FOLK TALES FROM PAPAMOA
Are the young Maoris of today no longer interested in the old tales that delighted earlier generations? A few months ago, the pupils of Papamoa Maori School (head teacher: Mr F. M. Pinfold) put this matter to the test. They wrote a story about their own district, entitled: The Three Whales. They then sent this story to all other Maori schools, with a letter asking for similar stories in return.
So far, twenty-five schools have answered. From each school there came one or more traditional stories, either about how the mountains and cliffs were formed, or about the taniwha in the river, or about some great chiefs of the past ages. We sometimes see the correcting hand of a teacher, but on the whole they are real children's tales, written for and by children, incorporating traditions told by Maori elders.
Te Ao Hou, in printing some of these tales, has added a translation into Maori written by Mr Anania Amohau. Some of the schools which have not yet sent in folk tales may still be anxious to do so. They can either contact the Papamoa Maori School, or the Editor. Te Ao Hou (P.O. Box 2390, Wellington).
NGA WEERA E TORU
To Matou Kainga, kei te taha uru o te rohe e kiia nei i te reo pakeha, Bay of Plenty. Huri haere i tenei wahi he hiwi anake, a etahi o nga hiwi nei, ki te titiro atu a te tangata, ano he weera, kua puta mai i te wai ki te whakata i o ratou manawa. Ko to matou whare kura, kei
THE THREE WHALES
We live in the Western Bay of Plenty where there are many gently rolling hills. Many of them are double-humped and evidently reminded our Maori ancestors of whales surfacing to air. Our school is surrounded by hills of this type. This is an old Maori legend concerning them.
waenganui i enei hiwi. He korero ano mo enei hiwi, a ko tenei te pakiwaitara.
I nga wa o mua, tena pea te nui o te weera i tenei wahi, ara, i te kokoru.
I tetahi ata, ka kau haere tetahi weera me tana kuao, engari no te tata rawa ki uta, ka mau i runga i te one. Ahakoa pehea te kaha o te korikori o nga weera hei kia hoki ai raua ki te wahi hohonu o te moana, kihai i taea. I te tawaritanga, ka titiro haere te katua ka kite i tetahi puna wai. I tana matewai, katahi a ia ka kori haere atu ki te puna nei ki te whakangata i tana hiahia. Te wai nei, he wai makutu, a i te inuhanga o te katua, huri ana a ia hei hiwi.
Na, i te whainga i tana whaea, ka kite te kuao i te puna nei ka inu, ka mate, ka takoto i te taha o tana whaea, he hiwi ano. No reira e rua enei hiwi, tetahi he hiwi nui tetahi he hiwi iti.
I tenei wa katoa, tera te matua e whakaaro ana i te ngaro o tana whanau i to ratou kainga moana. Kapi katoa i a ia nga hohonutanga o te moana. kahore kau i kitea, Katahi a ia ka haere ki te rapu haere i uta, a ka kite i tana whanau kotahi maero te tawhiti, atu i uta. Ka karangatia e ia tana whanau, ka hamamatia tu, kahore i aro mai. No reira ka kori haere atu ki te tiki i tana whanau. I te taenga ki taua puna nei, ka inu a ia, mate ana, a waiho ana e toru nga hiwi nei.
I enei wa, ka kitea ano nga hiwi nei, ko Kopukairua i te tonga, ko Mangatawa tapu i te raki, a kei te taha ko te kuao kahore nei he ingoa.
I Tetahi po, katahi a Mataroria, he rangatira no Pipiwai, ka haere ki-te tirotiro huna i tetahi pa i Motototau, mo tetahi wahi pai hei whakaekenga i te pa nei. I a ia e whawha haere ana i te pakitara o waho, mohio tonu a ia kua mate, engari i mua o tana haeretanga ki te huna, ka karanga te kaitiaki o pa, “He tangata.”
Pakaru ana te po i nga hamamatanga a nga tangata o roto i te pa. Kahore hoki i roa, ka mau te tangata nei, ka herea ka rakaina ki roto i tetahi whare teitei. Tenei whare, he teitei ke ake i te pakitara, a i te taha tonu hoki o te pakitara e tu ana. I te huinga o nga tangata me to ratou rangatira, ka mea ratou me tao a ia i roto i te hangi, mo te ata.
I te herehere e noho ana i runga i tetahi roku, a e titiro ana ki tetahi puaretanga i te tuanui raupo o te whare, puta mai te whakaaro ki roto i a ia kia puta a ia.
Once upon a time the Bay of Plenty was apparently a favourite spot for roaming whales. One sunny morning a mother whale with her little bull-calf strayed too close to shore where they became stranded. Furiously they struggled to regain the ocean depths but in vain. In their exhaustion Mother Whale espied a nearby spring to which she wriggled. Thirstily she drank with mighty gulps but unfortunately the water contained magic. Lo and behold, life left her body; she became a gently-rolling hill.
In search of his mother Baby Whale came upon the self same spring. He also drank from it and he also became a gently-rolling hill, nestling beside his mother. There were now two hills, one big and the other small. Father Whale worried about the mysterious disappearance of his family from their ocean home. Where could they be? He wandered everywhere searching all the depths of the ocean.
Finally, in desperation, he decided to search the land. With a heave of his gigantic body he was ashore and there, about a mile inland was his family. He called to them; he bellowed; but there was no response. Lashing his powerful tail he struggled towards them. Thirst stopped him at the magic spring. He drank. There were now three gently-rolling hills. There they have remained to this day where, to our south lies Kopukairua, while, to the north lies sacred Mangatawa with the nameless baby close beside her.
A NARROW ESCAPE
Mataroria, a Maori chief from Pipiwai, set out one night to spy a nearby pa in Motototau, for the best position to attack. Groping silently along the outside wall, he was suddenly aware of danger, but before he could duck into the scrub, a sentry had given the alarm. “He Tangata”. The stillness of the night was broken by yells of many bold warriors. A few seconds later he was captured,
Katahi a ia ka ngau i te harakeke here i a ia, a i tana waimarie, pakaru ana. Ka piki a ia ma te puaretanga ki te tuanui o te whare ka peke ki runga i etahi harakeke, oma atu ana. I a ia e oma haere ana, ka tutaki ohorere a ia i tetahi o ana tangata ano, e kimi ana i a ia, katahi raua tahi ka oma.
I muri tata tonu i a raua ko te hoariri, na te mea i kitea a Mataroria e tetahi o nga kaititiro e peke ana i te pakitara. Kua puao tonu hoki, engari kahore i tino roa ka tae te tokorua nei ki tetahi repo.
Katahi te rangatira nei ka kite i tana hoa e hinga ana i runga i nga paretai e rua o te repo nei, a he tao i roto i tana pakihiwi.
I tana hoa e takoto ana, ka whiti te tangata nei i runga i a ia ano he piriti, engari tera tetahi o nga toa a te hoariri, i peke ki runga ki te tupapaku. I te peketanga ano, tau anaki te taha o te rangatira o Pipiwai nee, engari i paoa te mahunga o te toa nei ki te mere, puta atu ana a Mataroria.
Kanui te koa o tana iwi i te hokinga atu o to ratou rangatira, a, no tetahi o nga ra katahi te rangatira nei me ana tangata tekau ma rua ka haere ki te tanu i to ratou hoa pumau.
Te Toka Kuia
I mua o te taenga mai o te pakeha, he kaitiaki a Maunganui i te moana me nga iwi e noho ano i tera takiwa. I te tihi o te maunga nei, ka kitea e tetahi Kaitiro (tutai) te hoariri e haere mai ana ma te moana, ma te whenua ranei.
I tetahi wa, katahi tetahi kuia ka piki i te wahi teitei o te maunga nei. I te taumaha o tana piki, i te ekenga ki runga katahi a ia ka noho ki te whakata.
tied and locked in a tall whare, near and higher than the pa's wall. The warriors and chief held a council. The victim would be cooked in a hangi, for the morning.
The prisoner sat on a log, watching through a slit in the raupo roof, but suddenly he had an idea to escape. Gnawing the flax steadily, it soon snapped under the sharp teeth for good luck was with him. He climbed through the roof and jumped on to a flax dump. Running wildly over stumps, suddenly he met one of his own men, who was looking for him; he was tall and slim. They were being closely followed, because a sentry saw him leap the wall. Dawn was now very near. Soon the two escapers reached a swamp. The chief saw his friend falling over the two swamp banks, with a spear in the shoulder. Using his friend as a bridge, he walked across, but one warrior as fast as the others jumped on the corpse. With a leap he landed near the escaping Pipiwai chief, but then a mere crashed on the warrior's head. Mataroria escaped.
He had a very warm welcome by his own tribe. Next day the chief and twelve warriors went to bury their loyal friend.
Te Kuia Rock
Before the pakeha came, Maunganui, the great mountain guarded not only the harbour but the tribes which lived around it. From her summit, a sentinei could see the approach of an enemy by sea or land.
On one occasion an old woman had climbed the highest point and sat down to rest after her strenuous climb. A remarkable thing about the
I aua wa, kahore te kuri e whai haere i tana rangatira, engari haere ke ai ko ia ano, no reira he mea miharo tenei, ara, he whai haere tonu te kuri a te kuia nei i a ia, a, kahore rawa e whakarere i tana taha.
I a ia e noho ana i runga i te maunga, ka kite te kuia nei i etahi waka ke e haere mai ana i te wahapu. Mohio tonu a ia he taua, heke tonu iho i nga taha poupou o te maunga ki te whakatupato i tana iwi, a ko te tere o tana haere ko te tere e whakaaetia e nga waewae ngoikore. Ko tana kuri e pahu wairangi ana i muri i a ia ano e whakatupato ana i te kuia nei kei uru ki te mate. I a ia e oma ana, ka pareti te kuia nei, taka ana i te taha o te maunga.
Kahore te kuia nei a i kaha ki te whakaora i a ia ano, a, taka haere ana ki raro me tana kuri pono e peke haere ana i muri.
Te ahua i mate te kuia nei i a ia e taka haere ano, no te mea kahore ia i whakamatau ki te whakaora i a ia ano, a, i te taenga ki te mata o te pari, rere atu ana ki roto i te moana.
Katahi te kuri nei ka peke ki roto ki te wai ki te whakaora i tana rangatira, a mau ana i a ia i ana niho, engari kahore a ia i kaha ki te hari ki uta. Kahore a ia i tuku i te kuia nei toremi ana i tana taha.
Tena te hari o nga atua i te mahi toa a te kuri nei, whakahurihia ana raua ko te kuia hei toka, a ko enei toka nga kaitiaki inaianei a ka kitea i raro o Maunganui.
Nga Maori katoa e hipa ana i nga toka nei, whiu kai ai ki runga i a kuia, no te mea e mohio ana ka hari nga atua a ka marino tonu te moana, kia whai hua ai a ratou hiinga ika.
Te Wahine Me Te Toka Tapu
I Mua, i whakaekea tetahi pa e tetahi iwi.
I oma katoa nga tangata o roto i tenei pa, a, tetahi o ratou ko te tamahine a te rangatira o te pa nei. No te taenga ki Whangaroa, katahi te wahine nei ka rere penei i te patupaiarehe. I te
kuia was that wherever she went she was accompanied by her dog. In those days it was very unusual for a dog to follow its owner everywhere as dogs were more independent and not so loyal as they are today. But the old kuia's dog never left her side. As she sat on the mountain top, she suddenly noticed strange canoes making for the narrow channel that leads into the harbour. She realized that this was a war party and she set off down the steep sides as fast as her feeble legs could carry her, to give the alarm. The dog yelped excitedly after her as if to warn her that she was in danger. Then she lost her footing and went hurtling down the mountainside. Unable to save herself the kuia rolled down, down, down, down, and the faithful dog jumped and bounced behind her.
She must have died during her fall, for she made no effort to save herself. She came to the edge of the precipice and catapulted into the sea.
Then, most remarkable of all, the faithful dog plunged over the cliff too to save his mistress. He held her with his strong teeth, but he could not bring her to shore. Rather than let go he drowned beside the old woman.
The gods were so pleased with this heroic deed, that they turned both the old woman and the dog into everlasting rocks and they can still be seen today guarding the channel at the foot of Maunganui.
Every Maori who passes there will throw food to the Kuia Rock because he knows that this will please the gods and the sea will be kept calm and his fishing expedition will be successful.
The Lady and the Magic Rock
Long ago a Maori pa was attacked by a tribe. All the people ran away, among them was a lady who was the daughter of the chief. She flew over the Whangaroa harbour like a fairy but was exhausted
tawaritanga, ka tau a ia ki runga i tetahi toka. Tenei toka he toka makutu, a no te taunga ka huri a ia hei whakapakoko, a ka kitea te whakapakoko kauri nei i roto o Whangaroa i tenei ra.
and had to land on a rock, and by magic she turned into a statue which can be seen today as a Kauri statue in the middle of the Whangaroa harbour.