation and dance of the haka round and round the room, from the rear to the doorway. As you approach from the rear for the third time, I shall be standing outside the

 
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ka rere tika mai koe ki waho, ka tutaki atu ai e taua te kuaha.”

Ka mutu nga tohutohu iho a Tamatekapua ki te teina, ko te hekenga atu ki raro ka haere ki te roro o te whare noho tatari mai ai ki te teina.

Te rongonga o Uenuku me Toi me to raua iwi i a Whakaturi ae korero iho ana, a whakahawea ana ki a ratou me a ratou haka, katahi ka mea—

“Tena koe tukua iho te tangata e kiki iho nei te waha he mohio ia ki te haka, he aha ranei?”

Katahi ka tukua iho. A na te mea ano ka ata rite katoa nga mea katoa i akoakongia atu ra e te tuakana e Tamatekapua ki a ia, ko te tarapeketanga, tau rawa atu i te tuarong o te whare, me te pukana me te whaterotero, me te haere te arero, me te whakatumatuma atu ki te aronga atu ki a Toitehuatahi. Katahi ka rua nga tarapeketanga, i te toru, tau rawa mai ki te ahi a nga motumotu o te ahi kei roto i te whare. Kapo tonu ki tetahi o nga motumotu o te ahi e ka ra i roto i te whare, kua tuhera te kuaha i a Tamatekapua, tau rawa atu a Whakaturia i waho, Tutakina mai te kuaha herehere rawa.

Katahi ka toua te motumotu e ka tonu ra, i kapohia iho ra e Whakaturia, ki nga tuparu rau rakau o te whare, ko te muranga i mura ai, pau atu a Toi me Uenuku me to raua iwi i te ahi.

Ki tetahi korero, ko Uenuku me Toitehuatahi me etahi o te iwi i puta ki waho ka ora. Ko etahi ano i pau atu i te ahi.

Ka mutu i konei.

He kupu Whakamarama:

Mehemea ki te tae ki Ohinemutu, Rotorua, ka tomo ki roto i a Tamatekapua whare runganga o Ngati Whakaue, kei runga o te pou tokomanwa o taua whare he upoko Kuri, koia tena, te whakamahara mo Potakatawhiti te Kuri mokai kua korerotia ake ra tona pakiwaitara.

 

door. I will then open the door and you are to dart quickly through it. Then we shall close it from the outside.”

When he had given these instructions, Tamatekapua came down from the roof and made his way to the front of the house, there to await his sister.

When Uenuku and Toi and their people heard the remarks of Whakaturia, condemning as she did their own accomplishments in the art of the haka, they called out: “Lower that person whose mouth is so vain and boastful, so that we may see for ourselves whether she is indeed a master of the art of the haka.”

And so she was lowered. So well had she memorised the instructions of her brother Tamatekapua, that on her first leap, she landed towards the rear of the house where she gesticulated in the frenzied ritual of the “pukana,” taunting and challenging in the direction of Taitehuatahi. Round she leapt a second time and on the third she found herself in position by the doorway. Snatching a glowing ember from the fire which was still burning within the room, she jumped through the door which had now been opened by Tamatekapua and landed on the outside. They quickly closed the door and secured it from the outside.

The ember which Whakaturia had snatched from the fire was kindled against the raupo thatchments of the house which quickly caught alight. Uenuku, Toi and their people, unable to escape, perished in the fire.

In this way did Tamatekapua and his sister, Whakaturia, avenge the killing and eating of their dog, Potaka-tawhiti.

It is said by some that although most of the people perished in the fire, both Uenuku and Toi escaped together with a few others.

This is the end.

A Note of Explanation

If one should visit the Tamatekapua meeting house of Ngati Whakaue at Ohinemutu, Rotorua, one will see the head of a dog carved on the central supporting pole of the meeting house. That is the image of Potaka-tawhiti, the dog whose story has just been told.