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



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A Genealogical Appendix.

I. Of Houmea.


This is a genealogical line of descent direct from Houmea, to show her offspring; which line also includes Paikea.

Houmea.


Tutawhake.

Nana.


Nioi.

Tangaroa.

Te Meha.

Te Toi.


Te Ihimoana.

Te Rapumoana.

Tumaikawa.

Matangiteunga.

Ranginumia.

Rangiwhetuma.

Rangiwherara.

Tangaroapatiere.

Tangaroawhakamautai.

Te Petipeti.

Te Rangahua.

Te Aihumoana.

Te Aihumowairaka.

Rongomaitahanui.



Paikea.

Pouheni.


Rangitekiwa.

Rakaitapu.

Te Aowhakamaru.

Uetekoroheke.

Niwaniwa.

Porourangi.

Hau.

Rakaipo.


Rakaiwhetenga.

Tapuatehaurangi.

Tawhakeurunga.

Hinekehu.

Whaene.

Te Atakura.



Tuwhakairiora.

Te Aotiraroa.

Tumokai.

Tamaauahi.

Te Rangikatoiwaho.

Huiwhenua.

Rongotukiwaho.

Porourangi.

Potae.

Henere Potae.



Wiremu Potae. = 48 generations. [33]

Some other of Paikea’s ancestors, whom he had called on, and, also, recollected in his distress,—as Houtaiki, Pakia, Hikitaiorea, Mataiahuru, etc.,—are yet more ancient than those mentioned in this list, and run, also, in two other lines of descent; those lines, however, are not here given.


II. Of Pani.

The genealogical line of descent from Pani down to Uenuku contains 38 generations; and there are several other generations enumerated which preceded Pani, besides others before the first of that line, which are evidently wholly, or in part, mythological.
III. Of Uenuku.

The line of descent from Uenuku to the present time contains 25 to 28 generations; i.e., I have several lines of descent of several families strictly enumerated and all allowed, from Uenuku down to the present time, and they thus vary; which, however, can easily be accounted for. These lines give also the principal wife of each chief; and all of them descend from Uenuku direct through Ruatapu and his son Hau.

In the line, also, from Houmea (above), there are 27 generations from Paikea to the present time.

“Quid prodest, Pontice, longo
Sanguine censeri, pictosque ostendere vultus
Majorum?”693Juv.

1881 Contributions towards a better Knowledge of the Maori Race (continued694).
Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 14: 33-48.


[Read before the Hawke’s Bay Philosophical Institute, 8th August, 1881.]

—–“For, I, too, agree with Solon, that ‘I would fain grow old learning many things.’” —Plato: Laches.


On the Ideality of the Ancient New Zealanders.

Part IV.—On their Legends, Myths, quasi-religious Ceremonies and Invocations, concerning the Kumara Plant.


In a paper which I was honoured with reading before you last year,695 some account was given of the Kumara plant (Ipomæa chrysorrhiza), its use, high value, and manner of cultivation by the ancient Maoris, and of its several distinct varieties known to them: so much for the real concerning it. [34]

I now purpose in this paper to lay before you somewhat of its ideal,—according to the notions and belief of the ancient Maoris.

In so doing I shall have to narrate much that is strange and highly figurative, if not sometimes fanciful; yet, in general, simply so, and containing nothing objectionable. And here it should be remembered, that while the specialities and dress of a myth or legend are always false, the legend itself always contains a kernel of truth. A mere invention scarcely ever becomes a legend. Narratives, such as some I shall bring before you, were by the ancient nations never wholly invented. And I think it will appear to the thoughtful mind that some of the main incidents involved in these stories were derived from legends based on real occurrences; disguised, partly intentionally and partly not so, through their having been handed down by mere oral tradition through a long course of ages.

It is well-known that the kumara is not indigenous to New Zealand, therefore it must have been introduced into the country at some past period; but when, whence, and by whom, is, I fear, wholly lost in the hoary ages of antiquity. And here I may remark, in passing, another peculiarity concerning this plant,—one that serves to increase the difficulty in pursuing enquiries after it, (one, too, that I have long felt), viz.—that its true native country is unknown. In many parts of the New World, and those, too, isolated and widely apart from each other,—as New Zealand, Tahiti, the Sandwich Islands, Easter Island, and intertropical South America,—this plant is, and long has been, assiduously cultivated, (as it was here among the New Zealanders when first visited by Europeans); but its real indigenous habitat whence it first sprang is still unknown.696 In this respect it much resembles those other useful annual plants ever cultivated by man from the earliest historical times,—maize, wheat, barley, oats, etc.

And here I should also, perhaps, mention (in connection with the heading of this paper, or this series of papers), that its name, as far as is known to me, is, and ever has been, much the same, if not identically so, in all those lands where it was found a prized plant of cultivation by their inhabitants.697 And its Maori name of kumara may be a highly and very proper figurative one, well derived and full of meaning, and one quite in unison with the modes of thinking and of naming once so congenial to the ancient New Zealander, viz.—lord of the plantation, or cultivation, i.e. of all cultivated food plants; by the mere changing of the first letter k into t, [35] as is not unfrequently done in their language; and not only so in Maori, but such a conversion of these two letters obtains more or less in the Polynesian dialects generally. This conjecture seems also to be borne out, or further supported, by one of the similar figurative names given to the fern-root,—infra.

In bringing before you some of the legends and tales concerning this valuable root, I shall relate them in the following order:—1. Some of their earliest traditions concerning it;—2. Some of the beliefs of the Maoris respecting it; and—3. One, or more, of their quasi-religious prayers, or spells, anciently used by them in their planting it; all of which, especially the last, are of great interest.




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