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No. 28 (September 1959)
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Moko is the only living author, as far as we know, who writes short stories in the Maori language. This is the seventh “Tawhaki” story we have published. Because of the wide interest shown, we have pre-sented an English rendering

KA HAERE A TAWHAKI KI TE TANGI

Pai ana te moe a Tawhaki na te mauiui hoki i te hokinga mai i te kanikani. Pai ana hoki tana moemoea. Kei te Ngahere ia kei te puhipuhi tia e hia ke! Ka mau ia ki tana pu, ka whaka-keko atu ki nga tia. Ka pahu mai te pu ehara i tana. Ha, no hea hoki? Kei te mau tonu tana nei pu! Katahi ka rua, ka toru—ka taki omaoma nga tia. Ka oho ake a Tawhaki kei te paku tonu te pu—ka wha, ka rima ka ono! Katahi ia ka whaka-aro he aha hoki tenei. He “Waipu” pea, kei te kohurutia ranei tetahi tangata. Ka huri ano ia ki te moe.

He roa tonu i muru ake, ka puta mai te matua ki te whakaoho i a Tawhaki. Ka mea atu te matua, “E hoa maranga, he aitua to tatau.”

Ka ki atu te hiamoe nei, “Ei, kei te mate moe tonu ahau. Hei aha tena aitua.”

Ka mea atu ano te matua, “E, kua mate to kuia a Mereraina, maranga mai!”

Kare tonu a Tawhaki e maranga. Katahi ka kumea iho nga paraikete e te matua, katahi ano ka maranga.

Ka ki atu a Te Whetu, “Kia tere, haere mai tatau ki te kai kia wawe te tae ki te marae.”

 

Tawhaki slept soundly, so weary was he after a night out at a dance. He had a dream. He was in a bush shooting deer and he shot ever so many. He took hold of his rifle and aimed at the deer, a gun exploded—not his—whose was it? His gun had not been fired. There was another explosion and yet another—the deer scampered away. Tawhaki woke up—the gun was still exploding—four—five—six times. He wondered what it was all about—it was either just the sound of guns or somebody was being murdered—he turned over and went off to sleep.

Some time elapsed—Tawhaki's father came in to wake him. He said: “Wake up son—there has been an accident.”

The sleepyhead replied: “I am still sleepy—never mind about that accident”.

The father persisted saying: “Your grandmother Mereraina is dead—get out of bed.”

Tawhaki still refused to get out of bed—the father stripped off the blankets and then he had to get out.

Te Whetu the father said: “Let us breakfast quickly and get along to the meeting house.”

 
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Ka mea ano a Tawhaki, “Ko koutou e haere. Kare ahau e pirangi ana ki te haere ki te tangi. Me noho au ki te tiaki i nga mea pakupaku kia watea ai korua ko mama.”

Ka riria a Tawhaki mo tana kore e pirangi ki te haere. Ka mea atu te matua. “E haere ana tatou katoa. Hei aha ena mahi koroiroi. Kia tere.”

Ka mutu te kai ka tonoa a Tawhaki ki te whakatikatika i to ratou motoka, i te ki te titiro i te wai, i te penehiini, i nga taea. Ka korero atu a Tawhaki ki tona matua, “He pai ke ake te kaata mo tatau i te motoka nei. Engari te kaata kare e inu wai, penehiini ranei, ana kare e pahu nga taea.”

Ka whakahoki te matua, “Mehemea e pirangi ana koe ki te haere ki te taone ma runga kaata, haere. Engari hei aha te korero, tirohia nga mea na.”

Ka roa, ka haere te hunuku o Te Whetu. Tae atu ana ki te marae, e takoto mai ana te tupapaku i te tupa i te taha o te whare nui. E tangi ana nga whanaunga o te kuia nei. Ka ki ake a Te Whetu “Ka aroha hoki to tatau kuia. Inanahi tonu nei e ora ana e korerorero ana inaianei kua mate.” Ka aroha atu hoki te whaea o Tawhaki ka timata ki te tangi. Kua titiro mataku nga tamariki kua kahu etahi ki roto i te motoka noho ai, ka mau a Tane raua ko Heke ki nga panekoti o to raua whaea. Ko Tawhaki kua ngaro, kua haere ki ona hoa ki te kauta. Huri rawa atu a Te Whetu, kare a Tawhaki.

Haere atu ana a Te Whetu ratau ko tana whanau, ka kore ko Tawhaki. Ka roa e tangi ana i te marae ka puta ake te tahae nei. He mea pana mai. Ka tu ia i te taha o tona matua ano kei te pouri ia engari kaore noa iho, kei te mataku ke. Ka hoha te matua ki a Tawhaki ka mea atu, “Kaua koe e haere noa iho inaianei. Me whai mai koe i au.”

Ka kuhu atu te whaea ki te tupa. Ka ki ake te matua, “Ka whai atu taua inaianei i to whaea.”

Ka ki mai a Tawhaki, “Engari tena, kare ahau mo te haere atu ki tona.”

Ka korero atu te matua, “Hei aha ena mahi taurekareka. Kare koe e tangatatia nou tonu te kuia nei.” Ka haere atu a Te Whetu ki te tangi ki te hongi ki nga mea kua tangata whenua. Ko Tawhaki kare ia e ringaringa e hongi ranei ki nga koroua, kei te haere ke ki nga tamariki korero ai. Ka karanga te tangata whenua kia haere atu ia engari kore rawa. Ka ki atu tetahi ano o ona hoa taitama, “Haere e tama. Haere ki te hongi ki o koroua me o kuia. Akuanei koe makutuhia ai e te kuia.” Kare a Tawhaki e whakarongo atu. Ko nga tangata o te whare mate kei te whakatakariri katoa ki a Tawhaki, he rorirori nona, he kore e mahi i nga tikanga o nga tipuna mo tenei mea mo te tangi, a, he kore hoki nona e aroha ki tona kuia kua mate nei.

Ka karanga tetahi o nga hoa, “E hoa tino he koe'. Kare ano koe kia pakeke noa. Ko te tikanga me haere koe ki te ringaranga ki o whanaunga o te whare mate, no te whare mate hoki koe.

 
 

Tawhaki said: “You go on. I have no desire to go to the tangi. I could stay and look after my younger brothers and sisters so that you and mother don't have to worry about them.

Tawhaki was rebuked for his unwillingness to go along to the tangi. The father thereupon said: “We are all going. Stop your foolish pranks—be up smartly.”

After breakfast Tawhaki was sent to check over the car, to see if there was enough water, benzine and to check the tyres. Tawhaki said to his father: “We would be better off with a cart than this car. A cart would need no water, no benzine and no bother about tyres.”

The father replied: “If you want to go to town by cart—do so by all means. However stop your gab—check that car.”

After all the preparations, Te Whetu and his family set off. They arrived at the marae and found the body lying in a tent alongside the meeting house. The relations of the dead were weeping copiously. Te Whetu spoke up: “How sorry I am for our dear old lady. Yesterday she was alive and well—today there she lies.” Tawhaki's mother was filled with sorrow and she wept. The younger brothers and sisters slunk away in fear and hid themselves in the car. Two of the family, the youngest, Tane and Heke, took hold of their mother's dress and hid. Tawhaki had disappeared; he had gone to his friends in the kitchen. Te Whetu turned round; Tawhaki had disappeared.

Some of the Tawhaki stories will be reprinted as a Primary School Bulletin, the first in the Maori language. Moko's real name is Mr S. M. Mead, now head teacher, Waimarama Maori School, Hawke's Bay. The first five stories were written at Minginui, Urewera. For the pig hunting story (issue 7) he collaborated with Dinny Huriwaka; for the eeling story (is. 10) with Mary Pinfold; for the bird-snaring story (is. 12) with Nehe Akuhata. Moko was sole author of the others. “Of my collaborators,” he says, “the most significant was Dinny who in many ways was something of a Tawhaki, being full of fun and laughter himself.”

Te Whetu and his family advanced towards the marae without Tawhaki. After the family had been on the marae for a while, Tawhaki emerged—he had been forced to put in an appearance. He stood with his head bowed seemingly in sorrow but all the time he was afraid. Tawhaki's father was annoyed and said—“Don't you go wandering away—you keep close to me.”

The mother entered the tent where the dead one lay; the father spoke to Tawhaki: “Let us now follow your mother.”

Tawhaki said: “In there? No, I am not entering that tent.”

The father said, “Cut out that nonsense—she's your relation.” Te Whetu thereupon entered the tent shaking hands and rubbing noses with those

 
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Ahakoa kitekite tonu ai koe i a ratau, me haere tonu koe ki te hongi.”

Ka whakahoki atu a Tawhaki, “E hoa, he tino whakama noku, he mataku hoki!”

Ka mea atu te hoa, “A tena, haramai, maku koe e arahi atu. Ho pai noa iho.”

Ka ki atu a Tawhaki. “Engari tena kare ahau e haere atu ki te hongi i nga ihu hupe na.”

Ka mea atu te hoa, “E, kaua e whakahihi. Ka patua koe mo ena korero. Tena kare koe e haere, he pai atu me haere koe ki te ngahere ki waenga-nui i nga poaka.”

Ka mea atu ano a Tawhaki, “Koira ke te wahi pai ki au. Me noho nga koroua mau tokotoko pena i a koe na, ki konei pahupahu ai.” Haere atu ana a Tawhaki ki etahi ano o ona hoa ki reira kataina ai mo tona mataku. Kare i roa i reira ka puta mai tetahi ope no tawhiti. Ka titiro a Tawhaki. Ka karanga mai tetahi o ona kuia o te wharemate, ka aue atu tetahi no te ope. Ka haere atu te ope nei ka tu tawhiti i mua i te tupapaku ka tangi. Ko te tangi a te iwi nei aroha ana. Kua ahua hiahia hoki a Tawhaki ki te tangi. Ko ona hoa kei te titiro hoki ki te ope, a mea tetahi, “E hoa ma, he kotiro ataahua kei roto i te ope ra. E, ka pai ke.”

Ka roa e tangi ana te ope nei ka taki nohonoho ka timata nga whaikorero. Ka tu mai tena, tena, a, ka tae mai te wa mo te kai. Ka karangatia nga ope kia haere ki te wharekai ki te kai. Kei te matakitaki a Tawhaki ma i nga mahi nei, kei te tirotiro haere mo nga kotiro ataahua. Ka mene katoa nga manuhiri ki roto i te wharekai ka karangatia te tangata whenua.

Ka mea ake a Tawhaki ki ona hoa, “A koianei te wahi pai ki au, ko te kai. Haere mai ka haere tatau.”

Ka ki ake ano tetahi, “Kua reri hoki au mo te kai. Ka matekai noa iho te tangata i te whakarongo ki nga koroua ra e whaikorero ana. Kare he mutunga o nga korero.”

Ka tae ake nga tangata whenua ki te kuaha o te wharekai. Kei reira te kaiwhakahaere e tu ana, e titiro ana ki nga tangata, e aki ana kia teretere kei makariri nga kai. Ka kite mai te tangata ra i a Tawhaki ka karanga, “E hoa Tawhaki, kare he kai mau. Haere atu koe. To mataku noa iho ai ki te hongi. Kare he kai ma te tangata pena. Haere.”

Ka whakama a Tawhaki, ka huri ka haere. Ka aroha atu hoki nga hoa engari kare i hamumu nga waha no te mea na Tawhaki ano tenei raruraru. Ngaro atu ana te kaiwhakahaere ka huri mai ano a Tawhaki ka haere ki muri i te kauta, ki reira hamu kai ai mana.

 

who sat by the side of the dead. Tawhaki refused to rub noses with the old people; he went off to speak to the young people. The host folk called out to him to come forth but he stubbornly refused. One of his younger friends said, “Go on—go and shake hands and rub noses with your elders.” Tawhaki turned a deaf ear. Those who sat in the tent were really annoyed at Tawhaki—for being so stubborn and disregarding the etiquette of the tangi and being so disrespectful of his dead relation.

One of Tawhaki's friends said to him: “You are really ignorant. So far you have not shown any sense. You should really go along to that tent and pay your respects to your relations—they are your relations. Although you have recently seen them, it is the usual thing to go along and greet them—rub noses with them.”

Tawhaki replied: “I am really shy, and I am afraid.”

The friend said: “Come with me—it will be all right.”

Tawhaki said: “That I will not do—to rub noses with them will be the last straw.”

The friend persisted: “Don't be such a stuck-up. You will suffer for what you have said. If you will not go, you would be better off out in the wilderness with the pigs.”

Tawhaki again said: “I would be much happier out there. You are becoming like these old people—you stay here and take your place with them.” Tawhaki went off to some of his other friends and they laughed at him for his fear. He had not been there long when a party appeared of people who seemed strangers. Tawhaki stood there looking. The chief mourners at the tent raised their voices in lamentation, the wailing was taken up by the visitors. The visitors approached the tent wailing all the time. They wailed in great sorrow,—Tawhaki was moved to tears. Some of his friends were looking on and whispered: “Look there's a pretty girl in that party—she's lovely.”

The weeping ceased and the mourners sat around and speechifying started. They spoke severally and ended. Food time came and the visitors were called to eat. Tawhaki and his friends stood by as interested bystanders—looking chiefly at the pretty girls. All the visitors had gone to eat; then the host people were called. Tawhaki said: “This is the part I'm interested in—let's go.”

Another of his friends spoke up: “I'm ready—the speeches have made me really hungry—they talked and talked.”

The people reached the door where the doorkeeper was checking them through and when he saw Tawhaki he said: “Here Tawhaki there's no food for you. You were afraid to rub noses—people like that deserve no food. Get going.”

Tawhaki was overcome with shame—he turned and went away. His friends felt sorry but said nothing: it was Tawhaki's fault entirely. No sooner was the doorkeeper out of the way than Tawhaki made his way to the rear of the kitchen to eat the scraps.