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THE origin of the New Zealanders is variously accounted for by themselves: there is one tradition of their arriving from a place called Hawaiki, having performed the journey in about ten principal canoes, but of a different structure to those we now see, and which were called Amatiatia, being similar to those used in many islands of the South Seas, with an outrigger to prevent them upsetting. The present canoe is called "Waka," the model of which is said to have been taken from the dry seed-pod of the Rewarewa (New Zealand Honeysuckle). Those who may desire to see how minutely the model has been followed, by contrasting the two, will observe that even the figure-head and the projecting piece over the stern have been copied.
But our principal design is to notice the religious faith (if religious faith it may be called) and its foundation, which is couched in the title of our lecture, viz.--"Maori Superstitions and Traditions:" as superstitions and traditions will be seen to be the basis of their entire fabric of faith. Should we fail, through want of time, to show the partially distinct connexion with the Christian faith, the minds of this audience will readily supply their respective contrasts and analogies.
The first tradition we notice is that which relates to the creation of the world. They simply say,--The world was, but it lay in darkness. It consisted of two parts, called Rangi and Papa, these two parts being joined together in the form of a globe, and hidden in the centre lay certain beings styled gods, the principal of which were named Rongomatane, Tangaroa, Haumia, Tumatauenga, Tanemahuta, and Tawhirimatea. These gods conspired against the world, which they called their parent. They held a council together, when Tumatauenga proposed to destroy it; but Tanemahuta would not consent, adding that he should think it better to separate the two parts:--to put one above and one below, with the upper part of which they were to have no
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connection; but the lower part to be their mother. The first five agreed to this, but Tawhirimatea would not consent; the rest stated to him that they proposed this separation so that there might be light, and then man could be created: for as yet man had no existence. The five who agreed to this each tried in turns, to separate these two parts; but the first four having failed, Tanemahuta accomplished it by standing on his head, and by a sudden stretch of his legs upwards, he separated the heaven from the earth--that is, Rangi (heaven), and Papa (earth): at the same time one of the inferior gods, called Taupotiki propped the heaven up with the clouds.
Tawhirimatea having witnessed this division of the world, to his great disapprobation, bethought himself to punish his brothers, and went up to heaven, where he found some of the minor gods; these Heaven consented should form a war party, to accompany Tawhirimatea to attack the other five. However, whilst Tawhirimatea was consulting with Heaven, four of the other five assumed different natures, and became part of the Earth. Tanemahuta transformed himself into a tree, and became the father or propagator of trees and birds: Tangaroa had become a fish, and the god and propagator of fish: Rongomatane, a Kumara (the sweet potato); and Haumia, a fern-root. But Tumatauenga still retained his divine nature. These were the five: four having thus transformed, they were seen only as trees, grass, shrubs, and fish. Tawhirimatea, however, was determined to punish them, and accordingly sent his four sons out to the four quarters of the world. They were named, Marangi (East), Auru (West), Tonga (South), and Raki (North); and from them are derived the names of the four winds, and of the four cardinal points. He also sent others of his children to other parts of the earth, as tomairangi (dew), Haupapa (ice), Hauhunga (cold). With these forces he attacked his brothers: Te Apuhau, one of his children, and god of gales, attacked Tane, the tree, who was killed--that is, he was split to pieces, and in these pieces of wood were found other children of Tane; these were Huhu (a grub) and Pepe (a butterfly), hence the origin of this tribe of insects.
Tangaroa, the fish, was next attacked: he fled to the water, being the god of fish; but on the attack being made, his two sons, Tutewanawana, the elder, and Ikatere, the younger, consulted as to whether they should stay on land or go to the water. In their consultation they quarrelled, when the elder predicted that the younger should become fish; and that if he went to the water to escape from danger, he should be brought back to earth, and be hung on a stick to be dried by the wind. Hence the native practice of drying their fish.
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The younger retaliated by saying, you remain on shore, and become a lizard, to be eaten with fernroot. Hence the origin of fish and the larger species of lizards. 1
At this time fish were of one shape and colour. That which gave rise to the many varieties now known, is believed by the Maori to have been occasioned by a man, who, on account of continued provocations, left his wife and child. The wife went to Tangaroa, the god of fish, and desired him to punish her husband. Tangaroa collected his forces and made an attack on the settlement in which the deserting husband resided. The fish gained a victory over the men of the settlement, and, as a recompense for their valour, Tangaroa granted the request which any of the fish might make. The gurnet wished to be red, and to be able to groan like a dying man; hence the colour of this fish, and the groan that it makes when caught. The skate saw a boy's kite, and became, by request, like it. The guardfish saw a spear, and asked for a spear to his nose. Each fish having been transformed by their own request, became the propagators of the many varieties not known.
To return,--Tawhirimatea next sought for Rongo and Haumia, two others of the rebels, but these had been hidden by the earht, Rongo having been turned into the Kumara, and Haumia into fern-root, which occasioned Tawhiri to seek for them in vain.
He then made an attack on Tumatauenga, who retained his deity, from which circumstance he was enabled to elude him. After this war was ended, Tumatauenga was continually annoyed by the search for him; his brothers, having, as we have related, transformed themselves into trees, shrubs, birds, and fish, in order to elude their pursuers, consequently; Tumatauenga determined to be revenged on them. He therefore caught fish and birds, dug up fern-root and kumaras, (finding the latter by the tops of the plant, which were supposed to be the hair of the god's head). These he ate as he found or caught them, uttering at the same time a different incantation over each one. As he had thus eaten his brothers, the Natives have from this derived their practice of cannibalism. He composed a form of invocation to heaven, asking for rain, sunshine, and wind; and another for himself, which was entirely designed to depreciate his brothers and exalt himself.
Having shown the origin of their faith relative to a portion of
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the creation, to place it in order, we pause to notice a tradition relative to the flood, which took place before the creation of man, during the reign of these rival gods, which is as follows:--
Some time after the god Tumatauenga had eaten his brothers, Tawhiri (the one who would not consent to divide the earth and heaven) and Rangi called their sons together, named Uanui Uawhatu, Uanganga, which we call rain, sleet, and hail, to make a final onslaught on the earth. These gods--hail, rain, and sleet--descended and drowned the world, save one spot. Tumatauenga, who occupied this spot, fought vigourously against, but could not fully overcome them, from which circumstance the Natives account for the continuance of rain, squalls, gales, and hurricanes. But Tumatauenga gave himself the names of Tukariri, Tu the fighter, Tukanguha, Tu the bruiser, Tukaitaua, Tu the war eater, Tuwhakaheke tangata, Tu the man-consumer, Tumatawhaiti, Tu of the small face, having five brothers, he gave himself these five additional names, in opposition to theirs, as a proof that he concentrated in himself a power even superior to their combined force. Hence the frequent use of these names in war songs.
To resume,--The history of the creation of man forms a striking analogy to that contained in the Bible. Soon after the flood, Tiki, a son of Tu, made man, by kneading clay with his own blood, and forming it after his own image, he danced before it, then breathed on it and it became a living being, whose name was Kauika. After this, men began to multiply; but the children of Kauika performed nothing worthy of note in their different generations until the time of the four Maui, his descendents. In their time, the days were short. The sun which ruled the day was the firstborn of heaven, and was ordered to go round the world for the purpose of noticing the actions of the rebellious five gods; and the stars, the minor sons of heaven, were to watch during the night.
Mauipotiki, the youngest of the Mauis, being desirous that the days should be longer, suggested to a number of his associates, that they should go with him, and try to stop the sun, so that there might be more daylight. They proceeded in the night and journeyed eastward, and after many nights and days, they came to a spot which was the brink of the world, where the sun had to pass. Here they built a mound of earth, and hung a noose over the brink of the world. "Now," said Maui, to the men posted behind the mound, "when the sun gets into the noose, I will tell you. Do not startle him." They caught the sun, and Maui beat him severely with the jawbone of his grandfather, Murirangiwhenua. The sun, inquired, "Why do you beat me? I am the firstborn of Heaven, my name is Tama nui te Ra, the great source of light and heat." How-
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ever he was so belaboured, that he went away quite a cripple, and effectually prevented from ever travelling as fast as he had been wont to do, for which reason the day became longer.
We now come to the tradition in which New Zealand is spoken of as having been fished up out of the ocean. Soon after the sun had been so severely beaten, Maui's brothers complained, that he, Maui Potiki, was very idle, that he would not go to fish; the women and the old men joining in the complaint. This caused Maui to make his grandfather's jawbone into a fishhook, which he kept concealed in his garment. On going out with his brothers to fish they laughed at him; asking why he went with them, as he had no fishing tackle. He answered by requesting them to go out further to sea, and still further, until they lost sight of land; his brothers murmured louder than before against him for this daring act; they sailed on, however, and Maui let down his line and hook, which was ornamented with pearl and carving; the hook caught the house of Tonganui the son of Tangaroa, the god of fish.
This house was built at the bottom of the ocean; Maui pulled however, and the house, with all the earth around it, coming up together, caused a great bubbling in the sea.
His brothers called out in great fear, "Maui, Maui, cease your pulling," but Maui pulled on, and uttered this incantation:--
What dost thou intend, Tonganui,
That thou art sullenly biting below there!
The power of Rangiwhenua's jawbone is seen on thee;
Thou art coming; thou art conquered;
Thou art coming; appear, appear,
Shake thyself, grandson of Tangaroa the little.
At last up it came, and when visible, it was found to be part of the earth, which had not been reclaimed at the time of the abatement of the flood; and their canoe was left high and dry upon it. The land thus reclaimed is New Zealand.
Maui left his brothers, commanding them not to eat or cook food until he returned. He went to a distance to propitiate Tangaroa the god of fish, for catching one of his children, in order that that god might grant success to fishers in future. The brothers not heeding the injunctions of Maui, immediately on his departure, began to cut the fish; that is to dig the ground; this enraged Tangaroa so much, as his son was thus cut up before his pardon had been obtained, that in revenge he caused it to be convulsed, and by his writhings the mountains and valleys were formed.
Other traditions say, that the mountainous feature of the land is derived from Mataao, and is spoken of as the turning of
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Mataao, who was one of a race of giants living in the land. Daring his life, Rua, a native from Hawaiki, came here in search of his wife, who had been taken from him. Rua having gone to one of the inland districts, felt very cold, and called on his god for fire to be brought to him from Hawaiki. His prayer was granted, in the form of burning mountains; the remains of which are seen in Mount Eden and the surrounding extinct volcanoes. Mataao, seeing this, was much exasperated, and, being a giant, exhibited his rage by jumping all over the land, and thus were valleys and mountains formed.
Soon after this, Maui Potiki wished to discover where his father and mother resided, for as yet he had never seen them. Accordingly, on a certain night he went, by direction of Rangi, to a particular place, where a feast was to be given. After the feast there was a native dance; on the conclusion of which the hostess counted her sons, and, finding Maui Potiki amongst them, she asked him where he came from. He replied, "I was found on the sea shore by one of the gods. After my birth, my mother wrapped me up in sea-weed, and sent me afloat on the water. I was thus disowned, and the god Rangi, who has nourished me up to this time, sent me here, telling me that the four men now before me are my brothers." She acknowledged him to be her son, saying, "You are my last born, and I now recognize you and call you from this time 'Maui Tikitiki o Taranga," meaning Maui who had seen Taranga. Taranga being the name of his mother.
On thus recovering her lost son, she naturally made much of him; thus exciting the envy of the brothers, who called him a slave, and wished to kill him. The eldest said, "If we kill him we shall gain nothing by it; we shall only do as the gods have done, who conspired against their parents, Heaven and Earth, from which all evil has followed. Pray do not let us quarrel, as we are brothers."
We would here observe that Maori history is a tangled mass, and to unravel it and introduce anything like order and arrangement would be only to destroy its distinguishing feature. The story of Maui Potiki forms a most striking illustration of this, for we thus have, in one of their traditions, a reference to both the narratives of Moses and Joseph, as contained in the Bible.
Maui was still ignorant as to where his parents resided, although he had seen his mother; the place where the feast was given being the residence of his brothers; he therefore continued in search of them; and having the power of transmutation, he turned himself into a pigeon, and taking a long flight, in the course of which he met with many adventures, he at last found his parents. He remained with them some time. His father's
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name was Makatutara, who, not having seen Maui before, baptized him. His father, in baptizing him forgot a certain portion of the ceremony. This forgetfulness was caused by the gods, and was an indirect curse on Maui, as his immortality was thus incomplete, and subsequently enabled Hinenuitepo to take away his life.
His mother informed him that his grandmother lived near the heavens, her name being Hinenuitepo, and he must visit her.
The servants of his parents were in the habit of going to this lady every morning to procure fire, but at length refused to go any more. Maui went in their stead, and seeing the old woman take fire from the end of her fingers to supply him, he brought it a little distance, and having extinguished it, returned for more.
Maui being a funny fellow, wished to amuse himself at her expense; but the old woman finding he was ridiculing her, threw the fire after him, and as it kindled behind him he turned himself into a pigeon, and flew on to a number of trees, called Pate, Kaikomako, Mahoe, Totara, and Pukatea, where the fire followed him,--hence these trees, on being briskly rubbed by the Maori produce fire. He resumed his human form, and, calling the gods Rain, Hail, and Sleet to his aid, they came and assisted him in putting out the fire.
Another tradition states, that a man called Mahuika was possessed of sacred fire, and, lest it should be lost, injected it into these trees, so that by friction it could be reprocured.
Maui had been told by his father that he had had a frightful dream, in which he, Maui, was killed, and in his sleep his father's left arm jerked outwards (a very evil omen in native opinion), and therefore Maui must not teaze his grandmother. Maui not heeding the admonition, and wishing to amuse himself still further at the old lady's expense, proposed to some birds (the New Zealand robin, called Toutouwai,) to go and see her. They accordingly went, and found her asleep, with her mouth open. "Now," said Maui, "if you will not laugh, I will take a somerset down her throat." They promised, and he jumped. His heels kicked so however, as he was going down, that the birds burst out into a laugh, and thus awoke the old lady. She naturally shut her mouth with a snap, and cut poor Maui in two. This was the first death by disobedience,--hence death came on all men.
The natives have also an account which stands in connexion with the subject of immortality.
A man called Patito having died, left a son, who was a very brave man; and a report of his bravery having been carried to the world of spirits by some of the departed, it roused the martial
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ardour of the father, who, in his time, was considered to be the most expert spearsman, and he therefore visited the earth with the determination of testing the ability of his son by a contest with him. During the engagement, the son was unable to ward off his father's thrusts, who, being satisfied in having thus overcome his son, returned to the other world.
The natives believe, had the son proved the better spearsman, the father would have continued to dwell upon earth, and that thus, man would not have been subject to death.
There is another story concerning this old warrior, Patito, to to the following effect:--He had a granddaughter, who followed him to the point whence the spirits take their exit from this world, and, seeing the old man descend, called upon him to return to earth. He looked round, and by this look turned her into stone.--A reference unmistakeably to Lot's wife.
We will now notice two or three out of the many traditions concerning their migrating here.
It is reported by the natives generally, that there were many migrations to this land; the individuals composing which arrived at different times, and at various places.
The canoe Mamari is spoken of by the Ngapuhi Natives as that in which their ancestors came from a distant country, the name of which is not given by them. The canoe came, it is stated, in search of a previous migration. A man called Tuputupuwhenua had arriyed at New Zealand, and a chief called Nukutawhiti came in the canoe Mamari in search of him.
After Nukutawhiti had reached the land, near the North Cape of New Zealand, he fell in with Kupe. Kupe is spoken of as the most energetic and enterprising of all the chiefs of the different migrations from Hawaiki. He circumnavigated the whole of the Northern Island, giving names to many places as he sailed along its shores. There is an old song respecting him, of which the following is a translation:--
I will sing, I will sing,
I will sing of Kupe,
The man who divided the land
And navigated the seas.
At a distance stand Kapiti
And Mana; 2
Aropaoa! These are the places
Which remind me of my ancestor
Kupe; whose paddle broke the
Waters which wash around
The land; and the land I
Now take as my inheritance.
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This Kupe then told Nukutawhiti that he Tuputupuwhenua 3 was on the West coast. Having found him, Kupe had returned from that part of the land, therefore he had called the river Hokianga. The word Hokianga means a returning,--a going back, Kupe having returned from that part of the coast where the Heads of Hokianga ara situated,--hence its name.
Nukutawhiti, with his brother-in-law Ruanui, who had come with him, proceeded to Hokianga, and there remained. From them the Ngapuhi people take their origin. This we may observe is the account of, and is fully believed in, by the Northern tribes; and to support this they purport to show the canoe itself, and many of the articles pertaining to the canoe, which have become petrified in and near the Hokianga; for instance, at the residence of the late Mr. G. F. Russell, they shew a large stone, which they assert is the baler of the canoe; this is in the shape of a dust shovel: and at Onoke, at the East side of the Whirinaki river, opposite the residence of Mr. Manning, there is a stone somewhat in the shape of a dog. This, they say, is the dog of Nukutawhiti. And on the West Coast, to the North of Hokianga Heads, there are a number of stones peaking up above the surrounding mass of rocks, which are said to have been men of the canoe Mamari, belonging to Nukutawhiti, drawing a fishing net. Further to the North than these, at Wharo, are shown in the rocks on the beach the foot-prints of Nukutawhiti and those of his dog. Also, near these are shown rocks in the shape of a small basket, called "paro," in which food is given at a feast. These are said to have been such, and used at a feast given by Nukutawhiti: and in that part of the river Hokianga called by Europeans "the Narrows," is shown a rock said to be the buoy of the anchor belonging to the canoe Mamari. A long stone, said to be the canoe itself, is in the entrance of the Waima river, one of the tributaries of the Hokianga, presenting the appearance of a canoe turned keel upwards. And further to prove they did not take their origin from any other source, they show a stone, at the head of the Hokianga, near Tarawaua, which was brought there by their ancestor Nukutawhiti, from one of his travels, as an evidence of his great strength.
We may mention that no native, even to this day, ever passes without paying reverence to it, by breaking a Raurekau branch, which he carefully lays thereon, uttering these words, which is called "Whakauau":--
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Ascend o'er the mountains,
To the breath of the gods--
The breath of life.
Embrace thy parent Papa,
The giver of life to all.
They also esteem this stone so sacred as to prevent them from either sitting or standing on it, or even stepping over it. Also, on the road from the Kerikeri to Kaitaia, at a place called Tarata-rotorua, there are a number of perpendicular stones, called Nga-whakarara, or Te Hakari, like the Druidical remains known as Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain. These, they say, were the posts round which their ancestor built his pyramids of food at a feast given by him at that place; and were there still wanting proof of their being a distinct migration, we may mention that it is a custom with the New Zealanders in general to invest the receptacles for the dead with something peculiarly sacred, in fact, to intrude or pass near one of them was visited on a person so doing with death; yet there are in Hokianga places where there are bones deposited, for which the natives evince no veneration, nor do they even pay these remains of fellow mortals that common respect which man in every state feels for the dead. We have seen these bones laid out in lines, and a mock exhuming and weeping and burial ceremonies repeated and sung over them; thus proving that they are not the remains of their own ancestors.
There is also, at Whangape (a small river to the north of Hokianga, near which Her Majesty's sloop of war, the Osprey was wrecked), an old repository of bones, which it is said are the remains of the Ngatiawa, a tribe who came from the South to conquer the Ngapuhi people, and, after holding possession of the district for some time, returned to the South by the West Coast.
Again, we may state that those who came in the canoe Mamari were all of one family, consisting of father, mother, and children, including a son-in-law and their dependants.
After the grandchildren born in this land had attained maturity, they quarrelled with their uncles as to seniority in chieftainship.
It is allowed in the customs of the New Zealanders, that grandchildren are the rightful heirs to the property of the grandfather to the exclusion of their uncles. To prevent his grandsons causing a family war, Nukutawhiti took his family to Ohaeawai, near to the place where the pa was built, in the attack of which in the Heke rebellion Lieutenant Philpot fell, and there Nukutawhiti commanded his offspring to dig a trench East and West, when it was accomplished, he called them together and said "My will is, that all the land to the North of this trench,
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be as a possession for my grandchildren, and to the South of it, for my sons."--This trench is said to be seen to this day.
In opposition to this traditition of the Ngapuhi natives, the Rotorua and Maketu tribes ascribe to themselves the origin of the present inhabitants of this land. More particularly the Ngapuhi people are said by them to have derived their name "Puhi" from the head of the canoe "Arawa," that part of a war canoe being called Puhi. But the Ngapuhi tribes trace their genealogy back to a chief of the name of Puhi-moana-ariki whose name abreviated, the Northern tribes are now known by.
They assert the canoe Arawa came from Hawaiki bringing, Houmaitawhiti, Tamatekapua, Toi, Maka, Hei, Ihenga, Tauninihi, Rongokako and others; and these are the men from whom the New Zealanders descended.
They state, the cause of the Arawa coming from Hawaiki is as follows. A priest in Hawaiki called Uenuku had some food cooked called popoa, which food had been, according to custom, dressed as part of a ceremony over the dead; this, like the shew bread in the temple at Jerusalem, was for the priests alone to cat; the food having been stolen caused Uenuku to be exceedingly angry. The old priest Uenuku had been afflicted, like Job of old, with boils, and like Job, too, had scraped himself with shells. A dog belonging to Tamatekapua, called Potakatawhiti, had made away with the contents of some of these shells, for which unpardonable offence Uenuku had the dog cooked and eaten. Whakaturia (Tamatekapua's younger brother) having for some time sought in vain for this dog, at last went to the pa of Toitehuatahi where the dog had been eaten; and having called, the dog is supposed to have answered to its master's call from the stomach of Toi. To punish Uenuku, as he was the cause of the dog being killed, Tama and Whakaturia went in the night, and eat of the fruit of a poporo tree which was growing at the end of Uenuku's house; and he being a priest, this tree was of course sacred. It being dangerous to go openly to the poporo, Tama invented stilts for the occasion. Uenuku finding his popoio decreasing in fruit, and not observing any men's foot prints in the vicinity, (the prints of the stilts of course did not attract attention as they were unknown up to this time) therefore the priest ordered a watch, and Whakaturia having on one occasion joined with his brother Tama to eat of this poporo, the watch caught him, but Tama made his escape. Toi's people sewed the younger brother up in a mat, and hung him up in one of their assembly houses so that he might die of starvation. The news of his brother still being alive having reached him, Tama went, and in the dark, made a hole in the roof of the house, through which he enquired of his brother, how the people amused themselves every
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night. Having heard they sung songs, danced, and kanikanied; (a singular but favourite amusement with the New Zealanders, it consists in making the most hideous grimaces and contortions the human body is capable of, accompanying this with a noise which is a compound of groans and sneezes. The performers sit side by side, and he who can make the most inhuman grimaces, is the most admired and considered the best performer;) Tama told him to say, if they would let him down, he would teach them a new way to kanikani, and when they had done this he was to run from one end of the house and out at the door, when he (Tama) would be there and bolt the door, as soon as he was outside. This was done and he effected his escape.
On this Toi and Uenuku the priest attacked the pa of Houmaitawhiti, the father of these young men, and not being able to take it, they returned to their own settlement. Hou (the father) soon after this died, and on this account Tama and Whakaturia determined to leave Hawaiki, as their father being dead, they would not be able to withstand the attack of Uenuku if besieged again. This then was the cause of the people who came in the canoe Arawa migrating to New Zealand. They did not, however, start in uncertainty as to whether they should find any land; as there had been a former migration to this countiy, the people of which had returned to Hawaiki.
This migration is said to have taken place as follows:--Hinetuahoanga being jealous of a man called Ngahue, whose god was a sea monster called Poutini, (other traditions say its name was Mata) Hine caused Ngahue to be driven from Hawaiki, riding on this god, and thus he discovered an island called Tuhua. Hine followed him there in a canoe, and drove him from this land also. He again started, and discovered the island of Aotearoa; but, fearing he should be followed here also, and expelled, he left, in search of some more distant country, and arrived at New Zealand, taking up his abode at Arahura. Another tradition states at Arapawanui. During his residence here, he found a block of green stone, so much prized by the Maories, which he took back with him to Hawaiki. Out of this stone the axes were made, which were used in constructing the canoes in which Tama and others shortly afterwards came to this land.
Our time being limited, we therefore can but briefly mention a few of the other migrations.
The Natives who in ancient times held this district, and occupied Mount Eden as their principal fortification, say, they came in a canoe called Tainui, by which name the tribe is called to this day, and the remnant of them reside at Whaingaroa.
The Tainui is said to have come in company with the canoe Arawa. The people of the Arawa first discovered land. Tainui
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then parted company for some time; they, however, met again at Whangaparaoa, and, having there quarreled about a whale, the Arawa went along the East Coast, and Tainui went into the Tamaki river, where they observed sea-birds coming from the west. Suspecting that there must be a sea-coast near, they went in search of it, and discovered the Manukau river. They therefore dragged their canoe Tainui across the portage, passing by the spot on which the residence of Mr. Edwin Fairburn is now situated, and coming out into the Manukau waters by the last bridge which is crossed in going to Otahuhu from Auckland, they proceeded out of the Manukau harbour, and coasted along to Kawhia, here they landed, and part having settled there, the other portion of the tribe returned to Mount Eden, and took possession of this district.
The Mokau, and two or three of the Waitara tribes, say their ancestors came in a canoe called Aotea, commanded by Turi. It is stated that this migration left Hawaiki on account of a murder. Turi made land on the West Coast, near a river, into which he went, and called it after his canoe,--hence the name of the Aotea river.
The Ngatiawa tribe (the old occupants of the Taranaki district) say, the canoe known by the name of Tokomaru, and commanded by Manaia, was that in which their ancestors came. This migration left Hawaiki on account of Manaia having killed a number of men who were working for him. Manaia made land near the Bay of Islands, and, coasting along the West Coast, doubled the North Cape, and stretched along the indent on the West Coast, and eventually took up his abode on the Waitara. 4
The old inhabitants of the middle island say their ancestors came in a canoe called Takitumu, commanded by Tata. This migration left Hawaiki on account of a quarrel about a plantation. This is the only migration of which it is said they cast lots, and ate each other, when their provisions failed. The survivors landed at Tauranga, but did not remain; and proceeding on, they crossed Cook's Straits, and there settled, somewhere about Nelson.
Each one of these migrations claims the honour of being the parent family from which the whole of the New Zealand tribes nave descended; enumerating, each against the other, the genealogy of their own ancestors, naming the man from whom the different tribes took their name and origin. In fact, some few tribes in the Waikato district, rather than admit they are the
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younger branch of any one of the migrations, assert that their ancestress came over on the back of an albatross; quoting an old song in proof thereof. Other tribes on the East Coast, for the same reason, state they are the offspring of a man who came under water from Hawaiki; quoting, as a proof, a proverb to that effect.
I narrate these stories to show that there exist so many contradictory statements, even amongst the natives themselves, as to their origin, that it really becomes a matter of no little difficulty to unravel them all, so as to arrrive at the real truth, thus proving, that to come to any certainty, or even prevent their various traditions from contradicting each other, the collector of such, must not confine himself to any one portion of New Zealand, but must gather them from every tribe, and then out of the whole set forth that which is received as the belief of the New Zealanders, as a collective people, and not as divided into tribes.
We may be also allowed to remark, that those who have had time and inclination for this, and who have confined themselves to the traditions, superstitions, and ceremonies of one district, will no doubt find many things in this lecture, which they have not only never heard of before, but they may also hear that which they consider their research will warrant them in contradicting, and we may conclude these observations by saying, that if any one will take the trouble to investigate the different accounts given by the Natives generally, and not as tribes, he will then be satisfied that what we have, and shall assert are really the superstitions and traditions of this people.
Before we commence the Religious ceremonies, it would be better perhaps to give the names of their principal deities, so that when they occur in connection with those ceremonies, their relationship to them may be better understood.
It will be remembered that five out of the six gods conspired to separate the heaven and the earth. Tumatauenga (he who retained his divine form) is god of all men; and god of war, being the father of Tiki, who created man. It is said by one tradition that the first man was called Kauika, meaning heap, and by another that his name was Onekura, meaning red earth, which of these names mean the same as that of Adam is obvious.
I have never heard it said, how or when woman was created, although Kauika otherwise Onekura, had both sons and daughters.
The following gods are under the control of Tumataenga.
Mokotiti a god, who lives on the lungs, and is therefore the god of consumption.
Rehua, the god to whom they pray for the sick. Purakau the god of bewitching. Tote god of sudden death. Whiro god of
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theft. 5 Ngeuku, the god invoked by an attacking party to ensure success.
The gods under the control of Tawhirimatea god of wind, are Aheahea who is the rainbow, and a sign of war. Awhiowhio god of the whirlwind. Marangai god of the east. Auru god of the west. Tonga of the south. Raki of the north; these it will be recollected were sent out to collect forces when the earth was invaded, by their father and ruler Tawhirimatea; there are also his other sons, who in obedience to the call, drowned the world, as Uanui Uanganga and Uawhatu, hail, rain, and sleet. The gods under the control of Tane, god of trees, are Wawa father of the bird weka. Kereru, father of the pigeon, (Kereru it is said came from Heaven in search of his sister Rupe, on finding her he remained on earth, and having fed on the fruit of a tree called Tawa he became hoarse, and only able to say ku ku, this is (the natives say) the cause why the pigeon cannot make any other noise. To return to the gods subject to Tane; there was also Pahiko father of the cockatoo. Parauri (meaning black) father of the tui. Owafather of the dog, (to digress again, it is said that the god Owa, was once a man, and was such a noisily disposed fellow that the slightest occasion was sufficient to awake his tongue; one day a Priestess who had given birth to a child, was so offended with his rudeness in making so much noise that she turned him into a dog, hence dogs bark at anything everything and nothing. Another tradition of the origin of the dog is as follows, a man named Rawaru, had a son who was such a disobedient little fellow, and never at home, that his father to punish him broke his back across the root of a tree; cursing him at the same time by saying, that henceforth he should walk on four feet instead of two, that he should also sleep by himself in the dust, and eat of what men threw away, that he should not come near to man; unless he was called, and that call should be "Moi moi" hence the call used by the natives for their dogs to this day). To return again to sons of Tane. There were also Irawaru father of rats. Mokoikuwaru of the lizard. Otunairangi of the Nikau the New Zealand palm, and of the korari, flax.
The next chief is Rongo the god of all the species of Kumara, his sons subject to him are Rakiora, to whom incantations are repeated to ensure a good crop. Pani to whom the first fruits of the crop is given. These are the principal deities held in estimation by the natives.
There existed at the South in the Whanganui district, a species
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of idolatry not practised in the North: the principal god was Maru, to whom a temple was erected in which in which they offered worship, this temple was called Wharekura, the high priest was designated Paraoa, the second priest was called Ariki, who was to be the first-born of the family, the third grade of priesthood was called Horomatua, in this temple was preserved the staff of life (belonging to Rangitawhaki) called Tongitongi, where it was kept sacred until the days of Kauika; he broke it, others attribute this act to Tawhaki. Tawhaki is said to have been a good man: and grandson of Whatitiri, now Whatitiri was blind, and Tawhaki cured her of her blindness by spitting on the ground and rubbing her eyes with the clay; he is reported to have done no evil; he worked miracles, cured the sick, and did good all his days; as he was washing near a stream, a reptile killed him while combing his hair: three days after his decease, his sister while passing by where he was laid bewailed his death with loud lamentation, on which he arose and was taken up to heaven alive, thus affording in many particulars a striking resemblance to our Saviour. He sometimes descends by a spider's thread, when he prays it thunders, and lightens; the natives do not exactly worship him, but they repeat certain incantations to him and Rehua, (the god of the sick,) conjointly; as a sacrifice they offer to them ten baskets of food counted to them in a particular manner. The temple at Whanganui (before alluded to) contained the images of gods, and was burnt by a man named Whakatau, who lived in another land, and possessed a sea god. A man named Kea, while out in a canoe, was blown off land and upset; Whakatau's monster having swallowed him, carried him to his own land, and threw him out on the shore; when Kea, by the heat of the sun had revived, he saw the monster in the shape of a kahawai, and feeling desirous of eating fish, he bethought himself to get this kahawai on shore; by repeating the following incantation, by the power of which he hoped that the water would recede.
"Dry up thou water,
Recede thou sacred tide,
On reciting this the tide left the fish dry on the shore, he cut it up, and all the people joined in eating it; Whakatau having found that his fish was killed by Kea; came to the South of New Zealand, when he saw the people assembled in their temple, he set it on fire, and caused to be consumed therein a thousand worshippers.
The natives relate a story of two men and a woman having been taken up to heaven alive, in a spider's web in consequence of their having pleased their gods, with their virtuous actions. The names of the men were Takitaki, and Rokuariro, that of the woman Rangiawatea.
The native ideas of the first Paradise are very obscure. They
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believe there are three Heavens, the first is where the gods reside in which is a temple called Nahirangi. Men are created in the second heaven, where they reside until they are of mature age; they then come down to the third heaven just above us; which we denominate the sky, and being near the sun, it is warm, and abounds with beautiful lakes in which they amuse themselves with bathing, when there is a windy day in this heaven, the spray of the waves on the lakes breaks over the margin, and descends to earth in the shape of rain; man when he has spent a certain time in this heaven is then born into this world, and at his death goes to the Reinga, or the future world; which is at the North end of New Zealand; the Reinga is a low point jutting out into the sea with a sandy beach below; on the point stands a Pohutukawa tree, from which grew a root down to the beach; by that the spirits were supposed to descend to an opening below, which is the entrance to the Reinga; the Reinga is like a House partitioned off into apartments, the first is the entrance, the second place in it is called Aotea where man looses or retains the buoyancy of his spirits which he had in this world, if his body has been hung up in a tree, and no pressure of earth has been on it, his spirit will be lively; if on the contrary, his body has been buried, his spirit will be dull and sluggish, Aotea is the West of the entrance.
The next division of the Reinga is Te-uranga-o-te-ra which is to the East of the entrance, here man becomes possessed of another but degenerate spirit. The next compartment is Hikutoia being North of the entrance, where man is put through another process, which gives him a still more degenerate spirit. These three are, as it were the first set of rooms in the Reinga, man then descends to Pouturi, the next lower apartment, where he becomes still weaker, and lastly he descends to the final appartment called Toke (which name means worm,) where he becomes a worm which worm returns to earth, and when a worm dies a man's being is ended.
In making houses or stages, on which to keep kumaras, fern-root, or fish, they are built North and South, lest spirits in going to the Reinga should pass over them, which would cause the food to decay. As the kumara and fish are the offspring of the younger brothers of the gods, by whom man was created, it is thought that if a spirit, on his way to the Reinga, pass over food thus stored, it would be rendered unfit for use; and as these spirits always pass from South to North, the store-house and food are always ranged parallel to these points, to prevent the possibility of such an accident occurring. Such accidents, however, do sometimes take place; and if this contact with spirits has not caused the food to decay, it is supposed the evidence of their transit will be found by marks of red ochre with which the
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garments of the spirits are died. Nothing thus marked was eaten.
While we are speaking about the Reinga, we may as well relate the supposed origin of the Moon. Two women, who were desirous of looking into the abode of spirits, after preparing themselves with dried kumaras, went to the point, and descended by the root of the Pohutukawa tree. Entering the cave, they journeyed for some distance in the dark; at length they perceived the glimmering of light at a distance, and proceeded, and saw in Aotea three old grey-headed spirits, sitting around a fire composed of three pieces of wood. As this was spiritual fire, they desired to obtain a piece of it; so one of them took the dried kumaras, and went up to the old souls, who were so much astonished at the sight of a living female that she had sufficient time to snatch one of the fire-brands, and run off with it, in return leaving her kumaras, for them to taste once more the good things of Earth. Their astonishment was so great that they could not follow the thief at once, so that she had time to get near the entrance before they pursued her. The other woman had made good her retreat, and the thief was taking her last step out, when one of the old fellows caught her by the heel. She, not wishing to lose such a prize as the sacred fire she had obtained, collected all her strength and threw the brand whirling up into the clouds; it went up so high that it stuck in the sky, and has remained there ever since as the moon.
The reason why the moon is not seen every night is this: Maui, when he had made the sun go a little slower by his beating him, being still unsatisfied, followed the sun one evening and caught him, and tied him with a line to the moon, thus making the moon go after the sun, and staying the sun somewhat more in his progress. Soon after this, Maui quarrelled with his kindred, and being desirous of revenge, he puts his baud before the moon at times to keep them in darkness.
They account for the tides in the following manner: There is, in the deepest part of tbe ocean, a god, son of Tangaroa called Parata, who is such a monster that he only breathes twice in twenty-four hours; when he inhales his breath it is ebbtide, and when he exhales his breath it is flood tide.
We will now mention how certain ceremonies were performed.
The New Zealanders had no marriage rite; yet there was a custom amongst some of them called Pa Kuha, which consisted in giving a woman to be the property of her suitor; and was usually done, when the people were assembled together, in a set speech, by the relatives of the female (especially her brothers and uncles), the father and mother taking little or no part in the proceedings.
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They had also ancient forms of baptism, the ceremonies of which are these: Soon after the birth of a child, the priests made a number of clay balls, setting them in a row on the ground, and raised little mounds of earth near them; these mounds were named after the principal gods, and the clay balls were named after the ancestors of the child. The priests then took a branch of Karamu, Ake, or Hutu; one of them parted the branch, and while tying one half round the child's waist, the other priest repeated this incantation, called a Tuapana (which is not the baptism, but is intended to take the tapu from the mother and the settlement, as well as to give the child strength). If a boy, these words were used:--
"There are the mounds risen up;
They are on the water side,
And on the shore;
They stand as from Hawaiki,--
As descended from the Priests of Hawaiki.
There stand the mounds
As representatives of the Priests,
As the spirit of Tu,
As the spirit of Tamatekapua,
As the spirit of Tawhaki,
Thus, then, thus [pointing at the mounds],
Here is the post standing
[He then, sticking a twig of Raurekau into the middle of the brook, on the bank of which these ceremonies took place, also a twig on each side of it, resumes]
At the water side,
And on the shore,
And in the depths,
And on the bank,
And on the coast of Hawaiki.
Thus, then, thus,
Draw the omens from the water,--
[He then sprinkled the mother and child with water with a Karamu branch.]
Bring up the tapu of Ruanuku,
Lay the emblems down,
The omens are seen,
Take off the tapu from this son,
Let the tapu be taken into the water,
And cleansed off.
It falls! It is going!
Take the tapu from him!
May Tu, and Tane and Tama meet,
May the light come?
May the gods Tawhaki and Tama bring light!
Ball of light, come!
Come on to the Turuturu;
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[Meaning the branch stuck in the middle of the brook.]
Dance there, as the messenger of Tama,
Has brought thee from above.
Rupe come, and descend, and ascend,
Come into my dwelling,
And lay on my place of birth;
Here is thy weapon,
Here is thy spear,
Here is thy mat.
Come, Rupe, come!
Here is thy path to the highest heaven,
Come, o Rupe! Come to the mat prepared for thee.
We will sleep on it.
The water will swell o'er me.
Descend, O Tutawake and Tana!
And Manumea, Toi, and Rauru."
He then plants the other half of the Karamu branch, and if it grows, the child is to be a noted warrior. The tree growing from a branch thus planted is called a "Kawa."
The tree sprung from the branch used in such a ceremony over Thomas Walker Nene is shown near the Kerikeri, in the Bay of Islands.
This part of the ceremony having concluded, the priests had three native ovens heated, and cooked kumaras in them. These ovens were called "Takiura," and were kindled some distance from the brook; one was for the priest, and one for the mother, and one for the gods. After the priest had taken a number of pieces of Pungapunga (pumice stone), and placed them in a row, he named them each after one of the dead ancestors of the child. The food was then taken out of the oven intended for the gods, and presented to the pieces of pumice stone, in offering which, the priest repeated this incantation:--
There is your food,
Eat it yourselves.
You are satisfied,
It is sweet to you;--
It is the food of Kauika and Rangi.
There is your food,
The essence of it has gone
To the world of spirits,
Where you are.
At the conclusion of this, the child is shown to the people, the tapu being thus removed from the mother and child, they are once more allowed to go amongst them.
The next ceremony is the actual baptism of the child, at which the father and mother, and any of the heads of the tribe may be present, but no common person. They go to a stream, and all
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being naked save a maro (that is an apron made of the leaves of trees round their waists) the priest takes the child in his arms, and going into the water, he with a karamu branch sprinkles the child, and says:--
Baptised in the water of Tu,
Be thou strong
By the strength of the heel of Tu,
To catch men
By the strength of Tu,
To climb mountains
By the strength of Tu;
May the power of Tu
Be given to this son.
Be thou strong,
That thou mayest overcome in the fight;
Be thou strong
To enter the breach,
To kill the watchman,
To grapple with the foe,
Be thou strong
By the power of Tu,
Be thou strong
To pass over the lofty mountains,
To ascend the lofty tree;
Be thou strong
To brave the billows of the sea,
To overcome its strength;
Be strong to cultivate food for thyself,
To build great houses,
To make war canoes,
To welcome visitors,
To make fishing nets,
To catch fish,
To do all thy work:
There comes the strength from Kiharoa 6
To take me to the sands of Rangaunu 7
To the place where spirits depart into night,
And what know I further.
These are the ceremonies in removing the tapu and baptism of a boy.
For a girl they are somewhat different. A boy is baptised to the god of war Tu. Girls are baptised to Hine-te-iwaiwa, who is goddess of all the necessaries of life. In taking the tapu from the mother when a girl is born, the same ceremonies are used as for a boy, which we have just deseribed. The same things being done at the brook the priest says:--
Here are the mounds
Now standing on the shore,
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On the water,
In the depth,
On the brink,
They stand as from Hawaiki,
As in the stealing from Hawaiki.
We will here digress to explain a little. When one of the canoes came from Hawaiki, called te Arawa, navigated by Tamatekapua, sometime after she had left, the people of Hawaiki made an offering to the gods; they erected altars, and cooked food for them, to induce the gods to give a foul wind to send the Arawa back, when they promised to cook them (the men) for the gods. While they were preparing the offering, two women called Hangaroa, and Kuiwai, (who were related to the navigator of the Arawa,) went to the principal temple, called Rangiatea, and stole the principal gods Maru, Iho-o-te-Rangi, Rongomai, Itupawa, and Hangaroa, and came off with them to New Zealand, hence the phrase--
As in the stealing from Hawaiki.
[The priest continues his incantation,]
From the priesthood of Hawaiki,
There is the post standing,
[Putting a stick upright in the brook,]
It stands as an emblem
Of the taking off the tapu,
An emblem of making thee common,
An emblem of sprinkling thee,
[Sprinkling the girl at the same time,]
An emblem of Hine-angi-angi,
An emblem of woman.
Take the tapu off;
For there is the rod
It stands as from the stealing from Hawaiki;
Attempt to catch the God
And put him into the water;
Take off the tapu from this daughter,
Immerse us then;
[Sprinkling the child with water,]
Take off the tapu from Ruanuku,
Take it into the water
And drown it.
The same ceremonies are used as in the case of the boy, in giving food to the gods, and the ancestors of the child; the child is then presented to the people, and taken to be baptised; this rite
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is the same as the baptism of the boy, excepting the words, which are these:--
Baptised in the water of Tu,
Be thou strong
By the strength of Tu,
To get food for thy self,
To make clothing,
To make Kaitaka mats,
To welcome strangers,
To carry fire-wood,
To gather shell fish;
May the strength of Tu
Be given to this daughter:
The power of Kiharoa is coming
To take me to the sands of Rangaunu,
Where the spirits descend to the night,
What know I beyond this."
These Karakias are given as a specimen of the many which are used on such occasions, in fact each tribe has a somewhat different form of incantation, but the substance is the same.
When a child sneezes, the mother says, "sneeze living heart;" if she were not to say so, she would suppose the child would be ill after it.
To make the tooth of a child come, the mother says
Growing kernel, grow,
Grow, that thou mayest arrive
To see the moon now full.
Come thou kernel,
Let the tooth of man
Be given to the rat
And the rat's tooth
To the man.
When a child's hair is long, and it requires to be cut for the first time, the child's grandfather or a priest must cut it: the barber then, grandfather or priest, goes from the settlement, the day previous to that on which the child's hair is to be cut, to one of their sacred places, and there sleeps that night. On his leaving the settlement, the people abstain from food until the ceremony is over; in the morning the child goes to him, and when the barber observes him coming, he says
Come my child,
And I will cut
Each of thy hairs
To the honor of Tu
the child's hair is cut with obsidian; when done, the father of the child takes a Poporokai-Whiria stick to the barber, who
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makes a fire with it by friction, and burns the hair, repeating this Karakia.
The honor thou didst seek, my son,
Has come and gone.
Thou wast sacred,
And art common;
Thou canst return.
Here I am, my son,
I have risen up,
I have received,
I am satisfied.
The barber then roasts a piece of fern root, and with it touches the boy's head and each shoulder, and eats it. The ceremony being ended, the child may go to his playmates, and the people at the settlement may cook food.
A boy will not let any person step over his legs when he is in a sitting or reclining posture, especially not a woman, or a girl, as it is believed it would render him unable to overtake an enemy when running; nor will men let any one step over their legs for the same reason.
When a young chief is thought to be of such age that he can be initiated into the secrets of the Maori priesthood, if his grandfather be alive, he is the person who is to divulge those secrets; all young chiefs are not entitled to this privilege, but those only who are the first born of the head chief of the family in which a knowledge of witchcraft has been handed down from generation to generation. The grandfather proclaims a fast, and the people abstain from food, or even cooking any thing from day light of the day on which he is to teach his grandson, until the lessons have been taught; at the same time he directs a shed to be built, some little distance from the settlement. The shed is to be made of Nikau, (New Zealand Palm;) it has to be constructed with an equal number of sticks to each side; also at each end, there is not to be an odd stick in the shed, and the makers of it are to be all chiefs. The grandfather sleeps in it the first night, and the young man is sent to him at day-dawn, unclothed. He is thus sent, lest any food should be on, or have been near his clothing. Cooked food having been on the young man's garments would render him unfit to be near a priest, much more to be taught the sacred ceremonies. Moreover it would be supposed that if such an accident were to happen to a young chief going to be taught, he and the priest would die.
The young chief is told to sleep as soon as he can, so that his grandfather the priest may consult the omens, if the young man's arm or leg jerk outwards, he could not learn, or if taught he would not remember; but if arm or leg jerk inwards he will be an efficient priest.
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If the omens be good the priest awakes the young man at once, and repeats this Karakia:
From whence come all things?
My ancestor Maputahanga,
Bring it from Hawaiki.
Come Uenuku sailing in the air,
O'er the boisterous dashing ocean,
And unravel all things.
[This is supposed to ensure ths young man a retentive memory.] The priest then teaches him the secrets, and when he has heard them all, he has to chew the lower end of a Toetoe-whatu-manu stalk, in order to prevent him from divulging what he has been taught.
After this account of the manner in which the priestcraft is handed down through successive generations the question may arise, as to how their genealogies are kept, seeing they have no written records; we may answer the question by stating that it is a custom amongst them at a set time for the old men to assemble in a House built for the occasion, then to invite all the young chiefs of their tribe to listen to the recital of their genealogy, which was done by one of the old men commencing as far back as it had been taught; and after he had recited as many names and anecdotes of war, love, and murder, as he thought proper, he allowed another of the old men to continue the account. Thus each one took his part in relating their own History.
In this way the young chiefs learnt their origin, and the causes of war, and murder; also their relationship to other tribes. Some of the tribes of the South had a genealogical stick, on which they cut a mark for every generation; this, however, was not generally practised.
There is no precise period in life when young men are to be tattooed, and it is also optional on their part, whether they are tattooed or not. To be tattooed, however, the natives think, gives the face a finish, which it is deficient of without the marks given by the Uhi or Mataora. There are also other reasons;--it is thought that the Moko gives a determined look when in conflict, and also the maori females, do not regard as much the marks of respect paid to them by a Mokau as the attentions of a person who is tattooed. The soot with which they are marked, is obtained by making a hole somewhat like a lime kiln, in which kauri gum is burnt, or a wood called kapara; on the top of the kiln is placed a maori basket, made of korari, besmeared with fat, to which the soot adheres; the black thus obtained is sacred,
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and is kept for generations; father and son being tattooed from the black made at one burning. The soot is mixed with oil or dog's fat. We may here observe that the tattooing now seen is of a comparative recent discovery, that in use in olden times was called Moko Kuri, and consisted of straight lines up and down the face, somewhat like the tattooing in the Marquesas Islands. This style is said to have been in use amongst the people who discovered this country. The New Zealanders even in the time of Captain Cook's visit here had this tattooing amongst them.
The fashion of the present day, it is said, was first used by a man of the name of Mataora, a member of some one of the East Coast tribes;--and the first man on whose face it was marked was called Onetonga. There are three or four patterns, so that when a person is to be tattooed, the Tohunga marks one of these on his face with a little common soot, mixed with the water squeezed from the pulp of the Poroporo tree, and if after looking into a pool of water (as this was the maori looking glass) the person to be tattooed approves of the pattern, he reclines his head on the Tohunga's lap. The instrument used to make the punctures is formed out of a piece of whale bone, according to the design intended to be cut and is bound to a piece of wood in the shape of a carpenter's square; this the Tohunga holds in his left hand between his fore finger and thumb. In his right hand, between his third and fourth finger, is held a piece of fern stalk, about eight inches long, the outer end of which is bound with a little flax. Between the thumb and forefinger of the same hand is held the black. When the Tohunga has made an incision with the uhi, by striking it with the piece of fern stalk held in his right hand, he again draws the uhi between the finger and thumb which holds the black; and, in so doing, it carries with it a portion for the next incision.
Men generally have their faces fully tattooed, but this is not done at one time. It is said the only person known to have been fully tattooed at one sitting, died as the last lines were finished.
While a man is undergoing the operation, persons who may be near, or the Tohunga himself, will sing these words, to amuse and inspire him with courage; which words are always sung on such an occasion:--
In a group we sit
And eat together,
We look at the marks
On the eyes and nose
Which turn here and there
Like the legs of a lizard.
Tattoo him with the chisel of Mataora.
Do not be so wishful
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That the women should see thee,
They are getting the young leaf
From the Wharawhara. 8
I am the author
Of your beautiful marks.
The man with the payment,
Tattoo him nicely:
The man with no payment,
Do not mark him well.
Strike the sounds, 9
Tangaroa rise thou,
Lift up Tangaroa.
Females have only their lips, chin, and neck tattooed; they consider the climax of beauty consists in jet black lips. When such an one is undergoing the operation of being made a beauty, to amuse her, and make her forget the pain she suffers for beauty's sake, the Tohunga and her friends sing the following song:--
Recline, my daughter, to mark thee,
To tattoo thy chin;
Lest when thou goest to a house of strangers
They say, where has this ugly woman come from?
Recline, my daughter, to mark thee;
To tattoo thy chin,
That thou mayest be comely;
Lest when thou goest to a feast,
They ask where this red-lipped woman came from!
To make thee beautiful,
Come and be tattooed,
Lest when thou goest into a party of dancers,
They ask where this woman with ugly lips came from!
To make thee beautiful
Come and let thy lips be tattooed,
Lest thou go where slaves are,
And they ask, where this red-chinned woman came from!
We mark thee, we tattoo thee,
By the spirit of Hine-te-iwa-iwa;
We tattoo thee, that the spirit of the shore
May be sent by Rangi
To the depths of the sea,
To the foaming wave.
Thy beauty is tied with love,
Thy beauty is as the Heavens,
As the stars Tahatiti, Ruatapu, Rongonui, and Kahukura.
The forehead of man is marked,
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And his is dying fame;
The sin of old was by man; 10
That sin from above,
Even in the Home of the sun;
And the sin from beneath,
Where he goes to, when he departs.
But thou art more beautiful
Than Uetonga and Tamarereti,
Or the sacred shadow of Reretoro.
The spirit of the shore shall be sent by Rangi
To the depths of the sea,
To the foaming wave.
Leave the flatterers and children.
Leave thy farewell with them,
And depart as the passing cloud
O'er Raukawa mountains,
And let them weep in sorrow.
But as for me,
I am Rongo and Papa,
My work is done.
When a man or woman has been tattooed, the Tohunga is tapu, as is also the settlement, from the fact of blood having been on the hands of the Tohunga, and he washing them in the settlement. To take the tapu off each, there are three Maori ovens (Hangi) lighted, which are called "Umu Parapara," one of these is for the tohunga, and one for the person tattooed, and the people generally; and one for the gods. To take the tapu off the settlement and himself, the tohunga, after washing his hands, takes a hot stone out of the oven intended for the gods; and after throwing it to and fro from one hand to the other, he puts the stone again into the oven, the tapu is thus transferred to the stone, and it being used to cook the food for the gods, the food receives that tapu, and is thus given to the gods. When the food in the oven for the gods is cooked, it is put into a new basket, and hung up on a tree in the sacred place.
The superstitions connected with tattooing are these:--The person being tattooed must not eat fish or shell fish, without first holding some of it up to each and every part of his face; in doing this, they reverence Tangaroa, by letting him see the tattooing first; whale-bone being used as the principal agent in marking the face, for the use of which, and also to be allowed to eat fish of all kinds, they thus appease him. If they neglect this, Tangaroa, the god of fish, will make the tattooing all out of proportion. Another superstition is, if children tattoo a hue (calabash) it must not be eaten, as the hue is then as the head of a man, and to eat it would be a curse on man.
The time allowed being past, I must conclude, yet it ought to be stated, that what you have heard this evening, is but the
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preface to what might have been said. In fact, to relate the superstitions which held the New Zealanders in servile bondage, would require the time allowed for three or four lectures. Could we also have described the superstitions which relate to their wars, sacrificial offerings, witchcraft, burying the dead, and exhuming them, building houses, making war canoes, and fishing nets, we should have been able to have shown the numerous trials and difficulties our Missionaries have had to contend with, and the lasting obligation we owe to God through their instrumentality in suppressing them. But we have heard sufficient this evening to prove that there is even in the Maori traditions a striking similarity to the Jewish and Christian records, while their abominations ought to inspire a heart-felt gratitude in the breast of all, that we have been born in a land where the pure and unmutilated word of God is possessed.