Tales and Legends from the land of the ALL BLACKS…………

 

We’ve all watched in amazement at the ALL BLACKS (from my home country) performing the Haka at the start of a rugby match, laying down the challenge to their opponents. With eyes a-goggle and tongues extruded they perform the war dance with such passion and conviction. But what do the words (in Maori) mean? Well wonder no longer…..

 

Ka mate, ka mate! ka ora! ka ora! (Will I die, Will I die)
Ka mate! ka mate! ka ora! ka ora! (Will I live, Will I live)
Tēnei te tangata pūhuruhuru (This is the hairy man)
Nāna nei i tiki mai whakawhiti te rā (Who brought the sun and caused it to shine)
Ā, upane! ka upane! (A step upward, another step upward!)
Ā, upane, ka upane, whiti te ra (A step upward, another… the Sun shines!)

 

And here is a Maori folktale from the Land of the Long White Cloud (Aotearoa) titled:

 

The Legend of Poutini and Whaiapu

 

(The Discovery of New Zealand)

NOW pay attention to the cause of the contention which arose between Poutini and Whaiapu, which led them to emigrate to New Zealand. For a long time they both rested in the same place, and Hine-tu-a-hoanga, to whom the stone Whaiapu (green Jasper) belonged, became excessively enraged with Ngahue, and with his prized stone Poutini (Obsidian). At last she drove Ngahue out and forced him to leave the place, and Ngahue departed and went to a strange land, taking his jasper. When Hine-tu-a-hoanga saw that he was departing with his precious stone, she followed after them, and Ngahue arrived at Tuhua with his stone, and Hine-tu-a-hoanga arrived and landed there at the same time with him, and began to drive him away again. Then Ngahue went to seek a place where his jasper might remain in peace, and be found in the sea this island Aotearoa (the northern island of New Zealand), and he thought he would land there.

Poutini and Whaiapu

(Poutini chases Whaiapu in the Bay of Plenty)

Then he thought again, lest he and his enemy should be too close to one another, and should quarrel again, that it would be better for him to go farther off with his jasper, a very long way off. So he carried it off with him, and they coasted along, and at length arrived at Arahura (on the west coast of the middle island), and he made that an everlasting resting-place for his jasper; then he broke off a portion of his jasper, and took it with him and returned, and as be coasted along lie at length reached Wairere (believed to be upon the east coast of the northern island), and he visited Whangaparaoa and Tauranga, and from thence he returned direct to Hawaiki, and reported that he had discovered a new country which produced the moa and jasper in abundance. He now manufactured sharp axes from his jasper; two axes were made from it, Tutauru and Hau-hau-te-rangi. He manufactured some portions of one piece of it into images for neck ornaments, and some portions into ear ornaments; the name of one of these ear ornaments was Kaukau-matua, which was recently in the possession of Te Heuheu, and was only lost in 1846, when he was killed with so many of his tribe by a landslip. The axe Tutauru was only lately lost by Purahokura and his brother Reretai, who were descended from Tama-ihu-toroa. When Ngahue, returning, arrived again in Hawaiki, he found them all engaged in war, and when they heard his description of the beauty of this country of Aotea, some of them determined to come here.

 

Construction of Canoes to Emigrate to New Zealand

They then felled a totara tree in Rarotonga, which lies on the other side of Hawaiki, that they might build the Arawa from it. The tree was felled, and thus the canoe was hewn out from it and finished. The names of the men who built this canoe were, Rata, Wahie-roa, Ngahue, Parata, and some other skilful men, who helped to hew out the Arawa and to finish it.

 

A chief of the name of Hotu-roa, hearing that the Arawa was built, and wishing to accompany them, came to Tama-te-kapua and asked him to lend him his workmen to hew out some canoes for him too, and they went and built and finished Tainui and some other canoes.

 

The workmen above mentioned are those who built the canoes in which our forefathers crossed the ocean to this island, to Aotea-roa. The names of the canoes were as follows: the Arawa was first completed, then Tainui, then Matatua, and Taki-tumu, and Kura-hau-po, and Tokomaru, and Matawhaorua. These are the names of the canoes in which our forefathers departed from Hawaiki, and crossed to this island. When they had lashed the topsides on to the Tainui, Rata slew the son of Manaia, and bid his body in the chips and shavings of the canoes. The names of the axes with which they hewed out these canoes were Hauhau-te-Rangi, and Tutauru. Tutauru was the axe with which they cut off the head of Uenuku.

 

All these axes were made from the block of jasper brought back by Ngahue to Hawaiki, which was called ‘The fish of Ngahue’. He had previously come to these islands from Hawaiki, when he was driven out from thence by Hine-tu-a-hoanga, whose fish or stone was obsidian. From that cause Ngahue came to these islands; the canoes which afterwards arrived here came in consequence of his discovery.

 

ISBN: 9781907256318

URL: http://abelapublishing.com/polynesian-mythology–and–ancient-traditional-history-of-the–new-zealanders–23-maori-folktales_p27279414.htm

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