Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa Go to Te Ao Hou homepage
No. 60 (September 1967)
– 6 –

KOANGA O TE TAU
PLANTING TIME

He pitopito kōrero ēnei nāku o Te Whānau-a-Apanui mō ngā kai whakatiputipu o te tau, arā, mō te kūmara. He nui ō tāua tohungatanga ki ā tāua rā, ki ā tāua pō whakatō kūmara, ēngari ka raua mai anō e tāua ko te hinu mano whenua a te Pākehā, hai wai rākau mō te oneone, hai waiū hoki mō te kūmara.

Ko Te Whānau-a-Apanui, ko tōna tohungatanga ki te whakatō i tēnei kai, i te kūmara, i tuku iho rānō i a Kaiaio, uri o Apanui. I noho tēnei tangata ki Hauruia, ki Wahaotiu, wāhi o Pāhāoa e tata ana ki Te Kaha-nui-a-Tiki. I tirohia e Kaiaio ki ēnei māra āna te whakatō o te kūmara; te whakapiringa o āna pō, ki ia pō o te marama me te āhua o te tai, ki ia āhuatanga o te marama, o ngā whetū.

Ki te hiahiatia te kūmara hai roroi, ka whakahaerea anō i ngā pō e tika ana, kia nunui ai te kūmara, kua paraha—pai ana ki te waru.

Te kao, hai ngā pō anō e tika ana, kia mata ririki ai te kūmara, ēngari kia roroa, kia pai ai hoki te rau mānuka ki te tahitahi i ngā peha o te kūmara.

Kūmara tāpae ki te rua, kia kaua e pōtakataka, ēngari kia roroa, kia rarahi te kūmara.

Kūmara tunutunu, kia tahuna pēnei me te Toro-mahoe, me te Mākakauri, kia māngaro tonu; mā te wai hoki o te kina e whakamākūkū.

Enei āhua katoa o te kūmara, i tirohia katoatia e Kaiaio; ki te marama, ki te tai, ki ngā whetū, Kāore e hauhake noa i te kūmara kia paepae rānō a Whānui, kia āta pakari mārika ai te kūmara, kia kore ai hoki e pirau.

Ki te pirau te kūmara ki te rua, kāore e kawa, ēngari ka tīhorehorengia te kiri o te kūmara, ka kopēngia te wai kia heke (ēngari he pai tonu hoki ki te unu), ka pakipakingia kia maroke, ka tāpuke ki rō pungarehu wera kia maoa, tētahi kai reka. Tuarua, he mahi; he

 

These are some observations of mine on kumara culture among my tribe. Te Whanau-a-Apanui. We have a great deal of expert knowledge about the days and nights of the month that govern our planting of the kumara; but we are inclined to overlook the Pakeha method of manuring the land and giving nourishment both to the soil and to the kumara.

Te Whanau-a-Apanui's expert knowledge of kumara culture has been handed down from generation to generation since the time of Kaiaio, a descendant of Apanui. Kaiaio lived beside his plantations, Hauruia and Wahaotiu, at Pahaoa near Te Kaha. He regularly inspected these gardens of his and kept a close watch on all aspects of kumara growing, noting and keeping in conjunction the phases of the moon and stars.

If kumara were to be grown for roroi, that is, to be grated, they would be planted when the moon was at the correct phase for them to grow large. When the kumara were broken open they would be broad and flat and excellent for grating.

Again, kumara to be grown for making kao (preserved kumara) would be planted at the correct phase of the moon for them to grow small, but long, so that their skins could easily be rubbed off with manuka leaves.

Kumara to be stacked in storage pits should not be globular, but should be long and large.

Tubers to be used for roasting, such as the Toroamahoe and the Makakauri should be floury; these were usually eaten with the liquid from sea-eggs to moisten them.

All these aspects of kumara culture were carefully noted by Kaiaio; the moon, the tide and the stars. Kumara would never be harvested until Whanui (the star Vega) was visible, so that the tubers would be properly mature and not liable to rot.

If kumara did begin to rot in a store-pit they would not be considered unpalatable, but would be peeled, the juice, which made a pleasant drink, squeezed out, then they would be patted dry and buried in hot ashes until they were cooked; this was regarded as a delicacy. The second kind of rot in kumara was known

 
– 7 –
 

pirau anō tēnei nō te kūmara, ēngari ko tōna tohu ki te oneone, ki te rua rānei, whawhati ai, ka hongia iho e te ihu, ka puta tōna kakara. He waruwaru kau i ngā kiri, e ngau ana, ā, tōna kai reka anō.

Koainei ētahi o ō tāua ō o te Māori, nāna tāua i kawe mai ki te wā o te parāoa nei; e waiho nei hai mea aroha ki ngā mokopuna, he kore pani mō runga.

Ko te mea kāore i tirohia e Kaiaio, ki te marama, ki te tai, ki ngā whetū rānei, ko te whakahoki i te wairākau o te whenua, e reka nei, e māngaro nei te kai. Ko te wairākau o te oneone, e ai ki tāna, ko ngā tarutaru i tipu ki te māra, koianā tonu te waiū o te oneone, i rite tonu ai tāna hōmai i te kai, me tōna reka me te māngaro hoki.

Ko tēnei tangata ko Kaiaio, ko ōna tuākana, tāina, he tāngata mau rākau katoa. Kāore he ata kē i roto i ō rātau nā ngākau, ko te riri anake. Ka tū he pakanga, ka haere ērā ki te riri, ka noho a Kaiaio ki te ngaki i āna māra. Ka taka ki tētahi wā, ka whakataka ngā tuākana: he ope taua hai ngaki i ō rātau nā mate i ō rātau nā purei whutupōrotanga i aua wā. Ka whāiti mai te ope whakataka a ngā, tuākana, ka tū tōna toa ki te kōrero, ki te whakatū i te kōrero o te toa: tū ake tēnā, tū ake tēnā, nā te mea noa anō ka mene ngā toa ki te kōrero. Ko Kaiaio kai reira anō e noho ana. Kua rere te kupu a tētahi, “E, Kaiaio, e tū rā ki te kōrero i te kōrero o te toa.”

Ka tū a Kaiaio ki runga, āta whitiki mārika ana i tōna rāpaki, ua rawa, ka nanao atu ia ki tāna rākau, he kō. Kātahi ia ka peke, ka pou i tāna rākau ki te papa o te whare, kātahi ia ka pepeha “Rākau tahi anō aku ki a Hauruia he mano te hinganga ki a Wahaotiu he mano te hinganga.”

Kua rere i tētahi, “Kaiaio, me kōrero kai ia te kōrero o te toa ki te riri?”

Ka whakautua e Kaiaio, “Apōpō rā koe te toa riri. te haere ai, manako ake anō koe he kai.”

E mau nei tēnei pepeha i a Te Whānau-a-Apanui, ngā uri whakatipu kai o Kaiaio.

Nō reira mai rānō a Te Whānau-a-Apanui,

 
 

as mahi, a kind of blemish that could be detected either when the kumara were in the soil or when they were in the storehouse by the distinctive smell they had when they were broken open. They were simply scraped and eaten and were also regarded as a delicacy.

These are some of the delicacies that were part of our diet up to the time when flour was introduced. To mention them now brings back memories of our old people and how their grandchildren would cry because they had nothing to spread on their bread.

There was one aspect of kumara culture, however, which Kaiaio in his careful calculations of conditions of the moon, the tide and the stars omitted to consider. This was the manuring of the soil which gives the kumara its flavour and texture. He considered that the proper fertiliser for the soil was the weeds that grew in the plantations and that these gave an abundant crop and also gave the tubers their flavour and texture.

Kaiaio's elder and younger brothers were all fighting men, preoccupied with warfare. Whenever fighting broke out they would be off to join in the battle, while Kaiaio stayed at home to tend his cultivations. At one time, the brothers were preparing to set off on an expedition to seek revenge for a defeat, in the same spirit as we avenge defeats on the Rugby football field today. The members of the brothers' war party met to plan the campaign, each warrior taking his turn at standing up to speak and, with the dramatic gestures of the Maori orator, to tell of deeds of bravery, this being the purpose for which they had gathered. Kaiaio was seated among them. One of the speakers addressed him, “Kaiaio, stand up and let us hear about your deeds of bravery!”

Kaiaio got to his feet, slowly and deliberately tightening his working kilt about him, then, after an impressive pause, suddenly snatched up his weapon, a digging-stick, and making an orator's leap, he struck his stick on the floor of the house and uttered this saying: “With my one weapon I attack Hauruia and thousands are defeated; I attack Wahaotiu and thousands are defeated.”

Another of the warriors present said. “Kaiaio, do you liken talk of food to talk of bravery in war?”

To this, Kaiaio replied, “Tomorrow you will go out as a warrior to do battle and even you will think of food.”

Te Whanau-a-Apanui, his food-producing descendants, still treasure this proverbial saying of Kaiaio.

He is the source from which Te Whanau-a-

 
– 8 –
 

āna pō me āna tikanga mō te pou kūmara. Kotahi te waha o te kō ki te pou, kotahi anō te anga o te hunga pou. Kāore e anga kē e pare kē. E mau nei ēnei tikanga i ngā hapū o Te Whānau-a-Apanui nei, mai i a Kaiaio, heke iho noa mai ki ēnei whakatupuranga.

Ko tēnei iwi ko Te Whānau-a-Apanui he iwi hākere, mā te waewae taka tonu ki tōna aro-aro, ka maringi noa āna kai, ka makere anō āna taonga, ka ngahoro noa āna kōrero.

Ka taka mai nei ki te wā o te whakapono nei, kātahi ka hurihia ngā pō whakatipu kai a tēnei iwi ki ngā pō whāngai i te wairua; kāore he tohu o ngā pō a te wairua. I kōrerotia, kotahi anō, me anga nui ō koutou kanohi ki runga, kaua e tiro whakararo, nō te mea kei runga hoki ngā hōmaitanga papai katoa. Ka hurihia ngā whakaaro o ēnei hapū ki te whai i ēnei pō-tikanga rānei.

Ka taka te whakaaro i ēnei hapū kia whaka-arahia e rātau he whare karakia ki Whanga-parāoa hei pupiri i te mauri o te whakapono ki waenganui o tēnei karangatanga hapū o roto i a Te Whānau-a-Apanui, arā, i te Whānau-a-Kauaetangohia. Mā te huruhuru hoki te manu ka rere! Ka takoto he pūtea i te whānau nei, me ngā tikanga katoa e ara ai te taonga. Huri rawa iho ngā kanohi i whakatirohia whaka-rungatia rā, kua eke kē te pūtea nei kai runga i te waka nei i a * Marutawhao hai tiki i te kūmara i Hawaiki.

E te wairua ki āu pō, ‘Ka runga te kōrero, kai raro te rahurahu’. Ka wāhi rua i konei a Te Whānau-a-Apanui, te mauri pupuri i te whakatō o te kai; pupuri i te mauri tangata, i te mauri pupuri hoki i te whakapono. Kua tiro kē, kua huri kē, kua kuhu kē, kua whaka-angaanga te hinengaro, ki konei rānei, ki kō rānei; me pēnei rānei, me pērā rānei; me te mamae iho anō o te ngākau ki ngā taonga ātaahua whakarerenga iho a ngā tīpuna kua tere nei i te ia o te wā …. ki Whananui e te hoki mai nei tō wairua ora ki te ao nā ….

nā Pūwharariki, Te Ranga-a-te-anewa

 
 

Apanui derived their knowledge of correct planting times and methods of cultivation of the kumara. At planting time, the planters worked always in unison. The digging sticks were all lifted in one way and the planters all faced in one direction. No one would move in a different direction from the others. These customs have been retained by the various subtribes of the Whanau-a-Apanui, from the time of Kaiaio right down to the present generation.

The Whanau-a-Apanui people are careful with their food, but are at the same time generous. Their generosity and their careful husbanding of food supplies enable them, when they have guests, to be lavish in their hospitality and to lay before their visitors not only a wealth of their finest provisions but also a feast of stories and traditions.

With the coming of Christianity, the people likened the growth of the new religion to their planting; but there were no signs to guide them in the things of the spirit. They were told, “You must be steadfast in turning your faces up towards heaven. Don't look down, for all your blessings come from on high.” So the people of these sub-tribes devoted all their thoughts to cultivating their spiritual well-being.

They decided to erect a church at Whangaparaoa (Cape Runaway) as a shrine for the deep faith of this sub-tribe of Te Whanau-a-Apanui, the Kauaetangohia people. As the proverb says, the wherewithal is necessary before we can accomplish anything. A fund was established by the people and money raised in various ways. However, by the time the eyes that had been turned heavenwards returned to earth, the fund had gone with the ancestral canoe, Marutawhao, on its long journey to Hawaiki to bring back the kumara.

So much for the things of the spirit; as the saying goes, ‘A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country’. From this time, Te Whanau-a-Apanui became a divided people, in their allegiance to different beliefs; the things pertaining to their agricultural activities, the part of them that held on to the cultural values and the call of their religion. Some are looking in one direction some in another, turning this way and that to find a satisfactory means of sustenance; not any more a people all of one mind; wondering whether to stay here, or to go there; whether to do this, or to do that; and with all this, constantly concerned over the priceless traditions left to them by their ancestors which are now drifting away on the current of the times.

by Puwharariki, Te Ranga-a-te-anewa

 

*Ki etahi, ko Te Aratawhao.

– 9 –
 

Me pehea tatou?

Enei kōrero āku, e pā ana ki a tātou ngā iwi Māori, arā, ki ngā wāhine. Ko taku hiahia kia kite au i ā tātou tamariki e pīrangi ana ki te whai i te mātauranga. Ae, e tika ana he toko-maha ngā tamariki kua puta i tēnei karanga-tanga, ēngari e hia atu kei ngā tāone, kāinga, pā rāianei e noho ana, e hia anō ngā tau i pau ki te kura. Aue te moumou! Whakamahia ngā kura me ngā kaiwhakaako, e hoa mā.

E mea nei aku whakaaro e kite ana ahau hei whakatika i a tātou:-

Tuatahi

Ina kī mai ō hoa, Pākehā, Māori, aha rāianei, ‘E hoa, te pai hoki o tō pēpi!’ Whakahoki atu, ‘Ae, tino pai.’ Kaua kē e kowhete ki ngā mahi hīanga a tō pēpi, ki ngā mahi tutū rāianei a tō tamaiti.

Kia kaha ki te rapu i ngā mea e tika ai ā tātou tamariki.

I ngā tau i mua atu i tā rātou haerenga ki
te kura:

Me huri tātou ngā mātua ki te hoko i ngā pukapuka e tika ana mā rātou. Nā, riro mai ō pukapuka me huri koutou ngā whaea ki te kōrero pukapuka ki ā koutou tamariki ia pō, ia pō. He aha ngā āhua pukapuka hei hoko mā tātou? Hei ngā pukapuka whai pikitia. Etahi e mea ana ki ngā pāmu, kararehe, ngā mea e tupu ana i runga i te mata o te whenua; ētahi e pā ana ki ngā tāone, toa, pahi, tereina me ērā atu mea; ētahi e pā ana ki te moana, ngā ika, mātaitai, poti, tima me ērā atu mea; me ngā pukapuka hoki e pā ana ki ngā āhua waka rererangi, me ērā atu mea e haere ana i te rangi nui nei. Koēnei ngā āhua pukapuka hei hoko mā tātou.

Engari, kia tūpato. Kaua rawa koe e mea atu ki tō tamaiti, ‘Kaua e tutūngia ngā puka-puka nā.’ Inā hiahia ia ki te titiro i ngā taonga nei, tukunī atu. Nā, ina puta ngā pātai mō ngā pukapuka nei, whakautua atu ngā pātai nei. Kaua e mea atu, ‘Hōhā! Haere ki waho! Kaua e tutū! Turituri!’ rāianei, Tino hē tēnei mahi, c aku hoa, tino hē. Mā te tutū i ngā taonga nei, mā te pātapatai ka kakama ai ā tātou tamariki ki te rapu i te mātauranga.

Te taha tinana:

Ki te taha mō ngā tinana, whakamahia ā tātou hōhipere, rata, nāhi tiaki pēpi me ērā atu mea. Whakatupungia ō tamariki kia kaua e mataku i ēnei mea, i ēnei tāngata. E hoa mā, i te wā i a au e nāhi ana ka kite au i tēnā mea te tamariki Māori e tangi ana i te mamae

 
 

What Can We Do?

These writings of mine concern us the Maori people, especially the women. I would like to see more of our children striving to seek more and higher education. Yes, it is true that a number of Maori children have done this, but how many more are there living at home in the towns, villages and pas, who gave only a few years of their lives to schooling? This is truly wasteful. Make full use of our schools and teachers, my people.

Here are a few ideas that may help you.

In general:

When your friends and acquaintances say to you, ‘What a beautiful baby you have!’ reply, ‘Yes, I think she is.’ Whatever you do, don't carry on about how mischievous or how troublesome your child is. Always look for that which will benefit your child.

Pre-school age:

In the years before they go to school we the parents must buy suitable books for our children and when we have the books, we must read to them regularly every night. What sorts of book do we buy? Well, picture books are best at that age. There are books about farms, animals plants and trees; there are those about towns, shops, buses, trains; there are books about the sea, about shellfish, fish, boats and ships and there are books about planes and rockets. These are only a few examples.

A word of warning. Do not forbid your child to touch these books. If he wants to look at them or to handle them, let him. Also, when he asks questions about the books, answer them as best you can. Don't say, ‘Be quiet! Go outside! Don't touch!’ or such things. This is very wrong, my friends. It is only by handling these books and by asking questions about them that our children will learn and become interested in learning.

Health:

On the physical side, don't forget our hospitals, doctors and nurses, starting with the Plunket nurses. Bring your children up so that they aren't afraid of these people. You see, when I was nursing I saw many of our Maori children crying with pain and loneliness. Yet, when the doctor asked them, ‘What is the matter?’ they turned their heads away. I could see that it was because they were afraid, not so much of the pain of their sickness, but of the Pakeha doctor. My friends, if you had

 
– 10 –
 

i te mokemoke hoki, ēngari uia atu e te rata, ‘He aha te mate?’ kore rawa ngā tamariki nei e kūihi mai. E mea ana ahau nā te mataku i pēnei ai. Mehemea koe i reira ki te whaka-rongo atu i ngā tamariki nei e tangi ana, mehemea koe i kite i te aroha e puta mai ana i ngā kanohi o te rata nei, e hoa, e tangi nōki koe.

Kaua ō tamariki e whakamatakungia ki ēnei mea, ki te iwi Pākehā, ngā kura māhita rānei. Whakatupungia rātou kia māia.

Mēna he whare tākaro kei konā i a koe nā, mauria ō tamariki ki reira. Enei whare tākaro, arā, e kīngia nei he ‘play-centre’, he kindergarten, he kura pai. Ko ēnei ngā wāhi e kite ana ahau hei whakakotahi i ngā tamariki, ngā māmā, nā, i ngā pāpā hoki. Kotahi atu mea tino nui ki aku nei whakaaro. Ina hiahia to tamaiti ki te mou mai i ana hoa ki tō kāinga tākaro ai, tukuna atu. Nā, me tuku hoki koe i tāu kia haere ki ngā whare o ōna nei hoa tākaro ai.

I ngā rā kura:

I ngā rā kura, ā, tae noa ki ngā rā kāreti, kia kaha koe ki te whāngai, ki te kākahu i tāu. Tukuna ō tamariki kia tākaro i ngā tākaro o te kura. Mēna he aha te mea e haere ana i te kura, meinga atu ki tāu, māna tērā mahi. Whakamahia ā tātou kōtiro ki te mahi i ō rātou nei kākahu, ki te mahi kai, ki te tatau moni, ki te mahi i a rātou kia ātaahua. A tātou tamariki tāne, whakatupungia mai rātou hei tāngata pai, aroha ki te tangata, kaha ki te mahi, mātau ki ngā mahi o te ao nei. Hoatu ki ā tātou tamariki, ki tēnei, ki tēnā, te manawa kaha ki te whai i te mea nei te mātauranga. Tonoa rātou ki ngā whare wānanga o ngā motu nei.

I roto i ēnei mea katoa, e aku hoa, i roto i tēnei ao Pākehā, kia mau mahara koe ki tō Māoritanga. Kaua e wareware ki tō tātou reo Māori, ā tātou waiata, haka, poi rānei. I Pōneke nei, tō mātou whare ko Ngāti Pōneke. Kei konei ēnei mahi e puehu ana. Mō tātou i Pōneke nei, haere mai ki konei.

Arahia ā tātou tamariki. Hoatungia ki a rātou ngā mea papai o ngā ao e rua. Te aroha ki te tangata me te mātauranga mō ngā mea Pākehā, Kei ā tātou tamariki te tikanga mō tātou te iwi Māori mō nga tau e heke iho nei. Kia kaha, e hoa mā. Tātou tātou. O raruraru, nōku, Mēna koe e tika i a au, uia mai ō pātai.

Hoatu ki tēnei, ki tērā, o ō tamariki te taiaha ko manawakaha te ingoa, nā, me te mere me hua e au ko manawanui, kia ora ai tātou te iwi Māori.

Nā Ani Hona

 

only been there and heard their cries, if you had only seen the pity and love in the doctor's eyes. You see, they understand; they know, and you would cry also as I have done many a time. Don't threaten your children with the Pakeha doctor, nurses or teachers. Bring them up to respect them, to be unafraid. If you have a play centre or kindergarten near you, take your pre-school children there. These will help our children to become used to other children, to play with them, and enable mothers—and fathers too—to meet each other. When your child wants to bring his friends home to play, let him and if he is invited to other children's homes to play, let him go. We must all learn to give as well as take.

The school years:

All through their school years both primary and secondary, try to the best of your ability to provide your children with the necessary equipment, especially a good diet and clean clothes. Allow them to take part in the school sports. Encourage your child to volunteer for drama clubs, for activities other than those that are compulsory. Encourage your daughters to learn dress making, to cook and bake, to handle and budget money and to keep themselves neat and attractive. Bring your sons up to be good, clean young men with love for their fellow-men, and to be conscientious and willing workers. Let us give each one of our children inspiration to seek higher education. Make every possible effort to send them to University.

In all these things, my friends, in this Pakeha world always carry with you your Maori heritage. Never, never lose your Maori language, your Maori songs, and poi dances. Here in Wellington we have our centre of Maori culture in the Ngati Poneke Hall. I'm sure you would be welcome here.

We must lead our children. Give to our children the very best of both worlds—the strong bonds of affection that we are known for as well as the education from the Pakeha world. Our children hold the key to our future. It is up to them and their children to decide if the Maori will vanish or stay, but at least we can have a say now. Be strong my people. Your troubles are my troubles. If I can help you, ask me your questions.

Arm our children with the taiaha or spear of inspiration and encouragement and with the mere or club of patience, of searching and of stout-heartedness, so that we as a people will survive.

Anne Bosch née Hona.