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

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asked the same question as before, and received an answer
slightly altering the position of the stars in the west.
The same question vras asked and evasively answered
many times, till the sun was high up in the heaven. They
became impatient and drew the door back fd), which let
in such a flood of light that they were dazzled and stupefied
by it. At this moment Ta-whaki rose from his hiding and
entered the door of the house and killed them all. Taking
his mother, he set out on his journey to join his ancestor
Eangi, On the peak of a mountain he met his female
ancestor who was blind. She was sitting there with ten
kumara, counting them, and as she did so she put each from
one side to the other. As she thus counted thsm from


one to nine Tawhaki went up to her and snatched tlie tenth
away. Again and again she counted, and each time he
took the last one, till he had taken all but one. She was
grieved at her loss. Then he made himself known to
her by speaking.

He took clay, and kneaded it with his spittle and rubbed
it on her eyes, which restored her sight. He now climbed
into a ti-tree {Cordyline), from the top of which a spider's
web reached up to heaven. Up this he ascended, but, having
gone some distance, his female ancestor chanted her incan-
tations to herself. The web broke, and he fell back to the
earth. He made a second attempt, but failed. On the third
he gained the sky.

Ta-whaki is a god, and now, from the manner of counting
practised by this blind woman, when offerings or sacrifices
are made to him they are divided into ten portions, his
name i§ called aloud, and these ten portions are each, one by
one, lifted up as they are counted from one to ten, and the
tenth is put on the left side of the ministering priest.
The nine are again dealt with in the same way, and the
ninth put on one side. This is repeated till all have
been put on one side. And hence, in the saci'cd mode of
counting the tenth is not called Te-kau (ten), but Nga-
huru (collection, compact).

Ta-whaki. (Another Headn • — Nga-ti-hau.)

This is what Tavvhaki said to hi^ elder brothers some

time before they killed him : —

Spring up, faint light ?X dawn.

Give my comb to me —

IMy comb —

That I may go to the water —

To the water Rangi-tuhi (markocl heaven),

The water now breathing.

And when Ta-Avhaki was apparently killed by them his
eldest brother called to Ta-whaki and said, —

O Ta-whaki ! where are you ?

The pukeko (or palnira) (Puri^^ti^ inclanottis) answered
" Ke " [the natural cry ol Uic pukeko] .


Tho second brother then asked,

" Ta-whaki, where are you ?"

Tho mo]io (the rail) answered, " IIu-u."

The third brother asked,

" Ta-whaki, where arc you ?"

Ta-whaki answered by saying,

" It will grow on your head ;

On your forehead

The blood will glow —

The blood — tho blood of Ta-whaki —

Of the sun,

Of the moon —

The blood of the red sky —

The sky now standing."

When Ta-whaki rose from the water he saw a j)eak (or
road) J and he climbed on it to heaven. On the way he
met Wai-tiri (water of offering to the gods)^ who was quite
blind. She said to him, " Perform the ceremonies and cure
my eyes.'^ He at once complied^ and chanted an incanta-

When he had restored her sight she said, " Climb veiy
cautiously, for fear you are killed, and beware that you may
escape, and not be sucked in by the lips of Hine-nui-te-po
(great daughter of night) ." Ta-whaki answered^ —

Who cares for the woman
Of stomach of leeches ?
She will retreat from
The winds of Ta-whaki,

Ta-whaki ascended, and climbed to the next heaven, and
there met Rehua and Wa-koko-rau (space of hundred
parson-birds) [Ako-ako-rau (teach the hundred) or Oko-
oko-rau (fondle the hundred)] . There he saw Maru (shelter)
also, at sight of whom he opened his mouth and
chanted the incantations to give power to fly — namely, —

Prepare, prepare for the
Head-diess of tiie ancient.
Blow it on the ncck.
Cut the hair short.
There is one long
War-party by Ta-whaki.

obigin of fish. 59

Another Reading of Ta-whaki. (Nga-i-tahu.)

Hinc-Avliai-tiri was grandmother and Kai-tangata was
grandfather of Ta-whaki^ who was the son of Hema. Ta-
whaki went to heaven with his parent Hine-pupu-mai-naua
(come, daughter of the shell), and Karihi. Karihi attempted
to climb np to the sky ; but the wind beat liim back,
because he had not chanted an incantation for himself.
He was therefore unable to get up.

Ta-whaki went by means of a spider's web, and climbed
up, chanting incantations as he went. He climbed to the
various heavens, and through them to the heaven of i\Iai-
waho (come forth). There he learnt all the incantations
Mai-waho could teach him (d), and then returned and
taught them to the people of this world, and then went to
heaven again and stayed there. From Ta-whaki comes
thunder and lightning,

While he was on earth he killed some of the offspring
of Te-ha-puku (breath of the stomach — cod-fish) with hail-
stones obtained from Mai-waho, and which he had brought
from heaven with him. Some of the offspring of Ha-puku
fled to the sea, and some to the forest. Those which fled
to the sea became whales and other great fish. They were
Kewa (extinguish), Ihu-puku (knob on the nose), Paikea
(sea-monster), Paraoa "(^liale), To-riki (the little one),
Popoia-kore (not patted with the hand), Kekeno (seal),
Tore-hu (sAvim in silence), Whaka-hao (collect), Ra-poka
(diverge in the day), Te-kaki(ngaki) (avenger), Ta-wai-ti-
roki (put aside), and Upoko-hua (head to act as a lever).
These were the fish of the sea; and the Mama-ku {Cyathea
medullaris) , Te-poka (ponga) {Cyathea dealbata), Ka-to-te
(the unsteadfast) — these were called the fish of the forest.
All these fish and trees were cursed in revenge for the death
of the father of Ta-whaki.

Now, a sore disease visited the earth, and caused the death
of so many that the people dispersed every way for fear.
Then Ta-whaki taught to each incantations, and to the
Priests he taught the ceremonies and incantations of the
Mere-uha (the voice of joy of the females), and to the


priests of the females he taught the incantation of Whaka-
tau-maha (thanks for food) ; but all this teaching had been
given before the time he had beaten the tribes of Te-
ha-puku, and had throAvn hailstones into the fire. Up to
this time Ta-whaki assumed the form of god or of man at his

Ta-whaki took Hine-tu-a-tai (daughter of the sea-coast)
to wife, and begat Te-koura (crayfish) and Ra-waru
(summer's day — a little black fish) ;

And To-ria (weak eyes), who took Tohe (persistent), and
begat Te-kohi-kohi (collection) ;

And Ha (breath), who took Whaka-rua-moko (earth-
quake), and begat Tara-kihi (trumpeter), Pu-wai-naka-rua
(a red fish), Pu-wai-o(au) (gurnet), Pu-noho-noho (stay
at home), Hune-hune (down of plants), Takaka (common
fern, also a little fish) , Pu-remu-ao-rua (a short fish) ;

And Pa-raki (land wind), who took Hine-hau (daughter
of the wind), and begat Te-akau (sea-coast), Te-karoro (sea-
gull), Papa-huri-tikea (flat turned high up), To-rea (red
bill) .

Mui-nako (ngako) (swarm in fat) begat Te-kui'u-patu (an
inland bird), and Tuku-roa-hara (long-delayed punish-
ment), and Te-kana-kana (a kind of eel), and Hine-hau,
who took Kana-kana and begat Iilaka(Inanga)-mate-kuku
(whitebait), Taea-hake (sort of eel), Kere-waka (carried in
a canoe), Wai-puta (water gushed out — ^a bird), Ngana-
ngana (much ado about nothing), and Raki and Tu-ere
(suspended) .

Ta-whaki. (Another Reading — Nga-ti-hau.)
It was from tlie second heaven that Ta-whaki chased and
beat the fish Kewa, Paraoa, Kekeno, Ihu-puku, Toro-ki,
and Paikea, and the trees Mama-ku, Popoia-kore, and

Tuna and Ta-whaki. (Nga-ti-iiau.)

Manga-wai-roa was parent of Tuna, who came from
above. "While coming down he met Ta-whaki and Karihi,


who were going up to the heavens. Ta-whaki asked Tuna,
" Why have you come from above ? " Tuna answered,
" The soil is so dry up there, and I am allowed to go
down to the bubbling water in Puta-waro-nuku (deep cave
of the earth) ." They three worshipped where they met,
and Tuna came down and the others ascended.

Pakura (Pu-keko) and Ta-whaki. (Nga-ti-hau.)

Pani was father of Ma-kai-ere, the parent of Pu-keko.
Ta-whaki nipped the nose of Pu-keko, whom he and Karihi
met when they were ascending to Heaven ; and hence the
nose of Pu-keko is red to this day.

Ta-whaki and Karihi. (Nga-i-tahu.)

Ta-whaki meditated how he could alarm the elder
relations of Hine-nui-a-te-kawa, He went and procured a
large piece of firewood timber, which he carried on his
shoulder to the marae (open space in the midst of the
settlement), where he threw it down with a great crash.
Hearing the noise, they were greatly startled in their
settlement, called Pa-pe-a-ea (the squeezed-out). Then,
deeming the time indicated by Whai-tiri had come, he
and his elder brother Karihi started, and arrived at Te-
puke-ki-tauranga (the hill of resting), the home of their
sister Pupu-mai-nono. She inquired, " Whither are you
going ? " They replied, " We have come." Then they
went on and came to the brink of the water. They went
thoughtlessly and Avithout the needful incantations to
enable them to walk on the ocean, and so sank deeper and
deeper at each step, till they had to return to land and to
the house of their sister, who asked, " Where have you
been ? '' Ta-whaki replied, " We went in search of our
father.'^ She said, " Stay here to-night, and I will go
with you and tend you on your journey." Having risen
up in the morning they set out for the sea, when Pupu-mai-
nono said, " How did the sea-weed appear when you were


herc?'^ Ta-Avhaki replied, "When we came yesterday it
apjicarcd as it does now." She replied, "Truly this is why
you could not proceed. Let the time he propitious; then
you may go on to your destination." Having arrived at
the water's edge, Ta-whaki uttered the words of his prayer,
and Pupu-mai-nono said to them, " Go, hut do not let your
feet tread in the hollows, hut . rather on the tops of the
waves of the ocean, that you may he ahle to cross to the
other side."

Karihi and Ta-whaki went forward on the top of the
sea, and Pupu-mai-nono repeated her incantation to pre-
serve them from evil influence, and to assist them on the
road they were to travel. This was her prayer : —

My travellers stood on Earo-hara (inviolably taint) {tapu, sacred),
Skipping on Earo-hara.

Ta-w^haki and Karihi crossed safely to the other side,
where Ta-whaki took to wife Hine-tua-tai (daughter of the
sea-side) and hegat Ika-nui (great fish) . The two hrothers
still went on, and Ta-whaki took to wife many w^omen,
for he had many wives as they went on their voyage on
the sea. Ta-whaki and Karihi landed at Te-pu-o-toi (the
foundation of the peak), as this was dry laud, Te-ru-wahine-
mata-moari (the old woman of hlind eyes) was eating when
they arrived, and counting the food as she ate it, and also
fanning herself with a fan. As she ate she counted,
'' One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine,"
and as the gohlin came to the tenth they snatched it away.
Karihi then slapped the eyes of the gohlin, and said, —

Put a spark of the sky
Into my eyes,
O Karihi !

Then the eyes of Te-ru -wahinc-mata-moari were
opened, and she saw. They stayed there, hut the gohlin
did not sleep, and, fearing her, lest they should be killed,
thev put white cockle-shells before their eyes, that the
gohlin might imagine their eyes were not closed, and then
they slept. On the following morning Ta-whaki said.


'' Where is the road to heaven ? " The gobliu answered,
'^ I do not know where it is. Perhaps it is on the road to
where filth is put ; perhaps it is on the road to where water
is obtained ; perhaps it is on the road to where, and to
where." Ta-whaki said, '' You must shoAv us the direc-
tion of the road." The gohlin asked, "Where are you
going ? " They answered, " We came in search of our
father." She then let down a spider's thread, and stretched
it. They asked, "What is that for?" She answered,
" Who knows that it is the straight road for you to ascend
to heaven." Then Karihi climbed uj), and when he had
got some distance the winds of Te-uru-rangi (head of
heaven) beat on him, so that he could get no farther.
Ta-whaki, the younger brother, said, "The evil is with
you, O supplanter ! You did not recognize the import of
the words of Whai-tiri, who said it was for me, Ta-whaki,
to ascend to the heaven of the sacred baptism." Ta-whaki
ascended on the thread of the spider, and as he went he
prayed —

Ta-whaki climbs to the first heaven ;
Climbs up Ta-whaki to the second heaven.
Ta-whaki goes on to the tenth heaven,
And arrives at the pleasant heaven,
Where man is nourished.

When he had ended his prayer, and was midway betn'cen
heaven and earth, he was beaten upon by the winds of Te-
uru-rangi, which he evaded by going sideways and still
climbing upwards. Again he was assailed by those winds,
but at last he arrived in heaven, and his heart was glad.
Proceeding on his journey he met Pakura (red- or water-
hen, the Porphyrio melanotus) , to whom he said, " Where
are you going ? " Pakura replied, " I am going down to
Te-muri-wai (sea-beach) — it is so dry uj) here." Ta-whaki
said, " Go." As Ta-Avhaki went on he saw a -woman who
was named Maikuku-makaka (crooked finger-nails), who
was bathing in the water of Wai-puna-ariki-a-te-pata (the
chief water-spring of Te-pata — rain-drops), and forming
her hair in knobs on the top of her head. Another female


also was doing the same in Wai-puna-tca (spring of clear
water), with whom he conversed. He saw Tuna (eel) lying
there near to Puua-kau-ariki (spring where lords bathe), to
whom he felt great affection, and uttered his incantations
for Tuna. He repeated many. These were the names of
some : Te Eahau (Ehu) (the mist), Ko Toetoe (the split into
shreds), Te-mata (the face), Ko-wahia-mai (break part off),
Ko Enga(Nga)-po (the nights), Ko Te-rangi-paia (the
shut-up heaven) (this last-named incantation is the one
used when peace has been made between two tribes, and
the contract thus made is intended to be broken), E-nga-
ranga-raka (He-karangaranga) (the calling), and Tauira-a-
roko(rongo) (the first-slain of Kongo), and Hangi-te-pikitia-
te-hiku (the heavens ascended to the end), and Te-kawa (the
baptism), and Marae-nui (great courtyard) , and Te Ruruku
(the diving), and Toi (the pinnacle), and Te-apiti (add some-
thing to it), and Te-apa-rangi-hira (the great assembly of
heaven) . Having repeated these he went on upwards
and met Paki-hinga-nui (great waist-garment droppcd-off),
and Paki-hinga-roa (long dropped-off girdle) ; but he climbed
up the ascent to Tipangia (the chipped-off), when he met
Korero-ure (talk of procreating), and Korero-tara (talk of
procreating power) . He spoke to these women, but they did
not answer a word. Going on, lie went near to the settle-
ment, where he met Pu-a-te-aro-mea (root of all things),
to whom he said, '' Friend, what are those things which
stand yonder ? '' Pu-a-te-aro-mea answered, " Understand,
O young man! these are the houses of Te-engahui (kahui) -
whatu (the assembly of the hail-stones). Rangi-ka-tata
(the heaven near) is the name of one house, and Te-anga-
aka (anga-anga) -tapu-o-tane (sacred head of Tane) the name
of the other. The bones of Hema are hung up in the
one called Te-anga-aka (anga-anga) -tapu-o-tane." Grief
filled the heart of Ta-whaki when he heard of the bones of
his father, and he said to Pu-a-te-aro-mea, " O aged ! where
are these bones hanging ? " He answered, " They are
hanging up at the Pu-a-rongo " (back of Kongo — back part
of the house) . Ta-whaki went straight away to that house.


and -s^hen lie Lad come near to the door of tl:e fence en-
closing it^ he began to repeat his incantations. The first he
repeated was "Whaka-taha (ward off)^ then Engahau (Nga-
hau) (brisk action), and Manawa-tane (life-power of man),
and Te-iri-j)ungapunga (pnmice-stone hung up), and llua-
koko (power of the shoulder-blade), and Te Hon (move and
roll things about with a pole), and Kumea-mai (drag
towards) ; but first he went into the house Engahui-
(Kahui) -whatu (assembly of hail-stones)^ where he saw the
multitude of them who were sitting within the fences, so
that the place as well as the house was blocked up Avith
people ; here, again, he repeated other of his incantations —
namely, Tu-te-raki-haruru (erect heaven of booming sound),
and Teatea-a-nuku (dread of the earth), and Tipuna-ngai-
(kai)-matua (ancestor the parent eaten), and Ka-ihi
(trembling with dread), and Tuhi (marked), and Te-kohara-
i-waho (the laws of tapu disregarded outside), andTe-whatu-
i-ki-mai (the " whatu " — sacred (o-kaka) stone in the high
priest^s chest, which did speak), and Te-whatu-i-korero-mai
(the stone which has spoken), and Te Raki(Rangi)-i-paku (the
booming sky) , and Te Raki-pake (the sound of cracking in the
sky), and Te Raki-i-papa (the crashing sky), and Tc-whatu-
keke (persistent hail), and Tipua(Tupua)-te-ki (goblin not
speaking), and Tipua-te-rea (goblin expanding), and Tipua-
■whakarongo-te-po (goblin listening at night) . By these in-
cantations he dispersed all the people of Pa-pe-a-ea and
Te-pu-tete-nui-no-raki (the substantially-fixed of Raki), of
the Engaka(Nganga)-tu-a-maro (the steadfast core), and
Te-puke-ki-tauranga (the hill of constant abode), l)ecause
of their contemptuous conduct and their plots to murder
him. Now, Ta-whaki saw that all these people had fallen
down from heaven, and his delight was great. Then he
went and made openings in the fourteen heavens, so that
he might accomplish the object of his journey, which was
to acquire a knowledge of the incantations knoAvn to
Tama-i-Avaho, and also to obtain a sight of him who
was hanging in space in the heaven. Tama-i-waho welcomed
Ta-whaki, who returned the compliment, and uttered these


words^ " Friend, state tlie o1)jcct and power of the many
ineantations which you are known to possess." Tama-i-
walio answered, " It is true, I have all things." Ta-whaki
called up to him, " O man ! will you consent to teach those
incantations to me?" He answered, "Yes, I will teach
you." He began at once, and taught the following to
Ta-whaki: Whe-kite (the seen), and Ka-tu (doth stand),
and "Whaka-iria (hung up), and Tao-ka-i-mai (fog pene-
trating), and Tao-iti-a-pac-kohu (little fog settled on the
peak), and Werohia (pierced), and Te-huri (the turned), and
Nga-puke (the hills), and Kapo-taka(tanga) (the snatch-
ing), and Ho-pukapuka (breathing lungs,) and Te-matau
(the hook), and Ili-nuku (earth fished up), and Te-ika-taki-
ora (captive led alive), and Whaka-kau (made to swim),
and Karue (Ngarue) (trembling), and Kahi (wedge), and Te-
ara-mata-ora (road of life), and Taku-ara-i-waerea (my road
opened through), and Tu-tapa-ninihi (stealthily-going Tu),
and Te-hiku (the tail), and Te-ra-to-wanawana (dread sun
setting), and Te-taupa (the obstruction), and Nga-tohi (the
nipped-off), and Te-hiwa (the watchful), and Nga-wete-
wete (the unblessed), and Te-whaka-hojui (the caught), and
Te-mata (the face), and Waru-waru-tu (peeled standing),
and Tu-ake (stood up), and Nga-whaka-i (the boastful),
and Ahi-j)ara-rakau (fire of wood-gum), and Nga-mauri (the
spirits), and Te-ika-mai-o-tahua (the fish of the oifering),
and Te-umu-o-tu-maroa (the oven of the unbending), and
Te-horoi (the washed), and Tai-hua-rcwarewa (the floating
tide) . These were the incantations taught by Tama-i-waho
to Ta-whaki,

Ta-whaki asked, " O man ! are these the only incanta-
tions you have ? " Tama-i-waho called down to him and
said, ''So ends them; but I have ten more." Ta-whaki
called and said, " Give them to me." Tama then rehearsed
to him Te-pohe-i-mau (the blind caught), and Mahu (healed
sore), and Taia (the thrashed), and Ra-kopa (darkened
sun), and Ta-putu (the heaps), and Kopu-nui (big stomach),
and Tai-kotia (severed tide), and Tu-te-rangi-paoa (the
smoky heaven), and Ka(Nga)-paki-tua (the patches put on).


And Ta-whaki retired to the heaven of Reliua, ^vhere ho
took up his abode.

A wife "was then selected for Ta-whaki, who was called
Hapai-nui-a-maunga (great lifter of mountain) , who, when
she was soon to become a mother, acted indiscreetly with
her husband. Their actions were observed by the hosts of
heaven, who put a bait on a hook and threw it down. It
fell in front of them. The woman, having seen the hook,
wondered at it. Ta-whaki said, " Give it to me that I may
look at it." She gave it to him. He put it into his
mouth. The hosts of heaven, seeing him do this, jerked
the line to which the hook was attached, and it caught in
his mouth, and he was afflicted with a disease which peeled
the skin off his body. However, a son was born to them,
whom they called "Wahie-roa (long piece of firewood) . AVhcu
he attained manhood he took to wife JNIatoka-rau-tawhiri
(vigorous-growing leaf of the tawhiri-tree) , and begat Rata
(familiar), who came down into the world. But, before
Rata had been born, his father, Wahie-roa, had been killed
by Matuku (bittern).



O, thou my house ! how standest thou?
I must depart and leave thee.
Built by the little kneeling gods —
Constructed by the fairies boTving low.

The Haku-turi gods
Loud shouted o'er thee
Their voice of triumph
T\'hen first I made thee
Mine own abode.

O my house ! each part of thee
Was brought — beams, posts, and chips— and then,.
AiTanged in parts, each took its place,
And all was then complete.

Light the fire, O Tane !
Burn up the land.
And warm its every cave.
And sweep off man
To the pit of death ;
Pierce him with the spear
Of Tanga-roa, and let blood flow.

I feel mj' wi'ath enkindled now.

Grant me power, O Tane of the forest gloom!

To cut the sinews of this earth.

And sever the lashings of Kupe

And the fastenings of Ue-uuku's house.

That man may enter, rob, and spoil.

Lament of Ua-mai-rangi for his lioiisc.


Matoka (Matonga) -rav-tawhiri (A-igorous-groTving leaf 'of
the tairhiri-irce) took as her husband Wahie-roa (long
piece of firewood)^ and -when she expected to become a
mother she had a desire for some birds which were only-
obtainable at a great distance. Wahie-roa went for them,
and got some koīw {fid, or parson-bird) from the preserve
of Matuku. On the morrow after his return he again

eata's voyage. 69

went, but this time Matuku cauglit and killed liim. His
wife lived a solitary life, and a son was born, Aviiom she
called Rata. She reared him with care. When he had
become a man he asked his mother, "Where is my father ? "
She answered, " He was killed." " Who," he asked,
" killed him ? " " Matuku killed him," said his mother.
" He went to obtain food for which I asked before you were
born : he went into the land of ]\Iatuku, and was killed."
Rata asked, " Where is the land of jMatuku ? " His mother
said, " Look to where the sun comes up : it is there, far out
in the ocean, and you cannot get there."

Matoka-rau-tawhiri went to collect firewood, and sought
and ■ found a tree — a beautiful tree, a grand totara-irce —
some twigs of which she brought in her hand to the settle-
ment, and when evening came she spoke to her son Rata
and said, " I have seen a fine tree — a totara-tree : on the
morrow you must go and sec it." And she gave him the
twigs she had brought from the tree. He went, but could
not find it, and came back to his mother and said, " I can-
not see the tree you speak of." She said, " You cannot
mistake it : it is the rough-barked tree which you will see."
Again he went, and came back ; but in the third attempt he
found it, and asked his mother, " What action shall I
take ? " She gave him some stone axes, but he complained
of their being blunt, and without teeth. His mother said,
" Go and hold the axe upon the back of your ancestor who
is called Hine-tu-a-oaka (Hine-tu-a-hoanga — daughter of
the whetstone), who, when you put it on her, will say, 'Be
sharpened, be sharpened, be sharpened,' and your axe will
become sharp ; then you can take it to your house and
put a handle on it." He slept, and at dawn of day he

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