The Two Sorcerers
(Ko Te Matenga O Kiki)
KIKI was a celebrated sorcerer, and skilled in magical arts; he lived upon the river Waikato. The inhabitants of that river still have this proverb: 'The offspring of Kiki wither shrubs'. This proverb had its origin in the circumstance of Kiki being such a magician, that he could not go abroad in the sunshine; for if his shadow fell upon any place not protected from his magic, it at once became tapu, and all the plants there withered.
This Kiki was thoroughly skilled in the practice of sorcery. If any parties coming up the river called at his village in their canoes as they paddled by, he still remained quietly at home, and never troubled himself to come out, but just drew back the sliding door of his house, so that it might stand open, and the strangers stiffened and died; or even as canoes came paddling down from the upper parts of the river, he drew back the sliding wooden shutter to the window of his house, and the crews on board of them were sure to die.
At length, the fame of this sorcerer spread exceedingly, and resounded through every tribe, until Tamure, a chief who dwelt at Kawhia, heard with others, reports of the magical powers of Kiki, for his fame extended over the whole country. At length Tamure thought he would go and contend in the arts of sorcery with Kiki, that it might be seen which of them was most skilled in magic; and he arranged in his own mind a fortunate season for his visit.
When this time came, he selected two of his people as his companions, and he took his young daughter with him also; and they all crossed over the mountain range from Kawhia, and came down upon the river Waipa, which runs into the Waikato, and embarking there in a canoe, paddled down the river towards the village of Kiki; and they managed so well, that before they were seen by anybody, they had arrived at the landing-place. Tamure was not only skilled in magic, but he was also a very cautious man; so whilst they were still afloat upon the river, he repeated an incantation of the kind called 'Mata-tawhito', to preserve him safe from all arts of sorcery; and he repeated other incantations, to ward off spells, to protect him from magic, to collect good genii round him, to keep off evil spirits, and to shield him from demons; when these preparations were all finished, they landed, and drew up their canoe on the beach, at the landing-place of Kiki.
As soon as they had landed, the old sorcerer called out to them that they were welcome to his village, and invited them to come up to it: so they went up to the village: and when they reached the square in the centre, they seated themselves upon the ground; and some of Kiki's people kindled fire in an enchanted oven, and began to cook food in it for the strangers. Kiki sat in this house, and Tamure on the ground just outside the entrance to it, and he there availed himself of this opportunity to repeat incantations over the threshold of the house, so that Kiki might be enchanted as he stepped over it to come out. When the food in the enchanted oven was cooked, they pulled off the coverings, and spread it out upon clean mats.
The old sorcerer now made his appearance out of his house and he invited Tamure to come and eat
food with him; but the food was all enchanted, and his object in asking Tamure to eat with him was, that the enchanted food might kill him; therefore Tamure said that his young daughter was very hungry, and would eat of the food offered to them; he in the meantime kept on repeating incantations of the kind called Mata-tawhito, Whakangungu, and Parepare, protections against enchanted food, and as she ate she also continued to repeat them; even when she stretched out her hand to take a sweet potato, or any other food, she dropped the greater part of it at her feet, and hid it under her clothes, and then only ate a little bit. After she had done, the old sorcerer, Kiki, kept waiting for Tamure to begin to eat also of the enchanted food, that he might soon die. Kiki having gone into his house again, Tamure still sat on the ground outside the door, and as he had enchanted the threshold of the house, he now repeated incantations which might render the door enchanted also, so that Kiki might be certain not to escape when he passed out of it. By this time Tamure's daughter had quite finished her meal, but neither her father nor either of his people had partaken of the enchanted food.
Tamure now ordered his people to launch his canoe, and they paddled away, and a little time after they had left the village, Kiki became unwell; in the meanwhile, Tamure and his people were paddling homewards in all haste, and as they passed a village where there were a good many people on the river's bank, Tamure stopped, and said to them: 'If you should see any canoe pulling after us, and the people in the canoe ask you, have you seen a canoe pass up the river, would you be good enough to say: "Yes, a canoe has passed by here"?--and then, if they ask you: "How far has it got?" would you be good enough to say: "Oh, by this time it has got very far up the river"?'-- and having thus said to the people of that village, Tamure paddled away again in his canoe with all haste.
Some time after Tamure's party had left the village of Kiki, the old sorcerer became very ill indeed, and his people then knew that this had been brought about by the magical arts of Tamure, and they sprang into a canoe to follow after him, and puffed up the river as hard as they could; and when they reached the village where the people were on the river's bank, they called out and asked them: 'How far has the canoe reached, which passed up the river?'--and the villagers answered: 'Oh, that canoe must got very far up the river by this time.' The people in the canoe that was pursuing Tamure, upon hearing this, returned again to their own village, and Kiki died from the incantations of Tamure.
Some of Kiki's descendants are still living--one of them, named Mokahi, recently died at Tau-ranga-a-Ruru, but Te Maioha is still living on die river Waipa. Yes, some of the descendants of Kiki, whose shadow withered trees, are still living. He was indeed a great sorcerer: he overcame every other sorcerer until he met Tamure, but be was vanquished by him, and had to bend the knee before him.
Tamure has also some descendants living, amongst whom are Mahu and Kiake of the Ngati-Mariu tribe; these men arc also skilled in magic: if a father skilled in magic died, he left his incantation to his children; so that if a man was skilled in sorcery, it was known that his children would have a good knowledge of the same arts, as they were certain to have derived it from their parent.
The Magical Wooden Head
(Kon Ga Puhi a Puarata Raua Ko Tautohito)
THIS head bewitched all persons who approached the hill where the fortress in which it was kept was situated, so that, from fear of it, no human being dared to approach the place, which was thence named the Sacred Mount.
Upon that mount dwelt Puarata and Tautohito with their carved head, and its fame went through all the country, to the river Tamaki, and to Kaipara, and to the tribes of Nga-Puhi, to Akau, to Waikato, to Kawhia, to Mokau, to Hauraki, and to Tauranga; the exceeding great fame of the powers of that carved head spread to every part of Aotea-roa, or the northern island of New Zealand; everywhere reports were heard , that so great were its magical powers, none could escape alive from them; and although many warriors and armies went to the Sacred Mount to try to destroy the sorcerers to whom the head belonged, and to carry it off as a genius for their own district, that its magical powers might be subservient to them, they all perished in the attempt.
In short, no mortal could approach the fortress, and live; even parties of people who were travelling along the forest track, to the northwards towards Muri-whenua, all died by the magical powers of that head; whether they went in large armed bodies, or simply as quiet travellers, their fate was alike--they all perished from its magical influence, somewhere about the place where the beaten track passes over Waimatuku.
The deaths of so many persons created a great sensation in the country, and, at last, the report of these things reached a very powerful sorcerer named Hakawau, who, confiding in his magical arts, said he was resolved to go and see this magic head, and the sorcerers who owned it. So, without delay, he called upon all the genii who were subservient to him, in order that he might be thrown into an enchanted sleep, and see what his fate in this undertaking would be; and in his slumber he saw that his genius would triumph in the encounter, for it was so lofty and mighty, that in his dream its head reached the heavens, whilst its feet remained upon earth.
Having by his spells ascertained this, he at once started on his journey, and the district through which he travelled was that of Akau; and, confiding in his own enchantments, he went fearlessly to try whether his arts of sorcery would not prevail over the magic head, and enable him to destroy the old sorcerer Puarata.
He took with him one friend, and went along the sea-coast towards the Sacred Mount, and passed through Whanga-roa, and followed the sea-shore to Rangikahu and Kahuwera, and came out upon the coast again at Karoroumanui, and arrived at Maraetai; there was a fortified village, the people of which endeavoured to detain Hakawau and his friend until they rested themselves and partook of a little food; but he said: 'We ate food on the road, a short distance behind us; we are not at all hungry or weary.' So they would not remain at Maraetai, but went straight on until they reached Putataka, and they crossed the river there, and proceeded along the beach to Rukuwai; neither did they stop there, but on they went, and at last reached Waitara.
When they got to Waitara, the friend who accompanied Hakawau began to get alarmed, and said: 'Now we shall perish here, I fear'; but they went safely on, and reached Te Weta; there the heart of Hakawau's friend began to beat again, and he said: 'I feel sure that we shall perish here'; however they passed by that place too in safety, and on they went, and at length they reached the most fatal place of all--Waimatuku. Here they smelt the stench of the carcasses of the numbers who had been previously destroyed; indeed the stench was so bad that it was quite suffocating, and they both now said: 'This is a fearful place; we fear we shall perish here.
However, Hakawau kept on unceasingly working at his enchantments, and repeating incantations, which might ward off the attacks of evil genii, and which might collect good genii about them, to protect them from the malignant spirits of Puarata, lest these should injure them: thus they passed over Waimatuku, looking with horror at the many corpses strewed about the beach, and in the dense fern and bushes which bordered the path; and as they pursued their onward journey, they expected death every moment.
Nevertheless they died not on the dreadful road, but went straight along the path till they came to the place where it passes over some low hills, from whence they could see the fortress which stood upon Puke-tapu. Here they sat down and rested, for the first time since they had commenced their journey. They had not yet been seen by the watchmen of the fortress. Then Hakawau, with his incantations, sent forth many genii, to attack the spirits who kept watch over the fortress and magic head of Puarata. Some of his good genii were sent by Hakawau in advance, whilst he charged others to follow at some distance.
The incantations by the power of which these genii were sent forth by Hakawau was a Whangai. The genii he sent in front were ordered immediately to begin the assault. As soon as the spirits who guarded the fortress of Puarata saw the others, they all issued out to attack them; the good genii then feigned a retreat the evil ones following them, and whilst they were thus engaged in the pursuit some of the thousands of good genii, who had last been sent forth by Hakawau, stormed the fortress now left without defenders; when the evil spirits, who had been led away in the pursuit, turned to protect the fortress, they found that the genii of Hakawau had already got quite close to it, and the good genii of Hakawau without trouble caught them one after the other, and thus all the spirits of the old sorcerer Puarata were utterly destroyed.
When all the evil spirits who had been subject to the old sorcerer had been thus destroyed, Hakawau walked straight up towards the fortress of this fellow, in whom spirits had dwelt as thick as men stow themselves in a canoe, and whom they had used in like manner to carry them about. When the watchmen of the fortress, to their great surprise, saw strangers coming, Puarata hurried to his magic head, to call upon it; his supplication was after this mariner: 'Strangers come here! strangers come here! Two strangers come! two strangers come!' But it uttered only a low wailing sound; for since the good genii of Hakawau had destroyed the spirits who served Puarata, the old sorcerer addressed in vain his supplications to the magic head, it could no longer raise aloud its powerful voice as in former times, but uttered only low moans and wails. Could it have cried out with a loud voice, straightway Hakawau and his friend would both have perished; for thus it was, when armies and travellers had in other times passed the fortress, Puarata addressed supplications to his magic head, and when it cried out with a mighty voice, the strangers all perished as they heard it.
Hakawau and his friend had, in the meantime, continued to walk straight to the fortress. When they drew near it, Hakawau said to his friend: 'You go directly along the path that leads by the gateway into the fortress; as for me, I will show my power over the old sorcerer, by climbing right over the parapet and palisades': and when they reached the defences of the place, Hakawau began to climb over the palisades of the gateway. When the people of the place saw this, they were much exasperated, and desired him, in an angry manner, to pass underneath the gateway, along the pathway which was common to all, and not to dare to climb over the gateway of Puarata and of Tautohito; but Hakawau went quietly on over the gateway, without paying the least attention to the angry words of those who were calling out to him, for he felt quite sure that the two old sorcerers were not so skilful in magical arts as he was; so Hakawau persisted in going direct to all the most holy places of the fortress, where no person who had not been made sacred might enter.
After Hakawau and his friend had been for a short time in the fortress, and had rested themselves a little, the people of the place began to cook food for them; they still continued to sit resting themselves in the fortress for a long time, and at length Hakawau said to his friend: 'Let us depart.' Directly his servant heard what his master said to him, he jumped up at once and was ready enough to be off. Then the people of the place called out to them not to go immediately, but to take some food first; but Hakawau answered: 'Oh, we ate only a little while ago; not far from here we took some food.' So Hakawau would not remain longer in the fortress, but departed, and as he started, he smote his hands on the threshold of the house in which they had rested, and they had hardly got well outside of the fortress before every soul in it was dead--not a single one of them was left alive.
(The Art of Netting Learned by Kahukura from the Fairies)
ONCE upon a time, a man of the name of Kahukura wished to pay a visit to Rangiaowhia, a place lying far to the northward, near the country of the tribe called Te Rarawa. Whilst he lived at his own village, he was continually haunted by a desire to visit that place. At length he started on his journey, and reached Rangiaowhia, and as he was on his road, be passed a place where some people had been cleaning mackerel, and he saw the inside of the fish lying all about the sand on the sea-shore: surprised at this, he looked about at the marks, and said to himself: 'Oh, this must have been done by some of the people of the district.' But when he came to look a little more narrowly at the footmarks, he saw that the people who had been fishing had made them in the night-time, not that morning, nor in the day; and he said to himself: '
These are no mortals who have been fishing here--spirits must have done this; had they been men, some of the reeds and grass which they sat on in their canoe would have been lying about.' He felt quite sure from several circumstances, that spirits or fairies had been there; and after observing everything well, he returned to the house where he was stopping. He, however, held fast in his heart what he had seen, as something very striking to tell all his friends in every direction, and as likely to be the means of gaining knowledge which might enable him to find out something new.
So that night he returned to the place where he had observed all these things, and just as he reached the spot, back had come the fairies too, to haul their net for mackerel; and some of them were shouting out: 'The net here! the net here!' Then a canoe paddled off to fetch the other in which the net was laid, and as they dropped the net into the water, they began to cry out: 'Drop the net in the sea at Rangiaowhia, and haul it at Mamaku.' These words were sung out by the fairies, as an encouragement in their work and from the joy of their hearts at their sport in fishing.
As the fairies were dragging the net to the shore, Kahukura managed to mix amongst them, and hauled away at the rope; he happened to be a very fair man, so that his skin was almost as white as that of these fairies, and from that cause he was not observed by them. As the net came close in to the shore, the fairies began to cheer and shout: 'Go out into the sea some of you, in front of the rocks, lest the nets should be entangled at Tawatawauia by Teweteweuia', for that was the name of a rugged rock standing out from the sandy shore; the main body of the fairies kept hauling at the net, and Kahukura pulled away in the midst of them.
When the first fish reached the shore, thrown up in the ripple driven before the net as they hauled it in, the fairies had not yet remarked Kahukura, for he was almost as fair as they were. It was just at the very first peep of dawn that the fish were all landed, and the fairies ran hastily to pick them up from the sand, and to haul the net up on the beach. They did not act with their fish as men do, dividing them into separate loads for each, but every one took up what fish he liked, and ran a twig through their gills, and as they strung the fish, they continued calling out: 'Make haste, run here, all of you, and finish the work before the sun rises.'
Kahukura kept on stringing his fish with the rest of them. He had only a very short string, and, making a slip-knot at the end of it, when he had covered the string with fish, he lifted them up, but had hardly raised them from the ground when the slip-knot gave way from the weight of the fish, and off they fell; then some of the fairies ran good-naturedly to help him to string his fish again, and one of them tied the knot at the end of the string for him, but the fairy had hardly gone after knotting it, before Kahukura had unfastened it, and again tied a slip-knot at the end; then he began stringing his fish again, and when he had got a great many on, up he lifted them, and off they slipped as before.
This trick he repeated several times, and delayed the fairies in their work by getting them to knot his string for him, and put his fish on it. At last full daylight broke, so that there was light enough to distinguish a man's face, and the fairies saw that Kahukura was a man; then they dispersed in confusion, leaving their fish and their net, and abandoning their canoes, which were nothing but stems of the flax. In a moment the fairies started for their own abodes; in their hurry, as has just been said, they abandoned their net, which was made of rushes; and off the good people fled as fast as they could go. Now was first discovered the stitch for netting a net, for they left theirs with Kahukura, and it became a pattern for him. He thus taught his children to make nets, and by them the Maori race were made acquainted with that art, which they have now known from very remote times.
Te Kanawa's Adventure with a Troop of Fairies
TE KANAWA, a chief of Waikato, was the man who fell in with a troop of fairies upon the top of Puke-more, a high hill in the Waikato district.
This chief happened one day to go out to catch kiwi with his dogs, and when night came on he found himself right at the top of Puke-more. So his party made a fire to give them light, for it was very dark. They had chosen a tree to sleep under--a very large tree, the only one fit for their purpose that they could find; in fact, it was a very convenient sleeping-place, for the tree had immense roots, sticking up high above the ground: they slept between these roots, and made the fire beyond them.
As soon as it was dark they heard loud voices, like the voices of people coming that way; there were the voices of men, of women, and of children, as if a very large party of people were coming along. They looked for a long time, but could see nothing; till at last Te Kanawa knew that noise must proceed from fairies. His people were all dreadfully frightened, and would have run away if they could; but where could they run to? They were in the midst of a forest, on the top of a lonely mountain, and it was dark night.
For long time the voices grew louder and more distinct as the fairies drew nearer and nearer, until they came quite close to the fire; Te Kanawa and his party were half dead with fright. At last the fairies approached to look at Te Kanawa, who was a very handsome fellow. To do this, they kept peeping slily over the large roots of the tree under which the hunters were lying, and kept constantly looking at Te Kanawa, whilst his companions were quite insensible from fear. Whenever the fire blazed up brightly, off went the fairies and hid themselves, peeping out from behind stumps and trees; and when it burnt low, back they came close to it, merrily singing as they moved:
'Here you come climbing over Mount Tirangi To visit the handsome chief of Ngapuhi, Whom we have done with.' 1
A sudden thought struck Te Kanawa that he might induce them to go away if he gave them all the jewels he had about him; so he took off a beautiful little figure, carved in green jasper, which he wore as a neck ornament, and a precious carved jasper ear-drop from his ear. Ah, Te Kanawa was only trying to amuse and please them to save his life, but all the time he was nearly frightened to death. However, the fairies did not rush on the men to attack them, but only came quite close to look at them. As soon as Te Kanawa had taken off his neck ornament, and pulled out his jasper pendant, and his other ornament, made of a tooth of the tiger-shark, he spread them out before the fairies, and offered them to the multitude who were sitting all round about the place; and thinking it better the fairies should not touch him, he took a stick, and fixing it into the ground, hung his neck ornament and ear-rings upon it.
As soon as the fairies had ended their song, they took the shadows of the pendants, and handed them about from one to the other, until they had passed through the whole party, which then suddenly disappeared, and nothing more was seen of them.
The fairies carried off with them the shadows of all the jewels of Te Kanawa, but they left behind them his jasper neck ornament and his pendants, so that he took them back again, the hearts of the fairies being quite contented at getting the shadows alone; they saw, also, that Te Kanawa was an honest, well-dispositioned fellow. However, the next morning, as soon as it was light, he got down the mountain as fast as he could without stopping to hunt longer for kiwis.
The fairies are a very numerous people; merry, cheerful, and always singing, like the cricket. Their appearance is that of human beings, nearly resembling a European's; their hair being very fair, and so is their skin. They are very different from the Maoris, and do not resemble them at all.
Te Kanawa had died before any Europeans arrived in New Zealand.
The Loves of Takarangi and Rau-mahora
THERE was, several generations since, a chief of the Taranaki tribe, named Rangirarunga. His pa was called Whakarewa; it was a large pa, renowned for the strength of it fortifications. This chief had a very beautiful daughter, whose name was Rau-mahora; she was so celebrated for her beauty that the fame of it had reached all parts of these islands, and had, therefore, come to the ears of Te Rangi-apitirua, a chief of the Ngati-Awa tribes, to whom belonged the pa of Puke-ariki, on the hill where the Governor's house stood in New Plymouth. This chief had a son named Takarangi; he was the hero of his tribe. He, too, naturally heard of the beauty of Rau-mahora; and it may be that his heart sometimes dwelt long on the thoughts of such great loveliness.
Now in those days long past, there arose a war between the tribes of Te Rangi-apitirua and of the father of Rau-mahora; and the army of the Ngati-Awa tribes marched to Taranaki, to attack the pa of Rangirarunga, and the army invested that fortress, and sat before it night and day, yet they could not take it; they continued nevertheless constantly to make assaults upon it, and to attack the garrison of the fortress, so that its inhabitants became worn out from want of provisions and water, and many of them were near dying.
At last the old chief of the pa, Rangirarunga, overcome by thirst, stood on the top of the defences of the pa, and cried out to the men of the enemy's army: 'I pray you to give me one drop of water.' Some of his enemies, pitying the aged man, said: 'Yes'; and one ran with a calabash to give him water. But the majority being more hard-hearted were angry at this, and broke the calabash in his hands, so that not a drop of water reached the poor old man; and this was done several times, whilst his enemies continued disputing amongst themselves.
The old chief still stood on the top of the earthen wall of the fortress, and he saw the leader of the hostile force, with the symbols of his rank fastened on his head: he wore a long white comb, made from the bone of a whale, and a plume of the long downy feathers of the white heron, the emblems of his chieftainship. Then was heard by all, the voice of the aged man as he shouted to him from the top of the wall: 'Who art thou? And the other cried out to him: 'Lo, he who stands here before you is Takarangi.' And the aged chief of the pa called down to him: 'Young warrior, art thou able to still the wrathful surge which foams on the hidden rocks of the shoal of O-rongo-mai-ta-kupe?' meaning: 'Hast thou, although a chief, power to calm the wrath of these fierce men?' Then proudly replied to him the young chief: 'The wrathful surge shall be stilled; this arm of mine is one which no dog dares to bite', meaning that no plebeian hand dared touch his arm, made sacred by his deed and rank, or to dispute his will. But what Takarangi was really thinking in his heart was: '
That dying old man is the father of Rau-mahora, of that so lovely maid. Ah, how I should grieve if one so young and innocent should die tormented with the want of water.' Then he arose, and slowly went to bring water for that aged man, and for his youthful daughter; and he filled a calabash, dipping it up from the cool spring which gushes up from the earth, and is named Oringi. No word was spoken, or movement made, by the crowd of fierce and angry men, but all, resting upon their arms, looked on in wonder and in silence. Calm lay the sea, that was before so troubled, all timid and respectful in the lowly hero's presence; and the water was taken by Takarangi, and by him was held up to the aged chief; then was heard by all, the voice of Takarangi, as he cried aloud to him, 'There; said I not to you: "No dog would dare to bite this hand of mine?" Behold the water for you--for you and for that young girl.'
Then they drank, both of them, and Takarangi gazed eagerly at the young girl, and she too looked eagerly at Takarangi; long time gazed they, each one at the other; and as the warriors of the army of Takarangi looked on, lo, he had climbed up and was sitting at the young maiden's side; and they said amongst themselves: 'O comrades, our lord Takarangi loves war, but one would think he likes Rau-mahora almost as well.'
At last a sudden thought struck the heart of the aged chief, of the father of Rau-mahora; so he said to his daughter: 'O my child, would it be pleasing to you to have this young chief for a husband?'--and the young girl said: 'I like him.' Then the old man consented that his daughter should be given as a bride to Takarangi, and he took her as his wife. Thence was that war brought to an end, and the army of Takarangi dispersed, and they returned each man to his own village, and they came back no more to make war against the tribes of Taranaki--for ever were ended their wars against them.
And the descendants of Rau-mahora dwell here in Wellington. They are Te Puni, and all his children, and his relatives. For Takarangi and Rau-mahora had a daughter named Rongouaroa, who was married to Te Whiti; and they had a son named Aniwaniwa, who married Tawhirikura; and they had a son named Rerewha-i-te-rangi, and he married Puku, who was the mother of Te Puni.
Stratagem of Puhihuia's Elopement with Te Ponga
THERE was formerly a large fortified town upon Mount Eden; its defences were massive and strong, and a great number of persons inhabited the town. In the days of olden time a war was commenced by the tribes of Awhitu and of Waikato, against the people who inhabited the town at Mount Eden or Maunga-whau.
There they engaged in a fierce war: one side first persisted in their efforts for victory, until they were successful in beating the other party; then the other side in their turn succeeded in resisting their enemies, and gained a victory in their turn; thus the tribes of Waikato did not succeed in destroying their enemies as they desired.
After this the people of Waikato thought, for a long time: 'Well, what had we better do now to destroy these enemies of ours? And seeing no way to accomplish this, they determined to make peace with them; so, at last, they arranged a peace, and it appeared to be a sure one.
When this peace had been made, Te Ponga, a chief from Awhitu, and one of the fiercest enemies of the people of that town, went, attended by a large company, to Maunga-whau, and whilst he was yet a long way off, he and his party were seen coming along by the people of the fortified town, and they ran to the gates of the fortress, calling out: 'Welcome, oh, welcome, strangers from afar!'--and they waved their garments to them; and the strangers, encouraged by these cries, came straight on to the town until they reached it, and then walked direct to the large court-yard in front of the house of the chief of the town, and there they all seated themselves.
The inhabitants being all now assembled in the town as well as the strangers, the chiefs of each party stood up and made speeches, and when they had concluded this part of the ceremony, the women lighted fires to cook food for the strangers, and when the ovens were heated, they put the food in and covered them up. In a very short time the food was all cooked, when they opened the ovens, placed the food in baskets, and ranged it in a long pile before the visitors; then, separating it into shares, one of their chiefs called aloud the name of each of the visitors to whom a share was intended, and when this allotment was completed they fell to at the feast.
The strangers, however, ate very slowly, knowing they had better take but little food, in order not to surfeit themselves, and so that their waists might be slim when they stood up in the ranks of the dancers, and that they might look as slight as if their waists were almost severed in two; and as the strangers sat they kept on thinking: 'When will night come and the dance begin?' and the thoughts of the others were of the same kind.
As soon as it began to get dark, the inhabitants of the village rapidly assembled, and when they had all collected in the courtyard of the house, which was occupied by the strangers, they stood up for the dance, and rank after rank of dancers was duly ranged in order, until at length all was in readiness.
Then the dancers began, and whilst they sprang nimbly about, Puhihuia, the young daughter of the chief of the village stood watching a good opportunity to bound forward before the assembly, and made the gestures usual with dancers, since she knew that she could not dance so well, or so becomingly, if she pressed on before the measure was completed, but that when the beating time by the assembly With their feet and hands, and the deep voices of the men, were all in exact unison, was the fitting moment for her to bound forward into the dance, with the becoming gestures.
Then, just as they were all beating time together, Puhihuia perceived the proper moment had come, and forth she sprang before the assembled dancers; first she bends her head with many gestures towards the people upon the one side, and then towards those upon the other, as she performed her part beautifully; her full orbed eyes seemed clear and brilliant as the full moon rising in the horizon, and whilst the strangers looked at the young girl, they all were quite overpowered with her beauty; and Te Ponga, their young chief, felt his heart grow wild with emotion, when he saw so much loveliness before him. In the meanwhile the people of the village went on dancing, until all the evolutions of the dance were duly completed, when they paused.
Then up sprang the strangers to dance in their turn, and they duly ranged themselves in order, rank behind rank of the dancers, and began with their hands to beat time, and whilst they thus gave the time of the measure, the young chief, Te Ponga, stood peeping over them and waiting a good opportunity for him to spring forward, and in his turn make gestures; at last forth he bounded; then he, too, bent his head with many gestures, first upon the one side and then upon the other; indeed, he performed beautifully! The people of the village were so surprised at his agility and grace, that they could do nothing but admire him, and as for the young girl Puhihuia, her heart conceived a warm passion for Te Ponga.
At length the dance concluded, and all dispersed, each to the place where he was to rest; then, overcome with weariness, they all reclined in slumber, except Te Ponga, who lay tossing from side to side, unable to sleep, from his great love for the maiden, and devising scheme after scheme by which he might have an opportunity of conversing alone with her. At last he formed a project, or rather it originated in the suggestions of his slave, who said to his master: 'Sir, I have found out a plan by which you may accomplish your wishes; listen to me whilst I detail it to you.
To-morrow evening, just at night-fall, as you sit in the court-yard of the chief of the village, feign to be very thirsty, and call to me to bring you a draught of water; on my part, I will take care to be at a distance from the place, but do you continue to shout loudly and angrily to me: "Sirrah, I want water, fetch me some"; call loudly, so that the father of the young girl may hear; then he will probably say to his daughter: "My child, my child, why do you let our guest call in that way for water, without running to fetch some for him?" Then, when the young girl, in obedience to her father's orders, runs down the hill to fetch water from the fountain for you, do you follow her to the spring; there you can uninterruptedly converse together; but when you rise to follow the young girl, in order to prevent them from suspecting your intentions, do you pretend to be in a great passion with me, and speak thus: "Where's that deaf slave of mine? I'll go and find the fellow. Ah! you will not hear when you do not like, but I'll break your head for you, my fine fellow."'
Thus the slave advised his master, and they arranged fully the plan of their proceedings; the next day Te Ponga went to visit the chief of the village, and sat in his house watching the young girl, and before long evening closed in, and they retired to rest, and some time afterwards Te Ponga, pretending to be thirsty, called out loudly to his slave: 'Holloa! sir, fetch me some water'; but not a word did the slave answer him; and Te Ponga continued to call out to him louder and louder, until at last he seemed to become weary of shouting. When the chief of the village heard him calling out in this way for water, he at length said to his young daughter: 'My child, run and fetch some water for our guest; why do you allow him to ao on calling for water in that way, Without fetching some for him?
Then the maiden arose, and, taking a calabash went off to fetch water; and no sooner did Te Ponga see her starting off than he too arose, and went out of the house, feigning by his voice and words to be very angry with his slave, so that all might think he was going to give him a beating; but as soon as be was out of the house, he went straight off after the young girl; he did not, indeed, well know the path which led to the fountain, but led by the voice of the maiden, who tripped along the path singing blithely and merrily as she went, Te Ponga followed the guidance of her tones.
When the maiden arrived at the brink of the fountain and was about to dip her calabash into it, she heard someone behind her, and, turning suddenly round, ah! there stood a man close behind her; yes, there was Te Ponga himself. She stood quite astonished for some time, and at length asked: 'What can have brought you here? He answered, 'I came here for a draught of water.' But the girl replied: 'Ha, indeed! Did not I come here to draw water for you? Why, then, did you come? Could not you have remained at my father's house until I brought the water for you? Then Te Ponga answered: 'You are the water that I thirsted for.' And as the maiden listened to his words, she thought within herself: 'He, then, has fallen in love with me'; and she sat down, and he placed himself by her side, and they conversed together, and to each of them the words of the other seemed most pleasant and engaging. Why need more be said? Before they separated they arranged a time when they might escape together, and then each of them returned to the village to wait for the occasion they had agreed upon.
When the appointed time had arrived, he desired some chosen men of his followers to go to the landing-place on Manuka harbour, where the canoes were all hauled on shore, there to wait for him; and Puhihuia and he directed them when they got there to prepare one canoe in which he and all his followers might escape; he desired that this canoe should be launched and kept afloat in the water with every paddle in its place, so that the moment they embarked it might put off from the shore; he further directed them to go round every one of the other canoes, to cut the lashings which made the top sides fast to the hulls, and to pull out all the plugs, so that those following them might be checked and thrown into confusion at finding they had no canoes in which to continue the pursuit. Those of his people to whom Te Ponga gave these orders immediately departed, and did exactly as their chief had directed diem.
The next morning Te Ponga having told his host that he must return to his own country, all the people of the place assembled to bid him farewell; and when they had all collected, the chief of the fortress stood up, and, after a suitable speech, presented his jade mere to Te Ponga as a parting gift, which might establish and make sure the peace which they had concluded. Te Ponga in his turn presented with the same ceremonies his jade mere to the chief of the fortress; and when all the rites observed at a formal parting were completed, Te Ponga and his followers arose, and went upon their way: then the people of the place all arose too, and accompanied them to the gates of the fortress to bid them farewell; and as the strangers quitted the gates, the people of the place cried aloud after them: 'Depart in peace! Depart in peace! May you return in safety to your homes!'
Just before the strangers had started, Puhihuia and some of the young girls of the village stole a little way along the road, so as to accompany the strangers some way on their path; and when they joined them, the girls stepped proudly along by the side of the band of strange warriors, laughing and joking with them; at last they got some distance from the village, and Puhihuia's father, the chief of the place, seeing his daughter was going so far, called out: 'Children, children, come back here!' Then the other girls stopped and began to return towards the village, but as to Puhihuia, her heart beat but to the one thought of escaping with her beloved Te Ponga. So she began to run. She drew near to some large scoria rocks, and glided behind them, and, when thus hidden from the view of those in the village, she redoubled her speed; well done, well done, young girl! She runs so fast that her body bends low as she speeds forward. When Te Ponga saw Puhihuia running in this hurried manner, he called aloud to his men: 'What is the meaning of this? Let us be off as fast as we can too.' Then began a swift flight, indeed, of Te Ponga, and his followers, and of the young girl; rapidly they flew, like a feather drifting before the gale, or as runs the waka which has broken loose from a fowler's snare.
When the people of the village saw that their young chieftainess was gone, there was a wild rushing to and fro in the village for weapons, and whilst they thus lost their time, Te Ponga and his followers, and the young girl, went unmolestedly upon their way; and when the people of the fortress at last came out ready for the pursuit, Te Ponga and his followers, and Puhihuia, had got far enough away, and before their pursuers had gained any distance from the fortress, Te Ponga and his people had almost reached the landing-place at Manuka harbour, and by the time the pursuing party had arrived near the landing-place, they had embarked in their canoe, had grasped their paddles, and being all ready, they dashed their paddles into the water, and shot away, swift as a dart from a string, whilst they felt the sides of the canoe shake from the force with which they drove it through the water.
When the pursuers saw that the canoe had dashed off into Manuka harbour, they laid hold of another canoe, and began to haul it down towards the water, but as the lashings of the top sides were cut, what was the use of their trying to haul it to the sea? they dragged nothing but the top sides-there lay the bottom of the canoe unmoved. Pursuit was impossible; the party that had come to make peace escaped, and returned uninjured and joyful to their own country, and went cheerfully upon their way, carrying off with them the young chieftainess from their enemies, who could only stand like fools upon the shore, stamping with rage and threatening them in vain.
The Story of Te Huhuti
Te Huhuti a village beauty, beautifully built maiden and just like Hine-Moa. Te Huhuti swam a lake (Roto-a-Tara) having fallen in love with an equally handsome warrior called Te Whatuiapiti, attracted by his handsome appearance swimming this lake was a breeze. (sound familiar??....Nah) She belonged to Ngati-Kahu-ngunu and from her Te Hapuku is descended.
She did not stop to consider the difficulty or the danger. No; all she thought was, 'Although the lake is wide and deep, what does it matter? Only let me try it and if I should sink, never mind, but if I should succeed, all the better. And so she swam and reached Te Whatuiapiti's home. As she was swimming she was seen by his mother and the old lady was greatly surprised.
Then she looked at Te Huhuti as she stepped out of the water on to the shore. What a lovely skin, gleaming like a white cliff! The girl slowly approached the old woman, who could now see how lovely she was, like a sunbeam lingering in the western sky.
As she came nearer the old woman said to Te Huhuti, 'You look lovelier than ever, like the rocky cliffs or like a ray of the setting sun.' The maiden kept silent. Then the old woman said, 'My dear, where are you going? And still there was no reply. Again the question was asked, and again without success. Then the old woman cried out, 'What nonsense! Why do you not answer me?' Then the maiden opened her lips and said to the old woman, 'Where is the house of Te Whatuiapiti? The old woman said, '
This is where we live, come along with me.' She took the girl by the hand and they went on to Te Whatuiapiti's house. He heard them coming and at once arose. He looked at her and greeted her warmly, as might be expected. He was glad at seeing the delight of his heart, and the maiden--well, she was happy at having reached Te Whatuiapiti with whom she had long been deeply in love.
And so they were married, and here are their descendants, and right up to the present time they keep in memory the feat of their ancestress Te Huhuti in swimming lake Roto-a-Tara, and we celebrate it in song--'Te Huhuti