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



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2. Social.


10. In their Ordinary Habits of life they were industrious, regular, temperate, and cleanly. They loved society and dwelt together, in, or near large fenced villages (pa); which pas, or forts, before the introduction of firearms, were always advantageously situated on some eminence, and only made with a vast amount of labour. Always early risers, they naturally enjoyed their siesta at noon. They had two principal meals a day, at morning and evening, which were cooked and eaten hot, and always in the open air, the men apart from the women. Fire they obtained by friction; an easy though sometimes a troublesome process, often dependent on the material, its state, and the skill of the operator. No common (cooking) fire could be ever used to kindle one for warming a house, or for sitting by; nor, long after the introduction of tobacco, for lighting a pipe. Each fine day brought its daily labour to, at least, all the adults.

(1.)—The men to their cultivations; or to sea-fishing; or to catching birds, eels, or rats; or to digging of fern-root; or to climbing the highest forest trees for their small fruits; or to the building or repairing of houses, canoes, fences, earthworks, and eel-weirs; or to the felling and bringing out of trees and split timber from the forest; or to the making of troughs, paddles, spades, axes and their handles, spears of various kinds, and other offensive implements of stone, bone, and hardwood; (some of which required years to perfect a single article;) or to the manufacture of fishing lines, canoe ropes, and small cord; or of nets, of eel-traps, of canoe sails, and of their prized dog-skin, or Kiwi-feather, clothing mats; or to the making of combs and flutes; or to the making and ornamenting of greenstone, ivory, and bone ear-rings, and breast ornaments; or of fishhooks, circlets for tame parrots’ legs, various tattooing instruments, and of tags, pins, skewers and needles, for their own dress-mats, for most of which purposes human bone was preferred; or to the seeking for, and preparing, the various coloured mineral pigments, feathers, vegetable and animal oils, and vegetable dyes used as ornament; or to tattooing, or to the drying and preserving of human heads; or to the carving of figures (some larger than life), on posts of fences, or slabs (pilasters) of chiefs’ houses; or of carving boxes for feathers, or of balers for canoes, or their large and highly ornamented stern-posts, taffrails, and figure-heads.

(2.) The women attended to their peculiar work,—to the diurnal preparing of food, and to the coarse weaving of small baskets (paro) of [9] green flax, as dishes for their food; no cooked food basket being used twice; to the gathering of shell fish; to the cleaning of sea-fish; to fetching of firewood; to preparing of flax, and to plaiting and weaving it into clothing, and baskets of very many different kinds; and to their work in the cultivations,—such as weeding, etc., and above all, to the very heavy task of carrying on their backs fresh gravel thither every year for their Sweet Potatoe beds. In the summer season, too, they sought and gathered in large quantities the juicy fruits of the Tutu (Coriaria ruscifolia), and expressed its juice as a refreshing drink. They also gathered in the swampy forests the sugary fruits and fleshy edible flower-bracts of the Kiekie plant (Freycinetia Banksii.) {Note 6}

11. Their means of obtaining Subsistence were as varied as the things themselves. They were not (as many have rashly supposed) deficient in food; although (having but one domestic animal and that a small dog,) what they had and used was not to be obtained without a large amount of daily labour. At the same time there must have been a great difference in the food of the natives of the Northern and of the Middle and Southern Islands; as Cook states,—“the Southern natives have not yams, taro or kumara.” (iii. p. 56.). They were very great consumers of fish; those on the coast being true Icthyophagi. The seas around their coasts swarmed with excellent fish and crayfish; the rocky and sandy shores abounded with good shell fish; the cliffs and islets yielded plenty of mutton-birds, and fat young shags and other sea fowl, and their eggs, all choice eating. The rivers and lakes (in their season) contained plenty of ducks and other wild fowl, and plenty of small fish and fine mussels, and small crayfish; the marshes and swamps were full of large rich eels; the open plains had plenty of quail, rail, and other birds, and edible rats; the fern lands abounded in the kiwi and ground parrot; and the forests yielded fine pigeons and parrots, and plump parson-birds (tui) together with many other birds which are now very rare; while many a rich meal was also made from the large larvœ so commonly found in rotten wood. In seeking all these, they knew the proper seasons when, as well as the best manner how, to take them:—

(1.) Sometimes they would go in large canoes to the deep sea-fishing, to some well known shoal or rock, 5 to 10 miles from the shore, and return with a quantity of large cod, snapper, and other prime fish; sometimes they would use very large drag nets, and enclose great numbers of grey mullet, dog-fish, mackarel, and other fish which swim in shoals; of which (especially of dog-fish and of mackarel) they dried immense quantities for winter use. They would also fish from rocks with hook and line, and scoop-nets; or, singly, in the summer, in small canoes manned by one man and kept constantly paddling, with a hook baited with mother-of-pearl shell, take plenty of Kahawai; or with a chip of tawhai wood attached to a hook, as a bait, they took the barracouta in large quantities. Very fine crayfish were taken in great numbers by diving, and sometimes by sinking baited wicker-traps. Heaps of this fish, with mussels, cockles, and other bivalves, were collected in the summer, and prepared and dried; and of eels also, and of several delicate fresh water fishes, large quantities were taken in the summer, and dried for future use.

(2.) Birds, such as quail, rail, and ground parrot, also the pigeon, and parson-bird, and various species of wild duck, they ingeniously snared; [10] although they often speared the pigeon. The large brown parrot was first decoyed to a stand fixed on the top of a high tree by the cry of a tame one, and then suddenly trapped and killed by the concealed native. The Kiwi was caught by night, through successfully imitating its cry; and the fat frugivorous and harmless indigenous rat, was both trapped and dug out of its burrow in several ways.



(3.) A large portion of their time and attention was necessarily given to their Cultivations, especially as the few plants they cultivated,—two edible roots, the Kumara (Batatas edulis), and Taro (Caladium esculentum), and a gourd-like fruit called Hue, and the cloth plant, or paper mulberry tree, Aute (Broussonetia papyrifera),—each required a different soil to bring it to perfection; added to which they always wisely preferred cultivating in patches far apart, so as perchance to save one or more in case of a sudden inroad from a taua (a legal or illegal, honouring, stripping, or fighting, party,) which visit was perfectly sure to take place at least two or three times a year. The Kumara, or sweet potatoe, was planted with much ceremony and regularity, in little hillocks in sheltered dry ground facing the sun, carefully prepared, and heavily gravelled with fresh gravel obtained from some gravel pit, or from the bed of a neighbouring stream; this annual gravelling of their Kumara grounds was alone a heavy service. Among some tribes (as at Rotorua), the Kumara root was not planted until the sprout had gained some length, which caused additional care and labour. It had to be constantly watched when in leaf, or it would be destroyed by a large caterpillar which fed on the plant, and which was continually being gathered and destroyed in great quantities. It was also carefully weeded, and the ground around its roots loosened. When about two-thirds ripe, a few of its largest roots were carefully taken away by an experienced hand; these were scraped and dried in the sun, and called Kao, and were reserved to be used as a kind of sweetmeat, or delicacy at feasts, boiled and mashed up in hot water. And when the Kumara was fully ripe, the labour in taking it up, sorting and packing it into its own peculiar baskets for store,—including the weaving of those baskets, and the half-digging, half-building of the stores supposed to be absolutely needful for effectually keeping it, (and which were often the best built houses in the village and often renewed,) was very great. The Taro (of which the leaves and stems were also eaten) required a moist, and the Hue and Aute, a rich soil, with much less care, however, in raising them; but the manufacture of the bark of the Aute into cloth-like fillets for the hair of the chiefs, (it never was made into clothing in New Zealand) was also a tedious work.

(4.) Of wild edible Vegetable Substances they made great use; particularly of the fruits of three trees,—the Karaka (Corynocarpus lævigata), the Tawa (Nesodaphne tawa), and the Hinau (Elæocarpus dentatus). The kernels of the first two they annually collected in large quantities, and prepared, by baking, steeping, and drying, for future provision, and which (if kept dry) continued good a long time. The flesh of the Karaka was also largely eaten when ripe. The fruit of the Hinau was also collected and placed in water to steep, to separate the dry flesh from the nuts; which powder or flour was subsequently strained, made into coarse cakes, and eaten. The common fern-root, [11] Aruhe (Pteris esculenta), was also generally used; and the spots in which it grew to perfection (mostly a deep light soil, especially on a hill side or slope) were prized, and sometimes fought for. (It is a great mistake, and one often made by foreigners, to suppose, that, because the fern is common, the root which was eaten was also common. The writer has known the natives to dig and carry it a distance of upwards of 20 miles to their homes.) Much labour was also expended in procuring and preparing it; on being dug up, it was sorted and loosely stacked, that the wind might pass through and dry it; after which it was put up into bundles or baskets, and stored for use. When used, it was soaked, roasted, and repeatedly beaten with a small club, on a large smooth stone, until it was supple; a process always tiresome, both to eater and to beater, to master and to slave. It was seldom, however, eaten alone, mostly with fish; and, in the summer, soaked in the juice of Tupakihi, or Tutu. The large sugary roots of the great Cabbage-tree, or Ti (Cordyline australis), and also the small ones of the little Ti-koraha (Cordyline pumilio), were also baked and eaten; or rather the pulpy substance which is among its fibres. The sago-like pith of the stem of the large black tree fern, Korau, or Mamaku (Cyathea medullaris), was also baked in their earth ovens and used; it is very good and nourishing eating. The heart and blanched stems of leaves of the New Zealand Palm, Nikau (Areca sapida), and also of the Ti (Cordyline australis) were eaten both raw and cooked. The watery farinaceous roots of Raupo (Typha angustifolia), were also eaten raw; and its pollen was made into cakes like gingerbread and baked. The fleshy blanched sugary bracts of the flowers of the Kiekie plant (Freycinetia Banksii), called by the natives Tawhara, and the fruit of the same (Ureure), when quite ripe were eagerly sought after in their season. The common sow-thistle, Puwha (Sonchus oleraceus), of which there were two varieties; and the little Poroporo (Solanum nigrum), and the Toi (Barbarea Australis), were also cooked and eaten as vegetables. So were several Fungi found growing in open fern lands, and in woods on trees; also a few of the sea-weed class,—particularly the Karengo, a low growing thin fronded species, found extensively on clayey tidal rocks from the East Cape southwards. This kind was gathered and dried for use, and sometimes carried a long way into the interior to friends as a great delicacy. Many small fruits were also eaten when ripe; such as the fruits of the large timber trees, Kahikatea, Totara, Mataii, and Rimu, (Podocarpus dacrydioides, P. Totara, P. spicata, and Dacrydium cupressinum); of the Kohoho (Solanum aviculare), of the Poroporo (S. nigrum), of the Kotukutuku (Fuchsia excorticata), of the Karamu (Coprosma lucida), of the Ngaio (Myoporum lætum), of the Korapuka (Gaultheria antipoda), of two species of Myrtle, the Ramarama, and Rohutu (Myrtus bullata, and pedunculata), and of the little heath Totara (Leucopogon Fraseri.)

12. Labour was by them divided into four great classes, viz.—(1) Male—(2) Female—(3) Sacred, and—(4) Common. Of fruges consumere nati167 there were none. The chiefs worked equally with the slaves, especially in the cultivations, and often better and more energetically. There were no really adstricti glebæ.168 From their youth the chiefs were taught to be foremost and to excel; and as they gloried in getting a great name, they strove to do so. The men caught fish and eels, and snared [12] birds and rats; they dug and planted their cultivations; they climbed the highest trees for their fruits; they dug up the fern root; they felled the timber, and built the houses, and canoes, and made the fences, and all wooden, stone, and bone implements and ornaments; they made their fishing nets and lines, and eel traps and hooks; they performed all the tattooing; and very frequently carried their infants for hours on their backs, even while at work. The women prepared the daily food; cleaned the fish for drying; collected shell-fish, edible sea-weeds, and herbs, and firewood; weeded the plantations, and gathered up the crop when dug; cut and dressed the flax leaves for clothing and floor mats and baskets, and plaited and wove them. Their quasi “sacred” or taboo (tapu) duties, (of which much might be written,) could only be properly performed by a “sacred” person; for although in some few cases, a person not “sacred” might act, yet he sometimes most inconveniently became “sacred” by his doing so! As a rule, a “sacred” person never touched common work or things. Their common matters, however, were open to all, with this only reservation,—that men’s work was not done by women, and vicê versâ.



13. Their better Architecture and Building, (bearing in mind the nondurability of the materials used) though peculiar, was of first order, and well fitted for the people and the climate. Their houses, particularly those of the principal chiefs, were strongly and neatly built, snug, and often highly ornamented. They were cool in summer and warm in winter. The faults of all their houses were, their being too low, with excessively low doors, with earthen floors, and without chimney or sufficient ventilation. In shape they were generally a parallelogram, with their walls always slightly inclined inwards, with the angle of the roof low, and invariably with the one door and one window at the sunny end, within a pretty large verandah. In size, they were from one which would contain with ease a hundred men, to one which would only contain six. Their floors were rarely ever raised above, oftener sunk into, the ground. The window shutter, and door, each fixed in a substantial and often highly carved wooden frame, slid to and fro, and when closed all was dark within. The house having its framework wholly of totara wood, (of which the pilasters were often each two feet wide, and smoothed by repeated chipping with a stone adze), was built of several coats of bulrushes, securely fixed with flax, having a handsome ornamental lining of reeds to the roof and between the wide pilasters, covered outside with one or more coats of strong thatch firmly fixed, and often with the bark of the totara pine, laid on in large slabs. On the large and wide barge-boards, posts, ridgepole, and ends of the verandah, much grotesque carving and ornamental work was often displayed; these were mostly coloured red. Their sweet potatoe stores were also often elaborately finished. Sometimes their stores were neatly set on high posts, which were not unfrequently carved; and were climbed up into by means of a notched pole as a ladder. Their common houses though plain were often very strongly made; sometimes, however, their walls were not more than two feet high, with a prodigious roof. No observable order was followed in placing their houses in a village; throughout which there were ways of communication in all directions, but no proper streets. Each sub-tribe, or family, generally enclosed with an inner fence, having [13] around their own houses apertures for ingress and egress. The outer fence of the village, often composed of whole timber trees set in the ground, without their bark or branches, and from 15 to 20, or even to 30 feet in height, and strongly secured with transverse timbers cross-lashed to the uprights with durable supple-jacks and vines from the forest, looked very formidable and was very strong. All its posts were surmounted with human figures as large as life, in puris naturalibus,169 elaborately though roughly carved out of solid wood, with faces in every conceivable or inconceivable, state of distortion. Inside this was generally a second wooden fence, made like the outer one but of lighter materials, within this were excavated earthworks. Sometimes the wooden fences, or some portions of them, were raised on earthworks; and sometimes they were made to overhang a cliff or side of a hill, as a chevaux de frise, presenting a low angle with the horizon.

14. If there was much to admire in their House-architecture and fortification building, there was still more in their Naval architecture; bearing in mind (as before) that they did all without the aid of iron or any metal; their solid and strong double canoes (wakaunua), long since extinct; and scarcely known even by name to the present generation; their handsome well arranged war canoes, of which there are not many, and perhaps not a single first-class one left! Their fishing and voyaging canoes, also with raised sides;170 and their common canoes of several kinds and sizes, formed out of a single tree and often of great length. A first-class war canoe, with all its many fittings—its hundred paddles, its handsome elaborately carved stem and stern, and all its many ornaments and decorations of feathers, rouge, and mother-of-pearl, was always the work of many hands throughout many years. Fully to complete one was indeed a triumph, in which many hearts would heartily join: so true it is,—

“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever!”

Their largest canoes were rigged with two masts, and carried a large light triangular-shaped sail to each. Their smaller canoes had only one similarly shaped sail. Besides their canoes, they sometimes made use of rafts for crossing streams and inlets when the water was deep; such, however, were only made for the occasion, of dry bulrushes, or the dry flowering stems of the flax plant, tied together in bundles with green flax. In some places, (as about the East Cape, where there are no harbours), the natives made use of an open frame-like raft of light wood, on which they went out to sea for some distance; and of late years have not unfrequently visited ships on such, carrying with them two or three baskets of potatoes.



15. They also excelled in some few Manufactures, more particularly in their textiles; in this respect far surpassing all the other Polynesians. Nature having bountifully given to them that most useful plant, the New Zealand flax, or Phormium; which was very nearly to them what the Cocoa-nut palm is to the Indian.

(1.) From this plant they wove a very great variety of dress mats; from the large elegant and silky bordered Kaitaka of the chiefs, to the common [14] pakè, or rough bee-butt-like cape, for the shoulders against the rain and cold. Much time was necessarily occupied in weaving a first quality dress-mat; the seeking the variety of flax requisite, and the scraping, preparing, and selecting of its fibre; the tewing it to make it soft and silky; the slow weaving; the further seeking of the different barks and earths required, for dyeing the flax in three colours for its lozenge border, to which they always gave the utmost attention. Under the most favorable circumstances one of those best mats could scarcely be finished in two years. Some of those mats were made very soft by repeated tewtawing. All were more or less ornamented; some with a wide border woven differently from the body of the mat, and dyed with enduring colours; others having a profusion of fine glossy black tasselled strings, about 5 or 6 inches long, regularly depending at equal distances from them; others with a rich border of black, or black and white, fringe; and others (Korirangi), were thickly adorned with chequered black and yellow strings, which being also hard in spots or joints through the leaving on of the skin, etc., of the flax, rattled pleasingly with every movement of the wearer. Their more common and daily rough and shaggy dress mats, though anything but ornamental, were exceedingly useful and excellently adapted for preserving their health. Being waterproof, this mat kept them dry and warm in the severest weather; being loosely worn, it allowed of free ventilation; and being rough, it kept up that healthy slight irritation of the skin which to them was indispensable. They also used other fibrous plants for clothing mats although the flax (Phormium) grew everywhere. The strong durable and wholly black dyed mat called Toii, was made of the fibres of the handsome large leaved mountain Cordyline (C. indivisa). The long leaves of the climbing Kiekie (Freycinetia Banksii), and of the Neinei, or large leaved Dracophyllum latifolium, were also used by them; while the bright yellow leaves of the Pingao (Desmoschænus spiralis), were woven into useful purse-like girdles. The Natives in the more southern parts of the group, also wove very useful flax sandals for wearing on the snow. The floor mats, of various sizes, patterns, and fineness, were also neatly woven of flax or Kiekie leaves, separated by the thumb nail into narrow slips; or of the leaves of the large cutting-grass Toetoe (Arundo conspicua), denuded of its edges; or of those of the Nikau palm (Arica sapida); of all which materials they also made their numerous baskets, of many patterns, kinds, and sizes. Some of their fancy baskets woven in elegant patterns with dyed leaves, were highly ornamental. They also made strong and serviceable dress mats of the hairy skins of their dogs, and also of the feathers of the Kiwi (Apteryx); for which they wove a strong lining of flax. Their dogskins they always separated into narrow shreds, which they firmly sewed together, so as to variegate the colours according to the fancy of the maker and owner; or sewed in stripes upon a stout woven lining of flax—not unlike sackcloth. The flax plant also furnished them with excellent material for their many and various threads, twines, cords, lines, and ropes. These they commonly made of 2, 3, or 4 twist; which operation was always performed with the hand on the naked thigh! They also made their several kinds of drag and hand nets, of various sized mesh, of its undressed leaves; of which, and of the leaves of the Ti or cabbage-tree (Cordyline Australis), [15] they plaited flat, round, and square ropes, for their canoes, nets, etc. Their canoe sails were curiously constructed of bulrush leaves (Typha), laid flat edge to edge, and laced across with flax.

(2.) Their Implements of Agriculture, were made of hard wood, and were few in number. The principal one was a ko, a rude kind of narrow and pointed spade with a very long handle, to which, at about 18 inches or more from the point, they fitted a small crooked bit of carved wood, as a rest for the foot. Much smaller implements of a similar shape were used for digging around the plants, and for breaking the clods; these last they used in a sitting or squatting posture. Their canoe paddles, and fish spears, were also made of hardwood, Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium); but their bird spears being very long, some upwards of 30 feet, were made of the light wood Tawa (Nesodaphne tawa). Their war implements of wood were made both of Manuka and Rimu; the curious halbert shaped Wahaika, the broad Meremere (or hand club), for close quarters, and their short spears, were made of the former; and the long spears of the latter, wood. They also made darts with heads of light combustible materials; these they used in attacking a pa or village. Their saw-knives, used for cutting up the flesh of whales, etc., were also made of hardwood; some were edged with sharks’ teeth. Their fishhooks, had the shaft made of the fossil bone of the Moa (Dinornis), and the barb of human bone, with a small tuft of metallic blue feathers of the little penguin attached; some were also made of the tough crooked roots of shrubs, hardened by fire; to some of which a glittering piece of mother-of-pearl shell was attached as a lure. Their sinkers, for deep sea fishing, were made of stone, which they cut and notched to suit; sometimes using a large fossil bivalve, and sometimes a piece of rock which had been perforated by a Pholas.



(3.) Their stone Axes of various sizes, used for felling trees, shaping canoes, and many other purposes, were made of three, or more, different kinds of stone;—the green jade, or axe stone; a close-grained dark basalt; and a hard grey stone. A piece of broken shell was commonly used for cutting, scraping, carving, etc.; but for cutting their own bodies (in lamenting for the dead, etc.), as well as for cutting their hair, and sometimes for carving, they used a thin piece of obsidian. One of their most ingenious instruments, was a kind of wimble, or drill, composed of a small cylindrical piece of wood, produced to a point at one end, to which was fixed a small angular quartz stone; two strings were also fastened at the opposite end, these being repeatedly pulled by both hands in a contrary direction, (the stone to be bored, etc., being firmly held by the feet,) a hole was in time perforated. They used the wedge (matakahi) in splitting trees; and another simple machine, composed of a short lever with short straps, on the plan of a tourniquet, was also used by them in expressing oil from the seeds of the Titongi (Alectryon excelsum), etc., etc. For water vessels they commonly used the hard and fully ripened rind of the cultivated gourd, hue, which sometimes attained to a large size, hardened by baking, sun and fire. The larger calabashes were selected for potting fat birds, and similar delicacies, in their own fat. Oil was often kept in the smaller calabashes; also in dilated joints of kelp, and in the stout double air bladder of the curious sea-porcupine fish (Tetraodon, sp.) [16] {Notes 7, 8}

16. They cultivated the Ornamental as well as the Practical. This has been already shown (in part), in the manufacture of their clothing mats, in their canoe decoration, in their carving, etc. Their greenstone ear and neck ornaments belong to this class; which, from their shape, polish, and tenuity, as well as from the well-known hardness of the stone, must have taken an enormous time to finish. The Mako, or teeth of the long snouted porpoise (a species of mammalia rarely indeed to be met with,—driven on shore, at least), was also greatly prized for ear ornaments. The black and white tail feathers of the bird Huia (Neomorpha Gouldii), and the snowy plumes of the Kautuku (Ardea flavirostris), were greatly prized, to adorn the heads of their chiefs; the former were snared in their proper forests, by skilled natives imitating their call; the latter was (in the Northern Island) rarely seen, and yet they sometimes managed to capture it alive, and to keep it so in a cage for a considerable time for the sake of its feathers, which they regularly plucked. The white down of the Albatross, and of the Gannet, was also worn by the chiefs both in their hair and ears, as ornaments; while the women often wore suspended to their necks, the mottled feathers of the Paradise Duck, and of the little blue Teal of the mountain rivers. They also ornamented themselves by wearing in their ears, the beak and feathered skin of the Huia deprived of its tail feathers; and also of the Tui, or parson bird, and of the elegant little glossy Cuckoo, or Pipiwharauroa (Chrysococcyx lucidus), while the long tail feathers of the larger Cuckoo, or Kohaperoa (Eudynamis taitensis), they also wore in their hair. Flowers were also sometimes used for this purpose; especially the elegant climbing Puawananga (Clematis, sp.), and neat Waewaekoukou (Licopodium volubile), of both which the women often made graceful wreaths and garlands. They carved handsome staves (Hani and Taiaha), out of the hard variegated wood of the Ake (Dodonæa viscosa); which weapon was used both as insignia of rank, and for defence; this they further ornamented with mother-of-pearl eyes set into the wood, and with small red feathers, obtained from under the wings of the brown parrot, firmly fastened around it, and with the prized long white hair of their dogs’ tails, neatly quilled up into little queues and pendant from it. Then their Musical Instruments (rude though they were and possessing only a few notes) were several; perhaps they would have improved these had they possessed proper material for making them. Their 3 or 4 flutes of different sizes were made of human bone, or the hollow stems of the Tutu (Coriaria ruscifolia), or of the Kohoho (Solanum aviculare); or of two pieces of hard wood, cleverly constructed and fitted together, having the joining in the centre, where, too, it was much larger. Their trumpet was made of a large conch shell (Triton variegatum), and sometimes of a piece of wood. All their musical instruments were also more or less carved and ornamented. Their larger war-gongs were made of Mataii wood, and were suspended in their forts. Their combs for their hair were also both neatly made and carved; these however were not used as combs commonly are by us, but by the chiefs to keep up their hair, much as English ladies use their high back-combs. The cloth-like inner bark of the Aute, or paper mulberry, was manufactured only for head ornaments, for which sole purpose too the exotic was carefully and annually cultivated. They very elaborately carved their boxes for [17] holding their Huia and Kautuku feathers; and so they (afterwards) often did their tinder-boxes. They also carved the deep circlet necks, or collars, of hardwood, which they neatly fixed on to their large provision calabashes for potted birds; to which they also fitted tripod-like stands. The poukaakaa, or parrot perch, was also generally carved and ornamented. And they assiduously sought, and only obtained with much trouble and preparation, their favorite colors of red and blue mineral pigments, with which to ornament their bodies, as well as their chiefs houses, canoes, store-houses, tombs, and boundary posts.

17. Buying and Selling for a price (as practised by us) was unknown to them. Such was not wanted where every man, or household, had nearly alike, and made their own commodities. They had, however, a kind of Barter, or Exchange;—or, more properly, a giving to be afterwards repaid by a gift. Dried sea-fish, or dried edible sea-weed, or shark oil, or karaka berries, would be given by natives living on the sea-coast to friendly natives dwelling inland; who would afterwards repay with potted birds, or eels, or hinau cakes, or mats, or rouge, or birds’ feathers and skins. So, a chief would give to one of his own, or of a friendly tribe, some article as an acknowledgment or equivalent for building a canoe, carving, etc., but always without any kind of stipulation or fixed price. Or, he would make a present (always to be repaid), of a canoe, or a dress mat, or a stone war weapon, or a dog, to some other chief, generally to one of higher, or equal, rank than himself; but all without anything like price stated. And when the return gift was made, it was always stated to be such, for if not so stated it would not be so considered (want of knowing this has occasioned much misunderstanding between them and whites). A return gift was always expected to be a larger one than the one which occasioned it. Sometimes they sought to exchange one thing for another, especially with strangers visiting, but this was very rare.

18. The four great yet ordinary events to a New Zealander, were Birth, Marriage, Death, and Exhumation; to which may be added, the ceremony of Naming, the arranging of Betrothal, and Tattooing. On all these occasions there was great feasting; particularly in the case of death and exhumation;—when, too, there was grievous lamentation, much of which was very often real. Time, however, will not permit of anything more at present, than a passing mention of those matters.

(1.) At the Birth of a child, especially of the first-born of a couple of high rank, there was quite as much rejoicing as in more civilized countries. The maternal aunt, or maternal grandmother of the infant was generally present and ruled on such occasions,—if not, then the paternal grandmother took her place. Sometimes the birth of a daughter was preferred to that of a son for political reasons. Of course, the spot where the child was born (if in fine weather in the open air), everything touched or used, and all who had anything to do at the birth, were strictly tabooed (tapu),—under customary restraint, or “legally unclean,”—set apart for the time from every ordinary matter. The umbilical cord was tied with scraped flax, which sometimes slipping caused a protuberant navel, and not unfrequently hernia; which latter, however, disappeared at adult age. The natives have been charged with compressing the infant’s nose, to flatten it; and while this has been commonly [18] denied, it is evident, that the nose salutations (hongi, nose-rubbing), it was continually receiving from its mother and relatives, must have had a great tendency that way: besides, flat noses were always admired. Soon after its birth they commenced rubbing down its knee joints, in order to reduce the inner part of the joint, and so make them “handsome.” For this purpose the infant was placed face downwards by its grandmother, or by one of the elder women, on her closed legs, and its little legs and knees rubbed downwards with pretty much squeezing of the inner knee; this operation was daily, or oftener, performed during several weeks. Female infants had the first joint of their thumbs half disjointed, or bent considerably outwards, to enable the woman the better to hold, scrape, weave, and plait flax. At an early period, the little ears of the infant were bored with a sharp fragment of stone, or bit of obsidian; an operation generally performed by its mother.

(2.) Betrothal often took place at, or shortly after, birth (if not indeed, mentally, and conditionally, before). This was almost certain to ensue in the case of simultaneous births of opposite sexes among friends of equal rank, or distant relatives. If not then arranged by the parents, or uncles, it was generally done during the early childhood of the children. While, no doubt, all such affiances arose from both good and political motives, nothing the New Zealanders ever did caused them more misery—and yet they could never be brought to see it.

(3.) “Naming” of the child also followed soon after its birth. This ceremony was always performed by a “priest,” (cunning wright, or skilled man, who managed all such secret and mysterious matters, of exorcism, objurgation, or incantation)—it has been called by Europeans, the “naming” of the child, but it does not mean that; it has also been called “baptism,” and compared with Christian baptism, and the term, iriiri, adopted, (rather unwisely) to express that ordinance. No doubt it was a high ceremony in the eyes of a New Zealander; but it was nothing else than a removal of the tapu,—restraint, or prohibition,—under which the child and mother lay,—more a rite of purification than anything else. If the child was a boy, the “priest” expressed his wish that he should be brave and manly; if a girl, that she should be efficient in all those peculiar duties pertaining to her sex.

(4.) About the age of puberty the Tattooing operation was begun on both sexes; as, in the case of the man, it took several years to complete, and in that of the woman it was necessary, at least, that her lips should be finished ere she could have a husband; red lips in women being abhorred, and black ones being considered the perfection of beautiful feminine lips. Regular tattooing, in the male, was confined to the whole face and to the breech, and sometimes to the thighs: certainly some were very handsomely done. In the female it was confined to the lips, chin, between the eyes, and a little up the forehead, and on the back part of the leg, from the heel to the calf; the three last-mentioned being always indicative of rank. The women, also, often got themselves irregularly marked on their hands, arms, breast, and face, with small crosses, short lines, and dots. A very few women the writer has seen with tattooed faces just as a man; these belong to Southern tribes; some of whom formerly had a very different style of tattooing (such as is shewn in Cook’s Voyages, plate 13, 4to. edition). The Chiefs wore their hair long, [19] and dressed up into a knot on the top of their heads; the women wore it cut short.

(5.) At the Marriage, or coming together as man and wife of the young couple, there was really no ceremony; indeed they have no proper name for it in their own language. It was known as, “noho tahi,” or “moe tahi,” or “whakamoe,”—i.e., dwelling together, or sleeping together, or causing to do so. If they had been betrothed by their parents, it was merely a matter of time,—(always supposing no rupture, or anything serious having occurred, which, however, was rarely the case,)—the mats being woven, and the provisions ready for the feast, and the parents, brothers, uncles, and tribe, being of opinion that the long looked for dwelling-together should take place, (which they were often too ready to do) and the young couple also willing, the betrothed bride was brought, generally by her brothers and uncles, to the house of the bridegroom’s parents, clothed in new mats, where she was received with acclamation, and given over to her husband; by whom and by his people gifts were always made to the parents of the girl. If, however, there had been no betrothal, a marriage between young people was always a very difficult thing to effect, and one which took some time; as everyone, of both the tribes, had something to say, and must be satisfied ere it could take place; particularly the uncles and aunts, the sisters, and female cousins of the young man, and the brothers and male cousins of the girl. Hence, the young couple, disgusted, often ran away to the woods, and there remained some time together in solitude, pretty sure of being soon sought after, and their living together acquiesced in. Contrary to what obtains (openly at least) among us; with them, the unbetrothed young woman commenced the courtship; not unfrequently, however, (even after all the relations had agreed,) other suitors appeared at the last moment, and a passionate and severe struggle took place,—sometimes ending in the forcible abduction of the girl, (especially if the newly-arrived suitor was a person of high rank,) after being nearly killed through the pulling and hauling she received.

(6.) Polygamy being encouraged, and divorce allowed, all chiefs had several wives; which increased their power and influence considerably. Polygamy was not the cause of disagreement or jealousy among the wives, who lived together in great harmony. Nor did it cause a disproportion of marriageable women, as many males were being continually killed in their frequent battles. The sudden bringing home of a new wife, which sometimes happened, (perhaps a slave, or from a distance,) as a matter of course made quite a sensation among the old wives, but it was only temporary. Often the old wives themselves encouraged their husband to take another, and aided efficiently in his doing so. Their injudicious early betrothals, (marriages of policy, not love,) which must take place; their great desire of offspring; their belief that barrenness always proceeded from the female; and their rule of a brother always taking the widow of his deceased brother; were among the main causes of polygamy. Politically speaking, had polygamy and divorce not been too early and rudely ecclesiastically interfered with and prohibited, the New Zealanders as a nation would, in all probability, have now been very much more numerous and better off.

(7.) Death was always gloomy to a New Zealander, and yet they [20] often met the “king of terrors” bravely. Whether they slowly died from disease, or from barbarous cruelties practised by their enemies;—whether suddenly from unlooked for casualty, or the excited anger of a superior, or in the battle-field, they all, young and old, of either sex, died bravely, though not willingly. This is the more striking, from the fact of their belief, that, whether they died at home from disease, or at sea from a canoe upsetting, or from a fall from a lofty tree, or through a house taking fire, or in the battle-field, or as a captive,—such was invariably owing to the anger of the Atua (or, man-destroying demon). Often did they when sinking, calmly give their last words (alas! too frequently of deadly revenge) to their weeping relatives; which burning words the hearers treasured up never to be forgotten. They rarely ever died in a good house; mostly in the open air, or under some wretched shed; this was done because the house in which anyone died would have to be forsaken as tapu. At death there was much loud lamentation, accompanied with gashing themselves on their arms, chests, and foreheads, through which the blood flowed profusely. They also further disfigured themselves by cutting their hair close on one side; sometimes a few locks of long hair were left untouched, and these were seldom afterwards trimmed, but allowed to grow and mat together as a constant and ever present memento of the departed. The whole place was very sad; several of the principal resident mourners have been known to die from sheer exhaustion. Such miserable wailing continued for a long time; as fresh parties of mourners kept continually arriving. Some came before the body was removed; some not till long after; but this made no difference. All sang and wailed with much gesticulation and lacerating of themselves, with their faces towards the deceased, or his tomb, or the place where he had breathed his last; the burden of their lament invariably being, “Go, go, depart, depart; go before us to thy people: we follow.” The body was sometimes tied up in a sitting posture, and clothed, and placed with its greenstone mere,171 etc., in a small house, or mausoleum, prepared for it. Sometimes, though not frequently, it was boxed up in the corner of the verandah of the house in which it had lived; oftener it was placed on a small canoe or bier, and taken to a gloomy forest (anciently set apart for the purpose), and there put up in the broad forked branches of some dark tree. In all such cases to remain until the flesh should have decayed.

(8.) The Exhumation, or hahunga,—i.e., cleaning of the bones,—sometimes took place within a year after death. For this work great preparations were made—in the way of preparing provisions; and not unfrequently the ceremony was put off until a sufficiency should have been provided. Of course all engaged in cleaning the bones were very tapu; —and rightly so. Not one of the smallest was ever left behind; they were cleaned, anointed, and decorated, the head especially, with feathers and ornaments. After being exhibited, seen, wept, and wailed over, they were carried by a single man and near relative to their last resting place. The exact spot of deposit, for wise political reasons, being only known to a select few. Sometimes the bones were thrown into some old volcanic rent, or chasm; sometimes thrown into very deep water-holes; [21] and sometimes neatly and regularly placed in a deep, dark cave; always, if possible, wherever those of his ancestors happened to be. Their principal object being, to prevent their falling into the hands of their enemies, who would dreadfully desecrate and ill-use them, with many bitter jeers and curses. The skull might be made to serve as a dish for food, or be placed on a stake to be daily mocked,—or even taken out to sea on fishing excursions to be taunted and derided afresh there with new indignities. The bones of the body would also be used for fishhooks, flutes, needles, skewers, dining-forks, etc. All such ill-usage was always dreaded and detested. Some tribes, especially the Ngatiporou, (E. Cape) extracted the teeth, and, having strung them, wore them as a necklace. {Note 9}

19. Of Rank and Class, the New Zealanders had keen and clear (if not subtle) distinctions. First, there were the great ones of bond and free:—



(1.) Of the free, there were—(a.) the ariki, or head of the tribe, being the first-born (male or female) by the eldest branch; the lineal heir, or heiress—(b.) the principal man (tino tangata) or head of the sub-tribe—(c.) his brothers and sisters, and half-brothers and sisters by other mothers—(d.) his uncles and aunts, cousins, etc. The tribe or sub-tribe having sprung from one progenitor, the greatness of any one of it depended, partly, on his nearness to that progenitor, and, partly, on the rank, power, and influence of his own immediate parent or ancestor (male or female), who had married into the tribe. Thus, paradoxical as it may appear, the children were often of higher rank than either of their parents; this often caused what would be by us termed gross insubordination. The children of a principal chief by wives of unequal rank would not all be of one rank; as their rank always depended on that of their mothers as well as on that of their fathers. The first-born of the eldest of the tribe, whether male or female, was called ariki, (i.e., first-born, heir, high chief, or ruler) and besides his high rank had great privileges. Of him, or her, great care was taken. To him from his birth, being of much higher rank than his father or mother, it was, as if the world around was made for him. In every case the eldest child ruled all the younger children; and they generally promptly obeyed him. Sometimes, in consequence of the will of the father, or owing to a quiet or retiring disposition, to bodily deformity or ailment, to want of capacity, or of signalizing himself, on the part of the elder child, or to the scheming daring character of the younger,—the younger superseded the elder, and governed the tribe in all ordinary matters; but not in the greater tribal matters. A chief generally lost his influence among his own tribe, if not his rank, by not asserting his position and rights. Here, as in other countries, might very soon became to be considered as right. Hence the constant exertion and struggle, and the difficulties continually arising in the daily jostle of New Zealand life. Chiefs of rank were also known by their tattooing, dress, insignia, and ornaments. The black and white tail-feather of the Huia bird, and the white plume of the crane (Kautuku), were worn by them alone in the hair; the prized tooth (mako) in their ears; the quaintly carved greenstone heitiki suspended on their breasts; and the greenstone mere, and ornamented hani in their hands; these, with their best mats, of flax, dogskin, and birds’ [22] feathers, were all for patrician ornament and use—(e.) Poor men and low plebeians, though free, were the children of remote lateral descendants of a tribe, especially if their mothers, or fathers, had been slaves—(f.) Successful “priests,” and skilled artificers, both male and female, whether belonging to the tribe or not, always gained both renown and influence, whatever their proper rank might be; so did the brave warrior, and fortunate fisher, and bird snarer. The “priest,” however, lost his influence the moment he ceased to be successful,—or, to be believed, on which his success depended; hence all manner of lying props and stratagems were used.

(2.) With the slave, too, it was much the same; if skilled, or if active and industrious, and willing to serve his new masters, he was sure to rise and have some influence; which, however great his rank might have been in his own tribe, he would never again have there,—even if he could return. This was a strange and cruel trait in their character, but it is easily understood, when it is considered, that his own tribe attributed his being enslaved to the anger of the Atua, (evil demon) and that by his becoming so he had lost his tapu; and if they were to compassionate and restore, they too would incur the anger of the Atua, which they dreaded above all things. Slaves have been known to rise to very important positions among their new masters; and, even when having opportunities to escape, or set at liberty, to choose to remain and live and die with them. The writer has known several instances, especially among the Ngapuhi (Bay of Islands) tribes, in which the slave, although without original rank, has become the principal man, or leader, in the sub-tribe in which he was a slave. A New Zealand slave had full liberty, even of speech, before his masters, and plenty to eat; and was generally as cheerful as the free. True, he could not wear the clothing, or ornaments of patrician rank; nor would he be greatly bewailed at death; nor have his bones ceremonially scraped; but these things now did not move him. Those about him knew, and he too knew, that his lot of today might be theirs tomorrow. Bad, irritating language was sometimes used towards a slave by tyrannical, passionate masters; but such was the exception, not the rule, and was secretly disapproved of among themselves. All things considered, ordinary slavery among the New Zealanders was not so bad as the word imports, and as some Europeans, from want of due knowledge, have made it to appear. {Notes 10, 11, 12}

20. Their views of property were, in the main, both simple and just; and, in some respects, (even including those most abnormal), wonderfully accorded with what once obtained in England. Among the New Zealanders property may be said to have been divided into two great classes,—immovable and movable;—or, ordinary and extraordinary;—or, peculiar and common;—perhaps the latter definition may be most advantageous for consideration.

(1.) Of peculiar, or private, rights:—With them, every man had a right to his own, as against every one else, but then this right was often overcome by might. A man of middle or low rank, caught, perhaps, some fine fish, or was very lucky in snaring birds, such were undoubtedly his own; but if his superior or elder chief wished, or asked for some, he dared not refuse, even if he would. At the same time such a gift, [23] if gift it might be termed, was (according to custom) sure to be repaid with interest, hence it was readily yielded. The whole of a man’s movable property was his own, which included his house and fences, as well as all his smaller goods. All that a freeman made, or caught, or obtained, or raised by agriculture were his own, private and peculiar; his house erected by himself was his own, but if not on his own land (rarely the case) he could not hold it against the owner of that spot, unless such use had been openly allowed to him by the owner before all (i te aroaro o te tokomaha). So a plantation planted by himself, if not on his own land (also a rare thing), he would have to leave after taking his crops, on being ordered to do so; but not so if he had originally and with permission felled the forest, or reclaimed that land from the wild; in which case he would retain it for life, or as long as he pleased, and very likely his descendants after him. To land, a man acquired a peculiar right in many ways.

(i.) Definite:—(a.) by having been born on it, or, in their expressive language, “where his navel-string was cut,” as his first blood (ever sacred in their eyes) had been shed there—(b.) by having had his secundines buried there, (this, however, was much more partial)—(c.) by a public invitation from the owner to dwell on it—(d.) by having first cultivated it with permission—(e.) by having had his blood shed upon it—(f.) by having had the body, or bones, of his deceased father, or mother, or uterine brother or sister deposited, or resting on it—(g.) by having had a near relative killed, or roasted on it; or a portion of his body stuck up or thrown away upon it—(h.) by having been bitterly cursed in connection with that piece of land, i.e.—this oven is for thy body, or head; on that tree thy liver shall be fixed to rot; thy skull shall hold the cooked birds, or berries of this wood, etc.—(i.) or by the people of the district using for any purpose, a shed which had been temporarily put up there and used by a chief in travelling.

(ii.) Indefinite:—(a.) by having been invited to come there by the chief with a party to dwell (lit. having had their canoe in passing called to shore)—(b.) through his wife by marriage, (but such would only be a quasi life-interest to him—i.e. during her life and infancy of the children; as, in case of children, they would take all their mother’s right)—(c.) by having assisted in conquering it—(d.) by having aided with food, a canoe, a spear, etc., an armed party who subsequently became conquerors of it. All these equally applied though he should belong to a different tribe or sub-tribe.

(iii.) Beyond all these, however, was the right by gift or transfer, and by inheritance, which not unfrequently was peculiar and private. This, (which has of late years been much contested, and too often, it is feared, by ignorant and interested men, or by those who have too readily believed what the talkative younger New Zealanders now say), may clearly be proved beyond all doubt—(1.) By the acts of their several ancestors (great-grandfathers) to their children, from whom the present sub-tribes derive their sub-tribal names, and claim their boundaries; such ancestors divided and gave those lands simply to each individual of their family, which division, and alienation, however unfairly made, has never been contested—(2.) By their ancient transfers (gifts or sales) of land made by individuals of one tribe to individuals of another, as related by themselves; [24] and from which gift, or alienation, in many instances, they deduce their present claims. (3.) By their earliest (untampered) sales and transfers of land to Missionaries and to others; which were not unfrequently done by one native. (As was notably the case in the first alienation of land by deed, to Mr. Marsden at the Bay of Islands, in 1815.) Although the foreign transferees (not knowing the native custom,) often wished others being co-proprietors to sign the document of transfer; and this, bye-and-bye, came to be looked upon as the New Zealand custom; whence came the modern belief that all must unite in a sale; and thence it followed that one could not sell his own land! But such is not of New Zealand origin.

(iv.) Their order of Succession of Inheritance, as clearly shown in their genealogical recitals, etc., was from father to son; but on the demise of the eldest, the next brother succeeded to the inheritance, pro tempore, and so on; eventually, however, reverting to the children of the senior brother, and mainly to the eldest of them. Hence, a New Zealander in speaking of his right to land, (even after the decease of his parent through whom he derived his title) preferred to mention his grandfather’s name, and himself as deriving from him. It must not be forgotten, that the living brother invariably took to wife the widow of his deceased brother, unless she destroyed herself, or he was willing to forego his right: this, also often entangled the succession still more, especially to a European.

(v.) Usufructuary:—Of which two classes may be here noticed. (1.) Permanent: as the right of a man to a hidden rock, or shoal, at sea for cod-fishing; to a tidal bank for shell-fish; or to a certain wood, or tract of land, for taking certain birds; or to a defined portion of a plain for quail and rats; or to a forest, for hinau, tawa, or karaka berries; or to a defined portion of a flax swamp for cutting flax; or to a spot for an eel-weir; or to a hill, etc., for digging fern-root. Sometimes there would be a double-right to the usufruct of the same estate, i.e. one man or family would have the right to the eels, another to the ducks: one to the fern-root, another to the rats, quails, etc. Those permanent usufruct rights often originated in transfers or gifts, and generally continued in the first line of descent. They were mostly easily managed by the New Zealanders before the incoming of the European; or, rather, before the younger natives became infiltrated with novel European notions. (2.) Temporary:—often only for a year or season; such as, to the fruit (juice) of the tutu shrub, or to the watery honey of the flax (phormium) flowers, growing within certain bounds—to the young shags of a certain cliff—to the Inanga (whitebait), or other annual fish, of a certain part of a stream. In all such cases the right was generally made known by a pole being stuck up with fragments of wearing apparel, or a bunch of flax, grass, or such like, tied around it; and this was usually respected.

(vi.) There were also other peculiar rights to property,—such as that of the ariki, or head chief, to a whale, porpoise, or dolphin (“royal fish,”) cast anywhere on shore within his territories; to a white crane, if in any of his streams. (These, on being seen, should not be touched, but information given directly to him, the supreme lord.) Also, to any wreck driven on a desolate shore; but a wreck of any kind, or even a canoe and property of friends and relatives upsetting off a village, and drifting on shore where a village was, became the property of the people of that [25] village; although it might be that the people in the canoe had all got safely to land or were coming by special invitation to visit that very village, perhaps to lament over their dead! Strangest of all, the (unfortunate?) people in the upset canoe would be the very first to resent—even to fighting—any kind alleviation of this strange law! so that such conduct, while appearing to us (as Blackstone says) to be “consonant neither ‘to reason nor humanity,’ was not to them the ‘adding of sorrow to sorrow.”’ So also, goods floating at sea (a canoe, etc.); or found on the high-road; or anywhere dropped, not hidden; became the property of the finder. Recently hidden property, if discovered, was restored to its owner, on its being clearly identified; but anciently hidden property (mostly stone axes, and stone ornaments), became the property of the lord of the manor, who sometimes gave it (ex proprio motu) to the descendants of the person, when known, to whom it had belonged.



(2.) Of common rights. Such everywhere existed, both to—(a.) movable, and to—(b.) immovable property.—(a.) As where several joined together,—to build a village,—to build a large house,—to make a large net,—to fell a forest, and to plant the ground,—to fish, with a seine net, or to snare birds in company,—to make a large eel-weir, etc., etc.—(b.) to land, including what it spontaneously produced (which latter was often of the greater moment to them):—such was common and unrestricted for every purpose to all the tribe, and to their relatives by marriage of other tribes, and to their friends. Always excepting any such isolated peculiar claims and rights as those already mentioned. Hence, any one of the tribe, or sub-tribe, would clear a portion of the forest for planting,—or set fire to the fern or swamp; or select and mark for himself a tree in the wood, to be hereafter felled by him and made into a canoe, etc. {Note 13}

21. Their Treatment of Internal Diseases, excepting, perhaps, rheumatism, was altogether bad, yet ignorantly so; as they wholly relied on the efficacy of the objurgations, or exorcisms, of the “priest,” or skilled man. In rheumatic affections, however, among other remedies, they often resorted to a rude hot vapour bath; and both in rheumatism, and in some obstinate cutaneous diseases, the tribes living near to hotsprings, and hot sulphureous mud wells, used them advantageously. But, while bad physicians, they were tolerably good surgeons,—especially in reducing dislocations, and setting broken bones,—as they knew well the economy of the human frame, from their too often cannibal feasts, as well as from their practice of cleaning the bones of the dead. They set broken bones admirably, using splints of Totara bark, or of the broad green bases of the large flax leaves; they also managed to cut off crushed fingers and toes, and even badly maimed hands, feet, and forearms, in a creditable manner, although wholly ignorant of the arterial system. Spearheads broken off within and perceived, they managed to cut out; but if not apparent, they repeatedly exorcised, to the double misery and expense of the sufferer. Recent wounds were generally left to themselves, and like their fractures, they mostly healed quickly and well; owing, no doubt, to their non-stimulating diet, temperate living, and low pulse. Old obstinate ulcers, (often arising from scrofula, or from some fragment of bone, or foreign substance remaining in the flesh, or from fungoid flesh,) they sometimes adroitly managed, by weaving a little wicker boss, [26] or shield, which they strapped on to protect the sore. They were also clever at boils, in courageously bearing the extraction of the core by pressure, only they did it too early. Painful excoriations of the hands, by poling or paddling, they eased by the actual cautery; burning the same with live embers. In midwifery cases, they were also very expert; in severe cases extracting the fætus piecemeal; when the husband was generally the operator. They were always extraordinarily solicitous about the retention of the afterbirth. In cases of children being poisoned by eating the seeds of the Tupakihi or Tutu, (Coriaria ruscifolia) they generally smoked them over a heap of green bushes, having a little fire underneath, shaking them about at the same time; sometimes they also ducked them roughly in the sea or river. In cases of poisoning through eating the unprepared kernels of the Karaka (Corynocarpus lævigata), they dug a deep pit as fast as possible, in which they placed the unhappy sufferer standing, with his arms lashed to his sides, his legs tied together, and a gag in his mouth; filling in the earth, or sand, to his neck. If this treatment was well and expeditiously performed, the patient not only recovered, but had again the proper use of his limbs. The convulsions and rigidities, during the action of the poison, were dreadfully severe. {Notes 14, 15}

22. They had several Acquired Habits, some of which were notably good, others peculiar. Their great industry has been already mentioned. They usually carried their heavy loads strapped on their backs, where they also carried their children. They were fond of sitting squatting on their haunches, both on land and in their canoes. They often used their toes to pick up any small article with. They endured their smoky houses without inconvenience; and always ate their food out of doors in all weathers. They saluted each other on meeting, by placing their noses in contact, rubbing and pressing them; in this way chiefs saluted chiefs, and slaves slaves. They often signified their assent to anything by a slight elevation of the head, or of the eyebrows. Silence was the understood sign of dissent. They measured length, especially cordage, etc., with expanded arms; or by stretching themselves on the ground, or surface, to be measured. Lice of two kinds, (Pediculus hum. capitis, and P. hum. corporis), with which their heads and clothing formerly abounded, they uniformly caught and cracked with their teeth. They had a peculiar gait, turning in their toes, and planting the sole flat on the ground, one foot closely before the other; hence they walked in very narrow pathways, yet they trod firmly, and stood strong on their legs.

23. Of Drinks, save water, no people had fewer; of really artificial ones none. In summer they everywhere drank the sweet and pleasant juice of the Tutu, sometimes mixed with gelatinous seaweeds, or a little prepared fern root, to give it consistency. Sometimes they mixed the fresh gathered watery honey of the flax flowers Korari (Phormium), with water; and sometimes the large roots of the cabbage-tree Ti (Cordyline australis), were slowly baked and bruised up in water, and yielded a sweetish drink.

24. Their Masticatories were few and scanty; yet most of what they had they prized. The resin of the Tarata (Pittosporum eugenioides), they gathered and mixed into a ball with the gum of the sow-thistle, which they chewed. A kind of Bitumen, which was sometimes found thrown up on their coasts, though rarely, and called by them “Kauritawhiti,” [27] and “Mimiha,” they also chewed. As they did the fresh resin of the Kauri tree (Dammara Australis). In using them, they passed them freely from one to another without hesitation.

25. Fond of Children, Pets, and Playthings, they endeavoured to domesticate a few animals. Foremost among them was their dog, which, for many reasons, must have been one of their great treasures; this animal they prized for his long tail-hair, his skin, and his flesh. In some places they dexterously managed to flay the outer skin of his living tail in narrow strips, so as to obtain the much coveted long white hair; which in time grew again! They also had a very ingenious mode of castrating them. This variety of dog has long become wholly extinct in New Zealand. Next to their dog, as being like him wholly at liberty, were the two large sea gulls, the Karoro, and the Ngoiro (Larus sp.) these, however, were of no real service; they would go to the sea and return again to the village. The large brown parrot, Kaakaa (Nestor meridionalis) and the Parson-bird Tui, or Koko (Prosthemadera Novæ Seelandiæ) they also tamed; the former as a useful decoy-bird for catching his fellow-parrots; the latter, merely for his song, talking, and antics. They kept the Tui in a kind of rude cage, and taught him to repeat tolerably well a long song; while the poor parrot was always kept fast confined, tied by his leg to a cord with a running noose on a light perch or spear. They also sometimes kept the white crane, Kotuku (Ardea flavirostris), in a miserable cage of basket work, much smaller than the bird required to stand upright in! where they scantily fed him with small fresh-water fish; this was done for the sake of its prized feathers, which were regularly plucked every four or six months. {Note 16}

26. Of Games and Diversions the New Zealanders had several; some of them were remarkably innocent. For children they had the whipping top, which, curiously enough, closely resembled the common English one; also, a game called whai, played with a string, much like the “cat’s-cradle” of the English children; and another called poi, played with a large light ornamented ball attached to a short string. Young men often strove for the mastery in short spear exercises, and in projecting long dry fern stalks over a piece of level ground, or sandy beach; and in wrestling, running, leaping, hopping with or without a pole, climbing, swinging, paddling a small canoe, swimming and diving; in the three last-mentioned the girls also took part. They had also, for the young of both sexes, games of guessing; in one of which a pebble was hidden among a company;—of repeating long involved sentences without stay or hesitation;—of singing;—and of regular gesticulation by a company all sitting. They had various dances, some of which were mostly performed in their villages by the young women; while the rougher dances, accompanied with grimaces, and defiance, and brandishing of weapons, culminating in the hideous war-dance, were generally executed by the adult men. In dancing, however, with the sole exception of the war-dance, and also in swimming and other aquatic exercises, they were very much inferior to the other Polynesians. Old men often amused themselves with looking on and encouraging the younger ones, and especially with kite-flying, and in playing with the poi-ball. Their kites (pakaukau) were wholly different from European ones, and more resembling those of the Chinese. They were very ingeniously and neatly made with round and flat rushes, [29] and hovered very prettily in the air. They usually sang or chaunted a song to the kite while flying it.




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