Volume 30 1921 > Volume 30, No. 119 > The Evils of Makutu, or witchcraft, by S. Percy Smith, p 172-184
THE EVILS OF MAKUTU, OR WITCHCRAFT.
DURING many years past a considerable number of notes on makutu, or witchcraft, have been accumulated, which should be on record, for most of them could never be collected again. The old Maoris were great believers in makutu, and constantly dreaded its effects on themselves; and it would appear from the information we have, that it really had very serious results so long as the person to be bewitched actually knew that the art was being practised on him. So far as can be made out this was an essential condition to the success of the operation, except in certain cases mentioned below. It affected the mind of the victim, and acted as a powerful auto-suggestion, interacting on the physical body and causing death. If a Maori once got the idea into his head that he was going to die, he certainly would do so—of which many illustrations could be given. Makutu could always, however, be counteracted if the right formulæ was adopted by priests having the requisite knowledge—see the paper on “Whakangungu” in this “Journal,” Vol. XXVII., p. 81.
This does not profess to be a dissertation on witchcraft, but merely illustrates the views held by well informed Maoris on the subject. Much of what follows will be ridiculed by people who have not studied the question at all, but it is submitted that some of the methods used in witchcraft and other practices by the Maori tohungas are capable of explanation through the Science of Psychology, notwithstanding that the question, as described by the Maoris themselves, is surrounded by a mental atmosphere partaking of the physical aspect. The translator is persuaded that the Polynesians were acquainted with some form of hypnotism and telepathy, and through these means many of their beliefs and works are explainable. Readers must form their own opinion on the subject.
None of the accounts quoted in what follows give details of the modus operandi by which makutu was accomplished (or only in general terms), whereas we know for instance, that the hau, or some portion of the victim's body, or surroundings, was necessary to the sorcerer to work on, unless, that is, the operation was performed through some form like telepathy at a distance.
Several of my old Maori friends have communicated notes to me on this subject, and the first to be quoted is a paper written by the late - 173 Te Kahui of the Taranaki tribe. After introducing a very poetical lament for some children supposed to have been bewitched, he goes on to expatiate as follows on the evils of witchcraft, which is a translation:—
“The Tatau-o-te-pō was in ancient times a whare-kura (or house of teaching, sometimes called a whare-maire, or whare-wānanga 1) in which were to be found the origin of all the evils that afflicted the Maori people. Miru was the person presiding over that house. 2 From that house came the art of witchcraft, death, death-dealing lizards (atua-ngarara), the gods that withered up the flesh, as also the art of carving, and the following (evil) gods:—Papa-whenua, Kaitoa, Moko-huru-huru, Tu-tangata-kino, Mutu, Tawheke, and Huru-koekoeā. There were many other gods within that house each working its evil work after the tapu teaching of Miru, and it was from her the power of tapu was derived that killed men. The name given to the măna (power) of Miru was the tapu.
The tapu and the măna were exercised by the tip of the tongue, and this was the means by which the strength of the tapu was applied to all things derived from that same house. Hence came the power to kill men; hence also the power to cause the waters to be tapu, with the appropriate karakias relating thereto. The taniwhas (monsters of various kinds) came forth from these waters, and the tapu extended to the land in the form of manea for the taniwhas, which word means a sacred or tapu place. Such a place was subjected to makutu, and all the vegetation there was bewitched, and from it was derived the powers of the sea—and fresh-water taniwhas. No man, or no party of men, would trespass on such a manea for fear of the taniwhas, lest he be eaten; even if he cut a leaf of flax from that place he would be killed by the taniwha, he would be dragged down to the water, or the sea, and there killed.
Of all the properties within (derived from) the Tatau-o-te-pō, witchcraft was the one of greatest power and greatest evil. Stones, trees, flax and food were all subject to makutu, and were the causes of death—indeed everything on earth might be bewitched and cause death. If a house were bewitched, the owner and those who lived there would die. If a stone, or piece of wood was bewitched, or if a stone or other (bewitched) thing were thrown into a drinking spring, those who used it would die.- 174
There were two branches; (one was devoted to) makutu and the tapued ngarara, a god of the Maori. 3 The knowledge of the practice of makutu was confined within the minds of the learned men, and there hidden. The other was devoted to a separate form of teaching; a sacred house was set aside in which was taught the genealogies, incantations, and other works of tapu; taught to a son or grandson may be, and this place was very sacred; it would not be desecrated by anyone; no hand would be stretched forth to touch anything pertaining to this sacred place. This was in consequence of the tapu quality of what was taught therein, and the tapu extended to the ground (on which it was built). If anyone trespassed thereon he would be consumed by the ngarara—his belly would swell up, his flesh and muscles shrivel; his body would be pierced by the ngarara—by the god, by Moko-huruhuru, or by Tu-tangata-kino or other god.
Hence are the various forms of tapu-maori spread about the world, which destroy the Maori people. They were left by our ancestors remaining in this world to feed on man. All things on earth were left by our ancestors to molest us—on the land, in the water, and in men's minds. Such are the pou-paenga (boundary stones) that are set up to divide one cultivation from another, under which a ngarara is placed as a guardian and endowed with măna (power); so that in case anyone should dare to pull up one of these stones, it (the ngarara) would kill that person. Hence even at this day no one will touch those boundary marks, for all have heard the teachings of the elders thereon. 4
The mode by which the makutu is used against anyone is this: May be he who has the power of witchcraft is envious of some chief, or other man; he will operate secretly by the matamata o tona arero (the tip of his tongue), that is, will repeat the proper karakia or incantation, and his man (victim) will die. In the case of disputes about land, one of the disputants may feel very sore in his heart; he will go in search of some tohunga-makutu (or sorcerer) and get him to bewitch the other disputant. The tohunga will then makutu the opponent of the man who came to him to use his powers. The reason for this (i.e., proceeding to extremities) is lest the man should lose his land. This is a frequent cause of makutu.- 175
It is only the lower classes who use the power of sorcery. There are many ways by which this evil custom of the Maori is used. It is sometimes called he mata rere puku (an unseen flight of a bullet), because the evil comes from the “tip of the tongue” of the sorcerer—it is not heard of by other people, lest it be known (by whom the deed was done), and the sorcerer who caused the death, declares it is a false accusation if the man dies. But it is generally known by all that some particular tohunga did the deed. Sometimes the victim is able to describe the appearance of the spirit of the tohunga who bewitched him.
If thou should withhold food and not supply the sorcerer with it, thou wilt die before long, because thou wilt be bewitched by he who has the power of the mata-rere-puku.
If a man should be inclined towards some fine woman, and she will not reciprocate his feeling, that man will feel aggrieved and go to the sorcerer and get him to bewitch the woman; she will become insane, tear her garments and go about naked, till she dies. The name of this proceeding is “Papaki”; another name is “Whakatihaha.” The woman is able to see the spirit of the sorcerer and describe him to those in their senses. And the people in their right minds can see him in evil dreams (? visions) and are able to describe the evil spirit of the Pō (the other world).
Such indeed are the atua (gods, evil afflictions, etc.) that originate from Te Tatau-o-tepō, as well as the wairua-kino (evil spirits), and it was through their influence that the tohungas of old of the Maori people did their work, which has come down through the generations.
The atua-kohatu (stone gods), makutu-kohatu (bewitched stones), whaka-pakoko (carved figures), kohatu-whokairo (carved stones), rakau-whokairo (carved wood-work), were all made tapu, as atuas. The spirit of the person who operates the witchcraft is seen as in a dream by those in their proper senses, and in the night will disclose it, just as does he who is the subject of the witchcraft, and not until the victim is dead will the spirit be lost (to view).
There is another means by which makutu is practised; i.e., by property presented as a gift, such as a piece of jadeite, a fish-hook, ochre (paint), a canoe, weapons, in fact all kinds of Maori property. If any such property is given by one man to another, the donor will wait for five years in expectation of a return, and failing such return present, he will proceed to bewitch the recipient, however far distant he may be, and the latter will die.
Another cause of witchcraft is stealing. If one person steals from another, whatever it may be, the thief will be bewitched unto death. If a pute (bag), a fish-hook, or fishing line, is stolen for use at sea in a canoe, and the owner misses it, after enquiry, and finding everybody ignorant of the whereabouts of the property, he (eventually) feels sure who has taken the object, and that it is someone absent fishing. He is - 176 greatly troubled and proceeds to bewitch the suspected person even from the shore. He calls on the taniwhas of the sea to kill the thief. All at once the taniwhas are seen by everybody in the canoe rising by the side of it. There will be heard the question, “Who of us has committed a sin?” And when the taniwha has snatched the thief out of the canoe, will be heard the exclamation, “A! It was our companion there who was the sinner!” And so that man will die by the taniwha at sea, and the others return ashore, proclaiming the justice of his death through witchcraft because of his theft.
(The first part of the next sentence is very obscure, but it seems to read thus): Sometimes the body of the people do not know who has bewitched one of them, and they feel in a state of uncertainty and great trouble. Then one among them attempts to obtain satisfaction for the death. He will direct his witchcraft to the momo-rangatira (high-born, dignity, influence) in order to reduce the influence, prestige, or position, of the clan. In such cases (and to avoid the consequences) an appeal must be made to a tohunga who knows the karakias pertaining to the “Wai-tokorau,” 5 in order to destroy the spirit of the tohunga who has bewitched them.
The one most evil atua (affliction) of the Maori people is witchcraft. All tribes of these islands possess this evil practice. 6 If a man goes from his own tribe to visit another tribe, he does so with fear, and is very careful how he conducts himself for fear of this evil thing. He should be careful to recite the appropriate karakias over food given him, and take care not to give offence in his speech. If (on the contrary) he does not carry himself circumspectly, or is boastful in his address, then will be “cast” at him this baneful atua, and he will die there; or if the affliction is of long duration he may reach home and his people before he dies. His appearance will become emaciated, his body shrink, and he will die. But if there is a tohunga-titiro-mata (? a priest acquainted with diagnosis—the author says “a Doctor” is the meaning) in the neighbourhood, he may be saved, and he who bewitched him may (in his turn) be killed. This is the salvation of the bewitched, the titiro-mata, but he must do his work correctly, or his patient may die.
Another thing: Do not steal a totara log on the beach, nor food from a food-store, nor a bird's nest, nor from an eel-pool, lest you die by witchcraft.
The ngarara-atua-maori (common-lizard-gods, i.e., ordinary ailments supposed to be due to a lizard in the body) are easily dealt with by the tohunga-taitai-ngarara (lizard-expelling-priests); but makutu is very - 177 difficult to counteract, because it is like a spear-thrust. The tribe is always glad when a tohunga-makutu (a sorcerer) is killed, and the process (of salvation) is named “Wai-toko-rau,” because it consists in searching out the cause of the affliction without the aid of the tohunga. 7 Sometimes the parents of a child who has been bewitched becomes demented.
It is old men and women of low degree (tutua) who practise this art. They are beggars of food—the sorcerers—and much fear the upright and chiefly people. Hence parents admonish their children not to laugh at these kuri-ngongo (mongrels) lest they be smitten by the mata-rere-puku (unseen bullet), a name given to makutu because its blow is not seen. All other illnesses are as nothing compared to makutu. Some tribes call witchcraft “Maui,” others “Whakai,” others again “Whaiwhaia,” but the Taranaki name is “Makutu.”
Another phase of makutu is this: A piece of wood is bewitched and buried in the marae (open space in a pa where all meet, ceremonies are held, etc.), without the knowledge of the people of the place, and from this piece of wood the power and the strength of the witchcraft extends to the people; it is intended to destroy them. Some are affected by it, and it is they who know the signs and explain it. Again, it may be that the tohunga-papa-kikokiko, or titiro-mata (healers), finds out about the wood or stone and unearth it, and eats [sic] it to save the others, for what does it signify if those who have been affected die, if the bulk of the people escape?
Food-ovens, fires in the houses, are all subject to be bewitched, by these powers.
The pieces of wood or stone have had karakias said over them so that the tapu may be embodied in them. Lands are tapued, so they may consume men; so are flax-bushes, and if the hand is stretched forth to take (a leaf) the tapu bites it. Hence are men's bodies afflicted with boils, biting the hips, the legs, the nose or the eyes. He who knows how to counteract this evil thing will be able to cure it. If there is no tohunga near to act, death will ensue.
The ngarara-atua-maori, is made tapu to give it strength; afterwards it is deprived of tapu by burning in the fire, and is eaten in order to lessen the pain in the body. But the ngarara still retains its power to affect man. In the same manner men have had the power to annul the power of the same ngarara, even from the ancient time of Te Tatau-o-te-pō, right down the generations to the present time.- 178
The names of the atua-ngarara (lizard gods) are: Moko-hiku-aro, 8 Tu-tangata-kino, Kaitoa, Rapa-whenua, and Huru-kockoeā.
It is the same with witchcraft; by the learned tohunga-papa-kikokiko, or titiro-mata (healers) alone can the makutu be counteracted; he will be able to see the origin of the victim's troubles and effect a cure. If the victim is left too long in his state of affliction, on the return of the messenger sent to fetch the tohunga, he may have succumbed to its effects, or is so bad he thinks he will die. The atuas of the sorcerer are present. This is the process by which the sorcerer may be killed by the tohunga-papa-kikokiko. The ata (shadow, form, semblance—Theosophists would probably, in this case, say it means an “astral-body”) of the invalid is taken by the tohunga to the waters, where he then proceeds to kill the spirit of the sorcerer, who will subsequently die. 9
The tohunga-maori had also other gods, such as birds. The owl, the sparrow-hawk, the wren, were all atuas, as were the papa-taniwha. When these atuas came to their kaupapa (mediums, guardians, etc.) they would speak to him. Everyone would hear them speaking, or whistling on the eves of the house (where the séance was held). The owl in former days had special powers and was tapu.
The tohungas of old had the power of killing each other (i.e., by occult powers); the tohunga-titiro-mata (healers) had always power to kill the tohunga-makutu (sorcerers); and the latter had great fear of the former. Both the former and the tohunga-taitai-ngarara (lizard expellers) had powers of healing; but the ruanuku-tohunga-makutu (learned sorcerer) had functions of his own.
In former times the Maoris were a tapu people. Hot water was never allowed to touch their heads; that was the law. They had many laws, customs, and rules of conduct based on the tapu derived from Te Tatau-o-te-pō, affecting man, the land, and all things. From Te Tatau-o-te-pō came all these various things, the makutu, the tapu, the ngarara-atua-maori, the karakias, the taitai-ngarara, the gods, the carving, the poetry, the tattooing, the images, the posture-dances, the war-dances, the games of ti and whai-tahuri-rapa. From that house came everything; all the evils of the Maori people are derived from them. It would take a whole Paipera (Bible) to contain all the Maori customs..……- 179
Each person used karakias over himself to secure his safety from sorcery, which were named kai-whatu. When a child was born it was taken to the tuāhu (sacred place where various ceremonies were performed) and karakias recited, and the pae-tautara at the Pou-o-whaitiri was bitten 10 to ward off the makutu, and to preserve its life from Tu-te-nganahau (god of war).
Te Kahui adds this note in reference to Te Tatau-o-te-pō, the ancient “house of teaching,” from whence came all the evils we describe above; but a full account will be found in Vol. VII. of this “Journal,” p 55:—
“Ihenga and Rongomai with their people went to Te Tatau-o-te-pō to obtain knowledge, and during their stay there they acquired the knowledge of witchcraft, incantations, poetry, posture-dances (haka), war-dances (ngeri), games, carving, etc., etc., as preserved in that house. On completion of their studies they and their people returned; most of them came back safely, but one man was captured by Miru (the presiding teacher, or perhaps goddess) belonging to the party of Ihenga and Rongomai. This man was killed by Miru as payment for the instruction they had received and also to be used as a sacrifice to her god. His name was Kewa; his sacrifice ensured the permanence of the powers of the knowledge acquired by Ihenga and Rongomai.”
In 1893 Te Kahui wrote to me in answer to my enquiries that he was unacquainted with the karakias used in the Wai-tokorau, or Tiratu ceremony, by which the effects of makutu could be counteracted, and adds: “It is a valued possession of the Maori people, by its aid the sorcerer could be killed; it is done at the water (or stream, probably the wai-tapu, or sacred stream that existed near each village) by aid of the Wai-tokorau; the priest with a knowledge of this charm, goes to the side of the invalid and pulls out a lock of his hair, which he takes to the stream and places the same on a post or pole which has been set up for the purpose, and proceeds to recite his karakia to bring the spirit of the sorcerer to the post, and on its arrival it is there killed by the priest (by the use of karakia, incantation). But all the old people who knew these karakias are dead. There are two posts erected, that in the water is for the spirit of the sorcerer, the other for the invalid, and then the karakia named Tuhi (to pierce) is recited, the priest then sees the spirit flying to the post in the water, and there kills it.”- 180
In 1901 another learned man from the East Coast (whose name, and that of those concerned are not here mentioned as their descendants are alive, and illfeeling might be caused by recording them) wrote for me that the Wai-tokorau had been performed over himself, and then describes it, “I was taken by my old relative P. to a certain stream near K. … river to have the Wai-tokorau performed over me on account of the evil influence of some tohunga from the Urewera tribe who had been persuaded to makutu me by a woman that I had discarded. I felt very ill, and knew at once that this evil influence was at work, so went at once to old P. in order that he might counteract it. At daybreak we went to the stream, where he said to me, ‘jump into the water, and turn your face towards the sun-rise and then duck (ruku) in the water and gather up some of the sand from the bottom. Throw the sand and gravel over your shoulders towards the sunset, then turn to the south and do the same, then to the north, and the west, repeating the same process.’ The meaning of this was, to ward off the makutu from those directions.
Immediately after I had complied with the directions, a wairua (spirit) was seen by the tohunga, but not by me, which was that of the tohunga by whom I had been bewitched—it was a woman's spirit. When old P. described the spirit to me, I recognised it at once. He then killed the spirit by aid of his karakias, and in about ten days time came the news that the said woman was dead. The news reached us at P. …; the woman's home was at W. … The above is the meaning of Wai-tokorau, or Wai-huri.” 11
Te Kahui in the first part of this paper seems to consider the Wai-tokorau and Tiratu ritual as identical. My East Coast informant thus describes the latter, which will seem to differ somewhat, though the object is the same. He says: “The mouth of the patient is smeared (pani) with the leaf of a tree, and he is then taken by the tohunga to the pua, which is a post inserted on the tuāhu on which the spirit of the sorcerer is to appear. Arrived there, the tohunga takes the same leaf and points it in the direction of each of the winds (i.e., cardinal points) darting it (wero) towards those points. It is not very long before the spirit is seen approaching by the tohunga, but it is not seen by the patient. The spirit alights on the pua, where it is killed by the tohunga. If it dies, this shows that it really was the spirit of he who had makutued the patient.”
In the following two illustrations of makutu, the names of the people concerned are also suppressed for reasons already mentioned. - 181 They express the Maori belief in the powers of this evil work, though the writer must disassociate himself with a belief in the power described, at any rate as fully as his informants.
In the first case, my informant told me in 1900 that having occasion to visit the home of another tribe in reference to a claim to lands in which he was opposing his hosts, he was accompanied by a European friend. A meeting of the people was held, during which he observed one old woman who sat silently and intently staring at him, never moving her gaze from his face. It was not very long before he felt convinced that the old woman was intent on exercising her powers of witchcraft over him. On returning to their sleeping place he told his European friend that he was afraid of the black art of these people who were notorious for their skill in that direction according to the belief of neighbouring tribes. He advised his friend of his intention to leave the following morning, which they did.
On arriving home he recited the karakia tapi over himself to ward off the evil influence, which was successful. On my asking how he knew that the old woman was bewitching him, he said he was never mistaken; there would be a singing sound in the ears, and a kind of itching or tingling (patete) in the nostrils, and if this feeling went upwards from below in the nose it would certainly be the effect of makutu, but if the feeling extended downwards then, even if the makutu had been tried, it would have no effect. He agreed with me in thinking that it is the knowledge, on the part of the victim, of the fact that makutu had been applied that causes death or illness. If the victim does not know, he will recover, or not be affected by it.
We should probably describe the above symptoms as “a cold in the head,” but the Maori thinks otherwise.
The same authority told me of the following occurrence that took place not many years before our conversation. A certain woman went to a learned man who was supposed to be skilled in sorcery and said to him, “There is so and so who my husband has taken as a second wife. Kill her, that my husband's love may return to me.” The wise-man consented, and applying his art the victim not long after died. At the tangi, or wake, held over the dead woman, a well-known tohunga 12 was present, and he suspected the cause of the woman's death, and that it was due to makutu by the man to whom the first wife had applied. He said at the tangi, “I do not wish to meet so and so (naming the supposed sorcerer). We shall meet hereafter in the Pō” (place of departed spirits, but meaning that he intended to work his art on the sorcerer). It was not long after this - 182 the supposed sorcerer, his brother, and another member of his family suddenly died, all of whom are believed by the Maoris to have been bewitched by the same tohunga.
Hoa, passive hoaina (besides many other meanings) is the verb to affect any object at a distance by means of karakia (incantations, etc.), such as to kill a bird, dog, man, tree, etc., etc., at a distance, according to Maori belief. The blasting of the unprofitable fig tree by our Lord is an apt illustration of hoa, if it had been done by a human being. A Maori friend of mine told me in 1901, the following story as illustrating the hoa when applied to witchcraft, which I leave my readers to believe or not; though it was certainly believed by my informant.
On one occasion his father, in the early decades of the nineteenth century, visited a tribe that was credited with being great sorcerers, especially one man, whose name I had better not mention. One day my friend's father and the above tohunga were sitting together chatting at the door of the latter's house. They were at the same time taking a meal, and at some distance off, sitting on the porch of a waata, or store house, was an old woman munching some food. She was of an alien tribe to the tohunga. My friend's father asked the tohunga if it was true that he had the power of hoa, for the former had became a christian and doubted the other's power in applying this old custom. The tohunga replied that he had the power, and on his guest expressing doubts, he said, “Let us put away this food, and I will show you!” He then recited a karakia-hoa, “directing it” (as my informant said) towards the old woman sitting on the waata, who immediately fell to the ground dead. My informant's father went to examine her, and found she was quite dead; he took his ihu-puni cloak and covered over the body. When the news of the death of the woman reached her tribe, some of her relatives came to tangi over the body, and they then thanked my informant's father for his action in covering up the body, for it was believed by everyone that the woman had died a natural death, the two men in the secret having agreed to keep to themselves the cause of her death.
There are several instances recorded by the Maoris of their belief in the possibility of bewitching people at a distance, see this “Journal,” Vol. XVIII., p. 117, and other instances are also known. After the pupils who had been taught in the Whare-kura, or Whare-maire (houses of teaching, colleges in fact) they had to pass certain ordeals to show that they had acquired the necessary măna (power, prestige, etc.) enabling them to perform the duties of tohungas, etc. Amongst other ordeals—according to Maori story—were two in which - 183 this supposed power of killing at a distance was exercised. The first was, the pupil was directed to apply the hoa to a flying bird to kill it. If successful in this, he had to direct the same power to killing a man at a distance, preferably a relative; this was the final test of the pupil's proficiency. See an illustration of this in this “Journal,” Vol. VIII., p. 131, where the action is termed tipi-whakahia-moe, a sleep-causing-stroke. The above two examples as recorded in this “Journal” are typical; the one against a body of people, the other against an individual. It would seem that neither of the cases come within the condition that the victim must be aware of the fact that he is being subjected to makutu. Is it possible that the second case—that of the individual—was due to some exercise of a power similar to telepathy? There are so many well authenticated cases of telepathic healing at great distance, that it would seem also possible that the contrary action may be within the powers of experts in telepathy.
What we want is more facts, and more details, before a decided opinion on the subject can be expressed. And in this connection we commend to students of the subject Mr. Elsdon Best's paper on “Spiritual Concepts of the Maori” in Vols. XIV., XV. and XVI. of this “Journal.” Lieut.-Col. Gudgeon's papers in Vols. XIV., XV. and XVI. of this “Journal” should also be studied, as well as E. Tregear's “Maori Race,” and John White's works—none of which, however, have been consulted in preparing this paper.
H. T. Pio, a learned man of the Ngati-Awa tribe of the Bay of Plenty, in Vol. XII. of his MSS., p. 14 (with the Polynesian Society, thanks to Mr. Elsdon Best), has the following notes on makutu, which may supplement what has gone before as illustrating the Maori view of the subject.
He says: “If a star is seen in the daylight (?a meteor) it is called an “Atua-tuku-mai” (a god, or evil infliction sent or projected) and has been dispatched by someone to kill another person. Prepare at once to whakaepa (to turn aside, warn off) the evil, using these words:—
Whakataha ra koe
E te anewa o te rangi
Kai whara koe e te
Mamaru e tu nei,
He tawhito to makutu,
He patu me te tapu-ihi,
Me te tapu-mana
Takoto ki raro
Ki to Kauwhau-ariki
Takoto ki raro ki to Kauwhau-ariki.
If the star has been sent by someone, the above is said to return the evil to the sender. This is done, whether it be a star, or any other kind of atua (evil infliction). Or if the evil is sent by means of a bird used as an atua, use the following words as a karakia:—
Whakataha ra koe
E te anewa o te rangi
He tupua, he tawhito
To makutu e homai nei,
Kei taku ure,
Na te tapu-ihi
Na te tapu-mana
Takoto ki raro
Ki to Kauwhau-ariki.
And it will at once return and kill the sender of the atua.
At page 141 H. T. Pio says, “If the Ruanuku, or Mata-tuhi, or Kanohi-kitea discovers that anyone is afflicted by makutu, the victim is taken to the water, where a toko (rod, stick) is stuck up over it, and then will be seen the person who has caused the makutu. The Ruanuku will say, ‘So and so is there,’ and the victim of the makutu will reply, ‘Kill him with the stick.’ It will not be very long after this that news is received that so and so is dead.”
In another place H. T. Pio says (Vol. XII., p. 48), “The patient (or person bewitched) is taken to the water, where some otaota-hou (fresh leaves, or weeds) are dipped in the water which is sprinkled over the patient, the tohunga at the same time repeats the following takutaku:—
Ara, to ara, mehemea
He urunga to take
Ko te Hukita koe
Haere i tua, haere i waho
Haere i a moana nui
Haere i a moana roa
Haere i a moana
Te takiritia ki te whai-ao
Ki te ao-marama
Ka uru te ora ki roto
Ka uru te mate ki waho
Uru toro he
He urunga koe e patu nei
Haere ko te Hukita koe
E patu nei, haere ki ou taki
Korou ora ki te whai-ao
Ki te ao-marama.
Thus is the patient cured by the Matatuhi-kite; the curse of the makutu will never be hidden from the kanohi (eye, i.e., mental vision) of the Matatuhi.
- i Page is blank- ii
1 Te Matorohanga, in his teaching as given in our “Memoirs,” Vol. III., draws a distinction between the latter and the whare-maire—no witchcraft being taught in the whare-wānanga.
2 For a full account of Miru see this “Journal,” Vol. VII., p. 55. She was one of the presiding goddesses of Hades, and indeed in eastern Polynesia appears to have been the principal goddess of those regions.
3 In the belief of the Maori, many ills that flesh is heir to, were due to the lizards biting them either externally or internally—hence their fear of these harmless little saurians, a fear not shared by many branches of Polynesians.
4 It is perhaps worth recording that in a walking expedition along the Taranaki coast as far back as 1852, or 1853, we crossed innumerable long lines of flat boulders set up on edge close together and running back from the coast away inland. The country was mostly covered with high flax bushes. These lines of stones, we were told, marked boundaries of old cultivations. I have never noticed such things in other parts of New Zealand. This was a very thickly populated part of the country in former times, as witness the numerous fortified pas.
5 See note at end hereof.
6 Some few tribes disclaim any dealings in this black art. The tribe of our informant are notorious for it.
7 This is contradicated in the description of the “Wai-tokorau.”
8 In the celebrated lament by Turaukawa for his nephew Te Kuru, occurs the following reference to Moko-hiku-aro:—
Ka kino ona moko,
Tapa ona ingoa ko Moko-hiku-aro,
Ko te tangata kino-e-ra.
9 See this “Journal,” Vol. XXVII., p. 83, for greater detail of this ritual connected with the destruction of the spirit of the sorcerer. And please correct the printer's error in the title of that paper—it should be Whakangungu, not Wakangungu.
10 See this “Journal,” Vol. XXVII., p. 84.
11 If we are to believe Florence Marryat as expressed in her “There is no death,” this calling up of the spirit, or representation of a living person, is possible to those gifted with Psychic power.
12 This man, whom I knew, told me he had been fully educated in the Whare-wānanga, or Maori college, and had passed all the ordeals. He was (for he is dead) as a matter of fact an exceedingly well informed man on Maori history; but he was very reticent as to much of their occult arts.