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No. 23 (July 1958)
– 13 –

HOW THE KUMARA CAME
TO NEW ZEALAND

Na Pine Taiapa i tuhituhi ma nga tamariki o te Haikura o Tikitiki.

TE TAKENGA MAI O TE TIPU KUMARA KI

A O T E A R O A

HE KORERO TAWHITO MO TE

KUMARA ME

NGA NGARARA KAI I TE KUMARA

KO Ruakapanga te tohunga ako i taua mea katoa e pa ana ki te kumara te oneone pai, te takoto o te whenua, te anga ki te ra, te marumaru i nga hau, te whenua maroke, me te mahana te whenua hoki whiwhi ki nga marangai e rite ana mo te whakatipu me te whakamangaro i te kumara.

Huri ai ia wa, ia wa nga tangata whiriwhiri o ia iwi, o ia iwi ki te kimi matauranga i tona whare wananga a bora noa te mohiotanga ki nga iwi katoa.

I muri iho i te taenga mai o Kupe ki Aotearoa nei, ka whakaaro a Ruakapanga me tuku mai e

 
– 14 –

RUAKAPANGA was the priest who taught the cult of the Kumara; the soil suitable for its cultivation, the lie of the land whether it was lying to the sun, shelter from the prevailing winds, the moisture content of the soil, soil temperature, and the availability of moisture from the rains, conditions suitable to produce sweet and delectable tubers.

Planters of the kumara from time to time resorted to the teachings of the priest and thus the cult of the kumara as taught in the ancient house of learning became universally practised.

After the visit of Kupe to Aotearoa Ruakapanga sent one of the teachers from his house of learning Tairangahue to explore the possibilities of this land for the cultivation of the kumara. Tairangahue landed at Gisborne and from his observations decided that would be a suitable place for kumara growing.

The signs, the singing of the birds, the fantail,

 
 

ia tetahi o ona tino tohunga, a Tairangahue, ki te rapu i te ahua o tenei whenua mo te whakatipu kumara. I u a Tairangahua ki Turanga, a kite katoa ia i nga tohu o te whenua pai mo te kumara.

Ko nga tohu o te koanga e whakaatu ana ki a ia, ina hoki, te tangitangi a nga manu, te horirerire, te pipiwharauroa, te kiwi me te weka, te piki ake hoki o nga pua o nga rakau, me te kowhai ka ngaore, mohio tonu ia me hoki ia ki Hawaiki ki te whakaatu. Waiho iho e ia tana wahine a Kaniowai, me etahi o ona ope, ka hoki.

Ka tae ia ka korero i te pai o te Tairawhiti o Aotearoa mo te whakanoho kainga mo te whakatipu kai.

I te mohiotanga o Ruakapanga, he koanga te wa o te tau i Aotearoa, ka tapaea e ia ana manu a Harongarangi raua ko Tuingarangi hei whakahoki i a Tourangahua ki Aotearoa.

Ma runga i a Harongarangi a Pou, ko nga kopura kumara whai tipu ma runga i a Tuingarangi. Tapiri, ki enei, ko nga ko, ko Mamainuku, ko Mamairangi, hei ko i nga maara o roto o Turanga.

I mua o te rerenga mai o Pou, i runga i nga manu ka tohutohu mai a Ruakapanga i a ia, ki nga karakia e pa ana ki tenei manu, te karakia me te whakawhetai ina tae ki Turanga, me te karakia mo te whakahoki ora mai i nga manu.

Ka rere mai a Pou, a, ka tau ki Turanga.

Wareware iho nga kupu a Ruakapanga, nga manu ra, nga karakia ra, i tona whawhai ki te mihi atu ki tana wahine.

Hoki rawa mai ona whakaaro mo nga tohutohu a Rua, ka kite atu ia e tangi ana nga manu ra e tuohu ana.

Katahi ia ka karakia i te whakakawhetai me te karakia tuku te whakatekainga i nga manu ra; a rere atu ana raua, a hoki ana.

I te huarahi, ka patua haeretia nga manu nei, e nga tipuna i kiia nei ko Tunuioteika, ko Hautaketake, a tae-a-kiko atu ana nga manu nei ki to raua rangatira.

Ko te whiu a Ruakapanga e toru nga ngarara, ko ta ratou mahi he kai, he patu i te tipu o te kumara. O ratou ingoa, timata i te ngarara tuatahi, he Anuhe, muri iho he Mokowhiti.

TE PATU A NGA NGARARA NEI I
TE KUMARA, TE ANUHE

He paku, he urukehu, te ahua o te tinana, he whero te upoko ko te waihanga i rite ki te papaka. Ko te patu a te Anuhe ko nga tipu kumara katahi ano ka poua atu ki waenga. Ko te tere ki te tipu a te kumara kei te tere o te rere o ona rau tuatahi, I te mea kua oti e te Anuhe te katokato ka whanga nga tipu hou kia tipu ake he rau, katahi ano ka toro. I kona ka kitea ka tomuri teuei maara. Ko te whiu tuatahi tenei i te tangata.

KO TE MOKOROA

Penei i te mata o te piraiwhara nei te rahi me te roa he tapouri te ahua a kaore he upoko engari he tawakawaka, te waihanga ki te takiwa o te

 

Last year the pupils of Tikitiki Maori District High School, under the supervision of Mr Koro Dewes, wrote a story about the growing of kumara. Mr Pine Taiapa, the well-known carver, contributed a most interesting old tale as a preface.

This gave us the idea of publishing a series of articles on this important traditional Maori vegetable. We are printing the first instalment, Mr Taiapa's story here, in his original Maori, with an English translation.

the shining cuckoo, the kiwi and the weka, the blossoms on the trees, the kowhai and others, indicated it was Spring. Tairangahue thereupon decided that he would return to Hawaiki and make his report. He left behind his wife Kariowai and others of his group.

He arrived back at Hawaiki and reported that he had found that Eastern parts of the North Island of New Zeaalnd were most suitable for settlement and for the cultivation of plants for food generally.

When Ruakapanga learnt that it was Springtime in Aotearoa he sent his birds Harongarangi and Tuingarangihei to bring Tairangahue back to Aotearoa.

Pou came with Harangorangi and the tubers of kumara with shoots came with Tuirangi as also the digging tools. Before Pou left Ruakapanga instructed him in the particular incantations partaining to the birds, the thanks-giving prayers on his arrival at Gisborne and the incantations for the return of the birds.

Pou flew hence and landed at Gisborne. He forgot all the instructions Ruakapanga had given him about the incantations so eager was he to greet his wife when he did remark he heard the cry of the birds as they bowed their heads in sorrow. He chanted the prayers of thanksgiving and those for the safe return of the birds. So those birds flew off homeward bound. On their way, they were maltreated by those ancestors Tunuioteika and Hautaketake and they arrived back to their master in a state of collapse.

To avenge the maltreatment of his birds Ruakapanga sent three pests to affect the growth of the kumara, the anuhe a grub, and mokowhiti and the mokoroa.

The Anuhe or grub is a small brownish insect with a reddish head and not unlike a crab in shape. This pest attacks the leaves of newly planted shoots. In this particular case the survival of the plant depends upon the vigour of growth and multiplication of the early leaves. If however the attack of the grub is so vigorous