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


The Tale of the Great Lady Ruataupare



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4. The Tale of the Great Lady Ruataupare.


Here begins the story of Ruataupare. She was a woman of rank, and was the wife of Tuwhakairiora. In course of time she bore him six children, of whom four were girls and two were boys; and these were their names: the first, Mariu; the second, Te Aotiraroa; the third, Tukakahumai; the fourth, Te Atakura; the fifth, Tuterangikawhiu; and the sixth, Wehiwehi562 At the birth of this last, of Wehiwehi, the mother, Ruataupare, received serious internal injury,563 so that she dwelt apart in the sickhouse, on account of her severe pains. Some time after the birth of this last child her husband thought that she was getting well; but no, she continued very ill. On a certain day the husband went to the house where she was to see the mother of his children and to enquire after her, when, after some talk, she said to him, “O, sir, listen to me. Wilt thou not be willing to go and fetch the daughter of Te Aomania, to become a wife for thee?” The husband replied to her, “O, mother! O, mother! and what of her own husband?” The wife rejoined, “O, my lord, thou must also be saying that thou art a great chief.” On this he assented to the talk of his wife, that he should go thither [47] for that purpose, so he and his friends—a large party—went together. On arriving at the forest in the way they made a nice easy carriage for the woman, to carry her in on their shoulders. This they took along with them; and when at last they got near to the village to which they were going they left the shoulder-carriage there, and proceeded to the residence of the woman and her husband, whose name was Tuhauanu. On seeing the party of welcome strangers coming the man and his wife loudly welcomed them to their village with the common national cry of, “Come hither! come hither!” So the travelling party entered the big house and sat down, and all wept together through joy, which over they performed their usual nasal salutations. The woman then busied herself in preparing food for the strangers, and, when it was cooked, they ate. The repast over they rose to return to their own place, and the woman also went out in the usual way to give them the last parting words, “Go, go in peace,” the travelling party replying, “Dwell, dwell in peace in thy own home.” But when they were pretty near to the shoulder-carriage they caught up the woman and placed her in it to carry her off. Then they called loudly to her husband, “Thy wife is gone, being taken forcibly away.” On hearing this he took up his own nice dog’s-hair mat garment and went after the woman, crying out, “Go along, but go gently.” He pursued and overtook the woman, and they wept and mourned together. When that was over he took his nice garment and spread it over her. Behold here two exceedingly excellent things performed by that man, Tuhauanu:—his yielding up his wife, and also his giving her his own choice chief’s garment! The woman’s name was Te Ihikooterangi, and she became the wife of Tuwhakairiora. She bore to him seven children, and these are their names: Te Aowehea, Mariuterangi, Te Rakaao, Te Rangitaupopoki, Tuhorouta, Tinatoka, and Kirianu. Of all that chief’s family these following are the names of those who were highly spoken of, and became the common boast—namely, of the first wife, Tuterangikawhiu and Wehiwehi; of the second wife, Te Aowehea, Tuhorouta, and Tinatoka,—these being continually called and spoken of approvingly, day after day, as the noble offspring of Tuwhakairiora. Hence, too, the first wife, Ruataupare, became greatly displeased, and was filled with shame on hearing her children always spoken of as those of her husband; and bearing only his name, while her own name was never once uplifted, but utterly disregarded. So she commanded a canoe to be got ready, and she was paddled to Tokomaru, the place of her own tribe. Arriving there she was ridiculed and mocked by all the people, on account of her hurt (for which she also underwent severe surgical operation). All this made her very wretched, and she wept over her unhappy situation. Then she said to her brother, “Wilt thou not go to see our grandchild, that he may come hither to visit us?” So her brother went to [48] him—to his place; and, after some time spent with him, Te Rangitaukiwaho, he came to Tokomaru to see his grandparents. The usual hearty welcomes and salutations over the old lady related to her grandson her situation. On hearing this he remained there, and commanded a fine large house to be erected, which was done, and when it was finished it was named “Te Koherearuhe.” This done the summoning herald was formally sent to Waiapu, to Awatere, and to Wharekahika, to all the tribes, to the chief Kauwakatuakina, to the descendants of Hinerupe, to the offspring of Tuwhakairiora, and to the tribe Ngatiporou, to assemble themselves and to come and fight with all the various peoples who were dwelling upon the lands belonging to her—to the great lady Ruataupare. They accordingly came, and then the war began, which lasted a long time. The first battle was called “Te Koherearuhe;” the second, “Te Upokoparupuwha;” the third, “Taitimuroa;” the fourth, “Taiparipari;” and the fifth, “Waikoropupu.” Those people living thereabouts were all killed, and this exterminating war was brought about by Ruataupare, and thus her own lands, which had descended to her from ancient times, were cleared of them, and the name of Ruataupare was now loudly proclaimed and feared throughout the whole district of Tokomaru. Hence her name rose very high, also those of her female children, who came to dwell with her on their old ancestral estates.

[According to their genealogies these circumstances happened ten generations back.—W.C.]


5. A Story of the Olden Time.

The Fighting between Tuere and Tangihaere (of the one side) against Te Awariki.


A chief of old, whose name was Te Awariki, began this quarrel. This first fight is known to us in oral Maori history by the name of “The Bird, the flying Kite.” On a certain fine day the chiefs of that village were all flying their kites, when the sons of Tuere and of Tangihaere were cursed by Te Awariki. He cursed them because the lines of their kites went above and over that of his own, which he was also flying. At this Tuere called out to his sons, saying, “Reply to him, that yonder is thy leg!”564 So they all became very angry; ending in Te Awariki killing some of them. Not ceasing even then, he again arose in wrath with his followers against them, when they fought desperately, and seized and killed him. The distinguishing name by which this second battle between them is known is “Te Uirarapa” (lit. the lightning-flash). In that fight the people of Te Awariki [49] suffered greatly. Tuere, however, died at Te Waitotara, his own place, and was buried in a small wood called Kaniawhea. His sons and people continued to dwell for some time at that place; and by-and-by, at the proper time, they exhumed the body of their dead father Tuere, and manufactured his bones into fishing-hooks; and when all was done they carried them out to sea, and fished, and caught a large quantity of fine fish; then they paddled back to the shore, but on reaching it they did not take a single thing out of their canoe, leaving therein the fish, the hooks and lines, the paddles, and the balers,—all, everything; landing stark naked, and so going to their residence. Now all this was not of themselves, not of their own devising; for their dead father had planned all this, and bound them by his last words,—the performance only at this time being theirs; and thus they fulfilled his commands. They shoved off the canoe, and sent it adrift to go whither it would, being pretty sure that it would soon reach some other inhabited village on the coast, where the people would seize and eat the fish which was in the canoe, that by their so doing they might all die,—through the powerful malevolent influence of the bones of Tuere.565 And so, at last, the wished-for slaughter was made, and the battle was gained by Tuere and his sons. And they (the sons) having done all this, left those parts, where they had long lived, migrating northwards to Maketu and Tauranga; where some of their descendants are to this day,—the offspring of Te Rangihouwhiri.


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