Volume 16 1907 > Volume 16, No. 1 > An ancient Maori poem, by Tuhoto-Ariki, p 43-60
AN ANCIENT MAORI POEM.
This karakia was composed by Tuhoto-Ariki on the birth of his grand-nephew Tu-tere-moana, 14 generations ago, dating from Tuhoto-Ariki.
Family Tree. Whatonga=Hotuwaipara. Ruatea. Popoto (their canoe was “Kura-hau-po”), Tara (hence Te Whanganui-a-Tara—Native name of Wellington Harbour), Wakanui, Tuhoto-Ariki, Turia=Hine-matua of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, Te Aro-haere-tahi=Rakai-moari—a Ngati-Kahu-ngunu woman, Tukoko, Tu-tere-moana, Kahu-kura-mango, Hinetu
In order to define the date of this poem, the above portion of a genealogical table is given:—The “Kura-hau-po” canoe arrived in New Zealand from Tahiti with the “Fleet” circa 1350.—(Ed.)
AN OLD MAORI POEM,
The rugged lines set forth below require
Short introduction; reasons should appear
For bringing into light what some believe
Were better in the dark—or burnt with fire.
Demand for Maoris' knowledge is but small,
But still 'tis well worth while to understand
The thoughts of strong and brave, nay, peerless men—
Their “process” from the One down to the All!
We have in hand a manuscript replete
With thoughts of Maoris of the olden time;
Four hundred years, and more, have passed away
Since moulding of this poem was thought meet.
Our task—no easy one—is to restate
By means of paraphrase, in smoother terms,
The rude but pregnant thoughts and ancient lore
Of Maori predecessors—though 'tis late!
Our method, in the main, has been to place
The sequence of the thoughts on Maori lines
That best will help the Pakeha to read
The Maori, and the views held by his race.
We often have, in places quite obscure,
Used notes from Maori friends, who well can give
The drift of what is very dark indeed,
With instinct prompt right meaning to secure.
If here and there, to keep our thought intact
An extra word or two should be required
We've boldly used the needed increments,
And trust that readers will forgive the act.
Surely it were not wise to cast away
All hope of understanding pregnant thoughts
Of man primeval—somewhat crude indeed,
But showing trace of what we think to-day.
Come hither, O my Son, I would thee greet;- 48
Approach from Man's own secret, first abode!
Secure in darkness deep and genial warmth
Thou wast, till opened burst the barrier dark,
5 Disclosing workshop of creative power
And sex, by Tane-nui-a-rangi 1 made
From earth of Kurawaka. Thus was formed,
By mighty occult power, a noble maid
To be great Tane's spouse, and mother of
10 The human race;—For Tane's will it was
That man should have such might as he did wield,
That Man's companion, too, should hold large sway.—
Ennobled both, they share great Tane's work
And let him rest awhile.—But there is more,
15 Much more to say about this work of old;
From it the strength of Tapu 2 was derived
And (through the woman) handed on from sire
To son; so, also, influence divine,
And even powers demonic, thus passed down
20 The stream of ages in those days of yore.—
Now hither trends the matter with its force,
Concerned to form anon a progeny
A child that, by-and-by, will be a man!—
Meanwhile, he lives and thrives just here until
25 The fitting time for exit come; and then
His separate existence will begin.
So far, his process has been this: his eyes
Come first, the bones and marrow afterwards;
Still later on the sinews and the flesh,
30. The blood; and now, the heart, the liver, lungs;
The kidneys and the bowels close the list!
The child has been completely formed at length
So far as outward shape's concerned. Within
Grows power of knowing forms, and this can soon
35 Be brought to use—applied to everything! 3
Now, when the child such faculty has gained,
He soon begins work with it, stretching forth
His legs, his hands, his neck, his tongue within
His mouth: now, sure, a sturdy, crisp-haired child,
40 And strenuous he'll be, and healthy quite,
When once his mother's birth pangs ended are
And she with joy looks on her first-born son,
Who now has come to face this outer world.
O son, we welcome thee to thy career—
45 Make manifest thyself, Thou morning's Sun;
The Heav'nly dawn lights up the west, the east
Already bright: The hour has come when we
With water pure must sprinkle this our son
And take from him the sacred ban 4, that nought
50 May stand as barrier to his swift advance,
In ev'ry kind of knowledge weighty.—He
Must serve as faithful judge of what is best.
A powerful thinker must he be, and brave.
Nor may he deem the culture of the fields;
55 To build a house aright; to lead in war;
Or other work that high-born man may do,—
Beneath him.—Through his toil the earth doth move.
O son, mark this: our common thoughts we can
Indeed, think o'er again as thoughts; but find
60 We loftier thinking hard to bring about,
If ours have centred been on common things.
For we can see and feel and firmly grasp
These small concerns; while this great world at large
Would seem immutable, for even gods
65 Who tried to think it other than it is.
Come forward now and grasp that which is dark
And cause the light to clearly beam thereon.
'Tis true that toilsome is the task for man,
To bring to light the prayers to gods of old—
70 And sort without mistake our ancient lore,
To give a clear idea of early Maori thought
With aid of rite and saga;—nothing more
Than we can just repeat by word of mouth.—
Most difficult of things that reach us so,
75 Are spells and rites transmitted by the dead
Who had themselves in life through medium weird,
Most fully learnt the chants and prayers to grasp;
Transmitted, these became true Wananga, 5
With power to move the living spirit force.
80 The lowest class of these deal with man's thoughts
Of evil. Then comes knowledge good and sound,
But not the highest. Now at last is found
The third, and formed in it is wisdom true—
Relation to the all, of Ill and Good.
IV. 85 So! here's the path which Tane climbed when he- 50
From Earth ascended high and scaled the Heavens;
And reached the outermost Celestial Belt—
The very home in Heaven this of Io, 6
The chief and parent of the Gods. Just here's
90 The self-same path by which went up on high,
On whirlwind seated, Mighty Tane; till
He reached the doorway of Pu-moto, as
The wind that whistles and the gale that shakes
The whirling storms are these; 'twas by their strength
95 That Tane was conveyed to Heavens on High.
Twelve were the regions pierecd by Tane when
The baskets three of precious heavenly lore
Were by him brought for Man from Heav'n to Earth.
But Tane-matua then did also bring
100 The curse of crime and conflict from the sky
These were, by progeny of Rangi and
Of Papa, heedlessly accepted. Soon
They fought and were dispersed at Pae-roa.
Defeated; some to Heaven went and some to sea;
105 Some to the mainland, some to depths beneath
All in diverse directions; nor has peace—
To close this fearful war—been ever made,
In all the ages, to this present day.
A word or two will not be out of place
110 Concerning that long slide and plunge,
Taheke-roa named—the long descent;
It leads to realms infernal: here's Te Reinga!
Here no light appears—no single gleam;
An awful gloom for ever reigns: such is
115 The darkness of that lower world of Night,
Eternal. Where deposed Whiro 7 rules
And grasps with fearsome clutch the passing dead. (souls)
With horrid reptiles rules this dismal hell!
The gods infernal, sons of Earth and Heaven
Fight ever on with Tane's offspring, who
120 Their fellow men have slain—These go to hell—
The vilest spirits there—in Rarohenga—
The place of sighs and groans—just there they wait
As enemies, for hosts of Tane in
Th' infernal world. And here, O son! secured
125 Are western bounds whence raging fires burst forth
To validate the ban secured against
Incestuous Tane by his daughter-spouse—
Hence shameful juncture of his chin and breast. 8
Come hither, Son; hold fast these principles
130 That thou may'st speed toward the gods above,
Even to those far off; digest, too, fast
Retain, and make thine own for good; be sure,
Whether exalted or laid low thou be;
For quickness strive and aims well based on truth,
135 Draw near, O mariner, and listen well;
Your ears be those of Rongomai the Great,
“The List'ner,” Mark thou Tupai who knows well
The pedigrees and reels them off at once.
Midwinter in the sky moves every one
140 To plant the kumara crop, to earth up hills,
And clear out weeds. Now soon the growth of leaves
Begins, with aid of Rongo-marae-roa,
The kumara god or demon. Soon the month
For harvesting arrives; the kumara
145 With other food, the paua, eel; dried fish,
And birds in calabash conserved, and put
Away in store-house, called the whata, still.
It is not hard to see that summer must
The time of plenty be, for land and men:
150 When food for men abounds land gets its share!
List, O my Son; one only was the climb—
The Sacred climb of Tane up to Heaven.
Inspired he was by thought that there perchance
He might himself behold the nameless one!
155 The “I,” the parentless, from whom did spring
The priestly influence and tapu's power;
Also, the power of life. Now Tane's self
Makes manifest—reflected from a stream
Where baptism takes place: Puhao-rangi,
160 Ohomairangi too, perform the work
The stream supplies the image, while the rest
Is done by experts. Tane is at last,
With tattoo, work for Rehua, sacred made.
At Heaven's very base, with title firm
165 The Ancient One of Heaven, and the source,
From which the rainbows and good demons spring,
And Tane excellent, became when trained
By sire; by Taketake, too, who stands on high,
On high in space,—the guide serene for those
170 Who capture fish.
Come hither, then, my son,
Complete thy survey of thy Sire—of Tane,
By whom the heavens above once traversed were.
The years complete; ten months and more have passed;
The cold is late in coming, still we may
175 Bewail this cold, the crystal spikes, the Bear 9
Henceforth, O son, the plants with fibrous roots
Shoot forth; tho' roots themselves disabled are,
Disrupted by the potent cold of space.
The chilly region o'er us junction finds
180 Of earth and sky—the fruitful source of rain—
Which makes our Earth a bridal room for plants
Along with Rongomai and Earth his spouse;;
This spouse, Hine-hau-one, pierced with grief
Deserted Tane, by the drastic course
185 Of vanishing, cold air becoming, and
By subtle means inducing death for man
Which never since has let him live right on.
Come here, my son; we Hikurangi climb:
A title this of Aorangi, hither brought:
190 From Hawaiki far away, named by
Your forefather.—First southward turn and gaze;
And now north-west. In moving thus you've glanced
Along the line by which your ancestor
Paikea (name of mighty Ocean God,
195 Great Tangaroa) safely reached the shore,
Along the watery road of rumbling sea,—
Charmed later on, and called the Sea of Foam.
This path of the great Rainbow God leads straight,
If cautiously the foamy sea be met—
200 That hissing, whirling sea—Down quickly comes
Th' impelling sail—Attendant Tangaroa thrusts
The craft safe to the shore—and all is done!
How suitable the name.—The lengthened Twilight!
Aotearoa! With great sobs of joy,
205 They reach the shore! Aotearoa's shore!
Come hither, O my boy, and turn thy face
To glorious glow of Sun on Turanga—
On Whangara; not here were found these names,
They came from great Hawaiki to form
210 As 'twere a mother pit to hold out long,
And be as parent for the korau 10 seeds
Of Iramu, and extra shelter too
For kumara. They who brought these plants here
Were Tiungarangi and Ho-ronga bold.
215 This food 'tis said, was used at Mahu's feast:
He wished for reputation as a host—
Be talked about, he would on public square,
And listen to “the backwash” of such talk.—
By Tu-wahia, 11 noted bird, a tale
220 That imitates mankind was brought right here
On board the “Tokomaru.”—He would turn
And follow you—an evening ghost; he'd talk
Right on, O son—To guard the land his work.
The Moa this bird was—Kuranui—
225 Ruakapanga's bird burnt up
He was by fire of thine, by Tamatea—
With ancient, magic, all-consuming fire
Which Maui to this World did introduce.
Thus perished they in Reporoa swamp;
From which not one escaped, my Son!
(The numbers refer to the lines in the original Maori poem).
2. Te Kunenga mai o te tangata:—Signifies the embryonic stage of man's formation.
3. I roto i te ahuru-mowai:—Signifies the womb, that being the place where no harm can reach the child.
4. Ka taka te pae o huaki-pouri:—Signifies that before the womb has conceived, a barrier is fixed, sacred it is; on conception her girlhood ceases, motherhood begins.
5. Ko te whare hangahanga tena a Tane-nui-a-rangi:—Signifies the first woman made by Tane-nui-a-rangi.- 54
6. I te one i Kurawaka:—Signifies that the first woman was made on Te Puke-o-Papa-o-Tuanuku, 12 which Puke is called the soil at Kurawaka.
7. Tataia ai te Puhi-ariki:—Signifies that now commences the bestowal of god-like mana to that woman who was first formed by Tane—because that through woman man was to be born into this world. Te Hiringa-matua:—Signifies that woman first formed was decreed by Tane to be the mother of man, who was to be born in this world.
8. Te Hiringa-tipua:—Signifies that Tane endowed that woman who was made by him with sacred mana. Te hiringa-tawhito-rangi:—Signifies that the god-like mana of forming man, that is a child, was bestowed on this first woman.
9. Ka karapinepine te putoto i a ia ki roto i te whare wahi-awa.—Signifies the ingathering of blood to the place where the embryonic child is formed into a man-like shape, that wahi-awa being the placenta, that is the place where the child is, and the vehicle that enables him to have a satisfactory exit from his mother.
11. Ka whakawhetu tama i a ia:—The child acquires shape within its mother, first the eyes, then the bones, the marrow; after that sinews, then flesh; after that blood, the heart, the liver, lungs, the stomach and bowels.
12. Ka riro mai a Rua i te pukenga, a Rua i te horahora:—Signifies the child's form within its mother is now complete, and the child is endowed with full knowledge.
13. Ka hokai tama i a ia:—Signifies that the child being endowed with all knowledge (see 12) he commences to stretch out his legs, his hands, his head, and his tongue, within his mouth.
14. Koia hokai Rauru-nui:—Signifies a well developed healthy child when formed from his mother.
15. Koia hokai Rauru-whiwhia:—Signifies a vexing child, that is, he thrusts his foot through his mother's passage, or his hand, doing this to assert his sacredness. Koia hoki Rauru-maruaitu:—Signifies a still born child.
17. Ka maro tama i te ara namunamu ki tai ao:—Signifies the passing of the child through its mother's namu, passage, to the outer world.
20. Whakaputa i a koe ki runga te turanga matua, marama te ata i uru rangi, marama te ata, Taketake-nui-o-Rangi:—This signifies an injunction to the newly born child, after the purifying ceremony and baptism that he must stand very high in the best of knowledge, vigorous thought, patience, courage and in skill with reference to agriculture, house building, the erection of fortified pas, warfare and all other worldly occupation.- 55
24. Ka whakawhenua nga hiringa i konei e tama:—Signifies that all thoughts, knowledge, and wisdom, as set forth in No. 20, have now become established in this world and are absolutely unmovable by any influence whatever, unmovable even if a god tried to move it.
25. Hara mai, e mau to ringa ki te kete tua-uri, ki te kete tua-tea, ki te kete aronui:—These three are the wananga (occult science) of knowledge of the prayers to the gods, the wananga of wisdom; of all evil that arises in the evil thoughts of man; secondly and thirdly, the wananga of the knowledge of all good works which emanate from good wise man.
27. Te ara tau whaiti i te Pu-motomoto:—Signifies the path by which Tane climbed up to Heaven, to Io, to the supreme god of Tikitiki-o-rangi (the highest heaven), the known name of that part of Heaven where the parent Io, the Great God dwells; the path which Tane climbed was by seating himself on a whirlwind; then Tane reached the doorway of that Highest Heaven, Te Pu-motomoto, being the name of the doorway.
32. Ka tangi mai te Hau Mapu, ka tangi mai te Roro Hau:—These Hau- Mapu and Roro-Hau are both whirl winds, being the winds by which Tane ascended to fetch the three kits of the wananga mentioned in No. 25. Wananga refers itself to the highest form of Maori genealogic, historical, or ritualistic recital, of which kauwhau is the more familiar term. Wananga embraces those lengthly recitals which, including fabulous genealogies, treat of the origin of all fabulous phenomena, including man himself, such recitals were delivered in the whare wananga.—H. M. Stowell.
38. Nga rakau matarua a Tu-mata-uenga:—Signifies that Tane-matua brought the wananga of evil and contest, which were accepted by the progeny of Rangi and Papa. That was the reason why they were discomfited when they fought at Paeroa and were dispersed into different localities, some to Heaven, some to the sea, some to the mainland (some to an infernal region?), and in divers directions. This is why peace has never been made in connection with this war down to the present day.
39. Tahekeroa (the long downward slide):—This is the path to the infernal regions. In this place, Te Reinga, is no light, not even the smallest appearance of light beams through that awful gloom. Such is the darkness of that lower world. Rua-ai-moko and Whiro are the gods of that place, Te Reinga.
40 Te Po-tangotango te po-whawha o whaka-Ruaumoko:—The darkness that may be felt, the groping darkness of whaka-Ruaumoko—Ruaumoko being the god who presides in that place, the Reinga; he and Whiro, with their companions, being offsprings of Papa and Rangi, who wage (eternal) warfare against the offspring of Tane in this world, hence man dies and goes thence to Te Reinga (place of departed spirits) where those evil gods are.
42. Rarohenga:—Another name for Te Reinga.
44. Te Pito Ururangi:—A portion of the wananga prayers connected with the kete Tuauri (Note 25, see kete Tuauri) which karakia was offered by Hine-ti-tama, the daughter of Tane and Hine-hau-one, who was the woman formed from the one at Kurawaka, (Note 5 and 6). It was that daughter of the first woman and Tane, Hine-ti-tama by name, who offered - 56 up that prayer whereby the Adam's apple was formed in Tane's throat, and all his descendants, with the exception of the females, who have none, the reason being because her father lay with her as his wife, hence her anger, and it was a token of Tane's sin against her.
51. Puritia te aka matua:—This means the child's instruction in the eight wananga of the prayer of the gods, and the wananga of the prayer warfare, and the conduct of warfare.
52. Te Kauwae runga te Kauwae raro:—This is the wananga of the Heavenly gods and also that of the Earthly gods.
53. Kia tawhia kia tamaua kia ita i roto:—These are, that all the works (instruction) received in the wananga houses on the application thereof by the child, as youth taught by the tohunga instructors, no matter what subject the child may have been schooled in, to be all retained.
54 A Rua i te Pukenga, a Rua i te Horahora, a Rua i te wanawana. a Rua mutua Taketake o Tane:—These are descriptive of the young man's faculties. Rua i te pukenga—shown adaptability, quickness, respectively power to grasp all things. Rua i te horahora—expansion of the faculties by human agency, instruction. Rua i te wanawana means his own innate perceptive faculties that have emanated from within himself. Rua-matua-taketake means the thoughts have now taken firm hold, there is no forgetfulness of knowledge, that he has been instructed in, it will never be lost or forgotten, whether gods or man.
56. Tu-tere-moana:—This is the child for whom this karakia was composed.
59. Poutu-i te rangi:—This is the name of a constellation in the heavens; when seen the elders commence to plant the kumara crop in the land, to earth up the hills, clear the weeds. Puke-hau-one is the hill in which the kumara seed was planted. Ka hoka Hine-rau-wharangi i konei, the leaves of the kumara begin to grow. Rongo-maraeroa is the kumara god. Hence the Ngahuru-tiko-tiko-iere, te marua roa o te matahi o te tau—the month for harvesting the kumara, storing it in the rua, and other food such as paua, eel dried, fish dried, birds preserved in calabashes are put in the whata; this is called the harvest time, when food is plenty, when there is much food. Excreta also are plentiful.
68. Tikitiki o rangi:—The last of the heavens, also known as Te Toi-o-nga-rangi, the summit of the heavens. Te Hiringa i te mahara:—This is intense inspiration enabling one to accomplish some great deed or to procure something, as when Tane was emboldened to climb up to the Tiki-tiki-o rangi, to procure the wananga, being impelled by his whakaaro nui he was enabled to procure that wananga
69. Io-matua-te-kore-anake i a te Toi Ariki:—This refers to god-attributes, and god-power. Te Toi-Urutapu means the sacred power enabling man to do god-like works, exercise god-like mana or a chief's mana. Te Toi Uru-rangi:—This was the power possessed by Tane, enabling him to enter the gates of Heaven. Te Toi Uru-roa is the vitality of man possessed by him till his old age, one phase of it is the preservation of Tane when climbing up Tikitiki-o-rangi and returning in safety to this world.- 57
71. Te Wai-tohi:—The water where Tane was baptised at Tikitiki-o-rangi; that is, freed from tapu as the Maori says.
75. Ka turuturu i konei te tawhito rangi:—This is the beneficent work of the sun, of the moon, the stars, the winds, the mists, the clouds and the rain on the the earth causing food, trees and the plants of the earth to grow, and all things in this world to bear fruit, and water to be on the earth's surface. Te tawhito Uenuku:—The rainbow, also called Kahukura and a bow; the said Uenuku indicates rough weather, good weather, makes known the death to the sick, tells of war parties, and all important events are manifested by the said Uenuku from time to time. Te Tawhito Atua signifies the thoughts of Io-Matua-te-kore-anake, his works and his wishes that he is pleased that man should do.
77. Ka rawe Tane ki te Hiringa mama:—Signifies that Tane has become possessed of all good works for him to do in this world. Te hiringa taketake ki te ao marama:—Signifies good works and all good administration whatever of a permanent character unalterable by this world, which are and be for the good and benefit of all things of this world.
82. I tokona ai nga rangi ngahuru ma rua:—The elders of former times said that there were twelve Heavens, and that Tane propped up those Heavens, making each separate and distinct from the other, each in its own appointed place, that is why they are distant, each Heaven separate.
83. Kia tangi te piere kia tangi te wanawana kia tangi te ihiihi:—These three all mean that one Heaven is higher than another, nothing can climb up from one to the other, such are all the twelve Heavens, which is in one Heaven fears? that of another Heaven, such are all the Heavnns.
85. Ka toro te akaaka rangi, ka toro te akaaka whenua:—These two signify that benefits are ever being produced by all that is in Heaven, the sun, the moon, the stars, the clouds, the winds, the mists and the rain, and so with the things of the Earth, which are full of mutual benefit whether water, rock, soil, trees, plants, animals or fish, this is the meaning of this.
86. Ka tupea ki te wehe nuku rangi, ki te wehe nuku Atea:—A portion of the karakia known to the Maori Tohunga of former times, being a portion of the incantation used when Rangi and Papa were rent asunder, whereby all things in Heaven and earth were benefited.
87. Takoto i te urunga tapu-mowai—When Rangi was disjoined from Papa-tu-a-nuku, the things pertaining to Rangi become distinct from those pertaining to Earth; and all that we now see became absolutely unalterable from the time when Rangi was disjoined; the sun, the moon, the winds,, the clouds, the mists, the rain, the snow; summer, winter each follows its accustomed course; trees and herbage, grass; cattle, fish, man—each species follows, all are unalterable. That is the meaning of the words in line 87.
88. Ka whakahoro ki roto i te whare Puhakanui:—Signifies this world, the abode of all evil in this world; hence the whare Puhakanui.
89. Rongomai taha; Rongomai-tuwaho, Rongomai-whakateka:—These are the three gods administering the affairs of this world; they have the control of all evil.- 58
90 Ka hoaia e Tane ki te Iho-taketake na Tuhae-pawa na Io-matua-te-kore:—Tuhae-pawa is a god inferior to Io-matua-te-kore.
91. Ko ia Ihotaketake:—Signifies the prayers of the superior gods with regard to subjects that such gods desire.
92. Koia Fou-taketake, koia Pou-takiki:—These two are parts of the prayer used by Tane and Tupai when they disjoined Rangi from Papa. These words were used in order that Rangi might remain permanently where he had been placed, and to render it impossible for him to descend therefrom; unmovable by any god whatever after having been so placed.
93. Ka kapua te toiora i konei ki te wheuriuri e Hine-titama:—This signifies that Hine-titama was the offspring of Tane and Hine-Hauone, the first woman, (see Note 44). The daughter of Tane-nui-a-rangi separated herself through grief because her father had taken her to wife (see page 1) that woman dissolved into cold air, hence death came upon man.
Ka puritia mai e taua wahine te Toi-ora:—That woman retained the human spirit; hence it is that the spirit lives, even so the Maori says; that woman when in this world was known as Hine-titama; when she passed away to the Reinga her name was changed to Hine-nui-te-po. When Maui, accompanied by his friends Patatai, Pitaka and Tiwahawaha went to kill Hine-nui-i-te-po death became permanent, and has continued down to the present; the spirit, however, escapes him (death).
96. Ko Hikurangi ko Aorangi:—These are the names of lands in Hawaiki from which the elders named mountains here in remembrance of mountains in Hawaiki. (Both are to be found in Tahiti Island.—Editor.)
98. E huri te aroaro ki Parawera-nui:—This is the name of a mighty southerly tempest, which is called Parawera-nui; Tahu-makaka-nui is a mighty north-westerly wind; these are the winds that brought the canoes of the ancestors hither from Hawaiki.
101. Te Kauika Tangaroa:—This signifies whales, called Pakake by the Maoris. Te Urunga Tapu o Paikea:—Is a sacred word used by the ancestors in their prayers when these refer to whales. The word Paikea is a name for whales, in number more than 1, 2, 3, up to 100, say 1000 or more. Te ara moana: If a canoe travels on the sea its wake in the sea is Harua-tai.
103. Ka tupea ki muri ko tai whakahuka:—Means that when the canoe goes quickly through the water, the froth of the sea at the bow and on the paddles is seen; the froth of the sea is left as the canoe proceeds.
104. Kahu-kura:—The bow as seen in the Heaven, which Maoris used to consider a god.
105. Tupatia ki a Hine-makohurangi:—This signifies that when the canoe came from Hawaiki the stern was protected as a barrier against the wind, being protected by fog. Hence Hine-makohu-rangi:—Short word is kohu.- 59
106. Ka patua i konei te Ihenga moana, te wharenga moana:—These signify the sea waves which died down for lack of wind, the violence of the wind being arrested by the fog, hence there were no waves.
107. Ka takiritia te takapau whakahaere:—These are the incantations of the Tohungas who were on board of those canoes of former time, which ceased on the Tohunga's seeing that he was keeping his course.
108. Ka takoto i runga i a Hine-kori, a Hine-kitea i a Hine-makehu:—These three were whales whom the Tohungas by their incantations summoned to come and support the canoes. These whales came and clung to either side of the canoe; if there were four of such whales, two would be on one side and two on the other, and carry the canoe whither it was going. These are the names of the whales that bore up Takitimu—Hine-korito, Hine-kitea and Hine-makehu.
111. Ka rawe te ingoa o Aotearoa:—This signifies the joy felt by the people on the canoe who had voyaged so far across the sea, on their getting sight of this land Aotearoa. Hence the appropriate name Aotearoa.
112. Ka tangi te mapu wai-ora:—This signifies the great joy felt on reaching terra firma with the full knowledge that they were saved.
115. Ko Turanga-nui, ko Whangara:—These are names given by the elders, names of the lands occupied by them at Hawaiki, and given in remembrance of their permanent names there.
119. Iranui was a sister of Kahu-ngunu, son of Tamatea of Hawaiki. The girls had a longing for korau to eat, that is why they procured seed of it.
120. On Iranui's arrival at Turanga she sowed her plot of ground with korau, hence the saying:—“A plot in which to plant korau seed.” Ko Turanga-nui ko Haronga-rangi:—These two are birds whose names, so the elders say, are those given; these birds were sent from Hawaiki to bring kumara seed to Aotearoa.
122. Marae-atea:—This signifies that when Mahu made a kumara feast formerly in honour of some tribes, he through that liberality became famous amongst the tribes of Turanga-nui. The fame reached other places and implied his mana among the people, hence that saying, the mana of Mahu is freehandedness.
124. Ko Tu-wahi-awa:—That person made a false statement, saying that he brought the dedicated (? deified) bird on the Tokomaru canoe from Hawaiki, Te Manu Whakatau being the name of the bird called the Moa. A person who was of the same canoe heard of this, and showed that the statement made by the man was false.
127. Kotahi tonu e tama te tiaki whenua ko te Kuranui:—This is to show that what they saw on their arrival in this island was that bird the Kuranui, that being the bird's permanent name. “Moa” was a name that came from the pakeha. When the Maoris were asked by pakehas if there - 60 were “any more” of these large birds, these Maoris said amongst themselevs: “Surely ‘Moa’ is the name of this bird in the country from which these pakehas come.” (This explanation about the origin of the word Moa, will not do; for it is found in old Maori songs several hundred years old.—Editor.)
129. Ruakapanga was the first man who saw the moa, hence the name: Ruakapanga's bird. (Probably Mr. Davies' informant has got somewhat adrift here. For the story of Rua-kapanga, see Mr. Best's “Wai-kare-moana,” and also another version in the (as yet unpublished) “History of the Taranaki Coast.”—Ed.)
130. Te ahi tahito, te ahi tipua, te ahi na Mahuika:—Signifies fire descended from the gods above, a sacred fire obtained by Mahuika. Now, Mahuika was an ancestor of Maui's. Maui brought the fire, asking that it should be given to him; hence fire was obtained for this world. On Tamatea's arrival, he set fire to this island, the fire burnt so fiercely that the moa ran into the lagoons for safety, and sank therein. Hence the expression, perished or died in the Reporoa swamp.
1 Tane may be considered the male principle.
2 Tapu, as an adjective, means sacred; not always good; set apart, defiled.
3 So far as instinct may induce him to use powers acquired.
5 Wananga:—Occult knowledge, i.e., the knowledge of hidden mysteries.
6 Io te kore anake:—The best interpretation of this attribute is to be found in Tregear's comparative Dictionary. See Kore:—“The Primal Power of the Cosmos, the void or negation, yet containing the potentiality of all things afterwards to come.”
7 Whiro appears from the Moriori point of view to have been the one who in the reinga seized and held the spirits of the dead, hence apparently the dead associated with his name; but he did not appear as with the Maori in the conspicuous rôle of god of theft or thieves.—(A. Shand.) It is that view that is here applied.
8 The reference is to Adam's apple—a development peculiar to men.
9 The constellation Ursa Major, probably.
10 The korau is the Cyathea medullaris—a large tree fern; the young shoots of it were eaten in old Maori times. As the text shows, the Maoris believe that it came here by the first canoe. (We rather question this, for the tree-fern called korau (properly mamaku) is not found outside New Zealand. Probably korau, the wild cabbage, is meant.—Ed.)
11 “Tuwahia” for Tuwahiaroa.
12 Puke is literally mound or mount, it is the classic mount of love, i.e., the mount immediately above the female tore, called by the anatomist mons veneris.—H. M. Stowell.