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No. 15 (July 1956)
– 12 –

HE KORERO HARAREI A HOLIDAY STORY
na H. te M. Wikiriwhi

The Queen in Rotorua
part ii

Haere taku wai, kua peke whakamuri te rangi o taku patere. Kua:

“Tapapa i te hiwi ki Horohoro,
Ka matai tonu au ki Tarawera
Ko te Hemahema,
Ka rere titaha te rere …
E oma ana i te tai pouri,
Ki Rotorua …!”
Tihee Mauri Ora ! ! !”

Kua tae ki te waka, ki a Te Arawa, ko Maketu ki Tongariro, kua wharona te karanga mo te Kuini te take, ko Te Arawa, atu i te Taitokerau ki Raki-ura, ki Wharekauri.

Ko te marae tenei mo te motu katoa. Kitea atu ana i reira nga mana, nga reo, nga karangatanga o tena waka, o tena waka, o tena waka. Kua utaina katoatia ki runga i te tuara-nui o Tamatekapua.

I te papa-purei-hoiho o Rotorua te marae. He mea hanga ki reira te mahau whakairo hei taunga atu mo Te Kuini. He mea whakatu he puhara. Ko Hunuhunu rangatira o Ngati Rangiwewehi te tutei, te tohunga, nana i karakia te marae me te ra.

Na te Horana raua ko Te Kopata me Hoani Herekiekie i arahi te manuhiri ki to raua ahurewa atahua i wenganui o tena whakaminenga wehi.

Kaore i arikarika te tangata, iroiro ana i nga hau e wha, taiawhio noa i tena marae.

No te timatatanga tonu o tena powhiri ka tumeke te Kuini.

Ina te take.

Ka puta atu raua ko tona hoa i te mahau whakairo i te waharoa o te marae, ka purei mai te pene o Rotorua i te waiata mo Te Kuini:

 

There is a momentary lull in the melody of my song:

“It skims the summit of Horohoro's tableland,
Swooping down to Tarawera
And there stands the chief Te Temahema,
Angling onwards the flight continues,
By the dark waters,
To Rotorua … breath of life eternal.”

It has reached the canoe, Te Arawa stretching from Maketu in the Bay of Plenty to Tongariro in the heart of the island, and the call for Her Sovereign the Queen has reached its uttermost boundaries, unto the tribes of the North, the South, and of the Chatham Islands.

This was the courtyard for the whole of the island. It was there that the aristocracy of each canoe was seen and heard. They were the guests of the broadbacked Tamatekapua. The Rotorua Horse Racing Club's course was the venue for this welcome. A Maori carved archway was erected upon it. A sentinel's watch-tower was raised nearby. It was a Mr Hunuhunu, a Ngati Rangiwewehi elder and chieftain who acted as the lookout man, and tohunga, and he pronounced the dedicatory prayer for the day.

The Right Honourable Mr Holland, Prime Minister, and the Hon Mr Corbett, Minister of Maori Affairs with his private secretary Mr Herekiekie Grace escorted the distinguished guests to the garlanded ahurewa that stood as the central feature in the middle of that great concourse of people.

Men, women and children were present in thousands, and were literally crawling all over the place, to surround and fill completely that vast marae.

At the very beginning of the welcome, the Queen was mildly amazed. Here was the reason … as she and her husband emerged from the carved mahau at the entrance to the inner court, the Rotorua Brass Band commenced to play the National Anthem:—

“God save our gracious Queen, etc.”

When the crowds heard the first bars of the familiar song, they all stood to attention in the customary manner, but just where the Queen stood, and facing her, was the main body of tattooed warriors, a picked band of fighting men from the Taupo and the Rotorua districts, and, strange to relate, they remained crouched on one knee closely to

 
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“Me tohu e te Atua
To tatou Kuini nui …”

Tera atu te roanga o te waiata nei.

Ka rongo tena huihuinga i te tangi a te pene, tika tonu ta ratou takitutu haere, kati no te tirohanga atu o te Kuini, tera te matua, ko te Hokowhitu a Tuwharetoa, a Tuhourangi e tuturi tonu ana ki te whenua. Kaore nga tangata ra i tu mo tana waiata.

A haha, he aha hoki i penei ai nga Maori nei; na ka huri awangawanga ona kanohi ki a Te Herekiekie i tona taha, he uri no Ngatoroirangi. Ina tana whakamarama.

“E Ma, ko te ope e tuturi pepeke atu na ki a koe, ko te matua tapu tena, kua tohia ratou ki a Tumatauenga, te atua o te tangata, te atua o te riri. Kia watea te wahi ki a ia, katahi ano ratou ka whakatika ki runga.

Ko te rite o tenei ture, i pera ano me te ra i tohia ai koe i tou Koroneihana, i whakataua ai runga i tou pane te karauna o tipuna, e te Atipihopa o Kautaperi, i roto i to koutou wharetapu i Ranana, i te Api o Wetimita.”

A, koia ano. Ka tungou nga kanohi o te wahine ra.

Tokorua rawa nga tangata wero i a raua.

Ko Rupene, tama o Hoko o Tokaanu he rangatira no Ngati Tuwharetoa te tuatahi; ioio ana tona tinana, ka kani atu te weriweri nei; hokai ana te whiu o te waewae, me te taiaha, whetero atu ana te arero, ina ra hoki tana Kuini. Makere kau atu tana pere ki nga waewae o te manuhiri, na ka toi atu te ngarara tuarua, a Anania Taiamai, uri o Te Amohau o Ngati Whakaue. He tangata nui tenei, he kotore-huia kei te rae, kua waia ki tana mahi, na, ka maranga te whawhapua, ka riro mana Te Kuini e waha mai ki runga i te matua e tuturi atu ra.

“Whiti whiti … ue.”

Tino whakatikanga o Hepi, te uri o Te Heuheu, te rangatira o te hokowhitu a Tuwharetoa, he tewhatewha te rakau, he kirakau katoa tana ope.

Te marangatanga mai ki runga, e rere ana te waewae, te tewhatewha, te huruhuru, haruru ana te rangi me te whenua i te peruperu, nana, ko te rite he manu kua momotu i te mahanga.

“Uhi mai te waeroa
E ko roto ….
Ha, hei!”

 
 

the ground. Those men did not stand up to salute the anthem.

What can be the matter with these Maori men? and turning to her escorts, she wondered why they did this, and then, Mr Herekiekie Grace, a direct descendant of the High-priest Ngatoroirangi, who was standing beside her, respectifully volunteered the following explanation:—

“Madam, the fighting men who kneel before you are dedicated to today's ceremony, and they are bound by the unwritten code of Tumatauenga—the Maori deity of War and of Man. Until his portion is fulfilled these men must crouch before you, before they burst into their dance of acclamation. The custom bears some resemblance to the coronation ceremony when the traditional crown of your ancestors was placed upon you by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, in London's most sacred tabernacle—the Abbey of Westminster. That was the position. It was graciously acknowledged.”

Two men led the challenging dance of welcome before them … the tangata wero. Reuben the son of Mr Hoko of Waihi, Tokaanu, a Tuwharetoa chieftain was the first; a youth with a lithe and willowy body, he pranced in typical style towards them, an ugly and fearsome sight, but he was an adept in the art of thrust and parry with the Maori quarterstaff or taiaha, and his eyes rolled full and wide, his tongue lolling in defiiance; here was the Queen. As he dropped the challenge-dart at the feet of the visitors. Mr Anania Te Amohau, the second demon and a descendant of Ngati Whakaue's Rotorua paramount chieftain ran forward in a controlled sprint. He is a giant in figure, and the treble plumes of the extinct huia bird fluttered from his brow, and as an accomplished warrior, he was greeted with a roar of applause, for it was he who had the honour of metaphorically carrying the Queen to place her in the forefront of the crouching band of warriors.

“Whiti whiti … (leap to your feet!) ha!” shouted Hepi, scion of the Heuheu aristocracy, ariki of the Tuwharetoa contingent as he leapt to his feet, a clubbed spear or tewhatewha in his hand, with his men stripped for battle. As they leaped off the ground in response to the call of the young and handsome leader, the plumes of their tewhatewha waved sprightly in the breeze,

 
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Ko te matua tuatahi tenei. Mutu kau ana, na ko te matua tuarua. Ko te tutu-ngaruhu a te Hope-o-Tuhourangi. He koikoi te rakau a enei, hipae ai te whakanoho, ano e arai atu ana i te hoariri kei taea te Kuini.

He kai-tangata tonu atu te ahua o etahi, ko nga uri ra hoki o Tutanekai, o Tuohonoa, o te Rangikatukua, o te Rangiteaorere, o Kawatapuarangi, o Puwhakaoho. Ina ta ratou puha;

“Koia ano koia ano,
Koia ano he peruperu,
Ina hoki te taiaroa,
Whakatirohia mai ki te whana,
Parerewha, parerewha ….”

Tutu ana te hei-hei i ta ratou ngaki. Ka oti ka whakatika ratou, na, katahi ano te Kuini ka kite atu ano hoki i nga kuini Maori, e kui ma, a whre ma, e hine ma. E toru rau ratou. Ko nga nunui, ko nga rarahi o nga koata e wha o Te Arawa.

Na Tu Morehu, toa o Ngati Pikiao i whakaara tenei puni wahine, na te kanapa tonu o tana patu pounamu i tataki te karanga;

“Tena i ruia i ruia!”
“Utaina e,
Utaina e.”

Tau ana te tu a te wahine, he mea tia ki te piki raukura, ki te huia, ki te korukoru, tatua rawa nga hope ki te piupiu, kei raro ko nga maro whero, he kanohi to te wahine he kanohi to te tangata, titiro ki runga, titiro ki raro. Ka kori te tinana, ka tirohia atu nga taonga o te ra:

He Hei-tiki, he pekapeka, he mako he huruhuru kiwi, kereru, kaka, he korowai, he topuni, he kaitaka, he tewhatewha te rakau, he patu pounamu he paroao, he taoroa, he koikoi, he poupouwhenua, he tokotoko.

“Toia ma i te waka,
Ki te urunga te waka,
Ki te moenga te waka,
… … …”

E piu ana te kapa wahine me te huri whakawatea haere, na, kua tuwhera te ara hei haerenga atu mo te manuhiri ki to raua ahurewa.

Kua oti te wahi ki te matua-powhiri a Te Arawa, kuaeke mai te Kuini:

“Ki runga ki,
Te Paepae poto,
O Houmaitawhiti.”

Heoi ano inaianei, ko nga whaikorero, ko nga tuku taonga, me nga poi, me nga haka a nga iwi o te motu, hei whakanoa i nga tapuwae o Erihapeti raua ko Piripi.

Hoki ana i konei nga whakaaro ki a Apirana, te tangata i manako ki to tatou Maoritanga. I Waitangi ko te poi ki te Kuini he mea waiata ki te rangi rara:

“He putiputi pai koe,
Katohia … ….”

Na Apirana tenei waiata i tito, na, i ona ra ko ia tonu te kaitataki i nga haka-taparahi i kawea mai i tenei ra e ona iwi o te Tairawhiti. Ko nga tino haka enei a taua a te Maori: ko Kapanapana

 
 

and from the throats of a hundred men their first chorus swelled into a roar, and the war dance thundered as they landed back on the ground, only to rise in the air again, the compact leaping force was like a bird soaring from its snare.

This was the first war-party. Ending their spirited challenge, the second force immediately started the peruperu—the war-dance of the waist of Tuhourangi. Their weapons were the koikoi—long spears sharpened at both ends—and these were held in the horizontal position, as if in readiness to deny access to their Queen. Some of these men looked like real man-eaters, for were they not descendants of the fighting chiefs Tuohonoa, Tutanekai, te Rangikatukua, Rangiteaorere, Kawatapuarangi and Puwhakaoho. This was their chorus:—

it is quite so, it is quite so
the peruperu is quite so—
when a captive man
is flaunted before the clansmen
his eyes are wide open, wide open.

The welkin rang as they danced. When it was over they leapt aside and ran back to reveal rows of women ready to welcome their Queen—they too were Queens of their respective tribes, many were grandmothers, others were mothers, and many were maidens. Three hundred altogether. They came from every hapu and whanau of the Arawa Confederation, all were big women, great women in their own right.

Mr Tu Morehu a Ngati Pikiao chief from Rotoiti was the fugleman, an expert with the greenstone mere, his flashing blade was the signal for the mixed party of men and women to break into the final dance of the powhiri:—

“Now the weapon is shaken, shaken.
Embark
Embark.”

This was an awe inspiring sight, as the women were decked and plumed with feathers of rarest colours, the white, the red, and the black, and the korukoru, the piupiu skirts rattled as they swished to and fro, with red foundation skirts beneath, and men and women flashed their eyes glancing upwards, then down to the ground. Their bodies were trembling in excitement, so gaze upon them, feast upon them, see the precious greenstone hei tiki, and the pekapeka, ear-rings from the Mako shark, the cloaks of feather from kiwi, pigeon and parrot, the cloak of the extinct Maori dog, the taniko bordered cape, the weapons of polished maire clubbed spears, the greenstone axe, and the whale bone mere, the long spear, the shorter doubled pointed spear, the pointed taiaha, and the carved walking stick.

“Drag hither the canoe,
To its resting place the canoe,
To its sleeping place the canoe,
… ….”

The ranks begin to open out as the dance reaches its climax, and the way is open for the visitors to walk forward to their raised balcony.

The traditional Arawa welcome ceremony is complete, the Queen has walked,

 
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a ha ha!” me “Te Kura Tiwaka Taua.”

Ka tapiri atu ki enei ko te haka a Wairangi, ko “To Aea o ia Rangi.”

Kua mutu tonu aku korero. He rangi poi taku patere, taku wai, me te tika ano i te mea e hangai ana ki enei momo korero. Ko te pi te Kuini katoa o a tatou kanikani.

Titiro ki te poi a te Taihauauru, tapu ana tera, he mea karakia tonu te rangi, tau ana te tangi ki te taringa Maori, i whanau mai i nga paparinga o te maunga i te uru—i Taranaki.

Ka tau ta Tapuika, he heriatorope te kakahu o te wahine, engari ka ta te Arawa he poi whakakotahi i nga iwi. E ono ona wakawaka, e toru rau wahine nga kai-poi, engari kotahi ano te unga atu.

Me mihi tatou ki te “poi” ara, hoki i poipoi mai te Kuini i tona nohoanga tapu, porotiti tapara patu atu hoki te Tiuka.

Kua noa, e Te Arawa, ou marae i to tatou Kuini, nau hoki i whakae kia tu mai ki te whakahoki i o mihi.

“Kia ora koutou katoa,” tetahi o ana mihi, a, “Kia mau ki to koutou re, pupuritia kahatia to koutou Moaritanga,” etahi atu o ana poroporoaki. Ko te Aohou tenei, ko te ra o te rangatahi.

Kua tui ahau i taku patere inaianei.

Ko enei mea katoa i rangona e oku taringa, i kitea e oku kanohi, kati, kaore oku tikiti ki enei powhiri e toru. Kaore noaiho ahau i mohiotia mai e nga kai-whakahaere o tena marae, o tena marae.

Engari, i pai noaiho taku kuhu haere, pahi atu ana i te rau o te pirihimana, Maori me te Pakeha, tae atu ana ki te taha o te manuhiri tuarangi, o te kotuku rerenga-tahi.

Na toku Maoritanga ahau i puta atu ai ki mua tonu o te tini o te mano. Ina ra ona tohu:

“He huruhuru kiwi kei oku pakihiwi.
He piki huia kei taku tipare
He piupiu taku rapaki, tatua rawa,
Titia rawa ki te patu pounamu.
Te rakau i taku ringa he pouwhenua.”

Ko enei aku tikiti, i piri ai ahau ki te taha o Te Kuini. Tuia te wai:

“Hei whakamutunga,
Mo aku haere ruahine
Ki te motu, ki te tonga,
E poi, e!”

 

“On to,
The threshold,
Of the lord Houmaitawhiti.”

There but now remains the speeches of welcome, and the presenting of gifts, the lighter dances of the poi, and the haka by the visiting tribes, and thence the ancient custom of welcoming distinguished visitors will have been fulfilled in respect to the Queen and her husband, Philip.

One could not help but recall the spirit of the late Sir Apirana Ngata who had for many years propounded the creed of Maoritanga. At Waitangi, the host tribes had danced the poi with the melody:—

“You are just a flower
To be plucked …”

It was one of Sir Apirana's compositions, and in today's haka or posture dances by the East Coast tribes, in his day, if Sir Apirana were present, he would have invariably been the leader. Two very famous chants are those which he always led “Ka panapana,” and “Te kura tiwaka taua.”

We must add to these two the haka by Wairangi, “Te Aea o ia rangi,” “It is Te Aea of every day fame.”

My story is almost finished. My ballad was chanted to the rhythm of the poi ball, and this was appropriate for this type of story. The poi dance is the most queenly of all our dances.

We beheld such a gem in the poi chanted by the Aotea tribes of the West coast, the melody was a ritual incantation, which is beautiful to Maori ears, and this classic was composed in the villages which have as their inspiration the snow capped peak of Taranaki mountain in the West.

The Tapuika tribes of Te Puke danced in heliotrope blue, but the Arawa team aimed at combining six rows of dances into one … to symbolize tribal unity and a unified future.

We greet the poi ball, Her Majesty twirled one in her hands, and even the Duke played with one too. The tapu has been lifted from all Arawa courtyards, as Her Majesty was graciously permitted to make a personal reply to the speech by the assembled tribes.

“Greetings to you all,” she said, “Hold fast to your language, and preserve your Maori-hood,” was another of her parting instructions.

This is the New-World, the world belonging to the youth of the Maori race.

“Upon my shoulders a cloak of kiwi feathers,
A huia fluttered from my head band,
And around my waist was a piupiu skirt,
Girdled firmly with a greenstone mere at the alert,
In my grip was a taiaha with dog hair and sharpened blade.”

These were my tickets, that enabled me to meet the Queen. My song continues:—

“To complete,
My travels,
On the island, southwards,
Twirl on, oh poiball, twirl.”