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The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions. Nga-Puhi [Vol. X, English]

Chapter XIV

page (182A)(2)

Chapter XIV

War party of Mango and Kakaha
(Popoto, Nga-puhi)

Mango and Kakaha the two sons of Hongi lived on the coast north of the Bay of Islands between Rangihoua and Whangaroa, who to obtain revenge for the death of their father at the battle of Kororareka assembled a war party of about seventy men, and went southward towards Hauraki, at the mouth of Hauraki killed some people and passed on to the Mayor Island, at which place they killed nearly all the men and took the women and children prisoners, but some men escaped in the night to Tauranga and gave the alarm. Up to this time those tribes had been at peace with Ngapuhi.

Mango, Kakaha and their taua now passed on to the Island Motiti and killed some other people, and while feasting on the slain, the Ngatiawa surprised and killed all but a few boys and slaves, and the Ngatiawa in turn ………. themselves on the bodies of the taua.

page (181A)(A)

War to avenge the death of Mango and Kakaha
(Popoto, Nga-puhi)

To revenge the death of Mango and Kakaha, the Ngapuhi of the Bay of Islands assembled a war party to attack the Thames and Tauranga tribes, who were called Ngatiawa, and in the beginning of the year 1832 we started from the Bay of Islands in about fifty canoes going up the coast southward, and stayed at Korokaua, but were detained many days on account of bad omens. We then went on to Manga ti where the wharaus (temporary sheds) of some who had preceded us were seen, we counted the stones on which roi (fern root) had been paoid (pounded) and then counting a certain number of people for each stone we knew the number of this war party and some of our people could point out where the chief sat and where the people sat, we went on to Tutu kaka, where our the people had a great war dance where four Englishmen sailors were with the Maoris, having ran away page (182B)(3)from a vessel then in the Thames.

The taua (war party) had some big guns and here Moka fired some off as mamae (regret) for the death of Mango and his brother Kakahi. Here Moka received a wound in his thigh.

Here we waited for Tareha who was in a large canoe with only three of his wives to paddle her, the canoe was sacred having taken the body of Hongi who was killed at Kororareka, back to his home on the coast north of the Bay of Islands, and was now being taken to the spot where his sons Mango and Kakaha had been killed by the Ngatiawa, for the purpose of being broken up and burnt as a waka mamae (canoe of pain or regret) for the death of Mango and Kakaha, but our taua (war party) also had in their possession and were also taking many things as mamae (reminders) for the dead such as garments, war instruments, paddles, and other things, these were all sacred, as were also those persons of the different tribes who were in charge of these things. As not anyone but Tareha and his three wives on account of the laws of the Tapu can get into the big sacred canoe, we have to wait for them as they can not keep pace with our canoes.

While here a large shark was caught which fastened on the shoulder of one of its capturers, and in taking it from the man's shoulder his companions cut the shark with a hatchet, which hatchet also gave a slight graze to the man's shoulder also, this was nearly the cause of a fight between all the people.

Part of our taua (war party) who were the Popoto from Hokianga under command of Taonui wished to go away by them selves to kill people up the Thames.

Here we got good fern root, Moka a brother of Wharerahi and Rewa is one of the most outrageous chiefs of our taua. Some of our people had burnt the sticks of some old wharaus (sheds to keep in) and the Priest said a Taniwha (monster) had appeared to him in a dream saying "that he would have the death of some men as utu (payment)", and the gale that had kept us so many days here was in revenge for the tapu (sacredness) being made noa in burning the sticks as we voyage, cooked food must not be put page (182C)(4)into the canoes, nor must any one eat or spit while in the canoes nor carry fire in the canoes.

Started and got to Tairua, and went on to Whangamata, where our taua was said to be about six hundred besides women and children. Here the chiefs made war speeches to the taua, and Wharerahi went over land to attack the Ngatiwhatua. Here the Priests caused all fire to be tapu till they had consulted the Niu (sticks used in divination) and not any one must eat or drink till the ceremony had been performed.

Our Priests went some distance from the camp, and in the scrub cleared a space about three fathoms square, and no one of the taua (war party) but the Priests were allowed there, all the Priests were naked. They stuck up fern stalks about the length of a man's arm in the ground in rows according to the number of our canoes, as also one stick each to represent each of the chiefs of the Ngatiawa against whom we were going to war, against each one of these sticks were also stuck up two sticks around which flax had been tied in a peculiar knot, then all the Priests but one left the Niu, and one only of them, the oldest Priest who was a thin skiny old man sat near to the Niu to watch the sticks how they were moved by the gods, after some time this old Priest came to where the other Priests were, when he enquired of Tohitapu what dream he had last night and in return told his dream of the same night, we and the Priests then went to the Niu and saw the sticks which had been thrown in great confusion, about one third of the sticks had been thrown down on the ground, an omen that they who were represented by these sticks would be killed in the next battle, the body of our taua (war party) now rushed up to know the fate of our taua, each chief or man of loud voice asking what the omens indicated of his fate, as all spoke at once, no one could be answered.

page (182D)(5)

The old lean Priests gave an account of the omens, but he got confused in his description of the people of the taua, and those of the Ngatiawa, and had to commence his work over again: when all the taua were ordered from where the Niu was all our people were firm believers in the Niu.

We now went on and got to near the Katikati entrance and saw the fires burning in the Ngatiawa Pa, at noon we pulled up and went into the river and landed where Rewharewha and Wharepoaka had encamped with this part of our taua a few days since; on the following day we went on up the river to Matakana where our party caught an old woman belonging to the Ngatimaru of the Thames, who told us that Wharerahi had gained a great victory over some Waikato people, and Ware-rahi was not far up the river on the opposite bank to that on which we were, and some of our canoes went off to learn the news, and were told that Ngatiawa had seen and talked with Rewharewha many times, but there had been great fighting between them, and not any had been killed on either side.

At midnight some guns were heard on the beach, as we did not know but they might be our enemies all our taua rose and prepared for an attack, and soon we heard that it was a karere (messenger) from Rewharewha. It was dark, and now ferns were lit by the taua around which some sat, when a young chief came into the midst of our taua and stood leaning on his gun with a bill hook in his belt in front, and a topuni (dog skin mat) over his shoulders. He told us of the expedition of Wharerahi against the Ngatiwhatua, and of a meeting they had had with the Ngatiawa that day, then a lot of guns with ball were fired off by some of our taua.

The next day all moved on in our canoes, when we mustered about seventy canoes, and arrived at Karopua where Rewharewha was, and the Ngatiawa Pa Otumoetai could be seen not far away, and some of its people page (182E)(6)were seen outside of the Pa looking at us.

When the tide was low all our taua in battle array went to plunder the plantations near to the Pa, and some went close to it to a deep stream, across they could not go but by swimming; these were not able to attack the Pa, some of the people of the Pa came down to the opposite side of the stream on which our people were, where each party fired at the other till darkness came on; not any of our chiefs were in this party.

Soon after midnight orders were given to embark as it was high water. We did not like to move in the daylight for fear of the Ngatiawa, but we lit fires in our camp which lighted all the place behind us as we went up the river, and landed on the upriver side of the Pa, and soon many fires were seen in the Pa, at dawn our taua in war array marched towards the Pa, and the Ngatiawa came out to meet us, and firing commenced, some of our people were driven back out of a spot they had taken up, but as all our ammunition was expended we came back to our camp with one killed and some wounded, all now spoke of their deeds of bravery. For days the firing continued between us and the Ngatiawa but the Pa was not reached. One time the fight lasted all the day and through the night, and at dawn our taua passed on the Pa to rush it, and some of our people got close to it in a lot of scrub and grass but were driven out by the Ngatiawa, and in the midst of the hottest firing of guns some of the Ngatiawa children could be seen digging the musket balls we had fired at them out of the ground. On the following day the firing was again renewed, and two of the men of that Pa were killed and taken into the Pa.

A messenger arrived from Rotorua to offer the assistance of Te Arawa to our taua (war party) to war against the Ngatiawa.

At night we could hear the weeping and wailing of those in the Pa over their dead. Day after day was spent in firing at each other, page (182F)(7)but still our taua did not reach the Pa, and we had to fight day after day in the same aimless way.

At this time our taua had a quarrel with the captain of a schooner and tried to capture her, but she escaped, at last we felt so disheartened that we left the Pa and went home.

But after we had got back to the Bay of Islands Titore was not satisfied, and again collected a war party of the Rarawa from the North Cape and again went south to attack the Maketu tribes, and killed some people on the road to Rotorua, and a large party went off in a secret expedition to way law the Ngatiawa, and those who stayed attacked a Ngatiawa Pa at Otumoetai and our party had one killed a son of Amohau, who when he had wept over the death of his son said "Now that I have lost my child it is for me to say that peace shall be made, I do not ask for utu (payment) for my child but that this war may cease", but soon an accident happened to continue the war. The Rarawa again attacked the Pa and killed three of the Pa, and the Rarawa had also three killed two of which were taken and eaten in the Pa, but this was the last act and Titore withdrew and went back to Ngapuhi.

page (183)

The war party of Tu-whare to the South

Tu-whare (battle in the house) collected a war party in Kai-para of one hundred twice told, and he left and killed the people of the tribes of the west coast as far as Whanga-nui.

Many of the people of the tribes of Nga-ti-awa, Tara-naki, and Nga-ti-rua-nui were killed by this war party, all who were killed by this host of Tu-whare were eaten by them.

When Tu-whare arrived at Whanga-nui he attacked the pa of the elder brother of Te-anaua, the Nga-ti-hau had asked the people of this pa to forsake it and flee, but they resisted such advice and stayed in occupation, though they were only fifty twice told in number.

Tu-whare and his party attacked this Pa, and took it and killed some of the occupants, some escaped, and these Tu-whare and party followed up the Whanga-nui river, till they came to the Pa at Nga-ti-pa-moana, and Hope-riki (little waist) where the Nga-ti-hau had laid in wait for the Nga-ti-whatua. These had taken up a position on the top of a steep cliff on the bank of the river, where they had with flax tied huge stones, and as soon as Nga-puhi were in the river below these stones were sent down with a crash on to the canoes of the Nga-puhi; and the Nga-ti-hau came down to the river and killed any who might have escaped from the canoes, as Whaka-ahu had struck Tu-whare with a blow of his Maori weapon and had not killed him at once Tu-whare said "Yours is the hand of a plebian cult ………., and does not know how to kill men", so Nga-puhi were killed, and not one escaped.

page (184)

The cause of Hongi-hika's attack
on part of his own tribe
the Nga-ti-uru at Whanga-roa


Hongi-hika (smell the friction) had two wives, one was called Tangi-whare (weep in the house) and the other Turi-kotuku (knee of the white crane) and at the time when Hongi was about from his home, his nephew called Matuku (hymenophyllum) seduced his wife Tangi-whare, and when this act was known, Matuku took a gun and shot him self, and Hongi-hika to avenge the insult to his wife and also the death of his nephew, he made war on a sub-tribe of his own tribe called Nga-ti-uru, who resided at Whanga-roa (long harbour).

When the Nga-ti-uru fled from Whanga-roa to Manga-muka (branch of tow) in Hokianga (returning) Hongi followed them there, and was shot in the chest at a place called Heimehuna (singe the hair off) from the affects of which he died some months after.

When Hongi was away on his expedition to avenge the insult on his wife, in his attack on the Nga-ti-uru or the Nga-ti-pou he had left his other wife in the Wai-mate (dead water) district, who became ill and died and dogs eat her body, so that when those who came back to attend her came to where she had lived they found her bones only, and on this account Hongi lived a whole year at Whanga-roa and it was only when near to death that he came back to the Bay of Islands, and he died in the Wai-mate district.

page (185)

The head wife of Hongi-hika

When Hongi-hika was absent from the Wai-mate (dead or dried up water) with a war party to attack the Nga-ti-uru people at Whanga-roa, he had left his head wife called Turi-Kotuku (white crane's knee) at Te-urupa (the grave) in the Wai-mate district.

This woman was blind, so that she could not travel well, but she was a sour tempered woman, and of a firey and fierce disposition, and roused into a fury all in a moment and was exceedingly quarrelsome, and not one of her people man or woman, had the least liking for her.

When Hongi-hika went on this expedition to Whanga-roa, Turi-kotuku was left by her self at Te-urupa, and not one stayed with her. The war party left, and attacked the people of Whanga-roa, and some time afterwards, some of the people of Hongi at Whanga-roa came up to the Wai-mate to see Turi-kotuku, but they found her bones only, her body had been eaten by dogs, so the spies went back and told Hongi, who was grieved at the news, and he on this account stayed at Whanga-roa.

This woman Turi-kotuku was very brave, and in the days when her eyes were clear and she could see she was the constant companion of Hongi-hiki in all his war expeditions, and she paralleled Hongi in many of his daring acts, and she plotted the death of the two youths in the Thames (see Vol V page 159 "Murder of Tu-kehu and Watea")who belonged to that district, and she was a noted cannibal, and she asked to have those youths killed that she might have human flesh to eat. She was brave in war, nor was she afraid of death, and her rage did not know any bounds, she killed till all her enemies had been slain. There was not one of her tribe man or woman who liked her, as her mind was ever intent on evil.

(Put this into Ngapuhi papers)

page (186)

Hongi's oldest wife

When Hongi was away from the Waimate on his war expedition to attack the Ngati-uru at Whanga-roa he left his old or principal wife - at Te-urupa near to the Waimate as she was not well, she was blind, and was eaten by the dogs. She was a most cruel and bloodthirsty woman thus she felt the same fate she had given to others in the wars in which she went (though blind) with Hongi.

page (1828)(186)

The origin of the cause of the death of
Te-whare-umu at Wai-ma in Hokianga


Ariki a son of Te-Whare-umu (cooking house) had agreed with a captain of a vessel in the Bay of Islands to supply him with pigs. Ariki went in land to Te-wai-mate (dead water) to procure the pigs, and took also some belonging to other natives, the owners of these pigs remonstrated with him; but he persisted in taking the pigs not his own, and he was shot by one of the owners of the pigs he was taking, and a battle followed, in which seven others were killed.

A war party assembled at Korora-reka (sweet penguin) and went to Hokianga (returning) to Wai-ma (white or clear water) and made peace, and this war party were on their way home, when a dispute occurred between them, and at a time when one of the wives of Te-uru-ti's and a boy was building a shed to sleep in, another boy was handling a gun belonging to Te-uru-ti, this gun accidentally went off and shot and killed another of the wives of Te-uru-ti and a nephew of Te-uru-ti, another gun was fired and wounded a chief called Muri-wai (West Coast) in the thigh, and these people began to attack each other, and many were killed, and Te-uru-ti had his legs broken with a musket shot, and another ball hit him in the throat and he died, but ere he died he said to his tribe "Leave me to die, turn and fight, or if you do not like to act in that way, flee and save your lives". He then gave his gun to one of his people, and his mat to another, and while he was doing these things his enemies rushed on and killed him, and a battle ensued, and many on each side were killed.

When the news of the death of Te-uru-ti, the younger brother of Kinikini arrived at Korora-reka, page (187)(sweet Penguin) the people there wept for many days, when a fleet of war canoes were seen approaching the place, there were about twenty canoes, some of which were manned by enemies of Te-uru-ti, this war party held many and continuous war dances, while the people debated who should succeed Te-uru-ti, when the people agreed that Kinikini (nip again and again) should be chief in place of Te-uru-ti.

Rewa (float) collected a war party and went by way of Te-kerikeri (dig again and again) where they heard that one of the Hokianga chiefs had shot Te-uru-ti, Rewa went on till he met a great body of people, and peace was made.

page (188)

The death of Te-whare-umu

A young chief of the Bay of Islands was shot by some of the Hokianga natives, and a party of Te-whare-umu rose and went to hear the truth of the news of the death of this young chief. Te-whare-umu went to the Nga-puhi people, where he held a long conference, and peace was nearly made, when a dispute arose, and the tribes had a battle, and Te-whare-umu was wounded, and the Bay of Islands people fled, after which a meeting took place and an agreement was concluded and peace was made.

page (1828)(189)

Pango and his companions

Pango (black) or Nga-wai (the calabashes to drink out of) or Nga-ihi (the front gables of the houses) wizard of the Nga-ti-whakaue of Roto-rua, came to the Bay of Islands, into the Nga-puhi district, with some of his own tribe [in the year 1828] and the Nga-puhi people blamed him for the deaths or evils that had come on the Nga-puhi people by his acts of witch-craft, that he had by his witch-craft had been the cause of the death of Hongi-hika, and also of Te-whare-umu and many other of the Nga-puhi who had died, and who had been killed, and the Nga-puhi people said that Pango should be killed in payment for those who had died from the effects of his witch-craft, but the Europeans saved the life of Pango and he was put on board of a vessel and conveyed from the Bay of Islands to Tauranga, and he went with his life to Roto-rua.

page (1830)(1832)(190)

Chief of the Hau-raki people
who went to the other side of the ocean


Two chiefs of the Thames tribes left the place [in the year 1830] in a ship, and was away for two years, and then came back in another ship to their home, and when the people saw the ship in which these chiefs came back they went on board of her, and one chief stayed below till a squall came on and the ship sailed away from the Thames [in the year 1832] and landed him at Nga-puhi [in the Bay of Islands] and when Nga-puhi saw this man they wished to kill him, as the Nga-puhi were then at war with the Roto-rua and Hau-raki people to where this man was related, Te-uru-ti was the Chief who had the most determined wish to kill this man, but after a while this man was put on board of a vessel which sailed away for Port Jackson (Sydney) in [the vessel Governor Mackay] which sailed from Hokianga, and he thus saved his life.

page (1830)(191)(191A)(1)

Cause of Ngapuhi attack
on Ngatiawa at Tauranga


In 1830, the daughter of Rewa of Te keri keri, and the daughter of Morunga of Te kawakawa, were kept by the captain of a whaler, being jealous of each other, in bathing on the beach, they quarrelled, and the daughter of Morunga cursed the daughter of Rewa in Maori. This kanga was an insult to the tribes of each girl, who at once determined on war as utu for the kanga. Pomare and allies of Morunga defended Kororareka.

Rewa and the tribes at Whangaroa, Rangihoua, and Kerikeri accompanied by Ururoa, the brother in law of Hongi came from Whangaroa as a taua against the Kororareka people and the tribes and allies of Morunga, an attempt was made to make peace, by allowing the kumara plantations at Kororareka to be plundered, while Pomare defended Kororareka and while these terms of peace were being discussed, a musket went off by accident from the rear of the Kororareka tribes under Morunga, and wounded a woman who was in the rear of the taua party commanded by Ururoa, at once a battle raged, and Hengi of the Ngatirehia the head chief of Whangaroa was shot while he was in the act of trying to stay hostilities Tohitapu a chief of supreme rank while he kept out of harms way sent a young chief called Kuaiangi to the battle field to demand cessation of hostilities, and the assailants who were about six hundred strong left the scene of conflict and left the enemies who were about eight hundred in possession of the scene of conflict. The eight hundred proposed to make peace by Pomare giving Kororareka to Ngapuhi for the death of Hengi which was done.

But Mango and Kakaha sons of Hengi collected a war party and went to the south occupied by te Haramiti to seek revenge for the death of their father.

These went first to the Mercury Islands, and killed many there.

In a second expedition they went to Tauranga and Motiti and killed many but eventually were ………. ………. eventually peace was made between the contending tribes at the Bay of Islands, when a chief of Ururoa's party went to Kororareka, and in the presence of his enemies chanted a karakia as he held a stick in his page (191A)(2)hand, at the conclusion of his chant he broke the stick in two and threw it down at the feet of the chief who reputed his enemies, then this chief of the opposite party chanted a karakia, which indicated the hostilities had ceased and he also cast a broken stick at the feet of the chief who had chanted and cast a broken stick before him.

page (about 1832)(192)

Ceremonies before gathering for war
to Proceed to the Thames


For many days Tohitapu had been at Kororareka, and early one morning Kinikini and several head chiefs were to cook two dogs as a feast for the chiefs and Priests who were to assemble to determine on the war to the Thames, and to settle all matters in regard to the proceedings of the taua.

These chiefs made a large fire, and while that was burning to a clear flame, four of them got hold of a dog and by its legs held it on its back while two others put a pole across the dogs throat and pressed it down and strangled it. They killed the two dogs in this way and then threw new cut bushes in the fire till a steam rose from the green state of the bushes put on, on to this they placed one of the dogs, for a time they kept rolling the dog over and over. While this was being done, others of the chiefs split large pieces of wood, to provide scrapers to scrape the hair of the dogs, as the steam had softened the hair they scratched or scraped the dogs with the wooden scrapers, when the dogs were thus cleaned, they cut the head and tail off and then cut the dogs into parts, throwing the internals away, these they cooked by themselves in a hangi. When cooked which took about three hours, they eat with cooked kumara. But only five of the head chiefs partook of the feast, as they were tapu, and remained so all the day. On the night of that day, the council was held, in which they determined to attack the Thames people.