Saturday, December 3, 2011


Young Maori Party
Apirana Ngata realized in his time that Maori culture was in danger of being corrupted or swamped by European culture, and encouraged the revival of many Māori arts and crafts, such as kapa haka and carving. He also recorded many waiata and other forms of Māori literature, ensuring its preservation. He wrote about many aspects of Maori culture and ultimately it was all linked to whakapapa. Apirana was an acknowledged expert in the whakapapa of his people and enjoyed gathering and indeed recording the whakapapa all along the East Coast. One of my uncles Matene Kaipau Pohatu worked as clerk for Apirana and shared his passion for whakapapa. In recent years I have had access to Matene’s archives and included in them are many documents and writings of Sir Apirana.

The Great Apirana Ngata
I especially enjoyed reading his Rauru Lecture series and this really intrigued me
Ngati Porou can claim descent from seven out of ten of Kahungunu's children, while the Ngai Tamanuhiri, Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga a Mahaki of Gisborne are able, so I am informed, to claim from all of them.  Yet the tribal name Ngati Kahungunu has as among the East Coast tribes restricted application.  It was established in the Wairoa district through Rakaipaaka and Hinemanuhiri, the children of Kahungunu's eldest son Kahukuranui, by his second wife Tuteihonga.  In Hawkes Bay the name followed in the wake of Rakaihikuroa and his sons and grandson.  Thence by sundry migrations and intermarriages the name extended until it superseded other tribal appellations in the territory south of Hawkes Bay.
Here’s more of his abundant wisdom... taken from Lecture 5. 
In the time of Hingangaroa the descendants of Porourangi through Manutangirua were definitely occupying the Uawa district.  Hingangaroa was a great artist, carver and builder.  He was an expert in the building canoes.  It was this that led him and his wife Iranui to visit Kahungunu in the Whakaki district of Wairoa.  Iranui, then in child, saw Kahungunu and his people finishing the body of a canoe and fixing the prow and stern pieces by tying them on by straight joints, tuporo haumi.  A canoe built in this way depended largely on the rauawa or side boards for strength and rigidity.  She told of her husband, who was an expert in such matters and showed her brother the new way of dovetailing the pieces in.  She effectually if not modestly illustrated what she meant by lying down and placing her brother's legs each side of her own.  Hingangaroa was invited to Whakaki and there demonstrated the art of joining haumi.  It was at Whakaki on the beach that Iranui gave birth to her second son, Mahaki.  The gulls pecked at the birth discharge, hence the nickname Ewe-karoro.
Hingangaroa's renown as a master of the arts and crafts of his race is referred to in Rangiuia's lament:
Me ko Manutangirua, ko Hingangaroa;
Ka tu tona whare Te Rawheoro, e;
Ka tipu te whaihanga, e hika, ki Uawa.
Ka puta te whakaitu, te Ngaio-tu-ki-Rarotonga,
Ka riro te manaia, ka riro te taowaru,
Ka taka i raro na i a Apanui, e,
Ka puta ki Turanga.......
This is the most definite and authoritative statement of the existence in this old centre, Uawa, of a school of arts and crafts.  Te Rawheoro became the leading Whare wananga of the East Coast area from Wharekahika to Wairarapa.  Rangiuia who lived in the early part of last century was its last priest and teacher.  Tokipuanga of Ngatiira, Mohi Ruatapu of Tokomaru, Hoani Te Parehuia of Ngati Ira were among the pupils or tauira of Rangiuia.  We shall find the manuscripts left by Mohi Ruatapu and Wi Tamawhaikai, brother of Hoani Te Parehuia very helpful in this course
Hingangaroa's fame attracted experts from other parts of the East Coast and from Te Kaha.  The school he founded, Te Rawheoro, developed into an institution for teaching and maintaining the occult knowledge brought from Hawaiki as well as a school for training in the arts and crafts.  In a later generation Iwirakau (see table paged II) of Waiapu and Tukaki (grandson of Rongomaihuatahi see table paged 9) came to Te Rawheoro for an intensive course in woodcarving.  According to custom they brought a gift, Te Ngaio-tu-ki-Rarotonga, a cloak of the finest fibre and workmanship, and heirloom which some authorities say came with the migrants from Hawaiki, and proffered it in exchange for the knowledge they came to seek.  Iwirakau added to the designs and styles of the Waiapu carvers new details acquired from Uawa, while Tukaki founded at Te Kaha and the neighbourhood one of the most famous schools of carving in pre-Pakeha days.  Outstanding examples of the work of the descendants of Iwirakau from the Port Awanui district may be seen in the Auckland Museum.  But they are surpassed by the carved slabs of the front part of a pataka or storehouse, which had been hidden in a cave north of Te Kaha to save them from the raiding Nga Puhi.  These priceless remains of the art of Tukaki and his descendants are also preserved in the Auckland Museum.
The further story of Te Rawheoro School of Learning may be found in my introduction to Rangiuia's lament from which I have quoted freely in these lectures.  The Maori Purposes Board is supplying the School with eighty copies of the composition as published in the Wananga magazine.
The institution of Te Rawheoro School at Uawa presupposed a state of affairs in the district and among the descendants of Porourangi........
There were born to Iranui by Hingangaroa three sons, TAUA, MAHAKI-EWE-KARORO and HAUITI.  With these three ancestors the compartments into which we can place the main subdivisions of the Ngati Porou tribe acquire definiteness.  We can say, that it is from the eldest, Taua, that the Ngati Porou element in the make-up of the Whanau a Apanui tribe is predominantly derived; that it is from Mahaki-ewe-karoro, the second brother, and his marriage with Hinemakaho, that Ngati Porou proper in the limited application of that designation trace descent; and that Te Aitanga a Hauiti with their centre at Uawa claim the youngest of the sons, Hauiti, as their eponymous ancestor.
                 Check out the book launch in 2007...


I quote here a statement by Wi Pewhairangi, an elder of the Whanau a Ruataupare of Tokomaru:  When the three children of Iranui were born Tamatea-a-Muriwhenua heard of it at Tauranga.  When Taua was born he sent the Pararaki, Te Pananehu and Ngaoho hapus, also Te Ahowaiwai, to be a people for his grandson, Taua.  When these hapus came they were absorbed into the tribe known as Wahineiti.  When Taua and Mahaki saw these people had been sent for them they commenced to persecute their brother Hauiti."We have in this statement an explanation of the traditional account of the large population, which at this time occupied the Uawa district.  The settlements linked up with Whangara in the south and with Tokomaru in the north.  In the fighting which took place between Hauiti and his elder brothers they led large war parties, whose numbers cannot be accounted for by the direct descendants of Porourangi.  In our third lecture we recounted how the elders explained the existence of Ngati Ruanuku.  Wi Pewhairangi accounts for the number of Taua's retainers by importing them from the Bay of Plenty, the habitat of the tangata whenua tribes over whom Toi and his descendants had cast the mantle of their mana and chieftainship.  The names of the tribes sent by Tamatea to be a people for his grandson are familiar in East Coast tradition.  Te Pananehu are associated with the Opotiki district and we will hear of them besieging Kahungunu in his pa Maungaakahia at Nukutaurua on the Mahia peninsula under their leaders Tutamure and Tamataipunoa.  Te Hapu Pararaki are referred to in the patere of Hineiturama of Te Arawa in the following lines:

(Nga Moteatea:  Part 2, song 131)
Mokai taku whaea i riro atu na,
I waiho ai hei hikihiki taua
Ki te ihu o Pauanui, ko te hapu Pararaki
To peha taua e te Kirirarauhe ki te rangi.
The Pararaki people are heard of at Uawa, up the Hikuwai valley and at Tokomaru they were prominent in the killing of Tautini, grandson of Hauiti, at Toiroa pa.  Their name is associated with the ope of Ngai Tuere under Tamakoro, Uetaha and other chiefs when they tracked north from Whangara to recover the lands of Ruawaipu in what is now Matakaoa county.
As to Ngaoho there are several traditions.  One is that it is an ancient name for Te Arawa, representing the semi-devine origin of that tribe.  The legend is that an atua in the form of Toi cohabited with Te Kuraimonoa, chief wife of Toi, and begat Ohomairangi; hence Nga Ohomairangi or Nga Ohomatakamokamo.  As in other cases the name was probably applied to retainers and other nondescript collections of peoples.  At any rate a people called Ngaoho pervaded many parts of the Bay of Plenty and penetrated to northern Waiapu.  We will take up their story in the proper order.

Te Ahowaiwai mentioned by Wi Pewhairangi are among the tangata whenua tribes known to the elders of this district, together with the Pohoumauma, Raupo-ngaoheohe and others.
Wi Pewhairangi tells us, that when these hapus, who were sent by Tamatea to be a people for his grandsons came they were absorbed into the tribe known as Wahineiti.  We have already seen that Ngati Ruanuku and Te Wahineiti were practically one people at the time they slew Poroumata and his sons.  It is very important to remember in this course and in your studies of the settlement of this district the very considerable tangata whenua element in the early population.  You will not otherwise be able to appreciate the many evidences of occupation, especially the hill fortifications and terraced pas which extend all along the seaboard and up the numerous valleys of the Horouta canoe area.
In the story of Taua and his younger brothers we are concerned chiefly with the country north of Uawa and west and north-west of it up the Mangaheia and Hikuwai valleys.  Canoe transport made possible the occupation of these valleys, but the most important settlements were at the mouth of the Uawa river on both sides of the river and along the coast to Anaura, Te Mawhai and north of that point.  According to one authority the great pas were at Te Karaka, Marau and Te Mawhai, and that the brothers lived at the POHATU-A-TIKI pa at Marau.  The name of another pa there was Te Ika-a-Tauira.  Closer in to Uawa and north of it were PAONEONE and PAERAU.  On the west bank of the Uawa river and up the Mangaheia valleys were other great pas, two of which you see as you approach Tolaga Bay township from the north.
In that environment and supported by his numerous retainers Taua lorded it over the peoples of Uawa.  He was the senior male representative of a great line from Hawaiki and Whangara.  But he was overbearing and grasping.  With is younger brother MAHAKI-EWE-KARORO he appears to have exercised his privileges as chief and overlord in a tyrannical manner.
Mahaki was favoured by his elder brother and emulated the latter in manner and conduct.  We have recorded the circumstances of his birth.  Here is another account of it by the late Hone Ngatoto Tuwahiawa, which I quote here as an introduction to a haka fragment, which has survived from the ceremonial opening of Te Kani-a-Takirau meeting house at Uawa:

"Mo Mahaki te tikanga o tenei haka, i whanau atu i a Iranui ki te one i Kaimatai, kei te Whakaki.  Ko te take o te haere a Iranui ki reira, i haere raua ko te tane, ko Hingangaroa, ki te whakaako i a Kahungunu ki te whakatutaki haumi waka. Ka whanau a Mahaki, ka putu te ewe i te akau, ka kainga e te karoro, ka tau atu te kowhitiwhiti o ro rimu ki runga. "Ko Mahaki i mate ki te moana i te whainga i te ika, i te aturere, i te atihakona."
Tona tangihanga... nga roimata tini o te Tairawhiti...

(Awesome stuff)... ka nui te mihi

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