Volume 10 1901 > Volume 10, No. 4, December 1901 > Te manu aute, Hamiora Pio , p 191-193
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- 191

TE manu aute no te iwi Maori. Mehemea ka whatua taua mea, kia rite tonu ki te ahua o te manu e rere nei. Ka mahia e te Maori hei manu, ko nga paihau me te tinana o te manu. Ka takaia te tinana o te manu, me nga paihau, ki te aute. Koia tona ingoa he manu aute. Ka titia nga tara ki te upoko o te manu. Ka herea te taura hei pupuri ma te tangata. Ka tae ki te wa e whakaani (=whakaangi) ai taua manu, ka puta katoa te tangata ki te whakaani i taua manu aute. Tokorua tangata ki te whakaani. Ko aua tangata he mea kakahu ki nga kahu rangatira, te kahu waero, te puahi. Ko nga tangata tena hei poi mo taua manu aute. Tokorua aua tangata, he rangatira raua tokorua, he toa taua hoki, kaore te ware e tae ki te whakaani i te manu aute. Ma te rangatira, ma te toa hoki ki te riri, ma raua e whakaani, Kotahi o aua tangata poi kei te manu, kotahi kei te pupuri mai i te taura whakaani o te manu. Ka poia te manu, ka māro te taura i te hoa poi, tae rawa te rere a te manu ki runga. Katahi ka tiripou ki te wero i nga tara ki te hunga poi i taua manu, ka whākăpi haere te hunga poi i taua manu aute. E whakamārokia ana te taura e te hoa whakaani. Katahi ka piki taua manu aute. Ka tangi te umere a te iwi. No te pikitanga ka tuku atu he wai mona, ka porohitatia ki tetahi mea, ka tukua kia haere i roto i te taura. Ka hui te iwi ki te karakia ake i taua manu aute—ko te karakia tenei:

“Piki mai, piki mai
Te mata tihi o te rangi,
Te mata taha o te rangi,
E ko koe
Kai whaunumia e koe
Ki te kawe tuawhitu
Ki te kawe tuawaru
Tahi te nuku, tahi te rangi,
Ko te kawa i hea?
- 192 Ko te kawa i taumata rubi
I taumata raha
Kawa i te rangi—e
Pikitia e koe ki to matua, ki a Hakuai
Ki to tupuna, kia Rehua i te rangi—e.”


THE (best kind of) Maori kite was of aute.1 It was woven or plaited into the exact resemblance of a flying bird. It was made by the Maori as a bird having wings and body, and these wings and body were wound around with aute. That is why it was called an aute bird. A top-knot of feathers was stuck in its head, and a line was attached to the kite so that a man could hold on to it. When it was taken to a place whence it could be flown, all the people of the place came to the kite-flying. Two men flew the kite, and these men had to be dressed in chief's raiment, riz.: the mat of dogs' tails, and the mat of white dogskins. Those two persons had to be chiefs or men of renown in war; a common man was not allowed to fly the aute kite—it was for chiefs and warriors only. One of the men waved the kite, one held the string to fly it. The kite being waved and the string tightened, away aloft went the kite. First it swooped and thrust with its head-feathers at the people flying it, making these persons jump about—then it climbed upwards. A cry of joy arose from the tribe. When it had ascended a small disc was sent up the line to the kite (this disc is called a “messenger” by English boys). The tribe gathered to chant the charm-song for the aute bird:

Climb up! Climb up!
To the highest surface of the heavens
To all the sides of the heavens
O, thou!
Extend thyself,
To the seventh division (of the sky),
To the eighth division,
The world is made one with space,
Where is the sacredness?
The sacredness is in the tranquil temple.2
The spacious temple (called)
“Holiness in the heavens.” E!
Climb thou to thy ancestor, the Hokioi,3
To thy ancestor, “Rehua in the Heavens.” E!

- 193

(Mr. Elsdon Best remarks that Pio does not speak of the puhihi, or streamers, or tails attached to the lower port and also to the two wings of the kite. Kites were also made of upoko-tangata (a kind of toe-toe grass) and of raupo, the latter being least prized. A. raupo kite may be seen in the Auckland Museum; also an illustration of one in Taylor's “Te Ika a Maui.” Some further notes may be found in a paper on Maori games sent by Mr. Best to the Auckland Institute some months ago.)

1  Aute.—The Paper Mulberry (Brousonnetia papyrifera). It is now extinct as a cultivated shrub among Maoris.
2  Taumata is here to be translated “culminating point.” The highest point of Whitireia, “the sun-path,” is its taumata, although the homes of the gods are high above this. Naherangi, the great taumata in the Tenth Heaven, is the abode of Rehua, the lord of the celestial hosts.
3  The hokioi, called hakuai by the Tuhoe tribes and also by the South Island Maoris, is a mythical bird—a huge nocturnal bird of prey.