Volume 56 1947 > Volume 56, No. 1 > The impact of languages and the coalescence of the fragments, by A. A. Lind, p 18-40
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A Study in the Affinities of the Maori Language.


IN ancient times, among all peoples, names were of very great importance; and even in our own day, among the more primitive races, individuals are not named lightly or in haphazard manner: for those folk conceive that there is not only meaning, but also power and magic in a name. Among the ancients a man's name indicated some quality or power with which he was endowed; physical, mental, or spiritual: some characteristic which distinguished him from all others, or some malformation or weakness to which he was subject. It happened sometimes, that when a man had performed some remarkable deed or taken part in some outstanding event, his name was changed, added to, or its meaning modified, according to the nature and importance of the act or event.

We may gather some useful information from a study of the three principal invasions of the Fish of Maui and by inference of the other islands of Polynesia, and from tracing the etymologies of the names and appellations by which they were known and handed down in the legends, traditions and folklore of the Maoris and others. With this in view, I propose to examine the names of the invaders and follow the modifications or changes, if any, in relation to the experiences and varied circumstances of the people who bore them.

It is evident from the number and character of the variations found in these traditional accounts that in the course of time they had undergone numerous changes, so that, the stories collected by White in his Ancient History of the Maori and by others labouring in the same field, are fragmentary remnants of myths, legends and traditions, which, like the language, has undergone many vicissitudes, in the course of which much was changed and more lost.

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As my researches lead to conclusions which may constitute a departure from some of the generally accepted findings of distinguished Polynesian scholars and research workers, I shall endeavour to show that I do not base my conclusions upon isolated coincidental similarities found in a few words or names, but upon the evidence of philology, tradition, art, the symbolism in art and other considerations, the cumulative force of which cannot fail to impress the student.


In my second paper I suggested the possibility of the Kui to whom Maui gave the land to colonize, being of the same stock as the Gonds of the Central Provinces of India who call themselves Koi and of some other related aboriginal tribes, which still retain their identity. In order to prepare the ground for subsequent comparisons it is necessary to give a brief account and description of certain aboriginal tribes living in India, including some of their beliefs, customs, traditions, and arts. To do this I shall quote from a small book which was published in 1915 under mine and my wife's names, also an extract from a work under the title of India by the late Sir Thomas Hungerford-Holdich, of the Survey of India, an extract of which I used in my Preface to Pioneering in Darkest India. Here is part of the extract.

“The centre of Gondwana may be located north of the Indravati in the Mardian hills. Here dwell the Mardias . . . The Mardias are the wildest of the Gonds and it is very difficult to establish intercourse with them. Many of the Mardias are light in colour and the absence of hair on their faces is not so universal as one would expect in the purest type of Gond.

“Their faith is simple, demonology and witchcraft . . . All the people erect monuments to their dead—monoliths where stone is abundant and slabs of gneiss are handy, and wood where stone is not available. The wooden posts are often curiously carved . . . At the foot of the post there is generally a slab of stone which is used both for sacrificial purposes and as an altar for offerings made to the spirits of the departed. Their festivals, their customs and their wild - 20 fantastic dances, which form part of the recurrent rites of burial would fill an interesting chapter.” (Page 119.)

My actual sojourn among the Mardias or Marias, convinced me that they are not Gonds as the writer thought, but the remnants of a once powerful nation, related to the Gonds. The tribe most closely related to the Marias is the Kui, who live in the same neighbourhood.

An examination of the name Kui, given to the first immigrants into New Zealand, and the various meanings which it bears in Maori, as a noun, verb, and other parts of speech, as found in Williams' Maori Dictionary, compared with Indian languages, gives an admirable illustration of the characteristic usage regarding names current among primitive peoples, as descriptive of the conditions and fortunes of those who bear them. Assuming that the name Kui implied a definite generic distinction as a tribal name, as the names Koi, Kui, Khond, Maria and soforth, still do among those tribes in India, it is comparatively easy to follow and to mark how the word Kui and the changes in the meanings, coincides perfectly with the changing fortunes of the Kui from their landing in New Zealand to their defeat, humiliation, and eventual absorbtion by the next invaders, the Tutu-mai-ao. Whether the meaning “short of food” attached to the word Kui was given to them by the aboriginal inhabitants of the Fish of Maui in conformity with their own language, or was merely a meaning applied by hosts and guests alike to an Indian word descriptive of their condition on reaching these shores, is difficult to decide and is of no great importance in relation to our present purpose. The fact is that Kui is a name still used by a tribe in the central Provinces of India. Other related tribes, such as the Gonds, Khonds, and the Marias who call themselves Gaita, still apply these terms to themselves by way of distinction. Koi tor means a Gond man, Kui tor a Kui Gaita, a man, a Maria, etc. It is, therefore, reasonable to believe, as stated above, that the meanings, short of food, cold, described the condition of the immigrants when they landed. The inhabitants of the land apparently received them kindly and treated them hospitably.

In Vol. 2, page 76 of White's Ancient History of the Maori, the following version of the legend of the fishing up of the land by Maui, its appearance, the conditions under - 21 which its inhabitants lived and the settlement of the Kui upon it is given. “The fish caused a great foam and his (Mauis) brothers in fear called to him to let it go: But Maui said, ‘This is the fish for which I came out on the Ocean.’ But they called out again saying, ‘O Maui, let it go, it is a god.’ But Maui continued to pull it up and found it was land, on which were houses, and stages for food on which to put food, and dogs barking and fires burning and people working. So the fish of Maui was caught and pulled up to the surface. It was a light-coloured fish.” A somewhat different account is found in Vol. 3, pages 188-9. “The land of Ao-tea-roa (long white cloud) was fished up by Maui and when seen it was land. Hence it was called the Fish of Maui. Maui left Kui (short of food) in charge of the land, “and from Kui are descended the tribe called Nga-ti kui who are a numerous people on the Fish of Maui.” We may conclude from these mixed fragments of myth and tradition that the Kui intermingled and eventually absorbed the aborigines and became a great tribe or nation, a remnant of which was later known as Nga-ti kui.

When this nation, after the lapse of an unspecified period of time, was invaded and subjugated by a people called Tutu-mai-ao, the name Kui received, additional contumelious meanings, applied to it or to those who bore it by the haughty conquerors who, “began to kill and to assume a superior knowledge over the resident people and intermarried with them, and eventually the people of Kui were annihilated and Kui himself went down and lived beneath the surface of the earth and the power over and the authority on the Fish of Maui were assumed by Tutu-mai-ao.”

These invaders looking down upon the resident people as inferiors treated them with harshness and expressed their contempt of the conquered by applying the following opprobrious meanings to the name Kui: weak, cowardly, stunted. Such usage was common in ancient times and is still to be met with among primitive peoples. Kui also became a vocative, used in calling the girls and women of the subject people, whom they took as wives and it was eventually used as a general mode of addressing women and slaves.

An examination of these additional meanings attached to the word Kui leads to the assumption that the Tutu-mai-ao - 22 also spoke an Indian language in which there were many Sanskrit words. The word kui may be traced as follows: Sanskrit ku, the earth; as an indeclinable particle it expresses depreciation, implying, sin, guilt, reproach, contempt, dimnution, littleness, prevention, hindrance. As a verb, ku, to sound, to sound indistinctly, to moan, to groan, to coo, to cry, to cry as a bird, etc. The monosyllable i in Maori is according to Williams, “without any special meaning, used at the end of a line or stanza of a song.” In the Indian languages i (long like ee) is used in an adjectival sense, also as expressing agent, derived from, belonging to, etc., e.g., Gujerat name of a country gujerati a native of Gujerat, the language of Gujerat, etc. Hence ku, earth; kui, one who lives in, that is under the surface of the earth. Ku, littleness, kui, one who is little, stunted. During the periods of mutation following new impacts, this, like many other grammatical endings, lost its meaning and was only retained without meaning at the end of lines or stanzas of songs.

In my second paper I referred to the theory that the earliest invaders of New Zealand were Aryans of the same stock as those who invaded India and indicated some of the ground upon which it is untenable. The absence of writing and of metals, such as iron tools and weapons leads one to the assumption that they were Indian aborigines, remnants of those who resisted the invaders, and who, in the course of long contact extending over centuries, assimilated many words and forms of the Sanskrit language. The Gonds (koi) and related tribes such as the Khond, Gota-koi, Maria, Muria, Kui, and others, were once very numerous and powerful, and in spite of the great losses which they must have suffered in many centuries of warfare, they retained their independence and lived in their own established kingdoms till little more than two centuries ago.

The two largest aggregations of Gonds at the present time are found in and around Chindwara and Mandla in the Central provinces of India, with many small communities and sub-tribes scattered all over Gondwana. The Gonds in 1912 numbered about 3,000,000. Their languages and dialects are permeated with words from Sanskrit and the contiguous vernaculars. In ancient times they ruled over the whole of Gondwana, corresponding roughly to what are now - 23 the Central Provinces and parts of Berar. There are no extant records of their earlier glory except some legends and folktales: but it is known that as late as the twelfth century and right on to the eighteenth century there were four contemporaneous Gond kingdoms, possessing their own culture and following their own laws, traditions, and customs. During the Moghul ascendancy, they nominally acknowledged the emperor's suzerainty, maintaining, nevertheless, complete freedom and independence. Early in the eighteenth century, these kingdoms were overrun and destroyed by the Maharatas, and the majority of the people abandoned their land, finding refuge in the hills and forests. Now even the memory of their past greatness would have been lost but for the folktales preserved by the elders and professional story-tellers.

In the course of my travels in India I lived among the Gonds and among several of the sub-tribes, including the Khonds, the Kui, and the Gota-kui, who now inhabit parts of the Bastar state, the Kanker state, Kutru and parts of Orissa near the Marian hills.

Professor A. A. Macdonnell in his book India's Past, in the course of his review of the non-Aryan languages of India, speaks of the Khands (Khonds) and Kui as one people. He says on page 216: “Besides these two main groups of non-Aryan speech (Dravidian and Munda), there is an indeterminate group in Central India (Central Provinces), North of the Telugu area, spoken by about 3,000,000. The three chief languages are the speech of the Gonds, spoken by about a million and a half in the hill country of Central India: Kurukh or Oraon, the tongue of nearly a million; and Khandi or Kui that of half a million in the Orissa hills.” The Kurukh and Kui peoples and languages are not identical as the professor thinks, either in speech or customs. The Kurukh live in and around Chota Nagpur, while the Khond (not Khand) and the Kui, as already pointed out, live in Bastar, Kanker, and Kutru; and while it is correct to say that there is a definite relationship among all these languages it is not such as to warrant the assertion that they are identical, the differences betwen them being as great as say the difference between Italian and Spanish. There is a tribe called Kand living in the Gamjam hills in the east and another tribe called Koi or Kui - 24 is found on the upper Godavary in the Madras Presidency: but those tribes differ radically from the Koi, Khond, and Kui described here.

The Khonds and Kui are or were till about the middle of the 19th century, vigorous and warlike tribes, who used to make periodical raids upon their more civilized and peaceable neighbours. They were known as fearless and savage fighters, and the Khonds observed the unpleasant custom of hacking off a hand or arm of a slain foe which they threw to the rear, to be counted by their women and preserved as mementoes. Their women usually accompanied the menfolk to war and cooked meals for them while the fighting was going on. Like the Marias they are animists, worshipping a great number of spirits, also gods and demons, to which they used to offer human sacrifices. Certain members of the tribes are periodically possessed by one or another of the many gods and spirits and are carried round in procession on a sort of throne, receiving gifts and telling fortunes and prescribing medicines and curative incantations. When the British took over the supervision of the native states, the human sacrifices, wars and other objectionable practices were officially banned, and had to cease—officially.

The Maria and the Kui both have a splendid physique, the former being considerably taller. Their features show two distinct types. One like that of the Gonds has a somewhat flat nose and high cheek bones. Those of the second type have straight dark brown or black hair, high foreheads, fine noses and features generally conforming to what is accepted as the caucasian type. This last type is predominant among the Marias and grey or blue eyes are not uncommon among them. The men have their faces and bodies tattooed, the patterns and extent of the tattooing depending upon the rank or status of the man. The women tattoo their faces, arms, and breasts in a set of patterns different from those of the men. Adolescent girls and boys mingle freely and premarital children are no disgrace, though disputes do arise regarding the custody of the children, the parents or relatives of both parties wishing to keep the child. After marriage, however, there are strict laws regarding the woman's fidelity. Polygamy is common but not prevalent. The villages are very small, and everything is owned communally. The largest Maria village had - 25 only twenty-five houses including the storehouses. The storehouses are built upon poles off the ground. They are generally round, resting upon one post from four to eight feet off the ground, and are from five to eight feet in diameter. From a distance they look like large flat-bottomed baskets. They are naturally happy-go-lucky people, spending their leisure, especially the nights, singing, dancing, and story telling.

The Marias and Kuis are forest dwellers, their chief occupations being hunting and fishing. The Marias who call themselves Gaita keep to their own hills and do not care to come into contact with strangers, being even more shy and unapproachable than the Kuis. They were scarcely ever mentioned in writing or in official reports, so that little was known of them till I went among them. My first visit was early in 1908. After considerable difficulty and some danger I succeeded in making friends with them and gained their confidence. During my stay among them I gathered much valuable information and made voluminous notes which I added to my already large collection. Unfortunately they were all destroyed by immersion into the Indravati river.

A little more than a year after I left them, the Government of the Bastar State tried to enforce certain forestlaws upon them against which they rebelled; and I incidentally earned a lot of official ill-will because I wrote to certain people explaining that the Marias were in fact being deprived of their livelihood by those new laws, and threatened to carry the matter further. However, the Marias cut off the heads of a few native policemen who were sent against them and the matter fizzled out. It delayed my return to them for two or three years.

To reach the Marian hill one has to travel from Dhamtari, which is the end of the railway, a distance of about 135 miles through forest country to Jagdalpur, the capital of Bastar, and from there another eighty-five or ninety miles to Narainpur at the foot of the Marian hills. Another route, which I followed on my second visit, is to leave the railway at Chanda and go through the Ahiri Zemindary to Bhamaragarh, a distance of 135 miles through dense forest, most of it with no roads of any kind.

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All this may seem to be a digression from my subject. But I considered it necessary to give this brief description of the people, their appearance, customs, etc., preparatory to what is to follow.

There are several legends or traditional stories current among the Marias, Kuis, and the other tribes I have mentioned, with variations and differences in the names of the leaders, heroes, and demi-gods, to the effect that at some very remote time, after many wars, waged against invaders, including a race of magicians or sorcerers, many people of the various tribes, led by their heroic chiefs, travelled to the great black waters at the end of the world and were lost. The three most popular leaders were named Toial or Toiyal, Kaler, and Vani or Wani: who figure as great heroes or demi-gods, who performed miraculous deeds and preserved their people from the alien warriors by countering the powerful magic and incantations of their priests and medicine-men.

In some accounts it was Toial, in others it was Vani, and in others again it was Kaler who led the people to the great black waters at the end of the world, on the waters on which the earth floats, and when they fell into these waters they became half man, half fish. Another version tells how they sailed on the rivers in great canoes till they reached the end of the world and disappeared in the great black waters. These great black waters upon which the earth floats are called, Err karkal pehro.

Now, before seeking to establish relationship or identity between the abovementioned tribes and the Kui of Maori tradition, a few words regarding the value and reliability of mythologies, legends, and genealogies as preserved among the Maoris and other Polynesians, will, I hope, clear the ground for what is to follow.

Mythology is generally based upon some real event or events, supernaturalized, spiritualized, and it may be distorted, but retaining a substratum of fact. Traditions are oral records of past events, historical, cultural, or religious, also as a rule, distorted or at least modified. Genealogies generally give the pedigrees of kings, chiefs or other notable personalities, often subjected to modifications, transferences, distortions, and chronological violations. It is apparent then that from such sources alone it is difficult, if not impossible, - 27 to draw correct or approximately correct conclusions, unless we can find collateral myths, legend, traditions, or genealogies running more or less parallel with those under consideration, from which we can extract and connect items which appear to dovetail and yield reliable results. And if all this is further supported by additional data, such as customs usages, appearance, or physique, art, and the symbolisms expressed in art, philology, and other items of similar nature existing among peoples living in widely separated parts of the world, then we may draw reasonably sure conclusions, where documentary record are non-existent.

The Maori and Polynesian traditions and genealogies are full of discrepancies and in many cases of contradictions, and where other data is absent one man's opinion may be as good as another's. The accounts and genealogies regarding the landing of the Kui on the Fish of Maui furnishes us with a good illustration of confusion.

I mentioned one of the heroes who led the Marias, Gonds, Khonds, Kui, and others, named Toial, the leader of the discomfited remnants, who took them to the great black waters at the end of the world. On my first attempt to identify Toial of Indian tradition with Toi of Maori and Polynesian story, my attention was drawn to the genealogical lattice as given by Greenwood in the Upraised Hand, wherein it is said that Toi came twelve generations after Tiwakawaka, the grandson of Maui, and on these and other grounds it is computed that Toi reached New Zealand about 1150 A.D. and that Maui's discovery of the North island and the immigration of the Kui is placed at about 900 to 950 A.D. On the other hand, according to the Genealogies of the Morioris, going back to 182 generations, more than 4,500 years, Toi comes not far from Rangi and Papa, which would place him some thousands of years before 1150 A.D.

The story of the arrival of the Maoris in New Zealand, as given in White's Ancient History of the Maori gives certain chronological indications by the number of generations given. “And again there came a people who were descendants of the Maui line of ancestors, to seek the land of Maui, who were called Maori (ma-ori, by the breeze), and when they had lived ten generations on the land, they acted in the same way to Turehu as Turehu had done to Tutu-mai- - 28 ao, and Turehu became extinct and Maori have occupied this land, the Fish of Maui for forty-six generations.”

It is not clear whether the forty-six generations mentioned here included the ten generations after which they destroyed the Turehu or that they lived forty-six generations on the land, to the time when the story was given to White, after the destruction or assimilation of the Turehu. If the forty-six generations are inclusive, and we place the time of the relation of the story, say, in 1875, it would place the Maori invasion as having taken place 1,150 years from that time or in 725 A.D. If on the other hand the ten generations mentioned first are added, it makes another 250 years, and takes us back to 475 A.D. And if we allow, say three hundred years each to the Turehu and those who preceded them, that is, Tutu-mai-ao and Kui, it would take us back to 425 B.C. as the approximate date on which the Kui landed on the Fish of Maui.

Anyone surveying this mass of contradictory traditions and genealogies, without prejudice and without any predilection for any particular theory, would be inclined to conclude that there is no method by which reliable data can be extracted from it, give up any effort to elucidate it, and consider it merely as a curious collection of myths and folktales. This, indeed was my first reaction when I became interested in the philology of the Maori language about a year ago. However my past ethnological researches among other primitive folks brought to my mind certain data, which I began to compare and the results of these comparisons, and the conclusions I arrived at are given here.

It was a common practice among the ancients for the bards, priests, medicine-men or tohungas, or whatever name they may have been known by, to tamper with traditions and folk-tales, changing or transposing chronology and genealogy as occasions arose in order to please the ruling chief and people, and to enhance their glory and prestige, often tracing their ancestry by direct line to the gods. One, ten, or fifty generations might be transposed or left out altogether to suit the occasion. Such tampering and changing is abundantly evident in the accounts collected by Mr. White and others who laboured in the same field. This would inevitably result in the gradual loss of the most - 29 ancient oral records, or in their becoming inextricably mixed up with later stories.

Can we get anything from outside sources which may help us to extract certain items from the Maori pool which would fit together and make sense as a whole?

The traditions and folk-tales of the aboriginal tribes which I mentioned, regarding Toial, who led the remnants of the defeated tribes to the great black waters, seem to me to fit in with the suggestion that they were identified with the Kui who eventually colonized New Zealand, or the North island. It must be understood, of course, that several centuries would probably elapse between their departure from India and their arrival in New Zealand; and it may also be assumed that only a comparatively small remnant actually reached New Zealand, the majority of the survivors probably settling in some of the other Polynesian islands. Here are the various items I deal with, which, in their cumulative strength, constitute what appears to be a formidable array of evidence.

1. The identity or similarity of certain Indian and Polynesian names. 2. The fact that the predominant element in the Polynesian languages is of Indian origin. 3. The Maori food, or store-house while differing, it may be in design, are built on the same principle as those of the Marias and Kui. 4. The time when certain remnants of the tribes, after fighting a long losing war against the Aryan invaders, left India to seek a new home elsewhere rather than submit to the yoke of the invaders. Allowing several centuries as the periods of transition and wandering from land to land, the arrival of the Kui in New Zealand would take place between the fifth and third centuries B.C. 5. The names of legendary monsters, such as taniwha and ngarara, still retained among the Maoris, which, as shown in the preceding papers, are of Indian origin, referring in all propability to the crocodile, alligator, and serpent. 6. The identity of the Maori generic name Kui with that of the Kui still living in India and of the Maori words ngata and tangata, the former used in a special religious or mystical sense in incantations is a modification of the Maria word gaita which means a man, more particularly applied to a Maria as implying superiority, also to a chief or ruler. I discussed this word in a previous paper. Any one of these, - 30 singly, may be explained and rejected as mere coincidence; but all of them, cumulatively, make up an unassailable array of evidence.

In view of all the foregoing considerations and what is to follow, I suggest that the Polynesian islands, including New Zealand, were inhabited long before the Christian era, probably from prehistoric times and that the myths and traditions now extant in Polynesia are for the most part distorted and transposed fragments chronologically confused. That the three invasions of New Zealand mentioned in Maori tradition, the Kui, Tutu-mai-ao, and Turehu, building upon the foundation of the aboriginal inhabitants of the land, were the main elements in the building up of the Maori race. That what took place in New Zealand took place also throughout Polynesia, the New Zealand invasions being overflows from other islands. We have at present no means of ascertaining the identity or character of those aborigines. Philology may furnish us with some clue, or clues. Tentatively, I am inclined to the opinion that the first inhabitants of Polynesia were Caucasian settlers, a “branch off” from some of the great prehistoric migrations from the north and west.

All the works on Polynesia which I have been able to consult up to the present, excepting J. Macmillan Brown's, give no information whatever regarding the probable identity or the approximate time of the coming of the nuclei which eventually made up what we now know as the Polynesians. My present attempt to identify the antecedents of the Maoris and inferentially of the Polynesians is, I must repeat, based upon the evidence of a number of converging items, each one to a greater or less degree fitting in with the whole. Let us recapitulate some of these items commencing with another reference to the parallel traditions of the Kui and related Indian tribes regarding their emigration from India and comparing it with the Maori account of Kui. Toial was the name of one of the chiefs and leaders of the remnants of the various tribes which left India to seek a new home, and I connect it with the mythical and much confused Toi of the Maoris and other Polynesians. This name had obviously been transposed a number of times in accordance with the exigencies of the various occasions when genealogical prestige had to be established. If then, - 31 we accept Toi and Toial and the Indian and Polynesian Kui as identical, it would establish as fact, that the Kui and related tribes from India such as Gota-kui, Koi, Khond, Gaita (Maria), and Muria (pronounced Mooria, Moor-ee-ah) constituted the first influx from India to intermingle with the aboriginal inhabitants and become the ancestors of the Polynesians.

When I travelled and lived among those tribes, my last sojourn among them being in 1911-1912, I knew nothing about the Maoris, except that they were the natives of New Zealand, and was not interested in them. My studies among those tribes, were linguistic and anthropological. I am now convinced that further research among those tribes would yield much valuable material towards the elucidation of many problems connected with Polynesian antecedents.

Before discussing the other two invasions of New Zealand, those of the Tutu-mai-ao and the Turehu, I will give another short list of Maori words of Indian origin.

Maori, ko, (iv) 1 sing, resound, shout; 4 wind. Sanskrit khu to sound, shout. Maori, ko (o long) (i) 1 a wooden implement for digging or planting; 2 to dig, plant. Hindi, khod, verb khodna, to dig, to scrape, to delve; to engrave, to carve; khodni, a spade; kudal, a spade, hoe. Maori,koko, 3 thrust, catch. Hindi, khod, a push, a thrust. Marathi, khan, digging; khanen, to dig, undermine; khan-paten, a wooden spade; khandak, a ditch (that which has been dug out). Maori, kona (iii) a corner, nook, interior angle. Sanskrit, kona, corner, angle. Persian, gon. Maori, komama, 1 soft, light in weight. Sanskrit, komal, soft, bland, beautiful, agreeable. Bengali, komal, soft, tender, gentle. Hindi, soft, tender, mild. Marathi, komal, soft, tender, sweet. Maori, kara, basaltic rock dark in colour. Sanskrit, kal, iron, black, dark, of dark colour. Bengali, kala, black, dark, etc. Hindi, kala black dark etc. Maori, kara (iii) kakara, scent, smell, flavour. Sanskrit, kala, cassia, resin, fistula. Maori, keke, 1 to quack as a duck. Sanskrit, keka, the cry of a bird, the cry of a peacock: so also in Bengali, Hindi, and Marathi. Maori, kira, 1 primary large quill feathers of the wing; 2 wing: kirea (ii) to screech. Sanskrit, kira, a parrot, also in many of the Indian vernaculars. Maori, kita, 1 tightly, fast; 2 intensely, brightly (of colours). Sanskrit, kita, to tinge, to colour, to - 32 bind. Maori, kita (long a), 1 to chirp, stridulation of the cicada; 2 to sing, to stridulate. Sanskrit, gita, a song; giti, song, singing; root gai, to sound, to sing. Maori, kiore, a rat, a mouse. Sanskrit, giri, swallowing, a small rat, a mouse: root grii.

Here is a group of words derived from one Sanskrit root: Maori kunana, 1 to talk unintelligibly, talk gibberish: kuna wiri, to tremble, shiver with cold: kunawhea, cold, pinched with cold; 2 shiver, ague; 3 indigestion; 4 to gnaw, work, rack. Sanskrit, kun, to sound, to cherish, to support or aid with gifts, etc., to be in pain, to converse with, to speak with to counsel to advise.

Maori, kune, kukune, 1 plump, filled out to roundness; 2 swell as in pregnancy; 3 to grow, to spring. Sanskrit, kuntak, fat, corpulent: kuntha, indolent, lazy, slothful, stupid. Maori, kuta, encumbrance, clog. Sanskrit kuta (kuti), to be stopped or obstructed, to be prevented from moving; kuta, to contract, close. Maori, kupa, 1 prostrated, exhausted. Sanskrit, kupa, to be weak, to weaken. Maori, kupu, 1 anything said; 2 saying; 4 word, talk; 6 speak. Sanskrit, kupa, to speak, to shine.

This, as well as the preceding vocabularies, given in the first three papers, leave no room for doubt regarding the large number of Indian words incorporated in the Maori language, words not only from the Sanskrit but also from aboriginal Indian languages. Pronouns, particles, etc., establish also a relationship with the grammatical forms of those languages. The changes in the sounds and meanings of the Maori words which we have compared with those Indian languages are remarkably few and slight. What is true of the Maori language may also be said with respect to the whole group of Polynesian languages.

From the evidence discussed in the preceding paragraphs regarding the Kui of India and the Kui of Maori tradition, supported by philology, we may take it as established that the predominant elements in the building up of what is known as the Polynesian race, including of course, the Maoris, came from India and constituted of a mixture of aborigines and Aryans.

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Maori tradition throws no light upon the antecedents of the Tutu-mai-ao, who, it is said conquered and absorbed the Kui, and to my knowledge there is no other evidence of any kind in existence, except that which may be gathered from the etymology of the name itself and the use which they made of the word kui, after they had subjugated the people bearing that name, which we have already discussed. This indicates that they spoke an Indian language differing little if at all from that spoken by the Kui. The compound Tutumaiao is easily traced to its Indian origins, and if the etymology of this compound is considered in relation to the traditional account of their character as revealed by their actions, it describes them very graphically, which, as has already been pointed out, is or was characteristic of the giving and application of names among ancient peoples.

Maori, tutu, 1 to move with vigour; 2 to set on fire; 3 insubordinate, violent; tututia (passive), to be treated with violence. These meanings compare and to a remarkable degree agree with Sanskrit and Maria, as follows: Maori, tutu, to set on fire. Maria, dudom, dudum, smoke, the distant glow of a fire, suffering, agony. The Sanskrit roots given below show close relationship or identity with the meanings given in the Maori dictionary. Sanskrit, tu, to injure, to hurt, to kill; tut, to dispute, quarrel, hurt, injure; tud, to hurt, kill; to pain, vex, harass, torment, torture; dud, anxiety, uneasiness, pain; du, to go, to move; odudu to be in pain, to burn, to heat.

The first component, then, in the three languages gives the meanings of movement, activity, violence, injury, pain, torture, fire and smoke.

Maori, ma, 1 white; 2 shame; 3 abasement. Maria, mart, pain, sorrow, suffering, shaming, injuring. Maori, maia (first a long), 1 brave, bold, capable; 3 bravery; 4 brave warrior; 5 monster; 6 fellow. Sanskrit, maya (both vowels short), a demon (compare with 5 above), hurting, injuring. Sanskrit, maya (first a long), a demon, an evil spirit. The chief idea here in the three languages is first hurting, injuring; then monster, demon, evil spirit, literally and figuratively it refers to one who humiliates, injures, gives pain, etc. Maori, a (long) (ii) 1 to drive, urge, compel; 2 to collect, o, provision for a journey; (ii) to get in; (iii) 1 - 34 belonging to; 3 attaching to Maori ao (i) daytime, world; 3 cloud, 4 bud; 5 dawn; 6 bright. Sanskrit, ava, to shine, be bright, splendid; to be able, to divide, to share, to burn.

The foregoing etymologies of the name Tutumaiao, I repeat, is remarkably descriptive of the character and conduct of the people to whom it is attached, coinciding in every detail with the story of their invasion of the Fish of Maui and their treatment of the Kui. “They began to kill and to assume superior knowledge over the resident people,” presumptuous, brave, causing sufferings and compelling the conquered to submission. I cannot over emphasize the importance, which primitive peoples attached and still attach to names and their meanings as descriptive of the character and actions or conduct of individuals or groups.

This second invasion of New Zealand by a people coming from India was, like all the others, the overflow of a greater immigration into Polynesia and was probably numerically small. But what they lacked in numbers they made up in intrepidity, courage, and military skill. They found the New Zealanders, an intermixture of Kui and aborigines, easy to subjugate. For having lived in seclusion, in peaceful isolation for many generations, they had lost the habit and arts of war and the aptitude for it. Hence the pretentious assumption of superiority over the “resident people” by these warlike invaders.

Most of the evidence so far presented, was gathered many years ago without any knowledge of or reference to the Maoris and other Polynesians. The present application of data thus collected was inspired by numerous striking resemblances in appearance, customs, language, and traditions which I noticed when I first became interested in this subject about a year ago. We may consider this sort of evidence, just because it is unplanned, unintended, and not originally designed for this particular purpose, yet dovetailing to a remarkable degree and supported by the affinities of the languages of peoples inhabiting land so widely separated as New Zealand and the Central Provinces of India, the strongest that can be produced short of written records.

I am convinced that if a party of those well versed in Polynesian and more particularly in Maori lore, including an anthropologist and a linguist, could be induced and - 35 financed to go among the Indian tribes herein mentioned, to undertake a more exhaustive study than I was able to make, 1 much additional information, of incalculable value could be gathered to establish the antecedents of the Polynesians and to trace the origin or origins of most of their mythology, customs, traditions and artistic and religious symbolisms of which they themselves no longer retain any memory.


“But again a people called Turehu (sleepy fairy-like people) came from the other side of the ocean and landed on the Fish of Maui and attacked the Tutu-mai-ao in the same way as they had dealt with the Kui, and intermarried with the Tutumaiao and soon took the sole power and rule over the land and Tutumaiao became exterminated.” This account as given in White's Ancient History of the Maori is brief and gives no additional information regarding the Turehu. The etymology of the name or word Turehu is descriptive both in Maori and in the Semitic language with which we shall compare it and indicates that the Turehu were fair of complexion and light-haired.

In Maori turehu means, 1 to blink, to wink; 2 to doze; 3 indistinctly seen; 4 pale: uru turehu, light-haired; 5 anything dimly seen; 6 a ghost, a fairy “apparently a supposed light-haired race who came early to New Zealand.” (Williams.) If we break up the compound we get the following: Maori, tu (ii) 1 manner, sort; 2 used with adjectives to signify a moderate degree of the quality expressed; (iii) 1 to stand erect. Maori rehu (i) 1 haze, mist, spray, fine dust; 3 dimly seen; 7 render drowsy, render unconscious, etc. Arabic, tarahu, taratu, edge, side, streak, forehead, front, lock of hair; Arabic, taru, soft hair.

When the Maoris claiming to be the descendants of Maui, finally invaded New Zealand and put an end to the Turehu who then represented the ruling faction, the Polynesians as a race had already become stratified ethnologically and linguistically, and no major changes have apparently taken place in these two respects since. Remnants of this - 36 people fled to the mountains and inaccessible forests, and for a time retained their separate identity, going under the name of fairies or Patu-pai-arehe, and the people, that is the Maoris, no longer fearing them as enemies who might dispute possession of the land, began, in time to look upon them with a sort of superstitious veneration, applied to them the euphemistic term Patu-pai-arehe, as befitted a people no longer physically dangerous but spiritually powerful, with whom it was wise policy to keep on good terms. As was usual in ancient times and among primitive folks, most of the culture, customs and traditions of the vanquished were either adapted to suit the rulers or superceded and forgotten. “And the Turehu is now represented by the Patu-pai-arehe (wild men) who go on the mountains where their language when heard is taken for that of man but which is only the voice of Turehu spirits who are now no more, but have been exterminated, and what they knew and their history have been lost.” White's Ancient History of the Maori, Vol. 3, page 189.

As already stated, the name Patu-pai-arehe is a euphemism applied to the Turehu turned into spirits, who as such have power to injure those who speak of them unkindly or disrespectfully. Such use of euphemisms is quite common among all primitive peoples, when referring to spiritual beings. Vestiges of this use are still to be found among Europeans and more especially among asiatics. In Egypt, Syria, Arabia, Persia, and India, especially among the less educated, one has always to be on guard against offending and rousing resentment and enmity when speaking of spirits, gods, demons, or ancestors without the use of honorific and euphemistic qualifications, or even by praising someone and thus incur the jealousy of the spirits, gods, etc. When admiring someone's house, field, or child, for instance, it is customary to add some derogatory term such as a miserable house, a hovel, a barren field or an ugly brat of a child. Such terms allay the suspicion and jealousy of the gods, demons, and spirits.

The compound Patu-pai-arehe appears to me to be of Semitic origin. Maori, patu, 1 to strike, beat, thrash; 2 illtreat; 3 kill; 4 proud; 5 bruise. pai, 1 good; 3 pleasant, agreeable; 4 handsome, good-looking. a (ii) to drive, urge, compel. rehe, 4 expert, neat-handed, deft person. Arabic, - 37 fata, to pound, break in pieces with the fingers; fatu, scattering, dispersing. Arabic, fatzakh, to break in pieces. Hebrew, patsah, to break; patsoh, to tear in pieces. Arabic, fa'a, faia, to return, change place, shift, take booty. Hebrew, paiah, the hair upon the cheeks, root yophah, to shine, be bright, be beautiful. Arabic, rahara, to be fair, to be delicate of skin. Hebrew, raha, yarah, to be frightened, to tremble; rahah an old root, to crush, tread down.

It is noteworthy that both names, Turehu and Patupai-arehe, when thus analyzed, yield the same general idea that the people were fair, pale, handsome, and of good appearance in addition to the usual descriptive outline of their condition and circumstances.

Following is another list of Maori words of Semitic origin. Maori, awa, 1 channel, landing-place for canoes; 2 river; 3 gully, gorge; 4 groove, fluting; 5 an incantation to still a storm: awha, gale, storm, rain. Arabic, awa, to look for shelter, to resort to shelter. Hebrew, av'a, a cloud, the darkness of a cloud. Here phonology is identical and association of ideas close. Maori, ori, (i) 1 to cause to wave to and fro, to agitate. Hebrew, 'over ('ur), to raise up and branish a spear. Maori, puta, 1 an opening, hole, perforation; 2 vagina; 3 blister; 4 survivor; 5 move from one place to another, pass on; 6 pass through, in or out; 8 come forth, come out; 10 appear, come into sight. Hebrew, potar, to split, cleave away, spread out. Maori, makutu, to bewitch; 2 spell, incantation. Arabic, maquta, to hate, abhor, detest, be odious. Maori, haka, (ii) deformed; hake, (i) humped, crooked. Arabic, shaqih, disfigured, ugly, evil, foul. Maori, kaha (i) 1 strong, strength; 3 persistency. Hebrew, koah, might, strength, power. Maori, koha, (ii) 1 pain; 2 endeavour, effort; (iii) 1 deficiency; 2 defect. Hebrew, koho (kaha), to be feeble, fail in strength, to chide, restrain; feeble, timid. Maori, para (iv) 1 to cut down (bush). Hebrew, parah, to cut, cut asunder, cut out, cut off. Maori, horo (i) 3 to fall, be taken as a fortress, etc.; 4 fall off, waste away. Hebrew, sholah, to cast, throw, cast down, overthrow as a house. Maori, hota, to press on; hohota, to persist; hotahota, to urge on, hasten. Hebrew, hothath, to break in upon, to rush upon. Maori, tama (tamatama), to treat with marks of disgust. Hebrew, tama, to be unclean, to be polluted. Maori, ia (iii) 1 current, rush- - 38 ing stream. Hebrew, iar, a river, channel. Maori, ata, (ii) 1 gently; 2 slowly; 3 clearly. Hebrew, at, root atat, a gentle sound, a murmur, a sigh, gentle going, gentle mode of acting.

This inquiry into the origins and affinities of the Maori language naturally raised questions regarding their antecedents and of how and when they became Maoris or Polynesians. Availing myself of some of the material and data which I had collected many years ago during my linguistic and ethnological studies among certain aboriginal tribes in India and elsewhere (with no knowledge or reference to Polynesia), I began to sift and compare items which appeared to be related and to fit in, with the result that I am now convinced that those tribes formed the predominant element in the ancestry of the Polynesians. I hold that the Polynesian race is composed of Indian aborigines with a sprinkling of Aryans which they brought with them as slaves, later reinforced by an influx of people of Semitic origin. All of these were built up upon a substratum of so far unidentified aborigines who inhabited New Zealand and the other Polynesian islands. Other racial elements, too insignificant to have influenced to any marked degree the building up of this race, may also be included. On grounds already discussed, I place the various immigrations into the Polynesian islands including New Zealand at times far anterior to the 9th or 10th centuries of our era. By the 10th century, the Polynesians had already become stratified as a race or particular group of peoples, the subsequent accretions to which (if there were any subsequent accretions) were not of sufficient strength to influence or modify the language or character of the people.

I suggest that the last great immigration took place not later than the 5th century A.D., probably much earlier, and that afterwards they lived in isolation from the old world for many centuries till comparatively modern times; which is, I think, the reason, or one of the chief reasons, why they did not discover or develop the smelting of iron and the use of iron tools and weapons.

Another consideration in support of the earlier dates of the immigrations and subsequent isolation is the absence of writing.

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The percentage of literacy in India was very low up to the time of the introduction of free, or nearly free, education by the British government and missionaries, having been confined to the higher caste Hindus and the well to do among the Mohammedans, that is after they settled in the country. In the early centuries after the introduction of writing the Aryan laws against the education of Shudras and Mlechas, that is the low castes and aliens, were very strict and cruel. The extreme jealousy with which the Aryans guarded their knowledge and learning is shown by the terrible punishments which were provided for Shudras if they even listened to the reading or reciting of the Veda. For listening to the reading of the Veda a Shudra was to have molten lead poured into his ears. If he repeated any part of the sacred text, his tongue was to be cut out. His whole duty to the gods and his hope of rebirth into a higher caste lay in serving the higher castes with single-hearted devotion.

In the Institutes of Manu Adhyaya 8, shloka 414 we find the following law: “A Shudra is not relieved from servitude even if his master should liberate him, for servitude is his duty; who then can free him from slavery?” Again, “Knowledge shall not be imparted to a Shudra, nor (shall be given to him) the cast off shoes of a brahman, nor the remains of sacrifice, nor religious teaching, nor devotional teaching.” (My own translation.) In view of these rigorous laws it is easy to understand why the emigrants of that time did not possess the knowledge and art of writing. The non-Aryans were employed only in the lowliest menial capacities and looked upon as unclean sub-human creatures, so that if the shadow of a Shudra fell upon the food of his master it became polluted and was thrown out. Through contact with the Aryans, the early immigrants into Polynesia must have acquired and brought with them some of their laws and customs. Those acquainted with Maori customs and rituals connected with the preparation and cooking of food, may find many points of comparison with India.

If the emigration from India and the eventual invasion and colonization of the islands of Polynesia took place as late as the 9th or 10th century, it is hard to conceive that there should not have been some of the leaders, chiefs, and - 40 priests who were able to read and write. Those possessing such knowledge and art would enjoy great prestige and would take care to preserve and transmit it. The same consideration hold with regard to iron tools and weapons. Iron weapons were used by all the warlike tribes in India long before the 9th century. It has already been pointed out that if primitive people lost the art of making or replacing their iron weapons and they had to revert to the more primitive stone, flint, and bone to replace them, the old weapons and implements would be preserved and eventually worshipped as sacred relics. The absence of such relics shows that they did not bring any iron with them and must, therefore, have left their country before their people had adopted the use of iron.

With regard to the third and last of the three legendary invasions of New Zealand here dealt with, that of the Turehu, who I suggest were of Semitic origin and spoke a Semitic language, no such restrictions and laws against the education of the lower strata of society existed among them as are found in India. In North Africa, Arabia, Syria, Palestine and Egypt, metal weapons were used long before the beginning of the Christian era, and the art of writing was wide spread among the Semites in several different characters many centuries before the Christian era. Among the more backward, nomadic tribes, among the hunters, fishermen, and sailors we may assume, literacy was very rare or non-existent till a later time. The Turehu, then, if of Semitic stock and speaking a Semitic language, consisted of one or several such tribes and must have left their country before the use of iron and the art of writing became general, before our era. They must have spent several centuries in transit to arrive in New Zealand as suggested about the fourth or fifth century A.D.

  • BUCK, (DR. PETER)—The Vikings of the Sunrise. 1943.
  • GARRAT, G. T.—The Legacy of India. 1938.
  • LIND, A. A. and MRS.—Pioneering in Darkest India. 1915.
  • MACDONNELL (DR.) A. A.—Indias Past. 1927.
  • SATMATNIRUPAN—(An examination of the True Religion). No name, 1910.
1   I have already mentioned that many valuable notes, also some rare exhibits, some of which nearly cost me my life, were lost or destroyed in the Indravati river.