1863 - Maning, Frederick. Old New Zealand - Glossary

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  1863 - Maning, Frederick. Old New Zealand - Glossary
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No hea--Literally, from whence? Often used as a negative answer to an enquiry, in which case the words mean that the thing enquired for is not, or in fact is nowhere.


Mana--As the meaning of this word is explained in the course of the narrative, it is only necessary to say that in the sense in which it is used here, it means dominion or authority.

Tangi--A dirge, or song of lamentation for the dead. It was the custom for the mourners, when singing the tangi, to cut themselves severely on the face, breast, and arms, with sharp flints and shells, in token of their grief. This custom is still practised, though in a mitigated form. In past times, the mourners cut themselves dreadfully, and covered themselves with blood from head to feet. See a description of a tangi further on.

PAGE 4. Pakeha--An Englishman; a foreigner.

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PAGE 13.

Tupara--A double gun; an article, in the old times, valued by the natives above all other earthly riches.

PAGE 14.

Hahunga--A hahunga was a funeral ceremony, at which the natives usually assembled in great numbers, and during which "baked meats" were disposed of with far less economy than Hamlet gives us to suppose was observed "in Denmark."

Kainga--A native town, or village: their principal head quarters.

PAGE 16.

Haere mai! &c. --Sufficiently explained as the native call of welcome. It is literally an invitation to advance.

PAGE 19.

Tutua---A low, worthless, and, above all, a poor, fellow--a "nobody."

A pakeha tutua--A mean poor European.

E aha, te pai?--What is the good (or use) of him 1 Said in contempt.

PAGE 22.

Rangatira--A. chief, a gentleman, a warrior. Rangatira pakeha--A foreigner who is a gentleman (not a tutua, or nobody, as described above), a rich foreigner.

Taonga--Goods; property.

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PAGE 26.

Mere ponamu--A native weapon made of a rare green stone, and much valued by the natives.

PAGE 28.

Taniwha--A sea monster: more fully described further on.

Utu--Revenge, or satisfaction; also payment.

PAGE 32.

Tino tangata--A "good man," in the language of the prize-ring; a warrior; or literally, a very, or perfect man.

PAGE 45. Taua--A war party; or war expedition.

PAGE 58.

Tena koutou; or Tenara ko koutou--The Maori form of salutation, equivalent to our "How do you do?"

PAGE 63.

Na! Na! mate rawa!--This is the battle cry by which a warrior proclaims, exultingly and tauntingly, the death of one of the enemy.

PAGE 78.

Torere. --An unfathomable cave, or pit, in the rocky mountains, where the bones of the dead, after remaining a certain time in the first burying place, are removed to and thrown in, and so finally disposed of.

PAGE 166. Jacky Poto. --Short Jack; or Stumpy Jack.

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PAGE 167.

Tu ngarahu. --This is a muster, or review, made to ascertain the numbers and condition of a native force; generally made before the starting of an expedition. It is, also, often held as a military spectacle, or exhibition, of the force of a tribe when they happen to be visited by strangers of importance: the war dance is gone through on these occasions, and speeches declaratory of war, or welcome, as the case may be, made to the visitors. The "review of the Taniwha," witnessed by the Ngati Kuri, was possibly a herd of sea lions, or sea elephants; animals scarcely ever seen on the coast of that part of New Zealand, and, therefore, from their strange and hideous appearance, at once set down as, an army of Taniwha. One man only was, at the defeat of the Ngati Kuri, on Motiti, rescued to tell the tale.

PAGE 168.

Bare Motiti. --The island of Motiti is often called "Motiti wahie kore," as descriptive of the want of timber, or bareness of the island. A more fiercely contested battle, perhaps, was never fought than that on Motiti, in which the Ngati Kuri were destroyed.

PAGE 190.

Ki au te mataika--I have the mataika. The first man killed in a battle was called the mataika. To kill the mataika, or first man, was counted a very high honor, and the most extraordinary exertions were made to obtain it. The writer once saw a young warrior, when rushing with

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his tribe against the enemy, rendered almost frantic by perceiving that another section of the tribe would, in spite of all his efforts, be engaged first, and gain the honor of killing the mataiki. In this emergency he, as he rushed on, cut down with a furious blow of his tomahawk, a sapling which stood in his way, and gave the cry which claims the mataika. After the battle the circumstances of this question in Maori chivalry having been fully considered by the elder warriors, it was decided that the sapling tree should, in this case, be held to be the true mataika, and that the young man who cut it down should always claim, without question, to have killed, or as the natives say, "caught," the mataika of that battle.

PAGE 195. Toa--A warrior of preeminant courage; a hero.

PAGE 219.

Kia Kotahi ki te ao! Kia kotahi ki te po!--A close translation would not give the meaning to the English reader. By these words the dying person is conjured to cling to life, but as they are never spoken until the person to whom they are addressed is actually expiring, they seemed to me to contain a horrid mockery, though to the native they no doubt appear the promptings of an affectionate and anxious solicitude. They are also supposed to contain a certain mystical meaning.


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