Volume 28 1919 > Volume 28, No. 111 > Traditions and legends. Collected from the natives of Murihiku. (Southland, New Zealand) Part X, by H. Beattie, p 152-159
                                                                                             Previous | Next   

- 152
PART X. Continued from Volume XXVIII., page 51.

WHEN the collector of these traditions had gained the confidence of the aged southern Maoris, information gathered in surprising volume, so there is a good deal of additional matter on hand relative to items already published, and as it is mostly from hitherto untapped southern sources no apology is required for its appearance, although it is somewhat belated no doubt.

In regard to Te Rakitauneke 1 (who flourished about 1650) he was caught by a Kai-Tahu waka-ariki (my informant said this was a battalion, while a taua was an army) and supposedly killed, and they left him on the ground and went on to his pa, where they found him standing in the gateway and they were beaten. That was the work of his atua or god named Matamata. When Rakitauneke died (continued my informant, who had received his information from Tare Wetere te Kahu, a descendant of Rakitauneke) his body was buried, in accordance with his dying instructions, in a cleft in the rock on the summit of the Bluff Hill, with his face to the rising sun, so that he could overlook Murihiku. Hence the name of that hill is Motu-poua (motu = island, poua = an old man). When the narrator was a boy there were bones in a crack in the rocks, but he did not think they were Rakitauneke's; but it was a tapu spot until the Pakehas levelled the top of the hill to build the pilot observatory. The famous Tu-te-makohu was a descendant of Te Rakitauneke.

In the account of Te Rakitauneke, as published (Vol. XXIV., p. 138), the collector would add that the then narrator used no fewer than six terms in describing Matamata, or the god, four being Maori and two being English. The text does not make this quite clear.

- 153

When the Kai-Tahu chief Waitai, who settled at Mokamoka, near the Bluff, in the seventeenth century, was killed by his Kati-Mamoe foes, all his men except four shared his fate. Kaiapu and Tamakino escaped and eventually reached Kaikoura, and the other two, Rere-whakaupoko and Potoma were not actually in the fight. They were coming from the Mata-au (Molyneux river) and saw the defeat of their companions and bolted into the seaward bush. They crossed to Ruapuke with their wives, and were the first inhabitants of that island. Subsequently, two Kai-Tahu men visited them, but insulted their wives so the two visitors were slain, cooked, and potted with titi (mutton-birds). A layer of titi was placed in a rimu (kelp bag) and then a layer of human flesh and so on alternately. Some of the rest of the tribe came to reside on the island, and were regaled with the “potted meat.” They praised it, asking was it pakake (seal), but when they found what it was they threw it away. Although some were relatives of the slain men nothing was said, and my informant never heard of any warfare over the affair.


In regard to the killing of Tu-takahi-kura by Tu-te-makohu, an old Maori tells me it did not happen at Taukohu (Nuggets Point), but at Paekohu, which is a hill between the Taieri Plain and Blueskin Bay. The hill is noted as a weather-glass; fog on it being a sign of rain. Another old man said:—“There were two chiefs called Tu-te-makohu, so one is known as Tu-te-makohu-a-Karapohatu, and the other as Tu-te-makohu-a-Korekore. It was the former who pursued Tu-takahi-kura when this chief ran off with his two wives and his children. He overtook them at Waitete (now called Waitati), where they were encamped, and he camped near them. He did not sleep at nights, but sat brooding over his troubles. Then he challenged Tu-takahi-kura to a combat, arranging that the latter's men should let him go with his wives and children if he killed their chief. The latter was a big powerful man, while the challenger was low in stature. They fought with the taiaha (also called maipi), and Tu-te-makohu killed his tall opponent and took his own wives and children back to O-taupiri (Hokanui Hills), while the people of the slain chief went on to their home at Kaiapohia.” My informant added, “When the Kati-Mamoe were plentiful they were a quiet and peaceful people, and the Kai-Tahu did as they liked with them; but once they were reduced in numbers and in land they roused themselves and fought like tigers.”

- 154

In the narrative the relationship of Te Wera and Taoka is given as undecided, but one of my informants quickly dispelled the mist of doubt.

Family Tree. Te Kaue = Haki-te-ao, Tauira-ki-waho (m) =, Te Wera, Te Kaue = Haki-te-ao, Te Ao-taurewa (f) = Ruahikihiki, Taoka

Listen to my informant:—“Te Kaue was a famous Kai-Tahu chief up Kaikoura way. [See Stack's “South Island Maoris,” pages 45, 56 and 66.] He married Haki-te-ao and had three children, the first a girl Te Ao-taurewa, the next a girl Te Hikaiti, and the last a boy Tauira-ki-waho, who married a woman whose name escapes me, and whose son was Te Wera. Te Hikaiti married Ruahikihiki (a son of Manawa's) and begat Te Matauira, Moki and Ritoka. Her elder sister Te Ao-taurewa married a man called Te Ao-taumarewa and begot Manaia. Then her husband died and she married Ruahikihiki and begat Taoka, and her sister became jealous and with her own newly-born babe jumped over the cliff at Hakaroa and was killed. Therefore Te Wera and Taoka are first cousins because they were the children of a brother and sister.”


In regard to the warfare between these two famous cousins one of my informants made a correction regarding the killing of Taoka's son, Roko-marae-roa, by Te Wera. He said:—“It was not Te Wera himself who killed the eldest son of Taoka, but his people, and he got back in time to assist in eating the body. The place was not at Timaru, but near the mouth of the Waitaki river. You can see the spot from the railway line, and it is still called Ka-umu-o-Roko-marae-roa.” One of my informants considered that Te Wera's friend who was killed at Mapou-tahi was named Puke-hau-kea.

Two old men at Stewart Island said, “When Te Wera came to Rakiura (Stewart Island) he found the Kaiarohaki pa on the Moutere (island) of Turi-o-Whako (near The Old Neck) deserted, as there was no water on the island. A pa on the mainland near there was Taunoa, but there was no one in it. Then Te Wera went round to Pu-tatara pa at Raggedy, but there was no one there to fight. [The inhabitants of this pa under Tukete were killed by Tu-wiri-roa two generations before this, as narrated earlier in these articles.] Te Wera died there— - 155 not at Kawhakaputaputa, near Colac Bay, as is sometimes said—and was buried at Putatara, a valuable piece of greenstone being buried with him. Except Putatara pa being captured by Tuwiriroa, there was no fighting on Rakiura, nor was there ever any on Ruapuke as far as we know.”


One of Tu-te-makohu's wives had two relatives named Te Papatu and Korapa, and these men were in a party which attacked Tu-te-makohu on the Waimea Plains. The fight stopped when Tu-te-Makohu got a spear thrust (by a man named Tawhana) through his arm, and Te Papatu and Korapa tended to his wound. Tu-te-makohu told them there had been enough fighting, but they persisted in going to attack Marakai. They said they would kill the chief and fill a kelp-bag with his cooked body. Marakai was living at the south end of Lake Wakatipu, so Tu-te-Makohu sent a lad to warn him, and Marakai laid a trap for his attackers. He built a takitaki (a yard and fence) outside his house, and laid in a stock of firewood. He told his men te tell the visitors he was at the Mataura (where Garston now is), but would soon be back. When he saw them coming he went inside, and they came to the takitaki and hung their weapons on the fence. After dark Marakai crawled out of the window of the whare to where some flax was heaped. This he wound round him, and then he sat with his enemies and talked to them. He put wood on the fire and then retired while they went to sleep. Next Marakai silently took the flax that enwrapped him and tied all the weapons securely to the takitaki. Then the killing commenced, the suddenly-roused men tugging at their weapons and falling easy victims to their wily adversary. This killing led to further fighting of which the collector has not got the details.


One of my informants says that the words said by the Marakai to Matauira were as follows:—“Me he mea naku, na ka to ake kauaka ki Waipahi ko tenei kua kukure noa atu,” and says that the place referred to as the “ford of the Waipahi” is on the old road between Clinton and Mataura, and even to this day the natives call the spot where the road crosses the stream Te-kauaka-o-Waipahi. Another of the old men tells me that he thinks Marakai and Tu-te-Makohu were related, and that Tu-wiri-roa was also connected by blood ties with both these celebrated chiefs. Another of my informants wrote down the last remarks of Marakai as follows:—“He hara i au na te Marama inini ki ka whetu mea nahaku ka kauaka ki Waipahi kua kukura noa atu. The latter - 156 half of these words mean—if it was me at the crossing at Waipahi they would be exterminated long ago.” Seeing that the collector's ignorance of the Maori tongue led him slightly astray on his former account of the speech of Marakai, the above represents his mentor's efforts to put him right.


The narrator said:—“When the Kati-Mamoe caught Tarewai on the Otago peninsula they killed a Kai-Tahu chief and tohuka called Kahutupunei. The chief of the Kati-Mamoe was Tiroko-takanewha. Stack calls him Whaka-taka-newha, but the other name is right. The practice of ohu is to get people to help you with work and you feed them. The Kati-Mamoe got the Kai-Tahu to help build a house. After the feed they began to wrestle in fun at a place called Ka-puke-turoto. The atua of Kahutupunei told him to say, ‘Toki whakaruru te mate,’ and someone said, ‘it must be that toki that Tiroko has,’ but Tiroko said it was an axe to chop firewood. The men were wrestling in detached lots, hidden from one another, and the Kati-Mamoe killed several, and one escaped and gave the alarm. He called out to Kahutupunei, ‘E Kahu! te whana’ (start a charge), but Tiroko, who was sitting beside that tohuka, said, ‘E Kahu! tiki ko to ure’ (a vile taunt), and struck and killed him. All the rest were killed save Tarewai, whom they laid out to cut open with a ‘mata’ or ‘parahi pohatu’ (rude stone knife). They had not made much progress when his guards, deceived by his quietness, relaxed their hold, and he gave a yell and jump and darted into the bush. In the bush he did ‘tahu-tahu,’ or put hot fat in his wounds. [See Stack for narrative, page 85.] . . . “When he made his famous leap he threw his patu up, and it had a string on it and this string curled round a kokomuka shrub (called also koromiko in North Island), and he clambered up and got into the Kai-tahu pa. I do not know whether Tiroko was killed or died naturally, but Te-waha-o-te-marama an iramutu (nephew) of Tarewai was killed with him at Preservation Inlet. The party went round in two big double canoes, and Terewai's got there first and anchored off the Kati-Mamoe pa. A man swam out and tied a rope to the canoe, and it was hauled in and the crew were invited into the pa and installed in a whare. The people made an oven and called to Tarewai to come out. His nephew was going, but Tarewai stopped him and went and was killed after a brave fight, and the rest were killed easily. The other canoe came in next day, and one of the crew acted as a seal and they captured the pa and stayed round there.”

- 157

To the notes supplied by the collector on this subject an editorial footnote was appended. The collector must plead guilty to a looseness of phraseology, which rightly drew the editorial correction. He was aware that some of the canoes of the 1350 migration were double canoes, but that the North Islanders allowed this method of seafaring to fall into desuetude, whereas the Southerners adhered to it. Since his notes were published three old men described these canoes to the collector, and he will here give further details. One said, “In double canoes the larger one was called unua, and the smaller tawai. The space under the deck between the two canoes was called aroa, and men got under there and heaved with their shoulders to help the canoe being hauled up on shore. The man who swam out to Tarewai's canoe made fast the rope to the aroa.” Another informant said:—“My son was a sailor and has told me of the canoes in the South Sea Islands having outriggers, but with our double canoes both were proper canoes. Beams were laid across the canoes, and on these decking was built between the canoes. The mast did not rise from either canoe, but from the centre of the decking. The mast was called hua, and now shipmasts are called by this name. Cordage was called taura, and sails ra. I think this name ra came about because when you hoisted the sail against the sun you could see the rays showing through the tiaka of which it was made. The hollow of the canoes was called te-riu-o-te-wakatere, the paddles were called hoe-tia, and the steering oars were hoe-whakatere. A steerer usually stood in the rear of each of the canoes, and was called a takata-whakatere. Another old man said:—“The bigger canoe was unua, and the smaller waka; the platform was orau wawa, the mast hua, the sail ra, and the seats in the canoes iraku. The beams were put in rua (holes) in the sides of the canoes and lashed with whitau (flax). The space underneath the platform was called arowa. [Note—He wrote the word down aro-wa.] I was once on a double canoe. The Mata-au (Molyneux) was very rough and we wanted to cross. My father and brother were drowned in that river, so Rakitapu chopped manuka for beams, and made a platform between the two canoes to avoid a capsize. It was a rough-and-ready waka-unua, but it kept us quite safe.”


One of my informants said:—“Tahununu was killed at Waikakahi (Little River) by a taua from the south. Hinehaka a prophetess on Ruapuke Island foretold his doom in these words—‘Tahununu i Hakaroa e taki ra ki Waikoau, apopo ia o iwi taki ana ka turaka Potaetu ki te pa tete a te hoa o Whakatepe kotahi te ika i kai mai ko taku mako e.’” - 158 [Which was translated to me as “Tahununu at Hakaroa you had better cry for Waikoau, as by-and-by your bones will cry on the groper-grounds on the fish-hooks of the husband of Whakatepe. One fish took my bait—my shark.”] “And,” continued the old man, “sure enough his bones were brought south and made into hooks and used for fishing at Potaetu, the groper-ground off the New River Heads.”

It may be added that Waikoau was Tahununu's home, and that the husband of Whakatepe was callee Kuao. The affair took place at the time of the Kaihuka feud, and Whakatepe died an old woman at the Bluff about 1861.


Puneke was the youngest son of Turakautahi by the latter's second wife Tawharepapa. Two men from Mokamoka reported that the Kati-Mamoe had killed Kai-Tahu people there, so a Kai-Tahu party went up to Lake Wanaka to kill some Kati-Mamoe in revenge. They captured a Kati-Mamoe chief called Raki-amoamohia and asked who would fight him in single combat. Puneke volunteered, and a duel with patu-paraoa resulted. Puneke was a youth and short in stature, but wiry and strong, while his opponent was big and heavy. They fought on and on with no advantage, until both were so tired that they had to have a spell. The sun was high when the duel started, but it was going down when the spell occurred. After the combatants had rested a while the old people said, “You had better start again as the sun's legs are hanging down” (i.e., over the hole where it disappears every night). After this advise Raki advanced to where his opponent was sitting on a tall stump. Puneke made one great bound and although his foe stepped back, the latter movement was just a fraction too late as Puneke's weapon caught him under the jaw and killed him. Puneke married two sisters, Hinepiki and Te Waiata (daughters of Tuna and Marama), and by the former wife he had fifteen children, and by Te Waiata five, so it can be seen he did his part in keeping up the census returns in ancient Maoridom.


The story of James Caddell (the Pakeha-Maori) is well-known. In “Murihiku” (R. McNab) it is stated that the chief who killed the crew of the “Sydney Cove,” near South Cape, was Hunneghi, and that Caddell married Tougghi-Touci. One of my native informants said, “James Caddell (better known as ‘Jimmy the Maori,’ because be was tattooed by our people, or ‘Jimmy the Boy,’ because he was so young when captured) was taken prisoner near South Cape (Opehia or Puhi-waero) by Maoris from Ruapuke under Te Pahi. I will tell you the lineage of that chief. Hau-tapu-nui-o-Tu married Taumata and had a daughter, Te Whakaraua, and two sons, Honekai - 159 and Pukarehu. Te Whakaraua was an ancestress of the late chief Topi. Honekai married Kohu-wai, a Kati-Mamoe woman of high rank, and begat Kura (who was the mother of Tuhawaiki) and Whakataupuka. This last chief was very ugly, and was called “Old Wig” by the whalers. He was good to the Europeans, but cruel to his own people. His children all died, and that ended his line. Pukarehu married Koko and begat Te Pahi, whose only child was a son, Te Kaha, who was drowned with a canoeful of people in Foveaux Straits (Te Ara a Kiwa) and ended that branch. Te-Pahi had a young sister, Tokitoki, and it was she who threw a mat over ‘Jimmy the Boy’ and saved his life. She afterwards married Jimmy, and went over to Sydney with her husband. Te Pahi went over later, and both died in Parramatta, and thus ended that branch.”

It will be noticed that this statement bears out Rutherford's account about the way Caddell's life was saved, the other accounts stating that the boy ran to an old chief and happening to touch his ka-ka-how (kakahu—a garment), his person was then held sacred. The name Hunneghi evidently stands for Honekai (an uncle of Te Pahi), and Tougghi-Touci for Tokitoki. This latter weird-looking misspelling is perhaps more understandable when we remember that the Maoris in the south often pronounce “k” as “g.”

(To be continued.)

1   See “Journal Polynesian Society,” Vol. XXIV., p. 138.
2   See “Journal Polynesian Society,” Vol. XXIV., p. 139.
3   See “Journal Polynesian Society,” Vol. XXV., p. 15.
4   See “Journal Polynesian Society,” Vol. XXV., p. 15.
5   See “Journal Polynesian Society,” Vol. XXV., p. 56.
6   See “Journal Polynesian Society,” Vol. XXV., p. 54.
7   See “Journal Polynesian Society,” XXV., p. 59.
8   See “Journal Polynesian Society,” p. 60.