Volume 36 1927 > Volume 36, No. 144 > Te Rae o Te Karaka. A Pa or fortified village in Queen Charlotte Sound, by W. J. Elvy, p 367-368
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TE RAE O TE KARAKA.
A PA OR FORTIFIED VILLAGE IN QUEEN CHARLOTTE SOUND.

THIS old stronghold occupied a narrow point of land between Waikawa and Whatamango bays, and is said to have been named after a Ngati-Mamoe chief named Te Karaka. It is also said to have been assaulted and taken by a force of Ngai-Tahu under the chiefs Tuahuriri and Te Kuri, when Te Karaka was slain.

The descendants of Mamoe were driven away from the Sounds and moved to Wairau, where they built a fortified village named Pari-nui-o-Whitu at the northern end of the Vernon Bluffs. Here they were again attacked by Ngai-Tahu on the beach and near a cave known as Te Ana-o-Rongomaipapa. This cave is said to have been named after a taniwha (mythical monster) called Rongo-maipapa, that lived and died in times remote, and it was used as a shelter by the Mamoe folk; I have been unable to locate it, and possibly the entrance thereto has been blocked.

Being again defeated, Ngati-Mamoe retired to a bluff at Timara, near Renwicktown, and there built a pa known as Hikurangi. Timara is Mr. Redwood Goulter's homestead. My informant told me that her father, a member of Ngai-Tahu, was captured by Te Atiawa during Te Rauparaha's invasion. He asked his captors to spare his life, and his request was granted, but all other members of his party were slain.

I was told that Te Rae-o-Te-Karaka was never occupied after the attack mentioned; it had lost its mana. Ngai-Tahu did not occupy it, on account of the bones of one of their people having been made into fish hooks there. We have gained no details of the fight, but the position was a strong one, the sides of the flat-topped ridge are precipitous bluffs 40ft. in height, and a fosse has been - 368 cut across the neck or base of the point; doubtless this defence was in addition to the usual stockade. There are some well-preserved pits, big and small, within the defended area, one of which is a double pit. Another pit looks as if it may have been used to conserve water. Hearth stones are in evidence, and some pits towards the point may possibly be old pit dwellings. The area of the pa is about two acres. My informants are descended from the Mamoe people and also from later coming tribes.

(Remains of old fortified positions are not numerous in the South Island; apparently earthwork defences were not widely employed there. Such headland forts as the one described above needed but one earthwork across the base of the point; a steep but yet scaleable scarp was usually surmounted by a stockade only. The Tuahuriri and Kuri mentioned may or may not have been the famed South Island ancestors. We are by no means sure that they were contemporaries. At p. 2 of Vol. 27 of this Journal will be found some account of the origin of the Mamoe folk mentioned above.—Editors.)

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Illustration
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Plan of old Ngatimamoe Pa “Te Rae o te Karaka” Queen Charlotte Sound