Volume 2 1893 > Volume 2, No.1, March 1893 > The genealogy of the Pomare Family of Tahiti, from the papers of the Rev. J. M. Orsmond, with notes thereon by S. Percy Smith, p 25- 42
THE GENEALOGY OF THE POMARE FAMILY OF TAHITI, FROM THE PAPERS OF THE REV. J. M. ORSMOND.
MISS TEUIRA HENRY, of Honolulu, supplies the following genealogical table, taken from the documents preserved by her grandfather, the Rev. J. M. Orsmond, one of the early missionaries to Tahiti, who arrived there in 1817. A copy of this has already been published in De Quartrefage's “Les Polynésiens,” but some of the names are wrongly spelt, and others not given in full in that publication. It has been deemed advisable therefore to republish it here, with some notes showing the connection between this family and others in Hawaii, Rarotonga, and New Zealand. If this connection can be maintained it will serve to fix the date approximately of an important epoch in Polynesian history.
Miss Henry is engaged on the translation of a number of valuable documents relating to the native history of Tahiti, which were collected and happily preserved by the Rev. J. M. Orsmond; their publication will prove of very great interest to all Polynesian scholars, for the traditions of Tahiti have not yet received so much attention as those of some other islands of the Pacific, whilst at the same time their importance is much greater—a fact which we must acknowledge when we consider the prominent part the Tahitian group (and especially Raiatea) has played in the peopling of the Pacific.
It is well known that the Pomare (royal) family of Tahiti sprang originally from Raiatea: the genealogical table following is therefore that of the Raiatea chiefs as well as those of the former island. Such dates have been added as could be ascertained from Ellis' “Polynesian Researches,” and other sources. The following is the genealogy.- 26
Taken from Mare's Copy, 27th November, 1846, from Raiatea, by the Rev. J. M. Orsmond.
Family tree. 1 Uru, married Hina-tumu-roo, Iri-te-apu-rai, ” Teheheu, Tava'e-ari'i, ” Te-Tapu, Imi-toa, ” Te-peva-nua, 5 Marama-i-te-atua, ” Nohoa'e, Tui-tui, ” Roro-fai, Rai-te-tumu, ” Hina-te-unu, Rai-te-papa, ” Hina-tea, Rai-te-meremere, ” Hina-tuatua, 10 Rai-te-hotahota, ” Hina-tuatai, Rai-e-mate-i-te-niu-haamea-a-Tane, ” Mautu, Moe-iti-iti, ” Faafaro, Moe-te-re'are'a, ” Tiaraa-ura, Moe-te-ra-uri, ” Fai-mano, 15 Hiro, ” Vai-tu-maria, Marama-toa-i-fenua-ura (married Maapu) Piho-i-te-maro-tai-noa, Faa-miti (son of Marama), ” Vai-raumati, Hoata-tama, ” Haamahea, Fata, ” Utiuti-rei, 20 Roo, ” Vai-pua, Ho'a, ” Vai-tea, Faa-hue, ” Motuma, Ru'utia, ” Vai-turaa, Hu'ui, ” Tupu-heiva, 25 Ra'auri, ” Are-te-moe, Tu, ” Pupa-ura-i-vai-ahu, Tautu, ” Te-unu-haehaa, Tamatoa I., ” Te-ao-ina-ia, Ari'i-mao, Ari'i-rua, Rofai, twins, married Te-tua-nui-tahuea, married Marama, 30 Haapai-tahaa-vahine, Vahiroa, Roo-taina, Titi-ari'i, Tue'a, Tuhaa, Tupua'i-vahine, Tama-vahine, children of Ari'i-rua, 30 Roo-taina, married Varivari, daughter of Rofai, 31 Tei-hotu, Uratua-vahine, Te-tua-hee-roa-vahine, Tupuai-vahine, Tati-po-vahine, Avae-puta-vahine, children of Roo-taina, 29 Rofai, son of Tamatoa I., married Marama, Tamatoa II., Varivari-vahine, Haapairai, Fetia-rii, Pupa-ura-vahine, Fanofano-vahine, children of Rofai, 30 Tamatoa II., son of Rofai, married Maihea, Te-tupaia-vahine, Te-rii-na-vaho-roa, Te-rii-taria, Hapai-tahaa-vahine, children of Tamatoa II.
Family tree. 31 Te-tupaia-vahine, married Tu-nui-ae-i-te-atua, of Tahiti; (also called Teu,) a chief of Pare; his marae was named Tarahoi, Te-ari'i-na-vaho-roa-i-te-tautua-mai-i-te-rai-vahine, Vairaa-toa, Ari'i-paea-vahine, Te-ari'i-faatau, Tupuai-o-te-rai, Te-pau, 32 Vairaa-toa (or Pomare I.—died 3rd Sept., 1803)1, married Te-tua-nui-rei-a'e-i-te-rai-atea of Moorea, Te-ari'i-na-vaho-roa-vahine, Pomare II. (born about 1774, according to Ellis), Te-ari'i-na-vaho-roa (a son), 33 Pomare II. (died 7th Dec., 1821), married Te-rito-o-te-rai, Aimata-vahime (born 1813), Teina (died), Pomare III. (died a child, in 1827, 1828, Garnier), 34 Aimata (or Pomare IV.) began to reign 1827, died 1877. Married her cousin, Te-nania. Born about 1806. 2nd, Ari'i-faite. Died 6th August, 1874., Ari'i-aue (died young, born 1839), Tera-tane (or Te-rii-taria) Te-ari'i-maeva-rua-vahine (born 1840; adopted by Tapoa, king of Bolabola became queen of Bolabola, Aug,, 1860, and was succeeded by her niece of the same name), Tamatoa (born 1842; king of Raiatea 19th Aug., 1857), Punu-ari'i (or Joinville; born 1848), 35 Tera-tane (or Pomare VI., last sovereign of Tahiti), married Marau Salmon, daughter of a high chieftainess, a distant cousin of Queen Pomare IV., or Aimata.
In “Les Polynésiens,” De Quatrefages says that this table was submitted to a severe criticism in the presence of the Governor of the protectorate at the time of an enquiry into the title to lands claimed by the Pomare family. As there probably has not been in Tahiti any disturbing element in the shape of a mixture of different branches of the race, such as has occured in the Sandwich Islands and New Zealand, the table should be as free from errors as any other in the Pacific. It seems to me, however, that some names have probably been omitted, for the table is short when tested by those from other islands, as will appear from what follows.
The first name on the list, Uru, is one known both to Hawaiians and to the Maoris, and both people trace a descent from one of that name, but it is very difficult to prove that this is the same person; it is indeed more probable that this Uru is a decendant of the two brothers Ulu and Nana of Hawaiian history or of Uru and Ngangana (or Ngana) of Maori history. It was by no means uncommon—more especially in early times—for a name to descend from father to son for several generations, as indeed is well illustrated in this table, - 28 where the name Rai (or in Maori, Rangi) is found five times in succession. Such names therefore become, properly speaking, surnames, but they always precede what we should call the Christian name, and in that sense follow the rules of Polynesian grammar, which places the adjective or qualifying word or name after the noun, instead of before it, as with us.
Fornander shows clearly that there are two well-defined lines of descent in Hawaii, the one originating with Ulu—whose descendants were the later occupants of that group—the other, which he terms the Nana-ulu line, originating from Nana, whose descendants arrived at the Sandwich Islands many generations before the first. The former people came from the southern groups, from Samoa, Tahiti, &c. Hawaiian traditions refer to them as brothers; the Maori traditions show that Ngangana was a son of Uru's.
It is probable that we shall never arrive at anything very definite as to the epoch at which Uru and Ngangana flourished according to the Maori chronology, for there are strong reasons for believing that the ancestral lines on which they appear have had engrafted on them many names belonging to the original people of New Zealand. After, however, eliminating these extraneous names, or what appear to be such, I find that the three lines we have record of will give 17, 18, and 18 generations back from the time of the great heke, or migration of the Maoris to New Zealand, as that at which they flourished. I place little reliance on this, however, for the names become mixed up with the powers of nature, and the progressive ages of creation. That they were real living men, however, subsequently deified, is proved by their constant recurrence in Maori karakias, or invocations used on certain occasions, when the names of all the ancestors were recited. It would seem probable that these ancestors flourished during the times that the race occupied the Fijian or Samoan groups, and, if so, the names may yet be traced in the latter islands. It will be seen by reference to p. 25, Vol. I. of this Journal that the mother of Iro (or Whiro) was a daughter of Ngana-i-te-tupua, of Upolu—quite possibly one of this same family, and, if so, then some of the Rarotongans, as well as the Hawaiians and Maoris, descend from these same people—Uru and Ngangana. From the way in which their names occur in Maori karakias, I should say that these two men were, in their day, believed by the Maoris to have been great sorcerers.
The next noteworthy name that occurs in the table is that of Tava'e-ari'i. This may or may not be the Tawhaki of Maori tradition, or the Kaha'i of Hawaiian tradition. Neither his father, his wife, nor his son are the same as given by Hawaiian and Maori - 29 tradition, though the age in which he lived is very nearly that ascribed by those of the Maori to Tawhaki.
At the twelfth generation downwards from Uru we come to a group of names which are certainly known to Maori and Rarotongan traditions as ancestors in common with the Raiateans and Tahitians. These are Moe-iti-iti, Moe-te-rea-rea, and Moe-te-ra-uri. In the only Hawaiian genealogies I have had access to these names are not mentioned, and this is perhaps accounted for by the lines having split off at an earlier date to that at which they flourished. I hope to show that the next name—Hiro, or rather his brother—was known in Hawaii. The Maoris claim the above names on several lines, but, as is to be expected, with slight differences, due to the lapse of time since they lived, and they also add some others with the same surname, as will be seen by the following comparative table:—
For comparison the following are added:—
Although all these lines differ in the name of the ancestor of the Moe family, all but one (Ngatihau) descend to and end in Whiro, and whilst the names differ slightly, but scarcely more than amongst the purely Maori accounts, there can be little doubt that they are the same individuals whose names are preserved on the several genealogies of New Zealand, Rarotonga, and Tahiti. The fact of there being a different progenitor to the first Mo, or Moe, in each case leads me to infer that all of them are interpolated on each Maori line, and for the reason that it was counted as an honour to include them as ancestors. I should judge that all these individuals with names commencing with Mo, or Moe, are women, for the reason that Moe very frequently is the first part of a woman's name in New Zealand, as appears also to be the case in Rarotonga, for we read in the account of the settlement of - 30 Tangiia at Rarotonga,3 that Whiro met the former at Mauke, “with the daughters of Auriki—Moe-tuma and Pua-tara.” It seems to me not at all improbable that two women, mentioned in Maori poems and invocations as Ma-iti-iti and Ma-reka-reka, in one of which they are referred to as the whakatapairu-ariki (which I venture to translate as “high-born chieftainess”) are identical with two of the names given in the tables preceding. The change from “o” to“a” is constant through-out all Polynesia. These ladies belonged to the merry company who made poor old Kae laugh, and show his toothless gums, an action which cost him his life. They were said to be the sisters of Tinirau, or possibly his sister and her daughter. I hope yet to show that Tinirau of Polynesian fame flourished just about the time of the Moe family now referred to.
In order to show the connection between this group of the Moe family and Hawaiian history, it will be necessary to proceed upon an assumption, though the direct connection through common ancestors can be shown very distinctly on other lines of descent.
It will be noticed that the fragment of Ngatiporou genealogy above quoted ends in Hua and Whiro, two brothers of whom many traditions have been handed down by Maori tohungas, but of whom Whiro is by far the most celebrated. They flourished some time before the great heke to New Zealand in the fifteenth century. It is through Hua, the elder brother, that the connection with Hawaii will be shown. Whiro is known in New Zealand, Rarotonga, and Tahiti as a great navigator, and also as the god of thieves,—at least, it seems probable that this is the same person who had that unenviable notoriety thrust upon him, though it is quite possible that the Whiro herein mentioned was named after the thief-god, and in process of time the cloak of the latter descended to his nautical namesake.
We know so little of Tahitian traditions in extenso, that only some few bare facts relating to the deeds of this great navigator have appeared in print. The Rev. John Davies, in his excellent dictionary of the Tahitian dialect, says: “Hiro, the god of thieves. Hiro was a man who lived some ages ago. According to tradition, he was a famous voyager and robber. A rock in Huahine is called ‘Hiro's paddle,’ and on top of another rock is his marae. He was deified after his death, and was reckoned the god and patron of thieves.” Ellis4 says: “They (the atua fanau po, or night-born-gods) were probably - 31 men who had excelled their contemporaries in nautical adventure or exploit, and were deified by their descendants. Hiro is conspicuous amongst them, although not exclusively a god of the sea. The most romantic accounts are given in their aai (kakai or tatai) or tales of his adventures, his voyages, his combats with the god of the tempests, his descent to the depths of the ocean, and residence at the bottom of the abyss, his intercourse with the monsters there, by whom he was lulled to sleep in a cavern of the ocean while the god of the winds raised a violent storm to destroy a ship in which his friends were voyaging. Destruction seemed inevitable—they invoked his aid—a friendly spirit entered the cavern in which he was reposing, roused him from his slumbers, and informed him of their danger. He rose to the surface of the waters, rebuked the spirit of the storm and his followers reached their destined port in safety.”
“The period of his adventures is probably the most recent of any thus preserved, as there are more places connected with his name in the Leeward Islands (Raiatea, Bolabola, Huahine, &c.) than with any other. A pile of rock in Tahaa (adjacent to Raiatea) is called the ‘Dogs of Hiro’; a mountain range has received the appellation of the Pahi, or ‘Ship of Hiro’;5 and a large basaltic rock near the summit of a mountain in Huahine is called the Hoe, or ‘Paddle of Hiro.’”
M. de Bovis, in his account of Tahiti,6 refers to Hiro also, and says:—“That the old chiefs could only count back 20 generations without getting amongst the gods, or rather those who are endowed by their descendants with miraculous powers,” and that:—“The first king himself (Hiro) had done as much as his father Haehi, if he had not done more. This Haehi, son of Uru-matamata, is grandson of Raa, which name is written like that of the Sun, and who, placed like him in the Tahitian Olympus, appears to me to be the same person. However this may be, Hiro is the first to take the name of king, or at least is so recognised by his posterity. One is not very sure if he died, but it was certain that he was considered as a god, and that his chief function was to protect the thieves. . . . The principal marae of that cult (of Hiro) was at the south side of Huahine-iti. That isle was distinguished amongst all others for the observance of the cult of Hiro. . . . Hiro had two sons; he - 32 transmitted to one of them (Haneti) the sign of his power, which, in place of being a crown, was simply a maro, red in colour, twisted round his loins. His other son (Ohatatama), who may have been the elder, as some say, had a lively sentiment of independence, and wore a white girdle, which came to be the sign of an independent royalty, of which the seat was Bolabola.” M. de Bovis goes on to give some account of the number of generations from Hiro downwards, which agrees, as far as can be made out, with that in the table given at the commencement of this paper. He also states that the founder of the celebrated marae at Opoa (in Raiatea) was Hiro, and that he dedicated it to Oro, “from whom he descended,” and that at Hiro's death the people erected a marae to his honour by the side of the former.
Although M. de Bovis' account of Hiro's family does not agree with the names already given, there is no doubt he refers to the same individual, and the explanation is, that Hiro, like all Polynesian chiefs of those days, doubtless had a number of wives; the sons mentioned became the ruling chiefs of Huahine and Bolabola, whilst the son named in the table (Marama) became ariki of Raiatea. The name of Marama as a son of Whiro's is also known to the Maoris.
It is interesting to note that Hiro would appear to have been the originator of the Tahitian insignia of royalty—the red girdle, or maro-ura—with which the kings were formerly invested with great pomp and ceremony, as described by Ellis. There are traces in Maori tradition of a recollection of the maro-ura (in Maori, maro-kura), for we find in the history of Tama-nui-a-rangi, preserved by Mr. John White, that on a visit paid by Tama's people to Tu-te-koro-panga and his wife Rukutia, one party wore maros made of dog's hair, and the other red maros (maro-kura), implying that they were the distinguishing dresses of the two tribes, which seems to agree with the tradition preserved in Tahiti as related by M. de Bovis. It can be shown that Tu-te-koro-panga and his wife Rukutia flourished about the period of Whiro, and that both names are known in Hawaii, as well as in New Zealand.
Oro, mentioned by M. de Bovis, subsequently became the principal deity of the Society and Tahitian groups, to the exclusion of Tane, the ancient god; but he is not known to Maori history, a fact easily accounted for, as the great Maori heke took place shortly after the times of Hiro, and before Oro had risen to the eminence he subsequently attained.
Dr. Wyatt Gill7 is of opinion that Oro is identical with Rongo, - 33 one of the great gods of Polynesia; but in this I think he is mistaken, for the Tahitians have another god named Ro'o, which word is clearly the same as Rongo, Longo, or Lono of other groups (the Tahitians do not pronounce the “ng” of other dialects). Moreover, the following seems to be conclusive on this point: When the Rev. John Williams visited Aitutaki for the first time, in 1821, finding he could converse with the people, owing to his own knowledge of the Tahitian dialect, he informed the chief Tamatoa of the changes which had been introduced by Christianity in the latter and adjacent islands. Tamatoa asked what had become of great Tangaroa, to which Williams replied that he was burnt. He then enquired where Koro of Raiatea was; and Williams said that he too was consumed with fire.8 The fact of these Hervey Islanders using the word Koro instead of Oro seems to show that the great god of the Society Islands, who originated from Opoa, in Raiatea, was in reality named Koro; the Tahitians having lost the sound of “k” in their dialect would naturally thus pronounce the name Oro; if so, Oro is not identical with Ro'o or Rongo.
Williams says that “many mothers dedicated their children to one of the deities; but principally to Hiro, the god of thieves, and to Oro, the god of war.”
It is thus obvious that Hiro was a very important personage in Raiatean and Tahitian history, having been deified after his death, and thenceforth assuming a place in their heirarchy of gods, quite as imposing as that of the ancient and greater gods—Tangaroa, Rongo, Tu, and Tane. We shall see that the same thing occurred in Maori history.
Thanks to the labours of the late Mr John White, we have several very full accounts of some of the doings of Whiro, as preserved in Maori traditions. In all of these, with the exception of one, it is very obvious that the scene of these adventures is laid in Hawaiki—that mystical land from which the race migrated to New Zealand, but which I have strong reasons for believing is generally intended for Raiatea, the ancient name of which was Havaii (or in Maori, Hawaiki). The exception referred to is probably a modern gloss, intended to associate a local chief of the name of Whiro with the doings of the great hero of the same name. It appears to me that during the long period that has elapsed since the Maori branched off from the other tribes of the Polynesian race, the name of Hawaiki has gradually assumed a more general meaning, so that it finally came to mean all the islands of the Pacific with which they were traditionally - 34 acquainted. I have, in another paper,9 given briefly the names of a number of the Pacific islands which can be traced in Maori traditions, further confirmation of which I have since received with regard to several of them, and I can now add additional evidence of the fact that the Maoris knew of Raiatea. My friend Hone Mohi Tawhai informs me that in an ancient pihe, or prayer for the dead, communicated to him by his celebrated father, occurs this line:—
Tatara te waipuna o Raiatea.
He says:—“I mea taku matua he motu a Raiatea kei te takiwa i heke mai ai nga tupuna o te iwi Maori”: “My father said that Raiatea was an island in that part from whence the ancestors of the Maori people migrated.” This seems tolerably conclusive as to the Maori knowledge of Raiatea, even if it were not very probable from other things, and especially from the fact that Whiro in one of his voyages is said to have left his home—named Whaingatu—and gone on a voyage to Wawau. Now Wawau, or as the people there call it, Vavau, is the old name of Bolabola, an island distant only a few miles from Raiatea. This statement seems at once to connect Whiro of Maori tradition with the Hiro of Raiatean tradition, even if the genealogies already quoted did not show them to be the same person.
It seems to me proved by the foregoing, and other things which it would occupy too much space to quote here, that the Maoris were certainly acquainted with Raiatea and the neighbouring islands, together with Tahiti. It is said indeed—a fact which has recently been confirmed by an old Maori of the Arawa tribe—that the Arawa canoe was built at a place called Tawhiti-nui. In some documents lent me by Mr. G. H. Davies written by Eruera te Uremutu—the old chief referred to—occurs the following words: “No Tama-te-kapua tenei whakapapa, nona tenei waka a Te Arawa, no Tewhiti-nui.” “This genealogy is of Tama-te-kapua (the captain of Te Arawa), the canoe Te Arawa belonged to him, she was from Tawhiti-nui.” Again in another place he says: “He mahanya enei rakau a Tainui, a Te Arawa, na Tuamatua: no Tawhiti-nui.” “The two canoes, Tainui and Te Arawa, were twins, made from one tree by Tuamatua; from Tawhitinui.”10 Tawhiti would be the Maori equivalent of Tahiti. Again, I - 35 find a confirmation of the knowledge that the Maoris had of this group of islands as follows: In Sir George Grey's collection of Maori poems entitled “Ngamoteatea me nga Hakerari o nga Maori,” at page 183, will be found the following, in the tangi or lament of Turaukawa, a man who lived nine generations ago:—
The last word I take to be Rangiatea, not Rangiata, which was the name of Turi's home in Hawaiki, identical, I believe, with Raiatea; and Manawa is spelt Marama in the poem, but I believe it to be the same name Manawa, mentioned a few lines preceding in the poem. I would also add that though Marama is spelt with a small “m” in the printed copy, it has a capital “M” in the MSS. Now de Bovis says the sea between Tahiti and the Leeward Islands (Huahine, Raiatea, &c.) is called Marama. There is yet another reference to the sea of Marama in another old poem, but I postpone a reference to it until I attempt to show that Tinirau lived at Raiatea.
I would observe, however, that the name Wai-ma-tuhi-rangi above is the name of a stream in Hawaiki, near to Turi's home, where his people bathed, and it is also the proper name of the Waima branch of the Hokianga river in New Zealand, where the Mahurehure tribe live. On asking my friend Honi Mohe Tawhai what was the origin of the name of Waima, he told me it was brought by his ancestors from Hawaiki, and that it was properly Wai-ma-tuhi-rangi as above, but abreviated into Waima for daily use. Dr. Gill also mentions in one of his books a place named Wai-ma-tui-rangi, but I cannot just now find the reference.
It has been said above that Maori tradition supports the Raiatean history in making Marama to be a son of Whiro's. There is a tradition which states that Whiro was a great tohunga and the depository of some most potent invocations (karakia) which he taught to his son Marama-nui-a-Hotu for use in the wharekura, or council house and seat of all learning. The affix nui-a-Hotu is not the same as that in the Raiatea history, but many Maoris of old had a great variety of affixes. The same name—Marama-nui-a-Hotu—occurs in Rarotonga history as that of a woman, an ancestor of Te Aia's, who flourished about the time of the first settlement of that island.
Whiro had an elder brother named Hua, of whom little is known; - 36 and from whom—so far as I am aware—the Maoris trace no descent, a fact which I think can be satisfactorily explained. In the story as preserved by Mr. John White, in which Hua is mentioned, we see the character of Whiro, for which he is so famed, well displayed. Having been requested by Hua to bring all his people to assist in dragging a fine new canoe out of the forest down to the beach, Whiro carefully instructs his followers to assist until they reached a point where the path diverged to his own settlement. Here they are told not to respond to the usual words sung in dragging a canoe or other heavy body, until Whiro himself gives the cue by repeating certain words, which he carefully instructs them in. All this came to pass; and at the proper time Whiro and his people, in spite of the efforts of Hua and his followers, forcibly dragged the canoe down to their own village with the view of appropriating it. Then follows a description of the finishing and adorning of the canoe, during the progress of which Hua's son, Tao-ma-kati, insisted on helping himself to the choicest food provided for the workmen, without—as the story says—being reproved by his father. This so enraged Whiro, that he took an opportunity of killing the boy; and, on discovery of the body, this led to a great fight between the factions of the two brothers, ending in the death of Hua's other children, and most of his people, in a battle named Te-potiki-kai-roro. It is noticeable that Hua's death is not mentioned, though his children are particularised by name, and the fact of their death related. Subsequently to these deeds of Whiro's, he made the voyage to Wawau, in which he was accompanied by Tura, who—so far as can be ascertained—was an uncle of Whiro's. The story of the voyage is mixed up with much that is marvellous, and some incidents, such as the naval battle which took place, are difficult to understand. Tura is said to have stayed at Wawau, landing at a place called Otea, and there met with some very extra-ordinary adventures, which appear to me not to belong to the story itself, but rather to some of Whiro's further adventures on some of his voyages. The description of the people called Te-aitanga-a-nuku-mai-tore, who lived in trees, in the wharawhara plants, and amongst the kiekie, and who had small heads, large chests and waists, and who, the story says, “were not human beings,” seems to be some indistinct recollection of monkeys, the more so as these “people” were not acquainted with fire. Knowing traditionally Whiro's powers as a navigator, it is not improbable that he visited the East Indian Archipelago and brought back stories of monkeys, who in process of time have acquired the name given above. The story of Whiro and Tura's voyage is altogether a very remarkable one, and notwith- - 37 standing the marvellous parts mixed up with it, is no doubt based on a substratum of fact. The original is written in the dialect of the Ngaitahu people, and is in parts very difficult to understand, nor is another account derived from the Ngatiporou people very much better in some places; the story bears on its face the impress of age, and has an archaic appearance in its wording not often seen.
Whiro is very frequently mentioned in the ancient incantations of the Maori, sometimes as an ancestor, but more frequently as a thief; he is sometimes alluded to as stealing away human beings, and is often addressed as “Whiro te tupua, Whiro te tawhito”: “Whiro the demon, Whiro the ancient.” There is no doubt that he had become one of the most dreaded of the Maori gods at the time this country was colonised; one might even go so far as to say that he shared with Uenuku the principal place in the modern Maori pantheon, and yet both of them were undoubtedly well known ancestors who flourished at a period shortly prior to the heke. If we may judge from the frequent references to them in the poetry, incantations, and charms which have been preserved, they had in a great measure supplanted the greater gods of Polynesia in the national worship, if it may so be termed.
It has already been stated that the Maoris, so far as is known, do not trace a descent from Hua, though they do from Whiro, but the genealogies with which I am acquainted, and on which the latter appears, are evidently mixed up with the names of the original people of New Zealand, so much so that it seems at present difficult to place him correctly in more than one line;11 but he was clearly a contemporary of Tura, from whom also a line of descent can be traced. Mention is made of Whiro-nui as one who came to New Zealand in the Nukutere canoe, and who was apparently the father-in-law of Paikea, a well known immigrant to New Zealand, but this is probably not the same individual as the great voyager.
When we turn to Rarotongan history we have something more certain to go on as to the period that Whiro flourished. It will be seen by reference to pages 25 and 26, Vol. I., of this Journal, that Iro—which is the Rarotongan form of Whiro—was a contemporary of Tangiia and Karika, the great chiefs who colonised that island in the fourteenth century. The tradition there given may be taken as the - 38 current belief of the Ngati-Tangiia tribe, of Rarotonga, as handed down from father to son from the date of the events recorded. When Tangiia met Iro, he was evidently on one of the voyages which have made his name celebrated in Polynesian annals. The tradition states: “Iro was a great navigator; he came to the countries to the north, and also to Rarotonga, whence he returned to Tahiti and remained there.” Tahiti is probably used as a general name for the whole group, including Raiatea. The meeting took place at Mauke, a little island distant about 480 miles W.S.W. from Raiatea. It will be remembered also, that the Rarotongan account makes Tai-te-ariki to be a son of Iro's, and that he was adopted by Tangiia, and hence became the progenitor of the long line of chiefs of the Ngati-Tangiia tribe, ending in Pa-te-pou, the present living representative in Rarotonga. It was pointed out on p. 21, Vol. I, of this journal, that the genealogy of Pa, appeared, when tested by other well-known lines, to be too long—it is forty-four generations from Tai-te-ariki to the present day. Now the other Rarotongan genealogies we have, show from Karika, who was a contemporary of Tangiia, twenty-four generations (see p. 74, Vol. I. of this journal); and by that given by Dr. Wyatt Gill (Reports Australasian Ass. Adv. Science, Vol. II.), as twenty-six generations; by the Tamarua genealogy (not yet published) it is shown to be twenty-five generations; and by that of the Tinomana family, twenty generations down to Tinomana Mereane, now living. It will be safe therefore to reckon about twenty-four generations from the time that Iro flourished down to the present day, according to Rarotonga history.
I cannot ascertain whether Iro had ascribed to him in Rarotonga the same attribute of “god of thieves” as he had in New Zealand and Raiatea; but he was known in Mangaia as such.
In a former page it was said that the connection between the Raiatean genealogy and that of Hawaii, rested upon an assumption; this will now be explained. It has already been shown that Whiro, according to Maori history, had an elder brother named Hua, and that the latter's children and followers were killed, or more probably decimated, by Whiro; but that no mention is made of Hua's death in Maori tradition. He, however—after the battle of Te-potiki-kai-roro—passes out of Maori history altogether; and, so far as we know, is not recognised by Raiatean or Rarotongan tradition. It must be borne in mind that the period when Whiro flourished was near the end of that demonstrated by Fornander to have been the golden age of their - 39 voyages, when more or less intercourse took place at frequent intervals between many of the principal groups of the Pacific, and during which many families moved from the southern isles and settled down in Hawaii. This period lasted from about the 30th to the 20th generation back from the present time. At about its close the great heke took place to New Zealand, and this country was overrun by a race superior in talent, in warlike achievement, and a strong love of adventure, to the branch of the same race they found in occupation.
In the second volume of Fornander's “The Polynesian Race,” page 41, we find the author writing as follows: “Amongst those [who migrated to Hawaii] the one whose fate probably arrested most attention, and served as a warning in after ages when chiefs ventured to oppose the priesthood, was Hua, with the soubriquet of a-kapua-i-manaku, in distinction from Hua-nui-kalalailai, the father of the Maui Paumakua. In the royal genealogies of both Hawaii and Maui, this Hua is placed as third in ascent from Paumakua, to whom he is repreresented as having been the great-grandfather; but when the legends referring to him are critically scanned, and regard had to the contemporanity of the other personages therein mentioned, his proper place would be three generations later than Paumakua. It is probable that he belonged to that southern Hua family from which Paumakua and Haho descended. He is said to have been king of Maui, and lived principally at Hana, Kauwiki. The earliest remembered war between Maui and Hawaii is said to have been conducted by Hua, who invaded Hawaii, and at Hakalau, in the district of Hilo, thoroughly defeated the Hawaiian chiefs. The Hawaiian legends call the war by the name of Kani-uho-ohio. One time, while residing at East Maui, Hua got into a dispute with his priest and prophet, Lua-hoomoe, about some birds called “Uwau,” and became so angry that he resolved on the death of the priest. Lua-hoomoe, conscious of the fate that awaited him, gave directions to his two sons, Kuakakai and Kaanahua, how to escape the vengeance of the king. In due course, according to ancient custom, the house of Lua-hoomoe was burned by order of the king, and the refractory priest was killed. His sons and some of his household escaped to one of the mountain peaks called Hana-ula. But the vengeance of Lua-hoomoe and the king's punishment for slaying a priest were swift in coming and terrible in their consequences. No sooner was Lua-hoomoe consumed by the fire of his burning house than the streams of water ceased running, the springs dried up, no rain fell for three years and a half, and famine and desolation spread over the land. Hua and his people perished miserably, and the - 40 saying survives to this day, ‘Nakeke na iwi a Hua i ka la’ (or in Maori letters, ‘Ngatete nga iwi a Hua i te ra’),—‘rattling are the bones of Hua in the sun,’—a warning to all wicked people, and implying that no one survived the famine to bury Hua or hide his bones,—the greatest disgrace of ancient times.”
The legend further goes on to describe the effects of the famine in the other islands, &c., but what concerns us is to suggest that the Hua above-mentioned was the brother of Whiro, whose following was killed by the latter. Now, in Maori history, and especially in that tradition which speaks of the war between the two brothers, Whiro is called in full, Whiro-te-tupua-manatu. If the Hawaiian “k” is replaced by its representative in Maori, “t,” we find that Hua's name in full, according to Hawaiian tradition, is Hua-a-tapua-manatu, so that, with the exception of two letters, the sobriquet is common to these two persons, and I should translate it “the all-powerful demon.” The assumption that I have referred to is that Hua of Hawaiian history is the Hua of Maori history, and that the sobriquet was common to both brothers. In all the thousands of proper names of Polynesian personages known to us can anyone, I ask, point out another tupuamanatu as a distinguishing cognomen? I think not, and therefore it is extremely unlikely that this correspondence in names is merely accidental.
We have learnt from Maori history that Hua had been badly beaten in the battle; what, under similar circumstances, have hundreds of others done in such cases? There is abundance of evidence that they have gathered their followers together and fled the country to seek homes in distant lands, where they would be in peace. This was the main cause of the great heke to New Zealand. Personal quarrels led to wars, and the weaker party took to the sea to find fresh homes for themselves. This I believe to have been the case with Hua, and as expeditions were at that time constantly moving between the Tahitian Group and the Sandwich Islands, he either joined one of them or formed one with the remnants of his people. Many names known to Hawaiian traditions of this period are preserved in Maori history.
The next question that arises is: at what period did Hua live according to Hawaiian history, and how does it fit in with other traditions? Fornander, after a very careful study of the several lines of descent preserved by the Hawaiians, gives, in the appendix to his first volume, the results, grouping them on the Nana-ulu or indigenous Hawaiian line, and also on the Ulu, or line deduced from the southern immigrants. Now, according to this latter line, and bearing in mind what has been already said on a previous page that Hua lived (by Fornander's showing) three generations after Paumakua, it follows that he was a contemporary of Hanalaa, from whom and his contem- - 41 poraries there are several recorded lines of descent. If we count downwards to King Kalakaua, the late King of Hawaii, from Hanalaa and his contemporaries, we find that the following numbers of generations are given by different lines:—24, 24, 23, 22, and by another probably 23 or 24, or say a mean of 23 generations from the time of Hua to the present day.
We may now group the results as shown in these pages, and as deduced from the traditions preserved in different islands:—
It would seem a legitimate deduction from the foregoing that Whiro (and Hua) flourished about 22 or 23 generations ago, a period which was marked by the cessation of the voyages between the Sandwich and southern groups, and also by that of the great migration to New Zealand. In other words, by allowing 20 years to a generation (a number probably too small), Whiro must have been born about the year 1400.
We may probably see a confirmation of the epoch attempted to be fixed above by reference to the Chatham Island genealogy, which Mr. Shand has preserved. Whilst Uru and Ngangana (the Nana of Hawaii) are both mentioned in that table, none of the Mo or Moe family, or Whiro are apparently known; and this is in accordance with their traditions, which state that the last communication the Morioris had with the outside world was twenty-eight generations ago, or, as has been shown, before the time that Whiro and his immediate forefathers flourished.
I have not come across the name of Whiro in any of the other groups but these mentioned above, though they had a god of thieves at Mangareva or Gambier Island. Dr. P. A. Lesson says:13 “Amongst their divinities, they give a high rank to the god of thieves, imitating in that the classic Helenes.” Lesson, however, does not give the name. Nor can anything be found on the subject in Pére Mathias' interesting “Lettres sur lés îsles Marquesas.”14 As the Rev. Pere enters at some length into the attributes, and gives the names of a number of the Marquesan gods, it is reasonable to suppose that had the people such a god he would have mentioned it. The explanation probably is that the Marquesan group was settled long - 42 before the times of Whiro; and though very many expeditions have sailed from those shores to the west, there appears to be no record of any fresh settlers arriving there since very remote times, at least I gather this from the Pére's work.
One object I have had in writing this paper was, to show the reliability of the Polynesian traditions as preserved by different branches of the race, which have had no communication with one another for over 20 generations, and who consequently could not have learnt these particulars from one another at a subsequent date. Whilst this is true for most of the groups mentioned above, it is probable that there has been intercourse between Raiatea and Raro-tonga at a less distant date.
1 This is the Otoo of Captain Cook, mentioned in his first and second voyages, in 1769, 1774.
2 Journal of the Polynesian Society, Vol. I. p. 25.
3 Journal of the Polynesian Society, Vol. 1, p. 25.
4 Polynesian Researches, Vol. II.., p. 195 (edition of 1829). There are two editions of Ellis's classical work, a fact Lesson did not appear to be aware of, and through which he was led into a serious error in his great work, “Les Polynésiens.”
5 We have several notable instances of this practice of naming prominent rocks or mountains after celebrated canoes in New Zealand. The mountains in South-land called by Europeans “Takitimo,” were named after the canoe “Takitimu.” There is a range in Wairarapa called “Nga-waka-a-Kupe,” after the canoe of the great navigator Kupe, and a rock in Te Whanga Lagoon, Chatham Islands, is called after “Rangimata,” one of the ancestral canoes of the Moriori.
6 “Revue Coloniale,” 1855.
7 “Myths and Songs from the South Pacific,” p. 14.
8 “Missionary Enterprises,” p. 43, edition of 1846.
9 “Reports Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science,” for 1891, page 280.
10 Archdeacon Williams tells me this in reference to Tawhiti-nui, “Ko te ingoa hoki ia o te ngaherehere i tomo ai ratou ki te kimi totara hei waka.” “This was the name of the forest which they entered to seek for totara trees to make canoes.” This may be quite true and still Tawhiti, Tawhiti-nui, and Tawhiti-nui-a-Rua may be the names of Tahiti preserved in Maori tradition. In their old waiatas, these names cannot be translated by “distant,” they are the names of places.
11 Whilst writing this paper, Judge Gudgeon sent me a genealogy, which appears to me to be free from the errors in the others, and on which Whiro is shown as living in the generation preceding the heke.
12 This number of generations is derived from one line only. If we take the mean of several to determine the epoch of the heke, and deduce therefrom the time that Whiro flourished, the number would come out 23 or 24, which I believe to be more correct.
13 “Voyage aux îles Mangareva,” p. 117. Published at Rochford, 1844.
14 Paris, 1843.