The Old-Time Maori
I Social Organization and Relationship Terms1
I Social Organization and Relationship Terms1
These families began as a man with his wife and children. When their children married and had children, they would call themselves a whanau, or family group. If the head man was called Te Rangi, they would be termed Te whanau a Te Rangi, the family group of Te Rangi.
As these families increased to a great extent, say about one hundred and fifty to two hundred or more, they formed themselves into a hapu, taking the name of a famous ancestor as a name. As they increased again, some of the members of these families again branched off, and settled not far from the original hapu, so that there were hapu all over the area claimed by the Arawa ancestors who settled within a few miles of each other, ten, twenty, thirty, and fifty or more miles away from where the canoe landed.
The family groups formed the hapu, and the different hapu made up the Iwi (tribe), who would all be descended from the common ancestor Tama te Kapua, or one of the other chiefs of Te Arawa canoe. page 35 The big name for all these people would be Te Arawa tribe, or just Te Arawa. Sometimes the descendants of one of these descendants of Tama te Kapua might be so numerous, and live so near each other, that one might refer to them as a tribe, as well as a hapu. For example, I belong to the hapu of Ngati Wahiao (the descendants of Wahiao), and also to the hapu or tribe of Tuhourangi, the great great grandfather of Wahiao, and to the tribe of Te Arawa. I might speak of myself as belonging to the tribe of Tuhourangi of Te Arawa.
A whanau may number fifty to one hundred or more people, a hapu may contain one to three hundred or more, and an Iwi may contain anywhere from three hundred to a thousand or more people.
The word kainga means literally village, but to the Maori it means home, and that is the English word that best translates it for me. I have described the life of the kainga elsewhere. Here I shall only speak of the families living in a typical kainga, at Whakarewarewa, about 1880. They belonged to Ngati Wahiao, and I will give them as far as I can remember. The first genealogy shows the three sons of Wahiao who remained with him, and the others show the families descended from them, who made up the kainga of Whakarewarewa at the time I mentioned. As hereafter in the genealogies in the book, men will be printed in capital letters, and women in small letters.page 36
Pages 40–1, 45, and 56–7, show the whole village, and the relationships of the families in it to each other. The wives and husbands are all from related hapu, and a discussion of this appears in the following chapter on marriage. Families which are repeated elsewhere in the genealogy are placed in brackets. A study of the village and the relationships of the families together with a knowledge of the communal life of the Maori should help to explain the relationship terms discussed later in this chapter.
Wahiao had twelve children by his three wives, but all these children did not remain with Wahiao when they grew up, some marrying into other hapu or tribes, and going to live with the husband's or wife's relations, as the case might be, and the children and descendants taking the name of another ancestor and settling elsewhere, perhaps a few miles away, perhaps further. Some of course, such as Ta Angaanga-wearo, son of Wahiao, married and settled in Waikato, and from this line came Tawhaio, King of the Waikato, termed the Maori King.page 37
The hapu also spread through intermarriage with the descendants of other canoes, who settled in other parts of Aotearoa, and the descendants of such marriages can claim relationship to Wahiao, and to his ancestors up to Tama te Kapua, through the lines of their father's or their mother's genealogy.
Every Maori, especially if he came of a good family, knew his or her genealogy and exact relationship to every relative. This was most important to a Maori. If he went to a strange place, he would only need to repeat his genealogy to make himself known to any relatives whom he might have there. Though these relatives lived under the clan name of another ancestor, he and they would claim relationship through the genealogy.
We have been speaking of the hapu of Ngati Wahiao. Wahiao's sister Hinemoa married Tutanekai, the son of Chief Whakaue who lived on Mokoia Island. Their children and descendants who settled there and on the shores of Lake Rotorua at Ohinemutu called themselves Ngati Whakaue, and Ngati Uenuku Kopako. Some other hapu were those of Ngati Rangiwewehi, who lived on Te Awahou side of Lake Rotorua, Ngati Pikiao, who lived at Lake Rotoiti adjoining Lake Rotorua, Ngati Rangitihi at Te-Awa-e-te-Atua in the Bay of Plenty (Rangitihi was the father of Tuhourangi), Ngati Kahungunu in Hawke's Bay, Ngati Porou in Poverty Bay, and Ngati Tu-wharetoa in Taupo.
There are many other hapu and sub-hapu from the various ancestors who came over in Te Arawa canoe, page 38 and all these people are akin to each other. I myself claim relationship to all the descendants of Tama te Kapua, Ngatoroirangi, Hei, and Ika, of Te Arawa canoe, and to other tribes through intermarriage, and the line of genealogy on page 49 shows this.
Various phases of the social organization of the Maori are treated in the different chapters under the appropriate headings. Here it will suffice to give a very general idea of some of the chief characteristics of Maori life.
It was communal, and every member of the community, no matter what his rank, joined in the work which was to be done. There were no lazy ones. The Maori were extremely hospitable, and I have never seen their equal in hospitality in the many countries I have visited. They had plenty of courage in their dangerous and adventurous undertakings, and showed these qualities in their long ocean voyages and endurance of hardship.
The Maori did not think of himself, or do anything for his own gain. He thought only of his people, and was absorbed in his whanau, just as the whanau was absorbed in the hapu, and the hapu in the Iwi.
In each kainga or pa (fortified village), there were several families, each forming a self-controlled unit, but all under one hapu name. Each family had its own piece of ground on which a whare or whares were built, with a wharau or kauta (cooking shed). The families attended to all the matters which concerned page 39 them, except in matters of great importance which affected the hapu. The chiefs of the various whanau took part in the discussions of the hapu. In the work of the kainga, as I have shown, everyone took part regardless of rank. The main division of labour was that between men and women. This subject is treated elsewhere, and it will suffice here to mention the facts briefly. Women did the household work, cooking, collecting of firewood, preparing of the hangi (ovens), the making of baskets and plates, cloaks, and floor-mats, the collecting of shellfish, tawa berries, and the gathering of food and material generally. They cleaned the marae, and used the tumu, or grubbing stick, and did weeding in the plantations. Men used the ko (digging stick) in agriculture, felled trees and built houses and canoes, made paddles and weapons, nets, eel-baskets, etc., and did the hunting, fishing, and snaring.
So important was the whanau or hapu to a Maori that even if he were at enmity with another whanau, and anyone from another hapu or tribe said anything against any of his people, or tried to harm them in any way, he would at once set aside all personal feeling, and help his own people. This he did throughout his whole life. Again I must emphasize how carefully the Maori learned all his lines of genealogy.
Families Living in the Kainga of Whakarewarewa About 1880
Families Living in the Kainga of Whakarewarewa About 1880
In the chapter about children, I have described how the older people taught the children their genealogy, along with the history and legends of their race. Genealogies were of great importance, and quite young children knew their exact relationship to all the people about them, and their connexion with them for many generations back. Though they used the same term to cover many more relationships than an Englishman would include in any one term, they of course knew exactly how the various people included under one name were connected with them, just as an Englishman when he uses the term cousin or uncle knows the different ways in which cousins page 43 or uncles are related to him. A study of the genealogy of the village on pages 40–1, 45, 56–7 will show how closely its members were related to each other. When one considers too how the Maori never did anything alone, and how all worked together, their use of classificatory terms seems reasonable.
A man may use the word tuahine for his sisters, and for his female cousins on his mother's and on his father's side. A woman will always use the word tuakana for elder sisters, and taina or teina for younger sisters.
A woman may use the word tungane for her brothers, and for her male cousins on her mother's and on her father's side. A man would always use the word tuakana for elder brothers, and taina or teina for younger brothers.
The words tuakana and taina (or teina) are of even wider application. They can be used for all time, as long as a common ancestor can be traced, and the children are of the same generation. For example, the descendants (including myself) of Kahumatamomoe, who lived eighteen generations ago, would speak of the descendants of Tuhoromatakaka his elder brother, as my tuakana, or tuakana whanaunga, and the descendants of Tuhoromatakaka would speak of the descendants of Kahumatamomoe as their taina, or taina whanaunga.
It might be asked how marriage between elder and younger lines affected the use of the terms tuakana and taina in subsequent generations. If my “elder brother” or tuakana married my “younger sister” or taina, their children would be tuakana, i.e. elder brothers and sisters to my children. In the same way, if my “elder sister” or tuakana married my “younger brother” or taina, their children would also be tuakana, or elder brothers and sisters to my children. It makes no difference whether the elder is male or female; if either is elder to me, the children are elder to my children.
If my “elder brother” on my father's side married my “younger sister” on my mother's side, the children would be karangarua, i.e. doubly related to my children. This term would be used whenever a “brother” on one side married a “sister” on the other.
Once again, a man can use the word tuahine of these female relations, but if they are male, he will use the words tuakana or taina, and a woman can use the word tungane of these male relations, but if they are female, she will use the words tuakana or taina.
The word matua is used of parents. One's father is called pāpā, koro, hakoro, matua, or matua tane. The name pāpā is also given to the father's brothers, the mother's brothers, and to the father's and mother's male relatives of the same generation as the father and mother. Another term for father's and mother's brothers is pāpā keke. The name for a foster parent is matua whangai, and for a step-father, pāpā whakaangi.
The words whaea, koka, kokara, or hakui, are used in referring to one's mother, and also to one's mother's sisters and father's sisters, and to the father's and mother's female relatives of the same generation as page 47 the father and mother. A step-mother is called whaea whakaangi.
The relatives whom I call pāpā and whaea, apart from my own father and mother, are called tuakana or taina, tungane, by my father and mother. When I say “called”, I should say “referred to”, for these terms are all used in referring to relations. When you speak to a Maori, you call him by his name.
The words koroua, tipuna, or tupuna were employed in referring to one's grandfather on the father's and on the mother's side, and to his brothers and male relatives of the same generation, and the words kuia, tipuna, or tupuna were used in referring to one's grandmother on the father's and on the mother's side, and to her sisters and female relatives of the same generation as herself. Great-grandparents, their brothers and sisters, and male and female relatives of the same generation, were called tipuna or tupuna.
I should use the expression aku tamariki, i.e. my children, in referring to my own children, the children of my brothers and sisters, and the children of all the male and female relations to whom I should refer as tuakana or taina.
In the same way I should say aku mokopuna, my grandchildren, of my own grandchildren, and of the grandchildren of my brothers and sisters, and of all the male and female relatives to whom I should refer as tuakana or taina. Great grandchildren counted after the same fashion were also termed aku mokopuna.page 48
It may be as well to give here two genealogies illustrating these relationships, before passing on to the description of relationships incurred by marriage.
Another example shows the whanau, family group, of Tamawhakaara.
Tamawhakaara and Waiata would use the term aku tamariki (my children) for Te Whareiro, Te Kohuru, and Te Pahau, and the term aku mokopuna (my grandchildren) for Hemana, Te Ngaha, and Makereta. For their great grandchildren Mita Taupopoki, Wikitari, Rakera, and Te Ngarotu, Tamawhakaara and Waiata would also use the term aku mokopuna.
If anyone else were speaking of these grandchildren, and of following generations, they would use the words mokopuna or uri o Tamawhakaara, which is to say, grandchildren or descendants of Tamawhakaara.
Mita Taupopoki would use the term taina for Wikitari, and taina or tuahine for Rakera and Te Ngarotu, while Rakera and Te Ngarotu would use the term tungane or tuakana for Mita Taupopoki and Wikitari. Rakera and Te Ngarotu would use the term pāpā for Hemana and Te Ngaha, and whaea page 51 for Makereti. Finally, Mita Taupopoki, Wikitari, Rakera, and Te Ngarotu would use the terms koroua or tupuna for Te Whareiro, Te Kohuro, and Te Pahau, horoua or tupuna for Tamawhakaara, and kuia or tupuna for Waiata.
The word iramutu is sometimes used in speaking of a brother's or sister's son, but it is not a word which was much used in days gone by.
A very common word for a child, especially the youngest, is potiki. If a child were hurt, a mother would exclaim Aue! taku potiki! O! O! my child!
A first-born son or daughter would be termed matamua, muanga, or hamua, and if the first-born were of a tino (very) rangatira family, he or she would be termed ariki. A youngest child was muringa or whakapakanga, and an adopted or foster child was tamaiti whangai or tamaiti taurima, tamaiti being the word for child, and tamariki its plural.
The word used for husband was tane, hoa tane, or mâkâu, and for wife, wahine, or hoa wahine. In referring to a husband's or wife's relations generally, a man or woman might use the term taku pāākuha, i.e. my connexions by marriage, but if a blood relationship exists, either a husband or wife will prefer it to a term which shows the connexion by marriage. For example, if any of my husband's people were related to me in my own genealogical tree, I should use the term which expressed that relationship rather than the term which expressed our connexion by marriage. page 52 Otherwise, I might speak of my husband's pāpā or whaea, his koroua or kuia, or his mokopuna or tamariki, they being counted by him just as my own are counted by me. Or I might speak of my husband's father or grandfather as hunngawai tane, and of his mother or grandmother as hungawai wahine.
For father-in-law and mother-in-law or their “brothers and sisters”, either a man or a woman would use the terms hungawai, hungarei, hunarere, hunarei, or hungoi.
My own sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, and those of my brothers and sisters, would be referred to as hunaonga.
For a wife's brothers, and also for her sisters, a man would use the word taokete. For her sisters generally, he might use the word auwahine, and for her elder sisters tuakana wahine, and for her younger, taina wahine. For a husband's brothers and sisters, a woman would use the word taokete. For brothers-in-law generally, she might use the word autane, and for a husband's elder brothers the words tuakana tane, and for his younger brothers, taina tane.
A woman might use the term hoahoa for her brother's wife, or for her husband's second wife, or for her husband's brother's wife, the term showing that the other woman was of the same position or standing as herself.
The following table shows the marriage of Waaka te Rohu and Pareraututu, giving the whanau of each, and the terms which Pareraututu would use page 53 in speaking of her husband's relations, as well as the terms which Waaka te Rohu would use in speaking of his wife's relatives. It was not easy to recall two groups which possessed all the relatives necessary to make a complete table on both sides.
It must be remembered too, that if relations by marriage are also relations by blood, the husband or wife would always use the terms expressing the blood relationship, or the connexion in their own genealogical tree. This I tried to make clear on page 51.
Pareraututu refers to Maika as her taina tane or taokete, and to Horiana as her hoahoa, because the two of them married two brothers. She might refer to Meri and Paura as aku tamariki (our children), or as iramutu of Waaka te Rohu. Te Waaka and Meri are her hungawai, and she would refer to Rangimawhiti and Komere as our horoua and kuia, or as Waaka te Rohu's koroua and kuia. Ngahina is her hunaonga, and Ngahina's children are her mokopuna.page 54
Waaka te Rohu would refer to Iripu as his taina wahine, and to Tiripa and Te Hunahuna as tuakana of Pareraututu. Nari and Kawana, are his hungawai, and he would refer to Te Keepa and his wife as Hungawai also. Tamati Paora and his wife would be our koroua and kuia, or Pareraututu's, Ngahina would be his hunaonga, and her children his mokopuna. Tiripa's and Te Hunahuna's children would be iramutu (if male) of Pareraututu, or aku tamariki.
But while Pareraututu could say our tamariki, our mokopuna, etc., of the children and grandchildren of her husband's brothers and sisters, she would be more likely to say So and So's tamariki and mokopuna, and to refer to other connexions by marriage as Waaka te Rohu's pāpā, whaea, etc. The same general rule applies to Waaka te Rohu in referring to his wife's relatives.
So far we have discussed the terms used in referring to relatives. It is now time to consider terms used in addressing relatives and others.
E Pa. If a young man or woman met a man who is married and has a child or children, but is not an old man, he or she would say “E Pa”. This term is used even for a young man, if he is a father.
E Whae is similarly used for a young or middle-aged woman if she has had a child or family. Even a young woman is so addressed if she is a mother.
E Koro is how one would address an elderly man with respect.page 55
E Kui is for an elderly woman.
E hine is for a girl of any age before marriage, even after marriage if she has no children.
E ko is for a very young girl.
E tama is for big boys and young men.
E ta is used for a lad or small boy, but is a term often used by one man to another when he suspects him of “pulling his leg”.
E hoa (O friend!) is used by male or female, but is generally used by men to each other, and sometimes has the same meaning as E ta.
E Kare is also used by male and female to each other, but is generally used by women to each other.
E Moi or E Moia is an affectionate term used by a mother to any of her children when small, or to a grown-up daughter. An older sister would use it to a younger sister at any age.
E Riki would be used by an elderly woman when addressing a matamua (eldest child) of a family of an elder line to her own. She might use it for any member of such a family as well. She would say E Riki or Taku Ariki (my Ariki).
There are of course other forms of greeting used by other tribes. Besides the ones given, in Ngapuhi, the Bay of Islands, for example, E Mara would be the term of greeting to a man, E Kara to an elderly man, while the Whanganui people also use E Weke in greeting an old man. E hika is used in greeting by the Ngati Porou on the East Coast, and by Ngati page 56 Kahuhunu in Hawke's Bay, and others, but not by Te Arawa.
Sometimes the greeting was made even more expressive by adding the word ra, and expressing the words in a more emphasized manner. Instead of saying “Tena koutou” (Greetings to you all), the Maori would say “Tena ra koutou”.
In parting, a Maori would say “Haerera” to the one who was leaving. This cannot be translated as it should be in English. Its real meaning is in the way it is spoken, as only a Maori can say it, when he bids farewell to a friend, or to his loved ones. This is especially true of days gone by, when everything that the Maori did was expressive, and full of meaning and affection.page 59
To those who remained behind in the kainga, the departing Maori would say “Hai konei ra”, or “E noho ra”. The meaning was not “Sit down” or “Remain behind”, as I have often heard these words translated. They expressed much to the Maori in their partings, and to hear the words used by parents to their children, or by children to parents, or by relatives to relatives, would bring tears to the eyes. But the tears never fell.
There were no tears shed at parting. No matter if the fathers, husbands, and sons went away to fight in a Taua party, there were no tears shed, nor outward expressions of feeling shown.
All this would happen on their return, when a tangi (crying) would take place. A tangi was held too when visitors arrived at a village, as I have explained in another place.
A great deal of conversation with relatives or other loved ones is carried on without words, but by gestures, expressions of the face, and by inarticulate sounds. One of the most expressive was an m-sound made with closed lips. This sound had a great variety of meanings, and expressed love and grief, and tenderness and affection. I remember when I returned to New Zealand after many years' absence, my old people did not need to speak to me, but as they looked at me, and uttered this voiceless sound, they expressed all the depth of their love for me. This is only one of the many examples which I might write.