Volume 19 1910 > Volume 19, No. 3 > The Rarotongan version of the story of Rata, collected and translated by Stephen Savage, p 142-157
THE RAROTONGAN VERSION OF THE STORY OF RATA.
[The following story of Rata and the genealogy and short story from Vai-takere was recited to me by More-taunga-o-te-tini, who is, perhaps, one of the most learned and intelligent Rarotongans now living; certainly he is one of those few Native historians of Rarotongan legends whose knowledge and word may be relied upon. The present More is a descendant of the high priest More-Maoate and also of another high priest named Maoate-Atua, both of whom joined Tangiia-nui's expedition when that famous Maori ancestor was fleeing from his cousin Tutapu (Tutapu-ăru-roa). The More of that period came on to Rarotonga with Tangiia as one of his high priests and was afterwards placed under the jurisdiction of Pā-Ariki (Te-ariki-upokotini) and Motŏrŏ (Te-Ariki-Tino-mana) by Tangiia-nui, and was given certain priestly offices to perform pertaining to his office as a high priest. The present More informed me that the story of Rata was known to but few of the present generation, but was well known to the priests of old; that his father had been taught the legend by his father, and so on. Others of the last and present generation had heard fragments of the legend and had thus confused the legend of Rata with that of Atonga and his brothers Oro-keu and Oro-inano, and with the building of the famous canoe “Tarai-pō.” The Rarotonga branch of the Tino-mana family are descendants of this Rata through their ancestor Ruatapu, who was a son of a female descendant of Rata, named Te-Mătă-o-Ena.
In making the translation of this legend, I have endeavoured to make it as literal as possible. S. Savage.]
THIS is a short story of the ancestors of Rata-Ariki, from whence he sprang; as a bud growing out from the branch of a tree and the growth thereof; the branching out into many branches, and his descendants.
Rata was a descendant from the great ancestor Atea-vai-takere and his wife Papa-te-tumu-enua-uri. The genealogy given commences from Vai-takere and his wife Rangi-aitu-kura; Vai-takere was a descendant of Atĕa, so also was Rangi-aitu-kura. From Vai-takere I give the genealogy:—- 143
Family Tree. Vai-takere=Rangi-aitu-kura, Ataranga=Te Mutu-a-Uenga, Maui-te-mua=Te-maeva-o-te-rangi, Te-rangi-tautua=Koūatărăina, Amai-tuki-papa=Taravao, Te Rangi-mata-keu=Ina-ăkăpaapaa, Akapaapaa=Tinaenae, Te-ariki-Turi-o-riki=Părepăre-te-rā, Te-ariki-Turi-o-Meru=Rango-rangi, Te-ariki-Turi-o-Matarau=Maine-marae-rua, Te-Matarau=Tūtū-noanoa, Te-Meru=Te-pa-atua, Te-Meru-enua=Tŭrŭtŭrŭ-te-rangi, Te-Meru-rangi=Ina-ma-ngurunguru 1, Ema=Rua-măta-īō, Taaki=Ine-uru-o-runga, Karii, Vaieroa=Tairiiri-tokerau, Rata-Ariki=Anini-te-rangi
Ataranga also had other sons, namely: Maui-roto, Maui-taa, Maui-teina, and Maui-tikitiki-a-Taranga.
The above genealogy shows the ancestors of Rata-Ariki, and from him sprang many branches; some of his descendants are in Rarotonga and other islands of the Cook Group—some at Akatoka-manava (Mauke Island), others at Enua-manu (Atiu Island). A genealogy given at the end of this paper shows one line of descendant from Rata down to the late Tararo Ariki of Mauke.
The names of these ancestors that I have given from Ataranga down to Rata were not the only names by which they were known, no, they had many names, but these that I have given are known to us and to our ancestors. Some “Are-korero” (Historians, literally Houses-of-legends) say that Te-Meru-rangi's other name was Kai-tangata, which may be correct, for he was also known to us as Tui-kai-vaevae-rŏrōa, which means “Tui-the-eater-of-men, and this may be only another word for Kai-tangata, who was the father of Ema, who begat Taaki and his brother Karii. Taaki was the eldest born, in proof whereof is a pee, or song, of the birth of these two sons.
This pee, or song, is said to have been composed by Tangaroa:—
Who are these I behold?
'Tis Ta'aki Ariki and Karii—
Born to the great, light world.
Godly sons of Tangaroa and Te-po-a-mio
Who, in their coming, rent the bonds of the shades—
From below, from Avaiki.
Upon Ta'aki Ariki, the elder, I bestow my sacred skin.
Rata was also a descendant of Mū, who cohabited with the god Io, for it is said, “No roto mai a Rata-Ariki ia Mū ma Io.”—(“Rata was a descendant of Mū and Io.) This is part of our sacred karakia and only recited on special occasions, such as on the election of a descendant of Rata to the position of ariki.
I may say the god Io was an Atua-mekameka (god of good), and the ancient priests, my ancestors, always ended up the special karakia with this chant:—
Io,—Io—te atua nui ki—te—rangi—tua—tini—tini.
Io,—the great god of the vast (or great) heavens.
THE STORY OF RATA.
I HAVE given the genealogy of Rata; I will now proceed with the story:—
Vaieroa and his wife Tairiiri-tokerau resided on their island home of Avaiki (Savaii), and after a certain period Tairiiri-tokerau became pregnant. One day she expressed a desire for a repast of eels, so Vaieroa set to work and fashioned some hooks with which to catch eels and so satisfy his wife's longing.
Now it so happened that Kokopu and Koura, who were sisters to Pūpū and Kavei, who resided together in their home in the stream, learned of these preparations; they therefore warned their brothers, saying, “Listen, O our brothers, to what we say to you; do not go about with your mouths open, but keep them closed, for Vaieroa and Tairiiri-tokerau are preparing hooks and lines with which to catch you.”
The brothers Pūpū and Kavei answered, “Oh, never mind, we will feast upon what they let down to us and shall break the hooks.”
The sisters said, “That will be well if you can do so.” And they, having warned their brothers, disappeared among the tree rootlets that grew at the bottom of the stream.
Not long after, Vaieroa and Tairiiri-tokerau appeared on the bank of the stream with lines and hooks; they baited the hooks and cast the lines into the stream. Pūpū immediately swallowed one baited hook and Kavei the other. Vaieroa and his wife thereupon commenced to pull them ashore; Pūpū and Kavei struggling to get free.
After the two eels had become exhausted from their struggles, and were in a dying condition, and were almost pulled to the side of the stream, the sisters called out from their hiding-place, “That is the result of your boasting, O our brothers! and not listening to our advice; now break the hooks else you will become food for that man's wife.”
Both Pupu and Kavei were landed and soon despatched, cooked, and eaten.
Some time after this, Vaieroa's wife gave birth to a son, and the parents called him Rata. Things in general went on smoothly until one day the parents noticed that a skin disease had broken out on the child Rata; it was called maera, a rash that appears in the groins. Vaieroa and his wife, together with the grandmother of the child, went to the sea-coast, at the mouth of a large river, to obtain a certain seaweed that grew there upon the rocks; this seaweed was a remedy for this kind of disease (it was applied to the place affected).
When they reached the place, Vaieroa and his wife left the child in - 146 the charge of the grandmother, who stayed near the bank of the stream (river) while they went to gather the seaweed.
They went some distance out on the rocks and procured a quantity of the weed and brought it to the grandmother, who applied portions of it to that part of the child affected with the rash. Vaieroa and Tairiiri-tokerau returned to gather more of the seaweed.
At this time very heavy rains fell on the mountains inland, which caused a great and sudden flood, and, before Vaieroa and his wife could reach a place of safety they were overtaken by the rush of the flood, which came sweeping down the river-bed with terrific force, bringing torn-up trees, drift-wood, and stones in its headlong rush, and both Vaieroa and his wife were both swept out to sea and there perished, and their bodies were devoured by the sons of Puna.
These children of Puna were Eke (Octopus), Paua (Clam), Mangao (Great Shark), Tatavere (species of fish), Aku (Sword-fish). The fact that Vaieroa and Tairiiri-tokerau were devoured by these children of Puna was revealed to Rata by the gods Atonga and Tongaiti-matarau at the time he was engaged in building his canoe some years afterwards.
To return to the grandmother and the child who had been left on the bank of the river: she waited some time in hopes of the return of Vaieora and his wife, and, after some length of time had elapsed, knew that her son and his wife were dead. So taking the child and the remaining seaweed went home and there nourished the child until he grew to man's estate.
When Rata had grown up, he one day asked his grandmother, “Who are my parents?” The grandmother said, “You had parents, but they are now dead; they were swept away by a flood. They had gone to obtain some seaweed to apply to the disease that afflicted you whilst you were a child, and it was while they were gathering the seaweed they were overtaken by a flood and swept out to sea and drowned; and only you and I are left now.”
Rata and his grandmother lived for some time at their home, and after some thought Rata decided to go in search of his parents, for he thought that perchance the flood had carried them far out to sea, and that by some chance they had reached some distant land. So one day he said to his grandmother, Ine-uru-o-runga, “Have we no axe?” She replied, “Yes, we have one. There it is.”
Rata procured the axe, and when he examined it, he noticed that the cutting edge was broken, so he said to his grandmother, “What shall I do with this axe?” She replied, “Take it down to the foreshore and bury the head in the sand, leave it there until to-morrow morning and then you return and bring it home.”
Rata did as he had been directed, and in the morning went and obtained the axe, and, to his great surprise he found that it was again - 147 perfect. He returned home and said to Ine-uru-o-runga, “I am now going to make a canoe, and then go in search of my parents.”
The old grandmother consented, and Rata departed to the forest to search for a suitable tree from which to make his canoe. After searching for some time he found a tree suitable for his purpose, he set to work and cut it down, and, leaving the tree where it had fallen, returned home.
Next morning Rata returned to the forest on the mountain to hollow out his canoe. When he reached the place where he had left the fallen tree, he found that it was standing in its original position again! He again cut it down and then returned home.
When he reached home, his grandmother said to him, “How is your canoe progressing?” Rata replied, “I cut the tree down yesterday and left it where it fell; when I returned to-day I found that the tree had been returned to its original position.”
The grandmother said, “Now grandson, when you return to-morrow, if you find the tree standing, again cut it down and when it has fallen, cut off the top part of the tree. Should night overtake you, do not return home at once, but hide under the top branches that you have cut off and watch for the person who returns the tree to its original position.”
Rata listened to the instructions of his grandmother. The next day he returned to the forest, and when he came to the place where he had cut down the tree—it was standing again. He therefore cut it down again and then cut off the top part of the tree and commenced to hollow out the canoe.
It was now night, and Rata hid under the branches he had cut off. Gradually the night wore on, when he became aware of the approach of a host of gods; they came like the rush of a mighty wind scattering the earth and debris in all directions. When these gods reached the spot where the tree had been cut down, they commenced to gather up the chips and replace each in its original place and were about to restore the tree to its former state when Rata sprang out from his hiding place and gave them chase, he scattered them in all directions. Rata chased them from place to place until they reached a ridge of the mountain when the gods uttered the cry “E Utu!” Rata chased them from there to another ridge when they again uttered the cry “E Utu!”
After Rata had utterly routed these gods he returned home and told his grandmother all that had happened and said that the gods had called out “E Utu.” The grandmother said, “To-morrow morning you must cook a lot of food for a feast and offer it as a propitiatory offering to the gods Atonga and Tongaiti-matarau.” Next morning Rata prepared the food as his grandmother had directed; it was placed in the oven, and after it was cooked the oven was opened and the food offered to the gods Atonga and Tongaiti-mata-rau.- 148
After this Rata prepared to return to the forest. Just before he departed, his grandmother said to him, “If night should overtake you do not return, but hide under the tree-tops that you have cut off and watch for what happens.” Rata went to the forest and commenced to hollow out the canoe, and when night came on he hid under the branches he had cut off. He had not been long in his hiding-place when the gods, Atonga and Tongaiti-matarau, appeared, and called upon the tree to resume its natural position and state; these are the words they used:—
“Piri mai, piri mai taku māieti, taku māieta,—
Tū, tū te rau tu.”
“Join together, come together,
My beloved, my cherished ones—
Rejoin your parents O leaves.”
The fallen tree did not respond to the command, so again these gods called:—
“Piri mai, piri mai taku māieti, taku māieta;—
Tū, tū te rau tu.”
“Join together, come together,
My beloved, my cherished ones—
Rejoin your parents O leaves.”
Still the tree did not respond, and when Atonga and Tongaiti-matarau looked about to discover the cause why the tree would not obey their command, they saw Rata hidden under the branches; they could see his eyes glistening in the darkness. Rata was gaping at them.
The gods exclaimed, “Is it you, O our child? do you desire a canoe?” Then they further asked, “Why do you want a canoe?” Rata replied, “I am going to search for my parents, Vaieroa and Tairiiri-tokerau.” The gods said, “Your parents have been devoured by the sons of Puna; your mother's eye-balls are in possession of their sister, Te-vaine-uarei; that is so our child; now return home, and we will make your canoe.”
Rata returned home and told his grandmother all that had happened. She said, “That is well, O my grandson! it is well that the gods make your canoe for you, for you will become a famous man and your descendants shall be many, but your first work shall be to seek revenge on the sons of Puna; do not spare them.”
One morning, some little time after, the canoe was brought to the house occupied by Rata and his grandmother, Ine-uru-o-runga, who was also known as Tiau-tara-titi. It was placed on the platform in front of the house. The canoe was a beautiful vessel. Rata at once launched it into the lagoon and named it “Otutai,” and he called the name of the mat-sail, “Māine-i-te-ătă.”- 149
Rata had not as yet obtained men with whom to man his canoe; but he prepared everything for a long voyage, and wishing to test the sailing powers of the canoe, he set the mat-sail and sailed the vessel to and fro in the lagoon. While he was thus engaged, a man came to the beach and called out to him, “O Rata O! where art thou bound to?”
Rata replied, “I am going in search of my parents.”
The man called out, “Let me go with you.”
Rata said, “What is your calling?”
He replied, “I am a canoe baler; let me go and I will bale the water out of your canoe.”
Rata said, “Come on board.”
The man came on board of the canoe; and then another man appeared and called out to Rata, “O Rata O! where art thou bound to?”
Rata replied, “I am going in search of my parents.”
The man called out, “Let me go with you.”
Rata said, “What is your calling?”
The man replied, “I am a sinet worker, let me go and be sinet worker to your canoe.”
Rata said, “Come on board.”
This man came on board; and then another man appeared on the beach, and yet another, and so on, until ten men had presented themselves, and as each man arrived he asked Rata where he was bound, and on being told, asked to be allowed so join the expedition, and on each man declaring what his calling was, if acceptable to Rata, he was allowed to join, and invited to come on board the canoe. They were as follows:—
Ten in all presented themselves to Rata and were accepted, Rata, himself, made the crew up to eleven. It was now that another man presented himself and called out to Rata, “O Rata O! where art thou bound to?”
Rata replied, “I am going in search of my parents.”
This man, whose name was Ngănăōa, said to Rata, “Let me go with you.”
Rata said to him, “What is your calling?”
Ngănăōa said, “I fly kites.”- 150
Rata said, “You fly kites; and what then?”
Ngănăōa said, “I leap up to the heavens and extol my mother with exalting song.”
Rata said, “You extol your mother, and what then?”
Ngănăōa replied, “O, I exalt our mother, and that is all.”
Rata said, “I do not want you, you cannot come.” He forthwith threw Nganaoa overboard and sailed his canoe out to sea.
At the time that the canoe sailed away there were only eleven men on board. The canoe sailed on until the land was out of sight, when the crew descried a large gourd floating on the surface of the sea. They exclaimed, “There is our ue-kura (gourd mascot) 2 floating on the sea.” Rata called out, “Pick it up.” The gourd was picked up, and broken open, and the first object that met their gaze were the glistening eyes of Nganaoa. When Rata saw Nganaoa, he called out to his men, “Cast him into the sea.” The crew threw Nganaoa and his gourd overboard, and left him to his fate (as they thought).
The canoe proceeded on its voyage, and had sailed on for some distance when the crew noticed another gourd floating on the ocean, they at once cried out, “There is our ue-kura floating on the sea.” Rata heard them and called out, “Pick it up.” They did so, and when they opened it they were again confronted by the glistening eyes of Nganaoa. When Rata saw him, he exclaimed, “I am pestered by you.” Then Nganaoa said, “Let me go with you, O Rata.' Rata now consented to allow Nganaoa to remain on board and become one of the crew. His advent made the crew up to twelve.
The canoe sailed onward. After they had been sailing for some time Nganaoa called out, “O Rata! there is death ahead of us. It is the Eke who is stretching out his tantaculæ and is about to seize the canoe of Rata, and destroy him and his crew.”
This monster was one of the sons of Puna; its name was Eke (octopus), its eyes were on a level with the sea surface, and one part of its tantaculæ had gripped the ocean bed and the others were stretched heavenward, and would soon descend and break up the canoe and crush Rata and his men; that is why Nganaoa cried out, “There is death ahead of us.”
Rata became afraid. Nganaoa called out to him, “O Rata! declare who is the priest of your expedition, we will be killed!” Rata said, “There is no priest; but you, my friend, are the priest.” Nganaoa then said, “I thought when you threw me into the sea that your canoe was provided with a priest.” He then took up his gourd and bamboo knife and sprang into the sea, got inside the gourd and - 151 caused it to float to where the octopus was. The monster seized the gourd and wound its tantaculæ around it and drew it to its mouth. Nganaoa at once stabbed it with his bamboo knife, and thus killed the octopus, which released its hold on the gourd and died. Nganaoa caused the gourd to float back to the canoe, got on board the vessel which continued its voyage. 3
They had not, however, sailed far when Nganaoa again called out, “O Rata! there is another death ahead of us, the mouth of this canoe-destroying monster is open ready to swallow us—now declare who is the priest of your canoe.” Rata said, “There is no priest; but you, my friend, are that priest.” Nganaoa said, “Oh! I thought when you threw me into the sea that your canoe was provided with a priest.”
This monster was a great man-eating shark, and from its ferocity was called an arua; it was one of Puna's children, and was bent upon destroying Rata and his crew. Nganaoa again took up his gourd and bamboo knife, and sprang into the sea, got into the gourd, floated on until he came directly in front of the monster, who immediately swallowed him, gourd and all.
Once in the interior of the monster, Nganaoa set to work with his bamboo knife and cut through the monster's intestines, and eventually stabbed it through the heart, and thus killed it. He then cut his way out, and getting into his gourd floated back to the canoe, got on board, and the canoe continued on its voyage. 4
They had not sailed a great distance when Nganaoa called out, “O Rata! there is another death ahead of us, the sea is rushing into its mouth, which is opening to swallow us—now declare who is the priest of your canoe.” Rata said, “There is no priest; but you, my friend, are that priest.”
This monster was also a son of Puna, and was one of those who had devoured Rata's parents, its name was Pāua (Clam). Nganaoa again took up his gourd and bamboo knife, and sprang into the sea, got into the gourd, and floated into the interior of the great clam which immediately closed upon him and his gourd. As soon as the clam closed upon him, Nganaoa cut the bivalve, and then drove his bamboo knife into the monster's heart. The dead clam sank into the depths of the ocean. Nganaoa got safely back in the usual manner, and the canoe proceeded on its voyage.
They had now sailed for some distance when Nganaoa again called out, “O Rata O! there is death ahead of us, it is gamboling about - 152 on the surface of the ocean, this is Tatavĕrĕ—now declare who is the priest of your canoe.” Rata said, “I have no priest; but you, my friend, are that priest.” Nganaoa said, “Oh! I thought when you threw me into the sea that your canoe was provided with a priest.” He then took up his gourd and bamboo knife and sprang into the sea, got into the gourd and floated directly in front of this monster, who at once endeavoured to swallow the gourd, but it could not manage it, for every time it made the attempt the gourd spun round-and-round, and would not enter into the great fish. In the meantime, Nganaoa had leaped out of the gourd into the mouth of the Tatavere and thence into its interior, and, whilst the fish was so intent upon its attack upon the gourd—which, every time the fish tried to bite it, spun around and defied every attempt to swallow it—Nganaoa was at work in its interior, stabbing and cutting until he pierced its heart and killed it. Nganaoa now freed himself, and getting into the gourd floated back to the canoe and got on board. The canoe then proceeded on its voyage.
The vessel had not, however, sailed far when Nganaoa again called out, “O Rata O! there is yet another death ahead of us, now declare who is the priest of your canoe.” Rata said, “There is no priest; but you, my friend, are the priest.” Nganaoa then said, “O Rata, had I not been here with your canoe you would have been destroyed. This is the last monster with which we have to contend; and now it is life or death.”
This monster was one of the sons of Puna and was named aku (Sword fish). Nganaoa took up his gourd and uttered the incantation which he had recited on each occasion, then taking his bamboo knife sprang into the sea, and placed the gourd so that it was directly in front of the fish, which was rushing to attack the canoe; the sword passed through the centre of the gourd, and, owing to the force of the leap made by the fish its sword penetrated to its full length into the gourd, and the lower jaw of the fish was consequently firmly imbedded in the gourd some little distance below the sword—the mouth of the monster being forced wide open. The fish now became almost helpless and shook its sword endeavouring to rid itself of the gourd, but the gourd remained fast. The fish's attention was so concentrated upon freeing itself that it made no further attacks upon the canoe, for the impaled gourd prevented it from effectively using its destructive weapon with effect.
In the meantime, Nganaoa had entered into the fish's interior by way of its open mouth, and there used his bamboo knife with such effect that he shortly killed the aku.
Nganaoa now freed himself and got back to the canoe. All of the children of Puna were now destroyed, and it was Nganaoa the priest who had destroyed them. When he got on board the canoe, Rata said to him, “But for you, O Nganaoa! we would have all been destroyed.”
The canoe and its occupants now continued its voyage without - 153 further interruption and eventually reached Iti-nui. 5 Tukai-ta-manu was the ariki of that land at that period; his wife's name was Ina-ara-maunga, and the name of their son was Kairu-maūanake; this son was, as well as being ariki, also a priest. On the arrival of Rata and his crew at Iti-nui, Rata and his men landed and left Nganaoa to take care of the canoe. It was at this time that Kairu-mauanake submitted several problems for Nganaoa to unravel.
Nganaoa unravelled all the problems that were submitted, and he in turn gave several problems to Kairu-mauanake to unravel, but Kairu-mauanake failed to give answers, hence this saying:—
“I karanga mai o te taunga tamaiti a Kairu-maūanake—
Aua e tinainai ia nga manu.”
“It was said by the young priest Kairu-maūanake—
Do not tempt voyagers lest you be outwitted.”
From Iti-nui Rata voyaged to Motu-taotao, for it was at this last named land that Te-vaine-uarei, the daughter of Puna resided, and who had possession of the eyeballs of Rata's mother. When Rata arrived at Motu-taotao he found the daughter of Puna and killed her, and recovered possession of his mother's eyeballs. Rata had now revenged the death of his father and mother.
He and his party of warriors made many voyages to many lands. He visited the island of Tumu-te-varovaro 6 and resided on this island for some time on the western side in the vicinity of the place now called Vaiakura, 7 and from the fact of his having been in possession of that part of the island the following saying has been handed down from generation to generation:—
“Rata-ariki i Vai-o-kura.”
“Rata-ariki of Vai-o-kura.”
Some of Rata's descendants held possession of this land up to the period when Tangiia-nui arrived here at Rarotonga; they joined Tangiia and his party but were always independent chiefs and people. 8
After residing here for some time, Rata made many voyages and returned to Avaiki (Savaii), where he met his death.- 154
THE DEATH OF RATA.
[In giving this, which is a Rarotongan account of the death of Rata, who according to their tradition was killed at Kuporu (Upolu island of Samoa) when he made an attack upon the people of that Island, I have made an almost literal translation, possibly owing to the number of years since the event occurred part of the account has become lost, and students of Polynesian traditions may take it for what it is worth.—S.S.]
Manuka was the island (land)—most easterly island of the Samoan group. Apakura, who was a woman of high rank, resided with her husband, Vaea-tāranga-nuku. Vaea was a great warrior. One day a message came from Kuporu to Vaea to go to their assistance, for they had received word that Rata and his warriors were going to attack Kuporu; that is why the chief of Kuporu sent for the assistance of Vaea.
This Rata was a voyaging ariki who came from over the sea; he was a son of Vaieroa. When word reached Vaea, he went to Kuporu and awaited the arrival of Rata. Rata eventually arrived. It was night when he entered the harbour at Kuporu, in the harbour at Apia. Watchers saw him arrive, and the canoe came to an anchor. As soon as the canoe was securely anchored, Rata told his men to sleep, for in the morning he would attack the people on shore.
Vaea was informed of the arrival of Rata's expedition. He therefore went down to the seashore and, stretching out his hand (arms) lifted the canoe and its sleeping people up and over the mountain, and then placed the canoe on the tops of the trees.
Rata and his crew were fast asleep when this happened, and did not know of its occurrence. When the man whose duty it was to bale the water out of the canoe awoke, he commenced to bale out the canoe. He dipped his baler into the water at the bottom of the canoe and emptied it over the side. He went on baling for some time, and suddenly it struck him that the sound of falling water was different to that to which he had been accustomed. He took up another balerful of water and poured it over the side and listened carefully; the sound was strange, it was not as usual; the water did not fall with a solid splash as he had been used to hear it fall. It fell with a sound similar to the fall of rain and seemed to fall some distance. He then looked over the side of the canoe and saw that the canoe was on the summit of large trees in a forest. He awoke Rata and the crew, calling out, “Awake, get up, we are undone.”
Rata and his men sprang to their feet and found that indeed the canoe was on the tops of the trees of a forest. They then awoke the priest, but his priest-craft was of no avail. Rata was slain here, and the canoe became turned into stone; and that forest was thereafter called “Te-vao-rakau-o-Rata”—The-forest-o-Rata. The reason why it received this name was because Rata was slain there.- 155
After the death of Rata, Apakura, the wife of Vaea, waited for some time for the return of her husband, but he did not come. She then went to Kuporu in search of him. She eventually found him, but he was dying; he was turning into stone; his body was already stone; and only his head remained. When she came to him, Vaea said, “Come, my companion, I go to the shades, you come too late.” Vaea then turned his face to the darkness (shades, or died) for life had almost gone.
This is the story of the death of Rata as known to us. Some traditions say that Rata escaped with part of his crew, and that he secured another canoe and sailed away to Avaiki, and was never heard of again.
There is little more to be told. Rata had other canoes; it was not that he had only the one canoe; he had many, and each canoe bore a different name; one was named “Tu-i-te-rangi-tua-tini,” and another “Te-rangi-mārangaranga.” The name “Tarai-po” was not the name of any of Rata's canoes. That name was given by Atonga to the canoe that his brothers built. 9
Kua oti.- 156
A genealogy from Rata by his wife, Te-kura-moe-ariki, showing descent to Tararo Ariki of Mauke Island, Cook Group:—
Family Tree. 28 Rata-Ariki=Te-kura-moe-ariki, Rata-tipi-rangi, Rata-Maoaiake, 25 Rata-Tokerau, Rata-vare, Rata-iriiri-kaa, Rata-piki, Rata-aro, 20 Rata-tua, Rata-kura, Rata-ongo, Taunga, Rata-meitaki, Rata-Taivaiva, 15 Kavitoa, Kirikura, Nga-poake, Te-atu-enua, Aura-nui, 10 Aura-iti, Umu-poro, Ngatao, (f) Akaroto=Takere-marama, Tararo-mua, 5 Tararo-rua, Tararo-evangaria, Tararo-ariki (died 1909, aged about 65), Tarao-Nooau
To show the connection from Rata to Ruatapu according to Raro-tonga genealogy:—
Family Tree. 29 Rata=Anini-te-rangi, Rata-toa=Te-oe-painga, Patua-anga-nga-rau=Matarau, Ena-te-vai-o-ngarangara=Pae-rangi, Tere-pae-rangi=Manu-iti, Ena-ki-Vai-o-kura=Vaioma, Te-mata-o-Ena-i-Vai-o-kura=Uenuku-Tinomana, 22 Ruatapu 10=Ina-vai-aitu, Te-kura-o-Ena (f), Tamaiva=Te-uira-kamo-ariki (daughter of Uenga-atua-Tinomana), Tapitukura=Ruki
From Tapitu-kura descends the Rarotonga branch of the Tinomana family.
1 According to the Maori story, Kai-tangata married Whaitiri (which means thunder, the same—we think—as Ngurunguru in Rarotongan). Their son was Hema, whose sons were Tawhaki and Karihi, and the son of the former was Wahieroa, whose son was Rata. Wahieroa's wife was Tawhiri-tokerau. Rata flourished in the eighth century, according to the most reliable genealogies—a point we shall comment on after the Paumotu account of Rata has been printed; probably in the “Journal” for December.—Editor.
2 Ue-kura.—Kura, a sacred object containing the virtue and power of some hidden diety by which a man is enabled to attain to some difficult end—a talisman. In this instance I have used the word “Gourd-mascot,” which I think meets the case.
3 In this incident we see a reflection of the story of Kupe's adventure with the octopus in Tory Channel, New Zealand. The incident is almost exactly identical.—Editor.
4 This reminds us of the adventures of Ao-kehu, when he killed the Whanga-nui Taniwha, Tutae-poroporo.—Editor.
5 Iti-nui, is Viti-nui, or Whiti-nui, Great Fiji.—Editor.
6 Usually said to be an old name for Rarotonga.—Editor.
7 Originally pronounced “Vai-o-kura,” but at present the letter “a” has taken the place of “o.”—S.S.
8 The period of Tangiia-nui is the thirteenth century.—Editor.
9 It will be noticed in this story of the Canoe being lifted up on to the trees, and the death of the crew, that it is almost an exact repetition of that given in this “Journal,” Vol. XVIII, p. 139, in Dr. Schultz's story, “The Samoan Version of the Story of Apakura.”—Editor.
10 If, as seems likely, this is the Ruatapu referred to in last number of Journal, it will be seen that the genealogies agree with one another. But on this subject there will be something to say later.—Editor.