W hat I believe to be genuine and authentic the collected publications of William Colenso



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252 In 1862 Maori leader Te Ua Haumene based a new religion on the principle of pai marire—goodness and peace. He called his church Hauhau: Te Hau (the breath of God) carried the news of deliverance to the faithful. Pai Marire disciples travelled the North Island with a message of peace, but violent elements often subverted its mission. The government began to confiscate land, and Pai Marire converts aimed to drive Pakeha from Maori land. They wanted the support of the Kingitanga in creating a Maori nation under the Maori king. In the minds of many Europeans, Pai Marire was synonymous with violence, fanaticism and barbarism, a fundamentally anti-European religion. The fact that other Maori fought against this new religion was seen as further evidence that Pai Marire represented a radical fringe. The government worried that the religion would unite Maori opposition to European settlement and soon supported anti-Pai Marire factions. In 1864 George Grey declared Pai Marire practices to be “repugnant to all humanity” after Pai Marire followers had paraded the severed head of a Captain Lloyd around the North Island. Pai Marire was to be suppressed by force if necessary. Kereopa Te Rau was one of the five original disciples of Te Ua Haumene, and was one of a Pai Marire party that hanged the missionary Carl Volkner. Kereopa is said to have swallowed Volkner’s eyes: the Hawke’s Bay Times referred alliteratively to this as “The murder and mastication of a missionary” (12 October 1865). This letter is Colenso’s argument against his execution. Ironically, it was a group of Pai Marire supporters who, in keeping with their practices, burned Colenso’s church at Ahuriri in 1866.(http://www.nzhistory.
net.nz/politics/pai-marire/pai-marire-intro).


253 Hear the other side—i.e. no person should be condemned without a fair hearing.

254 Colenso’s motion in the General Assembly that all Māori prisoners should be treated with equal clemency helped bring down the Weld Ministry.

255 WC: Specimens will be given in the appendix at the end of this pamphlet.

256 WC: This letter will also be appended (at request) to this pamphlet.

257 WC: 4to edn., vol. II, p. 348.

258 WC: Parkinson’s Journal, pp. 87, 88.

259 WC: The journal is profusely illustrated from his drawings.

260 WC: Vancouver’s Voyages, Vol. I., p. 86.

261 WC: II., p. 400: (Jan. 30, 1770).

262 WC: III., p. 506.

263 Manibus Parkinsonibus sacrum = of the hallowed hands of the Parkinsons.

264 WC: “Flora N.Z.,” Vol. I., pp. 2, 3.

265 WC: Dieffenbach’s Travels in N.Z., Vol. II., p. 177. Hooker’s Hand-book of N.Z. Flora, p. 9.

266 WC: This does not appear in Cook.

267 WC: Not mentioned in Cook.

268 WC: I saw in 1843–45, at Waimarama, a village a few miles south of Cape Kidnappers, an aged native, who remembered this incident, and I also obtained from several natives, descendants from and near relatives to the sufferers on that occasion, their account of the affair, received from their forefathers; five, it appears, were killed, and several wounded. One of the poor fellows had received a ball in his knee joint, which could not be extracted, and which made him a helpless cripple during a long life.—(W.C., Journal, Ms.)

269 WC: The plate containing the likeness of this young man shows a style of tattooing which has become scarce, if not wholly extinct. I have seen but few specimens, and those more than thirty-five years back.

270 WC: Parkinson’s Journal, p. 210.

271 WC: I find, from Dr. Sparrman’s Voyage, that Mr. Sporing was a Swede.

272 WC: Cook’s Voyages: p. 97, vol. II.

273 WC: “Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” IX., 243, 244.

274 WC: Hani, Taiaha or Maipi, of the natives.

275 WC: Published in “Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science,” vol. II., p. 97; and in “Annals of Natural History” (London), vol. XIV., p. 93.

276 WC: Nicholas’ “Narrative of a Voyage to New Zealand,” vol. II., p. 126.

277 WC: “Voyage round the World,” by G. Forster, 2 vols., 4to; “Observations made during a Voyage round the World,” by J.R. Forster, 4to.

278 WC: Cook’s Voyages, 4to. ed., 1773, vol. II., pp. 152, 196.

279 WC: S. Parkinson’s Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, pp. 20, 81.

280 WC: Forster’s Voyage round the World, 4to. (London), 1677, vol. I., p. 219.

281 WC: At p. 135, Forster says:— “Here at Dusky Bay we had a young dog with us, which the officers had got at the Cape of Good Hope, and intended to try whether we could not train him up to the gun, but we had no sooner discharged the first fowling-piece than he ran into the woods and would not return, though we used all possible means to recover him.” I suppose they managed to do so before they left Dusky Bay.

282 WC: Observations made during a Voyage Round the World, 4to., London, 1778, pp. 189 and 208.

283 WC: Mr. Anderson was only in the Middle Island of New Zealand.

284 WC: 2 vols. 4to., London, 1786.

285 WC: Cook’s Voyages: first voyage, vol. III., Plate XVI.

286 WC: This chief, of whom a portrait is given in Cook’s Voyages, I have ascertained to be Tuanui, the ancestor of the present Henare Matua, of Porangahau, so well known among us. Tuanui put off from Poureerere, and Cook’s gifts to him were well remembered and circumstantially related. From some of those “garden seeds” sprang the “Maori cabbage” of the coast, which, thirty years ago, grew very thickly there and on to Palliser Bay, and often served me, when travelling, for breakfast.

287 WC: Much like that one of mine, mentioned above, p. 135.

288 WC: Observations, pp. 189, 208.

289 WC: G. Forster also remarks on it, ante.

290 WC: Note.—To a superficial observer such must have been much the same in the tropical islands, but there is this great difference, viz., the New Zealanders were, from the earliest times, split up into small tribes, who were ever at deadly enmity; hence the circle of breeding a strictly domestic animal must have been very contracted and limited: it was not so in the islands, which were under kingly rule.

291 WC: For this I am indebted to Dr. Sparrman, whose entry in his Journal is so highly characteristic, that I copy it. He says,— “On the 7th June we sailed from New Zealand. ... After we had been at sea a few days we resolved upon killing a fat, though ugly Dutch dog, before the scurvy, together with the short commons of the ship, should render his flesh unfit for eating. Already used in our run between the Cape and New Zealand to put up with sheep that had died of the scurvy or other disorders, diseased hens and geese, we certainly were not now in a condition to turn up our noses at a roasted dog, which was really very palatable and well tasted.” Sparrman’s Voyage, 4to., London, 1786, p. 88.

292 WC: The New Zealander has different words to describe the cry of the old and of the new or more recent dog. The former is called and written ao ao, and au au; the latter, tau tau, and sometimes haru, and pahu pahu.

293 WC: Vide ante.

294 WC: Hence the many errors in Maori names of plants, etc., given in the “New Zealand Institute Transactions” (passim) and in other modern publications, which seem to have been collected by any and everybody and set down at random, and so doing positive and lasting injury!

295 WC: Cook’s Voyages: first voyage, vol. I., p. 451.

296 WC: Vide ante.

297 WC: The New Zealanders have several common names for the dog, as kararehe, kirehe, kuri, pero, peropero, pape, and moi—though this last word is more properly the call for a dog.

298 The capsule of the “swan plant” = “balloon cottonbush” = Asclepias physocarpa/Gomphocarpus physocarpa.

299 Colenso at his sarcastic best. Bishop Selwyn was of the Oxford Movement or Tractarianism, an affiliation of High Church Anglicans, most of whom were members of the University of Oxford, and who sought to demonstrate that the Church of England was a direct descendant of the Church established by the Apostles. It was also known as the Tractarian Movement after its series of publications “Tracts for the Times” (1833–1841). Colenso was, like Henry Williams, a liberal, reforming theologian, or “low church”, and decidedly anti-Rome. He had published a series of short papers in 1858–1859 which he called “Tracts for the times”, then the series of letters on which this booklet was based; then in 1879 he wrote to the editor of the Herald informing the public of the proposed contents of a second booklet (“Tracts for the times No. 2”), but despite repeatedly advertising it for sale at 1s 6d in the following months, he did not publish it.

300 WC: Plenty of this will be found in several volumes of the “Transactions N.Z. Inst.,” which, although often attempted to be dressed up in a new fashion, is not new. I append a suitable extract on this subject from an old book, as the work itself is scarce and little known:— “In respect to the New Zealanders, some have imagined that they sprang from Assyria or Egypt. ‘The god Pan,’ says Mr. Kendall to Dr. Waugh, ‘is universally acknowledged. The overflowings of the Nile, and the fertility of the country in consequence, are evidently alluded to in their traditions; and I think the Argonautic expedition, Pan’s crook, Pan’s pipes, and Pan’s office in making the earth fertile, are mentioned in their themes. Query—Are not the Malay and the whole of the South Sea Islanders Egyptians?’ To which we reply—When will the spirit of conjecture rest?”— Beauties, etc., of Nature, by C. Bucke; new ed., vol. ii., s. 79; London, 1837 (note).

301 WC: In Essay on The Maori Races; Trans., Vol. I., pp. 61, 62, 1st Ed.

302 WC: Crit. Pure Reason.

303 WC: Essay on Art.

304 WC: Much of this re the old Venetian workman is truly relatively applicable to the old New Zealand worker.

305 WC: Modern Painters.

306 WC: I use this word here in the Socratic sense, as by him in Plato, Ion.

307 WC: Vide Cook, Forster, Parkinson, and others, passim; also, Nicholas’ “New Zealand,” Vol. I., p. 48; II., p. 49.

308 Painters and poets have equal license in regard to everything.

309 WC: “One of the arts in which the New Zealanders excel is that of carving in wood. They often display both a taste and ingenuity, which, especially when we consider their miserably imperfect tools, it is impossible to behold without admiration. The N.Z. artist has no lathe to compete with, neither has he even those ordinary hand tools which every civilized country has always afforded. The only instruments he has to cut with are rudely fashioned of stone or bone. Yet even with these his skill and patient perseverance contrive to grave the wood into any forms which his fancy may suggest. Many of the carvings thus produced are distinguished by both a grace and richness of design that would do no discredit even to European art. Their war-canoes have their heads and sterns elaborately carved. On their musical instruments much time and labour is bestowed in the shaping, carving, and inlaying.”—The New Zealanders, pp. 129, 131.

310 WC: Of their taste in feathers for decoration of the head, we have notable instances recorded. It is well known that the national taste in this respect was severely simple yet graceful.
“Simplex munditiis.”—Hor.
“Plain in thy neatness.”—Milton.
The New Zealanders preferring the snowy-white plumes of three birds in particular—the white stork, the albatross, and the gannet, and the black feathers, tipped with white, of the Huia (Heteralocha gouldi);—nothing, gaudy or of strong glittering colours was approved of by them; otherwise they could easily have manufactured such feathers from several of their indigenous birds. All this we have in the voyages of their earliest visitors, and in the plates. But in the principal plate (or the one ostentatiously intended to be such—the frontispiece) to Hochstetter’s work on New Zealand (English edition), we have a Maori Chief with three peacock’s feathers stuck in his hair!! a proof of their degeneracy in taste; or, as I believe, of the baser (inferior) taste of the English artist, who had merely learnt by rule, and who had no conception of the superior faculty.

311 WC: See Appendix to this paper; one highly interesting to trained musicians.

312 WC: Vide Nicholas’ “New Zealand,” Vol. I., pp. 24, 25.

313 WC: 3rd Voyage, Vol. I., pp. 142, 153.

314 WC: Narrative, Vol. II., pp. 124, 126.

315 WC: Journal, pp. 283, 320.

316 WC: It was here that I discovered that pretty little and very scarce plant, Stackhousia minima.

317 WC: This was still the custom in late years; their strongest common ropes were made from the leaves of the cabbage-tree, after steeping them in water, and a strong and very peculiar kind of 4-sided rope was made by them of it. I have had such made for me, but I almost fear the art is lost. Flax (or Phormium) leaves would not be suitable.

318 WC: This implement (called a ko) might be just as well termed a lance, or pick; it was narrow, pointed, and 6–7 feet long, and used for digging fern-root, &c., and sometimes, as here, as an offensive weapon.

319 WC: The word is huhu. I suppose this large grub has been selected for a comparison owing to its dying helplessly extended, and its plump, fat appearance.

320 WC: I have translated this word (ika), wherever it occurs in the story, by “fish,” this being one of its principal meanings; but it would carry a very different one to a New Zealander. Here it would be just synonymous with whale, or large marine animal.

321 WC: Nui tohora.

322 WC: Tuatete, the angry, frightful lizard, now extinct.

323 WC: Uri-o-Tiki: literally, descendants of Tiki; Tiki being, in their mythology, the creator or progenitor of man.

324 WC: Upwards of ten kinds of spells are here, and in other parts of these stories, particularly mentioned by name; but as we have nothing synonymous in English, their names cannot be well translated, and it would take as many pages of MS. to explain them. Among them were spells causing weariness to the foe, spells for the spearing of taniwhas (monsters), spells for the warding off attack, and for the protection of the men from the enemy; spells for causing bravery, for returning like-for-like in attack, for uplifting feet from ground, for making powerless, etc., etc., all more or less curious, but mostly very simple in terms. Of spells and charms, exorcisms and incantations—for good or for ill-luck, for blessing and cursing—the ancient New Zealander possessed hundreds, ingeniously contrived for almost every purpose; few, however, if any, of them could be termed prayers. Such form a bulky history of themselves.

325 WC: The words are: “Koteriu o Tane-Mahuta;” lit., the hollow stomach, or centre of Tane-Mahuta—i.e., the god of forests; Tane-Mahuta being the god of forests.

326 WC: Ten kinds are here enumerated, all of hardwood and hard white whale’s-bone.

327 WC: Though not once mentioned or alluded to in that story.

328 WC: Seven or eight kinds of charms and spells are here also particularized, and then the remainder given in a lump.

329 WC: Vide the beginning of the following fable,—“The Shark and the large Lizard,” and the note there.

330 WC: According to the Maori mythology (in which each portion, or kingdom, of Nature had a different origin or progenitor), Punga was the father, or former, of fishes and reptiles.

331 WC: Darwin, in his “Naturalist’s Voyage” (ch xvii.), writing of the large aquatic lizard (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), has some curious remarks very applicable here.

332 WC: “Roots” is not in the original, which has merely “kete maoa”—basket of cooked (food, understood); but the meaning is fernroot, or sweet potatoes. Our common potatoes were not then known to the New Zealander, otherwise I should have preferred that word. “Sweet potatoes” (or kumara) would not answer well, as this food was not in use all the year ronnd; and “vegetables” would mislead, as such were never alone cooked save in times of great scarcity. The allusion is as to the Maori manner of serving-up and setting food before men, each basket having a bit of fish or flesh, as a savour, placed on the top.

333 WC: I had often heard of the old mode of capturing this (the edible) lizard, which lived in holes (burrows) at the foot of trees, and was made to appear by smoking them out; forty years ago this animal was still being eaten by an inland tribe named Rangitane. (Vide ante, extract from Cook, p. 83, and from Nicholas, p. 84.)

334 WC: Tu was the name of the New Zealand god of war.

335 WC: Its faint little note, uttered as it hops, and twirls, and opens its tail.

336 WC: “Toä koë! toä koë!” was the owl’s cry, which the words a little resemble.

337 WC: “Kia iro! kia iro koe!” was the cry of the parrot.

338 WC: Of this bird, the Taiko, I have formerly often heard, particularly at the northern parts of the North Island, but have never seen one. It is scarcely known here in Hawke Bay, save by name to a few of the oldest natives. An old chief at Te Wairoa told me that he had known of two which were seen together on the shore of Portland Island (Hawke Bay), many years ago, one of which was snared and eaten. From another very old chief I had heard of two having been once cooked in a Maori earth-oven as a savoury mess for a travelling party of rank; and from his story it would appear as if the bird could have been easily taken in its habitat, at the will of the lord of the manor; for, on that travelling party arriving at the pa, one of the chiefs’ wives remarked, “Alas! whatever shall I do for a tit-bit to set before our guests?” The chief said, “I’ll get you some.” He then went out and soon returned with two Taikos, which were cooked and greatly relished. This bird is said to have been large, plump, and fat, and highly prized for food, and only to be obtained on exposed oceanic headlands and islets. (There are small rocky islets called by its name, Motutaiko.) Possibly it may be a large species of petrel or puffin; although, if the imperfect Maori relation is to be depended on, its beak was more that of an albatross. [The Chatham Island Taiko (Magenta Petrel) is one of the world’s most endangered seabirds. It breeds only on the Chatham Islands 800 kilometres east of New Zealand. Current population estimates range between 120 to 140 individuals with only 14 known breeding pairs].

339 WC: This proverb would be used by the New Zealanders on various occasions; such as (1) When chiefs of lower rank would bring a present (annual, perhaps, as of sweet potatoes [kumara] at harvest-time), to their superior chief: (2) When a travelling party arrives at a village, and something particularly good, or extra, which perhaps had been stored up or set by, or just obtained with difficulty or labour, should be given to the party; on such occasions the proverb might be used. Much like (here) our sayings of, “We don’t kill a pig every day!” “In luck to-day!” “Just in time” &c.

340 [Note—See “Polynesian Mythology and Ancient Traditional History of the New Zealand Race, as furnished by their Priests and Chiefs.” Appendix, p. 313. By Sir George Grey; Murray: London, 1855.—ED.]

341 WC: Trans. N.Z. Inst., Vol. X. 97.

342 WC: Trans. N.Z. Inst., Vol. I., p. 15 of the essay; 2nd ed., p. 352.

343 WC: Wallis’s Voyage; Cook’s Voyages, Vol, I., pp. 444–448.

344 WC: Journal, p. 75.

345 WC: Cook’s Voyages, Vol. II., p. 147.

346 WC: Cook’s Voyages, Vol. II. p. 345; III. 466.

347 WC: Parkinson’s Journal, p. 75.

348 WC: See appendix A for these extracts which I make, as Forster’s Voyage is a scarce work; and, also, believing they may be of service hereafter.

349 WC: Polack says:—“The weapons employed in the native warfare were not remarkable for beauty or variety, and are now entirely laid aside. The bow and arrow found among all savage nations were unknown in the country, where numerous woods exist admirably fitted for the formation of such universally known weapons. Slings, another implement that did much execution, were also unknown.” (Vol. II., pp. 28–29). Polack is a writer whom I should scarcely ever think of quoting, not merely on account of his being comparatively modern (in my writing of the ancient New Zealander) but owing to his many errors; had he contented himself with giving us plainly what he saw, without colouring (for he travelled a little while in New Zealand), and without attempting anything of science or history, theology or language, or the drawing of deductions,(!) for all which he was totally unfitted, then his observations would have been of real service.


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