Volume 24 1915 > Volume 24, No. 96 > Extracts from Dr. Wyatt Gill's papers, p 140-151
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- 140
EXTRACTS FROM DR. WYATT GILL'S PAPERS. (CONTINUED.)
No. 29. NO TE KAPUAANGA O TE ENUA NEI KO MANIHIKI. 1

TERA te tangata i kite mua i a Rakahanga ko Huku (Hiku, Iku 2) tera tona aerenga e hi ātu. Kua kite taua tangata ra i te tapūa i te toka, Tera tona amu:—

Titiro io Huku tapūa e,

Kua oki a Huku ki Rarotonga, no te mea e tangata Rarotonga a ia.

E kua oki akaou mai a Huku; ko te rua ia o tona aereanga, Kua akara a Huku, kua neneke ake. Kua oki a ia ki Rarotonga, kua tapā i te ingoa o tona vaka i a ‘Tapūaua.’

Kua aere mai a Maui-mua, ko Maui-roto, ko Maui-potiki, kua karangaia kua aere a Maui-potiki ki a Hina-i-te-papa. Tera taua vaine ra tei raro. Kua aere a Maui-potiki, kua karanga atu kia tuku io e maunu Maroro. Tena na Maui-mua, tukua ake tetai mango; kia tuku io e maunu Maroro rai, Tena na Maui-roto, ‘Tukua ake tetai Urua, kia tuku io e puroro e aōa e tauru raupuka naku ia’; akamouia atu ki te toka nei.

I reira kua tuku a Maui-mua i tana matau, kua kai te ika i reira, kua tautopa a Maui-mua.

Maui-roto, Maui-muri, e uia mai te ingoa
I taku ika hiaha?

Kua ekoko a Maui-roto, kareka a Maui-muri kua kite a ia, no reira kua akakite a ia.

E Haha mango tau ika tutae hutia!

Kia tae ra ki runga, e mango rai.

- 141

Kua tuku a Maui-roto i tana matau, kua kai rai tana, kua tautopa a Maui-roto.

Maui-mua, Maui-muri. e uia mai te ingoa
I taku ika hiaha.

Kua ekoko a Maui-mua, kareka a Maui-muri, kua kite a ia, no reira kua karanga a ia.

E Haha Urua tau ika tutae, hutia!

Kia tae ra ki runga kua tika, e Urua rai.

I reira kua karanga a Maui-potiki, ‘Kua oti korua tukua ki aku.’ Kua tuku a ia i tana matau; tera tana maunu, e puroro, e īō (?aōa), e tauru raupuka, kua tuku a ia kia kite ra taua vaine ra, kua akamou a ia ki te punga. Kua huti a Maui-potiki, kua kapiki a ia,

Maui-mua, Maui-roto, e uia mai te ingoa
I takn ika, hiaha?

Kua karanga atu a Maui-mua,

E Haha kakahi tau ika tutae, hutia!

Kua karanga atu a Maui-muri, a, kua kapiki akaou.

Maui-mua, Maui-roto, e uia mai te ingoa
I taku ika, hiaha?

Kua karanga atu rai a Maui-mua,

E Haha-kakahi tau ika tutae, hutia!

Kia vaitata ra ki runga, kua feta te moana; kia tae ra ki runga roa, kua kitea e enua, kua rere a Maui-muri ki runga i te toka. Ko Maui-mua ko Maui-roto ma to raua vaka kua pae kua ripitia, kua ngaro. Tera te ingoa i to ratou vaka ko ‘Pipi-ma-hakohako.’ Tera tona amu:—

Tokomiti, tokomiti,
Tokoheta, tokoheta,
Haha tc enua tūtū
Maui motu Manihiki
Motu Rakahanga
Tokomiti, tokomiti
Tokoheta, tokoheta.

Kua aere a Maui kua akara i te enua, e tu ana te are one. Kua ui a Maui, “Koai kotou?” “E are tupua.” E varu ngauru tei kitea e Maui i roto i taua are one ra. Kia akarongo a Maui i te reo tangata i roto, e 200 te tangata i roto i taua are ra, Tera tana amu:—

Tukunga i Hakahotu
E kupekupe tika, kupekupe ara
E Haai Rakahanga
Kupekupe tika, kupekupe ara.
E, ka kitea i reira,
Kupekupe tika, kupekupe ara
E koia e are one,
Kupekupe tika, kupekupe ara
- 142
E koia e pokea
E akaraua io
E rau te tangata
E aia ei Maui
E ka rere Maui
E takahi kaheru
E ka rere Maui
E takahi Tumu-kahu
E ka rere Maui
E takahi i Paaki
E ka rere Maui
E ka rere ki te rangi
E ka kuru ko te ua,
E ka hau te matangi
E ka rapa te uira
E ka tuki te vatitiri
E te matangi
Te rangi tiria.

Ko te toru ia o to Huku aerenga mai, kua āā i a Maui e Huku; kia oti kua oki a Huku ki Rarotonga, no te mea hua ha 3 te enua, kare e akari kia tanu ei.

Kua oki akaou mai a Huku; tera te ingoa i tona vaka i taua aerenga ra ko, ‘Hotu-rangaranga’; kua uta mai i te akari, kua tanu i tana akato; tera tei mua ko te Huru-avatea, ko Tuki-vai-raro ko Mata-haere-tai, ko Tapuaua, ko Tohua-o-te-kai, ko Nitau-ki-raro, ko Tiro-vahanga, ko Kai-akuaku, ko te kitea kua matu te enua.

Kua oki a Huku ki Rarotonga, kia ano te matangi ki te akarua kua akara a Huku, ‘tera pa (? paa) te ni ko te Huru-avatea e tahirihiri ana pa (? paa) i te maru o Araiava.’

Kua akarongo a Featu tei ea ra te enua e akara'i te taiti nei. Kua to a ia i tona vaka, kua aere a ia kua karanga tei ea ra taua enua e akara'i ra; kia kite a ia ko Manihiki kare e ni e tahora ua. Ko Tarakite te ngai i tu ei a Featu, kua akara aia e enua ke. Kua aere a ia kua ranga, kua kite a ia i Rakahauga, Akara atura a ia e tairiiri ana na nikau. Kua karanga a ia ‘Ko te enua teia e akara'i te taiti ra’. Kua aere aia ki tua i Omoka, kua ohi (oki) ki runga i te enua, kua aere aia ki runga i te matapapa. Tera tana kai ko te ika, ma te tuki a ia i te ara-vaka. Tera tona amu:

Ana mai, ana mai, kurua,
Ana mai ko Featu,
Kurua, e ano ki Rakahanga,
Kurua io kurua e koe,
Kurua ta papa i Ava-nui,
Kurua, kurua, kurukurua,
Noo ana ko Featu, kurua,
- 143
E noo i Tarakite, kurua
Takahia e koe kurua
Ta matangi ko te tonga
Kurua, kurua, kurukurua
Ki vaenga moana
Kurua ko te mata o Featu
Kurua te uru o Rakahanga
Kurua te ava i Omoka
Kurua, kurua, kurukurua

Tera te ingoa o te vaka o Featu, ko ‘Paparinga-tai.’

Kua tae te rikamoe ki a Huku i Rarotonga, kua oki mai a ia ki Manihiki nei, kua tau raua tokorua ko Featu. Kua karanga atu a Huku, “Naai koe i kave mai ki toku enua? Tau tokorua taua i toku enua?” Kua karanga atu a Featu, “Kare au i tomo ki roto i to enua, te noo ua nei au i runga i te papa nei, e tuki ua ana au i te mea nei ei ara-vaka noou.”

Kua oki a Huku ki Rarotonga, kua maara i roto i a ia ka tau tokorua ia toku enua. Ireira kua tuku mai i a Toa raua ko Tapaeru kia tiaki i te enua; tera to raua vaka ko ‘Reiapata.’ Kua karangaia e tuaine no Huku, a Tapaeru, e taokete no Huku a Toa. I karangaia ko Tapaeru-taki-etu na (te) tama a Hiro no Havaiki mai, Kua akato (a Toa) i te tamariki, ko Kae to mua, e vaine; pau mai ko Poe, e vaine; pau mai ko Naunau; pau mai ko Nanamu, te openga; e vaine ua ratou.

Kua moe a Toa ki te tamaine mua ki a Kae, kua puta mai e vaine ko Tupunoa. Kua moe katoa a Toa ki a Poe, kua puta mai e tamaine; kua moe oki ki a Naunau, kua puta mai e tamaine; moe oki ki a Nanamu, kua puta mai e tamaroa ko Topori-o-kaivai, ko Mata-ngaro, ko Hukutahu, ko Huku-unga-ariki, ko Vai, ko Here, e tamaroa ua ratou.

Turia Topori-o-kaivai Mata-ngaro i mua Hukutahu, Huku-unga e Vai e Here.

Kua oki a Toa kua moe ki a Tupunoa, ki te tamaine mua a Kae, kua puta mai ko Pahirua, e tamaroa.

Kua moe a Mata-ngaro ki te tamaine a Poe kua puta mai ko Paevaka, ko Hororeka, ko Toro-topu, ko Tangaroa-i-vaine, e vaine ua ratou.

Kua noo a Pakirua ki a Pae-vaka, i te tamaine a Mata-ngaro raua ko te tamaine a Poe; kua puta mai ta Pahirua, ko Ngarotonga e tamaroa, puta mai i muri ko Tavae, e tamaine.

Ko Hotu-rangaranga kua noo i te tamaine a Here raua ko Tutonga ki a Ravarava-motire, kua puta mai ko Tihau-rarango; kua puta akaou mai ko Rua, e tamaroa, kua puta mai oki ko Kahai, e tamaroa. Te aere ra te uanga o Ngaro-tonga; te aere ra te uanga o Huku-tahu.

- 144

Kua noo a Rua ki te tamaine a Ngaro-tonga—ki a Tangi; kua puta mai e tokorua mahanga, ko Huku raua ko Ngaro. Kua homo a Rua, kare ona uanga. Tena tona amu:—

E tangata na ko Rua, e huata e,
E homo i Vai-raro huata e,
Kua peperu te mata tapakau huata e,
Ka tauturu e, ka tauturu
Ngaro ki Vai-raro huata e,
Ko te mokopu o Ngaro-tonga
Teia e tauturu nei,
E tangata na ko Kahai e huata e,
E noo i Rakahanga huata e,
Akatupu ta mauki huata e,
Ko e mauki tangata huata e,
E roharoha Manihiki huata e,
E roharoha Rakahanga huata e,
E mau i Vai-raro huata e
Ka tauturu Ngaro ki Vai-raro huata.

Tera te tama mua a Kahai ko Hukutahu-rourou-a-hara koia Tapu-maanga.

Tera te ariki mua ko Huku-tahu, pau mai ko Rua-mokoha, pau mai ko Tapu-maanga, koia Huku-tahu-rourou-a-hara, pau mai ko Ariki-kai-paatu, koia Huku-tahu-kai-tapu, pau mai ko Touho, pau mai ko Terenga, pau mai ko Ruare-tapu, pau mai ko Tautape, kua marere te ara akaue i teia ariki.

Pau mai to Tianeva matua, kua marere te poatu ki runga i teia ariki nei, kua rua ariki, kua ariki a Muno-koa, te tama a Te Mumatua, kua taumaro i o ratou korereka, ko Tianeva, ko Muno-koa, kua pahikohiko ia e Te Paa-matua, kua ngangaro tai ki te moana.

I muri mai kua rangarangaia mai Tianeva e ta Kakahi, kua kapiki mai te tangata, “Tera a Tianeva kua iri mai, e ora ana.” Kua karanga atu a Tapaa-matua, “E kaiko kia noo pena, kia oki atu au kia haiti ia na me iti.”

[TRANSLATION OF NO 29. 4]
THE ORIGIN OF THE ISLAND MANIHIKI.

[Aporo and Tairi were the first Rarotongan missionaries to Manihiki and Rakahanga, two islands otherwise called Humphry and Reirson, situated about 600 miles N. by W. from Rarotonga, and in - 145 about latitude 10° S. In another document Aporo describes their landing at Manihiki on the 6th August, 1849, when Christianity was first introduced. He says that the islands had often been searched for, but not until then found, i.e., by the Mission Ship. They took with them back to their homes in Manihiki a canoe and nine people who had been blown away from Rakahanga to Manuae island, of the Cook Group, about 40 miles E.S.E. from Aitutaki island; that is they had been carried nearly 600 miles in a S. by E. direction from Rakahanga. Aporo describing their arrival at the island says: “As soon as our ship approached the shore in the morning a great many canoes came off, and some of the people came on board; they were a very wild looking people, with their bodies covered with blood flowing from numerous cuts, which they had inflicted on themselves on account of a death (the usual Polynesian custom). On the arrival of the arikis, named Toeao and Te Vaingaitu, our object was explained to them by aid of two Rurutu men, and the arikis then consented to receive us. When we got ashore, however, the people stole most of our things, though the captain had already given them many presents of clothing, axes, fish-hooks, etc.” Aporo then describes their difficulties with the people, and the burning of the idols, which caused much dismay: “The men and women were loudly lamenting this action, cutting their bodies and striking their heads on the rocks, the blood spurting forth, making them look as if they had on red garments.” After some time they commenced teaching the children, and then there supervened one of those serious maladies that always seem to accompany the first contact of Polynesians with European ships, of which there are so many instances on record. This caused for a time a set back to the work of the missionaries, the people believing that their affliction was due to the anger of their gods, and they told the missionaries that their God, Jehovah, was ‘e atua kai-tangata,’ a man-eating god. Many of the people returned to their ancient worship in consequence.

After seven months spent in Manihiki, they crossed over to Rakahanga island, 25 miles north of the former, and in the passage across some of the party were drowned. But the missionaries succeeded after a time in burning the idols, and securing the adhesion of the people to Christianity.

It will be seen from the translation which follows, that the people came originally from Rarotonga, though it is not explained in the principal MS where one of the migrations under Featu originated, but another says that on Huku's return to Rarotonga, Featu stole away secretly to the island. Perhaps this is the element in the population that claims, according to Colonel Gudgeon, to have come originally from New Zealand. The name is spelt in the three different accounts in Dr. Wyatt Gill's MSS as Featu, Veatu and Eatu, and from the known dialectical letter changes between Rarotongan and Maori, this - 146 would be in the latter dialect Wheatu, which is, in other dialects, Featu. One of these accounts names the original discoverer of the island as Iku, the other Huku, and the first would be in the Manihiki dialect, Hiku—a ligitimate change of ‘i’ to ‘u’ common all over Polynesia. The Manihiki people have retained the ‘h,’ whilst the Rarotongans have lost it.

The probability is that Huku was really the first discoverer of the island, and the adventures of the Māui family are merely localized traditions of events which occurred in Indonesia, for by the best genealogies the Maui family flourished when the Polynesians were still living in Indonesia.

The account given in the translation below as to the migration of Toa and Tapaeru, from whom the present people claim descent, is very peculiar in the connection between Toa and his daughters, which is very unlike a Polynesian tradition, for they were very particular as to incest, and it would seem to imply that no women except Tapaeru formed part of the migration—an unlikely story we think. The parts shown in square brackets [] below, are added from Aporo's and another narrative.]

The translation follows:—

THE first man to discover Rakahanga was Huku; the reason of his voyage was to fish ātu (bonito fish). He discovered a large formation of rock growing up in the sea. This was his saying thereat:— “Huku looks down and saw 'twas the first formation of rock.”

After this Huku returned to Rarotonga, because he was a Rarotongan man.

Huku returned hither (to Rakahanga) a second time; he looked down at the rock and it had moved upwards. He then returned to Rarotonga, naming his canoe ‘Tapūaua.’

Then came (whilst Huku was away) Māui-mua (the elder), Māui-roto (the middle one), and Māui-potiki (the youngest). [They had only one canoe between them; they found that rock; they found only a reef, no dry land.] It is said that Māui-potiki went to visit the woman Hina-i-te-papa (Hina-of-the-foundation, or rock), who dwelt down below. So Māui went there; then called out to have some maroro (flying-fish) bait sent down; Māui-mua wished for a shark (for bait), but the maroro was sent down, whilst Māui-roto said: “Send down a urua (a fish) and a puroro (coconut spathe); a āoā (coconut embryo), and a bundle of raupuka (puka leaf) to fasten to this rock.”

Then Māui-mua let down his fish-hook; and the fish took the bait, and he recited as follows:—

Māui-roto, Māui-muri, 5 guess then the name
Of my fish. What is it?

- 147

Māui-roto was in doubt as to the answer, but Māui-muri understood and therefore said:—

Thy filthy fish is a Haha-shark. Haul it up!

When it came to the surface it was truly seen to be a shark.

Then Māui-roto let down his hook, which was taken by a fish, and then he recited this, saying:—

Māui-mua, Māui-muri, guess the name
Of my fish. What is it?

Māui-mua could not guess, but Maui-muri knew at once, so he said:—

Thy filthy fish is a Haka-urua. Haul it up!

On reaching the surface it turned out to be an Urua.

Now Māui-potiki said, “You two have had your chance, let me try!” He then let down his hook; his bait was puroro (coconut spathe) and īō (? aōa) (coconut embryo) wrapped up in a puka leaf bundle. He so let his line down that the said woman should see it, and she fastened it on to the coral; Māui-potiki began to haul up, saying:—

Māui-mua, Māui-roto, guess the name
Of my fish. What is it?

Māui-mua said:—

Your filthy fish is a Haka-kakahi. Haul it up!

Māui-muri again asked:—

Māui-mua, Māui-roto, guess the name
Of my fish. What is it?

Māui-mua again replied:—

Your filthy fish is a Haka-kakahi. Haul it up!

When it drew near the surface, the sea was agitated, and on appearing above the surface, it was seen to be the land, and Māui-muri sprung on to the rocks. Māui-mua and Māui-roto in their canoe were drifted ashore, the canoe split up [in the breaking waves on the land] and all was lost [they were both drowned]. Their canoe was named ‘Pipi-ma-hakohako.’ [After naming the island Manahiki, Māui went to look over the land; his only food was fish; the rain from the skies was his drink.] Then Māui sung his song:—

The sea was churned
To an angry seething mass,
Then up—up came the land—
I, Māui, severed Manihiki—
Severed it from Rakahanga,
And the sea was churned
To an angry seething mass.

Māui now went to have a look at the land; there stood an earthen house; Māui asked, “Who are you?” “We are a house of tupuas!” - 148 (demons, spirits.) There were eighty of them that Māui saw in the house of earth. He heard (also) the voices of men within, for there were 200 people in that said earthen house. Then he sang:—

Then was it uplifted,
(Refrain)—E Kupekupe tika, kupekupe ara. 6
Rakahanga was cut up,
And then was seen,
A! an earthen house,
A! indeed was it full,
They were subdued.
Two hundred in number,
Were driven off by Māui.
And then Māui moved on,
And like a spade he trod
So Māui flew
To tread the ground at Paahi.
Then Māui flew,
A! he flew to the heavens.
Floods of rain beat down,
And the winds they blew,
The lightning flashed,
The thunder rumbled
With the winds
The heavens overcame it.

After this was the third of Huku's visits: he chased Māui [with anger, who fled to the other side of the island, and when Huku followed him he fled to Tumukau. Again Māui fled on Huku's arrival to Paki, where the former found the latter had trodden on (and spoilt) all the land. From there Māui ascended into heaven, and was never seen there again; at which time Manihiki island was separated off from Rakahanga, and then Huku dwelt on his land]. After this Huku again returned to Rarotonga, because the land was (desert), no coconuts had yet been planted. [At this time came Featu to the island.]

Then Huku made another voyage to the island, in his canoe named ‘Hotu-rangaranga’; he brought with him some coconuts, which he planted, the first of which was Huru-avatea, (then) Tuki-vai-raro, Mata-hare-tai, Tapuaua, Tohua-o-te-kai, Nitau-ki-raro, Tiro-vahanga and Kai-akuaku 7—then was it seen the land was fat (or rich in soil).

Huku again returned to Rarotonga, and when the wind turned to the north-west, he thought: “May be the coconut at Arai-ava is shaking in the wind.”

Now Featu had heard, and wondered where the fellow had seen (discovered) the land. So he launched his canoe saying, “Where is - 149 that land that was discovered,” and he eventually arrived at Manihiki: there were no coconuts, nothing but a (bare) plain. He was standing there at Tarakite, and from there saw another island. He went off to examine it and found Rakahanga. He looked and saw the coconuts waving, so he said, “This is the land that the fellow discovered.” He then went over to the other side, to Omoka, and returned on to the land (? Manihiki) and on to the bare, flat rock [where he commenced to break out a canoe passage]. He lived on fish whilst he was engaged in breaking out a canoe passage through the reef. Here is his song:—

Come along, come along, batter away,
Come along Featu,
Batter it out, and go to Rakahanga
Hammer out Tokurua, O thou!
Beat down the rock at Ava-nui,
Batter it, break it, smash it up small,
Featu is here, batter it,
Stay at Tarakite, batter it,
Tread upon it, batter it.
The wind is in the south,
Beat it down, smash it up small,
In the midst of the ocean,
Batter the face of Featu,
Hammer the head of Rakahanga,
Smash out the passage at Omoka,
Batter and hammer away without ceasing.

Featu's canoe was named 'Paparinga-tai!

Now Huku at Rarotonga had a dream (a premonition of something happening at his island) so he returned to Manihiki, where he met Featu. Said Huku: “Who brought you to my island? We shall quarrel over my island.” Featu replied: “I have not been inside the island, I am merely living on the reef, and am engaged in making a canoe-passage for you [into the lagoon]. Huku replied to him: “Do not do so, lest the sharks should find their way into the lagoon.” Featu then said: “Well, I will remain on the shore.” The reason Huku did not want him to go inland was lest he should pull up the coconuts he had planted. So Fetu remained by the sea side. Another account says Huku drove him away.

Huku returned to Rarotonga, thinking to himself, “There are two to quarrel on my island.” [When Toa heard Huku's description of the island he wished to go there.] Then Huku sent Toa and his wife Tapaeru to take care of the land. Their canoe was named ‘Reiapata.’ It is said that she (was called) Tapaeru-taki-etu, a daughter of one of Hiro's sons from Havaiki, and that she was a sister of Hukus, Toa being his brother-in-law. (After Toa had arrived at the island) he had children; Kae, a girl, was the first, then Poe, then Naunau, then Nanamu the last, all girls.

- 150

(Then follows the history of Toa's connections with his various daughters, not of much interest, nor can a genealogical table be made from the information given to aid us in determining how long these people have been living in Manihiki. But if the Hiro mentioned above is the well-known voyager of that name, then we can get an approximation to the period, for Hiro was a contemporary of Tangiia of Rarotonga, and he lived 26 generations back from the year 1900, or about A.D. 1250. It is quite probable this Hiro is the voyager, for it was just at this period that many Polynesian families were migrating from Havaiki (Savai'i and Fiji) to Eastern Polynesia. Another account says that one of Toa's sons, Ngaro-taramaunga, built a canoe and migrated to the Tokerau group.)

Aporo, in his account of the same incidents mentioned above (though not nearly so fully), goes on to describe the local gods thus:—

There are no gods of their own in these two islands; their gods were stolen from Utuone by Ngaro-purui and Ngaru-vaaroto; Patukare was the guardian of the gods, whose names were Te Puarenga and Te Uru-renga, whilst another god named Ikaera drifted ashore on to the island. Te Puarenga is at Tau-unu at the marae named Te Pouhiteru; Ikaara (sic) is at Tukao at the marae named Marae-okoroa; Te Uru-renga is at Rakahanga, and Variu is the name of his marae. These were the places where the idols were worshipped—in this way: Food and fish were made tapu, and taken to the marae, and there they performed their devotions, and when finished the food was distributed to the people.

They had many minor gods, such as fish; for a certain class of people would not eat shark, turtle, te-umu-tangaroa, marauoa, ueue, totara, puī (sea-snake) or koura (cray fish). Some would not eat birds such as the kotoa or the kaveu. Another species of gods were stones; they would place them in their girdles when going out to sea or to war, or when they slept. Another custom they had of making a god of a dead man. They used to take the head, teeth, nails, bones, and hair, after death. The bones of the arikis were given to the warriors, and his family.

After any man had died, from the second until the fifth night they took food for the deceased and hoped then to upraise him to life. This is one of the ‘upraisings’:—

E ara! e tu ki runga Arise! stand upright!
Tera mai to mango Here is thy shark
E te ika, kia kai koe. And fish, that thou mayest eat.
- 151

They all cried and cut themselves, and knocked their heads, when they found the deceased did not arise; and this they did for many days.

Another god they had was Matariki (the Pleiades) which they worshipped, and another was the pukatea leaf, the paiku and the nikau (palm), and the oil of the coconut.

Lieut-Col. Gudgeon, C.M.G., late Govt. Resident at Rarotonga, writing to us in 1899, says: “I was recently talking to a chief of Manihiki island, and he told me a peculiar story. He said that in the early days of their history the ‘Ara-a-toka’ canoe under the chiefs Tuao, Toka, Toko, and Tikitiki-a-rangi, went away on a voyage of discovery, and among other places visited was an island called Nuku-mautere, where they found only women living. One of the crew named Waikohu went among the women, and in the struggle as to who should keep the man, he was killed. On the return of the canoe, the crew reported that it would take a thousand nights to reach the nearest land. For this reason the Manihiki people stayed at their island home for many generations, until at last a young ariki led the way and discovered Samoa, Pukapuka, and other islands.”

“The Manihiki people, like the Cook Islanders, declare that New Zealand was called Hawaiki, and that some of their ancestors came from there.”

Now this story of the island inhabited by women only, is the same island known to Maori tradition as that inhabited by the Nuku-mai-tore people (the same name as Nuku-mau-tere above—the change is merely dialectical) who were visited by Whiro and Tura, who flourished in the thirteenth century. It is a world-wide story, embodied in the folk-lore of many nations. Pigafetta, the historian of Magellan's voyage (the first circumnavigation of the globe) in 1519-23, mentions the story as being current in the Moluccas at the time of their visit. He says, p. 218, 8 “They told us also that in an island called Ocoloro, below Java, there are no one but women, who are impregnated by the wind. If a boy is born he is killed immediately; but if a girl she is spared; if a man visits their isle, he is at once killed.”

1   Expressed in the Rarotonga dialect, but with many words peculiar to Mana-hiki Island introduced—especially the ‘h,’ which is not used in Rarotonga.—EDITOR.
2   The name should be Hiku.
3   Hā: means to be barren or desolate, no vegetation.
4   Translation revised by S. Savage, of Rarotonga.
5   Māui-muri (Māui-the-last) is the same as Māui-potiki.
6   The refrain follows each line.
7   These are the names of the coconut trees.
8   “Primier Voyage autour du monde,” L' An IX. (of the Republic of France).