Volume 4 1895 > Volume 4, No. 2 > Floatsam and jetsam from the great ocean: or, summary of early Samoan voyages and settlement, by John B. Stair, p 99-131
FLOATSAM1 AND JETSAM FROM THE GREAT OCEAN: OR, SUMMARY OF EARLY SAMOAN VOYAGES AND SETTLEMENT. WITH SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES AND COMMENTS.
IN seeking information as to early Samoan settlements, local traditions or records throw much light upon the subject; but there are others of great interest and value derived from outside sources.
These interesting records, the summary of which I now give, were written for me by a native of Rarotonga in 1842, more than fifty years ago, and from which a careful translation was made at the time. They not only describe the first settlement of Rarotonga by Samoans, but also long-continued and extensive voyages undertaken by successive generations of Samoans, extending over very many years, and covering a vast expanse of ocean. The record purposes to be—“The History of the peopling of Rarotonga, with the generations of the people of Samoa, whence they sprang.” It commences by stating that Tangaloa, or as he is also called, Tupua, was the first chief of Upolu.
It then proceeds to give a connected list of seventy-three names of chiefs or rulers, the last of which is Tangiia, one of the two famous voyagers who first settled one portion of Rarotonga. (I give the names in full in supplement.)
This list of powerful chiefs who successively or, perhaps, in some cases, contemporaneously, governed on Upolu, or other parts of Samoa, is most interesting and suggestive. In it I find the names of chiefs who held sway on Upolu, as well as those who were supreme on Savaii; Rata, with Atonga, Iro, and Karika, being chiefs of Savaii; whilst - 100 Tangaloa, Te-alu-tanga-nuku and his successors, with others, including the famous Tangiia alias Te-uenga, were chiefs or lords of Upolu, who in a series of years made long and distant voyages to all parts of the compass—Tahiti, Marquesas, Futuna, Uvea (Wallis' island), Rarotonga, Tonga, Fiti, with many other groups, including even New Zealand, as I think, being in turn visited more than once in many cases, and also in part colonised by these enterprising leaders.
The first canoe spoken of in the record was built on Savaii, in a forest belonging to Rata, by Atonga and his two brothers, Olo-keu and Olo-i-nano—the name of Atonga, the elder brother, appearing sixty-eighth on the genealogy, and coming immediately before that of Te-alu-tanga-nuku, lord of A'ana, Upolu, who made the first voyage spoken of, and who stands sixty-ninth on the list; whilst Tangiia, who made the last of the series, appears seventy-third on the list, thus covering a period of five generations, or 150 years, during which these voyages were made.
The brothers Olo-keu and Olo-i-nano were the first to move in building the canoe, being impelled thereto by the harsh treatment of their brother Atonga. Smarting under his unkindness, they determined to build a canoe, and thus provide themselves with the means of seeking other lands.2
They went to a forest on Savaii belonging to Rata, and cut down a tree without obtaining his permission, which brought them into trouble later on. Having cut down the tree they went to the coast, intending to return the next day. Meantime Rata appeared on the scene, and resented this felling of a tree without his permission. Exerting some supernatural power inherent in him, he commanded the re-connexion of the several parts. When Rata reached the spot and saw the tree cut down, he said, “Head of the tree approach, with the branches, leaves, bark, and chips; let all be joined again to the trunk of the tree”; and it was so, all the different portions came together. Rata then said to the tree, “Stand upright! I am Tu-ta-maota-mea.” On which the tree arose and stood upright, and Rata returned to the coast.
When the two brothers went to the forest early in the morning they found the tree standing upright, but they knew it by the hatchet they had left at the butt of the tree. Nothing daunted, they cut it down again, divided the butt, and prepared the tree for being dragged to the coast. After this they returned home. On their way back they encountered another marvel, as they were brought face to face - 101 with a combat between an owl and a snake.3 The owl, who claimed to be the lord of the forest in disguise, said to them, “Friends, my brethren, come you here and put a stop to this quarrel between myself and the snake.” But the snake said, “Chiefs, proceed, and do not interfere in the quarrel of the snake and the owl”; on which the two brothers prepared to go forward, not caring to interfere in the quarrel of the snake and the owl; but the owl immediately said to them, “Behold, I am the lord of this forest, in which you two cut down the tree; if you do not come and put a stop to our quarrel you shall never paddle in your canoe.” On this they thought upon the fact of the tree which they had cut down being caused to stand upright again, and turning back they killed the snake by cutting it asunder. On this, the owl said to them, “Go you two, prepare your canoe (a va'a-tele—large canoe), with its outrigger and seats, and set of paddles.” After a time, when the canoe had been built, they prepared to drag it from the forest and take it to the sea; but when they reached the tua-sivi, or ridge of the mountain, they both died.
When Atonga found that his brothers did not return, he sought and found them in the mountain, lying dead on the ridge, and buried them. He then took the canoe for himself. A mystery seems to hang about this Atonga, who had something to do with the building of the canoe. He is said to have had two sides; one side spirit, the other side man. The canoe was said to be built in a night, but the brothers did not know it. The man side worked as a servant; the spirit side building the canoe, which was finished in the night. When the canoe was built it was first called O le Vaa-fau-po4 (the canoe built in the night).
The fame of this wonderful canoe soon reached Upolu, and a chief named Te-alutanga-nuku longed to possess it. After some intriguing with his wife and Atonga, the latter presented the canoe to Te-alutanga-nuku, and sent him the following directions by his wife: “Go, tell your husband to prepare a house for the canoe. Summon all Upolu to come and build a house quickly, for the canoe shall be taken to him to-morrow morning. Command that none of the people stand upright; but that all sit down, and look at the canoe as it is taken, and listen to the song of the birds bearing it.”- 102
The woman returned in haste to her husband, who summoned the people, so that the canoe house was built and finished by daylight; when the song of the birds was heard approaching with their burden. Atonga had sent this command to all the birds that they should carry the canoe to its destination, and instructed them what song to sing when they lifted the canoe.
“This shall be your song when you take the canoe:—
Atonga had changed the name of the canoe to that of Manu-a-lele (birds about to fly). The canoe was landed on Upolu, and safely housed, to the great delight of the chief, who again changed the name of the canoe to that of his wife—O le Puta-o-le-peau (the fulness of the wave)—which was the third name of the canoe. After this, preparation was made for the first voyage of the canoe.
First Voyage of the Canoe, under Te-alu-tanga-nuku, To the South-south-west and West of Samoa.
After this, the canoe visited (went about to) all the lands in that side of the heaven (south-south-west and west), but did not go to the upper side of the heaven, or toward Tahiti. And when the year was finished the chief gave the canoe to his son Te-alu-tanga-langi, who made the second voyage.
Second Voyage, under Te-alu-tanga-langi, To Fiti, &c.
At this time the name of the canoe was again changed to O le Folau-loa-i-Fiti (the voyage direct to Fiti); but did not go to the eastward. At the close of that year the chief gave the canoe to his son Kau-kula.7
Third Voyage, under Kau-kula, To Fiti, and Tonga-leva, now first visited.
Kau-kula visited Fiti and the lands his father had visited. He also went to another land, which was then known for the first time, called Tonga-leva.8 After this he returned in his canoe to Upolu - 103 when he saw that it was opening in the joints. On which he anchored it beneath the water and named it Tuna-moe-vai (eel sleeping in the water). When a season had passed he gave the canoe to his son Malu, who again changed its name to Numia-au (confusion of currents).
Fourth Voyage, under Malu, To the East and North-east.
Malu now voyaged towards the upper side of the heavens (east or north-east), whither he went, as also his father, Kau-kula. They discovered a small island named Toku-tea, where Malu left his father. He then sailed about with himself only and his men, and afterwards returned to Samoa.
The birth of Tangiia is now described. On his return to Savaii, Malu married a woman named Rua-manu, by whom he had issue two girls. One of them married a man named Tu-tapu, and had a son who was adopted by Malu, as he had no son, and who named him Te-uenga. The boy fell sick, but two aitu (or gods) came, who were Tangaloa and Tongaiti. These two looked at the boy; when Tangaloa said, addressing his companion, “What do you say; suppose we let the boy live? If he lives he will be our rejoicing.” On this they called the boy “Tangiia,” which means, in Samoa, compassionated (literally, cried over), because of the sympathy of the two spirits to the boy when he was near death.
Fifth Voyage, by the Family of Malu, To the South-south-west and West.
Some of the family of Malu determined to sail to the lower side of the heaven (south-south-west and west), and these are the lands they visited: Tonga, Fiti, Nuku, Olo-lilo, Nu'u, Anga-ula, Kulu-pongi, Ala-ma-ti'eti'e, Mata-te-la, Vae-loa, Taki-nuku, U-vea, A-mama, Tuma (Rotumah), with all the islands visited by the family of Malu.9
Tangiia now comes more fully into notice. Whilst the party were at the island of Nu'u they built a canoe for the chief. It was a small one, and only the chief sat in it, and it was guided by a man who walked along the shore. It was called O le Vaa-tapa-langi (canoe beckoning the heavens). That was the reason why they proclaimed Tangiia to the chieftainship. And now, also, the titles of his father were first of all given to him. He now became chief, and obtained his idols. One was called Koti-longo-mana,10 from Nu'u; another Malu-mao-mao, from A-mama; whilst another was called Tongaiti. These were the idols whom he and his family worshipped.- 104
Sixth Voyage. Tangiia.
To the Eastward, and Settlement at Tahiti.
After this they left that side of the heavens and sailed eastward to Niuē (Savage Island) and Niu-tapu-tapu (Keppel Island), to Niu-lii, Niu-tala, and Iva (Marquesas), and then they sailed to Tahiti, where Tangiia made a settlement at a place called Puna-auia. This was a settlement of the four classes of people, who were called “the diminutives.” It is said they were so short that they could not be seen when they walked in the high grass or undergrowth. (E le iloa fo'i pe'ā savali i mea vaoa.) Whilst Tangiia and his party dwelt here he married the daughter of Maono, named Ale-i-uaia, by whom he had issue a child called Pou-te-anuanua (supporting posts of the rainbow) and two others, all of whom were adopted by the father of the woman; who was then discarded by Tangiia.
The tradition describes another amour of Tangiia with a woman of Raiatea, by whom he had three children; after which he returned to Tahiti.
On reaching Tahiti, Tangiia found that war had broken out between Maono, the father of his former wife, and Tutapu, a chief from Iva (Marquesas), in which Maono was defeated. At Tahiti, Tangiia found a man from Huahine, who had married his sister Rakanui, on which Tangiia gave her the canoe which had been brought by the birds from Savaii, and in this canoe they sailed for Huahine.
Seventh Voyage. Tutapu
Sails for Rarotonga, and does good work.
The Marquesan chief Tutapu sailed for Rarotonga, and on reaching there, he and his party set to work to drain the swamps of the island, and settled at the side of the island where Buzzacott afterwards lived. Here they made a great mound, and called it Iva-tele, after the name of their land.
Eighth Voyage. Iro and his Company
From Samoa also settle at Rarotonga.
When Tutapu and his company reached Rarotonga they found that another company of settlers had preceded them; Iro11 and his company from Samoa having reached there, and settled in another part of the island. When Iro knew that Tutapu had arrived he went to visit him, and salute him, for they were old friends. In Iro's company there was a man named Kau-kula, who had been left by his son Malu at Tautea, or Tokutea, on the fourth voyage. After he had been there - 105 for some time, Iro headed a party from Samoa and visited Tautea, where Kau-kula was staying, and induced him to join his company and sail for Rarotonga. During the interview of Tutapu and Iro, the former proposed to the latter that they should sail in company, to which he agreed. Iro then placed two of his gods on board of Tu-tapu's canoe—viz., Rongo and Tane, but a third, called Tu-tavake, he kept in his own canoe. They sailed together, but finally parted company; Tutapu reaching Tahiti, and Iro going to the Marquesas.
Tangiia divides his Land with Tutapu.
As soon as Tangiia heard of Tutapu's arrival at Tahiti, he divided his land with him; but subsequently they disputed about a particular breadfruit tree, which laid the foundation of a long and bitter quarrel.
After a time word was brought to Tangiia of Vailaka, the daughter of Keu, the King of Rapa; on which he determined to visit her. He sailed in a canoe which he had built at Tahiti, after he had given his sister the old canoe. The new canoe he named Ai-soi (soi-eater), because the canoe was built during a famine, when there was nothing for the builders to eat but soi, a small species of wild yam.
Ninth Voyage. Tangiia to Rapa.
When Tangiia reached Rapa he found that Iro had preceded him; the same Iro that left Rarotonga with Tutapu. When they met they conversed about many things, and Tangiia told Iro the object of his visit, when Iro informed him that the lady was ugly. Iro wished Tangiia to remain until after a great feast which was to be shortly held. To this he consented. Tangiia tried to persuade Iro to return with him to Tahiti, but he preferred returning to Samoa. However, at length he consented to go to Tahiti. On reaching there they found that Tutapu had killed and eaten the two sons of Tangiia adopted by Maono; and, as they were chiefs, a war was the result, but it did not last long.
Tenth Voyage. To Mauke; Tangiia.
News having reached Tangiia about the daughter of Auli, chief of Mauke, he sailed thither. The narrative describes the interview of Tangiia with the two daughters of Auli; the one ugly, the other handsome.
Tangiia returned to Tahiti, and found that both Tutapu and Iro were still there. Iro proposed returning to Samoa, when Tangiia asked for, and obtained, one of Iro's sons to adopt, so that, after his death, Tahiti might not be without a king, and that the four classes of little people might still have a chief.12 Iro not only gave his son to be - 106 adopted by Tangiia, but he also gave him two idols, named Tangaloa and Tu-tawake; and a female idol called Taa-kulu. He also gave him some musical instruments, the foafoa and the pau. These are described as belonging to chiefs. They were a drum and pipes.
Eleventh Voyage. Iro returns to Samoa.
After Iro had left on his return to Samoa, Tangiia named his adopted son Te-ariki-upoko-tini (chief of the thousands of heads). He was also called chief of the four classes of little men.13
The tradition now proceeds to give a long account of the renewal of the war between Tutapu and Tangiia. In this war Tangiia was not only defeated, but relentlessly followed and oppressed by Tutapu, the history of which is too long to give here. In his despair, Tangiia sought the counsel of his sister in Huahine, who not only sympathised with him in his distress, but gave him back the original canoe that was brought by the birds from Savaii; because his own canoe was small. Tangiia left his own canoe with his sister, and re-named the old canoe she gave him O le Tika-o-le-tuafafine (saved by the sister). Tutapu again followed Tangiia to Huahine, whence he fled to Polapola (Borabora), still chased by Tutapu. At length, in despair, Tangiia consulted some of the wisest of his people, who advised an immediate return to Samoa, which was reached safely.
Twelfth Voyage. Tangiia, Southwards.
After a time Tangiia and his company sailed on another voyage, going south. He is said to have left Manono and Apolima on the right hand of their canoe as they sailed, and after a time they reached Nu'u and Anga-ula, with Ara-ma-ti'eti'e and Mata-te-la, as also Uea, five islands which are named as having been visited in the fifth of the early voyages, by the family of Maru, many years before. At Uea (Wallis' Island) they met a man named Tera-tua-nuku, who had just arrived from Vae-rota.14 Tangiia induced this man to accompany him, they sailed to a land called Taki-nuku, where they lived for a time, and when certain things took place, which are recorded.
Thirteenth Voyage. Tangiia, Eastward.
Again Tangiia and his company started, and reached Rurutu. Thence they sailed to Papau, also called Rimatara. At this island the man Tera-tua-nuku, who had accompanied Tangiia, and whose name had been twice changed, remained and settled; but Tangiia sailed i lunga, i.e. north and north-east, and reached an island called - 107 Maketu,15 where he first of all met with another navigator named Karika, a chief from Iva, or Marquesas.
The Meeting of Tangiia and Karika.
Karika's canoe was hostile, and Tangiia prepared for battle, and waited the approach of his opponent. As the canoes neared each other, two men leaped from Karika's canoe and swam to Tangiia's vessel. Their names were Tui-te-alii and Te-nuu-faa-alii-loto. They were presented with food, some masi, and a fish (the a'u). After partaking of this food with the crew, Tangiia enquired the name of their leader, when they said, “This is Tae-tonga;16 he has two names, viz., Karika and Le Tae-tonga; the latter being his name of terror, because his is a va'a fasi folau (a canoe slaying voyagers).” On this, Tangiia asked them to what land they belonged, when they said, “We are men from Savaii.” Tangiia demanded why they came in that bad canoe. They said they were out fishing and met the canoe, and determined to join her. On this Tangiia gave fresh names to the men, which are stated to be still held by their descendants at Rarotonga, where they afterwards settled.
The canoes approached, and Tangiia prepared for battle. His crew consisted of 200 men, who were divided into two divisions; 100 being placed in the forepart of the canoe, and 100 amidships. When all was ready, Tangiia awaited the approach of the pirate canoe. As they neared each other Tangiia commenced an oration describing his prowess and lineage, when Karika, being apparently alarmed at the number of Tangiia's crew, suddenly leaped into the sea with his daughter, and swam towards the canoe of Tangiia. As soon as they were on board, Karika presented his daughter, called Moo-loa-i-aitu, to Tangiia as his wife.17
When Tangiia saw that Karika made his submission to him, he took off his own pale, or coronet, which he wore, from his own head, and was about to present it to Karika, when one of his crew darted forward and snatched it from his hand, and climbed up to the mast-head of the canoe with it; but it fell from his hand into the sea. Another pale-ula (red coronet) having been brought, Tangiia gave it to Karika, saying, “I hereby adopt you.” The reason why he gave him the crown was because Karika had given him his daughter; and because of his desire to get the latter's help in his attack upon Tutapu at Tahiti, whither he was going, hoping, with his fresh men from Samoa, to crush his old enemy.- 108
The two canoes then sailed in company, but afterwards separated. Tangiia, at Karika's suggestion, sailed to the left of his companion's canoe, the latter hoping to see his friend drawn into the fafā; this leader not being able to forget the crown that was snatched from him by one of Tangiia's crew. Tangiia was nearly engulphed, for he felt his vessel getting within the influence of the whirlpool; and, on putting his hand into the sea to ascertain the set of the current, he was astonished to find the water hot; then he knew that Karika had endeavored to engulph him into the fafā. He at once put his canoe about, and shortly after, on putting his hand into the water again, he was glad to find it had become cooler, and that his canoe was safe. On this he rejoiced greatly, and heading his canoe for Rarotonga, soon reached there, landing at the harbour, or entrance to the reef, called O le Vai-kokopu, where the canoe was anchored, and the party went on shore to establish themselves, for Tangiia had determined to settle there.
The narrative then proceeds to detail the steps taken by the immigrants to establish themselves on that part of the island; and tells how, on going to the other side of the island, they found that Karika's company had preceded them, and were settling themselves there. The parties embraced and fraternised. After this Tangiia returned to his own district, and proceeded to complete arrangements for settling there, when, in the midst of all their busy preparations, they were astonished to see the canoe of the much-dreaded Tutapu sail into the harbour, and cast anchor near to the spot where Tangiia's canoe was riding safely at her anchorage.
The narrative goes on to describe many other intersting details of the after-proceedings of the colonists, and their subsequent adventures, which are too long to be given here. The writer concludes his narrative in the following striking words:—
“I now finish this history of the growth of the people of Rarotonga from Samoa. The Samoans say we are of a different race, but they do not understand. We are sprung from Samoa, and we are their brethren.”
Trading and Fishing Voyages.
Apart from these long sea voyages, the Samoans were accustomed to make frequent voyages to groups around, in the distant past, for trading or pleasure; Tonga, Fiji, Atafu (Duke of York Island) and other groups to the north-north-east and north-west being frequently visited by them, and in many cases return visits being made, especially from Tonga and Fiji; though in the early days visitors from the northern groups were frequent. The Tongans, indeed, often tried to gain a permanent footing on Samoa, and even asserted to strangers that such was the fact; but they were never successful in effecting a permanent settlement.- 109
Of late years, however, these trading voyages have ceased, apparently in consequence of a more settled and frequent intercourse with Europeans having arisen; and also in consequence, without a doubt, of the disuse of the original large sea-going canoe, the va'a-tele (great canoe), which differed materially from the alia, or small double canoe, at times now in use, and which is the same as the Tongan double canoe. The va'a-tele was much larger and much more difficult to sail and control than the Tonga canoe. This latter is formed by lashing two canoes of nearly equal length together by stout crosspieces, which are securely fastened into the gunwales; and upon the stage thus formed in the centre a thatched shed was placed to accommodate the crew. In the va'a-tele, or great canoe, one body of the canoe was much longer than the other; and, instead of the shed being placed amidships, it was built on a stage which projected considerably over the stern. It differed also in the rig, and was altogether much more difficult to manage than the alia, which has superseded it. The last of these once famous va'a-tele was in existence on Samoa when I reached there in 1838. It belonged to Pe'a, a chief of Manono, but was broken up some short time after my arrival, and I do not think another has been built since.
These big canoes must have been of considerable size, since, upon the fishing expeditions made at certain seasons of the year, to a reef midway between Wallis' Island and Savaii, they were accustomed to carry two va'a-alo, or large fishing canoes, on the deck; which, on reaching the reef, were used in fishing for bonito, &c., the large va'a-tele being reserved for crew and cargo.
Arrangements for Voyages.
I have often asked the Samoans how they managed as to cooking, storage of water, &c., during a voyage.
As to the former, provision was made for a fire by building up stones and earth in some part of the hold or shed; whilst the water was taken in bamboos, or water-bottles made from gourds or coco-nut shells. And in reply to my query whether they did not often run short of water, they have astonished me by telling me that the early voyagers always took a supply of leaves of a certain kind of herb or plant, as a means of lessening thirst, and thus forming a valuable stand-by on a voyage. By chewing the leaves of this plant they declared that, to a certain extent, they could drink sea water with some kind of impunity, and thus assuage thirst. I made many unsuccessful efforts to obtain the name of this shrub and ascertain its character. The natives I asked, said that they themselves did not know what it was, as the custom had grown into disuse; but they were confident such a custom had prevailed in the past, when voyages were more frequently made by their ancestors. I questioned many men of intelligence about the matter, without effect. The constant - 110 reply was, “We do not know what it was ourselves, but we are certain our forefathers were accustomed to use the plant.”
Of late years I have ascertained that cocaine has the power of so completely deadening the sense of feeling in the palate and throat that sea water may be swallowed without inconvenience, so far as taste is concerned; but that the consequence of drinking it for any length of time would be disastrous. In many cases the time occupied in passing from island to island would be short, sometimes only a few days. I have thought it possible that some plant of the coca species may possibly exist in Samoa, or some of the Tonga Group. In Peru, the leaves of the coca tree are chewed with wood ashes or lime, and used by Indian travellers and sportsmen to remove the sense of thirst and hunger, and enable climbing to be performed comfortably. Some such custom and habit would appear to have been known to early Samoan voyagers.
Fish would frequently be procured as they sailed onwards, which would often be eaten raw, as is the custom even now; numbers being very fond of i'a ota, or raw fish, and esteem it a great luxury.
Supplies of fruit and prepared breadfruit (masi) would be taken on board, and replenished from time to time, as also water, at the islands they visited; such calling stations being well known and reckoned upon. In one of the records I have given (the Twelfth Voyage, p. 106), mention is made of both fish and masi having been given as food to strangers on board of Tangiia's canoe.
The sleeping accommodation must have been very scant and uncomfortable, but the natives were not so particular in these matters as we are, and would pack closely together: whilst by dividing their crews into watches, they would manage to get some rest.
Certain constellations were their guides in sailing, to which they trusted with confidence and success: the Amonga (or burden), Orion's Belt, was the usual guide for the Friendly Islands. In many cases, as shown in these records, they were accustomed to take their idols or teraphim on board with them, as a protection and shield. In several instances in these traditions the names of the idols taken are recorded; and, at times, fresh ones were obtained at the islands visited; the possession of such seeming to have been considered of very great importance.
Traces of Samoan Settlement in New Zealand, From a Samoan Point of View.
Ancient as the foregoing Samoan voyages, of which I have given a summary, undoubtedly are, there are traces in the same record of other and, it seems to me, much earlier ones. Such has been my opinion for a long period, even with the very scant information bearing upon the subject of early Samoan intercourse with New Zealand at my disposal in the past, part of that being the record of Commodore Wilkes - 111 of his exploring expedition, which visited Samoa during my residence there, in which I found certain references in New Zealand traditions as to early Samoan voyages and settlement there, which pointed to an early and extensive intercourse between the Samoans and New Zealand.
Within the last few months, however, through the kindness of S. Percy Smith, Esq., I have received sundry documents of intense interest to me as bearing upon this subject, and throwing a flood of light upon the whole matter that wonderfully strengthens my previous supposition. The jottings upon early Samoan intercourse with New Zealand were written mostly before I received the pamphlets I speak of, and are therefore less full than they otherwise would have been. Still, I give these early impressions and suggestions, hoping there may be some points of interest in them, as well as facts brought forward which may help to throw light upon this, to me, most deeply interesting subject.
Speaking of the past history of New Zealand, Commodore Wilkes says (vol. i., p. 310), “The following is one of their traditions respecting their origin: ‘The first natives came from Hawaiki, situated towards the east, in several canoes, and the names of some of the principal people were Tane-pepeke, Tane-waitika, Tane-waka, Rongo-kako, Kopaia, and Koe-na-upoko. They settled first at Kawia, on the coast near Maketu, Turanga, and Ahuriri.’” Some of the names, I believe, are incorrectly spelt, but they will answer my purpose. This company was evidently a large one and well equipped.
In support of this statement, that some of the settlers of New Zealand came from Samoa (Hawaiki being evidently Savaii of that group), I may draw attention to the remarkable fact that in the genealogy of seventy-four names accompanying this summary of ancient Samoan voyagers, and which I give elsewhere, there are five names, from No. 17 onwards, following each other, and bearing a remarkable resemblance to those mentioned in the list of names given in the New Zealand tradition spoken of before. These five names are Tane-auaka, Tane-tutaki-fanua, Tane-a-lulu, Tane-iti-pepele, and Tane-makolo-i-le-tua-o-le-langi. All of these names show great similarity to those quoted in the New Zealand tradition, and coupled with the changes that words undergo in travelling, and even in transcription, would seem to show that they are identical: Tane-au-aka closely resembling Tane-waka; and Tane-pepeli that of Tane-pepeki. The first name in all cases is that of Tane, so named the god Tane; the latter portion of the name in each case being descriptive.18- 112
Should these names on further examination prove identical, their position on the list will clearly attest the great antiquity of their voyage, since fifty-two names intervene between that of Tangiia, or otherwise Te-uenga, for they both refer to the same person, who stands seventy-third on the list, and who figures so conspicuously on some of the more recent but still very ancient voyages; and forty-eight names between them and the voyage of Te-alutanga-nuku, in the first memorable big canoe brought by the birds.19
In connexion with these early Samoan voyages to New Zealand, I would call attention to what I consider a remarkable fact, viz., the manner in which these wonderful voyages have been almost absolutely lost sight of by recent generations of Samoans; whilst they have been cherished with such intense interest and pride by the New Zealanders and Rarotongans themselves, who glory in their ancestral records, thus affording interesting proofs of the depth of feeling often manifested by emigrants from the land of their forefathers.
Another interesting trace of Samoan settlement in New Zealand may be alluded to here as bearing upon this paper on early Samoan voyages. A newspaper cutting says, “In a paper read before the Philosophical Society of Wellington, by Dr. Hector, of New Zealand,20 he mentioned the fact that a peculiar tree is growing at Mokau, on the spot where the Natives say their ancestors encamped after they had abandoned their great canoe, in which they had reached the island.” The name of this canoe was the Tainui, and from its being spoken of as the ‘Great Canoe,’ it would seem to indicate that it was one of the old Samoan va'a-tele, or great canoes. A curious fact connected with this canoe is the clump of trees growing on the spot where it was abandoned, and which are declared by the Natives to have grown from the rollers or skids and green boughs that were brought as flooring to this great canoe. Dr. Hector had been told of these trees growing there and visited the spot. He found them to be a species of Pomaderris, and which he asserted is - 113 certainly different to any tree hitherto described in New Zealand. It was suggested that if the habitat of this particular species could be found, it would at once determine whence the canoe had come; but I would point out that it does not at all follow that the skids and green boughs were placed on board at the time of starting, but were most likely taken on board at some recent calling-place. These, as the voyages will show, appear to have been many.
Such are a few indications of early Samoan voyages and settlement in New Zealand which have come under my notice, and which I instance as bearing upon the vexed question of early Samoan visits to New Zealand. During the last few months, however, as I have stated, through the courtesy of a friend, a flood of light has been thrown upon the matter by his communications, and which have set many doubts at rest upon a subject which for a long time has been intensely interesting yet puzzling to me.
A Perilous Voyage.
A Banished Tui A'ana becomes a Settler in Rarotonga.
In Samoa, the Tula-fale (the ground or foundation on which the house is built) are a very powerful and influential class, similar to the Rangatira of New Zealand; the real authority and control of districts being frequently centred in them. They are the principal advisers of the chiefs; the orators are usually from this class, whilst the ao, or titles of the district, are always in their gift; and they have the power, which at times they do not scruple to use, of deposing and banishing an obnoxious chief. Hence there have been many instances in which this class, combined with the Fale-upolu of the district, have banished their chiefs on account of their tyranny and oppression. On such occasions the obnoxious chief was always taken to Tutuila, the recognized place of banishment, and committed to the charge of the authorities of that island. Intelligence of such an event being about to take place was always forwarded to the chiefs and people of Tutuila, who prepared for the arrival of the banished chieftain and his party. This was usually a large one, as a great many of the chiefs and people of the district accompanied the exile, or exiles, as the case might be, to see that their sentence of deprivation, and also of punishment and degradation, was duly carried out. After the visiting party had met the Tutuila authorities, and duly informed them that they had brought their chief to commit to their keeping, the prisoner was landed from his canoe and made to run the gauntlet from the beach to the settlement; the inhabitants of the district forming two lines between which the captive ran, whilst he was pelted with stones, belabored with sticks, and subjected to other indignities, until he reached the settlement. It was a fortunate thing for him if he escaped with only bruises; since at times severe injuries were inflicted, and even life sacrificed.- 114
Tradition tells of a chief of Savaii being thus banished for his tyranny, also of a Tui A'ana, Lord of A'ana, having been thus deposed and banished by his district. Some very interesting and far-reaching circumstances were connected with the banishment of this Tui A'ana. The party conducting him to Tutuila reached there in the evening, and his formal landing was deferred until the morning. During the night the captive chief signified to some of his attendants his unwillingness to submit to the indignities about to be offered him, and at the same time stated his wish to commit himself to the wide waste of waters, in hopes of finding a refuge in some distant island, or perish in the attempt. He succeeded in enlisting the sympathy of his companions, and taking advantage of a favorable wind that was blowing, they cast off their frail vessel from her moorings, and silently glided away from the island. Singular to relate, after enduring great hardships, they reached Rarotonga, an island over 800 miles distant from where they started.
As they neared the island they were distressed with apprehension as to the reception they were likely to meet with from the people of the unknown land. They were, however, soon relieved on that head, since they were kindly welcomed on landing, and conducted to the chief of that part of the island where they landed, who received them hospitably and allotted them a district in which to dwell. When able to hold intercourse with the people of Rarotonga, they were astonished to find that the island to which they had come was mostly peopled many generations before by a colony or colonies of Samoans, their own countrymen. These had emigrated long before under three adventurous leaders—Tangiia or Te-uenga, of Upolu, Matea or Makea, of Manu'a, and Iro, of Savaii. The descendants of these early Samoan voyagers and colonists treated their unexpected visitors with kindness and help; the new-comers naming a variety of places and objects in their allotted districts after similar ones in A'ana, from whence they had come.
Years rolled on, and at length a descendant of this very banished chieftain, this deposed Tui A'ana, named Malie, came to Samoa as an Evangelist and Native Teacher, and who was specially charged by his family in Rarotonga to enquire into the particulars relative to the banishment of their ancestor. I had the pleasure of hearing from him the foregoing narrative and of recording the details. I was greatly interested in the narrative, and also in witnessing the delight manifested by Malie on finding that there were places in A'ana with names corresponding to those he mentioned as having been given to places in Rarotonga by the banished chieftain and his party.
The name of this teacher was originally Tui A'ana, but he told me that on the return of Mr. Williams from Samoa, in 1830, he found that Malietoa was then king, or Tui A'ana; upon which his name was changed to that of Malietoa, but he was usually called Malie, or as he pronounced it, Marie. He was sometimes also called by a former - 115 name (Matatia), which name he signed to a long and carefully written narrative of early Samoan history he wrote some time after for me.
At the time I met this man, in 1842, I was visiting Palauli, on Savaii, and had with me several A'ana chiefs and leading men of the district as travelling companions. The tradition of a Tui A'ana having been deposed and banished was well remembered by them, but they knew nothing whatever of the fate of the banished chief and his party, who were commonly supposed to have been driven off the island and perished in the moana-uli, or deep blue sea.
In a record of various “Wars of Samoa,” I find the fourth on the list to be named O le taua o le Uso (the war of the brothers—I'a-mafana, Tupo, and Tupua), to which is added the remark, “The two latter (i.e. Tupo and Tupua) were taken to Tutuila;” apparently the last instance of such deposition and banishment as recorded in their traditionary records, and this would seem to have happened so long before the time of which I speak as to be almost, if not entirely, forgotten by the bulk of that generation of Samoans.
I think this narrative is an interesting illustration of casual settlement that often occurs in the Pacific, as also of the manner in which events of the past are often more vividly remembered and fondly cherished by emigrants themselves than by those whom they have left behind. It is possible that some of the present generation of Rarotongans may be able to furnish further particulars of this banished chieftain and Rarotongan settler, as also of the teacher Malie, or Matatia, who furnished me with material for this, to me, most interesting narrative.
SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES AND COMMENTS ON EARLY SAMOAN VOYAGES.
1.—The Keeper or Lord of the Forest.
In the account given of the first famous canoe, mention is made of the trouble experienced by the two brothers Olo-keu and Olo-i-nano from their failing to get permission from the alii (chief, or lord of the forest) before cutting down the tree to build their canoe. In this case it was Rata who showed his displeasure at this intrusion. It is interesting to notice this fact, as it shows the antiquity of a custom which has obtained until comparatively recent years. As late as 1841, Dr. Pickering, of the United States Exploring Expedition, was stopped in his arrangements for visiting the forests on Savaii until he had obtained the permission of the “Keeper of the Forest,” a functionary, as he says, “whose existence was now, for the first time, brought to light, and who holds an important office.” On two separate occasions on Upolu I was myself brought into contact with this official, once when visiting the famous Pale Maa, or O le Fale-o-le-Fe'e, with a - 116 friend (Mr. Williams, the British Consul), and a party of native chiefs and helpers, when, after proceeding some miles into the forest, we were stopped by an armed party, whose leader complained of our intrusion into the forest without leave from the “Keeper of the Forest,” and demanded payment for permission to proceed. Lest our visit should prove a precedent, we paid no tribute, and were very soon politely requested to proceed. The other occasion was when, after visiting a famous lake called Lanu-to'o, I loitered behind to gather ferns, and was surprised to find the party bailed up in a house, pending my arrival. These people also demanded payment, as we had gone to the lake without first obtaining permission from the keeper or owner of the forest. In this case also no toll was paid, and we were very soon requested to proceed. The name of the Rata here mentioned appears as the sixty-second in the genealogy as “Rata Vale” (Rata, the fool), with the additional note “E, ona le vao” (He, to whom the forest belonged). The name of Atonga also occurs with his two brothers as sixty-eighth, or six entries after.
2.—The Dual Nature of Atonga.
The dual nature ascribed to Atonga, viz., that of half spirit, half man, may be noticed, as it seems to occur in many forms in the old records. A very old tradition tells us how Lū-Tafao (Lū, the wanderer, or Lū, the circumciser), the son of Lua-itu (two sides), went to Atafu, an island to the north of Samoa, and married the daughter of Tui-Atafu, the Lord of Atafu, whose descendants are represented as performing certain miraculous acts, and accomplishing a long voyage under difficult circumstances; one of the number, Lii, being swallowed up by a fish, and afterwards deified under the name of the well-known constellation of the Pleiades, and who, as I think, may be regarded as the origin of the word “alii” (of Lii), chief.
This same notion of the sides again appears in the case of Atonga, who is represented as half spirit and half man; possessing all the miraculous power of the one, joined to the sensual feelings and passions of the other. Thus this union of the two natures would seem to have been often present to the thoughts of these early Samoan colonists. In the present case it is forcibly brought out in the building of the canoe, and its subsequent conveyance to Upolu by the birds; as also in the intercourse of Atonga with those around him. Rata is also made to possess it, and during the subsequent voyages performed in this and other canoes, the same dual nature frequently appears as the basis on which several remarkable actions and circumstances are made to rest.
The same supernatural power was claimed by the Maori tohunga Ngatoro-i-rangi, and exercised by him in the peril of the Arawa canoe when near the mouth of the Parata (Te waha-o-te-Parata). In other cases, also, it is interesting to notice traces of this same dual nature in Maori traditions and records.- 117
3.—The Snake and the Owl.
In the curious description of the quarrel between the snake and the owl, the text of the tradition makes the contest to have been between the pusi (conger-eel) and the owl; but, from the scene of the encounter being given as inland, I think the snake must have been meant. Snakes are found in Samoa, but not in Rarotonga.
4.—“Olo-keu” and “Olo-i-nano.”
These two names, which occur in the song of the birds as they carried the famous big canoe across the straits from Savaii to Upolu, as described in the prelude to the first voyage, are, as I think, connected in some way or other with the Maori names of the two pas—O-rakau and Horo-tiu—either from some connexion with the voyage of this great canoe, under Te-alutanga-nuku, which was made to the south-west and west of Savaii; or else from some subsequent intercourse of parties who sailed in that canoe. The similarity of names would seem to point to such connexion.21
5.—First Voyage of Great Canoe, To the South and South-west.
The description of the first voyage of the great canoe is short but comprehensive: “After this the canoe went about to all the lands on that side of the heavens (south and south-west), but did not go to the upper side of the heavens, or towards Tahiti.”
Some circumstances seem to connect this great canoe with the “Arawa” canoe that visited New Zealand. Nuku-roa was one of the ancient names of New Zealand, and Te-alutanga-nuku, the name of its first captain, I have thought may possibly have some connexion with the famous visit of the Arawa canoe. “Te-alutanga-nuku” may be rendered “He that went to Nuku,” or possibly, “He going to Nuku.” In the Fifth Voyage, by the family of Malu, to the south and south-west, both Nuku and Nu'u are stated to have been visited, Nuku following after Tonga and Fiti. In the Twelfth Voyage again by Tangiia (south), he is said to have sailed direct to Nuku, and afterwards to have visited Anga-ula, Ara-ma-tie-tie, Mata-te-la, and Uea, five islands which had been visited by the family of Malu many years before. These three voyages are the only voyages stated to have been made to the south-west and west. In another place I allude to the similarity of five names which occur in the genealogy with those who are said to have reached New Zealand in the Arawa canoe, which, if recognized as correct, will show that the Tainui voyage was made long - 118 before that of the canoe of Te-alutanga-nuku, some forty-eight names intervening in the genealogy.22
6.—The Second Voyage, under Te-alutanga-langi.
In connexion with the second voyage of the canoe, under Te-alutanga-langi, the name of Kau-kula, the father of Malu, first appears, he being the son of Te-alutanga-langi. At the close of this second voyage, this chief gave the canoe to his son Kau-kula, who sailed in her to Fiti and Tonga-leva, then first discovered.
In the fourth voyage he is again mentioned as sailing with his son Malu, to the east and north-east. They discovered a small island named Toku-tea, where Kau-kula was left by Malu.
In the eighth voyage, under Iro, he appears again, when Iro, on visiting Tau-tea, or Toku-tea, as it is also called, found him, and induced him to accompany him to Rarotonga. At a subsequent period he appears to have left Rarotonga and returned to Tau-tea and Atiu, where he died; and is afterwards spoken of as being found buried in one of the caverns of Atiu, preserved in the rude kind of embalming spoken of elsewhere as practised by one or two families on Samoa. Amidst much that is fabulous, there is also much to interest in this account, as showing how widely spread that mode of rude embalming was.
An example of this kind of burial would seem to have been discovered in New Zealand many years since, and was exhibited in Melbourne as a “petrified Maori mummy.” It was discovered in a cave at the Taieri diggings, Otago, and it was thought by medical men to have been more than a hundred years old, and yet was quite perfect. It was claimed for it that it illustrated in a remarkable degree the ancient Maori rites of sepulture.
7.—The Third Voyage, under Kau-kula,23 To Fiti, &c.
Malu now first prominently comes into notice, since we find that - 119 at the close of his voyage Kau-kula gave the canoe to his son Malu, who, as the fourth possessor of the great canoe, may be briefly noticed here. His name appears seventy-third on the list. He is followed by Te-uenga, otherwise Tangiia (see Fourth Voyage), who is followed by Apa, the last on the list.
And now comes the statement, “A division now took place between the families of Malu and Apa. Manatu was born to Malu; and Gana and Vaea (twins) were born to Manatu; these two, with Tupa, and the sister Akimano. Gana was the father of Pou-alii, whose children were killed by Tane, whose names were I'u-toto, Iku-te-taki, Iku-te-tauila (Alii o Upolu), and Mea-mea. But that is a different story, and relates to Iro; it is not good to confuse them. That history differs from this.”
8.—The Fourth Voyage, under Malu, To the East and North-east.
The fourth voyage was made by Malu towards the upper side of the heavens (east and north-east), whither he went with his father Kau-kula, who, as before stated, was left by him on an island they discovered, called Tau-tea, also Taku-tea. Malu afterwards sailed about with his men, and then returned to Samoa.
Tangiia now first comes into notice.
After Malu's return to Savaii he married Rua-manu, by whom he had issue two girls, one of whom married a man named Tutapu, and had a son, who was adopted by Malu, as he had no son, and who called him Te-uenga (adorning). The boy fell sick, but two aitu (or gods) came, who were Tangaloa and Tongaiti. These two looked at the boy; when Tangaloa said, “Suppose we let the boy live? If he lives he will be our rejoicing.” On this they named the boy Tangiia (literally “cried over”) because of the sympathy of the spirits when he was near death.
9.—The Fifth Voyage, by the Family of Malu, To the South-south-west and West.
During this voyage many lands were visited, including Tonga, Fiti, and then Nuku, with many others—fifteen altogether. Whilst at Nuku they built a canoe for the chief, and called it O le Vaa-tapa-langi (canoe beckoning the heavens), which so pleased the chief that Tangiia was proclaimed chief, and later on he obtained the ao of his grandfather Malu. I think it will be recognized that, during this voyage, also New Zealand (Nuku) and neighboring islands were visited.
10.—The Sixth Voyage. Tangiia to Tahiti, Eastward.
Discovery of Dwarfs or Pigmies at Tahiti.
In the narrative of this voyage we have a remarkable discovery of pigmies at Tahiti by Tangiia, and subdued by him, and ruled over by - 120 him or his adopted son. They were found at a place called Puna-auia, and are described as of four classes or tribes, called O le Neke, O le Mana-une,24 O le Kai-lila, and O le Avakevake. They were very ugly, and very short.
In the tenth voyage, that of Tangiia, from Tahiti to Mauke and back, they are mentioned again, in connexion with Iro's giving one of his sons to Tangiia to adopt, in order that Tahiti might not be without a king, and that the four classes of little people might still have a chief. In the genealogy of the Pomare family, as given by Miss Teuira Henry (this Journal, vol. ii, p. 36), mention is apparently made of this discovery,25 and doubts are expressed as to the credibility of the statement, whilst Whiro (Iro) is also wrongly credited with having discovered the dwarfs, instead of Tangiia; and it is thought the account must refer to some monkeys that had been seen by Iro on some distant land which he is assumed to have visited. It will be seen, however, that the narrative which ascribes the discovery to Tangiia is very explicit, and says that they were subject to him, and after him to his adopted son, who held the high-sounding title of Te ariki-upoko-tini (chief of the thousands of heads).
But the question naturally arises, Who were these pigmies or dwarfs? Some think they were the representatives of the Negrito family, but the description of their height would seem to show that they were smaller than these. In various parts of Polynesia and other lands remnants of aboriginal tribes are found, small races of men, as the Ainos of Japan, with other small races on the larger islands of the Pacific and Malay Archipelago, all going to show that, at one time, these diminutive races were numerous on many islands of the Archipelago, as well as in parts of the Pacific. Even as late as February of last year a correspondent of the Melbourne Age asserted that at Malayta, of the Solomon Group, “a small race of men are still found inhabiting the mountains, and living in a strangely rough state. They go in families, and do not plant food. They roam from place to place, and sleep in trees; whilst some even assert that they are unacquainted with the use of fire.”26 Two of these dwarfs were captured by an inland tribe, and were seen by the writer's informant. One, the boy, had died, and unsuccessful attempts had been made to obtain possession of the girl. No doubt there are remnants of similar tribes to be found in the interior of many of the larger islands to the northward.- 121
Dr. Pickering makes mention of the wild people who used to inhabit Tahiti as being described to him as those “who were accustomed to go all over the mountains by tracks and pathways which were utterly unknown to natives” of that day.
I have sometimes thought that these Tahitian pigmies must have had some connexion with the Aztecs, whom in height they would seem to resemble, but to differ from them in personal appearance. Whoever they were they would seem to have been a numerous and well-organized body, located within definite bounds, and thus coming before us as interesting relics of the distant past.
Commenting upon the description of these pigmies, S. Percy Smith says, “Probably they are the same as in the Hawaiian stories of the Menehune people, said to have been pigmies, and the first inhabitants of Hawaii. They are known to the Maoris as a people of Hawaiki, under the name of Manahune,” which is precisely the name as given in the records as the name of the third of the four classes of little people conqnered by Tangiia, who are called Manaune; an interesting fact, as showing how much the back history of the different islands is interwoven.
11.—The Seventh Voyage, under Tutapu, From Marquesas.
Tutapu27 is here represented as coming from the Marquesas (Iva) to Rarotonga, and doing some useful work there. Subsequently, on returning to Tahiti, a bitter feud sprang up between him and Tangiia, whose destruction he sought to compass with intense hatred and malignity. This was continued for many years, until at length, after a desperate struggle, Tangiia succeeded in killing his old foe at Rarotonga, and thus ridding himself of his persecutor. In the narrative a long and strange account is given of the unsuccessful steps taken to burn the body of Tutapu after his death. For a long time it was indestructible, and no amount of firewood could consume the body. At length the counsel of Kau-kula was sought. Two messengers were despatched, who heard tidings of him at Atiu, where he was discovered in one of the many caverns of that island, apparently embalmed in the rude kind of embalming, or atua-lala-ina. The messengers having gained access to the cavern, and loudly summoned him, he answered, and enquired who disturbed his rest? On being told that Tangiia desired his help, he asked if he was still alive, and where he was; and, on being told, he directed that the afa with which he was bound should be unloosed. This was done, and the messengers were directed to take him to Tangiia. On reaching Rarotonga, he was informed by Tangiia that they had summoned him that he might help them to burn the - 122 body of Tutapu. He immediately proceeded to remove the sacredness that had previously surrounded the body, and as he declared had prevented its burning. On this ceremony being performed, the body was easily consumed.
I am not aware if this Tutapu is identical with Tutapu, the father of Tangiia, and son-in-law of Malu, spoken of in the narrative of the fourth voyage. He is represented as coming from the Marquesas, but he may have previously gone there from Samoa. Should such be the case, his conduct in thus chasing his son is unaccountable. It may have been that his son's brilliant success and renown as a navigator had roused the Old Adam of jealousy. In connexion with the reputed difficulty of burning the body before removing the sacredness, the name itself is noteworthy—tu, to stand; tapu, to make sacred.
12.—The Eighth Voyage, of Iro, Eastward to Rarotonga.
The name of Iro28 first appears here in connexion with these voyages as going from Samoa (Savaii) to Rarotonga to settle there. The name appears in the genealogy in connexion with the division of the records of the families of Malu and Apa, Iro apparently belonging to the latter. In the narrative it is said that when Iro reached Rarotonga, he heard that Tutapu had preceded him, on which he went to salute him, for they were old friends. This was apparent in their after intercourse, so that although Tutapu on reaching Rarotonga, at the first is said to have come from Marquesas (Iva), I think that he was originally from Samoa, and identical with Tutapu, the father of Tangiia, and son-in-law of Malu. There would formerly have been much intercourse between the different groups.
13.—The Ninth Voyage. Tangiia to Rapa.
On reaching Rapa, Tangiia finds Iro, and together they set sail to Tahiti, where Tangiia found that Tutapu had killed and eaten his two sons, who had been adopted by his father-in-law Maono. A short war was the consequence.
14.—The Tenth Voyage. Tangiia to Mauke.
At Mauke, Iro gives one of his sons to Tangiia to adopt; also, he gave some idols and musical instruments.
15.—The Eleventh Voyage. Iro returns to Samoa.
Iro returned to Samoa, and Tangiia named his adopted son Te-ariki-upoko-tini (chief of the thousands of heads). In his despair - 123 Tangiia seeks the counsel and help of his sister, who was settled at Huahine. She advises him, and gives him the original big canoe brought by the birds from Savaii, as his own canoe was small. Tangiia named the canoe O le Tika-o-le-tuafafine29 (saved by the sister), and then sailed in her to Samoa.
16.—The Twelfth Voyage. Tangiia,
Tangiia now sailed south, leaving Manono and Apolima on the right hand as they sailed. They reached Nuku, Angaula, Ara-ma-ti'e-ti'e, Mata-te-la and other lands visited by the family of Malu many years before. At Uea they meet a man named Tera-tua-nuku, recently come from a land called Vaerota. He afterwards sailed with Tangiia to Taki-nuku.
17.—Thirteenth Voyage. Tangiia,
Tangiia and his company sailed to Rurutu, thence to Papau, also called Rimatara. Here Tera-tua-nuku settled. After this Tangiia sailed northward and reached an island called Maketu,30 where he first of all met with Karika, a chief from Marquesas, or Iva. After some adventures they sailed in company, and Karika31 tried to entrap Tangiia into the fafā.
18.—O le Fafā, and Tangiia's Canoe.
In Samoan mythology much mystery was thrown around the dreaded fafā, so that it is difficult to define its exact meaning. Still, I think it may be described as the entrance to the Samoan Hades, or place of the dead. There were said to be two entrances to the fafā, the one called “Lua-loto-ali'i” (or deep hole of chiefs), the other “Lua-loto-tau-fanua” (deep hole of the common people); but still the dual entrance was, I think, included in the term O le Fafā. Two other names, as indicating two outlets from the fafā, may be considered as the ultimate destination of those entering the fafā, viz., “O le Nu'u o Aitu” (or the land of spirits) and “O le Nu'u-o-nonoa” (or land of the - 124 bound); the former, I imagine, corresponding to Pulotu, and the latter being “Sa-le-Fe'e,” the Samoan Tartarus. The fafā would thus naturally be looked upon with dread.
In Samoan mythology it was located in the west, in which quarter both the Elysium, Pulotu, and Sa-le-Fe'e were also placed, but in Tangiia's narrative the entrance is placed in the ocean, between Manu'a, Tonga, and Rarotonga, which would be west as he was sailing, and in which locality he is described as being unconsciously enticed into a course which brought him into immediate contact with the troubled waters, as he considered, of the fafā.
They had agreed to sail together, and started in company, when, on Karika's suggestion, Tangiia sailed to the left of his canoe, and was thus drawn within the influence of the fafā. It would thus seem that Karika was aware of the existence of some kind of whirlpool or maëlstrom, hard to avoid if once drawn within its influences. Tangiia was entangled within the outward limits of its power, and, on putting his hand into the sea to ascertain as to the set of the current, he was astonished to find the water was hot, and he then knew that Karika had endeavored to entrap him into the danger. He at once put his canoe about, and shortly after, on putting his hand again into the water, he was glad to find that it was again cool as usual. On this he headed his canoe for Rarotonga, and after a time reached there in safety.
For a long time I regarded much of this statement as a myth, but at length some facts came to my knowledge which appeared to throw light upon the matter, and, as I thought, explained to a great extent this strange old record of the past. I think the explanation of the mystery will be found in the fact that this illustration of the much dreaded fafā was nothing more nor less than some submarine disturbance in those seas, such being of frequent occurrence, as recent observations have shown, and with the outlying margin of one of which, in some way or other, Tangiia would seem to have come into contact.
Of late years several well authenticated instances of submarine disturbances have been noticed in the ocean between Manu'a and Rarotonga, and it is reasonable to think that the same phenomena should have occurred in bygone ages.
The first thing that led me into this train of thought was a paragraph in the Melbourne Argus, of November 19th, 1862, which stated that three reefs had been discovered amongst the Friendly Islands of the Pacific. Two were discovered by Her Majesty's sloop Pelorus, and the other by a whaler. “The sea is quite warm in the neighborhood of the reef, and sometimes like a boiling cauldron, which proves subterranean fires are near.”
Again, in 1867, the late J. C. Williams, Esq., the then British Consul at Apia, reported to the British Foreign Office that on September 5th of that year a submarine volcano had broken out in the ocean - 125 about two miles from Olosenga, one of the most easterly of the Navigator Islands, which occasioned great submarine disturbance.
On April 5th, 1874, Captain McKenzie observed what he thought was a submarine volcano in a state of activity when about midway between Habai and Tonga, still telling of submarine unrest; whilst even as late as December 18th, 1894, the captain of the Meg Merrilees on reaching Tonga reported having passed Falcon Island, thrown up by a volcano a few years before, and reports “That it is not so high as when first thrown up, but that volcanic action is still active in the seas around.”
From the foregoing facts it will be seen how active submarine volcanic action has been, and still continues to be, in those seas; and which, I think, will easily account for the strange phenomenon that so terrified Tangiia and his companions; and, at the same time, added to the dread caused by the terrors of the unknown fafa. To my own mind the statement of the officers of the Pelorus as to the temperature of the sea surrounding the reefs, and of its sometimes appearing like a boiling cauldron, would be sufficient to account for Tangiia's terror, in case he was cognizant of phenomena at all approaching such as I have just described.
In the deeply interesting account of “The coming of the Arawa and Tainui canoes from Hawaiki to New Zealand,” by S. Percy Smith, Esq.,32 a reference is apparently made to a similar, if not, as I think, to the same circumstance. In Maori mythology the fafā would appear to be represented by the expression “Te-waha-o-te-Parata” (the mouth of the Parata), which was supposed to be a “monster that resides at the bottom of the ocean; each time he inhales or exhales his breath it causes the tide to flow.”
The Maori description says, “So the canoe sailed on, and after a time, Ngatoro-i-rangi caused it to descend to Te-waha-o-te-Parata, in consequence of the evil conduct of his friend Tama-te-kapua towards him. Ngatoro-i-rangi had invoked the aid of the gods, who responded to his call. When the waters reached midships, the Arawa was on the point of foundering, and Kearoa called out, ‘O Toro! Kearoa's pillow has fallen,’ but the old man gave no response. It was not until the voice of his nephew calling on his uncle in these words, ‘Tauanui, O! thou hast the power, return thy people to the world of light,’ that the heart of Ngatoro-i-rangi was touched, and he caused the canoe to emerge.”
If this description alludes to a different encounter with this dread phenomenon, the Arawa canoe was more involved in danger than the canoe of Tangiia; but I think the explanation of the peril will be found to be the same in both cases.- 126
19.—Rata, Rata-nui, and the Kura.
In “The coming of the Arawa and Tainui canoes” (p. 284 of the same Journal), these names occur, to which brief allusion may be made.
Rata, the name of the owner of the forest in which the great canoe was built on Savaii, was commemorated by the immigrants on landing from the Arawa by the name of Rata-nui, conferred on their landing-place in the district of Tiki-rau, or Cape Runaway; thus, as it seems to me, connecting in some manner the name of Rata with the fortunes of both the first great canoe and the Arawa.33
The kura is also mentioned at the same time. This was a red head-dress of feathers, which resembled the brilliant red blossoms of a tree here called rata, but whether thus named by the voyagers themselves on their landing, as I think most likely, or otherwise, it is of course impossible to tell.
The same ornament is mentioned in connexion with Tangiia's meeting with Karika, in the thirteenth voyage. This was O le Pale-ula, or red crown or coronet, much valued by chiefs of rank, and constantly worn by them as an insignia of rank. Head-dresses (tu'inga) were used in war and dancing. O le Pale, or crown, was also used as a head-dress. There were formerly apparently three sorts in common use, some of which would appear to be very ancient, from mention frequently made of them in old traditions. There was O le Tu'inga, a head-dress of brown hair; O le Tu'inga-ula, a head-dress of red feathers; and O le Pale, or frontlet or crown of red feathers; also called O le Pale-ula. The head-dress and crown of red feathers formed the principal ornament of the great chiefs, and are frequently mentioned as used by such in the old traditions. The Tu'inga-ula, or red Tu'inga, was a small mat carefully covered over with highly-prized crimson or scarlet feathers, obtained from a beautiful species of parrot found in the Fiji Islands, and also, I think, in Tonga. These feathers were rare and costly, but some few chiefs possessed them in sufficient quantities so as to form armlets and other ornaments, as well as Tu'inga and Pale, which were greatly valued. Very beautiful red feathers were also obtained from several Samoan varieties of paroquet; but those from Fiji and Tonga were most valued.
In the Maori records the kuras were said to be red or brown; the latter I take to be the Tu'inga, or head-dress of brown hair, most likely a light brown color (ena or ena-ena), a color very much valued, especially by the females, who were constantly in the habit of dyeing or staining their fine black hair with a pomade of a particular kind of clay or mud, which was afterwards washed off with lime water, - 127 so as to produce this much desired ena, or light brown color. A note on page 234 of the same Journal says, “The make or appearance of the kura is like a very large tawhara (flower of the Freycinetia), but they are red or brown, like the color of a man's skin (i.e., a Maori's skin). The kuras brought in the Arawa were treasured up as heirlooms, and sometimes brought forth and placed upon the dead chiefs as they lay in state.”
Removal of Sacredness by the Ceremony of Lulu'u, or Sprinkling.
In the seventh voyage, under Tutapu, page 121, I have noticed a circumstance that occurred at Rarotonga, in connexion with the death of Tutapu, after many conflicts with Tangiia, and years of long-continued persecution. At length he was slain by Tangiia, who gave orders that his body should be burnt, but this was found to be impossible, the body resisting frequent attempts at burning, made successively at different places. At length Tangiia despatched two messengers for Kau-kula, seeking his aid. They found him at Atiu, and brought him to Rarotonga. On learning what was wanted, he declared that the difficulty in burning the body arose from its sacredness. Kau-kula dispersed this sacredness by a ceremony much practised in Samoa, so as to render the body ngafua, or freed. After which it was consumed without difficulty.
This was a custom not only in constant use in the olden days, but a very ancient one. The sacredness attributed to certain chiefs gave rise to many observances which were irksome to their families or dependents, since, whatever they came in contact with required to undergo the ceremony of Lulu'u, or sprinkling with water, both to remove the sacredness supposed to be communicated to the article or place, or person who had touched either, whether the chief himself, or the place where he had sat, as also anything that he had touched, as well as to guard against the danger of sudden death, which was believed to be imminent to any person who might touch the sacred chief, or whatever he had touched; so great was the mantle of sacredness attached to many high chiefs, as well as to the priesthood. Thus the spot where such a chief had sat was sprinkled with water immediately he had left it, as were also the persons who had sat on either side of him when he received company, as well as the attendants who had waited upon him. This ceremony of Lulu'u, or sprinkling, was observed on other occasions.
It was always observed on the occasion of deposing a chief and depriving him of his ao, or titles, in which case the ceremony was performed by some of those who had either bestowed them, or had the power to do so. In the case of the death of the usurper, O le Tama-fainga, who was killed in A'ana in 1829, his body was sprinkled with water, and his title, “O le Tui A'ana,” recalled from him before his body was hewn in pieces. The ceremony consisted in sprinkling the - 128 body with coco-nut water, and the officiating chief, or Tula-fale, saying, “Give us back our ao, or title,” by which ceremony the title was recalled and the sacredness removed, so that it was rendered ngafua, or freed from its former sacredness. It was also used over persons who had been newly tattooed, and upon those who had contaminated themselves by contact with a dead body. In each of these cases the ceremony was carefully observed and reverently attended to, as very dire consequences were considered certain to follow its omission. In the case of the newly tattooed, especially of chiefs, a more elaborate ceremonial was observed. In the evening before the sprinkling was to be performed, the whole of the operators and attendants provided themselves with torches and proceeded to the marae, where they went through a variety of motions, until, at a given signal, the torches were all simultaneously extinguished. A water-bottle was then brought out and dashed to pieces in the front of the newly tattooed party; after which the torches were all relighted, and a careful search was made for the cork of the broken water-bottle or calabash. Much anxiety was felt respecting the recovery of the cork or plug, since, if lost, it was said to forebode the death of one of the tattooed party. The next day all who had been tattooed underwent the ceremony of Lulu'u, or sprinkling, which was performed by one of the operators taking coconuts and sprinkling water over each one who had been tattooed.
In Maori legends and records this same sacredness, as attached to certain chiefs and people, frequently appears, and on page 240 of the Journal quoted, of “The coming of the Arawa and Tainui canoes,” there occurs this passage: “Now, when Tama-te-kapua (the captain of the Arawa canoe) drew nigh unto death, he said to his son Tuhoro, ‘Be very careful to purify thyself correctly when thou comest to bury me, lest my spiritual influence should harm thee.’ But Tuhoro did not purify himself properly when he officiated on Tama-te-kapua, so he told his sons Ihenga and Tama-ihu-toroa that he was overcome by the influence of their grandfather, so that he had not conducted the ceremonies properly.” On which he gave his sons very explicit directions as to how they should act in the case of his death.
A foot-note—No. 1—says, “Whaka-puta, the purification or cleansing from a state of tapu, or restriction after contact with a dead body, with which was connected many karakias and ceremonies. The personal mana, translated by ‘spiritual influences,’ for want of a better term, was considered to be baneful.”
In Maori estimation the sacredness here spoken of would seem to have been mainly restricted to contact with a dead body, whilst in Samoa it had a much wider signification, and entered very largely into the daily life of the people. Perhaps it was so in the case of the Maori population of New Zealand.34- 129
SAMOAN GENEALOGIES AND EARLY RECORDS.
The History of the Peopling of Rarotonga, With the Genealogy of the People of Samoa, whence they sprang.
“Upolu was the land. The first chief of Upolu, from whom sprang the population, was Tupua, and Taito,35 his wife. These are indeed Tangaloa and Tongaiti.”
A division now took place between the families of Malu and Apa.
After this Manatu was born to Malu, and Gana and Vaea (twins) were born to Manatu; these two, with Tupa, and his sister Akimano. Gana was the father of Pou-alii, whose children were killed by Tane, whose names were I'u-toto, Iku-te-take, Iku-te-tauila, chiefs of Upolu, and Meamea-i'u. But that is a different history, and relates to Ilo; it is not good to confuse them; but we now turn to the history of Atonga and his two brothers Olo-keu and Olo-i-nano. The narrative now proceeds (page 100).
The Genealogy of Tama-a-le-langi (“Son of the Skies,”)39
From Mamoe and Mamoefafine.
A man named Fanga came from Pango. He brought his manu-tangi, a dove, and coming along the tua-sivi (centre ridge of the mountain) reached Si'u-tavae. He married To, the daughter of Talo, by whom he had issue as follows:—- 131
1 Mr. Stair prefers to spell the word Flotsam thus.—Editors.
2 Those who wish to compare this legend with the New Zealand and Cook Islands version can find them as follows: The Maori version in Grey's Polynesian Mythology (ed. 1885), p. 67, and in White's Ancient History of the Maori, vol. i, p. 69, and vol. iii, p. 2. The Aitutaki account is in Gill's Myths and Songs of the South Pacific, p. 142. The name of Rata (Laka) occurs in the Hawaiian genealogies as an ancient personage (Fornander's The Polynesian Race, vol. i, p. 181), and his grave is claimed to be in Hawaii.—Editors.
3 In the text of the tradition the contest is said to have been between o le pusi (conger-eel) and the owl; but from the fact of the scene of the encounter being laid inland, I imagine the snake must be alluded to. Snakes are found in Samoa, but not in Rarotonga, which, I think, will account for the substitution of the word pusi for snake.
4 This would seem to be the same as the Maori Waka-tarai-po, with the same meaning. It is said that this was the original name of the Kurahaupo canoe, the crew of which came to New Zealand with the fleet about twenty or twenty-one generations ago.—Editors.
Kipongipongi i le tine
6 Query tini. Readers will notice in this song, and in other parts of the story, the mixture of both Samoan and Rarotongan words and phrases.—Editors.
7 Possibly the Kahukura known to the Maoris—not the god of that name, but the navigator—who is said to have brought the kumara, or sweet potato, to New Zealand.—Editors.
8 Possibly Tonga-reva, or Penrhyn Island.—Editors.
9 Nearly all these names of islands will be found mentioned in this Journal, vol. i, p. 25, where they are stated to have been conquered by Tu-taranga, one of the ancestors of Iro, or Whiro.—Editors.
10 Query, Ko te Rongomana.—Editors.
11 Probably the Whiro well known in New Zealand tradition, as well as in Tahiti and Rarotonga. For the New Zealand myth, see White's Ancient History of the Maori, vol. ii, pp. 7 and 13, also (perhaps a different person) vol. iii, p. 40. In Tahiti, Hiro was the first King of Raiatea. See also this Journal, vol. i, p. 28.—Editors.
12 See this Journal, vol. i, p. 26, for confirmation of this, and where it is shown that this adopted son—Te-ariki-upoko-tini—became the progenitor of the Ngati-Tangiia of Rarotonga.—Editors.
13 Loc. cit.
14 For the Maori account of Waerota, see a future number of the Journal. It is the land they say they came from to Hawaiki.—Editors.
15 Now called Mauke.—Editors.
16 This name explains the meaning of a sentence found on p. 57 of vol. i of this Journal, to the obscurity of which attention was drawn in Note 8, p. 74 of that volume.—Editors.
17 Page 26, loc. cit.
18 In Commodore Wilkes' time (1840) it does not appear to us that the early settlers and missionaries in New Zealand, from whom no doubt Wilkes obtained his information, had as yet appreciated the value of the Maori historical traditions, nor paid the attention to them that they deserve. Otherwise, no doubt, full particulars which have been obtained since would have been known to Wilkes. It is clear to us that he obtained some confused story in which the god Tane, under several of his descriptive attributes, was described as a voyager to New Zealand. Several of the names given by Mr. Stair in the genealogies at the end of this paper are known to Maori tradition. See notes attached to tables.—Editors.
19 According to the orthodox Rarotongan tradition, as retained by the descendants of both Tangiia and Karika, who were contemporaries, these ancestors performed their celebrated voyages and colonized Rarotonga about twenty-four generations ago, or about three generations before the great migration to New Zealand twenty-one - twenty-two generations ago, when Te Arawa, Tainui, Mata-atua, Aotea, Takitumu, Tokomaru and other celebrated canoes came from Hawaiki, and on their arrival found the country already inhabited by a numerous people generally called “the descendants of Toi” and others.—Editors.
20 Transactions N.Z. Institute, vol. xi, p. 438. The tree referred to is the Pomaderris tainui. It only grows in one spot, near the south bank of the Mokau River, West Coast, North Island, New Zealand.—Editors.
21 We cannot quite agree with Mr. Stair here, but there are several Samoan names of places localised in New Zealand. For instance, Whangara seems to be identical with Fangala of Samoa, the more so as Paikea, who named the New Zealand bay, did so in remembrance of his old home in Hawaiki on his arrival here.—Editors.
22 There can be very little doubt as to the date the Tainui canoe arrived in New Zealand; it was twenty - twenty-one generations ago. It seems to us more than probable that some of the early voyages to the south-west Mr. Stair records, were to New Zealand, but they would be before the time of Te Arawa, Tainui, &c. Probably during some of these earlier voyages New Zealand was first colonised by the people found here twenty - twenty-one generations ago.—Editors.
23 Kaukula is identical with the Maori name Kahukura, a god, but no doubt at one time a noted man, deified after death. In one of the series of Maori legends referring to Tawhaki, the deified man, who is said to have ascended to heaven, there is a confused story, which appears to have been added to the original at a later date, in which a war is described under Maru (Malu) and Tawhaki, during which the forts at Tutuhira (Tutuila), Rarohenga (Olosenga), Kuparu (Upolu) and Wawau (? Vavau, of the Tonga Group) were destroyed. This is probably the Maori version of “A division now took place between the families of Malu and Apa” described by Mr. Stair. It is worthy of further enquiry as to whether the Apa mentioned in the text is not the Apa known to Maori history about the time of the great migration to New Zealand, twenty - twenty-one generations ago.—Editors.
24 Compare this to the reference in the last number of this Journal to the Menehune of Hawaii, also to the people, known traditionally to the Maoris, called Manahune.—Editors.
25 Not by Miss Henry, but by the Editor.
26 Compare with this the description of the people called by the Maoris Te-aitanga-a-te-nuku-mai-tore, Journal, vol. ii, p. 36.
27 For Tangiia and Tutapu as two brothers, chiefs of Tahiti, see Gill's Myths and Songs, p. 23, also this Journal, vol. i, p. 28, note 6.—Editors.
28 Iro is undoubtedly the same as the Maori Whiro and Tahitian Hiro, a noted voyager according to the traditions of both races. See this Journal, vol. ii, p. 33. His descendants are living in New Zealand at the present day. According to Maori history he flourished about twenty-three-twenty-four generations ago. See Journal, vol. ii, p. 41, foot-note.—Editors.
29 Again this name throws light on an obscure passage in the “Genealogies and Historical Notes from Rarotonga,” vol. i, p. 67, of this Journal, which puzzled both Rev. Dr. Gill and ourselves in the translation of it. Now that we know this was the name of Tangiia's canoe, the Rarotongan document reads quite clearly. See line 26 on page quoted.—Editors.
30 The modern name of which is Mauke, one of the Cook Group.—Editors.
31 For Karika, Tutapu, and Tangiia, see Gill's Myths and Songs, pp. 23 and 25. According to the Rarotongan papers already quoted, Karika came from Manu'a at Samoa originally, where indeed his genealogy is still preserved, see this Journal, vol. i, p. 75, note 16. As is stated in those papers, Karika made eight long voyages. No doubt the Marquesas was included in his visits, hence the statement in the text.—Editors.
32 Journal Polynesian Society, vol. ii, p. 233.
33 The name Rata-nui, in this case, is, we think, derived from the rata trees growing there, the red flowers of which were taken for kuras. The name rata for the tree Metrosideros was one brought from Hawaiki. They have the same name in Tahiti.—Editors.
34 The Maoris were subject to much the same sacredness or tapu as described above by the Author.—Editors.
35 Both names preserved in Maori tradition, and especially in their karakias or incantations, with frequently affixes or suffixes—the latter name as Tahito or Tawhito. Compare also the Hawaiian ancestors Kupua and Kahito.—Editors.
36 15 and 16. Compare Te-pupu and Te-hoata often found in Maori karakias.—Editors.
37 Rata, the fool. This was the Rata that owned the bush in which the canoe was built.
38 Polynesian scholars will notice in this genealogy that Mr. Stair's native historian has given many of the names in their Samoan form, others in their Rarotongan form. A native of Rarotonga after dwelling some time in Samoa would be likely to do this. The attention of Maori scholars is drawn to Nos. 65, 67, 68 in the above table: Tai, Ra-ulu, and Atonga. Three very celebrated ancestors of the people found in New Zealand on the arrival of the fleet of canoes twenty or twenty-one generations ago were Toi, Rauru, and Whatonga, which occur exactly in the above order, i.e., Whatonga was a grandson of Toi. According to Rarotonga history, Tangiia, No. 73 on the list, flourished about twenty-four generations ago, therefore Atonga (No. 68) lived about twenty-nine generations ago. According to Maori genealogies, Whatonga lived about twenty-seven or twenty-eight generations ago. It would seem from this that the three names given are identical, and known both to Rarotongans and Maoris, and that they are ancestors common to both peoples. The transmutation of Tai into Toi is in strict accordance with the genesis of the Polynesian languages, where “a,” “o,” and “e” are constantly interchangeable. The argument against the identity of these three people is the fact that, so far as is known, Toi, Rauru, and Whatonga always resided in New Zealand—they are acknowledged on all hands to be the ancestors of the people found here by the Hawaiki Maoris. This difficulty in Polynesian history is capable of explanation, but this is not the place for it. Our object is to draw the attention of scholars to what seems to be something more than a mere coincidence, and to point to the results which are likely to flow from the publication of such valuable papers as those of the Rev. J. B. Stair's.—Editors.
39 This “Son of the Skies” was also one of the official titles of the king of Corea—“The Son of Heavens.”
40 Ona mavae lea o lea Usunga o le tupufia o Taumuaina (That ends the generation and growth of Taumuaina).