Niwareka

Whakaruaumoko the youngest son of Rangi Potiki and Papatuuaanuku married Hine Nui te Poo and had Hine Oi.

Hine Oi married Putahanga and had Manutionga who married Ue Tanga whose daughter was Niwareka.

Niwareka lived in Rarohenga with her family.

One day Ue Tanga and his people visited the village of Mataora in the world above and when Mataora saw Niwareka he asked her father if he may marry her to which he consented.

Niwareka became the wife of Mataora and lived with him in the world above after her family returned to Rarohenga.

One day Mataora beat her, and she ran away back home to the underworld.

Mataora realized his loss and followed her, and when he came to Pou Tererangi the house of Kuwatawata he asked, "Where is the road to the world below?"

Kuwatawata said, "There it is, at the back of the house."

Then he opened the door to the dark world, and Mataora looked down and saw people walking about, and houses standing there.

He went below, and down there he met Tiwaiwaka the fantail, and asked him, "Have you met anyone?"

“Yes,’ said Tiwaiwaka.”

“One came past who was crying and sobbing.”

“She has gone now."

Mataora went on, and came to the fire used by the tattooers; Ue Tanga the Tohunga was there, tattooing a man.

Ue Tanga stared at the marks on the face of Mataora, then he stretched out his hand and wiped them off, saying, "your tattooers in the world above don’t know how to do their work properly."

Then Mataora was thrown down and was tattooed.

When he felt the pain, Mataora chanted this spell:

Niwareka,

Niwareka,

Kawe noa i a au Ki te poouriuri,

Ki te pootangotango.

Whaakina te mamae o te ipo Kai Ahuahu,

Kai Rangatira,

Kai Nukumoanariki.

Ko Kurareiara,

ko Taranaki.

Kai Taranaki hoki te ipo, toro hohoro e.

The news of the chant of Mataora reached the house where Niwareka was living at Aroarotea, spending her time there weaving cloaks.

When she heard the song, she went to the place where the tattooers were at work.

Her father Ue Tanga scolded her and told her to go away.

But she did not listen to him, and asked Mataora, "Will you chant your spell?"

He did so, and she listened to him chanting part of his spell, which was as follows:

Whaaki ki te Uru, whaaki ki te Tonga,

Whaaki ki te Whakarua, e.

Tirotiro ko Rangi ki te whetu,

Whakataha too mata ki te marama au nei.

He moko puhi raakau au nei, He moko puhi raakau au nei.

Whaakina te tahu kia rongona,

Whaakina te tahu kia rongona.

Mokimoki te kakara kia urua, e i.

Ko ure kaa, ko ure kaa mai te Houpuni e.

Taki ai au kia whakarongo, e i.

When Niwareka heard this second chant she realized that this was Mataora.

When Ue Tanga had finished, Niwareka took her husband into the house where she had been weaving cloaks, and she looked after him.

After his wounds had healed, Mataora said to her, "Let us return to the upper world."

At first Ue Tanga would not consent because of the violent ways of the world above, so Mataora agreed to remain in Rarohenga with Niwareka and learn the ways of their people.

In time the family of Niwareka consented to Mataora returning to the world above with Niwareka under the agreement that Mataora give Kuwatawata one of the cloaks woven by Niwareka so as she may keep the doorway open between the worlds and Niwareka could return to her family.

So they went up, and when they reached Pou Tererangi again, they passed through it.

Niwareka left first and Mataora followed carrying the cloak he was to give Kuwatawata, but Mataora had other plans and refused to give Kuwatawata his wife’s cloaks as a payment for allowing them to travel over the road to the underworld.

When she saw this, Kuwatawata called after them, "Mataora, farewell.”

“The road to the underworld, and the road to the world above, are now blocked up forever.”

“Living Man will never again travel that road."

This pleased Mataora for now Niwareka could never run away from him again and return home.

Mataora lived with Niwareka in this world.

Hence this saying about tattooing:

“It was Mataora who taught the art of Ue Tanga, the art of tattooing."

This is another saying: "The essence of Mataora - The art of Ue Tanga.”

Niwareka, Ko Hapopo me Paoa

Rangiroa and Takireia, while living quietly in their home, heard of the fame of Niwareka, the daughter of Hapopo.

Then they selected a hundred and seventy men of their tribe, and went to the home of Hapopo, and, having found Niwareka there almost alone, one of the party asked, while all the others were silent, "Where are the people?”

She answered, “They are yonder, out on the plain."

He asked, “What are they doing?”

She answered, “They are chanting songs and offering sacrifice to Ra."

He asked, “For what purpose?”

She answered, “To suppress the ill feeling of the people, and to give quiet to the land."

He asked, "Which is the way thither?"

She said, " It is that leading by the Huatu that is the road."

The party proceeded on this road, when a messenger came to inform them that on the following day the Ra or shade of Hapopo would be put up.

All the hundred and seventy agreed to assist in erecting the shade of Hapopo.

When it was finished all the people gazed at it with wonder and delight.

The shade was taken down again, but in lowering, it fell on the people of Rangiroa and Takireia, and killed all except Rangiroa and Takireia, who ran to the home of Paoa.

He asked them, “What has been done?”

They answered, “Nothing is left."

Paoa said, “In my sleep I dreamt I heard a voice saying, it is an oven like this, an oven like that, and a heaped-up oven."

"Now, when the people of Hapopo found that two had escaped destruction, they pursued them; but Paoa caused a great wind to rise, and the pursuers had to return without capturing them.

Paoa now called to the two and said, “Up and make ready for battle."

They answered “Yes; but what can the escaped do?”

Paoa replied, “Charge back on your enemies."

But the remembrance of their late severe loss and narrow escape deprived them of all courage and heart to act.

So they performed all the rites and ceremonies which were required to be performed by those who escape a calamity, with chants and with offerings of blood to the gods ; and on the following day, in battle costume, they went to perform the final ceremony by killing a bird and offering it to the gods; then, returning to the settlement, they performed the ceremonies of absolution and offered sea-weed to the gods; then they danced and sang, and came to the front of Mua, where they again chanted the sacred chants to the gods; then by friction they made a fire, and roasted the bird they had before presented, and ate it.

They slept before Mua, and on the following day they again presented sea-weed to the gods; but, as satisfaction had not yet been obtained for the death of the people, messengers were sent to Tukenui, Tukepe, Tukerora, Uhumaneanea, Uaua, Tete, Whakana, and Mahara, to come and lay siege to the house of Hapopo.

These people quickly assembled; but before they went up to the attack, they sent out spies, who heard the god of Hapopo exclaiming “O medium! It is death to them. I say, O medium! When the rays of first dawn stream up, the rope will have caught round the neck, O medium!"

Whatuatihi was one of the spies sent, and he took some fern-root and waved it towards the oracle as an offering to propitiate him.

In answer to this act the god spoke kindly and said, “Why should action be taken? What good would result? We are now at peace, O medium! Good could not come from further hostility."

When the rays of day burst through the darkness of the east, the war-party of Takireia and Rangiroa had surrounded the house of Hapopo, and in the fight which ensued Hapopo was killed; but as he was dying, he was heard to utter, " O idiot god! You left death for Hapopo."

All his people were killed, save a few who escaped and fled to the home of Tutoko and Rauriki.

But the army of Rangiroa and Takireia continued to storm fort after fort.

They took Maikukuoterangi and Raekumea, which the sons of Rangiroa burnt.

Then they attacked and took Temiki, and Uruterangi, and Takutaioterangi.

All these were taken by Rangiroa and his sons.

Then Tepari and Teawe were stormed and taken.

Matuautere and Te Kaiwhakapono were killed at this time.

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