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No. 57 (December 1966)
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With permission from the Royal Society of New Zealand, the following tales are reprinted from Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, Vol. VII, 1874. The tales were read before the Otago Institute on 7 April and 10 August of that year.

This paper is a copy of the Maori Mythology in the same words as dictated to me by some old Maori wise men; out of which text I translated the paper into English, which has been read before the Otago Institute. In that paper I left out several names and passages in which I could not find a meaning, but they are all here in the Maori text. The language is in the Murihiku dialect, but in the pronunciation I have mostly kept to the general Maori orthography, because that is better for the understanding of the meaning of the words.

I must also mention here that about the time I was collecting the tales I sent a few specimens of the same to Sir George Grey, and that part of them have been printed in his book in the Maori language. I only mention this, because some, when they see a few passages in that book and in this paper exactly alike, might thing I had copied them. It will be also observed that in Sir George Grey's book those few passages which are alike are in the Murihiku district. All that is here has been collected by myself here in the south.

The old Maori tales, as originally collected by me—written down word by word out of the mouths of several old Maori—are bulky, incoherent and rambling, and few readers would have the patience to wade through them. I undertook the labour of collecting and studying them chiefly for the purpose to learn the Maori language and way of thinking. In the following Maori text I have tried to order the narration, and have left out tiresome and useless repetitions, but have retained the essential passages and expressions of the untutored old Maori, as spoken in this dialect, even if the grammar does not seem what it ought to be. This is, I presume, what the Society wishes, namely, a Maori text by the old Maori, and not a modernised Pakeha-Maori text.

Those tales could no more be collected now—at least not here in the south; for the old Maori are dead, and the younger ones have not learnt them, because the new ideas introduced by Christianity and European settlements have superseded the old Maori ideas. The tales can only have historical worth when the mythologies and traditions of other nations from widely different parts, can be compared with them, as thereby the migration, and the archaic place where the Polynesian race may have had its growth and development, might be traced. They may also be worth reading as curiosities.

As indicated by Wohlers in his notes, the English text should not be regarded as a translation, but merely as a paraphrase of the Maori text. Many parts of the Maori text were not translated by Wohlers, but in spite of this, it is interesting to note how these tales vary from North Island versions.

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The Maori race, as it now is, seems to be in its old age; but it must once in some former time have had its youth, when, in buoyancy of spirit and yet simplicity of mind, it saw in the surrounding nature and natural phenomena beings of a higher order, to whom the national poets gave names and a history. This must have been before they came to New Zealand, as these names, and a similarity of the mythology attached to them, are to be found among the whole Polynesian race, and may likely be traced back still farther. Ethnology might be assisted if all who are in a position among uncivilized races to do so, would make themselves acquainted with their mythology and ancient tales, and then communicate the result to scientific men, who might thereby trace the development and migration of the races.

The ancient tales among the Maori have been handed down through many generations by word of mouth only. The tohunga, or wise men among them, told those tales over and over again, almost always in the same words, so that the younger ones, who had a mind for learning, learnt them by rote, and could impart them in the same way to a following generation. Still discrepancies would creep in, and deeds which in some localities are imputed to one personage, in others are imputed to another. But that is of no consequence. Although some tales may have been built on facts, and if even these could be stripped of the fictions, which they cannot, they would not be of the least historical value, as they lie altogether outside the bounds of general history.


Tangaroa is known and worshipped by the whole Polynesian race as the chief god and creator of the world. His name is also well known among the Maori in New Zealand, and occurs frequently in the ancient forms of invocations. Sometimes he might be seen for a few seconds standing on the crest of the waves of the sea, when the sun happened to shine against some misty spray, but little else is known of him. According to Sir George Grey's collection he was the son of Heaven and Earth, and was the god, or personification, of the sea and the fishes. But here in the south he is affirmed to be the uncle of Heaven, and the first husband of the Earth, whose personal name as a woman and a mother was Papatuanuku. The tale runs thus:—

Tangaroa lived with his wife Papatuanuku. Once he made a journey to Kahuipuakiaki for the treasures (or ornaments) of Whakitau (not to be confounded with Whakatau, a later person). When he came back he found that Rangi (Heaven) had taken his wife, Papatuanuku (the Earth), and was living with her. Now there was to be a fight. The two, uncle and nephew, met, each armed with a spear. Rangi threw his spear first, but missed, because Tangaroa bent aside. Then Tangaroa threw his spear, which pierced both loins of Rangi and lamed him. Then Tangaroa left his wife, the Earth, and she was henceforth Rangi's wife.

(This is all that is known here about Tangaroa).

I noho a Tangaroa i a Papatuanuku.—Ka haere a Tangaroa ki waho, ki te Kahuipuakiaki, ki nga taonga o Whakitau. Ko hoki tera, hoki rawa mai, kua noho te wahine, a Papatuanuku, i a Rangi. Ka hemo mai a Tangaroa ki te huata; ka hemo mai a Rangi ki te huata. Ka tata mai. Werohia e Rangi ki a Tangaroa, ka ngaro a Tangaroa, ko taha te huata a Rangi. Ka werohia e Tangaroa ki a Rangi, ka whiti te tao te papa o te iramutu, taua rua o nga papa: takoto tou a Rangi. Ka tukua te wahine ki a Rangi.

Inaianei, ka kitea te atua uira, e tu ana i runga o te ngaru o te moana, ko Tangaroa tena.

Tutakahinahina and Te Roiroiwhenua

The following tale bears some marks of a later period; also I cannot find the names mentioned in it among the gods of the Pacific islanders; yet, as the old Maori here told it in connection with Tangaroa, I will put it here. It runs thus:—

He tangata; haere noa tenei tangata i runga i te mata o nga wai: ko Tutakahinahina te ingoa o tenei tangata. Kahore ia ana matua. Ka noho ia taua tangata i te wahine, ko Kaihere te ingoa o tenei wahine. Ka puta ki waho


Tutakahinahina walked upon the waters. He had no parents. His wife's name was Kaihere. They had one son, called Te Roiroiwhenua.

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tana tama, ko Te Roiroiwhenua te ingoa o tenei tamaiti.

Ka mate a Tutakahinahina, ka korero ia, kia mahi nga tangata; kia mahia he kai, kia mahia he wahie. Ka mahi nga tangata; ka mauiui, ka noho. Ka mahi Te Roiroiwhenua; ka mahi ona tia. Ka tae ki te rangi i mate ai tona tupuna, a Tutakahinahina, ka mutu tana mahi. Ka mate tona matua, ka tapuketia ki te tara o te whare, taepatia. Ka hurihia tona aroaro ki raro, tona tuara ki runga.

Katahi ka puritia te ra e Kumeateao, e Kumeatepo, e Unumiatekore. Ka kutia nga po, kahore ia kia marama. No reira i pouri ai te rangi me te whenua me te moana. Ka noho nga tangata i roto i te pouri Kahore e kitea te huanui ki te kai, te huanui ki te wahie. Ka noho tonu nga tangata i roto i o raton whare; ka kai i a ratou kai, ka tahu i a ratou wahie; ka tahu i a ratou takitaki, ka tahu i a ratou poupou. Ka mahiti o ratou kai, ka mahiti o ratou wahie; ka mate nga tangata. Ka ora, ko Te Roiroiwhenua, ka ora ona teina ka ora ona tangata.

Ka mahiti nga wahie a Te Roirowhenua, ka tahuna tona patatara tapu. Katahi ka rongona te korero a tona matua. ‘I konei i mate au, tapuketia ahau, ki te tara o te whare, taepatia. I konei, kia aro mai koe, tirohia ki te rewanga ki runga o te oneone.’ Ka whakarongo atu a Te Roiroiwhenua e ngau ana i te tuataata. Ka puta nga iro o Tutakahinahina ki reinga, ka tirohia, e haere ana i roto i te taepa, e rua, ko te uwha, ko te toa—no te hinu o tona hakoro. Ka kohia ki tona ringa. Ka karanga ia ki nga tangata i roto i te pouritanga. Ka hikaina ki te ahi; ka tu. ka tawhiri, ka mura. Ka tahuna te oumu. Ka taona te toa, ko te uwha i waiho.

Ka tae mai a Tamatea-mai-tawhiti, i muhu mai i te po. I roto ano ratou e noho ana i te Nukutaiki, i te Nukuterea, i te Nukumuruaitu. No te tukinga a Tamatea i te oumu ka tae mai te ohanga ki raro. Ka tu te ata matua, ka haea te ata, ka hapara: ko te ata nui. Na ka tangi te umere: He awatea. No mua te waha a nga manu i karanga ai, no muri te waha a nga tangata. Ka marama te rangi, ka marama te whenua, te moana. Ka kitea nga tangata, e takoto ana i reira, i a Hakorotu, i a Hatatai, i a Tanenuiarangi. I reira e takoto ana te kaueti i whakakitea ai te ahi. Ko te ingoa o tenei ahi, ko Toi, ko te ahi i taona ai nga iro o te hakoro. Ka puta te ra, ka rewa ki runga, ka tu Tokinui-a-Rehua. Ko Tangaroa ia Te Roiroiwhenua.

Ki ta etahi ki: I a Tangaroa te ata i mua; no te kutunga i a Tutakahinahina, i a Tamatea te ata.


When the son was born, Tutakahinahina told his people to get in a good supply of food and firewood. Then he died, and was buried by the wall inside the house, the face downward and the back upward. The grave was fenced round.

Now the sun was withheld by Kumeateao, by Kumeatepo, by Unumiatekore. Then it was dark on sea and land. The darkness was so great that no road could be seen to fetch food and firewood. The people used what there was in the house. Then they broke up in the house what they could, to keep the fire burning.

At last Te Roiroiwhenua heard the voice of his father, speaking in his grave: “Here I am buried, look where the earth heaves up.” Then Te Roiroiwhenua went to the spot and listened. He heard a gnawing inside the grave; it was the maggots gnawing at his father. Then he saw two of them crawling out of the grave inside the fence, a male and a female. He caught the male, to be roasted in an oven; but the female he let go. The oven was heated with sacred fire.

Then Tamatea (perhaps identical with Tawhirimatea, the personal name of the wind) came and shook the oven. Now there came a start, and the first sign of the morning appeared. The morning advanced. First the birds sang: ‘Light of the day.’ Then the people shouted: ‘Daylight.’

(Some of the Maori tohunga say that Te Roiroiwhenua is identical with Tangaroa; others say he is not—only before, the Morning was with Tangaroa; but after the shaking of the oven, the Morning was with Tamatea. Perhaps the tale is a skeleton only, left of what may have been a good poem, the deeper meaning of which has been lost.)

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Rangi and Papatuanuku

Rangi means Heaven in the common language, and is here used as a proper name, but Papatuanuku is the personal name for the Earth (te whenua). These two were not worshipped as gods, but were regarded as the parents of all visible nature.

I noho a Rangi i tona wahine, i a Papatuanuku. I te takoto mate a Rangi; kua tu i a Tangaroa. Ka puta ki waho nga tamariki a Rangi raua ka Papatuanuku: Ko Tanekupapaeo, ko Tane-mimiwhare, ko Tane-nakatou, ko Tane-waroro, ko Tane-hupeke, ko Tane-tuturi, ko Tane-tewaiora, ko Tane-tematatu, ko Tane-tutaka; takoto tou tenei tutanga. Ka puta ki waho: Ko Tane-nuiarangi, ko Paiao, ko Tawhirimatea; ko te tatanga tenei i whakatika ki runga.

I roto i te pouritanga e noho ana aua tamariki. Kahore he wahi ma te maramatanga e whiti mai ai, kahore he wahi ma te hau e tangi ai. Takoto tou a Rangi, piri tonu ki te whenua. Ka korero nga tamariki, kia patua a ratou hakoro, kia whai wahi ai ma ratou. Kiia e Paiao, kia wahatia ki runga, tu ai. Kiia mai e Tane, ‘E kore e taea: kahore he tangata.’ Kiia mai e Tawhirimatea: ‘Me waiho marie.’ Tare tonu a Paiao, kia wahatia a Rangi ki runga. Ka ki atu a Tane: ‘Wahatia.’ Kahore hoki kia taea. Ka whakamatau a Tane; kahore hoki kia taea, takoto tou. Ka kiia atu e Tane, ma ratou katoa e hapai. Ka karangatia e Tane: ‘Ko wai ki runga nei?’ Ka kiia iho e tera hanga: ‘E tu pa whaia!’ Ka karangatia e Tane: ‘Ko wai ki raro nei?’ Ka kiia mai e tera hanga: ‘E tu pa whaia!’ Ka karangatia e Tane: ‘E tu ma totoro! Whakaekea te maunga! E tu ma totoro, whakaekea te maunga kia iheuheu e Tane.’ Ka tukua e Tane ko tona upoko ki raro, ko ona waewae ki runga; na, ka ekea a Rangi ki runga, e aue ana. Ka tokoa ki runga e Tane, mau ai.

Na, ka hoki iho nga kai waha. Ka titiro ake a Tane ki tona matua ki runga: Pouri kerekere haua. Ka haere ia ki Okehu, ko te Kura tu ki a Warue. Na, i reira nga kura. Ka mauria mai e Tane, ka tataitia. Ka hoki iho a Tane, ka titiro ake; kahore ano kia pai. Ka haere tera whakahoki ki a Okehu, ka tikina nga whetu, ka tataitia. Ka whakamarokia te ika o te rangi, ka pakaina Panakoteao, ko nga Patari; ka pakaina ko Autahi, ko te whetu o te tau. Ka haere a Tane, ka tae ki te kainga o Tukainanapia, ka tangohia ki a ia


Rangi, having been lamed in the duel with his uncle, could no longer stand upright, and had, therefore, to lie always flat on the earth. The consequence was a still darkness; no wind could blow, no light could shine. Notwithstanding, they had many children. Most of them were cripples; some had crooked, drawn-up legs, some had stiff stretched out legs, and other deformities; however, a few had sound limbs. The most conspicuous among the latter was Tane; also Paiao (Cloud), Tawhirimatea (personal name of the Wind), deserve to be mentioned.

The children felt very inconvenient in that close darkness, and the more able ones among them held a consultation of what to do, in order to gain light and liberty. Some were for killing their father; others proposed to lift him up, and there let him live as a stranger to them. The counsel of the latter prevailed. After this they set to work. First Paiao (Cloud) tried, but could not lift him. Then Tane tried, with no better result. Then they tried all together; but Heaven was too heavy for them. At last Tane put his head on the ground and stretched his legs upward. That succeeded. Rangi cried and lamented that he was illtreated by his children; but they carried him up, and then Tane fixed him.

It seems that Tawhirimatea (the Wind) took no part in this movement, but rather that he had opposed it from the beginning, counselling to let things remain as they were. This seems rather strange of such a restless fellow as the Wind; but the northern natives, according to Sir George Grey's collection, account for this by saying that Tawhirimatea was a quiet, loving boy before, but that, when he was outvoted by his brothers, and Heaven and Earth were separated against his will, he became dissatisfied and restless. He followed his father heavenward, and talked to him about the injuries he had received from his children, and then came down again, fighting with his brothers from all quarters of the heavens.

When Heaven had been carried up, and Tane had fastened him, and then come down again to the earth, he (Tane) looked up to his father; but the old man looked dark and sad. Then he went to Okehu, to fetch ornaments for his

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nga tupuni o Wehinuwaiamomoa. Tangohia ana mai ko Hirautu, ko Porerinuku, ko Kahuwiwhetu, ko Poaka (Orion) ko Takurua, ko Whakarepukarehu, ko Kuakimotumotu, ko Tahuweruweru, ko Whero, ko Whero-iteninihi, ko Whero-tekokoto, ko Whero-iteao-maori,—ka tae ki te raumati. Na, ha hoki iho a Tane ki raro. Ka titiro ake ki tona matua: Katahi ano kua tau.

Na ka mahara tera, a Tane, kahore ano te whakatau mo tenei matua, mo Papatuanuku. Ka whakaarahia e Tane ana hua hei whakatau i tenei matua, ko nga rakau. Ka parea, ko nga upoko ki runga, ko nga waewae ki raro. Ka peke mai tera, ka titiro;—titiro atu: kahore hoki kia tau. Ka tikina, turakina ki raro. Ka parea, ko te upoko ki raro, ko nga waewae parea ki runga. Ka poke mai tera ki tahaki, ka titiro atu: Katahi ano ka tau.

Ka tonoa e Rangi a te Aki, a Watui ki waho, ki te whakarongo. Rokohina atu nga hua o te papa, o te inaho, o te maru: whakawarea tonu, kai ai. Ka tonoa a Uru raua ko Kakana ki runga; rokohina atu nga hua o te puarakau: kai tonu, kahore hoki kia hoki mai. Tamo tonu atu.

He Tangi Na Rangi

‘Ko Rangi ko Papa, e takoto nei;
Tamairetoro, tamairetoro, taua ka wehea.
Ko Ari ko Hua, e takoto nei;
Tamairetoro, tamairetoro, tau ka wehea.
Ko Tamaku ko Tamaiwaho, e takoto nei;
Tamairetoro, tamairetoro, taua ka wehea.
Ko Rehua ko Tamarautu, e takoto nei;
Tamairetoro, tamairetoro, taua ka wehea.’

Ahakoa, kei te noho ke atu a Rangi i taua wahine, i a Papatuanuku, kei te mohi tonu te aroha o te wahine ki tana tane: koia te kohu o nga maunga e rere ana ki runga. Ka ringitia hoki nga roimata a Rangi ki runga ki a Papatuanuku, koia te hauku.


father. With this he put on him a bright polish. When he came down again and looked up, he thought his father did not yet look so good as he ought to; so he fetched more ornaments, and with these he drew the Milky Way, painted the Magellan Clouds, and set the constellations. This done, he came down again to see how that did suit his father. Now he looked handsome.

Now Tane looked at his mother, who was still void of ornaments. So he raised some of her crippled children, and put them upright, as trees. First he put their legs downward and their heads upward, and then went aside to look at them. But the trees did not look well in that position, standing on their branches, with their stumps and roots as heads and hair, up. Then he took them up again, and put their heads down and their legs, the branches up; and went again aside to look. Now they looked good; now both parents were adorned with beauty.

Though Rangi and Papatuanuku have now been long separated, yet their love toward each other continues. Her sighs out of her bosom may be seen ascending up to Heaven in the vapoury mist that rises from the wooded mountains; and Heaven weeps his tears of love down upon her in dew-drops.


All over Polynesia, Tane was held to be a great god, next to Tangaroa. In New Zealand he superseded Tangaroa in importance. The word Tane, in the present language, means man or male; but I do not know if the name indicates any meaning. His full name was Tane nui a Rangi (Great Tane of Heaven). In Sir George Grey's collection he is called Tane Mahuta, and there he is made the god, or personification, of trees and birds. There are also indications here, in the south, of his having had to do with woods and forests, but a great deal more with the origin and final destiny of mankind.

Ka mutu te mahi a Tane ki ona matua, ka haere, ka porangia he wahine mahana. Ka porangi ki nga maunga ki nga wai matatiki,


When Tane had separated Heaven and Earth (his parents), and adorned each with becoming beauty, and was now at his leisure,

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ki nga rakau, ki nga manu: kahore hoki i kitea he wahine mahana. Ka tahuri mai ki tona hakui, ki a Papatuanuku. Ka ki atu te hakui: ‘Hoki atu. Nahaku hoki koe. Nai te wahine mahau; whakaahua i te oneone.’ Na, ka haere a Tane, whakaahua i te oneone, he wahine mahana. Ko Hinehaone te ingoa o taua wahine Ka noho i a Tane, ka whanau he tamahine, ko Hineatauira te ingoa o tenei tamahine. A, ka tupu, ka kaumatua, ka noho i a Tane, he wahine mahana. Kahore ia i matau, ko tona hakoro ia. Kua ngaro noa atu tona hakui. Ka noho raua, ka whanau ki waho: ko Tahukumea, ko Tahuwhakairo, ko Tahuotiatu, ko Tahukumeatepo, ko Tahukumeateao.

Muringa ra ka haere a Tane, ka porangi ki a Rehua, ki te tuakuna. Ka tae tera ki tetahi kainga i runga nei, ka ki atu tera: ‘Kahore he tangata i runga nei?’ Ka ki mai nga tangata o taua kainga: ‘He tangata ano i runga nei.’ ‘E kore ranei au te tae?’ ‘E kore koe e tae; ko te rangi tenei i kumea e Tane.’ Na, ka wahi ake a Tane, noho ana i runga i tera rangi. Ka haere ake, ka tae ki tetahi kainga ake, ka karanga atu: ‘He tangata ano i runga nei?’ ‘He tangata ano.’ ‘E kore ranei au e tae?’ ‘E kore koe e tae; ko te rangi tenei i tuhia e Tane.’ Ka wahi ake, ki tera rangi. Ka tae atu ki tetahi kainga, ka karanga ake: ‘He tangata ano i runga nei?’ ‘He tangata ano.’ ‘E kore ranei au e tae?’ E kore koe e tae; ko te rangi tenei i rohea e Tane.’ A—whenei tonu tae rawa ki te ngahuru o nga rangi.

Na, ka tae ki te kainga o Rehua. Ka haere mai tana tuakana kia tangi raua. Ka tangi makure a Rehua; na Tane te tangi karakia: –

Tipia, tahia, ngakia, rakea;
Tipia te rangi kia rahirahi,
Toto mai i waho.
Wariki o te rangi
Auaha tou ingoa,
Ko te rangi puaiho,
Turuturu o te rangi;
Kia mau ai, ko Tane anake,
Nana i tokotoko te rangi tou.'

No te mutunga o te tangi ka matau a Rehua, ko Tane tenei. Ka ki atu a Rehua ki ona tangata, kia tahuna he ahi. Ka ka te ahi. Ka homai he ipu. Ka mahara a Tane, kei whea ranei nga kai ma enei ipu i homai nei? Ka tirohia atu e wetea ana e Rehua te upoko—i herea te upoko. Wetea ana, ka ruia ki nga ipu—he koko e kai ana i nga kutu o te upoko o Rehua. Ka ki nga ipu i nga koko, ka mauria


he wandered about among trees and birds to find a wife for himself; but found none. Turnning to his mother for advice, she directed his attention to Hinehaone, a maid formed out of the soil. With her he had one daughter, called Hineatauira (Maid of the glistening Morning). After this, the mother, Hinehaone, is lost sight of, and when the daughter, Hineatauira, grew up, she became Tane's wife, without her knowing that he was her father. They had several children, the names of which indicate a drawing toward death, corruption and the world of night.

Once Tane made a journey to the heavens, to visit his elder brother Rehua. Who, or what this Rehua may have been I cannot find out, except that he dwelt in the tenth strata of the heavens. When Tane came to the first heaven, he called up: ‘Are there men above?’ The answer was: ‘There are.’ ‘May I come up?’ ‘No, this is the heaven that has been stretched out by Tane.’ Still Tane went up, and onward, till he came to the second heaven, when he again called up: ‘Are men above there?’ ‘There are.’ ‘May I come up?’ ‘No, this is the heaven that has been painted by Tane.’ Still he went up, and onward, till he came to the third heaven, when again he called up: ‘Are there men above there?’ ‘There are.’ May I come up?' ‘No, this is the heaven the bounds of which have been fixed by Tane.’ So he went on through other strata, till he came to the tenth heaven, where he found Rehua. When the two met, they both sat down to have a cry together. Rehua cried carelessly, but Tane cried, with a meaning, in verses.

(The verses are hard to be understood, and, if translated, would not carry with them the poetical beauty they bear in Maori. They begin as if he had met Rehua cultivating the soil; and are then to the effect that the ground is cleared, carpeted, and beautified by the cultivator, which adds to the splendour of Heaven; and then end: ‘Whatever be thy name, it was Tane who has set the Heaven. Hereby Tane made himself known to Rehua.)

When Rehua had learnt, by the crying, that his visitor was the great Tane, he had a fire made, and empty vessels brought. Tane wondered where the food was to come from. Presently Rehua untied his head, and shook out of his hair a lot of birds, tuis, into the empty vessels, and then had the birds killed and

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ki te ahi, ka kohua. Ka maoka, ka mauria mai ki te aroaro o Tane. Ka kiia mai e te tuakana kia kai. Ka kiia atu e tera, e Tane: ‘E kore au e kai. Titiro rawa ahau, e wetea ana mai i roto i tou upoko. Ma wai hoki te kai, i kai ai i nga kutu o tou upoko.’ Na reira i mataku a Tane, ki te tuakana.

Te kiinga atu a Tane ki a Rehua: ‘E kore ranei e haere i au.’ Kiia mai e Rehua: ‘E haere i a koe. Ka hua te rakau, na, rere atu te manu, ka tau ki reira kai ai.’ ‘Me aha! Ki te mea ka tangi te hau, ka maroke te kaki o te manu, ka tae ki te wai: me ta ki te kaha.’

Ka tae atu a Tane ki te kainga o Nukuroa raua ko Tamatea-kaiwhakapua. Ko nga wahine anake i rokohina atu; ko nga tane kua riro ki te whai kiore. Tokorua nga wahine. Kotahi te wahine i noho, kotahi te wahine i whakapekapeka. Na ka mea kai ma Tane; he kiore te kai. Kahore ia i kai. Kiia atu e ia: ‘Ko te kai tenei a o korua nei tane?’ Ka ki mai nga wahine: ‘Ae.’ Ka kiia atu e Tane: ‘Me waiho tenei kai ma a korua ariki, ma Te Tupuao raua ko Hinekitaharangi.—Na ka kiia atu e Tane, kia haere raua ki a raua tane. A, ka haere aua wahine. Rokohina atu e noho ana nga tane. Na ka korero atu: ‘Kua noho maua ki te tane. Ko tenei toku hoa i whakapekapeka, ko au ia i anga atu.’ Ka ki mai te tane nahana te wahine i whakapekapeka: ‘He aha koe i whakapekapeka, te tahuri atu?’ A ka kiia mai e nga tane: ‘Haere ki to korua manuwhiri, apopo maua whana atu.’

Na te ata haere mai nga tane ki te kainga, ka homai i te mataahi ki a Tane. Kahore a Tane kia hiahia atu ki taua mataahi—he mea kiore e kai ana i nga tutae, e ketu ana i a raua paruparu. Kahore kia kainga e Tane; i mataku i reira; na te tangata i mua.

Na ka hoki mai a Tane, ka tae mai ki te kainga o tona hakui. Na, kahore tana wahine i reira. I runga ano i te kainga o Rehua a Tane, ka ui atu a Hineatauira ki tona hungoi, ki a Papatuanuku: ‘Kei whea toku nei tane?’ Kiia mai e te hungoi: ‘E, ko tou tane! Ko tou hakoro ra pea.’ Katahi ka rongo a Hineatauira he tamahine ia na Tane, ka mate i te whakama. Ka poroporoaki ki tona hungoi, kiia, kia noho a Tane i te ao, hei whakatupu i a raua nei hua; ka haere tera ki te po, hei kukume i a raua nei hua. Na, ka hoki mai a Tane ka ui atu ki a Papatuanuku: ‘Kei whea toku nei wahine?’ Ki mai te hakui: ‘Kahore ia wahine mahau. Kua riro ia, kua heke. Kiia iho koe, kia noho i te ao hei whakatupu i a korua hua.’

Ka haere a Tane ki te whai atu i tana


cooked. But Tane did not eat of them, because it is against the tapu religion for an inferior to eat anything that has been in contact with the body of a superior, and Rehua is called Tane's tuakana, which means either an elder brother, or a descendant from an elder branch of the house.

Then Tane asked: ‘Cannot I catch some birds?’ ‘Yes,’ answered Rehua, ‘when the trees bear fruit and the birds feed on it; when the wind blows and their throats get dry, and they fly to the water to drink, then snare them.’

(There is more of the tale of this sort, as when Tane went to another place in that region, where people lived on rats and were out rat-catching; but I can see no meaning in it. In Sir George Grey's collection, this sort of tale is attributed to a visit of Rupe to Rehua. Now Rupe is a different person from Tane, and belong to a later period. Also this catching and cooking of birds and rats seems to indicate a later period than that of the gods. But the following is more godlike again:—)

While Tane was absent, Hineatauira asked her mother-in-law (the Earth): ‘Where is my husband?’ ‘What!’ replied Papatuanuku, ‘thy husband! he is thy father.’ When she heard this she felt so much ashamed that she took leave of her mother-in-law, and went away to the world of night below.

When Tane came home again from his journey to the heavens, he asked his mother: ‘Where is my wife?’ ‘Thou hast no wife any more,’ was the reply; ‘she is gone to the Po (world of night).’ Then Tane also went down to the nether world, to bring her up again, if possible. There he wandered about for a

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wahine, i a Hineatauira. Na mahana ka tae atu ki raro, ki te po; kopikopiko noa atu. Mana ka tae ki te whare, ka ui atu ki te poupou o te whare. Kahore hoki he waha kia ki mai. Ka ui atu ki te maihi o te whare; kahore hoki he waha kia ki mai. Ka mate tera i te whakama, ka nunumi, ka tawhe ki te tara o te whare.—Na ka ui mai te tangata o te whare: ‘E haere ana koe, e Tane, ki whea?’ Ka kiia atu e Tane: ‘E whai atu ana ahau ki ta taua tuahine.’ Ka ki mai te tangata o te whare:

‘E hoki, e Tane, ki te ao,
Hei whakatupu mai i a taua hua.
Tukua tonu au ki te Po
Hei kukume i a taua hua nei.’


long time in a lone, dim, shadowy night. At last he came to a house, but saw no living being. All was still. He spoke towards the pillar of the house, but received no answer, he spoke toward the gable of the house, but received no answer. Then, when he went confused and ashamed along the wall of the house, he heard someone inside the house, calling out to him: ‘Where, Tane, art thou going?’ ‘I am following our sister,’ he replied. Then that one inside said:—

‘Go back, Tane, to the world of light,
To train up our children.
Leave me here, in the world of night,
To draw down our children.’