Volume 12 1903 > Volume 12, No.1, March 1903 > Traditions of the Niue-Fekai, by Pulekula, p 22-31
                                                                                             Previous | Next   

- 22
THE TRADITIONS OF NIUE-FEKAI.
Liku, October, 1901.
(Translation).

IT commences with the preparation of the island (as a dwelling-place) down to the birth of mankind from a tree; also describes the gods, male and female. It is the story of the waters, of the fish, of the birds, of creeping things, and of the trees on the surface of earth; of the fierceness (or evil), the stealing, of the upright (works); also of the kings; of the arrival of Captain Cook in 1774; of Peniamina and Toimata in 1846; of Paulo in 1849; of Mr. Lawes in August, 1861; of the three kings—Mataio, Fata-a-iki and Tongia-pule-toaki—down to the hoisting of the British flag at Niue in 1900.

The Gods of Old.

1. There were five gods (tupua) that fled hither from Motu-galo. They were men who lived in idleness, and took no part in the preparation of feasts. (So it came to pass) when their parents made a feast and when all others partook, no portion was sent to them. They were left out because of their laziness. This became the constant rule, and the parents became greedy; then (the five) fled away to seek an island on which they might dwell permanently.

2. There are three accounts about them—that they came from Fonua-galo; from Tulia; from Toga—and some other islands.1 These are the names of the tupuas—Fao, Faka-hoko, Huanaki, Lage-iki and Lagi-atea.

3. Between Liku and Lakepa, there is (a part of the) sea-shore called Motu—which name remains to this day; it is a small level space on the reef, with Mata-kao-lima on the north, Makato on the east; whilst at Hiola spring up the streams from which they (people) drink, which there gush forth from the rocks.

4. They (these tupuas) came up from beneath a pool on the reef; Fao from near the base of the cliffs, where his way opened up and he ascended to build a residence at Toga-liulu. He found a single small

- 23
KO E TOHI HE TAU TALA I NIUE-FEKAI.
Liku, Oketopa, 1901.

KUA kamata he tauteaga he motu ato hoko ke he fanauga he tagata mai he akau, ke hoko ke he tau tupua oti, ko e tau tane mo e tau fifine. Ko e tala he tau vai, mo e tau ika, mo e tau manu-lele, mo e tau manu-tololo, mo e tau akau he fuga kelekele; ko e favale he kaiha, mo e tutonu. Ko e tau Patuiki, ko e hoko mai a Kapene Kuka, 1774, ke hoko mai a Peniamina mo Toimata, 1846, ke hoko a Paulo, 1849, ke hoko a Misi Lao, Aukuso, 1861, ke hoko ke he tau Patuiki tolu, ko Mataio, ko Fata-a-iki, ko Togia-pule-toaki, ke hoko ke he fakatu ai e matini Peritania i Niue-fekai, 1900.

Ko e Tau Tupua tuai.

1. Ko e tokolima e tau Tupua ne fehola mai he Motu-galo. Ko e tau tagata nofo noa a lautolu, nakai taute he galūe. Ne taute galūe e tau matua ha lautolu mo e kai oti ni, nakai momoi atu ma lautolu; ko e tiaki he teva. To mahani mau pihia, kua loto-kai lahi a lautolu, mo e fehola ke kumi motu ma lautolu ke nofo mau ai.

2. Kua tolu e talahau ki a lautolu:—ne hau i Fonua-galo, ti hau i Tulia, ti hau i Toga, mo e falu a motu. Ko e tau higoa he tau Tupua, hanaí: Ko Fāo, ko Fakahoko, ko Huanaki, ko Lageiki, ko Lagiatea.

3. Ko e vaha loto i Liku mo Lakepa ko e tahi ne higoa ko Motu, ko e hana higoa ia ke hoko mai ke he aho nai, ko e tofola tote, ko Mata-kao-lima i tokelau. Ko Makato he fahi uta, ke hoko atu ki Hiola ne puna ai e tau vai-lele ke inu ai a lautolu—he lele mai i loto he maka.

4. Ne huhu hake a lautolu mai lalo he loloto; ne hu a Fāo he pokoahu, ti pu ai e hala hana, ti hake leva ke ta e kaina i Toga-li-ulu. Taha ni e mena tote ne moua, ti tu vivivivi ai hana hui hema ka e nikiti ki luga hana hui matau, ko e tau peau ne hau liga ni e tafia.

- 24

space, on which he stood trembling (insecurely) with his left foot, whilst the right was elevated, and the waves came up as if to sweep him away.

5. Then appeared Fakahoko, and he remained at the gateway by which he came, not ascending to visit Fao at Toga-liulu, and help him in the work he was preparing.

6. Next came up Huanaki. He said to Fakahoko, “Why do you remain here, and not ascend and assist in the work?” Then he went up to Toga-liulu: one of his feet (the left) stood insecurely, whilst the right was elevated, and the waters and the waves came, so that within a little the island was swept by the flowing water.

7. Then these two—Fāo and Huanaki—worked away. The island increased through Huanaki's work, and they soon possessed a place to dwell in; and Fāo had a place for both feet through the celerity of Huanaki's work. When the island was completed by these two, then Huanaki gave names to the land, thus: Nuku-tu-taha, Motu-te-fua, Fakahoa-motu and Nuku-tuluea. These are the meanings of the names: Nuku-tu-taha, a single island without companions; Motu-te-fua, a desolate, barren island; Fakahoa-motu, because the work of Fāo was not finished, but was completed by Huanaki.

8. When the work was completed, Huanaki said to Fāo, “The work you undertook was left undone.”2 Thus was this name applied to the village of Liku, “Tuanaki noa he toli o atua.”3 The village of Lakepa is named “Malē-loa he fakaeteete,” because the feet of Fāo could go smoothly over the malē or plaza, as made by Huanaki from one corner to the other.

9. A likeness of Huanaki was made of stone at Vai-hoko, on the coast at Mutalau, on the point to the west side of Vai-opeope, the rough reef of Ulu-vehi being to the east, and Kavatā on the west; Vai-hoko is between. The (former) village of Vai-hoko was often called the “Kaupu of Huanaki.” At the large rocks a house of stone was built by the feet of Huanaki to shelter the people; the likeness and the house thus named are permanent—it is a cave, unto this day.

10. Lage-iki also came up, and he remained there to await the coming of the female tupuas who should follow the others, and he married some of them, for this was his custom. He had children, who were also called Lage-iki, who dwelt all round the island of Niuē, but the parent remained at Alofi, and is the chief tupua at Puna-fofoa. He caused the death of many women, through his evil actions. …

- 25

5. Kua hu hake a Fakahoko, ti nofo hifo he gutuhala ne hau ai, nakai hake a ia ke ahi a Fāo ki Toga-li-ulu ke logomatai e gahua ne taute e Fāo.

6. Ko Huanaki ne hu hake a ia, ti tala age ki a Fakahoko. “Ko e ha ne nofo ai a koe; nakai hake ke logomatai e gahua?” Ti hake leva a ia ki Toga-li-ulu; ko e taha ni e hui hema kua tu vivivivi, ko e hana hui matau kua nikiti hake ki luga, ko e vai mo e tau peau ne hau, toe tote ti lofia e motu he vailele.

7. Kua gahua e tokoua na, ko Fāo laua mo Huanaki. Ati tolomaki atu e motu i a Huanaki, kua fai mena ke nofo ai a laua, ti tu ua e tau hui a Fāo ki lalo, he vave e gahua a Huanaki. Kua oti e motu he gahua e laua, ti fakahigoa ne fai e Huanaki e fonua hanai:—Ko Nuku-tu-taha, ko Motu-tē-fua, ko Fakahoa-motu, ko Nuku-tuluea. Ko e kakano e tau higoa hanai: Nuku-tu-taha; ko e motu tokotaha, nakai fai kapitiga; Motu-tē-fua, ko e motu tufua ni; Fakahoa-motu, kua fakahoa e motu ne gahua e Fāo, ti nakai mau, ka e mau i a Huanaki.

8. Ne oti e gahua, ti pehe age a Huanaki ki a Fāo, “Kua tuanaki noa ne fua a koe!” Ati, ui ai pihia e higoa pihia he māga i Liku ko e “Tuanaki noa he toli o atua.” Kua ui e māga i Lakepa, ko e “Male-loa he fakaeteete.” Kua fakaeteete tuai e tau hui ua a Fāo he male loa ne ta e Huanaki ke fina atu ai ke he taha potu mo e taha potu.

9. Kua ta tuai e fakatine a Huanaki he maka i Vai-hoko, ko e tahi ia i Mutalau. Ko e mata-potu he fahi lalo i Vai-opeope, ko e afati ko Ulu-vehi, ke he fahi uta, ko Kavatā ke he fahi lalo, ko Vai-hoko i loto. Ne fa ui ai pehe ko e māga i Vai-hoko ko e kaupu ia a Huanaki. Ne ta ai foki e fale maka lahi he tau hui a Huanaki ke fakamalu ai e tau tagata; kua tumau ai e fakatino mo e fale ia ne higoa pehe, ko e ana, ke hoko mai ke he aho nai.

10. Ko Lage-iki ne hu hake a ia, ti nofo hifo ni ke leo mo e tatali ai he tau tupua fifine ka mumui mai ki a lautolu, ti hoana ni e ia. Ne nofo a Lage-iki ke gahua fifine, ko e Katuali hana ika ne polovalu e fakatāne a Lage-iki, ti fa mamate e tau fifine ki a ia. Ne fanau e ia e tau tama, ti ui ni ko Lage-iki, ne takai e motu ko Niuē he nofo ai e tau tama a Lage-iki, ka e nofo e matua i Alofi, ko e Patu ni i Puna-fofoa. Ne mamate oti e tau fifine ki a ia; ko e hana mahani ke fakaolo hake i Vali-kele, ko e tahi ia i Mutalau ne lata tonu hifo he fahi tokelau he fale he akoako i Lalo-toi. Ti hehele fakaave aki e Havilia e fohi, ne higoa foki ko e kolōta, ti mamutu e fa e polo; ati, tupu mai e falu a ika mitaki.

Ko Havilia, ko e tama a Huanaki, ati, fa mahala ai mo e mataku-taku a Katuali ke he matagi Havilia, neke fakamotu e mena fa ne toe. Ko e mena ia ka tu e matagi mo e havili atu ke he kili-moana, ti alumaki e Katuali ke hola.

- 26

11. Lagi-atea appeared last, and found Lage-iki awaiting the coming of the women; then he went up to Huanaki at Toga-liulu, and after speaking to Faka-hoko, visited Fāo, but the work had then been completed by Huanaki, so he remained on the cliff-tops. Both he and Lage-iki were alike in their evil courses. …

12. The road by which they came from the sea at Motu is a pool in the reef. Lage-iki came up near the place where the waves break, and Huanaki in the middle part. Both Fakahoko and Fāo came up near the place where the waves break, and Huanaki in the middle part. Both Fakahoko and Fāo came forth near the cliff-foot. Lagi-atea came after, and ascended to the cliff-tops.

13. This is the song of Huanaki after the residence had been settled; he sung it to his brethren:—

To haku higoa
A Fou-tavali
Ke he tuanaki noa.
Noho fakaoti au ia,
Noho fakaoti au ia.

13A. Then follows the counting (?) of the island of Huanaki and his offspring. These were the children of Huanaki:—

  • 1. Tagaloa-pupu-ki-maka
  • 2. Tafa-he-moana
  • 3. Tali-mai-nuku4
  • 4. Maka-poe-lagi
  • 5. Fakana-tua
  • 6. Lia-vaha
  • 7. Lagi-tai-taea
  • 8. Lage-iki-ua
  • 9. Havilia
  • 10. Leo-matagi

13B. Each one of these was gifted with great strength (? power); they ruled over all—the ocean and all things in it, the waves, all great waters, the fish, the sands, the rocks below,—to glorify Hua-naki. The “Kingdom” of rocks, of the very centre of the deep-seated rocks, was the dwelling place of Huanaki.

14. Maka-poe-lagi (No. 4 above) ruled at Namuke, a part of the coast between Liku and Hakupu. It is he that frequently resounds from that part of the sky to the east—that his strength may be manifest in all parts. It is he that causes to fall the meteoric stones that burn the trees and5 … and his “guns” are before all others (louder) in the thunder.

- 27

11. Lagi-atea; ne hu fakamui mai, kua leo tuai a Lage-iki he tau fifine ka o mai, ti hake ni a Huanaki, kua hake tuai ki Toga-liulu ti vagahau mo Fakahoko; ti hake ke ahi i a Fāo; kua oti tuai e gahua he taute tokoua mo Huanaki, ti nofo a ia he feutu i luga he mata he toafa. Ti takoto ne fai he puhala ke alai he hala ka hifo mai he motu e tau fifine; ti avaga hake e ia, he tatai ua e tau fakatane ha laua mo Lage-iki. Ka mafiti e fifine mo e laka vave e tau hui, fa e polo, ke hu atu ke he fifine, te moui e fifine ia. Kua fakatu ai e fifine mo e laka fakatekiteki, ti hu oti e polo-valu, ti mate e fifine ka pihia.

12. Ko e puhala nai kua huhu hake ai a lautolu i Motu, he tahi, he loloto, he tuatua. Ne pu a Lage-iki tata hifo ke he mena ne fafati ai e peau, ti lotoga a Huanaki; ti pu hake ai a Fao he pokoahu. Kua mui a Lagi-atea, ti hake leva ke he feutu i luga.

13. Ko e lologo a Huanaki he mau e kaina—ne uhu ke he tau mata-kainaga hana:—

To haku higoa,
A Fou-tavali,
Ke tavali
Ke he tuanaki noa.
Noho fakaoti au ia,
Noho fakaoti au ia.

13A. Ko e totou ne fai e Motu i a Huanaki mo e hana fanau—ko e tau tama hanai a Huanaki:—

  • 1. Tagaloa-pupuki-maka
  • 2. Tafa-he-moana
  • 3. Tali-mai-nuku
  • 4. Maka-poe-lagi
  • 5. Fakana-tua
  • 6. Lia-vaha
  • 7. Lagi-tai-taea
  • 8. Lage-iki-ua
  • 9. Havilia
  • 10. Leo-matagi

13B. Kua igatia a lautolu mo e malōlo-lahi; kua pule a lautolu i lalo he tahi mo e tau mena oti i ai—ko e tau peau, mo e vai-lahi, oti ia, mo e tau ika, mo e tau oneone, mo e tau maka i lalo oti ni ke fakalilifu atu ni ki a Huanaki. Ko e motu he toka he uho-toka-ho-kulo, ko e kaina ia a Huanaki.

14. Ko Maka-poe lagi (4) kua pule a ia i Namu-ke, ko e tahi ia i Liku, he vahaloto mo Hakupu. Ko ia ne fa paku-lagi mahaki mai he fahi lagi i uta, ke haolo atu ke he tau fahi hana malolo. Ko ia ne mokulu hifo ai e patuliki, ke huhunu ai e tau akau mo e hoka aki e gutu, ko e tau fana hana ne mua he pa lahi ke he pu-lagi he tau paku-lagi oti ni.

- 28
Of Other Tupuas.

15. And the tupuas increased until they were numerous; some ascended to the kingdom (motu) above, the kingdom of day and night, and exchanged with the family of Huanaki. They were:—

  • 1. Maka-hopokia
  • 2. Kainono
  • 3. Taomaga
  • 4. Lagi-loa
  • 5. Fue-fou
  • 6. Fiti-hulugia
  • 7. Mono-taga-tu
  • 8. Lagi-halulu
  • 9. Tu-tau
  • 10. Tulaga-momole
  • 11. Anoano-tau
  • 12. Hala-pouli
  • 13. Tu-mote-kula
  • 14. Lagi-afa
  • 15. Tapa-tu-tau
  • 16. Tapa-tu-lele
  • 17. Tapa-tu
  • 18. Tau-felele-aki

16. They were all endowed equally with glory and goodness (? beauty) and ruled over all divisions of matters that spring from the surface of the earth—the many different flowering plants, the creeping things with life, and the birds of the heavens.

17. In former times these (symbolical) names prevailed:—

  • Tama-la-fafa, the ancient name for the Lupe (pigeon)
  • Tiha-tala ” ” Tuaki (tropic bird)
  • Ha-le-vao ” ” Peka (the flying fox)
  • Hali-ua ” ” Uga (crab)
  • Ate-lapa ” ” Kāle (the Porphyrio bird)
  • Ti-lalo-fonua ” ” Kumā (the rat)

18. The pigeon was called Tama-la-fafa. He and Ha-le-vao came from a grave (?) to fly along the way of Nuku-tapa and Oloolo, which is a burnt forest; and they descended to the cliffs and the top of the cliffs on the coast.

19. The Ti-lalo-fonua (the rat) was a bird of the heavens; but Ha-le-vao, which is called a Peka (flying fox) was a creeping thing on the earth; they were of the same family. The Peka looked at the Kumā (rat) and saw how quickly he sped along, and (thought) it was beautiful. Then he begged of Kumā to give him his wings to allow him to make a trial of them. But Kumā was very grudging. Still Peka urgently prayed for the wings with many blandishments—until his request was granted through love to Peka.

20. Then said Kumā, “Come then! that I may give you my wings that you may have a short trial of them, to see if you know how

- 29
Ko e tau Tupua kehekehe.

15. Ko e tolomaki ne fai e tau tupua ke tokologa; ke hake falu ke he motu i luga, ko e motu he aho mo e pouli, ne fetogiaki he maga-faoa oti a Huanaki:—

  • 1. Maka-hopokia
  • 2. Kainono
  • 3. Taomaga
  • 4. Lagi-loa
  • 5. Fue-fou
  • 6. Fiti-hulugia
  • 7. Monotaga-tu
  • 8. Lagi-halulu
  • 9. Tu-tau
  • 10. Tulaga-momole
  • 11. Anoano-tau
  • 12. Hala-pouli
  • 13. Tu-mote-kula
  • 14. Lagi-ofa
  • 15. Tapa-tutau
  • 16. Tapa-tu-lele
  • 17. Tapa-tu
  • 18. Tau-felele-aki

16. Ko lautolu ia kua igatia mo e lilifu mo e mitaki, mo e pule ke he tau tufaaga ne tupu ai he fuga he kelekele—ko e tau akau-fiti kehekehe—loga, mo e tau manu-lele he pu-lagi.

  • 17. Ko Tama-la-fafa, ko e higoa mua i a Lupe
  • Ko Tiha-tala ” ” ” Tuaki
  • Ko Ha-le-vao ” ” ” Peka
  • Ko Hali-ua ” ” ” Uga
  • Ko Ate-lapa ” ” ” Kāle
  • Ti-lalo-fonua ” ” ” Kumā

18. Ko Lupe, ne higoa ko e Tama-la-fafa, ko ia mo Ha-le-vao ne hau he tukuga ke lele atu he hala Nuku-tafa mo e hala Oloolo, ko e vao-vela ia; ne hifo atu ke he toafa mo e feutu i tahi.

19. Ko e Ti-lalo-fonua, ko e manu-lele ia he pu-lagi. Ko Ha-le-vao kua ui ai ko e Peka—ko e tagata totolo ia he kelekele, ko e faoa taha a laua. Ne kitekite atu e Peka ki a Kumā, kua mafiti lahi ni hana a lele, ti fulufuluola lahi ni; ti ole ne fai ke ta age e tau tapakau a Kumā ke fakafifitaki e ia, po ke iloa nakai. Ne lamakai lahi a Kumā, ka e ole fakalahi atu a Peka mo e fakafiafia atu. Kua talia e Kumā he fakaalofa ki a Peka.

20. Kua tala age e Kumā, “Ati hau ā, ke tă atu haku na takapau ke fakalata fakatote a koe, po ke iloa nakai.” Ka e tali atu a Peka,

- 30

to use them.” But Peka answered. “Give me them then; but you fasten them on just like you do—make them firm—lest you are the cause of my falling and being killed.” So Kumā fastened them strongly and well; and then lifted Peka up and said, “Now then, fly!”

21. Ha-le-vao Peka arose in flight; he laughed and called to Kumā, “Are the things (wings) as well as with you?” Kumā called to him, “Come down! you have been sufficiently long!” As he flew, Peka called down gently, “Presently! Presently!” and then he made off altogether, leaving Kumā to bewail the loss of his treasure, but gave Kuma a parting greeting. Thus the creeping animal took to flight, whilst the flying bird had to creep. “Peka Ha-le-vao, the evil-minded, “Ea! Ea! Kiki io! Kiki io!” said he below, whilst Peka replies, “Koloke! koloke!” from above.

(To be continued.)

- 31

“Ati mai ā, ka e fakatu mai e koe tuga i a koe, mo e fakamau ke mau, neke fakato e koe au ke mate.” Ne taute fakamalolo e Kumā, ati mau mitaki e na tapakau ua, ti lagaaki hake e ia ki luga mo e tala age, “Ati lelē ā!”

21. Kua lelē hake a Ha-le-vao Peka, ati kata a ia mo e ui age, “Ne mitaki ai pihia hau a tau mena!” Kua ui atu a Kumā, “Hifo ā! Kua leva tuai.” Ha ne lelē kua ui fakatepetepe hifohifo a Peka, “Aukialā! Aukialā!” Ati fano fakaoti e Peka, kua tagi e Kumā he fofo e tau koloa hana. Kua mavehe atu e Peka, “Hau na tē haku nai!” Kua lelē e manu-totolo, ka e totolo e manulele. “Ko Peka-Ha-le-vao, loto kelea, ea, ea, kiki io, kiki io,” a ia i lalo. Kua pehe a Peka, “Koloke, koloke,” i luga.

1  The Toga here mentioned does not necessarily meau Tonga-tapu Island, for all foreign lands were called Tonga by the Niue people.
2  Tuanaki, and Faka-tuanaki, a work left undone because each thought the other would do it.
3  This is one of the symbolical or complimentary names given to Liku; see par. 89 also.
4  Taramai-nuku. One of the Maori ancestors was also so called, but it does not follow that they are one and the same person.
5  Mo e hoka aki e gutu, an expression I cannot translate.