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No. 40 (September 1962)
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Dried fish was stored in pataka. This old one stood once at the Bay of Islands.

An Old Fishing Chant

Tahuri mai, tahuri mai e Maru,
Tahuri mai e Henga,
Tahuri mai e Kahukura,
He tapa tua ko i uta,
He tapa tua ko i tai,
He tapa tua Tane,
He tapa tua Tangaroa,
Ko tapa tua a te hiri,
Ko tapa tua a te hara,
Ko tapa tua a te manuka,
Ko tapa tua a te ngahoa,
Ko tapa tua Tane,
Tangaroa e au ko i uta,
E au ko i tai e au Tane,
E au Tangaroa,

 

Turn to me, turn to me Maur!
Turn to me, Henga!
Turn to me, Kahukura!
A spell commanding success on land,
A spell commanding success on sea,
A spell commanding success, Tane!
A spell commanding success, Tangaroa!
A spell to ensure that our work is successful,
A spell to ensure that we do no wrong,
A spell to free us from anxiety,
A spell to make Tane successful!
Give a current away from the shore, Tangaroa,
A current out to sea, a current for Tane,
A favourable current in the sea!

 
– 35 –
 

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A canoe off the coast of Taranaki. Many early canoes had sails similar to this.

Ko te au a te hiri,
Ko te au a te hara,
Ko te au a te manuka,
Tena te au ka wiwi,
Tena te au karawhe,
Tena te au ka mou,
Mou ki mua waka,
Mou ki roto waka,
Mou ki tu ta mua a Tane,
Mou ki tapu kaha nui o Tangaroa,
Te waka tauiratia ana mai e koe,
Te kaha Tane, Tangaroa ko taku,
Kaha, ko te kaha a wai,
Ko te kaha a Tama Titoko,
Tena te kaha ka wiwi,
Tena te kaha ka rawe,
Tena te kaha ka,
Mou, ki mua waka,
Mou ki roto waka,
Mou ki tu ta mua o Tane,

 
 

This is the current for our work,
A current spoilt by no wrong-doing,
A current that brings no anxiety.
This current moves with a little noise,
This current ripples smoothly,
This current flows steadily,
Moving evenly before the canoe,
Moving evenly on the one side,
Moving evenly on the other side,

 
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Mou ki tapu kaha nui o Tangaroa,
Mou ki tenei waka,
Mou ki tenei tauira,
Ko koe te waka tauiratia,
Ana mai e koe te kaha,
Tane Tangaroa te w[h]anatu,
Taku kaha nei ki w[h]are pouri o Tangaroa, i tai,
Te homai,
Te herea,
Te notia,
Te nota,
Te w[h]akamaua ki tenei kaha,
Te w[h]anatu taku kaha nei,
Ki w[h]are huakina o Tangaroa i tai,
Te homai te herea te w[h]akamaua,
Ki tenei kaha,
Tena te kaha ka wiwi,
Tena te kaha ka rawe,
Tena to kaha ka mou,
Mou ki mua waka,
Mou ki roto waka,
Ko koe te waka tauiratia ana mai,
E koe te kaha Tane Tangaroa,
E rarawe taku ure ngaua.

 
 

Sustained by the great sacred strength of Tangaroa.
You the canoe are made strong,
The strength of Tane, the strength of Tangaroa is mine.
Whose is this strength?
The strength of Tama Titoko.
This is the strength achieved,
This is the strength obtained,
This is the lasting strength,
This current flows steadily,
Moving evenly before the canoe,
Moving evenly on the one side,
Moving evenly on the other side,
Sustained by the great sacred strength of Tangaroa,
Making strong this canoe,
Making strong this spell.
You the canoe are made strong,
You have absorbed this strength.
Tane and Tangaroa drive the canoe along,
From them comes my strength in the deep house of the sea, Tangaroa.
From the sea the giving,
From the sea the captives on the lines,
From the sea the lines pulled tight,
From the sea the catch on the knotted lines,
The sustaining of my strength,
The growing of my strength,
That I may come to the house of Tangaroa the sea and find it open.
From the sea the giving, the captives on the lines, the holding firm,
By these words of strength.
This is the strength achieved,
This is the strength obtained,
This is your lasting strength,
Moving evenly before the canoe,
Moving evenly at its sides,
You the canoe are made strong,
Yours is the strength of Tane and Tangaroa,
Many fish are biting at my hook.

Before the fishing began, the tohunga stood up, stretched out his arms, and recited this chant. The canoe, made from a tree, belonged to Tane. There was war between Tane and Tangaroa, the land and the sea. In this chant, the tohunga is trying to make Tangaroa co-operate with Tane (the canoe), and give them good weather and plenty of fish. On their return to land, the tohunga recited the chant on the next page as thanks to the gods for the fish they had caught. (For reasons of space, some of the place-names have been omitted from the translation). ‘Au’, in the last lines, means both a current in the sea, and the smoke of Tane; that is, the wood in the oven in which the fish is being cooked. The word ‘nota’ is not in any Maori dictionary; it seems likely to be related to Sanskrit ‘naddha’, a knot. There are several obscure words in the Maori; another is ‘karawhe’, which is probably a mis-hearing of ‘karewa’, to swirl.—A.S.

 
– 37 –

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This carving of Paikea, riding to New Zealand on the back of a whale, was made by Pine Taiapa and is on top of the meeting-house at Whangara. The story of Paikea, and another fish story about a tohunga called Te Tahi o te Rangi, are told on pages 5 and 6 of this issue.

 

Te ika, te ika i Waitotara,
Te ika, te ika i Whenua kura,
Te ika, te ika i Patea,
Te ika, te ika i Tangahoe,
Te ika, te ika i Waingongoro,
Te ika, te ika i Kawhia,
Te ika, te ika i Taranaki.
Te takina mai hoki te ika
Ki tenei rua, ki tenei one,
Te ika ki tenei papa,
Te ika ki tenei au tapu,
Te ika ki te au tapu no Tane
Ki te au tapu o Tangaroa te ika
Tere tere te ika
He ika w[h]aka-mou kaha hai.
Tena te ika ka moe,
Ko te ika o te rua,
Ko te ika o te one,
Te ika o te hohonu,
Tena te ika ka taki ki mua,
Ka taki ki roto,
Ka taki ki te turanga,
Ka taki ki te kainga,
Ka taki ki te au tapu nui no Tane,
Ki te au tapu nui o Tangaroa.

 

The fish, the fish of Waitotara,
The fish, the fish of Taranaki—
The drawing of the fish
Towards these depths, towards this beach,
The fish drawn towards this ledge of rock,
The fish drawn towards this sacred smoke,
Towards the smoke of the wood-fire of Tane,
Towards the sacred current of Tangaroa—
The fish is drawn along,
The fish caught fast on the line!
This is the fish that has been killed,
The fish from the depths,
The fish from the beach,
The fish from the depths of the sea—
This is the fish caught at the front of the canoe,
Caught at the sides of the canoe,
Taken to the landing-place,
Taken to the village,
Taken to the most sacred smoke of Tane,
By the most sacred current of Tangaroa!