The Return to Tahiti From Rangiaatea

After Whatonga, Turahui and their people had been absent a long time, on a certain occasion, the love increased very much on the part of Mokoeaea, the mother of Turahui who was still living at Tahiti towards her lost son.

Turahui was the son of the sister of Whatonga, Taputeariki.

She decided to visit the Tohunga tuaahu, and consult them.

She said to them, “Send the pet bird of my son to search out his master, Turahui.”

Now that pet was a bird, a wharauroa named Te Kawa.

She said, “It alights sometimes and then again is lost to view”.

To this the tohunga consented, and they fastened a tau ponapona to the neck of the bird, which was a message asking, “Is it well with you all?”

“Where are you all living?”

Those were all the words of the message on the tau ponapona, and then Te Kawa was taken to the tuaahu and from thence allowed to depart.

Let the narrative stop here for the present and return to Rangiaatea.

On a certain morning the child of Turahui was crying, so the latter said to his wife, “Give the child to me.”

When this was done Turahui went outside the house and walked about with the child.

His eyes turned towards the rising sun on the horizon of the Great sea of Kiwa.

As he looked, emotion arose in his breast at the thoughts of his home at Tahiti.

He sat down and cried with the child.

When his wife within the house heard him, she came forth and asked, “What is it you are crying about?”

Turahui replied, “On account of our child, and because on seeing the sun rise on the sea horizon, love for my old home overcame me.”

At that moment the bird Te Kawa arrived and alighted on the gable of Rangiaatea house; the houses of that island were very high and shaped like a heap.

When the bird heard the voice of Turahui he called down, “Are you Turahui?”

Now Turahui knew at once the voice of his pet bird, so replied, “Are you Te Kawa?”

At this the bird flew down and alighted on the shoulder of Turahui.

He gave the child to its mother, and caressed the bird in his hands, and began to tangi.

When the people of his own Waka, and the local people heard the wailing, they wondered what Turahui was crying about and ran down to see what was the matter.

Whatonga called out to the people, “There is Te Kawa, a pet bird belonging to Turahui; it has come from our own island!”

When their own people heard this, they all gathered round Turahui and commenced to tangi, as if it had been after a battle.

After the tangi was over, the aho ponapona was untied from the bird’s neck and examined, and the message read and understood.

A message was now sent in reply as follows: “We are all safe, and at Rangiaatea,” and the bird was dispatched.

It flew upward and then went off towards the east -whakarawhiti marangai-.

Tahiti, is E.S.E. from Rai’aatea.

When Turahui saw this he said, “That is the direction to take.”

Whatonga now spoke to the head-chief, Rangiaatea, and said, “O Sir! now indeed has the desire sprung up in us to return, because the pet-bird of Turahui has arrived.”

Rangiaatea consented to this proposal, and steps were at once taken to prepare six Waka for sea, to carry the men, women and children, besides some of the brothers-in-law and fathers-in-law of the local people; it was through this cause that six Waka were necessary.

There were three different kinds of people in Rangiaatea -e toru ahua nei o nga iwi o taua motu nei, i Rangiaatea- at that time.

One was light -kiritea- colored with uru korito -light colored, sometimes slightly reddish, but not like that of Europeans hair-, and of a slender build; others were takupu -short, stout-, but well built, and both men and women walked and stood upright -poupou-.

Another kind -tu-, had pakaka hair -dull reddish, but still not the red of the European hair-, and thick -taranui-, straight, and stiff.

Some of the people had hair in little curls -mawhata-, some hair was crisp -mingi-, and the people were reddish in their skins, and were lean, thin -kokau-, in growth; their legs were short in the calves, not muscular -aterere-.

Both men and women were athletic, strong -pakari- in growth.

Another kind of people had dark skins -kiri waitata-, and were very dark in color-parauri-, with hair standing out from the head -puihiihi-; the hair was -piki mawhatu- very dark, and they had flat faces and noses -ihu patiki-, and the nostrils of the nose were fattened out below -kaupararii-, with over-hanging, prominent -wharewhare- eyebrows; their legs were thin, with small calves -ate mango-.

They were upright, and lean in stature, with no flesh in appearance, only bone.

They were quite small in stature -ririki marire-.

It is from this people that is derived the Urukehu, or light-haired strain that is occasionally found in the Maaori people of Aotearoa.

Rangiaatea appointed fifty young men and young women to wait upon his grandchildren, the children of Turahui, and one special Waka was told off for them.

But the names of the Waka that went from Rangiaatea have not been recorded.

When the day arrived for Whatonga and his people to depart, Rangiaatea said to him, “O Tonga! Depart in peace.”

“Let my grandson be called Rangiaatea after me”, to which both Whatonga and Turahui consented.

Again, Rangiatea said, “If he grows up, send back our grandchild to take my place here”.

Whatonga replied, “I thought, O Rangi! he tikitiki tangata ma te wae wae e whai ake, he tikitiki uru ma te runga e patiki”.

Rangiaatea replied, “It is well, I will go for him in due time.”

When the fleet of Waka got outside to the rollers, they rested there whilst their crews bid farewell to the taangata whenua, and these latter reciprocated towards the ocean-travelling party, Rangiaatea calling out, “’Tonga depart in peace! When the bows of your Waka shall touch the eyebrow of the land, send two kura to me, one of them to be a kuraawatea, one a kurahaupo, so that I may know that you and our grandson have safely reached the shore.”

To this request Whatonga held up his hand and shut down the fingers on the palm, a sign of assent.

So, the people paddled away in their Waka, and after some distance had been covered, the bird Te Kawa descended on to one of the Waka.

He came with a message to enquire if they intended to return to their own country.

Behold now the work of the tau ponapona, or knotted string!

Then the people paddled on until one night they reached a small island on the coast of Tahiti.

In the morning the local people saw smoke curling up from the little island, and then some men were sent in a small Waka to enquire who the strangers were, when Whatonga replied, “It is Whatonga and Turahui.”

On hearing this the little Waka returned ashore, the men shouting out as they went along that Whatonga and Turahui had returned.

The messengers were then told to return and ask Whatonga and his people to remain on the little island until the people from all the villages were assembled, and then he would be notified.

As soon as everybody had assembled at the pa, the notice was sent, and then all the Waka of the voyagers, except one which was left at the island with some men to take care of the dogs that Rangiaatea had sent as food, and their skins for clothing, for his grandchild put off and landed on the main island, where a great welcome was accorded them.

Then the strangers were requested to remain outside the pa, whilst Whatonga and Turahui were taken up to the tuaahu so that the tohunga, might perform the proper ceremonies over them to avert all evil influence after their long absence.

After this was over Whatonga said to the tohunga, “Let two kura be sent; one, the kurahauawatea, the other the Kurahaupo, in order that our ariki, Rangiaatea may be assured that we have safely reached Hawaiki, our home.”

The tohunga consented to this.

The pure was then completed over Whatonga and the others, and then all entered the pa, and the tangi was held.

Then commenced speech making and the communication of the events that had occurred since the others had been absent.

Whatonga Sails for Aotearoa in the Kurahaupo

During the course of the speeches, allusion was made to the probability of Toi te huatahi having been lost at sea.

On hearing further particulars, Whatonga asked as to the period when Toi left, and then the story of his departure to search for his grandson was communicated as already given above.

On learning this Whatonga was much grieved, and felt great sorrow for his grandfather.

Then he enquired of the people as to who owned a Waka suitable for a sea voyage.

He was told that Turangi possessed one that was suitable, and which had been used in striving against boisterous seas; it had three haumi tuporo, one at the bows, two at the stern, with twenty-six thwarts, two puna wai, or wells -bailing places-, and two anchors.

Whatonga then asked, “Who will join in making a crew for my Waka?”

“They must be experienced men and strong to paddle.”

The Waka was then prepared by adding pairi -wash boards- to the bows, and coating it over with tree-gum -pia rakau- and by painting with oil of the ururoa shark, and after that by painting it with red-ochre.

Fifty-two men were chosen as a crew, four others to see to the safety of it, and two to look after the two anchors; four men to look after the ropes of the sails, two men in charge of the steering paddles at the stern, two men to look after the ahi pua.

Altogether sixty-six men were chosen.

Now, the old name of this Waka was Te Hawai, and when she was completed for her voyage, she was drawn down to the turuma, where the pure ceremonies were performed over her, and the new name of Kurahaupoo given her.

The following is the karakia said over Kurahaupoo:

Too ake nei au i taku waka,

Te waka na Turangi ee.

Ko Hawai taku waka.

Too ake nei au i taku waka,

He waka ihu moana.

Too ake nei au i taku waka;

He waka taua na Tamawhai, na Turangi

Too ake au i taku waka,

Ko Kurahaupoo.

He waka uruuru moana,

He waka uruuru kapua;

Nou, e Tirea, i te marama i whanake.

Too ake nei au i taku waka, horonuku atea

Horo moana waipu;

Kia ea ake ana koee,

Te toi whenua ki au, E Kurahaupoo ee,

Kia ea ake ana koe ko te toi whenua a,

Kia ea ake ana koe ko te Toi te hua tahi,

Ki au ee, he toi tangata.

He toi tipua, he toi mai ki auu,

Whakauru tu ki tawhiti.

Whakauru rangi, ki mama,

Ki te ihu whenua i a koe e Toi ee!

Tenei au te whanatu nei,

Tenei au te paneke atu nei,

Tenei te turuki atu nei

He toi ka wheau ki tawhiti,

He toi ka wheau mai ki au.

Kumea mai kia piri,

Kumea mai ki taku aro,

He toi matua, e taiki ee

Ki tenei tama ee, ii.

After this karakia had been recited, Kurahaupoo was dragged down to the water at daylight, and the crew commenced to take up their appointed places at the various twenty-six thwarts mentioned above.

The two thwarts of the stern were occupied by Whatonga and his younger brother Mahutonga, who was the priest of the Waka and had in his charge the gods Maru, Tunuiateika and Ruamano, all of which were accommodated in the stern.

The thwart at the after-well -puna wai- was occupied by Ruatea and his wife; that beyond the well was assigned to Tamaahua and his wives, with two other thwarts; the next two thwarts were given to Hatauira and his companions, and that beyond to Te Maungaroa, as well as one in the bow; next came Taramanga, father of Tarapaoa, and here was the other well.

Next to that came Tokaroa and his friends.

Now, the bailers of the after-well were named Rukumoana and Kaukaumoana, so named in remembrance of the part Turahui and the others having been driven out to the deep sea in the land wind during the Waka race formerly mentioned.

The three paddles of Whatonga were named Maninikura, Tangitewiwini and Tangitewawana.

The Kurahaupoo soon after reached Rarotonga, where Whatonga made enquiries as to whether his grandfather, Toi, had been there.

Tatao replied that Toi had been there, but had gone on to Tiritiriotemoana, the land on which the clouds and mists rest, to search for him and his companions.

Whatonga then asked in what month it was that Toi left.

The reply was he left in Ihomutu.

Whatonga now expressed his desire to go on and continue the search for his grandfather.

At this Ruatea said, “O Whatonga! I intend to stay here, but Turi and I will follow later on,” to which Whatonga consented, and so Ruatea remained there, whilst Te Awe, father of Potikiroa, went in his place.

When the month of Tatauurutahi arrived the Kurahaupoo came away from Rarotonga and sailed on to Aotearoa.

So Kurahaupoo came on her way and made the land at a certain island beyond or outside the rerenga wairua -Cape Reinga, North Cape- outside Haumu, that is, Muriwhenua -North Cape-, where they stopped to catch fish.

After that they proceeded down the West Coast to Tongaporutu -forty miles north of New Plymouth- where they came to an anchor.

Here they enquired of the tangata whenua who were living there, whether they had heard of a man named Toi.

A woman named Tawhiri, who was of the Ngai Ruatomore tribe and was the wife of Paepaenuku, of the Pananehu tribe, replied, “Toi lives on the east side of this island; if you were to travel overland you would not be long in reaching there.”

Whatonga said to this, “No! I will go there in my Waka.”

On learning of this decision, Maungaroa, Hatauira, Korohewa, Moko, Pou, Te Auaha and many others, decided to remain at Tongaporutu.

So Whatonga and the remainder of his crew turned back, and passing round the North Cape went on to Otuako, where they stayed some time to plant food, and as one of the crew named Otuako died here, they called the place after him.

Whilst Kurahaupoo was at that place the news came that Manaia had arrived at Tongaporutu, having reached there by way of Arapawa Island.

Now, the migration of Manaia and his people did not ever extend their occupation of the country beyond the bounds of Taranaki and Whanganui.

After a sufficiency of food had been obtained, Whatonga again started on his voyage, and went on as far as Maketu where he got into communication with the tribes Te Tini o Maruiwi, Te Tini o te Wiwini, Te Tini o Ruatamore, Te Tini o Pananehu and Te Tini o Taitawaro.

At this time the whole country from Muriwhenua right down to Oakura -eight miles south of New Plymouth- along the West Coast was occupied by these people.

The northern Wairoa, Tamaki, Tauranga, Maketu, Whakatane, up to Whangaparaoa were all occupied by these people, to which may be added the people of those tribes who had been enslaved by Toi and Ngati Awa then living at Whakatane.

It was in this manner that all those parts were occupied on the arrival of Whatonga.

When Whatonga arrived off Maketu, they saw smoke arising ashore and so they landed there.

Now a certain high-born child of the chief named Tauaki had died at that place, and hence was the place called Moharuru after the child.

But the present name of Maketu was given by the more recent migrations, when the old name was abandoned, in the same manner that the old name Te Whanganui a Tara, has been changed to Port Nicholson, as also others that have been superseded by Pakeha names.

When Kurahaupoo arrived at Moharuru, now called Maketu, a number of girls were given to the party of Whatonga, there were twenty-five twice told; they were given by Matakana who was the supreme chief of Ngati Te Pananehu and Ngati Te Taitawaro at that time.

These people very much admired the people of Whatonga, as they were all fine men, carefully selected from the tokopakari, chosen for their strength and skill as paddlers in the first place, and as warriors in the second.

No old men, or infirm people were chosen for such purposes, but the brave alone those in whom had been discovered a manawakaitutae, -without fear, either of a storm on land, a storm due to man, or a gale at sea-.

They would front such things head down, leaving the result to good luck and their courage, and then only rejoice in the light of life.

Hence it was that the women forced themselves on the strangers.

Tamaahua -one of the visitors- here took one of the young women of rank to wife, and settled with these people.

But it was after some time that they went to Taranaki to wetewete Tamaahu, Maungaroa, Hatauira, Kahukura, his younger brothers, and others, who had remained at Tongaporutu, at Urenui, at Waitara, at Nga Motu, even at the heart of Taranaki, at Oakura and Waingongora.

After the Kurahaupoo had landed at Maketu, the crew asked the tangata whenua where Toi was to be found.

The people replied, “Behold! near that point projecting out to sea Koohi point; on this side is a river Whakatane, there Toi lives.”

Whatonga then went on and reached that place, where the pa of Toi at Whakatane, named Kapuoterangi, -now called Kaapuu te rangi, situated on the range behind the present village of Whakatane; it is not a large pa, but is still in good preservation- was pointed out to him.

This was the Pa of Toi when he lived, and was built by him as a protection for himself and people and their female slaves.

Other of his pa were built as shelter for his hapu when they went forth to kill the kiore-maori or birds in the forest, to procure mataii whinau and kahika berries, to procure Ti, kouka, korau maori, poniu, patotara, papai, tutu, konini, karaka, tawa roots and fruits.

Other pa were near the seaside, and used when they went to catch fish.

After leaving Tongaporutu, Whatonga passed along by way of the North Cape and down the East Coast to Tuhua Island, from the heights of which they saw smoke arising on the main land.

They directed the bows of the Waka towards it.

They had been informed of the appearance of the land by the people of the West Coast, and therefore knew that they were near where Toi was to be found.

They then arrived at another island which was off the mouth of a river in that part.

After being here some time, they saw a Waka not far off with four men in it, who were fishing.

The fishermen came towards the island on which Whatonga and his party were staying.

After fishing there some time, they hauled up the anchor and prepared to paddle off.

Whatonga called to them, “Do you know of the man named Toi te Huatahi?”

They replied “Yes”

“A! Where is he?”

“There, ashore, on the main-land.”

“A! Go ashore, and tell him that I, Whatonga, am here.”

“I came to search for him.”

"Let him come tomorrow.”

The Waka then returned to the main land, where they delivered their message to Toi.

When the old man heard this he was affected, and wept.

He said to his people, “Man a Waka, and take me that I may see my grandson.”

As they approached the island, Toi called out, “Who are you?”

Now Whatonga knew at once whose voice it was, that it was Toi; so, he replied, “I am thy grandson, Whatonga.”

“Are you Toi?”

The old man replied, “Yes, my beloved; it is I who have searched the various lands, the seas looking for thee and thy nephew.”

Toi then landed when a great tangi was held; after which he said to Whatonga, “Tomorrow we will go ashore.”

In the morning therefore the Waka of Whatonga was paddled to the main land at Whakataane.

At the time of the arrival of Whatonga, the name Te Tini o Awanuiarangi was already applied to the people of Toi, and the reason they were so numerous was because the people of Toi te Hua Tahi had taken two and three wives each from the local people, besides the young lads incorporated from the same source into the tribe of Toi.

The wife of Toi was named Te Huiarei, but she had another name also, Kuraimonoa, and she was the mother of Rongoueroa, who married Ruarangi, and had:

(1) Raurunui.

(2) Whatonga.

(3) Mahutonga.

(4) Te Awanuiarangi, whose father was a god, and from him comes the name borne by his descendants, Te Tini o Awanui embracing Te Ati Awa and Ngati Awa, who all sprung from him.

After Whatonga had dwelt for a lengthened period with his grandfather he said, “O Toi! There are no men and no place here for me to found a tribe with.”

“The whole district is occupied by your people in numbers.”

Toi replied, “Not so! Some of these shall be removed further off to make room for you and yours.”

Whatonga replied, “O no! don’t do that.”

“Leave them alone, lest when they hear about it, some of my people should strive to secure homes for themselves and fighting should result.”

When some of the people heard of this proposition of Toi, they were much aggrieved, so much so that Te Atiawa and some of Ngati Awa migrated to Wairoa and on to Heretaunga, to Patea, and on beyond to Taranaki, where they settled down permanently with the Tini o Ruatamore, the Tini o Maruiwi, and Te Tini o Taitawaro, occupying the whole district from Parininihi to Oakura, and even to Waingongoro.

After the above conversation, and probably before the tribes left.

Then Whatonga said to his younger brother Mahutonga -the priest of Kurahaupoo- and the others “Let us proceed to find some land for ourselves to settle on.”

His younger brother agreed to this.

Whatonga also said to his party, “Sons! we shall be quite safe, for with us will be the company of women, who will be able through their relationship to the tangata whenua to ward off any evil on the part of man, and the evil consequences due to occupying a strange land.”

It was due to these women that it was possible for the new comers to enter Whakatane, and reach the pa Kaapuuterangi of Toi.

These women were from Ngati Te Pananehu, the same people from whom Toi had taken so many prisoners.

Whatonga lived in Kaapuuterangi, the pa of his grandfather Toi, and of his children and wives and his own people from Tahiti.

The slaves and some of his people were sent to other pa outside, both seaward and inland, to procure food, etc. Toi te Huatahi, was a very great man in those days.

So Kurahaupoo was again launched on the further prosecution of her voyage under Mahutonga, and others.

She came towards the south by the East Coast.

Before starting, Toi said to Mahutonga, “Mahutonga! go in peace."

“If you come to a bay which lies east and with two rivers falling into it, one at the end of the beach on the south, one at the east end, with bare cliffs to the south of the southern river, and with a ridge of hills on the east of the eastern river, with flats spread out between the rivers, and a mountain range to the south-west, if you find a place like this, that will be where I stood up in my Waka looking out to seaward.”

“Settle down there, and let it be a home for you.”

“The people live very much scattered there, and to the southward.”

“And when you are outside approaching the bay, turn to the south and you will see a long point projecting out to sea; thus, will you recognize the place I refer to.”

“Leave the name of the place in memory of my standing there, Turanga."

To all of this Mahutonga agreed.

Whatonga married Hotuwaipara at this time; she was from the Hapu of Toi.

He also married Reretua of the Pananehu, and also a woman of Ngati Awa named Tarawahi, and these were all the wives he had.

By Hotuwaipara he had Tara, an only son, who was so named because just before he was born his mother pricked her finger with the tara, or spine, of a fish.

It is from Tara that the tribe Ngai Tara sprung, and it was his name that was given to Te Whanganui a Tara at the head of the fish.

Ngai Tara, sometimes called Tini a Tara afterwards crossed the Straits to Arapawa.

Hotuwaipara was a woman of rank.

By Reretua he had Tautokiihunui a Whatonga, who was the father of Rangitane, from whence the name of that tribe is derived.

It was these two ancestors, Tara and Rangitane, who killed the Ngati Koaupari at Mohaka, at Tukituki and at Raukawa.

It was they also who killed the Tini o Ruatamore of the Ruataniwha plains, where they were living at Te Kopua, called Te Waikopiro o Ruatamore.

It was also at this time that they drove out Orotu -after whom Napier Harbor Te Whanganui o Orutu is named- from Heretaunga, who was the head chief of Ngati Mamoe, and fled to the South Island.

They, Rangitane then occupied Mohake, Heretaunga, Wairarapa, Tamaki, Tahoraiti, right down to Manawatu and on to Horowhenua, Otaki and Paekakariki, here the Rangitane conquests and occupation cease.

Te Whanganui a Tara, including Parirua, fell to Tara, including the islands of Mana and Kapiti, and hence is the latter island called Te waewae kapiti o Tara raua ko Rangitane.

Mana island is Te mana o Kupe ki Aotea Roa.

Now, Whatonga, Tara, and Hotuwaipara all died at Kapiti, and are buried in a cave there, it is the burial cave of Ngai Tara.

Whatonga was great grandfather of Tuhotoariki, a man who was specially designated and appointed to the whare waananga of our ancestors, a house that in it was taught all knowledge derived from Te kauae runga to the kauae raro.

He was an accomplished tohunga of Ngai Tara, he also is buried at Kapiti.

The brother of Tuhotoariki was Turia, who married Hinematua, and their son was Te Aohaeretahi, who married Rakaimaori, and had Tuteremoana, who married Wharekohu.

Turia is also buried at Kapiti, whilst Te Aohaeretahi is buried at Kahuranaki at Heretaunga in the cave belonging to Rangitane.

Wharekohu died before Tuteremoana, and was carried to Kapiti and buried in the same cave as Whatonga, Tara and others.

When she was taken there, Tuteremoana said, that the cave should be called after her, i.e., Wharekohu.

There also is buried Tuteremoana, about whom is the saying, Te tama whakaete turanga rau, i titi te upoko ki te kura a rangi.

He was the tino ariki, or supreme chief of Ngai Tara, Rangitane and Ngati Awanuiarangi.

Whatonga had another wife named Poatautahanga, who was of the Ngati Taitawaro tangata whenua tribe living at Mokau on the West Coast, a granddaughter of Pohokura, who has already been referred to.

The name of the tribes of Whatonga in Hawaiki were Ngati Rongomai and Ngati Wairehu, who sprung from Kahutaranga and his younger brothers.

The name Ngati Wairehu was a name of their mother the wife of Tamaaute and from, Te Komarunui who married Whakarongo.

The name Ngati Rongomai is derived from Maaui Tikitiki a Taranga, on account of the great fame he acquired through his extraordinary deeds.

Maungaroa who came with Whatonga in Kurahaupoo married Torohanga; their son was Ngarue, who married Urutekakara, and their son was Wharematangi, who married Pohenea.

Wharematangi was the man who owned the pere, which enabled him to find his father Ngarue at Waitara.

When Urutekakara was with child at Awakino to the east at Mokau, she was left by her husband.

The grandfather of Wharematangi was killed in the Maketu district of Tauranga, he was from the Tini o Taitawaro, and his name was Raumati, the man who Te Arawa say burnt the Arawa Waka at Maketu.

But this story will not be related here.

His descendants are at Taranaki.

Hinematakawe, so named in Hawaiki married Hatauira, who came over in Kurahaupoo.

Their daughter was Tauranga, who married Tamaahua, who had Raumati, who married Te Kuratapiri.

This Tamaahua came over in Kurahaupoo, but remained at Maketu, and married one of the company of girls presented to Whatonga to make them tangata whenua, and so that they should not turn on the latter and kill them, and rob them of their land for that reason, and also because they knew that Whatonga was a grandson of Toi te Huatahi, and hence they received the strangers well, Toi being a great man amongst them by that time.

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