Volume 23 1914 > Volume 23, No. 91 > Tuhoe, the children of the mist. III. contd., by Elsdon Best, p 159-172
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THE Maru-iwi were a people who, for some time, occupied a part of the Tauranga valley, viz., that part known to natives as Te Wai-mana, where the valley opens out into an extent of flat land, part of which is remarkably fertile, as the Ngakau-roa flat. Below the latter part, the hills again close in and impinge upon the Tauranga river, erroneously termed the Wai-mana by Europeans. Before the arrival of Maru-iwi, Te Waimana was occupied by Te Hapu-oneone, and above them, i.e., up stream, were the Ngai-Turanga and Whaka-tane tribes.

The history of the Maru-iwi tribe, so far as it is known, is interesting, and was certainly a stirring one. These people lived the strenuous life for some time before they disappeared, as a tribe. As to their origin, it seems fairly clear that they were descendants of Awa-nui-a-rangi, son of Toi (Gen. No. 1), from whom also sprang Te Tini-o-Awa of the Whakatane district. This Awa, tradition says, migrated to the south, and is supposed to have settled somewhere in the vicinity of Napier, and there he formed a tribe known as Te Tini-o-Awa. It is not known as to whether Awa went alone to those parts, or whether some of the Tini-o-Toi accompanied him. The accompanying genealogy from Awa-nui-a-rangi, through Maru-iwi (from whom the Maru-iwi tribe derived their name) was given before the Native Land Court, but is open to doubt on account of its shortness.

  • Awa-nui-a-rangi
  • Awa-iti
  • Awa-tope
  • Maru-iwi
  • Pakau-moana
  • Pare-tara-roa
  • Tu-pouri-ao
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  • Rumakina
  • Kea-roa
  • Turawha
  • Rakai-te-kura
  • Hine-i-ao
  • Taraia, II.
  • Hine-manu
  • Tara-he
  • Tu-te-rangi
  • Tihi-rangi
  • Tu-monokia
  • Renata Kawepo

According to the evidence given before the Land Court, Maru-iwi were living at the Hei-pipi pa, near Petane, in the time of Pakau-moana, son of Maru-iwi. This evidence was given by the descendants of Maru-iwi of the Napier district. But their genealogies are most doubtful. They give four generations only from Kahu-ngunu, son of Tama-tea, to Rangi-taumaha, who married Hine-i-ao (see Gen.), thus making but eleven generations from Kahu-ngunu to Renata Kawepo, which is absurd. Evidently a number of names are omitted.

In the time of Taraia I. Maru-iwi seem to fall upon troublous times, for they were attacked at Hei-pipi and elsewhere, and this was probably the reason of their migration to the Bay of Plenty. Why they chose this district to found a new home in was probably because of their connection with the Tini-o-Toi and Tini-o-Awa, through Awa-nui-a-rangi, and perhaps other ancestors.

In Genealogical Table No. 14, we observe the origin of Maru-iwi as given by two different authorities of Tuhoe. In regard to that marked A, we have the mythical ancestor, Hapu-oneone, at the head of the list, and twenty-four generations bring us to Heriata, a middle-aged person now living. In Line B, fifteen generations from Hapu-oneone bring us to Tukua, a middle-aged man, thus showing a difference of nine generations. In A, Tai-rongo lived seven generations after Hapu-oneone. In B, Tai-rongo is son of the former. There are many other discrepancies. The fact is, all the earlier names are imaginary, mythical, and the descent of Maru-iwi is not known, i.e. prior to the time when they settled at Te Wai-mana. Maru-iwi is said to have been a contemporary of Rongo-karae, Ira-peke, Tauwhao, and Whakapoi, all of Te Tini-o-Awa. Tai-rongo was a resident of O-hiwa, and gave his name to a small sub-tribe of that place. Hae-ora we have already written of. Of Line B, I place but little faith in any name prior to that of Tai-rongo who, according to Tutaka, was father of Maru-iwi, a doubtful statement. Ani-i-waho, sister of Maru-iwi, married Tama-a-mutu, of Ngai-te-Kapo, an O-hiwa people, now incorporated with the Tuhoe tribe. Tama-a-mutu was a descendant of Hape.

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It is a noticeable thing that the Bay of Plenty tribes have conserved much more carefully their lines of descent from the later migrants to this land, i.e. those of ‘Matatua’ and ‘Te Arawa,’ than they have those from the original people of the district, as Nga-Potiki, Te Hapu-oneone, etc. The best preserved lines are those from Toi through Rauru.

We can probably rely on the statement that the Maru-iwi people migrated from Napier north to the Bay of Plenty soon after Taraia I. and others stirred up trouble in those parts (see “Journal of the Polynesian Society,” Vol. VI., p. 179, also Vol. XIII., p. 153, etc.).

The late chief Rakuraku, of Te Wai-mana, stated that Maru-iwi came up the east coast from Napier to Turanga (Poverty Bay) from which place they travelled across the high forest ranges to Te Kaha (Te Kaha-nui-a-Tiki), afterwards moving on to Te Wai-mana. At each stopping place they named their cultivation ground Ngakau. Their chiefs at this time were Maru-iwi, Te Ao-noho, and Te Kauae-roa. Te Hapuku and Hawaiki-rangi, of Napier, were descended from Te Kauae-roa. Also that the intruding ‘Matatua’ people forced them to abandon the Wai-mana lands, and again move on. He also said that their stay at Te Wai-mana was not a long one, and that only seven survivors reached Here-taunga (Napier district).

When Maru-iwi arrived here, they found the Wai-mana lands in the possession of Te Hapu-oneone, but apparently they were allowed to settle there quietly. Anyhow there is no record of any fighting for the land. The Maru-iwi pas, or fortified places, at Te Wai-mana were Mapou-riki, Mohoao-nui, Tautau-tahi, Te Kawakawa, and Matatere. Apparently they were quite a numerous people.

Although but little is known of the old time history of Maru-iwi, yet the local natives have retained a very complete account of the migration of that people from Te Wai-mana, and of the cause that led to it. As this account does not form a part of the Tuhoe history, but is purely an aboriginal item, we insert it here. The following account has been compiled from two different versions of the tradition, given by Tama-rau Waiari and Tutakangahau.

The various forts of Maru-iwi extended from Mapou-riki (a pa on the range, north of the cheese factory at Wai-mana) to Mohoao-nui (a large pa on the hill at south end of Waimana flats). Both of these pas are on the right bank of the Tauranga river. When the planting season came round it was the custom of the chief, Maru-iwi, to station himself on the highest part of Mapou-riki pa, where he resided, or on a small hill, or mound on the Ngakau-roa flat beneath, known as Te Mahanga-a-Ngore, which is hard by the river bank, and sound his pu-kaea, or trumpet, as a signal to his tribe living in divers parts of the valley that it was time to plant the kumara crop, and that he - 162 expected them to send persons to put in his crop. For Ngakau-roa was a great kumara cultivating ground in those days.

At a certain time some visitors came to Te Wai-mana and were entertained by Maru-iwi. When they returned home they left one of their number, a child, with their hosts. When the time came to take the tapu off the kumara crop, it appears that Maru-iwi did not possess a priest fit to perform that rite, hence they sent for one Tonu-kino, of Te Hapu-oneone, who resided at O-hiwa, and was a priest skilled in such ceremonies. On the occasion of the ritual feast, which always accompanies such functions in Maoriland, Maru-iwi seized and slew the child (Wae-roa by name) who had been left by the visitors, and the cooked flesh of the hapless child graced the Maruiwi banquet hall. A special basket of cooked kumara was prepared for the priest, and into it was put a portion of the cooked flesh of the child. When the rite of lifting the tapu from the crops was completed, the feast was spread, and before the priest Tonu-kino was placed the above described food. The child had been slain as a human sacrifice in order to impart force, power, prestige, to the religious rite.

The priest commenced to eat of the cooked sweet potatoes, when he observed signs of fat exuding from the basket. He examined the same, and found human flesh therein, and came to the conclusion that some relative of his had been slain in order to furnish the baked meats for the ceremonial feast. The exuding oil was a sign from the dead, crying for vengeance. The old priest carefully secured the food in the basket and bore it with him, to be used in certain rites pertaining to the Black Art, in case his suspicions were correct. He enquired for the child, a relative of his own, who had been staying with Maru-iwi. No one could inform him of the child's whereabouts. He asked the people with whom the child had been staying. They replied—“We have missed him since yesterday. Possibly he has gone to some other village.” Then the old priest knew that the child had been murdered, and the desire for revenge was strong within him. When the shades of night fell, he took the basket containing the portion of the child's flesh with him, and proceeded to the village latrine. Here he held the basket over the paepae, or beam of the latrine, and rent the bottom of the basket so that the contents would fall out on the other side and into the pit below. Then, grasping one of the upright posts of the structure, he shook it, repeating at the same time the two incantations known as hiki and ue:

  • “Hiki nuku, hiki rangi
  • Hiki papa, hiki taua
  • Whakamoe te ruahine,”

Then came the ue or ueue:

  • “Ue nuku . . e
  • Ue rangi . . e
  • Ue tahitahi
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  • Ue papa
  • Uea ai te pu
  • Uea ai te more
  • Uea ai te aka
  • Uea ai te tahetahe (?)
  • Hopu ringa, hopu mau
  • Kia mau i to tikitiki.”

The object of these thaumaturgies was to make the Maru-iwi people nervous, apprehensive, and unsettled in their minds, so that they would desert their homes and migrate to other lands. Probably Tonu considered that they were too numerous a people to be attacked. There is no record of Maru-iwi having been attacked in order to expel them from Te Wai-mana. In the two fights they had with Ngai-Turanga, and Rongo-karae, Maru-iwi were the aggressors.

Tonu-kino, who belonged to that portion of Te Hapu-oneone, known later on as Ngati-Raka, then returned to his home at O-hiwa.

After the above events, it occurred that a party of Maru-iwi, principally women, went from Te Wai-mana to O-hiwa to obtain shellfish, for which that place was ever famed. After the party had left, Huinga-o-te-ao (Gen. 14), daughter of Maru-iwi, bethought herself that she would trudge off to O-hiwa and join the party. “Me haere ano au, koi pepehatu 1 mai nga wahine i runga o Puke-papa” (I must go too, lest the women at Puke-papa twit me on my indolence). It is said that Maru-iwi had previously prevented his daughter from joining the party, because she was a puhi, a highly tapu first-born daughter of a chief, hence it was not good form for her to take part in the procuring or preparation of food.

On arriving at the place now termed Kuta-rere, Huinga took off, or abandoned her apron, a maro kuta, a kind of kilt made of a water plant. Hence the name of that place. But Huinga found that the party had already returned by a different track, hence she started to return also. But Tonu-kino's people had heard of the arrival of the women and thought it a fine opportunity to square accounts with Maru-iwi. So a party set out to slay them, but found that the women had returned. So they started in pursuit, and succeeded in capturing the hapless Huinga, whom they killed. For some reason the body does not appear to have served the usual purpose, but was found by the Maru-iwi people and taken to the Mohoao-nui pa, and buried. Te Huinga, say some, was slain at Kuta-rere.

When the proper time arrived, the bones of Te Huinga were exhumed. Then the chief, Maru-iwi, addressed his tribe on the subject of returning to their old homes in the Here-taunga (Napier) district, and it was decided that the tribe should migrate to that place by way of Rangi-taiki and Kainga-roa. Even so these wanderers - 164 arose again, and once more lifted the trail of primitive man in search of a resting place. Laden with their chattels they marched out from the fertile vale of Tauranga, old and young, stalwart warriors, decrepit age, and little children borne upon the backs of parents. It was the restless neolith upon the march, ‘bare limbed men with stone axes on their shoulders.’

They bore with them the bones of Te Huinga, and of others, to be reinterred in the new home, when found. They raised their voices and wept for deserted home and lands, as they looked down upon the fair plain of Ngakau-roa, and the flowing waters of the Tauranga, from the range of Tai-arahia. Across the fair vale they saw the bold earthworks, the picturesque terraces, of their deserted forts, Mapou-riki and Te Kawakawa. On the heights above Ra-roa, they saw the Oue fort wherein dwelt the descendants of Nuku-tere and Turanga. These people were not migrating. The smoke of their fires rose from within the rude palisades, as they went about their customary daily tasks. Then, sullen and downcast at having to desert home, and fort, and fair field, a grateful thought came to Maru-iwi. They would not relinguish their homes without a blow, they would obtain a quid pro quo in a truly delightful manner. They would attack the Oue pa, and slay some of those people as balm to their lacerated feelings.

At the time when Maru-iwi commenced their pilgrimage, their principal chief (Maru-iwi) seems to have been living at the Mohoao-nui pa. Some of the people said, “Let us arrange so that all our people will be ready to start at the same time. Let each fort be so warned.” The chief Maru-iwi replied, “ Kowhao unuhia i roto o Mohoao nui, māna te iwi e tanuku noa,” meaning that when the fort of the chief was deserted, the others would surely follow suit.

Tama-rua says that one only of Maru-iwi remained at Wai-mana, viz. Te Kawe-kino, a woman, who had married Hae-ora; some say that two others remained.

When the Maru-iwi people arrived at the Wai-one stream (now called the Kotore-nui), their chief called a halt, and the wayfarers occupied the Hiwi-roa 2 pa (fort). I am not sure whether they built this fort, or found it unoccupied. So the party camped at Rau-ngaehe, which is a fern-clad spur just above the Kotore-nui stream, and immediately above the Wai-o-hau—Rua-toki road where it emerges from the forest, on the southern side. As the travellers were ascending this spur, up which the old native track from Rua-toki to Wai-o-hau ran, the person who was carrying a pack containing the bones of Te Huinga, remarked that the slight noise made by the chafing of the bones in the pack resembled rustling leaves (rau ngaehe), hence the name of that place, which it still retains.

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When Maru-iwi were settled in their fort, their chief called upon them to march to avenge the death of his daughter. Leaving their women, children, and incapables in the fort, the fighting men of the Maru-iwi crossed the Whakatane valley, ascended the Oro-mai-roa stream (near Taua-rau), crossed the watershed and, when night fell, advanced on the Oue pa, situated on the range above, and to the south of, the flat at Ra-roa (at Te Waimana). Covered by the forest and the shades of night, they approached the fort and concealed themselves within a short distance of the defences, waiting for grey dawn in order to deliver an attack.

The people occupying this pa at Oue, were a division of the old time tribes of the district, i.e., of Te Hapu-oneone, and Ngai-Turanga. Their principal chief was one Tama-ruarangi, whose son, Te Rangi-tu-mai, met with some surprising adventures ere the morrow's sun set.

We digress a space. Suspicion is one of the most prominent traits of the Maori character. It was specially prominent in the fighting days. The Maori was keen in noting signs of the presence of an enemy, no one more so. You remember the story of Te Raiti and the kākā. If not, you will encounter it in this most veracious chronicle,

Family Tree. Tama-ruarangi, Te Rangi-tu-mai, Te Tara-ki-tauaki, Te Awa-kari, Wai-rehe, Te Mahoro, Te Ehu-tu, Tama-hautu, Hine-iko, Te Hei-raukawa, Huka, Te Tuhi, Hau-nui, Maru-wahia, Hine-ra, Te Mānitanga, Mahuhiri, Pukaha, Paitini, s.p., (See also Genealogical Table No. 8.)

ere we finish with Tuhoean archives. Now, when Maru-iwi disposed his men round the Oue pa, he knew that the presence of so many persons would scare into silence many of the nocturnal birds which obtained at that place, and that this circumstance would probably be noticed by the garrison, who would suspect the presence of human beings near the pa and, necessarily, of an enemy. Therefore the astute chief instructed his warriors to occasionally imitate the cries of such birds during the course of the night. Hence, upon the night air, arose the hoarse cry of the kiwi, the mournful call of the weka, the notes of the kakapo, and kareke. These cries all served to account for, - 166 or prevent the garrison hearing, any slight sounds made by the attacking force.

It is on record that when Tama-ruarangi heard, as he thought, the cries of many birds, he remarked—“I oi noa nga kai o te kainga o Tama-ruarangi.” Just at dawn of day the attack was delivered by Maru-iwi. The men of Oue, who were asleep in the big communal sleeping house, rushed to the door, but found the entrance crowded with the enemy, who at once proceeded to slay the surprised garrison. Tama-ruarangi said—“I waho na hoki pari tata iho nei.3 But Maru-iwi had the advantage of a surprise attack, and many of the brown people of Oue went down to Hades on that morn. Tama-ruarangi, his son Te Rangi-tu-mai, and some others, were taken alive, and conveyed to Raro, where Maru-iwi camped on the bluff just above the bend in the Tauranga river, and below the Puhi-kereru pa. Here Maru-iwi stayed to slay, cook and eat the captives. Ovens were kindled for the purpose of preparing the cannibal banquet. Maru-iwi took special precautions lest Tama-ruarangi should escape. They bound his limbs and laid him on the ground. They then spread his own cloak over him and fastened the edges of the cloak to the stakes driven into the soil.

The grim old fighter knew that his hour had come, that so soon as the ovens were heated, his body would be laid therein. But Maori like, he showed no fear, and awaited his fate with the bearing of a stoic. His glance fell upon a small group of prisoners, surrounded by their captors. Among them stood his son, Te Rangi-tu-mai, as yet unbound. Then the helpless father sought to help his son to escape. The first thing was to give his son a hint to plan his own escape, without acquainting the surrounding enemy of his design. He caught his son's eye, and remarked—“E ki ana au i whangaia koe ki te nene o te tamure o Whanga-panui, kia tiu koe, kia oha.4 (I thought that you had been fed on the nene of the schnapper of Whanga-panui that you might be active and strong to retain life.) The schnapper is a strong and swift moving fish. The nene is the tohetohe (? uvula) at the base of the tongue of that fish. It is greatly esteemed by the Maori, as a food, the most prized part of the fish. Whanga-panui is a fishing rock at O-hope.

Te Rangi at once caught the meaning of his father's remark. He was to attempt to escape. Turning to his captors, he said, “Give me a taiaha (weapon). I am about to die, but I will first show you what it is to be a master of the art of parrying.” The weapon was handed to him and space left for him to perform those remarkable gymnastics gone through by the Maori, when he essays to whakatu rakau. The - 167 men of Maru-iwi surrounded Te Rangi on three sides, but did not consider it necessary to occupy the head of the cliff, it being too steep to descend. So Te Rangi began his exhibition of the Maori art of war, the manual exercise of the rakau Maori (native weapons), with guard, parry, point and blow. To and fro along the space between his captors, he pranced, leaping to avoid imaginary blows, thrusting fiercely at the air, and all so well executed that the onlookers applauded him.

Meanwhile the tattooed old warrior lay spread-eagled on Mother Earth, but earnestly engaged in repeating quietly an old-time karakia (spell, charm, invocation) of the Maori, termed a tapuwae, and used in order to render a person fleet of foot. Observe!—

Whakarongo marire iho ana au
E tapiri ana a rohi tau nawenawe
Te waka ki tua te wairangi
Te tapuwae o Rongo-kahiwahiwa
Marere i ana uru
He ngangana e tuheu ra
Te mata o Tawhiri e tu awhiawhi
Ki tua o Papa-hua
He tokitoki
Te whenua i tawhiti ra
Awhitia mai kia piri, kia tata
Te moana i kauria e wai?
I kauria e manu
Ko manu te tiotio
Ko manu te hokahoka
Hokahoka tua kaki (?)
Taku rangi he mamao
Tarawa a uta, tarawa a tai
Te rokohina . . e . . i.”

As Te Rangi bounded forward yet again, grimacing wildly at the onlookers, he glanced at his father. The latter raised his head slightly, and his son knew that the old man had finished his incantation, and that the time had come for his break for liberty. With increased vim he handled his weapon, bounding along the narrow lane until he reached the cliff head, and then he jumped clear of the bluff and into the flooded waters of Tauranga below. In a few moments he reached the further shore and was seen speeding across the flat which lies below the terraced defences of Mapou-riki. By the time the pursuers had reached, and crossed the river, Te Rangi had disappeared from view in the chapparal. And from those gathered on the cliff head came the cry “Hoatu! Hoatu!”—meaning—‘Go on! We will be with you ere long.’

As the sun sagged down over Tai-arahia, Tama-ruarangi was slain, and ere long Maru-iwi started in pursuit of Te Rangi.

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Meanwhile the fugitive sped onward and made his way to the Kiwi-nui pa, which was occupied by a branch of theTini-o-Awa tribe (by that time mixed with the ‘Matatua’ migrants through intermarriage), under the chiefs Rongo-karae, Ira-peke, and Tauwhao. The Kiwi-nui pa is situated on the point of a spur overlooking the swamp between Te Teko and Whakatane. It is about half-a-mile south of where the main road ceases to skirt the foot of the range, and turns to run seaward across the swamp known as O-whai-kawa. The continuation of that swamp towards Te Teko is called O-mataroa. They asked Te Rangi what ailed him. “I am a survivor.” “Na hea?” (by what place? i.e., by whom were you defeated). “By Maru-iwi. I am the sole survivor. They will follow me to this place and attack it.”

The next morning the Maru-iwi force reached Kiwi-nui, and attacked that place. Rongo-karae (see Gen. Tables Nos. 8, etc.) selected a goodly number of fighting men and retired with them into a large house, Toka-nui by name, which stood on the topmost terrace of the pa Here he caused the uprights of the front part of the house to be loosened, and all the lashings to be cut, so that the front wall of the house might be pushed over from within, thus causing it to fall into and cover the roro, or entrance. Meanwhile others were endeavouring to withstand the fierce onslaught of Maru-iwi at the outer defences of the fort. Maru-iwi succeeded in capturing the lower terrace of the pa, the garrison retreating to the next upper one. They called upon Rongo-karae to bring forth his men and assist in the defence. He replied “Let them remain in the house. There is plenty of time.” Ere long Maru-iwi gained another tuku (terrace) of the fort, and again Rongo was implored to assist—He said, “Kati tonu, apanoa e mau ana te ringa ki te paru o Toka-nui, katahi ka pata ki te riri”—‘leave them be until the hand of the enemy touches the thatch of Toka-nui. Then they will come out and fight.’

Before long the warriors of Maru-iwi forced their way up to the citadel and, seeing that the house was full of people, crowded into the porch, and started to tear off the thatch of the front wall, that they might get at the occupants. When Rongo saw that the porch was crowded with the enemy, he cried—“Na! katahi na ano!” At once his men thrust over the heavy wall, which fell upon the people in front. Then they sprang forth and commenced to smite the attacking force who, perhaps dismayed by the fate which had overtaken their van, were defeated. The survivors fled back to Hiwi-roa, their pa at Rau-ngaehe, pursued by the Tini-o-Awa, among whom fought Te Rangi-tu-mai. Maru-iwi were followed as far as Rau-ngaehe. At the Wai-one stream, a tributary of the O-whakatoro, one of the fugitives, Kotore-nui by name, was caught and slain. Hence that stream has since been known as Kotore-nui.

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It is said by some that the descendants of Kare-tehe (Ngati-Karetehe) were living at Te Mauku, Wai-whero, and other pas at O-whakatoro, at the time of the above trouble. The late chief Kereru, a lineal descendant of Rongo-karae, said that Karetehe's offspring had left that part, however, when Maru-iwi camped there, which is probably correct.

After their defeat by Maru-iwi at Oue, the survivors of that place, and their descendants, assumed the new tribal name of Te Kareke, after the subterfuge employed by Maru-iwi at Oue. The kareke was a swamp bird, now extinct. In the days that lie before, when Te Kareke shall have occupied Te Po-roa pa, at O-pouri-ao, we will pay them another visit, and it will be a dark day for that much harassed people when we again meet them.

Kereru stated that the pursuing force slew Kotore-nui at the junction of the Wai-one (Kotore-nui) and O-whakatoro streams, near Te Mauku pa. The pursuers camped there for the night, and next morning advanced to attack Hiwi-roa, the Maru-iwi pa. However, on their arrival, they found the place deserted, Maru-iwi having had enough of war's alarms. They had commenced their long march to the Napier district by crossing the forest ranges of Wai-o-hau. The pursuit followed as far as Taumata-miere, where they gave up the chase and returned home.

From this time, says Kereru, O-whakatoro was unoccupied until Patu-maunga settled there, with his sons, Mano-hunuku and Totara-puku who, after a while, returned to their pa, Hau-kapua. But of this more anon.

Family Tree. Rongo-karae, Tama-toko-ao, Rongo-haua, Te Arai-rehe, Patu-maunga, Totara-puku, Mano-hunuku, Te Rangi-mehatu, Hine-rangi, Whakaarahia, Te Wairoa, Te Ake, Paerau, Te Kiri, Paratene

The events above recorded appear to have occurred about the year 1630.

We have no further records of the march of Maru-iwi until they arrived at O-koro-matakiwi, near Runanga, where they seem to have - 170 stayed awhile. Here a child of the chief (Maru-iwi) was born, and the tuā rite was performed over the infant at the Aniwaniwa stream.

While staying at the above place, Maru-iwi were attacked by a force under the sons of Tu-whare-toa, whose home was at Kawe-rau, near Te Teko (the Teko-Rotorua road passes through Kawe-rau. It is west of the Tara-wera river). This was the man after whom was named the Ngati-Tuwhare-toa tribe, now occupying the Taupo district. They are descended from the Tini-o-Kawe-rau, Tini-o-Toi, and other ancient tribes, as also from the migrants of ‘Matatua’ and ‘Te Arawa.’

  • Tu-whare-toa
  • Rakei-marama
  • Te Kotiri
  • Tuhoro
  • Te Whiu
  • Te Awhe
  • Te Ore
  • Te Awhe
  • Te Akau-rangi
  • Te Whakahoro
  • Huhana
  • Renata

It appears that Tu-whare-toa and his people had had a slight unpleasantness with a force of Ngati-Kahu-ngunu, under Tupere, and the sons of Tu-whare-toa wished to set forth and punish the invaders of the fair vale of Kawe-rau. But the old man said—“Wait until I have finished my new house, Te Koro-tiwha, the ornaments for which I am now carving.” His sons, however, were spoiling for a fight, and persisted in going. They said to their father—“Hai konei, ki te whakairo piha mau.”—Remain here and carve scrolls for yourself. This annoyed the father, who replied with—“Haere i a tuku noa, i a heke noa. Mau ka oti atu, oti atu.” This was equivalent to saying—‘Go your silly way, but you will never return.’ It is a specimen of a form of speech termed a whakamania, which was supposed to have serious results. It was equal to consigning a person to Hades.

Even so the sons of Tu-whare-toa led forth their warriors, and ranged the drear plains of Kainga-roa in search of someone to attack. At Kaka-tarae they came upon Maru-iwi, whom they at once attacked. But Maru-iwi fought the good fight with such energy that they defeated their assailants, and amused themselves by piling up the bodies of their slain enemies in a heap, at the base of a tree. Hence that fight, and place, have ever since been known as O-whakatihi, from the word whakatihi, to pile up in a heap.

The survivors of Kawe-rau party fled, and sought some means by which to avenge their defeat. They found it. It was the kete poutama. The poutama was a singular rite of Black Magic performed by the Maori of old in order to weaken, and unnerve an enemy, to cause them to be defeated, or become powerless, in fact to consign them to the realm of oblivion. To perform this rite, an ahi tapu or sacred fire was necessary. It was kindled, and the rite performed on a ridge on the track to Here-taunga, a place since known as Te Ahi-a-nga-tane, in commemoration of the above event. The atua (god, demon) appealed to in - 171 order to give force to the rite, was Irā-kewa. Here were repeated weird spells of the warlocks of old, including the whakamania.

Then a force was collected by the survivors, and Maru-iwi were followed, as they fared onwards by Titi-o-kura. The god Ira-kewa was invoked, that his dread powers might bring disaster on Maru-iwi. Then the powers of the god were seen in the vale of Mohaka (ka whiua te hau o Ira-kewa ki roto o Mohaka). The lightning flashed to Maunga-haruru, a fierce storm lashed the earth, fiery portents were seen darting through the air. It was a sign from the gods, and Maru-iwi, ‘foredoomed to dogs and vultures,’ were a stricken host, yea they were dead men, although still in the world of life.

But now Maru-iwi were alarmed. The evil spells of dark magicians were affecting them. They hurried on their way, that a haven of rest might be reached. Men tell strange stories of their actions. How, as they toiled on over the plains, they collected and carried bundles of sticks, to serve as fuel when camped down for the night. But, when night fell, fresh alarms arose, and fires and camp were deserted, and again the weary wayfarers struggled on through the night. At last, in one of these nocturnal stampedes, they came, in storm and darkness, to the rugged canyon near Pohue, on the Napier-Taupo road, near the little lake at the gulch now crossed by the bridge, about a mile south of the Pohue hotel. It is said that the fugitives did not see the cliff in the darkness, hence those leading fell over the cliff, while those in the rear were ignorant of the fate of their companions and, hurrying on, themselves fell over. Thus most of Maru-iwi perished in that waro (chasm), and their tribal name became lost to the world. It is said that only seven survivors reached Here-taunga.

The Kawakawa pa, occupied by Maru-iwi, is on a hill peak just behind Matatere, where Te Whiu lives at Te Wai-mana.

The adventures, and tragic end of Maru-iwi still live in the memories of the natives, and allusions to the latter are often met with in song and story. Thus Te Heke o Maru-iwi (the emigrants, or migration, of Maru-iwi), and Te Heke o Maru-iwi ki te Po (The Descent of Maru-iwi to Hades) are oft heard expressions. Thus, Pare-rau-tutu, of Te Arawa, sang—“Ko te heke ra o Maru-iwi, i toremi ai ki te Reinga.” In like manner did Te Au-roa, the foodless, give tongue—

ldquo;Ko te Heke ra o Maru-iwi i haere ai ki raro ra
I hapainga mai ai te kete wairuru kai Mata-whaura.”

As also one Ngau-ora, when bemoaning herself in song—

“E tama E! Kaore he uri tangata i te ao nei
Tena ka riro atu i te waro i heke ai a Maru-iwi.”

And here Maru-iwi pass out of our pages. For Te Wai-mana they knew is now no more. It is being settled by an intrusive and unsympathetic race. There is no longer room for neolithic man in that - 172 fertile vale. The fortified bluff of Te Maire now looks down upon the modern cheese factory.


In Genealogical Table No. 8 will be seen the origin of another old time tribe of this district, Ngai-Turanga originally sprang from Toi, and derive their tribal name from Turanga-pikitoi, who flourished in the eighth generation from Toi, or about the time of Tama-ki-hiku-rangi. Ngai-Turanga are also descended from Hape, and were somewhat nearly related to the Hapu-oneone people. They occupied part of the valley of the Tauranga (Wai-mana) river, and a portion of them lived at Rua-toki. Their tribal name still lives, most of these people being now at the Wai-mana. They are closely connected with Ngai-Tama, another clan of the Wai-mana district. The lands of Ngai-Turanga are below the Ure-roa tributary of the Tauranga river. Nuku-tere (Gen. No. 8) is spoken of as being the origin of Ngai-Turanga, although they take their hapu, or clan name, from his son. Ngai-Turanga also had a portion of the Tahora No. 2 Block awarded to them by the Native Land Court, while the Wai-mana Block was awarded to Ngai-Turanga, Te Urewera, and Ngati-Raka. A few of Ngati-Raumoa were also admitted, presumably through their connection with Ngati-Raka. The O-parau stream was the boundary between the lands of Ngai-Turanga and those of Rau-moa.

Te Roau pa, on the Ruatoki south block, and near the Kawekawe stream, was originally a Ngai-Turanga pa. It was, in after days, occupied by Te Ngahuru, of Ngati-Koura.

Tu-hukia, of Ngai-Turangi (Gen. No. 8) lived at Ra-roa, at the Wai-mana. His pa, now known as Te Pa o Tu-hukia, stands on a hill above the Ra-roa stream. We shall encounter Tu again in these pages. He was an uncle of Tama-ruarangi, and a noted warrior.

When Ngai-Turanga were living at Rua-toki, they buried their dead at Te Tawa-a-Wai-roto, and in a cave at O-tama-awatea stream, and other such places.

As the Ngai-Turanga clan have been so much mixed up with others, and have taken part in most of the strenuous efforts made by Tuhoe to retain the Rua-toki and Wai-mana districts, we will not follow their adventures here, but incorporate it with the general Tuhoe history. Although they, and some other clans were not of Nga-Potiki, yet they are included in the tribal name of Tuhoe, the result of much intermarriage.

1   Also pehapehatu, a singular expression, implying the objectionable bearing of returned hunters, fishers, etc., towards those who did not accompany them.
2   Sometimes called Hiwi-nui.
3   Or “I waho na, pari iho na.
4   Or ‘Kia tiu koe, kia rere.