Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa Go to Te Ao Hou homepage
No. 19 (August 1957)
– 42 –
 

It could well be used for anyone expert in any particular field, for the term “tohunga” generally means “an expert.”

Te Ati-Awa descended from the sky.”

The writer understands that the present Minister of Maori Affairs, the Hon. E. B. Corbett, is a member of the Ati-Awa Tribe in the Waitara district. In view of his pending retirement, perhaps it is fitting that this saying be quoted at this time.

Tamarau-te-heketanga-a-rangi was, according to some authorities the ancestor of the Ati-Awa Tribe. He descended from heaven, and on landing, was pleased to see an attractive lady, Rongoue-roa, bathing her child at a stream. Rongo herself was uncovered. Tamarau approached the lady, but the latter could not see him. It was not until she peered into the water, that she noticed a reflection of a man. This terrified her, and when she looked around to enquire, Tamarau went forward and embraced her. Before his departure, Tamarau suggested that should she ever give birth to a son, she was to name him “Te Awa-nui-a-Rangi”, after the stream at which he had landed after his descent from heaven. Hence the origin of the saying “Te Ati-Awa descended from the sky or heaven.” If there is any truth in this story, then the Ati-Awa people can claim to be the sons and daughters of Heaven.

Rauru of one word.”

Rauru was the son of Toi. The Ngapuhi people claim that Rauru was the ancestor of the experts at carving. It is most probable and possible that Rauru was the ancestor of the tribe now residing at Patea in the Taranaki district which bears the name: Nga-Rauru. Very little is known of him, except that he was a man of few words, and what he said, had to be obeyed. When Rauru decided on a course of action, nothing could turn him from it, and his word was implicitly to be relied on.