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Life in Early Poverty Bay

Survivors of the Union

Survivors of the Union.

On every hand it is agreed that the matrimonial alliance was a most happy one. It was blessed by the advent of five children—

Wi Brown, who lived near Makaraka, dying in 1895.

Mere Kingi Parone, a resident of Manutuke.

Eruera Parone, who died at Makauri in 1920.

Paku Brown, of Makauri, who was killed at Tiniroto by Te Kooti rebels whilst carrying despatches from Gisborne to Wairoa in 1868; and

Kato Ruru (the esteemed mother of Henry Ruru, of Te Karaka) who very kindly, at her son's request, supplied much of the information now being placed on record concerning her father.

Incidentally, it may be mentioned that Kato Ruru, Wm. Brown's youngest daughter, married Karaitiana Ruru, who was a son of Henare Keepa Ruru, who was the donor of the Waerenga-a-hika Mission site of 600 acres to the Rev. W. Williams, a property which to-day is worth probably up to £60,000. Henare Keepa Ruru was the first Native buried with military honors in this district, his burial taking place at Waerenga-a-Hika in 1873. It was to him, according to Mr. Henry Ruru, that the Native rebels after the Waerenga-a-Hika rising, laid down their arms.

What is further of interest concerning Henare Keepa Ruru is that Mr. Henry Ruru claims that Kahutia and his grandfather were the last Maori males to be tattooed in Poverty Bay. Many of the females of high rank subsequently underwent the operation. To-day, however, tattooing is a thing of the past for Maori female as well as Maori male in this district. Mr. Ruru also says that in different districts the tattooing differed and that the tattooing of the East Coast can be readily recognised by experts. In fact the old experts could give the name of the operator on studying the markings. Both Wm. Brown's daughters were tattooed.