John White.

The ancient history of the Maori, his mythology and traditions .. (Volume 1) online

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And startle all the souls

Who traverse o'er the paths

So intersecting all the land,

And show with blaze of light

Tho coveted now roots of fern —

Tho staff of life for man on earth —

And let the new creation come,

With hands where now their feet should be,

And feet where now the hands are seen ;

And call such being heaven's own child.

Then I shall be so charmed, and follow

Those of skin of dusky hue,

And follow e'en the progeny

Of him they now call "Punga's child" (the lizard).

Ancient lament.


Tiki. (Another Reading — Nga-ti-iiau.)
Papa (the eartli) and Rangi (the sky) were lying to-
gether, and all between them were nga-toro (vines and
creepers), korito (tender plants), tutu (Coriurla riiscifoUaJ ,
and red water. Man was not in the world at that time ;
then all was dark.

Tiki was the first man, and his Avife, Ma-riko-riko
(glimmer), was the first woman, in this world.

Arohi-rohi (mirage) formed ]Ma-riko-riko from the


■warmth of the sun and Pa-oro (echo) ; therefore she was
of this world — not of Divine origin.

Tiki and INIa-riko-riko begat a daughter named Hine-
kau-ata-ata (daughter floating in shadow) . When the
chikl of Ilinc-kau-ata-ata was horn, clouds began to skim
over the sky. The clouds stood ; they flew. They were
dark clouds — black clouds — very black clouds. Water
began to flow, and the banks of rivers were seen, and dry
land was preserved from floods. Then was the earth seen
in the dawn of day. There was lightning, rivulets were,
and streams flowed on to the rivers of water; and then
came the full light of day, and Tane propped the heavens
up, and great Rangi was seen above — then light and day
were complete.

Tane, who propped the sky up, begat Ai-potiki (begotten
one), and Maui (the weary one), and Maui-i-mua (the first
one), and Maui-i-roto (the one on the inside), and Maui-i-
taha (the one at the side), and Maui-i-tikitiki (the one
supreme), and Ko-ata-te-rangi (the shadow of heaven), and
Ko-tahi (the great first in power), and Rauru (the sacred
hair of the head, or god of the head).

Mythological Chant op the Creation of Man. (Xga-


To Tane belongs the tapīi (everything sacred), as lie

sought for and found it in " the forest of Tane."

This is the chant relating to his discovery of man : —

Seeking, earnestly seeking in tlie gloom.

Searching — yes, on the coast-line —

On the bounds of light of clay.

Looking into night.

Night had conceived

The seed of night.

The heart, the foundation of night,

Had stood forth self-existing

Even in the gloom.

It grows in gloom —

The sap and succulent parts,

The life pulsating.

And the cup of life.


The shadows screen

The faintest gleam of light.

The procreating power,

The ecstacy of Hfe first known,

And joy of issuing forth

From silence into sound.

Thus the progeny

Of the Great-extending

Filled the heavens' expanse ;

The chorus of life

Rose and swelled

Into ecstacy,

Then rested in

Bliss of calm and quiet.

Another Reading op Tiki. (Nga-ti-iiau.)
The first man who was born in Te-po (darkness) was
Rena-u-matua (expanded progenitor) . At that time there
was no water. He was horn of Ao-niararaa. When
Miru-tau was killed Miru-tau was sent to Te Reinga
(lower worlds), and after that came into existence Pupuke
(thonght began to be), Mahara (thought was), Hiringa-te-
nuku (earth was energetic), Hirihiringa-te-rangi (Rangi
was energetic), Hiringa (laborious), Hiringa-te-manu-mea
(energy of the one that can float in the air), Te-whaka-ac-
ipipu (ipuipu) (the valleys or hollows), Te-whaka-rahirahi
(made thin), Tiwha-i-wahaa (the marked one carried), Te-
rerenga-apa-i-waho (the fleeing-away of the company), Tc-
whakatutu (the fluid jDasscd through a funnel), Tc-ata-i-au
(the certain or steadfast dawn), Rua-tipua (goblin pit),
Rua-t!ihito(tawhito) (ancient pit), Rua-hehe (pit of con-
sternation), Rua-whakakino-rangi (pit that disfigured the
heaven), Rua-i-te-ata (pit of the dawn), Rua-timo (the pit
which was pricked, or pecked), Timo-timo-i-te-rangi (the
Leaven pecked at), Rangi-nui-e-tu-nei (the great heaven
now seen), Rongo-ta-rangi-nui (great fame, and breath of
heaven), Tane (male), Tu (stand erect), Tanga-roa (long
assembly), Ru (tremble, or earthquake), Ku-oko (nursed
in silence), Tahu (husband or wife). Arc (space not occu-
pied), Motu-hari-ke (portion isolated), Tiki (the fetcbed
one), Tane-rua-nuku (man of the earth-pit), Rangi-Avhaka-


.'ilnu'i (lioavcn swelled out), Rangi-pou-tn (steep heaven),
Pou-tu-te-rangi (heaven erect), llaiigi-a-niwa-iiiwa (heaven
of great god), Rangi-a-hchei (heaven o£ clonlil,), Rangi-
marama (heaven of light), Aio-i'angi (ealni heaven), Tc-
waki(\vhaaki)-ariki (undivnlging lord), Tangata-katoa (all
men), Taura-kaha (strong rope), Aki-aki-te-rangi (strike
the heaven), Rakau-te-rangi (tree of heaven), Kai-tangata
(man-eater), Karihi (sinl:er), Ileraa ''pudendum) , Tawhaki-
piki-a-te-rangi (Tawhaki eliin])cd up to heaven), Wewc-
nuku (dwarf of the earth), TJ-wcwe-rangi (small breast of
heaven), Tapu-whaka-ihi (dreaded, sacredness), Tapu-whaka-
mana (sacredness acknowledged), Ta-tara (speak evil of),
Ngai-ariki (great shell), Ngai-tauira (shell for a pattern),
Toi-te-hua-tahi (peak of the first fruit), Rua-rangi (pit
of heaven), Rauru (hair of the head), Ha-tonga (breath of
the south), Rakau-maui (left-handed spear), Paru-ora
(stopper of life), Pou-matua (pron of the parent), Rongo-
te-aha (vvhat news), Ture (law), Tii-ranga (standing), Te-
mate-eke-piri (disease close by), Tnhu-knao (perch for the
youngest bird), Hai-matua (for the parent), ^Mau-lmki
(pierced and caught), Ilaere-au (go in the current), Ihi
(dread), Te-mana-o-rougo (the power of news). Urn (west),
Rangi-whaka-rongona (listen to the heavens), Tania-rapa
(son of the web-foot), Tu-rau-kawa (son of the bitter leaf),
Tu-mata-rau (stand with the eel-spear), Rangi-tu-ehu (day
of mist), Tu-niai-kuku (stand in silence), Kahu-kura (red
garment), Raki-whaka-ware (day of confusion), AVhiti-au
(cross the stream), Whare-matangi (liouse of the wind),
Mania-o-rongo (disagreeable news ; or, who was baptized).
Hare Rakina (Charles Darknell), who was alive in 1872.

Another Reading op Tiki. (Nga-ti-awa.)
All aquatic plant (the ma-kaka or pare-tao) growing in
swamps was the male procreating power which engendered
the red clay seen in landslips, whence came the first man.
This man was discovered by one of the gods before light
had dawned on this world. It was the grandson of this
man who separated earth and heaven, and caused light to


be, and divided the world of liglit from the world of

Another Reading. (Xga-ti-awa.)
Tiki made man by mixing his own blood with clay, and
forming it into a figure like himself; and by breathing-
into it he gave it life.

Another Reading. (Tu-whare-toa.)
Tiki was made of red clay and the centre shoot of raii-
po (Tijpha angust'ifoUaJ . He was made in the resemblance
of the god who made him.

Another Reading. (Tu-whare-toa.)
Tiki-ahua (likeness made) made the first man — of red
clay. He also lifted and jjropped up the heaven from the
earth ; and light came on to the world we live in. The
heaven lay on the earth and caused night until it was thus
lifted up.

Woman made. (Nga-i-tahu.)
Tane meditated how he could make a woman, vrho should
be a companion for Tiki-au-a-ha. Taking his former
figure as a mould, he again moulded the soil of Hawaiki,
and prayed. These were the words of his prayer : —

Here stands the originating power, the power dreaded,
Inspired and stretched out. Dawn, thou daj' on high ;
Dawn, thou day beneath ; dawn on the mountam-peak ;
Dawn, thou uplifted ; dawn within, younger brother of glowing

It is stretched out, stretched out.
To what shall I place my procreating power —

To what — to your head ?
That is where the hairs have their storehouse.
That's not it.

To what shall I place my procreating power —

To what — to your forehead, then ?
That is where the blood has its storehouse.
That's not it.


To what shall I place my procreating power —

To what — to your nose, then ?
That is whom the nose has its store of mucus.
That's not it.

To what shall I place my procreating power —

To what — to your eye ?
That is where the eye has its storehouse of tears.
That's not it.

To what shall I place my jirocrcating power —

To what — to your ear ?

That is where the ear has its storehouse.

That's not it.

To what shall I place my procreating power —

To what — to your mouth, then ?
That is where food has its storehouse.
That's not it.

To what shall I place my procreating power —
To what — to your neck ?

That's not it.
This is where groans and moans have their storehouse.

That is not it.

To what shall I place my procreating power —

To your arm-pit ?
That is where perspiration has its storehouse.
That is not, that is not the place.

To what shall I place my procreating power —

To w'hat — to your breast ?
That is where the breast has its storehouse.
That's not it.

To what shall I place my procreating power —
To what — to your stomach, then ?

That is not it.
That is where the stomach has its storehouse.

That's not it.

To what shall I place my ]5rocrcating power —
To what — to your side ?

That is not the place.
That is where the side has its storehouse.

That's not it.

To what shall I place my procreating power —
To what — to your back ?

That is not the place.
That is where the back has its storehouse.

That's not the place.


To what shall I place my procreating power —
To what — to your navel ?

That's not it.
That is where the navel has its storehouse.

That is not it.

To what shall I place my procreating power —
To what — to your waist, then ?

That is not the place.
Tliat is where the waist has its storehouse.

That's not the place.

To what shall I place my procreating power —
To what — to your thigh ?

That is not the place.
That is where the thighs have their storehouse.

That is not the place.

To what shall I place my procreating power-
To what — to 3'our anus ?
That's not the place.
Tliat is where the excrement has its storehouse.
That's not the place.

To what shall I place my procreating power —
To what — to your body ?

That is not it.
That is where the body has its storehouse.

That's not the place.

To what shall I place my procreating power —
To what — to your flesh ?
That is not it.
That is where the flesh and muscle have their storohousc.
That's not it.

To what shall I place my procreating power —
To what — to your joints ?

That is not the place.
That is where the joints have their storehouse.

That's not the place.

To what shall I place my procreating power —
To what — to your feet ?
That is not the place.
That is where the feet have their storohousc.
That's not the place.


To what sluiU I place my procreating power —
To what — to your j)ower of producing ?
It is good — to your producing power.

That is where the proci-eating power has its storehouse,
Fully abundant, fully engendered.

Procreation complete, unlimited, and final.

Tims "Was lo-wahinc (female godly po\\er) produced, and
she walked forth a woman. Tane then hnew his prayer
was all-powerful. He had made man^ and now he had
made woman, and she ran forth and was called lo-wahinc.
Tane then determined that lo-wahine should be the wife
of Tiki-au-a-ha ; so they lived together.

They had six children. A-io-te-ki (am power that spoke)
and A-io-te-rca (am power that grew) were brothers. These
two brothers had four sisters, two of whom were taken
by each of them to wife. A-io-te-rca took Wche-wchea
(separated) and Whaka-tara (the annoyed), by whom he had
Te-a-io-whaka-tangata (the am became man) . This was his
only child. Te-a-ip-whaka-tangata took to wife the daughter
of Te-a-io-te-ki, called To-wheta-mai (writhing power), by
whom he had many children, even twenty and three. These
peopled the world, and Tane went up and remained in the

Another Version of the Creation of Woman.

Tane-niii-a-rangi took a tree as his wife, and his offspring
were trees, and not men. He therefore went and obtained
soppy mud, and took it to the sandy beach at Tapa-tai-roa
(long sea-coast) of Hawa-i-ki, and mixed it with sand. The
mud he made into the shape of a woman for himself. He
made her, and laid her down, and covered her up with gar-
ments, and he breathed into her mouth and left her, and
went to his settlement. After some time he went to look at
her : he found her moving and shaking, and looking on this
side and on that, observing all she could see. When she
looked behind she saw Tane, and laughed. He put out his
hand and took her to his settlement, where she was fed.
She cohabited with him. He put his generating power to


ter eye and created tlie cye-l)all ; to lier nose, and created
the kea (mucus) ; to her mouthy and created the mare
(phlegm) ; to her side, and created the riko-iveraicera
(perspiration) ; to her tar a (clitoris) — then -«as horn the
first child of Tanc, named Hine-hau-one (the daughter of
earth-aroma) J and also called Hinc-mana-hiri (daughter of
the stranger) .

Another Version" of the Creation of Woman.
Tane-nui-a-rangi ^as disconsolate for want of a ■svife, and
went to Hawa-i-ki, where he met female gods, of whom he
inquired, "AVliere is the female? ^^ He went to search for
her ; hut, failing in his ohject, returned to the goddesses,
and again asked. They ansAvered, "She is outside" (or far
away). Again he went in search, hut failed. He then asked
Eua (the pit), and said, " O daughter ! where is the female?"
who pointed directly to the river of Hawa-i-ki, and answered,
" There is the female, that is she. The water which is flow-
ing there, the child comes out of that." Tane went to the
hank of the river, and with the mud of it he formed a
woman, repeating this incantation the Avhile : —

Shape tlio cliildren at Ilawa-i-ki.
Shake with delight.
O, Tiki the father,
Tiki the seeker,
Shake with deb'ght.

He made the face, arms, hands, legs, and feet, and the
maJn-ldno [pudtmlum nndkhrc); then he caused his proere-
ativc power to put itself into action, and repeated this
incantation : —

Grow np, my procveatir.g power ;

Grow down, my procreating power;

Grow, my procreating power, on the mons veneris ;

Grow, my procrcaLing power, on the labia minora ;

Co and grow ; go, O breath (o£ life) !

He put liis ])ro('reatii)g power on the liead, and begat
the bald (or skull) ; on tlie forehead, and Ijcgat hlood ; on
the eye, and begat the eye-ball ; on the mouth, and begat the


plilcgm ; on tlic side, and begat pcrs])iration ; on the thigli,
and begat the side (or lo, muscle-power); and when lie put
the procreating power on the clitoris of his earth-wife Tane
asked, "What night of the month is this?" Tama-i-waho
answered, " It is a turu-ea " [turu, the fifteenth day of the
moon). Tane said, "My procreating power is tuiru now"
{turn, apposite, delightful); and he recited this incanta-
tion : —

Ah ! see it rush forward.

It is the coming dawn,

It is morning light.

From dawn came tliis disciple.

Then was tlic great drawing-together at Hawa-i-ki,

The making of the hand at Hawa-i-ki.

Ivneeling inside ;

The knees drawn inside.

O, Tiki, the parent !

Hands are possessed inside.

O, Tiki, parent 1 kneeling,

Knees drawn up, crying for food.

The prostrate body, legs stretched out.

Tiki — ecstasy of Tiki ;

Tiki— delight of Tiki.

Dripping is the red water of Kangi,

Open the great door of Papa.

Come forth : it is Hine-mana-hiri (the stranger daughter).

Rangi and Kewa and the Creation of Woman. (Ngati-


Rangi-nui-a-taraa-ku was the husband of Kewa. They
begat Rangi (the heaven) . Rangi took Papa, the daughter
of Matua-te-kore (parentless) , to wife, and begat Ro-iho
(few), Ro-aka (abundant), Hae-puru (the stopper split in
two), Tane-tntnri (Tane the kneeling), Tane-pepeke (Tane
the legs drawn up), Tane-ue-tika (Tane standing erect),
Tane-ue-ha (Tane lifted up), Tane-nui-a-rangi (great male
power of Rangi), Urn (west), Ngangana (bright), Taue-te-
wai-ora (Tane the living water) , Paia (closed), Mau-hi (first
glimmer of dawn), Tai-epa (altar of sacrifice), Moko-nui
(great lizard) , Tonga-tonga (blemish on the skin), Ika-nui
(great fish), Ti-whaia (indistinctly seen), Ika-roa (long fish).
Tiki (effigy), Raka-maomao (shoal of herring), Haku-manu


(murmur of the birds), Tiki-nui (great effigy), Puna-weko
(fountain dried up), Tiki-roa (long effigy), Manu-rewa
(bird floating higb in the air), Tu-mata-uenga (Tu of the
inciting face), Rongo-marae-roa (Kongo of the great court-
yard), Tu-rama-rama-a-nuku (Tu tbe light of the -world),
Tu-rama-rama-a-rangi (Tu the light of heaven), E,ua (pit)
(dj, Rehua (the splinterer), Rua-i-te-pukenga (the pit of
the high priest), Rua-i-te-wananga (pit of the medium), and
Taputu-raugi (heaven closed in). These were all males.

Now, the offspring of Tane and Papa were born in the
darkness, and lay in that region ; but, having seen a
glimmer of light in the armpit of Rangi, they determined
to separate Rangi and Papa. Some said they would follow
their father Rangi ; others said they would stay with their
mother Papa.

Having collected all materials — namely, stars for Rangi
and vegetables for Papa — for the heaven and the earth,
Tane-tuturi and his younger brothers sought the toko
(poles) with which to prop up Rangi. The names of these
poles were Toko-huru-nuku (pole of the warm world),
Toko-hiiru-rangi (pole of the warm heaven), and Rakau-
tuke (pole bent at right angles) . Then they went for the
axes to cut these poles. The names of these axes were
Awhio-rangi (around the heaven), Pare-arai-marama (di-
verting the light), and Motu-whariki (the cut weeds to
sleep on) ; and the lashing of these axes was called Kawe-
kai-rangi (carried food of heaven) .

Now, Tane and his younger brothers rose to lift Rangi
up ; but they could not move him in the slightest degree.
Then Tane-tuturi called with a loud voice, —

Paia, prop the heaven up ;

but Paia did not obey the command. Tane again called.

and said, —

Paia, Paia ! part them.
Lift the sky upward.

Then Paia — he who was so sacred, and had the gods in
charge, and knew all the forms of incantations and tht.


ceremonies — rose and laid the ropes Ly -wliich lie meant to
carry Rangi ; and then repeated this incantation : —

Lift, lift up tlic south land.

Upward, upward lift the south sky.

Put each in its own position,

There to rest for ever.

Lift, lift up Eangi ;

And, with offering made to thee, Rangi !

We lift thee up.

Paia now bowed his great back towards Rangi, and got
him placed on it ; and Rangi, in loud cries of woe, gave
exj)ression to his sorrow in heing parted from his wife
Papa. Seme of his children adhered to Rangi, and went
up with him. They were Ro-iho, Ro-aka, Hae-puru,
Taputu-rangi, Koreke-rangi (quail of heaven), Haku-wai
(night eagle), Rehua, Peke-hawani (star of the eighth
month of the Maori year) , and Tu-mai-te-rangi (Tu of the
heaven). These all went with Rangi when he was sepa-
rated from his wife Papa.

Now, the offspring of Rangi who remained with their
mother Papa devised a plan to obtain wives. They made
the female power on the pubes of their mother Papa. They
formed it by kneading the soft and damp soil of the land
at Kura-waka (red medium). Then they formed the body
and the feet. The labia major a were formed by Mau-hi,
Tai-epa, Moko-uui, and Te-whaia. Now, when these had
been put together, they formed the pudendum. Mau-hi
made the labia majora, and Tai-epa elongated them.
Having looked at this, Moko-nui said to Ti-whaia, " Give
the pupil of your eye to place in the labia majora." He
complied. Now, the vulva is the guardian of all these
parts ; but there are other guardians placed each beyond
the other inwards. They are labia minora, the vagina,
next uterus, next clitoris, next meatus urinarius, next ova-
rium, and the last and inmost guardians arc the Fallopian
tubes. The lungs and the heart, the spirit, the kidneys,
and the blood were obtained by prayer from the god. The
lungs were taken from the clouds of the sky : this is that


in man "which engenders the desire to partake of water.
The blood and fat, which are in every part of his body, are
the life of man. The heart distributes these into every
part of the body, and is the seat of the spirit. If the blood
and fat were consumed, the heart would be closed up, and
the spirit would depart. This is the death of man.

But there are other phases of death in man. Instant
death is caused by the sudden shutting of the doors of the

The eyes and ears of man govern the muscles and head.
If the eyes sleep, the ears are closed also ; but if the ears
hear a voice or sound, the eyes open. They are thus the
guardians of the body, and see or hear things nigh or dis-
tant by which the body may be injured. The tongue
decides what should be taken into the body as food, and
protects life through the stomach.

Now, when Tane had made a female form he chanted
an incantation, and he put his procreating power to Hiue-
pupuke-maunga (daughter of the producing mountain), and
produced Taniwha (god-like feared being) ; then he put it
to Hine-rau-kiokio (daughter of the leaf in the shade) , and
produced Horn (sacred red) ; then he put it to Tu-pari-
maunga (standing on the cliff of the mountain), and pro-
duced Te-pu-toto (source or blood, or life, or soul) and
Para-whenua-mea. Then his elder brothers, who were
living up in heaven (Rangi) — namely, Ro-aka, Ro-iho, and
Hae-puru — looked down, and, having seen what Tane had
done, called to him and said, " Tane, you do not act
rightly : you have not dealt with the fountain of life, from
which your offspring can come forth." Then Tane put his
jDroducing power to Hine-hau-oue ; and this is the genealogy
of the offspring of Tane : He took Tu-pari-maunga to
wife, and had Pu-toto and Para-whenua-mea ; Para-whenua-
mea had Pu-toto, Raka-hore (the bald crowd), Whatu (core),
Tanga-roa (long breath), Te-pou-namu (obsidian), and Timu
(ebbing) ; Timu had Tanga-roa and Hine (daughter);
Hine took as her husband Tu-huru-huru (Tu the hairy),
and had Tahu-wairangi (foolish husband), Tau-tunu-kereru


(the year of roasting pigeons), Tu-tawlii-rangi (Tu wlio
went all round the heaven),. Ngana-ngana-tc-hau (conflict
with the wind), Ipu-ipu-te-rangi (hollows in heaven),
AVhare-pa-tari (house of amusement), Kari-moi(mori)
(isolated, bald trees) or '^ Kari-moi " (dig up the ferment-
ing), and Takoto (lying down).


ily work is unavailing now.
The child of stern confusion
Came with flood, and swept it all awa3'.

Oh, hand of mine ! I cannot blame myself.
'Twas not of me, but from the ancients
Came the mjth : I but repeat it now,
And tell it to the world — to man.

Oh ! hearken then. I now will speak,
Though oft it has been heard before :
That echo, sending back our voice,
Exulting, mimicking word by word.
Is child of keen inquisitiveness.

And ebbing Nature took to wife
The lower germ of things ;
And hence came fern
The weed that covered Eangi's back.
And when Taue lifted Eangi up
It fell, and covered all this world.
And bold unauthorized assumption
Took and hid it. Then A-toru
Made it grow a branch of fern (hnu-mia).
And Pi-tau thus sprang up
And all mankind now saw
The mocking child of food,
That should be, but is not.

Ancient lament of Nukti-peica-pewa for his eel-
iveir swept away hy a flood.


Priests and Chiefs before the Flood. (Xga-i-tahu.)
TiKi-AU-HA (likeness spring forth) ^as the first man,
and was made by Tanc at Hawaiki. lo-waliine (god-
■\\oman) was the first woman. She also was made at
Hawaiki hy Tane, and to he the wife of Tiki-an-ha. Their
offspring were : Aio-te-ki (gentle god-like words), first-
horn son of Tiki-an-ha ; Aio-te-rea (god-like gentle grow-
ing), second son of Tiki-an-ha; Aio-whaka-tangata (gentle
god-like man), first son of Aip-te-ica.

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