The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions: Tai-Nui. [Vol. VI]
Now make a noise, O nose! and tell at once,
Though words dare not the fact reveal,
Of omens given—that love is felt for him
Who is so much beloved by all. It was not so
When I was in my youth and loved by Hou-tupu,
When crowds might think I slept at home,
When I to a distance far had gone to be with him;
And then my friends might deem my youth
Not brave enough to dare the stream of Kuri-aro-paoa,
Nor enter into house of sacred Miroa,
And clothe me in the sacred mat Whaka-ewa-rangi,
And plume my head with down of albatross,
And cause a jealous shame in breast of others.
Wars Of Rau-Paraha On Middle Island Tribes.
The acquisition of fire-arms by Hongi, a chief of the Nga-puhi Tribe, while on a visit to England in 1820, led to serious results. On his return to New Zealand in 1822 he armed his own tribe and allies with the warlike presents he had received in England. His superior weapons gave him an immense advantage over the tribes which he attacked. Besides a bloody raid to the northward, he directed all his strength against the powerful tribes which inhabited the western coast of the North Island between Kai-para (eat the para—Marattia salicina) and Wai-kato (nipping water), who were swept off by thousands to satisfy his insatiable thirst for revenge. These tribes, driven from their homes, employed against the weaker tribes the skill and hardihood which they had acquired in resisting Hongi.page 109
Early in 1822 Rau-paraha, the principal chief of the Nga-ti-toa (descendants of Toa—brave) Tribe (who subsequently proved such a scourge to the Natives of the Middle Island), about the time that the deeds of Hongi were creating such fear in the north, migrated with his people from Ka-whia southward with his followers to the neighbourhood of Tara-naki. There they found two large tribes, the Nga-ti-awa (descendants of Awa—river) and Nga-ti-mutunga (descendants of Mutunga— the end), with whom they had repeated conflicts; but, as their common enemy, the Wai-kato, pressed onward, they made peace with each other. From Tara-naki (assisted by these tribes and the Nga-ti-raukawa) Rau-paraha commenced his depopulating wars among the Native tribes residing to the southward, and conquered and overran the whole coast-line of the Northern Island from Ka-whia (embraced) nearly to Hawke's Bay, destroying and taking captives or driving into the mountain fastnesses the denizens of the soil. The Nga-ti-awa and Nga-ti-mutunga took possession of the country about Port Nicholson, then in the occupation of a tribe called the Nga-ti-kahu-hunu, whom they drove out as far as the East Cape, from whence they made frequent inroads on their conquerors.
The Nga-ti-mutunga afterwards, in fear of Rau-paraha (whose treacherous conduct at that time was creating distrust in the minds of all the tribes in his neighbourhood), migrated in 1838 to the Chatham Islands in the brig “Rodney,” where they soon overpowered the aborigines, killing some, and reducing the remnant to slavery.
Rau-paraha, not satisfied with the conquests he had made in the North Island, carried the war over to the southern shores of Cook Strait. In 1827, having purchased large supplies of guns and ammunition from the whalers in Cook Strait, he crossed over to the Middle Island with an allied force composed of picked men from the Nga-ti-toa, Nga-ti-awa, and Nga-ti-tama Tribes, under their leaders Niho (tooth), Taka-rei (fall from the chest), Te-kanae (the mullet), Te-koihua (the iron pot), and Te-pu-oho (startled by the sound of a war-trumpet)page 110
The first landing of this formidable force was at Rangi-toto (blood-red heaven) (D'Urville Island) and Queen Charlotte Sound. They speedily subdued the Rangi-tane (day of men), a large tribe then occupying the Pelorus, Wai-rau (crab), and Awa-tere (swift creek) districts, only a small remnant being saved from death, who never regained their liberty, and are now represented by the Nga-ti-kuia (the penguin) of the Pelorus.
After this the invading forces divided. Rau-paraha, with a body of the Nga-ti-toa and Nga-ti-awa, proceeded by way of the east coast to Kai-koura, to avenge himself upon the Nga-i-tahu residing there for a boast made by their chief Te-rere-waka (sail in a canoe) that he would rip open Rau-paraha's body with a shark's tooth (niho mango) (one of the substitutes for a knife) should he ever dare to set foot upon his territory. This threat was repeated to Rau-paraha by a runaway slave : the crafty chief was glad of the excuse it afforded him for attacking the southern islanders, rich in greenstone, which was at that time highly prized by the Maori. Rau-paraha promised himself an easy victory, as the Natives in the South were not then possessed of fire-arms and ammunition, or only to a limited extent.
Rau-paraha was engaged in wars with tribes in the North Island, and years had been suffered to pass without any attempt being made to avenge the insult; besides, Rau-paraha was desirous to throw Rere-waka off his guard by delay: but the time had now arrived for action. Rau-paraha accordingly set sail from Rangi-toto with his followers, about three hundred in number, for Kai-koura, arriving there about dawn on the third day. They anchored about a mile from the shore to reconnoitre the place. The ill-fated inhabitants mistook the canoes for those belonging to a friendly chief whom they were expecting, and, flocking to the beach, welcomed their supposed friends to the shore. Before they could discover their mistake the well-armed warriors of the renowned Rau-paraha were amongst them, dealing death with every blow. Hundreds were killed on the page 111 spot, and hundreds were led away prisoners to Kapiti, to be killed or kept as slaves, as the caprice of their conquerors might dictate. Rau-paraha, having partly satiated his thirst for revenge, returned northward with his forces, and rejoined the party of his followers he had left behind at Rangi-toto
In the meantime the subdivision of the Nga-ti-toa called Nga-ti-ra-rua (two days), under Niho (tooth) and Taka-rei, and part of the Nga-ti-awa, belonging to the Puke-tapu (sacred hill) and Miti-wai Hapu, led by Te-koihua, and Nga-ti-tama (descendants of Tama—The son), under their chief Te-pu-oho (startling trumpet), had not been idle. These proceeded to Massacre Bay, and killed and made prisoners the Nga-ti-apa, the tribe who had conquered the country from the Nga-ti-tu-mata-kokiri. Leaving Te-pu-oho and Te-koihua in charge of that country, Niho and Taka-rei, with their followers, proceeded down the west coast as far as the River Hoki-tika, conquering all the people of that country. Amongst the prisoners taken was Tu-huru, the chief of the Pou-tini Nga-i-tahu, who on peace being restored between the contending tribes, was ransomed by his people for a greenstone club (mere pounamu) called Kai-kanohi (eat the eye), which is now in the possession of the descendants of Matenga-te-au-pouri (Martin the dark stream). After this, Tu-huru and some of his people, as an act of submission, went to visit Rau-paraha and the Nga-ti-toa at Rangi-toto; and Taka-rei and Niho, with some of the Nga-ti-toa, settled at Ma-whera (Greymouth), on the west coast.
This was a terrible blow to Rau-paraha, who never thought the Kai-a-poi people would dare to provoke his anger by destroying his friends and relatives. He hastily withdrew with his party, and retreated northward to O-mihi to rejoin his forces. On arriving there he caused all the prisoners they had captured on the way down to be put to death, and continued his journey onward to the Wai-rau, whence he crossed with his followers to Kapiti.
Pehi, one of the chiefs who was murdered at Kai-a-poi, had visited England in 1836 to obtain fire-arms. He procured a passage to Liverpool by secreting himself on board a whaler until the vessel got out to sea. An attack of measles in England made him acquainted with Dr. Traill. Everything connected with smith's work and agriculture interested him. A small plant of New Zealand flax recalled his native land to memory, and he laughed at seeing it cultivated in a flower-pot. Next to fire-arms he wished for agricultural implements. He had many presents given to him; but he leaped for joy when presented with some old muskets and a musketoon. When his likeness was taken he insisted that the tattoo-marks should be carefully copied. His son, Te-hiko-o-te-rangi, who subsequently became a great leader in Cook Strait, carefully treasured up a few relics of his father's visit to England, especially a volume of the Library of Useful Knowledge which contained his parent's portrait.
For a long time after the murder of the Nga-ti-toa chiefs at Kai-a-poi the people of that place heard nothing of Rau-paraha, and flattered themselves that he would never trouble them again; but his vengeance was only deferred, waiting an opportunity to punish them for the murder of his relatives and friends. Circumstances, however, soon afterwards occurred which led him, in conjunction with other principal men of the tribe, to charter an English vessel to convey a force to Haka-roa (Akaroa), Banks Peninsula, to avenge their death.page 114
A few months after the murder of Pehi and others at Kai-apoi a sealing-vessel returning from Sydney with a few New-Zealanders on board, amongst whom was a chief named Hohepa Tama-i-hengia, a brother of Rau-paraha, called at an island in Foveaux Strait named Motu-pihi, where the Maoris were informed of the murder of their relatives. The captain of the vessel, noticing their grief, inquired the cause, and on learning what was the matter proposed that if they would engage to load his vessel on their arrival at Kapiti with flax and pigs he would convey them to Haka-roa to avenge the death of their relatives. The Natives who were on board willingly consented to the proposal, and it was arranged that after the vessel had been to the Auckland Islands, to land a party of sealers and obtain a supply of wood and water, they should set sail for Haka-roa to carry out the design.
All the preliminaries having been carried out, they proceeded to Haka-roa in the manner prescribed. On arriving there, and the object of the visit becoming known to the European passengers, they induced the captain to abandon the intention, and the vessel subsequently sailed for the harbour which is now Wellington without any attempt being made to carry out the project.
On reaching Kapiti Hohepa Tama-i-hengia informed Rau-paraha and Rangi-hae-ata of the frustration of the plan, and suggested that another attempt should be made. These chiefs, glad of any chance that would enable them to carry out their revenge, acquiesced at once to the proposal, and gave orders to their people to procure a cargo of flax, and that no flax or pigs were to be sold to other vessels until sufficient had been collected for the aforesaid purpose. In the meantime, however, the vessel that had brought the party of Natives from the south had taken her departure, and it was some time before another opportunity offered : at last, towards the close of the year 1839, a brig named the “Elizabeth,” commanded by Captain Stewart, anchored off Kapiti (Entry Island), and was immediately boarded by Rau- page 115 paraha and Hiko, son of the late Pehi who had been most anxious to avenge his death, and had been for some time bartering his flax and other disposable commodities for muskets and ammunition, in readiness for an opportunity of accomplishing his intention. Rau-paraha informed the captain and supercargo that they had no flax made up, but if they would convey a war-party of three hundred men to Banks Peninsula, and assist them in inveigling some of the Natives there on board the brig under pretence of trading, and return with them to Kapiti with any prisoners they might capture, they would give him fifty tons of flax (at that time worth about £1,200). The captain consented, a regular charter-party was entered into, and the war-party, consisting of between two and three hundred picked men, under Rau-paraha, all armed with muskets, clubs, and other weapons, proceeded to the peninsula. On arriving at Haka-roa the Natives hid themselves below, while the captain, by their command, represented himself to those who came alongside as a trader for flax and provisions. Unsuspicious of any treachery from the white man, they gave the information that their chief, Tama-i-hara-nui, was then residing with his wife and daughter in the Wai-nui Valley, near Lake Ellesmere, a short day's journey distant, and readily agreed to carry a message to invite him to come to the ship.
During the interval Rau-paraha and his party never came on deck except at night, and then merely for air, and only a few at a time, and so completely did they succeed in their plans that on the third day Tama-i-hara-nui, with his son and daughter and several more of his tribe, came on board, all unconscious of danger. As soon as the party stepped on deck they were invited into the cabin, and, on a signal being given, up sprang the hidden band, and a general massacre took place, the chief and his wife and daughter being alone preserved to be carried home in triumph. A party of sailors were then sent ashore with part of Rau-paraha's band to assist them in slaughtering all the Natives they could find in the page 116 neighbourhood. Having gained their object, Rau-paraha gave orders to set sail for Kapiti. During the voyage Tama-i-hara-nui caused his daughter, a girl of about sixteen years of age, named Nga-roimata (the tears), who was left unbound in the cabin, to throw herself into the sea, in the hope that she might escape by swimming ashore : she was, however, drowned, and Rau-paraha, fearing that Tama-i-hara-nui might rob him of his revenge by committing suicide, ordered his hands to be tied behind him and fastened to a cross-beam under the deck.
On arriving at Kapiti the captive chief was retained on board as a hostage until the agreement concerning the flax was fulfilled; but, after waiting the stipulated time and no flax being forthcoming, the captain delivered the chief up to his captors, and set sail for Sydney.
The unfortunate chief, on being handed over to his enemies, was delivered to the widow and sister of Pehi, who cruelly tortured him, and at last put an end to his existence by running a red-hot ramrod through his neck. When the “Elizabeth” reached Sydney the circumstances of this disgraceful transaction were reported to the proper authorities by Mr. J. B. Montefiore, who afterwards gave evidence on the subject before a Committee of the House of Commons in 1838. General Darling, the Governor of New South Wales at the time, referred the case to the Crown Solicitor, with directions to bring the offenders to justice; but, through some unexplained legal difficulty, this was never effected. Stewart, the captain, was held to bail, but the other parties implicated, and the sailors, who might have been witnesses, were suffered to leave the country; consequently, both the captain and his accomplices escaped any punishment from human laws, but not the retributive justice of Providence. It is said he was shortly afterwards washed off the deck of his vessel while proceeding round Cape Horn.
Rau-paraha was not satisfied, however, with the revenge wreaked on the Nga-i-tahu for the murder of Pehi and others at Kai-a-poi; he must have more victims, and cause more blood page 117 to flow: but it required some time to complete his preparations. While these were being made, a fighting-party of Nga-ti-tama and Nga-ti-awa, headed by Pu-oho, father of Manu, the present chief of Waka-puaka, travelled from Massacre Bay, by way of the west coast, to the River Awa-rua, with the intention of attacking the southern Natives. On reaching Awa-rua they took advantage of a mountain-path from that place to Lake Wanaka, and, falling by surprise on a few families residing there, killed most of them.
Among the prisoners was a boy, the son of the chief person of the place, whose name was Te-raki. The father, with his two wives and other members of the family, were then on the banks of Lake Hawea. To secure them, and prevent the possibility of the news of their proceedings reaching the rest of the tribe, they sent two of their party, with the boy as a guide; but he contrived to prevent his father being taken unawares, and the father, a powerful and determined fellow, killed both of the men sent against him, and escaped with his family.
The war-party, with the assistance of some of the prisoners, then built rafts (mokihi) to descend the River Matau (Molyneux) to the coast. At a point of this river not far below the lakes (Hawea and Wanaka) there are some falls and rapids which it is impossible to navigate. It was therefore necessary to land above them, take their rafts to pieces and transport them to the banks of the river lower down, and there rebuild them. From the sea-coast the invaders made their way overland to the Mata-ura River, where they surprised another party of Natives at Tutu-rau. On this occasion some escaped and carried word of what had happened to Awa-rua (the Bluff), and thence to Rua-puke (the stronghold of this division of the tribe), and a few days after several boats, with a large armed party headed by Tu-hawa-iki, in their turn surprised and killed Pu-oho and many of his men, and made slaves of others, amongst whom was Pu-oho's son, Te-waha-piro-pare-mata, who was kept a prisoner by the Nga-i-tahu for many years.page 118
Takerei and Niho, who had occupied the country in the neighbourhood of Mawhera (Greymouth) up to that time, finding the number of their followers reduced, as some had returned to Massacre Bay and others had accompanied Pu-oho in his expedition against the southern Nga-i-tahu, and being apprehensive they might be attacked by either Tu-huru and his people or the O-takou Natives, resolved on abandoning the country. They accordingly returned to Massacre Bay with the remnant of their party, and never resumed possession of the west coast farther south than Kau-rangi Point, beyond West Whanga-nui.
Rau-paraha, having by this time matured his plans for another attack upon the southern Natives, crossed the strait with a large force of Nga-ti-toa and Nga-ti-koata. The latter proceeded by way of the Wai-rau Gorge and Hanmer Plains, subsequently rejoining their confederates at the Wai-para, the former having gone by way of the east coast. The plan of attack having been decided on, Rau-paraha marched his forces quickly on Kai-a-poi, reaching that place about mid-day. The Nga-i-tahu were totally unprepared for this sudden attack, a number being away at Port Cooper, escorting Tai-aroa, the chief of Otago (O-ta-kou), who was returning there, so far on his journey. Many were in their cultivations, when they were startled by the report of fire-arms and the cries of the dying. A few old men who were alone in the pa when the alarm was given immediately closed the gates and defended the only side that could be approached by land. Those who could escape fled to Port Cooper and gave the alarm. Fortunately they were in time to stay Tai-aroa, who, with his followers, came to relieve the besieged pa. After waiting a short time for reinforcements from the villages on the peninsula, the relief-party proceeded along the coast, crossing the the Wai-makariri on moki (rafts made of bundles of dry flax-sticks). Fearing they might be discovered by the enemy they waited till dark, and then continued their march along the coast till they were opposite Kai-a-poi. As they approached the pa the watch-fires of the page 119 enemy warned them that they were on the alert, and that any attempt to enter by the land side would be useless; they determined, therefore, to plunge into the lagoon and struggle through the mud and water. Cautiously creeping along the margin of the lagoon, which bounded one side of the pa, being all the while within a short distance of the enemy's sentries, they arrived at its narrowest point and plunged in, shouting Tai-aroa's name as a warning to their friends not to fire upon them. For a moment the besieged thought it was a stratagem of the enemy to throw them off their guard, and fired a volley amongst their friends in the lagoon, but, as they were all struggling up to their necks in mud and water, no harm was done, and as they drew near to the pa their voices were recognised and a warm welcome accorded them. The besieged now took heart and sallied forth day after day to attack the enemy; but the Kapiti warriors were too strong to be overcome, and gradually the besieged grew desponding, and confined themselves to defensive operations.
A long time passed and still the siege progressed. At length Rau-paraha began to sap up to the main entrance. At first he lost a great many men, but the precautions afterwards taken soon made it impossible for the besieged to hinder the work, and in a few days the head of the sap was within eight feet of the palisading. Rau-paraha now set his whole force to cut manuka-bushes, which he had tied in bundles and piled up in a great heap against the wall. While waiting for a favourable opportunity to set fire to it the besieged Lighted it from the inside, hoping that, as a north-wester was then blowing, the heap of manuka would burn without any damage to the pa. But they were doomed to a bitter disappointment: when the heap was about half destroyed the wind suddenly shifted to the south-west and carried the flames and smoke into the pa. The defenders had to retreat from the fence to escape suffocation, where-upon Rau-paraha seized the moment for an assault, and a general massacre ensued. Many from the pa page 120 plunged into the lagoon and escaped along the coast, but more were intercepted in their flight by the besiegers, and hundreds of captives fell into Rau-paraha's hands. Many were killed and eaten on the spot, and many reserved for the same fate at Kapiti, or to be kept as slaves.
As soon as Rau-paraha had captured the Nga-i-tahu stronghold at Kai-a-poi, he sent parties to scour the peninsula and the plains as far south as the Raka-ia, while he, with the main body of his forces, moved to Haka-roa, where by false promises he induced a large pa at the head of the bay to surrender. Most of the inhabitants of this pa were massacred, but the young and strong were reserved for slaves. In fear of further aggressions by Rau-paraha, the fugitive Nga-i-tahu fled to the southern extremity of the Middle Island, many of them taking refuge on the island of Rua-puke. On their return northward many years after, they again located themselves near to their old habitation at Kai-a-poi, and on the liberation of the captives by the Nga-ti-toa, some years subsequently, they too repaired to that spot. No attempt was made to rebuild the pa at Kai-a-poi, but that name was given to the new village established a few miles to the southward of the old pa, and is not unfrequently applied to the more modern one near the Ruataniwha Stream, in the immediate vicinity of the present town of Kai-a-poi.
After the destruction of Kai-a-poi Rau-paraha returned to Kapiti, leaving the northern portion of the Middle Island in possession of the tribes who had accompanied him in the first invasion.
About the year 1835, in consequence of the war waged by the Wai-katos against the tribes then occupying the Tara-naki district, a large number, after their defeat at Puke-rangiora, moved southward, and, crossing the strait, located themselves in Queen Charlotte Sound. About this time an apportionment of the land was made amongst the tribes who had assisted Rau-paraha and the Nga-ti-toa in the conquest of the Middle Island. To the Nga-ti-toa were apportioned the land at Cloudy Bay and that at Wai-rau, and they settled with their chief, Rawiri page 121 Puaha, at Te-awa-iti, Queen Charlotte Sound; and some of the Nga-ti-toa, with the Nga-ti-awa, also settled in the Pelorus (Te-hoiere); and Nga-ti-koata, with the tribes called Nga-ti-haumia and Nga-ti-tu-mania, settled at Rangi-toto (D'Urville Island). The country in the neighbourhood of Blind Bay, including the Takaka and Ao-rere districts, was occupied principally by the Nga-ti-ra-rua and Nga-ti-tama Tribes.
Subsequent to the siege of Kai-a-poi numerous attacks were made by fighting-parties of Nga-i-tahu on the Nga-ti-toa and other tribes occupying the country on the southern shores of Cook Strait; but the most notable encounter of the kind, and one that nearly resulted in the capture of their deadly enemy Rau-paraha, took place at Ka-pare-te-hau, in the Awa-tere, where a small party of the Nga-ti-toa, under this chief, had gone on a bird-catching expedition, when they were suddenly surprised while landing from their canoes at the mouth of the O-tu-whero (Blind River) by a party of Nga-i-tahu under Tu-hawa-iki. The Nga-ti-toa lost a number of men in the encounter, their chief Rau-paraha just managing to escape from his assailants by plunging into the sea and swimming off to one of the canoes that had withdrawn to a distance at the commencement of the attack.
The Nga-ti-toa who escaped made their way to Cloudy Bay, and, after procuring reinforcements, started in pursuit of the Nga-i-tahu, whom they came up with at Wai-ara-kiki, near Cape Campbell, where a fight ensued, the Nga-i-tahu getting worsted. The Nga-i-tahu say they obtained the victory, and that not only was this attack unavenged, but on a subsequent occasion they successfully conducted an expedition against the Nga-ti-toa in the neighbourhood of Port Underwood, where a number of that tribe were killed, whose death has never been avenged; and, further, the Nga-i-tahu urge in corroboration of this statement that ever since their asserted conquest they have been able to remain in undisturbed possession of a large portion of their original territory, to the south of the Clarence (Wai-au-toa); page 122 but this may be attributed to other and higher causes than the one alleged by the Nga-i-tahu, as there is little doubt, but for the spread of Christianity and the timely establishment of European settlements, that the scattered remnant of this once extensive tribe would soon have been exterminated by their more powerful enemies the Nga-ti-toa. The formation of mission-stations in 183—35 at O-taki, Whanga-nui, and other places adjacent to Cook Strait put an end to these conflicts, and through the instrumentality of the missionaries the contending tribes were converted to the Gospel of peace.
For some years after the introduction of Christianity it was supposed that a wild race dwelt in the inaccessible parts of the Northern Island. The many stories current about them led to the idea that they were the real aborigines and that they had been driven inland by the Maori immigrants. The negro features of some Natives gave additional support to the conjecture, being attributed to intermarriage with this race. But on further inquiry it was thought that the supposed aborigines were either run-away slaves or persons escaped from some battles. The reported existence of a wild tribe at Bligh Sound, on the south-west coast of the Middle Island, by Captain Stoke, of H.M.S. “Acheron,” led to the revival of the old idea respecting an aboriginal race; but there is no room for speculation in regard to the origin of these people, as the Natives of the south describe them as belonging to a tribe called Nga-ti-ma-moe, formerly one of the most numerous of the aboriginal tribes inhabiting the Middle Island; but from the incessant wars waged against them by the Nga-i-tahu they had become so reduced in number that the remnant had withdrawn to the mountain fastnesses west of Lakes Hawea and Wanaka, from which they could not be driven.
Many of the tales told about these people are pure fabrications, but the following are said to be authentic:—
Between thirty and forty years ago Rimu-rapa, a Nga-i-tahu chief, started with his followers to plunder a sealing station at page 123 Kani-whera, at the south-west extremity of the South Island. As they clambered along the rocky coast they came to a house built on the edge of a cliff. Knowing that it could belong to no other than the Nga-ti-ma-moe Tribe, they approached it stealthily, and succeeded in surrounding it unperceived. They captured the only inmate, a woman who called herself Tu-au-te-kura; and after questioning her about her people they cruelly killed her, and devoured her body on the spot. The search after her companions was unsuccessful, and nothing more was seen or heard of any of the tribe for years afterwards, till a Native named Te-waewae, who was out eel-fishing near Apa-rima (Jacob's River), met two of the Nga-ti-ma-moe. As he made his way through the scrub he was surprised to see two men standing a little distance ahead of him. Wishing for a closer inspection before showing himself, he crept towards them, but found to his annoyance that a stream stopped his further progress. As this was too deep to ford, and being unable to swim, he rose and called to them. Instead of replying, the strangers darted off towards the forest hard by. Te-waewae, not wishing good game to escape, sprang into a kowhai-tree (Sophora tetraptera) growing on the bank, and, bending it over the stream, dropped on the opposite side and gave chase; but the fugitives had gained the forest and escaped before he could overtake them.
An old man named Kapiti, and his sister Popo-kore, lived near Apa-rima, and had frequent visits from the Nga-ti-ma-moe. The lonely situation of their house on the border of a forest probably tempted these timid creatures to venture on their acquaintance. These visits were continued till the death of Kapiti and Popo-kore, which occurred since the settlement of Canterbury.
A sealing-party in 1842 discovered one of the Nga-ti-ma-moe haunts. In sailing up one of the narrow fiords that indent the south-west coast the crew were astonished to see smoke issuing from the face of the cliff. Having moored their boat directly under the spot, they succeeded in scrambling up till they reached a large cave, which they found deserted. It was page 124 partitioned in the middle, the inner part being used as a sleeping-place, the outer for cooking. A handsome mat, neatly covered with feathers of different birds, was found in the cave, with a mere paraoa, or club made from the bone of a sperm whale, also fishing-lines and baskets. On the last-mentioned the women had evidently been employed when surprised. An attempt was made to follow the runaways, but soon abandoned. After going along a path for some distance through a dense forest, they came to a number of branch-paths, each of which at a little distance again branched. Fearing to lose themselves in the maze or to fall into an ambuscade, the party returned to their boat, carrying their spoils with them. These articles were exhibited at the various settlements in Otago, and at Kai-a-poi, and on the Peninsula. The mat was afterwards sent to O-taki and presented to a chief there, and the mere is now in the possession of an old chief at Port Levy.
The Natives on the west coast north of Milford Haven say they have often seen the smoke of the Nga-ti-ma-moe fires, and sometimes they find recent camping-places; and many years ago a woman was captured by them while she was gathering shell-fish on the beach; but owing to her escape in the night little information was obtained as to the habits of her people.
Natives have been seen by crews of passing vessels fishing on the rocks in localities never occupied by other Maoris, furnishing additional evidence of the existence of these wild men.
It seems clear from the various statements received concerning the existence of the Nga-ti-ma-moe on the west coast of the Middle Island, that a small number of these fugitives did occupy the mountainous country in the south-west district of Otago (O-takou) to a comparatively recent date. The exploration, however, to which the country has been subjected during the last few years by parties of diggers prospecting for gold forbids any reasonable hope that any of this tribe still exist.page 125
Nga-Ti-Toa In The Middle Island. (Nga-Ti-Toa.)
When the Nga-ti-puku Tribe lived at Ha-taitai to keep possession of the district, and the great tribe Kahu-ngunu, the ancient owners of the land, had left it and had scattered in sub-tribes, each to occupy other districts as their liking might lead them— about this same time the Nga-ti-toa, led by Rauparaha, located themselves at Te-whanga-nui-a-tara (Port Nicholson), and took up their permanent residence there. These were attacked by the Kahu-ngunu people, and were beaten in battle by Kahu-ngunu. Nga-ti-toa fled to the Island of Kapiti, from which place Rau-paraha sent a messenger into the Wai-kato district, to the Nga-ti-mania-poto, Nga-ti-raukawa, and Nga-ti-awa Tribes, and also to the Nga-puhi Tribe, some of whom were then in that district, asking them to send some of their warriors to aid him in driving the Kahu-ngunu out of the Whanga-nui-a-tara (Wellington) country.
The aid asked was sent, and a battle ensued, in which Rauparaha and his allies used guns, but Kahu-ngunu had their old wooden weapons only, and were worsted, and to escape destruction fled as best they could. Some escaped in a vessel to Whare-kauri (Chatham Islands).
Soon after this disastrous battle the old warriors of Kahungunu assembled and held a council, in which the old chiefs proposed that the tribe should scatter themselves over various districts in which they might be able to purchase fire-arms. Kekerengu said he and his people would cross over to the Middle Island. So he and his fifty warriors twice told went to the Waipounamu, at which time Tai-a-roa was head chief of Nga-i-tahu. Kekerengu and his people arrived in the Middle Island, but the Nga-i-tahu murdered Kekerengu, and killed all his people save one. It was not Tai-a-roa who murdered this people, but the act was committed by members of other tribes who were roving over the country at that time.
When the news of the murder of Kekerengu was heard by the Kahu-ngunu they were greatly grieved, and called a meeting page 126 of the tribe, who at once determined to prepare canoes and cross over to the Middle Island and avenge the death of their relative Kekerengu. They made canoes, and prepared flax and fed pigs for barter to Europeans, by which they could procure guns and ammunition to enable them to exterminate the Nga-i-tahu, who had murdered Kekerengu.
When Rau-paraha heard of the murder of Kekerengu he also was grieved, and prepared a fleet of canoes, and embarked with a troop of warriors and sailed for the Middle Island, and attacked the Nga-i-tahu to avenge the murder of Kekerengu. He conquered that tribe, but lost many of his own warriors.
The Kahu-ngunu who were located at Nuku-tau-rua (between Gisborne and Napier) determined to assemble in a body and migrate to Ahu-riri (Napier). A thousand warriors twice told assembled, all of whom possessed guns—some had two guns, some three. These went to Ahu-riri, but found that ministers of the Word of God had arrived there. These ministers met this party of warriors and counselled them to abstain from war. The leaders of this body of warriors agreed that only those of their people who were of the tribes who occupied Ha-taitai and owned that district should proceed on the war-expedition, which eventually prevented this war being carried out, and the Nga-i-tahu were not attacked by Kahu-ngunu.
Some time after this Kahu-ngunu made war on the Nga-ti-awa and other allies of Rau-paraha, in which Ri-puku, the daughter of Te-whare-pouri, was taken prisoner by Nuku, of the Kahu-ngunu Tribe. At the time he took her prisoner he addressed her thus “Welcome. You shall not be killed; but go to your father, Whare-pouri, and tell him to come up to Nuku-tau-rua, that I may see him, and that we may make peace.” Ri-puku went to her father and delivered the message of Nuku. Te-whare-pouri went on his journey to Nuku-tau-rua; but on his arrival there he learnt that Nuku had been drowned in the sea : but the people of Nuku assembled and made peace withpage 127
Whare-pouri, and the Nga-ti-awa located themselves at Ha-taitai; nor did the Kahu-ngunu Tribe ever again reside at Ha-taitai, but Nga-ti-awa built pas there, procuring the timber for such from Hera-taunga (the Hutt).
Taking Of The Kai-A-Poi Pa. (Nga-I-Tahu.)
When Rau-paraha was warring against the Nga-i-tahu Tribe he besieged the pa of Kai-a-poi. The p'a was protected on three sides by a large lagoon, and the only spot by which it could be attacked was across a narrow strip of dry land which joined the pa to the mainland. After many attempts to take the pa Rau-paraha ordered the attacking tribes to cut a great quantity of manuka scrub, and bring it and pile it in a great heap on the neck of land which joined the pa to the mainland, and when the wind blew from the south on to the pa this heap of brushwood could be fired and thereby burn that part of the palisading of the pa and open a breach by which the fort could be rushed. But one day, as a northerly breeze blew, those in the pa set fire to that heap of dry brushwood, and for a time the north breeze took the flame from the pa; but the wind changed to the south and blew the flames right on to the palisading of the fort, and made a breach for the enemy. The attacking party rushed in, and those in the pa fled out into the lake, where some were drowned and others killed while they attempted to escape, and those taken were instantly killed by the enemy. Some did escape and fled to the mountains.
The Kai-A-Poi Pa. (Nga-I-Tahu.)
A few years since the head chiefs who ruled the tribes occupying the Kai-a-poi Pa were Te-momo, Nga-rangi-whakauria, Whakamau, Mui-ki-ao, Tu-kahu, and Te-waka, with others of lesser note. And in those days there were one thousand warriors twice told over whom these chiefs held command; but most of these died natural deaths, so that when Rau-paraha attacked this pa there were not more than one page 128 hundred warriors twice told left to defend it, and hence the tribe left the principal or large pa and occupied the lesser fort.
It was on the first of the tenth moon [about the end of January or beginning of February] when Rau-paraha arrived with his war-party and sat down before that pa. This war-party consisted of the tribes Nga-ti-toa, Nga-ti awa, Nga-ti-raukawa, Nga-ti-kura, Nga-ti-koata, Nga-ti-tama, Puke-tapu, and Nga-ti-maru, with members of other tribes. The war-party went in canoes from Te-whanga-nui-a-tara (Port Nicholson).
Pehi-taka and Te-marae were killed in this war, and on the death of Uru his heart was cut out and roasted in a fire, around which fire all the warriors of the attacking party stood in a ring, while the priests chanted the sacred chants, and the warriors stretched forth their arms and held them up on high towards the fire in which the heart was being roasted; and after the priests had ended their sacred chanting the warriors chanted aloud and in chorus the words of another chant while the senior priest tore a portion from the heart, and carried it in his right hand and threw it into the pa. This was done that the power of the attacking party might be able to overcome the resistance of the besieged, and that the pa might be taken by storm.
But those in the pa were also chanting their sacred incantations. These put on their war-belts, and, each with his war-weapon in his hand, stood in battle array, and with loud voice, but in chorus, chanted their war-chants. Some of the warriors wrongly repeated some words of the chant and caused discord in the chanting, which was an evil omen. Then these warriors encountered each other in a feigned battle, but in this also some of them held their weapons in a wrong manner, which was an evil omen. Then they held a meeting in which the learned of these warriors repeated their genealogy aloud to the assembled warriors, and in this the speakers also made mistakes, which was a very evil omen. These evil omens so page 129 overcame the assembly that all the warriors sat down and each wept aloud. As their tears fell to the ground the priests said, “This is the day of [our] death [defeat].
Rau-Paraha And Tama-I-Hara-Nui. (Nga-Ti-Hau.)
The interpreter for Rau-paraha, who took Tama-i-hara-nui, was at that time a young man. He was super-cargo on board of the, “Elizabeth,” which was a vessel of about 240 tons, commanded by Captain Stewart. The interpreter was the only person on board who spoke Maori. On arriving at Kapiti Stewart engaged to carry Rau-paraha, Rangi-hae-ata, and Hiko to Aka-roa, with 102 armed Natives, to take the chief Tama-i-hara-nui, who had killed and eaten Pehi. Stewart was for this to receive a cargo of flax. This took place in November, 1829 or 1830. When the vessel arrived at Aka-roa two large canoes came off to her from the shore, with about sixty men in them. They asked if there were any Maoris on board. On a former occasion Stewart had taken Natives for hostile purposes, which made them ask this question. They were assured there were not any Maoris on board, and were at once captured by Rau-paraha's people. Tama-i-hara-nui was not with this party : they sent the interpreter on shore to induce Tama-i-hara-nui to come on board. When the interpreter reached the abode of that chief the people of the pa said Tama-i-hara-nui was not there; but the interpreter saw a canoe thrust off in another direction. He followed it, and saw that the man steering was muffled up in his garment, having only his eyes uncovered. The interpreter at once recognised Tama-i-hara-nui by the lines of the moko on his forehead (the tiki). Rau-paraha had carefully described the moko of Tama-i-hara-nui to the interpreter, who asked Tama-i-hara-nui to come on board and trade, as they had plenty of guns and casks of powder on board of the ship. This induced Tama-i-hara-nui to jump into the boat. The interpreter had a loaded pistol, which was concealed under his coat, with which weapon, he said, if Tama-i-hara-nui had page 130 resisted, he would have made him come. On reaching the vessel Tama asked the interpreter, “Have you Maoris on board?”
The interpreter said, “No.”
Tama asked, “Where are you from?”
The interpreter said, “Direct from Sydney.”
Tama said, “That is not true, as I see the hutiwai (a burr— Acæena sanguisorba) sticking to the pea-jackets of some of the sailors.”
The interpreter said they had touched on the way at the Bay of Islands, and it must have been there the men got the hutiwai on them. The captain invited Tama-i-hara-nui down into the cabin, and placed refreshments before him. After some time Hiko entered the cabin and stared fixedly at Tama for nearly half an hour without speaking. At last Hiko approached Tama and drew back his lower lip, and said, “These are the teeth which ate my father.” The other chiefs then entered and reproached Tama for his evil deeds. He was, however, treated well, and had a cabin given to him. He told the interpreter that now that they had taken him he wished to have his wife and daughter with him, so that he might not go alone to the Reinga (world of spirits), as he knew that he would be killed. He asked the interpreter to go for them. The interpreter said, “Oh, no ! your people will kill me.” Tama said, “No, you may go safely. My people will not touch you, and my wife and daughter will at once come to me.” The interpreter went, relying on the truth of Tama's word, and told Tama's wife what the chief had said. She and her daughter and the sister of Tama came off to be with him. They took up their abode in the chief's cabin. In the night the people heard a rather loud snoring sound come from the cabin of Tama. As there was no light there the people thought that all was not right. Some of them went down to see; but as all appeared right they lit a lamp, left it there, and came up again. This was put out, and the same snoring sound was heard. The people went down again, and found that Tama page 131 and his wife had just succeeded in strangling their daughter, a young woman about sixteen years of age, who was only just dead, and a few drops of blood were oozing from her nostrils. The parents had recourse to this natural crime to prevent the child becoming a slave. Captain Stewart professed to be horrified at this deed, and said he would have Tama tied up and flogged. “But,” said he to his people, “we must first throw the body of the girl overboard, as Rau-paraha and party will most certainly eat it.” This was done, and the next day Stewart had Tama tied up and flogged; but Tama bore it without flinching or making any gesture of pain or uttering a sigh or complaint. Rau-paraha and his friends sat by looking on in sullen silence, not approving even of their enemy, who was a great chief, being thus treated. Rau-paraha now landed his men, and, though the pa was weakened by the loss of the sixty men who had been taken in the two canoes, with Tama also a prisoner, they fought bravely, and were with difficulty overcome and a great many slaughtered. Rau-paraha returned to the vessel (it is said) with five hundred baskets of human flesh, which Stewart, the captain, professed to think was only pork. When the ship got under way a man of the pa came down to the beach and made a great fire in defiance, and to show that their rage would ever burn till they had obtained satisfaction. The captain ordered a big gun to be fired at him. The ball missed the man, but scattered the fire in all directions; and the man ran away. On reaching Kapiti the prisoners were landed, and a great feast made of human flesh to those at that place and the captors of Tama. Tama was given in custody of the widow of Pehi, Pehi being the father of Te Hiko. The widow took Tama to her house, with his wife and sister, and half of the house was given up to them. Thus they lived, and talked to the widow in such a friendly way that any one seeing them would have thought she was a wife of Tama: she used even to clothe him in her best mats and feathers, and adorn his head. page 132 This continued for about two weeks, when one day she caused him to be tied with his arms stretched out, and in this posture she took a spear, or long rod of iron sharpened at the point, and probed the veins of the throat of her victim and drank the blood as it oozed out, placing her lips to the wounds made, and sucking the warm blood as it came. When she had thus taken her revenge alone the people killed him. His wife, not being able to bear the sight, ran away; but she was taken, and also killed and eaten. The sister of Tama was afterwards married to a chief at Port Nicholson, and was still living in 1850. Stewart received twenty-five tons of flax for this evil deed : he might have had more, but he could not stay for it, as a captain of another vessel then at Kapiti, who appears to have been nearly as bad as Stewart in his conduct towards the Natives, sailed before Stewart, and carried the news of this affair to Sydney; so that when Stewart got there every one was talking about it. Stewart was taken up and tried in a Court of law; but he escaped and sailed from Sydney. His vessel is supposed to have foundered and all hands to have perished. The interpreter is still living in New Zealand, and is highly esteemed by the Natives of Kapiti as the captor of Tama; and as a proof of this an old Native sent to him the iron spear with which the widow killed Tama, as he (the interpreter) was the most entitled to it. The interpreter says that human flesh was cooked in the ship's coppers.
Evidence Before Select Committee Of House Of Lords, 1838. (Montefiore.)
I chartered a vessel to make a tour of the island [of New Zealand], and to visit every place I possibly could, for the purpose of becoming acquainted with the island, its productions, its general character, as well as with the habits, manners, and general disposition of the Natives; and I had some intention of forming extensive mercantile establishments throughout the island; but, from an unfortunate circumstance, after reaching Entry Island, or Capiti (so called by the Natives) [Kapiti], in page 133 Cook Strait, I was deterred from so carrying my object into execution. After visiting one or two places I reached Entry Island [Kapiti] in my own vessel, and there I boarded a brig called the “Elizabeth,” Captain Stewart, who related the following circumstances to me : That he had been down to Banks's Island with a great many of the chiefs and two hundred men of the island (Entry Island) [Kapiti], to revenge the death of an old chief, who had been twenty-two years ago killed by the opposite party. The “Elizabeth,” a British brig, conveyed to Banks's Island about three hundred men, and when she anchored off the island it was made to appear there were no men on board the vessel: they were all below, with the hatches down. In the middle of the night the captain started the whole of the men, and took fifty or sixty prisoners. I have made a more detailed statement of the facts, which, with your Lordships' permission, I will relate from my journal. They are as follow : It must be in the recollection of many that a New Zealand chief was a few years ago in this country, by the name of Pai or Tupai [Pehi], who was introduced to our late sovereign George the Fourth. Some short time after his return to his native country he waged war against the people of Banks's Island, or the Southern Island, and was killed by the chief of that place, named Mara-nui [Tama-i-hara-nui]. This same man is supposed also to have killed several white men there, and four years ago cut off and ate, with his comrades, the boat's crew of his Majesty's ship “Warspite.” Since that period, Ecou [Kou], old Pai's [Pehi's] son, has been most anxious to revenge his father's death, as well as the slaughter of the white men, and has been for a number of years bartering his flax for muskets and powder to prepare himself in the event of accomplishing his intention. On the “Elizabeth” anchoring off Entry Island (a small island, as will be seen on the chart), Ropera [Rau-paraha]—that is, the great general or fighting-man here—and Ecou [Kou], the son of Pai [Pehi], came on board, and told the captain and supercargo they had no flax made up, which was a fact. They said they had enough muskets and page 134 powder, as on the island they could muster two thousand muskets; but if he would go down with his ship, and convey three hundred men to Banks's Island to fight, and again return to Entry Island with such prisoners as they made, they would give him fifty tons of flax, value £1200. The captain and supercargo consented. How far he was correct in so doing, or how far he was correct in hiring his vessel as a transport, and being instrumental in the cause of so much bloodshed, is not for me to say. However he accutlly entered into a regular charter-party, and he proceded thither with about two or three hundred picked men, all armed with muskets, war-clubs, and toma-hawks. The “Elizabeth” is regularly armed, carrying eight guns, besides two swivels on her taffrail, and well found in every description of small arms. On arriving at Banks's Island [Peninsula] all the New-Zealanders conveyed thither were stowed away in the hold. Some of the chiefs coming on board, seeing her guns, were rather suspicious, and the first question they asked was whether the Ropera [Rau-paraha] and Ecou [Kou] were on board; they suspected they were, and took to their canoes. Immediately after this they (the men stowed below) all came on deck, and took some canoes, full of slaves, lying alongside the vessel, made them prisoners, proceeded to the shore, and commenced battle; and Ecou [Kou] himself took the great Mara-nui [Tama-i-hara-nui], who had killed his father, brought him prisoner on board the brig, and they killed several on shore. The description the captain gave of their fighting was most interesting; they killed about fifty, and took about as many prisoners. Only one man on Ecou's [Kou's] side was killed; several wounded. The vessel returned to Entry Island [Kapiti] with the prisoners and the chief Mara-nui [Tama-i-hara-nui]; and Captain Stewart informed me, two or three days after he had been to sea he found several baskets of legs and arms in his hold. He made them throw them all over board. They were to be taken to Entry Island to be roasted and eaten.page 135
It is a custom among them. This great Mara-nui [Tama-i-hara-nui] is now on board in irons (at Entry Island). Having gone so far in my own vessel, I was deterred from proceeding in consequence of expecting that the whites would be slaughtered. He (Tama-i-hara-nui) is kept by the captain as a hostage until the charter-party is finally arranged. Ecou [Kou] and Ropera [Rau-paraha] had despatched about two thousand slaves to make flax; and in six weeks from the date of his arrival she is to be filled as per agreement. The brig which I had chartered then proceeded round the island, but I would not go myself. I was obliged to take refuge in this very ship where this great chief was in irons. I expostulated with the captain on his conduct. He said he saw the folly of his conduct, but, having gone so far, he must keep him (Tama-i-hara-nui). I begged him to take him up to Sydney. In four or five weeks afterwards, no flax coming forth, the Natives not having fulfilled their charter—I was anxious to get up to Sydney—I told him I was quite certain he would not get his flax—he set sail, but gave up the chief Mara-nui into the hands of his enemies. He was given up, and I went on shore and saw the whole process of his intended sacrifice. I did not see the man killed, but I know he was killed during the night; and the following morning the widow of the great chief who had been killed had his entrails as a necklace about her neck, and his heart was cut into several pieces to be sent to different tribes, allies of Ropera [Rau-paraha]. On our arrival at Sydney I related the circumstances, and they tried the captain for murder; but there was no evidence against him. He has since met his death, having been washed off his ship coming round Cape Horn; at least, so I have understood.