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HE ATUA, HE TIPUA, HE TAKATA RĀNEI: THE DYNAMICS OF CHANGE IN SOUTH ISLAND MĀORI ORAL TRADITIONS
A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Māori in the University of Canterbury by Eruera Ropata Prendergast-Tarena University of Canterbury 2008
Table of Contents Acknowledgments ............................................................................................. 5 Abstract .............................................................................................................. 7 Glossary ............................................................................................................. 8 Technical Notes ................................................................................................. 9 Part One: The Whakapapa of Literature .......................................................... 10 Chapter 1......................................................................................................... 11 Introduction...................................................................................................... 12 Waitaha.........................................................................................................13 Myth and History .........................................................................................14 Authentic Oral Tradition..............................................................................15 Models of Oral Tradition .............................................................................18 The Dynamics of Change ............................................................................23 Pre-European Change ........................................................................24 Post-contact Pākehā Change ..............................................................25 Post-contact Māori Change................................................................27 Post-contact Conjoint Change............................................................30 Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change..........................................35 Iwi Cultural Revivalist Change..........................................................37 New-age Multicultural Change..........................................................38 Chapter Plan.............................................................................................40 Waka Traditions.......................................................................................42 Early Peoples ...........................................................................................43 Waitaha Traditions...................................................................................44 Chapter 2......................................................................................................... 47 The Whakapapa of Literature .......................................................................... 48 Ngāi Tahu Manuscripts................................................................................50 Edward Shortland.........................................................................................51 J.F.H. Wohlers..............................................................................................53 Canon Stack .................................................................................................56 James Cowan................................................................................................59 Herries Beattie..............................................................................................63 W.A. Taylor .................................................................................................66 Barry Brailsford ...........................................................................................69 Christine Tremewan.....................................................................................72 Rāwiri Te Maire Tau....................................................................................74 Conclusion....................................................................................................77 Part Two: Waka Traditions.............................................................................. 80 Traditions of Migration and the Migration of Tradition.................................. 81 Chapter 3.......................................................................................................... 84 Ārai Te Uru...................................................................................................... 85 South Island Accounts .................................................................................86
2 Consistency of Accounts ...........................................................................108 North Island Links .....................................................................................109 Conclusion..................................................................................................121 Chapter 4....................................................................................................... 122 Takitimu......................................................................................................... 123 South Island Accounts ...............................................................................123 North Island Links .....................................................................................127 Shared Imagery ..........................................................................................129 Post-contact Conjoint Accounts ................................................................134 Conclusion..................................................................................................138 Chapter 5....................................................................................................... 140 Tairea ............................................................................................................. 141 South Island Accounts ...............................................................................142 North Island Links .....................................................................................146 Consistency of Accounts ...........................................................................148 Regional Accounts .....................................................................................149 Conclusion..................................................................................................150 Part Two: Summary ....................................................................................... 152 Part Three: Early Peoples............................................................................... 155 Symbolic Identities and the Planting of Predecessors ................................... 156 Chapter 6....................................................................................................... 160 'Kāhui' Traditions........................................................................................... 161 South Island Accounts ...............................................................................162 Consistency of Accounts ...........................................................................175 Te Kāhui Tipua Whakapapa ......................................................................177 Shared Imagery ..........................................................................................180 Conclusion..................................................................................................185 Chapter 7....................................................................................................... 187 Rapuwai Traditions........................................................................................ 188 South Island Accounts ...............................................................................188 Comparison with Tribal Whakapapa.........................................................194 North Island Links .....................................................................................199 Conclusion..................................................................................................202 Part Three: Summary ..................................................................................... 203 Part Four: Waitaha Traditions........................................................................ 207 The Politics of Tradition ................................................................................ 208 Chapter 8....................................................................................................... 211 Te Waka a Raki, Te Wakahuruhurumanu and Te Waka o Aoraki................ 212 Te Waka a Raki..........................................................................................214 South Island Accounts .........................................................................214 Shared Imagery ....................................................................................220 Te Wakahuruhurumanu .............................................................................221 South Island Accounts .........................................................................221
3 Shared Imagery ....................................................................................223 Te Waka o Aoraki......................................................................................226 South Island Accounts .........................................................................226 Consistency of Accounts .....................................................................228 Shared Imagery ....................................................................................230 Conclusion..................................................................................................235 Chapter 9....................................................................................................... 237 Uruao ............................................................................................................. 238 South Island Accounts ...............................................................................239 Links to Constellations ..............................................................................244 North Island Links .....................................................................................246 Shared Imagery ..........................................................................................256 Consistency of Accounts ...........................................................................258 Conclusion..................................................................................................263 Chapter 10...................................................................................................... 265 Rākaihautū Traditions.................................................................................... 266 The Exploration of an Explorer .................................................................266 South Island Accounts ...............................................................................268 Consistency of Accounts ...........................................................................280 Rākaihautū Whakapapa .............................................................................284 North Island Links .....................................................................................287 Land Claims ...............................................................................................293 Conclusion..................................................................................................301 Chapter 11..................................................................................................... 303 Waitaha Traditions......................................................................................... 304 The Rebirth of Tribal Identity....................................................................304 M.P.K. Sorrenson.......................................................................................306 Angella Ballara...........................................................................................308 Geo-political Context.................................................................................310 Te Arawa and Waitaha Tarauta .................................................................315 Takitimu Waitaha.......................................................................................321 North Island Whakataukī ...........................................................................325 Waitaha Whakapapa ..................................................................................327 Conclusion..................................................................................................335 Part Four: Summary....................................................................................... 339 Chapter 12...................................................................................................... 342 Conclusion ..................................................................................................... 343 The Change Dynamics of Oral Tradition..................................................343 The Whakapapa of Literature ....................................................................344 Traditions of Migration and the Migration of Tradition...........................346 The Planting of Predecessors.....................................................................348 The Politics of Tradition ............................................................................350 Summary of Issues.....................................................................................354 References...................................................................................................... 356
List of Figures Figure 10.1: Lakes Dug by Rākaihautū...........................................................295 Figure 10.2: Waitaha Whakapapa Place Names .............................................300
Acknowledgments Tini whetū ki te raki, mau tonu, mau tonu. Whatu karokaro ai te tākata, karo noa, karo noa, ka haere.
Nei rā te mihi atu ki a rātou kua
wheturakitia, koutou i whārikihia te huanui kei mua i a tātou, nō reira koutou, haere koutou ki te huika o te kahuraki, ki tua o te pae o mahara, e kore rawa e warewaretia. Ka mihi anō hoki ki tōku Poua, a Waha Stirling, mō āna kupu i tukuna mai ki āna uri mō Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha hoki. Haere atu rā koutou, hoki atu rā ki tua o te tatau pounamu, okioki ai. Honoa rātou ki a rātou te huka mate, ka huri nei ki a tātou kā kiteka o kā tūpuna, kā waihotaka o rātou kua wehe, tēnā tātou. Tuatahi ka mihi atu ki ōku kaiārahi i tautoko ai i a au. Tuatahi ki te nihoniho o te taniwha, ki a Rāwiri Taonui, tōku kaiako matua, ka nui te mihi ki a koe mō te akiaki me te poipoi i a au ki te whai i tēnei kaupapa. E kore rawa aku mihi e mutu mō te mātauraka i tukuna mai e koe mō kā pūrākau o te ao Māori. He toka tū moana koe, ā, kāore tōku waka i kotiti nā te taurahere ki te toka nei. He tika kia mihi anō hoki ki a Lyndsay Head mō āna mahi whakatikatika hapa, e te konohi hōmiromiro, e te hārō o te kāhu, tēnā koe. Ka nui hoki aku mihi ki a Nekerangi Paul te kairakahau Māori o te whare pukapuka o MacMillan Brown. Mei kore koe, i kore hoki au i kite i kā tuhika maha, nō reira e te rakatira tēnā koe. Ka huri nei tōku konohi ki a Tahu Pōtiki rāua ko Rāwiri Te Maire Tau. He tauira tawhito au nō Te Maire nō reira nāna anō tēnei kaimanawa ōku i whakatō. Tēnā kōrua mō te whakahoki pātai nā te ihu hupe nei, nō reira kā rau o tītapu, tēnā kōrua. Ā, ka huri nei ki tōku whānau, nā koutou anō ahau i poipoi kia aro ai ki tōku Māoritaka, tēnā koutou. Ki a koe e te hākoro, mō kā kōrero mō Kāi Tahu whānui, me te tinimano o kā pā tawhito kua takahia e te whānau i kā wā hararei. I tēnei wā kua kitea te hua i puta i aua
6 mahi me aku mahi i roto i te karaehe Iwi History i tū ki te Kura Tuarua o Aranui. Ki a koe e te hākui, kā mihi nui mō te tautoko me kā pānuitaka whakatikataka. Ka mōhio he waimaria nōku ki te tipu i tētahi whānau e kaikakau ana ki te hītori, e kore rawa e warewaretia. Heoti anō ki a Te Marino rātou ko Matariki, ko Kupuora, aroha mai mō taku aro kē ki te rakahau, nō reira koutou rā e te puna o te aroha, tēnā koutou.
Abstract The aim of this thesis is to undertake a theoretical analysis of the dynamics of change in pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe oral traditions of Te Waipounamu to gain a deeper understanding of their nature, function, evolution and meaning. For the purposes of this thesis a framework will be established to classify changes to encompass different types of alterations made pre-contact and post-contact to authentic and un-authentic oral traditions. This model will analyse the continuum of change and will be applied in later chapters to pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe traditions to gain an understanding of the dynamics, evolution and construction of the oral traditions of Te Waipounamu. This study of the morphology of tradition will demonstrate they were never fixed but evolved alongside their communities as they adapted to ensure tribal identity and mana was firmly entrenched in their local landscape. A major component of this thesis will be analysis of Waitaha traditions centring upon three key questions; firstly who were Waitaha peoples, secondly, where were they from, and thirdly, were they, and do they continue to be separate social units? This thesis will contribute to this discussion by analysing literature concerning pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe tribal identities to ascertain not just who they were and where they were from but how their identities have been constructed and modified over time. Analysis will examine the role of oral tradition in establishing tribal identity and how Waitaha traditions were changed both pre and postcontact to suit the cultural, political and ideological imperatives of the time, providing an insight into how our ancestors perceived, recollected and constructed the past to suit the needs of the present.
8 Glossary Hapū. Sub-tribe. Iwi. Tribe. Mōteatea. Traditional chant. Pākehā. European. Patupaiarehe. Fairy. Poua. Grandfather. Taua. Grandmother. Te Tai Poutini. South Island’s West Coast. Te Tai Rāwhiti. East Coast. Te Waipounamu. South Island. Tohunga. Expert of tribal whakapapa. Waiata. Song. Waka. Canoe. Whakapapa. Genealogy. Whānau. Family. Whare Wānanga. Traditional school of learning.
Technical Notes Analysis of oral traditions is very complex with multiple source versions and multiple subsequent versions in later publications.
Due to the
forensic nature of the material, chapters will be split into multiple forensic studies grouped into sections to enable appropriate forensic analysis of all versions of accounts. This thesis will include early primary manuscript material, which differs in style from contemporary academic and Māori language standards. The hyphenation and use of macrons in particular differs greatly to today’s accepted practices. Early writers preferred to hyphenate Māori names, a trend not followed by the Williams Dictionary of the Māori Language (1844). For the purposes of this thesis such excerpts, quotes or narratives will remain faithful to their original publication and will not be edited in an attempt to preserve the style of earlier literature. However, the text will not hyphenate names and will use macrons in accordance with contemporary academic and Māori language conventions. Several of the manuscript texts use the Ngāi Tahu dialect, the most prominent feature of which is the substitution of ‘ng’ for ‘k’. Where necessary a more standardised version of a name or place name will follow in brackets if a dialectual variant has been used.
Part One: The Whakapapa of Literature
Introduction The aim of this thesis is to analyse the change dynamics of the pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe oral traditions of Te Waipounamu to gain a deeper understanding of their nature, function, evolution and meaning. This chapter will outline the methodology used to analyse oral tradition. This will begin with a brief background on Waitaha traditions which constitute a significant body of South Island traditions and have gained much attention and controversy in recent years. This will be followed by discussion on the mix of symbolic and historical elements in oral tradition to gain an insight into the dynamics and function of oral tradition in Māori society. Then methods to test the authenticity of accounts will be examined to ensure analysis is based upon authentic traditions.
Models of oral tradition will be considered before
establishing a new interpretive model centering upon the dynamics of change in oral tradition. This will be followed by the chapter plan which will provide an overview of topics and structure of this thesis. This thesis aims to build on earlier works by undertaking a theoretical analysis of pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe traditions. achieved in five ways.
This will be
Firstly, through an overarching methodology
13 classifying pre and post-European dynamics of change to examine the evolution of tribal tradition and belief.
Secondly, there is an empirical
extension incorporating better and wider use of original manuscripts. Thirdly, by following Rāwiri Te Maire Tau’s (2003) use of international theoretical techniques where appropriate. Fourthly, by more appreciation of different genre of oral traditions which has been a failing in previous works, including tribal genealogies, waiata and oratory to investigate the role, function and messages contained within early South Island Māori oral traditions. Fifthly, through comparative analysis of internal and external accounts including a broad range of traditions from Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou and Te Arawa.
Waitaha A major component of this thesis will be analysis of Waitaha traditions. This sub-section will provide a brief background to some of the issues and controversy surrounding Waitaha. Waitaha are a pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe tribe that settled in Te Waipounamu. In oral tradition they are one group of early peoples and it is through Ngāi Tahu’s intermarriage and connection with Waitaha that they lay claim to Te Waipounamu. Ngāi Tahu’s land rights are emphasised through descent from Waitaha, the original occupiers through original arrival upon the Waitaha canoe, Uruao. In contemporary times Waitaha is used as a term to encapsulate all ancient pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe tribal identities. 1
Henare Rakiihia Tau, ‘Deputy Chairman of Ngāi Tahu Trust Board Statement, Rangiora, August 1987’, in Te Kereme, Vol.1, 1989, p. 52.
14 The final stages of the Ngāi Tahu claim (WAI27) raised much debate among competing internal tribal interests about pre-Ngāi Tahu tribal identities, such as Waitaha. Debate centred upon whether Waitaha were absorbed into Ngāi Tahu or remained as a separate and distinct tribe. 2 In the 1990s this debate escalated with the publication of the so-called ‘ancient’ Waitaha knowledge by Pākehā archaeologist Barry Brailsford (1995) in his book Song of
Waitaha, which was widely condemned as a product of creative authorship. Essentially debate centres upon three key questions; firstly, who were Waitaha peoples, secondly, where were they from, and thirdly, were they, and do they continue to be separate social units? This thesis contributes to this discussion by analysing literature concerning pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe tribal identities to ascertain not just who they were and where they were from but how their identities have been constructed and modified over time. This thesis will examine the role of oral tradition in establishing tribal identity and how Waitaha traditions were changed both pre and post-contact to suit the cultural, political and ideological imperitaves of the time.
Myth and History Oral tradition incorporates both historical and symbolic elements. Understanding the nature and role of these two elements is essential to the analysis of the dynamics of Māori oral tradition. The boundaries of where history intersects myth are unclear as there is no definitive distinction 2
Tipene O’Regan, ‘Old Myths and New Politics. Some Contemporary Uses of Traditional History.’ in The New Zealand Journal of History. Vol.26, 1992, pp. 16-17.
15 between where one stops and the other begins. Early theoretical approaches to Māori oral tradition resulted in European writers attempting to separate ‘fiction’ from ‘fact’ and strip away the symbolic elements to reveal an accurate historical account of the past.
Equally erroneous were later
minimalist approaches which dismissed the historic validity of oral traditions due to their symbolic components. Both camps fell into the same trap by assuming an entirely historic, or an entirely symbolic approach to Māori oral tradition. The end results were erroneous interpretations as European writers made Māori tradition fit their own culturally coloured paradigms of their own past and origins. Most early publications on Māori oral tradition can be loosely grouped into those that made Māori into what they perceived them to be and those that repeated the mistakes of their predecessors. Only more recent scholarship has acknowledged tradition incorporates elements of both ‘myth’ and ‘history’ with recent Māori literature (Tau 2003, Taonui 2006) examining the changing balance between historic and symbolic elements.
Authentic Oral Tradition Analysis of the dynamics of tradition must be based upon study of authentic narratives. Therefore it is vital to determine the authenticity of accounts. An authentic oral tradition is defined as one that was transmitted untouched from a pre-European communal corpus of belief. Unauthentic traditions were subject to change due to external post-contact Pākehā influence, and later by the internalisation of Pākehā cultural knowledge by Māori. In his seminal work The Great New Zealand Myth (1976) David Simmons establishes a framework to scrutinise the authenticity of accounts to ascertain 15
16 whether it was derived from an authentic pre-contact Māori community or the result of post-contact modification. Simmons establishes criteria for determining the reliability and expertise of both the informant and the recorder and also testing the internal and external consistency of accounts. Simmons defines an authentic Māori oral tradition as one derived from a preEuropean communal corpus of belief that has remained culturally persistent without alteration. It must also be widely known and not the invention of or espoused by only one person. 3
Simmons also proposes criteria to
authenticate oral tradition based upon their reoccurrence in varied genre such as waiata (song), mōteatea (chant), oratory, genealogy and early manuscripts. Simmons’ methodology is useful for dealing with early primary sources as it is focused on the role of the informant and recorder, however, most contemporary literature is based upon the use of secondary texts and is thereby largely influenced by a mix of both the informant and the publisher. Whilst early is best, the scope and content of the earliest Ngāi Tahu manuscripts are not as broad as collections published by later writers such as Herries Beattie. Ngāi Tahu is fortunate to have the early manuscripts of Edward Shortland (1851) and J.F.H Wohlers (c.1850) that were recorded between the 1830s–1850s, against which later accounts can be tested but they primarily contain traditions relocated from the East Coast. Many of the topics of this thesis, such as traditions concerning early canoes, early peoples and Waitaha are not prominent or do not exist in these earliest sources. For this reason, in some areas, analysis of literature will fall back to their earliest publication.
Later prolific writers like Herries Beattie published vast
amounts of tribal traditions, which were in general faithfully recorded and 3
David Simmons, The Great New Zealand Myth, A.H. & A.W. Reed: Wellington, 1976, p. 10.
17 stem from multiple sources. Whilst these sources are often not identified, these multiple accounts allow one to establish a general body of tradition which when compared with other publications enables a comparative approach to tradition. Early European writers like S. Percy Smith and Elsdon Best were to have a significant impact on Māori traditions as they were prolific writers who often altered and compiled traditions according to their own will. Ngāi Tahu were fortunate to escape much of this due to their relative geographic isolation until the early nineteenth century when the influence of Pākehā began to change Ngāi Tahu traditions. Therefore, where accounts from the earliest manuscripts are lacking, this thesis will utilise a broader comparative analysis of later nineteenth and twentieth century publications to establish a measure of uniformity against which alterations can be tested. Monty Souter (1996) expands upon the base created by Simmons by placing greater emphasis on the role of the publisher. Souter proposes a framework to judge the accuracy of the interpretation of the recorder and the motives of the publisher by looking at their cultural background, bias and the social, ideological and political pressures of the period in which the tradition was recorded. Souter then examines how these factors influence how the tradition is packaged for its intended audience, stating that tribal histories are not recorded but constructed by the recorder: Tribal histories exist only as they are interpreted by their authors during a particular historical period and that this interpretation is influenced by the author’s personal background and experience. 4
Monty Souter, `A Framework for Analysing Written Iwi Histories’ in He Pukenga Kōrero, 1996, Vol.2, p. 43.
18 Thus, to analyse written tribal tradition, one must also analyse the recorder. Souter approaches this through first focussing on factors that determined what source material was made available to the recorder and then those that affected the way the source materials were processed. At its core, Souter’s argument is that any tribal history is framed within the cultural, educational and ideological context that produced the historian.
Therefore it is not
objective but the subjective construct of the historian framed within the social parameters of the recorder, society and audience. However, Souter does not appear to place the same level of scrutiny on the original source of the tradition, thus while the tradition is constructed in accordance with the interpretation of the recorder, the same could also be said of the informant. Both approaches are useful in determining post-contact changes in tradition stemming from Pākehā influence or meddling, however, both presume that these traditions were ‘pure’ and ‘true’ fixed accounts of historical events prior to European contact. Those traditions recorded soonest after contact are considered the best representation of the ‘classical’ Māori ‘as he was’ hundreds of years prior and therefore do not accommodate the possibility of dynamic change prior to contact with Pākehā. Whilst useful for analysis of post-contact changes they do not provide scope for analysis of the changes exhibited in authentic pre-contact traditions.
Models of Oral Tradition This thesis follows on from models developed by Māori historians Rāwiri Te Maire Tau (2003) and Rāwiri Taonui (2005) to interpret and analyse Māori oral tradition.
This sub-section will outline both their models before 18
19 introducing a change dynamics model that builds upon these earlier works. This model will be applied in later chapters to the traditions of Waitaha to analyse the construction of pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe identities. Ngāi Tahu historian, Rāwiri Te Maire Tau’s (2003) model to interpret oral tradition is primarily focused on historical purposes.
He used his own
whakapapa from the gods to codify realms of oral tradition and the extent to which they are symbolic or historic and classify the realms between myth and history. This progression from myth to history is framed within four realms of tradition. Realm 1 is the descent line of mythical characters that often perform supernatural feats or commune with gods and are therefore defined as mythic characters. Their primary purpose is to explain natural phenomena or impart moral instruction. 5 Realm 2 incorporates figures that may have been historical but are located so distant in time that much of the historical details have become obscured with the events and characters being predominantly overlaid with symbolic imagery and mythic templates of events. Realm 3 deals with likely historical figures that lived prior to the arrival of Pākehā where storytellers have added mythic elements to historical characters and events. Realm 4 is the domain of fact with confirmation by written sources with only minimal traces of symbolic elements. 6
Tau, 2003, p. 18.
Tau, 2003, pp. 18-20.
Oral Traditions Chart Realm 1. Realm of Myth Realm 2. Mytho-history Realm Realm 3. Historical Realm Recorded only in oral tradition Realm 4. Historical Realm Confirmed by written sources To his credit Tau acknowledges that this model is primarily an academic exercise for historians to define the extent of historic and symbolic content in traditions. Whilst avoiding the pitfalls of previous scholarship in attempting to apply a fixed position to both recent and distant oral traditions, the tool of measurement is still based upon a Western index as the aim is to ascertain historical validity which can only be truly obtained through confirmation by written sources. Rāwiri Taonui (2006) expands upon Tau’s model by classifying traditions based upon the mix of symbolic and historical elements. 7 Taonui’s model analyses the dynamics of tradition and the changes that occurred due to internal dynamics and external influences. Taonui groups traditions into six categories. These are creation, demigod, migratory, and tribal traditions, and natural and customary lore. 8
Creation traditions establish etiological
narratives of the creation of all things and contain the innate philosophical underpinnings that define the relationship between the sacred and the
Taonui’s dynamics of oral tradition model is derived from his unpublished thesis, Rāwiri Taonui, Ngā tātaiwhakapapa: dynamics in Māori oral tradition, unpublished thesis, University of Auckland, 2005.
Taonui, 2006, p. 24.
21 profane, humankind, nature and the unknowable and are therefore highly sacred. Demigod traditions concern the culture heroes who are typically tricksters testing the boundaries between the known and the unknown, acting as intermediaries between humankind and the gods.
historical figures, these details become obscured over time in favour of symbolic motifs and templates of events overlaid onto the tradition. These archetypal culture heroes cross the thresholds of the known world, transgressing the boundaries of society to gain boons for the benefit of humankind.
Migratory traditions sit midway along both the continuum
between creation and the present, and between history and myth. These traditions refer primarily to the historical migratory exploits of early Polynesian ancestors and their arrival to and exploration of new lands. Although they certainly deal with historic events they are also subject to the dynamics of symbolic elements as traditions were often transported to new areas. Tribal traditions chronicle the deeds of ancestral figures from the time of arrival to the present and represent traditions that are mainly historical in nature. 9 These categories are similar to Tau’s but instead of being placed upon a Western index of historical validity they are measured upon their own merits and classified by their nature and function as opposed to their suitability to the purposes of the historian. An important aspect of Taonui’s model is his inclusion of the dynamics of natural lore and customary lore and how they span the continuum of oral traditions from creation to the present. Natural world lore pertains to etiological narratives that stem from creation explaining the origins and character of natural phenomena. These elements, 9
Taonui, 2006, pp. 24, 29, 35.
22 found in all types of traditions, establish humankind’s understanding and relationship with their natural environment, consecrating the landscape through tradition. The dynamics of customary lore are also evident in all traditions as their purpose is to impart moral codes where customary beliefs and practices are projected back into the past. This shows all levels of traditions were subject to the dynamics of customary and natural lore to define humankind’s relationship with the environment and sacrosanct justification for the social organisation and customary practices of the present. 10 A Model of Oral Tradition Creation (remote past) Customary Lore
Natural World Lore
Migratory Tribal (present) The classification of traditions based upon their nature and function enables deeper analysis of the meaning and role they played in defining society’s relationship with the land and the moral codes of behaviour that were imparted to its descendants. Recognition of the mix of both historic and symbolic elements inherent in all levels of tradition is extended through the inclusion of customary and natural lore demonstrating these philosophical codes and etiological explanations permeated all types of traditions and provide an insight into the complex dynamics of authentic Māori oral traditions.
Taonui, 2006, p. 33.
The Dynamics of Change This thesis contributes further to the models proposed by Te Maire Tau (2003) and Rāwiri Taonui (2006) by extending the understanding about the dynamics of change in oral tradition from pre-European times to the present. For the purposes of this thesis a framework will be established to classify changes to encompass different types of alterations made pre-contact and post-contact to authentic and unauthentic traditions. This model will analyse the continuum of change and will be applied in later chapters to pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe traditions to gain an understanding of the dynamics, evolution and construction of these traditions. Oral traditions are subject to ongoing change. In many regards all change could be regarded as ‘authentic’ as change was an inherent dynamic of preEuropean Māori oral tradition. Classification of the dynamics of change ensures analysis incorporates all types of changes to gain a broader understanding of the nature and evolution of South Island traditions. This continuum of change will be grouped into seven categories. These are preEuropean Māori changes, post-contact Pākehā changes, post-contact Māori changes, post-contact conjoint changes, post-contact Pākehā synthesised changes, iwi cultural revivalist changes and new-age multicultural changes. 11
Elements and terminology of this model are based upon coursework derived from Rāwiri Taonui’s doctoral thesis Ngā tātai-whakapapa: dynamics in Māori oral tradition (2005).
Pre-European Change Pre-contact traditions were far from unchanging but part of a migrating and evolving corpus of belief that has its origins in the Pacific. As Polynesian explorers migrated they also transported their mythic lore transposing cultural understandings, concepts and place names upon their new environment to consecrate the landscape as sacred. 12 Later chapters will argue that the migration traditions of Te Waipounamu reflect a dynamic where the traditions themselves migrated. Evidence of reoccurring imagery show the traditions of Te Waipounamu changed as they were translocated from the North Island as part of secondary internal migrations, a dynamic also seen internally in the North Island, and within the Pacific. In each case the core tradition is translocated and then customised to reflect its new environs, consecrating the landscape and highlighting a dynamic of change 12
Taonui, 2006, p. 35.
25 where pre-contact traditions moved, evolved, and were locally reconstructed. The shared imagery resulting from subsequent migrations of tradition form a whakapapa of change demonstrating pre-contact traditions were not static but were transported and adapted to establish tribal identity, mana and links to the land.
Post-contact Pākehā Change This sub-section deals with the impact of early European writers and the changes to the construction of Māori origins and society. Colonial theories of Māori origins were influenced by Social Darwinism and the belief ‘inferior’ races remained fixed while ‘superior’ races had reached a high level of civilisation. The belief that Māori were destined to be extinguished by ‘superior’ Anglo Saxons resulted in haphazard recording of traditions and histories by Europeans who had little formal education or training. 13 With the Western disciplines of ethnology, ethnography and anthropology in their relative infancy, nineteenth century European writers strove not to merely record tradition but to reconstruct Māori past to reflect the prevailing colonialist theories of that time. 14 One of the more pervasive nineteenth century theories to influence the construction of Māori past was diffusionism where Māori were believed to be part of an ancient Polynesian community that had its origins in the Mediterranean. Diffusionist theory resulted in what were deemed ‘civilised’ 13
Angella Ballara, Iwi: The Dynamics of Māori Tribal Organisation From c.1769 to c.1945, Victoria University Press: Wellington, 1998, p. 93.
Ballara, 1998, p. 93.
26 aspects of Māori culture being attributed to remnants of external Mediterranean influences. 15 Underlying diffusionism was the assumption that Māori society was static with change resulting from different waves of racial settlement. This cemented the notion that New Zealand was first inhabited by pre-Māori ‘autochthones’, an earlier ‘inferior’ aboriginal race wiped out by Māori. This is seen in the portrayal of Moriori as a prePolynesian people of separate racial origins, a fallacy that has seen resurgence in contemporary times with Waitaha being assigned separate racial origins by new-age spiritualists. The manner in which traditions were collected also changed the representation of Māori past. Many early writers such as John White were compilers of tradition employing a ‘cut and paste’ technique to form a continuous account of Māori history. Although the main publications of the nineteenth century were based upon large collections of primary manuscript material gathered by these early European writers, how they were collected and the Colonialist lens through which they were interpreted render them unreliable accounts of authentic Māori oral tradition. 16 Thus the ideological and methodological approaches of early nineteenth century European writers were to significantly change the construction and portrayal of Māori society and origins.
K.R. Howe, ‘Western Ideas About Islanders’ Origins.’ in Vaka Moana: Voyages of the Ancestors, David Bateman Ltd: Auckland, 2006, p. 276.
Simmons, 1976, p. 113.
Post-contact Māori Change The establishment of the Journal of Polynesian Society in 1892 by S. Percy Smith saw significant changes in Māori accounts of tribal origin and migration.
Accounts recorded after the 1890s show Māori modified
traditions motivated by changing political needs and the influence of racial theories postulated in Pākehā publications. It is natural to absorb knowledge of another culture but Pākehā monopoly of publication resulted in Māori internalising Pākehā changes and later viewing them as genuine pre-contact accounts. 17 The quest to answer the question of Māori origin resulted in many canoe traditions recorded in manuscripts being published by the Polynesian Society. 18 For the first time Māori were exposed to traditions from a wide number of other sources as the great knowledgeable men of their time published their accounts, often leading to new syntheses as Māori adapted to incorporate new knowledge. The whare wānanga of the past were replaced by hui whakapapa in the early twentieth century as knowledgeable elders met to form responses to the introduction of new ideas and collectively ‘authenticate’ ‘orthodox’ accounts of tribal past. 19 These factors were also compounded by the pressures of the Māori Land Court where traditions entered a new domain and were at times twisted to support the political and economic interests of the tribe. Here traditions emphasised early settlement
The term ‘Pākehā monopoly of publication’ is derived from Rāwiri Taonui, Ngā Tātai-Whakapapa: Dynamics in Māori Oral Tradition, unpublished thesis, University of Auckland, 2005.
Ballara, 1998, pp. 328-329.
Ballara, 1998, pp. 328-329.
28 and origins as tribes attempted to assert primordial connection and therefore ownership of lands. Perhaps the most prevalent example of post-contact Māori change is the Io Matua Kore tradition of Ngāti Kahungunu scribe J.M. Jury, commonly referred to as Te Whatahoro.
The Io Matua Kore tradition was a
monotheistic account of a Māori supreme god. Essentially a distortion of Christian religious teaching, this unauthentic tradition originated from Māori sources influenced by Christianity.
They were then secured through
publication by S. Percy Smith which saw it widely accepted as an authentic pre-European tradition. Educated at a mission school and heavily influenced by his relationship with Smith, Whatahoro was said to have obtained his information from Wairarapa tohunga, Moihi Te Matorohanga, in 1865. Simmons’ deconstruction of Whatahoro’s manuscript shows it did not stack up against internal comparison with other Ngāti Kahungunu manuscripts of the same period. 20
Te Matorohanga had been subjected to Christian
influence and Whatahoro had been indoctrinated into Western thinking due to his involvement with Smith and the Polynesian society resulting in an unauthentic ‘hybrid’ tradition as Whatahoro changed elements to better reflect new Christian religious teachings. The Io Matua Kore tradition is evidence of how Māori adopted new religious ideas. Later chapters on early peoples will examine the traditons of Ngāi Tahu tohunga Teone Taare Tikao, who through close association with Te Whatahoro via the Te Kotahitanga movement, adapted authentic pre-contact Ngāi Tahu traditions to incorporate new elements.
Simmons, 1976, pp. 34-36.
29 Māori scholars were far from unwitting participants and often had their own agendas in the manipulation of tradition.
Although Sir Peter Buck
denounced the Io Matua Kore tradition as a product of post-contact Christian influence, he and his most prominent contemporaries, Sir Apirana Ngata and Sir Maui Pōmare, contributed their support towards the publication of Smith’s popularised version of Māori arrival, The Great Fleet. 21
Māori scholars would have been fully aware that this synthesised account of migration was not representative of their independent and authentic tribal narratives of migration. Rather than their support being symptomatic of their naivety, their consent shows Māori in the early twentieth century knowingly supported the modification of tradition if it suited their own agenda, in this case, cultural revivalist purposes. During this period Māori were still in a state of decline and with traditional systems of leadership severely debilitated by colonisation, this new wave of Māori leaders needed new syntheses to unite Māori and provide solidarity and hope. The idea of the fleet, authentic or not, became a rallying point for the cultural revivalist movement as it linked all separate tribal groups under one all encompassing heroic narrative of arrival and is still regarded today in many communities as an authentic tradition. It is natural for a group to adopt new knowledge. The post-contact changes by Māori were due to interaction with Pākehā and the internalisation of Pākehā knowledge showing Māori were not unwitting victims to change but consciously modified tradition as the circumstances of their present changed.
Ballara, 1998, p. 103.
Post-contact Conjoint Change Rāwiri Taonui (2005) defines conjoint accounts as traditions which are the result of mixed Māori and Pākehā authorship, usually with the Pākehā writer assuming dominance due to their control over publication. In the early twentieth century several prominent European writers partnered with knowledgeable Māori elders to co-publish narratives. These partnerships gave the European writers credibility as they had an ‘authentic’ source, however, in reality Pākehā control over translation and interpretation of accounts often resulted in the publication of unauthentic hybridised accounts. 22 By the early twentieth century Māori had also been exposed to Pākehā religious teachings and new ideas which were used to modify existing traditions before being passed back to European writers as authentic pre-contact traditions forming an ideologically self-supporting loop. An example of conjoint change is the partnership of Māori scribe, Te Whatahoro and European writer, S. Percy Smith, which culminated in the publication of The Lore of the Whare Wānanga by the Polynesian Society in 1913-1915. These publications printed Māori texts recorded by the scribe Te Whatahoro from the tohunga Moihi Te Matorohanga before being translated and edited by Smith. Traditions were synthesised into one continuous and coherent account of Māori past that was quickly popularised, being accepted by scholar and layman alike. 23 With a recognised authority quoted as the source, The Lore was quickly adopted as an authoritative account of Māori
The terms ‘conjoint’ and ‘hybrid traditions’ are from Rāwiri Taonui, Ngā Tātai-Whakapapa: Dynamics in Māori Oral Tradition, unpublished thesis, University of Auckland, 2005.
Simmons, 1976, p. XI.
However, Simmons’ scrutiny of its authenticity shows that it is
unreliable for several reasons. The informant, Te Matorohanga, had been influenced by Christian religious teachings and his accounts differed greatly from accounts recorded from other tribal elders of the same region during this period. Similarly the scribe, Te Whatahoro was mission trained and worked closely with Smith as part of the Polynesian Society. Most disturbing were Smith’s numerous interpolations and insertion of additional text not in the original manuscripts. 24 Simmons’ examination of the text revealed the publication of The Lore did not represent a true version of the original manuscripts due to this heavy editing and the addition of text from other sources. Smith’s pairing with Te Matorohanga and the scribe, Te Whatahoro, show changes were made conjointly in the early twenteeth century with both parties modifying the past to fit their own agendas of the present. These changes centered heavily on Māori origins, migration and early peoples and led to the popularisation of what are referred to today as the ‘Great Fleet’ and ‘Moriori’ myths. This post-contact reconstruction of tradition was furthered when Elsdon Best joined Smith. At first Best was sceptical, but 18 years after giving a list of early tribes in the Urewera’s, he amalgamated them, and in 1915 gave them the name Maruiwi. Maruiwi was previously one of several ancient tribes in some traditions. 25
Smith, and later Best, made these Maruiwi fit a
description of a Melanesian race, and based on this premise, theorised that a pre-Māori people, of ‘inferior’ stature and Melanesian descent, settled New
Simmons, 1976, p. 112.
Ballara, 1998, p. 95.
32 Zealand. 26 Differing waves of settlement were attributed to Melanesian and Polynesian settlers and by the early 1900s it was commonly regarded that all who preceded the ‘Great Fleet’ were of an ‘inferior race’. 27 By 1924 Best surmised the pre-Māori race was of mixed Polynesian and Melanesian descent, now naming them ‘Mouriori’, who he said were identical with the Moriori of the Chatham Islands. Māori were then said to have exterminated the Mouriori, a theme shared by the works of many early ethnographers who sought to establish an evolutionary scale of racial development. Earlier people became ‘extinct’, their men exterminated, and their women absorbed by the Māori from Hawaiki. 28
account of the extermination of earlier peoples is evident in the following description of the consequences of the arrival of the ‘savage’ and ‘bloodthirsty’ Māori immigrants: Centuries come and go, and behold! The tangata whenua are no longer a tribal people, but have been destroyed and their descendants are mixed with those of the migrants. But the savage instincts of the now dominant race are thoroughly aroused by long continued wars…War is now their delight…and cherished far above other feelings is the savage yearning for revenge. Whole tribes are swept away… 29 Best’s interpretation was not limited to the North Island as he believed each successive layer wiped out their forbears as seen in his dramatic description of the peopling of Te Waipounamu: The hapus in possession of this district would be displaced by these northern Goths, and be forced to retire to the Wai-pounamu (South 26
Sorrenson, 1979, p. 43.
Ballara, 1998, p. 95.
Ballara, 1998, p. 99.
Best, 1901, p. 115.
33 Island), where…a war of extermination would inevitably ensue. Thus Te Rapu-wai, Waitaha, Ngati-Tu-Matakokiriu [Ngāti Tūmatakokiri], and Ngati-Mamoe were destroyed…And all these far separated peoples, Goth and Aboriginal, Vandal and Polynesian, were but obeying that old, old law of Nature - the survival of the fittest. 30 Such descriptions were based upon Western history not Māori as Best attempted to draw comparisons with ‘old world’ cultures to support contemporary Social Darwinist theory concerning the belief that races were part of a progressive evolutionary chain. Early writers like Best often had a propensity to make Māori social structures and ideology fit into an evolutionary framework that was to show their connection with ‘old world’ cultures. 31
Due to such evolutionary anthropology, tribal histories were
interpreted through ‘Darwinist’ lenses re-orchestrating tribal traditions into an evolutionary scale of human development. Aspects of Māori culture were seen as evidence of racial origins whereby ‘negative’ negroid characteristics were attributed to a Melanesian strain whilst more positive elements were of Semitic or Aryan origin. 32
Later these negative characteristics were
attributed to ‘pre-Māori’ races establishing a progressive chain of settlement in accordance with the conventional human development thinking of the time. European writers sought to construct Māori life, society and origins, as they perceived them to be and to fit with their beliefs regarding human development and Polynesian origins. However, rather than extermination, assimilation occurred between successive layers of Māori settlement through a gradual process of inter-marriage, likely intermingled with the odd
Best, 1901, p. 116.
Sorrenson, 1979, p. 79.
Sorrenson, 1979, p. 83.
Most successive groups within Te Waipounamu had shared
origins (East Coast) and therefore were not of different racial origins. Bishop Herbert Williams (1937) was quick to criticise the validity of Smith’s work. Williams was sceptical of its authenticity, due to both Te Whatahoro and Te Matorohanga converting to Christianity and their education in a mission school. Williams also thought their accounts resulted from a process of debate and conjecture stating: There is reason to believe that a good deal of this matter has been worked over more than once. 33 Williams was conscious that traditions needed to be handled with ‘great discrimination’ as they had been distorted by external influences. Sir Peter Buck (Te Rangihiroa) shared Williams’ concerns believing they had consciously and selectively interwoven Pākehā elements with Māori traditions to construct a separate identity for early peoples: It is evident that the Matorohanga school believed the early settlers different and so they made them different. 34 During this period Māori were consciously adapting tradition to fit with new influences, an opportunity seized upon by Pākehā ethnographers who sought to further influence and reconstruct accounts of Māori. These publications had a profound impact on how Pākehā perceived Māori and how Māori perceived themselves. Many Māori internalised these ideologies and then manipulated their own traditions to fit, through post-contact Māori changes to create false hybrid traditions. 33
Sorrenson, 1979, p. 53.
Buck, 1928, p. 11.
These traditions further validated the
35 constructs and prevailing ideologies of those early Pākehā ethnographers creating a loop that has irrevocably changed the discourse of most Māori oral traditions. Conjoint change reflects a period in time where the morphology of tradition was driven by both the internal Māori dynamics of adaptation and the external philosophical agenda of Pākehā as both strove to make the past bow to how they wished it to be as opposed to how it was.
Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change Synthesised accounts refer to the ‘cut and paste’ condensing technique of mid twentieth century writers who had access to multiple written sources and were driven by the desire to publish a coherent and lineal account of Māori past. Ironically the European writers of the mid twentieth century were perhaps less equipped than their forebears to publish Māori traditions. Although their early predecessors were similarly ill-equipped in their ethnographic approach, most were fluent in Māori language, and lived or interacted with Māori communities at a time when traditional models of leadership and religious teaching were still strong. By the mid twienteeth century Māori society had further declined due to colonisation. European writer’s lack of ethnographic training was compounded by their lack of knowledge of Māori culture and language resulting in them being heavily reliant on secondary written sources. Access to multiple accounts led to these writers forming new syntheses as they condensed material from multiple sources into one authoritative account. This reliance on secondary sources resulted in them repeating the mistakes of their predecessors. Gaps in their knowledge were often circumvented by the use of
36 a highly romanticised style of prose to form ‘heroic’ tales of migration and exploration that suited Pākehā sensibilities of the time. 35 This new body of literature was guilty of changing the dynamics of different multiple and often regional accounts by synthesising them into one cohesive narrative of Māori history. Without the application of critical analysis, these monographic compendiums and heavily romanticised prose, radically altered the structure of Māori oral tradition. Later works in the twentieth century were authored by more reputable Māori and European scholars and focused on tribal histories. Despite them reorchestrating multiple traditions into one lineal version, they gave due weight to Māori sources and recognised there were regional variances in traditions. 36 Thus later forms of synthesised accounts were less likely to distort tradition due to the prejudices and imperatives of the author. Later chapters will further examine the literature of this period, with particular emphasis on the amateur historian Herries Beattie (1939, 1941, 1944, 1945, 1949, 1954). Beattie was a prolific recorder and publisher of tradition who dutifully published a vast amount of South Island traditions with little editing. However, his approach also lacked any theoretical analysis of any kind resulting in him publishing unauthentic and modified accounts.
summarised earlier manuscripts, combined these elements with new materials, incorporating both authentic and unauthentic traditions, to form a muddled mash of traditions. The changes in this period were driven both by the
Ballara, 1998, p. 105.
Ballara, 1998, p. 106.
37 ideological imperatives and the methodological approaches of the historian as they strove to provide a single coherent and authoritative account of tribal history, changing the conception and recollection of Māori past in the process.
Iwi Cultural Revivalist Change The establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal saw Māori oral tradition gain a new relevance towards the end of the twentieth century as evidence in treaty settlement claims. Similar to the dynamics of the 1890s with the advent of the Māori Land Court, tribes sought to emphasise their ancient links to the land and original settlement as a basis for customary claims to land. Rather than outright invention, these changes were more subtle as emphasis shifted to favour accounts that supported contemporary assertions to land. Many such arguments had already been mounted earlier in Māori Land Court hearings. 37 Although subtle, change is apparent from the late twentieth century to the present as the traditions of the past were selectively remembered to emphasise the political imperatives of the present. Later chapters will examine how traditions concerning the early tribe Waitaha rose to prominence during the fight for the Ngāi Tahu Claim as southern Māori emphasised their original discovery and settlement of Te Waipounamu through the descent from the earlier tribe, Waitaha. Such dynamics reveal oral traditions are in a continual state of change as the past is reconstructed by the changing social and political pressures of the present.
Ballara, 1998, pp. 328-329.
New-age Multicultural Change The most recent changes to Māori tradition have come from a new generation of mostly Pākehā writers seeking to impose a ‘new-age’ model upon Māori traditions. A virulent example of these new-age multicultural changes is the supposed Waitaha traditions espoused by Pākehā writer, Barry Brailsford in his book Song of Waitaha. Said to be the product of ancient songs hidden in trees and stones, Brailsford portrays Waitaha as a peaceful pre-Māori race who arrived 2000 years before Māori and were of multiracial origins including Polynesians, Africans, Asians and Celts. Living in harmony with the natural environment, the Waitaha were allegedly wiped out by the warlike ancestors of the Māori. Despite crediting trees and stones as sources of information and the protestations of Ngāi Tahu elders and historians who labeled him a cultural fraudster, Brailsford gained much attention and support in the mainstream media being hailed as a ‘guru’. 38 The authenticity of Brailsford’s accounts will be examined more thoroughly in later chapters; however, here it is important to note that the changes resulting from new-age multiculturalism are not that new having their origins in old racist nineteenth century imperialist beliefs. Historian K.R. Howe (2006) notes that this ‘new-ageism’ is really ‘old diffusionism’ as this form of learning stems from nineteenth century ideas of pre-history and colonialist assumptions about race. 39 At its core Brailsford advances the assertion that there was an advanced global civilization of peaceful peoples who originated in the Middle East, before spreading themselves across the globe with one 38
Michael King, ‘A Fraction Too Much Friction.’ in Mana. Feb/March, 2000, p. 30.
Howe, 2006, p. 306.
39 branch making their way into the Pacific. Such thinking is clearly based upon older diffussionist beliefs that Māori were somehow the decaying remnants of an ‘old world’ culture. Historian Atholl Anderson also noted that Brailsford’s Waitaha histories were ‘the latest mutation in a virulent myth’ of the preMāori Moriori with the ascription of separate waves of racial settlement further evidence of the influence of nineteenth century colonialist ideals of race. 40 The lack of references, the hidden identity of supposed informants and general lack of evidence clearly prove these traditions are not authentic. However, the changes resulting from new-age multiculturalism provide an insight into the shifting dynamics within contemporary culture as Pākehā strive to forge an identity based upon ancient ancestral connection with this land. Sadly the tools used were racist nineteenth century imperialist assumptions of human evolution illustrating that this ‘new’ knowledge is really ‘old’ knowledge. In his 1991 J.C. Beaglehole Memorial Lecture, Sir Tipene O’Regan lamented the surge of ‘mystical and invented nonsense’ published by Brailsford, ironically noting that despite the advances in scholarship, Māori knowledge and tribal identity were still plagued by the machinations of Pākehā writers: It is indeed something of a triumph for the mystics that, despite all the careful work of the last century, we have sitting in our libraries, from our own generation, work which is far worse than the inventions and extrapolations of the Best and Percy Smith era. It is as if we have learnt nothing. 41 The changes resulting from new-age multiculturalism are evidence of an old dynamic where European writers manipulated and changed tradition to suit 40
King, 2000, p. 30.
O’Regan, 1992, p. 22.
40 their own political, ideological and more recently spiritual imperatives. Newage multiculturalism reflects a new incarnation of the intellectual colonisation of Māori belief and are in no way representative of Māori tradition, either pre or post-contact. This model of change dynamics will be applied to the oral traditions of Te Waipounamu to track the number and types of changes to provide an insight into the dynamics of change. This study of the morphology of tradition will demonstrate traditions were never fixed but an evolving corpus of belief. Examination of these dynamics enables a deeper understanding of the nature of oral tradition and provides an insight into how tribal identities were both constructed and maintained through oral tradition.
Chapter Plan This chapter has introduced a change dynamics model that will be applied to early South Island oral traditions. The second chapter of this first part will review the sources and literature concerning early South Island tribes. Models proposed by David Simmons (1976) and Monty Souter (1996) to scrutinise the motives of the informants, recorders and publishers of South Island traditions will be incorporated to determine authenticity and identify changes in their construction and interpretation. Much literature merely restates earlier scholarship. To avoid previous mistakes it will be essential to ascertain the reliability and expertise of the informant, and recorder, whilst also testing the internal and external consistency of accounts. Simmons’ approach is best when dealing with primary sources, however, much of the
41 literature concerning South Island traditions are contained within secondary texts and are therefore largely determined and influenced by the publisher. Monty Souter’s framework judging the accuracy of the recorder and the motives of the publisher will be incorporated to ascertain if a tradition has been modified to fit the cultural bias of the recorder, or the publisher and whether it has been packaged for an intended audience. In this manner a methodology will be established to scrutinise the reliability, cultural background and expertise of the informant, recorder and publisher, whilst also taking into account the motives behind publication and its intended audience. The review will then examine the literature of South Island Māori oral traditions. Ngāi Tahu are fortunate to have the early manuscripts of Edward Shortland (1851) and J.F.H. Wohlers (1874) that were recorded in the first half of the nineteenth century and form a base from which later accounts can be tested. Although earliest sources are least likely to have been corrupted by Pākehā influence, many traditions were not recorded until much later. Waitaha traditions in particular were mostly recorded in tribal manuscripts from the 1880s-1920s. Later collections such as the prolific writings of Herries Beattie also preserved vast amounts of information. For this reason the review of literature will focus on a broad range of material tracing more recent scholarship to their earliest publication. Analysis of literature will focus on Edward Shortland (1851, 1854), J.F.H. Wohlers (c.1850, 1874, 1881), Canon Stack (1898), James Cowan (1923), Herries Beattie (1939, 1945, 1954, 1994), W.A. Taylor (1952), Barry Brailsford (1994), Christine Tremewen (2003), and Rāwiri Te Maire Tau 41
A comparative analysis of traditions will contrast the earliest
accounts with those published later to chronicle changes to tribal tradition. This will be complemented by a broader comparative analysis of internal and external accounts to identify patterns and gain a deeper understanding of the nature of oral tradition.
Waka Traditions Part two of this thesis will examine the discovery and arrival traditions of Te Waipounamu to explore the question of the origins of pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe peoples. These waka traditions cover the migration of early tribes to the South Island. More than pure accounts of tribal migration they are also narratives of tribal origin, establishing tribal identity and mana through links to the land. This section covers the waka traditions of Ārai te Uru, Takitimu and Tairea. These traditions are also seen in the North Island and share many links with the East Coast, where Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe descend from. These traditions will be examined alongside their northern counterparts to examine the migration of tradition and how they were customised to reflect their new surroundings. Comparative analysis of traditions shows they not only evolved but were also regionally constructed. Each region attributed its origins to a differing canoe tradition despite shared ancestry with their neighbours. This suggests waka traditions were transferred and reinterpreted in different contexts to establish and maintain tribal identity.
Early Peoples Part three focuses on the origins and identities of early peoples exploring the question of who were these early pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe peoples. Pākehā recorders, publishers and later Māori informants were heavily influenced by early European theories of racial development, which determined how they perceived and portrayed Māori society and culture. Examination of literature shall disclose the extent traditions concerning Māori origins and early identities were re-edited, copied, synthesised, relocated and changed in an effort to make them reflect the popular European ideologies of the time. The first chapter in part two covers Te Kāhui Tipua and Te Kāhui Roko traditions. These are also seen in the North Island, and therefore have been relocated to the South Island. Comparison with North Island accounts and shared symbolic imagery will demonstrate how these traditions form part of a wider body of traditions associated with the origins and rituals of kūmara. The final chapter in this section will deal with Rapuwai. These traditions have been translocated and a similar approach contrasting early and later accounts will show the extent they have been changed by European beliefs concerning Māori origin and their links to a wider body of belief concerning early peoples. Analysis of accounts of pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe peoples illustrates they are derived from a larger corpus of tradition concerning conceptual identities. Final discussion in this section will explore the importance of conceptual identities and why traditions of predecessors were constructed
44 and relocated instead of placing emphasis on earlier historically locatable tribes.
Waitaha Traditions Part four of this thesis deals with Waitaha traditions and seeks to answer the question of whether Waitaha were and are an entirely separate independent political body. Analysis will begin with the Waitaha waka traditions of Te Waka a Raki, Te Wakahuruhurumanu, Te Waka o Aoraki and Uruao canoes. Comparative analysis with North Island traditions shows Waitaha waka traditions do not occur in the North Island but do incorporate a broad range of reoccurring motifs, characters, place names and allegorical imagery. This is further evidence of translocation but in this case it has been shared symbolic imagery that has been relocated.
Rather than original arrival
traditions, the prominent extent of symbolic imagery suggests these traditions have been composed by utilising ancient references to remembered characters, figures and places.
Although these traditions were not
translocated their function remains the same as they establish tribal origins and links to the land, thereby, founding and validating tribal mana. The third chapter in this section focuses on the exploration traditions of the founding ancestor, Rākaihautū.
This chapter explores how Rākaihautū
traditions establish Waitaha within the southern landscape, connecting them to places of importance and vital food sources. Comparative analysis with North Island accounts shows Rākaihautū traditions are not found in the North Island and therefore are not consistent with an established pre-contact dynamic where traditions were translocated. However, Rākaihautū traditions do contain many 44
45 shared images and templates of events also found in northern accounts of early exploration suggesting elements have been utilised to compose a tradition of exploration for Te Waipounamu.
Comparison with the traditions of
Ngātoroirangi, an early explorer figure in Tūwharetoa and Te Arawa will reveal common elements and give insight into a wider genre of early explorer traditions and their function in Māori society. Investigation of the historical context during which this tradition was recorded will broaden discussion by examining how Rākaihautū traditions also serve a political purpose by reinforcing claims to land. This suggests there is also a political imperitive and perhaps the tradition was formulated as a Māori response to loss of lands and attempts to seek redress through an alternative means other than participation in the mainstream political system. The fourth chapter covers Waitaha identity. This chapter will examine the literature of historians M.P.K. Sorrenson (1979) and Angela Ballara (1998) concerning the construction of early tribal identities. The internal dynamics of tradition will then be further examined within the cultural context of Waitaha traditions, including North Island Waitaha accounts, oratory and the geopolitical conditions when they were recorded with particular emphasis on their primary source, Hipa Te Maihāroa. Waitaha traditions were recorded during the 1860s to 1890’s, which was a period of tumultuous change as South Island Māori struggled in the face of land loss to maintain their identity. Analysis of this geo-political context will incorporate Hipa Te Maihāroa, the religious prophet from whom the bulk of Waitaha traditions stem to gain a deeper understanding of the political and social pressures that likely influenced the traditions he espoused. 45
Waitaha traditions will be contrasted against North Island accounts to show elements were relocated to the south and then re-contextualised to form a ‘new’ historical narrative and rekindle an old tribal identity. This evolution was a continuation of a pre-contact dynamic where traditions were relocated and re-shaped to establish and validate tribal identity. However, in this case the tradition has risen to prominence in a post-contact context as the past was reconstructed by the political drivers of that period.
Rather than a
‘contamination’ of ‘pure’ Māori tradition, this process of adaptation was part of a gradual evolution of dynamic traditions accelerated by contact with Pākehā and the challenges that came with this contact. This discussion will place emphasis on the role of the tohunga who was charged with the establishment and preservation of tribal mana. The conclusion will summarise the arguments and conclude with discussion on the role of tradition and the tohunga in reinterpreting and reconstructing the past to validate the needs of the present. Thus traditions were never static but evolved alongside their communities as they responded to change and adapted to ensure tribal mana was firmly entrenched in their local landscape. It is hoped that through investigation of the oral traditions of pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe tribes the findings will provide a deeper understanding of their character and how they adapted, particularly to the arrival and influence of Pākehā. Their value then, is both as an account of the past but also the insight this gives into how our ancestors perceived and recollected the past, thereby provided a window into the world of their present.
The Whakapapa of Literature The aim of this thesis is to examine the change dynamics of South Island Māori oral traditions to gain a deeper understanding of their nature, function, evolution and meaning. This approach incorporates and distinguishes between changes that occurred pre and post-contact. This chapter opens this discussion by analysing the post-contact sources of early traditions. The chapter uses a framework to authenticate oral tradition incorporating elements of models proposed by historians David Simmons (1976) and Monty Souter (1996). The methodology used scrutinises the reliability, cultural background and expertise of informants, recorders and publishers. The discussion needs to be able to distinguish whether post-contact change took place, and if so, by who, the informant, recorder, or publisher. It takes account whether the information was provided, recorded or published for a particular audience such as; Māori, Pākehā, public, private or academic, and considers whether the information was based upon authentic or dubious sources, and, primary or secondary accounts.
49 Simmons states an appropriate informant will be one that is identified, respected and recognised as an authority by the tribe. 42 The earliest sources are best, as they are less likely to have changed due to influence from outside sources.
However, the majority of Ngāi Tahu tribal manuscripts were
recorded from 1880-1920 and many fragments of these texts were published later giving good cause for the incorporation of later accounts to include a broader range of empirical sources. The educational and cultural background of the recorder must also be assessed to determine their suitability to interpret material. Firstly, their choice of sources must be identified and critiqued, followed by determination of whether the recorder has altered or manipulated the tradition to any extent. Their fluency in Māori language will also determine the sources available and their ability to interpret Māori language materials. 43 Finally the role of the writer must be examined to establish where they have collected information from and how they have constructed a narrative. Once sources have been identified one can ascertain whether they are consistent with other accounts or if multiple accounts have been jumbled together or elongated by creative elements. The methodology adopted for this review will attempt to establish the genealogy of the literature, tracing information back to its source with the aim of detecting changes through comparison with the earliest primary sources available. Broad analysis of later works will also be incorporated to identify similarities and patterns for the purposes of gaining an insight into the internal dynamics of oral tradition.
Simmons, 1976, pp. 8-9.
Souter, 1996, pp. 51-52.
Ngāi Tahu Manuscripts Of the manuscripts recorded during 1880-1920, those recorded earliest were generally derived from the teachings of Ngāi Tahu tohunga trained in a whare wānanga. One prominent whare wānanga was that of Tuahuriri tohunga, Taiarorua, based at Taumutu. There he trained tohunga such as Pita Te Hori, Te Kauae and Nātanahira Waruwarutū. Mātiaha Tiramōrehu, Rāwiri Māmaru, Rāwiri Te Maire, Hoani Kaahu and Rakiraki were also prominent tohunga of this period. 44 Between 1879 and 1882 a whare wānanga was run in Otakou to train tauira such as R. Taiaroa, Tom Wesley, Maurice Topi and Momo Taituha. In this same period Teone Taare Tikao and Tame Kirini emerged as acknowledged authorities on tribal whakapapa and tradition. 45
Waitaha prophet, Hipa Te Maihāroa, was never a student in a whare wānanga himself, he established his own school of learning with his teachings preserved in the manuscripts of disciples such as Wī Pōkuku, Herewini Eli and his descendants such as Wikitoria Paipeta. This thesis uses the manuscripts of Hoani Kaahu (1800), Thomas Green (1880-1898), Wī Pōkuku & Herewini Ira (1887), Harawira Te Keepa (c.1890), Herewini Ira (1892), Nātanahira Waruwarutū (1895), Hoani Maaka (c.1900) and Wikitoria Paipeta (c.1920) to ensure analysis is not solely based upon the use of secondary literature. The incorporation of primary manuscript material avoids the ideological interpretations of previous recorders and publishers to 44
Te Maire Tau, The Spell of Traditon, Unpublished Paper, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu: Christchurch, c.2004, p. 4.
Tau, c.2004, p. 4.
51 reveal a clearer insight into the dynamics of authentic Māori oral tradition and their modification in later literature.
Edward Shortland The earliest definitive work on South Island traditions was by Edward Shortland who acquired accounts of Māori history and tradition while acting as an interpreter for courts of inquiry into land claims during 1843-1844. During his travels Shortland gathered traditions and genealogies from Murihiku chief, Hone Tūhawaiki, before later meeting Mātiaha Tiramorehu, a respected tohunga, who provided Shortland with further narratives. 46 Both informants were recognised within their respective communities as being experts in tribal lore. 47 Shortland used both sources to compile the first written accounts of South Island traditions culminating in his New
Zealand/Middle Island manuscript.
In 1851 he published The southern
districts of New Zealand, with passing notices of the customs of the aborigines, followed, in 1854, by Traditions and superstitions of the New Zealanders. In that era Māori were still very much in control of their own affairs and whilst having long had contact with Pākehā, their traditions would be less likely to have been influenced by external sources as later traditions. As a recorder of tradition, Shortland must have had some credibility with local Māori to gain access to the keepers of tribal knowledge. Shortland was an 46
Atholl Anderson, ‘Edward Shortland 1812-1893,’ in Dictionary of New Zealand Biography 1769-1869, Vol.1, Ministry for Culture and Heritage: Wellington, 1990, pp. 394-397. 47 Mātiaha Tiramorehu had provided much material regarding early tribal tradition and it is reasonable to assume that similarly, Tūhawaiki, as a chief, was also an expert in tribal traditions.
52 interpreter at the Court of Inquiry into land claims and thereby would have established connections within the Māori community and some fluency in the language. Shortland wrote directly from the testimony of his informants and did not attempt to modify tradition to suit his own sensibilities. This is evident in his translations of South Island traditions in The Traditions and
Superstitions of the Māori, where Shortland recounts the traditions of Wakatau and the burning of Te Tihi o Manono. This account is unusual as Shortland does not translate a section of the text leaving it in Māori as the text concerns a man’s genitals. ‘Ki te tae atu koe ki a ia, me hura e koe i tona maro, ka kite koe i tana raho, he raho-punga.’ 48
Translation ‘If you reach him, you must remove his loincloth, you will see his penis, a swollen penis.’ While this demonstrates that Shortland’s tastes did not accommodate different Māori sensibilities, to his credit he left the Māori text unaltered and made no attempt to manipulate the texts for a Western audience. This reflects his generally positive perception of Māori, which makes a stark contrast to most European writers of his time. Those writers that could speak Māori were more positive about Māori.
Shortland states that Māori ‘...are
given to agricultural pursuits; and have been found to learn, and readily adopt, the more civilised practices of Europeans; at the same time that their bodily and mental organisation is generally considered not inferior to our own.’ 49
Shortland, 1856, p. 68.
Shortland, 1851, p. vi.
53 Shortland also questioned the authenticity of the ‘great deluge’ tradition published by George Grey, in which he recorded accounts of a great flood. This was likely invented post-contact due to Māori exposure to the Bible and its accounts of Noah’s Ark.
This suggests Shortland had a deeper
understanding regarding the authenticity of tradition as he was conscious that Māori were hybridising traditions due to Western influence, incorporating elements of biblical traditions and mixing them with traditional Māori knowledge. Thus he was aware of the changes occurring to Māori belief due to interaction with missionaries and other foreign influences. 50
J.F.H. Wohlers J.F.H. Wohlers was a German missionary who resided for 41 years at Ruapuke, the power capital for southern Ngāi Tahu. He published several texts concerning the traditions of southern Māori. Wohlers wrote down many southern traditions during the late 1840s-1852 culminating in what is refered to as his c.1850 manuscript, elements of which were sent to Governor Grey, Alexander Mackay and John White.
Material from his c.1850
manuscript was later published by White in the first three volumes of his The
Ancient History of the Māori (1887) and in two articles written by Wohlers, ‘The Mythology and Traditions of the Māori in New Zealand’, in The
Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute (1874-75). Wohlers was of considerable intellect, having learnt the Māori language through studying translations of the Bible. However, his opinion of Māori 50Shortland,
1856, p. 79.
54 was in stark contrast to Shortland, describing Māori as ‘…savage heathens…rude and offensive; …full of vermin; they stink.’ 51 Like many of his time, Wohlers lamented what he saw as the inevitable deterioration of Māori society and their progressive decline in the scale of humanity as Māori culture sunk from its former heights: Their ancient gods had now mere historical significance, and these were known by only a few wise old men. Their poetical ideas had no longer any influence on the minds of the Maoris. They had sunk deeper and deeper in savage barbarism and cannibalism. This is unnatural to the idea of humanity, and must lead to the destruction of the race. 52 Typical of the Western colonialist ideology of that time, Wohlers viewed Māori as a dying race and sought to record their origins, believing Māori migrated from the East Indian Islands after having interacted with tribes of the ‘negro race’. 53 Wohlers viewed all Māori tradition as beyond the bounds of general history and despite possibly having their origins in kernels of truth, they could only be validated through comparison with external sources. 54 Without acknowledgement of his sources, one can only speculate as to who his sources were, however, his status as a missionary would have given him considerable mana amongst his local community.
He does refer to his
recording of traditions when he states, ‘The old Maori tales, as originally
J.F.H Wohlers, `On the Conversion and Civilisation of the Māoris in the South of New Zealand’, in TNZI, 1881,Vol.14, p. 132.
Wohlers, 1881, p. 123.
Wohlers, 1874, p. 15.
Wohlers, 1874, p. 3.
55 collected by me – written down word by word out of the mouths of several old Maori – are bulky, incoherent and rambling…’ 55 Whilst stating he faithfully recorded the tradition he also openly edited them to suit a Western audience.
In his 1875 article The Mythology and
Traditions of the Māori in New Zealand, Wohlers edits an account when narrating the tradition of Ruru by making changes to its translation. Haere mai tou a Te Ngārara-hua-rau. Mea rawa ake a Ruru kia haere, ka tae mai a Te Ngārara-hua-rau, karapotia ai te hiku o te waero. Ka mau a Ruru, kāhore hoki kia haere. 56
Translation So, when the meal was served, the lady made her appearance. Ruru was disgusted for she wore a dress with an enormous long skirt trailing behind her, and, when he tried to get away, she entangled him in its folds, and not only that, but she had draggled it also over the food, and covered the same with dirty lizard-scales. 57 Here Wohlers makes several changes to the tradition through its translation changing what is possibly sexual imagery. In a footnote he adds, ‘I had to modify this, in order to meet the taste of civilised fashion. It will be seen in the Maori text that her skirt was a huge lizard tail’.58 Wohlers also admitted to editing out some sections and reordering some narratives. 59 This was not unusual as most early European recorders of Māori tradition re-orchestrated and edited accounts to fit with Western ideals and tastes. Over time this was
Wohlers, 1874, p. 31.
Christine Tremewan, Traditional Stories from Southern New Zealand, Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies University of Canterbury: Christchurch, 2002, p. 333.
J.F.H Wohlers, `The Mythology and Traditions of the Māori in New Zealand’, in TNZI, 1875, Vol.8, p. 117.
Wohlers, 1875, p. 117.
Wohlers, 1874, p. 31.
56 to have a profound effect, for example much of the sexual imagery and symbolism of the accounts were erased and progressively forgotten as early European writers sought to strip away ‘fable’ to reveal ‘fact’. In this manner, tradition was changed to conform to Western paradigms losing part of the essence and meaning of the original tradition in the process.
Canon Stack Canon Stack was a missionary based at the Canterbury Māori settlement of Tuahiwi. His fluency in Māori language and status as a clergyman would have given him mana in local eyes and as such he interacted with and collected traditions from many Ngāi Tahu elders during the period 1859 to 1863. His primary source was Pita Te Hori from Kaiapoi but his informants also included Hapakuku Kairua, Hakopa Te Ata o Tū, Wiremu te Uki, Whakatau, Tamati Tikao, Apera Pukenui, Te Mararoa, Tarawhata, Mātiaha Tiramorehu, Nātanahira Waruwarutū, Tarekahu, Pukuheti, Hutoitoi, Rāwiri and Wereta Tainui, all Ngāi Tahu chiefs of high rank or of some reknown. 60 Stack was also a member of the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, and published several papers on South Island Māori. His South Island Māoris: a
sketch of their history and legendary lore (1898) was originally a paper delivered to the institute in 1877. Stack also contributed to H.C. Jacobson’s
Tales of Banks Peninsula (1884) and published Kaiapoihia: the story of a siege (1893) about the sacking of the Kaiapoi pā. 61
Canon Stack, ‘Traditional History of the South Island Māoris’ in TNZI, 1877, Vol.10, p. 57.
Janet E. Murray, ‘Stack, James West 1835-1919.’ in Dictionary of New Zealand Biography 1769-1869, Vol.1, Ministry for Culture and Heritage: Wellington, 1990, pp. 403-404.
57 In his South Island Māori (1898), Stack divided traditions into three classes: fabulous, uncertain and unreliable.
‘Fabulous’ traditions related to pre-
historic times and supernatural beings such as the Kāhui Tipua, who Stack believed were a mythical band of ogres; ‘uncertain’ traditions related to tribes who had perished and only fragmentary accounts remained with those that superseded them; and the ‘reliable’ traditions comprised of the last two hundred years of Ngāi Tahu history. 62 Stack gives his version of the Ārai Te Uru tradition focussing on Rongo i Tua and the circumstances surrounding the arrival of the kūmara. In this tradition the source of the kūmara is a place in Hawaiki called Whangarā. It is odd that Stack did not recognise the place name Whangarā, which is a celebrated location within Ngāti Porou’s territory associated with the arrival of waka. He lived in Rangitukia for three years. Its occurrence in the Ārai Te Uru tradition hints at it being a reference to an internal migration and a possible clue as to the origins of the Ārai Te Uru tradition itself, a subtlety perhaps missed by Stack. Also of note is Stack’s incorporation of a North Island creation tradition63 into a text primarily collected from South Island sources whose account of creation is of stark contrast to that of their North Island relations. 64 Stack was later heavily criticised by Ngāi Tahu historians for confusing North and South Island traditions concerning Waitaha. In the North Island, Waitaha is an ancestor, the son of Hei, upon the Arawa canoe. In contrast in South 62
Canon Stack, South Island Māoris: A Sketch of their History and Legendary Lore, Whitcombe & Tombs Limited: Christchurch, 1898, p. 15.
The creation tradition Stack incorporated was sourced from Sir George Grey, Polynesian Mythology, 1855.
Stack, 1898, p. 92.
58 Island accounts, Waitaha is an early tribe, descending from the ancestor, Rākaihautū. Stack attributed the arrival of the South Island tribe, named Waitaha, to the North Island canoe, Te Arawa, thereby confusing two distinctly separate regional accounts. 65 Stack’s jumbling of accounts created a mishmash of traditions and possibly alludes to him re-orchestrating Southern traditions to fit in accordance with northern accounts. Like most early European writers, Stack’s accounts were often constructed as much as recorded due to him tweaking traditions to make them consistent with the prevailing theories of his time. Belief that different races could be placed upon a progressive chain of evolutionary development drove his interpretation of events. This resulted in multiple layers of settlement being portrayed as waves of conquest and extermination, as racially inferior tribes were annihilated, as part of the perceived natural law of ‘survival of the fittest’: The origin of the Ngatimamoe is nearly as obscure as that of their predecessors. Like them they came from the North Island, being probably driven down before a stronger tribe. Their pitiless treatment of Waitaha was afterwards repeated upon themselves by the stronger and more warlike Ngai Tahu. Their destruction of the Waitaha and their own subsequent destruction, accounts for the absence of all traditions relating to the visit of Abel Tasman in 1642. 66 Waitaha’s destruction by Ngāti Māmoe, and then their subsequent extermination at the hands of the ‘war-like’ Ngāi Tahu was consistent with a common theme among early writers who remained fixated on establishing an evolutionary scale of racial development and failed to take into account that
Stack, 1898, p. 23.
Stack, 1898, pp. 27-28.
59 the prior tribe was normally subsumed through a combination of fighting, intermarriage and absorption, thereby forming a new identity. 67 Although Stack had a high calibre of informants his audience was a Pākehā one.
His book South Island Māoris was dedicated to the Christchurch
Savage Club and was based on a paper he had written for the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, a Pākehā academic audience. Stack openly admitted to omitting tribal genealogies and his avoidance of referring to the exploits of hapū as he believed these elements were foreign to Pākehā and would therefore confuse his intended readership. 68 This tendency to attempt to make oral tradition fit with a Western perception of history is also reflected through his ascribing 20 years to each generation in tribal genealogies to establish a chronological order for various events.
genealogies are more variable the further back they extend, giving an inadequate base to establish dates with any certainty. Stack believed Māori traditions only had value if they could fit within the confines of the Western discipline of history. His reconstruction of oral tradition shows a lack of understanding of the complex symbolic elements of tradition and a proclivity for framing his texts for a Western audience.
James Cowan James Cowan was a popular Pākehā journalist who published 30 books and numerous articles on New Zealand’s past. Cowan was a prolific wrtiter of
Ballara, 1998, p. 33.
Stack, 1877, p. 35.
60 frontier stories, literature for tourists and Māori ethnography. He published many books on Māori subjects such as Tales of the Māori Coast (1930),
Tales of the Māori Bush (1934), the two-volume Legends of the Māori (1930-34) and The Māori Yesterday and Today (1930). However, it was during his time in Christchurch while working for the Lyttelton Times that Cowan sought out informants of South Island traditions, including leading Ngāi Tahu tohunga Teone Taare Tikao. 69 It was from this relationship that Cowan drew information for his primary text on South Island traditions published in Māori Folk Tales of the Port Hills (1923). Although Teone Taare Tikao was Cowan’s primary informant he also included information from Ngāi Tahu scribe Thomas Green (Tame Kirini). Both were well-respected tribal leaders. Green was taught by the Ngāi Tahu tohunga Nātanahira Waruwarutū. Likewise Tikao was educated by two Ngāi Tahu tohunga, Koroko and Tuauau and both achieved prominence as political leaders for Ngāi Tahu. In Māori Folk Tales of the Port Hills, Cowan gives Tikao as the source of a unique account of the Ārai Te Uru waka tradition where it travelled alongside the waka Takitimu and carried the sacred fire of its captain Tamatea. 70
In 1906, Ngāti Porou chief, Tuta
Nihoniho, gave Cowan an account of the Takitimu canoe that was accompanied by a taniwha (sea guardian) named Ārai Te Uru. 71
Nihoniho lived in Canterbury so it is likely that Tikao knew of the account. This suggests he has compiled elements of two different tribal accounts together. It would appear Tikao has utilised the northern version where
D. Colquhoun, ‘James Cowan 1870-1943.’ in Dictionary of New Zealand Biography 1901-1920, Vol.3, Ministry for Culture and Heritage: Wellington, 1996, pp. 119-121. 70 James Cowan, Māori Folk Tales of the Port Hills, Whitcombe & Tombs: Christchurch, 1923, p. 56. 69
James Cowan, ‘The Story of the Takitimu’, in JPS, 1908, Vol.17, pp. 93-107.
61 Takitimu and Ārai Te Uru are paired, yet incorporated southern elements, where Ārai Te Uru is a canoe, not a taniwha. 72 This compilation of tradition draws obvious scrutiny to his authenticity as an informant. By the time the tradition was recorded, Ngāi Tahu would have had an increased interaction with other tribes and Western influences. Both Tikao and Green knew and shared information with Ngāti Kahungunu scribe, Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro, who had been mission trained and was heavily influenced by his relationship with S. Percy Smith.
Whatahoro had on Tikao is evident in Tikao’s tradition concerning Io, the supreme god. There are no South Island accounts of Io prior to Tikao’s publication demonstrating it likely originates from Whatahoro’s influence. Likewise Thomas Green incorporated elements from Smith’s associate Whatahoro, showing that at this particular period in time, interaction with other tribes and prolonged Western influence had begun to seriously alter Ngāi Tahu traditions.
Cowan did not have the cultural or analytical
credentials to scrutinise this incorporation of foreign elements nor a broad comprehensive knowledge of Māori traditions to compare and critique the traditions he was recording. However, what his publications do capture is a period in time when Ngāi Tahu traditions were beginning to change due to increased interaction with other tribes and the influence of Western ideologies. The credibility of the informant was not Cowan’s only weakness as he had also been criticised by Elsdon Best for his ‘facile translations’, as whilst he
For a Ngāi Tahu version of Takitimu see Beattie, 1915, p. 109.
62 could communicate in Māori he was not articulate. 73 Indeed his translations of place-names were often very literal and as an outsider he lacked understanding of the complex poetical and cultural nuances with which they were composed.
For example, Cowan’s translation of ‘Ngā Pākihi
Whakatekateka o Waitaha’ (The Māori name of the Canterbury Plains) is ‘The Deceptive Plains of Waitaha’.
Whilst ‘whakateka’ can mean to
disbelieve, ‘whakatekateka’ means to impel forward or the act of throwing a dart (teka) 74 and for South Island Māori meant conceited or boastful demonstrating alternative interpretations to Cowan’s assertion. 75 His style of prose is also heavily romanticised as he endeavoured to attract Pākehā attention to the beauty of the Port Hills. Despite perhaps having good intentions, Cowan restructured traditions to fit his intended Pākehā audience with the language and structure reflecting what he believed Pākehā would want to read.
Despite Cowan recording a substantial amount of
traditions from reputable Canterbury Māori, they were romanticised to fit a non-Māori, non-academic audience. These factors, when combined with a lack of referencing, make Cowan an inadequate source for South Island tradition. Cowan’s twentieth century works reflect the changes in both Māori and Pākehā society of his time. The majority of early recorders were Pākehā missionaries or land surveyors and while not necessarily academically gifted, they were in general fluent in Māori language and intimately familiar with
Colquhoun, 1996, pp. 119-121.
H.W. Williams, Dictionary of the Māori Language, GP Print: Wellington, 1991, p. 410.
63 Māori ways. Ironically, the early scholars were more familiar with Māori language and culture than more contemporary anthropologists.
important perhaps was that they were recording traditions at a time when Māori were still in control of their own affairs and had limited contact with other tribes or other cultures.
Herries Beattie The literature of amateur historian Herries Beattie continues on from Cowan and highlights the changes of both informant and recorder. Beattie’s unique eclectic style is evident in his first major work on South Island Māori traditions, history and place names: Traditions and Legends Collected from
the Natives of Murihiku which was published in the Journal of Polynesian Society between 1915 and 1922. Reknown for travelling to remote southern Māori communities on his bicycle to collect traditions, Beattie published 10 books on southern Māori including Tikao Talks (1939), Māori Lore of Lake,
Alp and Fiord (1945) and Our Southernmost Māoris (1954) with much of his unpublished material being published later as Traditional Lifeways of the
Southern Māori (1994). Beattie, like many other recorders was not particularly academically gifted but unlike the majority of his predecessors he was not fluent in the Māori language. However, Beattie was unique in terms of the large amount of oral tradition he recorded from southern Māori. As his works were based on interviews, he had a very anecdotal writing style but due to his lack of references, one often cannot tell to whom the information stated belongs. His primary sources were Teone Taare Tikao and Erueti Kingi Kurupohatu. 63
64 He also collected traditions from Tiemi Haereroa Kupa, Erure Poko Cameron, Taare Te Maihāroa and Tuhituhi Te Marama. His unconventional style of recording traditions in notebooks was criticised by academic historians and his lack of fluency in Māori language required he work through interpreters and closed access to Māori language texts. Beattie’s style had both its strengths and weaknesses. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Beattie did not strive to make Māori tradition fit within a Western historical context or chronological structure.
As such Beattie
practically recorded and published the accounts verbatim, only adding minor commentaries at the beginning, making him a far more reliable source than his contemporaries. This lack of scrutiny also leaves the recorder vulnerable to the ability, agenda and integrity of the informant. Beattie’s process of gathering and then publishing oral traditions occurred at a crucial period when Ngāi Tahu lore keepers were increasingly engaging with and being influenced by Pākehā traditions and those of other iwi. At times the varying accounts of tradition challenge one another as Beattie does not distinguish between sources of varying quality, accepting all at face value. For example, in one passage Beattie’s informant stated that Waitaha were said to have ‘sprung out of the ground’, another said they ‘came from Hawaiki in one of the canoes—probably Te Arawa’, whilst another believed they ‘disappeared from the North Island and popped up in the South’. 76 Although diligently recorded and published, Beattie’s accounts were often a hotchpotch of information from at times less reputable sources.
Herries Beattie, `Traditions and Legends Collected from the Natives of Murihiku, Part II’ in JPS, 1915, Vol.24, p. 131.
65 During the period Beattie gathered information, Ngāi Tahu had increasing contact with both Pākehā and other Māori, which may have influenced their accounts.
One of Beattie’s principal informants, Teone Taare Tikao,
introduces Io as the supreme Māori god, ‘The pakeha (white man) had The Trinity as Supreme, but the old Maori made Io god over all.’ 77 Previously Io did not feature in South Island traditions and is likely the result of Tikao’s interactions with Hoani Te Turi Whatahoro Jury, the primary source of Io traditions. Tikao also refers to early tribes as Maoriori, believed to be of Melanesian descent and their descriptions are based on negative racial stereotypes and connotations derived from Pākehā: Where these Hawea came from was long a puzzle to us, but I think it must have been South Africa. They were a dark people with thick mops of curly hair, and with strong, white teeth. 78 Rapuwai were also portrayed as dim-witted simpletons: Te Rapuwai, or Rapuai, the third race to inhabit the South Island were, I think, copper coloured and ginger haired. Perhaps they came from Fiji. They were a clumsy race, and like the Hawea, not much good. 79 Such racially prejudiced descriptions were influenced by earlier publications such as Te Matorohanga’s negative portrayal of early inhabitants as having large bones, flat faces and noses, and side-long glancing eyes, with straight and lank hair, and reddish black skins; as lazy and sleepy and living in primitive houses. 80
These stereotypes were consistent with Western
constructions of Moriori identity, which had been internalised by Tikao and projected onto earlier inhabitants of the South Island. In spite of Beattie 77
S. Percy Smith, Lore of the Whare Wānanga Part. II, T. Avery: New Plymouth, 1915, p. 71.
66 recording a huge amount of traditions, his lack of theoretical knowledge of the complexity of oral tradition meant he accepted traditions at face value at a time when Māori were being influenced by Western religious traditions, ideologies and the other tribal traditions. It is important to note that a major part of the extensive collections recorded by Beattie include the Waitaha traditions stemming from the prophet, Hipa Te Maihāroa. Although Te Maihāroa did not write his own traditions, his descendants and disciples did, forming the vast bulk of Waitaha traditions, which were subsequently published by Beattie. As a result, despite being a relatively recent source, Beattie is by far the most prodigious source of Ngāi Tahu and Waitaha traditions and his texts will provide much valuable information on the traditions of early South Island Māori.
W.A. Taylor W.A. Taylor published five books on Māori subjects including Waihora:
Māori Associations with Lake Ellesmere (1944), Māori Art (1946) and Lore and History of the South Island Māori (1952). His interpretation of Ngāi Tahu history was so poor that tribal elders at Tuahiwi verbally abused him. 81 Due to his lack of credibility in Ngāi Tahu communities, he was reliant on written sources from the records of the Māori Land Court. Whilst Beattie’s endeavours demonstrate that an oral informant of status does not denote their account is authentic and uncontaminated, they do give the historian a broader range of material to base their analysis upon. Taylor’s primary source, the 81
Tau, 2003, p. 20.
67 Māori Land Court minutes were not the earliest publications of southern traditions, and were likely subject to political motives relating to the setting in which they were provided. Taylor also constructed early tribal identities based upon the popular anthropological theories of his time, as did his contemporaries like Beattie. He was convinced Māori were a hybrid race, composed of both Polynesian and Melanesian descent. Taylor looked to the anatomy of skulls and the oral traditions of Herewini Ira, Tame Parata and Teone Taare Tikao’s references to descent from earlier tribes with dark skin, curly hair and a different language to prove his theory. 82
At this period of time Ngāi Tahu had
internalised bizarre Pākehā theories of pre-Māori Melanesian inhabitants and then reconstructed early tribal identities in accordance with these Pākehā beliefs. 83 These traditions were in turn passed on to naïve Pākehā amateur historians like Taylor, in the process creating an ideologically self-validating loop, where Māori provided evidence to support Pākehā constructions of how they perceived Māori to be. Taylor also incorporated the accounts of many informants without properly referencing his sources. Without adequate referencing it is impossible to determine what information was derived from his sources and what Taylor himself invented. It is not uncommon for tribal groups to have differing or conflicting accounts of a particular tradition, as this is reflective of the complicated nature of oral tradition where they evolve alongside society. However, the many conflicting accounts in Taylor’s text suggest either the
W.A. Taylor, Lore and History of the South Island Māori, Bascands: Christchurch, 1952, pp. 9-10.
M.P.K. Sorrenson, Māori Origins and Migrations, Auckland University Press: Auckland, 1979, p. 82.
68 traditions were from sources of varying quality and were jumbled together, or Taylor was inventing material. Taylor stated that Tahu Pōtiki lived in Kaikoura and Marlborough 180 years after Paikea, which differs greatly from all conventional Ngāi Tahu histories regarding migration southwards. 84 In the same text Taylor then gives the standard version of Ngāi Tahu migration to the South Island attributed to Te Rakaitauwheke. 85 Taylor goes on to state there were in fact two Waitaha tribes, the first arrived with Rākaihautū on the Uruao canoe in 850AD, and the second on the Arawa canoe with the ‘Great Fleet’, later coming south in the Takitimu canoe under Tamatea Pōkai Whenua. Taylor gave Puhirere as the name of the second hapū of Waitaha. This is of interest as Shortland (1851) recorded an account from Ngāi Tahu chief Tūhawaiki in 1844 stating that Ngāi Tara came from the North Island under the leadership of a chief named Puhirere, who was said to be of the same lineage as the Ngā Puhi tribe. 86
Such variances are not uncommon in oral tradition.
Taylor’s poor knowledge of tradition resulted in him confusing and muddling what were already quite complex accounts into an indiscernible mesh making him an unreliable source and the authenticity of his accounts then suspect. Taylor’s reliance on a small section of a large body of literature, coupled with no academic referencing has made his accounts too inconsistent and unreliable.
His lack of a solid cultural knowledge base and theoretical
grounding also led him to reproduce traditions that had been influenced by 84
Taylor, 1952, p. 11.
Taylor, 1952, p. 19.
Simmons, 1976, p. 203.
69 external sources. This has resulted in a compendium of scattered fragments of tradition from multiple sources that at best are difficult and at worst impossible to decipher.
Barry Brailsford Controversial Pākehā archaeologist Barry Brailsford’s accounts of early South Island traditions reflect an evolution of the Pākehā society of New Zealand, namely a break away from the colonial ‘Motherland’, and a new attempt to establish independent spiritual connections with the New Zealand landscape. Brailsford was well educated from a Western perspective and had credibility with Ngāi Tahu due to the success of his earlier publication The
Tattooed Land (1981). However, in his book The Song of Waitaha (1994), Brailsford does not present traditions as they were, or how he perceived them to be like previous scholarship.
Instead Brailsford constructs his own
mythology, intellectually colonising the past to construct an entirely new cultural identity to suit his own purposes. The book originated from a 1990 Commission project to document the histories of Rapuwai, Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe and Ngāi Tahu but Brailford quickly fell into conflict with tribal elders over the authenticity of the material. Brailsford claimed his principal informant was Peter Ruka, whose genealogical connection to Ngāi Tahu and knowledge of tribal matters was challenged by tribal elders. 87 An irreconcilable rift resulted and Brailsford broke away from Ngāi Tahu and focused on the earlier Waitaha identity and 87
Te Maire Tau, `Song of Waitaha: A Descendants View’ in Te Karaka, Spring, 1995, p. 7.
70 traditions. Ngāi Tahu’s withdrawal of support was damaging and stripped Brailsford of any tribal mandate. Brailsford claimed the text was based upon the teachings of Te Maihāroa and Puao Rakiraki but upon examination tribal historians found his texts were of no similarity to tribal manuscripts written by their descendants and students such as Wikitoria Paipeta, Wī Pōkuku, Hoani Kaahu and Herewini Ira. 88 Tribal elders openly voiced their dissent, including the writer’s grandfather, and thereby closed access to all tribal manuscripts, which are a vital source of information on early iwi in Te Waipounamu. Brailsford defied tribal elders and distanced himself from Ngāi Tahu who descend from Waitaha, instead constructing a new identity of which he was the primary source of information. There are several letters of support and a patriarchal blessing from renowned kaumatua, however, all had died prior to the book being published, and none had actually seen or referred to the book in any specific detail. The book contains no references of any kind, with Brailsford not acknowledging himself as the author and its copyright belongs to an unknown identity, Ngāti Kowhai o Waitaha. The text itself is a highly romanticised account of tradition that bears little, if any, similarity to South Island Māori traditions. Io Mata Ngaro is included as the supreme god yet in Waitaha or Ngāi Tahu traditions, he does not appear until Beattie’s texts, and stems only from Taare Tikao. 89 The majority of traditions are clearly based on North Island accounts, with the creation tradition following the generic
Tau, 1995, p. 6.
Tikao was related by marriage to Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro, a Ngāti Kahungunu scholar whose manuscripts are the primary source of Io traditions.
71 North Island template rather than the unique southern version, which can be found in the early manuscripts of South Island tohunga of Waitaha descent. 90 Brailsford then builds on the earlier construction of the Maoriori by early European writers by re-contextualising the traditions, replacing Maoriori (with different origins to Māori) with Waitaha. Waitaha are portrayed as a utopian, peace-loving society, descending from Rongo Marae Roa (god of peace), while Māori (later immigrants) were savage and violent, descending from ‘Tu Ma Tauenga’ (Tūmataenga, god of war). Brailsford distanced himself and Waitaha from Ngāi Tahu who are the descendants of Waitaha and thereby the conventional sources of Waitaha knowledge, to gain the freedom to reconstruct Waitaha, literally in his own image. He combines elements of generic Māori mythology with constructs of earlier European writers based on imperialist ideologies and Western New Age philosophies in an attempt to create a new mythology and identity for Pākehā. He then inserts Pākehā into the tradition and projects it back onto the past: Walk tall. Remember the ancestors of the Nation came from many colours. Some were of red skin, others brown or white, but all knew the pain of the Darkness that swept the land, and stayed true to the Peace Child. 91 Brailsford legitimises Pākehā settlement in New Zealand by creating a mythology that incorporates Pākehā and makes the coloniser indigenous:
For examples see Te Keepa Mss (c.1880), Mātiaha Tiramorehu (1849).
Barry Brailsford, Song of Waitaha, Wharariki Publishers: Christchurch, 2003, p. 297.
72 And know the taonga are given to all who live within sight of the mountains and wish to call this land home. You are the child of the new Nation. 92 In doing so Brailsford removes genealogy as the determinant for Waitaha identity and appropriates Waitaha identity to establish a connection with the New Zealand landscape. This has resulted from a craving to fulfil a spiritual need due to decolonisation and disassociation from the majority culture’s ‘Motherland’.
Barry Brailsford’s account of Waitaha traditions is a
fabrication resulting from his own creative authorship and is not referenced to or derived from tribal sources. 93 Brailsford constructed a new cultural identity to suit a spiritual need for disenchanted New Age Pākehā and cannot be considered authentic South Island Māori tradition.
Christine Tremewan In contrast to Brailsford, Christine Tremewan’s analysis of early South Island Māori traditions in Traditional Stories from Southern New Zealand (2002) is based on early manuscript sources and is thoroughly researched and referenced. Tremewan takes a comparative approach, translating Wohlers’ early manuscript texts and then comparing them with occurrences in other tribes and throughout Polynesia. The strength of Tremewan’s approach was that it was based on early manuscript texts, which were not subject to gradual contamination due to European contact. Tremewan managed to avoid the mistakes of many of her contemporaries by focussing on the earliest possible
Brailsford, 2003, p. 297.
O’Regan, 1992, p. 22.
73 empirical sources where many other scholars have merely republished previous texts that were the products of a fusion of differing accounts, the incorporation of foreign elements and at times creative authorship. Her approach also enables some verification of the authenticity of the tradition through comparison. Major deviations stand out against a generally coherent corpus of belief and can be placed under closer critical examination. Tremewan examined many references for the similarities and messages of each particular narrative yet missed some of the deeper symbolic references. Tremewan still adopted the same theoretical stance of earlier Pākehā scholars, viewing Māori oral tradition as generally focused on explaining natural phenomena and imparting myth messages to society with less emphasis on the historic connotations of tradition. The role of the house carvings in the Tāne/Hine-atauira tradition, Maui throwing darts at his parents’ house and Maui climbing down into the underworld through a hole beneath the house’s central pole are all symbolic references to the house being associated with one’s genealogy. It could be argued that as one’s lineage is displayed in the houses carvings, then the carved house itself is symbolic of one’s ancestry. Such an assertion supports the stance that in Māori oral tradition the carved house is central to the pursuit of one’s whakapapa and thereby one’s identity. Tremewan’s comparative analysis of tradition identifies many re-occurring symbols and patterns but she does not explore their deeper symbolic meaning or analyse the function these traditions played in society. Despite little theoretical discussion on symbolic imagery, Tremewan’s text is commendable in terms of its academic scholarship with skilful analysis of empirical sources and comparative methodology, marking a significant departure from all previous scholarship on the traditions of Te Waipounamu. 73
Rāwiri Te Maire Tau Ngāi Tahu historian Rāwiri Te Maire Tau’s approach in Ngā Pikitūroa o
Ngāi Tahu (2003) differed from previous scholarship as he was able to fuse academic theory with insider knowledge to establish a new methodology for analysing and interpreting South Island Māori oral tradition. Tau builds on Tremewan’s use of early empirical manuscripts by incorporating a much broader range of primary sources. Whilst Tau was trained as an historian and has the necessary academic prerequisites, he also meets the prescribed cultural criteria. Tau was raised in a Ngāi Tahu community and descends from a leading Ngāi Tahu family associated with traditional leadership roles and therefore has access to a wealth of family and tribal manuscripts. His academic skills are comparable with Tremewan but the range of primary material at his disposal was far broader. Due to the unreliability of most previous scholarship and the cultural denigration of Ngāi Tahu, Tau used a broad range of primary sources and as an insider had access to the teachings of leading Ngāi Tahu lore keepers such as Nātanahira Waruwarutū, Thomas Green, Harawira Te Keepa, Hoani Maaka, Wī Pōkuku, Rāwiri Mamaru, Wikitoria Paipeta, Teone Taare Tikao, Te Ari Pitama and his aunt Rima Bell. Some of these sources were fairly late in comparison to the earliest texts such as Wohlers (c.1851) or Shortland (1851) and are therefore more likely to have incorporated new ideas from Western or other tribal traditions. However, the breadth given by the oral traditions of Tau’s sources gives a far broader range for comparison to aid critical analysis.
With such an extensive collection of primary 74
75 material, Tau was able to establish a measure of consistency to differentiate between traditions that were different from the general body of belief. Tau incorporated traditional waiata, whakapapa and prose, which were previously ignored by scholars other than Tremewan. Tau’s publication of these and selected tribal manuscripts show that he is writing for a very specific audience, his own people. Despite his insider status, Tau does not avoid applying scrutiny to tribal traditions to ascertain their authenticity. This combination of insider knowledge with academic scrutiny is further enhanced by his incorporation of international scholarship. Tau extends on Tremewan’s preliminary text on South Island traditions by incorporating international theoretical perspectives on the functions oral traditions play within society. This increases the depth of Tau’s critical analysis of tradition as he has an extensive body of literature to draw upon to establish an appropriate methodology and is not locked into the methodologies of previous literature. Tau focuses primarily on historian Peter Munz and comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell. Both shared the belief that rather than events being mythologised, the myths themselves evolve and form mythic templates that are overlaid onto the event. Campbell believed they transcended pure records of the past to become social blueprints used by the community as the basis for structuring life and behaviour. 94 Munz differed by believing that the historical fixing of an event in time and space lost significance if the primary concern of ‘primitive’ cultures was re-imposing mythic poetry onto the event. Munz believed orally transmitted genealogy past four generations were unreliable as a time 94
Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, Doubleday, 1988, p. 173.
76 reckoning system, and therefore ‘primitive’ peoples lacked any system to fix the event within an historical matrix. Losing its position in time and space, the event is then deflected into myth, transcending into ‘another realm of meaningfulness’. 95 In contrast, Tau establishes whakapapa as a metaphysical framework constructed to locate oneself within the universe. Tau argues that Ngāi Tahu whakapapa originate from a shared source and were compiled during tribal wānanga from the late nineteenth century, establishing a uniform structure enabling analysis of how the past was remembered and interpreted. 96 Therefore Ngāi Tahu whakapapa does have a consistency and does not warrant dismissal as a valid historical source of information. However, at its core, Tau views Munz’s argument as irrelevant as fixing an event chronologically or geographically was not an imperative to Māori as ‘the only realm of meaningfulness to Māori is that of mana’. 97 Tau advances the stance that attempts to categorise tradition as myth or history are erroneous as each classification is based upon a foreign Western framework. The primary role of the tohunga was not the accurate recollection of historical facts and events but fusing elements of both myth and history to elevate tradition to a new realm of meaningfulness where oral tradition is the means to establish and maintain tribal prestige. If the primary purpose of Māori oral tradition is not the accurate recollection of the past, then this raises the question of what value there is in determining 95
Peter Munz, When the Golden Bough Breaks, Routledge and Kegan Paul: London, 1973, pp. 43-44.
Tau, 2003, p. 34.
Tau, 2003, p. 86.
77 its authenticity. The evidence suggests oral traditions are not static but evolve over time to reflect changes in society and the pre-contact translocation of tradition due to migration. Analysis of the literature shows there have been radical post-contact changes due to the impact of early European writers and their influence on Māori sources and control of publication. This analysis would support the stance that the evolution of tradition was seriously altered by external influence and therefore still warrants the distinction between authentic pre-contact verifiable accounts and traditions that have been tampered with or influenced post-contact. Whilst a pre-contact authentic tradition might not necessarily be representative of an entirely historical event, it is still reflective of precontact Māori belief and gives a unique insight into how southern Māori interpreted and constructed the past.
Conclusion Analysis of the literature has revealed the majority of sources concerning South Island traditions fail to meet Simmons’ criteria discussed earlier. Authentic traditions were defined as derived from a pre-European communal corpus of belief that has remained culturally persistent without alteration. In this regard, Ngāi Tahu were fortunate to have had the early texts of Edward Shortland and J.F.H. Wohlers. Both writers were at the vanguard of Pākehā settlement recording traditions during 1830s-1840s and form the earliest record of Ngāi Tahu traditions. These traditions were recorded at a crucial period shortly after contact yet before European influence would impinge upon Ngāi Tahu traditions and therefore can be considered authentic.
78 Although these earliest sources are best with regard to their authenticity, they are limited in scope. The sheer volume of material published by later writers such as Beattie warrant attention as they contain much old information that had not been collected or published previously. Beattie collected and had access to many tribal manuscripts unpublished by other authors, most notable those of Waitaha prophet, Hipa Te Maihāroa’s descendants, and makes a significant contribution towards the scholarship of oral traditions. Thus, later literature adds many more fragments to create a more complete context to interpret and analyse tradition. The incorporation of later literature is also significant as tribal identities were not fixed and final but evolved, with greater emphasis placed on different lines of descent. For example, Waitaha traditions are not recorded in great detail until the 1880s, nearly 50 years after the earliest Ngāi Tahu accounts were recorded. Therefore later literature will also be incorporated as they contain a wealth of previously unpublished information and illustrate how traditions have changed and adapted over time.
However, due to their
lateness they must be treated with caution as they are also more likely to have been corrupted by foreign elements and must be viewed with a critical eye. For this thesis sources will be limited to those collected in the South Island, with North Island sources limited to comparisons. Analysis of the literature shows South Island traditions are not static and have changed substantially since they were first recorded. For this reason, comparative analysis of traditions focussing on depth will contrast the earliest accounts with those published later to identify modifications to traditions. This study of the morphology of tradition will examine and categorise all types of change to 78
79 provide an insight into the evolution of tradition. This will be extended by comparison with North Island traditions to gain a deeper understanding of the shared mythic imagery to show the traditions of Te Waipounamu have changed many times for many reasons, due to both pre-contact internal dynamics and post-contact external influences.
Part Two: Waka Traditions
Part Two: Waka Traditions
Traditions of Migration and the Migration of Traditions Part Two examines older South Island waka traditions to explore the question of where pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe peoples were from through analysis of their migration traditions. This part is comprised of three chapters focusing on the waka traditions of Ārai Te Uru, Takitimu and Tairea which have strong ties to the North Island. They illustrate a pre-contact dynamic of change where traditions of migration actually migrated. These dynamics reveal waka traditions were relocated and re-composed to establish tribal origins, mana and connections to the land. David Simmons said the canoe traditions of the South Island are essentially those of the North Island in that they reflect internal migrations to the South from the North rather than direct original arrival in the South Island. 98 All South Island tribes trace their origins and descent from tribes in the North, thus migrating iwi have relocated the canoe traditions of the North to their new home and over time customised the traditions, making them relevant to their new surroundings. This stance supports Atholl Anderson’s claims that
Simmons, 1976, p. 204.
82 oral traditions are more about ‘descent’ than ‘event’ as they reflect and preserve kinship linkages to the North. 99 This ‘localisation’ suggests an important function of canoe traditions is the establishment of tribal mana through unique original arrival. The relocation of Māori oral tradition is not unique to Te Waipounamu and is also seen in the waka traditions of the North Island. Te Rangihiroa in his text
The Coming of the Māori (1929) noted the Kurahaupo waka had multiple crash sites in three separate regions. In one tradition, the Kurahaupo was wrecked at Rangitahua and its crew transferred to the Aotea, while another version states that part of the crew was shipped to Mataatua. In the traditions of Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa, it was repaired and later came to rest at a reef on the eastern side of the Auckland Peninsula. Taranaki iwi maintain their ancestor Te Moungaroa was commander, whilst the Whanganui people maintain their ancestor Ruatea was commander of the Kurahaupo. Buck claimed that the reasons behind the multiple occurrences were reflected in the shared, yet fragmented lineage descending from the Kurahaupo canoe: The distribution of tribes claiming descent from the Kurahaupo differs from that of other canoes in being broken and detached. 100
Descent from the Kurahaupo is traced by iwi from Te Rarawa, Taranaki and Whanganui. In each case, the Kurahaupo tradition has been relocated with the waka crashing within the boundaries of the specific tribal territory.
Atholl Anderson, The Welcome of Strangers, University of Otago Press: Dunedin, 1998, p. 17.
Sir Peter Buck, The Coming of the Māori¸Cawthron Institute: Nelson, 1929, p. 54.
83 A purely historic approach would determine that there were either multiple Kurahaupo canoes, or that repairs were made. Such an approach would fail to recognise the significance of the Kurahaupo tradition as its primary function is its association with ‘descent’ not ‘event’. In each case, the descent group will preserve linkages to their parent group yet modify the tradition to establish and assert their dominant status through direct lineage. This highlights a precontact dynamic of change where traditions were relocated during subsequent migrations and then modified to fit their new surroundings. Mana is acquired through the seniority of the ancestor (commander) and the location of the crash site in their region. In this manner waka traditions are translocated and altered to ensure that the kin group has primary status from ‘original’ arrival and mana whenua status over their lands and resources. Irrespective of whether these changes were made pre or post-contact, the waka traditions of Te Waipounamu show migration traditions were not static and changed overtime. Originally these traditions themselves migrated but later changes were brought about by different dynamics of change brought by contact with Pākehā.
Ārai Te Uru This, the first of three chapters on the waka traditions of Te Waipounamu, focuses on Ārai Te Uru. There are several differing accounts regarding the arrival of the Ārai Te Uru canoe. These versions can be generally grouped into two themes; one focussing on the formation of natural phenomena in the South Island, and the other explaining the origins of the kūmara. Discussion focuses on South Island accounts before examining the consistency of these accounts. Finally, analysis of North Island links shows that the Ārai Te Uru traditions of the South Island were relocated from the North Island as part of a pre-contact dynamic of change to establish tribal mana in new territories.
South Island Accounts There are nine South Island accounts of Ārai Te Uru as follows. The first two accounts were recorded by Shortland (1844) and Wohlers (c.1850) and are likely authentic pre-European accounts with Stack’s 1877 account likely derived from these earliest versions.
Stack’s second account (1877) and
White’s (1877) exhibit post-contact Pākehā change where they have 85
86 incorporated elements of other traditions. Both Tipa’s (1896) and Rāwiri Mamaru’s account recorded by Chapman (1896) reflect post-contact Māori change where the tradition is localised. Beattie’s (1941) account combines several written sources together whilst Brailsford’s (1994) version demonstrates entirely new contemporary dynamics of change. 1. Pre-European Change - Edward Shortland (1844) The earliest account of the Ārai Te Uru tradition was recorded by Edward Shortland in 1844 at a time when Māori informants were unlikely to have been strongly influenced by Pākehā and can therefore be considered to represent an authentic pre-contact account. This account was later published in his Southern Districts of New Zealand (1851). Shortland’s account is short in comparison with later publications and focuses on a canoe crashing near Moeraki with its cargo forming the Moeraki boulders: The reef running out into the sea from this part of the coast is called Taki-te-uru, having obtained its name from one of the canoes in which some of the ancestors of the New Zealanders came across the ocean to these shores which was upset there. A chief Puketapu, and his slave were the only persons to have swum ashore and gave their names to the two hills just mentioned (Puketapu and Pokohiwitahi). Some of the stones or rocks composing this reef were shaped like kidney potatoes or kumaras; others were round enough to serve for cannon balls of all sizes, from the twelve-pounder upwards. The natives called them the kumara which Take-te-uru was freighted. 101 Whilst the general characters and template of events are consistent with most other Ārai Te Uru traditions, the canoe is named Taki Te Uru rather than Ārai Te Uru. It is possible that both taki (to tow, lead or challenge) and ārai (screen off or block) denote a threshold, however, it is also possible Taki Te 101
Shortland, 1851, p. 188.
87 Uru is a synthesis of two names, Ārai Te Uru and Takitimu. Such a stance is supported in the text where Shortland states Taki Te Uru obtained its name from a canoe of the migration, likely the Takitimu. Both names are linked in North Island waka traditions so it would not be unreasonable to assert they have been compounded in this instance. 2. Pre-European Change – J.F.H. Wohlers (c.1850) J.F.H. Wohlers recorded a substantial account of Āraiteuru from Southland Ngāi Tahu some time between the late 1840s and 1852. This account is primarily focused on the origins of the kūmara. Ārai Te Uru is paired with another waka, however, in this version it is the Mānuka, not the Takitimu. The Māori text was later translated and published by Christine Tremewan (2004): Ka noho a Rongo-i-tua i Hawaiki, i tō rātou kāinga. Ka hanga i te rara kao kūmara. Ka tukitukia e Rongo-i-tua. Ka kī atu ngā tāngata, ‘[H]e aha koe e tukituki ai te rara? Akuanei ka pū ngā kai ki raro. Mā wai hoki ka whaihanga?’ Ka mate tērā i te whakamā, ka riri, ka haere ki tātahi. Ka rokohina atu he poro rākau e takoto ana. Ka tomokia ki roto. Ka hurihia ki te wai. Ka pūhia e te hau. Ka paea ki [A]otearawa. Ka korohiti ake, ka puta ki waho. Ka haere. Ka tae ia ki te kāinga o te Kāhui Tupu, i a Toi, i a Taiwhakatupu, i a Tai-whakatawhito. Ka noho i konā. Ka whakarongo ia ki te haruru o te patu o te tī kāuru, e patu ana i te aruhe, e patu ana i te whīnau. Ka kī atu tērā, ‘He aha tēnei?’ Ka kī mai ngā tāngata, ‘Nā ia?’ ‘Āe.’ ‘Ka rongo koe—ko Tuki-o-te-whenua.’ Nā, ka noho tērā. Ka puta mai te kaiipu, ka tū ki rō o te whare. Ka anga ngā ringaringa o tērā, ka [h]oake ki rō o te waha. Ka whakamātau ia— kāhore rawa kia rite. Ka mahue; kāhore hoki i kainga—takoto tonu. Ka ahiahi, ka waitaungia te kāuru. Ka [h]ake ngā waitau, kia waiho hoki.
88 Ka hōmai ki rō o te whare. Kā whakamātau—kāhore hoki i kai; noho tou. Ka moe. Ka [a]o ake i te ata. Ka haere ia ki te tiko. Ka hori mai ia ki rō o te whare. Ka haere atu ngā tāngata, kā mātakitaki ki tōna tūtai. Ka tirohia, ka kī, ‘He aha te kai o te manuwhiri nei? Kei te takoto te kiri o te tūtai.’ Ka kī atu tērā, ‘Kawea he wai.’ Ka hōmai ngā wai—e rua o ngā ipu. Ka tū ngā ipu. Ka ruia ki roto ki ngā ipu i roto i te tātua. (Ko Mau-hope te ingoa o te tātua.) Ka takoto ki roto ki te ipu. Ka rapua, ka eke, ka parea atu ki ngā tāngata. Ka kainga. Ka mihi ki te reka. Ka ui atu, ‘Kei whea tēnei kai?’ Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Aua noa.’ Ka kiia atu e ngā tāngata, kei whea tēnei kai?’ Ka kī atu atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Aua noa.’ Ka ahiahi te rā, ka moe. Ka [a]o ake i te ata. Ka awatea, ka puta te rā. Ka karanga mai a Rongo-i-tua ki ngā tāngata, ‘E puta ki waho.’ Ka puta ngā tāngata ki waho, mātakitaki ai—‘Ki te aha?’ Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘E kai ō koutou kanohi ki te hurunga mai o te rā—ki a Kawakawa-nui, ki a Pipiko-nui.’ Ka kī mai ngā tāngata, ‘Kei reira?’ Ka kī atu tērā, ‘Āe kei reira.’ ‘[H]e aha te mea ka tae ai?’ Ka kī atu atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Aua noa. He aha koia tērā?’ ‘He rākau.’ ‘Tāraitia ki te waka.’ Ka pōrangitia, ka kitea te rākau—paepae hemiti. Ko Ārai-te-uru te pūhanga, ko Mānuka te kāuru. Ka topea te pūhanga o Ārai-te-uru, ko Mānuka te waiho. Ka tāraikia. Ka oti. Ka utaina, ka mānu atu ngā tāngata, ka hori atu. Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua ki ngā tāngata e mānu atu nā, ‘Koi hē koutou, ka rokohina atu e koutou ko ēnā e paea e te tai nā, ehara tēnā he mātua tēnā. Engari kia tae koutou ki te whare rā, kia mau mai i a koutou te Kāhui Rongo.’ Ka mānu atu rātou, kā ū, ka manawarū. Ka utaina ngā matuarua, ngā kōpura, me ngā popouhua, me ngā kauariki. Ka noho tērā, a Rongo-i-tua, ka whakaaro ki taua waka rā—kāhore anō kia hoki mai. Ka kī atu tērā, ‘Tīkina, horoia.’
Ka tīkina, ka horoia a Mānuka, te kāuru papae tūtai. Ka mā te horoi, ka topea te tāuru. Ka tāraikia, ka oti. Ka utaina ngā tāngata, ka haere, ka hoe, ka rere, ā, ka tae ki waho o te moana, ka tūtaki ki taua waka, ki a Ārai-te-uru, e hoe ana mai. Ka tata mai tērā waka. Ka karanga atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Tēnā.’ Ka karanga mai te kauhoe, ‘Tēnei anake, tēnei anake.’ Ka karanga ake a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Tēnā anake?’ Ka karanga mai te kauhoe, ‘Tēnei anake.’ Ka karanga ake a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Tēnā anake ō te whare nei ka taka mai?’ Ka karanga mai te kauhoe, ‘Tēnei anake.’ Ka piri mai te waka ki te taha. Ka titiro a Rongo-i-tua ki runga ki te waka. Ehara ia, he poupouhua, he kaweriki, he matua, he kōpura. Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Haere koutou, e hoe.’ Ka haere rātou; ko Rongo-i-tua, ka tae ki te kāinga ki Hawaiki. Ka manawarū rātou, ka ngohe i ngā mātua. Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua ki te kauhoe, ‘Ehara, he mātua tēnā. Nau mai rā, haere kia tae ki te whare i te Kāhui Rongo. Kia mau katoa i a koutou, kia mau te roro, kia mau te mataao.’ Ka whakapahakia, ka hopukia, ka mate, ko Pipiko, ko Kawakawa, ko Tama-i-rangi, ko Papa-rangi, ko Otikoro, ko Heuru, ko Popo-haeata, ko Pakiaka. Ka mate i konā, mahiti katoa. Ka puta ētahi, ko ngā Kahu-kura, ko te Kāhui Rongo. Ka haere mai te taua, ngā tāngata, tae mai ki a Rongo-i-tua. Ka kī atu tērā, a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Tēnā anake?’ Ka kī mai ngā tāngata, ‘Tēnei anake, tēnei anake.’ Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Kei whea koe? Nā rā koutou e tatau mai nā. Kei whea te Kāhui Rongo nā? Kūrapa! Ka kī atu anō a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Mau katoa i a koutou?’ Ka kī mai te kauhoe, ‘Āe, mau katoa.’ Ka whakaaro tērā, a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Kāhore tētahi o te whare nei kia taka mai, ka puta?’ Ā, haere a Rongo-i-tua ki uta, ka tae ki te whare, ka titiro ngā kanohi ki runga ki te mataao o te tuanui. Ā, ka kī atu tērā, ‘Utaina tā koutou patunga.’ Ka utaina ki runga ki te waka. Nō te waka anō ka tomo. Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘[H]oatu tātou, e mānu. Kūrapa!’
Ka mānu atu rātou. Whakarongo mai, ka tangi te hāumere. Ka kī atu tērā, ‘Nā, whakarongo ake—i kī mai nā koutou: ka mate. Kua rongo hoki koutou e tangi nā te hāumere.’ Ka kī atu ngā tāngata, ‘Kei te aha?’ Ka kī atu tērā, ‘Kei te huki i ngā toto.’ Ka tangi te hāumere. Ka kī atu ngā tāngata, ‘Kei te aha?’ Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Kei te rākai, kei te auaha.’ Ka tangi te hāumere. ‘Kei te aha?’ ‘Kei te kō.’ Ka tangi te hāumere. ‘Kei te aha?’ ‘Kei [te] whakatō.’ Ka tangi te hāumere. ‘Kei te aha?’ ‘Kei te hū o ngā mōmore.’ Ka tangi te hāumere. ‘Kei te aha?’ ‘Kei te whati te kō.’ Ka tangi te hāumere. ‘Kei te aha?’ ‘Kei te whakatakoto. Kei te whakamama.’ Ka mutu. Nā, ka hoe rātou. Pō tou te rā, ka [a]o ake—taua wāhi anō. Pō tou te rā, oho ake—taua wāhi rā anō. Kāhore kia tika te rere. He mea e kore rātou i tika te rere, kua kai te kauhoe. Ka whakapōkaikahatia rātou, ka pōrangi. Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Kei te aha koutou? Tīkina mai au, patua, kia puta ai koutou, kia ai ai ō koutou mōrehu.’ Ka patua tērā, a Rongo-i-tua, ka ika tahuatia. Nā, i te tūnga ake tērā i runga i te waka—mau rawa ki te rangi. Ka whakatipa—mau rawa ki te ao [o] te rangi. Ka hinga, ka tau atu anō ki taua kāinga o rātou, ki Hawaiki. Nō te tāpikonga, tae~rawa ki tō rātou kāinga, ki Hawaiki. Nō te hūmenetanga ki te rangi, ko Rongo-tike. Ko Rongo-i-tua anō tōna ingoa, nō tōna matenga anō, ko Rongo-tike. Nā, kātahi anō ka tika te tere o te waka. Ka ū ki uta. Ka tae ngā tāngata ki tō rātou kāinga, ki [A]otearawa.
Translation Rongo-i-tua lived in his people’s village in Hawaiki. They built a platform for drying kūmara. Rongo-i-tua knocked it down. The people said, ‘Why did you knock the food platform down? Now the food is all piled on the ground. Who’s going to put it up again?’
Rongo-i-tua was overcome with shame and anger, and went off to the beach. He found a log of wood lying there. He got into it and rolled it down to the water. It was blown along by the wind and landed at Aotearoa. He straightened himself up and came out of the log. He set off and arrived at the village of the Kāhui Tupu people, where Toi, Taiwhakatupu and Tai-whaka-tawhito were. He stayed there. He heard the sound of the pounding of cabbage tree trunks, and also of the pounding of fernroot and hīnau berries. He said to them, ‘What’s that?’ The people said to him, ‘that over there?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘What you can hear is Pounding-of-the-land.’ Now he waited. People came in bearing calabashes and stood them in the house. He moved his hands towards them and put [the food] into his mouth. He tasted it—it was not all as it should be. He left it and did not eat it, he just left it lying there. In the evening the cabbage tree fibres were set to steep in water. The sweet matter was put in and it was left. Then it was brought inside. He tried it but did not eat it, he just sat there. He went to sleep. When day dawned he went off to defecate. When he came back into the house the people went out and looked at his faeces. They looked at them and said, ‘What sort of food does our guest eat? The outside of his faeces is so smooth.’ Rongo-i-tua said to them, ‘Bring me some water.’ They brought him some water: two calabashes full. The calabashes stood there. He poured something into them from inside his belt. (The name of this belt was ‘Hug-hips’.) He put it into the calabash and squeezed it and, when it had thickened, he shared it out among the people. They ate it and were delighted with its sweetness. They asked, ‘Where is this food to be found?’ Rongo-i-tua said, ‘It’s a long way off.’ The people asked him, ‘Where is this food to be found?’ Rongo-i-tua said, ‘It’s a long way off.’ Then the sun went down, and they went to sleep. Dawn came, and daylight, and the sun appeared. Rongo-i-tua called to the people, ‘Come outside.’ The people came outside to look—‘What at?’ Rongo-i-tua said, ‘Let your eyes gaze on the glowing of the sun—on Kawakawa-nui and Pipiko-nui.’ The people said, ‘Is it there?’
He said, ‘Yes, it’s there.’ ‘How do we get there?’ Rongo-i-tua said to them, ‘It’s a long way off. Whatever is that over there?’ ‘A tree.’ ‘Adze it out into a canoe.’ They went in search and found the tree: it was the beam of a latrine. Ārai-te-uru was the lower part and Mānuka the top. They cut off the lower part for Ārai-te-uru and left Mānuka. Then they adzed out Ārai-teuru and, when it was finished, the people went on board, launched it and set off. Rongo-i-tua said to the people who were sailing off, ‘Don’t make a mistake: when you find the ones that are cast ashore by the tide, it’s not those, they’re the parents. But you must go to the house there and take the Kāhui Rongo.’ They sailed off and landed, full of joy. They loaded up the matuarua, the kōpura, the popouhua and the kauariki. Rongo-i-tua stayed behind and thought about that canoe—it had not yet returned. He said, ‘Go and fetch it and clean it up.’ They went and fetched and cleaned up Mānuka, the upper part of the tree that was an excrement beam. When they had washed it clean they cut the top off it. They adzed it out, and when it was done the people boarded it and set off. They paddled and sailed on and on and, after a long time, when they got back out to the open sea, they met that other canoe, Āraite-uru, paddling back towards them. As the canoe drew near, Rongo-itua called out, ‘Have you got them?’ The paddlers called back, ‘They’re all here, they’re all here.’ Rongo-i-tua called back, ‘You’ve got them all?’ The paddlers called back, ‘They’re all here.’ Rongo-i-tua called out to them, ‘You’ve got the whole lot of the ones from the house, the ones that were heaped up for you?’ The paddlers called back, ‘They’re all here.’ The canoe drew alongside. Rongo-i-tua looked into the canoe. But no! They were poupouhua, kaweriki, matua and kōpura. Rongo-i-tua said to them, ‘Off you go, paddle away!’
They went off, while Rongo-i-tua came to the village at Hawaiki. They were all overjoyed and gathered up the parent [plants]. Rongo-i-tua called to the paddlers, ‘No, those are the parents. Now, off you go, get off to the Kāhui Rongo’s house. Seize them all: seize the front of the house and the window.’ They came up close and seized them, and Pipiko, Kawakawa, Tama-irangi, Papa-rangi, Otikoro, Heuru, Popo-hae-ata, and Pakiaka were killed. They were killed here, they suffered a great defeat. Some of them did escape: these were the Kahu-kura and the Kāhui Rongo. The war party, the human people came back to Rongo-i-tua. Rongo-i-tua said to them, ‘Have you got them all?’ The people said, ‘They’re all here, they’re all here.’ Rongo-i-tua said to them, ‘Where are you? There you go, counting them all up. Where are those Kāhui Rongo? Quick! And Rongo-i-tua said to them again, ‘Did you get them all?’ The paddlers said, ‘Yes, we got them all.’ Rongo-i-tua thought, ‘Surely one of those from this house that were to be heaped up for us has escaped?’ So Rongo-i-tua went ashore and came to the house, and lifted his eyes to the window on the roof. And then he said, ‘Put your dead victims on board.’ They put them on board the canoe. Then the canoe was completely full up. Rongo-i-tua said, ‘Let’s get started! Quick!’ They pushed off from the shore. They listened and heard a cry go up. He said to them, ‘Now then, listen to that. You said they were all dead. But you heard that cry ringing out.’ The people said, ‘What are they doing?’ He said, ‘They’re performing the ceremonies for avenging the dead.’ The cry rang out. The people said, ‘What are they doing?’ He said, ‘They’re performing adorning themselves, they’re fertilising.’ The cry rang out. ‘What are they doing?’ ‘They’re digging.’ The cry rang out. ‘What are they doing?’ ‘They’re planting.’ The cry rang out. ‘What are they doing?’ ‘It’s the sound of the stripped branch.’ The cry rang out. ‘What are they doing?’ ‘The digging stick is being broken.’
The cry rang out. ‘What are they doing?’ ‘They’re laying them down. They’re performing the tapu-removal ceremonies.’ Then it was finished. So they paddled off. Down went the sun, and then it rose up: they were in the same place. Down went the sun again, then they woke up: there they were in that very same place. They could not sail on. The reason they could not sail on was that the rowers had eaten. Then they became confused and maddened. Rongo-i-tua said, ‘What are you doing? Come and take me and kill me so you can escape, so those of you who survive will have offspring.’ They killed Rongo-i-tua and performed over him the ceremonies for a victim. Now as he stood up in the boat he reached right up to the sky, and then bent to one side, at the same time holding fast to the clouds in the sky. Then he dropped downwards and came to rest far away in that home of theirs in Hawaiki. As he arched over, he reached as far as their home in Hawaiki. After he was taken up into the sky he was Rongo-tike (Rongo-the-elevated). Rongo-i-tua was also his name, but after his death he became Rongo-tike. Now at last the canoe could sail on. It came ashore and the people came to their home in Aotearoa. 102 In this account the principal focus is on the figure Rongo i Tua. Rongo secures the kūmara and brings it to Aotearoa but along the journey also learns vital ceremonies that impart patterns of ritual and behaviour for later descendants.
On this journey Rongo i Tua interacts with another early
figure, Toi. The waka itself is paired with Mānuka as opposed to Takitimu and was curiously made of a latrine bar. Interestingly, Wohlers’ account does not incorporate Ārai Te Uru crashing near Moeraki or any discussion of its cargo but instead ends with Rongo ascending to the heavens and becoming Rongo Tike.
Tremewan, 2002, pp. 104-111.
95 3. Pre-European Change – Canon Stack (1877) Although Stack only published this short account in English in 1877, it is does not deviate from earlier versions and, therefore, it is reasonable to assume it is authentic.
This version is similar and likely derived from
Shortland’s account as it is focused on the waka capsizing off Moeraki, its cargo forming the famous boulders, and not the origins of the kūmara or the figure Rongo i Tua: It was during this period that the canoe called Arai te uru was capsized off Moeraki and the cargo strewn along the beach, where may still be seen the eel-basket of Hape ki tauraki[Hape Ki Tuarangi], and the slave Puketapu, and the calabashes and kumeras. 4. Post-contact Pākehā Change – Canon Stack (1879) Stack published a further English language account of Ārai Te Uru in 1879 which is of interest as it incorporates elements from two previously distinct versions. This version contains references to many early ancestors such as Toi, Rauru, Hatoka (Whātonga), Riteka (Ritenga) and Tahatiti who are given as chiefs of the Kāhui Tipua: Rongo-i-tua (Fame-from-afar) was the first to arrive in this island from Hawaiki. He found the country inhabited by the Kāhui Tipua, their chiefs were named Toi, Rauru, Hatoka, Riteka, Rongo-mai, Tahatiti, and Tama-rakai-ora. On seeing the stranger, they ordered food to be set before him; and the servants brought mamaku, and kauru, and kiekie, and all their choice delicacies, but Rongo-i-tua hardly tasted anything, and presently asked for a kumete, or bowl of water, to be brought. This he placed behind him, so as to conceal what he did. Then, unfastening his waist-belt, he took from it some kao, or dried kumaras, which he placed in the bowl, repeating all the time the following incantation:‘Ka rere, ka rere, te pito nei, Kei te puni puninga, te pito nei, Kei te kore korenga, te pito nei, Kei Maatera, kei Hawaiki.’ He kept feeling the kumaras, and when they were sufficiently softened, he mashed them into a pulp, and mixed them with the water, handed the 95
96 bowl to his hosts. When the Kahui Tipua tasted the sweetness of the mixture, they wanted more of the food, and asked their guest where he obtained it; he told them from across the sea. Soon after this, Tua-kakariki, one of their number, found a large totara tree on the beach, cast up by the sea. He measured its length, and found, after extending his arms along it ten times, that he had not reached the end of it. Delighted with his discovery, he hastened back to the pa. In the meantime, Rongo-i-tua reached the beach, and seeing the tree, mounted upon it, and deposited his excrement near the butt of it. When he, afterwards, heard Tuakakariki claiming the tree by right of prior discovery, he told the people that it could not be claimed by Tua-kakariki, as it belonged to him long before in Hawaiki, from which place it had followed him; and that if they went and examined it, they would find his private mark upon it, made before leaving home. The discovery of the excrement settled the question of ownership in favour of Rongo-i-tua. The tree was subsequently split in two, and out of each half a canoe was made; one, called Manuka, because of the disgust expressed at the sight of the excrement,-the other, Arai-te-uru. Manuka was first finished, and the Kahui Tipua, impatient to possess the kumara, sailed away to Hawaiki in search of it. They obtained a cargo, and returned; but, on planting them, they were disappointed to find that none grew. In the meantime, Rongoi-tua sailed away on the same errand in Arai-te-Uru. On reaching Whanga ra (sunny cove), the place in Hawaiki where the kumara grew, he ordered his men to surround the chief’s house. They heard the people inside repeating the kumara charms and incantations. ‘Ah,’ said Rongo, ‘those karakias are what you need. Learn them.’ After listening for awhile, he and his men acquired the knowledge they needed to ensure the successful cultivation of the kumara…Rongo-i-tua sent his canoe back under the command of Pakihiwi-tahi and Hape-ki-tuaraki, while he remained for awhile in Hawaiki. The voyage was safely accomplished, and the cargo partly discharged; but Arai-te-uru was eventually capsized off Moeraki, and lost, the remains of the cargo being strewn along the coast, where at low-water it may be at this day be seen. Rongo, desiring to return, stepped in one day from Hawaiki to Aotea-roa. The Kahui Tipua first saw a raindow, which suddenly assumed the form of a man, and Rongo stood among them; hence he was ever afterwards known as Rongo-tikei, or, Rongo, ‘the Strider.’ 103
James Stack, ‘On Cameron’s Theory respecting the Kahui Tipua,’ in TNZI, 1879, Vol.12, pp. 160-161.
97 This account is interesting as it is similar in theme to Wohlers’ as it focuses on Rongo i Tua and the arrival of kūmara, yet it also includes Ārai Te Uru crashing at Moeraki, as seen in Shortland’s version. The origins of the kūmara are traced to a place called Whangarā. Stack assumed this to be a place in Hawaiki. 104 However, Whangarā is a well-known area in the region of Ngāti Porou on the North Island’s East Coast associated with waka arrival. It is possible this reference to Whangarā is alluding to an internal migration to the North Island to gain kūmara and is most likely a reference to the origins of the settlers themselves rather than the kūmara.
The names of the Kāhui Tipua chiefs; Toi, Rauru, Riteka, Rongo Mai, Tahatiti, and Tama Rākai Ora are all early ancestors of North Island tribes and associated with migration. In contrast to Wohlers’ account, Stack’s version has Rongo i Tua and his followers learning karakia as opposed to rituals. Despite these minor differences, the motif remains consistent, as what is important is Rongo acquiring a precious food resource and the cultural knowledge that will equip his people with the skills to thrive and prosper. This version incorporates Shortland’s theme of crashing at Moeraki as Rongo is not killed in Hawaiki but left behind. Then the tradition follows Shortland’s template as Ārai Te Uru crashes near Moeraki. The tradition then reverts back to Wohlers’ template but differs in that Rongo i Tua steps in one movement and instead of him becoming Rongo Tike (Rongo the elevated) he becomes Rongo Tikei (Rongo stretched out). It would appear
Stack, 1898, p. 18.
98 that gradually elements of both Shortland’s and Wohlers’ accounts have been combined. Stack had access to both versions which he has likely synthesised to form a ‘new’ authoritative account of Ārai Te Uru. 5. Post-contact Pākehā Change – John White (1887) John White (1887) published an English-only account that he attributed to Ngāi Tahu. Similar to Wohlers’ version, this account focuses on the figure Rongo i Tua and the origins of the kūmara but like Stack’s version also incorporates the canoe capsizing off Moeraki: Rongo-i-tua arrived here from Hawaiki and found the land inhabited by the Kahui-tipua. The chiefs were named; Toi, Rauru, Ha-toka, Ritaka, Rongo-mai, Taha-titi & Tama-ra-kai-ora. The Kahui-tipua offered mamaku, kauru and kiekie, all native foods which were not to Rongo-itua’s liking. He unfastened his waist-belt called Mau-hope and put some kao (dried kumara) into a bowl chanting an incantation. The Kahui-tipua asked where the kumara was from and he replied it was from Hawaiki. Tu-a-kaka-riki then found a totara tree washed ashore on the beach. He measured it and found his arms extended ten times and he did not reach the end. He went to inform his people but in his absence Rongo-i-tua deposited excrement on the tree and disputed Tu-a-kaka-riki’s claim stating his mark proved his ownership. The tree was split in two, one half becoming the canoe Manuka, and the other Arai-te-uru. Manuka was launched first and a crew of Kahui-tipua sailed to Hawaiki and returned with a cargo of kumara, but when planted the crops failed. In the meantime Arai-te-uru sailed on the same voyage and on reaching Whangara, he ordered his people to surround the house to learn the incantations for planting kumara. Rongo-i-tua sent his canoe back under the leadership of Paki-hiwi-tahi and Hape-ki-tuarangi but the canoe eventually capsized off Moeraki. 105 Shared references to early voyagers reinforce close links to the early North Island ancestors.
These, initial figures combined with the place name
John White, Ancient History of the Māori, George Disbury Government Printer: Wellington, 1887, Vol.3, pp. 111-114.
99 Whangarā suggest Ārai Te Uru is intrinsically linked to the East Coast and was brought by those migrants who traced descent from East Coast tribes, namely Ngāi Tahu and the earlier Ngāti Māmoe. 6. Post-contact Māori Change – H. Tipa (1896) H. Tipa of Moeraki gave an account of Ārai Te Uru to Judge F.R. Chapman in 1896 that was included in Chapman’s ‘Ārai Te Uru’ notebook. 106 It was believed to have come from his aunt, Mrs Hamiora Weka. 107 Tipa’s account was later published and translated by David Simmons (1976): S.P. Tipa, i Tuhi. Tenei Putake Korero mo Arai Te Uru. E waka i haere mai, i rere mai, i te moana o kiwa, ki Tenei motu – a ra ki te Waipounamu, nei nga Utanga, o Tana waka Irere, mai ai, E Tangata, e mau mai hokinga Pauke – na, me, te Taro, a kumara, - Ei kai ano ma ra tou, Te Ranga, Tira o taua Waka, ko Hipo – iia ia – Tonu Hoki Tekohi, mo to ra Tou waka, ikoa o nga Tangata ko – Pakihiwi Tahi, Puketapu, - Tekai Hinaki Hika-ororoa. Tama riki Aheikura, Matakaea. – Pa teaha, me tahi atu, ko ia tene i, etahi onga Tangata rangatira, o Arai Teuru, - Iw-a ho, ake i Oamaru, ka pu Ta te Hau, nui rawa te riri ote Moana, ka puta Te Karu – ka a hua kino te haere ote Waka, ka nui Tonu, te riri, o te-moana, ka rite ki waho ake o – Hampden ara te ingoa Maori Tekai + hinaki, ka whiua E tahi o nga Utanga o Araiteuru ki Te Moana, ka paea ki te. Takutai one Te Ingoa ko Hampden Beach te Ingoa Maori ko te kaihinaki, E tu ana ka rarangi Poha tu, Porotaka Tanga, ka ahua oa ua ko Ha-tu, otira me tohu mari a iho nga hua o aua, ko Hatu kia u tata ai te ku te iho mo nga Utanga o Araiteuru; kei te kaihinaki Etu ana – nga ko Hatu nei, ki o matou kau Matua E Paukena, utanga o te Waka nei ka hua, (he) rawa te rere o ara iteuru, 106
F.R. Chapman, Arai-te-uru notebook, MS M 1 416/B, Hocken Library, Dunedin.
Simmons, 1976, p. 204.
100 kei Matakaea Shag Point. nga - - - Ka Tahuri, Araiteuru ka paea ka utanga. Ki te one Te ingoa otaua one Tewhata para erae, i raro i ho ita Teihana Rerewe) ite kainga o the Hon. McKenzie otirako tahi rawa ma Ero, ki muri ara ki Katiki Beach – E pu-ra ka utanga o Taua. Waka ka kohatu Poro taka Tanga, me te Hera, ara Sail – kei Taha Moana ote Coal mine, Shag Point – E takoto ana E rua pea nga ma ero aria teuru o ma ma a tu. Ki te wahi e takotoa ana tona hera ara Sail - Tei Ingoa i na ia nei o tewahi e ta u ana aria, te Uru, - ko Hipo otira. No mua ano tenei Ingoa, a, Hipo, ko ia tonu te tahimonga Tangata or runga i Taua Waka, Te Ingoa Pakeha o te wahi Etau a rai, Te uru, ara tahuri ai. Ko Danger Reef Shag Point – kinga Maori ko Arai Te Uru. Enga ri, ki nga ka u Matua ko Hipo kote waka. Ko aria Te Uru ko Hipo Itipo, ta ingoa ota wahi Danger Reef Shag Point – Ita huri ra (Hipo, ko te Master ara kapene o Arai Te Uru. Te kai hinaki te tahi onga ranga tira ara Pakeha word one of the officers me pakihiwi Tahi. Puketapu. Me ra atu Maunga a kua ki a ke I mua ake nei i te Putanga o nga Tangata ma rahu a Arai Te Uru, ki utu Ka Puketapu me ta hi a ratou i haere kite Tiki wahia I Murihiku te Ingoa Pakeha South Island. ta e ra Puketapu whaka wa ha mai inga Wahia haere ma i a ki a Pakihiwi tahi e noho ra titi ro atu ai ratou ki Arai Te Uru, e hungia ana e te moana a runga ia ATe Uru Tae mai ra a Puketapu, ki ru nga mai i o wheo, ote poti ka ma kere e tahi onga. wahia, ki reira. Makere-Waitete. Makere atu Puketeraki. Ka iwi ote – Weka, Ote whata, a-Puketapu, kite wahi otau a Puke or Peak. Kua awa tea a rakau tu, E mata ku kia-uta haere i te Awatea, haere mai a i a me nga Wahi a ki a Ta e ma i ki a Pakihiwi, Tahi. Ma. ki a ti tiro ma tia ia ratou ki a Arai Te Uru. Kinga kau matua. Ma ke re atu ai Etahi wahia ki ru nga mai i o wheo. Tipu Tonu tena Motu nga Herehere O Weho Waitete Puketiraki Iwi ote Weka
101 Ote whata, mete Ruatupapaku – Puketapu Enei nga herehere. Itu pu i nga wahi i mua ake nei. E wahia i nga here o te kaweka a Puketapu – ki o matou kau matua ku a mate kei te ara tonu Etahi. 108
Translation This story is of the origin of Araiteuru. A canoe which came here, which sailed on the sea of Kiwa, to this island, that is to the Waipounamu. This was the cargo of that canoe which sailed here. O men, it brought also gourds, taro and kumara. In charge of them, the chief of that canoe was Hipo, he was the (tekohi?) (navigator?) for their canoe. Names of men were Pakihiwitahi, Puketapu, Te Kaihinaki, Hikaaroroa. Children Aheikura, Matakaea, Pateaaha and others. These were some of the chiefly men of Araiteuru. Out from Oamaru a wind got up, great was the anger of the ocean, a wave came and the canoe was in a bad way. Great was the anger of the ocean and it was like that (until off) Hampden Beach the Maori name of which Te Kaihinaki. Some of the cargo of Arateuru was thrown into the sea and gathered on the sea beach. From that comes the name of Hampden Beach, the Maori name is Te Kaihinaki. The baskets stood in rows, and were charmed, they were turned to stone but are a good sign of the shape. Turned to stone and stand there (as a sign) of the freight of Araiteuru; and stand at Te Kaihinaki those stones of our ancestors. The pumpkin (gourds) freight of that canoe landed and floated with Araiteuru to (Matakaea) Shag Point and it overturned and Araiteuru spilt its cargo on the beach the name of which is Te Whataparaerae below the railway line at the home of the Hon. McKenzie, but one mile below that is Katiki Beach and the freight of that canoe gathered there. The sail was charmed and turned to stone on the seaward side of the coalmine, Shag Point. It lies two miles perhaps from Araiteuru’s mast, from the place where that sail lies. The name of the place where 108
F.R. Chapman, Arai-te-uru notebook, Unpublished Manuscript, c.1894, MS M 1 416/B, Hocken Library, Dunedin.
Araiteuru landed is Hipo. That name is from olden times. Hipo was the first man on that canoe. The Pakeha name of the place where Araiteuru landed, that is where it capsized is Danger Reef, Shag Point, which to the Maori is Araiteuru but the elder of the canoe was Hipo. Araiteuru is Hipo, the name of the place Danger Reef, Shag Point, where Hipo capsized, Hipo was the master captain (Master Kapene) of the Araiteuru. Te Kaihinaki was one of the chiefs or (in English) ‘Pakeha word, one of the officers’ with Pakihiwitahi. Puketapu, that hill was called that after the arrival of the great men of the Araiteuru on land. Puketapu was one of them who went to look for places in Murihiku, the Pakeha name Southland. That Puketapu started for a place to go while Pakihiwitahi stayed to watch over Araiteuru which lay quietly in the sea. Puketapu arrived above Puketeraki, kaiwioteweka, O te whata and Puketapu to the place of a hill or ‘peak’. It was dawn when he stood up and he was afraid to go on land in the dawn. (He) went to the places mentioned and arrived back to Pakihiwitahi who was still looking at their Araiteuru. According to the elders all the places above Owheo were seen. Bush grew well on the island then; Oweho Waitete Puketeraki Iwioteweka Otewhata and Te Ruatupapaku Puketapu These were the bush areas which grew there in olden times. The ridge of Puketapu was a place of bush – according to our elders who are dead that was the real path 109 Tipa’s account of the Ārai Te Uru is a departure from previous versions as it focuses on the creation of bush lands and other geographical features around Otago. It still incorporates crashing at Moeraki but in this version Ārai Te Uru is captained by Hipo not Rongo i Tua.
Also of interest is the
substitution of the pumpkin for the kūmara, which was introduced by 109
Simmons, 1976, p. 204.
103 Pākehā. Although only a minor change, it is evidence of post-contact Māori change. Kūmara were a vital food source in the North Island but did not grow south of Canterbury. By 1896 southern Māori had adapted to and made full use of introduced plants, such as pumpkin. This shift from kūmara to pumpkin in the narrative most likely reflects the lower importance of the kūmara to Otago Māori and their adaptation of the Ārai Te Uru tradition to better suit their environment and horticulture. It is unlikely the inclusion of pumpkin resulted from external influence, as it is peripheral. However, it does suggest that this subtle change of emphasis, from kūmara to pumpkin, is evidence of post-contact Māori change, where traditions of the past adapt to the priorities of the present, in this case the humble pumpkin. This accounts also gives several place names associated with crew members or their exploits such as; Te Kaihinaki (Hampden Beach), Matakaea (Shag Point), Te Whataparaerae, Hipo (Danger Reef), Puketapu and Pakihiwitahi. Ther names of crew or events associated with Ārai te Uru becoming place names also extends to places of bush such as; Owheo, Waitete, Puketeraki, Iwioteweka, Otewhata, Te Ruatupapaku and Puketapu. These place names are all located within Otago and reflect a localising of tradition where the ancestral crew are placed within the landscape, embedding tribal whakapapa within the land.
7. Post-contact Māori Change – Judge F.R. Chapman (1896) Judge F.R. Chapman (1896) was an avid collector of all things associated with Ārai Te Uru. His text, referred to as ‘Chapman’s notebook’, included over 150 names of Ārai Te Uru crew members derived from his primary informant, Ngāi Tahu tohunga, Rāwiri Te Maire of Temuka and is a 103
104 significant departure from earlier accounts recorded by Shortland and Wohlers.
It is possible that Te Maire’s account is another pre-contact
version not recorded earlier. However, in this account all crew members represent mountains, rocks, and streams on the South Island Coast and inland alps following similar themes seen in Tipa’s account (1896) suggesting these changes were also made post-contact: Ka rere mai ki tenei motu, ka tae mai ki Waipapa, ka taka atu a TeTapuae-o-Uenuku, a Maukatere. Ka rere mai. Ka rite ki Kaikoura.
Translation Journeying to this land, on reaching Waipapa, Te Tapuae o Uenuku and Maukatere fell overboard. They drifted close and came level with the Kaikōura ranges. 110 Rāwiri Te Maire assisted by Tame Parata, pinpointed the various peaks and geographic features on a map. During the canoe’s journey various crew members fell overboard, forming mountains.
These names extend from
Kaikoura to Waikouaiti. Te Maire noted that south of this area there were many duplicates or triplicates, which Rāwiri believed were ‘after named’, such as Aorangi which is also the name of an insignificant cliff at Diver Point. 111 Thus many of the place-names in the South Island are derived from the Ārai Te Uru tradition, and the duplication of place-names further south is likely reflective of the internal relocation of the Ārai Te Uru tradition and its progressive movement southwards. 8. Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Herries Beattie (1941) 110
Te Maire Tau, Professional Evidence, Unpublished Paper, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu: Christchurch, c.2003, p. 43.
Johannes Anderson, Maori Place-Names, Polynesian Society of New Zealand: Wellington, 1942, pp. 135136.
105 A further English language account was published by Herries Beattie (1941) which he claimed was gained from his Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe informants.
The crew list shared many similarities with Chapman’s.
Beattie’s version is recent in comparison but is of interest as it is a synthesis of previous accounts incorporating Rongo i Tua, the origins of the kūmara, crashing at Moeraki and the subsequent exploration and naming of the Otago coast. Beattie rationalised differences between various versions by attributing them to different tribes believing Ngāi Tahu placed the canoe with Takitimu, while Ngāti Māmoe placed it much earlier. Beattie’s account is not indicative of a credible early South Island account, but demonstrates the propensity of later writers who had access to multiple written accounts to synthesise earlier versions. This process gives a unique perspective into the dynamics of change in tradition and thereby warrants attention paid to later literature: Among others he [Roko-i-tua] called on the Kahui-tipua, and, having some dried kumara in his belt, he gave them a taste which excited their desire to procure this delectable food, so in two canoes named Manuka and Arai-te-uru they sailed for Hawaiki. Both got quantities of kumara seed and other seeds and sailed back here…Arai-te-uru returned later…when a sudden storm came on and the crew headed the canoe for sea in a valiant attempt to save it…As the sorely tired canoe passed the mouth of the Waitaki River one of the steersmen, Moko-tere-a-Tarehu by name, was washed off…The next victim of the angry deep was Pohu…They ran their frail vessel on to the reef of rocks, off Shag Point, since called Arai-te-uru…After constructing shelters, they decided to explore this land on which fate had cast them, and three parties went out to search the country. One party went down south, another north to see if they could recover bodies or cargo washed ashore, while a third lot proceeded straight inland… 112
Herries Beattie, The Morioris of the South Island, Otago Daily Times and Witness Newspapers: Dunedin, 1941, pp. 34-39.
106 Beattie continues outlining the exploits of the survivors and gives a crew list, though not as comprehensive as Chapman’s list.
Beattie believed the
survivors explored the lay of the land and named many mountains as opposed to earlier accounts where capsized crew members became mountains.
Beattie’s account is a compilation of elements of differing
previous accounts. The tradition begins with Roko i Tua (Rongo i Tua) and the origins of the kūmara. After the waka crashes, the tradition then changes to focus upon naming significant landmarks, namely mountains and forests. This focus on exploration suggests post-contact Māori change whereby the tradition has changed to explain the geography, flora and fauna of the Otago region to strengthen tribal ties to the land. 9. New-age Multicultural Change – Barry Brailsford (1994) Brailsford’s account bears little if any semblance to authentic accounts of Ārai Te Uru. Published only in English and without the identification of sources, his account appears to jumble a range of references to both South Island and North Island accounts of Ārai Te Uru, mixing elements of previously distinct regional accounts into one mashed narrative of migration. Using a highly poetic style of prose, Brailsford states Ārai Te Uru sailed for thirty-seven generations and for many generations was tied to a whale and a dolphin. 113
Brailsford expands on earlier pre-contact connections with
Takitimu and Horouta by linking Ārai Te Uru with Ngātokimatawhaorua, Mahaanui (The canoe of Māui), Tairea and Uruao: We sailed for Aotea Roa and beached Ngatoki Mata Whaorua on the sands of Tahunanui. When the first born of the waka was old enough to go to sea, we parted the two great hulls, and went to the forest and cut tōtara to make two more to bind to them. Thus it was that out of one waka came two, and we named them Arai Te Uru and Uru Ao. 113
Brailsford, 1994, p. 149.
Arai Te Uru sailed east to Te Waikawao Omaka, and Uru Ao west to the waters of the whales of Whakarērēa and the dreams of our tūpuna moved in their wake. 114 Ārai Te Uru is not linked with these waka in earlier authentic accounts which instantly draws suspicion to the validity of this account. An unidentified source, highly poetic prose and synthesised elements of early waka traditions are evidence this tradition is in fact a product of creative authorship, penned by Brailsford to fulfil his own spiritual needs. Examination of the literature shows there were two different themes of early Ārai Te Uru traditions. Shortland’s account (1851) focused on the waka crashing and forming the Moeraki boulders whilst Wohlers’ (c.1850) focused on the exploits of Rongo i Tua and the origins of the kūmara. Stack (1879) appears to incorporate elements of the two but both Tipa and Chapman (1896) place far greater emphasis on the establishment and naming of the Otago landscape. Beattie’s (1941) account appears to be a compilation of previous narratives whilst Brailsford’s (1994) changes are so radical that they render the tradition virtually unrecognisable from those accounts recorded earliest. Nonetheless, this dynamic does give an insight into the progressive localisation of the Ārai Te Uru tradition onto the Otago Coast, suggesting traditions changed both before and after contact with Pākehā, although for different reasons. The pre-contact changes reflect an internal dynamic where traditions themselves migrated, however, changes postcontact show change largely resulted from the theoretical and technical approachs of European writers and their agendas.
Brailsford, 1994, p. 217.
Consistency of Accounts Teone Taare Tikao’s account (Cowan, 1923) of the Ārai Te Uru and Takitimu canoes travelling together is either the result of multiple accounts that have merged pre-contact, or a post-contact hybrid that was adapted due to exposure to the North Island Takitimu tradition. Ārai Te Uru is linked with Takitimu in some East Coast traditions, but is a taniwha not a waka. Ngāi Tahu scribe Thomas Green (Tame Kirini) supplied a whakapapa for Native Land Court purposes on the 19th of February 1901 which was recorded by Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro. Here Ārai Te Uru is listed with other deities associated with the Takitimu waka: Whakapapa 3.1 115 Kahukura Tunuitēika Ruamano Rauru whakaputā Araiteūru Hine Korako Tamaiwaho Despite Green being from Kaiapoi, this tradition closely parallels those of Ngāti Porou and does not relate to the accounts recorded from earlier Ngāi Tahu sources by Shortland and Chapman.
The whakapapa features
Kahukura, Rauru, Ārai Te Uru and Hine Korako, all of who are prominent in East Coast traditions. By the early 1900s Ngāi Tahu were literate and had access to the publications of early European writers such as S. Percy Smith
Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro, Whatahoro Ms (26), NZMPFB No.123, Manuscript 269, Alexander Turnbull Library, unpaginated.
109 and Elsdon Best which featured their new interpretations and additions to tribal traditions. Thomas Green had extensive contact with other scribes, such as Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro, and would have been exposed to the publications of East Coast traditions, through the works of John White for example, which is a possible reason for the similarities with East Coast ancestors.
Therefore despite being from a Ngāi Tahu source, Green’s
version has probably been influenced by other tribal traditions.
Green’s whakapapa does illustrate is the use of genealogy to preserve historically important information, demonstrating how symbolic references can also be incorporated into both oral tradition and whakapapa.
North Island Links Ārai Te Uru occurs in many narratives concerning waka migration and can be found on both the East and West Coasts and the Hokianga. One of these accounts, published by John White (1887) was attributed to Ngāti Porou. This account, however, was exactly the same as Wohlers’ (c.1850) Ngāi Tahu account. Wohlers sent a copy of his manuscript to John White on 30 May 1880 after White asked to use it for his text Ancient History of the
Māori. 116 It appears that White has mistakenly attributed a Ngāi Tahu account of Ārai Te Uru derived from Wohlers to Ngāti Porou, illustrating the need to exercise caution when using White as a source of oral tradition. However, there are other authentic accounts of Ārai Te Uru from Te Tairāwhiti. 116
These are not limited to one single waka tradition and are
Tremewan, 2002, p. 362.
110 associated with both Horouta and Takitimu traditions. Ngāti Porou chief Tuta Nihoniho gave an account of the Takitimu waka to James Cowan in 1906. In this account Ārai Te Uru is not a waka but a taniwha or tipua that accompanies the waka Takitimu on its voyage: Ko Nga Atua O Te Moana: Ko Ruamano…ko Arai-te-uru, ko Tutarakauika, ko Houmea, ko Te Petipeti, ko Te Rangahua, ko Tai-mounu, ko Tane-rakahia, me te mano tini o nga atua ika, taniwha, o te moana… 117
Translation The Sea Deities: Ruamano…Ārai Te Uru, Tūtara Kauika, Houmea, Te Petipeti, Te Rangahua, Tai Mounu, Tane Rakahia, and the many sea deities, and monsters, of the ocean… Ngāti Kahungunu scribe Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro also wrote that Ārai Te Uru was a sea creature that led the waka Takitimu, showing Ārai Te Uru had a clear connection with the Takitimu canoe.118 Ārai Te Uru as a sea monster or whale associated with waka voyaging is also found in Horouta traditions, as seen in the Māori newspaper Te Toa Takitini in 1929: Ko Te Araiteuru o te oriori nei, ko te taniwha nana i waha mai a Horouta waka i Hawaiki ki Aotearoa Ehara i Araiteuru i Turanga e kiia ra ko ‘Arai’. He haringa tera no Arai-teuru tanuwha [taniwha]. 119
Translation The Ārai Te Uru of this lullaby, is the sea monster that carried on its back the canoe Horouta from Hawaiki to Aotearoa. It is not the Ārai Te Uru in Gisborne that is called ‘Arai’. That was brought by Ārai Te Uru the sea monster.
70 Cowan, 1906, pp. 93-107. 118
Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro, ‘Tamatea me tona Waka me Taakitimu’ in Te Puke Ki Hikurangi, 31 July 1902, Vol.4, No.24.
Letter to the Editor, ‘Te Reo o Aotearoa’, in Te Toa Takitini, 1 April 1929, No.92, p. 972.
111 This letter asserts Ārai Te Uru is also associated with a place near Gisborne. An account in Te Toa Takitini in 1929 gives Ārai Te Uru as a place in Gisborne for cultivating kūmara: Araiteuru kei Turanga; ko nga mara era i poua ai te kumara. 120
Translation Ārai Te Uru at Gisborne; those are the gardens where the kūmara were planted. Thus Ārai Te Uru is a waka that brings the kūmara, or a garden of kūmara in the East Coast region. Whilst the particulars have changed, what is clear is its association with the kūmara, waka arrivals and the East Coast. Ārai Te Uru’s association with kūmara plantations on the East Coast are best seen in the Ngāti Porou waiata ‘Pō Pō e tangi ana’, which tells the origins of kūmara and how Pou brought the kūmara on the back of a bird called Te Manu-a-Ruakapanga. The waiata was published and translated by Ngāti Porou chief, Apirana Ngata in his Ngā Mōteatea: Part II (1961): 1. Po! Po! 2. E tangi ana ki te kai māna! 3. Waiho, me tiki ake ki te Pou-a-hao-kai 4. Hei ā mai te pakeke ki uta ra, 5. Hei waiu mo tama; 6. Kia homai e to tupuna e Uenuku 7. Whakarongo! Ko te kūmara ko Parinui-te-ra 8. Ha hikimata te tapuae o Tangaroa 9. Ka whaimata te tapuae o Tangaroa 10. Tangaroa! Ka haruru! 11. Ka noho, Uruka noho i a Ngangana 12. Puta mai ki waho ra ko Te Aotu 13. Ko Te Aohore, ko Hinetuahoanga 14. Ko Tangaroa! Ko Te Whatu a Poutini, e! 15. Kei te kunekunetanga mai 120
Letter to the Editor, in Te Toa Takitini, 1 January 1929, No.89, p. 152.
112 16. I Hawaiki ko te ahua ia, 17. Ko Maui-wharekino ka noho i a Pani, 18. Ka kawea ki te wai o Monariki 19. Ma Onehunga, ma Onarere 20. Ma te piere, ma te matata 21. Te pia tangi wharau, ka hoake 22. Ki runga ra, te Pīpī-wharauroa 23. Na Whena koe, e Waho e! 24. Tuatahi, e Waho e! 25. Tuarua, ka topea i reira 26. Ko te Whatunui, ko te Whataroa, ko te tihaere, 27. Na Kohurau, na Paeki 28. Na Turiwhatu, na Rakaiora 29. Ko Waiho anake te tangata i rere noa 30. i te ahi rara a Rongomaraeroa, 31. Ko te kakau no Tu, ko te Rangikaupapa, 32. ko te tatua riro mai 33. I a kanoa, i a Matuatonga 34. Tenei te manawa purutia 35. Tenei te manawa ka tawhia; 36. Kia haramai tona hokowhitu i te ara, 37. Kia kiia Ruatapu e Uenuku ki te tama meamea, 38. Ka tahuri i te Huripureiata 39. Ka whakatau e tama i a ia 40. Whakarere iho ana te kakau o te hoe 41. Ko Maninitua, ko Maniniraro, 42. Ka tangi te kura, ka tangi te wiwini! 43. Ka tangi te kura, ka tangi te wanana! 44. Ko Hakirirangi ka u ki uta 45. Te kōwhai ka ngaora, ka ringitia te kete, 46. Ko Manawaru, ko Araiteuru, 47. Ka kitea e te tini, e te mano, 48. Ko Makauri anake i mahue atu 49. I waho i Toka-ahuru; 50. Ko te peka i rere mai ki uta ra 51. Hei kura mo Māhaki; 52. Ko Mangamoteao, ko Uetangaru, 53. Ko te kōiwi ko Rongorapua, 54. Waiho me tiki ake 55. Ki te kūmara i a Rangi, 56. Ko Pekehawani ka noho i a Rehua;
113 57. Ko Ruhiterangi, ka tau kei raro, 58. Te ngahuru tikotikoirere 59. Ko Poututerangi te mātahi o te tau, 60. Te putunga o te hinu, e tama!
Translation 1. Po! Po! 2. My son, Tama is crying for food! 3. Wait until it is fetched from the Pillars-of-netted-food. 4. And the whale is driven ashore, 5. To give milk for you, my son, 6. Verily, your ancestor Uenuku will give freely 7. Now listen! The kumara is from the Beetling-Cliff-of-the-sun 8. Beyond the eager bounding strides of Tangaroa, God of the Sea; 9. Lo, striding to and fro is Tangaroa, 10. Tangaroa! Listen to his resounding roar! 11. `Twas Uru who did abide with Ngangana 12. And they begot Te Aotu, 13. Te Aohore, Hinetuahoanga, 14. Tangaroa, and the Stone of Poutini! 15. The primeval pregnancy began 16. In Hawaiki, when there appeared 17. Maui-whare-kino who took Pani to wife, 18. She it was who was taken to the waters of Monariki 19. (For the rites) of the Smoothing-sand,, of the Flying sand, 20. Of the ‘opening fissure’ of the ‘gapping crevice’ 21. Of the ‘first whimper from the shelter’, thus giving 22. Birth to (the glistening) Pīpī-wharauroa. 23. You are of Whena, O Waho! 24. Thus the first part, O Waho! 25. Of the second part was the severing of yonder [bird snares], 26. (Of the timbers) for Whatunui, Whataroa and the perch 27. For Kohurau, for Paeaki, 28. For Turiwhatu, and for Rakaiora. 29. Waiho was the only one who fled 30. From the scattered fires of Rongomaraeroa. 31. The Cloak of Tu, God of War, is the day-of-annihilation, 32. the belt of which was brought hither 33. By Kanoa and Matuatonga. 34. Hence the spirit oft aprehensive, 35. Hence the spirit oft is in suspense
36. By tidings of his armed band along the pathway taken 37. When Ruatapu was named by Uenuku a mis-begotten son, 38. And bought about the disaster of Huri-pureiata, 39. When that son in desperation swum away 40. Hurriedly he put aside the hand-grip of the paddles, 41. Manini-tua and Manini-aro. 42. The noble one cried, crying in fear! 43. The noble one cried, crying in terror! 44. Hakirirangi it was who reached the shore, 45. And, with the flowering kōwhai, emptied the kit 46. At Manawaru and Araiteuru, 47. There to be seen by myriads and thousands, 48. Only Makauri was left behind 49. Out there at (the sheltering reef of) Toka-ahuru; 50. The branch which was cast ashore 51. Became a prized plume of Māhaki 52. Mangamoteao and Uetangaru 53. Ritually nurtured (the tillage of) of Rongorapua 54. They waited until they brought 55. The kūmara from heavens above. 56. `Twas there Pekehawani was taken in wedlock by Rehua; 57. Ruhiterangi (was conceived and) alighted here below, 58. Hence the bounteous harvest-time 59. When Poututerangi brings forth the first-fruits of the year 60. And the calabashes overflow with game fat, O Son! 121 Apirana Ngata referred to Elsdon Best’s explanation of the waiata who stated: Pou obtained kumara from the Beetling Cliff of the Sun and he brought them over on the bird known as Manunui-a-Ruakapanga (The Great Bird of Ruakapanga), and the kumara was planted at Manawaru and Araiteuru. This was during the period when the district of Tūranga (now Gisborne) was being settled by the Horouta canoe. 122 Ngāi Tahu share the tradition of Pou bringing kūmara on the back of a giant bird but the bird is named Te Manu Nui-a-Tāne instead of Te Manu-a121
Apirana Ngata & Pei Te Hurinui Jones, Ngā Mōteatea: Part II, Polynesian Society: Wellington, 1961, pp. 218-221.
Ngata & Jones, 1961, p. 153.
115 Ruakapanga. Whilst the details around the name of the principal figure who brought the kūmara have changed to Pou, the waka Ārai Te Uru remains a key part of the tradition. It is important to note the waiata itself was also relocated to the South Island. Walter Joss of Stewart Island sent Herries Beattie a waiata called ‘Pō pō e taki ana’, which is essentially the same waiata as the Ngāti Porou version recorded by Ngata. 123 1. Po Po e taki ana Tama 2. ki te aha e taki ana tama 3. ki te kai ma hana 4. Waiho me kimi ake ki te pona o te kai 5. e homai te pakake ki utara 6. hei waiu mo tama 7. Kia mauria mai e to tipuna e uenuku 8. whakaaro. Ko te kumara ko te pari nui i te ra 9. Ka hiki mata te tapuae o takaroa 10. ka whai mata te tapuae o takaroa 11. ka uru takaroa 12. kanoho uru. 13. ka noho ia raka puta mai ki waho au 14. Ko te ao tu 15. ko te ao rere 16. Ko Hine tuahoanga, ko Takaroa te whatu o Poutini, 17. Kai te kukune tanga mai ea 18. Hawaiki. Ko te ahua ia. Ko mauri ware kino 19. ka noho ia pani, ka kawea ki utara20. ki te wai o Mamanariki 21. mate mata ta mata piere pihe taniwharau, 22. ka hoake ki utara te pipi wharau, 23. Na whena koe e waho te tuatahi e waho 24. te tuarua, ka topea i reira, 25. Ko te haere, na kauru, na paeaki, 26. na rakaiora, na turiwhati, ko waiho 27. anake te tangata i rere mai 28. i te ahi a rongo o maraeroa, 29. Ko te kakau o tu ko te rangi 30. Kou papa ko te tatua riro mai 123
Tau, 2003, p. 169.
116 31. inanga noaa o maatua tonga 32. tenei te manawa purutia 33. tenei te manawa taawhia 34. kia haramai tena hoko whitu i te aru whitu 35. a kia paikea 36. Ruatapu ki te tama meamea 37. ka tahuri i te uri pueri, e tama 38. Whakai tama ia ia 39. whakarere iho te kakau o te hoe 40. ka manini kura, ko manini aro, 41. ka tangi te kura 42. ka tangi wawana 43. ko hakiri rangi kaukai uta 44. te kohai kaha wa. Na rikihia te kete, 45. ko manawaru, ko Araiteuru, 46. ka kite ete tine e te mano, 47. ko maka uri anake i mahue atu 48. ki waho i toka a uru. 49. Ko te peka i rere mai ki u tara 50. hei kura mo mahini ko mangamo te ao Ko ue takuru, 51. ko te ko iwi korakirapua, 52. waiho me kimi ake 53. ki te kumara ia rangi, 54. ko peke hawini ka noho ia rehua 55. ko ruhi i te rangi 56. ka tau kai raro te kahuru tikotiko 57. i rere o poutu i te ra, te maatahi o te 58. tau, te 59. te patunga o te hine e, e tama 124
Translation 1. Pō! Pō! My son, Tama 2. Tama is crying for what, 3. For food 4. Wait, seek the sweet greens of the meal 5. And the whale is brought ashore 6. To give milk for you, my son 7. Verily, your ancestor Uenuku has brought it freely 8. Now think, the kūmara is from the Beetling-Cliff-of-the-sun 124
Herries Beattie, Various Maori Papers, 1879 (DHL 582/F/18).
9. Beyond the eager bounding strides of Takaroa, God of the Sea; 10. Lo, striding to and fro is Takaroa 11. Takaroa appears 12. ‘Twas Uru 13. Who did abide with Raka 14. And they begot Ao Tū, 15. Ao rere 16. Hine tuahoanga, Takaroa, and the stone of Poutini, 17. The primeval pregnancy began 18. In Hawaiki, when there appeared, Mauri [Māui] Whare Kino 19. Who took Pani to wife, She it was who took to there 20. To the waters of Mamanariki 21. Of the surface painted of piere pihe taniwharau, 22. Where the shining cuckoo went, 23. You are of Whena, O Waho thus the first part O Waho 24. Of the second part was the severing of yonder [bird snares 25. The travellers were Kauru, Paeaki, 26. Rakaiora and Turiwhati, Waiho 27. Was the only one that fled from 28. From the fires of Rongo o Maraeroa 29. The Cloak of Tū, God of War, is the day of annihilation 30. The belt of which was brought hither 31. By Inanga Noaa and Maatua Tonga 32. Hence the spirit oft apprehensive, 33. Hence the spirit oft in suspense 34. By tidings of his armed band along the pathway taken 35. When Paikea 36. Was named by Ruatapu a mis-begotten son 37. And brought about the disaster of uri pueri 38. When that son in desperation swum away 39. Hurriedly he put aside the handle-grip of the paddles, 40. Manini Kura and Manini Aro 41. The noble one cried 42. Crying in terror 43. Hakirirangi it was who reached the shore, 44. And, with the flowering kōwhai, emptied the kit 45. At Manawarū and Ārai Te Uru 46. There to be seen by myriads and thousands, 47. Only Makauri was left behind 48. Out there at (the sheltering reef of) Toka Ā Uru 49. The branch which was cast ashore
50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56.
Became a prized plume of Mahini, Mangomo Te Ao and Ue Takuru, Ritually nurtured (the tillage of) Rakirapua, They waited until they found The kūmara from heavens above ‘Twas there Peke Hawini was taken by wedlock by Rēhua Ruhi I Te Rangi (Was conceived and) alighted here below hence the bounteous harvest-time 57. When Poutū I Te Rā, brings forth the first fruits 58. Of the year, 59. And the calabashes overflow with game fat, O Son It is evident that the Ngāti Porou waiata ‘Pō Pō e tangi ana’ is related to the kūmara. And, it is also clear that the Ngāi Tahu waiata ‘Pō pō e taki ana’ and the Ngāti Porou waiata ‘Pō Pō e tangi ana’ are essentially the same song, both reciting the origins of the kūmara. This would advance the argument that if the waiata ‘Pō Pō e tangi ana’ was relocated from the East Coast to Te Waipounamu, then so were the Ārai Te Uru traditions contained within the waiata. Ārai Te Uru can be found in both Northland and East Coast traditions, however, it is normally a taniwha not a canoe. Primarily associated with the Takitimu and Horouta waka traditions of the East Coast, Ārai Te Uru is also linked with the waka Matawhaorua of the Hokianga. A 1913 account of the Matawhaorua canoe also mentions Ārai Te Uru: Ko Matawhaorua he waka tapu…Ko nga hautupua na raua nga waka nei i arahi mai i te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa ko Niua ko Araiteuru nga mokaikai a Nukutawhiti, ko aua hautupua te mana o enei iwi, e noho nei i te puaha o Hokianga. Ko Araiteuru ki runga ko Niua ki raro o te puaha, ko Matawhaorua e takoto nei ano i Niua.125
Letter to the Editor, in Te Pipiwharauroa, July 1913, No.180, p. 5.
Matawhaorua was a sacred canoe…The two sea creatures that led the canoes across the Pacific Ocean were Niua and Ārai Te Uru the tame pets of Nukutawhiti, these sea creatures were the prestige of the people, now they lie at the mouth of the Hokianga. Ārai Te Uru is on the upper side and Niua on the lower side of the harbour mouth, Matawhaorua lies with Niua. Here Ārai Te Uru is also a taniwha that guided the waka Matawhaorua and eventually turned to stone at the mouth of the Hokianga Harbour. Percy Smith (1899) published a karakia that also demonstrates Ārai Te Uru’s connection with the Hokianga. When Ngā Puhi, under the leadership of Hongi Hika, formed an army to attack southern tribes they assembled at Omapere to offer incantations to significant landmarks. Included in the karakia are Niua and Ārai Te Uru, which are the heads of the Hokianga Harbour: Kotahi ki reira, Kotahi ki Pou-ahi Kotahi ki Niua, Kotahi ki Arai-te-uru 126
Translation One to there, One to Pou Ahi One to Niua One to Ārai Te Uru Thus Ārai Te Uru is associated with both waka traditions and mountains in the Hokianga. Ārai Te Uru is not prominent on the West Coast but its connection is seen in this proverbial saying, ‘Ngā-tara-a-whai o Ārai-te-uru’,
S. Percy Smith, ‘War of Northern Against Southern N.Z. Tribes’, in JPS, 1899, Vol.8, pp. 216-219
120 which refers to a large shoal 5 kilometres north of the Waitara where stingrays were plentiful. 127 The relocation of the Ārai Te Uru tradition from the North Island also extends to one of its notable crew members, Hapekituarangi.
Whatahoro’s brief account of the Ārai Te Uru canoe he states that the waka belonged to Hapekituarangi, ‘Ko Araiteuru te waka o Hape ki tuarangi i tahuri ki Moeraki’ (Ārai Te Uru is the canoe of Hape ki tuarangi which overturned at Moeraki). 128 However in a letter to Te Puke Ki Hikurangi in 1902, Hapekituaoterangi is the captain of the Rangimatoru canoe, ‘Ko te Rangimatoru te waka, ko Hapekituaoterangi te tangata’ (Rangimatoru is the canoe, Hapekituaoterangi is the man). 129 Hapekituarangi is also found in the Tuwharetoa tradition regarding Ngatoroirangi’s ascent of Tongariro. 130 Hōhepa Tamamutu, of Tūwharetoa, gave a whakapapa in 1883 giving Hapekituarangi as an early ancestor linked to Tūwharetoa and Te Arawa. 131 Therefore if Hapekituarangi is a reoccurring reference that has been relocated, then it is likely that the waka or tradition he is associated with has also been relocated. With each resettlement key names, and references are relocated thereby explaining Hapekituarangi’s and Ārai Te Uru’s occurrence in traditions found throughout the North and South islands.
Hirini Moko Mead & Neil Grove, Ngā Pēpeha a ngā Tūpuna, Victoria University Press: Wellington, 2001, p. 331.
Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro, Whatahoro Ms (15), Alexander Turnbull Library, pp. 60-73.
to the Editor, in Te Puke Ki Hikurangi, 15 June 1902, Vol.4, No.23, p. 5.
John Te H. Grace, Tūwharetoa: A History of the Māori People of the Taupo District, Reed Publishing: Auckland, 1959, pp. 61-63.
Simmons, 1976, p. 286.
Conclusion It is apparent that Ārai Te Uru is not unique to Te Waipounamu. References to Ārai Te Uru can be found on both coasts of the North Island but primarily on the East Coast and the Hokianga. Inherent in Ārai Te Uru traditions are a continuum of motifs and imagery, principally focussing on migration. Ngāi Tahu accounts of Ārai Te Uru stem from those of the East Coast and were brought with them as they migrated southwards from the region of their close kin. Over time the Ārai Te Uru tradition adapted to better suit its new environs and the focus changed from kūmara to mountains. Analysis of Ārai Te Uru traditions gives an insight in to the intricate preEuropean dynamics of oral tradition where they were not only modified due to relocation but also adapted to ensure the past served the descent groupings of the present. Ngāti Porou’s strong affiliation with Ārai Te Uru can be seen in the proverb, ‘Ko Araiteuru ko Paikea te tangata o runga’ (Paikea was the principal man aboard the Ārai Te Uru) 132, which places Ngāti Porou’s prime ancestor Paikea on the Ārai Te Uru waka. Paikea is now internationally synonymous as the ‘Whale Rider’, not the rider of Ārai Te Uru.
suggests Paikea was placed on the waka by later descendants, enhancing his mana through association with another important early symbol.
advances the argument the principal driver behind tradition was the establishment of group mana as the status of one’s ancestor and origins takes precedence over pure historical recollection of an event.
Letter to the Editor, ‘Tūtakangahau’, in Te Puke ki Hikurangi, 16 June 1902, Vol. 4, No.23, p. 5.
Takitimu This, the second of three chapters on South Island waka traditions, examines the traditions of Takitimu. These traditions are also found in the East Coast. South Island accounts will be covered before comparison with North Island accounts to highlight the shared symbolic imagery and gain further insight into a wider body of symbolic metaphors associated with migration traditions. Finally, analysis will focus on the conjoint accounts of Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro and S. Percy Smith.
South Island Accounts There are four South Island accounts of the Takitimu waka as follows; the first an authentic pre-European account was recorded by Shortland (1851), the second was an East Coast account relocated to the South Island post-contact by Tuta Nihoniho and recorded by Cowan (1907), followed by two later synthesised accounts published by Herries Beattie (1915).
124 1. Pre-European Change – Edward Shortland (1851) The earliest reference to Takitimu in Te Waipounamu was recorded by Edward Shortland (1851) where Takitimu is referred to as, ‘A mountain inland of Aparima – said by the natives to have been originally a canoe’.133 It is reasonable to assume, due to its early recording, that this account is derived from authentic pre-contact tradition.
What is unusual about
Shortland’s account is that it is the only early account with all others being published in the twentieth century. Those accounts gathered generally focus on Southland suggesting it is a regional account specific to Te Waipounamu. 2. Post-contact Māori Change – James Cowan (1907) Cowan published an account of the Takitimu from Tuta Nihoniho, a Ngāti Porou rangatira who had moved to the South Island.
In it Tuta states
Takitimu was captained by Tamatea, with Ruawharo as priest and brought the ancestors of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāi Tahu. The waka travelled down the East Coast and was hauled ashore in Murihiku where it became the Takitimu ranges. 134 This motif is similar to East Coast traditions as Maui’s canoe Nukutaimemeha was believed to have been petrified on the summit of Mount Hikurangi. Nihoniho’s version appears to be standard with East Coast accounts but incorporates the motif of the waka forming a mountain range in Murihiku. Although it is not a uniquely South Island account, it does imply that Nihoniho consciously incorporated elements of southern traditions
Edward Shortland, New Zealand/Middle Island, Edward Shortland Manuscript MS23x, (Hocken Library, Dunedin).
James Cowan, ‘The Story of the Takitimu’, in JPS, 1907, Vol.16, pp. 220-225.
125 highlighting a post-contact dynamic of change where Māori merged regional tribal accounts after exposure to traditions from other areas. 3. Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Herries Beattie (1915) Beattie gives two versions of the voyage of Takitimu. By 1915 Beattie would have had access to multiple accounts of North Island and South Island accounts of Takitimu which may have influenced his recording, copying, interpretation or editing of South Island accounts. The following account relates Takitimu’s voyage down the east coast before capsizing and forming the Takitimu ranges: The Takitimu canoe ran down the east coast till just below the Otago Peninsula, when she ran off a great wave which the legends avers is represented by the Mauka-atua (now called Maungatua) range. The canoe ran off this sea and broached-to and dropped her tata (bailer) which turned into rock, and is now the Hokanui hill near Gore. Then the other wave (represented by the Okaka ridge west of the Waiau River) struck her and she upset, and there she lies as the Takitimu Mountains. When the first wave struck her one of the crew named Aonui was washed overboard, and being turned into stone, still stands at Tokomairaro beach as the tall basaltic pillar known to the white man as Cook’s head. One of my informants said that Aonui was swept off the Arai-te-uru, but the others all said it was off Takitimu. 135 Aonui can be found in many early Te Arawa and Tūwharetoa genealogies associated with waka migration and Te Aonui can be found in the early whakapapa of the Horowhenua, Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Porou. 136 Aonui is also a constellation suggesting it is a symbol, a remembered reference to early canoe migration thereby explaining its occurrence in multiple migration traditions.
Beattie, 1915, p. 109.
Simmons, 1976, pp. 53-54, 248-249, 254, 262, 283, 285.
4. Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Herries Beattie (1915) Beattie also published another version where Southland was under water, and the Bluff Hill was an island. The canoe was overtaken by disaster near Gore, the first wave losing her bailer, and then two more seal the fate of Takitimu. This version was preserved in a Ngāi Tahu waiata published by Beattie: Ko te tipaka mai ano Takitimu Ko te Poroporo huariki Ka tae mai ki te kutuawa Waimeha Ka makere te tata Na ka karu Nau O-te-wao, nau Oroko, nau Okaka, Koe tukituki-e-e! 137
Translation The overturning of the Takitimu The Poroporo huariki (A type of fruit associated with Hawaiki and migration) Arriving at the river mouth of Waimeha Where the bailer was lost By the waves By Ō-te-wao, by Ōroko, by Ōkaka Where you were battered to pieces! These three waves (Ōtewao, Ōroko, Ōkaka) then formed mountain ranges with the petrified canoe becoming the Takitimu ranges. The metaphor of a waka crashing is seen in many waka traditions. This is perhaps a device to claim prime descent from an ancestral canoe, often with multiple groups of descendants, through the waka being wrecked within their territory. This enhances tribal mana through ownership of the canoe and its ‘final’ resting
Beattie, 1915, p. 109.
127 place. Rather than a reflection of the seamanship of early Māori, the metaphor of the waka crashing was possibly relocated and utilised to enhance a kin group’s connection with their parent canoe tradition to ensure their mana was not secondary and to strengthen their connection to the land.
North Island Links Takitimu is by no means unique to Te Waipounamu with its reoccurrence in the North Island evidence of pre-European change where it was relocated during subsequent migrations southwards. These links also provide an insight into the post-contact dynamics of change where both Māori informants and Pākehā writers changed tradition to fit their own agendas and culturally coloured paradigms. The manuscripts of Te Matorohanga and Nepia Pohuhu both mention the journey of Takitimu to the Waiau river in Southland, however, others such as the manuscripts of Pita Kapiti and Hami Ropiha make no mention of a southern voyage. 138 This would suggest North Island accounts including the journey to Waiau are the result of post-contact Māori change where Māori have merged multiple regional accounts. Te Matorohanga had converted to Christianity and the manuscripts compiled from his and Nepia Pohuhu’s teachings were recorded by Te Whatahoro and published by Smith. Both Whatahoro and Smith had exposure to a range of regional tribal accounts which likely influenced their systemisation of tradition. This compiling of tradition was likely also influenced by the desire of Pākehā audiences for 138
Simmons, 1976, pp. 118-125.
128 authoritative and continuous accounts of Māori past rather than attempting to interpret complex multiple regional accounts. North Island accounts of Takitimu only mention a journey to Te Waipounamu in or after Smith and Whatahoro’s conjoint accounts. Likewise southern accounts do not incorporate a return voyage back to the North Island. This suggests although northern and southern accounts of the Takitimu share many common images, they are distinctly separate suggesting Smith and Whatahoro’s conjoint account linking its journey to both islands is a postcontact invention.
Early European writers like Smith acted as conduits
between iwi, collecting multiple accounts and disseminating information. A combination of post-contact Māori changes made by Mission trained Māori informants coupled with post-contact conjoint changes made by Whatahoro and Smith resulted in multiple accounts of pre-contact relocated traditions being synthesised into a single new reinvented account of Takitimu. This interpretation of the Takitimu tradition was based upon post-contact romantic invention and later misconstrued oral tradition as an entirely historical source of information.
Many of the key elements such as the
primary figure of Tamatea, and the toki Te Awhiorangi are motifs found in many waka traditions. This is not to say that Tamatea or the waka Takitimu are not historical, but it is clear that over time the tradition has been translocated and modified pre-contact to establish tribal origins and mana as superior in their new home.
Shared Imagery Whilst Tamatea Ariki Nui is captain, Smith’s account emphasises Tūtakahinahina as leader of Waitaha. All Waitaha traditions clearly point to Rākaihautū as their ariki and captain of the waka Uruao, not Tūtakahinahina. 139 Beattie noted that only two of his informants knew of Tūtakahinahina; one stating he lived in the time of gods, which was probably a polite way of saying ‘I didn’t know’, another quoting the following waiata which was believed to have been composed on his arrival: Tenei koa te whare a Taka-mai-i-roto Ko te kai Takaroa a Te uru-kotia I rapu haere e tau tahunga ki te mapara Ka mate i reira kohatu-toa Ka rere a manu mai I ra ka toatoa i roto i te auahi o te ahi Ka ea hoki ia i o tipuna Koia te kai whakatari i a Whaitiri poto nei Whakaruru a nuku a Ta-manuhiri A Rakawahakura I te wawa a Kaha Wai mai i ra i Tawhiti Koia te whata roa i tukutuku Raki ra i auau hoki-e 140
Translation Here indeed is the house of Taka Mai I Roto The seafood’s of Te Uru Kotia Sought for your burning of wood saturated with resin There died Kōhatu Toa Soaring like a bird Fierce in the smoke of the fire To rise upwards with your ancestors This is avenging of the provocation of Whaitiri Poto Sheltering within the earth of Tāmanuhiri 139
For an example of Waitaha Rākaihautū traditions see Wī Pōkuku (1880), Pōkuku-Eli (1887).
Beattie, 1915, p. 111.
Was Rakawahakura By the palisades of Kaha Enticed by Tawhiti Those the sacred poles that gave offence In the north causing great disgust Beattie’s claimed connection between the waiata and Tūtakahinahina seems obscure, as the waiata does not mention him specifically, instead mentioning characters associated with Ngāi Tahu history. If only two of Beattie’s sources had heard of Tūtakahinahina and previous Ngāi Tahu Takitimu accounts did not mention him then it is probable Smith or Whatahoro have incorporated elements from Ngāti Kahungunu. Smith’s primary source was Te Whatahoro who was from Ngāti Kahungunu, where Tūtakahinahina is associated with Tamatea Mai Tawhiti and at an earlier time with the gods. White published a whakapapa where Tūtakahinahina was the grandfather of Tamatea Mai Tawhiti, illustrating his linkage to the captain of Takitimu. Whakapapa 4.1 141 Tutaka hina hina Roi roi whenua Tama-tea-mai-tawhiti As with Beattie’s informants, Tūtakahinahina is also stated as one of the children of Rangi and Papatūānuku: A ko etahi uri ano hoki o Rangi raua ko Papa i muri iho i a Rehua ma, ko Tane…i muri iho ko Paia…ko Tutaka-hina-hina…ko Tu, ko Rongo… 142
John White, Notes for the Anceint History of the Māori, Reel 6, MS Copy Micro 447, MS Copy 75, B25, Book Tūpuna 6, Alexander Turnbull Library, 1887-1890, unpaginated.
John White, Ancient History of the Māori, George Disbury Government Printer: Wellington, 1887, Vol.1, p. 25.
Translation Some of the other offspring of Rangi and Papa following on from Rehua and others, were Tāne…after who was Paia…Tūtakahinahina…Tū, Rongo… In another Ngāti Kahungunu account an iwi called Ngāti Tūtakahinahina (who were associated with Reporoa) lived in Hawaiki and were one of four iwi working a cultivation whose quarrels led to the departure of the Takitimu. 143 Each reference establishes an association with Tūtakahinahina in early whakapapa, whether it be an atua, explorer or an iwi. Tūtakahinahina is a reference to early times and waka migration and is of significance to the people of Ngāti Kahungunu due to his close association with Tamatea Mai Tawhiti. Tūtakahinahina does not feature prominently in southern traditions and his leading the Waitaha settlers at Wairau reflects an attempt by either Smith or the scribe Te Whatahoro to add creative elements to Te Matorohanga’s account. Hence Smith’s account incorporates elements of both Ngāti Kahungunu and later Ngāi Tahu accounts of Takitimu forming a synthesised conjoint account of migration. Tama is not unique to the Takitimu as the Captain of the Tairea canoe is named variously as; Tama, Tama Āhua, Tama Ki Te Rangi, Tama Taku Ariki and Tamatea Pokai Whenua. Tama is also evident in a multitude of other North Island waka traditions where he is the captain.
include; Tamatearokai of the Rangiuamutu canoe (also known as Tairea), Tama Ki Te Kapua of the Te Arawa, Tamatea Ariki Nui of the Takitimu, and Tamatea (Tamatea Pōkai Whenua) of the Karaerae. In one southern account Tamatea has three nephews named; Tamatea Nui, Tamatea Roa and Tamatea 143
Mere Whaanga, A Carved Cloak for Tahu, Auckland University Press: Auckland, 2004, p. 45.
132 Kaimatāmua. 144 In 1912, many variations of Tamatea Pōkai Whenua’s name were included in the Te Pīpīwharauroa newspaper; Tamatea Kai Haumi, Tamatea-ā-mua Mai Tawhiti, Tamatea-ā-monga, Tamatea-ā-rere, Tamatea Wharekohe, Tamatea Matangirau, Tamatea i te Nukuroa, and Tamatea Puku 145. Thus the root word is Tama and in each case he is the captain of a waka.
The key word Tama is preserved, as it is a reference to an early
explorer character. However, as the tradition is relocated through successive migrations, the name changes slightly, as the character and tradition are localised, thereby ensuring the mana of the host community is superior.
The correlation of further symbolic motifs is also apparent in the reoccurrence of Takitimu’s toki, Te Awhiorangi, however, it is uncertain whether this was an early element in South Island Takitimu traditions. Whatahoro recorded a whakapapa written in 1901 by Ngāi Tahu scribe Thomas Green (Tame Kirini) stating Te Awhiorangi and Te Whironui were the toki of the Takitimu. 146 It is questionable whether this was a true reflection of Ngāi Tahu accounts as this whakapapa mirrors Ngāti Kahungunu accounts of Takitimu written by Te Whatahoro. Green had substantial contact with other scholars and thereby outside influences. Shortland’s account (1851) gives a credible base for South Island knowledge of Takitimu, but is very limited in detail, failing to give the names of the toki and making any reference to Te Awhiorangi. As such, it is difficult to establish whether Green’s inclusion of Te Awhiorangi is illustrative of authentic southern tradition or resulting from his relationship with fellow 144
Herries Beattie, Traditional Lifeways of the Southern Māori, University of Otago Press: Dunedin, 1994, p. 427.
Letter to the Editor, ‘Ngā Waka He Kōrero nō Neherā’, in Te Pīpīwharauroa, October 1912, Vol. 173, p. 6. 146 Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro, Whatahoro Ms (26), NZMPFB No.123, Manuscript 269, Alexander Turnbull Library, unpaginated.
133 scribe Te Whatahoro.
Te Awhiorangi also appears, as the toki of Te
Wakahuruhurumanu but again its publication was late in comparison with Shortland’s earliest account. 147 Without a reference to Te Awhiorangi in the earliest South Island account of Takitimu (Shortland, 1851) one cannot authoritively state that Te Awhiorangi is reflective of early South Island tradition.
It is evident that Te Awhiorangi is associated with North Island Takitimu accounts and that it appears in later South Island accounts, probably due to post-contact Māori change as Ngāi Tahu renewed contact and exposure to East Coast traditions. 148 The reoccurrence of Te Awhiorangi is not unique to its translocation to the south and appears in several early North Island tribal traditions. Wairarapa tohunga, Te Matorohanga, attributed the separation of the primordial parents Rangi and Papa to the toki Te Awhiorangi. 149 The toki, Te Awhiorangi, was also allegedly brought on the Aotea waka. 150 The Horouta waka encountered a wind called Tūawhiorangi, which is probably a derivative of Te Awhiorangi. 151 In the traditions of southern Taranaki the adze Te Awhiorangi was made by Ngahue and given to Tāne who used it to cut the poles placed between his parents, Rangi and Papa. From Tāne it passed down to Turi, captain of the Aotea waka and brought to Aotearoa before being
Beattie, 1994, p. 425.
Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro, Whatahoro Ms (31), NZMPFB No.131.2, Manuscript 269, Alexander Turnbull Library, p. 12.
Simmons, 1976, p. 114.
Buck, 1929, p. 55.
Simmons, 1976, p. 141.
134 hidden in a forest near Waitōtara. 152 Despite uncertainty over whether Te Awhiorangi featured in early South Island traditions pre or post-contact, the evidence demonstrates that it has been translocated within the North Island. Although there is a lack of evidence to demonstrate Te Awhiorangi is represented in early South Island tradition, it is clear this would be consistent with the pre-contact dynamics of Māori oral tradition.
suggests its purpose was symbolic, and gives an insight into the translocation of key remembered references associated with waka migration.
Post-contact Conjoint Accounts Alongside his partner, Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro, S. Percy Smith used creative invention, re-editing and embellishment to form new post-contact conjoint accounts of the Takitimu canoe.
Published in The Lore of the Whare
Wānanga (1915), accounts recorded from Wairarapa tohunga Moihi Te Matorohanga and Nepia Pōhuhu were changed in their translation and publication as Whatahoro and Smith applied their own interpretation of events to tradition.
In South Island accounts the Takitimu waka crashes in
Murihiku. 153 The following account appears to merge multiple accounts by creating a new waka called ‘Te Karaerae’ to carry crew back to the North Island after crashing, synthesising pre-contact regional accounts into a postcontact conjoint account: Ka Whiti a ‘Takitimu’ ki Ara-Paoa Ka mutu, ka rere atu a ‘Takitimu’ ki Arapaoa, ma te taha rawhiti. Ka hangai ki Te Waiau, ka mea a Puhi-whanake, ‘E Tea! He pai te whenua nei, he hangai te aroaro ki te ra, he tahora te takoto o te whenua. Hei konei 152
Margaret Orbell, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Māori Myth and Legend, University of Canterbury Press: Christchurch, 1995, p. 199.
In South Island accounts the Takitimu crashes in Southland and is petrified forming the Takitimu ranges.
135 taua mataki ai ki te oneone.’ Ka whakaae atu a Tutaka-hinahina; ka tukua a ‘Takitimu’ kia rere ki roto i te ranga tau ai. Ka tu a Te Rongo-patahi, ka karangatia a ‘Tai-ahu-puke’ a ‘Tai-ahuahu’; e rua nga tai nana i heke a ‘Takitimu’ ki roto ki Te Waiau takoto ai. Kati. Tapaia ki tetahi Maunga ki reira ano ko ‘Takitimu,’ hei whakamaharatanga mo ‘Takitimu.’ Kei tetahi takiwa o reira ano tae mai ki uta o Waitangi, a ‘Takitimu,’ he kohatu i naia nei. Na, ka mea a Tamatea, ‘Me mahi he whare mo tatou; hei te whare puwhenua,’ ara, he ana taua tu whare. Katahi ka karia ki roto tetahi hiwi; ka oti taua ana, ka kiia te ingoa Te Ana-whakario. Ka oti taua whare katahi a Tamatea ka mea kia mahia he waka mona. Ka mahia te waka, ka oti; ka tapaia te ingoa ko ‘Te Karaerae.’ …Ka roa e noho ana a Tamatea me ona tangata, ka mea ia ki a Puhiwhanake, ki a Tu-taka-hinahina, ki a Kohu-para, ki a Mokinokino, ‘E Tama! E hoki ana au ki Muri-whenua; a, maku e hoki mai. E noho i to koutou kainga; he kainga watea tenei mo tatou. Waiho tatou i te rawhiti nei; kaua e whiti ki te taha mauru—ko te tuara tera, ko te aroaro tenei.’ 154
Translation ‘Takitimu’ Comes to the South Island After these transactions ‘Takitimu’ sailed for the east side of Ara-paoa [South Island], and when she was opposite the Waiau river, Puhi-whanake said, ‘O Tea! [short for Tamatea] This is a fine country. It faces the sun, and the sea is level. Let us examine the soil.’ Tu-taka-hinahina was agreeable to this, and so ‘Takitimu’ was directed to the mouth of Waiau. But they did not quite reach the mouth, when the canoe ran on a reef and rested there. So Te Rongo-patahi arose and called on ‘Tai-ahu-puke’ [hillmaking-sea] and ‘Tai-ahuahu’ [heaping-up-sea]; these two waves lifted ‘Takitimu’ right into the Waiau river. Enough! They called a certain mountain there after their vessel ‘Takitimu’ in rememberence of their canoe. In a certain part there, up inland of Waitangi [Waitaki] is ‘Takitimu,’ which is now a rock [i.e., a rock resembling the canoe. The Takitimu mountains lie on the east of the Great Waiau river, which falls into Foveaux Straits, and on top is the rock named after the canoe. The geography of the Sage is a little obscure here, for Waitaki is no where near either of the Waiau rivers].
Smith, 1915, pp. 229-230.
Tamatea now said, ‘Let us make a house for us here;’ a pu-whenua, that is, a cave, and so they dug one out of a certain ridge there, and when it was finished they called it Te Ana-whakairo…After this cave was finished Tamatea gave orders to build a canoe for his use. This was done, and then it was named ‘Te Karaerae.’ …Tamatea and his people remained there for a long time, and then he said to Puhi-whanake, Tu-taka-hinahina, Kohu-para, and Mokinokino, ‘O Sirs! I am returning to the North Cape; but I shall come back again. Remain here at our home; it is a place free from others. Let us remain on this east side; do not cross over to the west side [of the island]—for that is the back, and this is the front.’ [The people left behind were the Waitaha tribe, so called by the wish of Puhi-whakaawe, expressed just as ‘Takitimu’ left Tahiti…] 155 Each separate regional account of Takitimu is reflective of a different group claiming descent from their ancestral canoe, illustrating the role of tradition in preserving communal descent and establishing group identity. With each successive internal migration, groups that traced descent from the Takitimu transposed their group traditions upon their new home, seeking to gain a closer association to their ancestral canoe and secure their identity in their new landscape. In most cases this resulted in the canoe being wrecked in their region. Smith’s synthesis compiled regional accounts into one new conjoint account, linking the East Coast’s traditions with the wreck in Murihiku and then created a new waka linked with the Whanganui to take Tamatea back to the West Coast. This systemisation is evident in Karaerae also being attributed to the chief Te Ahura who sailed from Tahiti, and was lost at sea demonstrating that elements were ‘borrowed’ from multiple traditions prior to compiling them into one all encompassing narrative. 156 Smith also asserts Waitaha were aboard the Takitimu yet this is not conveyed in the Māori 155
Smith, 1915, pp. 241-242.
Smith, 1915, pp. 242.
137 version. Whatahoro’s post-contact Māori changes were embellished by Smith who added his own interpretations through their translation and editing to form a false conjoint account of the Takitimu. Te Whatahoro attributed parts of Tamatea Arikinui’s journey to his grandson Tamatea Ure Haea.
Here Whatahoro has synthesised differing regional
accounts of Tamatea by compiling separate identities into a lineal line of descent, making Tamatea Ure Haea the grandson of Tamatea Arikinui. Tamatea is a common character found in most tribal districts, often with each version attributing the deeds to their own unique ‘Tamatea’ character. By framing multiple occurrences of the name Tamatea within a whakapapa, Whatahoro has created a plausible reason for the multiplicity of Tamatea names. 157 Percy Smith published a Ngāti Kahungunu account in the introduction to Beattie’s paper (1915), crediting Tamatea Ariki Nui as the captain of the Takitimu, alongside another chief, Tūtakahinahina.
It is interesting that
Whatahoro places Waitaha on the Takitimu in contrast to all other southern traditions that place Waitaha on the Uruao canoe, thereby collapsing multiple South Island migration traditions into one account: Waitaha came on the Takitimu, leaving the shores of Tahiti about 1350, under the command of Tamatea-ariki-nui. Many people gathered to farewell the canoe including Puhi-whakaawe, brother of Tutaka-hinahina. As he was departing Puhi-whakaawe addressed the departing chief, ‘O Tutaka-hinahina! When you reach the land on which the clouds rest Mere Whaanga republished this theory (Mere Whaanga, A carved cloak for Tahu, Auckland University Press: Auckland, 2004, p. 52) in her monographic account of Ngāti Kahungunu traditions. Here she rationalises differing names for Tamatea as all referring to different characters, ‘It is obvious from the stories that have been retained that Tamatea Arikinui, Rongokako and Tamatea Ure-haea were all great travellers and explorers, but it is the grandson of Tamatea Arikinui who was named Tamatea Pōkai-whenua Pōkaimoana.’
138 (New Zealand) have one generous thought towards me, look at me as I stand aside (whakataha) in the rippling waves, let your people be called hereafter by my position [Wai-taha]…Takitimu made landfall in the Bay of Plenty, sailed down the East Coast of both islands, leaving settlers at various places and finally Tutaka-hinahina and a large party about Wairau river in Southland. Tamatea explored the land and returned to the Hokianga on the West Coast of the North Island. 158 This is again evidence of conjoint change where Whatahoro, exposed to the traditions of many iwi as a member of the Polynesian Society, has compiled elements of multiple regional accounts. These changes are then compounded by Smith who reconstructs the specifics to fit his `Grand Settlement Paradigm’, where he manipulated and edited various accounts into one tradition, which today has been academically dismissed. 159
Conclusion Ngāi Tahu descend from Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Porou. As part of their migration, Ngāi Tahu carried the traditions of the Takitimu and replanted them into their new landscape, localising the tradition and thereby legitimising their occupation. The northern and southern versions of the Takitimu canoe are in essence the same with their distinctive differences due to their pre-contact translocation to a new locale. Takitimu does feature in Shortland’s records (1851) but is not prominent and appears to hold importance only in the Murihiku region. Other accounts do not appear until the early twentieth 158
Herries Beattie, ‘Traditions and Legends of the Natives of Murihiku, Part II’, in JPS, 1915, Vol.24, pp. 99100.
Smith’s corruption of tradition was to have a lasting impact on the construction of Māori identity. Smith published substantial accounts, which have been repeated by many later authors, including some Māori writers who internalised his particular brand of tradition.
139 century and were likely influenced by the publication of North Island accounts of the Takitimu. During this period Māori had access to differing tribal accounts through publications, such as the Journal of the Polynesian Society, and incorporated elements of these traditions into their narratives. Coupled with European writers who had access to multiple sources, this resulted in post-contact conjoint change where multiple accounts were synthesised into a single lineal account to suit Western interests. Although these post-contact conjoint and synthesised changes render these accounts unauthentic, the shared imagery and symbolic elements preserved in the traditions of the Takitimu waka confirm their primary function is to preserve kinship links and establish tribal links to the land.
importance is the insight these symbolic components provide into the precontact internal dynamics of oral tradition and a wider genre of waka traditions used to secure tribal identity and land tenure. These pre-European dynamics of change altered after contact with Pākehā as both Māori informants and Pākehā writers sought to reconstruct the past, changing tradition to fit the ideological imperatives of their present.
Tairea This, the third of three chapters focusing on South Island waka traditions, will examine the waka traditions of the Tairea canoe. The Tairea canoe has been described as an early canoe in Māori traditions but its publication is rather late in comparison as it is only found in twentieth century accounts. Its relative absence is possibly explained due to it being a regional account located on the West Coast and therefore not recorded by early writers who predominantly spent their time on the South Island’s eastern coast and Murihiku. Where accounts do occur, there are multiple versions with differing details, which has created confusion over the specifics of the Tairea canoe.
discusses false accounts by examining the post-contact compilation of multiple accounts by European authors. South Island accounts will be examined before analysis of linkages to North Island traditions and the consistency of accounts. Finally this chapter discusses the regional nature of waka traditions and examines the use of waka traditions not only to establish tribal identity but also to differentiate regional identity from neighbouring kin.
South Island Accounts There are four South Island accounts as follows; the earliest account was published by F. Martin in 1901 is likely to be an authentic pre-contact tradition, the second was sourced from Ngāi Tahu tohunga, Teone Taare Tikao (1939), exhibit post-contact Māori changes, whilst the last two are post-contact synthesised accounts from Herries Beattie (1945). 1. Pre-European Change – F. Martin (1901) Although Martin’s account is much later than the earliest recorded South Island waka traditions, this is likely due to the geographic isolation of Te Tai Poutini and can be considered an authentic pre-European account.
Martin’s account, the Tairea is linked with the origins of pounamu, a precious greenstone resource found on the South Island’s West Coast. In this version the principal character is not Tamatea Pōkai Whenua but Tama Āhua and his accompanying slave is mentioned but is not transformed into a mountain as in later accounts. In Martin’s account Tama Āhua’s four wives travel in the Tairea canoe and their names reflect differing types of pounamu: Tama-ahua’s wives Hine-ahuka, Hine-kawakawa, Hine-aotea, Hinetangiwai came to New Zealand in the Tairea canoe. He followed a magic dart to find them, following them to the Arahura River accompanied by his slave Tumuaki whose nickname was Tuhua. 160 2. Post-contact Māori Change – Herries Beattie (1939) Beattie recorded a similar version from Teone Taare Tikao, which again focuses on the formation of pounamu at Arahura but is expanded to incorporate pounamu found in Milford Sound: 160
F. Martin, ‘Legend of Tama-ahua’ in JPS, 1901, Vol.10, pp. 166-167.
143 Tama and his followers fled from Hawaiki in the canoe Tairea and sought refuge on the West Coast. A woman named Tangiwai or Kokotangiwai is associated with the canoe’s journey to Milford Sound, along with her children matakirikiri who are a small kind of pounamu. The canoe then continues northward but through a mistake in Tangiwai’s initial invocation ceremony, the canoe is doomed to disaster and a great wave hurls her up the Arahura River. There she is turned into a reef of greenstone and the crew-Kawakawa, Kahurangi, Auhunga, Inanga, Aotea, and others were also turned into the different varieties of pounamu. 161 Tikao also gave another version where a race of people called Pounemu travelled to Te Waipounamu to escape two races named Mata and Hoanga: The Pounemu race were very afraid of two races named Mata (flint) and Hoanga (grindstone). They fled in the Tairea to the South Island. But alas they made a mistake in saying the karakia and things went wrong as a result. On arrival the canoe was wrecked and the crew became greenstone and took refuge under waterfalls and in river-beds. Tama was the only crew member not to be turned into greenstone. Then their enemies Mata and Hoanga (sharpening tools) arrived later in the Arai-teuru canoe however some of the Hoanga [Hoaka] were too feeble to affect the Pounamu. 162 Here pounamu, flint stone and grindstone have been personified as races rather than tools. The personification of key elements is not uncommon in Māori oral traditions and highlights the symbolic elements in this genre of tradition. 3. Post Contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Herries Beattie (1945) Beattie had access to several written accounts and noted there were differing accounts for what was supposedly a famous canoe and even derided Canon Stack for not gaining a full and complete account when he had the 161
Beattie, 1939, p. 60.
Beattie, 1939, pp. 60-61.
144 opportunity. 163 Stack (1898) gave an account of Tama searching for his wives that fits the Tairea template but attributed the deed to Tamatea Pōkai Whenua not Tama Āhua, adding further confusion to the debate. 164 Stack also does not specifically name Tairea as the canoe despite Beattie’s assertion that it was a Tairea canoe tradition: But it was not until he [Tamatea Pōkai Whenua] arrived off the mouth of the Arahura river that he heard voices; he immediately landed, but could not discover his wives, being unable to recognize them in the enchanted stones which strewed the bed of the river…He did not know that the canoe, in which his wives had escaped, had capsized at this spot, and that they and the crew had been changed into blocks of stone…While preparing the meal the slave accidentally burnt his finger, which he thoughtlessly touched with the tip of his tongue; this act, as he was tapu, was an awful act of impiety, for which he was instantly punished by being instantly transformed into a mountain, ever since known by his name, Tumu-aki. 165 4. Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Herries Beattie (1945) Beattie gives a more detailed version of Tairea which he attributes to James Cowan but with a markedly different emphasis on the creation of forests and plant life due to Tama’s exploits in Piopiotahi (Milford Sound): The wives of Tama-ki-te-rangi (captain of the Tairea canoe) deserted him, and he searched for them from Cook Strait to Piopiotahi (Milford Sound). The flax-like kiekie (Freycictia Banksii) which fringes the fiord for miles, sprang according to legend, from the shreds of Tama’s shoulder-mat, torn off in his forest travels. Here he found one of his wives, but she had turned to greenstone, and as Tama wept over her his tears penetrated the very rock. This is why the nephrite found on the slopes of Mitre Peak close to Anita Bay is called tangi-wai (the water of weeping, or tear-water). 166 163
Beattie, 1945, p. 99.
Tamatea Pōkai Whenua is usually associated with the Takitimu canoe in southern oral traditions.
Stack, 1898, p. 19.
Beattie, 1945, pp. 99-100.
145 This account is vastly different from the previous accounts as it centres on Piopiotahi with the emphasis shifting to an explanation of the local type of pounamu and the local vegetation. Tama’s slave Tumuaki, who turns into a peak found near Arahura, also does not feature in this version. The focus on the establishment of kiekie bears striking similarities to the tradition of Tūtekoropaka who steals the wife of Tama Nui a Raki and elopes with her to the West Coast where he surrounds his home with a ring of prickly plants he introduced such as; okaoka (nettle), tataraheka (lawyer), tumatakuru (wild irishman), taramea (speargrass) and tataramoa (bramble). 167 Cowan also gives Te Rae o Tawhiti and Aitū Kaikōura as place names derived from Hawaiki that were given by Tama Ki Te Rangi when he was captain of the Tairea. 168 Beattie’s access to multiple written accounts led him to systematise different versions of the Tairea tradition into one account by stating the Tama who came on the Tairea and the Tama who searched for his wife were different men. Beattie believed the captain of the Tairea that fled Hawaiki and took refuge in the Westland was Tama Taku Ariki, and the captain of the Tairea who chased his wives was Tama Ki Te Rangi. Beattie also noted that two Tairea canoes were wrecked at the same place but at what he believed to be different dates. Beattie finally condenses the various traditions into two simplified versions where he combines the narratives to form a rough course travelled by the two different waka. I have come to the conclusion that the Tairea from Hawaiki fulfils the traditions of the canoe which went down the East Coast through Foveaux 167
Beattie, 1945, p. 101.
James Cowan, ‘Two Hawaiki Place Names at Kaikōura, South Island, N.Z.’ in JPS, 1920, Vol.29, pp. 162163.
146 Strait and up the Arahura where it was wrecked, and that what I take to be the second Tairea fulfils the tradition of the canoe that went down the west coast and then back up it again. 169 This Smithian systemisation of various Tairea canoe traditions makes a confusing multitude of accounts more plausible in the historian’s eyes, but belies the nature of Māori oral tradition where multiple versions coexist. Thus what were authentic pre-European regional accounts merge to form an unauthentic post-contact synthesised account, changing the themes, structure and nature of tradition to suit a Pākehā audience. It is evident that there are symbolic elements in the Tairea canoe tradition as its primary theme is the origin of greenstone. Its crew are all types of pounamu that have been personified and the lack of any whakapapa being traced from those aboard demonstrates the Tairea canoe was not an ancestral canoe. It is also clear different regional accounts were combined over time illustrating the nature of change resulting from contact with Pākehā and the affect publication could have on how the past was portrayed, interpreted and recollected.
North Island Links The Tairea canoe is not unique to Te Waipounamu and is also found in the Whanganui. Maori historian Te Rangi Hiroa 170 (1929) noted the occurrence of the Tairea canoe, which he stated was a very old canoe found in the 169
Herries Beattie, Māori Lore of Lake, Alp and Fiord, Otago Daily Times and Witness Newspapers Co. Ltd: Dunedin, 1945, p. 100.
Te Rangihīroa was also known by his Pākehā name, Sir Peter Buck.
147 Whanganui region. 171
The assertion that Tairea was relocated to Te
Waipounamu pre-contact is supported by further connections between Te Tai Poutini and Te Tai Hau-ā-uru (North Island’s West Coast).
captain, Tama Āhua, is also found in the Whanganui region. Tama Āhua is famous in the region’s traditions as a man able to fly without the use of wings. Some maintained he owed his mysterious powers of flight to a feather called Te Rauāmoa, which had been plucked from under the wing of Te Manu Nui A Ruakapanga and often flew between the Whanganui River and Waitōtara. 172 The West Coast of the South Island contains many references to the West Coast of the North Island including place names such as Patea, Mt Hawera and the peak Taranaki in the South Island. This trend is also reflected in the Pou traditions concerning the origins of the kūmara. The Tairea canoe is only found in the Whanganui, where Tama Āhua is also prominant so it is evident the origins of the Tairea canoe lie there.
The Tairea canoe has been
translocated pre-contact as communities have travelled through or from the Taranaki and Whanganui on their gradual migration southwards. The Tairea tradition incorporates references to the early explorer figure, Tama, which pushes the tradition back into the furthest reaches of memory. The Tairea canoe tradition utilises associations derived from a larger body of early traditions enhancing tribal mana through establishing early original arrival and thereby later tribal claims to land and resources, in particular the valuable pounamu.
Buck, 1929, p. 40.
Orbell, 1995, p. 174.
Consistency of Accounts Beattie (1945) attributed the multiple and diverse accounts of the Tairea canoe to multiple canoes. While this gives an explanation for differing accounts, it demonstrates that Beattie did not understand the nature of Māori oral tradition.
In each particular version details change, reflecting a
relocation of the tradition, and then its customisation to its new surroundings. The South Island Tairea traditions can be loosely grouped into two groups; one focused on the origins of pounamu and centred on the Arahura River, and the other explaining the plant life and local variant of pounamu in the Milford Sound. Tikao’s first account seems to link the two versions together which is possibly due to his being a later account when he had access to both versions, and likely incorporated the two to create a more historically plausible account. The symbolism of the Tairea tradition is readily apparent in the names of the waka crew, who in most cases embody the various forms of pounamu. With the captain, however, the role and name is significant. The name of the principal captain changes in each account of the tradition, yet each variant is based upon the root name, Tama. As illustrated earlier, the figure Tama is associated with many waka traditions, demonstrating shared imagery amongst early migration and exploration traditions. It is evident the Tairea canoe was not a waka tangata but a symbolic canoe linked with the origins of the pounamu that originates from the North Island’s West Coast.
Regional Accounts The Tairea canoe is associated with the West Coast of the South Island, Ārai Te Uru is centred on the Otago Coast, and the Takitimu canoe traditions can be found in Southland demonstrating the regional nature of these waka traditions. Beattie highlighted the regional variances stating: If Arai-te-uru is the canoe of the natives at Moeraki and Wai-kouaiti, then Takitimu is certainly the canoe of the Murihiku people. 173 Different waka being associated with different regions is reflective of groups emphasising different references to their North Island kinfolk. The Ārai Te Uru and Takitimu are invariably linked with East Coast traditions and both are connected to Ngāti Porou. The strong genealogical connections between early Otago and Southland Māori would in theory be based in a waka tradition highlighting their shared heritage. However, their association to different waka traditions also highlights another principal function of waka traditions, which is the establishment of kin group mana. Although both are related, each group seeks to establish their supreme status through first arrival. One possible cause could be that the Ārai Te Uru traditions were brought south by Ngāti Māmoe and Takitimu by Ngāi Tahu. However, both traditions and groups stem from the East Coast, therefore, both traditions would have been carried in the minds of both groups of settlers. Over time, as one group seeks to differentiate itself, it chooses to identify with different traditions. The relocation of the Takitimu canoe tradition reflects the desire of Murihiku Māori to differentiate their origins from their Otago kin, choosing to claim descent from Takitimu. Doing so ensures the 173
Beattie, 1915, p. 109.
150 mana of Murihiku Māori was prime in Southland as they were not secondary migrants and therefore of subordinate status to their Otago kinfolk.
arrival of Takitimu is seen to precede all other arrivals and subsequently strengthens descendant’s claims to land as their ahi kā roa, or right of possession, was projected back into the past. The pre-contact translocation of waka traditions illustrates a desire to establish strong claims to land tenure and thereby tribal mana through the establishment of an original foundation tradition located and explained within the geography of their new home.
Conclusion The principal focus of the Tairea canoe tradition is a mythic explanation for the existence of either pounamu or plant life. The various motifs and subthemes such as chasing fleeing wives, pounamu fleeing from mata and hoanga, or the creation of pounamu or vegetation, all reflect the customisation of traditions placed into a new environment by successive southward migrations. Beattie (1945) stated that there were East Coast and West Coast versions but the Tairea canoe seems to have little if no significance or connection to the East Coast. What is apparent is that it originated from the West Coast of the North Island and was brought to the South Island by migrants. The primary tradition is based around the Arahura where pounamu originates and thus the focus changes to an explanation of the origins of pounamu. At a later date, another splinter group has relocated the tradition to the Milford Sound where pounamu is also found but is not as prominent, thus, the focus shifts slightly from pounamu to an explanation of the origins of local vegetation. In each case, the details are changed as the original migration tradition is relocated and then localised to ensure the new 150
151 settler’s mana is salient. Waka traditions fulfil a vital role in oral tradition by spiritually consecrating the landscape, transplanting older migration traditions, and then connecting them with their new geography to create a new homeland that is intimately connected with its new inhabitants. Comparison with Ārai Te Uru and Takitimu accounts has revealed a further pre-contact dynamic where different regions identified with separate waka despite having shared ancestry.
These regional differences show each
grouping sought to emphasise connection wth separate waka migrations to ensure first arrival and prime status. Acknowledgement of secondary arrival or internal migration would mean their mana was also secondary and therefore they were of taina (junior) status.
Thus waka traditions were
transported and then reconstructed to bond communities to their new homeland but were also used to establish prime arrival separate from competing neighbouring groups.
Part Two: Waka Traditions
Summary This section examined the waka traditions of Te Waipounamu to explore the migration traditions of southern Māori. Analysis focused on Ārai Te Uru, Takitimu and Tairea to reveal a pre-contact dynamic of change where traditions themselves migrated. Atholl Anderson stated the principal purpose of Māori oral traditions was to act as historic memory aids, preserving genealogical references through narrative: They [Māori oral traditions] are primarily whakapapa to which are attached fragments of history, nubs of significant happenings which could be elaborated into various approximately similar accounts. 174 As opposed to being purely an historic memory aid, waka traditions establish tribal genealogy, geography and connection to the land through the narrative of an event. Their primary function is not to merely preserve references to the old homeland but more importantly to consecrate their new homeland as sacred and forge new ties and histories to be placed upon the land. Rāwiri Taonui (2006) proposed migration created gaps or synchronic ruptures in tribal histories. Migration traditions then filled these gaps by establishing new homeland histories which were clearly more important than preserving pure 174
Anderson, 1998, p. 17.
153 accounts of the old homeland as the prime imperative is to establish tribal identity and mana in their new homeland. 175 This is seen in the migration traditions of Te Waipounamu whereby references to deities, characters, places and stars are transported due to their cultural importance. As in the case of Ārai Te Uru, the reference is paramount as the function clearly overrides the need to preserve historical detail. For example, whilst the name is preserved, the context shifts from a whale, waka or plantation. Therefore pure rememberence is not as important as its function in establishing a new homeland by narrating the origins of natural phenomena such as mountains, reefs, flora and fauna and securing tribal identity. These traditions then cap what Taonui calls synchronic ruptures in tribal history by re-orchestrating tribal whakapapa, history, and origin through an account of arrival to establish a tribal identity intimately connected with its local environment since time immorial. In conclusion, the waka traditions of Te Waipounamu originate in the North Island and reflect the genealogical linkages to their ancestral kin. As different hapū settled, they implanted their own North Island waka traditions onto the southern landscape.
Regional variances in Te Waipounamu reveal these
differing genealogical origins and a desire to be differentiated from kin. Each region traces its origins from a different waka; Canterbury from the Mahaanui (canoe of Maui), Otago from Ārai Te Uru, Southland from Takitimu and Westland from Tairea.
Taonui, 2006, p. 35.
154 The multiple canoe traditions of Te Waipounamu are not reflective of multiple canoe arrivals. They are reflective of the cultural imperative of multiple tribal identities seeking to establish their origins as original, unique, and secured within their own territory. The true boon of these traditions is not just the clues they provide as to where southern Māori were from but the philosophical, cultural and political imperatives that drove their thinking and the insight they provide into how their beliefs changed and adapted both before and after contact with Pākehā.
Part Three: Early Peoples
Part Three: Early Peoples
Symbolic Identities and the Planting of Predecessors Part Three examines the traditions of early peoples of Te Waipounamu to explore pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe identities. This section is comprised of two chapters focusing on traditions of early peoples. The first chapter examines the traditions of Te Kāhui Tipua and Te Kāhui Roko to show traditions of predecessors were transported before being transplanted onto the landscape. The second chapter focuses on Rapuwai, an early tribal identity also relocated to Te Waipounamu. Analysis of these dynamics sheds light on the nature and function of a wider genre of traditions concerning supernatural pre-human inhabitants used to establish primordial links to the land and explain key natural phenomena. Final discussion centres on the planting of predecessors where conceptual identities are relocated and transposed onto the environment to establish tribal mana as supreme. Both Smith and Best’s reconstructions of early peoples had a profound and lasting impact on South Island ethnographers and their informants. Teone Taare Tikao (1939) and his accounts of the pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe 156
157 peoples of Te Waipounamu paralleled the literature of Smith and Best, describing early peoples as dimwitted simpletons of separate racial origin to the later and more superior Māori. For example, the Ngāti Hawea were likened to Africans and contrasted with the Māori of the Waitaha tribe: Where these Hawea came from was long a puzzle to us, but I think it must have been South Africa. They were a very dark people with thick mops of curly hair, and with strong white teeth. They spoke a different language to the Māori and were the first inhabitants of the South Island. The Waitaha were not so dark, had long straight hair, and came from the West. 176 In fact most accounts state that the Hawea people were a hapū (sub-tribe) of Waitaha. 177
None give them as a separate race or associate them with
negative racial stereotypes of that time. Tikao then goes on to depict the tribe Rapuwai, another early tribe associated with Waitaha, as a distinct race: Rapuwai, the third race to inhabit the South Island, were…copper coloured and ginger haired. Perhaps they came from Fiji. They were a clumsy race, and like the Hawea, not much good. 178 In both cases, different tribes are portrayed as being of pre-Māori races yet in all previous South Island Māori accounts, they are depicted as Māori and in many cases, hapū of the umbrella group Waitaha.
No early accounts
describe the physical features found in later accounts and do not portray the same negative characteristics derived from Western connotations of racial inferiority.
Beattie, 1939, pp. 57-58.
Beattie, 1915, pp. 131-132.
Beattie, 1939, p. 58.
158 Further evidence of Pākehā influences can be seen where Tikao classifies Rapuwai, Waitaha and Ngāti Māmoe as ‘Maoriori’, who were sub-races of the Māori: I have already mentioned to you that the Rapuwai were a black race, but the other early South Island tribes, the Rapuwai, Waitaha and Kati-Mamoe, were Maoriori people…These Maoriori were branches of the Maori race, but were not similar to the last Maoris to come to New Zealand. 179 Tikao was also the first Māori informant to sequence all of the earlier tribes into a lineal progression.
Tikao gives the order as, Hawea, Waitaha,
Rapuwai, Kāti Māmoe and Kāi Tahu. 180 All earlier sources deal with early peoples independently or in kinship clusters such as those of Waitaha. Tikao’s systemisation shows he compiled previously distinct multiple accounts into one version, creating a new all encompassing tradition for early peoples. Such an approach follows on from Percy Smith’s earlier attempts to systemise multiple traditions into one lineal historical narrative. Beattie (1941) followed earlier trends to construct an earlier pre-Māori people, but changed their name from Best’s ‘Mouriori’ to ‘Moriori’, whom he believed to be an ancient race, killed or enslaved by the Māori. Tiny remnants, he believed, fled to the Tūhoe Mountains and some to the South Island. Beattie stated that both Ngāti Māmoe and Rapuwai were derived from northern Moriori stock and admits to grouping them under the term ‘Moriori’ due to its popularity with Westerners: The real Morioris, however, did not all go the Chatham Islands, as some remained in Canterbury and some went down to Southland. The KatiMamoe and Rapuwai tribes, also, are both from the North Island Moriori 179
Beattie, 1939, p. 101.
Beattie, 1939, p. 58.
159 stock. These tribal names will be used in their due and proper places, but the name Moriori will be used in a general sense, as it is such a convenient term and one that is popular with Europeans. 181 The application of the name ‘Moriori’, and his locating them on the Chathams and the South Island, show Beattie has reconstructed these accounts into a format consistent with Pākehā perceptions of Māori and the prevailing theories of their day. Analysis of Tikao’s version has shown Māori were also heavily influenced by Western concepts to the extent that later publishers need not edit Māori accounts as they already reflected Pākehā conceptions of Māori history and origin. This demonstrates the power of publication as Pākehā writers not only constructed how they perceived Māori but inevitably changed how Māori perceived themselves. In this manner traditions of early peoples gradually changed due to the influence of Western anthropological theories again demonstrating the power of publication and the continual adaptation of oral tradition.
Beattie, 1941, p. 7.
‘Kāhui’ Traditions This, the first of two chapters analysing pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe peoples, examines the origin traditions of Te Kāhui Tipua and Te Kāhui Rongo. For the purposes of this thesis I will refer to the two collectively as the ‘Kāhui’ traditions. Analysis of these traditions demonstrates they are authentic pre-contact Māori traditions that were translocated from the North Island as part of secondary internal-migrations, probably from the East Coast and Taranaki. Comparative analysis of the accounts of Wohlers (c.1850), Stack (1877), White (1887), Wī Pōkuku & Herewini Ira (1887), and Beattie (1915) shows the construction of ‘Kāhui’ identity changed both pre-contact due to relocation and post-contact due to external influences. This chapter will examine and test the consistency of South Island accounts to highlight the dynamics of change seen in the evolution of these traditions. Symbolic elements seen in ‘Kāhui’ whakapapa and symbolic imagery shared with North Island traditions will provide an insight into a wider genre of shared associations with early peoples, shedding light on the nature and function of these traditions in Māori society. These traditions give an insight
162 into the complicated dynamics of Māori oral tradition and how traditions of early peoples were carried within the mind and transplanted onto new homelands to preserve links to the past and establish descent from original arrival. ‘Kāhui’ traditions illustrate how traditions were reinterpreted and reconstructed by later European writers, showing how even authentic traditions do not necessarily remain so.
South Island Accounts There are five accounts as follows; the earliest recorded account is from Wohlers’ manscript (c.1850) and is therefore the most likely to be authentic, Stack (1877) and White (1877) both published versions which are also likely to be authentic. Roberts’ (1902) account shows elements of post-contact Pākehā adaptations and finally Beattie’s (1915) account which due to its later date and his access to multiple written sources was likely synthesised. 1. Pre-European Change – J.F.H. Wohlers (c.1850) Wohlers is the earliest recorded account of ‘Kāhui’ traditions and is therefore most likely to be representative of authentic pre-contact tradition. Numerous connections with the East Coast also suggest it has been relocated from the North Island and therefore the product of pre-European dynamics of translocation. This account focuses on Rongo i Tua and the kūmara. In Murihiku traditions, the Kāhui Tupu are an early group linked with wild foods. In contrast Rongo i Tua and Te Kāhui Rongo are associated with the kūmara and are from Hawaiki. Wohlers’ account was later translated by Christine Tremewan (2002):
163 Ka noho a Rongo-i-tua i Hawaiki, i tō rātou kāinga. Ka hanga i te rara kao kūmara. Ka tukitukia e Rongo-i-tua. Ka kī atu ngā tāngata, ‘[H]e aha koe e tukituki ai te rara? Akuanei ka pū ngā kai ki raro. Mā wai hoki ka whaihanga?’ Ka mate tērā i te whakamā, ka riri, ka haere ki tātahi. Ka rokohina atu he poro rākau e takoto ana. Ka tomokia ki roto. Ka hurihia ki te wai. Ka pūhia e te hau. Ka paea ki [A]otearawa. Ka korohiti ake, ka puta ki waho. Ka haere. Ka tae ia ki te kāinga o te Kāhui Tupu, i a Toi, i a Taiwhakakupu, i a Tai-whakatawhito. Ka noho i konā. Ka whakarongo ia ki te haruru o te patu o te tī kāuru, e patu ana i te aruhe, e patu ana i te whīnau. Ka kī atu tērā, ‘He aha tēnei?’ Ka kī mai ngā tāngata, ‘Nā ia?’ ‘Āe.’ ‘Ka rongo koe—ko Tuki-o-te-whenua.’ Nā, ka noho tērā. Ka puta mai te kaiipu, ka tū ki rō o te whare. Ka anga ngā ringaringa o tērā, ka [h]oake ki rō o te waha. Ka whakamātau ia— kāhore rawa kia rite. Ka mahue; kāhore hoki i kainga—takoto tonu. Ka ahiahi, ka waitaungia te kāuru. Ka [h]ake ngā waitau, kia waiho hoki. Ka hōmai ki rō o te whare. Kā whakamātau—kāhore hoki i kai; noho tou. Ka moe. Ka [a]o ake i te ata. Ka haere ia ki te tiko. Ka hori mai ia ki rō o te whare. Ka haere atu ngā tāngata, kā mātakitaki ki tōna tūtai. Ka tirohia, ka kī, ‘He aha te kai o te manuwhiri nei? Kei te takoto te kiri o te tūtai.’ Ka kī atu tērā, ‘Kawea he wai.’ Ka hōmai ngā wai—e rua o ngā ipu. Ka tū ngā ipu. Ka ruia ki roto ki ngā ipu i roto i te tātua. (Ko Mau-hope te ingoa o te tātua.) Ka takoto ki roto ki te ipu. Ka rapua, ka eke, ka parea atu ki ngā tāngata. Ka kainga. Ka mihi ki te reka. Ka ui atu, ‘Kei whea tēnei kai?’ Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Aua noa.’ Ka kiia atu e ngā tāngata, kei whea tēnei kai?’ Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Aua noa.’ Ka ahiahi te rā, ka moe. Ka [a]o ake i te ata. Ka awatea, ka puta te rā. Ka karanga mai a Rongo-i-tua ki ngā tāngata, ‘E puta ki waho.’ Ka puta ngā tāngata ki waho, mātakitaki ai—‘Ki te aha?’
164 Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘E kai ō koutou kanohi ki te hurunga mai o te rā—ki a Kawakawa-nui, ki a Pipiko-nui.’ Ka kī mai ngā tāngata, ‘Kei reira?’ Ka kī atu tērā, ‘Āe kei reira.’ ‘[H]e aha te mea ka tae ai?’ Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Aua noa. He aha koia tērā?’ ‘He rākau.’ ‘Tāraitia ki te waka.’ Ka pōrangitia, ka kitea te rākau—paepae hemiti. Ko Ārai-te-uru te pūhanga, ko Mānuka te kāuru. Ka topea te pūhanga o Ārai-te-uru, ko Mānuka te waiho. Ka tāraikia. Ka oti. Ka utaina, ka mānu atu ngā tāngata, ka hori atu. Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua ki ngā tāngata e mānu atu nā, ‘Koi hē koutou, ka rokohina atu e koutou ko ēnā e paea e te tai nā, ehara tēnā he mātua tēnā. Engari kia tae koutou ki te whare rā, kia mau mai i a koutou te Kāhui Rongo.’ Ka mānu atu rātou, kā ū, ka manawarū. Ka utaina ngā matuarua, ngā kōpura, me ngā popouhua, me ngā kauariki. Ka noho tērā, a Rongo-i-tua, ka whakaaro ki taua waka rā—kāhore anō kia hoki mai. Ka kī atu tērā, ‘Tīkina, horoia.’ Ka tīkina, ka horoia a Mānuka, te kāuru papae tūtai. Ka mā te horoi, ka topea te tāuru. Ka tāraikia, ka oti. Ka utaina ngā tāngata, ka haere, ka hoe, ka rere, ā, ka tae ki waho o te moana, ka tūtaki ki taua waka, ki a Ārai-te-uru, e hoe ana mai. Ka tata mai tērā waka. Ka karanga atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Tēnā.’ Ka karanga mai te kauhoe, ‘Tēnei anake, tēnei anake.’ Ka karanga ake a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Tēnā anake?’ Ka karanga mai te kauhoe, ‘Tēnei anake.’ Ka karanga ake a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Tēnā anake ō te whare nei ka taka mai?’ Ka karanga mai te kauhoe, ‘Tēnei anake.’ Ka piri mai te waka ki te taha. Ka titiro a Rongo-i-tua ki runga ki te waka. Ehara ia, he poupouhua, he kaweriki, he matua, he kōpura. Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Haere koutou, e hoe.’ Ka haere rātou; ko Rongo-i-tua, ka tae ki te kāinga ki Hawaiki. Ka manawarū rātou, ka ngohe i ngā mātua. Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua ki te kauhoe, ‘Ehara, he mātua tēnā. Nau mai rā, haere kia tae ki te whare i te
165 Kāhui Rongo. Kia mau katoa i a koutou, kia mau te roro, kia mau te mataao.’ Ka whakapahakia, ka hopukia, ka mate, ko Pipiko, ko Kawakawa, ko Tama-i-rangi, ko Papa-rangi, ko Otikoro, ko Heuru, ko Popo-haeata, ko Pakiaka. Ka mate i konā, mahiti katoa. Ka puta ētahi, ko ngā Kahu-kura, ko te Kāhui Rongo. Ka haere mai te taua, ngā tāngata, tae mai ki a Rongo-i-tua. Ka kī atu tērā,a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Tēnā anake?’ Ka kī mai ngā tāngata, ‘Tēnei anake, tēnei anake.’ Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Kei whea koe? Nā rā koutou e tatau mai nā. Kei whea te Kāhui Rongo nā? Kūrapa! Ka kī atu anō a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Mau katoa i a koutou?’ Ka kī mai te kauhoe, ‘Āe, mau katoa.’ Ka whakaaro tērā, a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Kāhore tētahi o te whare nei kia taka mai, ka puta?’ Ā, haere a Rongo-i-tua ki uta, ka tae ki te whare, ka titiro ngā kanohi ki runga ki te mataao o te tuanui. Ā, ka kī atu tērā, ‘Utaina tā koutou patunga.’ Ka utaina ki runga ki te waka. Nō te waka anō ka tomo. Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘[H]oatu tātou, e mānu. Kūrapa!’ Ka mānu atu rātou. Whakarongo mai, ka tangi te hāumere. Ka kī atu tērā, ‘Nā, whakarongo ake—i kī mai nā koutou: ka mate. Kua rongo hoki koutou e tangi nā te hāumere.’ Ka kī atu ngā tāngata, ‘Kei te aha?’ Ka kī atu tērā, ‘Kei te huki i ngā toto.’ Ka tangi te hāumere. Ka kī atu ngā tāngata, ‘Kei te aha?’ Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Kei te rākai, kei te auaha.’ Ka tangi te hāumere. ‘Kei te aha?’ ‘Kei te kō.’ Ka tangi te hāumere. ‘Kei te aha?’ ‘Kei [te] whakatō.’ Ka tangi te hāumere. ‘Kei te aha?’ ‘Kei te hū o ngā mōmore.’ Ka tangi te hāumere. ‘Kei te aha?’ ‘Kei te whati te kō.’ Ka tangi te hāumere. ‘Kei te aha?’ ‘Kei te whakatakoto. Kei te whakamama.’
166 Ka mutu. Nā, ka hoe rātou. Pō tou te rā, ka [a]o ake—taua wāhi anō. Pō tou te rā, oho ake—taua wāhi rā anō. Kāhore kia tika te rere. He mea e kore rātou i tika te rere, kua kai te kauhoe. Ka whakapōkaikahatia rātou, ka pōrangi. Ka kī atu a Rongo-i-tua, ‘Kei te aha koutou? Tīkina mai au, patua, kia puta ai koutou, kia ai ai ō koutou mōrehu.’ Ka patua tērā, a Rongo-i-tua, ka ika tahuatia. Nā, i te tūnga ake tērā i runga i te waka—mau rawa ki te rangi. Ka whakatipa—mau rawa ki te ao [o] te rangi. Ka hinga, ka tau atu anō ki taua kāinga o rātou, ki Hawaiki. Nō te tāpikonga, tae~rawa ki tō rātou kāinga, ki Hawaiki. Nō te hūmenetanga ki te rangi, ko Rongo-tike. Ko Rongo-i-tua anō tōna ingoa, nō tōna matenga anō, ko Rongo-tike. Nā, kātahi anō ka tika te tere o te waka. Ka ū ki uta. Ka tae ngā tāngata ki tō rātou kāinga, ki [A]otearawa.
Translation Rongo-i-tua lived in his people’s village in Hawaiki. They built a platform for drying kūmara. Rongo-i-tua knocked it down. The people said, ‘Why did you knock the food platform down? Now the food is all piled on the ground. Who’s going to put it up again?’ Rongo-i-tua was overcome with shame and anger, and went off to the beach. He found a log of wood lying there. He got into it and rolled it down to the water. It was blown along by the wind and landed at Aotearoa. He straightened himself up and came out of the log. He set off and arrived at the village of the Kāhui Tupu people, where Toi, Taiwhakatupu and Tai-whaka-tawhito were. He stayed there. He heard the sound of the pounding of cabbage tree trunks, and also of the pounding of fernroot and hīnau berries. He said to them, ‘What’s that?’ The people said to him, ‘that over there?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘What you can hear is Pounding-of-the-land.’ Now he waited. People came in bearing calabashes and stood them in the house. He moved his hands towards them and put [the food] into his mouth. He tasted it—it was not all as it should be. He left it and did not eat it, he just left it lying there. In the evening the cabbage tree fibres were set to steep in water. The sweet matter was put in and it was left. Then it was brought inside. He tried it but did not eat it, he just sat there.
He went to sleep. When day dawned he went off to defecate. When he came back into the house the people went out and looked at his faeces. They looked at them and said, ‘What sort of food does our guest eat? The outside of his faeces is so smooth.’ Rongo-i-tua said to them, ‘Bring me some water.’ They brought him some water: two calabashes full. The calabashes stood there. He poured something into them from inside his belt. (The name of this belt was ‘Hug-hips’.) He put it into the calabash and squeezed it and, when it had thickened, he shared it out among the people. They ate it and were delighted with its sweetenss. They asked, ‘Where is this food to be found?’ Rongo-i-tua said, ‘It’s a long way off.’ The people asked him, ‘Where is this food to be found?’ Rongo-i-tua said, ‘It’s a long way off.’ Then the sun went down, and they went to sleep. Dawn came, and daylight, and the sun appeared. Rongo-i-tua called to the people, ‘Come outside.’ The people came outside to look—‘What at?’ Rongo-i-tua said, ‘Let your eyes gaze on the glowing of the sun—on Kawakawa-nui and Pipiko-nui.’ The people said, ‘Is it there?’ He said, ‘Yes, it’s there.’ ‘How do we get there?’ Rongo-i-tua said to them, ‘It’s a long way off. Whatever is that over there?’ ‘A tree.’ ‘Adze it out into a canoe.’ They went in search and found the tree: it was the beam of a latrine. Ārai-te-uru was the lower part and Mānuka the top. They cut off the lower part for Ārai-te-uru and left Mānuka. Then they adzed out Ārai-teuru and, when it was finished, the people went on board, launched it and set off. Rongo-i-tua said to the people who were sailing off, ‘Don’t make a mistake: when you find the ones that are cast ashore by the tide, it’s not those, they’re the parents. But you must go to the house there and take the Kāhui Rongo.’ They sailed off and landed, full of joy. They loaded up the matuarua, the kōpura, the popouhua and the kauariki.
Rongo-i-tua stayed behind and thought about that canoe—it had not yet returned. He said, ‘Go and fetch it and clean it up.’ They went and fetched and cleaned up Mānuka, the upper part of the tree that was an excrement beam. When they had washed it clean they cut the top off it. They adzed it out, and when it was done the people boarded it and set off. They paddled and sailed on and on and, after a long time, when they got back out to the open sea, they met that other canoe, Āraite-uru, paddling back towards them. As the canoe drew near, Rongo-itua called out, ‘Have you got them?’ The paddlers called back, ‘They’re all here, they’re all here.’ Rongo-i-tua called back, ‘You’ve got them all?’ The paddlers called back, ‘They’re all here.’ Rongo-i-tua called out to them, ‘You’ve got the whole lot of the ones from the house, the ones that were heaped up for you?’ The paddlers called back, ‘They’re all here.’ The canoe drew alongside. Rongo-i-tua looked into the canoe. But no! They were poupouhua, kaweriki, matua and kōpura. Rongo-i-tua said to them, ‘Off you go, paddle away!’ They went off, while Rongo-i-tua came to the village at Hawaiki. They were all overjoyed and gathered up the parent [plants]. Rongo-i-tua called to the paddlers, ‘No, those are the parents. Now, off you go, get off to the Kāhui Rongo’s house. Seize them all: seize the front of the house and the window.’ They came up close and seized them, and Pipiko, Kawakawa, Tama-irangi, Papa-rangi, Otikoro, Heuru, Popo-hae-ata, and Pakiaka were killed. They were killed here, they suffered a great defeat. Some of them did escape: these were the Kahu-kura and the Kāhui Rongo. The war party, the human people came back to Rongo-i-tua. Rongo-i-tua said to them, ‘Have you got them all?’ The people said, ‘They’re all here, they’re all here.’ Rongo-i-tua said to them, ‘Where are you? There you go, counting them all up. Where are those Kāhui Rongo? Quick! And Rongo-i-tua said to them again, ‘Did you get them all?’ The paddlers said, ‘Yes, we got them all.’ Rongo-i-tua thought, ‘Surely one of those from this house that were to be heaped up for us has escaped?’
So Rongo-i-tua went ashore and came to the house, and lifted his eyes to the window on the roof. And then he said, ‘Put your dead victims on board.’ They put them on board the canoe. Then the canoe was completely full up. Rongo-i-tua said, ‘Let’s get started! Quick!’ They pushed off from the shore. They listened and heard a cry go up. He said to them, ‘Now then, listen to that. You said they were all dead. But you heard that cry ringing out.’ The people said, ‘What are they doing?’ He said, ‘They’re performing the ceremonies for avenging the dead.’ The cry rang out. The people said, ‘What are they doing?’ He said, ‘They’re performing adorning themselves, they’re fertilising.’ The cry rang out. ‘What are they doing?’ ‘They’re digging.’ The cry rang out. ‘What are they doing?’ ‘They’re planting.’ The cry rang out. ‘What are they doing?’ ‘It’s the sound of the stripped branch.’ The cry rang out. ‘What are they doing?’ ‘The digging stick is being broken.’ The cry rang out. ‘What are they doing?’ ‘They’re laying them down. They’re performing the tapu-removal ceremonies.’ Then it was finished. So they paddled off. Down went the sun, and then it rose up: they were in the same place. Down went the sun again, then they woke up: there they were in that very same place. They could not sail on. The reason they could not sail on was that the rowers had eaten. Then they became confused and maddened. Rongo-i-tua said, ‘What are you doing? Come and take me and kill me so you can escape, so those of you who survive will have offspring.’ They killed Rongo-i-tua and performed over him the ceremonies for a victim. Now as he stood up in the boat he reached right up to the sky, and then bent to one side, at the same time holding fast to the clouds in the sky. Then he dropped downwards and came to rest far away in that home of theirs in Hawaiki. As he arched over, he reached as far as their home in Hawaiki. After he was taken up into the sky he was Rongo-tike (Rongo-the-elevated). Rongo-i-tua was also his name, but after his death he became Rongo-tike.
Now at last the canoe could sail on. It came ashore and the people came to their home in Aotearoa. 182 This tradition is principally focused on the origins of the kūmara providing rituals for planting, cultivating and harvesting. 183 The various karakia heard as they departed equips the crew with the knowledge necessary for cultivating kūmara. Thus the origins of the kūmara and all its associated rituals are imbedded in the Rongo i Tua tradition.
mankind’s dominion over a cultivated food and equips descendants with the associated rituals necessary for prosperity. The words tupu and tipu, depending on the dialect, both refer to growth or mystery. Both Te Kāhui Tupu and Te Kāhui Tipua groups have the same associations with wild foods so it is evident they are one and the same. Toi, who in this account is one of the Kāhui Tupu, is an original ancestor common in early settlement traditions. Many iwi trace their origins back to him. 184 Kawakawa and Pipiko are a variety of kūmara, so it is likely the defeated peoples are actually references to the kūmara themselves, establishing a mythological precedent for humankind eating kūmara. The two races that escaped are also associated with the kūmara. Kahukura is a figure in East Coast kūmara traditions and Kāhui Rongo is likely a reference to the kūmara itself as Rongo is a derivative of the name Rongo Mā Tāne (or in other traditions Rongo Marae Roa), atua (deity) of cultivated foods.
Tremewan, 2002, pp. 104-111.
Tremewan, 2002, p. 118.
Simmons, 1976, pp. 64-69, 71-75, 79-98, 138.
171 In her analysis of South Island traditions, Christine Tremewan (2002) highlights how Te Kāhui Tupu and Te Kāhui Rongo form a contrasting pair as both represent opposing forces. Te Kāhui Rongo are associated with peace and cultivated foods, 185 whilst Te Kāhui Tupu are warlike and linked with uncultivated foods. Even the two waka, Ārai Te Uru and Mānuka follow a similar structure with one attaining success and by bearing the crop is noa, whilst the other tapu. Tremewan believed the principal function of the tradition was to convey in a mythic form the instructions of the rituals for planting, cultivating and harvesting of the kūmara, an important food crop, even to those in the deep south where it is too cold for it to grow. Previous chapters have established that the Ārai Te Uru tradition was translocated from the East Coast, thus the similarities contained within the South Island Rongo i Tua tradition with other kūmara narratives imply that it has been relocated also and has its origins in the East Coast, as did the Ārai Te Uru. Whilst the tradition does contain key rituals pertinent to successful cultivation, of equal interest is the manner in which the tradition has been translocated from the East Coast. The narrative incorporates much imagery shared with other tribal kūmara traditions highlighting an interesting dynamic in oral tradition where key elements are personified and progressively relocated and recycled over time. 2. Pre-European Change – Canon Stack (1877) Stack published an account of Te Kāhui Tipua whom he described as an early mythical race of terrestrial monsters or ogres but he did not associate
In some contexts rongo means peace and in most tribal traditions the atua Rongo is a peacemaker.
172 them with the Uruao canoe, Te Kāhui Rongo or kūmara as seen in the previous version: The Kahui Tipua or ogre band, a mythical race, are to have been the first occupants of this island. They are described as giants, who could stride from mountain range to mountain range, swallow rivers and transform themselves into anything that they chose. 186 Stack’s version portrays Te Kāhui Tipua as wild pre-human giants, which is a significant departure from Wohlers’ (c.1850) earlier account.
mythological peoples who can stride across mountains and swallow rivers are a common reoccurring motif in Māori tradition demonstrating a pattern of traditions concerning previous pre-human occupants. This implies an important dynamic of Māori oral tradition is the establishment of mythological pre-cursors to human settlement, capable of extraordinary feats and likely personifying the wild elements of nature itself. Such a dynamic lays the foundations for human settlement and further aids the mythologising of the landscape for its new settlers. 3. Pre-European Change – John White (1887) John White gave two Ngāi Tahu accounts of Rongo i Tua and the Kāhui Tipua that were derived from Wohlers’ earlier account of which White had a copy. Tipu and tupu both refer to growth, suggesting the names Te Kāhui Tipua, Te Kāhui Tupu and Te Kāhui Tupua are associated with plant life. This implies the different names are interchangeable, possibly being dialectual variations. Many of the names of the Te Kāhui Tupu chiefs can be found in North Island migration traditions and act as source figures in early Māori oral traditions: 187 186
Stack, 1877, pp. 59-61.
Simmons, 1976, pp. 75-100.
173 Rongo-i-tua arrived from Hawaiki and found the land inhabited by the Kāhui Tupu. The chiefs were named; Toi, Rauru, Ha-toka, Ritaka, Rongo-mai, Taha-titi & Tama-ra-kai-ora. The Kahui-tipua offered mamaku, kauru and kiekie, all native foods which were not to Rongo-itua’s liking. He unfastened his waist-belt called Mau-hope and put some kao (dried kumara) into a bowl chanting an incantation. The Kahui-tipua asked where the kumara was from and he replied it was from Hawaiki... 188 The names of the Te Kāhui Tipua chiefs; Toi, Rauru, Hātoka (Whātonga), Riteka, Rongo Mai, Taha Titi, and Tama Rakai Ora are all early North Island ancestors associated with waka migration. In Ngāti Porou traditions Rongo i Amo and Kahukura bring the kūmara in a waist belt to Aotearoa and are met by Toi who offers them indigenous foods. 189 It has been established that the Ārai Te Uru tradition was translocated from the East Coast. These shared references to early figures are also linked with the East Coast Ārai Te Uru, supporting the stance that these early figures were translocated alongside the Arai Te Uru tradition. The second Ngāi Tahu account states Rongo i Tua slew a tribe known as Pōtiki and took the kūmara from them. 190 White (1887) gave a third version that was the same as Wohlers, only he ascribes this version to Ngāti Porou. White was in possession of a full copy of Wohlers’ manuscript so it is possible that this was the source or that the tradition had been relocated from the East Coast explaining the similarities.
White, 1887, pp. 111-114.
A. Reedy, Ngā Kōrero a Pita Kapiti: The Teachings of Pita Kapiti, Canterbury University Press: Christchurch, 1997, pp. 57-67.
White, 1887, p.107.
174 4. Post-contact Pākehā Change – W.H.S. Roberts (1902) Roberts’ account is based upon Stack’s as his description is similar but adds that Te Kāhui Tipua were wiped out by later tribes: The earliest inhabitants of the Matau Valley were the Kahui Tipua, or Ogre band of giants, who could stride from mountain to mountain top, drink up the water of rivers, and transform themselves into anything animate or inanimate at their pleasure. They were ultimately destroyed by the Rapuwai or Nga-Aitanga-a-te-Puhirere. 191 No earlier accounts state that Te Kāhui Tipua were wiped out implying Roberts has edited the tradition to reflect popular European human development theories of the time. 5. Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Herries Beattie (1915) Beattie gathered information from several sources and noted there was much confusion among his informants surrounding the Kāhui Tipua: Speaking of the pre-Maori people one of my informants said: ‘The first people in the South Island were Kāhui Tipua or ghosts,’ but another said that the Kāhui Tipua lived in the North Island, not the South. They were very big men with fair complexions and, being few in number were soon killed out. He had never heard of them living in the South. This informant does not agree with that generally accepted and I think he is mistaken. 192 Despite debate about whether they were in the North or South, the description is consistent with Stack’s account as the Kāhui Tipua are described as a pre-human mystical race. This is a common element in Māori traditions, where the previous inhabitants are relegated to giants or fairies. Of prime importance was the establishment of tribal mana and connection to
Roberts, 1902, p. 12.
Beattie, 1915, p. 108.
175 the land. Recognition of prior inhabitants that were not kin would only challenge the existing tribe’s mana and claims to land. Therefore the prior inhabitants were either unknown or selectively forgotten and consigned to mythical descriptions to ensure the present inhabitant’s mana was supreme.
Consistency of Accounts Stack’s (1877) version is the only early tradition to describe Te Kāhui Tipua as giants and not pair them with Te Kāhui Rongo.
account presents a human tribe closely associated with wild vegetation and linked with a figure or tribe named Rongo, whilst the manuscript of Ngāi Tahu tohunga Wī Pōkuku and Herewini Ira (1887) is similar, there is less importance placed on the foods each brings. It is entirely possible that by the time Stack recorded his version people had lost the knowledge of who the ‘Kāhui’ were, merely relegating them to supernatural monsters to explain their occurrence in tribal traditions.
However, this could also be
demonstrative of an internal dynamic of Māori tradition where prior inhabitants are purposely mythologised to negate any other claims to land. In either case it is evident ‘Kāhui’ traditions are linked with early peoples and often cultivated and uncultivated foods. Beattie (1918) gives several monster traditions regarding Komakahua, Te Ngarara Huarau, Kopuwai and Pouakai but does not state they are Te Kāhui Tipua, merely early giants associated with Rapuwai: The crew of that canoe [Wakahuruhurumanu] were giants and settled in the South Island. Their names were Kopuwai, Pukutuaro, Komakohua, Te Karara-huarau [Ngarara Huarau] and Pouakai, and others…Kopuwai was the giant who…swallows the Mataau (Molyneeux River) in an 175
176 endeavour to catch a Rapuwai woman named Kaiamio…Pouakai is now remembered as a huge bird…Komakohua could not be regarded as gigantic, for it was a white bird the size of a domestic fowl, which lived in cliffs and peered down at passers-by…Pukutuaro was a harmless monster…and lived in a pond at the headwaters of the Rakaia river…Te Karara-huarau had his abode at Taupo and Waitata in the Collingwood district and ran away with a woman known as Ruru. 193 A.W. Reed (1963) published an account of these taniwha but attributed their origins to Te Kāhui Tipua.
Reed was influenced primarily by Stack,
however, these traditions are also found in the North Island 194 and Reed appears to have systemised the traditions together, demonstrating his inclination to compile accounts, thereby making them dubious: The Kāhui Tipua came to the North Island of New Zealand from a distant land known as Te Patunui-a-aio by way of Hawaiki. Three of these giants, who took a number of different forms, were brought to the South Island by Komaka-hua. They were Te Ngarara-huarau, Kopuwai and Pouakai. 195 Beattie’s version gives an account of tipua (monsters) however in Reed’s later account he has linked these tipua to the tribe Te Kāhui Tipua. In an alternative version published in 1911, Kaiamio was captured by a tipua (Kopuwai), however, the act was attributed to Te Kāhui Tipua not Kopuwai. 196 It appears that there are two forms of tipua in southern oral traditions, one an early people called the Kāhui Tipua, and individual supernatural monsters called tipua. Analysis of the literature has shown the ‘Kāhui’ traditions changed overtime as traditions concerning individual 193
Herries Beattie, ‘Traditions and Legends Collected From the Natives of Murihiku Part.VIII’, in JPS, 1918, Vol.27, pp. 152-153.
Te Whetu, ‘Te Patunga o Ngarara-Huarau’, in JPS, 1893, Vol.2, pp. 211-219.
Reed, 1963, p. 283.
Unknown author, ‘The Story of Te Rapuwai and Kāhui-Tipua’, in JPS, 1911, Vol.20, pp. 12-13.
177 monsters or tipua were either confused or purposely combined so that Te Kāhui Tipua became a collective of supernatural beings. Although the portrayal of Te Kāhui Tipua as a mythical band of ogres is derived from Stack’s version, such a depiction is not uncommon in Māori traditions.
Whilst there are many traditions embellishing the exploits of
famous ancestors, such as Kawharu the Ngāti Whātua warrior said to be eight metres tall or Hotumauea who could leap prodigious distances, 197 the Kāhui Tipua form part of a body of tradition concerning supernatural pre-human inhabitants. These mystical races, such as the patupaiarehe, ponaturi, tūrehu, karitehe, taniwha and tipua, alongside demi-god hero characters like Mauī or Tāwhaki, existed on the boundaries between both the human and spirit worlds and were capable of amazing feats such as striding across mountains or shapeshifting. In general these figures possessed extraordinary powers suggesting Stack’s accounts of Te Kāhui Tipua are largely derived from a broader corpus of belief regarding supernatural pre-human inhabitants.
Te Kāhui Tipua Whakapapa Beattie collected several whakapapa incorporating a range of symbolic devices, illustrating the extent metaphorical elements were incorporated to construct genealogies for Te Kāhui Tipua. There are four whakapapa as follows:
197 Orbell, 1995, pp. 68, 84.
Whakapapa 6.1 198
Whakapapa 6.2 199
Whakapapa 6.3 200
Whakapapa 6.4 201
Herries Beattie Whakapapa Book No.7, Te Kāhui Tipua
Herries Beattie Whakapapa Book No.8, Te Kāhui Tipua
Herries Beattie Whakapapa Book No.13, Te Kāhui Tipua
Herries Beattie Whakapapa Book No.14, Te Kāhui Tipua
Kaiakiakina Tapatapahiawhe Temanuwaerorua Awamutu Awatope Awanuiaraki Te Puhirere Te Puhimanatu Te Puhimanawanawa Te Puhikaiariki Te Kahea Te Raupo Manu Tahutearere Te Upokotipukiaeteparetao Te Kiorewhakapoka Te Rau Aruhe Taratara Te Paremoremo Te Hinaki Taka Te Kurupatukaikakahu Te Kaka kaiamio Te Pohutupapa Te Kakikoe Te Kakihaaua Tauponui Tauporoa Taupopihako Te Haruanuiataupo Matapane Mahitikoura Tanareia Te Maramahuakea Marukore Huirapa
Toi Rauru Riteka Hatoka Apa Rokomai Tahatiti Ruatapu Matoro Rakaiora Tamakiteraki Poupa Terakiwhakamaru Hounuku Houraki Tamatea mai tawhiti Houatea Uenuku Paikea Tahupotiki
Uenuku horea Uenuku pokai whenua Haere maitua Haere maiwhano Haere aroaro uri Haere aroaro tea Haere takahione Te utu poraki Hikaororoa Tumaikuku Rongokote Manawatakitu Tuhaitara Huirapa Rakimatekore Te Tawhana Te Ariki Kohana Puhainu Tuawhe Ponatukituki Te Rehe Temaiharoa Taare
Toi Rauru Hatoka Riteka Uenuku-horea Uenuku-pokaiwhenua Haere maitua Haere maiwhano Haere aroaro uri Haere aroaro tea Haere takahiawa Te utu poraki i moe i a Houmea Tuhikutira Tukau moana Ohika oro roa i moe i a Urupa Tumaikuku Rokokote Manawa takitu Tuhaitara Huirapa
179 These whakapapa stem from Rāwiri Mamaru and Te Maihāroa, yet each is vastly different and are generally compilations of North Island ancestors. Awamutu, Awatope and Awanuiāraki 202 are Northland and Bay of Plenty ancestors along with Toi, Rauru, Riteka Hatoka and Apa.
Tauporoa and Taupopihako are evidently associated with the Taupo region, whilst Tamatea Mai Tawhiti, Houatea, Uenuku, Paikea and Tahu Potiki are all East Coast ancestors demonstrating the connections to northern kin. No whakapapa actually identifies who was the prime ancestor for Te Kāhui Tipua.
In 1849 Aperahama Taonui gave a Ngā Puhi whakapapa stating the names before Rahiri were tapu removers and not real men indicating they were symbolic references and not historical figures. 203
Puhimoanaariki is the
ancestor of the Ngā Puhi tribe who begat their primal ancestor, Rahiri and is often found as part of a sequence of names starting with Puhi; such as Puhikaitangata, Puhitaniwharau, Puhimoanaariki. 204 This demonstrates the core name Puhi has been repeated to elongate the whakapapa and place added emphasis on the root name Puhi.
The Puhi sequence found in
Whakapapa 6.1 suggests that this process has also been relocated to the South Island. It appears a sequence of Puhi names has been placed into a Kāhui Tipua whakapapa to elongate the whakapapa, fleshing out the whakapapa with remembered references to early North Island ancestors.
Simmons, 1976, p. 265.
Simmons, 1976, p. 39.
Simmons, 1976, p. 41.
180 The incorporation of early North Island ancestors and the divergent structure of these four whakapapa suggest they are not whakapapa of an actual tribe known as Te Kāhui Tipua. The early phases of these four whakapapa are primarily comprised of symbolic sequences (based around key words such as Puhi, Taupo, Haere, Uenuku) or are compilations of names of early North Island ancestors. Thus the early sections are symbolic until the emergence of Ngāi Tahu ancestors such as Manawatakitū, Tūhaitara, Huirapa and Marukore. This indicates Ngāi Tahu used symbolic references to establish a genealogical support for Te Kāhui Tipua. This would advance the argument that genealogies for Te Kāhui Tipua were either forgotten or were nonexistent as the whakapapa given are clearly compilations of early ancestors and symbolic motifs designed to elongate the whakapapa, pushing it further into the past.
Shared Imagery Whether the kūmara was brought by Rongo i Tua or Te Kāhui Rongo the key word is Rongo. In Māori traditions the atua of cultivated foods is Rongo Mā Tāne. Therefore the interchangeable role of Rongo i Tua or Te Kāhui Rongo is merely a metaphor alluding to the kūmara itself through association to its primal deity. The word kāhui means assemblage or flock, further indicating that the key reference is Rongo, referring to the atua, Rongo Mā Tāne. The connection between Rongo and the kūmara is prevalent in East Coast traditions.
In Ngāti Porou traditions (Reedy, 1997) Rongo i Amo and
Kahukura are attributed with bringing the kūmara. Rongo Marae Roa is the atua of the kūmara. The Pourangahua kūmara traditions of Ngāti Kahungunu
181 also incorporate Rongo i Amo. 205 In Ngāti Awa traditions, Rongo is the father of kūmara, while Rongo Māui acquires kūmara from the star Whānui and brings it down to earth. 206 Hence the various Rongo associated with kūmara are metaphoric allusions to the kūmara itself through its deity Rongo Mā Tāne or Rongo Marae Roa.
These symbols were then translocated
alongside the general body of traditions from Te Tai Rāwhiti to Te Waipounamu. Symbolism is often imbedded into oral tradition, however, the following whakapapa demonstrates this process was not limited to just tradition. Māori oral tradition, whakapapa and ritual are closely intertwined so that each strand supports the other. This is seen in the following whakapapa given by Wikitoria Paipeta to Herries Beattie. Whakapapa 6.5 207 Na Te Kahui Tipua
Translation From the Kāhui Tipua
Na Te Ngahui Rongo Ia Rongopae Ia Rongo taha Ia Rongo te aniwaniwa Ia Te Rongo i te haeata Ia Rongo i tua
From the Kāhui Rongo came Rongo cast ashore Rongo of the edge Rongo of the rainbow Rongo of the dawn Rongo of beyond
This whakapapa firstly states that Rongo was a descendant of Te Kāhui Rongo. The names themselves are all variants of the root word Rongo. The translation shows this is not merely a whakapapa but a genealogical rendering of the narrative of Rongo i Tua’s adventures bringing the kūmara 205
White, 1887, p. 116.
Orbell, 1995, p. 156.
Tau, 2003, p. 176.
182 to Aotearoa. The narrative is retold in the various names of Rongo and describes his arrival and eventual ascension to the heavens. A similar pattern is also seen in Hoani Kaahu’s manuscript (c.1880): Whakapapa 6.6 208 Tawakenui Tawakeroa Tawakekukuate Tawakehaparapara Te Maarapaoa Uemate = Tumaikuku Te Rakiwhakamatuku Rokoipae Rokotaha Rokoiteanawanewa Rokoitehaeata Rokoitua Rakiroa Te Nukuteeki Te Nukuteere Te Nukumaruahi Hotumamoe Beattie (1915) gives a conflicting account whereby Roko Tuatahi, Roko i Tua, Roko i Pae, Roko i Te Aniwaniwa, and Roko i Te Haeata were hapū of the tribe Kāhui Roko. 209
Here the Roko (Rongo) sequence has been
rendered horizontally with each Roko coexisting and forming the various hapū of the Kāhui Roko. Beattie’s version further demonstrates the Roko sequence is symbolic due to its variability as the whakapapa has been elongated vertically and later rendered horizontally.
Tau, 2003, p. 175.
Beattie, 1915, p. 108.
183 These whakapapa give a unique insight into the dynamics of Māori oral traditions and the intertwining of tribal knowledge. This manipulation of whakapapa also demonstrates that even whakapapa was not sacrosanct to the pressures of society. This manipulation implies that whakapapa can also be a reflection of how people thought and not just a record of descent. Beattie (1941) gave the names of many ancient tribes known to the elders of his time, such as the Kāhui Maunga, Kāhui Tara, Kāhui Ru, Kāhui Rangi, Kāhui Tawake, Kāhui Rua, Kāhui Ao and the Kāhui Toka. 210 Beattie noted the word ‘Kāhui’ denoted a flock or cluster and was applied to early people prior to the arrival of ‘fleet Māori’: The word ‘Kāhui’ means a flock, a cluster, or a company…These people rapidly increased, and were so numerous when The Fleet arrived that the name tini (multitude, host, a great number) was used to define them, and we find seven of the more prominent tribes known as Tini-o-Maru-iwi, Tini-o-Rua-Tamore, Tini-o-Pana-Nehu, Tini-o-Tai-Tawaro, Tini-o-TeWiwini, Tini-o-Poho-Kura and Tini-o-Awa. 211 ‘Tini’ denotes what were perceived by early European writers to be ‘preMāori’ tribes but are likely remembered names of early tribes that lost social cohesion overtime. 212
Beattie’s ‘Tini’ tribes represent selectively
remembered references to early tribes or perhaps cultural concepts of prior inhabitants.
Over time kinship groupings have become obscure and
mythologised. This process was then elevated to a new level of meaning after the arrival of Europeans, whose influence saw Māori accept, internalise, and later postulate that these early tribes were of a separate racial origin.
Beattie, 1941, p. 6.
Beattie, 1941, p. 6.
Ballara, 1998, p. 145.
184 The term ‘Kāhui would appear to have more connotations than purely an unperpetuated kinship grouping.
Rather, the different manifestations of
‘Kāhui’ represent various natural phenomena; Kāhui Maunga (cluster of mountains), Kāhui Tara (cluster of mountain peaks), Kāhui Tū (clusters of elevation or establishment), Kāhui Ru (cluster of earthquakes), Kāhui Rangi (cluster of heavens), Kāhui Tawake (cluster of birds), Kāhui Rua (cluster of holes or fish), Kāhui Ao (cluster of clouds), and Kāhui Toka (cluster of rocks). Whilst this does not mean, for example, that the contemporary Kāhui Ariki or chiefly line of the Tainui people are a metaphor, the term Kāhui in early oral traditions is no doubt representative of metaphysical phenomena including supernatural pre-human ‘beings’. Variations of ‘Kāhui’ can also be found in early North Island traditions. In Te Ati Awa, Te Kāhui Toka were said to have been an early people living at Patea whose names were; Toka Nui, Toka Roa, Toka Whareroa, Toka Kahura and Toka Pōtiki. 213 Each name is obviously an extension of the core word, Toka, meaning rock. In Whanganui traditions the Kāhui Maunga is applied to an epoch in early traditions where mountains moved, fought and loved. Hence, the term ‘Kāhui’ in Māori oral traditions does not denote social groupings but natural phenomena to establish a narrative of creation. The term ‘Tipua’ also reoccurs as a general reference to supernatural prehuman beings with extraordinary powers. Several early figures or tribes were regarded as tipua, as were the first Europeans to reach these shores. 214 Tipua encapsulates and can be applied to a range of objects; for example
Smith, 1907, p. 151.
Orbell, 1995, pp. 216-217.
185 Papa Kauri is a tipua of the Hauraki region that took the form of a kauri stump and embodied their mauri, Hine Waiapu was another tipua who took the form of a siliceous stone employed in the polishing of stone from the Waiapu River, in the Whakatāne Valley and the Urewera Mountains tipua took the form of rocks, trees, dogs and a pond, whilst others took human forms with many traditions recounting how they would pose as the wives of chiefs. 215 Sacred places were often protected by tipua and as well as being placed in the landscape, ancestors could be elevated to tipua after death like Hine Ruarangi, daughter of Toi, who was drowned but then assumed the form of a shag. 216 Despite being described as goblins or demons, tipua are entities that possess supernatural powers and could take any form, both animate and inanimate. Tipua could take the form of animals, trees, rocks, items and humans demonstrating tipua were not so much a race as an entity imbued with a special character, tapu or power. 217
Conclusion It is evident Te Kāhui Rongo and Te Kāhui Tipua form a correlating pair linked with traditions concerning the arrival of kūmara that were transplanted from the East Coast and Bay of Plenty. In the Ngāti Porou versions Rongo i Amo is linked with the kūmara while Toi is linked with indigenous foods. Southern traditions follow the same template but replace Rongo i Amo with either Rongo i Tua or Te Kāhui Rongo. The key association is the root word ‘Rongo’ and its association with an important cultivated food illustrating 215
Orbell, 1995, pp. 65, 82, 133.
Orbell, 1995, p. 216.
Orbell, 1995, pp. 216-217.
186 how key elements were personified in Māori oral tradition. In this case the kūmara is rendered via the deity Rongo, who is atua of cultivated foods and peace. The Kāhui Tipua form a contrasting element linked with indigenous uncultivated foods and are the antagonist in the story, conquering Te Kāhui Rongo.
The Kāhui Tipua are described as an indigenous primal group
separate to traditions concerning individual monsters called tipua. However, over time these monster traditions were collapsed into the collective Te Kāhui Tipua tradition. The ‘Kāhui’ traditions demonstrate how natural elements were personified in mythic form to establish the structure of the natural world within a Māori paradigm. The tradition also forms part of a broader base of traditions concerning constructions of early pre-human identities where early figures or peoples were imbued with a supernatural character or power. Thus the primary function of these early peoples was not the recollection of events but the establishment of the natural order of the universe with a mythic form and equipping descendants with the knowledge and rituals necessary for survival.
Rapuwai Traditions This, the second of two chapters examining the early peoples of Te Waipounamu, examines the traditions of Rapuwai. Discussion begins with analysis of the South Island accounts of Stack (1887), White (1887), Beattie (1915, 1917), Elvy (1957) and Tau (2003) to demonstrate the evolution of Rapuwai traditions.
Post-contact deviations from the earliest recorded
traditions will be identified through comparison with tribal whakapapa. Finally, analysis of reoccurring metaphors and links to the North Island will show Rapuwai traditions are also derived from a larger body of North Island traditions concerning early peoples.
South Island Accounts There are four accounts as follows; the earliest account from Stack (1887) links Rapuwai to other early identities suggesting post-contact Pākehā change, both Beattie (1915) and Elvy (1957) had access to multiple accounts and likely systemised accounts, whilst Tau’s (2003) account incorporates tribal whakapapa to accentuate linkages to Taranaki. 188
1. Post-contact Pākehā Change– Canon Stack (1887) Stack gives a Ngāi Tahu account of the Rapuwai as an early tribe, also known as Ngā Aitanga a Te Puhirere. Although it is an early account, Stack links Rapuwai with Waitaha which is not seen in Ngāi Tahu and Waitaha manuscripts recorded during the same period suggesting different traditions have been collapsed together: Rapuwai or Ngā-aitanga-a-te-puhirere succeeded the Kāhui Tipua and rapidly spread themselves over the greater part of the island…I am inclined to think it is not at all improbable that Te Rapuwai and Waitaha were portions of the same tribe, Te Rapuwai forming the vanguard when the migrations from the North Island took place. 218 Stack’s Ngāi Tahu version has been merely repeated by subsequent writers. White (1887) gave an account of the Rapuwai who were an early tribe preyed upon by tipua or monsters, whom he believed to be the Kāhui Tipua: Te Rapuwai, or Ngā-aitanga-a-te-puhi-rere, succeeded the Kāhui Tipua, and soon spread all over the Island…Some of the priests say that Te Rapuwai and Waitaha were distinct families of the same generic tribe, and Te Rapuwai were the vanguard when that people migrated from the North Island. Others of the priests say Te Rapuwai and Waitaha were sections of separate tribes. 219 Once again the Rapuwai are also given as Ngā Aitanga a Te Puhirere (The Progeny of Puhirere). The Rapuwai are seen as contemporaries of Waitaha but their exact relationship is vague.
Stack, 1877, p. 5.
White, 1887, p. 125.
190 2. Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Herries Beattie (1915) Little divergence is seen in other traditions until Herries Beattie who synthesised accounts from various informants: All my informants agreed that the tribe known as Rapuwai…were the first people that overran the South Island since the Great Migration, 220 but there was no unanimity about how they originated, and wonderfully little is known of their history and gradual absorption into Waitaha. Some considered that they came in one of the canoes, others said that ‘they sprang out of the ground’. One of the best informed natives said that ‘Waitaha came in one of the canoes, but Mano-Rapuwai…came down from the North Island’, and he could not tell their origin in Te Ika-a-Maui…The reason why no one knows their origin is because no natives claim descent from them although they finally were absorbed into Waitaha from whom plenty claim descent…The Rapuwai people increased rapidly for a while for a time and became so numerous that they are often spoken of as ‘Te Mano-o-Rapuwai’… 221 For a tribe to have ‘sprung out of the ground’ is not an uncommon motif in Māori tradition and may have been applied to tribes whose origins were not preserved. It is important to note Beattie believed Rapuwai origins were unknown as no natives claimed descent from them. If they were absorbed into Waitaha as stated, then their origin would have likely been preserved through their descendants. 222 There are no narratives or waiata that discuss Rapuwai being absorbed into Waitaha, and there are no whakapapa that
By 1915 the publications of early European writers had substantial influence over how Māori and Pākehā viewed and constructed Māori origins. Smith’s influence is evident here where Beattie refers to the ‘Great Migration’, an obvious reference to Smith’s ‘Great Fleet’ theory suggesting the text needs to be viewed with caution.
Beattie, 1915, p. 130.
Ngāti Wairaki were incorporated into Ngāi Tahu but Wairaki whakapapa were preserved through ancestors such as Takahe and Pakihi. Their descendant Te Keepa preserved many Ngāti Wairaki whakapapa in his whakapapa manuscript despite Wairaki having being already absorbed into Ngāi Tahu (Tau, 2003, p. 45). For examples of Wairaki waiata see Cowan, 1930, pp. 299-300.
191 clearly demonstrate Rapuwai merged with Waitaha. 223 Therefore, there is no evidence to support Rapuwai’s assimilation into Waitaha. Whilst this does not mean it did not happen, as perhaps it was just not recorded, it could also be evidence of another dynamic at play where Rapuwai are a conceptual identity. Beattie (1917) later published a markedly different account of Rapuwai tracing their origins to the Taranaki region.
Beattie stated their prime
ancestor was Raumano, and that Rapuwai were in fact a tribe that had made a secondary migration from the North Island where they were known as Ngāti Pātea: …the people who were afterwards called Rapuwai in the South Island were living about Pātea, in Southern Taranaki, when Turi (the captain of the Aotea canoe) and his crew settled amongst them. This people were not called Rapuwai in the North Island; it was only after they came across to this island that such a name was bestowed upon them. In the North Island they were known as Patea. 224 Beattie was of the belief that Rapuwai had lived at Pātea and after having a dispute with Turi and his followers, took seven kō (digging stick) and struck them in the ground, causing the coastline to break off. Their piece of land drifted to Taumatanui (near Motueka) and under the leadership of Raumano, they settled near Hoiere. This second version draws attention to the credibility of Beattie’s approach as in a period of two years his account of Rapuwai origins has changed significantly from original arrival to secondary internal migration. Beattie’s 223
According to tradition, Kāti Hawea were also absorbed into Waitaha and can be found in Waitaha whakapapa. For an example see Beattie, 1941, p. 70.
Herries Beattie, ‘Traditions and Legends Collected From the Natives of Murihiku Part VI’ in JPS, 1917, Vol.26, p. 78.
192 informants did not state links between Rapuwai and Ngāti Patea previously, and Beattie’s incorporation of multiple informants makes it difficult to decipher whether the links to Pātea are merely a different version, or the result of it being relocated post-contact. 3. Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – W.J. Elvy (1957) W.J. Elvy gave an account describing Rapuwai as a mystical race. Elvy noted that little was known of the Rapuwai in comparison to Waitaha and that none were known to include them in family whakapapa: Another tribe called the Rapu-wai is reputed to have come with Rakaihautu in the Uruao canoe…Local traditions state that the Rapuwai were giants eight feet tall, big powerful men but clumsy withal. Grabbing one man in each hand, they could kill them by bashing their heads together. 225 Waitaha traditions do not place Rapuwai aboard the Uruao canoe and only this Marlborough version appears to portray the Rapuwai as a mythical race. It is apparent Elvy’s account draws upon early constructions of the concepts of pre-human supernatural inhabitants such as Maeroero and tipua in the depiction of Rapuwai.
Rapuwai were likely confused with supernatural
giants as Marlborough Māori are not linked to Rapuwai and therefore their traditions are not of prime relevance. Thereby Elvy likened the Rapuwai to concepts of early pre-human inhabitants as the Rapuwai were not of importance to the whakapapa of Marlborough iwi. 4. Iwi Cultural Revivalist Change – Te Maire Tau (2003) Te Maire Tau examined the origins of Ngāti Wairaki, an early West Coast tribe that has received little attention despite many narratives about their 225
Elvy, 1957, p. 8.
193 interactions with the first Ngāi Tahu hapū and waiata that were preserved. Tau establishes connections between Ngāti Wairaki and Ngāti Tūmatakōkiri to Taranaki, but he also ascribes Rapuwai origins to Taranaki. This theory was based upon Beattie’s account of Raumano as the prime ancestor of Rapuwai who originated from the Taranaki Coast. Tau connected the two due to Raumano’s mention in a Ngāti Wairaki whakapapa from the Te Keepa manuscript which gave Tahuna Ariki as a descendant of Raumano and Rauru. Tau then asserts that Rapuwai were therefore from Taranaki, due to their descent from Rauru, prime ancestor of the Taranaki tribe, Ngā Rauru. 226 Whakapapa 7.1 227 Maruhia = ia Haukau Rauihi Te Kapekape Patekore Puanu ko Rauihi = Tineikore Hikamaku Tuwhakatuma Whakaari Hikamaku = Tuaroaroteraki Heikura Metororaro Te Whataaraki Heikura = Tahuna Ariki (no raumano no Rauru tena tangata) Takahe Takahii Pakeha Takahe = Te Moiti Korako Kaikaimatiu Toeka Te Keepa Torepe
Tau, 2003, pp. 181-182.
Te Keepa, Whakapapa Ms Vol.1, c.1890, T.Howse Collection, unpaginated.
194 Te Keepa is of interest as he was not schooled in a Ngāi Tahu or Waitaha whare wānanga by Taiarorua, Mātiaha Tira Mōrehu, Kaikōura Whakatau or Te Maihāroa. 228 Instead, he is of Ngāti Wairaki descent and his whakapapa descends from his Wairaki ancestors Takahe and Pakihi. Although Raumano is included in the Wairaki whakapapa and is linked to Taranaki there is no evidence to link Raumano to Rapuwai in Wairaki tradition. Such a link only occurs in Ngāi Tahu traditions. It is possible that Beattie has confused Wairaki accounts with Rapuwai, thereby linking the ancestor Raumano with Rapuwai as opposed to Wairaki. Raumano does not appear in the few Rapuwai whakapapa, which is unusual if he were in fact the prime ancestor of the tribe. Raumano is also a place name in Taranaki, following on from the Haere-ao cliffs. 229 This implies Raumano is a reference to the Taranaki itself. Once again Rapuwai origins are linked to the Taranaki yet the lack of a prime ancestor draws question as to who exactly Rapuwai were if their whakapapa and descent could not be clearly established.
Comparison with Tribal Whakapapa A whakapapa provided in 1993 by Ngāi Tahu taua, Freda Brown (Aunty Kera), of Rapuwai ancestry perhaps sheds some light on the question of Rapuwai origins. 230 Wikitoria Paipeta was the grandchild of Te Maihāroa and on her father’s side was the grand-daughter of Ngāi Tahu tohunga Hoani 228
Tau, 2003, p. 45.
Rev. T.G. Hammond, ‘Te Tai Hauauru (Or West Coast)’ in JPS, 1901, Vol.10, p. 196.
The whakapapa was recorded by Te Maire Tau in November 1993 (Tau, 2003, pp. 306-307.).
195 Kāhu. She was also taught Ngāi Tahu and Waitaha whakapapa by Rāwiri Te Maire. 231 Wikitoria’s whakapapa began with the ancestor Pōtiki Tautahi, who is the source of Rapuwai origins in Ngāi Tahu traditions. The following whakapapa is from Freda Brown, niece of Wikitoria Paipeta and expands on Paipeta’s whakapapa by going further back from Pōtiki Tautahi: Whakapapa 7.2 232 Ka penei Ko “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “
Pou (aitanga) Pou mua Pou whakakohako tana Te Matakuariki “ Hineitepiua “ Haweaitepiua “ Popoto “ Tutewaimate “ Tapana “ Te Ponuiaho “ Tarataia “ Puriri “ Te Rokowhenu “ Tukete “ Te Potiki tautahi “ Kanekane “ Ko Wheta Ko Te Aki
The whakapapa begins with a sequence of figures named Pou. The ancestor Pou was said to have come to Te Waipounamu upon the back of a giant bird and is linked to the Pourangahua traditions of the East Coast, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki. 233 Pou is a shared mythic character that explains the origins of the kūmara, advancing the argument that this Pou whakapapa sequence is also symbolic and refers to the origins of kūmara, not the ancestors of an early tribe. 231
Tau, 2003, p. 160.
Tau, 2003, p. 160.
Tau, 2003, pp. 159-169.
Two figures from the whakapapa, Tūtewaimate and Pōtiki Tautahi, can be validated in tribal histories and are then useful for establishing the boundary between symbolism and history. Tūtewaimate was a Ngāti Māmoe chief who fought Moko and can be validated by his occurrence in tribal histories. 234
Pōtiki Tautahi is also able to be placed within a historic
framework as he lived at Lake Wānaka and had two daughters who were captured by Weka. 235 The whakapapa singles out Tarataia as of Rapuwai descent establishing Rapuwai after the arrival of Ngāti Māmoe.
interesting to note that Raumano, who Beattie asserted was the prime ancestor of Rapuwai in Ngāi Tahu traditions, is not featured. The Bannister whakapapa records (c.1930) from Te Tai Poutini (South Island’s West Coast) give a differing account of Rapuwai descent.
Tau, 2003, p. 160.
Tau, 2003, p. 160.
197 Whakapapa 7.3 236 Te Rapuwai ka moe ia Te Koheriki ko Ranginui ka moe ia Ngaurutahi ko Ngahua ka moe ia Te Urituhia ko Toataua ka moe ia Ruatauae ko Mahungarau ka moe ia Wharua ko Raura ka moe ia Te Ponga ko Tohutaua ka moe ia Rerepa ko Tauteko ka moe ia Hinewerohia ko Hinematahoka ka moe ia Tamataua ko Wanaka ka moe ia Ngahoro Ko Matuaata ka moe ia Hinetai ko Tauapo ka moe ia Rauwheki ko Whanganui ka moe ia Te Ketemoa ko Tamataua ka moe ia Hinematakoha ko Wanaka ka moe ia Ngahoro ko Te Apaupoko ka moe ia Paoa ko Tutoko This is the only South Island whakapapa to place Rapuwai as the prime ancestor of Rapuwai. Despite being known as Te Aitanga a Rapuwai the tribe’s origins are often vague.
Therefore the Bannister whakapapa is
perhaps more closely aligned with northern traditions where Rapuwai is an eponymous ancestor. What is intriguing about another Bannister whakapapa is that it is places Rapuwai as contemporary of the ancestor Hawea and therefore the tribe Ngāti Hawea.
Eva Bannister, Bannister Whakapapa, File.228, Ngāi Tahu Whakapapa Collection, c.1930, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, p. 23.
Whakapapa 7.4 237 Te Rapuwai = Te Koheriki
Whakapapa 7.5 238 Hawea = Hautope
Ranginui = Ngaurutahi
Whatatau = Ngahuru
Nguhua = Urituhia
Ngatahu = Whakateā
Toataua = Ruatauae
Ruatauae = Toataua
Mahungarau = Wharua
Mahungarau = Wharua
Raura = Te Ponga
Raura = Te Ponga
Tohutaua = Rerepa
Tohutaua = Rerepa
Tauteko = Hiniwerohia
Tauteko = Hiniwerohia
Hinimatakoha = Tamataua
Hinimotakoha = Tamataua
Wanaka = Ngahoro
Wanaka = Ngahoro Te Apaupoko = Paoa Tutoko
The characters in both whakapapa are mainly the same with both genealogies placing the eponymous ancestors of Te Aitanga a Rapuwai and Ngāti Hawea 10 generations before the historically located ancestor Tutoko.
incorporation of Hawea into this whakapapa contrasts with those of Waitaha, where Hawea i te Raki is 21 generations from Te Maihāroa who was a contemporary of Tutoko. Whilst it’s possible there were two Hawea, it is the writer’s belief that both refer to the same concept of an early tribe known as Ngāti Hawea and that Ngāti Hawea and Rapuwai could be one and the same. Despite these whakapapa intimating Rapuwai and Ngāti Hawea coexisted, it is the writer’s belief this was not the case. Both genealogies are the same 237
Bannister, c.1930, p. 37.
Bannister, c.1930, p. 37.
199 length and despite corresponding with each other, they are a major departure from the general body of whakapapa concerning both iwi. The Bannister whakapapa is also the only account to give Rapuwai as an ancestor. This supports the stance that these whakapapa have been capped with remembered names of early identities.
Thus the whakapapa stretch
backwards into the past with remembered names, elongating to the extent of the community’s memory, and then the names of early figures are placed to cap the whakapapa. Confusion over whether Rapuwai is an ancestor or purely a tribe can perhaps be explained by its allusion to an early identity. Thus its function is to connect with a concept of an early people, concreted through whakapapa, and then projected to the furthest reaches of memory to strengthen tribal land claims through linkages to earlier tribes.
North Island Links John White (1887) published a Ngāti Kahungunu account of Rapuwai who were believed to be a pre-Māori race: Tane-nui-a-rangi took Hine-ahu-one and also Hine-titama to wife, and from Hine-ahu-one, who was the elder or senior wife, sprang another race than our people, the Māori. The progenitor of that race was called Te-rapu-wai and when the Europeans were first by the Māori in New Zealand they were said by the old priests to be the descendants of Te-rapu-wai. 239 This demonstrates Rapuwai were not constricted to the South Island and that they carried similar associations in the North.
White, 1887, p. 123.
200 Samuel Locke (1882) recorded a whakapapa from Taupo and the East Coast that included Rapuwai, however, the Rapuwai in this whakapapa is not a tribe but an early ancestor, from who sprang an early race of people. Whilst one could argue that this Rapuwai was the prime ancestor for the tribe Rapuwai, Rapuwai only appears in the Bannister whakapapa in southern genealogies. This implies Rapuwai are a conceptual identity associated with early inhabitants as opposed to a cohesive social unit: Whakapapa 7.6 240 Tane-nui-a-rangi
Rautipua Rautawhito Rautaitainui Punga Io Kaitanga Hema Tawhaki Wahieroa Rata…
Hine-a-huone, F. Hine-ti-tamata, F.
The elder from whom the The younger from whom old priest taught sprang is descended the Maori race. another race than the Maori. His name was Rapuwai. When the Europeans first arrived, they were called by our elders the descendants of Rapuwai.
In this version, Rapuwai were a race separate from Māori. The usage of the term Rapuwai (Ngā Aitanga a Rapuwai) to describe Pākehā when they first arrived implies Rapuwai was a metaphor associated with early peoples, hence their link with Pākehā who were obviously not actual descendants of an ancestor named Rapuwai. This dynamic illustrates how tradition and whakapapa adapted to changes as Pākehā were adopted into a Māori paradigm by their inclusion as descendants of Rapuwai. Thus Rapuwai are 240 Samuel Locke, ‘Historical Traditions of the Taupo and East Coast Tribes’, in TNZI, 1882, Vol.15, p. 457.
201 also found in North Island traditions as an early identity, an association which was later applied to the arrival of Pākehā demonstrating the malleability of tradition and ability of whakapapa to incorporate new elements. Rev. T.G. Hammond (1901) published an account from Taranaki Māori regarding a migration from Raumano (a Taranaki place name) to the South Island.
This would appear to be closely linked with Beattie’s tradition
concerning how a section of land broke off and floated to Taumatatini (near Motueka): The men of the tribe residing at Raumano had gone out to sea on a fishing expedition. Among those left at home were two little boys, who amused themselves by flying a kite. They at length disagreed, and one said to the other, ‘You are a person of no importance; your father has to go in my father’s canoe to catch fish.’ The little one so addressed was much offended, but nursed his anger until his father’s return and then told what had been said to him. The father determined to be revenged, so when they were all sleeping soundly, he repeated incantations, thereby causing the land upon which the boy and his relatives slept who had insulted his son, to part from the mainland and float down the river and out to sea, and over to the west coast of the South Island, causing those parts to be peopled. It is remarkable that without any communication the two peoples should have retained in song the memory of such an event. 241 In this Taranaki version, Raumano is clearly the place where the tribe lived and not the leader of the people. The Taranaki version also portrays the South Island emigrants in a negative light.
This is not an uncommon
dynamic in Māori tradition as all tribal traditions seek to verify their own divine ancestry whilst also establishing superiority over their neighbours. It is important to note that this tradition settles the party on the West Coast of 241
Hammond, 1901, p. 196.
202 the South Island, once again drawing similar connections between Ngāti Pātea, Ngāti Wairaki, Rapuwai and Te Tai Poutini.
Conclusion The evidence demonstrates Rapuwai was a shared image associated with an early tribe in the North Island, predominantly around the East Coast. The genealogy of Rapuwai traditions suggests this motif moved with its host community, through the Taranaki before transplanting itself onto the southern landscape. Later, in southern traditions, the Rapuwai were linked to the figure Puhirere, a reference to an historical Northland ancestor also found in several early southern genealogies. The evidence suggests later migrants applied the term, Rapuwai, onto their predecessors.
This is clearly demonstrated in the Bannister whakapapa,
where both Rapuwai and Hawea are placed at the apex of the same whakapapa. This effectively caps the genealogy with a known metaphor associated with early people. Thus Rapuwai are linked with concepts of early peoples and derived from a larger body of traditions concerning conceptual pre-human inhabitants. This conceptual identity was relocated and then placed upon the landscape to establish the identity of the original inhabitants as a means of securing one’s own mana through connection.
Part Three: Early Peoples
Summary This section examined the traditions of pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe peoples to explore the question of who were the early peoples of Te Waipounamu. Early European writers re-edited, relocated and re-structured traditions of early peoples, often in collaboration with Māori informants, radically changing early identities to fit Western paradigms of human development and Social Darwinism.
These post-contact hybrid accounts
demonstrated early writers were not content to purely record traditions as there were, but sought to reconstruct Māori conception of the past and its inhabitants to reflect how Pākehā perceived them to be. Thus the past was changed and largely constructed in the present as early European writers sought to make the past conform with the popular anthropological theories of the present which were secured through publication and later internalised by Māori. Although European writers changed traditions of early peoples to fit their own ideological agenda, so too did Māori prior to contact with Pākehā. The ‘Kāhui’ traditions were relocated pre-contact as part of internal dynamics of
204 change where traditions of pre-human predecessors migrated alongside traditions of migration.
The strong symbolic elements of this genre of
tradition are seen in the ‘Kāhui’ traditions where natural elements are personified in an attempt to establish humankind’s dominion over a wild natural environment. Culturally pertinent information is framed within a tribal narrative to ensure its preservation and dissemination to descendants while also clearly establishing the rights of access and ownership for those descendants. The second chapter in this section examined the traditions of Rapuwai. These traditions are also reflective of a complicated pre-contact dynamic in Māori tradition whereby constructions of the identity of one’s predecessors are translocated during subsequent migrations and then projected back into the past. Intertwined into these traditions are references to early ancestors from the North Island, to preserve genealogical connections whilst also elongating the whakapapa and projecting it further back into the past. Of particular interest is the construction of one’s predecessors rather than incorporating the traditions of previous inhabitants. None of the traditions concerning early peoples in this chapter suggest that they were historical politically ‘real’ groups.
There are too many disparities in the few
whakapapa collected to clearly establish who these tribes were or clear identification of the prime ancestor.
There are even fewer historical
narratives except for origin traditions. Thus if there is no mythological imperative to maintain these traditions, and they do not appear to have an historical imperative then there must be a cultural cause for their preservation in oral tradition.
205 Historically locatable early tribes such as Kāti Wairaki, Ngāti Pātea and Ngāti Tūmatakōkiri are notably absent from South Island traditions concerning early peoples.
Few today acknowledge descent from such
groups, instead tracing descent from the likes of Rapuwai, whose whakapapa has already been established to be compilations of early references to northern ancestors. This begs the question why emphasis has been placed on tracing descent from largely symbolic groupings rather than historically locatable earlier tribes? Preserving the traditions of predecessors in essence undermines one’s own claims to land and resources as it recognises they were not the original owners. Whilst ownership could be established through take raupatu (right of conquest) this was not preferred, as rights established through ahi kā roa (right of long occupation) were considered stronger. For southern Māori the term poketara, which was a large bulbous mushroom with shallow roots, was used to describe take raupatu (right of conquest) demonstrating rights established through descent were preferred. 242 Although ahi kā roa was established by continued settlement after conquest, Ngāi Tahu were relatively recent and in some areas preceeded Pākehā by only a couple of generations creating a political imperative for the strengthening of links to the land. Thus to supersede the traditions of earlier inhabitants, migrants transplanted traditions of early peoples onto their new homeland. The new migrants then establish their own superiority by tracing descent from the primordial inhabitants, an identity they have overlaid onto the landscape. In this manner 242
Beattie, 1994, p. 307.
206 later tribes establish original occupation through association with the original early inhabitants. These traditions seek to establish early peoples and transpose them on the past to establish descent and circumvent the rights and histories of previous inhabitants. Thereby, earlier inhabitants are relegated to ghosts or monsters to be placed upon the landscape, to ensure the supreme authority of its present inhabitants, as the need for mana supersedes the need to preserve the tribal histories of others.
Part Four: Waitaha Traditions
Part Four: Waitaha Traditions
The Politics of Tradition The aim of part four is to examine the traditions of Waitaha to determine if they were a separate social unit or a conceptual identity. This section is comprised of four chapters focussing on Waitaha waka traditions, Rākaihautū and Waitaha traditions. The first two chapters in this section will consider the waka traditions of Waitaha, which are not found in the waka traditions of the North Island. Waitaha waka traditions include Te Waka a Raki, Te Wakahuruhurumanu, Te Waka o Aoraki and Uruao. In general, the principal source for all of these traditions is the religious prophet Hipa Te Maihāroa who led a religious movement before his death in 1885-1886. These two chapters will show although Waitaha waka traditions are not found in the North Island they incorporate numerous symbolic motifs, patterns of events and references also found in northern waka traditions. The extent Waitaha waka traditions include shared symbolic imagery suggests ultimately they too stem from a larger body of traditions associated with waka migration and have their origins in the North Island. Although this is
209 evidence of a pre-contact dynamic where traditions were relocated and reformulated to establish tribal mana, the extent to which these changes occurred, pre or post-contact remains unclear. Despite Waitaha being an early identity, the recording and publication of Waitaha waka traditions is much later in comparison with the earliest Ngāi Tahu accounts of migration raising the possibility that they were formed post-contact to establish a new political identity for southern Māori during a period of great loss. The third chapter in this section focusses on Rākaihautū, who was the founding ancestor of Waitaha.
Analysis of accounts shows Rākaihautū
discovered, created and named many prominent geographic features establishing Waitaha land tenure within Te Waipounamu. Discussion then focuses on the consistency of these accounts, illustrating they were not relocated from the North Island and therefore not consistent with the majority of South Island arrival traditions. Analysis of the historical context and Rākaihautū whakapapa suggests, rather than a pre-contact tradition of original arrival and exploration, these accounts draw upon a wider genre of early explorer traditions and were possibly formulated post-contact. Discussion finally centres upon the political imperatives whereby Rākaihautū establishes Waitaha connections to the land and gained prominence in the late eighteenth century and in more recent times to assert connection and ownership of lands, demonstrating how the recollection of the past was driven by the political needs of the present. The final chapter in this section focuses on Waitaha. This chapter begins with the literature of M.P.K. Sorrenson (1979) and Angela Ballara (1998) to examine the ideological drivers behind post-contact Pākehā change where European writers constructed early Māori identities as they perceived them to 209
210 be. Analysis shows post-contact dynamics of change were heavily driven by Pākehā colonialist agendas. However, analysis also shows oral traditions were changed and adapted by Māori, both pre and post-contact, although for different reasons. Analysis of the geo-political context of Waitaha traditions and their principal source, the prophet Hipa Te Maihāroa, shows Waitaha tribal identity was unlikely to have been politically ‘real’ until the late eighteenth century as a response to the changing political, spiritual and social needs of southern Māori. A wide genre of traditions, including North Island Waitaha traditions, North Island whakataukī (proverbial sayings) and South Island whakapapa, suggest Waitaha was an early conceptual identity demonstrating how oral tradition and tribal social structure adapted and changed, responding to the needs of society.
Te Waka a Raki, Te Wakahuruhurumanu And Te Waka o Aoraki This, the first of four chapters analysing the traditions of Waitaha, examines the waka traditions of Te Waka a Raki, Te Wakahuruhurumanu and Te Waka o Aoraki. Analysis of South Island accounts will be followed by analysis of symbolic imagery shared with separate North Island traditions to examine if these traditions were transported to the south pre-contact or whether they have been composed post-contact. In the 1840s, Edward Shortland travelled extensively throughout Te Waipounamu recording traditions as he went. In his completed South Island journal he lists several South Island canoe names given to him by his informants; Takitimu, Makarewa, Mānuka, Arawa, Tainui, Te Mataatua (Mataatua) and Ārai Te Uru. 243 This list is further proof South Island waka traditions were relocated from the North Island as all of these canoes can be 243
Edward Shortland, New Zealand/Middle Island, Shortland Ms23X, c.1840.
213 found in North Island traditions. Notably absent are the primary canoes of Waitaha; Te Waka a Raki, Te Wakahuruhurumanu, Te Waka o Aoraki and Uruao. Substantial narratives concerning the Uruao canoe do not appear until the 1887 Pokuku-Eli manuscript. The Te Waka o Aoraki tradition appears for the first time much later in the mid 1940s (Beattie, 1945) and, therefore, were recorded much later in comparison to the earliest accounts of South Island waka traditions. This lateness could be explained by these Waitaha traditions not being captured by earlier writers, however, this is unlikely as even later Ngāi Tahu lore keepers would probably have had knowledge of any such pre-contact account. Alternatively it is possible these traditions were constituted post-contact which would explain their late occurrence. Also of considerable note is that all accounts of Waitaha waka traditions stem from either descendants or disciples of the Waitaha prophet, Hipa Te Maihāroa, who ran his own school of learning during the late nineteenth century. It is unknown when Te Maihāroa was born but he died in 1885 or 1886. He was raised in the settlement of Te Waiateruati, near Te Umukaha, and was learned in South Island traditions.
He also professed himself to be an
Anglican, and later gained a reputation as a prophet and miracle worker after being influenced by the Kaingārara movement. 244
He did not write or
publish his own narratives, rather, traditions were recorded from descendants or disciples from his whare wānanga. It is unlikely that Waitaha origins are entirely separate from those of other South Island iwi and not linked to the North Island. It is more plausible that Waitaha like all other southern iwi have migrated internally in a secondary migration from the North. 244
Bill Dacker, ‘Cooperation and Competition in a Century of Change’, in Te Karanga, Canterbury Māori Studies Association, May 1986, Vol.2, p. 18.
Te Waka a Raki
South Island Accounts There are four accounts as follows; the earliest account is that of the PōkukuEli text (1887) and is most likely to be authentic, the second is also from Herewini Ira (Eli) but has minor changes suggesting post-contact adaption, whilst the final two accounts were by Anderson (1942) and Beattie (c.1920) who both had access to multiple written versions and are therefore synthesised accounts. 1. Pre-European Change – Wī Pōkuku and Herewini Eli (1887) As the earliest account it is reasonable to presume, assuming the tradition was in fact pre-contact, that this version is closest to the original source version. Wī Pōkuku and Herewini Eli give Te Waka a Raki as an early canoe captained by Te Moretu: He Putake tenei Ko Waitaha ko te wahi i haere mai ai ka waka me ka takata ko Patunui o aio ko Taepataka o Te Raki. Ko te waka Huruhuru manu te tuatahi muri atu ko te waka a Raki i a te moretu tenei waka e takoto ana. Ko Uruao ia Taite whenua e takoto ana. Ka Matahua. Ko ka karakia tena o ruka i tena waka ko te kauhoe ko te tinitini o te Pararaurakau. Ko te atua ko Tukaitauru. Ko te toki nana i tukituki mai te moana. Ko ka pakitua te ikoa o te toki, ka u taua waka ki te au Pouri, ki tera motu ki te takata. Kaore i hoki tenei waka ekari i
215 whakaahua tia ki te Raki. Koia te waka a Tama Rereti. No reira i hoatu ai ka whetu Tohu o te tau, moka tau kai moka tau korekai, mo ka tau pai, mo ka tau kino. Na reira ko autahi hei tohu mo te tau, ko takurua hei titiro mo Puaka hei tohu moka Ika o te moana. Ka oti tenei waka ki te raki. 245
This is a tradition of the Waitaha. The place that the canoes and the people came from was from a land called Patunuioaio, and this land is beyond the horizon where the sky hangs low upon the ocean. The canoe, Huruhurumanu, was the first and after that was the ‘Canoe of Raki’ and this canoe lay under the ancestor known as ‘Te Moretu’. At this stage Uruao lay in the district called Taite Whenua. ‘Matahua’ was the incantation used upon the ‘Canoe of Raki’ and the crew inhabited the forests and the trees from which the canoe was carved. Their god was Tukaitauru. There was also a great adze on board that cleared a passage across the ocean and its name was ‘Ka Pakitua’. That canoe beached at Aupouri in the Northland and this land was already occupied. This canoe did not return but instead became a constellation in the heavens now known as the markers for the seasons and they were placed in the heavens as signs for the season of food, for the season of scarcity of food, and for the good and bad years. Consequently, the ancestral stars such as Canopus (Autahi) became the star of the year with Sirius (Takurua) pointing to Rigel (Puaka) which was used as a marker for the fish of the seas. And so it was that this canoe was completed in the heavens. 246 A key theme in this tradition is star lore with Te Waka a Raki becoming a constellation and the tradition incorporating stars portending the seasons for harvesting foods, a trait also seen in the traditions of the Tainui waka. 2. Post-contact Māori Change – Herewini Ira (1892)
Wī Pōkuku and Herewini Eli, ‘Ko Te Pukapuka Whakaako ko te Korero Tipuna’, 1887, unpaginated. Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board Archives.
Tau, 2003, p. 271.
216 Herewini Ira (Herewini Eli) wrote a further text on Waitaha waka traditions in 1892. Here Te Moretu is mentioned but the waka is captained by Taiehu and peopled by the Pararaurākau and Patupaiarehe. It is possible that these differences are derived from a separate regional account, however, there is no evidence to support this tradition was relocated as it is not centred on any specific region. Therefore, it is probable this account has been changed by Ira: Waka Araki Ko tēnei waka ko te waka tuatahi mai ki tēnei taha o te moana. E Kīa ana i haere mai i te Tāepatanga o te Rangi. I maharatia i haere mai i Hawaiki. Kaua tēnei Hawaiki e kīa nei ko Rarotonga e noho nei ngā Kanaka. Ko tēnei waka ‘e waka tōtara. Ko te tangata nāna te rākau tōtara ko Te Moretu. Ko ia te rangatira o te waka. Ko te rangatira nāna i mau mai ki tēnei Pito o te Ao ko Taiehu. Ko ngā tāngata i haere mai mā runga i taua waka ko Tini o te Pararaurākau. Ka rere mai taua waka i Hawaiki, i te pito o Tāepatanga o te Rangi. I riro hoki mai i a Taiehu ngā toki e rua. Ngā ingoa o aua toki ko Piki-itua, ko Kotiaru Te Rangi. Ko aua toki ‘e Toki a Te Atua. Ka rere mai taua waka i te moana. Ka tae mai ki te moana e kīa ana te ingoa ko Tuapeka, ko te Rangi me te moana e Pipiri ana. Ka pā te mahara i a Taiehu ka mate ia me āna tāngata. Te Whakatikanga ake o Taiehu ka tū me tana Toki Paki-i-tua. Ka topea e ia ngā karu o te moana. Nō te mutunga o ngā ngaru o te moana kātahi ka rere mai taua waka. Ka ū mai ki Aotearoa. I ū mai ki te one o Rangiaohia. He roa te wā ka hoki anō taua waka ki Tāepatanga o te Rangi. Ka hoki ki te rangatira ki a Te Moretu me tōna hoa rangatira me Taiehu. 216
Koia te tohu o taua waka e mau ana i te Rangi. Tā te Māori kī, mihi, ka kite i a Tama Rereti i te Rangi, arā, ‘e Tātai Whetū ko taua waka tēnā. 247
Translation This vessel was the first vessel to this side of the ocean. It is reputed to have travelled here from beyond the horizon. It is to be remembered it travelled here from Hawaiki. This Hawaiki is not the Rarotonga where the Kanaka remained. This vessel was a vessel constructed of tōtara. The person to whom the tōtara tree belonged was Te Moretu. The leader who brought it to this end of the universe was Taiehu. The people who came on board the aforementioned vessel were the Pararaurākau. The aforementioned vessel sped here from Hawaiki, from the extremity that is beyond the horizon. Taiehu also obtained two adzes. The names of the aforementioned adzes are Piki-i-tua and Kotiaru Te Rangi. The aforementioned adzes are adzes of Te Atua. The vessel sailed over the ocean. It reached the sea that is called Tuapeka; Ko te Rangi me te moana e Pipiri ana. Taiehu was struck by the thought that he and his people may perish. Taiehu arose, he stood with his adze, Paki-i-tua. He sliced through the waves of the ocean. The Tini o te Pararaureka took up the adze Kokoti Auru Rangi and hacked at the waves of the ocean. When the waves had been cut the vessel leapt free, and landed at Aotearoa.
Herewini Ira, Ko Te Waka Huruhurumanu, H.K. Taiaroa MS, Alexander Turnbull Library, 1892, unpaginated.
It landed at the beach of Rangiohia. At that place, some of the people remained. There, those people are the Patupaiarehe, the first community from this vessel to this land. The canoe remained at Rangiohia. After a lengthy period the canoe returned to beyond the horizon. It returned to the leader, to Te Moretu. The captain of the vessel, Taiehu, returned to the leader. There is the symbol of the canoe fixed in the heaven. To the Māori imagination, it is an acknowledgement, when Tama Rereti is seen in the heaven, that the canoe is a constellation. 248 Rangiohia is located in the North Island and the figure Taiehu is an early ancestor linked with several canoe migrations such as the Tainui waka. The canoe being fixed in the heavens is not an unusual device in waka traditions which have strong ties to star lore. The lack of descendants tracing their ancestry from this canoe alludes to it being more symbolic in nature. The crew and Patupaiarehe or fairy folk suggesting it is a spiritual canoe, acting as a precursor to human migration and clearing the path for later canoes to follow. 3.
Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Johannes Anderson
(1942) Johannes Anderson published an alternative account of Te Waka a Raki but states that it is alternatively known as Te Wakahuruhurumanu thereby linking previously separate waka traditions together. At the time it was published, Anderson would have had access to multiple written accounts so it is likely he has compiled accounts: The alternative name for Te Waka-a-Raki was Te Waka-huruhuru which came from Te Patu-nui-o-aio. It landed in the far north on a dark and stormy night and so named the place Au-pouri and built a pa called 248
Translated by Mr. Tamati Te Hau, c.2001-2003, unpublished paper.
219 Ritoa, which was also the name of one of the men on the later arriving Arai-te-uru. Te Waka-a-Raki ascended to the stars becoming Te Wakaahua-a-Raki, or perhaps Te Whakaahua-o-te-waka-a-raki, known by some as Te Waka-a-tama-rereti (Scorpio constellation). 249 In all cases the waka is associated with constellations, alluding to its function as a link to star lore. ‘Te Waka a Raki’ translates as ‘The Canoe of Raki’, which is probably a reference to Raki Nui, the Sky Father. The alternate names ‘Te Waka Āhua a Raki’ or ‘Te Whakaāhua o te Waka a Raki’ refer to the image of the waka in the sky, an obvious reference to the actual constellation itself. 4. Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Herries Beattie (c.1920) Beattie recorded another account in his manuscripts 250 which was not published until after his death in which Tāne took Te Waka a Raki into the sky and left it with Tamarereti: Te Waka-a-rangi 251 was at the beginning of the world as Tane took it to the sky and left it with Tamarereti. After the canoe brought here by Taiehu... 252 In each case Te Waka a Raki has strong associations with constellations which are not unusual in early waka traditions. However, it is important to note that these traditions originate from pupils of the prophet Hipa Te Maihāroa. He was a renowned astronomer even naming his whare kura (house of learning) Te Waka Āhua a Raki. Although it is evident that these 249
It would appear that Beattie reverted to a more standardised use of Māori thus the dialectual Te Waka a Raki is written as Te Waka a Rangi.
Beattie, 1994, p. 426.
220 constellations are prominent, their role is obscure. The constellations are not necessarily significant to migration.
Although waka ascending to the
heavens to become constellations is a common device in waka traditions, the structure and elements of Te Waka a Raki are more obscure than previous South Island waka examined.
Shared Imagery A key association, consistent in each tradition is the figure Tamarereti. Hare Hongi (1902) wrote that Tamarereti was one of the early navigators to the South, and his canoe ascended to the heavens becoming the constellation Argo. 253 Percy Smith also gave Tamarereti as an ancient navigator but placed him in charge of the Waitaha waka Uruao.254 Tamarereti also appears in an early Journal of Polynesian Society article in 1911 where he is believed to be an ancient navigator who is now seen in the Scorpio constellation, his canoe being the Uruao. 255 In each case Te Waka a Raki is associated with Tamarereti who in some traditions is also the captain of the Uruao canoe. Tamarereti is closely associated with either the Argo or Scorpio constellation further demonstrating that Te Waka a Raki is intrinsically linked with star lore, as implied by its name ‘The Canoe of the Sky Father’ and it being placed in the heavens as a constellation. There being no whakapapa tracing descent from this waka or its crew suggests this was not a canoe of migration but a 253
Hare Hongi, ‘Te Putea iti a Reti’ in New Zealand Illustrated Magazine, 1902, Vol.6, pp. 106-109.
Smith, 1911, pp. 16-17.
JPS, Vol.20, 1911, p. 41.
221 tradition preserving linkages to key constellations associated with waka migration. This would support the stance that Te Waka a Raki is emblematic of traditions concerning original migration to Te Waipounamu. However, this would go against the dynamics of tradition established in the previous chapter. Te Waka a Raki is not seen in North Island traditions so it has not been translocated. However, it does incorporate many shared themes and references implying it’s an adaptation derived from a wider body of waka traditions. Despite the changed name, the core elements of this tradition are similar to many early waka traditions raising the question of whether Te Maihāroa ultimately adapted the tradition post-contact, potentially being both source and author of the tradition.
South Island Accounts There are four accounts of Te Wakahuruhurumanu as follows; the earliest account of Herewini Ira (1892) suggests post-contact change as several waka traditions have been sequenced together, the final three are all derived from Herries Beattie (1915) who had access to multiple written sources and are therefore synthesised accounts.
222 1. Post-contact Māori Change – Herewini Ira (1892) The earliest account of Te Wakahuruhurumanu was from Herewini Ira of Moeraki in his manuscript, Ko Te Waka Huruhurumanu written on December 6 in 1892. Despite bearing the name Te Wakahuruhurumanu in the title, the actual text gave little information about the canoe focusing instead on Te Waka a Raki and Uruao. This systemisation of different canoes suggests multiple accounts have been compiled post-contact into one authoritive account: Nō runga i te tere o taua waka nei koia i huaina ai te ingoa ko te Waka Huruhuru Manu. 256
Translation Because of the speed of the vessel it was called by the name Te Waka Huruhuru Manu. 257 2. Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Herries Beattie (1915) Beattie published several accounts of Te Wakahuruhurumanu which were derived from different sources. In this version the canoe is credited with creating the South Island: Te Waka-huruhuru-manu was a canoe of the gods, it left distant lands to traverse islands and planted islands here and there. The canoe ran south into mountainous seas. It sailed over waves while chanting to smooth the seas and the South Island appeared. 258
3. Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Herries Beattie (1915) Beattie then provides a second account where Te Wakahuruhurumanu was the first canoe from Hawaiki, but was not a real canoe of migration as it had no crew but was a celestial canoe that opened the pathways for later canoes 256
Herewini Ira, Ko Te Waka Huruhurumanu, 1892, unpaginated.
Translated by Mr. Tamati Te Hau, c.2001-2003, unpublished paper.
Beattie, 1915, p. 103.
223 by separating the sky from the sea. Feathers were placed upright on the canoe but when it returned the feathers were flat but the sky had lifted. 259 Another version gives Te Wakahuruhurumanu as a giant feather, which was affixed to a sail and then let go. The feather came back battered so people knew the sky did not lie flat on the sea as the battered feather proved the existence of storms and wind. Beattie’s informant forgot the captain but remembered the axe was Hikatua. 260
4. Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Herries Beattie (1915) Beattie published a third account, which again follows a similar template of events, where Te Wakahuruhurumanu is a spirit canoe that smoothes the sea but in this case is captained by Kapakitua and Tairea, and the sacred adze was Te Awhioraki which is a motif found in several canoe traditions such as the Takitimu. Beattie again tried to rationalise the differing accounts by stating there must have been two voyages which explains the different captains and departure points. This systemisation was derived from his exposure to multiple written accounts and his failure to recognise reoccurring symbolic motifs as an authentic dynamic of Māori oral tradition.
Shared Images As demonstrated in an earlier chapter, the adze Awhioraki (or in the northern dialects Awhiorangi) is associated with the Takitimu, Aotea, Horouta and Kapakitua canoes.
Beattie, 1915, p. 103.
Beattie, 1915, p. 103.
The adze Te Awhiorangi is an obvious reference
224 associated with waka migrations located in the distant past. It is likely this motif was derived from an original tradition that has been transported and recycled in later traditions. The inclusion of the sacred toki, Te Awhioraki, is reflective of a similar role it plays in other migration traditions, where the adze cuts through obstacles, clearing the pathway for the waka to proceed. Indeed this is a key role of the waka tradition itself, as Te Wakahuruhurumanu acts as a spiritual precursor laying the foundations for later canoe migrations. Te Waka a Raki and Te Wakahuruhurumanu share the same adze, Pakitua, but variations of the name Pakitua occur in other traditions. Hikatua is a variant of Pakitua, but in other traditions Kapakitua is the canoe of Kāti Hawea under the leadership of Taiehu. Kapakitua is also one of the sacred adzes aboard the Uruao 261 canoe demonstrating the extent symbolic elements are at play. Another motif is the figure Taiehu, who is the captain of Te Wakahuruhurumanu, however, Taiehu features in numerous waka traditions. The northern figure Taikehu is a prominent figure on the Horouta, Takitimu, Tainui and Te Arawa canoes. 262 Taikehu is also seen as a pivotal early ancestor of Ngāi Tai and closely associated with their migration traditions.263 In Te Arawa traditions, Taikehu arrived on the Arawa canoe and collected seafood from a large sandbank near Katikati which was subsequently named Te Ranga a Taikehu. 264 The same place name is attributed to a Taikehu that 261
S. Percy Smith, ‘Genealogy of Te Mamaru Family of Moeraki’, in JPS, 1894, Vol.3, p. 14.
Simmons, 1976, pp. 49, 132, 134, 176.
Mead & Grove, 2001, pp. 241, 257.
Orbell, 1995, p. 169.
225 arrived on the Tainui waka and settled in Tamaki. 265 In southern Taranaki, Taikehu was believed to have arrived with Kupe and named two rivers, 266 one ‘Te Awa Nui a Taikehu,’ is the poetic name for the Whanganui River. 267 It is evident that the North Island Taikehu and its linguistic equivalent, Taiehu, is an image shared with most early migration traditions. These shared images highlight a context whereby oral traditions incorporate an amalgamation of numerous references to early ancestors and place names. Although Te Wakahuruhurumanu is not found in the North Island it is apparent it is based upon themes, templates and motifs that are derived from a larger corpus of waka traditions. Te Wakahuruhurumanu is an adaptation of North Island traditions concerning spiritual waka located in the distant past, however, this adaptation is more extreme than those of Ārai Te Uru, Takitimu and Tairea. The highly variable nature of these accounts is perhaps due to the original account being located so far in the distant past that only fragments remain. With the evidence available it is difficult to ascertain whether this is truly the case but it is clear that Te Wakahuruhurumanu is more symbolic in nature and reflects an internal dynamic of change where tradition is transported and adapts.
Orbell, 1995, p. 169.
Orbell, 1995, p. 169.
Mead & Grove, 2001, p. 41.
Te Waka o Aoraki
South Island Accounts There are two accounts as follows; both were published by Herries Beattie during the 1940s and are likely the result of post-contact Māori change as they were not recorded in the earliest traditions of Te Waipounamu. 1. Post-contact Māori Change – Herries Beattie (1945) The earliest occurrence of the Aoraki canoe tradition was published by Herries Beattie, which provides an alternative tradition to that of the South Island being the canoe of Maui. Beattie’s account states the South Island was originally the canoe of the deity Aoraki, who was petrified. Beattie believed this tradition was very ancient, explaining its fragmentary nature: When Raki, the sky, wedded Papatuanuku, the earth, this union not only produced offspring, but led to intercourse between the already existent children of the sky and the children of the earth. Some of the sky children came down to see the earth and some remained. Among these were Aoraki (cloud in the sky) and his younger brothers, Raki-roa (long Raki), Raki-rua (Raki the second), and Raraki-roa (a long, continuous line), and they came in a canoe which was known as Te Waka-a-Aoraki. This canoe became the South Island of New Zealand, and when the four brothers turned into mountains Aoraki became Mount Cook, Rakiroa became Mount Dampier, Rakirua is now Mount Teichelmann, while Rarakiroa became the Silberhorn…Maui was a descendant of Aoraki, and when he came to ‘The Canoe of Aoraki’ (South Island) he sailed round it to make it safe for the Maori people to land on the framework of that metamorphisised celestial visitant. To show the land was now eligible for Maui’s people a representation in rock of his celebrated canoe, the Mahunui, was sent back to Te Nohoaka-o-Mahunui…hence the South Island is sometimes called Mahunui. 268 268
Beattie, 1945, p. 60.
Although the source is not given, it is clear the informant sought to place the tradition prior to Te Waka a Maui suggesting they are not regional accounts as the informant has attempted to chronologically order the two together in the same space, yet ensuring the Aoraki account is earlier and therefore of prime importance. James Cowan gave Te Waka-a-Mauī as the ancient name of the South Island in 1905 illustrating it was published much earlier, despite Aoraki’s supposed pre-eminence. 269 2. Post-contact Māori Change – Herries Beattie (1949) Beattie gave another version with further details regarding the exploits of Aoraki upon his waka: Before Raki (the Sky-Father) wedded Papa-tua-nuku (the Earth Mother) each of the contracting parties had already existing children by other unions, and after that event some of the Sky-children came down to inspect the new wife of their father…Among these celestial visitors were four sons of Raki, who were named Ao-raki (cloud on the sky), Raki-roa (long Raki), Rakirua (Raki the second), and Raraki-roa (a long, continuous line). They came down in a canoe which was known as Te Waka-a-Aoraki and cruised around Papa-tua-nuku…Then disaster overtook them and the karakia (invocation) which should have lifted their canoe to the skies went wrong and their craft sank on to an undersea ridge, being turned into stone and earth in the process. Unfortunately, it did not sink levelly, the western side being much higher than the eastern, as a rule, except opposite Kaukauna. The four main voyagers clambered onto this high side, and, being turned to stone, Aoraki became Mount Cook, and his three younger brothers became the peaks nearest it. The whole canoe forms the South Island, the oldest known name of which is Te Waka-a-Aoraki and the highest point in the canoe is the stone representation of the owner himself. 270 269
James Cowan, ‘Māori Place-names: with Special Reference to the Great Lakes and Mountains of the South Island’, in TNZI, 1905, Vol.38, p. 119.
Herries Beattie, The Māoris and Fiordland, Otago Daily Times and Witness Newspapers: Dunedin, 1949, p. 7.
Consistency of Accounts The tradition of Te Waka o Aoraki is a symbolic account explaining the creation of the South Island. It is notable that Te Waka o Aoraki is fairly recent as it was first published in 1945.
Te Waka o Aoraki was not
mentioned in the manuscripts of Edward Shortland and J.F.H. Wohlers, which were recorded nearly a century earlier.
Whilst not being published
does not mean that it was not known, it does raise the question why mention of this creation tradition for Te Waipounamu was withheld when other canoe traditions were recorded. Te Waka o Aoraki is unique to Te Waipounamu but bears many similarities to the Te Waka a Maui canoe tradition. Early traditions concerning the canoe of Maui are found throughout both the North and South Island but are also seen in place names such as Te Taumanu o te Waka a Maui (Kaikōura), Te Puka o te Waka a Maui (Stewart Island) and Maui’s canoe, Mahaanui, which is prominent in the traditions of North Canterbury Māori. 271 A key point is that Aoraki is not unique to Te Waka o Aoraki as he also appears in the Ārai Te Uru tradition, which was noted as a famous canoe by Edward Shortland in the 1840s.
Judge F.R. Chapman recorded a more
substantial account in the late 1880s from Rāwiri Te Maire. This version was probably more substantial as it had been recorded later. Te Maire’s account was far more detailed, reflecting the geography of the Otago district suggesting the tradition had been expanded and localised over time. 271
Tau, 2003, p. 104.
229 Chapman (1896) noted that Aoraki was one of the 150 crew on the Ārai Te Uru canoe but he did not play a significant role.
Beattie (1944) gives an
account of Aoraki as a young boy who was part of the crew and that the mountain Aoraki was named after the young boy: The Arai Te Uru tradition often begins with the capsizing of the canoe at Moeraki. From Moeraki the crew managed to swim ashore, leaving the cargo to be taken shore…The crew members ran inland and were turned to stone or became mountains. The majority of these mountains became the Southern Alps, with the principal mountain being Kirikātata, who carried Aoraki on his shoulders. The story is important because it places the Southern Alps into a genealogical context and allows one to claim kinship with the land. 272 In a later publication Beattie (1945) gives more detail of the naming of the mountain Aoraki: That name Tiritiri-o-te-moana, was extended to embrace the Southern Alps…Centuries later the highest peak was given a particular name in honour of a small boy, Aoraki, who was on the Arai-te-uru canoe…The story runs that when the travellers…came in sight of the loftiest peak, someone remarked it was higher than the other height to which the names of various members of the crew had been given. The little lad had been tired and was then being borne along the shoulder of a stalwart man when someone observed that he was higher than the rest and that the peak should be named after him as a consequence of this. 273 Beattie demonstrates insight by highlighting the principal role of the Ārai Te Uru tradition as implanting whakapapa to establish genealogical connections to the land. He does not attempt to explain the occurrence of Aoraki in two waka. Further inconsistencies were recorded by James Cowan (1905) whose
Herries Beattie, Māori Place-Names of Otago, Otago Daily Times and Witness Newspapers Co. Ltd: Dunedin, 1944, pp. 39-40.
Beattie, 1945, p. 53.
230 source stated Mt Cook was only known as Aorangi (Aoraki) by West Coast Māori implying it was a regional account: Two immigrants by this Polynesian vikingship [Ārai te Uru] were Kirikiri-katata and Aroaro-kaihe. The former name was given by the Māori explorers to the Mount Cook Range, while that of Aroaro-kaihe was bestowed upon one of the icy peaks of Aorangi…“Aorangi” was the term usually applied to Mount Cook by the Maoris on the west coast; those on the eastern plains generally called it “Kirikiri-katata.” 274 It is possible these inconsistencies can be attributed to being derivatives from different iwi, namely Ārai Te Uru stemming from Ngāti Māmoe and Te Waka o Aoraki stemming from Waitaha. However, such an approach fails to take into account that each successive layer of settlement amalgamated with the previous layer and therefore traces of Waitaha traditions would likely still be seen in Ngāti Māmoe and later Ngāi Tahu waka traditions, which they are not until after they were published by Beattie. The evidence shows the Aoraki waka tradition only became widely known after its relatively late publication by Beattie, implying it did not exist or was not prominent enough to have been recorded earlier, drawing suspicion to its pre-contact authenticity.
Shared Imagery Te Waka o Aoraki bears many similarities to other South Island waka traditions suggesting it has drawn upon shared images and templates of events associated with migration traditions. Firstly, Aoraki also appears on the Ārai Te Uru canoe. Secondly, the unifying theme in Southern accounts 274
Cowan, 1905, p. 119.
231 of Ārai Te Uru is mountains, which are consistent with Te Waka o Aoraki. In the Ārai Te Uru tradition Aoraki features but only plays a minor role, whereas in Te Waka o Aoraki he is the principal figure. Te Waka o Aoraki is also wrecked which is consistent with the other waka traditions such as the Tairea, Ārai Te Uru and Takitimu discussed previously.
storyline is not a literal reference or comment on the ocean voyaging skills of early Polynesians but is a metaphoric device whereby iwi seek to enhance their connection to an ancestral canoe by it being wrecked and therefore coming to rest within their territory. In the contemporary accounts of Te Waka o Aoraki presented as evidence for the Ngāi Tahu Claim it was stated that Aoraki’s brothers were named as Rakirua, Rakiroa and Raraki. 275 Each name is clearly a derivative of the key name Aoraki or Raki and is a symbolic device to increase the emphasis on Aoraki and expand the genealogy. The geography of the mountains could also have impelled the other characters as Aoraki is part of a range of mountains and therefore the other mountains would also be rendered in the whakapapa. The incorporation of elements of other traditions does lend the tradition some credibility in Māori eyes. The repetition of known references is common and provides ample ammunition for inter-tribal debates on the Marae. However, they also create inconsistencies and contradictions which previous scholarship has tried to explain away through systemising traditions to fit within a Western framework.
James Russell, ‘Mahinga Kai: Evidence of James Russel in respect of Arahura’ in Ngāi Tahu Claim Evudence Wai27, V.18, H.8, 1988, p. 50.
232 Aoraki and his brothers are said to be the offspring of Raki and his first wife Pokoharuatepō. The following series of Raki’s wives comes from Ngāi Tahu scribe Thomas Green: Whakapapa 8.1 276 Pokoharuatepō Papatūānuku Whanakeipapa Hekehekeipapa Pokoharuatepō Green also gives a whakapapa for the progeny of Raki and Pokoharuatepō that is vastly different from that given in the Te Waka o Aoraki tradition. In Green’s whakapapa the offspring of Raki and Pokoharuatepō are all winds and Aoraki does not exist:
T.E. Green, Whakapapa Ms (Yellow folder), Unpublished Manuscript (Private Collection).
233 Whakapapa 8.2 277 Raki e tū nei = 1 Pokoharua Te Pō Uru Te Maha Maomao 278 (Westerly winds) Tāwhirimatea
Tiu (Northern wind)
Te Mauru e taki nei (Northwest wind)
Te Haakuetipu Te Operuaraki 279 (Winds of the north) Pūnui o Toka Te Puaitaha (Southerly wind) (Southwest wind)
This demonstrates that even the whakapapa given for Aoraki is not consistent with tribal whakapapa concerning the descendants of Raki and Pokoharuatepō. The name Aoraki or Aorangi is not unique to the Southern Alps, intimating the name has been relocated from other regions. Beattie stated that there were two places named Aoraki or Aorangi in Te Waipounamu, and that Aorangi was also the name of a peak in Tahiti. 280 Rāwiri Te Maire also noted that there was more than one occurrence of several place names such as Kamataura, Maungaatua and Aorangi. He explained this by stating they were ‘after named’, thereby explaining why Aorangi was also the name of a
Raka Maomao is also an early ancestor in Tainui genealogies (Simmons, 1976, p. 282.).
Te Operuaraki translates to ‘the party of Ruaraki’. Ruaraki is the southern variant of Ruarangi, an early ancestor found in the genealogies of Northland, Taranaki and Whangarā (Simmons, 1976, pp. 54, 87-89, 92, 97, 258, 292.).
Beattie, 1945, p. 53.
234 cliff at Diver Point. 281 The peak in Tahiti referred to by Beattie is most likely Mt Aora’i which is the linguistic equivalent of Aorangi. 282 Arorangi in Rarotonga also bears similarity to the name Aorangi. 283 Ngata refers to the song ‘He Waiata mō Te Rakahurumanu’ which features the place name Aorangi and also states that Aorangi was a lesser peak of Mt Hikurangi. 284 In isolation these similarities may be considered coincidental but combined they demonstrate a pattern that the place name Aorangi has been relocated innumerable times.
Hence, Aorangi or Aoraki has its origins in East
Polynesia from where it has been relocated during migrations from Tahiti to Rarotonga, and then Aotearoa before migrating internally to Te Waipounamu.
It is clear although Te Waka o Aoraki is unique to Te
Waipounamu, Aoraki itself is not. The process of the relocation and localisation of tradition as discussed in earlier chapters has been taken to the extreme with emphasis changing so drastically that a new tradition is created from elements of previous traditions. In this manner, the emphasis of the Ārai Te Uru tradition is shifted to Aoraki thereby creating a new and distinct waka tradition that establishes a direct whakapapa for southern Māori to their home. Having a unique account of origin ensures the mana of southern Māori and avoids being taina (junior) to their northern forebears.
Anderson, 1942, p. 136.
Max Quanchi, Atlas of the Pacific Islands, The Bess Press: Honolulu, 2002, p. 46.
National Geographic Atlas of the World, National Geographic Society: Washington DC, 1990, p. 3.
Ngata, 1961, pp. 156-159.
Conclusion Analysis shows the traditions of Te Waka a Raki, Te Wakahuruhurumanu and Te Waka o Aoraki are not historical accounts of human migration but the mythological pre-cursors that establish the psychological and spiritual foundations for migration and in Aoraki’s case creation. Te Waka a Raki and Te Wakahuruhurumanu had no crew or whakapapa, instead being primarily associated with constellations, namely Te Waka a Tamarereti or the Scorpio constellation. These waka are celestial canoes that have been fixed in the heavens and preserved through narrative. Te Waka o Aoraki does have a crew but all are deities as the tradition is a creation tradition for the South Island. Although all are not found in the North Island, these waka traditions draw upon a range of symbolic figures, references and templates of events derived from a wider genre of migration traditions shared with northern kin. Therefore they have not been relocated and have instead been composed or re-packaged in the South. The key question here is not where these traditions originate from but when. Neither Te Waka a Raki, Te Wakahuruhurumanu or Te Waka o Aoraki were recorded in Edward Shortland’s list of South Island canoe names recorded in the 1840s which is unusual. Te Waka a Raki and Te Wakahuruhurumanu were not recorded until the 1890s and Te Waka o Aoraki was not published until 1945, drawing suspicion to their pre-contact authenticity. It is possible these were regional accounts but the evidence certainly does not suggest they were relocated and locally customised as seen in previous waka traditions. Although these traditions incorporate and utilise pre-contact dynamics and metaphoric associations, the evidence suggests they have been re-packaged post-contact.
By the 1890’s Ngāi Tahu had access to other tribal traditions through publications such as the Journal of Polynesian Society and would have been aware of the similarities of shared origin traditions. It is also evident the waka traditions of Waitaha are linked and likely derived from the prophet Hipa Te Maihāroa, who sought to establish Waitaha origins and claims to manawhenua as separate and distinct from northern iwi. Thus these accounts likely reflect a new tribal identity as opposed to an old tribal migration, influenced by a desire for separate origins, identity and re-packaged within a post-contact environment.
Uruao This, the second of four chapters analysing the traditions of Waitaha, examines Uruao, the primary canoe of Waitaha. The principal ancestor was Rākaihautū and his exploits upon the Uruao canoe and his later exploration of the South Island form the bulk of the Waitaha traditions. This chapter outlines southern accounts of Uruao before examining the symbolic elements of the tradition and its linkages with star lore. Discussion focuses on the links these symbolic elements share with North Island waka traditions and a larger body of metaphoric imagery associated with migration.
discussion centres upon the internal consistency of accounts demonstrating the extent Uruao traditions incorporate symbolic imagery and raising the possibility they were composed post-contact.
South Island Accounts There are four accounts as follows. The earliest account of Wī Pōkuku and Herewini Eli (1887) is likely to have been the product of post-contact change as Uruao does not appear in the earliest recorded manuscripts. Beattie’s (c.1920) account was likely pieced together from multiple sources. Te Aue Davis’ (1990) account resulted from a period of iwi cultural revitalisation for southern Māori and the final new-age mystical account published by Barry Brailsford (1994) is a great departure from all previous traditions and was invented by Brailsford himself. 1. Post-contact Māori Change – Wī Pōkuku and Herewini Ira (1887) The following account is derived from Waitaha tohunga Wī Pōkuku and Herewini Ira. 285
It is difficult to ascertain whether this account was
composed pre or post-contact. As the earliest account it is possible it is representative of authentic Waitaha tradition not recorded earlier. However, its non-occurrence in early North Island traditions suggests it was not relocated during internal migrations and is therefore not consistent with the general pattern of authentic pre-contact traditions. Whilst it is possible this is an authentic original arrival tradition for Waitaha, it is also possible that this account has been composed post-contact. Both tohunga were schooled in Te Maihāroa’s whare kura (house of learning) therefore Hipa Te Maihāroa is the likely source of the tradition. This account was published by Ngāi Tahu historian Te Maire Tau (2003) and translated by Mr. Tamati Te Hau: Muri mai [i Te Waka a Raki] ko Uruao kahu ano a Matiti ki te tahi taha o te raki ki te Patunui ano oaia ki te Taepataka o Te Raki, Kahu a Matiti ki 285
Wī Pōkuku and Herewini Eli, ‘Ko Te Pukapuka Whakaako ko te Korero Tipuna’, 1887, unpaginated.
240 tau tarinui o matariki kia Tokopa,, ia ia ka whetu kino ka whetu pai, ka whetu kai, ka whetu kore kai,, ka tau pai, ka tau kino, ka riro mai a Weroi teninihi a Weroi te kokoto a Weroi te aumarianei, te ahurunei, te mahana nei ko Uruao na Taitewhenua i tuku mai kia matiti na matiti i tuku kia Rakaihautu ka manu mai a Uruao ka riro mai i kona ka takata a Waitaha ka rito mai te Kahui tipua me te Kahui roko ka riro mai a Toi me Rauru, ka riro mai a Rakaihautu te ko a Tuwhakaroria. Ko Matuarua te atua, ka haere tonu mai a Matiti ka u mai ki tera motu kua ki tera motu i te takata tika tonu mai a Rakaihautu ki tenei motu kaore hetakata o tenei motu. Ko Rakaihautu te takata nana i timata te ahi ki ruka ki tenei motu ka nohoia tenei motu e Waitaha. 286
Translation After that [Te Waka a Raki] we have the canoe called Uruao. The ancestor, Matiti, who represented both the summer and a particular constellation of that season moved to the horizon to the land called Patunui-o-aio. The Matiti constellations then moved towards the autumn constellations near the ‘Pleiades’ (Tau Tarinui o Matariki) which resided in the portion of the sky we call, Kokota. Herein we find the good and bad stars, and the stars that showed abundance and scarcity of food which indicates the season of wealth, the season of scarcity, the good seasons and the poor seasons. The stars that feature as part of the tail of the ‘Constellation of Scorpio’ were signs of warmth and plenty and they would then pass beyond the horizon indicating the start of autumn. The Uruao which came from the district Tai-te-whenua was sent here to Matiti and Matiti sent it to Rākaihautū. The Uruao was launched and departed for this place. It was from there that the people of Waitaha came, as well as deities known as the Kāhui Tipua and Kāhui Roko. The ancestor Toi also departed from there, as did his son Rauru. Rākaihautū also departed from there. The apparatus used to dig the lakes was called Tuwhakaroria and Matuarua was the god, and Matiti constellations came and fell on the other island that was occupied. Rākaihautū carried on his journey to the other island. There were no people on this island. Rākaihautū was the man that lit the fires of occupation upon this Island. 287
Pōkuku & Eli, 1887, unpaginated.
Tau, 2003, pp. 270-271.
241 The fires of occupation (ahi kā roa) symbolise the rights of occupation for Waitaha and establish their mana whenua through discovery and exploration by Rākaihautū. 2. Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Herries Beattie (c.1920) The following account was recorded in Herries Beattie’s manuscript papers 288 but was not published until Atholl Anderson’s Traditional
Lifeways of the Southern Māori in 1994. This account differs slightly as it places more emphasis on the characters involved: Uruao is also known as Uruao-kapua-rangi. The two adzes used in its construction were Te Hae-mata and Whiro-nui and belonged to Uru-tengangana. The name Urunui features in the same karakia so it might have been double hulled. Uruao was originally owned by Tai-te-whenua of Te Kahui Tipua. Later it was given to Matiti who in turn gifted it to Rakaihautu of Waitaha who had married his daughter Waiariki-o-Aio. On board were Rakaihautu, his wife Waiariki-o-Aio, their son Te Rakihouia, his wife Tapu-iti and Matiti. Also aboard were two crewmen Noti and Nota, the iwi Waitaha, Te Kahui-tipua and Te Kahui-roko. Te Kahui Tipua carried kauru (cabbage tree root) and Te Kahui Roko carried kumara and both were believed to be of the same people as Toi and Rauru. Matiti travelled to Tautari-nui-o-matariki to learn star lore from Takopa. He was told Wero-i-te-ninihi, Wero-i-te-kokoto and Wero-i-te-aumaria portended the season of fine weather and voyaging. Believed to have come from Tapahanga-a-Taiehu and to have departed from Te Patunui-aaio, the waka Uruao found the sea connected to the sky so the axes Kapaki-tua and Tua-uru-rangi were used to sever the sky from the sea. Uruao made its first landfall in the north but the land was found inhabited by Te Ope-ruarangi so they migrated further south. Kai-koura was the first place named and the possible site of three shrines: Te Puna-hau-aitu, 288
242 Te Puna-maria and Te Puna-karikari. These tuahu were believed to have been erected for Matua-a-rua the atua who protecting the waka Uruao. 289 The name Uruao Kapua Rangi, Te Hae Mata, Te Whiro Nui and Uru Te Ngangana are derived from Wairarapa tohunga, Moihi Te Matorohanga’s conjoint accounts recorded by Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro and translated by S. Percy Smith suggesting Beattie has mixed elements of multiple regional accounts. Aside from this minor addition the narrative is similar to the Wī Pōkuku and Herewini Ira text (1887). 3. Iwi Cultural Revivalist Change – Te Aue Davis (1990)
He Kōrero Pūrākau mō ngā Taunahanahatanga a ngā Tūpuna Places Names of the Ancestors: A Māori Oral History Atlas was compiled by Māori scholar Te Aue Davis on behalf of the New Zealand Geographic Board as a New Zealand 1990 official project. Davis worked alongside Ngāi Tahu scholar, Sir Tipene O’Regan, publishing an account of Uruao sourced from multiple written accounts and selected oral informants: In South Island legends, Rākaihautū is identified as the person who traversed the land, naming the lakes as he went. He and his son Rokohouia were the ariki (leaders and guardians) of the canoe Uruao, one of the earliest canoes (before the canoes of the so-called ‘fleet’) to arrive on the shores of Aotearoa. The Uruao made landfall at Whangaroa in the north. The people of the Uruao surveyed the land of Muriwhenua, sometimes called Te Hiku o te Ika a Māui (The Tail of the Fish of Māui). They discovered that many who had arrived in Aotearoa earlier than themselves had settled there. The desire to find land for themselves prompted them to move on. They sailed southward, following the west coast, finally making landfall at Whakatū (Nelson). 290 289
Beattie, 1994, p. 202.
New Zealand Geographic Board, He Kōrero Pūrākau mō ngā Taunahanahatanga a ngā Tūpuna Place Names of the Ancestors: A Māori Oral History Atlas, Government Printing Office: Wellington, 1990, p. 90.
This version goes on to provides a detailed account of Rākaihautū’s exploits which will be examined in a later chapter. This account is of interest as it places much emphasis on the exploration of Te Waipounamu and features little detail on the origins of the canoe, its crew or significant constellations as seen in previous accounts. This is perhaps due to the publication having a focus on place names, however, during the 1990s Ngāi Tahu were also in the final stages of fighting the Ngāi Tahu claim where Rākaihautū became pivotal in establishing early connections to the land. Perhaps this change in emphasis is also partly due to the political needs of the period where Uruao’s importance shifts from a tradition of origin to a tradition establishing land rights. 4. New Age Multicultural Change – Barry Brailsford (1994) The following account was published by Pākehā spiritualist, Barry Brailsford, in his Songs of Waitaha and is a significant departure from previous accounts: Our waka carried three peoples. The Tohunga reached into three old iwi to choose the families to settle Aotea Roa. Each went back to different mana trees that grew in different soils, drank of different waters, produced different fruits and were touched by different stars…They came from the four winds. Some were dark skinned and some were white, yet they gathered at Waitangi Ki Roto and lived as one. They learned to speak as one and work as one for the interests of all. We honour forever the three coloured strands that came together in this land to bind the heart, mind and spirit of the Nation… 291 Uruao traditions do mention three iwi; Waitaha, Te Kāhui Roko and Te Kāhui Tipua, however, they are not given as separate races nor do they ‘live 291
Brailsford, 1994, p. 82.
244 as one’ at a place called Waitangi Ki Roto. Brailsford then goes on to link Uruao with the Ngātokimatawhaorua, Tairea, and Ārai Te Uru canoes which are all separate in previous accounts: Then, with swift sure strokes, we cut the bindings joining the two mighty hulls of Ngatoki Mata Whaorua and they parted forever…And to each old hull we bound a new one to make two double waka. We named them for the ancient trails of our ancestors. The tapu waka was Uru Ao, for the ‘west world far away’, and the new hull lashed to its side was named Tairea, for the Tides of the Children. The noa waka was Arai Te Uru, for the ‘trail of the west’. 292 This new-age highly romanticised style of prose is further embellished by an old-age Smithian synthesis of separate regional accounts to create a ‘new’ narrative of arrival.
These new-age multicultural changes are the most
radical as the construction and publication of these accounts is entirely determined by a Pākehā spiritualist agenda and has little if any connection to authentic Māori oral tradition.
Links to Constellations The Uruao waka tradition of Waitaha is seemingly unique to Te Waipounamu but Uruao itself appears in many traditions, commonly associated with early waka migrations. Percy Smith gave Uruao as the waka of Tamarereti who was illustrated earlier to also be the captain of Te Waka a Raki and also associated with waka migrations and the Scorpio or Argo Constellations. 293 Usually his waka is identified with the tail of the Scorpion in the constellation of Scorpius, whilst others believe the bow is Matariki (Pleiades), the sternpost is Tautoru (Orion’s Belt), and the anchor Māhutonga 292
Brailsford, 1994, p. 82.
Smith, 1911, pp. 16-17.
245 (the Southern Cross). 294 The Tuhoe traditions recorded by Eldson Best also link Uruao with Tamarereti and the stars. In Tuhoe traditions Tāne received light givers (stars) from Kewa to obtain Hine Titama and placed them in a basket, represented by Te Ikaroa (The Milky Way): Then the basket was placed on Uruao, the waka atua or supernatural canoe of Tama-rereti, and taken to the heavens, where all the Whanau Marama or luminous ones were arranged on his head, body and legs. 295 Eldson Best also published a series of star names given by John White, which include Wero i Te Ninihi, Wero i Te Kokoto and Uruao. 296 Not only is Uruao rendered as a star not a canoe but the other stars Wero i Te Ninihi and Wero i Te Kokoto are constellations also found in the Waitaha accounts of Uruao. The Pōkuku-Eli manuscript (1892) gives three stars that form the tail of the constellation Scorpio, Wero i Te Ninihi, Wero i Te Kokoto, Wero i Te Aumaria Nei, which were signs of warmth and plenty.
Uruao is also
associated with the constellation Scorpio in Waitaha accounts. The Williams Māori Dictionary gives Uruao as a star, which appears in January and February further demonstrating Uruao was also incarnated as a star. 297 Matiti, who gave Uruao to Rākaihautū is also a star associated with summer and its close relationship with Uruao is seen in the whakatauki: Ko Matiti ki te ao, ko Uruao ki runga. 298
Orbell, 1995, p. 176.
Eldson Best, ‘Māori Peronifications’ in JPS, Vol.32, 1923, p. 69.
Eldson Best, ‘Māori Star Names’ in JPS, Vol.19, 1910, pp. 98-99.
Williams, 1971, p. 469.
Williams, 1971, p. 194.
When Matiti is at dawn, Uruao is above. It is evident that both Uruao and Matiti are clearly linked together as both are also associated with summer constellations.
North Island Links Percy Smith translated an account from Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro derived from Moihi Te Matorohanga that is vastly different from Waitaha versions. In this account the waka Uruao was captained by Tamarereti. S. Percy Smith translated a karakia given by Te Matorohanga said to have been used by Tupai, younger brother of Tāne-nui-a-rangi when the canoe was hewn: Hara mai te akaaka nui, Hara mai te akaaka roa, Hara mai te akaaka matua Hara mai te akaaka na Io-matua-taketake-te-waiora! Ki tenei tama nau, E Io-tikitiki-rangi e—i! Hara mai to akaaka nui, To akaaka roa, to akaaka-atua Ki enei tama nahau! He tama tawhiti, he tama tipua. He tama atua nau, E Io-te-akaaka! Te takē ki tenei tama—e—i. Hapai ake nei au i aku toki nei, Ko ‘Te Haemata,’ ko ‘Te Whiro-nui,’ Na wai aku toki? Na Uru-te-ngangana aku toki! He toki aha taku toki? He toki topetope i te Wao-o-Tāne Ka tuatuaia ki raro.
247 He aro tipua, he aro tawhiti He aro nou, e Tāne-te-waiora! Ki enei tama; he tama nui, he tama roa, He tama akaaka, he tama tipua, he tama atua—e—i. Hapai ake nei au i aku toki He toki aha aku toki? He toki nui aki toki He toki aha aku toki? He toki roa aku toki He toki aha aku toki? He toki aronui aku toki He toki aha aku toki? He toki mata nui aku toki. He toki aha aku toki? He toki mata koi aku toki. He toki aha aku toki? He toki tarai i taku waka taku toki. He toki aha aku toki? He toki whakariu aku toki. He toki aha aku toki? He toki ta-matua aku toki. He toki aha aku toki? He toki tamaku aku toki. He toki aha aku toki? He toki whakangao aku toki. Ki runga ki te Iho-matua Ko taku waka kia puta i tua Ki te Iho-roa, ki te Iho-matua Ko taku waka kia puta i tua Ka puta i roto, ka puta i Tawhito-ngawariwari E tu tapawhaki whaitiri—pao—e, i. Kowai taku waka? Ko ‘Uru-nui’ taku waka, Kowai taku waka? Ko ‘Uruao’—kapua-rangi, taku waka He waka aha taku waka? He waka tawhiti taku waka, He waka aha taku waka? He waka tipua taku waka. He waka aha taku waka? He waka atua taku waka.
248 He waka aha taku waka? He waka rangi taku waka. He waka aha taku waka? He waka tairanga taku waka. He waka aha taku waka? He tama iara na Mumu-whango taku waka, He waka toi-uru, he waka toi-rangi—e—i. 299
Translation Vouchsafe the highest knowledge, Vouchsafe the enduring knowledge, Vouchsafe the matured knowledge, Vouchsafe the particular knowledge, Of Io-the-father, the origin, the life giving! To this scion of thine, O Io-the-exalted-of-heaven, e-i! Give of thy supreme knowledge, Thy matured knowledge, god-like knowledge, To these sons of thine-e-i! And now I will uplift these axes of mine, Named ‘Te Hae-mata’ and ‘Whiro-nui’ By whom then are my axes? ‘Twas Uru-te-ngangana made my axes. For what purpose are my axes? To fell a tree to the earth below. With ancient and superhuman skill, Such as thine, O Tane-the-life-giving! Again my axes I know uplift What kind of axes are mine? My axes they are great and famed ones. What axes are mine? My axes are long ones. What kind of axes are mine? My axes are endowed with desire to succeed. What kind of axes are mine? Axes with broad edges are mine. What sort of axes are mine? 299
Smith, 1915, pp. 4-5.
Axes with keen edges are mine. What uses shall my axes serve? Axes to shape out my canoe are mine. What purposes are my axes for? Axes to dub out the hold, are my axes. What work are those axes to perform? Axes to accurately shape and finish each stroke. What other uses are these axes of mine? Axes to perforate and hollow out, The great, the long, the matured heart-wood of the tree, So my canoe may emerge in the end, Both inside and out, like Tawhito-ngawariwari. What name has my canoe? ‘Tis ‘Uru-nui’! What name has my canoe? ‘Tis ‘Uruao-kapua-rangi’! What kind is my canoe? A canoe of the ancients is my canoe. What kind is my canoe? ‘Tis a super-human made canoe. What kind is my canoe? ‘Tis formed as a god-like canoe. (Or a canoe in which the gods might be carried) What kind is my canoe? Formed to sail in the Heavens is my canoe. (Or in each quarter of the earth) What kind is my canoe? A canoe complete in all parts is my canoe. What kind is my canoe? ‘Tis like a son of Mumu-whango, A canoe of life, a heavenly canoe. 300 The last verse in particular alludes to Uruao being a celestial canoe which is not unusual in Māori oral traditions. However, normally the canoe is placed in the heavens after its migration whereas this version focuses entirely on its 300
Smith, 1915, pp. 18-20.
250 creation by the deity Tāne Nui a Rangi. Curiously Te Matorohanga gave a similar karakia for the Takitimu canoe.
Although the particulars have
changed the general structure and theme of the karakia is consistent drawing further suspicion to Te Matorohanga’s validity and suggesting one or both have been copied, edited or entirely created.
Given the nature of the
relationship between Te Matorohanga, Whatahoro and Smith it is most likely both karakia are post-contact conjoint accounts: Tenei au, haramai te akaaka nui, Haramai te akaaka roa, Haramai te akaaka matua, Haramai te akaaka na Io-matuaTaketake-te-waiora, Ki tenei tama nau, e Io-tikitiki-rangi, e-i. Haramai to akaaka nui, to akaaka roa, To akaaka atua, ki enei tama tipua, He tama atua nau, E Io-akaaka! Te takē ki enei tama, e-i. Tenei au te hapai ake nei i aku toki, Ko ‘Te Rakuraku-o-Tawhaki,’ Ko ‘Hui-te-rangiora,’ Ko ‘Te Iwi-o-Rona,’ aku toki. Nawai aku toki? Na Tawhaki, Nawai aku toki? Na Rātā, Na Rātā i te pukenga, Rātā i te wānanga, Ki enei tama. He toki aha aku toki? He toki topetope i te wao nui a Tāne, He toki tuatua ki raro, Te aro tipua, te ara tawhito, He aro nou E Tāne-te-waiora! Ki enei tama, he tama nui, he tama roa, He tama akaaka, he tama tipua, He tama atua, e-i. Hapai ake nei au i aku toki, He toki aha aku toki? He toki nui aku toki, 250
251 He toki aha aku toki? He toki roa aku toki, He toki aha aku toki? He toki aronui aku toki, He toki aha aku toki? He toki mata nui aku toki, He toki aha aku toki? He toki mata koi aku toki, He toki aha aku toki? He toki tarai i taku waka aku toki, He toki aha aku toki? He toki whakariu aku toki, He toki aha aku toki? He toki ta matua aku toki, He toki aha aku toki? He toki tamaku aku toki, He toki aha aku toki? He toki whakangao aku toki, He toki aha aku toki? He toki haohao nui aku toki, Ki runga ki te iho nui, Ki runga i te iho roa, Ki te iho matua o taku waka, Ka puta ki roto ka puta i tawhito-ngawariwari, E tu takawhaki Whaitiri, i paoa e-i Kowai taku waka? Ko ‘Te Pu-whenua’ taku waka, He waka aha taku waka? He waka tawhito taku waka, He waka aha taku waka? He waka tipua taku waka, He waka aha taku waka? He waka atua taku waka, He waka aha taku waka? He waka rangi taku waka, He waka aha taku waka? He waka rere moana taku waka, He waka aha taku waka? He waka tangata taku waka, He waka aha taku waka? He waka taputaku waka,
252 He waka aha taku waka? He waka takoto atu ki te uru whenua taku waka, He waka aha taku waka? He toa rere moana taku waka, Ki uta, ki take whenua taku waka, takoto ai, e-i. 301
Translation Here am I, begging that the great knowledge The enduring effort, may come to me; The supreme and complete knowledge, Such as possessed by thee, O Io-the-all-parent,Foundation of the waters of life. That they may come to thy son, O Io-the-exalted-of-heaven! Rest on me thy great and enduring skillThy god-like knowledge; give to thy sons, That they may possess the ancient and occult powers, Like thy god-like sons, O Io-the-omnierudite! The origin of all. Give freely to these sons, e-i! Here I uplift my famous axes, Named ‘Te Rakuraku-o-Tawhaki!’ ‘Hui-te-rangiora’ and ‘Te Iwi-o-Rona.’ Whose then are my axes? Tawhaki’s! Whose then are my axes? Rāta’s! Rāta, of priestly and esoteric knowledge, Give to these sons. For what purposes are my axes? To fell the great forest of Tāne!To lay low the tree, with my axe, With occult and ancient rites, Rites appropriate to thee, O Tāne-the-life-giving! Accord to these sons the powers of great and exalted sons, Make them expert with occult knowledge, With knowledge such as the gods-e-i! Now I uplift my famous axes, What kind are my axes? They are great and powerful axes, 301
Smith, 1915, pp. 189-191.
What kind are my axes? They are axes very appropriate, What kind are my axes? Axes with great edges, sharp axes, Axes to dub out my canoe, are my axes, What purpose do my axes serve? Axes to hollow the hold, to dub the centre, To smooth the sides, to make the holes, To finish the ends, On the great and lengthy core of the tree The central parts of my canoe, They enter within the wood, to tawhiti-ngawariwari, Whaitiri, with heavy blows, e-i! What is the name of my canoe? It is ‘Te Pu-whenua’! What kind of canoe is mine? A canoe like those of the ancients, is my canoe! What is my canoe like? Like a canoe of the dark ages is my canoe! What is my canoe like? Like those used by the gods! What is my canoe like? A canoe to traverse the heavens, is my canoe! What is my canoe like? An ocean-going canoe is my canoe! What is my canoe like? A canoe to carry men, is my canoe! What is my canoe like? A very sacred vessel is my canoe! A canoe to direct its course to the (new) land, is my canoe! Brave to breast the ocean waves, is my canoe! To reach the land, to the main-land, direct her course, e-i! 302 It is entirely possible that the similarities are coincidental or reflective of the particular style of karakia, however, it could also be evidence of Te Matorohanga adapting an existing karakia to create a karakia for the Uruao canoe, which is not prominent on the East Coast. 302
Smith, 1915, pp. 207-208.
Te Matorohanga’s accounts were recorded by Whatahoro and translated by Smith drawing suspicion to their authenticity as change could occur during the providing, recording, editing and translation of the tradition. In this version Uruao is focused on star lore, not migration. The only common element appears to be the name.
The tribe Waitaha and their chief
Rākaihautū are notably absent and the canoe is once again associated with the ancient prototypal navigator Tamarereti. Tamarereti’s superhuman status is further evidenced by Te Matorohanga later stating that, ‘…we have no Māori genealogical descent from Tamarereti the captain of the ‘Uruao’, the vessel that explored all the (Polynesian) world’. 303 While Te Matorohanga does provide a North Island account of the waka Uruao it is a supernatural canoe that is associated with gods, celestial beings and stars, and bears little resemblance to the Waitaha traditions of the Uruao canoe. Another possible allusion to the Uruao is a Te Arawa proverb published by Ernest Dieffenbach (1843), ‘No te uruzo[Uruao] he Arawa koe’. 304 Dieffenbach believed this obscure proverb referred to a saying of descendants of the Arawa canoe being liars and cheaters. It is curious that this proverb associates Arawa with ‘uruzo’, which in the passage of time has lost it’s meaning but could be a possible reference to Uruao. The word ‘uruzo’ has obviously not been recorded faithfully as the letter z does not occur in the Māori language. It is also a leap to state that ‘uruzo’ is referring to the canoe Uruao. However, when placed within the context of a range of associations and shared imagery it is possible that early Te Arawa also shared linkages with a metaphoric reference to Uruao as Te Arawa also have an ancestor named Waitaha or
Te Matorohanga, ‘Te Kauwae-raro’ in JPS, Vol.22, 1913, p. 22.
Ernest Dieffenbach, Travels in NZ, John Murray: London, 1843, Vol.2, p. 85.
255 Waitaha Nui a Hei. Waitaha was the son of Hei, an ancestor aboard the Te Arawa canoe upon its migration to Aotearoa, providing a further connection between the two tribal traditions of Waitaha. This clear association with the supernatural is also seen in the Herewini Ira manuscript where the crew are what are commonly known as a fairy folk, the Maeroero: Ko ngā tāngata o runga i taua waka o Uruao ‘e Maeroero. Ko ēnei iwi he iwi ināianei. Kua wairuatia. Kua atua hoki. 305
Translation The people on board the aforementioned vessel, of Uruao, were the Maeroero. These people are now a community. They have become spirits. They have become supernatural. This association with the supernatural is seen in other Ngāi Tahu sources. Rāwiri Mamaru also came from Te Maihāroa’s school of learning and stated that Uruao left from Te Tapahaka a Taiehu. 306 As seen earlier, Taiehu is a prototypal navigator figure but in the Uruao tradition, the reference to Taiehu has changed to a place name. Supernatural crew members are not limited to just the Maeroero as in most southern accounts the iwi on board are Waitaha, Te Kāhui Tipua and Te Kāhui Roko. Whilst iwi do trace descent from Rakaihautū, no iwi trace descent from Te Kāhui Tipua and Te Kāhui Roko. Te Kāhui Tipua were described as ogres and giants whilst Te Kāhui Roko are intrinsically linked with the kūmara. As demonstrated in an earlier chapter both Te Kāhui Tipua 305
Eli, 1892, p. 9.
Smith, 1894, p. 14.
256 and Te Kāhui Roko are not actual iwi as they have no whakapapa or descendants. Both are symbolic references to concepts or figures found in other traditions in the North Island. Although it is possible that Uruao was once an original canoe of migration, it is clear that these accounts are largely composed of symbolic references and elements.
Shared Imagery Despite the Uruao tradition not being relocated, it does share many symbolic images also shared with North Island traditions. These associations and reoccurring motifs were incorporated into Uruao narratives, yet whilst they were included, they were also changed. Taiehu the navigator has become a place name, stars are now rendered as waka, and parts of constellations associated with Uruao then become the stars that guide the canoe on its voyage.
Comparison between northern and southern connections reveal
similar threads but the differences are too great to suggest Uruao was relocated pre-contact and seen with many other South Island waka traditions. Beattie (1941) published an account gathered from one of his Ngāi Tahu informants attributing ownership of the waka Uruao to Tamarereti: …Uruao was the first canoe ever built…and that Tamarereti was the captain, hence the name of the constellation, which was originally Uruao, was changed to Te Waka-O-Tama-Rereti…There was a god named Uruao, who was one of the 70 sons of Rangi and Papa, and the meaning is said to be ‘cloud piercer…’ 307 In some accounts Uruao was also associated with Tamarereti and not just Rākaihautū as seen in the general corpus of Ngāi Tahu and Waitaha 307
Beattie, 1941, p. 18.
257 traditions. Beattie also notes that Uruao has many incarnations, a god, a star and a canoe. Beattie stated the star named Uruao was named after the canoe Uruao and that the star had its name changed to Te Waka o Tamarereti, rationalising a collection of seemingly connected allusions into a single lineal account. It is possible that this reference to Tamarereti was carried to Te Waipounamu, however, the timing of its publication suggests otherwise. The Ngāi Tahu Tamarereti account was published in 1941, reasonably late compared to the earlier accounts of Uruao in the 1890s and could have easily been the result of Ngāi Tahu’s renewed interaction with northern tribes and subsequent internalising of the Tamarereti tradition. In either scenario it is evident that Uruao has various forms of incarnation and associations in both the North and South Islands. Uruao does not appear to have been relocated internally and locally customised as seen in the waka traditions of Ārai Te Uru, Takitimu and Tairea.
There are no regional accounts where the tradition has been
customised. This uniqueness perhaps gives added credence to Uruao being an independent account of migration and therefore not derived from northern Māori.
However, the numerous motifs, references, names, places and
allusions that have been incorporated into Waitaha Uruao traditions clearly demonstrate that the Uruao tradition is not a pure unique account of origin. Symbolic elements and references have been loaded onto the Uruao tradition to ensure it incorporates and preserves a host of remembered names, characters and places. This is no different from pre-contact waka traditions relocated from the North, however, in this case these references are repackaged into an entirely new format, forming a new body of tradition 257
258 narrating tribal origin, distinct and separate from northern accounts. Origin traditions stemming from northern kin established South Island Māori in an inferior position, as their descent and arrival is secondary and therefore of inferior taina (junior) status. Uruao establishes an independent account of migration and genealogy that is not inferior, establishing the mana, and mana whenua of South Island Māori.
Consistency of Accounts Uruao is not seen in the early list of known canoes gathered from Ngāi Tahu chiefs by Edward Shortland in the 1840s and does not appear in Ngāi Tahu traditions until the late 1800s. Waitaha accounts are fairly consistent and generally come from the descendants or disciples of the religious prophet, Hipa Te Maihāroa.
Perhaps a logical explanation is that the principal
informants of Edward Shortland, such as the chief Tuhawaiki, were not informed of Waitaha traditions but this is unlikely as Te Maihāroa shared similar ancestry with most Ngāi Tahu chiefs. Thus whilst its later occurrence could be due to it simply not being known by the earliest informants, it is equally possible that the tradition was formulated post-contact, utilising a mix of symbolic elements sourced from a wider genre of migration traditions to form a completely distinct and original narrative of arrival distinct from the traditions of northern kin. This would establish the mana of South Island Māori as independent and therefore not secondary to North Island Māori. The role Te Maihāroa played in the manipulation of tradition is readily apparent in his prophetic teachings as leader of a movement in 1877 that journeyed to Omarama.
Complete with more than 100 followers, Te 258
259 Maihāroa led the group calling themselves Israelites, drawing parallels and inspiration from biblical traditions of the plight of the tribes of Israel. Te Maihāroa was a renowned miracle worker able to perform amazing feats, the greatest of which occurred on a railway bridge over the Waitaki River, an account of which was given by Mrs Rickus of Temuka in 1917: Maiharoa…said karakia (prayers) and the gate opened without anyone being near it and we all drove on to the bridge. At the south end he said another karakia and that gate opened also and we drove forward. Before all the carts could get off, the train came from the south and our leader got out of his trap and stood praying and the wheels of the engine were going round but were not going forward…When all the carts were off the bridge, Te Maiharoa released his power and the train went forward. 308 Thus landless Ngāi Tahu were likened to the Israelites and Te Maihāroa constructed a prophetic movement incorporating elements of both Māori and biblical traditions. Te Maihāroa drew heavily on the traditions concerning the biblical figure Moses and his crossing of the bridge mirrors the parting of the seas.
The incorporation of biblical motifs suggests Te Maihāroa
configured his religious movement to suit the social, political and spiritual needs of southern Māori. It is possible that this also applied to oral tradition. This post-contact Māori manipulation of tradition is also apparent in the work of his granddaughter Wikitoria Paipeta.
By the 1920s Wikitoria
Paipeta had altered the Uruao tradition of her grandfather by placing the resident Ngāi Tahu sub-tribe, Ngāti Huirapa upon the Uruao canoe. The following by Wikitoria Paipeta (c.1900) was published by Te Maire Tau (2003) and translated by Mr Tamati Te Hau:
Taare Te Maihāroa, Folklore and Fairy Tales of the Canterbury Māoris, Otago Daily Press: Dunedin, 1957, pp. 35-37.
260 Me timata mai tenei korero ite Kahuirongo mete Kahuitipua i haere mai irunga ite waka ko Uruao te ingoa. Te tangata orunga ko Te Rakihouia tona iwi ko Waitaha te haapu Irunga ko Ngatihuirapa haapu. Ko te ingoa o taua waka kote waka Araki No Taiehu ano taua waka nate tere otaua waka, i kiia kote waka Huruhurumanu no muri ko matatua muri iho ko matahouia. Na Taiehu ano tenei waka, Te Wakaaraki ko Taiehu te tangata, konga Pakitua te ingoa ote toki. 309
Translation Let’s begin the story with the Kāhui Tipua and the Kāhui Rongo who came here on the Uruao canoe. The principal person on board was Te Rakihouia and his tribe was Waitaha and the sub-tribe were the Ngāti Huirapa. Therefore the name of the canoe was known as ‘The Canoe of Raki’ and it was also the well-known canoe of Taiehu and it was an extremely fast vessel which is why it was named Huruhurumanu. It came before Matatua and subsequently Matahouia. Now, back to Taiehu again and his canoe ‘Te Waka a Raki[houia]’ with Taiehu in command in presence of the ceremonial adze named Ngā Pakitua. 310 In the Māori text ownership of the Huruhurumanu, Matatua, Matahouia and Te Waka a Raki are all attributed to the early explorer Taiehu. However, in the English translation Te Waka a Raki has been ascribed to Rakaihautu’s son Te Rakihouia, but no accounts of Te Waka a Raki mention him. Te Waka a Raki has thereby been collapsed into the Uruao tradition showing Pākehā were not the only ones to systemise tradition. Tau pointed out that Paipeta collapsed elements of several traditions into one account, probably to preserve her grandfather’s teachings. 311 The Ngāi Tahu subtribe, Ngāti Huirapa has been placed upon the waka. This is interesting, as Ngāti Huirapa, a Ngāi Tahu hapū, migrated from the North Island much
261 later than Waitaha. Wikitoria Paipeta has projected Ngāti Huirapa’s origins further back into the past to secure the mana of her Ngāti Huirapa sub-tribe, demonstrating the malleability of tradition and how oral tradition was used to establish tribal identity and mana. Further evidence of Paipeta’s manipulation of tradition is in the following whakapapa where the canoe Uruao is included in a Waitaha whakapapa. The captain, Rākaihautū is placed 17 generations prior to his canoe Uruao and the tribe Waitaha are also included in the whakapapa itself in the form of the name Waitahanui. Whakapapa 9.1 Te Mahanuiaraki Teputaka Ru ta ru kouako Rakaihautu Teuhitataraiakoa Temanuwaerorua Marakaioneone Hinerauti Toi Rauru Hatonga Ritenga Motoro Tahatiti Ruatapu Te Rakaumanini Te Rakauhape Pau Te Rakaumanana Te Rakauwhakamataku Uruao Waitahanui Waiteraki Te Waireinga Te Whatu 261
262 Rakiroa Rongomai Te Whatutiki Te Watene Hotumamoe Auaitaheke Matairaki Uenukuhorea Uenukupokaiwhenua Haeremaitua Haerearoaronui Haeremaiwhano Tutuporaki = Houmea Tuhikutira Tukaumoana… 312 It is not unusual to have such elements in whakapapa, however, this whakapapa is substantially longer than those written previously, including those of her grandfather. Paipeta’s whakapapa extends the whakapapa of her grandfather by approximately 17 generations demonstrating that she is exercising creative licence with the tradition, incorporating new elements for political reasons and elongating the genealogy. Rather than a post-contact convention, this is likely a continuation of the pre-contact dynamics of Māori oral tradition. Tohunga sought to elongate whakapapa, and extend arrival further into the past to enhance tribal mana whenua. Paipeta’s primary motive was to establish the mana of her people, Ngāi Tahu, as paramount. The incorporation of Ngāti Huirapa demonstrates that even in the space of two generations, Uruao had changed in response to political and cultural pressures.
Wikitoria Paipeta, School Notebook, Unpublished Manuscript, c.1920, unpaginated.
Conclusion The Uruao waka traditions of Waitaha are not found in the North Island and therefore were not relocated.
Waitaha waka traditions do, however,
incorporate many elements of northern waka traditions, the majority concerning star lore.
The timing of their publication is important, as
Waitaha Uruao traditions do not feature in the earliest works of Shortland and Wohlers. They do appear from the 1890s and all stem from descendants or disciples of the prophet Hipa Te Maihāroa. By the late 1800s Ngāi Tahu would have been aware that there were various similarities between their relocated traditions and those also found in the North Island. The key issue is not one of historical accuracy but superiority; as if one’s traditions were derived from another primal source then in principal, one’s own mana was secondary to its parent group. As seen in the waka traditions that were relocated from the North Island, there were calculated additions to customise the previous traditions and establish them as unique and primordial, thereby, establishing one’s mana as supreme. Waitaha waka traditions are an extension of this dynamic precontact process, however, they were likely driven towards post-contact change due to renewed interaction with northern kin and the subsequent need to establish autonomous traditions of settlement and origin to protect tribal mana. As a result the focus shifted to emphasise elements derived from a wider body of traditions concerning migration to formulate a new, separate and independent body of tradition for southern Māori to ensure their mana whenua reigned supreme.
264 The likely catalyst for this process was the Waitaha religious prophet, Hipa Te Maihāroa.
The evidence demonstrates his granddaughter certainly
modified both oral tradition and whakapapa to establish early arrival traditions for Ngāti Huirapa and Waitaha. Whilst it is possible this is merely the result of post-contact creative authorship, it is likely this is the continuation of the dynamics of pre-contact Māori oral tradition. Traditions are modified and evolve as their respective communities do. The evolution of Waitaha waka traditions were likely the result of a distinct need for southern Māori to differentiate themselves through creating autonomous oral traditions, in order to preserve their own mana.
The Exploration of an Explorer This chapter examines Waitaha traditions concerning Rākaihautū, the founding ancestor of Waitaha and captain of the Uruao canoe. Traditions concerning the arrival of Uruao and Rākaihautū’s exploration form the bulk of Waitaha traditions. The traditions of Rākaihautū establish Waitaha within the southern landscape and connect them to significant landmarks and food sources thereby establishing their mana in Te Waipounamu. Analysis of early South Island accounts of Wī Pōkuku (1880), Wī Pōkuku and Herewini Eli (1887), Teone Rena Rāwiri Mamaru (1894), Beattie (1918), Paipeta (c.1920), and Beattie (1941) demonstrate Rākaihautū originates from a single source, the prophet Hipa Te Maihāroa. They also show the tradition is not pre-1880, questioning its authenticity as the tradition is likely derived from a single source and is not found in the earliest recorded accounts of South Island traditions.
Analysis of North Island traditions show Rākaihautū was not translocated from the North Island in contrast with the majority of South Island Māori traditions.
Comparison with North Island traditions of early explorers
highlights shared patterns and metaphors demonstrating Rākaihautū follows a template of events that is shared with North Island accounts of early explorers.
Investigation of the historical circumstances during Hipa Te
Maihāroa’s time shows the Rākaihautū tradition was formulated in response to the loss of land. Te Maihāroa attempted to reinforce land claims to the inland mountain plains he believed had not been sold in the Kemp purchase of 1848. In chapter nine, we have seen an analysis of the Waitaha arrival tradition concerning the Uruao canoe. It detailed how the principal ancestors arrived, bringing with them the essential foods and vital possessions necessary for successful settlement. Reference to Waitaha is found in many whakapapa from those schooled in Te Maihāroa’s whare kura, 313 however, he is generally found approximately eleven generations after Rākaihautū and it is Rākaihautū not Waitaha who is believed to be the founding ancestor of the tribe Waitaha. Waitaha traditions are mainly centred upon arrival on the waka Uruao, and then Rākaihautū’s exploration of the South Island. Early exploration by a primal ancestor is a common theme found in Māori oral tradition. The explorer traverses the land, discovering, naming and/or creating prominent geographical features during the journey. These early explorers traverse the entirety of the tribe’s territory embedding names, tapu, mauri and 313
For examples see Beattie, 1941, p. 70 or Smith, 1894, p. 11.
268 genealogies onto their new landscape, spiritually colonising a new environment.
However, due to the large tribal territory of southern iwi,
Rākaihautū traditions are unique in terms of his epic journey across the spine of the South Island’s mountain highlands and his creation of many lakes with his kō (digging stick), Tūwhakarōria. 314 Rākaihautū founds Waitaha’s claims to land through right of discovery and exploration. The evidence for this is found in the many lakes he dug and the many place names he laid upon the land during his exploits. Waitaha’s kinship with Te Waipounamu was later confirmed by their whakapapa being placed into the landscape. Thus the traditions of Rākaihautū establish and validate Waitaha’s connection and original ownership of Te Waipounamu.
South Island Accounts Traditions of Rākaihautū were published late in comparison with the earliest South Island Māori traditions recorded by Edward Shortland and J.F.H. Wohlers. The earliest recorded tradition was that of Wī Pōkuku (1880). Pōkuku studied under several early South Island tohunga such as Rāwiri Te Maire, Mātiaha Tiramorehu and Hipa Te Maihāroa. Traditions stemming from the descendants or disciples of Hipa Te Maihāroa form the bulk of early traditions with the Pōkuku-Eli text (1887), Teone Rena Rāwiri Mamaru’s account published by Smith (1894), Taare Te Maihāroa’s account published by Beattie (1918) and the account of Te Maihāroa’s granddaughter, Wikitoria Paipeta.
One exception is the manuscript of Nātanahira
Waruwarutū which is included as it is distinct from the Te Maihāroa school 314
Margaret Orbell, ‘An Account of Waitaha Origin, By Wī Pōkuku’, in Turnbull Library Record, 1996, Vol.29, p. 14.
269 of knowledge and curiously makes no mention of Rākaihautū. Beattie’s 1941 account appears to incorporate multiple versions which would have been accessible at this time. Te Aue Davis’ account (1990) is again of interest during the period Ngāi Tahu were fighting their Treaty Claim whilst Brailsford’s (1994) new-age multicultural account demonstrates the latest dynamics of change in the retelling of Māori tradition. 1. Post-contact Māori Change – Wī Pōkuku (1880) Pōkuku’s account is substantially different from North Island Waitaha traditions, which coupled with its later occurrence suggests post-contact Māori change as oppossed to an authentic pre-contact arrival tradition: Ka nōhia tēnei motu e Waitaha, kātahi a Rākaihautū ka haere rā waekanui o te motu nei haere ai, me kā tākata; ka riro tonu tono ko te roto-ā-uta, te roto-ā-tai: Takapō, Pūkaki, Ōhou, Hāwea, Wānaka, Whakatipu-wai-Māori, Whakatipu-wai-tai. Haere tonu: Te Anau, Waiau, tae noa atu ki te mutuka mai o te moutere. Ka waiho kā kaitiaki i reira, ko Notī rāua ko Notā. Ka hoki mai [a] Rākaihautū: Te Roto-nui-a-Whatu, kai Maranuku, Waihora, kai Taiari, Kaikarae, Wainono, Ōkahu, Te Aitarakihi, Waihora, Wairewa: i konei ka huaina te ikoa o taua kō, ko Tuhiraki. Nō reira kā whakataukī, ‘Kā puna karikari a Rākaihautū’. ‘Kā poupou a Te Rakihouia’, mō kā pā hao, tuna, kanakana. Ka whakapepeha a Waitaha ki te hao te kai a te aitaka a Tapu-iti’…Ko Rākaihautū te takata, ko Te Rakihouia; ko Waitaha te hapū. E ai tōna whakataukī o mua, tae noa mai ki tēnei raki: ‘Kā puna karikari a Rākaihautū’. ‘Kā poupou a Te Rakihouia’. ‘Kā pākihi whakatekateka a Waitaha’.
Translation When this island was inhabited by Waitaha, Rākaihautū set off with some companions through the interior and the lakes by the sea: Takapō, Pūkaki, Ōhou, Hāwea, Wānaka, Fresh-water-Whakatipu and Salt-water269
Whakatipu. Then he went straight on to Te Anau and Waiau, all the way to the end of the island. There he left guardians, Notī and Notā. Then Rākaihautū returned by way of Te Roto-nui-a-Whatu, Maranuku, Waihora, Taiari, Kaikarae, Wainono, Ōkahu, Te Aitarakihi, Waihora, and Wairewa; there he pronounced the name of his kō to be Tuhiraki. That is why people repeat this saying: ‘The pools dug out by Rākaihautū’. As for ‘Te Rakihouia’s upright posts’, this saying relates to the weirs that catch mud eels, eels and lamprey. Hence Waitaha’s proud saying that ‘mud eels are the food of the descendants of Tapu-iti’…Rākaihautū was the man, and Te Rakihouia, and Waitaha were the iwi. From early times and right down to the present day, the sayings about them are: ‘The pools dug by Rākaihautū’. ‘Te Rakihouia’s upright posts’. ‘The plains where Waitaha walked proudly along’. 315 2. Pre-European Change – Nātanahira Waruwarutū (1886) Ngāi Tahu tohunga, Nātanahira Waruwarutū, included mention of Waitaha in his manuscript ‘He Kōrero mō Te Motu Pounamu’ copied by Hoani Te Turi Whatahoro. It is curious to note that Waruwarutū, of Kaiapoi, makes only a small mention of Waitaha in comparison to Ngāi Tahu histories and makes no reference to either Rākaihautū or the Uruao canoe. Although published later than Pōkuku’s 1880 account, Waruwarutū’s version appears to be closer aligned with North Island traditions of Waitaha and makes no mention of Rākaihautū suggesting it is reflective of pre-European dynamics of relocation: He korero mo te motu pounamu Ko Araiteuru te waka o Hape ki tuarangi i Tahuri ki Moeraki. Ko te iwi tuatahi ko te Puhirere ki tera motu. Ko Ngai Te Waitaha, ko Ngati Rapuwai, ko te kahuitipua te putake [m]ai o enei hapu. 315
Orbell, 1996, pp. 16-19.
271 Kua kia akenei e au Ingoa kainga enei no Ngai Waitaha Mairangi Kapukariki, na Ngati Mamoe i hinga ai te Panui o Ngati Waitaha… 316
Translation This tradition concerns the South Island Arai Te Uru is the canoe of Hape who came from afar And capsized at Moeraki. The first people who were in that island were Puhirere Ngāi Te Waitaha, Ngāti Rapuwai and Te Kāhui Tipua were the provincial source from which these tribes stem, that is the tribes that I have just spoken about. These are the village names of Waitaha: Mairangi and Kāpukāriki which were occupied by Ngāi Waitaha. It was through Ngāti Māmoe that the great fort of Ngāti Waitaha was destroyed… 3. Post-contact Māori Change – Wī Pōkuku & Herewini Eli (1887) The following account of Rākaihautū was given by Wī Pōkuku and Herewini Eli. Both were Ngāi Tahu tōhunga who attended the whare wānanga of Te Maihāroa. Ko Rakaihautu te takata nana i timata te ahi ki ruka ki tenei motu ka nohoia tenei motu e Waitaha. Katahi a Rakaihautu ka haere ra waenganui o te motu nei haere ai me ka takata ka riro tonu tono ko tera roto a uta te roto a tai, takapo, Pukaki, Ohou, Hawea, Wanaka, Whakatipu Waimaori, Whakatipu Waitai haere tonu te Anau, Waiau, tae noa atu ki te mutuka mai o te moutere, ka waiho ka kaitiaki i reira Ko Noti raua ko Nota. Ka hoki mai Rakaihautu te rotonui a Whatu kai maranuku, Waihora, kai taiari, kaika Rae, Wainono, Okahu, a aitarakihi Waihora, Wairewa i konei ka huaina te ikoa o taua ko Tuhiraki,, no reira ka whaka tauki ka puna karikari a Rakaihautu, ka poupou a Te Rakihouia, mo ka pahao tuna, kanakana, ka whakapepeha a Waitaha ki te hao ki te kai a te aitaka a tapuiti i riera [reira] ka toua te kauru, te aruhe, me ka manu me ka mea katoa ka tuturu tenei motu. Ko Rakaihautu te takata ko Rakihouia ko Waitaha te hapu, e ai tona whakatauki o mua tae 316
J.T. Whatahoro, Ms 15 (1886-1903), ATL 189-104, pp. 60-73
272 noa mai ki tenei raki, ka puna karikari a Rakaihautu ka poupou a Te Rakihouia ka pakihi whakatekateka a Waitaha. 317
Translation Rākaihautū was the man who lit the fires of occupation upon this island. Then Rākaihautū went inland to explore with the people and with his digging tool, Tūwhakarōria, he created the inland lakes as well as the lakes along the coast – that is lakes such as Tekapo, Pukaki, Ohou, Hawea, Wanaka, Whakatipu Waimaori, Whakatipu Waitai and his work continued on with Te Anau, the Waiau River, continuing down to the bottom of the island where he left the guardians there, called Notī and Notā. Rākaihautū returned and created Te Rotonui o Whatu (Tuakiroto), Kai Maranuku, Waihora, Kaikarea (Kaikorai), Wainono (Lagoon), Okahu (Otaio River), Te Aitarakihi (Washdyke), Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) and Wairewa (Lake Forsyth). It is here that his digging tool was re-named Tuhiraki and where the following proverbs were coined: ‘The springs excavated by Rākaihautū’, ‘The Weirs of Rakihouia’ for the eel and lamprey. And because of their fondness of eel the Waitaha uttered the following proverb, ‘Eel is the delicacy that belongs to the descendants of Tapuiti’. It was also here that the roots of the cabbage tree and the fern-root can be found as well as the birds and all other things that pertain to this island. Rākaihautū was our ancestor. Rakihouia and Waitaha are the hapū. As the people say in proverbs from long ago even until this day, ‘The springs excavated by Rākaihautū’, ‘The Eel weirs of Rakihouia’ and ‘The plains that radiate the preeminance of Waitaha’. This tradition is nearly identical to Pōkuku’s earlier account and establishes Waitaha’s claims to Te Waipounamu through the statement, ‘Ko Rākaihautū te takata nāna i tīmata te ahi ki ruka ki tēnei motu (Rākaihautū was the man who lit the fires of occupation in this island)’. 318 These fires refer to the concept of ‘ahi kā roa’ (land tenure established through long occupation). Thus the intent of the narrative is to establish Waitaha’s original dominion over the South Island including its lands and resources. Beattie (1918) stated
Tau, 2003, p. 268.
Tau, 2003, p. 272.
273 that one of his informants believed Rākaihautū left two men called ‘Kiore Tī’ and ‘Kiore Tā’ to look after Murihiku as opposed to ‘Notī’ and ‘Notā’. The leaving of kaitiaki (guardians) is a common theme in Māori exploration traditions and is also found in Tamatea’s journey after the Takitimu capsized in Murihiku. 319 A common dynamic in Māori oral tradition is for early ancestors to shape the land, such as the exploits of Māui who prepared the environment for human occupation. To a lesser extent this is also seen by early arrival figures who traverse the land, planting mauri, forming geographic features and spiritually colonising the landscape for their descendants. For example, the Te Arawa ancestor Ngātoroirangi went on a journey of discovery after arriving in Aotearoa.
During his journey he placed kaitiaki (guardians) and
patupaiarehe (fairies) in the land, shreds from his cloak formed great trees and he created great springs by stamping on the ground. 320 Rākaihautū follows a similar pattern demonstrating a common dynamic was for early arrival figures to explore the land with their feats establishing ownership rights for their descendants.
It is impossible that Rākaihautū dug Te
Waipounamu’s alpine lakes, rather it is a metaphoric device to establish connection and subsequently form rights of ownership for later descendants. 4. Post-contact Māori Change – S. Percy Smith (1894) Smith published a collection of whakapapa recorded from Teone Rena Rāwiri Mamaru of Moeraki, a student of both Mātiaha Tiramōrehu and Hipa
Beattie, 1918, p. 158.
Orbell, 1995, p. 126.
274 Te Maihāroa. The following narrative that accompanied his whakapapa is of a similar vein to Te Maihāroa’s other disciples: A. Rakaihautu. No Rakaihautu tenei korero, no te mea koia te takata tuatahi mai ki tenei motu, otira ki Te Waipounamu me Aotea-roa. Ko te ikoa o tona waka ko Uruao. Tona takata o ruka ko Te Rakihouia. Tona iwi ko Kati-waitaha. Nana tenei motu i timata te noho e te takata. Ko te whaka-papa tenei ka timata i te ahuataka o te takata. Ko ka takata tenei nana i mau mai te waka o Rakaihautu. Tona iwi ko Kati-waitaha. Ko te iwi mohio tenei ki te karakia, ki te kukume mai i te whenua-te ikoa o taua karakia ko Aukukume-me era atu mahi. I maurea mai tenei waka i te Tapahaka-a-Taiehu, i te karu moana. Rokohaka mai e kati ana te moana ki te Raki. Ko ka toki nana i tapahi taua tutaki ko Kapa-ki-tua tetahi, ko Tua-uru-te-raki tetahi, ka puta mai ka waka ka nohoia a ruka i enei motu e te takata.
Translation. A. Rākaihautū. This relation is about Rākaihautū, who was the first man who came to this island, indeed to both the Waipounamu (South Island) and to Aotea-roa (the North Island). The name of the canoe was Uruao, and the man on board of her was (besides Rākaihautū) was Rangihouia. The name of his tribe was Ngāti-Waitaha. It was by him that this island first became peopled. This genealogy commences when men were gods. It was these men (Rangihouia and others) who brought the canoe of Rākaihautū here. They were a people who had a great knowledge of Karakias (incantations) to draw out lands-the name of this karakia was Aukukume-and other great deeds. The canoe was brought hither from the Tapahanga-a-Taiehu, over the waves of the sea. As they approached they found the sea connected with the sky. The axes which were used in severing them were named Kapa-ki-tua and Tua-uru-rangi: by their means the canoes got through, and this land was settled by land. 321 5. Post-contact Māori Change – Herries Beattie (1918) South Island historian Herries Beattie published several accounts of the Rākaihautū tradition.
One was transcribed from Wī Pōkuku’s 1880
notebook that was given to Beattie during one of his visits to Stewart Island.
Smith, 1894, p. 14.
275 Another was from Taare Te Maihāroa, Hipa Te Maihāroa’s son and later published by Beattie in The Journal of Polynesian Society in 1918: An Exploring Trip. The exact place where the ‘Uruao’ landed is not stated, but it is considered to be about Kaikoura or North Canterbury. Rākaihautū took a party and went inland exploring, while his son Te Rakihouia explored the sea-coasts. The latter caught eels at the mouth of the various rivers, and hence the Canterbury seaboard is sometimes metaphorically alluded to as ‘Kā-poupou-o-Te-Rakihouia’...His father led his party down the eastern side of the Southern Alps right on to Foveaux Strait, and then to Ōtakou and north to Canterbury. He carried his kō (spade) with him on his tour, and hence arose the figurative saying that he dug the basins of the South Island lakes. After his party arrived back in Canterbury after their long and arduous struggle through the mountainous regions of the west and hills of Otago, they were filled with joy to see the great Canterbury plain, and this joy originated the name of that plain, which ever since has been known as ‘Kā-pakihi-whakatekateka-a-Waitaha’…When the party arrived at Little River, Rākaihautū dug his last there (Wairewa), and as a sign that his labour was ended he climbed an isolated hill near by, inserted his kō (spade) into the summit and left it there. In consequence of this act the name of the spade was changed from ‘Tū-whakaroria’ to ‘Tuhiraki’. 322 Whilst this version does not contain the same detail as Wī Pōkuku’s account, it does follow the same pattern and is essentially derived from the same source, the narratives of Hipa Te Maihāroa, Taare Te Maihāroa’s father. 6. Post-contact Māori Change – Wikitoria Paipeta (c.1920) Wikitoria Paipeta was the granddaughter of Te Maihāroa, who trained both Wī Pōkuku and Herewini Ira.
The following account of Waitaha is
significant as Paipeta attempts to collapse Ngāti Huirapa, a Ngāi Tahu hapū of which she was descended, into the origin traditions of Waitaha:
Herries Beattie, ‘Traditions and Legends Collected from the Natives of Murihiku Part VIII’, 1918, Vol.27, pp. 146-147.
276 Me timata mai tenei korero ite Kahuirongo mete Kahuitipua i haere mai irunga ite waka ko Uruao te ingoa. Te tangata o runga ko Terakihouia tona iwi ko Waitaha te hapu irunga ko Ngatihuirapate hapu.
Translation Let’s begin the story with the Kāhui Tipua and the Kāhui Rongo who came here on the Uruao canoe. The principal person on board was Te Rakihouia and his tribe was Waitaha and the sub-tribe were the Ngāti Huirapa. 323 In Paipeta’s account Te Rakihouia is the principal figure not Rākaihautū and her inclusion of Ngāti Huirapa shows that only two generations from Te Maihāroa, his descendants consciously edited his narrative. Such behaviour shows these traditions were fluid and malleable to change. The motive of Paipeta’s incorporation of a Ngāi Tahu sub-tribe into a Waitaha tradition was to establish the mana of her Ngāi Tahu tribe as ‘original’ and therefore senior. 324 Paipeta reconstructed tradition to establish and enhance the mana of the dominant social group of the then present, Ngāti Huirapa. Hence, Paipeta’s inclusion of the Ngāi Tahu hapū, Ngāti Huirapa, upon the Uruao canoe. 7. Post-contact Pākehā Synthesised Change – Herries Beattie (1941) Beattie published a later account of Rākaihautū that is notable for its inclusion of the Nelson lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa. This tacking on of further information is a post-Smithian tendency to systemise multiple accounts, again drawing caution to its interpretation: Uruao was believed to have made landfall at the Auckland Peninsula where the land was inhabited by Te Ope-ruaraki so they proceeded 323
277 southwards. At Nelson Rakaihautu decided to explore inland digging the lakes; Roto-iti, Roto-roa, Hoka-kura (Lake Sumner), Whaka-matau (Lake Coleridge) and O-tu-roto (Lake Heron). Rakaihautu then proceeded to Tekapo. Ohou was named after one of his party. Hawea and Wanaka were where religious ceremonies were held. His party then followed the Cardrona valley and found Wakatipu (Whaka-tipu-wai-maori) before proceeding over Ka-mauka-wakatipu (Alisa Mountains) before finding Waka-tipu-wai-tai (Lake Mackerrow). Rakaihautu’s party then headed south visiting Te Anau and Roto-ua (Lake Manapouri). Arriving at Foveaux Strait, a couple named Noti and Nota (or Kiore-ti and Kiore-ta) were left to guard this end of the island while party returned northward. Other places named were Maranuku (Kaka Point), Roto-nui-a-whatu (Lake Tuakitoto), Waihora (Lake Waihola) and Kaikarae (Kaikorai). Rakaihautu then proceeded up coast and was reunited with his son at Waihao (Movern). 325 These Nelson lakes (Rotoiti and Rotoroa) mark the present boundary between Ngāi Tahu and the Te Tauihu tribes (Nelson Region), therefore all of the lakes mentioned fall within the present Ngāi Tahu boundary. This substantiates the argument early exploration traditions seek to validate present tribal boundaries, which are then transposed onto the past through tradition. The inclusion of these Nelson lakes in a later account could then be reflective of a later need to strengthen Ngāi Tahu’s claims to its northern boundary. This version is also the first to state Uruao originally made landfall in the North Island. 8. Iwi Cultural Revivalist Change – Te Aue Davis (1990) Te Aue Davis composed a substantial account of Rākaihautū in He Kōrero
Pūrākau mō ngā Taunahanahatanga a ngā Tūpuna Places Names of the Ancestors: A Māori Oral History Atlas as an official New Zealand 1990 project on behalf of the New Zealand Geographic Board. Derived primarily 325
Beattie, 1941, pp. 27-31.
278 from Beattie’s 1941 account, additional information was provided by Sir Tipene O’Regan, Ngāi Tahu rangatira and Chief Negotiator for the Ngāi Tahu Claim. This version gives detailed explanations for each place name, likely drawn from multiple regional derivative accounts. This version marks a key milestone where discovery and exploration traditions gain renewed significance as the basis for customary claims to lands and resources. Rākaihautū establishes Waitaha with the landscape of Te Waipounamu through rights of discovery, rights later secured through Waitaha whakapapa being placed within the land. Ngāi Tahu asserted rights derived from gradual intermarriage with and absorption of Waitaha gaining descent from the original founding ancestor, Rākaihautū, demonstrating the relevance and emphasis of tribal tradition was also often driven by political purposes. 9. New-age Multicultural Change – Barry Brailsford (1994) Brailsford’s account of Rākaihautū is a highly romanticised heroic narrative of exploration and bears little resemblance to earlier versions. With no identification of its source, the account is primarily a product of Brailsford’s own creative authorship with similarities limited to only key elements such as the names of key figures: Rakai Hau Tu was born on the sacred slopes of Tokatoka and the blood of his birthing ran into the waters of Kaipara to open the way to the dream trails. And he grew to manhood and brought his wife to that mountain. And its waters knew the colours of her pain when Te Rangihoūhia was born of the fullness of the Moon. Then the years gathered, and father and son returned to the slopes of their first breath, and built a great waka to sail the Long Tides to Waitangi Ki Roto on the trails of the White Whale. 326
Brailsford, 1994, p. 63.
279 This version confuses basic place names stating Aotearoa is the Māori name for the South Island and Whai Repo for the North Island. The account is highly fragmented and focuses on creating a narrative of an epic migration and exploration using emotive prose: RA KAI HAU TU. STRONG IS THAT NAME, AND TRUE. Navigator on the Long Tides, he came ashore to guide us through the shadows of the tallest mountains, to join the mind and the stars and reveal the way ahead…Ra Kai Hau Tu was the first Pae Arahi of Aotea Roa, guide of the people and master of the land trails. Those who came after him walked in his name, and his trail songs took their footsteps to the streams and lakes and stars. When the light of his fire welcomed the dawn, and its smoke drifted down the trail, his mind went with it to open the way. And when the rivers ran high or the snows were deep he was always first to meet the danger. 327 Brailsford’s version states there were two exploring parties, one led by Rākaihautū, the other took the name Tama ki te Rā after his newborn son. The account also appears to mix elements of other traditions such as Māui: Ra Kai Hau Tu carried the Mana of Aotea Roa into the mountains to join star to star on the Long Trail of Māui. After many years he came to the waters of Orakaia and knew he would journey no further south. And he turned to the west and walked the Peace Trail in his last days and made his village at Pa Roa. 328 As part of his 1991 J.C. Beaglehole Memorial Lecture, Sir Tipene O’Regan condemned Brailsford’s romanicised accounts for their lack of scholarship and evidence showing them to have been invented as opposed to recounted: I point out to you the extraordinary appeal of mysticism and remind you of the manner in which it overcomes nearly all rational activity. In human behavioural terms, there is little unique in the dreams of the 327
Brailsford, 1994, p. 99.
Brailsford, 1994, p. 104.
280 Elders of the Ancient Nation of Waitaha. But it is mysticism and it is hostile to the hard, grinding business of producing solid evidence about our past and the development of a disciplined scholarship of Māori. 329 This sentiment was shared by Ngāi Tahu historian, Te Maire Tau: A solid critique of the book would be time consuming. One feels as if one is reading the saga of the smurfs and their migration to the land of the hobbits. The writer could find little that could qualify as authentic tradition. 330 Brailsford suggested his information was derived from Waitaha tohunga Te Maihāroa and Puao Rakiraki, however, Tau noted his whakapapa and traditions did not match those of Te Maihāroa’s whānau and students such as Wikitoria Paipeta, Wī Pōkuku, Hoani Kaahu and Herewini Ira. 331 Brailsford’s inability to provide evidence or acknowledgement of sources suggests his account of Rākaihautū is a product of his own invention demonstrating how he intellectually colonised Māori tradition to suit a newage Pākehā mystical audience.
Consistency of Accounts Previous chapters have established pre-contact dynamics of change where traditions migrate, adapting to new environments and evolving alongside the community.
Rākaihautū is not found in North Island traditions and
therefore was not relocated. Analysis has also shown origin traditions, such as Ārai Te Uru, Takitimu and Tairea, are regionally customised to establish a particular hapū/regional community within the local landscape. In contrast, 329
O’Regan, 1992, p. 22.
Tau, 1995, p. 7.
Tau, 1995, p. 7.
281 Rākaihautū and Uruao traditions cover a broad geographic space as opposed to other South Island origin traditions. Rākaihautū traditions do not have major regional differences that would be evidence of relocation and subsequent customisation illustrating Rākaihautū traditions differ from the dynamics of other South Island oral traditions. Whilst it is possible these accounts are authentic pre-contact narratives of original arrival, the evidence suggests an alternative dynamic is also possible, where these traditions were formulated post-contact, a theory perhaps supported by accounts stemming from only one source, Te Maihāroa. Beattie (1915) noted that there was much confusion around Rākaihautū and only two of his informants gave Rākaihautū as the chief of Waitaha: The origin of this tribe is lost as far as the Southern narratives are concerned…One said that the Waitaha came from Hawaiki in one of the canoes-probably ‘Te Arawa’. Another considered that ‘they sprang out of the ground’ like Rapu-wai. Another said that Waitaha came in one of the canoes (perhaps ‘Te Arawa,’ or one of that period) and disappeared from the North Island and popped up in the South; but he could not name their chiefs nor origin of their tribal name. Two people mentioned Rakaihautu as a Waitaha chief, but that is explained by the fact that…Rakaihautu’s descendants merged into the broader tribe of Waitaha. 332 The absence of Rākaihautū in the literature of key early European writers was also queried by Beattie (1918) drawing further attention to the validity of these traditions: When visiting his various informants in the South Island the collector was shown note-books containing whakapapa (genealogies), and a number of these ‘family trees’ started from Rakaihautu (or, as he is also called, Rakaihaitu). Some of the genealogies were prefaced with brief accounts of Rakaihautu’s coming to the South Island. Who was this 332
Beattie, 1915, p. 131.
282 chief? The historians Shortland, Wohlers, Stack, Mackay and White mention him not. 333 Some of the historians mentioned by Beattie were publishing accounts of South Island oral traditions from as early as the 1840s and 1850s. In contrast the earliest account of Rākaihautū was 1880; demonstrating Beattie’s point, that there is a significant absence of Rākaihautū in earlier publications. It is strange that these early recorders of tradition never noted any mention of so prominent an ancestor.
Although it is possible they were simply not
recorded earlier, it is unlikely Ngāi Tahu chiefs were unaware of such an important figure suggesting Rākaihautū was either not known or not prominent until the late 1800s. Beattie’s observations show few people knew of Rākaihautū.
accounts that do exist only stem from the disciples or descendants of Te Maihāroa. This could be explained by knowledge of the tradition being limited to Waitaha tohunga, however, the traditions source was not himself schooled in a whare wānanga.
Te Maihāroa appears in the list of Te
Waiateruati inhabitants in an 1857 census of South Island Māori settlements and was listed as an Anglican. 334 In 1866, with the arrival of a Kaingāngara priest, known only as Piripi, Te Maihāroa converted to the Kaingāngara cult 335 and quickly rose to prominence, demonstrating his power to destroy
Herries Beattie, ‘Traditions and Legends Collected from the Natives of Murihiku Part XXVI’, in JPS, Vol.27, 1918, p. 137.
Buddy Mikaere, Te Maihāroa and the Promised Land, Reed Publishing Ltd: Auckland, 1988, p. 36.
The Kaingangara cult arose in Taranaki in the 1850s and was led by a former Wesleyan teacher, Tamati Te Ito. The cult attributed the devastation caused by previously unknown diseases to transgressions of forgotten wāhi tapu (sacred places) and resolved to remove the tapu of the ancient places of power. The Kaingangara movement reinterpreted traditional Māori belief within a Christian template, likening Māori to far away peoples the Bible told had lost their lands and had similar attitudes and beliefs (Mikaere, 1988, pp.
283 evil spirits. 336 Te Maihāroa claimed Waitaha descent through his mother, Kokiro, of Ngāti Rākai (Ngāti Rākaihautū). Despite having established a whare wānanga of his own, Hipa Te Maihāroa had never been a student of one himself. Instead his philosophies were derived from a curious mix of Kaingangara, Old Testament and traditional Māori doctrine.
modelled himself on Biblical figures, especially Moses, and aligned himself with Christian templates performing miracles and choosing a band of 12 apotoro (apostles). 337 Te Maihāroa was more closely aligned to a religious prophet than to a tohunga, a fact reflected in his religious traditions based upon Old Testament templates. Perhaps the key difference between Te Maihāroa and other Māori prophets was that he continued to utilise traditional Māori elements, particularly place names and imagery. Beattie (1918) also noted that Te Maihāroa propagated the Rākaihautū tradition through his whare-kura: My informant further adds that at Te Muka for a time a meeting-house was conducted by Te Maiharoa to preserve Waitaha lore, and at a big meeting there in 1874 history was talked over, Rakaihautu receiving prominent mention. 338 The earliest account is that of Wī Pōkuku (1880), a student of Te Maihāroa, therefore there were no accounts prior to 1874 highlighting that Te Maihāroa and his wharekura are the likely sole source of the Rākaihautū tradition.
39-43). Rather than superseding Māori beliefs, the Kaingangara movement shows how Māori selectively adopted elements of Christianity for their own purposes. 336
Mikaere, 1988, p. 46.
Mikaere, 1988, pp. 46-50.
Beattie, 1918, p. 156.
Rākaihautū Whakapapa The Pōkuku-Eli manuscript (1887) gave two Rākaihautū whakapapa. The first is given below and the second was the same as that given by Rāwiri Mamaru (Whakapapa 10.2) to S. Percy Smith and published in the Journal of Polynesian Society (1894): Whakapapa 10.1 339 Ko Rakaihautu Ko Te Uhitataraakoa Ko Te Manuwaerorua Ko Marakaoneone Ko Hinerauti Ko Toi Ko Rauru Ko Te Puhi Rere Ko Te Puhi Kai ariki Ko Parea Ko Riua Ko Waitahanui Ko Waitahaaraki Ko Hawea i te raki Ko Tapu Ko Waireika Ko Punaariki Ko Pouteuru Ko Mokotaha Ko Whakatakaakura Ko Tapara Ko Te Manuupokorua Ko Pokokarora Ko Hineteawheka Ko Te Ropuake Ko Te Rakikokonui Ko Te Korerehu Ko Te Whai Ko Tupai ka moe ia 339
Tau, 2003, pp. 268-269.
285 Te Waipunahau Ko Te Ketewahi ka moe ia Te Aohikuraki 1. Ko Puawhe 2. Ko Mahaka Na Haeata ka moe ia Puawhe Ko Hinetekoheraki Ko Mata Teka ka moe ia Te Kauae Wi Pokuku Na Mahaka ka moe ia Pukio Ka mata mamaru Kamoeia Rawiri Mamaru Ko Teone Rena Mamaru Ko Heni Mamaru Toi and Rauru are early arrival figures. Both are included in many early tribal whakapapa demonstrating shared descent or connection to ancestors associated with early arrival. It is also possibly a reflection of increased exposure to other tribal genealogies through the Māori Land Court and Pākehā ethnographers.
Early Pākehā ethnographers were familiar with
whakapapa from many tribes, whereas tribal experts could be limited to more local knowledge. It is also unclear whether whakapapa were this long prior to the arrival of Pākehā or were perhaps influenced by Biblical genealogies and Pākehā ethnographer’s obsession with defining Māori origins. It is evident these whakapapa contain numerous references to North Island ancestors, highlighting an important dynamic inherent in whakapapa where shared early ancestors are preserved to maintain kinship linkages and elongate whakapapa. Therefore Rākaihautū has capped a whakapapa that
286 has been ‘fleshed out’ with early arrival ancestors to project ‘original’ arrival further back into the past. 340 Teone Rena Rāwiri Mamaru, a student of Te Maihāroa, gave a genealogy of Rākaihautū with a short narrative concerning his exploits that was published by S. Percy Smith (1894): Whakapapa 10.2 341 Rakaihautu Te Rakihouia Wearaki Te Aweawe Te Whatu-ariki Te Whatu-karo-karo Te Whatu-korongata Te Whatu-ariki-kuao Tane-auroa Titi-tea Te Waitakaia Autaia Takiporutu Te Hautumua Turaki-potiki Aupawha Huripoipoiarua Pekerakitahi Waikorire Ruatea Parakarahu Rongo-te-whatu Te Rahere Tuawhitu Upoko-hapa Te Kura-whai-ana 340
The theories of the present-past projection of Māori oral traditions and the incorporation of early ancestors to elongate whakapapa are from Rāwiri Taonui, Ngā Tātai-Whakapapa: Dynamics in Māori Oral Tradition, unpublished thesis, University of Auckland, 2005.
This whakapapa is mainly comprised of place names demonstrating their additional function in establishing Waitaha connection and ownership of lands through descent.
North Island Links Ngāi Tahu rangatira, Sir Tipene O’Regan (1987) stated Rākaihautū appeared in ancient whakapapa of Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) and Rarotonga. This claim was later repeated by Tau (2003) who believed Rākaihautū was found in other parts of Eastern Polynesia, however, the writer has found no whakapapa to support this claim. Beattie (1922) published a whakapapa from Hone Tawhai of Hokianga that at first glance would appear to support claims of a Te Tai Tokerau connection:
288 Whakapapa 10.3 342 Rakaihautu Te Uhi-tataraiakoa Te Manuwaerorua Hine rauti (m. Whiro) Toi Apa Rauru Kauae Toko-o-te-rangi Te Rangi-taumumuhu Te Rangi-tau-wananga Hekana Poupa Maroro Tika-tau-i-rangi 343 Awa Awanui Rakei-tapunui Tama-ki-te-raa Puhi-moana-ariki Te Hau Rahiri (The Nga Puhi ancestor) Taura Tupoto Miruiti Rapehuamutu Te Aho Pui Te Ahiahi Tamahaa Mohi Tawhai (of Hokianga) Hone Tawhai, M.H.R. (of Hokianga)
Borrowed from South Island whakapapa
All seen in authentic North Island whakapapa
Hone Tawhai was from the Hokianga and visited the South Island. During this time he was asked to write whakapapa (the other went 40 generations 342
Herries Beattie, ‘Traditions and Legends Collected from the Natives of Murihiku Part XIV’, in JPS, Vol.31, 1922, pp. 193-194.
Te Ikatau i Rangi – The Milky Way
289 back to Kupe). 344
Rākaihautū is followed by Te Uhi Tataraiakoa, Te
Manuwaerorua and Hine Rauti, all of whom are common ancestors in early Te Waipounamu whakapapa. 345 Following Toi are authentic North Island ancestors.
It appears early South Island figures have capped a Te Tai
Therefore claimed linkages between Rākaihautū and
Te Tai Tokerau are highly likely the result of later post-contact interactions between the two tribes and not reflective of shared ancestral origins. Although Uruao is found in the North Island, Rākaihautū is not. Despite his absence, Rākaihautū’s exploits are consistent with a mythic template associated with many early Māori explorers, in particular the Te Arawa ancestor, Ngātoroirangi. The fabled tohunga Ngātoroirangi arrived on the Arawa canoe and placed two guardian saddlebacks on Ahuahu (Great Mercury Island) establishing his people’s mauri near Moehau (Rākaihautū left Kiore Tī and Kiore Tā or Notī and Notā). Then, after landing at Maketu he explored the lay of the land, his route forming the boundaries of the Te Arawa tribal territories (Rākaihautū in some traditions began at the northernmost boundary of Ngāi Tahu and traversed the near entirety of the tribal region). He created springs by stamping the ground (Rākaihautū dug lakes), planted patupaiarehe (fairies) and shreds of his clothing formed tall trees. 346 Both Ngātoroirangi and Rākaihautū explore via mountain ranges as opposed to easier terrain, which suggests there is an alternate motive. Ngātoroirangi’s inland route and eventual return to Maketu marks Te
Herries Beattie, ‘Traditions and Legends Collected from the Natives of Murihiku: Part XIV’, in JPS, Vol.31, 1922, pp. 193-194.
For examples see Beattie, 1941, pp. 68-70.
Orbell, 1995, p. 126.
290 Arawa’s boundary, intimating a similar dynamic is present in the Rākaihautū tradition. 347 In Ngāti Tūwharetoa traditions, Ngātoroirangi was also associated with Hapekituarangi, who was regarded as one of the original inhabitants.348 Ngātoroirangi saw Hape sought to claim land by climbing Tongariro and gave chase, sending a snowstorm to kill his rival.
Upon the summit
Ngātoroirangi succumbed to the cold and called upon his sisters in Hawaiki to send a fireball to save them. 349
The South Island equivalent,
Hapekituaraki, was a prominent chief (sometimes captain) of the Ārai Te Uru canoe of the Otago coast. A similar template is also seen in the Rāpaki traditions of Tamatea Pōkai Whenua of the Takitimu canoe. Here, Tamatea climbs a peak and calls upon Ngātoroirangi to send a fireball to save him from the cold. 350 Ngātoroirangi’s connections to Te Waipounamu are also seen in the following waiata sourced from the Ngāi Tahu scribe, Thomas Green, tracing the Kāti Wairaki migration recalling significant place names of Te Arawa and Taranaki: He oriori na hutika a tu aparoa mo kuraia raua ko paapako E whakahaere ere noa au nei i tenei potiki pohatu E kore rawa e roko i te whakahaere ere Naumai e whano te tihiere kuratawhiti E kawe ake ra iau ka uru rakau E tuu ki pouoroko ka mate i te werawera He kau hou pikitiaatu i te pikitaka i karewarewa 347
This analysis is based upon coursework derived from Rāwiri Taonui’s doctoral thesis Ngā tātai-whakapapa: dynamics in Māori oral tradition (2005).
John Te H. Grace, Tūwharetoa: A History of the Māori People of the Taupo District, 1959, pp. 61-63.
Orbell, 1995, p. 126.
Beattie, 1939, p. 113.
291 Ka mania ka paheka Kai tua kei Waiototara ko te mamanga e tu ana Ko hoturapu ko te kakau o te hoe, na Tamatea E aha te tohu tohu o te tama nei He kura takahi puuia e whawha raupo Ka puna takahia e to tipuna E Kataroiraki ki rotorua ki rotopaa ki Tarawera O ka rekareka noa i te kai o roto Whakamate tahi atu te titiro ki Kaikoura Te kaika i hihiri tia ai e ou tipuna ia Tamatutoko Ia Te Aomarere e taikinana mai taua te hikupeke O tenei tamaiti Ka piki ke ruka kei Otuuratua kia maarama Ia te titiro Oruawahia Oputaueke pukepuke Ka rongo ia ra, na o tupuna, na ou papa Ka taki takotokoto nao te tai o Te Akau Ka rapa te hiku o te iika te uu ki uuta 351 Tau (2003) believed this complex waiata traces descent lines of two Ngāi Tahu children born from the union of a Ngāi Tahu woman, called Hutika, and her Kāti Wairaki husband, Whataarangi. The waiata’s complexity has made it difficult to translate in its entirety, as many sections allude to references that have been forgotten.
For this reason only selected
translations have been included. Line 9 alludes to the navigator Tamatea, however, of most interest are lines 12-13 that refer the pools created by Kātoroiraki (Ngātororangi): Ka puna takahia e to tipuna E katoroiraki ki rotorua ki rotopaa ki Tarawera
Translation The pools tread upon by your ancestor By Katoroiraki at Rotorua, at Rotopaa, at Tarawera
Thomas Green (Ngāi Tahu), Whakapapa Manuscript, Ms Vol.4, (NT9/JVI/II).
292 These lines refer to the Te Arawa traditions concerning Ngātoroirangi and the creation of the lakes of their district. The reference to Ngātoroirangi’s takahi (stamp) refers to his creation of pools of water in the Rotorua district as recalled in the following whakataukī (proverb): Ko Ngātoro-i-rangi i haere ki nga whenua ki te takahi waipuna mā ngā wāhi wai-kore. Ka mutu te karakia, ka takahia ki tōna waewae, ka pupū ake te wai. 352
Translation It was Ngātoro-i-rangi who travelled the land to create pools for areas without water. After the incantation, his leg stomped upon the earth, and up sprung water. Takahi is also associated with ceremonies to create springs of water that involve stamping upon the ground. Thus the creation of pools of water is also associated with Ngātoroirangi. This waiata shows Kāti Wairaki brought the traditions of Ngātoroirangi to the South Island.
It is also evident
traditions concerning Ngātoroirangi’s exploration and his creation of lakes bear striking similarity to Waitaha traditions of Rākaihautū reinforcing links between Waitaha and Te Arawa. The previous chapters have established the translocation of tradition is part of a pre-contact dynamic of Māori oral tradition, a dynamic not seen in Rākaihautū traditions. This absence signals the Rākaihautū tradition is not consistent with the larger body of South Island Māori oral traditions as it has not been translocated from the North Island and is therefore possibly a product of post-contact change. Although Rākaihautū is not seen in the north, his exploits do follow a core template of events, metaphors and patterns largely based upon a template of events similar to those of 352
Williams, 1997, p. 367.
293 Ngātoroirangi. Rākaihautū draws upon a broader genre of symbolic imagery and templates of events associated with early explorers suggesting it has been formulated and gained prominance post-contact.
Land Claims The mid 1800s proved a very turbulent time for Ngāi Tahu who were devastated by introduced diseases and both intra and inter-tribal conflict. Severe loss of land and an overwhelming tide of Pākehā settlement placed great strain upon the social fabric of the many scattered Ngāi Tahu communities and their leadership. Te Maihāroa will be examined more thoroughly in the next chapter, however, it is important to note that his leadership in progressing Ngāi Tahu’s grievances against the Crown centred upon what is now known as the ‘Hole in the Middle’. This term refers to the inland mountain plains that Te Maihāroa and his followers asserted had not been sold as part of the Kemp’s purchase and therefore rightfully belonged in Māori hands. The catalyst for a protest movement came with the loss of the Hakataramea reserve in the Waitaki valley where in 1852 a 150 acre reserve had been set aside. A survey in 1868 found that it had been sold to Pākehā who two years later banned Māori from lands traditionally used for hunting weka. Piritihana Mikaere (1985) closely examined the life of Hipa Te Maihāroa and the events in this crucial period when, patterning himself on the Biblical figure Moses, he led his followers to occupy lands they believed stolen. It was here at Omarama that his followers formed a settlement in protest claiming that the inland mountain plains had never been sold: 293
294 Hipa Te Maiharoa resolved to form a settlement in the area to dramatise Kai Tahu’s plight and to underline the point that they had never sold the inland areas of the South Island. In their understanding of the Kemp Purchase, only that land which could be seen from the sea had been sold. The inland plains blocked from the sea by mountains still belonged to the Maori. 353 This is significant as the majority of the inland areas claimed correspond with the areas named in the Rākaihautū tradition. Later accounts also give names relating to the Waihao region, near the Waitaki River mouth, where Te Maihāroa and his followers eventually settled.
Piritihana Mikaere, ‘Hipa Te Maihāroa – A South Island Response to the Loss of Land’, in Te Karanga, Vol.1, No.3, 1985, p. 23.
295 Figure 10.1 Lakes Dug By Rākaihautū
296 Traversing mountain ranges is a most arduous task but is more logical if the primary purpose of the tradition is to support a land claim. Rākaihautū’s route is not a historical trail of exploration but a symbolic device to establish tribal boundaries and enhance connections to the land. Rākaihautū’s inland journey corresponds with what Te Maihāroa contested was a stretch of land never sold, known today as the ‘Hole in the Middle’.
Rākaihautū reflects a political drive to assert claims to inland regions. Te Maihāroa and his followers needed tradition to validate their claims and therefore it is likely emphasis shifted due to political pressures, ensuring oral tradition reflected the present political and cultural needs of those who carried it. It is possible that the driver behind the inclusion of lakes into the Rākaihautū tradition was to establish ownership of important food resources, however, the following whakapapa includes many place names, the majority of which correspond with the ‘Hole in the Middle’. This whakapapa, collected by Beattie (1941), would support the theory that Te Maihāroa sought to shift emphasis to Rākaihautū and the inland regions through tradition and whakapapa:
Whakapapa 10.4 354 Rakaihautu Te Rakihouia Te Aweawe Te Whatu Te Whatuhunahuna Te Whatukarokaro Te Whatu ariki Te Whatukarokata Tane Auroa Tititea Turu Orau Ari Takaha Te Waireika Tokopa Koroiko Te Papapuni Tatawhe Toromikimiki Tahauri Tamaipi Roko Te Whatu Kawarau Parapara Waimeha Te Karetu Tamaipi Waiwhero Kahuwera Taraia Te Kuru-moeanu = Uruwera Kiri-tekateka = Koa Hine-te-awheka = Te Raki-whakaputa Te Ropuake = Mako Te Rakikokonui = Waimataku Te korerehu = Te Rakiamoa 354
Peak in Sth Alps Mt near Wanaka Crown Range Diamond Lake Cardrona River Head of Wakatipu Beach at Glenavy Gentle Annie Creek Range on West Coast Roaring Meg Creek Nevis River Near Ben Nevis Kawarau Gorge Mt near Kawarau Near Otaraia Near Waimate Well-known river Near Hawea Waimea Plains Near Mataura Falls Near Mataura Falls Waiwera Kaiwera Otaraia Lake George at Colac
River in Southland
Beattie, 1941, pp. 69-70.
298 Te Whai = Tuawhe Pona-tukituki = Puru-weka Te Rehe = Kokiri Te Maiharoa = Rutaki Tiriata = Korehe Kahu Wikitoria = Pita Paipeta This whakapapa from Hipa Te Maihāroa traces his descent from the Waitaha ancestor Rākaihautū and links Waitaha ancestors to the land. The placing of ancestors into the landscape is not an uncommon device in Māori tradition, often becoming mauri and guardian spirits. 355 In essence the burying of one’s ancestors and mauri into the landscape effectively establishes descent from the land itself, strengthening tribal ties to their territory and spiritual connections to their sacred space. Although there are some names that fall outside the disputed inland territory, several of these are again clustered around the Waihao district near the Waitaki River mouth where Te Maihāroa and his followers settled. It is curious that Te Maihāroa and his followers were mainly from South Canterbury as the majority of the place names given are from the inland mountain plains and Southland. However, the place names associated with this whakapapa correspond with the mountain areas that Te Maihāroa claimed were not sold, land, earlier referred to as the ‘Hole in the Middle’. This implies that tradition was not only bent to serve a political purpose, but that whakapapa was also manipulated. This shifted focus to the inland plains to strengthen Te Maihāroa’s claims to what he believed were unsold lands. Such behaviour would not necessarily be an exclusively post-contact
Orbell, 1995, p. 118.
299 dynamic as the primary driver of Māori oral tradition, like that of the tohunga, was the establishment and preservation of tribal mana. In his analysis of the nature of religion, Mircea Eliade discusses the importance for all religious cultures of establishing their abode as ‘the center of the world’. In essence the world must first be founded (spiritually) before it can be inhabited, one must make a totally organised world from that which was chaos and profane: An unknown, foreign and unoccupied territory (which often means, ‘unoccupied by our people’) still shares in the fluid and larval modality of chaos. By occupying it and, above all, by settling in it man symbolically transforms it into a cosmos through a ritual repetition of the cosmogony. What is to become ‘our world’ must first be; ‘created’, and every creation has a paradigmatic model – the creation of the universe by the gods. 356 In essence one must create the world one inhabits, consecrating the cosmos and the environment by making it the world of the gods, or perhaps in Waitaha’s case, the ancestors. In order for a tribal group to inhabit an area they had to make it their sacred space, re-enacting creation to wipe away previous inhabitants and establish their space as the ‘center of the world’. In this manner, Te Maihāroa has placed tribal traditions, place names, and ancestors into the landscape, sanctifying the environment and establishing Waitaha as a people, within their primordial space of creation to secure and enhance the mana of his people.
Mircea Eliade, The Sacred & the Profane: The Nature of Religion, Harcourt Brace & Company: New York, 1987, p. 31.
300 Figure 10.2 Waitaha Whakapapa Place Names
Conclusion Analysis has established Rākaihautū traditions stem from a single source, the prophet Te Maihāroa. This tradition was also not recorded by scholars such as Stack, Wohlers or White whose earlier texts had preserved the bulk of South Island oral traditions. This raises doubt as to the authenticity of the narrative, as it does not originate from a communal corpus of belief evidenced prior to Te Maihāroa. The later appearance of Rākaihautū implies that it was intrinsically linked to the establishment of Te Maihāroa’s wharekura in Arowhenua. There are Ngāi Tahu accounts of Waitaha outside of his wharekura, such as those of Nātanahira Waruwarutū but they are minimal and do not mention Rākaihautū or his exploits. Analysis of the accounts of Mamaru (1894) and Paipeta (c.1920) revealed both creatively edited traditions, raising further questions as to the authenticity of accounts given by Te Maihāroa’s disciples and descendants. Comparison with northern traditions shows Rākaihautū is not found in the North Island and therefore is original, in contrast with the majority of South Island traditions that have been translocated during secondary internal migrations. This would support the theory that it was created in the South Island. It is apparent the Rākaihautū tradition has drawn upon common metaphors and templates of events that are found in North Island accounts, in particular the Ngātoroirangi traditions of Te Arawa. All of the evidence points to Te Maihāroa being the sole source of this tradition where analysis of his historical context has shown he had a political 301
302 imperative in shifting emphasis to the inland plains.
tradition of digging lakes, establishes ancestral connections to lands Te Maihāroa and his followers believed were not sold and reflects a Māori response to loss of land. Rākaihautū’s exploits establish Te Maihāroa’s claims to the South Island’s alpine lakes through discovery. Te Maihāroa also established a genealogy that embedded Waitaha whakapapa into the environment, further supporting his claims by being descendants of the land itself.
This focus on the ‘Hole in the Middle’ as opposed to South
Canterbury, where Te Maihāroa and his followers were based, further demonstrates this tradition has resulted from a post-contact response to land loss and an attempt to further land grievances. Rākaihautū did not originate from a communal corpus of belief, it is not found in early manuscripts and does not stem from sources outside of Te Maihāroa’s influence.
evidence suggests Te Mahihāroa formulated the account by drawing upon a wider genre of early explorer images to create a cultural response to loss of land, reinfocing Waitaha connections to land believed not sold, demonstrating the dynamics of change where tradition and the construction of the past bowed to the priorities of the present.
The Rebirth of Tribal Identity This, the final of four chapters focusing on Waitaha traditions, examines the traditions of Waitaha to explore whether Waitaha were a socially cohesive precontact body or a conceptual identity that has gained prominence in a postcontact environment. This chapter examines the ideological drivers behind post-contact Pākehā dynamics of change before analysing the political drivers behind post-contact Māori change to show Māori oral traditions, including those of Waitaha, were dynamic and changing, albeit for different reasons. Varied genre of Waitaha associations suggest Waitaha were a conceptual identity linked with early peoples and only emerged as a politically real body post-contact as a response to the political and social imperatives of South Island Māori.
305 The changes resulting from Pākehā influence and manipulation of Māori oral tradition has been analysed at length by historians M.P.K. Sorrenson (1979) and Angela Ballara (1998), looking at the way traditions were altered by European writers in accordance with theories derived from their own cultural and theoretical frameworks of knowledge. This chapter contributes to this debate by highlighting the internal Māori dynamics of change inherent in oral tradition. Analysis shows Māori were not unwitting collaborators and often had their own purposes and political agenda in supplying traditions.
investigation of the primary sources of these traditions has revealed a far more complicated dynamic, suggesting Māori oral traditions were never static or fixed in time but evolved as society attempted to reconstruct past events to reflect the audiences and circumstances of the present. The malleability of the past is further evident in the Waitaha traditions that emerged from the 1860s to 1890s. This was a period of tumultuous change for southern Māori, as they struggled to address the loss of land and maintain their identity in the face of Pākehā settlement (Belgrave, 2005). Analysis of Waitaha traditions reveals they are primarily derived from a single source, the prophet Hipa Te Maihāroa who broke from previous modes of tribal leadership, fusing Old Testament doctrine with Māori tradition to form a unique brand of tribal identity. This chapter focusses on the geo-political context that created these traditions during the second half of the nineteenth century. The social and political context surrounded Hipa Te Maihāroa will be examined to gain a deeper understanding of their impact on the Waitaha traditions he espoused. Waitaha 305
306 traditions will then be contrasted with North Island accounts and southern genealogies. These whakapapa reveal pre-contact concepts were relocated to the south and then re-contextualised post-contact to form a new set of historical narratives, as southern Māori struggled to reinterpret the past and their identity in the face of change and loss on an epic scale. Analysis demonstrates the changes caused by European contact were not the result of ‘contamination’ of pure pre-contact historical narratives, but in fact, part of a gradual transformation of dynamic traditions radically accelerated by change resulting from contact with Pākehā.
Therefore the narratives concerning
Waitaha that originate in the later half of the nineteenth century are consistent with a pre-contact dynamic where the conception of the past is framed by the tohunga whose cultural imperative is not an historic record of the past but the establishment and assertion of tribal mana.
M.P.K. Sorrenson Historian M.P.K Sorrenson (1979) chronicled how European writers, from Cook to contemporary times, attempted to construct theories to explain Māori origins and migration. European writers attempted to construct Māori society and origin based upon the prevailing theories of their time, in short portraying Māori how they perceived them to be: For most European observers were not content to record what they heard and saw; they had to interpret their information and above all answer intriguing questions about the ultimate origin of the Māori…European answers to these questions and interpretations of Māori culture were profoundly influenced by the prevailing philosophies of man and the latest scientific techniques. Indeed one might say that their pre-
307 conceptions grossly distorted their conceptions of the Māori race and his origins. 357 Early European writers believed they were dutifully chronicling the last remnants of the Māori race, which European theories of the time determined would inevitably succumb to ‘fatal contact’ with the ‘superior’ race. Early scholars assumed the nature of Māori tribal society was static and inevitably doomed to be eclipsed by the European race that was considered higher in the evolutionary scale of human development and therefore ‘civilised’. However, Māori culture was not assimilated as expected but consciously modified by Māori as they selectively incorporated foreign elements into Māori culture, integrating an isolated Polynesian people with a global consciousness. Māori were more than naïve participants and had their own agenda in reciting traditions as titles to land and tribal mana were established via tradition.
Sorrenson illustrates how Māori tradition adapted to new
knowledge with tradition preserving its relevancy through validation of land title via the Māori Land Court.
Whilst demonstrating how these early
scholars manipulated traditions of origin, he does little to examine what internal influences there had been on the original accounts. Sorrenson is quick to deride early anthropological functionalist theory and does not examine the deeper theoretical question of whether these adaptations to tradition resulted from foreign contact or were part of a precontact dynamic that was accelerated by contact with Pākehā. To his credit, he notes this dilemma and recognises this was not the focus of his study: 357
Sorrenson, 1979, p. 82.
308 What of the Maori role in this myth-making? Only passing reference has been made to this fascinating question which should be the subject of another study. 358 Historian Anne Salmond (1975) recognised that scholarly efforts exposing inconsistencies or post-contact alterations have made little impact on Māori society: There is evidence to suggest that the mythological account has itself greatly altered since the days of early contact, and that the efforts of later scholars in rationalising many different regional stories has resulted in a single popular version which is largely their creation; but on the marae this is all beside the point. Here scholastic problems do not exist; and mythology is entirely real. 359 It is unlikely that Māori were naïve, rather inconsistencies and modifications were not seen as unusual in Māori oral tradition, revealing accurate portrayal of past events was not always a concern. Later historians have identified modifications to tradition resulting from European influence, thereby, assuming Māori traditions were by nature ‘static’ and in their purest state ‘real’. The evidence suggests this is not so, that there is a far deeper and more complicated dynamic of change inherent in Māori oral tradition.
Angela Ballara Historian Angela Ballara’s (1998) analysis of Māori tribal organisation highlights assumptions made by early scholars about the static nature of iwi identities and structures.
European writers accepted Māori accounts of
Sorrenson, 1979, p. 84.
Anne Salmond, Hui: A Study of Māori Ceremonial Gatherings, Reed Methuen Publishers Ltd: Auckland, 1975, p. 10.
309 eponymous ancestors and tribal organisation at face value presuming the political tribal groupings of the present were always so. This was also reflected in the misconception that Māori were at their zenith prior to contact, hence the term ‘classic period’ being ascribed to Māori life just prior to contact. Ballara argues that Māori social structures were in a persistent state of flux resulting from constant adaptation to environmental stimuli: This book will argue that the Māori political and social system was always dynamic, continuously modified like its technology in response to such phenomena as environmental change and population expansion. The greatest of these changes took place in response to the most spectacular input of new influences: the arrival of Europeans and the sequential introduction of new technology, cultural items and concepts… 360 The classification of tribal systems as an ageless static social structure was derived from early European theories of evolutionary scales of human development. 361
By fixing a society on a scale of development, an
assumption is made that Māori were fixed and final when they first encountered Pākehā.
Ballara argues that post-contact changes to Māori
social organisation were not a dilution of ‘pure’ Māori culture but reflected the latest changes in a persistently changing culture. This theory would support the argument if a Māori tribal organisation was not fixed then so too were the oral traditions that formed the psychological underpinnings of Māori culture and social structure. The evidence suggests many early traditions that share common elements are the result of migrating tribal groups adapting their traditions to new environmental surroundings.
Ballara, 1998, p. 21.
Ballara, 1998, p. 33.
310 These modifications are then projected back into the past to support the developments and political drivers of the present. Thus, contact with Pākehā was not the beginning of the end for Māoridom but the catalyst for accelerated change as Māori rushed to selectively adopt new elements, hybridising narratives of the past to maintain the relevance of tribal traditions and mana into the future.
Geo-political Context Previous chapters have established the earliest traditions collected during the 1840s and 1850s display the greatest consistency with East Coast accounts. Analysis reveals that accounts during the 1860s and 1890s show the greatest variation when these changes are linked to the prophet Hipa Te Maihāroa. This period saw many developments as southern Māori rapidly lost land and power. This led to tribal traditions being placed within a new context, the Native Land Court, as evidence before Pākehā judges.
This resulted in
additional strain where tradition was placed within new forums to support contemporary land claims.
Here witnesses were likely to emphasise the
elements supporting strategic and historic claims to land and resources, as there was a political driver behind the recounting of tribal accounts of the past. Throughout the 1860s-90s period Māori oral tradition gained a new level of relevancy as they were now applied in this new context as evidence in tribal land claims. Hapū (sub-tribes) became politically cohesive tribes and tribal coalitions were brought about by the need to progress a united front in land claims (Ballara, 1998). Margeret Orbell (1996) believed this interaction gave
311 rise to oral tradition being consciously re-evaluated and at times re-invented due to new political imperatives: Tribal meetings had grown in size and might now bring together iwi which there had previously been little contact; this led to much discussion and debate, and sometimes to new syntheses.362
It was into this era that the prophet Hipa Te Maihāroa rose to fame as a prophet and miracle worker. Both Te Maihāroa and Ngāi Tahu leader Hori Kerei Taiaroa arose during a period of destitution for southern Māori plagued by widespread European diseases and an overwhelming tide of Pākehā settlement (Dacker, 1986). However, both leaders had differing ideologies to effect positive change for their people. Hori Kerei Taiaroa, a chief of Ōtākou, progressed Ngāi Tahu claims to land through parliament in a progressive yet measured fashion. Bill Dacker’s analysis (1986) of the approaches of both Te Maihāroa and Taiaroa noted the Māori community of Ōtākou had the largest land-holdings other than those of Topi Patuki and their mahika kai (food resources) were coastal and therefore not closed off by loss of land.
Taiaroa’s methodical approach through
parliament to address tribal grievances was afforded by Ōtākou’s relative economic conditions, circumstances that were not shared by Te Maihāroa and his followers. The majority of Te Maihāroa’s supporters were generally found north of Otago and concentrated in South Canterbury. The social and economic factors of South Canterbury Māori were far more severe as enclosure of land denied
Orbell, 1996, p. 8.
312 them access to traditional sources of food (Dacker, 1986). Te Maihāroa’s leadership gained popularity at a time when frustration was growing at the broken promises of the Government, so he rose to prominence by providing an alternative spiritual response to loss of land driven by economic and social factors. Piritihana Mikaere (1985) believed the contrasting ideologies and leadership styles of Taiaroa and Te Maihāroa were exasperated by Te Maihāroa taking insult at a request by Ngāti Toa, resulting in him standing apart from mainstream Ngāi Tahu leadership and religious thought: But in 1860 Kāi Tahu received a letter from Ngāti Toa urging them to support the government side; some responded by collecting money for the relief of Pākehā settlers in Taranaki. The chiefs called a public meeting to demonstrate Kāi Tahu loyalty. Hipa Te Maiharoa angrily and publicly rejected the meeting, and thereafter placed himself adrift of the mainstream of Kāi Tahu politics. 363
Hipa Te Maihāroa did not just provide an alternative response to loss of land, influenced by the North Island Kai Ngarara movement, Te Maihāroa created an alternative religious system, forging a synthesis of Māori and Biblical traditions. Te Maihāroa’s interpretation of Christianity was derived from the teachings of Te Ua Haumene and his followers were said to imitate Hauhau services by chanting songs in circles. 364 Te Maihāroa was said to have been a miracle worker performing amazing feats and travelling upon a white horse removing tapu from ancient sacred sites so as not to be disturbed by Europeans. 363
Piritihana Mikaere, ‘Hipa Te Maihāroa – A South Island Response to the Loss of Land’ in Te Karanga Canterbury Māori Studies Association, 1985, Vol.1, p. 21.
Mikaere, 1985, pp. 22-23.
The previous chapter demonstrated how Te Maihāroa, like other Māori prophets of his time, patterned himself on Biblical figures. Incorporating both Māori and Biblical symbolism, he formed a new synthesis of Māori religious tradition. Te Maihāroa is of interest as he behaved in a Biblical manner yet the previous chapter shows he combined Old Testament elements with traditional Māori knowledge, repackaging ancient ancestors, place names and star-lore into a new contemporary identity for southern Māori. Te Maihāroa’s movement gained popularity due to growing frustration at the slow progress of the mainstream political approach of Ngāi Tahu leadership and the spiritual guidance he provided.
Emboldened by severe cultural
degradation and loss of land, the catalyst for direct action came with the loss of the Hakataramea reserve in the Waitaki Valley that led to the occupation at Ōmarama to demonstrate the plight of southern Māori and likely reinforce the stance that the ‘Hole in the Middle’ had never been sold. Te Maihāroa led the occupation and built a meeting-house named Te Waka Āhua a Raki. Here he set up his school, teaching his own brand of tribal histories and religious tradition using a unique blend of Māori and Biblical imagery. His students later became the primary sources of Waitaha traditions. Accounts of Waitaha were found prior to Te Maihāroa, however, they are limited and often obscure. Earlier chapters show a standard corpus of belief did not appear until after Te Maihāroa, and was only expounded by his descendants or disciples. This is not to say that Waitaha did not exist, but suggests they were not a politically cohesive unit until the time of Te Maihāroa. Examination of the geo-political context has shown there were political drivers that likely influenced or formed Te Maihāroa’s accounts of 313
314 Waitaha origin to construct a new identity. Te Maihāroa not only created an alternative response to land loss but also a separate identity, fulfilling a spiritual need amongst his people with the promise of deliverance and hope. Previous scholarship has shown Te Maihāroa and Hori Kerei Taiaroa both attempted to address the poverty and injustice facing Ngāi Tahu in the later half of the nineteenth century, albeit by different tactics. Taiaroa took a political pathway to address tribal injustices. Te Maihāroa did more than place himself on the outer of Ngāi Tahu leadership; he established his own brand of religious tradition fused with a recalibrated tribal identity to form a spiritual response to colonisation and loss. Te Maihāroa’s response to the loss of land was a Māori one. Drawing upon the complex internal dynamics of change he rekindled associations with an ancient dormant identity to form a new politically ‘real’ identity to address the spiritual and political needs and aspirations of his people. Such a response is not unique to Māori. In her analysis of the history of the three faiths of Jerusalem, Karen Armstrong (2005) states mythology does not propound to describe historically verifiable events. Rather, it attempts to express truths about the interior life and an expression of the mystery of the unknowable. This is reflected in what she terms ‘sacred geography’ where cultures express their affinity with the sacred realm through their relationship to the land.
The essence of Waitaha traditions focus on mythologising the
environment through genealogies, place names and traditions being placed upon the landscape. Thus Te Maihāroa formed a sacred landscape, and in doing so concreted Waitaha within the sacred landscape.
315 Armstrong believed mythology functioned as an ancient form of psychology, which people referred back to when suffering to find consolation: The history of religion shows that in times of crisis and upheaval, people more readily turn to myth than more rational forms of faith. As a form of psychology, myth can penetrate deeper than cerebral discourse and touch the obscure cause of distress in the farthest reaches of our being. 365
This return to more primal mythology is also a means to cleanse the land of previous ideologies and establish a new narrative of creation and belonging. Returning to primordial narratives allows one to ‘recreate’ the universe and psychologically colonise the landscape, purging predecessors from the environment to lay clear foundations for the new dominant culture. This would advance the argument that Te Maihāroa formulated a Māori response to land loss and spiritual degradation by creating a new religious and cultural identity and then placed it upon the southern landscape. His particular blend of religious teachings assimilated elements of new Christian teachings and merged these with elements of Māori mythology, drawing upon the strengths of the new and old worlds to bind his people together in a new vision of hope and re-forged identity. However, the key issue to be explored is whether this hybridisation was the result of fraudulent creative authorship or part of a deeper and more complex existing internal dynamic of change.
Te Arawa and Waitaha Tarauta Previous chapters have clearly established the translocation of tradition was a pre-contact dynamic of Māori oral tradition. Shared characters and templates 365
Karen Armstrong, A History of Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths, Harper Perennial: London, 2005, p. 82.
316 of events show early oral traditions contain many similar elements that were transported in the minds of settlers and then localised to fit their new environment. Waitaha traditions stemming from Te Maihāroa do not stand in isolation as traditions concerning Waitaha also occur in the North Island. Waitaha is also found in the Central North Island and Tauranga through tribes who trace descent from the ancestor Waitaha son of Hei. The North Island ancestor Waitaha Nui a Hei is seen in the following whakapapa recorded by W.E.Gudgeon (1894): Whakapapa 11.1 366 Whatitiri Hema Tawhaki Wahieroa Rata Ika Tatara titi-rangi Kuratongia Tuwhakairiao
Rangiawha Marupunganui Tu-a-Rotorua
Hinerangi = Hei Waitaha Takanui Tuaraitaua Mauai Hau Papawharanui Uenuku-kopako Whakaaue Tutanekai
The following whakapapa also recorded by Gudgeon (1905) demonstrates Waitaha’s links with other early Te Arawa ancestors:
W.E. Gudgeon, ‘Māori Migrations No.II’, in JPS, 1894, Vol.3, p. 47.
Gudgeon (1903) recorded a substantial narrative about Tahu (Tahu-wera), an ancestor aboard the Arawa canoe who returned to Hawaiki to secure a missing bailer and there found the tribe Waitaha who had been left behind: This canoe undoubtedly followed after the Arawa migration, inasmuch that it belonged to a section of the Heketanga-rangi. The tradition relating to this vessel is distinctly startling, for it draws very largely on the marvellous, and requires a good deal of the element of faith…When the Arawa canoe was in mid ocean it was discovered that the tata (bailer) of the canoe had been left behind. Now it is possible that this article, which had received the name Te Whatu-a-Ranganuku, was of importance to the crew. Volunteers were called for, and a man of the name Tahu, not only responded to the call, but instantly jumped into the sea with the intention of swimming back to Raiatea…Tahu received the assistance of his ancestral Taniwha…it will, therefore, be sufficient to say that Tahu reached Hawaiki, and there secured the missing bailer, and also found some seventy members of the Waitaha tribe who had been left behind when the Arawa canoe started its voyage, and were then awaiting an opportunity of following their friends. In Tahu they found the required leader…and directed that instead of waiting for an opportunity they should make one by building a canoe…Tahu, soon finished a Wakamoana, to which…they gave the name of the bailer, viz., Te Whatu-aRanganuku. The voyage was successfully performed, and the party landed somewhere on the Wai-rarapa Coast, and there resided for a time with Te Takanga, who was chief of the ancient people…It is probable that these Waitaha, like all the ‘heavenly migration’, were a very bounceable lot, for the Wairarapa soon found them objectionable, and began to meditate their 367
W.E. Gudgeon, ‘Māori Religion’, in JPS, 1905, Vol.14, p. 121.
318 destruction; then, however, was seen the value of an ancestral god, for Kahukura, acting in the interests of Tahu, was keeping an eye on his enemies, and having ascertained their intentions sent the chief a message…Tahu was pre-eminently a man of action, he therefore roused up his people and disclosed to them the message he had received from the spirit world…Under these circumstances Tahu resolved to bury his people weapon in hand …This plan was carried out and each man covered with sufficient earth to ensure that he would not be roasted…In due time the house was fired…In the morning the treacherous host came, expected to find only half-roasted bodies, but to their surprise they found but a mound of earth. Very hastily they uncovered it, little dreaming that these men were yet alive. But Waitaha were of a different opinion…they rose and slew the ancient tribe of Wai-rarapa…Tahu, though badly burned, was found alive, and from that time forth took the name of Tahuwera (burned Tahu). The Waitaha experience of the Wairarapa had not been so pleasant as to induce them to remain in the district. Therefore they started overland to…Maketu in the Bay of Plenty…En route at Uawa (Tologa Bay) they found it necessary to fight a battle with NgaOho, descendants of Toi-Kai-rakau, whom they defeated, and thence moved on to Otama-rakau, near Maketu, where they found some of the Arawa people living under the chief Uruika, whose daughter Pikirarunga was given to Tahu as a wife, and from this union has come that branch of the Waitaha called Tarauta (Overland). 368 This tradition, giving the origins of the North Island tribe Waitaha Tarauta, is unusual, as it does not fit with the general body of traditions concerning the Te Arawa canoe. Te Arawa migration traditions refer to Waitaha as an ancestor and son of Hei, not a tribe. John White (1890) recorded substantial narratives concerning the migration of Te Arawa and Waitaha, the son of one of its principal chiefs Hei. White also notes that there was an ancestor named Tahu Wera who was chief of the Te Whatu o Ranga Nuku canoe but Waitaha are not a tribe aboard the canoe. However, of interest is the captain
W.E. Gudgeon, ‘The Whence of the Māori’, in JPS, 1903, Vol.12, pp. 58-61.
319 of the Wai Rakewa canoe named Wai Taha i te Ahunga Riki, who like Tahu Wera was an ancestor of Puehu Marama. 369 A similar connection between Tahu (or Tahu Wera), Waitaha and the Te Arawa Canoe was recorded by Edward Shortland (c.1850) and written by Te Ao: No tē unga o tē Arawa ki Whangarei i ririri ai a Tahu raua ko tē tēina ko Waitaha. Ka noho tonu a Tahu ma i reira i rere mai ana a Waitaha raua ko tē papa i runga i a Te Arawa. 370
Translation Upon the landing of Te Arawa at Whangarei, Tahu and his younger brother Waitaha quarrelled. Tahu and his followers stayed there whilst Waitaha and the father sailed down upon Te Arawa. There is clear evidence Waitaha (or Waitaha Tarauta) were an early identity in the central North Island. However, it is uncertain whether they were a politically ‘real’ body in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Ballara’s (1998) analysis of tribal dynamics highlighted the gradual shift of tribal identities, as tribes were relegated to archaic titles as they lost social cohesion. She identifies that Hei was one such figure. 371 Descent groups tracing lineage from early ancestors could lose their potency after 3-4 generations as identity markers, so groups would selectively replace them with more recent figures. 372 The confusion surrounding accounts of Waitaha
John White, Ancient History of the Māori Vol.VII (English), Ms Copy Micro 447, Ms Papers 75, B14 & B15, 1890, p. 144.
Edward Shortland, Shortland Papers 2b, Unpublished Manuscript, c.1850, Hocken Library, University of Otago, p. 17.
Ballara, 1998, p. 145.
Ballara, 1998, p. 145.
320 would suggest that for some areas at least, the ancestor Waitaha lost its political relevancy and was preserved as a conceptual identity. It is evident there are two Waitaha identities in the central North Island; one is the ancestor Waitaha, son of Hei that arrived on the Te Arawa canoe, the other a tribe called Waitaha that arrived following the Te Arawa canoe. Gudgeon’s (1903) account suggests Waitaha were not a corporeal tribe during the eighteenth century but a newer group attempting to reassert connection to a collective Waitaha identity towards the end of the nineteenth century.
This would explain the account recorded by Gudgeon where
Waitaha, as a collective, were added onto the generic Te Arawa canoe tradition through the incorporation of the Te Whata o Ranga Nuku canoe. This implies Waitaha was an early-remembered ancestor who lost power as an identity marker, resulting in confused and muddled accounts.
political pressures such as those brought on by the Native Land Court likely reignited genealogical linkages to early ancestors to enhance and assert ones primal inheritance.
Thus older identities and ancestors gained a new
importance and relevancy for their descendants resulting in rekindled connections with ancient identities, such as Waitaha. Canon Stack (1898) was later to confuse the North Island Waitaha identities with southern accounts, which trace descent from the eponymous ancestor Rākaihautū, not the Te Arawa ancestor, Waitaha. Yet Stack ascribed Waitaha origin to the Te Arawa canoe under the leadership of Tama Te Kapua, synthesising separate tribal accounts: It would appear that Waitaha – one of the original immigrants from Hawaiki – was the founder of the tribe. He came with Tama te Kapua and Nga toro i rangi in the canoe Arawa, and his taumata near Taupo is
321 still pointed out. But at a very early date he or his immediate descendants must have left the locality, and travelled south. 373 Stack has been heavily criticised for compiling the two together and muddling the identities of separate North and South Island traditions. This was particularly so in the Ngāi Tahu Claim evidence where Ngāi Tahu leaders, such as Sir Tipene O’Regan, were keen to demonstrate their ownership of Te Waipounamu through tribes such as Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe and Ngāi Tahu and avoid any possible counter-claims from northern tribes: It is important to note that this Waitaha is not the same Waitaha who descends from Hei, a brother of Tama-te-kapua in the Arawa traditions. We have had great difficulty in making this point over the years because of the currency given to the confusion of the two different persons named Waitaha by Canon Stack in his History of the South Island Maori. 374 Whilst Stack was in error in collapsing two separate tribal traditions together he did pick up on an interesting dynamic whereby in the North and the South, Waitaha were seen as an early people. However, both versions lack cohesion and shared imagery, implying that northern and southern accounts of Waitaha were not reflective of politically cohesive groupings but were constructs representing a conceptual identity.
Takitimu Waitaha Further evidence of North Island links to Waitaha is seen in the traditions of the Takitimu canoe. East Coast scribe Hoani Turi Te Whatahoro (1902) 373
Stack, 1898, p. 23.
Tipene O’Regan, ‘Kā Kōrero o Mua o Kāi Tahu Whānui: Brief of Evidence to the Waitangi Tribunal (WAI27)’, Unpublished Manuscript, Rangiora, September 1987, A27, p. 2.
322 published an account stating Waitaha were one of the original tribes to have arrived upon the Takitimu canoe, demonstrating the symbolic nature of Waitaha traditions, as their origin has been attributed to four separate waka: Ko te iwi tuturu nona ano te rakau o Taakitimu, me te whenua i tua i taua ra-kau, ko Ngaati-waitaha, ko Ngaati-kopeka, ko Ngaati-parerautao, ko Ngaati-parauri, ko nga rangatira o aua Iwi, ko Puhiwhakaawe, ko Puhiwhanake, ko Tutakahinahina. 375
Translation The original tribes that descended from the Tākitimu canoe, and the lands beyond it were, Ngāti Waitaha, Ngāti Kopeka, Ngāti Parerautao, Ngāti Parauri, the chiefs of these tribes were, Puhiwhakaawe, Puhiwhanake, and Tūtakahinahina.
Whatahoro (1915) later published a further account of the Takitimu Waitaha, sourced from his principal informant Te Matorohanga again linking Waitaha to the Takitimu canoe and the ancestral figures Puhiwhakaawe and Tūtakahinahina: Ka roa e noho ana a Tamatea me ona tangata, ka mea ia ki a Puhiwhanake, ki a Tu-taka-hinahina, ki a Kohu-para, ki a Mokinokino, ‘E Tama! E hoki ana au ki Muri-whenua; a, maku e hoki mai. E noho i to tatou kainga; he kainga watea tenei mo tatou. Waiho tatou i te rawhiti nei; kaua e whiti ki te taha mauru—ko te tuara tera, ko te aroaro tenei.
Translation Tamatea and his people remained there for a long time, and then he said to Puhi-whakaawe, Tu-taka-hinahina, Kohu-para, and Mokinokino, ‘O Sirs! I am returning to the North Cape; but I shall come back again. Remain here at our home; it is a place free from others. Let us remain on this east side; do not cross over to the west side [of the island] – for that is the back, this is the front.’ [The people left behind were the Waitaha tribe, so called by the wish of Puhi-whakaawe… 376 375
Whatahoro, 1902, p. 4.
Smith, 1915, pp. 230-242.
Recorded by Whatahoro from Wairarapa tohunga, Te Matorohanga, the account has been translated by Percy Smith. It is evident there are minor changes, for instance, in the translation Puhi Whanake is changed to Puhi Whakaawe, but most interesting is his additional note stating the tribe left behind was Waitaha. Whilst not implicitly expressed in the Māori text, Waitaha aboard the Takitimu canoe is consistent with other examples of Whatahoro’s literature recorded from Te Matorohanga (such as Whatahoro’s previous 1902 account). In Te Matorohanga’s accounts Waitaha appear as a collective in contrast with the earliest Te Arawa narratives. East Coast traditions of Waitaha show they had a clear association with other early explorer/navigator figures such as Tamatea, Puhiwhakaawe and Tūtakahinahina.
Earlier chapters have
established these are reoccurring symbolic figures associated with migration and are utilised in multiple accounts, to project tribal narratives of arrival further into the past with the earliest remembered ancestors. Although the details may change their association does not, implying Waitaha were in part a ‘conceptual’ identity linked with early arrival, thus explaining their occurrence in multiple accounts. When H. Jacobs (Ngāi Tahu) attended a Labour Party Conference in Wellington in 1938 he copied a whakapapa including the Te Arawa ancestor, Waitaha and Tamatea, captain of the Takitimu:
324 Whakapapa 11.3 377 Ko Hei Ko Waitaha
Ko Papakawheoro Ko Tuahuriri parapara Ko Tuaritaua Ko Manaia
Ko Ruarangi = Moanaikauira Ko Iwipupu = Tamatea
Ko Haukaiparakau Ko Papawhararangi Ko Tuhourangi Ko Uenukukotako Ko Whakaue Ko Tawakeheimoa Ko Rangiwewehi
Ngataiwhakaki Ngaruhora =
= Marumaomao = Rangitiki = Rongomaipapa
This whakapapa is special as it brings together the various threads of separate Waitaha traditions. Recorded by Henare Jacobs of Ngāi Tahu, the whakapapa includes Te Arawa’s ancestor, Waitaha and reference to Tamatea, and thereby Takitimu Waitaha through association.
appearance of Waitaha, son of Hei, is consistent from the earliest Te Arawa traditions giving credence to its authenticity. In comparison, accounts of Waitaha as a collective are shared, regionally constructed and appear in the latter half of the nineteenth century. That there was an early ancestor known as Waitaha is supported by evidence. Waitaha as a socially unified group was not evident during the eighteenth century. As time passed descendants of Waitaha focused more on recent and relevant ancestors and as a result Waitaha identities became dormant. Geopolitical pressures in the latter half of the nineteenth century would place 377
H. Jacobs, Whakapapa Ms Vol.2, Unpublished Manuscript, c.1938, p. 72.
325 greater emphasis on descent from earlier figures to authenticate claims to land, thereby, reviving the need to associate with early figures, such as Waitaha. Rekindled Waitaha identities gained a renewed political legitimacy by establishing early origins. Thus an increased emphasis on Waitaha in the second half of the nineteenth century reflects cultural revivalist change where tradition adapted to conform to the political motivations of the present. Waitaha’s occurrence in northern traditions illustrates Waitaha were translocated from the North Island.
Earlier chapters have established
Waitaha was known prior to Te Maihāroa but did not have a clear body of tradition or genealogy, until Te Maihāroa, who is the principal source of southern Waitaha traditions and genealogies.
Analysis of North Island
accounts of Waitaha show this dynamic was not unique to southern accounts of Waitaha. Concepts of an early Waitaha identity were also transported around the North Island as differing groups sought to emphasise their connection to this early ancestor. This would support the argument that Te Maihāroa’s emphasis on enhancing a Waitaha identity in the South Island was not a post-contact falsification of tradition but the continuance of a complicated internal dynamic of change, where tradition evolved in accordance with political pressures.
North Island Whakataukī (Proverbial Sayings) Further evidence of the symbolic nature of Waitaha identities is evidenced in several North Island whakataukī. Southern whakataukī linked with Waitaha originate from Te Maihāroa’s wharekura and are pēpeha, proverbs linked 325
326 with claims to tribal lands, resources and boundaries. In comparison, North Island proverbs associate Waitaha with an early identity, yet they are obscure and imply Waitaha is a concept rather than an actual tribal group. The following whakataukī was published in 1883 and refers to Waitaha as having no chiefs: Waitaha ariki kore 378
Translation Waitaha of no chiefs This whakataukī recognises the genealogies of Waitaha identities are often unclear. Despite the Te Arawa Waitaha ancestor having a clear line of descent, Takitimu Waitaha does not. This whakataukī does not directly relate to South Island Waitaha, however, it does intimate there are some shared associations with the term Waitaha. The following whakataukī was published in 1875 and utilises Waitaha as a reference to an identity in concept only:
Ko Waitaha ngā tāngata, ko kawe kē te ngākau 379 Translation The people belong to Waitaha but not so in heart Hirini Moko Mead and Neil Grove (2001) professed this whakataukī referred to a ‘numerous and courageous people from an ancient lineage, who in time became widely diverse in temperament and inclination’ and believed the
to the editor, in Te Korimako, Pukapuka 0, Nama 20, 15 Whiringa-ā-nuku 1883, p. 6.
Unknown Author, ‘He Whakataukī Māori’, in Te Waka Māori o Niu Tirani, Pukapuka 11, Nama 12, 22 Piripi 1875, p. 145.
327 whakataukī was tantamount to one saying, ‘He claims to be of Ngāti So-andso but he certainly does not act it’. 380 This supports the notion Waitaha was a concept, as it is utilised to portray an indistinct identity or ‘Ngāti So-andso’. Here Waitaha is used to allude to a concept of tribal identity rather than a reference to a corporate social unit. Such proverbs can be interpreted differently but when placed with a wider context of shared imagery associated with Waitaha, the evidence supports the theory that Waitaha lost its potency as an identity marker and became an allusion linked with early people shrouded in ambiguity.
Waitaha Whakapapa The obscure nature of Waitaha identity is also evident in South Island genealogies, which incorporate symbolic elements and North Island references, giving credence to the theory they are a conceptual identity that has been translocated to the South Island. Recorded by Percy Smith (1894) and Judge F.R. Chapman (1882), the following genealogies do not incorporate Rākaihautū.
Also of interest, Waitaha is included as an ancestor named
Waitaharaki or Waitahanui:
Mead & Grove, 2001, p. 269.
328 Whakapapa 11.4381 Smith (1894) Toi Rauru Hatoka Riteka Motoro Tahatiti Ruatapu Rakau-manini Rakau-hape Parea Rakau-manana Rakau-whaka-matuku Waitaharaki Hawea-i-te-raki
Whakapapa 11.6 383 Chapman (1882) Toi Rauru Hatoka Ritenga Matoro Tahatiti Ruatapu Rakaumanini Rakauhape Parea Te Rakaumanana Te Rakauwhakamatuke Uruao Waitahanui Waitaharaki
All three early whakapapa are unusual, as they do not include Waitaha’s founding ancestor, Rākaihautū. The occurrence of Rākaihautū was dealt with in the previous chapter, however, these whakapapa illustrate another dynamic, whereby, references to early ancestors are recycled to elongate ‘ancient’ genealogies. These whakapapa integrate early North Island ancestors such as Toi, Rauru, Hātoka, Matoro, Tahatiti, Ruatapu and Puhirere. Thereby tracing Waitaha descent from North Island ancestors, which is in stark contrast to Waitaha traditions stemming from Te Maihāroa, that ascribe Waitaha’s independent arrival to the waka Uruao. The ‘Rakau’ sequence is also evidence of the inclusion of symbolic creative elements, likely associated with metaphors for creation. 381
Smith, 1894, p. 12.
Smith, 1894, p. 12.
Judge F.R. Chapman, Ms 416, Hocken Library, Dunedin, 1882, unpaginated.
Whakapapa 11.6 is of interest as it also includes the name Uruao, the Waitaha canoe that allegedly brought Rākaihautū to these shores. Thereby symbolic metaphors have been incorporated alongside remembered early North Island ancestors drawing obvious attention to the historical validity of these genealogies. Waitaha whakapapa stemming from Te Maihāroa follow a similar pattern with the previous genealogies but instead begin with Rākaihautū: Whakapapa 11.7384 Rakaihautu Te uhi tataraiakoa Temanuwaerorua Maraka oneone Hinerauti Toi Rauru Terakaumanini Terakaumanana Terakau hape Terakaumatuku Parea Riua Waitahanui Waitahaaraki Hawea i te raki Tapu Tewaireika Tahatiti Rokomai Rakiroa Te Whatūtēki Tewatene 384
330 Hotūmamoe Auaitaheke Matairaki Houmea Tuhikutira Hikaororoa Tumaikuku Rokokote Manawatakitu Tuhaitara Huirapa Rakimatakore Tehutai Tetawhana Te ariki Wahakai Whakaiwihau Puruweka Terehe Te Maiharoa Taare Kiwa This whakapapa incorporates similar early ancestors such as Toi, Rauru and symbolic allusions to creation but places Rākaihautū at the apex. This would render all northern tribes descending from Toi as progeny of Rākaihautū. The following Waitaha whakapapa given to Herries Beattie by Te Maihāroa’s granddaughter, Wikitoria Paipeta, includes further early North Island ancestors.
The names before Rākaihautū (Rākaihaitū) are mostly deities
including Raki (The Sky-father):
331 Whakapapa 11.8385 Na Raki = Hekehekeipapa Tamanui a raki Haumia Mahuika Huawaiwai Tahito kuru Te Kohurere Teaohiaawe = Te Kanapu Haeaateawa Putaitua Putaiaho Teputaka Ru Rakaihaitu Te Rakihouia Teuhitaataraiakoia Temanuwaerorua = Tapatapahiawha Awamutu Awatope Awanuiaraki Te Puhirere Te Puhimanawatu Te Puhikaiaariki Te Kahea Teupokotipukiaeteparetao Te kiorewhakapoka Te matukuwharekoti Te auaruhetaratara Te Pohatuparemoremo Te hinakitaka Te kurupatukaikakahu Te kakakaiamio Te rohutupapa Te kakikoea Te kakihaaua 385
This whakapapa renders ancestors such as Awatope, Awanuiārangi (Awanuiāraki) and Puhi (Puhirere), who are eponymous ancestors of North Island tribes, as descendants of Rākaihautū. This indicates early Waitaha genealogies derived from Te Maihāroa’s school of learning capped previous whakapapa by placing Rākaihautū at the apex and were extended by the inclusion of North Island tribal ancestors. Further symbolic insertions are seen in the following whakapapa that incorporates a sequence of ‘Roko’ names:
333 Whakapapa 11.9386 Rakaihautu Te Uhi-taraiakoa Te Manu-waero-rua Maraka-oneone Hine-rauti Toi Rauru Te Rakau-manini Te Rakau-manana Te Rakau-hape Te Rakau-whaka-matuku Roko-i-pae Roko-i-taha Roko-i-te-Aniwaniwa Roko-i-te-haeata Roko-i-tua Raki-roa (1) Roko-mai Raki-roa (2) Whatu-teki Te Watere = Kirirua Whatu-mamoe = Te Au-kukume Auai-taheke = Whaturea Matai-raki = Kura Houmea = Te Utu-poraki Hikao-roroa = Urupa Tumai-kuku = Ue-mata Roko-kote = Tahu-pitopito Manawa-takitu = Rakai-whaka-ata Tuhaitara = Marukore Tama-rae-roa = Te Ra-hua-nui Te Ao-hiku-raki = Rakai-te-kura Tuahu-riri = Kahu-ki-ao Tane-tiki = Hua-noa Moe-kaherehere = Te Kete Te Rua-tu-whenua = Mate-rau Puaka = Raki-nui Te Raki = Makuru-te-hua-nono 386
Beattie, 1941, p. 68.
334 Te Ua-whaka-taka = Hakina Raho = Pawhati Te Ra-tunuku = Korako Kahu = Wai-ore-takina Hoani Korehe = Tiriata Wikitoria = Pita Paipeta Previous chapters have demonstrated this ‘Roko’ sequence is a symbolic device rendering a narrative of Roko’s (Rongo’s) arrival via genealogy. Its inclusion further illustrates that Waitaha genealogies incorporate symbolic allusions. Analysis of the political context during the latter half of the nineteenth century shows Te Maihāroa had a political motive behind placing greater emphasis on early tribal identities to enhance claims to land.
Analysis of Waitaha
genealogies demonstrate they are compendiums of remembered ancient North Island ancestors and symbolic metaphors associated with creation. A similar dynamic is seen in other early tribal genealogies, however, not to the same extent. Te Maihāroa utilised an existing pre-contact dynamic where genealogies are ‘fleshed out’ or extended by the inclusion of early ancestors and symbolic elements. This gives the whakapapa a degree of authenticity in Māori eyes, as it will share common elements with other tribal genealogies. This condition is symptomatic of a pre-contact internal dynamic of change where early genealogies are elongated and embellished through the inclusion of symbolic references. Thus ancient whakapapa were likely constructed as much as remembered. Waitaha genealogies were elongated through the inclusion of early northern ancestors that are ‘reshuffled’. Analysis has shown little consistency between 334
335 varying accounts. In each case the early sections are comprised of symbolic references, however, they do not share a similar sequence or consistent order. This suggests the sequencing is not important and that varying genealogies were ‘reshuffled’ as the emphasis was placed upon the length of the whakapapa, not its arrangement. Therefore the motive is functional and not purely the recording of the ancestors of the past. The continuance of this dynamic is seen in the addition of Rākaihautū in the Waitaha genealogies of Te Maihāroa. In this case however, Te Maihāroa was rekindling a socially dormant identity that was translocated from the North Island. Therefore, he had to construct a genealogy as opposed to embellishing an existing line of descent.
Te Maihāroa extended South Island Māori
genealogies by incorporating further symbolic elements from prior to Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe ancestors, to project the genealogy further back into the past. 387 This elongated whakapapa was then ‘capped’ by Rākaihautū, placing emphasis on Waitaha’s lineage and establishing their mana as supreme.
Conclusion Analysis of the internal dynamics of Māori oral tradition shows they were reflective of a socially fluid tribal organisation. Early scholarship determined Māori social structures to be static, when first encountered by Europeans. By
The theory of the present-past projection of Māori oral traditions and the incorporation of early ancestors to elongate whakapapa are from Rāwiri Taonui, Ngā Tātai-Whakapapa: Dynamics in Māori Oral Tradition, unpublished thesis, University of Auckland, 2005.
336 default, European writers presumed the same of Māori oral tradition. Māori traditions were never static or fixed in time but evolved due to changes in environmental stimuli. Previous chapters have established many linkages between tribal accounts and further study would likely find a similar pattern throughout the Pacific. These shared references result from the translocation of tradition but in each case the details are modified as tradition evolves to fit a new landscape and accommodate changes in society. Sorrenson (1979) and Ballara (1998) illustrated how European writers constructed Māori traditions into the image of how they perceived Māori to be. However, the aim of this chapter has been the examination of the motives behind Māori constructions of tribal traditions.
Rather than purely a
contamination of ‘original’ Māori culture, hybrid traditions are reflective of a continuing process of evolution as tradition and society struggled to accommodate the new ideologies, technologies and change brought about by interaction with Pākehā. Oral traditions formed the psychological support for Māori social organisation and in tandem the two were selectively and consciously modified to incorporate foreign influences and remain relevant. Colonisation was not the beginning of the end for Māori life and thinking but brought about accelerated change as Māori selectively adopted new elements, hybridising and changing traditions to maintain their relevancy in a new global environment. European contact and the resulting changes to Māori tradition were not a dilution of ‘real’ Māori culture but a significant stage in an ongoing progression and development of a dynamic corpus of belief. Colonisation brought new pressures upon Māori as hapū coalesced to form politically cohesive tribes to address challenges to Māori leadership, power and ideology. The loss of land ushered a new domain and context for Māori 336
337 oral tradition. The Native Land Court, and the political pressures to address land grievances encouraged association with earlier tribal ancestors and identities.
Southern responses to land loss differed in ideology, with Te
Maihāroa constructing a spiritual identity in response to injustice and loss of land. The previous chapter established Te Maihāroa had political motives in constructing a new religious tradition and tribal identity to place emphasis on the ‘Hole in the Middle’; a central territory he contended was never sold. Analysis of North Island accounts and whakataukī (proverbial sayings) has revealed southern accounts of Waitaha originate from the North Island, where they were transported around different regions. In each case Waitaha are very much a conceptual identity, explaining their occurrence in multiple traditions. The mystical nature of Waitaha suggests the loss of political potency over the passage of time, eventually becoming a conceptual identity shrouded in ambiguity. Hence, Waitaha are an allusion to an early tribal identity rather than signifying a corporeal social unit. Examination of southern genealogies shows Waitaha whakapapa were elongated by the incorporation of ancient North Island ancestors and then capped with the eponymous Waitaha ancestor, Rākaihautū. These whakapapa show little consistency suggesting their function is to project Waitaha into the distant past as opposed to dutifully recording lines of descent. This supports the stance Waitaha traditions and whakapapa were constructed by Te Maihāroa with a function, to establish the claims of South Island Māori to original arrival and possession of Te Waipounamu. Te Maihāroa’s response to land loss was a Māori one. He incorporated elements of both the Old Testament and Māori belief to formulate a new 337
338 religious tradition and identity. He reconstructed the past by focussing on existing conceptual elements to create a psychological basis in tradition. He patterned his behaviour, leadership and religious movement on Biblical figures, such as Moses. There are many accounts of Te Maihāroa performing miracles and removing tapu, which was a cornerstone of the Kaingārara movement. In essence he was cleansing the bastions of the ‘old world’ by removing tapu and laying down clear foundations for the spiritual colonisation of the landscape with his own unique brand of religious belief fused with tribal tradition. Despite behaving in a Biblical manner, the identity he constructed was derived from ancient Māori associations as he utilised early ancestors, place names and mythic templates to form an entirely new body of tradition demonstrating the malleability and dynamism of Māori oral tradition.
Part Four: Waitaha Traditions
Summary This section examined the traditions of Waitaha to explore the question whether they were a distinct social grouping or a conceptual identity. The first two chapters focused on the Waitaha waka traditions; Te Waka a Raki, Te Waka Huruhurumanu, TeWaka o Aoraki and Uruao. These accounts have not been relocated during successive internal migrations as seen in other South Island waka traditions. Although it is possible these unique narratives are in fact authentic pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe accounts of original arrival, it is also possible they have been formulated post-contact to establish arrival independent from North Island iwi and their traditions of migration. Irrespective of their origins, the prime purpose of the waka traditions of Waitaha remains the same, to establish tribal identity, genealogy and mana within a new homeland. The third chapter in this section examined Rākaihautū traditions, showing they were a Māori response to loss of land, emphasising connection to lands believed not sold and providing a heroic narrative of a founding ancestor. Thereby, the political and spiritual needs and aspirations were addressed through oral tradition. An added gift of this tradition is the insight it gives us 339
340 into the dynamics of post-contact Māori change where Māori were forced to adapt to a quickly changing environment brought about by contact and interaction with Pākehā. Te Maihāroa reformulated tradition in response to severe loss of land, affliction by disease and the breakdown of traditional forms of leadership. He established a new set of traditions through changing the emphasis of existing mythic templates to support the political imperatives of his people. Te Maihāroa acted as any tohunga would have, as the purpose of the tohunga, the repository of tribal knowledge, is not solely to record events but also to establish and maintain tribal mana. The Rākaihautū tradition arose at a time when the mana of South Island Māori was at its lowest and where Te Maihāroa and his followers were fighting for survival. Shut out from participating in the Pākehā economy and unable to access traditional food sources, Te Maihāroa and his followers were forced to make a desperate response and occupy land. Rākaihautū traditions establish their claims to land within a Māori context, through ancestral descent. It demonstrates that tradition bowed to the pressures of change, as the past was reconstructed to conform with the imperatives of the present. Te Maihāroa’s response to the destitute situation of his people was a Māori one, where the tohunga constructed reality, past and present for the future of his people. The fourth chapter in this section focused on Waitaha traditions establishing Te Maihāroa’s post-contact changes were not the result of a falsification of tradition but consistent with the complicated pre-contact internal dynamics of change. Waitaha is a conceptual identity found in both the North and South Island. Even its usage in the South Island supports this stance with Waitaha used loosely as a generic term for all pre-Ngāi Tahu and pre-Māmoe tribes as 340
341 evidenced by Ngāi Tahu leader, Rakiihia Tau, ascribing it to all ancient tribes in Te Waipounamu: The term Waitaha we use to describe collectively all the ancient groups which occupied Te Waka o Aoraki… 388 However, it was not until Te Maihāroa that Waitaha coalesced into a ‘real’ tribe necessitated by the political and spiritual aspirations of South Island Māori. When examined within a Māori context, Waitaha traditions are not false accounts of tribal history but the product of an internal dynamic whereby tradition adapts and at times is consciously reconstructed to ensure the interpretation of the past fits the motives of the present. Te Maihāroa’s accounts are not entirely the result of creative authorship but reflect the rekindling of a dormant social identity translocated from the North Island, utilising pre-existing references to ancient ancestors, tribes and star lore to form a corporate cultural identity for South Island Māori. Thus an eighteenth century conceptual iwi became a nineteenth century corporate iwi under the leadership of Te Maihāroa as he sought to give a new social and spiritual structural paradigm to South Island Māori communities ravaged by disease, land loss and challenges to spiritual beliefs and systems of leadership. These traditions provide an insight into the internal operations of Māori oral tradition and thereby the workings of the Māori mind as tradition, society and interpretation of the past were reconstructed in accordance with the environmental, political and social changes of the present.
Henare Rakiihia Tau, ‘Deputy Chairman of Ngāi Tahu Trust Board Statement, Rangiora, August 1987’, in Te Kereme, Vol.1, 1989, p. 52.
The Change Dynamics of Oral Tradition The aim of this thesis was to examine the dynamics of change in the pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe oral traditions of Te Waipounamu to better understand their nature, function, evolution and meaning. This thesis has presented a broad analysis of literature focussing on three types of traditions; waka traditions to examine the origins of early South Island tribes, early peoples to examine the identities of Ngāi Tahu’s predecessors, and Waitaha traditions to ascertain if they were and continued to be a separate social unit. A model of change dynamics was created and then applied to these traditions to categorise the changes to gain an understanding of the morphology of tradition and a deeper insight into their function in Māori society. Key findings revealed an insight into the change dynamics of oral tradition and how oral tradition evolved, both prior and after contact with Pākehā, alongside a persistently changing tribal social structure and identity. These modifications demonstrate 343
344 oral traditions were never fixed but evolving, changing, relocating and reconstituting tribal identity in response to environmental, cultural and political stimuli. Thus tribal origins and identities were as much constructed by oral tradition as recorded by it. These dynamics were radically altered by colonisation as Pākehā sought to assert their own ideological agenda on the construction of Māori past and Māori sought to incorporate new technologies, ideas and ways of thinking into a Māori framework of knowledge resulting in an inevitable hybridisation of traditions. Contact with Pākehā did not mark the dilution of Māori culture but the next phase in a persistently evolving corpus of belief, created in the now and projected back into the past to ensure tradition reflected the priorities of the present.
The Whakapapa of Literature This thesis began with analysis of literature concerning pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe traditions. This review first examined methods for assessing the validity of Māori oral tradition, highlighting the majority of pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe traditions did not meet the highest of David Simmons’ criteria for authenticating pre-European oral traditions. Elements of models proposed by historians David Simmons and Monty Souter were then incorporated to establish a framework to analyse and interpret oral traditions. This thesis examined a broad range of primary sources, including both public and private manuscripts to establish a measure of uniformity surrounding the earliest accounts, creating a base with which later accounts were contrasted to identify deviations from the earliest primary material.
Analysis has shown these
deviances did not occur in a vacuum but reflected the social, economic, political and cultural pressures exacted upon the informant, recorder and publisher of the tradition. 344
Ngāi Tahu were fortunate to have the early literature of Edward Shortland and J.F.H. Wohlers who recorded Ngāi Tahu traditions at an early period when informants were least likely to have been influenced by European ideas. However, comparison with later accounts shows they are a significant departure from early manuscripts and are evidence of both internal dynamics of change and the extent of post-contact European influence. Once deviations were identified and the types of changes categorised, traditions were then compared with North Island accounts to identify similarities and templates of events.
These commonalities and shared images provided a deeper
understanding of the role of oral tradition in Māori society, with early traditions establishing tribal origins and mana within their new landscape, in effect consecrating the land for its new inhabitants. This thesis focused on the dynamics of change, seeking to classify changes to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of oral tradition. Analysis of literature shows those recorded earliest provide the best insight into precontact dynamics of change, primarily centering upon the translocation of tradition by migrating bodies and then their subsequent customisation. Those recorded later succumbed to Western influence which changed how traditions were constructed, given, recorded, interpreted, edited and published in accordance with the prevailing European theories of their time. This largely resulted in European writers constructing Māori origins and culture through their publications, in essence reconstructing Māori as they perceived Māori to be.
Later Māori informants were also heavily influenced, often having
internalised elements of Pākehā ideology that reflected European notions of racial superiority and at times consciously changing tradition to further their own interests.
Later scholars were to repeat the same mistakes of their 345
346 predecessors by merely reprinting accounts published and largely constructed by their forebears. The most contemporary examples of literature show these change dynamics still exist today, although, they are largely driven by cultural revivalist or new-age multi-cultural purposes. Shared imagery and patterns of events demonstrated that the bulk of early South Island traditions originated from the north, in particular the East Coast and are reflective of kinship origins and linkages proving they are as much a depiction of ‘descent’ as ‘event’. 389 These similarities provide an insight into the pre-contact dynamics of change where traditions were relocated during subsequent internal migrations, demonstrating oral traditions were consciously modified by both Pākehā and Māori to establish Māori origins and identity, albeit for vastly different reasons.
Traditions of Migration and the Migration of Tradition Part Two argued the waka traditions of Ārai Te Uru, Takitimu and Tairea are not accounts of original migration to Te Waipounamu but have been translocated from the North Island through secondary internal migrations. Analysis of these traditions highlight that pre-contact internal dynamics of change where traditions were relocated and then changed, customised to fit their local environment.
The prime function of these traditions was to
establish settlers within their ‘new’ sacred space, founding tribal identity and connections to the land to ensure tribal mana and rights of occupation were supreme.
Anderson, 1998, p. 17
Ārai Te Uru is also found in the tribal traditions of the Hokianga and Ngāti Porou and can embody a waka, a taniwha, and a kūmara plantation illustrating its association with migration and kūmara was paramount despite contextual change. The changes in each version are evidence of the tradition being translocated and then locally customised as tribal groups sought to preserve kinship linkages. Evidence of this dynamic was seen in the multiple crash sites of the same waka, which was not the result of poor seamanship but an indication waka traditions were transported by the kingroup and then implanted into their new homeland. These traditions were then customised locally to reflect their new environs and differentiate from the original source tradition. Thus an important function of waka traditions was the establishment of unique tribal origins through original arrival to secure tribal mana as prime and equally important, independent. This dynamic was further evidenced by each waka tradition being regionally constructed.
Each region associated with different waka; Mahaanui in
Canterbury, Ārai Te Uru in Otago, Takitimu in Southland and Tairea in Westland. In this manner each region had its own separate tradition ensuring their mana was not secondary and securing their primacy and connection to lands. The multiple canoe traditions of Te Waipounamu are not reflective of multiple regional canoe arrivals. They are reflective of the cultural imperative for different regional kingroups to establish their origins as original, unique, and localised within their own territory. Thus, these regional canoe traditions represent differing regional hapū identities and illustrate the internal dynamics of tradition where the prime driver is establishing the absolute supremacy of mana for one’s kingroup.
The Planting of Predecessors Part Three demonstrated traditions concerning early peoples were heavily influenced by European writers who sought to construct accounts in accordance with their own cultural notions of racial hierarchy.
early peoples were modified in accordance with the prevalent European thinking of the time concerning racial superiority, a view subsequently concreted through publication. Māori were presented as the last wave of settlers of differing racial origin with their predecessors being of ‘inferior’ races. Māori and constructions of ‘inferior’ part-Melanesian identities were thereby placed within a continuum of a racial hierarchy based on Social Darwinism. Their publication was to have huge influence on how Māori perceived and constructed their own origins. Māori, such as Te Matorohanga, Te Whatahoro and Tikao internalised these beliefs and then modified depictions of early peoples in accordance with the prevailing European beliefs. Tikao in particular systemised previously distinct accounts of early peoples into a linear structure, portraying them as of different racial origins to Māori.
Tikao’s construction of a progressive line of
development was derived from European beliefs of racial superiority and is evident in him contrasting later ‘superior’ tribes against earlier ‘inferior’ peoples.
Pākehā monopoly of publication eventually led to Māori
internalising these beliefs and altering the way they perceived and conceived their past and their predecessors. Analysis of ‘Kāhui’ and Rapuwai traditions shows constructs of early peoples
349 relationships with the environment within a mythic narrative. The ‘Kāhui’ traditions in particular preserved culturally pertinent information to preserve the origins and rituals of an important food crop, the kūmara. “Kāhui’ traditions did not refer to ‘real’ identities but were in fact personifications of opposing elements, cultivated and uncultivated foods, rendering their origins, relationships and rituals within a mythic context.
demonstrated even concepts of early peoples were translocated as evidenced by Rapuwai’s occurrence in North Island traditions. Analysis of these early peoples suggests none were representative of socially cohesive groupings as evidenced by their symbolic associations, disparate genealogies and reoccurrence in North Island traditions. The shared images, figures and templates of events show South Island traditions of early peoples form part of a larger body of tradition concerning pre-human supernatural inhabitants. Equally mystifying was the absence of historically locatable early tribes such as Ngāti Wairaki, suggesting there is a political driver emphasising early supernatural inhabitants as opposed to one’s human predecessors. Recognition of predecessors undermines tribal claims to land and resources. Analysis of traditions concerning early peoples suggests the transplanting of conceptual identities superseded the narratives of earlier historical inhabitants.
In doing so, new migrants establish their superiority by
transplanting and then tracing descent from the primordial inhabitants, identities they have planted into the landscape. These identities negate the claims of predecessors and enable migrants to be the original occupiers through tracing descent from the earliest pre-human inhabitants. Such a dynamic clearly establishes oral traditions concerning early peoples were not 349
350 solely used for historically accurate recollection of past inhabitants but were also used to ensure the mana of those in the present was supreme. Hence the need for mana superseded the need to recollect the tribal histories and origins of one’s predecessors.
The Politics of Tradition The waka traditions of Waitaha were not found in the North Island and therefore were not directly translocated.
Waitaha waka traditions did
incorporate imagery shared with northern traditions, in particular star lore, thus whilst they did not originate in the North Island, they drew upon a range of symbolic figures, images and associations shared with northern kin. Waitaha traditions were also published much later in comparison to the earliest recorded South Island traditions. The earliest Waitaha traditions appear in the 1880s and all stem from disciples or descendants of the prophet Hipa Te Maihāroa, who was also an astronomer of note, perhaps explaining the prevalence of star lore. 390
Although Waitaha waka traditions were not
translocated, they follow a similar template. Calculated additions were made to motifs also found in the North Island to construct unique accounts of original migration. Waitaha waka traditions are an extension of a pre-contact process whereby traditions were carried within the minds of settlers. In this case, these shared images have been recycled to form a new and distinct account of tribal settlement, ensuring Waitaha mana is supreme and not secondary to North Island kin.
Orbell, 1996, pp. 12-13.
The timing of their publication is of importance as by the 1880s southern Māori had renewed interaction with North Island tribes.
traditions repackaged celestial motifs found in the North Island to create an autonomous account of migration that was distinct from and pre-dated any other settlement traditions for southern Māori. This ensured the mana of South Island Māori was not secondary to their northern kin in a new era where there was increased interaction between tribal groups in both islands and recognition of shared arrival and origin traditions. Waitaha traditions reflect the continuation of a pre-contact dynamic where waka traditions establish tribal origin and rights to land, albeit likely reconstituted in a post-contact environment. Their primary function is to establish tribal origins and mana, consecrating Waitaha within the landscape. Waitaha waka traditions were constructed as a result of South Island Māori needing to differentiate their identity to create autonomous origin traditions in order to establish and secure their own independent mana. Analysis of Rākaihautū traditions determined they also stem from a single source, the prophet Hipa Te Maihāroa. Rākaihautū was not recorded in the earlier literature of Shortland, Wohlers, Stack or White showing Rākaihautū did not originate from a communal corpus of belief prior to Te Maihāroa. Waitaha traditions do occur outside of Te Maihāroa’s wharekura, such as those of Nātanahira Waruwarutū, but are minimal and do not mention Rākaihautū. Moreover, analysis of the literature of Mamaru (1894) and Paipeta (c.1920) revealed both creatively edited traditions raising further question as to the authenticity of the tradition if sources have already been exposed altering accounts. 351
Rākaihautū traditions were not found in the North Island but were similar to the traditions of the Te Arawa ancestor, Ngātoroirangi, suggesting common motifs and templates of events were drawn upon to form a ‘new’ account of exploration. Analysis of the historical context shows Te Maihāroa had a political imperative in shifting emphasis to inland plains.
In doing so,
Rākaihautū traditions supported claims to land now known as the ‘Hole in the Middle’, lands that Te Maihāroa believed were not sold to the Crown. Rākaihautū traditions establish Waitaha claims to the territory through the right of whenua kite hou or discovery. Te Maihāroa further cemented this connection by embedding Waitaha whakapapa into the land, supporting his political stance and claims to land by descent. Rākaihautū traditions show how, during a destitute period, tradition was changed to suit a political imperative. Te Maihāroa reformulated pre-contact elements and metaphors within a post-contact context in response to loss of land, disease and the cultural degradation of his people. Using an existing mythic template, Te Maihāroa formed a Māori response to land loss, reinvigorating connections to important lands within a renewed context. Thus Te Maihāroa’s response was a Māori one, as the prime function of the tohunga was the preservation of tribal mana and reflects how the past was constructed to support the purposes of the present. Analysis of Waitaha traditions revealed further insight into the evolution of tribal tradition, identity and social structure. Early scholarship determined Māori social structures were static and presumed the same of Māori oral tradition. Much attention has been paid to the influence of European writer’s in the construction of Māori origins and society, however, analysis highlighted 352
353 Māori traditions were never static. Contact with Pākehā did not result in a diminutive contamination of ‘pure’ Māori belief but was reflective of a constantly dynamic process whereby tradition evolved. Colonisation was not the beginning of the end for Māori but brought about rapid change as Māori consciously and selectively incorporated foreign elements to preserve the relevancy of Māori ideology, which had been newly acquainted with a global society and quickly expanding horizons. Colonisation placed great strain on Māori ideology as it struggled to address challenges to Māori understandings of the universe, spirituality and leadership. Oral traditions found a renewed relevancy in a new context, the Māori Land Court, exerting further political pressures on traditions to support ‘traditional’ claims to land.
Challenges to traditional systems of leadership laid the
foundations for a new brand of tribal leadership and resulted in the prophet, Hipa Te Maihāroa, forming a spiritual response to land loss. Te Maihāroa recontextualised concepts of an early people to form a politically cohesive group identity, a Māori response, although within a new post-contact context. He adapted tradition, reformulating existing symbolic elements to create a new cultural identity to provide a pathway forward for his people. By travelling the land removing tapu, in essence he removed the bastions of the ‘old world’ creating new pillars to be placed upon the landscape, refashioning the land for a new future. Examination of North Island accounts of Waitaha and whakataukī revealed traditions of Waitaha migrated to several regions before moving to Te Waipounamu. In each case Waitaha are a conceptual identity suggesting Waitaha lost its political potency and became an allusion to an early identity rather than a corporeal social unit. 353
Although elements of Waitaha traditions were existent pre-contact, there was not a cohesive body of traditions until the 1880s which is late in comparison to the earliest recorded South Island traditions and follows the establishment of Te Mahihāroa’s wharekura. Evidence of Waitaha as a conceptual identity is found in both the North and South Island suggesting they did not coalesce into a politically ‘real’ unit until Te Maihāroa. In essence Te Maihāroa likely rekindled an ancient dormant identity to create a politically real cultural identity, forming a new spiritual and cultural paradigm for a community ravaged by colonisation. Thus Waitaha traditions demonstrate how narratives adapted and were shaped by the political motives and purposes of the present.
Summary of Issues This thesis has examined the evolution and dynamics of change in pre-Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe traditions. This was achieved by established an overarching model of change dynamics that has been applied to the oral traditions of Te Waipounamu, revealing the types of changes, both pre and post-contact, and gaining a deeper understanding of the role, function, meaning and evolution of oral tradition. Analysis reveals oral traditions were far from static, but migrated and evolved alongside their communities. Tradition became the vehicle to establish tribal identity, consecrating the environment and securing tribal claims to lands and resources.
traditions were later influenced by contact with Pākehā who acted as a catalyst in the evolution of Māori tradition, forcing Māori to adapt their traditions or be superseded by new cultural lifeways.
Rather than assimilated, Māori
selectively adopted new ideas. This is particularly evident in the traditions of Waitaha, which incorporate pre-contact symbolic imagery and associations 354
355 that have been reformulated post-contact into a cohesive body of tradition. The prime imperative of Māori origin, arrival, exploration and early people traditions was the establishment of tribal mana, thus irrespective of whether it is the result of pre or post-contact change, the evidence has shown the function and role of tradition remains the same. As tribal society changed so too did tribal identity and traditions, demonstrating the malleability of tradition in response to societal change. Oral tradition played a vital role establishing tribal identity and kinship with the land for a people whose traditions were displaced during numerous migrations traversing the expanses of the Pacific before settling in the southernmost point of Polynesia. Their value is both as window into the past but also the insight this window provides into the minds of the ancestors and how they recollected, interpreted and reconstructed the past to fit with the demands and needs of the present.
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