Friday, January 6, 2012


Drawing at home tonight with the cuzzy... doing a little bit of a wananga for my cuzz... he's keen to learn more about his genealogy. I beleive art is a potent tool in terms of learning about your culture. As I drew the image I told my cuzzin the story below... I also pointed out the icons used in the illustration. The stingray represents Papatewhai... his home before and after the battle... at his feet is Te kuri-a-Paoa his sacred mountain and his father's pa Rangihaua stood at the top of Te Kuri... The tewhatewha represents the mana of his ancestors who kept the fire burning before him. The short stabbing sticks in his hand represents the warriors who came to his aid including Awakopiko and Kaipoho... the whale bone tiki represents his whakapapa to Paikea Ariki and the (8) triangles that touch his right shoulder represent his whakapapa to Tahu-Potiki... (Rangiwaho, Tamaraukura, Tamanuhiri, Rakaitotorewa, Uenukunui, Tahumurihape, Rakaroa... Tahu-Potiki) As the artwork emerges from the page it is infused with the wairua of knowledge and understanding and thus it becomes a vessel of learning. Armed with this knowledge the drawing now becomes a take home wananga for the bro... mauriora
Heres the artwork...

Taitimuroa started as an attack on Tapui pa near Te Arai... A chief named Tukapuarangi and his son Te Aiorangi attacked Tapui over some mana issue and completely sacked the pa. At the time of the attack one of Tamanuhiri's grandsons Puraho was visiting with his heavily preganant wife Te Aomate (it was her family)
As would be expected Puraho took part in the battle... to help his in-laws... but the invaders were too strong. They overwhelmed the pa but Puraho fought hard to protect the people. Te Aomate was able to escape with others and they made their way to safety around Te Wherowhero. Puraho and the warriors fought bravely but eventually he was killed... and the pa defeated.
Tukapuarangi and his army then turned their attention to the survivors and his scouts pointed out their escape route. Tukapuarangi and Te Aiorangi were not done and decided to pursue the refugees... he headed off to Te Muriwai and Tekuri. These were completely different people from the Tapui iwi and had no involvement other than offering shelter... Tu and his army gathered at the foot of Te Kuri
The refugees ended up at Rangihaua on top of Te Kuri... This pa belonged to another of Tamanuhiris grandsons called Rangiwaho. He was Puraho's first cousin. Rangiwaho offered his cousins wife and her family shelter. When Tukapuarangi arrived Rangiwaho and his family were surprised to be targeted by the invaders but gathered together to fight for their land. Tukapuarangi and his army launched their attack.
Rangiwaho and his men fought bravely but Tukapuarangi had too many warriors and eventually they gained the upperhand. Again the women and children were led to safety down the back way and headed off to Maraetaha. They stayed at Te Koutu with other relatives. Rangiwaho and his men were chased down to Papatewhai where they made a stand against overwhelming numbers... Eventually Rangiwaho was killed and Tukapuarangi claimed Rangihaua as his own.
The survivors all gathered together. Rangiwaho was killed, Puraho was killed and these were the two senior chiefs of the Ngai Tamanuhiri clan. Rangiwaho was head of the Ngati Rangiwaho hapu and Puraho led the Ngati Paea section... the tribe was in disarray and many wanted to leave the district.They packed what they could and decided to go to Te Kahanui-a-Tiki to stay with family and consolidate their position as a tribe.
Just after they left... Tutekawa arrived in Te Muriwai. He had been on a journey to Te Waipounamu to get greenstone... There was no one around. His family were all gone. He met with Rakaikui and asked him... "where are my people?" ...Rakaikui was shocked to see him and told Tutekawa of the attacks... he had the un-enviable task of telling Tutekawa that not only was his father killed... but also his uncle... and all your family have run away to Te Kaha...
Tutekawa went to find his family including his mother Rongomaiwaiata. He made his way to Te Kahanui-a-Tiki where he found his family. To his releif many of his cousins and extended whanau had survived including Kaipoho... He gathered his people together to talk about what happened and they told him of the defeat. Tutekawa rose to his feet and recited his whakapapa back to Paoa, to Paikea, to Toi and to Maui... he pleaded with them to return to Te Muriwai and re-ignite the ahikaroa of his ancestors. He ended his speech by saying "Kei mate tatou... mate ki te kainga"
Tutekawa and his ope taua returned to Turanga. The Tamanuhiri warlord called in favours and whanaungatanga from the people of Turanga "kia haeremai" ...His army assembled along Oneroa and marched toward Papatewhai where Rangiwaho had fallen. Tutekawa split his men... and half went with Awakopiko to the southern side near Orongo. They attacked first... from the south and Tukapurangi reacted to stop them. Then Tutekawa rushed his men in from the north. In no time at all they had Tukapurangi trapped between them... the battle was vicious.
Tutekawa was a man possessed and nothing was going to stop him returning to his land. Eventually his war party annihilation the enemy and it wasn't long before Tukapuarangi and his son were dragged before Tutekawa. After a short victory speech where he berated the father an son who had murdered his innocent family... Tutekawa beheaded them both... he then sent the heads around Turanga to show locals Ngai Tamanuhiri was back in the house... and back in charge. The ahikaroa was re-ignited.
Shortly after this Puraho's wife Te Aomate gave birth to a son and he was named Te Tapunga-o-te-Rangi... to remember the father he never met. Tutekawa made sure his young cousin inherited the mana, land and privilege of his father and Tapunga became leader of Ngati Paea. Mean while Tutekawa and his children took charge of the Ngati Rangiwaho clan.

That is the battle of Taitimuroa as we remember it and since that battle our mana has remained in tact and our ahikaroa still burns today.







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