Wahieroa

A party of travelers belonging to Te Pariroa arrived at Whitianaunau; that is the home belonging to Wahieroa son of Tawhaki and Hine Maikuku Makaha Piri Piri.

The name of the chief of that party of traveler's being Whakarau.

Among these folks were seen certain plumes, birds feathers, feathers of the Kohirangi, such was the name, which were of great beauty.

Inquiries were made by the chiefs of Whitianaunau as to whether those birds, the Kohirangi were numerous, the answer being that they were.

Wahieroa enquired; “What is the demeanour of your clans of those parts towards people of other tribes who go there; is it peaceful?”

Whakarau the chief of the party replied; “If numerous, they are well received; if but a small party, it is ill-treated; irresponsible low-class persons are liable to treacherously assail them.”

When Whakarau and his party were about to return to their own region, Manu Korihi enquired; “Which would be the best season to go so as to reach there at a time when the Kohirangi birds are numerous in your district?”

Whakarau replied; “During the season of harvest of tree fruits is the time to visit such places.” Manu Korihi remarked; “my party will go procure lordly plumes of your land.”

Said Whakarau; “Proceed!”

Then Whakarau returned to Pariroa.

Sometime later, when the time of the ripening of the fruits was nigh, the party of Manu Korihi and his high-born companions set forth.

The men of that party were all matured, hardy and active traveler's on long journeys; and these are the names of those chiefs who went with the party.

Manu Korihi, Wahieroa, Paritu, Kohuwairangi, Mangamanga, Kokau, Te Kakau, Tuhoro Punga, Te Iwi i Taia, and others of that party of Whitikau that went to Pariroa.

The party reached Whakauranga, near Pariroa, the home of Ngati Tokorakau, another tribe of whom Te Ngaupara was the chief.

Te Ngaupara then enquired; “Where are you folk going?”

Manu Korihi replied; “To Pariroa, to the home of Matuku Tangotango and of Pou Haokai, to procure plumes of the Kohirangi, a bird, to be used as ornaments.”

Te Ngaupara replied; “You have disregarded me and my people, and my land, and consumed as you came the food products of my land."

"Your party will not be allowed by me to cross the river; you must return!”

Manu Korihi remarked; “The way I have come is a long one, I cannot return, much better to let me proceed.”

Said Te Ngaupara; “You will not pass the obstruction of Te Awa Taranga.”

Manu Korihi spoke; “I have no desire to make war against you, my desire is to go direct to Pariroa to obtain feathers of the Kohirangi bird.”

Te Ngaupara retorted; “I will not allow you to pass!”

Again, Manu Korihi spoke; “Very well; let us now fight it out.”

Te Ngaupara and his party of over one hundred were now suddenly attacked and all slain.

A messenger was dispatched to the rear to hurry up Wahieroa and Tuhoro Punga, who were the leaders of the two rearward bands; and he said unto them; “The enemy has fallen, the Ngati Tokorakau folk including Te Ngaupara, they lie at Te Awa Taranga; advance swiftly in case they have attacked again since I left.”

The two parties pressed eagerly forward in the dead of night.

When Wahieroa and Tuhoropunga arrived with their two parties, Manu Korihi said; “We will cross to the other side of Te Awa Taranga.”

When they had crossed over, and all were collected on the southern side of the river, daylight appeared.

They stopped at that place in order to prepare food for themselves, and, ere long a party of persons appeared advancing on the northern side of the river, the numbers of which armed force of Ngati Tokorakau, according to their appearances might possibly amount to two thousand couples.

The principle chiefs of that force were Mohina and Te Korahi.

On arriving at the bank of the river they were afraid to cross it on account of the water being deep; it could only be crossed by swimming.

When night came, the party of Manu Korihi and his high-born companions proceeded on their journey, while the Ngati Tokorakau did not pursue them.

On arriving at the home of Whakarau and his people they were hospitably received by those folks, whom were numerous people numbering seven thousand couples, or more.

The popular saying was; there they lie as numerous as cockles in a cockle bank, in regard to the numbers of these people.

Whakarau said to the travellers; “Let us go to Pariroa to see Pou Haokai and Matuku Tangotango.”

Manu Korihi enquired; “Can we gain any advantage at Pariroa when we arrive there?”

Said Whakarau; “Certainly an advantage, but let us act with caution, for that division of our people is a cannibal tribe, therefore let us add to our party so as to equal them in numbers.”

When the travellers neared the place, a messenger was dispatched to inform Matuku Tangotango and Pou Haokai that a party of travellers from distant parts, from the North East of Tawhitiroa, was approaching, their chief man being Manu Korihi, whom the fame of the Kohirangi plumes had attracted, but who intended to return home.

The messengers of Whakarau reached their destination and delivered their message to Matuku and Pou Haokai, whereupon the latter said; “I will not agree to persons of other tribes coming here to carry off the Kohirangi plumes."

"Let one of you tell Whakarau to leave his party there, not to bring it here."

"The Kohirangi plumes of the high-born chiefs of Pariroa shall never be taken for other chiefs of places other than Pariroa!”

The messengers dispatched by Whakarau returned to the camp and repeated the remarks of Pou Haokai.

Whakarau remarked to Manu Korihi and his companions; “I will go and see Matuku and Pou Haokai.”

Whakarau went to Pariroa and the matter was discussed, but Pou Haokai and Matuku Tangotango would not consent.

Matuku Tangotango said he would consent if one hundred persons were handed over to them as a food supply.

Whakarau was annoyed and said that he would conduct his party to the place where the Kohirangi bird was in plume, and there take the feathers they wanted for themselves.

Pou Haokai then said; “Do not act in that manner, least the cannibal fires of Pou Haokai should flame up.”

Whakarau replied; “What are the fire flames compared with the overwhelming waters?”

Then Whakarau withdrew.

After he had gone the people of Matuku Tangotango and Pou Haokai assembled at Pariroa and discussed the question of fighting.

When Whakarau returned to camp, the story of his reception by Pou Haokai and others, with their remarks was discussed, and it was decided that the blade of the weapon be lifted.

Manu Korihi and his companions remarked; “We did not come here with the intention of fighting, but as your friends take up that attitude, so be it, we will greet the distant homeland and farewell our folk and home fires.”

“What mode of attack do your people practice?”

Whakarau replied; “The method termed Rangatahi and Kautere Matua.”

Again, Manu Korihi enquired; “And how do you dispose your forces in the forefront?”

Whakarau replied; “In a similar manner.”

Manu Korihi remarked; “Let my plan be adopted in regard to the conduct of the fighting.”

“Let each attacking party consist of five hundred men and let there be six divisions of our forces.”

“Let them remain inactive until the shadows of our advancing enemies fall upon us, and then rise, so that when we rise to attack the enemy will be quite near.”

To this plan Whakarau consented, and the companies were arranged, four being concealed within the channel of the river, while two were placed out in the open to lure onward the force of Pou Haokai and his people.

On the morn of another day the enemy force was seen advancing like unto a forest of drift wood on the face of flood waters.

Manu Korihi proposed that the two companies should take up a position in front and there perform the exercise of defiance, the two companies close together, but the individuals in open order, so that both the eyes and thoughts of the enemy should be fixed on them and not diverted toward other places, until the parties in concealment made themselves known.

The forces of Matuku Tangotango and Pou Haokai advanced until head and shoulders of the company were between the ambuscades lying in concealment, and the members of the company were scattered.

Then arose one of the enveloping companies and some of the enemy fled.

Another company attacked and the force of Pou Haokai became separated; then the third company attacked and the enemy was in serious difficulties.

Then the whole of the companies attacked together and defeated the enemy force.

It is said the plain of Tauwhanga was covered with the bodies of the dead.

Pou Haokai, Matuku Tangotango and many others escaped, owing to the force being a large one.

This defeat became known as Tahumaero.

Then Manu Korihi and Whakarau continued their journey to Pariroa that same night, arriving at that place the next day.

As they advanced, the people of Matuku Tangotango, when they saw them coming, fled to the ranges and forests to hide themselves.

Many of the desired plumes were obtained after the fight of Tahumaero, as also at Pariroa, where huts were plundered, and plumes and other things obtained.

Then the people of the party of Manu Korihi and Whakarau returned to their own districts.

Now when Pou Haokai and others were defeated at Tahumaero some of the captives were carried off as slaves by the party of Manu Korihi.

While on the march Wahieroa was murdered in his sleep by his own slave, who thereupon fled and was never found; he was slain in the night and his body was found next morning. On arriving at Te Awa Taranga, the district of Ngaupara, Manu Korihi and Whakarau with their people encountered the local folk.

On reaching the bank of the river they found the Ngati Tokorakau people assembled in great numbers on the level land at Mahapara, north east of the river.

Whakarau now sent messengers to Kowaiwai; “Tell him that this is the party of Manu Korihi returning to their own lands.”

“Let them proceed in peace to their own place.”

“Through no fault of theirs did your father Ngaupara die; the fault was with your father.”

“Manu Korihi was but defending himself when your father and others of your people perished.”

The messengers returned and stated that the crossing would not be consented to, and if any attempt was made to cross, then the party would be attacked.

Whakarau said to the three messengers; “Go again, and say, if such is your intention then we and the party of Manu Korihi will die together in your presence.”

The three messengers reached their destination and delivered the message of Whakarau, but Kowaiwai, son of Ngaupara said; “What care I for Whakarau!” and he slew two of the messengers.

The other escaped to report the death of his companions and the remark of Kowaiwai.

Whakarau sent for more of his men, and over five hundred came, whereupon the parties of Whakarau and Manu Korihi began making rafts or floats of bark by doubling up or bending the bark, each of which floats carried two persons.

When two thousand of these floats were made, then a crossing was effected, four thousand crossed over and landed; some of these returned to bring back the floats for others.

The whole six thousand then attacked, and the forces of Kowaiwai were in difficulties, and thus could not prevent others crossing.

Thus, the whole of the forces of Whakarau and Manu Korihi crossed the river and took part in the fighting which was carried on until night, continued the next day, even unto night.

In this fighting the Ngati Tokorakau folk were defeated and Kowaiwai was taken captive.

He said to Manu Korihi; “Let me be spared by you?” whereupon Manu Korihi called out; “O man, it is well, there is a proper time for head breaking and a proper time for sparing of life.”

Thus, was the life of Kowaiwai spared.

The Ngati Tokorakau folk were slaughtered; none escaped save Te Kowaiwai.

The bush camps and riverside hamlets of the Tokorakau tribe were raided, and men and woman were captured, including the woman of Kowaiwai.

Whakarau advised that all those lands of Ngaupara of the Whakauranga district be occupied by Manu Korihi, but Manu Korihi replied; “Shall we punish twice the slaying of men who lie spread on the ground, and now take away the land of the woman and children?”

“Let them remain here; I did not come here to fight and only consented to do so in order to clear my path, nothing more.”

“The way is now clear before me, so let them remain here and dwell in their homes.” Whakarau and his people now returned to their own district and Manu Korihi and his party came back to their home at Whitianaunau, bringing with them the feathers of the Kakerangi and Kohiwai and Kohirangi birds; such were the tail feathers obtained by them.”

It is said that those feathers were remarkably handsome.

When they arrived at Whitikau, the home of the wife and people of Wahieroa, and they heard Wahieroa was dead, much weeping and mourning was begun.

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