Volume 93 1984 > Volume 93, No. 4 > Myth and explanation in the Ringatu tradition: some aspects of the leadership of Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki and Rua Kenana Hepetipa, by J. Binney, p 345-398
MYTH AND EXPLANATION IN THE RINGATŪ TRADITION
SOME ASPECTS OF THE LEADERSHIP OF TE KOOTI ARIKIRANGI TE TURUKI AND RUA KĒNANA HEPETIPA. 1
This essay is an exploration in the oral narrative tradition, and in the continuing use of mythological knowledge structures to establish the authority of the Māori prophet leaders. In the Māori oral culture, myths were the imaginative source from which the larger social values derived; they provided the governing, but underlying, ideas of the people's lives. Consequently, explanations of events — in “history” — were interpreted by these, their “structures of significance” (Sahlins 1981:8). Myth and history were not exclusive. History, or the actions and decisions which were seen to be important in the times of the ancestors, was recorded and transmitted by an oral tradition wherein notions of causation derived from the myths. In the Ringatū tradition, the faith and the body of thought engendered by Te Kooti Arikirangi in the later 19th century, new myth-narratives evolved. They were narratives which recorded events, but which interwove into the perceptions of these events both the traditions of matakite ‘foresight’, and the hermeneutic principles of explanation of the Scriptures. These oral narratives are structured and patterned accounts, with their own criteria of relevance, sequence and causation.
The purpose of many of the myth-narratives was to provide the means of identifying, legitimising, and so giving authority to the new prophet leaders. These men (and women) could claim, through the divine nature of their authority, an influence which was more extensive than that of the hereditary communal chiefs, whose influence was local, and fragile, when faced with extensive European institutions. Equally the mana of the prophets was more potent than that of the Māori mediators, who were being fostered by the Pākehā. They were the alternative, sometimes disruptive centres of power in a fractured society.
The myth-narratives affirmed the autonomous nature of the authority of the prophet leaders because it was derived from God. This conviction gave to the colonised the faith that they possessed a power equal or superior to — but essentially separate from — that of the colonisers. The prophet leaders based all their actions, and the justification for those - 346 actions, on this autonomous structure of thought. For many of the Māori people, in the times of great difficulty in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the continuing use of myths as a separate knowledge system was life-giving. To outsiders, the myth systems of explanation could sometimes appear as the inner exile of the powerless and the dispossessed. But for those who are within, the myth-narratives, carrying their promise of divine fulfilment, are the tohu ‘proof’ of ultimate redemption.
I have chosen to look at some of the narratives associated with Te Kooti and Rua because the two men are linked in spiritual descent from one to the other. They are joined by the predictions of Te Kooti concerning his successor, who was to complete (whakaoti) his work, and the oral traditions of those who followed Rua and considered him to be the Messiah (Te Mihāia). In this later generation, the myths of power were again extended and adapted. Both leaders have followers alive today, whose understanding of events and whose decisions about action in the present are shaped by the interpretative structures their prophets have bequeathed them. Because the narratives are believed, they have the same value and effect as any other system of explanation: they are acted upon. The narratives not only explain history; they also generate history.
Māori history was structured and recalled orally. History was the deeds of the ancestors, who were linked through the genealogies and the histories to the cosmogonic creation myths. 2 The distinctions between verifiable events, the fictive and the symbolic were, and always will remain, blurred in any narrative form of recording and transmitting knowledge. Furthermore, in the Ringatū tradition, historical events are also given meaning by their association with oracular prophecies. Consequently, historical events can be seen as the fulfilment of vatic pronouncements and non-causal chronicles become causal history, whose form is “pleromatic” (Kermode 1979:103-6). In other words, the story is narrated in such a way as to ensure the fulfilment of earlier sayings, or deeds. These myth-histories derive from the joining of two religious traditions wherein prophecy fulfilment plays a significant part. One is the lineage of matakite, which is combined with a concept of history in which the past, the time of the tīpuna ‘ancestors’, lives or is re-created in the present. In traditional Māori thought there is a continuing dialogue between the past and the present. An individual is thought of as facing the past, which lies before him — ngā rā o mua ‘the days in front’ — and history is “an unfolding series of generational stages” (Kernot 1983:192), each one a renewal of an earlier time. Ancestors appear to the living, the living assume the actions of the ancestors, and history is thereby renewed. 3 On the marae, a man speaks in the name of his ancestors. His knowledge and mana are derived, at least in part, from them. The past, then, conveys - 347 the wisdom which lies before him and is thereby brought into the present. The tikanga ‘correct ways’ come from the past. The myths and the historical narratives, by their telling and retelling, keep alive the exploits of the cultural heroes and so provide the cultural presuppositions which structure human action. They convey social “messages” and warnings (Walker 1978:31-2) but, as in all oral traditions, also allow new meanings to be brought forth. In the Māori tradition, particular individuals are believed to possess as a gift of an ancestor the power of matakite. This power is described as the taumata ‘sight’ of the departed spirits (Smith 1920:160). Matakite is the vision of the ancestors in the living; it is their prescience; it brings the past into the present, but not simply that it may be re-enacted. Into this lineage, Te Kooti wove the second form of testimonial tradition: the prophetic heritage from the Bible, which enabled him to evoke a new sense of the future by the new notions of fulfilment and redemption.
He belonged to the first generation of Māori who were literate and who possessed a detailed mastery of the Scriptures. He had attended the Whakatō mission at Poverty Bay and, according to local tradition, had aspired to be a lay missionary teacher (Fowler 1957, 20:19). It is certain that he acquired an extraordinary understanding of the hermeneutic narrative forms of explanation within the Bible, where early passages “are held to contain, possibly in a disguised or deceptive form, narrative promises that will later be kept, though perhaps in unexpected ways” (Kermode 1979:106). Te Kooti consistently used parables (kupu whakarite) as a method of teaching. 4 The opacity of many of these stories was intentional. It is not that the meanings have been lost. They are warning stories (kupu whakatūrpato) for those who can understand. They are oracles, with hidden significance. When Christ was asked to explain the purpose of his parables he told his disciples, “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand” (Mark 4:11-2). The parables, then, are stories told to outsiders — to “them that are without” — and told with the express purpose of concealing a mystery that may only be understood by “insiders”. It is only the few, the chosen, who will have access to the true sense of the narratives. “Outsiders” are not intended to perceive and may pay “a supreme penalty” — of being well deceived (Kermode 1979:2-3)! There is a specific sense, also, in which the narratives and prophecies surrounding Te Kooti are self-sustaining. Any demonstrable error, or conflict, between the words (ngā kupu) and a later human interpretation can be shown to reflect the inadequacy of fallible understandings. The time is - 348 not yet right; the meaning is not yet fulfilled. Those who “are without” have still to find the inner truth.
In Māori learning traditions, knowledge itself was seen as a taonga, a ‘precious thing’ to be sought, but which was never easily attained. Religious knowledge, particularly, was protected by barriers, which tested the commitment and perseverance and suitability of the seekers (Metge 1983:9). The parable tradition was consistent with the principles of the whare wānanga ‘schools of learning’: the responsibility for understanding lay with the pupil, not the teacher (Metge 1983:10). The teachings were often in the forms of ritual formulas and vatic sayings. Many oral cultures have these forms of “‘autonomous’ discourse”, utterances which cannot be questioned (Ong 1982:78). Thereby the speaker becomes the channel, not the source, and the authority of the words cannot be contested. Te Kooti's teachings took these forms: cryptic prophecies, introduced by phrases in glossolalia, and opaque parables. Some of the sayings, most particularly, ngā kupu whakaari ‘the prophecies’ or ‘divine revelations’ were recorded in writing. This decision to record was deliberate on the part of Te Kooti, who had three secretaries, who are called the three “cornerstones”, for the purpose of writing down records, minutes, and prophetic utterances. They were Hāmiora Aparoa, Petera Te Rangihiroa, and Matiu Paeroa (Boy Biddle: January 28, 1983). 5 Matiu's book has survived in a transcript copy. It was begun on April 11, 1885, at Ōtewa, where Te Kooti was still living in exile in the King Country. Matiu's stated purpose was to create a permanent record as a source for recollection (whakamahara) and explanation (whakaatu) for the generations yet to come. 6 Matiu recorded the kupu whakaari, the ‘predictions’ and the ‘promises’, and the kupu whakarite, which here are enlargements and reinforcements of the original sayings. The hymns, the references to the scriptural passages, the prayers (inoi), and the waiata, the songs composed and adapted by Te Kooti for particular occasions, were also written down by Matiu and Hāmiora. 7 The narratives, however, were not recorded. They belonged to the living oral tradition of telling the people's history.
Sometimes the narratives convey a context in which a kupu whakaari was uttered. They also contain what Claude Lévi-Strauss has called “mythical cells, or explanatory cells which were originally mythical, [which] can be arranged and rearranged” (Lévi-Strauss 1978:40). The reworkings, which are clearly evident in the wide local variations, probably took place in the early tellings and retellings, by different narrators, but after that the narratives seem to have settled down more or less as “sacred texts”, with a fixed content and sequence, known to both the teller and the listeners in each particular locality. 8 The narratives surrounding Te Kooti and Rua allude frequently to supernatural agents: the - 349 Archangel Michael, “the great prince” who, in the Scriptures, appears to his people in the “time of trouble” to deliver them (Daniel 12:1); the Archangel Gabriel, the annunciator of the means of salvation; the Holy Spirit, the Wairua Tapu; and the magical white horse of Te Kooti, which is the horse of the conqueror from the Book of Revelation (Revelation 6:2; Ned Brown:February 14, 1982). Equally, these myth-narratives were treated as truthful accounts of relatively recent historical events. The versions told to me — the outsider — sometimes carried a caveat: “Well, so they say”, or “so the story goes”. But sometimes the narrator forgot the audience, or knew her well enough by now to say, “Well, I believe it”. The narratives, then, project a notion of causality which depends on acceptance of the mythic cell, and derive from the Ringatū world-view where divine forces intervene in human affairs. The narratives were seen to be true accounts which spoke of the narrator's immediate ancestors, father, mother, grandfather or grandmother, or other very close kin. They are “family” stories; they are about the tīpuna and the prophet. They are cited as authority, and the stories contain all kinds of verifying detail: the ancestral names, the place and the particular occasion. The narratives “belong” to the particular family, but also recur in other families and then all the validating details — the authoritative ancestor, or the place — will have altered and the mythic cell may also have been rearranged. These myth-narratives, however organised, are forms of recording, ordering and explaining personal and communal history. They show individuals extending Māori tradition whereby history was conceived as a continuation of mythology (Lévi-Strauss 1978:43; Amoamo 1984:26, 35; Sahlins 1981:11-3, 67).
The second influence on the Ringatū myth-narratives were the biblical narratives of the Israelites which were, in their origin, oral histories. They, like the Māori oral traditions, adopt many of the devices of narrative fiction; indeed the “orality” of the scriptural texts “is overwhelming” (Ong 1982:75). In the Bible there is, in particular, a testimonial interconnection between certain passages, where later events are revealed to be the fulfilment of earlier, often equivocating, words. Prophecies are thereby seen to be true; they are fulfilled with the unexpected. This hermeneutic system of explanation gives the narratives much of their authority. As Frank Kermode has argued in his study of the biblical narrative devices, The Genesis of Secrecy, the more improbable and farfetched the intertextual relation, the more certain seemed the historicity of the narrative (Kermode 1979:107). This testimonial form of writing history in the Bible accorded precisely with the Māori tradition of matakite, and probably enhanced the importance of prophet leaders in Māori society in the 19th century.- 350
The role of the prophets was most obviously reinforced by the apparently close parallels in the Māori historical situation and the Israelite tribal experiences of territorial dispossession. The extreme closeness in time between the experience of the rapid initial spread of Christianity — in the 1840s in Te Kooti's home, Poverty Bay — and the Māoris' partial dispossession with the almost equally rapid land settlement, purchase, and confiscation in the 1850s and early 1860s, was probably unprecedented in any colonial experience. The Covenant of God with the elders of Israel took on a particular meaning for many Māori from the early 1860s: it was his spoken promise, given to the prophets Abraham and Moses, for the restoration of the land:
Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance; When ye [are] but few, even a few, and strangers in it. 9
Te Kooti's own individual experiences were the epitome of the Israelites' saga. He was arrested for “spying”, that is, communicating with his tribal chief, Anaru Matete, who had joined the Pai Mārire religious movement when it came to Poverty Bay in 1865, and was sent into exile, without the trial he had asked for, to the Chatham Islands in June 1866. Most of the prisoners, unlike Te Kooti, were converts to Pai Mārire, a faith which was seen as dangerous and “disloyal” by the Government. 10 They were kept on Wharekauri island longer than was originally intended, while the confiscation of land at Poverty Bay, the reprisal for “rebellion”, was being forced through. It was Te Kooti who led the escape of the Exiles in 1868 back to the mainland. For the Exiles it was the return to the Promised Land. It was from these experiences that Te Kooti devised the new religion and the new name for the people, Ngā Mōrehu ‘the survivors’ — and the Chosen Few. 11 Their later name, formally adopted in 1886, was the Ringatū, or the faith of the Upraised Hand. The raising of the right hand at the end of a prayer was their gesture of homage to God and, in the Ringatū oral tradition, it is said to have been used for the first time by the Exiles in thanksgiving for their safe return when they landed on Whareongaonga beach on July 10, 1868. The Israelite traditions of suffering, with which they now identified, gave them their strength. They possessed a “hope so close to certainty”, 12 which was to be the basis of their active resistance as guerrilla fighters and, later, sustained the pacifist faith that anticipated their deliverance. From the experiences of unjust imprisonment, the guerrilla wars (1868-72) and, for Te Kooti, of what would become permanent exile, the myth-narrative histories grew. They explained the past, but they also carried with them the promise of the rebirth of the autonomy of the people.- 351
In many myth-narratives, certain basic themes recur. One is “miraculous” escape from entombment or imprisonment. In the Ringatū stories, the young man Te Kooti is a trickster figure who is constantly involved in escapades, like his ancestor Māui. One of the earliest episodes told is of his escape from his living burial by his father in, variously, a kūmara ‘sweet potato’ pit or a well. One version was taught by Paora Delamere (Teramea), the Poutikanga ‘main pillar’ of the Ringatū Church, to the schoolchildren at Maraenui, a Ringatū community in the Bay of Plenty. Te Kooti's father, Te Rangipātahi, went with the boy to clear a well in the sandhills on the coast near Gisborne. The well was boxed in with wood. When Te Rangipātahi thought he had enough kits of sand, “he suddenly threw them at the young man, knocking him to his knees, then piled in loose sand and buried him”. But Te Kooti escaped by digging with the boards and then hid in his uncle's pātaka ‘storehouse’. When his uncle began to lament for him, fearing that evil had befallen him, he climbed down to be embraced by him “as one returned from the dead” (Maraenui Maori School 1957:20). In the manuscript book which Paora Delamere compiled from 1931, 13 he wrote the story down in greater detail. It is a story of treachery (kōhuru). In this version, father and son went to clear the well, which was outside the pā, and when Te Kooti fell on the flat rocks of the spring, his father hastened to bury him with the gravel from the kits. But he escaped, again by his own ingenuity, and took sustenance from the provisions in the elevated store (whata-pāpaka) of his ancestor, Kūrei. While he was eating, he heard the voice of Te Turuki, 14 his father's younger brother, asking about him. Te Rangipātahi turned away without answering. Later that evening, Te Turuki began to lament for the boy, who then climbed down from the store and told of his father's treachery. The news of Te Rangipātahi's actions spread and came to Te Kooti's ancestor, Te Toiroa Ikariki (Ikarihi), the old matakite ‘seer’ and prophet of Nukutaurua on the Māhia peninsula. But Te Toiroa had already known that his “grandchild” had been buried alive and knew, therefore, that he was the prophet whose coming he had foreseen (Delamere n.d.:71-2). This story of Te Kooti's escape from living burial, then, not only tells how he is nurtured by his ancestor, and sheltered by the uncle from whom he took his tīpuna name; it also belongs to the narrative sequence whereby he is identified as the one who had already been predicted as the leader for the times of trouble.
This sequence of prophecy concerning the advent of Te Kooti is widely known in the Bay of Plenty and on the East Coast. In it, Te Kooti was predicted by Te Toiroa, Ngātimaru elder and religious tohunga ‘reader - 352 of signs’ in 1766. Te Toiroa himself was descended from Ngātoroirangi, the great priest who came from Hawaiki, captured by Tamatekapua for the Arawa canoe. 15 His lineage and authority are, therefore, unchallengeable. He had specifically associated Te Kooti's advent with the Pākehā and the times of strife. First, Toiroa imaged the coming of the Europeans, as he made out of flax the curious clothes the strangers would wear and the goods that they would bring. Then, three years before the arrival of Captain Cook, the spirit of prophecy entered again into Toiroa and he took on the manner of the lizard (papateretere) darting and rushing about, his back arched and the fingers of his hands splayed (Mōnita Delamere:December 14, 1981). (The lizard is an emblem and bearer of both life and death in the Māori comogony [Binney 1980:12, 17-8].) A voice spoke through Te Toiroa and he told of the coming of two children, cousins, a younger and an elder, who would be born from within Ngātimaru. If the elder, Te Huiakama, lived the times would be peaceful; but if the elder died of the illness which would strike them both, and the younger lived, then evil would come to the land: “that one is named Arikirangi” (Delamere n.d.:66). He was, like Māui, the pōtiki, the precocious and troublesome ‘younger child’ who contends against accepted order. Toiroa then sang two prophecies. The first was for his “grandchild”:
(Pākerewhā is the seer's name for the yet unknown and unnamed Pākehā, perhaps because rewha was the sickness that they would bring. Arikirangi is perhaps the star under which he was born and means ‘lord of the heaven’.)
The second concerned the Pākehā:
(Nukutere was one of the founding canoes in the traditions of the Bay of Plenty tribes and the name means literally ‘navigate the distance - 353 with swiftness’. Tawhiti is the ‘distant place’ and is the source of the canoe and the new God to come with it.) 16
None understood these cryptic sayings, and Toiroa, it is said, was a “simple man”, and did not know the meaning of the words he had uttered. He is as the Delphic oracle. The interpretation given to the words today, among Te Whānau ā Apanui, is that the God of these people, the Pākerewhā, would be “our God” (Mōnita Delamere:February 16, 1982).
In this tradition, Arikirangi's power descended from Toiroa and was confirmed by him in a series of rituals. Toiroa went to his “mokopuna ‘grandson’” Arikirangi, after hearing of his entombment by his father and baptised him at his village, Pāokahu, 17 by the tohi ‘purification’ ceremony. Arikirangi, then, is the name by which he was foreseen and it was the name given him by Toiroa. Te Toiroa performed the purification ceremony with prayers (haea) so that the young man (tamaiti) would retain the words, the knowledge and the rituals (ngātikanga). 18 In the manuscript sources concerning Toiroa, it is made clear that it was from Toiroa that the Covenants of God and the tasks set for Te Kooti were made known. As the old Ringatū tohunga of Ngātapa, Eria Raukura, explained:
It was Toiroa, also, who dedicated Te Kooti to the god of war and of man, Tūmatauenga, feeding him with a stone so that he would retain the knowledge. “Ko Tū te ingoa o taua kohatu” — ‘Tū was the name of that stone’. 19 He told the boy of the enemies he would face. Arikirangi listened and retained almost all his talk, some of his songs, but not the traditional karakia ‘prayers’ (Delamere n.d.:73). Thus the narrative indicates that Te Kooti's prayers (inoi) would be new prayers for the new God, yet to be - 354 revealed. Some time later Toiroa summoned the boy to Nukutaurua; the texts again make the sequence clear, for Te Kooti was not yet possessed with the spirit (“Kaore ano te tamaiti nei kia whiwhi noa i te wairua i enei wa” — Te Huitau Te Hau in Delamere n.d.:72-3). Toiroa's vision was of Te Kooti's captivity and return, when he would lift up his hand in prayer. Then, as the boy was climbing into his canoe to return to Tūranga (Gisborne), Te Toiroa called out to him, “Arikirangi — wipe the sand and seaweed of my beaches from your feet!” (Bill Hook; Te Huitau Te Hau in Delamere n.d.:72-3). And Te Kooti knew then, as he did so, that the Māhia would be the only place in Poverty Bay that he would never invade on his return from exile on Wharekauri (Bill Hook). 20
In the narratives of Te Kooti as a young man, he is depicted as a troublemaker: thief, adulterer, and sometimes even unable to control his body, possessing the aspects of a mad person (pōrangi): “ka porangi tona ahua, kore rawa i taea e ia tona tinana te pupuri kia noho pai” (Delamere n.d.:73). He was locally notorious for his association with a group of youths, all living at Mākaraka, who acted as “social bandits”, taking their reprisals (utu) for grievances in settlers' property. 21 Many well-known and often-repeated stories have grown around these activities (see Mackay 1966:301-2). In the myth-narratives this thieving is judged as the presence of “evil” within Te Kooti. The affliction of madness was healed, it is said, in 1853 by the appearance of the spirit of God to him, but the presence of evil would persist until God fully revealed himself to Te Kooti on Wharekauri. 22 As Eria Raukura explained, it was then, on the island, that the Māori lineage from Te Toiroa joined — “te hononga” — with the revelation of the sayings from Abraham until Christ (Delamere n.d.:34).
The Foundation of the Faith and the Prediction of a Successor
Te Kooti's imprisonment on Wharekauri was the unjust sentence which made him a martyr. In the narratives of this time, as recounted to me, it is told that he escaped every night from his solitary confinement, in a manner unknown to the story-tellers, to teach the newly revealed faith to the other prisoners. Every morning before daylight he returned, as if by magic, to his “house of bondage”, Wharepononga, on the island. “Then someone spoke out of turn, and told a warden. ‘Oh, Te Kooti's not in jail, he was here with us last night, talking to us.’ ‘No, he's still in jail — you must be dreaming.’ ‘No — he comes here, every night!’” (Ned Brown:February 14, 1982). But how, is never discovered.
The powers given to him, now, are seen to be supernatural and they cannot be explained. It was on the island that the Archangel Michael appeared to Te Kooti in a series of visions and revealed to him God's - 355 Covenant with Israel, or the promise of their return from bondage. 23
Mikaere also tested the prisoners with a riddle.
He said to them, “Look, here's a stone. I want you people to eat it; if your faith is good, you can do it.” And Te Kooti said, “You people have got to swallow that stone.” But they couldn't find the answer. “How are we going to eat that stone?” “All right, let's all put it to God, to help us.” And in a dream, it was given to one of them, and he woke up startled, saying, “I've got it! I've got it!” They all woke up, “What, what?” “Oh, how to eat that stone!” He got that stone and he pounded it into dust and gave each one a bit. That's how we were told it. . . . That's the sharing, too. My great-grandmother [Mere Puru] ate that stone. 24 The Lord blessed them, and that particular person was given the understanding. So they were all rescued [from Wharekauri]. (Hēni Brown)
The riddle is a conventional device of myth-narrative. In the hermeneutic system of explanation, also, the essential ingredient is the fulfilment of tasks set and the completion of prophecies spoken. The sayings of Te Kooti (ngā kupu whakaari) “and all their implications” lie at the heart of the Ringatū teachings, in the same manner that the oracle tradition is retained at the heart of the Bible. On the Cross, Christ recalled the words of the Old Testament Psalmist: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”; the psalm is the oracle, the pronouncement whose meaning can only be determined by later events, and by illumination in a context that cannot be anticipated (Kermode 1979:106; Psalm 22). The kupu whakaari of Te Kooti stand in precisely the same relationship to later events. As the leader of the Exiles who returned from bondage, Te Kooti is Moses. His powers are seen to be a gift from God, “the same gift as was given to Moses”. 25 His predictive words, almost from the beginning, also look to his successor. In the Scriptures, Moses is a type of Christ. For those who claim the succession from Te Kooti, like Rua, the tasks are set, but the revelation of meaning will be theirs. As early as - 356 1868, Te Kooti anticipated one who would “capture” him, and beneath whose feet he would die.
The pursuit of Te Kooti himself, during the guerrilla wars, generated both myth-narratives and kupu whakaari concerning his remarkable ability always to elude capture. There are several well-known tales of his miraculous escapes from ambush and bullets. In some of these accounts the white horse which he, and later Rua, rode first appears. It is, as the Ringatū elder Ned Brown commented, the white horse of the conqueror, and was named in some accounts Pōkai Whenua ‘Travel the Land’ (Tau McLean). 26 It passes like the wind across the North Island in the night. At the terrible siege of Ngātapa, in December 1868, it was this white horse with spiritual powers (te hoiho mā wairua) which climbed down the great cliff-face at the rear of the pā, a face not even a goat could traverse, and enabled Te Kooti's escape from a “thousand” Government soldiers firing straight at him. 27 It was at Ngātapa, on December 24, that Te Kooti prophesied the manner of his own death:
Rua claimed to be this man. All his early actions were concerned to establish this claim by fulfilling the tasks which Te Kooti left for his successor. The ritual journey in 1906 to enter the meeting-house, Rongopai, can be seen as such a quest. Early in that year, Rua went to Gisborne to gain entry to the painted house, which was built in 1888 for Te Kooti but to which he was never able to return because of Government intervention. 28 Now the house was tapu and it was considered certain death to cross the threshold. However, on February 12 at Tāwhana, a Tūhoe settlement in the Waimana valley, the “word of God” came to Rua:
He then predicted that if he was not well received by the people of Gisborne, he would ‘complete the works to which I have been directed’ (“Ki te kore ahau e manakitea e nga tangata o Turanga wawa, ka tutuki i au nga mahi i tonoa mai ai ahau 12” — Maungapōhatu Notebook 1881-1916:67). This prophecy was seen to be initially fulfilled by his rejection at Pākōwhai, when in March he was turned away from the marae by the chief, Ruru Pataromu, contradicting all Māori traditions of hospitality. But it was the white horse which Rua rode that gave him his entry into Rongopai and established him to be the One to complete the task. In one version of Rua's journey to Gisborne to enter the house, it is told that Te Kooti himself went ahead and, at every stop on the way, said to the people who gathered that the man who followed on the white horse was his “Son”, the “One who is coming to finish what has to be done” (Puti Rua:January 29, 1983). In this account, the white horse is also stated specifically to have been Te Kooti's horse, which his successor now rode. 29 This was Rua's white horse, which he called Te Ia ‘The Crest of the Wave’, and which had the “golden key” to Rongopai (Mac Onekawa:December 10, 1978). As the people watched in fear, it was the horse which opened the door from inside and pulled back the sliding window to look out at them. Within the beautiful house, a veritable Garden of Eden with its luminous flowers, birds, and painted figures, including one who wore a Scotch thistle at his head, sometimes said to be the personal symbol of Te Kooti, stood Christ, with Te Kooti. They greeted Rua as the man who fulfilled the prophecies and completed the Trinity (Basil Tāmihana). This task achieved, Rua went to Maungapōhatu, the Tūhoe settlement at the foot of their sacred mountain. Here, in April, on the particular day of worship for the Ringatū, the Twelfth, it was revealed that Rua would return to Tūranga (Gisborne) to “ascend to the throne” and to meet King Edward VII of England on June 25. From Maungapōhatu, he circled the entire district of the Mātaatua tribes, as he had already predicted at Tāwhana that he would do. He then returned to Gisborne to claim the “kingship” prophesied by Te Kooti for the One would come to Tūranga “in the faith”. 30
This second journey to Gisborne was seen also to fulfil other predictions of Te Kooti's. From the gathering at Te Awahou, Rotorua, on January 1, 1889, the sacred first day of the year for the Ringatū, came Te Kooti's instruction for the people of the Mātaatua canoe, the Tūhoe: “Mataatua hanga te tawharau kia 80 tangata” — ‘Mataatua: build a shelter of 80 men’. By going to Gisborne with 80, all the chiefs of Tūhoe, - 358 and thus their tāwharau, Rua was seen by them as completing this prophecy in 1906. For Te Kooti had said that the Tūhoe had the Godhead, and the Covenants: they needed only union, “kia tawharautia ai a Tuhoe”, that they may be sheltered. The uniting of Tūhoe in 1906 was seen as the revealed meaning of the prediction. 31
The claiming of the “kingship” by Rua at Gisborne was, in essence, the claim first made by Te Kooti when he landed at Whareongaonga in 1868. He had stated then that he intended to claim the “kingship” from the Maori king, Tāwhiao. 32 This contest between Tāwhiao and Te Kooti will be discussed later. In Rua's vision, the “kingship” seemed at first to be of a different kind, for he predicted that he was to meet Edward at Gisborne and there, in exchange for gold, or, in some versions, a huge diamond, the King would restore the land to him. That which had been ceded to a Queen would be returned by the King. This hope of peaceful exchange sprang from Te Kooti's words when he had said in 1878 that he would seek to return Queen Victoria's money, by which the land had been bought. When King Edward did not arrive, the latent meaning of the original prediction was revealed by Rua to the waiting crowd. “‘When will the King come, Rua?’ the people said, after three days.” He replied, “‘I am really that King.’” 33 “‘Here I am, with all my people!’” (Kino Hughes). In place of salvation ushered in by a King, Rua offered salvation through himself as that King. He had mastered the white horse, as predicted, which in the Scriptures is ridden by the One to whom the crown is given (Revelation 6:2). The kingship is, in fact, the rangatiratanga, 34 the return of Māori authority over the land, which was the original task Te Kooti seemed to have set himself in 1868 when he landed, but which he also, later, predicted he would not fulfil.
The Early Quests of Rua
For Rua, there were ancestral quests also to be attempted in these early years. From Tūhoe tradition, there was the ancient taniwha Haumapuhia, the guardian in Lake Waikaremoana, where Rua went in May to take “the spell off the lake”, so that its waters would cease to be angry. 35 The cause had been Haumapuhia, who can be seen
On a clear day, lying down flat at the bottom of the lake, and one part of his leg is the Wairoa harbour. . . . It don't hesitate to kill you. It'll drown you, or anything. And another one there is Hine Nui Te Pō, that's the kuia, lady, right in the middle of the harbour. That's the reason, more or less, he [Rua] went to Wairoa [about 1906]. To take that curse away from that. Nothing else (Heta Rua:May 23, 1982).
In the oral traditions of the Iharaira, that is the Israelites who follow Rua, Te Kooti is seen not only as their early prophet, whom they - 359 sheltered and protected during the wars, but also as the messenger and “type” of Rua. These myth-narratives belong to the second generation of the Ringatū. The foundation myth which established Rua's claims was his “vision on the mountain”, that is Maungapōhatu, his sacred tribal mountain. By this narrative, he was shown to be both Moses, to whom the tablets of the law were given on the mountain, and Christ. He is the Word of Prophecy (te Kupu) made flesh. The narrative traced his lineage carefully from Te Kooti; it also told how knowledge and the law were given to Rua on the mountain by the divine forces which were present there. They included Whaitiri, the ancestress from whom all Tūhoe trace their descent. The story was further concerned with the hidden diamond on the mountain, which was revealed to Rua. This diamond is the mauri whenua, the physical repository of the life force of Tūhoe and their land. It looks after them, and it is the source of their mana. The diamond is protected by Te Kooti, but was revealed to Rua by Whaitiri. Thus the story demonstrated the transference of the protective power over the people to their new leader. Let me first tell the story. Or rather, let Heta Rua tell the story. It was told to him by Rua's first wife, Pinepine, who was with Rua on the mountain and became an exceptionally tapu woman after this experience. Thus Heta's narrative is validated by the authenticity of its source.
It was at Tukutoromiro [a hillside near the present community at Maungapōhatu], when he was first living there with Pinepine his wife. They'd built a whare, made out of ponga, and one day they were baking bread in the kitchen. He was doing the baking. 36 He heard this voice, calling out. He turned round to his wife and asked, “Are you calling me?” “No”, she says. It was the third time 37 when the voice called, he knew it wasn't her. He went outside. It was an angel. It was an angel he saw. And the angel told him what to do, to go up to that mountain. So they went to the top of that mountain. He told his wife, “Don't hesitate, whatever you see on that mountain.”
The track was narrow and hard to find; the mists of the mountain closed around them — the mists whereby Maungapōhatu protects itself from intruders. Three times they stopped, exhausted, and three times a woman appeared to them to urge them on the way. It was dawn when they reached the flat top of the mountain, and the woman's black hair gleamed in the first shafts of the sun. She led them to where the diamond lay on the top. 38
They were the last people to see it. The diamond's still there to this day, still covered, just as Te Turuki covered it up with that rug, the rainbow shawl they call it. A sort of travelling rug with lots of colours on it. 39 And that was still on it, 'cause he had a look at it and just - 360 covered it up again, never took it, never touched it. Just as Te Turuki put the shawl on it. “Don't touch it!” It looks after the mountain. So he comes down to the flat. It's got three lakes on it, and each one a different colour, white, pink and red. And then this thing happened again to them, they saw the lady, she was in rags, 'cause when she opened it, it flows out. That's when they saw the wings.
(Heta Rua:May 18, 1978)
The angel who called them was Gabriel, one of the four angels who, in Ringatū tradition, appear on earth sent by God. Gabriel is Rua's angel. He is specifically associated with peace (maungārongo) and the times of the One prophesied to follow. The woman, who is also angelic in form in the last image, is Whaitiri. It is she who led Rua to the diamond (Heta Rua:May 23, 1982). In Tūhoe tradition, Whaitiri is the grandmother of Tāwhaki, who in his search for her, entered heaven and acquired the root of taro — that is, its mauri — for man. The taro root, like all tubers, contains life. In the feast of the passover (kapenga) celebrated by the Ringatū on January 1 each year, and the huamata ‘first fruits’ celebrated at the end of the planting cycle, generally on November 1, the symbol of the tubers is specifically likened to Christ. They are “a type for the death of Christ, when those tubers have all died, some new growth appears.” 40 Rua, then, in his vision on the mountain, is established in the narrative to be the prophesied Messiah. But it is significant that it is Whaitiri who revealed the diamond. Whaitiri is the goddess of thunder and lightning (Best 1977, I:872), and it was the flash of bright light which revealed her within her covering garb of rags. In Heta's version, Whaitiri “is more or less Rua's sister” (May 23, 1982). In another version of this myth, told by Te Puhi Tatu, who was married to Rua's eldest son, Whatu, Whaitiri is the sister of Christ, and both appeared to Rua on the mountain. Te Puhi's version is also derived from Pinepine, or Mami:
Christ, Whaitiri, and Rua are, in these narratives, the three children of God.
Whaitiri appeared once more to Rua, many years later. It was the only time she was seen by his children. Rua and Pinepine's daughter, Tangi, was badly crushed in a tree-felling accident at Maungapōhatu in 1927, and Whaitiri appeared to release her from her terrible suffering and to - 361 bring her to death. “She came and asked to let her go — don't let her suffer like that.” 41 The presence of Whaitiri was, however, permanently associated with Rua. “That's the only time you can notice her is she has a beautiful perfume. Walking along with him — a beautiful perfume — but you couldn't work out where it was coming from. And when there's the church service or when he was going up to the pā in Maungapōhatu, then you get that perfume smell. He's going ahead of you, and it comes on the wind, and you wonder where it is coming from” (Heta Rua:May 23, 1982). This delicate “odour of scent”, which always emanated from Rua, had also been noticed by a journalist, but he put it down to mere dandyism! 42
The importance of the diamond of Maungapōhatu is that it is the source of the hidden power of the people, and it will be uncovered “in the days to come”. In one version, told by Māngere Teka of Ruatāhuna, it was placed there by Te Kooti during the wars (Webster 1979:190), but according to Te Paea, Heta's wife, it has always been there (Te Paea Hōri Hiakita). In all versions, it is protected by Te Kooti's “shawl” (hooro), so that its bright light cannot be seen. 43 Some say the hooro is black, for it is a cloth to conceal a tapu object. In the early days of European settlement, people sailed for New Zealand guided by the diamond's bright light. “But when they get closer, it disappears. So they know quite well it isn't a star. But it must be something. Every boat saw it, but as soon as you get closer, then you can't see it again. . . . It's still there, but Te Turuki put his shawl over it and covered it up so that people couldn't find it. He knew in times to come people would fly in the air and find it. Sure enough, we get aeroplanes” (Heta Rua and Te Paea Hōri Hiakita:May 18, 1978).
The diamond of Maungapōhatu — “there is a diamond there, I know” (Heta Rua:May 18, 1978) — is then the mauri whenua, to hold and preserve the mana of the land and its people, the Tūhoe. It is the quintessential emblem for the Māori world, Te Ao Mārama, the world of light and knowledge, and for māramatanga, the light revealed. In Māngere Teka's version, Rua was given a fragment of the diamond by the woman, his sister, who had shown it to him: “the diamond is called the Kingdom”, or that which is to come in the latter days (Webster 1979:190). It is hidden on the mountain, for mountains traditionally possessed the mana of the tribe. When, for example, the King movement was being formed, at the first great meeting, held at Pūkawa on Lake Taupō in 1856, the unification of the tribes under the King was expressed ritually by the tying of plaited flax ropes, each named after a tribal mountain, to a central pole called Tongariro, for the hosts', Tūwharetoa's, own maunga tipua (mountain of power). From this pole - 362 also flew the flag of the 1835 Confederation of the United Tribes, which the King movement adopted as the flag of Māori autonomy (James Cowan notes to Smith 1920:161-2; Cowan 1956, I:151-3). In the myth-narrative from Maungapōhatu, then, the diamond hidden on the mountain 44 is the emblem of the ancestral power which is to be restored.
Besides Tūhoe, the myth-narrative of the hidden diamond belongs to a number of other tribes within the Ringatū faith. For the Ngātimaru people living at Muriwai (Reuben Riki), who are Te Kooti's hapū but who did not accept Rua, their diamond can be seen at Paparatu, old Maungapoike, Te Kooti's ancestral land (Reuben Riki; Tihei Algie). In one of their accounts, the diamond came from India in the Rifleman, the schooner which the Exiles captured at Wharekauri and sailed to the mainland. It can be seen as
this luminous light coming up from one area — only one area at night. . . . This one here, it's at Paparatu, it is a diamond. . . . He [Te Kooti] came here with a purpose — as the story goes — that he came here to hide all the wealth. If they were to find the wealth of this country, they'll ruin this country. He says, “It's better to be hidden.” But there is a day coming. Someone, or somebody, will find this and there will be plenty for all (Reuben Riki).
In the traditions of Ngāriki, the old tribe from Mangatū, their mountain, Maungahaumia, also possesses a diamond. It is a portion broken by Te Kooti from the diamond which he carried to illuminate his path and which was shaped in the form of the lamb, Te Reme (Ned Brown:February 14, 1982; November 30, 1983). Te Kooti's diamond, here, is the sacrificial Lamb, which the Children of Israel offered in thanksgiving when they passed out of the wilderness, and it is Christ, who was revealed later to the evangelist John as the sacrificial Lamb “which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). In this image, then, Te Kooti is Moses and Christ, lux mundi. For Ngāriki, who also do not accept the claims of Rua, the narratives concerning Te Kooti contain their own typological references to Christ. As Te Toiroa had prophesied for Arikirangi, “nga kino katoa o te Ao nei, pau ake i a koe te mahi” — ‘all the evil in the world will be undertaken by you’ (Delamere n.d.:67).
In the Muriwai version, there are seven tokens which Te Kooti left, each one a mauri whenua, for, in the “Lamb as it had been slain . . . [there] are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” (Revelation 5:6). Each one of these seven tokens left by Te Kooti holds and preserves the power of the land, “he whitu ngā mana whenua” (Reuben Riki). In the old days, each area and each people had their own mana. As Reuben Riki explained, “there was a limitation of movement. You cross - 363 over from one area, you cross from one mana to another mana. Each one had their own mana. It is still active too. Even now, sometimes, unexpectedly, you see it, as a luminous light.” In all these narratives, Te Kooti is credited with restoring the protective forces over the land.
For the people of Mangatū, it is said that Te Kooti gave their diamond to their ancestor, Te Hira Uetuku, when he went to him at Te Kuiti in 1883. 45 Here he was tested by Te Kooti — “Te Kooti had a habit of misreading people, to test you at all times to see how good your faith is” (Ned Brown:February 14, 1982) — and then he was given
he mauri whenua pertaining to some powers unknown to us. . . . It is believed that it was part of the diamond that Te Kooti used to go through the dense bush. At Te Wera [where Te Kooti had a camp in the Urewera country, when he was fleeing the soldiers], those that followed him saw it. It was in the form of a lamb: the diamond. Some say it is a portion, or a part of it, broken off from that and given to my grandfather [Te Hira], to bring back and plant on Mount Maungahaumi [sic]. That is the mauri, to hold and preserve the family in the years to come.”
It was the foot (waewae) of the Lamb, so that the generations to follow could have their “footing”, their tūranga waewae. And because Te Hira had travelled far to see Te Kooti, and his own horse was exhausted, Te Kooti lent him the white horse, called in this story Te Panerua (Wilson n.d.:136), to “fulfil the mission”. It took Te Hira only a day to ride from Te Kuiti to Maungahaumia and back (Wilson n.d.:136; Ned Brown:February 14, 1982).
The diamond is “te taonga” of Maungahaumia, 46 that which is and retains the life force of the people, or their “spiritual mana” that is “to come out” (Rūtene Irwin). It is hidden on the mountain that is never to be sold. Te Kooti himself warned the people that they must keep their mountain, so as to nurture those who have nothing and the orphaned — “‘kia mau tērā; he whāngai i te rawa kore me te pani’” (Hārata Hitaua). In the days gone by, the diamond could be seen in the river, where the Mangatū once started in the Dome Valley. It “gleamed like glass to all points of the Compass & its children came down in the clear water like crystals; clear white stones.” 47 The stones are known as “the children of Mangatū”; they are white quartz pebbles, but they can no longer be found in the river (Ned Brown:November 30, 1983). The diamond itself is the “hidden thing”, which Te Kooti said was to care for the land until — in the Ngāriki version, for they are a small and dispossessed tribe — it comes back to the original owners. It is that which was “created at the beginning of the world”; when it is “seen again then the End will be attained.” 48
For those Tūhoe who saw Rua as Te Kooti's successor, the revelation of - 364 the diamond on Maungapōhatu to Rua by Whaitiri, goddess of lightning and light, marked the beginning of his powers as prophet and as Messiah. “That's how the gift was given to him. That's how he started off. It was from this time that he prophesied the things yet to come” (Heta Rua:May 18, 1978). Thus, in the Maungapōhatu version, the story is also concerned with the transference of the protective power from one leader to the next. It, too, assures the people of their ultimate autonomy.
Te Kooti and the King Movement
Before we can consider other narratives in which Rua is shown to inherit the mantle of prophecy, we need to look further at the myth-narratives which surround Te Kooti. Those which come from Ringatū sources demonstrate the mana he possesses for them. They establish his ability to foresee and forewarn; they confirm his ability constantly to outwit pursuit. In 1872 he finally escaped his hunters and took sanctuary inside the territorial boundaries of Ngāti Maniapoto, now known as the King Country. From the time of Te Kooti's forced exile with them, Maniapoto retain their oral narratives, whose purpose is to demonstrate the lesser mana of Te Kooti when set beside that of their own leaders. The narratives are, again, myths of power, and they too are concerned with “tests” which are undertaken by Te Kooti; but for Maniapoto it is their tribal and spiritual leaders who triumph. The myth-narratives also recall the friction which existed between King Tāwhiao, who himself was being sheltered by Maniapoto, and Te Kooti. These tensions were observed, and recorded to some extent, by William Gilbert Mair, who, in 1871, had been sent by the Government to watch, and cultivate, the Kingites. He kept a close eye on his old adversary Te Kooti and reported how, in December 1872, when Te Kooti came to the King's camp, upon the invitation of Rewi Maniapoto, “Tawhiao remained in his tent & made no sign whatever and Te Kooti went away without eating the food prepared for him” (January 14, 1873:Mair 1871-5). In the oral histories, this conflict is described as Te Kooti's attempts to capture the mana of Tāwhiao and of Maniapoto.
During the wars Te Kooti had twice crossed into the King Country. On the first occasion, in August 1869, he had sought Maniapoto's fighting support. On the second, in December of the same year, he “invaded their country with the avowed intention of deposing Tawhiao” (Interview between Donald McLean and Waikato-Maniapoto chiefs, June 13, 1872:Mair 1871-4). Te Kooti stated then that he would go to Tokangamutu, where Tāwhiao was living, and set up his own laws (Telegrams, December 16, 1869:AJHR 1870:A-8A:19). To Tāwhiao's request that he “sheath his sword” and come and live in peace at - 365 Tokangamutu, he told the messenger, “‘Return to Tawhiao and tell him I will not sheath the sword; that when I go again to Tokangamutu it will be to raise the sword, not to lay it aside’” (Gilbert Mair, December 30, 1869:AJHR 1870:A-8A:20). In the narratives it is told that Te Kooti went to Maniapoto's great house of learning, the cruciform building Te Miringa Te Kakara near Te Tiroa, where the Ngātirereahu prophet and tohunga, Te Rā Karepe, tested him (Hēnare Tūwhāngai). Te Kooti asked Te Rā the name of the place: Pāraharaha he was told, or the flattened place. Te Kooti punned on the name: “I'll flatten it! Surrender to me the mana of Maniapoto!” But Te Rā defied him, poking out his tongue: “Here's the mana! You come and get it if you can!” Te Kooti turned away and, it is said, set out for Tokangamutu to seek Tāwhiao's power.
In the version told by the Te Kuiti elder Robert Emery, Te Rā, learning that Te Kooti was on his way, poured from a container two small piles of gunpowder on to a flat tōtara slab. One represented Te Kooti and his followers, the other himself and Ngātirereahu. Three times he pointed his right arm sharply up to the sky as he faced the pile of powder which represented his own people, and “only a wisp of smoke rose”. But on the first movement of his right arm, as he faced Te Kooti's heap, it burst into flame and smoke. Thus Te Rā knew that if Te Kooti fired the first shot, Te Kooti and the people with him would “die by their own actions”. But when Te Kooti came himself to Te Miringa Te Kakara only words of challenge were exchanged, not deeds, and then Te Kooti asked the way to Tokangamutu (Emery n.d.:2). Hēnare Tūwhāngai also tells this narrative as specifically occurring before Te Kooti reached Te Miringa Te Kakara but as a contest between Rewi Maniapoto and Te Kooti. It took place at Tūwhenua pā, where the house Te Puru ki Te Tuhua stood, near Taumarunui. Here a huge crowd waited for Te Kooti, including Hēnare's grandfather, Honuku, who is the source of this narrative. Half way between the pā and the Taringamotu sawmill, Te Kooti placed a post in the ground, named for Rewi. His own men fired, but their 12 volleys all missed. He then placed a second pou in the ground and named it for himself. This divinatory pou was destroyed by his followers' shots. In this manner he knew that he himself would be destroyed if he fired the first shots in Maniapoto territory. When Te Kooti came down to the meeting-house, he avoided the challenges of the taiaha spear, and later, at Te Miringa Te Kakara, Te Rā turned him away with his defiant tongue. Hēnare's narrative sequence continues. When Te Kooti came to the hills above Te Kuiti, he fired a volley of shots and the valley echoed with the sound. Yet Tāwhiao knew that it was not a challenge. Rather, he said, it was the firing of the guns as one would for a tangi ‘funeral’; it was an act of honour and remembrance. “Now Te - 366 Kooti has come — and it is to seek my protection.” In this narrative it is told how Te Kooti came before the King, 49 and how Tāwhiao greeted him: “You are the monkey of Tai Rāwhiti [the East Coast], coming to bow before your King.” Te Kooti at first demanded from him his revolver: “I want to continue the fighting against the Pākehā.” But Tāwhiao refused, saying that the wars were over; it was the time of peace. He then gave “the message of God” to Te Kooti, in this prediction: Te Kooti would stay 12 years with him under his law of peace and then he would be pardoned by the Government (Hēnare Tūwhāngai). 50 It was finally in 1873 that Te Kooti, as he himself said, “laid the sword at the feet of the King”: “I came into the presence of Tawhiao, and will not withdraw myself from it.” 51
In the Maniapoto tradition, the mana of Te Kooti is said to have derived from Te Ua Haumene, the prophet of the Pai Mārire faith. Te Ua's teachings were absorbed into the King Movement under the influence of Tāwhiao; it was Te Ua who had baptised him with this, his new name when he went to him to learn about the faith in 1864. 52 Te Kooti also sought out Te Ua, according to Maniapoto accounts. However, it is said that he went to Te Ua upon his return from Wharekauri, but Te Ua was dead by 1868. The event, if it occurred, belongs to an earlier time. The purpose of the Maniapoto narrative is to establish that the fount of Te Kooti's power was also the fount of Tāwhiao's prophetic power, but that Te Kooti had come later and Te Ua had already bestowed the cloak of prophecy upon Tāwhiao. Te Kooti sought that mana, but “he got what he got”: a lesser power (Hēnare Tūwhāngai). In the Ringatū tradition, however, Te Kooti rejected Pai Mārire. It is stressed that his faith is the new faith, and as the waiata he composed tells us, the Pai Mārire god Rura “died” at Poverty Bay in the siege of Waerenga a Hika in November 1865. 53
The concept of the transference of divinatory power from one leader to another was widely accepted in Māori tradition and, as we have seen, is an important part of the Ringatū narratives. It was explained as the source of the powers of matakite attributed, for example, early this century, to Takurangi, the wife of the great chief Te Heuheu Tūkino V of Taupō. Her powers were derived from the spirit of Tāwhiao's successor, King Mahuta, whose power stemmed in turn from Tāwhiao and from King Pōtatau before him. The wairua ‘spirit’ of Mahuta guided Takurangi and through its direction her visionary skills and powers of healing were manifested. The fount of her mana was an ancient greenstone whakakai ‘ear-pendant’ of the Kings, which Mahuta had given her just before he died. Te Heuheu compared her power for driving out sickness with the “miracles” worked in the Bible (Smith 1920:155-60). Powers of healing were also attributed to Te Kooti and - 367 during the time that he lived “under the protection” of Tāwhiao and Rewi, within the rohe pōtae, the ‘enclosed lands’ of Maniapoto, many people went to him to be healed (Moerangi Ratahi 1972:19-20). He healed by the laying on of hands and by prayer. But always the purpose of the Maniapoto narratives of these years was to establish the lesser power of Te Kooti when set beside those of Tāwhiao as prophet, and King, and Te Kooti's protector.
The Message of Peace and the Promised Land
It was from Tāwhiao, Te Kooti acknowledged, that he learned the message of peace. This total reversal of his previous position has never been sufficiently recognised. Te Kooti's commitment, and consequently the Ringatū commitment, to peace is formally dated by them from his pardon by the Native Minister, John Bryce, at Mangaorongo on February 12, 1883. This settlement was called by the Ringatū, te maungārongo ‘the long abiding peace’ (“Prediction” n.d.:38, 42). It was confirmed as a “contract” between the Government and Te Kooti on February 3, 1885, at Kihikihi (AJHR 1885:G-1:12). The words that Te Kooti uttered to Te Paraihe (Bryce) on February 12 are central to the Ringatū embracement of peace: “Hereafter my dwelling will be upon the Law”. At the same time, Te Kooti warned Bryce that his peace would transcend that of the Government. “Your peace is from man, mine is from God. I shall hold to mine, and I shall learn about yours. Only man himself will violate man's peace” (Boy Biddle:January 29, 1983). From 1883 the Ringatū, and later the Iharaira, the followers of Rua, even more emphatically would call themselves the children of the lasting peace (te maungārongo). One of the best known of Te Kooti's sayings, which comes from Te Horo, Ōhiwa, in 1893, records this commitment:
Despite the force of this pronouncement, Rua would always distinguish himself from Te Kooti, whom he called “the man killer”, who had lived in the times of the “soldiers” (Lundon 1916:285; Paetawa Miki:January 26, 1978). It was necessary for the successor to Te Kooti to appear in a time of lasting peace, the period before the millennium. 54 A manuscript book from Maungapōhatu recorded the prophecy of Te Kooti concerning the maungārongo, which Rua took for his own. The prediction also involved the renaming of the land. The kupu whakaari comes from Ōtewa, in the King Country, where Te Kooti lived for most of his life after his pardon in 1883, until his final return to the Bay of Plenty early in 1893.- 368
To some extent, the saying remains obscure. Te Kooti had first renamed Te Ika Roa, the Long Fish of Māui, when the Exiles returned from their captivity. He called it Reneti Hawira and this name was for both islands “in Unity” (Ned Brown annotation in Wilson n.d.:140). Literally translated, the name is Lent Havilah, and the reference appears to be to the promise of the wealth of the land being restored, for Havilah was the country out of Eden “where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good” (Genesis 2:11-2). None of the Ringatū seem now to understand this name. Lent is the period of preceding sacrifice. It commemorates the 40 days of Christ in the wilderness, which itself is the commemorative act for the 40 years of exile of the Children of Israel. Reneti Hawira seems to mean both the land of those still in exile, who are confident that the Promised Land will be restored, and the Promised Land itself. (In 1883, after Te Kooti's pardon, Matiu Paeroa recorded the people leaving their settlement at Ōtewa and moving about the region of “Reneti Hawira”, and entering the pā of those who had opposed them.) 55 The prophecy appears also to be a reference to Te Kooti's song concerning the abandonment of the faith by the people in his own time, and of the three marvellous prophets who were yet to come, amid great portents. This song he sang at Ōtewa, in the following year, 1886. 56 One prophet would be Hephzibah, and Rua was to be baptised Hepetipa, the daughter of Zion, by Eria Raukura in the waters of the Waipāoa in 1906, in fulfilment of the prediction. 57 Eria's recognition of Rua was itself critical in the chain of descent, for he in his part had been baptised by Te Kooti in 1881 as the major tohunga of the Ringatū faith (Cowan 1956, II:451). In taking the name Hepetipa, Rua was claiming to be the prophesied one by whom the land would be made fruitful. The land was also renamed Peura (Beulah), although it is not a name which has taken.
There is a sequence of Te Kooti's kupu whakaari which are concerned with reclaiming the land of Reneti Hawira and consequently transform-- 369 ing the land of the Exiles into the Promised Land. They begin in 1869 and seem to have been renewed in 1883, after Te Kooti's pardon. The earliest version is dated March 6, 1869:
The prophecy was apparently restated at Waioeka:
The prediction suggests the time of the reuniting of the land and the people. It begins with an example of glossolalia, or speaking in tongues: Eripi Tani/Eripitana. This name was also specifically given to the meeting-house at Te Whāiti, which Te Kooti instructed all the hapū of Tūhoe to build in unity for him. It was to be opened in celebration of the sacred first day of the year in 1884. However, when Te Kooti rode up to the house, his horse shied and he saw the error (hapa) in the central pole (poumua) of the porch. The supporting figure, a ngārara ‘lizard’ was inverted and its mouth was turned down to devour the land. 58 Te Kooti then predicted that the people of Te Whāiti would lose everything except their meeting-houses, while Eripitana would become the “holy of holies” — “Ko te kai mo Eripitana te tapu o nga tapu” (Mead 1970:3-4). From this date, Eripitana was tapu and, indeed, soon fell derelict. But the prophecy which its name remembers is the promise - 370 made by God to the mōrehu. And on August 14, 1886, at Whakaarorangi, Ōtewa, Te Kooti told the people that it had been completed:
This reference to completion hints, however cryptically, at the beginning of the new world, Te Ao Hou, and the coming time of the “Prince of Peace”.
The Ringatū concern with peace came to be expressed in a number of stories and sayings associated with both Te Kooti and Rua. One group of narratives are those which tell of the buried sword, or gun, of Te Kooti. Among Ngāriki of Mangatū, it is said that Te Kooti buried his sword at the crossroads at Mākaraka, where he had lived and close to the monument erected for the “Poverty Bay martyrs” killed by him in November 1868. There he predicted, “There will be no more wars by the Māori people with the Europeans: the last will be with me. This is a promise from God to us.” As he started to drive the sword into the ground where the four roads, or the “four quarters” meet, he took his hand from his sword and it began to descend into the ground of its own accord (Ned Brown:February 14, 1982; see also Fowler 1957, 21:21). It is a version which suggests an awareness of, and borrowing from, the Arthurian legends, which are themselves a Celtic-Christian fusion concerned with the search for autonomous power. Doubting Thomases would always be told that, much later, the sword was dug up by a bulldozer and had to be reburied. The same rite of peace, the same metaphorical sheathing of the sword, was adopted by the Waikato tribes when they opened their borders after their agreement with the Government. As King Tāwhiao said, “Kuhua te Hoari he ngehe te tau” — ‘The sword is thrust in; this is a time of peace’ (1887:“Prediction” n.d.:70). For the Iharaira, the essence of Rua is that he “took that prophecy” of peace. As Mau Rua tells it,
Te Kooti prophesied before, “War won't reach New Zealand. It is a - 371 holy land.” Te Kooti said, “My Son who is coming is the man of peace, who will finish what I have started.” Then he took the gun and pointed the barrel downwards to the ground, saying again, “War won't reach New Zealand. . . . That Son coming after me shall appear between Ngā Kurī a Whārei and Tikirau”, that's Tūhoe land. 59
In this manner, the prophecy of peace, the renaming of the land as the Holy Land, and the Coming of the One who will complete the work are shown to be linked in the beliefs of the Iharaira. In their worship, they removed the word pōkaikaha, which expresses the troubled and unhappy nature of man: “Lord, look down upon us, perplexed and in doubt”. Rua took it out from the penultimate prayer in the Tūhoe Ringatū service because “it applied to Te Kooti at the time of the soldiers”. Instead, at Maungapōhatu, “we used maungārongo” (Paetawa Miki:January 26, 1978). This fundamental change was to separate forever the Iharaira from those of the Ringatū who rejected Rua's claims. In the Waimana valley, the Iharaira say, “We do not use the pōkaikaha” (Horo Tatu), and this is seen as blasphemy by the registered Ringatū Church. But Rua, by asserting the maungārongo, was claiming that his were the tasks of the new times of peace.
In another version, which is told by the Iharaira, Te Kooti sent Paora Kiingi from the Waikato with his (Te Kooti's) sword as a messenger of peace to the Tūhoe. He was to bring the sword “back over here, so there would be no [more] bloodshed in New Zealand. To sign that treaty. To stick that sword into the ground” (Heta Rua:May 23, 1982). Paora got through to Maungapōhatu and the “treaty of no war” was sealed. But when the police came to Maungapōhatu in 1916 to arrest Rua, Paora, wounded by their fire, dragged himself to his home at Pīnaki and seized the sword, in an attempt to reach Rua and defend him. He used the sword to clear his path and it broke in the entwining supplejack. Some say that the fact that he used this sword, against Te Kooti's word, is the reason why Paora — and Tūhoe — lost the Māori “kingship” which had been foretold to come to them. 60
However, the peace of Tūhoe had been made in Te Kooti's time. In 1880, Taitoko, Major Keepa Te Rangihiwinui of Wanganui, who had earlier led a force against Te Kooti in the Urewera, met again with the Tūhoe and their great chief Tāmaikoha. Tāmaikoha had himself, in an agreement with Keepa in 1870, moved against Te Kooti in the last stages of the wars. Now, 10 years later at Tāmaikoha's settlement at Tauwharemānuka in the Waimana valley, they determined to work together for Te Kooti's pardon, and Māori unity (kotahitanga). But when Taitoko, who by 1892 had become one of the major political leaders of the Kotahitanga movement, sought from the freed Te Kooti - 372 the assurance which he needed, that he would “unify the people of the land”, Te Kooti denied him. At the great gathering of the Kotahitanga at Parikino, for January 1, 1892, he said,
When Taitoko opened his mouth to protest, Te Kooti stuffed a pound note into it, in rejection of him and his collecting of money from the people. Te Kotahitanga, Te Kooti predicted, would fail.
But for Tūhoe and for the Waikato people, the maungārongo was to become a binding covenant. Both tribes refused to volunteer in the First World War. This pacifism was incomprehensible and offensive to Europeans, but for the Ringatū it stemmed from the “covenant” made in 1883 with the Government. For the Maniapoto, also, Te Kooti's pardon had been a condition of the opening of the rohe pōtae, their lands, in that year. King Tāwhiao had first crossed over the aukati ‘boundaries’ in July 1881, and had “laid down his gun and 77 more were laid by it” in front of William Gilbert Mair in the main street of Alexandra (Pirongia) (July 11:Mair 1881). This was, he said, the end of war between them. In this narrative, it is told how he placed upon the heap of guns, as an offering, pigeons, kaka, tui, kōkako. The fantail, however, he kept for himself: a bird of peace for the future days when war would again come to the world. But to Mair he also showed his sword, saying that he would sheath it and place it at the foot of Pirongia mountain. “‘There it will rot. War will never be declared in this country. . . . It is a message from God’” (Hēnare Tūwhāngai). “‘As to war, I will leave it to you — the white man. . . . Take war with you to your own land — to England.’” 61
The Mediating Angels
In the subsequent years of peace, the mediating angel who directed Rua on his pathway was Gabriel, messenger of peace. In the Ringatū tradition, he is one of the four angels of Revelation, who hold the four winds of the earth, and ride the four horses of the Apocalypse. Each horse is of a different colour; white is the colour of Gabriel's horse: “the white one is the only one” (Heta Rua:May 23, 1982). Earlier it had been Mikaere, God's ministering angel of war, who had appeared to Te Kooti on Wharekauri. “It is Mikaere who appears to Te Kooti” (Ned Brown:February 14, 1982; also Reuben Riki; Bill Hook). In popular tradition Michael has - 373 often been equated with the Holy Spirit, 62 and is so specifically in the account written by Paora Delamere. When the spirit of God — “te Wairua o te Atua” — visited Te Kooti as a young man, he revealed himself to him, in 1856, as God: “he Atua hou ahau, a toku ingoa ko Mikaere, te Anahera Kaha a te Atua Kaha rawa i te rangi” — ‘I am a new God, and my name is Michael, the Archangel of the Almighty God in heaven’ (Delamere n.d.:83). It was Michael who brought Te Kooti the Covenants and the gift of speaking in tongues. From the time on Wharekauri, Te Kooti's prophecies would always be introduced by the strange language (te reo kē). Michael also told Te Kooti,
The secret knowledge of Te Kooti, then, or the knowledge from “within”, came from Michael, who is as God. And it was Michael, as the angel with the flaming sword, who fulfilled Te Kooti's prophecies concerning the eruption of Mount Tarawera on June 10, 1886.
In the traditions of the Ringatū, and of the Iharaira, this eruption was brought about by Te Kooti as a punishment to the Tuhourangi of Wairoa. They had fought against him in the wars and had refused to recognise him, when he later came to them, and refused to give what he had asked of them. In one version, it was a koha, an ‘offering’ of money — 10 shillings — to lift the curse from the house they had built, Hinemihi. 63 For the Tuhourangi, in their greed, had placed gold sovereigns as the eyes of the carved figures (Dennan 1968:16-7; Cresswell 1977:63). “He wanted to take that curse away from that meeting-house” (Heta Rua:May 23, 1982). In another version, Te Kooti came seeking the huge English-language Bible which they possessed and which was believed to have come from Israel. It was “heavy with power and mana”, and they refused to give it to him. 64 Te Kooti left in wrath and prophesied the eruption of the mountain that would bury Hinemihi:
June 6, 1886
Four days later, the people of Te Teko saw the flash of the eruption and the huge red fragments of rock, as Tarawera blew up. They also saw
this person standing on the edge of it with a red sword, flaming on the sword. Everytime he puts the sword down into the mouth of that red crater, she goes up. They could see the outline of a person, standing on the edge of it. According to most of the Māori people, it is one of these angels. It is the one that rides the red horse.
It was Mikaere, “the one that travelled in between God and human” (Heta Rua:May 23, 1982; also Ned Brown:February 14, 1982). In the eruption, people died at Wairoa, and most of Tuhourangi's lands were rendered uninhabitable. Not surprisingly, when Rua came to them in 1906 as Te Kooti's successor and the prophesied Messiah, they gave him their sacred Kawenata.
Te Kooti himself possessed two greenstone mere ‘weapons’ of great prestige: one was for war and one was for peace-making. That which he used for fighting, and which has a tiny chip in it, he named Mikaere; the longer mere he called Kāpiti, Gabriel, and it is unmarked. These mere are retained by his eldest great-granddaughter. With them, she keeps a portion of his greenstone “chair”, a stone of peace, which he used to sit upon on special occasions, for peace. It was later cut into “four quarters”. It is a “weeping stone” and one which also has the power to move of its own accord towards water. 65 A similar greenstone slab was given by Te Kooti on his journey to the meeting at Parikino on January 1, 1892, to build a shelter “at the place which had not been besmirched by blood”. One piece was to be a threshold (paepae) for the house, as a symbol of permanent peace. 66 But the house was burnt down and the greenstone vanished, before the rā the ‘sacred day’ could be “fetched” on which to open the house. 67 It is possible that the notion of the segmenting of the stone of peace into four quarters refers to a prophecy of Te Kooti's from the rā at Aorangi one year later, which is much cited:- 375
The bringing together of the four quarters, or the restoration of unity, is the task of the coming Child.
It was the four powers, or the “four winds” of the world, for which Rua searched. In one early version of this story, from Ngātimaru of Muriwai, when Rua was on the top of Maungapōhatu, a hand appeared from within the lake, holding a glass vial. Within the vial were the “four powers” for which he sought — but in this particular narrative he failed to reach the glass container. 68 In popular lore, the four powers are held by the four angels at the four corners of the earth (Revelation 7:1). They are called the hau anahera, the wind angels. The search for the four powers, or the four winds, was the final task in the Iharaira tradition. It took Rua on his last journey round the North Island in 1936, travelling to the “‘four quarters’”. With him went his son-in-law, Tumeke Onekawa. On his return he told him that he had fulfilled the last prophecy: “he had found that thing”. It was in the fourth quarter, Hastings, in “the south” where he had found “the last thing”. He then laid out on the table gold and silver, or the hidden wealth. (Money, he had already warned, would become valueless; that was the sign of the coming Kingdom.) “God has his hand on the gold. God has hidden it”. This revelation of the hidden wealth was “the last, on this side, to come out” (Mac Onekawa:May 16, 1978; December 10, 1978). Now “we are all believing in our hope to see it, the coming of the Messiah” (Puti Rua:May 16, 1978).
Prophecy Fulfilment in the Building of Meeting-houses
If angels could bring prophecies, wharenui ‘meeting-houses’, which are assertions of tribal or family identity, were themselves sometimes built in fulfilment of prophetic utterances. In the Waikohu district there are four meeting-houses built on the old route from Ōpōtiki to Gisborne whose names derive from Te Kooti's prophecy for the region. Four elders, one from each of the four communities, rode through to Te Kuiti to ask Te Kooti for the next rā to be held among them, as was customary at that time. But Te Kooti replied, “Let the rich have their rā; but one day you will come in.” And he commanded them instead to go back and raise up the gospel, the new and gentler faith, and the love of God: “Hoki atu. Whakahaungia te rongopai i runga i te ngāwari me te aroha” (John Ruru). Each elder took one word for his house. Whakahau was erected at Rangatira near the bridge. The more famous house, Rongopai, - 376 was “built” by one of the riders, Wī Pere, M.H.R., at Repongaere near Waituhi. Ngāwari was erected at Mangatū. Te Aroha was “built” near Puha by Oriwia Tuturangi Whaitiri, the only woman of the four. Each house had a mauri, a blessing from Te Kooti, placed within it (George Brown). Thus, the four marae “keep the words which Te Kooti said”. 69
The building of wharenui for fulfilment can take quite different forms. In 1907, Rua constructed the extraordinary circular council house for Maungapōhatu, which he named Hiona ‘Zion’. In so doing, he built the tabernacle Te Kooti was unable to construct. Rua's building was decorated with bright yellow diamonds and blue trefoils, or clubs, and the upper storey was set apart for the Messiah. It was a deliberate re-creation by him of the Temple of Solomon, and was almost certainly inspired by a coloured lithograph of the great mosque in Jerusalem, the Dome of the Rock. This building was often depicted in 19th-century illustrated family Bibles, and was sometimes labelled as “Solomon's Temple”. Its open floor is said to be the rock threshing floor on which the original Temple had been built, the “Holy of Holies”. The gold and blue mosaics on the exterior of the mosque form a distinct diamond pattern. The building of Hiona was the statement that Maungapōhatu was the Holy City of Jerusalem at the time of the Kings. The abandonment, destruction, and rebuilding of Maungapāhatu in 1914-15 echoes many aspects of the story of the biblical Israelites. On August 23, 1914, the 20,000-acre (8,100 ha) Maungapōhatu block, which Rua had set aside in 1907 “to be a habitation for God and man”, was broken up on the will of the people and half was separated off. 70 It was at this time that Hiona was abandoned and the new meeting-house, Tāne Nui a Rangi, was built by Rua. In the following year, on three days of ritual resurrection, September 16-8, the houses of the community were rebuilt by 100 men and an offering made of 100 pennies as propitiation for “the sin (hara) of the parents” (August 15, 1915:Maungapōhatu Notebook 1881-1916:39; September 11, 1915:Maungapōhatu Ledger Book 1907-29). Also at this time, when Rua returned from three months' imprisonment for the sale of alcohol, the people cut off their long hair, which had been the sign of their separation from others, in dedication to God, since 1907. These rituals were derived, at least in part, from the laws said to have been given by Moses to the Nazarites, when they ended their days of separation. 71 Their actions were part of the construction of the second Jerusalem, for as Te Puhi Tatu said, “Kua rite tēra whakarite i te wa ia Mohi ma” — ‘the things of Moses’ time had been fulfilled’. These rites also underlined Rua's leadership for the times of the maungārongo, for these were the sacrifices made for peace, like those of the Nazarites.
The building of the wharenui is the major act of any Māori community. - 377 The meeting-house is the people; it is, in traditional imagery, the ancestor: the ridgepole is the backbone, the rafters the ribs, its enclosing warmth the belly. The great house which Te Kooti built was Tokanganui a Noho at Te Kuiti. It was erected as a gift for Tāwhiao. Ngātihaua began its construction and Te Kooti came, in September 1873, upon his reconciliation with Tāwhiao, to “superintend the carvings”. 72 It is the first of the distinctive houses associated with him. It introduced the new art, where the paintings tell a story. This style was carried to other Ringatū houses, including Rongopai, where the paintings are often mnemonics of events and stories, including biblical narratives, in contrast with the timeless presence of the ancestors in a traditional house. 73 This narrative art introduced the new sense of chronology and the new notion of the future. When this house was later moved it is said a mauri was found under its rear pillar. It was the Bible. It is also said that after the death, in 1894, of Te Rā Karepe, the great prophet of Ngātirereahu, the book of his teachings was buried under another of the pillars of the house. 74 If the house is the people, the mauri are their guardians.
The Mauri and the People
The transference of the mauri, that is, the talismanic form, is an important element in the myth-narratives. One account, from the people of the Waimana valley who followed Rua, tells of the transference of mana from Te Kooti to Rua. Te Kooti gave “a thing of God”, a key in one version, to Te Whiu Maraki of Ngaitama, who had fought with him in the Urewera Country. Te Kooti said:
“I'll give you something to keep in your hand. Keep it safe.” And Te Whiu said, “What is it?” “Oh — the life of the whole of the Waimana people. Something to look after them.” So, he gave that thing to Te Whiu. And when Rua came, trying to be God, one day he decided to come down from Maungapōhatu, out to Waimana. He sent a man ahead of him to go and fetch from Te Whiu this thing that Te Kooti gave him. This man rode down to Waimana and he came to Te Whiu for that thing. But Te Whiu would not give it to him. So the man rode back and met Rua at Tāwhana and told him, “He won't let you have it. That's his own keep.” So, the next morning Rua sent the man again. When Rua got to Matahī, the man was there and he said, “He won't give it to you. You're not the Son of God.” So Rua says, “Oh well, I'll go myself tonight.” And then, that very night, this old man Te Whiu, told his daughters and his son Te Maipi, “That thing has gone out of my hand. That's the man all right, coming. Rua.” So in the morning they all gathered up and went to Tātaiahape to wait for him. . . . He had that thing when he died (Hillman Rua).- 378
The mauri which Te Kooti possessed and which derived from God was given to the guardian until the Messiah, Rua, came. It is, traditionally, the transference of the mana of the protective ancestor to the next generation, but the mauri carries with it now the promise of Redemption. “It is the key of life. It was handed down from God, down to Te Kooti. When he was just about dying, Te Kooti gave Te Whiu this key and also told him there would be a certain person come to get it and to give it to him” (Heta Rua:May 23, 1982). The spirit is from God; the guardians may falter; they may overreach themselves, or they may prove not to be the One prophesied after all, but the life-force is conserved, “for the Law of God is with that key” (Heta Rua:May 23, 1982).
Despite the power of these narratives, it was, of course, not only Rua who claimed the descent. Any millenarian religion inevitably produces factions within itself and there has always been a strong millenarian strain of thought within the Ringatū, perhaps because of this traditional concern for the transference of mana. Rua may have gained the support of most of the Ringatū in the Bay of Plenty in 1906, but Wī Wereta of Tokomaru and Te Mātenga Tāmati of Wairoa were both other early claimants to be the One predicted by Te Kooti. In 1895, Te Mātenga revealed that he would build the holy tabernacle of God and named each of the 12 great pillars which were cut for it after the 12 children of Jacob, the “seed of Israel”. The erection of the tapenakara, as with Rua, was said to be the task which Te Kooti could not complete because his hands were, as he had said, “stained with blood” (Elsmore 1983:40). But the 12 great logs still lie on the beach near Kōrito awaiting the next leader who will fulfil this task. Wī Raepuku, or Ōhana, from Wanganui, is said by his followers to have opened the “seven seals” laid by Te Kooti upon the land. 75 In the Ōhana tradition, the seventh seal is the revelation of the white stone, which was prophesied to be given to he who conquers (“Prediction” n.d.:12). This text was taken from the Book of Revelation (2:17): “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” It is again the narrative of the hidden diamond, or the power that is to be restored. In the first Māori Bible (1868), it is even more significantly te mana huna ‘the hidden power’ which is to be given to the conqueror to eat and absorb with the white stone: “Te tangata i a ia te wikitoria, ka hoatu e ahau te mana huna, māna e kai, ka hoatu ano e ahau ki a ia he kohatu ma.” For those who believe, rather, that he who conquers is Christ himself, the year 2000 is sometimes said today to be the year of completion and fulfilment. More immediately, however, for the believers, the words of Te Kooti, or te matua tangata ‘the mortal father’ (Mead 1982:27), stand as - 379 the directives to help chart the pathways of this life.
The Right Pathways (Ngā Tikanga)
Te Kooti himself travelled many “pathways” through the land to spread the faith. After his pardon in 1883, he journeyed extensively, particularly to those places and people against whom he had fought, but now he took the “paths of peace”. 76 The Government agents, who watched him constantly, recognised that the purpose of these journeys was “to make peace” (R. S. Bush, Resident Magistrate at Ōpōtiki, March 8, 1884; John Ballance, Native Minister, December 5, 1885: Māori Affairs n.d.). He himself described them as his searching for the ‘life force and powerful authority of the ancestors’ (“ko te mauri me te mana kaha o Tipuna e kimi” — Kauangaroa, January 25, 1893:private source). The moving of the rā, particularly the first of January, which Te Kooti set up to be an important day in 1874 (Paeroa n.d.:; Delamere n.d.:30), was a means of entering the different places of power. From 1877 the rā of January 1 moved from marae to marae (Delamere n.d.:30-1). For each of these marae, and upon each of these occasions, Te Kooti spoke hidden words. He gave to the people and the place a portion of his divinely given power. To claim that power as his successor, Rua had to go to all the places associated with Te Kooti. In his last years, Te Kooti had stayed on an island in the Ōhiwa Harbour, Hokianga, and here the people had built a meeting-house, Te Here o Te Rā, The Binding of the Rā. 77 Te Kooti's intention had been to bring back the rā to one place as a statement of unity. 78 Consequently, it was to Hokianga that Rua first went, and constructed there his own house, Te Poho o Mātaatua, the Belly of the Mātaatua people. In this way he sought to rediscover the power of Te Kooti which he thought might reside on the island (Boy Biddle:December 5, 1977). It was the beginning of Rua's acquisition of tapu, by entering the tapu places. He later went to Tāwhana, called the “Promised Land” of Tūhoe (Mac Onekawa:May 16, 1978; Horo Tatu), because their Covenant with Te Kooti had been sealed there during the wars, on March 20, 1869, when they committed themselves to him and his God. Here Tūhoe “gave their mana to be under the guidance of Te Kooti” (Akuhata Te Kaha, May 6, 1897:Whakatāne Minute Book 5:190), and here on February 12, 1906, Rua “explained the words of God” that he would go to Gisborne.
These actions were generated by the living mythology of the Ringatū tradition. Metaphor was realised in event, and events can only be understood through the myths. The Ringatū tradition is a continuous series of myth-narratives. However, it is one whose meaning remains only partly revealed, even to the faithful. “The directives and predictions are there” (Boy Biddle:February 17, 1982), but the pathways are not always - 380 clear. The kupu whakaari equivocate and, as in all oracle traditions, their interpretation and fulfilment are in the hands of those who make the responses. The oracle finds its truth in what it generates.
For the believers, however, the kupu whakaari are the assurance of the autonomy of their own actions, which the narratives explain and invest those who understand with power. They are elements of a system of explanation belonging to a people who have been rendered substantially dispossessed and powerless. The essential concern of these myth-narratives is the protection, and the ultimate recovery, of the autonomous power that has been withdrawn, but which, they affirm, will be restored. It is not only among the Ringatū that these separatist traditions remain alive. The kupu whakaari of all the prophets have been regularly printed in the newspaper of the Rātana faith, Te Whetu Marama o Te Kotahitanga ‘The Bright Star of Unity’. They are printed as the sayings of the elders of the land for all to consider. They were also specifically recalled as authorities by the new political movement, Mana Motuhake, the Autonomous Authority of the People, which first contested the 1981 elections. When the Ringatū elder, Taiaroa Malone of Te Teko, spoke for Mana Motuhake at the centennial remembrance of the armed destruction of the pacifist community of the Taranaki prophet, Te Whiti o Rongomai, in November 1981, he reminded his audience of the 140 years “we have been in the wilderness”. From “our tīpuna”, the ancestors, comes the message, he said, “to search for our independence”. “We are a very old party”, he added, dating the movement from 1835 and the Confederation of the United Tribes, whose flag the King Movement itself adopted at Pūkawa in 1856. Taiaroa then traced the words of the prophets, beginning with Aperahama Taonui of Hokianga
But when the “great prophet of the north” covered the Treaty with his kākahu, “the mana of our ancestors”, it was removed and thrown to the earth, to be replaced by the Union Jack. When this happened repeatedly, he knew that his own people had been cheated. Taiaroa ended his speech with Te Kooti's famous song of betrayal by the law and the Government, “Pinepine Te Kura”. This version of an old waiata he composed in 1887, when he was first prevented from ever returning to Gisborne:
There is little doubt that the “guardians” of the Māori people today are seen to be the figures from the prophetic tradition, precisely because their aim was the recovery of Māori sovereignty.
These authorities have always been the leaders of the separate Māori world. Such a body of thought, which ascribes leadership to divinely endowed powers, as we have seen, makes possible the transference of those powers to other, nominated or revealed, leaders. Te Kooti's authority was a gift from God to him, “the same gift as was given to Moses”. From Te Kooti that gift was passed on. Community leaders like the great chief Ngākohu Pera of Whakatōhea, who for a while followed Rua, or Te Kooti's secretary and disciple, Matiu Paeroa, are believed, by some, to have possessed powers which derived specifically from Te Kooti (Ned Brown:February 14, 1982). The power was recognisable in them; and they, in turn, transferred the mana of leadership and prophecy to others. When Matiu continued to compile the manuscript books of the Ringatū faith (the prayers, the hymns, the sayings and the predictions) he was living at Wainui, the land given by the Government to Te Kooti in 1891, which was “only fit for goats and crawly things” (Te Kooti's messenger from Wainui, Boy Biddle:February 17, 1982). But when that “old fellow went into his office, at Wainui, the rainbow always stood above it” (Ned Brown:February 14, 1982). The rainbow was and is the quintessential emblem for the Ringatū; it was their sign (tohu) left by the Archangel Michael (Delamere n.d.:84). It guides, it blesses, and it warns for those who can read its portents. The rainbow was the blessing for Matiu; it was the sign of life. Te Kooti's own tohu was the rehita, that is, “he kopere ma” — ‘a white rainbow’, or the rainbow at night, given by Michael to protect him. 79 For Te Kooti, also, blessing came often in the form of a little shower of rain, and he was, therefore, also known as Patapataāwhā. Wherever he moved, the little shower of rain came first and “yet you don't feel wet” (Tihei Algie). From Te Kooti to Matiu came the knowledge and some of those powers from God; from the “Apostle Matiu” (Ned Brown:February 14, 1982) came the mana and the powers of matakite to the leaders of this generation. These are the true leaders for those who know.
Behind the Te Kooti narratives there is an even older myth which is being extensively reworked. It is the Māui myth-cycle. Te Kooti is Māui, the trickster figure and the benefactor of mankind. 80 He is the precocious younger child, bold, cunning and even deceitful as a youth. Rejected by his father, he is nevertheless accepted by his uncle, whose name he takes as his - 382 own. He is legitimised by his “grandfather”, Te Toiroa, in the tohi rite. As the adult he becomes the man of wisdom, whose knowledge is from God, brought to him by Michael. He is “the mortal father”. He renames the land. He tests men's faith with riddles, ambivalent words, and tricks — an essentially Māori “hero”. At Maraenui at the rā on July 1, 1887, he rode whooping round the marae like a cowboy to test the Whānau ā Apanui people and their chief, Paora Ngāmoki, to see how they would apply the rules for the day which he himself had sent to them. But in the song he had composed for the journey to Maraenui he had known that Paora Ngāmoki was a man of faith — “nou tou pono e Paora Ngamoki” (Waiata 50(2):Te Kooti 1766-1890). This proved to be so, for the people ignored the cowboy and Paora fined Te Kooti for his riotous behaviour (Mōnita Delamere:February 16, 1982). Thus everything Te Kooti did was shown to have a purpose. As his great-granddaughter observed, “There is a reason for everything Te Kooti did” (Tihei Algie).
His own death — beneath the “feet” of his successor — he had himself predicted in 1868. Following this kupu whakaari, uttered at the bitter siege of Ngātapa, he told Tūhoe, who were sheltering him at the Oputao settlement at Ruatāhuna, on April 29, 1869:
Listen! At present we are all eating out of the one dish, but I say . . . that in the very near future you shall turn against me. You will be helping the Government side against me, and even strive to capture me, and even try to kill me. But I want to make it known to you this day, that you will not succeed, and the authorities also will fail. I shall not be killed by you and the Government. My death shall be by accident, and wherever this is to take place, the leader for my people shall come forth from there, and I shall be buried beneath his feet. . . . 81
This prediction he subsequently extended at the gathering held for January 1, 1877 at Te Tahawai, Katikati. Here he told the people
“Two, three, or four feet” is interpreted as walking, hobbling along with a stick, or being brought on horseback. The first prophecy is regarded as being fulfilled in the accidental manner of Te Kooti's death. In February - 383 1893, on his journey to the Bay of Plenty he was resting in the shade against a cart when its shafts tipped up and he was fatally injured. On April 17 he died at Te Karaka on the Ōhiwa Harbour, within the two points, the “Dogs” of Whārei near Katikati and Tikirau, thereby making the two prophecies concerning his death and the emergence of his successor coincide, as he had said. And from within these boundaries, which are those of the people who trace their descent from the Mātaatua canoe, in 1905 Rua claimed the succession.
The Ringatū myth-narratives maintain this tradition of word and action being mutually interdependent, the one explaining the other. They are stories which recall a living history and suggest how the mana is conveyed from one generation to another. In these narratives there are often specific details, which operate as the guarantees of the veracity of the story. There will be particular place names and particular ancestors' names. There will be several versions, therefore, in which these particulars all shift, for genealogy and tribal affinity orders Māori history. It does not matter that there are contradictions in the narratives, and even in the “verifying” details. For the purpose of the narrative is to validate the claims of the group to whom the narrator belongs. They are the “independent charter myths” of the people (Miller 1980:43). In the myths of power, the essential concern of the narratives is the life-force of those who were once autonomous. It is their story. Consequently, the narratives are about them — and also contain pivotal symbolic elements. Such a story is that from Waiotahe, in the Bay of Plenty, of the poplar tree which grew there. It grew from Te Kooti's whip, which he planted in the ground, at daybreak, when he came back to announce the long-abiding peace of 1883 (Pat Aramoana). He planted it in the ground by the marae of the Tamatea, the people of Te Waru who had fled from northern Hawke's Bay because they had been Te Kooti's followers and were no longer welcome there after their surrender in 1870. Because they are so far from their ancestral home they are known as Whānau ā Pani, or the Family of Orphans (George Brown; Pat Aramoana). The poplar tree grew by the old road to their marae, Maromahue, and it was here beside the tree that Te Kooti was arrested on February 28, 1889, when he attempted to return to Gisborne. In one Ringatū tradition, the poplar tree (pāpara) is the wood of which Christ's cross was made (Maungapōhatu Notebook 1881-1916:94, 100). The whip which grew (as indeed poplar does from a cutting) is the instrument of force turned into the tree of peace; and it is the Cross of sacrifice by which all life is renewed. It was at Maromahue that Te Kooti was buried in 1893. His open grave remains there today; it is a last task of his successor to discover his hidden body. If you ask, you will be told that the pāpara on the old roadside — the pathway — was only - 384 recently cut down, by an ignorant Pākehā, but its stump remains, if you look. The pāpara conveys the symbolic essence of the narrative, and its existence is the verifying detail, if you know how to look. It proclaims the truth, and it promises the rebirth.
The myth-narratives offer understanding, but often we cannot see. They contain the truth; yet simultaneously they conceal it. They are powerful, autonomous, life-giving knowledge systems. In the amalgam with a Covenant-based Christianity, the myths carry the promise that, if the conditions proclaimed by God through his prophets are fulfilled, the riddles will all be answered, and the pathways opened.
I should like to thank here all those who have been so generous with their time and their knowledge. My informants are cited, and it is to them that this article is dedicated, with all respect. The responsibility for any errors of interpretation is, of course, my own.
I wish also to thank Jane McRae and Merimeri Penfold of the University of Auckland. Jane translated many of the texts, and gave me much additional advice. Merimeri kindly read over the texts and made corrections for the final versions. I also wish to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the late Frank Davis, who gave me access to his typescript of the book “Predictions”, together with his translations of it; to Matiu - 385 Paeroa's book, also with his translations; and to his translations of the original manuscript book of Te Kooti's waiata. Mr Davis was compiling a collection of Ringatū texts, on behalf of Ringatū elders. The translations for these particular texts are based on his. (His account of the life of Te Kooti is to be published posthumously.) I should also like to add my thanks to Gillian Chaplin, who was with me as photographer and companion for all of the interviews, and to Jeff Sissons and Dr Anne Salmond, who both read over an earlier draft of this article and made many helpful suggestions.
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I. Oral Sources
II. Unpublished Sources
III. Published Sources
(a) Articles and Books
In a very few places I have not given the source of the material cited, because of specified conditions of access.
1 It is important to establish, from the outset, the form of the names of both prophets. Te Kooti is the name by which the founder of the Ringatū faith is most widely known in both Māori and European circles today. It is his Anglican baptismal name, probably taken from the lay secretary of the Church Missionary Society, Dandeson Coates. He tended to discard this name in later life, except when writing to Pākehā. Arikirangi is, in the prophetic tradition which surrounds his birth, the name by which he was predicted. (This tradition is discussed below.) It was shortened to Rikirangi, the form he used all his lifetime. Te Turuki was the name of his uncle, his father's younger brother who sheltered him after his own father, Te Rangipātahi, buried him alive. Te Kooti took his tipuna ‘ancestral’ name from this occasion, which is also discussed below. In his later life, he signed his letters variously, but most commonly Te Turuki Rikirangi. For simplicity's sake, however, I shall adhere in this article to Te Kooti.
Rua Kēnana was the posthumous son of Kēnana Tūmoana, a follower of Te Kooti killed at Mākāretu during the guerrilla wars in the Urewera. He was born in 1869 and was baptised with the name Hepetipa (Hephzibah) in 1906, in fulfilment of a prediction by Te Kooti that his successor would be so named. This prophecy is also discussed below.
2 Jenifer Curnow has recently shown, in her study of three manuscripts written by Wiremu Maihi Te Rangikāheke for Sir George Grey (later published as Ko Nga Mahinga a Nga Tupuna Maori (1854) and Polynesian Mythology (1855)), that Wī Maihi wrote a sequential narrative history which Grey distorted. The three manuscripts were the history of the universe, the origin of mankind, with the deeds of the “hero” Māui, the settlement of New Zealand and the history of the Arawa, Wī Maihi's tīpuna. Curnow establishes, by careful textual analysis, that Wī Maihi's intentions were to create a comprehensive account of the past, in order to link the past to the present and to claim mana and land for the tribe — the essential purpose of all Māori history (Curnow 1983:104-5).
3 For Māori concepts of time, and of history as a constant regeneration of the “heroic past”, see Johansen 1954:161-3; Jackson 1972:61; Metge 1976:70; Sahlins 1981:14.
4 Wiremu Tārei, Ringatū tohunga ‘priest’ from Te Teko, giving as a reference for Te Kooti's cryptic “sacred words” for the house Ruataupare at Te Teko, Matthew 13:3: “And he spake many things unto them in parables” (Mead 1982:84).
5 My oral informants will be cited in the text, with the date of the interview added only where it is necessary to distinguish the occasion. Full references are given at the end.
6 Paeroa n.d.:. Matiu was one of the few Ngāti Porou prisoners sent to the Chatham Islands with Te Kooti.
7 The original manuscript book of waiata composed or adapted by Te Kooti (until 1890) and written down by Hāmiora has been given to the University of Auckland Library by Mōnita Delamere. It does not include the songs of the last three years of Te Kooti's life. Hāmiora's other books were destroyed on Te Kooti's orders for his “breaking of the peace”, in an incident on a journey when Hāmiora struck his own wife. It is said that Hāmiora compiled his books again, from memory, after Te Kooti's death, but these books have been hidden.
8 Hēnare Tūwhāngai was very particular about the sequence of the narratives he told of Te Kooti's attempts to conquer the mana of Maniapoto and of King Tāwhiao. These narratives are discussed below. Heta Rua was highly consistent in the narrative he told concerning Rua's experiences on Maungapōhatu, the sacred mountain of Tūhoe. This narrative he has told to two separate researchers on several occasions over the years 1977 to 1982. This narrative saga is also discussed below. Episodic structuring of the narratives, which is not to be interpreted as chronological ordering, is a feature of the oral form of telling and retelling history, partly because of the “intense effect of public performance on the form and content of tradition” (Miller 1980:11).
9 I Chronicles 16:18-9. The Māori text of verse 19 reads without the past tense which the English translation in the King James' version conveyed. The 1868 Māori Bible reads: “I te mea he hunga torutoru koutou, he iti rawa, he manene hoki ki reira.”
10 For an account of this movement see Clark 1975. For an analysis of the local Māori politics at Poverty Bay, and the manner in which the label of “disloyalty” was imposed upon the Pai Mārire followers by the settlers, some of the Ngāti Porou factions, and the Government, see Neal 1976.
11 The text is Joel 2:32:
12 The quotation is from the Kenyan novelist Ngugi Wa Thiong'o (1972:89), who was writing of the Hebraic traditions adopted, similarly, by the black West Indian resistance movements and now a part of West Indian writing.
13 Dated December 1931 on the inside front cover, the manuscript is a history, in two drafts, of Te Kooti's early life written by Paora, to which he added texts and speeches from other Ringatū elders in the 1930s and 1940s (Delamere n.d.).
14 He was one of the signatories to the Treaty of Waitangi at Poverty Bay in 1840.
15 This tradition of Te Toiroa's descent was recorded by Delamere n.d.:33 and was told by the secretary of the Ringatū Church (Robert Biddle senior) in an interview with Ronald Vine (Auckland Weekly News, clipping n.d.:Teague n.d.).
16 Mōnita Delamere called Nukutere the “eighth canoe”, and in Delamere n.d.:9, it is listed as one of 12 canoes, possibly for the Twelve Tribes of Israel. It is a canoe recorded in traditions from Te Whānau ā Apanui, Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou, and Ngāti Kahungunu. (Best 1977, I:90-1, 685; Simmons 1976:144-5.) In some traditions, Tawhiti is personalised as the actual “place” from which the Mātaatua, and other canoes, came (Best 1977, I:716-7).
17 Pāokahu, where Te Kooti was born, was a Ngātimaru settlement on the Tūranga coast by the Awapuni lagoon and the mouth of the Waipāoa River. Te Kooti shortened it to “Paoka” in his affidavit of September 8, 1889 (Justice n.d.; Delamere n.d.:72 has it as “Pa-o-kahu”).
18 Delamere n.d.:72. Ngā tikanga ‘the correct ways’ may also convey the notion of ‘direction’ and ‘destiny’, through travelling correct pathways (see Johansen 1954:173). It is an extension of meaning which is appropriate to the overall purpose of Delamere's text.
19 Delamere n.d.:73. There is undoubtedly a specific association here with the ritual practices of the schools of learning (whare wānanga), whereby the pupils were required to swallow small fragments of stone to “bind” the learning. This was the practice called whatu whakahoro (Best 1974:19-20). That such practices existed in the early 19th century is evidenced by Yate 1835:83-4.
20 There are other quite different interpretations given to these words.
21 J. W. Harris included “Koti” among the young men he described in his letter to Donald McLean, April 7, 1852 (Harris 1851-70). This is the earliest known reference to him and indicates that he had been baptised by this date.
22 In Paora Delamere's account of Te Kooti's early life, it is described how the spirit of God — “te Wairua o te Atua” — visited him in 1853 and the affliction of madness left him. Te Kooti then remembered the new god spoken of by Te Toiroa, and the spirit gave him certain tasks to undertake, including raising two men from the dead. This apparition, on its second visitation in 1856, identified himself to Te Kooti as the Archangel Michael. Michael told Te Kooti that his wife, Irihāpeti (Puakanga), would bear him a son in 1857. He also gave him his particular sign of blessing, the rehita ‘white rainbow’, which is discussed below (Delamere n.d.:76-84).
23 In the Diary which Te Kooti kept on Wharekauri he recorded these visitations of the spirit of God — “te Wairua o te Atua” — who came to him on February 21, March 21, and April 21, 1867 (Te Kooti 1867-68).
24 Again, the symbolic eating of the stone would be to confirm knowledge (whatu whakahoro).
25 Anonymous Tūhoe speaker in the film The Children of the Mist (National Film Unit, 1974).
26 The white horse is, of course, a recurring image of freedom in many cultures. Both Emiliano Zapata and Farabundo Marti still ride their white horses in the hills of Central America today. The white horse “travels like the wind” and, as another name for Te Kooti's horse (Te Awhitiki, from awhi ‘to embrace’) does suggest, he can be a phallic power too. (Jung 1921:171-4). For yet another name for Te Kooti's white horse, see below.
27 Ned Brown:February 14, 1982. For the escape from Ngātapa on January 4-5, 1869, see Cowan 1956, II:279-81.
28 For an account of the arrest of Te Kooti in February 1889, when he attempted to return to Gisborne, see Ward 1980.
29 See Winiata 1967:75 for the tradition that Te Kooti's successor would ride his white horse.
30 A diary kept by Wī Kamaua Te Pou, at the time a follower of Rua's from the Waimana valley, indicates that after a gathering at Te Waimana (Tātaiahape) on March 15, Rua set out for Tūranga to enter Rongopai, and the ‘day was fulfilled’ — “ka tutuki te ra”. He then went to Maungapōhatu, where the prediction concerning his ascension and the arrival of King Edward was revealed. From there, he visited the major settlements of Tūhoe and Whakatōhea, the people of the Mātaatua canoe, leaving Waimana on June 20 to go to Gisborne. (Transcript from Wī Te Pou's diary, March 13-April 1906, by courtesy of Jeff Sissons, University of Auckland; Hugh Hamilton, Waimana Native School Teacher, June 23, 1906:Waimana Native School n.d.) For a fuller account of the journey to Gisborne in June see Binney et al. 1979:28-30, although the two journeys have here been amalgamated in error, and Webster 1979:165-9.
31 Paetawa Miki explained the fulfilment of this prophecy as Rua's journey to Gisborne with the 80 chiefs, elders from different areas of Tūhoe. Forty-two were originally chosen to go, at a meeting held at Te Waimana on May 27, but in the end “eighty” went, all the chiefs of Tūhoe. (Hugh Hamilton, June 1, 15, 1906:Waimana Native School n.d.; Poverty Bay Herald: June 28, 1906; Paetawa Miki:January 25, 1978.) The text of the prediction is “Te kupu whakaari a Te Kooti kia Tuhoe: Te Atua-tanga kei a koe, te Kawenata kei a koe.” It is from the notebook, “The Prediction of One to Follow”, which concerns the particular claims of Wī Raepuku, or “Ohana”, to be the One prophesied. Wī Raepuku's claims were made in the period 1921-32 (“Prediction” n.d.:11, 76; also 33).
32 Porter 1923:21; but William Leonard Williams wrote in his Journal on July 20, 1868: “The object they have in view in making for the Waikato country is to inaugurate a new order of things, the main feature of which is that there is to be no king” (Williams 1868).
33 Māngere (Ruapeka) Teka of Ruatāhuna, teacher of Rua's faith, recorded in the BCNZ programme, “Mountain of the Lord”, 1970. In fact, Rua postponed the date of Edward's arrival several times — from June 25 to the 27th, to the 30th, to July 7, and even apparently as late as March 1, 1908.
34 The word rangatiratanga — derived from the word rangatira, a leader or chief — was used by the missionaries to translate kingdom in the Bible — both the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of man: Mark 9:1; I Chronicles 29:30.
35 Evening Post:May 14, 1906. See Best 1977, I:190, 980 for a description of Haumapuhia as “she” lies face down in the lake.
36 Heta is stressing that Rua was a most ordinary man, by the statement that he was cooking food; he was not the tapu man he would become after the vision on the mountain.
37 In many of the narratives, three is the number of “completion” (from the Trinity).
38 In some versions, but not Heta's, it is in the bottom of one of the three lakes which are on the mountain. In Heta's version, after Rua and Pinepine see the diamond, they return to the flat where the three lakes are.
39 It is, perhaps, the tartan shawl or blanket (tārangi) worn by Te Kooti and particularly associated with him (Reuben Riki). See also note 46.
40 Ringatu Church n.d.:130: explanations for the huamata:
Ned Brown explained the huamata as the festival days, or pillars of the year, pertaining to the first seedlings, generally the first of July and the first of November. On July 1, after the service, the congregation will touch all the seeds, which are then blessed for the coming season. “The Māoris of the Ringatū faith, for as long as I can remember, have these little gardens hidden away amongst trees, what they call te pure — just a little garden — and every July when they have this service for the seedlings, they go and put it there. . . . Anything in the ground, such as pūhā, anything in your garden, after July 1 is tapu until November 1. You can't touch it, you can't eat it. On the first of November they will dig the new spuds, and this is the huamata — from one potato, which is the seed, you get quite a quantity, that they call a huamata. One thing brings forth plenty. These days were given by Te Kooti to the people who came with him to Whareongaonga to take back to Te Kuiti and to be performed there, to be perpetual, or everlasting, from that day to this” (Ned Brown:February 14, 1982).
41 Heta Rua:May 23, 1982. Tangi died, four days after a tree fell on her in the bush, on February 25, 1927 (Maungapōhatu Māori Death Registers 1927).
42 “An odour of scent also emanates from the Mehaia [sic], for, if King Louis was the First Gentleman of France, Rua is certainly the First Dandy of the Urewera” (Clipping n.d. [c. 1908], Best n.d.:34).
43 Te Kooti was known to wear both a kilt (rāpaki) and a shawl (hooro), which he wore like a Māori cloak.
44 It is tempting to speculate — as Mr Tom Carter of Fraserton has suggested to me — whether the story of the huge diamond on the mountain originated with Nathaniel Hawthorne's popular retelling of the North American Indian legend of the “Great Carbuncle”, first published in 1851 (Hawthorne 1883). This “wondrous gem” could be seen blazing far out to sea; its light overpowered the moon and almost matched the sun; it was protected on the mountain by the opaque mists which closed around the searchers; its shrine was the mountain lake; and its guardian a spirit-force. This story was much reprinted in the later 19th century and was widely known. In the oral narrative tradition, the borrowing of central narrative elements, or “clichés”, occurs quite frequently; all narrators like a good story (Miller, 1980:31). In the New Zealand context, cross-cultural borrowing undoubtedly occurred in the 19th century and the Bible was not the only possible source of good ideas, quintessential symbols, and elemental themes.
45 The kupu whakaari states that it was at Te Kuiti that Te Hira went; Ned Brown annotated the text “1878 or 1883”. Te Kooti lived at Te Kuiti until his pardon in February 1883; the rā ‘sacred gathering’ for January 1 was held at Te Kuiti in 1883, but at Katikati in 1878. If we are concerned with a possible date, the weight of evidence favours 1883 (Wilson n.d.:136).
46 Wilson n.d.:136. A modern version of the precious wealth is that there is oil hidden on Maungahaumia.
47 Ned Brown's annotations to “Nga Korero Kia Te Hira” and referring to a speech he made, when he “stood in the name of my ancestor”, Pera Uetuku Tamanui, father of Te Hira, on March 12, 1967 (Wilson n.d.:137).
48 The “hidden” thing to be revealed — the task of Te Kooti's successor — is described in “Prediction” n.d.:48. The text reads: “Kia kitea ra ano te mea ‘ngaro’, ta te Karaiti i hanga ai o te timatanga iho ra ano o te Ao katahi rano ka taea te Mutunga” — ‘When the “hidden” thing which was created by Christ at the beginning of the World is found, the End will be attained’. The scriptural reference is probably Revelation 2:17, quoted below.
49 It is not certain whether, in fact, he did on this occasion. The Resident Magistrate at Rūnanga, Taupō, Samuel Locke, appointed to keep in close contact with the King Movement, wrote on January 14, 1870, “that the King had sent for Te Kooti and that he would not go”. (Agent for General Government, Hawke's Bay (AGG/HB), Series 1/2.) Instead, he went on January 14 to Tapapa, the settlement of the old Ngātiraukawa chief, Hākaraia, who welcomed him. Here he gave out his “word” that Tāwhiao could stay on the west side of the Waikato, and that he would have the eastern district — Hauraki, Rotorua, and Tauranga, which he had said, “had been ‘given into his hands by his Atua’”. (Ngātiwhakaue chiefs to H. T. Clarke, Civil Commissioner, January 16, 1870:AGG/HB 7/3; W. G. Mair to Clarke, January 12, 1870:AJHR 1870:A-8A:25.) On January 17 he made overtures to the Government to cease their pursuit of him — “if I am left alone [I] will remain at peace with all” — through the Waikato settler Josiah Firth, whom he met by arrangement at Tūrangaomoana, on the upper Waihou River (R. E. M. Campbell, notes of Te Kooti's words on January 17, 1870:Firth 1870). But the Government treated Firth as a “meddlesome sweep” and issued instructions to “Take any means open to you to attack Te Kooti whether Firth is with him or not” (J. D. Ormond to Lieut-Colonel Thomas McDonnell, January 23, 1870:McDonnell 1870). For an account of the engagement at Tapapa on January 24-5 and Te Kooti's subsequent movements see Cowan 1956, II:382-6.
50 “Twelve” is a recurring number of completeness in the Ringatū tradition — in part for the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The Twelfth is the sacred day of worship in the Ringatū month.
Te Kooti took final sanctuary in the King Country in May 1872 and he was formally pardoned on February 12, 1883. This latter date reinforced the symbolic content of the number 12 for the Ringatū.
51 Te Kooti to John Bryce (Native Minister), February 12, 1883:AJHR 1883:A-8:5. The reconciliation was described, in 1873, by Kereopa Te Apa, a supporter of the King who told how Tāwhiao went, for the first time, to visit Te Kooti and said to him, “‘Kakahuria ou, takoto ki raro ki taku takahanga waewae’ (Put on your raiment; lie down at my footstool)”. Te Kooti immediately followed him to his residence (R. S. Bush, Resident Magistrate at Raglan, October 14, 1873:AJHR 1874:G-2B:4).
52 Tāwhiao:Encircle the World.
53 Waiata 5:
Tama a Rura, or Rura (Ruler), was the major deity of the Pai Mārire faith and was often identified with the Archangel Gabriel. He was brought to Poverty Bay specifically as the God of peace (Clark 1975:81). He was “killed” when the Pai Mārire supporters were forced to defend themselves at the Anglican mission station of Waerenga a Hika. Te Kooti himself was fighting with the Government forces, but was arrested for communicating with his brother, Kōmene, who was inside the pā. He was released for lack of evidence, but was later rearrested for communicating with Anaru. Te Kooti's imprisonment was largely instigated — because he was seen as a troublemaker — by the older settlers and some of the Māori leaders, particularly the Rongowhakaata chief Paratene Tūrangi, who was kin to him. In a much-told tale, Paratene kicked him on to the boat to Napier, on March 3, 1866. Despite Te Kooti's appeals to Donald McLean in June 1866, calling himself “Kuini Maori” ‘Queen's Maori’, he was sent to the Chathams.
54 In the Book of Revelation it is not clear whether the second advent is to precede or follow the millennium. The stress placed on the maungārongo by the Iharaira, and their re-enactment of the biblical saga under Rua's direction, suggests that they possessed the belief that the coming of the Messiah would take place after the long period of peace. The return of the Messiah (Rua) on earth would be a culmination, not an inauguration. However, Rua also taught that the signs (ngā tohu) would be their increased poverty, that all things would be taxed, “even cups and saucers”, and that money would be valueless: “That would be the sign of the coming Kingdom” (Mac Onekawa:December 10, 1978). Here Rua was apparently reiterating the sign of the first advent, when Caesar Augustus issued a decree that all the world should be taxed (Luke 2:1).
55 The text reads: “Hune 20. 1883. Ko te ra tenei i whakatika atu ai i Otewa i haereeretia ai e ia nga rohe o Reneti Hawira, i wahia ai e ia nga pa ona hoa tautohe” — ‘June 20. 1883. This is the day that [they] set off from Otewa and moved about the region of Reneti Hawira, and broke up the pa of his opponents’ (Paeroa n.d.:). The reference may be to Tāwhiao's opposition to Te Kooti and certainly, from this date, his relationship with Tāwhiao was again beset by friction. On June 30 Te Kooti predicted the end of the kingship within two years and, later, he would talk of breaking (wāhia) the “houses of resistance” (whare-whakakeke), that is, Tāwhiao and the Taranaki prophet, Te Whiti o Rongomai.
56 Whakaarorangi, Ōtewa, February 11, 1886: “Kaore te po nei tuarua rawa e ko wai tohu ai e hokia mai hoki te mea ano au ka whiua, ka maka ka waiho i konei ki kona e te ngutu wani noa mai ai e, tera atu te rongo.” The full text of this song and a commentary is transcribed as waiata 40[a] in Te Kooti 1766-1890. The version of the opening portion, which is quoted here, is from the Ringatu Church n.d.:125, with an explanatory commentary. It is a song of prophecy concerning the abandonment of the faith in Te Kooti's time. But three prophets of wonder — “nga poropiti miharo e toru” — are to come, amid great signs, and the company who are chosen, at first mystified, will take up the work and the destiny — “te hunga i whiriwhiria e mau ana i nga mahi me te tikanga”. There are minor transcript variants between the two song texts and the two commentaries. The commentaries are based on I Peter 4:7 “But the end of all things is at hand”.
57 Eria Raukura told James Cowan that he had baptised Rua in the Waipāoa River. Since Rua always called himself Rua Hepetipa from 1907, it is presumed that Eria baptised Rua with the name Hepetipa, in fulfilment of this prophecy (Cowan 1916:231).
58 See the photograph of the original house and poumua, taken in 1900, reproduced Binney et al. 1979:17.
59 Mau Rua. Mau refers to the well-known prophecy of Te Kooti's, reiterated at various times from 1877, that the One who would follow would appear from within these boundaries. (The text is cited below.) The two hills mark the district of the people who trace their descent from the Mātaatua canoe, the “Dogs” of Whārei being a point near Katikati, and Tikirau being on the eastern slopes of Cape Runaway.
60 Puti Rua:December 10, 1978; January 29, 1983. This man is Paora Kiingi Paora (or Paora Kiingi II): see Best 1977, I:203.
61 Te Heuheu Tūkino V quoting Tāwhiao's words in order to explain Waikato's refusal to volunteer in the First World War, New Zealand Herald:May 8, 1916.
62 Davidson 1967:194. The Archangel Michael was the prince-guardian of Israel, who led the exodus out of Egypt. It is he, as the great prince, who is to take the people to deliverance (Daniel 12:1). He is the warrior angel, the conqueror of Satan, and at Judgment Day he weighs the souls of the dead. When the four horsemen are loosed (Revelation 6:4; 9:14-5), he rides the red horse and bears the sword.
Gabriel is the angel of the Annunciation, and he rides the white horse. He bears the Crown, and is the “Lord of Lords” (Revelation 6:2; 19:11-6).
And for those who doubt, well, as Davidson observes (1967:xiv), if enough of us believe in angels, then angels exist.
63 It seems a curious fact that it cost 10 shillings for the canoe ride to the Pink terraces, and 10 shillings for the guide's fee to the White terraces before they were destroyed in the eruption (Dennan 1968:16).
64 Paetawa Miki:January 26, 1978. There is also a manuscript reference that Te Kooti was seeking a Bible ‘in which it would be seen that some words of God had disappeared’ (“kia kimihia he Paipera nui e kitea ai etahi kupu e ngaro ana a te Atua” — November 27, 1880:Delamere n.d.:103). In the 19th century, family Bibles were sometimes expurgated. In particular, the Song of Solomon disappeared, and this book Te Kooti used in his waiata. But it could be a reference to the “hidden” texts of the Apocrypha.
65 Tihei Algie. For accounts of traditional sacred stones and greenstones which move, and allow themselves to be found, particularly in water, see Smith 1920:150-8.
66 Crossing the paepae in the Māori world-view is an act which is referential to proper “rites of passage” from one state of existence to another, and to the cosmological order which the system of tapu maintains. There is a story that, at Parihaka in Taranaki, the pacifist community of the prophets Te Whiti and Tohu, the sword of Major von Tempsky, who was killed in the battle of Te Ngutu o Te Manu in September 1868, was buried, as a statement for peace, under the paepae of a house (Cowan 1956, II:221). In another version, Tītokowaru, the Taranaki prophet who defeated the colonial forces that day, broke von Tempsky's sword saying, “I will break this sword, and I will bury it, and no man can join it again. Let war be returned to the great nations of the world” (Caselberg 1975:112). In this account the words directly parallel the prophecies of peace attributed to Te Kooti. Both versions show how fundamental Māori concerns are stated by these traditions.
67 “Ko nga Kupu Kia Heemi Waaka i te haerenga ki Parikino, 1891” — ‘The words to Heemi Waaka on the journey to Parikino, 1891’. At this date, the rā ‘sacred gatherings’ on the Firsts of January and July were “fetched”, that is, local elders rode through to Ōtewa, to Te Kooti, to ask for the particular gathering to be held at their marae. This story recounts how, when the elders came to ask for the rā to open the house, Te Kooti, unlike the elders, knew that it had already been destroyed (Wilson n.d.:134).
68 Reuben Riki. His version is also couched in Arthurian terms, as is a previous story told by a different informant.
69 John Ruru. The four houses still stand, although the original Ngāwari was destroyed by fire and the present house at the Mangatū marae is the third of that name and is on a different site. The present Whakahau bears the date November 5, 1926, and is now derelict. Te Aroha was moved in 1922 from its original site up to its present site at Puha. Only Rongopai, built in 1888 and remaining under tapu because of its strange and wondrous paintings, was left unchanged.
70 The source for the setting aside of 20,000 acres is Rua's letter to the Poverty Bay Herald, dated April 16, 1907 and published April 23; the source for the division of the 20,000 acres is the Maungapōhatu Notebook 1881-1916:98, 106.
71 Numbers 6:5, 18. See Binney 1983 on the successive reconstructions of Maungapōhatu and the associated rituals.
72 W. G. Mair to Civil Commissioner, Auckland, September 26, 1873:Mair 1871-4. The date of the construction of the house, and whether it was built for Tāwhiao or Ngāti Maniapoto have been much disputed. Mair's letters make it clear that the house was being constructed in September 1873 by Ngātihaua “in their portion” of Te Kuiti and that Te Kooti came to supervise the carvings. The house was intended as a gift for Tāwhiao who, according to Hēnare Tūwhāngai, originally named it Tokanganui a Mutu. Its later name, Tokanganui a Noho, originally belonged to the carved house built at Mātakotako, Aotea, which was opened by Tāwhiao on November 20, 1873 (R. S. Bush, November 22, 1873:AJHR 1874:G-2B:6-8). This house was later moved to Kāwhia where it burnt down, and Tāwhiao renamed the house at Te Kuiti with this name, which was derived from an ancestral whakataukī ‘proverb’ and was a statement of peace. In the Ringatū history of the house, it is recorded as being completed in December 1882 and it was opened with this name — ‘the Great Basket for those who stayed at Home’ — on January 2, 1883, when Te Kooti gave it to the Maniapoto chiefs, whose relationship with Tāwhiao, whom they had been sheltering, was now strained (Ringatu Church n.d.:125-6; see also Mead 1969:, 50-1; Phillipps 1955:216).
73 I am indebted to Roger Neich, ethnologist at the National Museum, Wellington, for this suggestion that there is a new form of “narrative art” and a new sense of chronology of events in the painted houses associated with Te Kooti. See also Mead 1969:5.
74 Jones 1959:394. Te Rā was the prophet of the faith Pao Mīere ‘Refuse Honey’, that is money from land sales.
75 “Prediction” n.d.:8-19, tracing the fulfilment in the years 1921-32. Wī was also known as Wī Kepa Hakiaha.
76 The metaphor could be literal: tribes sometimes established two paths into their territory, one being the “path of peace” which could be travelled safely and so enable communication, even in times of war (Gudgeon 1905:124).
77 Is there a play of reference here to Māui's capture of the sun?
78 Pat Aramoana; Boy Biddle:December 14, 1981. Both elders also said that Te Kooti's intention, from 1892, had been to “tie” the Firsts to Wainui, the land recently given to him by the Government.
79 Delamere n.d.:84, 97. He who wore the Crown and rode the white horse in Revelation 6:2 also carried the rainbow (kōpere) in his hand. The sign above Christ in majesty was the “rainbow round about the throne” (Revelation 4:3).
80 I am grateful for this suggestion from Jane McRae.
81 Greenwood 1980:71. A shorter text in Wilson n.d.:141 has the date April 28 but two other sources have the 29th. Greenwood cites no Māori text and there are several variants. His translation “my death shall be by accident” is probably derived from hauaitua or hauaitu. Another version has “me mate hauiti noa” — ‘little (insignificant) death’ (Wilson n.d.:141). One text is: “Ahakoa koutou whai whai haere i au me te Kawana ano hoki e kore ahau e mau i a koutou, e kore hoki ahau e mate ia koutou, a me mate hauaitu noa iho he mate moku e mate ai ahau” — ‘Although you go in pursuit of me, even with the Governor, I will not be captured by you, nor will I be killed by you, and it will be simply through accident that I shall die.’ Boy Biddle:December 14, 1981, commenting on this text, said that the implication was a death “so silly, that you would never believe what it is”.
The prediction of Tūhoe's “betrayal” of Te Kooti was fulfilled in 1870 when, one by one, the chiefs were forced to capitulate before the Government troops' scorched-earth policy and, as part of the terms exacted from them, helped to hunt him down in the Urewera. But he was never captured either by them or the Government forces.