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No. 16 (October 1956)
– 43 –

END OF BATTLE

Blood has been spilt in the pa, so to the Maori it had become tapu, and no longer a fit place in which to live. Some of the men would therefore return to their own homes, and some, according to the custom, would stand by in the event of a further call to arms. The dead and slain would be taken to the kainga's, where tangis or mourning ceremonies would take place, before the remains were taken to the Toreres or ancestral burial caves.

During the night that followed, Kawiti and his followers with their dead left the pa for Waiomio, some four miles north-west. This is the ancestral home of the Ngatihine tribe, where, for seven generations the remains of Hineamaru and her descendants lie buried in the Pauaka-a-Hineamaru.

Because the Maori forces were fighting always in separate groups and never under the one command, no complete count of casualties was ever kept. Neither was the loss of slaves included in the “wananga” (recitals by tohungas relating tribal history) which refer only to those of some consequence. The “tangis” or funeral dirges, usually composed by the widow or some female relative, are the only records handed down. For it must be remembered that at this period, there would be a very limited number of Maoris able to write.

To Kawiti, there was in relation to this battle nothing of importance to relate, for no pakeha chief was killed here. Had there been one, this would have been some “utu” at least. To show his disappointment he composed a chant and it is here recorded.