Te Ika a Maui, or New Zealand and its Inhabitants
Chapter X. Songs
Chapter X. Songs.
Many of their Songs, which are extremely numerous, contain very beautiful ideas. The metre is difficult to describe; there being no regular measure of verse. The chief object is to make the lines suit their tunes, which a musical gentleman described as reminding him of the Gregorian chants.*
They have songs on every subject, on love and war, as well as incantations, laments, and traditions, and no man would be esteemed an eloquent orator if he could not introduce several quotations from them, containing allusions applicable to the subject on which he is speaking. In addition to these there are numerous nursery and boat songs. The deeds of their warriors are thus handed down.
* See page 27.
Ko te popo a Te Rangitakoru mo tana tamahine, mo Wharaurangi. Te Rangitakoru's nursery song for his daughter, for Wharaurangi. E hine aku, ki to kunenga mai i tawiti, O, my daughter, when you came from afar, Ki te whakaringaringa, ki te wha-kawaewae, And your hands were formed, and your feet, Te wakakanohi-tanga, ka manu, e hine, te waka i a Ruatea, And your face, you floated, O daughter, Ko Kurahaupo, ka iri mai taua, i runga i Aotea ko te waka ia Turi, In the Kurahaupo, Ruatea's canoe, When you embarked in the Aotea, the canoe of Turi, Kau mai taua te ngutu whenua kura, You forded the whenua kura at its mouth, Hanga iho te whare Rangitawi; Thence was made the house of Rangitawi; Tiria mai te kumara, Let us plant the kumara, Ka ruia mai te karaka ki te taiao nei; And sow the karaka, in the land bordering the sea; Karia iho te pou tamawahinei, Sink deep the post, Ka waiho i Nga tua hine, i a Nonoko-uri, Leave it for Nga tua hine, from Nonoko-uri, I a Nonoko-tea, ko te Hererunga, ko te Korohunga. From Nonoko-tea, the Hererunga and Korohunga. Kapua mai e Hau ko te one ki te ringa, Hau took up some sand in the palm of his hand, and his staff. Ko te tokotoko. Ka witi i te awa, When he crossed over the river, Ka nui ia, ko Wanga-nui; Finding it was wide he called it Wanga-nui; Tiehutia te wai, ko Wangae-hu; Splash the water, that will reach Wangae-hu; [kina; Ka hinga te rakau, ko Turakina; The length of a fallen tree, is Tura- Tikeitia te waewae, ko Tikei; Having many times lifted up his feet, Tikei; Ka tatu, e hine, ko Manawatu; When his heart sank within him, Manawatu; Ka rorohio nga taringa, ko Hokio; When the wind whistled past his ears, Hokio; Waiho te awa iti hei ingoa mona ki Ohau; The small river he called, Ohau; Takina te tokotoko, ko Otaki; When he carried his staff in a horizontal position, Otaki;page 140 Kamehameha, ehine, ko Wai-mea; When he prayed, O daughter, it was Wai-mea; Ka ngahae nga pi, ko Wai-kanae; When he looked out of the corner of his eye, Wai-kanac; Ka tangi ko to mapu, e hine, When he became weary, my daughter, he reached Wai-raka. Ka kite koe i a Wai-raka: Matapoutia; poua ki runga, poua ki raro, He repeated an incantation, She became fixed above, and fixed below, Ka rarau, e hine. Ka rarapa nga kanohi, And she remained immovable. Ko Wai-rarapa—te rarapatanga o to tupuna, My daughter, when his eyes glistened with delight, E hine—ka moiki te ao, He called the place Wai-rarapa, It was the rejoicing of your ancestors, my daughter. The sky became cloudless, Ko te pai a Waitiri; On account of Waitiri's good will. Kumea kia warea Kaitangata She then enticed Kaitangata out to sea: Ki waho ki te moana: Hanga te paepae, poua iho, te pou She placed the plank across, Whakamaro te rangi, ko Meremere: And drove in a post to hold on by, called Meremere. Waiho te Whanau, ko te punga She left to her offspring, Punga, the anchor of his canoe, O tona waka ko te Awhema. As his name, Awhema. [ter. Kati, ka waka mutu, e hine. Enough, it is finished, O my daugh-
Hau came in one of the canoes above mentioned. The cause of the journey he undertook was to look for Wai-raka, his wife, who had eloped with a man named Weku. Upon reaching the first river, he named it, from its great width, Wanga-nui (the great mouth). Passing on to the next river, he describes it as being so near that he could splash the water of the Wanga-nui as far, and, therefore, named it Wanga-ehu (the splashed mouth), from tiheu, which signifies to splash, or bale water. The next was so near, that if he felled a tree growing on the banks of the Wanga-ehu, the head of it would reach the river which he called Tura-kina (felled), from turaki, to throw down. Having to walk a considerable distance to the next river, he called it Tikei (a pace), from tikei, the page 141 action of the legs in walking; it is now called Rangitikei. Passing on, he came to a large river, which he feared he should not be able to cross; this, therefore, he named Manawa-tu, (the depressed spirit). As he proceeded on his way, the wind whistled past his ears, and he called the place where he was at the time Hokio. The next small creek he called Ohau, perhaps after himself. He now carried his staff in a horizontal position; the next river was, therefore, called Otaki, from taki, to level a spear when making a charge. When he strengthened himself by praying and repeating karakia, he called the place Wai-mea, from mehameha, to make sacred. At the next river he looked out slyly from the corner of his eye to see if he could discover his wife, and called the place Waikanae. He breathed hard when he reached the place, where Wairaka was sitting with her paramour, at Te Paripari, the termination of the Tararua range. He said to her, “Wairaka, I am exceedingly thirsty; fetch me some water.” She got up and walked down to the sea with a calabash in each hand. When she was up to her knees, she commenced filling them. He called to her to go further; she went in up to her waist; he bid her go still deeper, and she went on again till the water nearly covered her shoulders. He then repeated a karakia; she became petrified, and has remained so ever since. Leaving her there, a rock in the sea, still bearing her name, he joyfully went on his way, and called the next place Wairarapa (the river of joyfulness), from rarapa, the glistening of the eyes with delight. The poet then informs his daughter that it was the rejoicing of her ancestor.
A reference is here made to the myth of Waitiri's erection of a temple of Cloacina, which is a chief Maori constellation. “Hanga te paepae” means, literally, to form a barrier, but is here a large plank, for which the stake called meremere* was also required. This and the remainder forms a portion of the myth of Tawaki.
The song is a very interesting one as it gives the origin of the name of every place from Wanganui to Wairarapa. In another version, it is attributed to Turi, and begins at Patea.
* Meremere, the evening star.
He Waiata Aroha.
A love song, composed by a young woman of the Nga-ti-kahununui tribe.
Mapunapuna ai, The tears gush from my eyes, He wai kei aku kamo; My eyelashes are wet with tears; Noho mai i roto na, But stay my tears within, Kei korerotia nahaku tonu koe. Lest you should be called mine. Kei ringa mau, e! Alas! I am betrothed (literally, my hands are bound). Mo te Maunu ra, It is for te Maunu, E kai nei i au. That my love devours me. Me tangi atu au, But I may weep indeed, E hika, ki a koe, Beloved one, for thee. Te tangi a Tinirau, Like Tinirau's lament Ki tana mokai, kia Tutunui, For his favorite pet, Tutunui, Ka mate i a Ngae. Which was slain by Ngae. Na! Alas!
He Waiata Aroha.
A song, composed by a person whose friend had been taken prisoner by Hongi Hika, at the River Thames, in 1823.
Takotomai te marino, Smooth is the sea, Horahia i waho na; Spread out in open space; Hei paki omanga Fair and clear Mo Waowaotupuni. For Waowaotupuni to run. Noku te wareware, The forgetfulness is mine, Te wai rangi au That I do not follow Te hukanga wai hoe, In the splash of the oar, Nan, e Ahurei! Of thee, O Ahurei! Kai tonu ki te rae, With the eye to the point, Ki Kohirae; Even to Kohirae; Marama to titiro From whence can be seen Te puia i Wakaari. The steam on Wakaari.* Kei te ruru tonu mai, How fine and how calm, Ka wche te marino! How smooth and how fair! Hei kawe i a koe To carry you To pou o te kupenga. To the post of the net. Na Taramainuku, Of Taramainuku, Kowai au ka kite. A stranger to me. Kurehu ai te titiro, The sight has become dim,page 143
* White Island, in the Bay of Plenty, a smoking crater.
Ki Moehau raia. By looking at Moehau. Me kawe rawa ra, He is taken to extreme distance, Hei hoko paura; To buy powder; Ki tawiti riro ra, Yea, to extreme distance, Ki te ketunga rimu. From whence the sea-weed is broken up.
He Waiata Aroha.
A love song.
E to e te ra! rehu ki te rua, O set thou sun! sink into thy cavern, Ringiringi a wai, te roimata i aku kamo. Thou causest to gush like water the tears from my eyes. He mea mahue au te hikoinga wae, I am a deserted one through the stepping out of the feet, Nou, e Taratiu, wakangaro atu ana. Of thee, Taratiu, long hidden from my sight. Nga kurae koe, o Waiohipara, wakaahu ahi ana te tara ki miti tai. Thy distant hills, Waiohipara, and the flowing surface of the water, appear bright like a fire. Kei raro taku atua e aroha nei au. My idol, whom I love, is below. Kati te wairua te mahi te haramai; Let thy spirit cease from visiting me; Ka mutu iaranei te rangikane-tanga. If, perchance, I may forget my sorrowing.
Te Tangi a te Rangiwakaurua.
Te Rangiwakaurua's Lament.
Nei ka noho i te po roa o Matiti. Here I sit through summer's long night. Mokohiti noa te tau o taku ate. My heart is always beating for my beloved. Nuku mai, e hine, kia piri mai koe; Come near me, my daughter, and keep by my side; Wakarukeruke noa i runga i aku ringa. Thou art ever restless when I nurse thee. Kia marama au, me titiro ki uta, Obstruct not my vision while gazing inland Ki te waka tuku mai, ki te ao rere mai. At the approaching canoe and the cloud drawing near. Paneke ake ana te tara ki Haumapu. Its edge, as it rises, approaches Haumapu.page 144 Ko o tipuna i ora, i hoki mai ki au; Thy ancestors lived and remained with me; Ka ruia ratou ki raro ki Paerau. But they are driven downwards to Paerau.* E Toko ma, e! nau mai ki konei: O Toko and thy party welcome me: Ka puhangarua au, nga toro a tawiti. I am afflicted with a disease from afar. He maka wiu au kia turakina atu I must haste to hew down Nga uru rakau ki Tahoraparoa; The thicket of spears at Tahoraparoa; Kia mauru ake ai te aroha, That my spirits may be soothed, I au ki taku wenua. Which are excited for my land.
The natives consider their lands as their ancestors, because they always remain in the family. Though the original possessors have passed away, the lands are still the same, and descend from the fathers to their children. Te Rangiwakaurua's possessions had been overrun by the Ngatimaru, who had burned his forests and destroyed his property. He therefore, informs his daughter, Te Oiroa, that though he belonged to her ancestors, they were now destroyed and sent down to Paerau,* one of the abodes of departed spirits.
The words “nga uru rakau” means literally a thicket of trees, though used here for a thicket of spears, in allusion to the great number of invaders. Tahoraparoa is the general name given to his land.
Ko te Tangi a te Ngahuru. Te Ngahuru's Lament. E muri ahiahi ka totoko te aroha, In the evening my love melts within me, Wairua o te hanga ka wehe i ahau. For the spirit of the being who is separated from me. Wai te teretere, e rere i waho ra? Whose is the company that sails along yonder? Nou, e te Kohu! E hoki koutou, It is thine, O Kohu! But do you return, Ripa ki te wehnua, ki Maketu raia. Towards the mainland, even to Maketu.page 145
* A region of Hades.
Tenei matou, kei runga i te toka. Here are we, clinging to a rock. Me rauhi mai te wairua kau, We may weep over the wreck Te waka ra e! i tataia mai. Of the canoe, which was gaily adorned Toroa i te wai, kia paia atu koe, With albatross feathers, to excite admiration, Haere ki raro ra, ki Hauraki raia, When we went northward to Hauraki, Hei matakitaki mate nui a Timaru. And be looked upon with envy by the Ngatimaru. Nei ka pae noa ki Maukaha raia, i! But now it is wrecked upon Maukaha, Alas!
Waiata Maori. Te Tangi a te Uira.* Ra te haeata, The bright sun-beams Takiri ana Shoot down upon Ki Tauwara ra; Tauwara, whose Pae tau arai ki a koe Lofty ridge veils thee from E Amo e aroha nei au. My sight. O Amo, my beloved, Waiho ra mata, Leave me, that my eyes Kia mihi au,— May grieve, and that Kia roa i te mihinga— They may unceasingly mourn, Ka tuku tenei, For soon must I descend Ki te tai pouri, To the dark shore— Ki taku makau mate. To my beloved, who has gone before.
* Te Uira was a lady of great rank, and mother of the celebrated warrior and renowned orator, Te Maniapoto, chief of the tribe of Ngatimaniapoto, living on the banks of the Waikato river, near the borders of the Taupo Lake. At the time of her decease, he was at Tauwara, a high mountain near Waipaihi, digging red ochre with his principal warriors. The dying mother could see the mountain from her death bed, and remarked that it came between her and the spot where her son, sometimes called Te Amo, was at work. She desired her weeping friends not to try to console her; that she had but a short time to live, and wished thus to show her love for her son, as she was now about to join her departed husband.
Ra te marama, ka mahuta, There the moon appears I te pae na runga mai koe, From the range above you, Ko au hei raro nei, Whilst I remain below, Tiro noa atu ai, ki wahoki, Looking in vain for your return. I te moana, he purenga poti mai, From the sea I hear a pulling of the Nau, e Tapora, e ahu ana Boat (by the oar) towards me! I a te tai ki, i nga motu, Thine, O Tapsall, approaches Ko au te eke atu te tera, o waho, From the sea from nga motu Mokai taupiri nana i arai mai te kite atu au, The sprit-sail is not seen by me, For the Mokai Taupiri shades Te waki a Pehi toro mai to ringa, It from the view, but my heart Hari ru taua, wara wara tai ki ha. Confesses it is Pehi. Stretch out your hand, how do you Do, very well I thank you.
One peculiarity in their songs is the cutting short different words to avoid harshness, and adding syllables for euphony.
Every tribe has also its Motto, some of which may, perhaps, be regarded as war cries, others as terms of reproach.
Some of these mottoes are given them by other tribes. These are generally reflecting on them: of this kind is the following:
Waikato hoehoe waka nukenuke.—Waikato paddles are crooked. A simile drawn from their shape, which, unlike others, are crooked; this is applied by their enemies to their general character, as being deceitful, and is a term of reproach.
Waikato taniwa rau.—Waikato has its hundred taniwas; which signifies, that it has its hundred great and powerful chiefs; a great man being called “he ika,” a fish, or “he taniwa,” a fish god.
Te wai nui a Tarawera.—The great water of Tarawera is a name to express the number and power of the Wanganui natives.
Te koura puta roa.—A simile drawn from the cray fish, which, though the legs may be pulled off, escapes amongst the stones; so the Wanganui natives cannot be taken.
Nga keri keringa a Ruauoko.—The digging of Ruauoko. Ru is the father of rivers; it is an exclamation of admiration for the Wanganui river.page 147
Mo tai tangata rau.—A saying for the number and power of the Nga ti rau kawa.
Nga ti awa te toki, te tanga tanga i te ra.—The fastening or tying of the toki (hatchet) cannot be loosened by the heat of the sun, to show that no attacks would weaken them.
Te karaka i ruia mai i runga O Rangi atea.—The karaka, which was sown on Rangiatea, a mountain of Hawaiki, too great to be overlooked.
E kore Taranaki e ngaro he harakeke to ngai nui, no roto no Waiwiri.—Taranaki cannot be destroyed; it is like the flax plant, which is nourished every year by the dead leaves of the former, which lay around the roots.
Rangi tihi te upoko, waka herehere.—A motto for Rotorua.
Nga ti Maru kohao rau.—Nga ti Maru is like a hundred eel holes, referring to the many little scattered divisions of this tribe.
Waikato horo pounamu.—A bluff at the Waikato heads, where many canoes have been lost, and chiefs drowned; hence applied to Waikato, as a chief-destroying tribe.
Nga ti paoa taringa rahi rahi.—Nga ti paoa have thin ears, or sensitive ones; they cannot brook an insult.
Puhi taniwa rau.—A saying for the Nga puhi, similar to that for Waikato.
Nga puhi o te arawa.—The bunches of the pigeon's feathers of the arawa. The Nga puhi are very indignant at this saying.