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Full text of "Myths And Songs From The South Pacific"

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KANSAS CITY, Mi. 



tM|CFrR ENYttLOM CO^ KA*A CITY. C 



KANSAS CITY MO PU BLIC LIBRARY 



MYTHS AND SONGS 
FROM THE SOUTH PACIFIC. 



BOOKS. 

THE CHILDHOOD OJ THE WOELD : A Simple Account of Man 
Early Times. By EDWABD CLODD, F.R.A.S. New E'dit 
Crown 8yo. 3s. 

" Likely to prove acceptable to a large and growing class of readers.* 1 - Pall . 
Gazette. 

" The book is one -which very young children could understand, and which grc 
up persons may run through with pleasure and advantage." Spectator- 

" Its style is simply exquisite, and it is filled with most curious information 
Clvristian World. 

"I read your hook with great pleasure. I have no doubt it will do good, and 1 
you will continue your work Nothing spoils our temper so much as havm 
unlearn in youth, manhood, and even, old age, so many tilings which wo wore tai 
as children A book like yours will prepare a far better soil in the child's miiul* 
I was delighted to have it to read to my children." (.Extract from, a Letter 1 
Professor MAS MTJLLEB to tke AutJwr). 

THE CHILDHOOD 0!F RELIGIONS : Including a Simple Accoun 
the Birth and Growth of Myths and Legends. By 
CLODD, F.K.A.S. Grown 8vo. 5s. 



* His language is simple, clear, and impressive. His faculty of 
complicated masses of detail, and compressing much infoimation into fontiH 
with such felicitous arrangement and expression as never to over-tax the attuntio 
abate the interest of the reader, is very remarkable." Jffxaminer. 

" The style is very charming. There is something in the a 
something in the pellucid simplicity of his easy prose, which 
along." Academy. 

THE LIFE AND GKROWTH OF LANGUAGE. By W. D. WHIT* 
Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology in S 
College, New Haven. Second Edition. 5s. 

We commend Mr. Whitney's book as being a clear and concise summary <, 
that is known of the still infant science of language." Sour. 

MISSIONABY LIFE IN THE SOTJTHEBN SEAS, By JAMES Hm 

With Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 7s. Bd. 
This is an historical record of mission work by the labourer* 
all denominations in Tahiti the Hervoy, the Austral, the Samoa 
Navigator's, the Sandwich, Friendly, and Fiji Islands, &o. 

" The narrative is calm, sensible, and manly, and preserves many Inten* 
facts in a convenient shape." Literary Churchman. 

A YACHTING CBTTISE IN THE SOTTTH SEAS, By C. F* We 

Demy 8vo., with six Photographic Illustrations. 7#. 6d 
The author has spent considerable time in Polynesia, and his w< 
is a description of the islands and the manners and oustomH of 
natives as they exist. Much that is interesting from a scientific ft 
ethnological point of view will be found in the volume, 



MYTHS AND SONGS 



FROM 



THE SOUTH PACIFIC 



BY THE 

REV. WILLIAM WYATT GILL, B.A., 

OF THE LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY. 

WITH A PREFACE BY 

F. MAX MULLER, M.A., 

J'KQFESSOK OF COMPARATIVE PHILOLOGY AT OXFORD; FOREIGN MBMBBK 
OF THE FRENCH INSTITUTE. 



HENRY S. KING & Co., LONDON, 
1876. 



PREFACE. 



HAVING expressed a strong desire that the collection of Myths 
and Songs from the South Pacific, which the Rev. W. Wyatt Gill 
brought home with him from Mangaia, should not be allowed to 
lie forgotten, or, like other valuable materials collected by hard- 
working missionaries, perish altogether, I could not well decline 
to state, in a few words, what I consider the real importance of 
this collection to be. 

I confess it seemed strange to me that its importance should be 
questioned. If new minerals, plants, or animals are discovered, if 
strange petrifactions are brought to light, if flints or other stone 
weapons are dredged up, or works of art disinterred, even if a 
hitherto unknown language is rendered accessible for the first time, 
no one, I think, who is acquainted with the scientific problems of 
our age, would ask what their importance consists in, or what they 



vi Preface. 

are good for. Whether they are products of nature or works of 
man, if only there is no doubt as to their genuineness, they claim 
and most readily receive the attention, not only of the learned, 
but also of the intelligent public at large. 

Now, what are these Myths and Songs which Mr. W. W. Gill 
has brought home from Mangaia, but antiquities, preserved for 
hundreds, it may be for thousands of years, showing us, far better 
than any stone weapons or stone idols, the growth of the human 
mind during a period which, as yet, is full of the most perplexing 
problems to the psychologist, the historian, and the theologian ? 
The only hope of our ever unravelling the perplexities of that 
mythological period, or that mythopceic phase of the human 
intellect, lies in our gaining access to every kind of collateral 
evidence. We know that mythopceic period among the Aryan 
and Semitic races, but we know it from a distance only, and where 
are we to look now for living myths and legends, except among 
those who still think and speak mythologically, who are, in fact, at 
the present moment what the Hindus were before the collection 
of their sacred hymns, and the Greeks long before the days of 
Homer? To find ourselves among a people who really believe in 
gods and heroes and ancestral spirits, who still offer human 
sacrifices, who in some cases devour their human victims, or, at 
all events, burn the flesh of animals on their altars, trusting 
that the scent will be sweet to the nostrils of their gods, is as if 
the zoologist could spend a few days among the megatheria, 



Preface. vii 

or the botanist among the waving ferns of the forests, buried 
beneath our feet. So much is written just now, and has been 
written during the last fifty years, on human archaeology, on the 
growth and progress of the intellect, on the origin of religion, on 
the first beginnings of social institutions ; so many theories have 
been started, so many generalizations put forward with perfect 
confidence, that one might almost imagine that all the evidence 
was before us, and no more new light could be expected from 
anywhere. But the very contrary is the case. There are many 
regions still to be explored, there are many facts, now put forward 
as certain, which require the most careful inspection, and as we 
read again and again the minute descriptions of the journey which 
man is supposed to have made from station to station, from his 
childhood to his manhood, or, it may be, his old age, it is difficult 
to resist a feeling of amazement, and to suppress at almost every 
page the exclamation, Wait ! wait ! 

There are the two antagonistic schools, each holding its tenets 
with a kind of religious fervour the one believing in a descending, 
the other in an ascending, development of the human race ; the 
one asserting that the history of the human mind begins of 
necessity with a state of purity and simplicity which gradually 
gives way to corruption, perversity, and savagery ; the other main- 
taining with equal confidence, that the first human beings could 
not have been more than one step above the animals, and that their 
whole history is one of progress towards higher perfection. With 



viii Preface. 

regard to the beginnings of religion, the one school holds to a 
primitive suspicion of something that is beyond call it super- 
natural, transcendent, or divine. It considers a silent walking 
across tbis/Wfo* of life, with eyes fixed on high, as a more perfect 
realisation of primitive religion than singing of Vedic hymns, offer- 
of Jewish sacrifices, or the most elaborate creeds and articles. The 
other begins with the purely animal and passive nature of man, 

* " So, on the I2th of August, we made the steep ascent to the village of 
Namgea, and from there to a very unpleasant jkitta, which crosses the foaming 
torrent of the Sutlej. In this part of the Himalaya, and, indeed, on to 
Kashmir, these bridges are constructed of twigs, chiefly from birch trees or 
bushes, twisted together. Two thick ropes of these twigs, about the size of 
a man's thigh, or a little larger, are stretched across the river, at a distance of 
about six to four feet from each other, and a similar rope runs between them, 
three or four feet lower, being connected with the upper ropes by more .slender 
ropes, also usually of birch twigs twisted together, but sometimes of grass, and 
occurring at an interval of about five feet from each other. The unpleasantness 
of a jfaila is that the passenger has no proper hold of the upper ropes, which 
are too thick and rough to be grasped by the hand; and that, at the extremities, 
they are so far apart that it is difficult to have any hold of both at the same 
time ; while the danger is increased by the bend or hang of the jhitta, which 
is much lower in the middle than at its ends. He has also to stoop painfully 
in order to move along it, and it is seldom safe for him to rest his feet on the 
lower rope, except where it is supported from the upper ropes by the transverse 
ones. To fall into the raging torrent underneath would be almost certain 
destruction. The high wind which usually prevails in the Himalaya during 
the day, makes the whole structure swing about frightfully. In the middle of 
the bridge there is a cross-bar of wood (to keep the two upper ropes separate) 
which has to be stepped over ; and it is not customary to repair a jhi'tla until 
some one falls through it, and so gives practical demonstration that it is in 
rather a rotten condition." ANDREW WILSON, "The Abode of Snow/' p. 197. 



Preface. ix 

and tries to show how the repeated impressions of the world in 
which he lived, drove him to fetichism, whatever that may mean, 
to ancestor-worship, to a worship of nature, of trees and serpents , 
of mountains and rivers, of clouds and meteors, of sun and moon 
and stars, and the vault of heaven, and at last, by what is called 
a natural mistake, of One who dwells in heaven above. 

There is some truth in every one of these views ; but they 
become untrue by being generalized. The time has not come yet, 
it probably never will come, when we shall be able to assert any- 
thing about the real beginnings of religion in general. We know 
a little here, a little there, but whatever we know of early religion, 
we always see that it presupposes vast periods of an earlier 
development. 

Some people imagine that fetichism, at all events, presupposes 
nothing : they would probably not hesitate to ascribe to some of 
the higher animals the faculty of fetich-worship. But few words 
are so devoid of scientific precision as fetichism, a term first 
rendered popular by the writings of De Brosses. Let us suppose 
that it means a kind of temporary worship of any material object 
which the fancy may happen to select, as a tree, a stone, a post, 
an animal: can that be called a primitive form of religion? First 
of all, religion is one thing, worship another, and the two are by no 
means necessarily connected. But, even if they were, what is the 

meaning of worship paid to a stone, but the outward sign of a 

b 



x Preface. 

pre-existent belief that this stone is more than a stone, something 
supernatural, it may be something divine, so that the ideas of the 
supernatural and the divine, instead of growing out of fetichism, 
are generally, if not always, presupposed by it? The same applies 
to ancestor-worship, which not only presupposes the conceptions 
of immortality and of the ideal unity of a family, but implies in 
many cases a belief that the spirits of the departed are worthy 
to share the honours paid to divine beings. 

To maintain that all religion begins with fetichism, all myth- 
ology with ancestor-worship, is simply untrue, as far as our present 
knowledge goes. There is fetichism, there is ancestor-worship, 
there is nature-worship, whether of trees or serpents, of mountains 
or rivers, of clouds and meteors, of sun and moon and stars, and 
the vault of heaven \ there is all this, and there is much more than 
all this, wherever we can watch the early growth of religious ideas : 
but, what we have to learn is, first of all, to distinguish, to study 
each religion, each mythology, each form of worship by itself, to 
watch them during successive periods of their growth and decay, 
to follow them through different strata of society, and before all, 
to have each of them, as much as possible, studied in their o\vn 
language. 

If language is the realization of thought and feeling, the im- 
portance of a knowledge of the language for a correct apprecia- 
tion of what it was meant to convey in the expression of religious 



Preface. xi 

thought and feeling, requires no proof. I have often insisted on 
this, and I have tried to show whether successfully or not, let 
others judge that much of what seems at first irrational and 
inexplicable in mythology, and in religion also, can be explained 
by the influence which language exercises on thought I have 
never said that the whole of mythology can be explained in that 
way, that all that seems irrational is due to a misunderstanding, 
or that all mythology is a disease of language. Some parts of 
mythology I have proved to be soluble by means of linguistic 
tests, but mythology as a whole I have always represented as a 
complete period of thought, inevitable, I believe, in the develop- 
ment of human thought, and comprehending all and everything 
that at a given time can fall within the horizon of the human 
mind. The Nemesis of disproportion seems to haunt all new 
discoveries. Parts of mythology are religious, parts of mythology 
are historical, parts of mythology are metaphysical, parts of 
mythology are poetical; but mythology as a whole is neither 
religion, nor history, nor philosophy, nor poetry. It compre- 
hends all these together under that peculiar form of expression 
which is natural and intelligible at a certain stage, or at certain 
recurring stages in the development of thought and speech, but 
which, after becoming traditional, becomes frequently unnatural 
and unintelligible. In the same manner nature-worship, tree- 
worship, serpent-worship, ancestor-worship, god-worship, hero- 
worship, fetichism, all are parts of religion, but none of these by 
itself can explain the origin or growth of religion, which compre- 



xii Preface. 

hends all these and many more elements in the various phases of 
its growth. 

If anything can help to impress upon students of religion and 
mythology the necessity of caution, the advantage of special 
research, and, above all, the necessity of a scholarlike treatment, 
it is a book like that of Mr. Gill, an account of a religion and 
mythology which were still living in the island of Mangaia, when 
Mr. Gill went there as a missionary twenty-two years ago, and 
which, as they died away before his eyes, he carefully described 
to us from what he saw himself, from what the last depositaries of 
the old faith told him, and from what was recorded of it in sacred 
songs, which he gives us in the original, with literal translations. 

It is true that the religion and mythology of the Polynesian race 
have often been treated before, but one of their greatest charms 
consists in the very fact that we possess them in so many forms. 
Each island has, so to say, its own religious and mythological 
dialect, and though there is much that is common to all, and must 
therefore be old, there is at the same time much local and indi- 
vidual variety. Again, the great advantage of Mr. Gill's collection 
is that Mangaia has kept itself freer from foreign influences than 
almost any other of the Polynesian islands. " The isolation of the 
Hervey Islanders," he says, "was in favour of the purity of their 
traditions, and the extreme jealousy with which they were guarded 
was rather an advantage than otherwise." When we fmd strange* 



Preface. xiii 

coincidences between the legends of Mangaia and Jewish, Chris- 
tian, or classical stories, we need not suspect that former European 
travellers had dropped the germs of them, or that missionaries had 
given, unconsciously, their own colouring to them. Mr. Gill has 
been specially on the guard against this and other sources of error. 
" Whilst collecting my myths," he says, " I put away from me all 
classical mythology, being afraid that unconsciously I might mould 
these Polynesian stories into similarity with those of Greece and 
Rome. 

On my making inquiries whether the Polynesian tradition 
about Eve (Ivi), which I had discussed in my " Science of Reli- 
gion " (p. 304), was to be found in Mangaia, Mr. Gill informed 
me that it was not, and that he strongly suspected its European 
origin. The elements of the story may have previously existed, 
and we see some traces of it in the account of the creation current 
in Mangaia, but Mr. Gill suspects that some of the mutineers of 
the Bounty may have told the natives the Bible story, and that it 
became incorporated with their own notions. 

The jawbone, too, with which we are told that Maui, the 
great solar hero of the Polynesians, destroyed his enemies, is 
absent in Mangaia. When I inquired about it, Mr. Gill informed 
me that he never heard of it in the Hervey Group in connection 
with Maui. 

Such things are extremely important for a proper treatment of 



xiv Preface. 

mythology. I hold no longer to the rule that when two myth- 
ologies agree in what is irrational or foolish, they must have had 
the same origin, or must have come into contact with each other 
at some period of their history. If there was a reason for the 
jawbone to be used as a weapon in one country, the same reason 
may have existed in another. But, even if there was no reason, 
a fact that happened or was imagined to have happened in one 
place may surely have happened or have been imagined to have 
happened in another. At first, no doubt, we feel startled by 
such coincidences ; and that they often offer a primfr fade pre- 
sumption in favour of a common origin cannot be denied. But 
as we read on from one mythology to another, our sensitiveness 
with regard to these coincidences becomes blunted, and we feel 
hardened against appeals which are founded exclusively on such 
evidence. 

At first sight, what can be more startling than to see the 
interior of the world, the invisible or nether world, the Hades of 
the Mangaians, called Avaiki^ AvLH being the name of one of the 
lower regions, both among Brahmans and Buddhists? But we 
have only to look around, and we find that in Tahitian the name 
for Hades is Hawaii, in New Zealand Jffawaiki, and more 
originally, I suppose, Sawaiki; so that the similarity between the 
Sanskrit and Polynesian words vanishes very quickly. 

That the name of the Sun-god in Mangaia is Ra has been 
pointed out as a strange coincidence with Egypt ; but more really 



Preface. xv 

important is the story of Ra being made captive, as reminding us 
of similar solar legends in Greece, Germany, Peru, and elsewhere.* 

Who can read the Mangaian story of Ina (the moon) and her 
mortal lover, who, as he grew old and infirm, had to be sent back 
to the earth to end his days there, without thinking of Selene and 
Endymion, of Eos and Tithonos ? 

Who again, if acquainted with the Vedic myth of the Maruts^ 
the strikers, the Storm-gods, and their gradual change into the 
Roman god of war, Mars, can fail to see the same transition of 
thought in several of the gods of the storms, of war and destruc- 
tion among the Polynesians, though here again the similarity in 
the name of Maru is purely accidental. 

In some of the Polynesian islands the Deluge is said to have 
lasted exactly forty days. This, no doubt, is startling. It may be 
the result of missionary influence. But, even if it were not, the 
coincidence between the Polynesian and the Jewish accounts on 
that one point may be either purely accidental, or may be founded 
on rude meteorological calculations which we have not yet de- 
tected. I do not like to quote coincidences from American tra- 
ditions, because we know that we are never safe there against 

* Chips from a German Workshop. 2nd Edition, vol. ii. p. 116. 

t Rig-Veda-Sanhita, The Sacred Hymns of the Brahmans. Translated by 
F. Max Mutter. Vol. i. Hymns to the Maruts, or the Storm-Gods. London, 
Trubner and Co. 1869. 



xvi Preface. 

Spanish by-notes; otherwise the account of the Toltec deluge, and 
the statement that the mountains were covered to the depth of 
"fifteen cubics," might be quoted as another undesigned coin- 
cidence.* According to the Chimalpopoca MS., the Creator 
produced His work in successive epochs, man being made on 
the seventh day from dust and ashes. Why, we may ask, on the 
seventh day? But others, without even insisting on the peculiar 
character of the seventh number, may simply ask, Why not? 
There is much similarity between the Hindi! account of the 
Deluge and the Jewish ; but no one who has read the numerous 
accounts of a deluge in other parts of the world, would feel much 
surprised at this. At all events, if we admitted a common origin 
of the two, or an actual borrowing, then to explain the differences 
between them would be extremely difficult. The only startling 
coincidence is, that in India the flood is said to begin on the 
seventh day after it had been announced to Manu. Considering, 
however, that the seventh day is mentioned in the " Bhagavatu- 
Purina" only, I feel inclined to look upon it as merely accidental. 
It might, no doubt, have been borrowed from Jewish or even 
Mohammedan sources; but how can we imagine any reason why so 
unmeaning a fact should have been taken over, while on so many 
other points, where there was every temptation to borrow, nothing 
was done to assimilate the two accounts, or to remove features of 
which, at that time, the Hindus might well be supposed to have 
been ashamed? I mention all this for the sole purpose of 
* Bancroft, Native Races, vol. v. p. 20. 



Preface. xvii 

preaching patience and caution and I preach it against myself 
quite as much as against others, as a warning against exclusive 
theories. 

On every page of these Mangaian legends there is evidence 
that many of them owe their origin to language, whether we adopt 
the theory that the Mangaians played on the words, or that their 
words played on them. Mr. Gill himself fully admits this ; but 
to say that the whole of the Mangaian mythology and theology 
owed its origin to the oxydizing process to which language is 
exposed in every country, would be to mistake the rust for the 
iron. 

With all these uncertainties before us, with the ground shaking 
under our feet, who would venture to erect at present complete 
systematic theories of mythology or religion? Let any one who 
thinks that all religion begins with fetichism, all worship with 
ancestor-worship, or that the whole of mythology everywhere can 
be explained as a disease of language, try his hand on this short 
account of the beliefs and traditions of Mangaia ; and if he finds 
that he fails to bring even so small a segment of the world's 
religion and mythology into the narrow circle of his own system, 
let him pause before he ventures to lay down rules as to how man, 
on ascending from a lower or descending from a higher state, 
must have spoken, must have believed, must have worshipped. If 
Mr. Gill's book were to produce no other effect but this, it would 
have proved one of the most useful works at the present moment. 



xviii Preface. 

But it contains much that in itself will deeply interest all those 
who have learned to sympathize with the childhood of the world, 
and have not forgotten that the child is the father of the man; 
much Jhat will startle those who think that metaphysical concep- 
tions are incompatible with downright savagery ; much also that 
will comfort those who hold that God has not left Himself without 
a witness, even among the lowest outcasts of the human race. 

F. MAX MULLER. 
OXFORD, January 26, 1876. 



INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. 



THE writer of the following pages has been for twenty-two 
years a missionary in the Hervey Group, a small cluster of islands 
in the South Pacific, lying between the 19 and 22 parallels of 
S. latitude and 157 and 160 of W. longitude. 

He has sought to reproduce, as nearly as possible, the tradi- 
tionary beliefs of a small section of the widely scattered Poly- 
nesian family. On them the hopes and aspirations of many past 
generations were founded. We correctly call the entire system a 
"mythology;" to them it was a "theology," the true doctrine of 
the visible and the invisible world. The actual working of these 
false ethics was unceasing and pitiless war, unbridled and unblush- 
ing profligacy. Correct knowledge of these "mysteries" was 
possessed only by the priests and " wise men " of the different 
tribes. By them the teachings of the past were embodied in 
songs, to be chanted at their national festivals. These songs 
possessed great fascination for the native intellect, and tended to 
the preservation of the ancient faith. The writer's object is simply 
to aid the student of ethnology in his researches. 

While there is much that is puerile and absurd in this heathen 
philosophy, there are evident glimmerings of primeval light The 



xx Introductory Remarks. 

Polynesian name for God expresses a great truth. The continued 
existence of the human spirit after death is implied ^ in their 
"laments" and in the beautiful allegory of Vetini. The 
cruel system of human sacrifice is but a perversion of ancient 
truth. The common origin of mankind is taught in the contrast 
between "the fair-haired and fair-skinned children of Tan- 
garoa," and "the dark-haired and dark-skinned children of 
Rongo;" both the offspring of Great Vatea. There is an 
undercurrent of yearning after the True God in some of their 
songs; e.g. as when Korea sings (p. 215) : 

Oh, for some other Helper ! 
Some new divinity, to listen 
To the sad story of thy wasting disease ! 

As the result of many years' inquiry into the ancient faith of Poly- 
nesia, the writer most heartily endorses the remark of Professor 
Max Miiller : " Wherever there are traces of human life, there are 
traces also of religion." * 

A large portion of what is contained in this volume was 
derived from Tereavai, the last priest of the shark-god Tiaio. 
Some links in the system were irrecoverably lost by the slaughter 
of his father Tuka, at the battle of Araeva, not long before the 
landing of the first Christian teachers. Nothing but the cordial 
reception of the new faith could have induced Tereavai to yield up 
to the stranger the esoteric teachings of the priestly clan. The 
writer throughout has been greatly indebted to the sagacity and 
unwearied patience of Sadaraka (grandson of the poet Koroa), who 
is allowed by his own countrymen to be the best living critic of his 
own language. Each island in the group had a dialect, a history, 
and a worship of its own. The language of ancient Polynesian 

* Science of Religion, p. 118* 



Introductory Remarks. xxi 

song is not that now spoken; bearing the same relation to the 
living tongue as the Greek of Homer does to that of Xenophon. 
The myths and prayers (karakia) are believed to be of great 
antiquity. The dirges and clan-songs are modern, but are doubt- 
less echoes of older compositions. Should the present volume 
meet with acceptances a collection of "Prehistoric Sketches," with 
illustrative clan-songs, may hereafter appear. 

W. to GILL 
LEWISHAM, January, 1876. 



CONTENTS. 



I. MYTHS OF CREATION. 

PAGE 

The Beginning of all things. Dramatic song of creation ... ... i 

II. DEIFIED MEN. 

Derivation of the Polynesian word for God. Tiaio, king and god. 
Tane-Ngakiau. Tekuraaki. Song of the shore-king, high priest of 
Kongo. Derivation of Polynesian word "atua," or god. A human 
priesthood needed. Dedication of infants. Naming of children ... 23 

III. ASTRONOMICAL MYTHS. 

A chase that never ends. Song of the twins. Matariki, or Pleiades. 
The sun and moon. The woman in the moon. Eclipses. A 
celestial fish-hook. A day-song for Maaki's fte ... 40 

IV. THE EXPLOITS OF MAUL 

The fire-god's secret The fire-god's song. The sky-raised; or, the 
origin of pumice stone. The sun made captive. The wisdom of 
Manihiki. Maui enslaving the sun. The sky raised. Maui's last 
and greatest achievement ... ... ... ... .. ... 51 

V. TREE MYTHS. 

The myth of the cocoa-nut tree. Tahitian myth of the cocoa-nut tree. 

The iron- wood tree. Ono fells a famous tree. Wanderings of Ono 77 

VLINA, THE FAIRY VOYAGER. 

Ina's voyage to the Sacred Isle. Song of Inzi. Final stanza of the 
day-song for Tenio's fete. The voyage of Ina. The taahangi, or 
porpoise. The fmny subjects of Timrau. Numeration and the art of 
fishing invented. The origin of dancing, A song for Tenio's fSte ... 88 

VII. MISCELLANEOUS MYTHS. 

A bachelor god in search of a wife. Echo ; or, the cave fairy. The 
prince of reed-throwers. The origin of kite-flying. A kite 
song for Tenio's fte. Uti's torch; or, wiU-a-wisp. Mosquitoes. 



xxiv Contents. 



PAGE 

"The-long-lived." Human arts and Inventions. Perils of beauty. 
Origin of pigs at Rarotpnga. Seeking for light. Rata's canoe. 
Prayer or charm for a thief or a murderer I0 7 

VIII. -HADES; OR, THE DOCTRINE OF SPIRIT- WORLD. 

Aitutakian hell. Aitutakian heaven. Dramatic song of Miru. 

Sneezing. A farewell chanted at a reed-throwing match for women. 152 

IX. VEETINI; OR, THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL. 

Vaipo's dirge for Vetini. The closing or day-song for Tenio's fete. 
Vetini meeting his father. Dirge for Vera. The ghosts led by 
Vera preparing for their final departure. Puvai leading a band of 
ghosts to the shades. Koroa's lament for his son Kourapapa. 
Another lament for Kourapapa. Death lament for Varenga. Lament 
for Mourua. A spirit-journey. Introduction to the fete of Riuvaka iSi 

X. ADVENTURES IN SPIRIT- WORLD. 

An escape from spirit-land. The adventures of Ngaru. The drama of 
Ngaru. The ball-thrower's song. A journey to the invisible world 221 

XL FAIRY MEN AND WOMEN. 

Tapairu ; or, fairy women and men. A song in honour of Mauapa. 
Prologue to the dramatic fte of Potiki. The fairy of the fountain 256 

XII. DEATH-TALKS AND DIRGES. 

Ghost-killing. Death-talks. Eva, or dirge-proper. Karaponga's dirge- 
proper in honour of Ruru. Arokapiti's dirge-proper in honour of 
Ruru. " Blackened face " dirge-proper for Atiroa. The first murder 
and the first battle 268 

XIII. HUMAN SACRIFICES. 

Why human sacrifices were offered. The drum of peace. Prayer 
over a human sacrifice to Rongo. Prayer for peace. Kirikovi's 
sacrifice. A "crying" song for Maruata. The death of Ngutuku. 
Makitaka's lament 289 

XIV. THE SEASONS, PHASES OF THE MOON, ETC., ETC. 

The seasons. Changes of the moon. The mariner's compass of Poly- 
nesia. Polynesian plurals. Polynesian numeration 316 



MYTHS AND SONGS 
FROM THE SOUTH PACIFIC 



CHAPTER I. 

MYTHS OF CREATION. 

THE BEGINNING OF ALL THINGS. 

THE universe of these islanders is to be conceived of as the 
hollow of a vast cocoa-nut shell, as in the accompanying diagram. 
(See next page.) 

The interior of this imaginary shell is named Avaiki. At the 
top is a single aperture communicating with the upper world, where 
mortals (i.e. Mangaians) live. At various depths are different floor- 
ings, or lands, communicating with each other. But at the very 
bottom of this supposed cocoa-nut shell is a thick stem, gradually 
tapering to a point, which represents the very beginning of all 
things. This point is a spirit or demon, without human form, and 
is named Te-aka-ia-Roe, 1 or Thc-root-of-all-cxistence. The entire 

1 Roe thread -woim. The idea is of a quivering, slender, worm-like 
point, at which existence begins, i.g. the extremity of the thread-worm. 

B 



Myths and Songs. 



fabric of the universe is constantly sustained by this primary 
being. 

Above this extreme point is Te-tangaengae, or Te-vaerua; 
that is to say, Breathing, or Life. This demon is stouter and 



%, '-- ---" 

\S* ^ X*"* 

s\ >" ^--^" 
^ V' ^^^ 

X 5 ^ xX ^" 




/ ' y ' ' ' 

/ / / / / Ifates-tf^ 
/ / / / V 
1 ' / I 

1 / ' /T&'-noL 



\ 

\ \ ^ 

,nd. "ham*, q/T&fa> 




, [&*> 

>r^-@nea^s%'0tA>6f'&a~ 




This diagram will suit the mythology of many other islands ; substituting, for 
instance, "Tahiti" for "Mangaia," as the land where egress and ingress to 
Avaiki exist. 



Myths of Creation. 



stronger than the former one. But the thickest part of the 
stem is Te-manava-roa, or The-long-liwd, the third and last of 
the primary, ever-stationary, sentient spirits, who themselves con- 
stitute the foundation, and insure the permanence and well-being 
of all the rest of the universe. 

We advance now to the interior of the supposed cocoa-nut 
shell. In the lowest depth of Avaiki, where the sides of the 
imaginary shell nearly meet, lives a woman a demon, of flesh 
and blood named Vari-ma-te-takere, 1 or The-very-beginning. 
Such is the narrowness of her territory that her knees and chin 
touch, no other position being possible. Vari-ma-te-takere was 
very anxious for progeny. One day she plucked off a bit of her 
right side, and it became a human being the first man Avatea, 
or Vatea (the elision of the a in Avatea is compensated by the 
elongation of the second vowel). 

Now Vatea, the father of gods and men, was half man and 
half fish, the division being like the two halves of the human 
body. The species of fish to which this great divinity was allied 
being the taairangi (Cetacca), or great sea monsters, i.e. por- 
poises, whose sides are covered with pure fat, and whose home 
is the boundless ocean. Thus one eye of Vatea was human, the 
other a fish-eye. His right side was furnished with an arm ; the 
left with a fin. He had one proper foot, and half a fish-tail. 

But there is another, and probably far more ancient, account 
of Vatea, or Avatea, which means noon in all the dialects of 
Eastern Polynesia. 2 Vatea is a man possessed of two magnifi- 
cent eyes, rarely visible at the same time. In general, whilst one, 

1 Literally, Th*btginning-and-the<>bottom of the hollow cocoa-nut shell 

2 Vatea is the Wakea of the Hawaiians, with a similar meaning and 
history. 



Myths and Songs. 



called by mortals the sun, is seen here in this upper world, the 
other eye, called by men the moon, shines in AvaikL (A contra 
dictory myth represents the sun and moon as living beings.) 




IMAGINARY REPRESENTATION OF VATEA. 

Compare with, this a remarkable picture of a fish-god, from Layard, in Smith V 
Dictionary of the Bible, p. 381 (central picture). 

The land assigned by the Great Mother to Vatca was Te- 
papa-rairai, or TJie-thin-Iand. Another designation for his home 
was Te enua marama o Vatea, or The-bright-hind-of-VatM^ im- 
plying the perfect contrast between the brightness of mwntoy, 
or Avatea, and the utter gloom of Po, or night which is 
equivalent to Avaiki. 

On another occasion Vari-ma-te-takere tore off a second bit 
from that same right side, and it became Tinirati, or ///- 
numerable, who, like his brother, had a second and fishy form. 



Myths of Creation. 



The sort of fish which composed his half fish body was of the 
sprat-kind. The Great Mother gave him the land of Motu- 
Tapu, or Sacred Isle as his own domain. 1 There were his cele- 
brated ponds full of all kinds of fish. Tinirau was lord of the 
finny inhabitants of the sea, from the shark downwards. 

Another day Vari-ma-te-takere took a bit off her left side, and 
it became Tango, or Support, who went to live at Enua-Kura, 2 
or The-land-of-red-parrot-feathers* 

A fourth child was produced from a bit of the same left side, 
and was named Tumuteanaoa, or Echo, whose home was Te-parai- 
tea, or The-hollow-grey-rocks. Echo is represented as a female. 

A fifth child originated from a bit of that same left side of the 
Great Mother, and was designated Raka, or Trouble, who pre- 
sides, like Aeolus, over the winds. Raka found a congenial home 
in Moana-Irakau, or Deep-ocean. Raka received from Vari-ma- 
te-takere a great basket in which the winds were hidden ; also the 
knowledge of many useful inventions. The children of Raka are 
the numerous winds and storms which distress mankind. To each 
child is allotted a hole at the edge of the horizon, through 
which he blows at pleasure. 

Van, or The-very-beginning, finding that her left side had been 
more injured than her right, resolved to make both sides alike by 
taking a third bit from the right side, and named this, her last 
child, Tu-metua, Stick-by4he-parenL Now, this sixth and most 
beloved child, as the name implies, lives with the Great Mother in 



1 At Ngatangiia, Rarotonga, there is an islet, covered with cocoa-nut trees, 
so named. This is, of course, a modem identification. The '* Sacred Isle " is 
supposed to be in the shades. 

2 Manuae, or Hervey's Island : yet mystically the scene is laid in 
Avaiki, 



Myths and Songs. 



that narrow strip of territory constituting the very bottom of 
Avaiki, and which is designated Te-enua-te-ki, or Tk-mute4and. 
Do what you may to the attached mother and daughter, you 
cannot provoke an angry reply; for the only language known 
in The-mute-land is that of signs such as nods, elevated eye- 
brows, grimaces, and smiles. 

It is to The-mute-land that Potiki, temporal lord of Mangaia, 
circa 1790, referred in a f6te song : 

E enua parere i Avaiki In Avaiki is a land of strange utterance, 

E enua mu matangi e ! Like the sighs of the passing breeze ; 

Kua le Tautiti nei Wheie the dance is performed in 

silence, 
Aore e kite i te tara e ! And the gift of speech fc unknown. 

Tu-metua is usually shortened into 7}/, a principal god in 
most of the Polynesian mythologies, to whom the fourteenth night 
in every " moon " was sacred. On Cook's second visit to Tahiti, 
he found the king to be Otoo, ancestor of the present Pomare. 
Otoo should be written Tu, the being a mere prefix to all 
proper names. This mythological name was adopted in order 
to secure for its owner the superstitious reverence due to the gods 
which are unseen by mortals. Tu was the tutelar goddess of 
Moorea. On Mangaia Tu was invariably linked with her nephew 
Tangaroa ; but was little regarded. The second islet of Hervey's 
Island is known as " the kingdom of Tu " (au-o-Tu). 

At Raiatea Tu-papa = Tu-of4he-lowe$t-dcptfis (the same as 
Tu-metua) becomes the wife of Ra, the Sun-god, whose too fre- 
quent visits to her home required to be checked by Maui. 

It was deemed by Vari very unseemly that Vatea's land, which 
originally was immediately above her own, should be underneath, 



Myths of Creation. 



and so to speak invaded by, his younger brothers'. The-very- 
beginning, therefore, altered the relative position of The-thin- 
land, 1 placing it directly under the opening from this upper 
world; so that the law of primogeniture was established, the 
lands of all the younger brothers thus lying underneath the territory 
of Noon-day. 

Vatea in his dreams several times saw a beautiful woman. 
On one happy occasion he succeeded in clutching her in his 
sleep, and thus detained the fair sprite as his wife in his home in 
Te-papa-rairai. Another account asserts that on Vatea's waking 
from sleep he could discover no trace of the fair one. He 
searched in all directions for her but in vain. At length it 
occurred to him that her home might be in some dark cavern 
communicating with a land lower than his own, from which the 
fair one was in the habit of ascending to The-thin-land to pay 
him nocturnal visits. To test the correctness of this supposi- 
tion, Vatea scraped a quantity of cocoa-nuts and scattered 
handfuls down all the chasms in his territory. Some time after- 
wards he found that from the bottom of one cave, named Taeva- 
rangi, or 27ic-cclcstial-aperture, the rich white food had entirely 
disappeared. A fresh lot of the same dainty food was now thrown 
down, whilst Vatea from behind a projecting crag cautiously 
peered down. It was not long before a slender hand, very unlike 
his own, was slowly extended towards the coveted morsels. Vatea 
at once concluded that this must belong to the woman he had 



1 It was from The-thin-land that Potai sagely conjectured that Captain 
Cook had come. " Era, e te matakeinanga, no raro i Te-papa-rairai i Vatea " 
== "Surely, friends^ he has climbed tip from The-thin-land> the home of 
Vatea" How? By breaking through the solid sides of the vast cocoa-nut 
shell. 



8 Myths and Songs. 



seen in his dreams. With a favouring current of wind, he 
descended to the bottom, and caught the fair thief. His visions 
were realized; this lovely one confessed that she had again 
and again ascended to his house above in The-thin-land in 
order to win him as her future husband. She correctly guessed 
that Vatea, would never rest until he had discovered the where- 
abouts of the fair coquette, and made her his wife. She informed 
her lover that she was Papa, or Foundation, the daughter of 
Timatekore, or N0iAing-more, and his wife Tamaiti-ngava-ringavari, 
or Soft-bodied. The famed Papa thus became the cherished 
wife of Vatea ; both ascended by another eddy of wind through 
the chasm to The-bright-land-of-Vatea ! 

DRAMATIC SONG OF CREATION. 

FOR THE llTE OF POTIKI, CIRCA 1790. 

Call for the dance to begin with music. 
Noo mai Van i te aiti, The home of Van is the narrowest of 

all, 

I te tuturi i te memenge Knees and chin ever meeting 

E Kongo e, a kake ! It was reserved for Kongo to ascend. x 

Solo. 
Taipo el Go on 1 

Chorus. 

Vatea kite i tena vaine ; 'Twos in the shades Vatea first saw 

his wife, 

1 moe ana paa i reira e ! And fondly pressed her to his bosom. 

Solo. 
Ae ! Aye ! 

1 Kongo often came up from the shades to this upper -vv orld ; Vari never. 



Myths of Creation. 



9 



Te ui a te metua i anau ai 
la Timatekore ! 



la Timatekore ! 
Aore o tatou metua, ua tu e, 
I Vari ua mai e I 



Noo mai Vari e ! 
I te aiti ae ! 



Noo mai Vari i te aiti ; 

E tuarangi kai taro mata 

I na turanga pure e ! 

O Vatea metua e pua ua ake. 



Pua ua o Vatea, 
O Papa i te itinga, 

Vari-ma-te-takere 

1 tapakau ana e ! 



Chorus. 

When asked who was her (Papa's) 

father, 
She said Timatekore! (Nothing more). 

Solo. 

Most truly, Timatekore. 



But WE have NO x father whatever : 
Vari alone made us. 



Solo. 

That home of Vari is 
The very narrowest of all I 

Chorus. 

Van's home is in the narrowest of 

spaces, 

A goddess feeding 2 on raw " taro " z 
At appointed periods of worship ! 
Thy mother, Vatea, is self-existent. 

Solo. 

Vatea sprung into existence. 
Papa is bright as the morn. 
Vari-the-originator-of-all-things 
Sheltered her (Papa) under her 
wing. 

FINALE. 



Call to begin. 

le taia ia Maukurautaroa Let the storm be restrained 

Te rua i te matangi, e Vatea e ! In favour of Vatea, thou god 

of winds ! 

1 Papa could boast of father and mother ; but tjie children of Vari were 
simply moulded out of bits of her own body. An allusion is intended to the 
belief that the three original tribes are descended from the three illegitimate 
sons of Tevaki. 

2 A& a matter of fact, however, Vari and Vatea had no altars and no 
separate worship ; but the grandchildren of Vari had. 

8 Arum esculentum. 



TO 



Myths and Songs. 



Taipo e ! 

Taotao matangi na Jna 
Te kumutonga. 



O nai matangi riki e 
Ka arara'i oki toku tere 
Ki raro e I 



A taia e te matangi. 



Taia e te matangi 

O Tukaiaa te tai makoako. 



Koakoa e o tei po 
Kai matangi ru-eke e ! 



Solo. 

Go on 1 

Chorus. 

Awake the gentle breeze of Ina 



That bare her to her lover. 



Solo. 



O for a soft zephyr to bear me ( Vatea) 
Prosperously on my way 
To the shades ! 

Solo. 

Be lulled, ye winds. 

Chorus. 

Aye, they ai c lulled. No storm 
Now sweeps o'er the treacherous sea. 



Solo. 



Ye inconstant winds of nether-land 
Bear me down to her gloomy abode. 



Tangaroa and Rongo were the twin children of Vatea and 
Papa. These boys were the first beings of perfect human form, 
having no second shape. 

Tangaroa should have been born first, but gave precedence to 
his brother Rongo. A few days after the birth of Rongo, his 
mother Papa suffered from a very large boil on her arm. She 
resolved to get rid of it by pressing it The core accordingly flew 
out : it was Tangaroa 1 Another account, equally veracious, says 
that Tangaroa came right up through Papa's head. The precise 
spot is indicated by " the crown" with which all their descendants 
have since been born. 

Vatea's third son was Tonga-iti, whose visible form was the 
white and black spotted lizards. Under the name of Mata-rau, 



Myths of Creation. M 

or TJw-two-hundred-cyed, i.e. The-s harp-sighted, Tonga-iti was an 
object of worship in the Hervey Group. The fourth son of 
Vatea was Tangiia; the fifth and last son was Tane-papa-kai, 
or Tane-piler-up-of-food. Both Tangiia and Tone were principal 
gods of Mangaia. 

The home of Rongo was Auau (afterwards named Mangaia) 
in Avaiki. As an individual consists of two parts, viz. body and 
spirit, so this island has a sort of essence, or spirit, the secret 
name of which is Akatautika, i.e. The-well-poised, only used by 
the priests and kings of ancient days. When in after times the 
earthly form, or body, of Auau was dragged up to light, there 
remained behind in the obscurity of nether-world the etherial form, 
or spirit^ of The-well-poised. 

Now, Tangaroa was altogether the cleverest son of Vatea ; he 
instructed his brother Rongo in the arts of agriculture. Their 
father wished to make Tangaroa lord of all they possessed ; but the 
mother Papa objected, because as parents they dared not taste 
the food or touch the property of Tangaroa, the eldest by right. 
The mother had her own way. Hence, when a human sacrifice 
was offered to Rongo, 1 the refuse, Lc. the body when thoroughly 
decayed, was thrown to his mother, who dwelt with Rongo in the 
shades, in order to please her. 

' Government, arrangement of feasts, the drum of peace, i.e. 
all the fountains of honour and power, were secured to Rongo, 
through the selfish craft of Papa. 

Nearly all sorts' of food, too, fell to the share of the younger 

1 On Rarotonga only the rocking head of the victim was offered to Tangaroa, 
their tutelar divinity : the body might be devoured by the captors. On 
Mangaia the whole body was laid upon the altar. 



12 Myths and Songs. 

twin-god. The division was made on this principle : all the RED 
on earth or in the ocean became Tangaroa' s ; the rest, /.&' the 
great bulk, was Kongo's. Thus of the numerous varieties of taro, 
only one a reddish sort (kaka kura) was Tangaroa's ; the rest 
being sacred to Rongo. Amongst the multitudinous varieties of 
"meikas," 1 only the plantain was the property of Tangaroa's, 
on account of the redness and uprightness of its fruit The very 
name, "the upright-fruit" (uatu), testifying to the dignity of 
the eldest of the gods. Bananas of all sorts belonged to Rongo. 
The plantain, being the kokira, or head, of the great "meika" 
family, does not bend its head ; just as Tangaroa is the kokira, 
or the first in the family of the gods. 

Of three kinds of chestnuts, but one, the red-leafed, is sacred 
to Tangaroa. Of the two sorts of the indigenous yam, the red is 
Tangaroa's. Of the double variety of cocoa-nuts, one belongs to 
Tangaroa. All bread-fruit was sacred to Rongo. 

In regard to the wealth of the ocean, Rongo was decidedly the 
gainer. But four sorts of fish all scarlet, besides lobsters, fell to 
Tangaroa. The silvery, striped, spotted, and black were all 
Rongo's. 

Thus Rongo became very rich; Tangaroa comparatively 
poor. The twin gods made a grand feast, each collecting only 
his own food, to which Vatea and Papa were invited. Tangaroa 
made one great pile of red taro, yams, chestnuts, cocoa-nuts ; the 
top garnished with red land-crabs and all the red fish he could 
find in the sea, etc. 

Rongo's pile was immensely greater. The treasures of earth 
and ocean were there. The parents declared that Tangaroa 
carried the palm for beauty; whilst Rongo excelled in abundance* 
1 The term " meika" includes bananas and plantains. 



Myths of Creation. 13 

Upon- the same principle all fair-haired children (rauru keu) 
in after ages were considered to be Tangaroa's (the god himself 
had sandy hair) whilst the dark-haired, which form the great 
majority, are Rongo's. Now Rongo's hair was raven black, 
as became E atua po, or God-whose-home-is-the-shades. Now 
and then a stray child might be claimed for Tangaroa, whose 
home is in the sky, i.e. far beyond the horizon ; the majority 
of his fair-haired children live with the fair-haired god in distant 
lands. Very few natives have light hair, a colour greatly disliked 
amongst themselves, but in their view suitable to foreigners. To 
this day a golden-haired child is invariably addressed in playful 
allusion to this myth, as " the fair-haired progeny of Tangaroa," 
Hence, in the ancient legend about Tarauri, the prince of reed- 
throwers, this famous son of Tangaroa is represented as being, 
with his brother, fair-haired. 

Chonis. 
Tarauri i te puti angaua e Pinga Tarauri, the waif brought up by 

Pinga, 
Ei uke i le mate e ! Avenged the disgrace of his brother. 

Solo. 

Taipo el Go on ! 

Chorus. 

^nau keu a Tangaroa, The fair-haired children of Tangaroa 

>lua piri paa i te ao. Doubtless sprung from dazzling light. 

Hence, when Cook discovered Mangaia, the men of that day 
were greatly surprised at the fair hair and skin of their visitors, 
and at once concluded that these were some of the long-lost fair 
children of Tangaroa ! 

1 It was but natural that Tangaroa should be displeased at the 
preference always shown to his brother Rongo. He therefore 



14 Myths and Songs. 

collected a vast quantity of red food of all kinds, and set out on 
a voyage in search of some other land, where he could reign 
alone. He made a long journey, and touched at many islands, 
scattering everywhere the blessings of food piled up for the pur- 
pose in his canoe. Finally, he settled down on his beloved islands, 
Rarotonga and Aitutaki, leaving Auau, or, as it was afterwards 
designated, Mangaia, in the quiet possession of Rongo = Tht 
Resounder. 

In winter tree-fruits disappear; whereas taro, bananas, etc., 
are in season all the year round. The reason for this is, that the 
former belong to Tangaroa, who merely permits his gifts to be 
seen and tasted here in the land of Rongo on their way (in winter) 
to realms where he reigns undisturbed. 

On this account these fruits were not regarded as private 
property, but as belonging to all the inhabitants of the district in 
which they grew. 

Ro(ng)o or O Ro was the chief object of worship at Tahiti and 
most of the Leeward Islands. His seat was the marae, 1 or sacrecj 
grove, at Opoa, on the island of Raiatca ; whence this worship 
extended to all the neighbouring islands, and throughout the 
Paumotu Group. Human sacrifices were continually offered to 
the great Polynesian god of war, to obtain success in their cruel 
enterprises. 2 

* These maraes were planted with callopkyUa inophylta^ etc., etc., which, 
untouched by the hand of man from generation to generation, threw a sacral 
gloom over the mystenes of idol-worship. The trees were accounted sacred, 
not for their own sake, but on account of the place where they grew. 

2 At Atiu Te-rongo, = the Rongo, the Rongo of Mangaia, was represented 
as a son of Tangaroa. At Raiata Oro was in like manner regarded as a 
son of the great Tangaroa. At Samoa Longo is repiesented as the MM <>i 
Tangaroa by Sina. 



Myths of Creation. 15 

When Captain Cook visited the Sandwich Islands, he was 
regarded as the incarnation of Rongo, or, in their dialect, Orono, 
or Rono, and accordingly received divine honours. An ancient 
prophecy asserted that Rongo, or Rono, who had gone to 
Tahiti, would return to Hawaii in a canoe of a remarkable shape. 
This seemed realized in the visits of Captain Cook with his two 
wonderful vessels from Tahiti. The great navigator counted 
forty-nine skulls on the marae of Oro at Tahiti, and witnessed 
the placing of the fiftieth. When he himself received divine 
honours at the Sandwich Islands, he was not aware that it 
was as the blood-stained Rongo, whose home was supposed 
to be in these southern islands, and at whose shrine those fifty 
reeking heads had been offered during a single generation. 
On Mangaia it was Tangaroa that was expatriated, without hope 
of return; Rongo was regarded as being in possession, 1 although 
resident in the shades. His marae is called O-Rongo, and was 
first set up on the eastern side of the island, but was ultimately 
removed to the west, where the great navigator held communica- 
tion with these islanders. It is singular that the " Voyages " do 
not allude to his great stone image, the secondary representation 
of Rongo, which must have been visible from the boat of the 
Resolution. Reference is made to the residence of the shore king, 
the guardian of the great national idol. 

The principal god of Rimatara was Rono or Rongo, to whom 
human sacrifices were offered. 

The wife of Rongo was Taka, who bare a daughter named 
Tavake. In the course of time Tavake grew up and gave birth 

1 The word is often used as equivalent to " deadly hate: " " Kua noo Rongo 
i roto " = " Rongo (i.e. deadly hate) fills Ms heart ; " in allusion to his being the 
author of bloodshed and war. 



1 6 Myths and Songs. 

successively to Rangi, to Mokoiro, and to Akatauira all illegiti- 
mate. Rongo wished his three grandsons, who were also his 
sons, 1 to live with him in Auau, in the shades. But Rangi was 
resolved to pull up this land Auau, afterwards called Mangaia, 
from Avaiki. This was a most arduous task; but, with the 
assistance of his brothers, the brave Rangi succeeded in dragging 
up the little island to the light of day. Rangi, Mokoiro, and 
Akatauira took up their permanent abode in this upper world. 
Thus the three brothers were the first inhabitants of Mangaia, and 
in the course of years gave rise to the original tribes which 
peopled this island. Three small rocks, united at the base, close 
to the inarae of Rongo and the altar for human sacrifice, are 
pointed out as symbolizing the threefold lords of the soil. 

Rongo continued to live in Avaiki, in the invisible or nether 
Auau, of which this island was asserted to be but the outward 
expression 1 2 He directed Rangi to offer bleeding sacrifices on 

1 That these children of Tavake were Kongo's is attested by the well- 
known couplet : ' 

Tai anau kakaoa The three royal bastards, 

Na Rongo paa la tama e ! Offspring of the god Kongo J 

Ngaritt'sf&e, circa 1790. 

2 The Hervey Group consists of seven inhabited islets. Each is supposed to 
be the body, or outward form, to which a spirit, bearing a distinct name, 
located in Avaiki, belongs. 

BODY. SPIRIT, 

1. Rarotonga = Western Tonga, I. Tumutevarovaro ~ echo. 

i.e. in loving memory of 
Western Tonga, or Tonga 
tapu. 

2. Auau = ten-need (The later 2. Akatautika 

name, Mangaia, means fence. 
Mangaia-Nm-Neneva = Man- 
gaia-monstronsly-big]. 



Myths of Creation. 17 

his marae in the upper world, from time to time the decayed 
corpse to be invariably thrown in the bush to his mother 
Papa. 

Mangaia now for the first time emerged to the light of 
day, and became the centre of the universe. Its central hill 
was accordingly designated Rangimotia = The centre of the 
heavens. The inhabitants of Mangaia were veritable men and 
women^ as contrasted with the natives of other outlying islands, 
who were only tuarangi, or evil-spirits in the guise of 
humanity. 

Vatea, or Avatea (~ noon-day), was thus "the father of the 
gods and men/' 1 the three original tribes being regarded as the 
direct offspring of Kongo; all subsequent settlers and visitors 
were regarded as interlopers, to be, if possible, slain and offered 
in sacrifice. 

3. Aitutaki = God-led. 3. Araura = fragrant wreaths for 

dancing. 

4. Atiu =s eldest-born (name of first 4. Enua-manu = land of birds. 

settler). 

5. Mauki land of Uki (the first 5. Akatoka = stony. Some say, 

inhabitant). Te-rae o-te-pau = the Up of 

the drum. 

6. Mitiaro = face of the ocean. 6. Nukuroa = vast host, 

7. Manuae = home of birds. 7* Enua-Kuia = land-of-red-parrot- 

feathers. 

It is said that the "spirit" name of Tahiti is "Iti,"?>. "iti nga" = 
sun-rising. Tahiti simply means "east," or " sun-rising/* from hiti (our iti) to 
*' rise : " fa being causative. That island was known in the Hervey Group 
by the name Tti or ' * east : " it ib only of late years the full name Tahiti has 
become familiar. 

1 Yet the great Vatea possessed no marae, had no wooden or stone 
representation, nor was any worship ever paid to him. 

C 



1 8 Myths and Songs. 

In song, the gods are called " te anau atea," i.e. " te anau a 
Vatea" "children of Vatea." The same shortened phrase is 
in use at Rarotonga : at Aitutaki and Atiu the full form " Avatea " 
is used, e.g. " kia kaka te mata o Avatea Nui " = " when the eye of 
Great Avatea (= noon) is open;" in other words, "when the 
sun is in its full glory ; " still in contrast with the darkness and 
gloom of Avaiki, or Nether-world. 

The ocean was known as Rauaika Nui, or The-vast-out-spread- 
plantain-leaf ; * that leaf being the largest in the world. The 
ocean was sometimes designated "the sea of Vatea;'' at other 
times " the sea of Tane." 

Above was the blue vault of solid stone, sustained originally 
by the frail props of Ru on the central hill of Mangaia, but 
afterwards permanently raised to its present height by the tremen- 
dous exertions of Maui. In all, there were said to be frfi separate 
heavens, rising one above the other into immensity. These con- 
stituted the Elysium of the brave. Here, too, was the home of 
Tangaroa, the scarcely worshipped god of day. 

Upon the brow of a hill, facing the setting sun, and near 
the great marae of the war-god, it is asserted that there once 
existed a deep, gloomy chasm (long since closed up), known 
as Tiki's hole (Te rua ia Tiki). This constituted the regular 
road to Avaiki, like the single aperture at the top of a cocoa-nut. 
Through it the three brothers descended to Avaiki, or ascended to 
the light of day, at pleasure. 

The three brothers are always described as joint "kings," or 
"Nga ariki." The entire body of their descendants were therc- 

1 A plantain leaf lying befoie me is eleven feet long ami three broad. 



Myths of Creation. 19 

fore called by the shorter form " Ngariki." To Rang! Rongo 
gave " the drum of peace ; " to Mokoiro, the direction over food 
of all kinds ; to the pet the youngest Akatauira was given the 
" karakia," or " prayers," and the sway over his brethren. 

Rangi, Mokoiro, and Akatauira were probably veritable per- 
sons, chiefs of the first settlers on Mangaia. Their wives were 
respectively named Tepotatango, 1 Angarua, and Ruange. Then 
came Papaaunuku, son of Tane-papa-kai, or Tane-giver-of-food. 
When Tane died he was worshipped by his son, who was sent for 
by Rangi as his priest. But Rangi was not pleased with Tane, as 
he spake only as a man, without frenzy, through his son Papaau- 
nuku. His grandfather Rongo lived only in the shades ; Rangi 
wished for a god who would live with him in this upper world. 
He therefore sent to Rarotonga to ask Tangiia, a renowned 
warrior-king of that island, to send him over one of his sons 
"who had grown up under the sacred shade of the tamanu 
leaves " to be his god. Rangi's wish was gratified, and Motoro 
was fixed upon by his father for the purpose. 

Tangaroa had one marae, and that almost neglected, the only 
offering ever presented being the first-fruits of all newly-planted 
cocoa-nut groves the tiny buds, which eventually become nuts. 
This was simply a recognition of his primogeniture. But the 
island was supposed to belong to Rongo and Motoro : the one 
god ruling the dead ; the other the living. 

Doubtless the worship of Tangaroa, Rongo, Tane, and 
possibly the Lizard god of Tongaiti, represented a much earlier 
and more widely-diffused system of idolatry than prevailed 

1 Bottom of Hades. 



2O Myths and Songs. 

here in historical times, when the children of Tangiia were 
deified. 

The heathen intellect has no conception of a Supreme Being 
creating a universe out of nothing. At Mangaia the idea of 
divinity was pared down to a mere nothing. Whenever the gods 
make anything, the existence of the raw material, at least in part, 
is presupposed. 

The primary conception of these islanders as to spiritual 
existence is a point. Then of something pulsating. Next of 
something greater, everlasting. 

Now comes the Great Mother and Originator of all things. 
For the first time we meet with the ideas of volition and creation. 
Van is represented as a female, on account of fecundity, she 
being the original of all the gods, and, remotely, of mankind. The 
arrangement of various lands in Avaiki, and the apportionment of 
the different functions of air, earth, and sea, are hers. The ninth 
night of every moon was sacred to her. Yet Vari is incapable 
of speech, and lives in darkness, her solace being the constant 
society of an affectionate daughter. 

In the description of her first-made (not born) son, Bright 
Noon (Avatea, or Vatea), one of whose eyes is the sun, we gain 
the first idea of majesty as associated with divinity. The ocean is 
his; his children, born like ourselves, are the great gods who 
direct the affairs of the universe, and are worshipped by mortals. 
To them belong the maraes and idols ; they receive offerings of 
food and listen to the prayers of mankind. 

And yet, strangely enough, associated with these original gods 
are the deified heroes of antiquity, in no wise inferior to their 
fellow divinities. 

Birds, fish, reptiles, insects, and specially inspired priests, were 



Myths of Creation. 21 

reverenced as incarnations, mouth-pieces, or messengers of the 
gods. 

The gods were supposed to have distinct functions; their 
quarrels were reflected in the wars of men. But none create, in 
the proper sense of that term. The Great Mother approximates 
nearest to the dignity of creator ; but when she makes a child, it is 
out of a bit of her own body. She herself is dependent on three 
prior existences destitute of human form. 

The earth is not made, but is a thing dragged up from the 
shades ; and is but the gross outward form of an invisible essence 
still there. At least ten heavens are built of azure stone, one 
above another (to correspond with the different lands in Nether- 
world), with apertures for inter-communication; but the stones 
were pre-existent. 

The principal words used by the ancient sages in speaking 
on this subject are 

i. Vari = Beginning. This important word is used when 
describing the commencement of any new order of things. The 
Great Mother herself is /^rAna-te-takere. 

Strangely enough, at the sister island of Rarotonga this word 
no longer means " beginning," but " mud ; " agreeing, however, 
with the sense of the Mangaian reduplicate "varivari" ~ muddy. 

Evidently, then, apart from their mythological views, these 
people imagined that once the world was a " chaos of mud," out 
of which some mighty unseen Agent, whom they called Vari, 
evolved the present order of things. 

2. Pua ua mai = Bud forth, or blossom, as of a tree. 
Evidently here is no fit conception of creative power. 



22 Myths and Songs. 

In seeking for an equivalent for ^, the first missionaries 
chose the word " anga " = made. Undoubtedly this is the best 
word \ its original narrow sense being enlarged by the constant 
perusal of the Bible, etc. The magnificent conception of real 
creation is as unattainable to a heathen sage as the sublime con- 
ception of a Supreme Deity. 



CHAPTER II. 
DEIFIED MEN. 



DERIVATION OF THE POLYNESIAN WORD 
FOR GOD. 

SOME five hundred years ago there lived on Tahiti two powerful 
chiefs : the younger named Tangiia, the elder Tutapu. Now the 
lands of the younger adjoined those of their only sister, and it 
chanced that one or two branches of a bread-fruit tree of hers, 
growing close to the boundary line, extended themselves over the 
soil of the irritable Tangiia. As is frequently the case with this 
tree, one half of this bread-fruit was almost barren, whilst the 
branches extending over the land of her brother were heavily 
laden with fruit Tangiia claimed the fruit as his, as it grew on 
his side of the boundary line : naturally enough the sister felt 
herself to be harshly dealt with. 

The elder brother Tutapu hearing of the quarrel interfered on 
behalf of their sister. Thenceforth the brothers became deadly 
foes ; and after many angry words, Tutapu resolved to collect his 
dependants, and upon a certain night to make a final end of his 



24 Myths and Songs. 

brother and his family. Tangiia, obtaining timely notice of 
his intention, fled with wife, children, and friends to the neigh- 
bouring island of Huahine ; but was pursued by the irate Tutapu. 
Tangiia was chased by his brother throughout the Leeward 
Islands, until finally finding that there was no rest for him in that 
group, he committed himself to the trackless ocean. Fortunately 
for him, he reached Atiu, where he stayed awhile. But the insatiate 
Tutapu followed him even to Atiu, many hundreds of miles from 
Tahiti. Tangiia again took flight this time to Rarotonga, which 
was destined to become the home of this renowned chief. 

Tutapu remained a considerable time on Atiu. Children were 
born to him ; some of his descendants afterwards reached Man- 
gaia in a drift canoe, founding a tribe devoted to furnish human 
sacrifices. 

Hearing that Tangiia was prospering on Rarotonga, Tutapu 
again manned his large double canoe, which is said to have had 
three masts, and to have carried 200 warriors, and started off once 
more in quest of his brother. Upon entering the harbour at 
Rarotonga, which bears the name of Nga-Tangiia, 1 the brothers 
prepared for a final encounter. In the conflict which ensued, 
Tangiia, assisted by Karika's party, defeated the invaders, and 
slew Tutapu-aru-roa = Tutapu-the-rekntless-pursuer) whose body 
was eaten by the victors. 

Tangiia himself never landed on Mangaia, the island which is so 
intimately associated with the history of several of his children, 
It is needful to distinguish this Tangiia, who is unquestionably 
an historical character, from the mythical Tangiia descended from 
Vatea, and one of the gods of Mangaia, whose iron-wood form is 
deposited in the museum of the London Missionary Society. 
1 = Ngati-Tangiia, z>, the tribe of Tangiia. 



Deified Men. 25 



The sages of Rarotonga erroneously assert that Mangaia was 
first discovered and inhabited by the famous brother of Tutapu. 
This is foreign and new. Unquestionably, Rangi and his friends 
were the first settlers on Mangaia from Savai'i. Other canoes 
came. In the presence of the new comers, the children of the 
original settlers, wishing to establish their pre-eminence, boldly 
asserted that Rangi, etc., came " up," not, as in truth, from the 
sun-setting, but out of the earth, from (S)avai(k)i, the original home 
of men and gods, a land in some places much like this, in others 
filled with horrors. It was, in their opinion, self-evident that 
all drift canoes were mere waifs predestined to destruction in the 
presence of a race who grew, as it were, out of the soil. 

The Karika family at Rarotonga expressly state that their 
ancestor came from Manu'a, the easternmost island of the Samoan 
Group. The family marae of the Makea tribe is therefore named 
Rangi-Manuka,) or " Manu'a (= Manuka) in the skies \ " as we say 
New Britain, New Caledonia, New England, etc., etc. They even 
state that Karika's great canoe, in which he performed his wonder- 
ful voyage, had " two masts," and carried 170 people ( okoitu ). 

It has been already stated that Rangi 1 requested the in- 
vincible warrior Tangiia to send him one of his sons as a god. 
Accordingly Motoro was sent, with two of his brothers, Ruanuku 



1 The " Ruanuku " of Mangaian mythology is the " Uanuku " of Rarotonga. 
Uanuku is repiesented by their " wise men" as the eldest son of Tangiia. 

" Motoro" signifies "to approach to (a woman);" so that it is 
equivalent to "Epws, in the sense of libido. He was so called by his father 
Tangiia, in allusion to his own passionate love for his wife Moetuma. Tangiia 
in his wanderings married two Mauke girls, Moetuma, and her younger sister 
Puatara, 



26 Myths and Songs. 

and Kereteki. Utakea, the third son of Tangiia, started for 
Mangaia some time after his brothers. Motoro was the fourth 
and best beloved son of the great Rarotongan chief. When the 
three brothers Ruamiku, Kereteki, and Motoro were halfway 
on their voyage to Mangaia, a violent quarrel sprang up, the 
two elder brothers united in throwing Motoro into the sea, where 
he miserably perished. The fratricides safely landed opposite 
to the marae of Rongo, and were pleased to see a deep hole in 
the reef, through which the fresh water from the interior is poured 
into the ocean. It is surprising to find a large body of pure 
spring water gurgling up in the midst of the sea. Here they 
resolved to refresh themselves with a bath after their adventurous 
voyage. But as the aperture in the sharp coral will not admit of 
two large men bathing together, the point was hotly contested, 
who should get in first It was finally settled that the first-born 
should enjoy the first bath. The instant Ruanuku's head was 
under water, his long hair was firmly grasped by Kereteki, to 
prevent him from raising it again. After a time Kereteki dragged 
ashore the dead body of the murdered Ruanuku, and buried it 

At a well-known spot on the south of the island afterwards 
landed Utakea, who lived peaceably with his brother Keretoki. 
Both lived and died on Mangaia. Very strangely indeed, the 
cruel Kereteki, twice a fratricide, and his brother Utakca, were 
worshipped as gods in the next generation. As if in penitence, 
Kereteki set up the marae sacred to his slain brother Motoro. 
Here the spirit of Motoro was supposed to reside j and down 
to the destruction of idolatry, in 1824, this spot was regarded as 
being the most sacred in the interior; as the marae of Rongo was 
the most sacred on the sea-shore. A flourishing plantation of 
plantains now occupies the place of the idol grove. 



Deified Men. 27 



It was well-known that Motoro's body was devoured by sharks- 
but then it was asserted that his spirit floated on a piece of 
hibiscus 1 over the crest of the ocean billows until it reached 
Mangaia, where it was pleased to "inhabit" or "possess" 
Papaaunuku, and driving him into a frenzy, compelled him to 
utter his oracles from a foaming mouth. This was just the sort 
of divinity that Rangi, the first king of Mangaia, wanted. Motoro 
was at once recognized as the great chiefs own god, and 
Papaaunuku and his descendants as the priests of the new 
divinity. As Rongo lived and reigned in the "night," or the 
shades, so Motoro should live and reign in the " day," or this 
upper world. The three original tribes and the kings, invariably 
worshipped Rongo and Motoro; but many are said to have 
disapproved of the new worship, correctly regarding Rongo as 
the great original heathen divinity of Mangaia. Until 1824 both 
were conjointly worshipped as the supreme deities of this island, 
Rongo taking the first place. 

The family of the first priest of Motoro was named the 
Amama, or the open-mouthed, to intimate that they were the 
mouth-pieces of that divinity. To this day this appellation is 
kept up, although but few know the reason for it. 

Makitaka, the last priest of Motoro, embraced Christianity, 
and died in 1830. The idol itself has long reposed in the 
museum of the London Missionary Society. 

The worshippers of Utakea and Kereteki were, in later times, 
offered in sacrifice to Rongo and Motoro. 

Motoro was proudly called Te io ora, or The-living-gorf, 

1 The sacred men assert that this is the reason why au (hibiscus) comes 
also to mean "reign," or "rule." 



28 Myths and Songs. 

because he alone of "the gods of day" would not permit his 
worshippers to be offered in sacrifice. The other divinities were 
styled " io mate," or " dead-gods," as their worshippers were ever 
eligible for the altar of dread Rongo, who lived in the shades. 

The word " io," commonly used for " god," properly means 
" pith," or " core " of a tree. What the core is to the tree, the god 
was believed to be to the man. In other words, the gods were 
the life of mankind. Even when a worshipper of Motoro was 
slain in fair fight, it was supposed that the enraged divinity would, 
by some special misfortune or disease, put an end to the offender. 
Most appropriately and beautifully do the natives transfer the 
name Io ora, or The-liv ing-god to Jehovah, as His worshipers 
NEVER die ! 

Motoro, Kereteki, and Utakea were represented by iron-wood 
idols in the god-house of the king. On entering that rude reed 
hut, the dwelling-place of the chief divinities of Mangaia, the first 
idol was Rongo, in the form of a trumpet-shell ; next came the 
honoured Motoro, the guide of daily life ; then came Tane and 
ten other objects of worship, amongst which were Kereteki and 
Utakea. 

The iron-wood idol called Tane merely, was asserted to 
represent the fifth son of Vatea; and yet was only third in order 
of dignity. Tangiia, the fourth son of Vatea, was the last in 
regard to dignity and order. Of the innumerable objects of fear 
and worship, only thirteen were admitted to the honour of a place 
in this rude Pantheon as national gods. 



Deified Men. 29 



TIAIO, KING AND GOD. 

The history of this sovereign of Mangaia is well known. A 
body of invaders from Atiu was utterly routed by the warlike chief 
Tiaio. To this day the natives of Atiu make pilgrimages to the 
spot where their countrymen fell in the olden time. 

Tiaio became deservedly famous for this exploit. But some 
years afterwards his pride led him "to defile the sacred district of 
Keia," the favourite haunt of the gods, by wearing some beautiful 
scarlet hibiscus flowers (kaute) in his ears. Now, anything red was 
forbidden in that part of the island, as being offensive to the 
gods ; the redness of the flower being emblematical of the shed- 
ding of blood. Even the beating of native cloth was forbidden, 
lest the repose of the gods should be disturbed by the noise. 

A hot dispute took place about this mark of disrespect to the 
gods, in which Mouna, priest of Tane-the-man-eater, slew the 
king with a blow on his head. The blood of Tiaio mingled with 
the waters of the brook running past the marae of Motoro, and 
eventually mixed with the ocean. Thenceforth that stream was 
held to be sacred, and it was fabled that a great fresh-water eel 
Tuna drank up the blood of the murdered king, whose spirit 
at the same time entered the fish. Tuna made its way to the 
dark deep fissure running underneath the rocks into the sea. 
The indomitable spirit of Tiaio, having thus succeeded in reaching 
the ocean, forsook the form of the eel and took possession of the 
large white shark, the terror of these islanders. The new divinity 
had a little marae set apart for his worship, close by the more 
sacred grove of Motoro, and but a few yards from where he fell 
by the hand of the jealous priest 



30 Myths and Songs. 

The Mautara, or priestly tribe, gave up their ancient divinity, 
Tone, in favour of this new god. The greatness of Tiaio 
marks the political supremacy of that warlike clan, which is of 
recent origin. Tiaio was a " food-eating " god, generally associated 
with Motoro. His oracles invariably ended with demands for 
a feasting. This jolly-tempered divinity's last priest was Tereavai, 
who died a valuable deacon of the church in 1865. A few cocoa- 
nut trees now mark the site of Mara, the deserted marae of the 
shark-god. 

Rori's life was spared by Manaune, expressly that he might 
carve the rough iron-wood representation of Tiaio, which, with the 
rest, now quietly reposes in the Society's museum. 

Koroa refers to this in his " crying " song for his friend Ata, 
recited at the "death-talk" of Arokapiti, circa 1817. 

Kua tae paa i te tiangamama Cruel misfortune has again o'crtakon 

la Teakatauira ekotia; This royal lube. 

Kotia O Ata Tukua raua Ata and his father Tukua have fallen ! 

Turou O Mouna O Tane-kai-aro, E'en as once Turou and Mouna, in- 

spired 

Kai-aro ra ia Mania. By Tane-the-man-eater, struck down 

E tainga taito ia ne'e, ia kora atu, Tiaio the king in the olden time. 

1 tai pau o Tiaio i te toru, ua tutua e ! Long, long ago was that great man 

slain. 



TANE-NGAKIAU. 

That is, ^w&4trwing'for-p<wcr. This pretended god was a 
brave warrior, who gave important assistance to Rangi in the first 
battle ever fought on Mangaia, in which the invaders from Tonga 
were defeated with great loss. As his reward he received the 
chieftainship of Ivirua. After his death his family deified him, and 



Deified Men. 31 



erected in his honour the famous marae Maputu, which stands 
a lasting memorial of cruelty. The entire centre was filled with 
reeking human heads cut off in cold blood to mark his canoniza- 
tion. It was asserted that whenever this detested divinity took up 
his abode in any individual, it was made evident by his skin 
assuming a blood-red colour, and the dying man would, with 
supernatural strength, fight imaginary foes, or rather unseen 
demons. 

This uncomfortable god had a carved iron-wood form, and 
was one of the thirteen principal gods of Mangaia now in the 
museum. 

TEKURAAKI. 

This god was introduced by Tui from Rarotonga. So long as 
"the royal Tama-tapu," the chief of " the-rcd-marked-tribe? main- 
tained their supremacy, this divinity was popular. For some 
generations prior to the introduction of Christianity, this tribe was 
almost extinct, and the separate worship of Tekuraaki almost 
unknown. Yet the carved iron-wood idol remained in the 
Pantheon until 1824, when it was surrendered to Messrs. Williams 
and Platt 

SONG OF THE SHORE KING, HIGH PRIEST OF 
RONGO. 

COMPOSED BY VAIPO FOR RAOA J S FETE, CIRCA 1815. 

Mariu te tapu o Motoro, I lay aside the sanctity of Motoro 

Te taka ra i Vairorongo Ere bathing in this sacred stream. 

I te koukou anga vai e i 'Twas here his spirit landed, 

turuki o Kongo i kakc ei. On this pebbly beach devoted to Kongo. 



Myths and Songs. 



Kua kake atu au ra i te pa, It landed on this nanow shore,- 

E atua noo ata i te kea, A god whose shade ever rests 

E tau ariki nei. On the sandstone sacred to kings. 

Ariki Tamatapu i noo i Mania Tamatapu once spent a night at Mania, 

Taea 'i Aupi i te vai When the entire valley was flooded. 

nga ariki e puipui aere, Such was the might of that king ! 

Marina Kongo te tapu i tai e ! I lay aside the sanctity of the shore- 

dwelling Kongo. 

Thus it is evident that many of their gods were originally men, 
whose spirits were supposed to enter into various birds, fish, 
reptiles, and insects; and into inanimate objects, such as the triton 
shell, particular trees, cinet, sandstone, bits of basalt, etc., etc. 
The greater gods alone had carved images for the convenience 
of worshippers ; the lesser were countless, each individual pos- 
sessing several The gods were divided into two orders, "dwellers 
in day," and dwellers in the shades, or night." AU the thirteen 
principal gods, save Kongo, were "dwellers in day," It. were 
continually busy in the affairs of mortals ; moving, though unseen, 
in their midst, yet often descending to "night," or to Avaiki, 
the true home of the major divinities. In like manner those who 
"dwelt in night" were supposed frequently to ascend to day to 
take part in the affairs of mankind, but generally preferred to 
dwell in spirit-land. A few were supposed to remain permanently 
in the obscurity of Avaiki, or " night" 

The "dwellers in day" were believed to hover about in the 
air, hide themselves in unfrequented caves, besides taking frenzied 
possession of men and women. These were the divinities of recent 
human origin. 

The lowest depth of heathen degradation is unconsciously 



Deified Men. 33 



reached in the worship of phallic stones, such as still exist in 
Tinian, one of the Ladrone Islands. The scene was one of great 
interest a natural grotto converted into a heathen temple, outside 
of which these degrading rites were performed. The original 
significance of this embruting form of idolatry is lost, although its 
symbols are still preserved. 



DERIVATION OF THE POLYNESIAN WORD "ATUA," 

OR GOD. 

The great word for God throughout Eastern Polynesia is 
" Atua" (Akua). Archdeacon Maunsell derives this from "ata" 
= shadow, which agrees with the idea of spirits being shadows, but 
I apprehend is absolutely unsupported by the analogy of dialects. 

Mr. Ellis x regards the first a as euphonic, considering "tua" 
= back, as the essential part of the word, misled by a desire to 
assimilate it with the " tev " of the Aztec and the " deva " of the 
Sanscrit. Occasionally, when expressing their belief that the 
divinity is " the essential support," they express it by the word 
"ivi-mokotua" = the back-bone, or vertebral column j never by the 
mere "tua"= back. 

That the a is an essential part of the word is indicated by 
the closely allied expressions "atu" ("fatu" in Tahitian and 
Samoan) and " aitu ; " in the latter the a is lengthened into at. 

A key to the true sense of " atua >J exists in its constant 
equivalent "io," which (as already stated) means the "core" or 
of a tree. 

Analogically, God is the pith, core, or life of man. 

1 Polynesian Researches, vol. ii. p. 201. 



34 Myths and Songs. 

Again, "atu" stands for "lord, master;" but strictly and 
primarily means " core " or " kernel/' The core of a boil and the 
kernel of a fruit are both called the "atu," i.e. the hard and 
essential part. (The larger kernels are called "katu.") As 
applied to a "master" or "lord," the term suggests that his 
favour and protection are essential to the life and prosperity of 
the serf. By an obvious analogy, the welfare of mankind is 
derived from the divine "Atu" or "Lord," who is the Core and 
Kernel of humanity. In the nearly related word "Atua" = God, 
the final a is passive * in form but intensive in signification, as 
if to indicate that He is " the VERY Core or Life " of man. A 
person who at a critical moment has lost courage is said to be 
" topa i te io," i.e. forsaken by his god, that divine something 
which imparts courage to fight or to endure. At Rarotonga the 
1 3th phase of each moon is called " Maitu ; " at Mangaia, "Atua" 
(see calendar). 

The word "rimu" means moss; "rimua" = moss-grow n> 
the final a as in the word "Atua," being intensive. Thus it 
comes to pass that "eternity" or "for-ever" is expressed by the 
phrase " e rimua ua atu " the essential part of which is "rimua." 
The idea is of a lofty tree covered all over with moss, the growth 
of untold ages. So that the phrase might be rendered "until 
covered with the moss of ages" i.e. for ever and ever. 

"Tupu" means grow, happen. In the phrase "mei tupua 
roa mai" (the essential part of which is "tupua") the sense is 
"from the very beginning," i.e. from the time when things first 
began to " tupu " = grow or happen. 

A very comprehensive designation for divinities of all kinds is 
"te anau tuarangi" or the-heavenly-family (" tu-a-rangi " like- 
1 All nouns may be converted into verbs by means of suffixes. 



Deified Men. 35 



the-keaven-or-sky}. Strangely enough, this celestial race includes 
rats, lizards, beetles, eels and sharks, and several kinds of birds. 
The supposition was that " the-heavenly-farnily " had taken up 
their abode in these birds, fish, and reptiles. 

A common and expressive name for God is " tatua manava " 
= loin-belt or girdle, as giving strength to fight 

A HUMAN PRIESTHOOD NEEDED. 

The gods first spake to man through the small land birds ; but 
their utterances were too indistinct to guide the actions of man- 
kind. To meet this emergency an order of priests was set apart, 
the gods actually taking up their abode, for the time being, in 
their sacred persons. Priests were significantly named "god- 
boxes" (pia-atua), generally abbreviated to "gods" i.e. living 
embodiments of these divinities. 

Whenever consulted, a present of the best food, accompanied 
with a bowl of intoxicating "piper mythisticum," was indis- 
pensable. The priest, throwing himself into a frenzy, delivered a 
response in language intelligible only to the initiated. A favourite 
subject of inquiry was "the sin why so and so was ill;" no one 
being supposed to die a natural death unless decrepit with extreme 
old age. If a priest cherished a spite against somebody, he had 
only to declare it to be the will of the divinity that the victim 
should be put to death or be laid on the altar for some offence 
against the gods. The best kinds of food were sacred to the 
priests and chiefs. 

Although unsuited for the delivery of oracles, birds were ever 
regarded as the special messengers of the gods to warn individuals 
of impending danger; each tribe having its own feathered 
guardians. 4_ 



36 MytJis and Songs. 

Of their many priests the leading place ever belonged to the 
" mouth-pieces " of Motoro. These men, significantly known 
as " the Amama," or " open-mouthed-tribe/' in reality ruled the 
island from the time of Hangi downwards : first as priests of 
Motoro, and latterly by right of conquest. The two districts 
belonging to this tribe are the only ones which have not changed 
hands. 

From the gluttonous habits of these priests is derived the 
phrase, " to gormandize like a god " (kai Atua). 

DEDICATION OF INFANTS. 

As soon as the child was born, a leaf of the gigantic taro plant 
(arum costatum) was cut off, its sides carefully gathered up, and 
filled with pure water. Into this extempore baptismal font the 
child would be placed. First securing with a bit of tafa the 
part of the navel string nearest the infant, the right hand 
of the operator longitudinally divided the cord itself with a 
bamboo knife. The dark coagulated blood was then carefully 
washed out with water, and the name of the child's god declared, 
it having been previously settled by the parents whether their little 
one should belong to the mother's tribe or to the father's. Usually 
the father had the preference ; but occasionally p , when the father's 
family was devoted to furnish sacrifices, the mother would seek to 
save her child's life by getting it adopted into her own tribe, the 
name of her own tribal divinity being pronounced over the babe. 
As a rule, however, the father would stoically pronounce over his 
child the name of his own god Utakea, Teipe, or Tangiia, which 
would almost certainly insure its destruction in after years. It 
was done as a point of honour ; besides, the child might not be 



Deified Men. 37 



required for sacrifice, although eligible. The bamboo knife would 
be taken to the marae of the god specified, and thrown on the 
ground to rot. If a second god's name were pronounced over 
the child, the bamboo knife would go to one marae and the name 
of the babe only be pronounced over the second marae. The 
removal of the coagulated blood was believed to be highly pro- 
motive of health, all impurities being thus removed out of the 
system. Hence the common query in heathen times: "I taia toou 
pito noai?" = " What divine name was pronounced at the severance 
of thy navel string ? " In other words, " Who is thy god ? " 

A deacon, still living, told me that his god was to have been 
Teipe, but when halfway to the marae of that unfortunate god, 
his father resolved to break his promise to his wife, and actually 
turned back and presented the knife to Motoro his own god. 
"Had my father not done so, I should long since have been 
offered in sacrifice, and should not have heard of the one great 
offering on Calvary," said he with evident feeling. 

At Rarotonga, when a boy was born a collection of spears, 
clubs, and slinging stones was made. When the sun was setting 
a great taro leaf filled with water was held over these warlike 
weapons, and the navel string was treated as above described. 
The idea was that the child should grow up to be a famous 
warrior. 

On the birth of the first-born son of the reigning king Makea, 
a human victim previously fixed upon was slain. The royal babe 
was placed upon the dead body for the purpose of severing the 
navel string, thus indicating the absolute sway he would exercise 
over the lives of his subjects upon succeeding to the throne of 
his father. 

It is often said to an ill-tempered person, " E pito raka toou " 



38 Myths and Songs. 

** " The name of a devil x was pronounced over thy severed navel 
string," the phrase having outlived the custom. 



NAMING OF CHILDREN. 

At convenient intervals the principal king of Mangaia, as high- 
priest of all the gods, assisted by the priest of Motoro, summoned 
the young people to their various family maraes to be publicly 
" named." Some might be verging on manhood or womanhood, 
whilst others were scarcely able to walk. Standing in a half circle, 
two or three deep, the operator dipped a few leaves of a beautiful 
species of myrtle (maire) in the sacred stream flowing past the 
marae, and sprinkled the assembly ; all the while reciting a song 
or prayer to the particular god at whose shrine they were wor- 
shipping, and who was supposed to be the special protector of 
those present 

At certain pauses in the song the king, as "pontifex maximus/ 
gently tapped each youngster two or three times on the head or 
shoulders, pronouncing his or her name. 

The idea evidently was to secure a public recognition of the 
god and clanship of each of the rising generation for their own 
guidance in the ceremonial of heathen life, and for the guidance 
of priests and chiefs afterwards. The greatest possible sin in 
heathenism was "ta atua," L& to kill a fellow worshipper by 
stealth. In general it might be done in battle. Otherwise such 
a blow was regarded as falling upon the god himself; the literal 
sense of "ta atua" being god-striking, or ^d-killing. Such 



1 Whilst their gods were nearly all malicious, some being more mischievous 
than others, the Hervey Islanders had not the idea of one bupiciuc evil spirit 
corresponding to our Satan. 



Deified Men. 39 



crimes were generally the consequence of ignorance : to prevent 
the priests and chiefs from such blundering, these occasional 
" namings " were appointed. In the event of war, and a con- 
sequent redistribution of lands, the favour of all the principal 
gods must be secured by favours shown to their worshippers at 
least to a selection of a few to keep up the worship of each idol. 
A great feasting invariably succeeded this ceremony of naming. 



4O MytJis and Songs. 



CHAPTER III. 
A S TRONOMICA L MYTHS. 

A CHASE THAT NEVER ENDS. 

THE only children of Potiki were twins : the elder, a girl, was 
named Piri-ere-ua, or Inseparable; the younger was a boy. 
These children were naturally very fond of each other : whatever 
the sister wished the brother agreed to. Unhappily, however, their 
mother, Tarakorekore, was a scold, and gave them no peace. One 
night the mother went torch-fishing on the reef. The tide, rising 
at midnight, put an end to her sport; but not before she had 
obtained a basket full of small bony red fish, called kukii. 
Upon arriving home, according to invariable native custom, she 
woke her husband and cooked the fish. Four divisions were 
made; the parents eating their portions at once. The mother 
would not agree to her husband's suggestion to wake the children 
to partake of the warm and savoury midnight feast. However, 
she carefully put away their portions into their baskets. 1 

1 Throughout the islands each member of the family has a separate foixl- 
basket, so that if hungry at night he should only take hU own share, ami not 
encroach upon his neighbour's. 



Astronomical Myths. 41 

Now, Inseparable and her twin-brother were all the time 
awake, but did not let their parents know the circumstance. In 
vain they waited for their mother to fetch them to share their good 
things. Potiki and Tarakorekore enjoyed a thorough good 
supper, but their children were not to get a taste until morning. 
The twins wept in secret. As soon as their parents were soundly 
asleep, Inseparable proposed to her brother that they should 
flee away for ever. At first the boy hesitated, but eventually 
agreed to comply with his sister's wishes. Cautiously opening the 
sliding door of their house, they started on their journey. Upon 
reaching an elevated point of rock, they sat down and again wept, 
each filling a little natural hollow in the rock with their parting 
tears, without, however, in the least relenting in their purpose. At 
last they leaped up into the sky, Inseparable holding on to the 
extremity of her brother's girdle. 

As soon as the morning star became visible, the mother went 
to rouse the children, so that they might eat their fish and taro ; 
but they were gone. Their little bed of fragrant dried grass was 
cold, though moist with tears. Hastily summoning her husband, 
a strict search was made. The path taken by the twins was traced 
by their tears. The little hollows filled from their eyes revealed the 
spot where they had last rested on earth. But no further trace 
could be discovered. In utter perplexity the now sorrowful and 
repentant parents looked up at the sky, where the sun had not yet 
risen, and, to their great surprise, saw their beloved children 
shining brightly there. Vainly they called on Inseparable and 
her brother to return. To stay longer on earth without these 
dearly loved, though ungrateful, children could not be thought of : 
so then father and mother leaped right up into the heavens in hot 
pursuit of the " Twins." But the children had got the start of 



42 Myths and Songs. 

their parents, and made the best of their way through the azure 
vault This strange chase is still going on j for the parents have 
never yet succeeded in overtaking their truant children. All four 
shine brightly : the parents Potiki and Tarakorekore, being larger, 
exceed their children in brilliancy. Brother and dearly-loved 
sister, still linked together, pursue their never-ceasing flight, 
resolved never again to meet their justly enraged parents. 

SONG OF THE TWINS. 

Eaa te ara i ooro ai nga tamariki a Wherefore fled the children of Tara- 

Tarakorekore ? korekoi e ? 

Noa riri paa i te ai kuku na Potiki ; Anger at the cooked fish of Potiki. 
I tu ai i ooro ai ; i tu ai i ooro ai ! They stealthily rose, and ran and fled 

for ever. 

Ua vaia au i teia e, ei ta ua taana e ! Alas ! that a mother should thus ill- 

tieat her children. 

E kore au e ta ; o te ui maie ua atu, Such was not my (father*i>) wish \ and 

when I intercede, 
Ua kore ake oi e 1 She will not relent. 

Ka akakutu ta ua'i ; ka akakutu ta She thrashes them, is always at it. 

ua'i. 

I moe ana au i Karanga ; i moe ana If one sleeps at Karanga or else- 

au i Karanga. where, 

I tau metua vaine : kore ua ka rerua Still there is no peace only threats 

koe ikona e 1 and blows. 

These lines were composed by Reinga for a fete held circa 
1813. A play is intended on the mother's name " Tarakorekore," 
which means " never-speak-at-all." 

Inseparable and her brother are the double star i$ and ft? 
ScorpiL The irate parents are the two bright stars v and \ ScorptL 

The Rev. W. Ellis, in his " Researches," erroneously calls them 
Gemini, or "The Twins," vol. iii. p. 172, second edition. 



Astrommical MytJis. 43 

I once heard a native preacher say, that Christ and the 
Christian should be like these twin stars, ever linked together 
come life, come death. The allusion was happy, and was per- 
fectly understood by all present, the story being a favourite one 
throughout the islands. 

MATARIKI, OR PLEIADES. 

These stars were originally one. Its bright effulgence excited the 
anger of the god Tane, who got hold of Aldebaran (Aumea) and 
Sirius (Mere), and chased the offender* The affrighted fugitive 
ran for his life, and took refuge behind a stream. But Sirius 
drained off the waters, thus enabling Tane to renew the chase. 
Finally, Tane hurled Aldebaran bodily against the exhausted 
fugitive, who was thereby splintered into six shining fragments. 
This cluster of little stars is appropriately named Mata-riki, or 
little-eyes, on account of their brightness. It is also designated 
Tau-ono, or the-six^ on account of the apparent number of 
the fragments ; the presence of the seventh star not having been 
detected by the unassisted native eye, 

Reinga thus sings of the wars of the star-gods : 

Ua riri paa Vena ra ia Aumea, Vena - 1 was enraged against Aumea, 

(Aldebaran), 
Noa kite ake i te kakenga. On account of the brilliance of his 

rising. 
Noa ui atu i te ara i pao ai Matariki She demanded if he recollected the 

ma fate of the Pleiades, 

E Mere ma e ! Shivered by Sirius and his friends. 

Tuarangi maiti 1 Tuarangi maiti ! Alas 1 ye bright-shining gods! Bright- 

shining gods ! 

1 Vena was a goddess, represented by the star Procyon (Canis Minor). 



44 Myths and Songs. 

This beautiful constellation was of extreme importance in 
heathenism, as its appearance at sunset on the eastern horizon 
determined the commencement of the new year, which is about 
the middle of December. The year was divided into two 
seasons, or tau : the first, when in the evening these stars appeared 
on or near the horizon ; the second, when at sunset the stars were 
invisible. 

The re-appearance of Pleiades above the horizon at sunset, 
i.e. the beginning of a new year, was in many islands a time of 
extravagant rejoicing. 

We have already seen that the sun was known as " the eye of 
Avatea, of Vatea (noon-day)? i.e. the right eye : the left eye of 
Vatea being the moon. 

Venus, as the morning star, was called Tamatanui, i.e. the 
eye of Tane. The evening star was regarded as a different planet 
being known as Takurua-rau. Jupiter was often mistaken for 
the morning star. 

The rainbow was designated "the-girdle-of-Tangaroa," by which 
the eldest of the gods was accustomed to descend to earth. 

The Magellan clouds are known as "nga matt," or the upper 
and lower mists. 

THE SUN AND MOON. 

A curious myth obtained in the now almost extinct Tongan tribe 
relative to the origin of the sun and moon. Vatea and Tonga-iti 
quarrelled respecting the parentage of the first-born of Papa, each 
claiming the child as his own. At last the infant was cut in two. 
Vatea, the husband of Papa, took the upper part as his share* and 
forthwith squeezed it into a ball and tossed it into the heavens, 
where it became the sun. 



Astronomical Myths. 45 

Tonga-iti sullenly allowed his share, the lower half, to remain 
a day or two on the ground. Seeing the brightness of Vatea's 
half, he resolved to imitate his example by compressing his share 
into a ball, and tossing it into the dark sky during the absence of 
the sun in Avaiki, or nether-world. Thus originated the moon, 
whose paleness is attributable to the blood having all drained out 
and decomposition having commenced. 

This myth was rejected by the victorious tribes ; not on the 
ground of its excessive absurdity, but on account of its represent- 
ing Tonga-iti as a husband of Papa, instead of being her third son. 
By this account the almost extinct tribe of Tongans should take 
the precedence of their hereditary foes, the descendants of Rongo. 

The origin of this myth seems to be this : 

Day (Vatea) and Night alternately embrace fair Earth (Papa). 
Their joint offspring are the sun and moon. The cutting of the 
babe in two was invented in order to account for the paleness of 
the moon. 

THE WOMAN IN THE MOON. 

The eldest of Kui-the-Blind's four attractive daughters was 
simply named Ina. Marama (Moon), who from afar had often 
admired her, became so enamoured of her charms that one night 
he descended from his place in the heavens to fetch her to be his 
wife. The goddess Ina became a pattern wife, being always busy ; 
of a clear night one may easily discern a goodly pile of leaves, 
known as " te rau tao o Ina," for her never-failing oven of food ; 
also her tongs of a split cocoa-nut branch, to enable her to adjust 
the live coals without burning her fingers. 

Ina is indefatigable in the preparation of resplendent cloth, i.e. 
'white clouds. The great stones needful for this purpose are also 



46 Myths and Songs. 

visible. As soon as her tapa is well beaten and brought into the 
desired shape, she stretches it out to dry on the upper part of the 
blue sky, the edges all round being secured with the large stones. 
Ina smoothes out every crease with her own hand, and finally 
leaves it to bleach. 

The cloth manufacture of the goddess is on a much grander 
scale than any seen in this world \ consequently the stones 
required are of a monstrous size. And when the operation is 
completed, Ina takes up these stones and casts them aside with 
violence. Crash, crash they go against the upper surface of the 
solid vault, producing what mortals call thunder. 

Occasionally the goddess first removes the stones from the part 
of the tapa nearest to her fair person, and then hastily rising 
empties out, as it were, the whole lot at once. The concussion 
produced by these ponderous stones falling together is termed by 
mankind a terrific thunderclap. 

Ina's cloth glistens like the sun. Hence it is, that when 
hastily gathering up her many rolls of whitest tapa, flashes of light 
fall upon the earth, which are designated lightning. 

The great antiquity of this myth is attested by the circumstance 
that throughout the Hervey Group the only names for "moon- 
light " and " no moon " refer to Ina. Moonlight is expressed by 
Ina-motea = the-brightness-of-Ina ; "no moon," by Ina-poiri = 
Incwwisibk. In the Samoan "Ina "becomes "Sina;" the 
word m&-sina = moon, embodies the name of the goddess. In 
the Tahitian " Ina" becomes "Hina." 

At Atiu it is said that Ina took to her celestial abode a mortal 
husband. After living happily together for many years, she said to 



Astronomical Myths. 47 

him, " You are growing old and infirm. Death will soon claim you, 
for you are a native of earth. This fair home of mine must not 
be defiled with a corpse. We will therefore embrace and part. 
Return to earth and there end your days." At this moment Ina 
caused a beautiful rainbow to span the heavens, by which her 
disconsolate aged husband descended to earth to die. 

ECLIPSES. 

Tuanui-ka-rere, or Tuanui-about-to-fly, a demon from the east, 
is at times subject to excessive fits of rage, in which he thinks 
nothing of swallowing up the moon whole. Affrighted mortals 
exclaim, " Alas ! a divinity has devoured the moon ! " and very 
anxiously wait to see whether the useful luminary will be restored 
or not 

Tangiia-ka-rere, or Tangiia-about-to-fly a demon from the west, 
was the ill-mannered god who devoured the sun in his anger. It 
was very comforting to find that in every instance sun and moon 
were vomited forth whole again, and resumed their old duties, 
apparently none the worse for what they had endured. 

No offerings were made at Mangaia to these demons, as was 
the invariable custom at Rarotonga, when the irritated Tangaroa 
was there believed to have done what at Mangaia was attributed 
to Tangiia and Tuanui. 

The upshot, however, was a very serious matter ; for the anger 
of these demons having been vainly exercised against the heavenly 
bodies, must occasion the death of some man of distinction, to 
assuage their ire, and as a sort of payment for giving back to man- 
kind those luminaries. 

Note the inconsistency of this with the former myth. 



48 Myths and Songs. 



A CELESTIAL FISH-HOOK. 

The tail of the constellation " Scorpio/' consisting of eight stars, 
two of which are double, is here known by the curious designation 
of " the great fish-hook of Tongareva" The monstrous myth 
associated with it is as follows : 

Vatea, the father of gods and men, whose home was in a part 
of Avaiki, or nether-world, called The-thin-land, one day went 
fishing in the deep blue ocean. He carried with him a great fish- 
hook, which he baited with a star (doubtless an allusion to the 
bright star, the last in the tail). Notwithstanding this brilliant 
bait, he caught nothing. Vatea now resolved to imitate the 
conduct of his mother, Vari-ma-te-takere, i.e. The-wry-bcgiiining ; 
accordingly, he pulled apiece of flesh off one of his own thighs and 
baited his big fish-hook afresh. This time he found that he had 
got a prize, but it was extraordinarily heavy. Fortunately, how- 
ever, the line attached to the hook was the strongest known, con- 
sisting of many strands of cinet cord plaited round, Vatea pulled 
away lustily at this line, and was rejoiced at seeing a large dark 
round mass slowly rising to the surface. This proved to be the 
island of Tongareva, which had till then lain at the bottom of the 
deep blue sea. Vastly pleased with this achievement, Vatea hung 
up his great fish-hook in the sky. Hence its name, " the great 
fish-hook of Tongareva." 

In some islands this constellation is known as " the fish-hook 
of Maui, with a somewhat similar myth to account for it. 

It is not a little remarkable that this group of stars was so 
called on Mangaia long before any European had discovered the 
island in question. When found, it was designated in the charts 
as Penrhyns, without its native name, Tongareva, being known 
until a schooner, in 1853, had the misfortune to go ashore there. 



Astronomical Myths. 



49 



When discovered, the inhabitants of Penrhyns knew of the exist- 
ence of Auau (or Mangaia), and asserted that Tavai, the erring 
wife of their great ancestor Mahuta, was a native of that island. 

A DAY SONG FOR MAAKTS FETE. 

BY TANGATAROA, 1 820. 

Chorus* 

Like the outstretched heavens 
Are the spread wings of the -warning 

bird. 

J Tis the incarnation of a god. 
One shakes with terror 
At the long curved bill. 
Solo. 

Ah, that long curved bill ! 

'Tis a bird from some other land* 

I am the chosen bird 
That comes to warn thee. 

Chorus. 

We are all chosen birds, 



E aparangi 
O te kaua peau nui ka rere. 

E uoa mai na e taae, 
E mataku paa taua e ! 
E roroa ua na ngutu e ! 

E roroa ua na ngutu e, e kaua, 
E manu 110 tai enua e ! 
Oi au ikitia te manu 
E tei taraka ae ! 



Oi au ikitia te manu 
I taraka, e tai rau, e Tane 1 
Paoa i te kaki aro, e pauru kaua. 

Euea te mata o te marangi nui 

Tamatakutaku e ! 
Omai tai turama ia Mangaia 

marama e ! 
E tamatanui aengata ua ao e ! 

le tutu ake ki runga e ! 
Nga manu taae, noea koe ? 
No nunga au, no ua reia e te 

matangi, 

Ua viriviri i te arorangi, 
Ka roi mai ! 

Tena oa te anana kaua ! 
Ua ana mai nei koutou ? 



Messengers of Tane, to save you, 
Our bills are long and dangerous. 

Reveal thy face, lovely full-moon, 

Whom all adore. 
O for a torch to illumine Mangaia, 

A bright morning star, harbinger of 

day. 
Solo. 

Pray stand erect, 

Ye divine birds. Whence came ye ? 
From the sunrising, driven about 

Through the expanse of heaven, 

We come to you. 
Chorus. 

Hail flock of warning birds ! 
Solo. 

Ha ! ye have arm ed, 



50 Myths and Songs. 

Chorus. 

Nako nei maira ! Welcome to our midst ! 

Koki, koka Tangaroa, In the heavens Tangaroa 

Akarongo koumu i te tua o Vatea Listens to the whispers of Vatea. 

Kokiia te rangi. Awake, ye winds ! 

Tapai la te rangi. Sweep o'er the skies. 

E rere i te itinga. Fly east (ye warning birds), 

E rere i te opunga. Fly west. 

E kapakapa te manu e tau ra. What a flapping of wings when 

resting ! 

FINALE. 

BY TIKI (1820), IN FULL CHORUS. 

Na verovero o te ra See yon rays of light 

I patia i Avaiki, Darting up from spirit- world 

O Kongo Nui Maruata (Where Great Kongo reigns), 

E puta i te rangi. Piercing the heavens. 

Ko verovero o te ra The rays of light are lengthening ; 

la iti pakakina te etu, The stars still shine ; 

E ma"u te marama The moon is full-orbed. 

Kongo te atua tupu a taae, Kongo, thou fiercest of gods, 

E tupiti i te moe Arouse all sleepers, e'en those 

Tavare-moe-roa. As profound as Tavare of old. 

E ara ! E ara ! Awake ! Awake ! 

E ara, e Tane, I to mata katau, Open, Tane, thy brilliant right eye. 

Aue e J kua kata te anau Atea Ha ! all the divine offspring of Vatea 

1 te rara varu ! Laugh at our brave diversion. 
Kua itirere i te popongi. Day is at hand. 

Kua ao e ! ? Tis dawn, 

Rum i te tere ia Tiki, The f&e of Tiki is over. 

Ka aere ei 1 We part. 

Six men in masks represented the warning birds. As incarna- 
tions of Tane they come from "the surprising." The "brilliant 
right eye" of Tane is Venus. 

"Tavare" is the lengendary sound sleeper (the mother of 
Moke), who passed each winter in unconsciousness. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE EXPLOITS OF MAUL 

THE FIRE-GOD'S SECRET. 

ORIGINALLY fire was unknown to the inhabitants of this world, 
who of necessity ate raw food. 

In nether-world (Avaiki) lived four mighty ones : Mauike, god 
of fire ; the Sun-god Ra ; Ru, supporter of the heavens ; and 
lastly, his wife Buataranga, guardian of the road to the invisible 
world. 

To Ru and Buataranga was bora a famous son Maui. At 
an early age Maui was appointed one of the guardians of this 
upper world where mortals live. Like the rest of the inhabitants 
of the world, he subsisted on uncooked food. The mother, 
Buataranga, occasionally visited her son; but always ate her food 
apart, out of a basket brought with her from nether-land. One 
day, when she was asleep, Maui peeped into her basket and 
discovered cooked food. Upon tasting it, he 1 was decidedly of 
opinion that it was a great improvement upon the raw diet to 
which he was accustomed. This food came from nether-world; 
it was evident that the secret of fire was there. To nether-world, 



52 Myths and Songs. 



the home of his parents, he would descend to gain this knowledge, 
so that ever after he might enjoy the luxury of cooked food 

On the following day Buataranga was about to descend to 
Avaiki (nether-world), when Maui followed her through the bush 
without her knowing it This was no difficult task, as she always 
came and returned by the same road. Peering through the tall 
reeds, he saw his mother standing opposite a black rock, which 
she addressed as follows 

Buataranga i tona rua, e rarangatu Buataranga, descend thou "bodily 

koe. through this chasm. 

E anuemie i akarongoia atu ei. The rainbow-like must be obeyed. 

Opipiri, 1 , Oeretue-i-te-ata e ! As two dark clouds parting at dawn, 

Vaia, vai akera. i te rua i Avaiki, nga Open, open up my road to nether- 

taae 1 world, ye fierce ones. 

At these words the rock divided, and Buataranga descended. 
Maui carefully treasured up these magic words; and without 
delay started off to see the god Tane, the owner of some wonder- 
ful pigeons. He earnestly begged Tane to lend him one ; but the 
proffered pigeon not pleasing Maui, was at once returned to its 
owner. A better pigeon was offered to the fastidious borrower, 
but was rejected. Nothing would content Maui but the posses- 
sion of Akaotu, or Fearless, a red pigeon, specially prized by 
Tane. It was so tame that it knew its name; and, wander 
wherever it might, it was sure to return to its master. Tane, who 
was loth to part from his pet, extracted a promise from Maui that 
the pigeon should be restored to him uninjured. Maui now set 
off in high spirits, carrying with him his red pigeon, to the place 
where his mother had descended. Upon pronouncing the magic 
words which he had overheard, to his great delight the rock 
opened, and Maui, entering the pigeon, descended. Some assert 
1 Names for the two clouds which are parted by the rising sun. 



The Exploits of Maui. 53 

that Maui transformed himself into a small dragon-fly, and perched 
upon the back of the pigeon, made his descent The two fierce 
guardian demons of the chasm, enraged at finding themselves 
imposed upon by a stranger, made a grab at the pigeon, intending 
to devour it. Fortunately, however, for the borrower, they only 
succeeded in getting possession of the tail; whilst the pigeon, 
minus its beautiful tail, pursued its flight to the shades. Maui was 
grieved at the mishap which had overtaken the pet bird of 
his friend Tane. 

Arrived at nether-land, Maui sought for the home of his 
mother. It was the first house he saw : he was guided to it 
by the sound of her cloth-flail. The red pigeon alighted on 
an oven-house opposite to the open shed where Buataranga was 
beating out cloth. She stopped her work to gaze at the red 
pigeon, which she guessed to be a visitor from the upper world, as 
none of the pigeons in the shades were red. Buataranga said to 
the bird, "Are you not come from ' daylight?'" The pigeon 
nodded assent "Are you not my son Maui? " inquired the old 
woman. Again the pigeon nodded. At this Buataranga entered 
her dwelling, and the bird flew to a bread-fruit tree. Maui 
resumed his proper human form, and went to embrace his 
mother, who inquired how he had descended to nether-world, and 
the object of his visit Maui avowed that he had come to learn 
the secret of fire. Buataranga said, " This secret rests with the 
fire-god Mauike. When I wish to cook an oven, I ask your 
father Ru to beg a lighted stick from Mauike." Maui inquired 
where the fire-god lived. His mother pointed out the direction, 
and said it was called Are-aoa - honse-of-banyan-sticks. She, 
entreated Maui to be careful, " for the fire-god is a terrible fellow, 
of a very irritable temper." 



Myths and Songs. 



Maui now walked up boldly towards the house of the fire-god, 
guided by the curling column of smoke, Mauike, who happened 
at the moment to be busy cooking an oven of food, stopped 
his work and demanded what the stranger wanted. Maui replied, 
"A fire-brand." The fire-brand was given. Maui carried it to 
a stream running past the bread-fruit tree and there extinguished 
it He now returned to Mauike and obtained a second fire-brand, 
which he also extinguished in the stream- The third time a 
lighted stick was demanded of the fire-god, he was beside himself 
with rage. Raking the ashes of his oven, he gave the daring 
Maui some of them on a piece of dry wood. These live coals 
were thrown into the stream as the former lighted sticks had been. 

Maui correctly thought that a fire-brand would be of little use 
unless he could obtain the secret of fire. The brand would 
eventually go out; but how to reproduce the fire 1 His object 
therefore was to pick a quarrel with the fire-god, and compel him 
by sheer violence to yield up the invaluable secret, as yet known 
to none but himself. On the other hand, the fire-god, confident 
in his own prodigious strength, resolved to destroy this insolent 
intruder into his secret Maui for the fourth time demanded 
fire of the enraged fire-god. Mauike ordered him away, under 
pain of being tossed into the air ; for Maui was small of stature. 
But the visitor said he should enjoy nothing better than a trial of 
strength with the fire-god. Mauike entered his dwelling to put 
on his war-girdle (ume i tona maro) ; but on returning found that 
Maui had swelled himself to an enormous size. Nothing daunted 
at this, Mauike boldly seized him with both hands and hurled him 
to the height of a cocoa-nut tree. Maui contrived in falling to 
make himself so light that he was in no degree hurt by his adven- 
ture. Mauike, maddened that his adversary should yet breathe, 



The Exploits of Mam. 55 

exerted his full strength, and next time hurled him far higher than 
the highest cocoa-nut tree that ever grew. Yet Maui was un- 
injured by his fall ; whilst the fire-god lay panting for breath. 

It was now Maui's turn. Seizing the fire-god he threw him up 
to a dizzy height, and caught him again like a ball with his hands. 
Without allowing Mauike to touch the ground, he threw him 
a second time into the air, and caught him in his hands. Assured 
that this was but a preparation for a final toss which would seal 
his fate, the panting and thoroughly exhausted Mauike entreated 
Maui to stop and to spare his life. Whatever he desired should 
be his. 

The fire-god, now in a miserable plight, was allowed to 
breathe awhile. Maui said, " Only on one condition will I spare 
you -,tett me the secret of fire. Where is it hidden t How is it fro- 
duced? " Mauike gladly promised to tell him all he knew, and led 
him inside his wonderful dwelling. In one corner there was 
a quantity of fine cocoa-nut fibre; in another, bundles of fire- 
yielding sticks the "a^," 1 the "oronga," 2 the "tauinu]' and 
particularly the "000," 3 or banyan tree. These sticks were all dry 
and ready for use. In the middle of the room were two smaller 
sticks by themselves. One of these the fire-god gave to Maui, 
desiring him to hold it firmly, while he himself plied the other 
most vigorously. And thus runs 

THE FIRE-GOD'S SONG. 

Ika, ika i taku ai e ! Grant, oil grant me thy hidden fire, 

Te aoaoaoa. Thou banyan tree ! 



1 The lemon hibiscus. 2 Urtica argentea. s Ficus Indicus. 



5 6 Myths and Songs. 

Tutuki i te pupu ; Perform an incantation ; 

Ka ai i te karakia. Utter a prayer to (the spirit of) 

Te aoaoaoa. The banyan tree ! 

Kia ka te ai a Mauike Kindle a fire for Mauike 

I nunga i te papanga aoa e ! Of the dust of the banyan tree ! 

By the time this song was completed, Maui to his great joy 
perceived a faint smoke arising out of the fine dust produced by 
the friction of one stick upon another. As they persevered in 
their work the smoke increased j and, favoured with the fire-god's 
breath, a slight flame arose, when the fine cocoa-nut fibre was 
called into requisition to catch and increase the flame. Mauike 
now called to his aid the different bundles of sticks, and speedily 
got up a blazing fire, to the astonishment of Maui. 

The grand secret of fire was secured But the victor resolved 
to be revenged for his trouble and his tossing in the air, by setting 
fire to his fallen adversary's abode. In a short time all nether- 
world was in flames, which consumed the fire-god and all he 
possessed. Even the rocks cracked and split with the heat : 
hence the ancient saying, " The rocks at Orovaru * (in the shades) 
are burning." 

Ere leaving the land of ghosts, Maui carefully picked up the 
two fire-sticks, once the property of Mauike, and hastened to the 
bread-fruit tree, where the red pigeon " Fearless " quietly awaited 
his return. His first care was to restore the tail of the bird, so as 
to avoid the anger of Tane. There was no time to be lost, for the 
flames were rapidly spreading. He re-entered the pigeon, which 
carried his fire-sticks one in each claw, and flew to the lower 
entrance of the chasm. Once more pronouncing the words he 
learnt from Buataranga, the rocks parted, and he safely got back 

1 Equivalent to saying, " The foundations of the earth are on fire." 



The Exploits of Maui. 57 

to this upper world. Through the good offices of his mother the 
pigeon met with no opposition from the fierce guardians of the 
road to the shades. On again entering into light the red pigeon 
took a long sweep, alighting eventually in a lovely secluded valley, 
which was thenceforth named Rupe-tau, or the pigeori s-resting- 
place. Maui now resumed his original human form, and hastened 
to carry back the pet bird of Tane. 

Passing through the main valley of Keia, he found that the 
flames had preceded him, and had found an aperture at Teaoa, 
since closed up. The kings Rangi and Mokoiro trembled for 
their land ; for it seemed as if everything would be destroyed by 
the devouring flames. To save Mangaia from utter destruction, 
they exerted themselves to the utmost, and finally succeeded 
in putting out the fire. Rangi thenceforth adopted the new name 
of Matamea, or Watery-eyes, to commemorate his sufferings; and 
Mokoiro was ever after called Auai, or Smoke. 

The inhabitants of Mangaia availed themselves of the con- 
flagration to get fire and to cook food. But after a time the fire 
went out, and as they were not in possession of the secret, they 
could not get new fire. 

But Maui was never without fire in his dwelling : a circum- 
stance that excited the surprise of all. Many were the inquiries as 
to the cause. At length he took compassion on the inhabitants of 
the world, and told them the wonderful secretthat fire lies 
hidden in the hibiscus, the urtica argentea, the "-tauinu," and 
the banyan. This hidden fire might be elicited by the use of fire- 
sticks, which he produced. Finally, he desired them to chant 
the fire-god j s song, to give efficacy to the use of the fire-sticks. 

From that memorable day all the dwellers in this upper world 
used fire-sticks with success, and enjoyed the luxuries of light and 
cooked food. 



58 Myths and Songs. 

nr " "" 

To the present time this primitive method of obtaining fire 
is still in vogue; cotton, however, being substituted for fine 
cocoa-nut fibre as tinder. It was formerly supposed that only the 
four kinds of wood found in the fire-god's dwelling would yield 
fire. 

"Aoa" means banyan-tree; for intensity and for rhythm the 
word is lengthened into "aoaoaoa." The banyan was sacred to 
the fire-god. 

The spot where the flames are said to have burst through, 
named Te-aoa, or the the-banyan-tree, was sacred until Christianity 
induced the owner to convert the waste land into a couple of 
excellent taro patches. 

Often when listening to the story of this Polynesian Prome- 
theus, the question has been proposed to me, "Who taught your 
ancestors the art of kindling fire ? " 

At Rarotonga Buataranga becomes Ataranga; at Samoa 
Talanga. In the Samoan dialect Mauike becomes Mafuie. 

THE SKY RAISED ; OR, THE ORIGIN OF PUMICE 
STONE. 

The sky is built of solid blue stone. At one time it almost 
touched the earth ; resting upon the stout broad leaves of the 
tew (which attains the height of about six feet) and the delicate 
indigenous arrow-root (whose slender stem rarely exceeds three 
feet). The unique flattened-but form of these leaves, like millions 
of outspread hands pressing upwards, is the result of having to 
sustain this enormous weight In this narrow space between 
earth and sky the inhabitants of this world were pent up. Ru ? 
whose usual residence was in Avaiki, or the shades, had come up 



The Exploits of Mam. 59 

for a time to this world of ours. Pitying the wretched confined 
residence of its inhabitants, he very laudably employed himself in 
endeavouring to raise the sky a little. For this purpose he cut a 
number of strong stakes of different kinds of trees, and firmly 
planted them in the ground at Rangimotia, the centre of the 
island and of the world. This was a considerable improvement, 
as mortals were thereby enabled to stand erect and to walk about 
without inconvenience. Hence Ru was named "The sky-sup- 
porter." Wherefore Teka sings (1794) : 

Tuperetuki i te rangi, Force up the sky, Ru, 

E Ru e, ua mareva. And let the space be clear ! 

One day, when the old man was surveying his work, his graceless 
son Maui contemptuously asked him what he was doing there. 
Ru replied, "Who told youngsters to talk? Take care of yourself, 
or I will hurl you out of existence." " Do it then," shouted Maui. 
Ru was as good as his word, and forthwith seized Maui, who was 
small of stature, and threw him to a great height In falling Maui 
assumed the form of a bird, and lightly touched the ground 
perfectly unharmed. Maui, now thirsting for revenge, in a moment 
resumed his natural form, but exaggerated to gigantic proportions, 
and ran to his father saying : 

Ru tokotoko i te rangi tuatini, Ru, who supports the many heavens 

Tuatoru, ka ruatiaraurau 1 The third, even to the highest, ascend 1 

Inserting his head between the old man's legs, he exerted all his 
prodigious strength, and hurled poor Ru, sky and all, to a tremen- 
dous height so high, indeed, that the azure sky could never get 
back again. Unluckily, however, for " the-sky-supporting-Ru," his 
head and shoulders got entangled among the stars. He struggled 
hard, but fruitlessly, to extricate himself. Maui walked oif well 



60 Myths and Songs. 

pleased with having raised the sky to its present height ; but left 
half his father's body and both his legs ingloriously suspended 
between heaven and earth. Thus perished Ru. His body rotted 
away, and his bones, of vast proportions, came tumbling down 
from time to time, and were shivered on the earth into countless 
fragments. These shivered "bones of Ru" are scattered over 
every hill and valley of Mangaia, to the very edge of the sea. 

" The district " (said my narrator) " where Ru's bones are sup- 
posed to have fallen is on the northern part of the island, and 
derives its name from this circumstance. It belongs to me." 

It is true that what is universally known in these islands as 
" the bones of Ru " (te ivi o Ru), is found all over the island in 
small quantities. Upon repeated careful examinations these 
" bones " proved to be common pumice stone. The largest " bone " 
I have ever seen on the island is about the size of a man's fist 
The peculiar lightness and bonelike appearance of pumice stone 
doubtless suggested the idea that it was the veritable remains of a 
famous hero of antiquity. The younger natives now know pretty 
well the volcanic origin of these mythical " bones." 

In 1862, when at Pukapuka, or Danger Island, where two 
years afterwards the first John Williams was wrecked, the 
natives brought me a large collection of idols of secondary rank. 
They piled them up in a heap before me. My curiosity was 
aroused by seeing an old man, formerly a priest, carrying what 
seemed to be a large lump of coal with evident ease. Upon 
carefully looking at it, this god proved to be merely pumice stone 
blackened by long exposure to rain and wind. Of course it had 
drifted from some other island. It was known as Ko te 
toka mama i.e. the-light-stone, and was regarded as the god 



The Exploits of Maid. 61 

of the wind and the waves. Upon occasions of a hurricane, in- 
cantations and offerings of food would be made to it. Such 
worship will be made no more ; for it is now deposited with the 
other gods in the museum of the University of Sydney. Purnice 
stone was not regarded as being sacred in the Hervey Group. 

THE SUN MADE CAPTIVE. 

Maui had secured fire for the advantage of mortals, had elevated 
the sky ; but there remained one great evil to be remedied the 
sun had a trick of setting every now and then, so that it was 
impossible to get through any work. Even an oven of food could 
not be prepared and cooked before the sun had set. Nor could 
a "karakia," or incantation to the gods, be chanted through ere 
they were overtaken by darkness. Maui resolved to remove this 
great evil. 

Now Ra, or the Sun, is a living creature and divine; in 
form resembling a man, and possessed of fearful energy. His 
golden locks are displayed morning and evening to mankind. 
Buataranga advised her son not to have anything to do with Ra, 
or the Sun, as many had at different times endeavoured to 
regulate his movements, and had all signally failed. But the 
redoubtable Maui was not to be discouraged. He resolved to 
capture the Sun-god Ra, and compel him to obey the dictates of his 
conqueror. 

Maui now carefully plaited six great ropes of strong cocoa-nut 
fibre, each composed of four strands, and of a great length. These 
wonderful cords of his were named by the inventor Aei-ariki r 
t\e. royal nooses. Maui started off with his ropes to the dis- 
tant aperture through which the Sun climbs up from Avaiki, or 

1 = Taei-ariki. 



62 Myths and Songs. 

the land of ghosts, into the heavens, and there laid a slip-noose 
for him. Further on in the Sun's path a second trap was laid. In 
fact, all the six ropes were placed at distant intervals along the 
accustomed route of Ra, or the Sun. 

Very early in the morning the unsuspecting Sun clambered 
up from Avaiki to perform his usual journey through the heavens. 
Maui was lying in wait near the first " royal noose," and exultingly 
pulled it ; but it slipped down the Sun's body, and only caught 
his feet. Maui ran forward to look after the second noose, but 
that likewise slipped. Luckily, however, it closed round the Sun's 
knees. The third caught him round the hips; the fourth, round the 
waist; the fifth, under the arms. Still the Sun went tearing on 
his path, scarcely heeding the contrivances of Maui. But happily 
for Maui's designs, the sixth and last of the " royal nooses " 
caught the Sun round the neck I Ra, or the Sun, now terribly 
frightened, struggled hard for his liberty, but to no purpose. For 
Maui pulled the rope so tight as almost to strangle the Sun, and 
then fastened the end of his rope to a point of rock. 

Ra, or the Sun, now nearly dead, confessed himself to be 
vanquished j and fearing for his life, gladly agreed to the demand 
of Maui, that in future he should be a little more reasonable and 
deliberate in his movements through the heavens, so as to enable 
the inhabitants of this world to get through their employments 
with ease. 

The Sun-god Ra was now allowed to proceed on his way ; but 
Maui wisely declined to take off these ropes, wishing to keep 
Ra in constant fear. These ropes may still be seen hanging 
from the Sun at dawn, and when he descends into the ocean at 
night. By the assistance of these ropes he is gently let down 
into Avaiki, and in the morning is raised up out of the shades. 



The Exploits of Mam. 63 

Of course this extravagant myth refers to what English children 
call "the sun drawing up water;" or, as these islanders still say, 
" Tena te taura a Maui ! " = " Behold the ropes of Maui ! 

It is interesting to note that the great Polynesian name for the 
Sun-god is Ra, as was the case in ancient Egypt entering into 
the composition of the regal title "Pharaoh," etc. The rule of 
each great temporal sovereign was indifferently called a " man- 
gaia"* = peaceful reign, or a "koina-ra" = bright shining of the 
sun, the sovereign chief, of course, being the sun. Sometimes 
he was called " the man who holds the Ra (sun) j " at other times 
"the Sun(Ra)-eater." At death, or the transference of the 
supreme temporal power, it was naturally said, " the Ra has set." 

Ra was the tutelary god of Borabora. 

Such are the three great achievements of Maui. Nothing more 
is related of him in the Hervey Group, save that he was driven away 
by Rangi for setting the rocks on fire. 

A husband is lovingly called by his wife her " rua-ra " = sun- 
hole, in allusion to the preceding myth, as from him comes the light 
of her life. The husband gallantly calls the wife his " are-rau," 
well-thatched house, where his affections repose. These are 
standard expressions in hourly use. 

THE WISDOM OF MANIHIKP (KORERO MANIHIKI). 

On the island of Rarotonga once lived Manuahifare and his 
wife Tongoifare, offspring of the god Tangaroa. Their eldest son 
was named Maui the First, the next Maui the Second. Then fol- 

1 Manihiki, Rakaanga, and Tongareva are situated about 600 miles north 
of Rarotonga. 



64 Myths and Songs. 

lowed their sister Inaika - Ina4Ju-Fish. The youngest was a boy, 
Maui the Third. Like all other young Polynesians, these children 
delighted in the game of hide-and-seek. One day Inaika hid her 
pet brother, Maui the Third, under a pile of dry sticks and leaves, 
and then desired the elder boys to search for him. They sought 
everywhere in vain. Inaika at last pointed to the pile, and 
naturally expected to see her little brother emerge from his hiding- 
place, as the sticks were scattered to the right and left. The heap 
had disappeared, but no Maui was to be seen, What had become 
of him ? But after a few minutes they were astonished to see him 
start up from under a few bits of decayed wood and some leaves 
which had been thoroughly searched a few seconds before. This 
was the first intimation of Maui the Third's future greatness. 

This wonderful lad had noticed that his father, Manuahifare, 
mysteriously disappeared at dawn of every day ; and in an equally 
mysterious way came back again to their dwelling at night He 
resolved to discover this secret, which seemed to him the more 
strange as, being the favourite, he slept by the side of Manuahi- 
fare, and yet never knew when or how he disappeared. One 
night he lay awake until his father unfastened his girdle in order 
to sleep. Very cautiously did Maui, the Younger, take up one 
end and place it under himself, without attracting his father's 
notice. Early next morning, this precocious son was roused from 
his slumbers by the girdle being pulled from under him. This 
was just as he desired ; he lay perfectly still, to see what would 
become of Manuahifare. The unsuspecting parent went, as he 
was wont, to the main pillar of his dwelling, and said 

O pillar I open, open up, 
That Manuahifare may enter and descend to nether- world (Avaiki). 

The pillar immediately opened, and Manuahifare descended. 



The Exploits of Mam. 65 

That same day the four children of Manuahifare went back to 
their old game of hide-and-seek. This time Maui the Younger 
told his brothers and sister to go outside the house, whilst he 
should look out for some place to hide in. As soon as they were 
out of sight, he went up to the post through which his father had 
disappeared, and pronounced the magic words he had overheard. 
To his great joy the obedient post opened up, and Maui boldly 
descended to the nether regions. Manuahifare was greatly sur- 
prised to see his son down there; but after saluting (literally, 
" smelling ") him, quietly proceeded with his work. 

Maui the Third went on an exploring tour through these 
unknown subterranean regions, the entrance to which he had 
luckily discovered. Amongst other wonderful things, he fell in 
with a blind old woman bending over a fire where her food was 
being cooked. In her hand she held a pair of tongs (i.e. a green 
cocoa-nut midrib, split open). Every now and then she carefully 
took up a live coal, and placed it on one side, supposing it to 
be food, whilst the real food was left to burn to cinder in the 
fire 1 Maui inquired her name, and, to his surprise, found it was 
Inaporari, or Ina-the-Blind, his own grandmother. The clever 
grandson heartily pitied the condition of the poor old creature, but 
would not reveal his own name. Close to where he stood watching 
the futile cooking of Ina-the-Blind grew four nono trees (morindo 
citrifolia). Taking up a stick, he gently struck the nearest of the 
four trees. Ina-the-Blind angrily said, "Who is that meddling 
with the nono belonging to Maui the Elder?" The bold 
visitor to nether-world then walked up to the next tree and tapped 
it gently. Again the ire of Ina-the-Blind was excited, and she 
shouted, "Who is this meddling with the nono of Maui the 
Second ? " The audacious boy struck a third tree, and found it 



66 Myths and Songs. 

belonged to his sister Inaika. He now exultingly tapped the 
fourth and last nono tree, and heard his old grandmother ask, 
"Who is this meddling with the nono of Maui the Third?" 
"/ am Maui the Third? said the visitor. "Then," said she, 
" you are my grandson, and this is your own tree." 

Now when Maui first looked at his own nono tree, it was 
entirely destitute of leaves and fruit ; but after Ina-the-Blind had 
spoken to him, he again looked and was surprised to see it 
covered with glossy leaves and fine apples, though not ripe. 
Maui climbed up into the tree, and plucked one of the apples. 
Biting off a piece of it, he stepped up to his grandmother and 
threw it into one of her blind eyes. The pain was excruciating, 
but sight was at once restored to the eye which had so long been 
blind. Maui plucked another apple, and biting off a piece of it, 
threw it into the other eye of his grandmother and lo ! sight 
was restored to it also. Ina-the-Blind was delighted to see again, 
and, in gratitude, said to her grandson, "All above, and all 
below"(= all on earth and all in spirit-land) "are subject to tliee, 
and to thee only." 

Ina, once called the-Blind, now instructed Maui in all things 
found within her territory; that as there were four species of 
nono, so there are four varieties of cocoa-nuts and four of taro 
in Avaiki, Le. one for each child of Manuahifare, 

Maui asked Ina, " Who is lord of fire ? " She replied, " Thy 
grandfather Tangaroa-tui-mata," (or Tangaroa-of-the-tattooed-face}* 
" Where is he ? " inquired MauL " Yonder," rejoined his grand- 
mother ; "but do not go to him. He is a terribly irritable fellow : 
you will surely perish." But as Maui persisted, the grateful 
goddess Ina said, " There are two roads to his dwelling. One of 
these is the path of death; whoever unwittingly approaches the 



The Exploits of Mam. 67 

Great Tangaroa by this path, dies. The other is the ' common,' or 
* safe J (noa) road." Maui disdained to choose the path of safety. 
Knowing his own prowess, he boldly trod the path of death. 

Tangaroa-of-the-tattooed-face, seeing Maui advancing, raised 
his right hand to kill him that hand which as yet had never failed 
to destroy its victim. But Maui, nothing daunted, lifted his right 
hand. At this Tangaroa, not liking the aspect of Maui, raised 
his right foot, for the purpose of kicking to death the luckless 
intruder. But Maui was prepared to do the same to the lord 
of fire with his right foot Astounded at this piece of audacity, 
Tangaroa demanded his name. The visitor replied, " I am Maui 
the Younger." The god now knew it to be his own grandson. 
" What did you come for ? " " To get fire," was the response of 
Maui. Tangaroa-of-the-tattooed-face gave him a lighted stick, 
and sent him away. Maui walked to a short distance, and finding 
some water, like that dividing the two islets collectively called 
Manihiki, extinguished the lighted stick. Three times this process 
was repeated. The fourth time all the firebrands were gone, and 
Tangaroa had to fetch two dry sticks to rub together, in order to 
produce fire, Maui held the under one for his grandfather ; but 
just as the fine dust in the groove was igniting, the impudent 
Maui blew it all away. Tangaroa, justly irritated at this, drove 
Maui away, and summoned a "kakaia," or tern, to come to 
his assistance to hold down the lower piece of wood, whilst 
Tangaroa diligently worked again with the other stick. At 
last, to the infinite joy of Maui, fire was obtained. It was no 
longer a mystery. Maui suddenly snatched the upper stick, one 
end of which was burning, out of the hand of Tangaroa. The 
patient bird of white plumage still firmly clutched with her daws 
the under fire-stick, when Maui purposely burnt either side of the 



68 Myths and Songs. 



eye of the bird The indignant tern, smarting at this ill-requital, 
fled away for ever. Hence the black marks, resembling a pair 
of eyebrows, on either side of the eye of this beautiful bird to 
this day. Tangaroa reproached his grandson with having thus 
wantonly deprived him of the valuable services of his favourite 
bird. Maui deceitfully said, " Your bird will come back." 

Maui next proposed to Tangaroa that they should both fly up 
to day-light through the hole by which the bird had escaped 
The god inquired how this could be accomplished. Maui at once 
volunteered to show the way, and actually flew to a considerable 
height like a bird Tangaroa-of-the-tattooed-face was greatly 
delighted. Maui came down to the ground, and urged his grand- 
father to imitate his example. " Nothing," said Maui, " is easier 
than to fly." At his grandson's suggestion, Tangaroa put on 
his glorious girdle^ by mortals called the rainbow, and, to his 
immense delight, succeeded in rising above the loftiest cocoa-nut 
tree. The crafty Maui took care to fly lower than Tangaroa, and 
getting hold of one end of the old man's girdle, he gave it a smart 
pull, which brought down poor Tangaroa from his giddy elevation. 
The fall killed Great Tangaroa. 

Pleased with his achievement in getting the secret of fire from 
his grandfather and then killing him, he returned to his parents, 
who had both descended to nether-land. Maui told them he 
had got the secret of fire, but withheld the important circum- 
stance that he had killed Tangaroa. His parents expressed their 
joy at his success, and intimated their wish to go and pay their 
respects to the Supreme Tangaroa. Maui objected to their going 
at once. " Go," said he, " on the third day. I wish to go myself 
to-morrow." The parents of Maui acquiesced in this arrangement 
Accordingly, on the next day Maui went to the abode of Tangaroa, 



The Exploits of Maui. 69 

and found the body entirely decomposed. He carefully collected 
the bones, put them inside a cocoa-nut shell, carefully closed 
the tiny aperture, and finally gave them a thorough shaking. 
Upon opening the cocoa-nut shell, he found his grandfather to be 
alive again. Liberating the divinity from his degrading imprison- 
ment, he carefully washed him, anointed him with sweet-scented 
oil, fed him, and then left him to recover strength in his own 
dwelling. 

Maui now returned to his parents Manuahifare and Tongoifare, 
and found them very urgent to see Tangaroa, Again Maui said, 
"Wait till to-morrow." The fact was, he greatly feared their 
displeasure, and had secretly resolved to make his way back to 
the upper world he had formerly inhabited whilst his parents were 
on their visit to Tangaroa. 

Upon visiting the god on the morning of the third day, 
Manuahifare and Tongoifare were greatly shocked to find that 
he had entirely lost his old proud bearing, and that on his face 
were the marks of severe treatment. Manuahifare asked his 
father Tangaroa the cause of this. " Oh," said the god, " your 
terrible boy has been here ill-treating me. He killed me; then 
collected my bones, and rattled them about in an empty cocoa-nut 
shell ; he then finally made me live again, scarred and enfeebled, 
as you see. Alas ! that fierce son of yours." 

The parents of Maui wept at this, and forthwith came back to 
the old place in Avaiki in quest of their son, intending to scold 
him well. But he had made his escape to the upper world, where 
he found his two brothers and his sister Inaika in mourning 
for him whom they never expected to see again. 

Maui the Third told them that he had made a grand discovery 
he had obtained the secret of fire. He had found a new land. 



Myths and Songs. 



-Where is it situated?" inquired they. "Down there" saic 
Maui the Younger. - Down where 1 they demanded. "Dowr 
tore* again shouted Maui. The fact was, they were not aware o 
the secret opening in their house leading to Avaiki. At the 
earnest solicitation of Maui, they all consented to follow him 
Accordingly, he went to the old post of their dwelling, and saic 

as before : 

pillar ! open, open up, 
That we all may enter and descend to nether-world. 

At these words the wonderful pillar at once opened, and all foui 
descended Maui showed them all the wonders of spirit-world, 
and when at length their curiosity was perfectly satisfied, he con- 
ducted them back to the upper world of light, to which they 
all properly belonged. 

MAUI ENSLAVING THE SUN. 

Food was now cooked by the inhabitants of this upper world, 
whereas formerly it was eaten raw. But the Sun-god Ra used to 
set in mad haste, ere the family oven could be properly cooked. 
Maui considered how he could remedy this great evil. A strong 
rope of cocoa-nut fibre was made and laid round the aperture by 
which the Sun-god climbed up from Avaiki (nether-world). But 
it was in vain. Still stronger ropes were made; but all to no 
purpose. Maui fortunately bethought himself of his beloved 
sister's hair, which was remarkably long and beautiful. He cut off 
some of Inaika's locks and plaited it into rope, placed it round 
the aperture, and then hid himself. The moment the Sun-god Ra 
emerged from spirit-world in the east, Maui quickly pulled one 
end of the cord and caught him round the throat with the slip- 



The Exploits of Maui. 71 

knot. The hitherto unmanageable monster bellowed and writhed 
in his vain efforts to extricate himself. Almost at the last gasp, 
he begged Maui to release him on any terms he pleased. The 
victorious Maui said that if he would pledge himself to go on his 
course at a more reasonable rate, he should be released. The 
promise was readily given by the trembling captive, and hence it 
is that ever since the inhabitants of this upper world have enjoyed 
sufficient sunlight to complete the duties of the day. 

THE SKY RAISED. 

Originally the heavens almost touched the earth. Maui 
resolved to elevate the sky, and fortunately succeeded in obtaining 
the assistance of Ru. Maui stationed himself at the north, whilst 
Ru took up his position in the south. 

Prostrate on the ground, at a given signal they succeeded in 
raising a little with their backs the solid blue mass. Now pausing 
awhile on their knees, they gave it a second lift Maui and Ru 
were now able to stand upright \ with their shoulders they raised 
the sky higher still. The falms of their hands, and then the tip 
of their fingers^ enabled these brave fellows to elevate it higher 
and higher. Finally, drawing themselves out to gigantic propor- 
tions, they pushed the entire heavens up to the very lofty position 
which they have ever since occupied. v 

But the work was not complete, for the surface of the sky was 
very irregular. Maui and Ru got a large stone adze apiece, and 
therewith chipped off the roughest parts of the sky, thus giving it 
a perfectly oval appearance. They now procured superior adzes, 
in order to finish off the work so auspiciously commenced. Maui 
and Ru did not cease to chip, chip, chip at the blue vault, until 
it became faultlessly smooth and beautiful, as we see it now I 



Myths and Songs. 



HAITI'S LAST AND GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT. 

A native of Rarotonga, named Iku, was a noted fisherman. He 
was accustomed to go out to sea a great distance, and yet safely 
find his way back with abundance of fish. The obvious reason of 
this was that Iku knew the names and movements of the stars \ 
and by them he steered his course at night. 

Upon one occasion this Rarotongan fisherman, at a great 
distance from his home, discovered a vast block of stone at the 
bottom of the ocean. This was the island of Manihiki. Iku 
made sail for Rarotonga to tell what he had seen. 

The three brothers Maui heard Iku tell his story of this sub- 
marine island, and determined to get possession of it for them- 
selves. Accordingly, without giving the discoverer the slightest 
hint of their intentions, they sailed in a large canoe to the north 
(a distance of 600 miles) in quest of the sunken island. Many 
days passed in weary search, ere they were rewarded with a sight 
of the great block of coral at the bottom of the sea. 

Maui the Elder now baited his large hook with a piece of raw 
fish, and let it down. The bait took; and Maui the Elder pulled 
hard at the line. As the fish drew near the surface, he asked his 
brother whether it was a shark or a kakai. They pronounced it to 
be a kakai. 

Maui the Second next baited his hook, and like his brother 
caught only a kakai. 

It was now Maui the Younger^ turn to try his luck. He 
selected as bait the young bud x of the cocoa-nut, which he had 
brought with him for the purpose. This he wrapped up in a leaf 
1 The size of a filbert. 



The Exploits of Maui. 73 

of the laurel tree. A very strong line was attached to the hook, 
and then let down. Maui soon found that he had got hold of 
something very heavy, and he in his turn asked his brothers what 
sort of fish was on his hook. They sapiently assured him that " it 
was either a shark or a kakai." 

Maui found his prize to be intolerably heavy, so he put forth 
all his hidden strength, and up came the entire island of Manihiki ! 
As the island neared the surface, the canoe in which the three 
brothers were, broke in two with the mighty straining of Maui the 
Younger. His two brothers were precipitated into the ocean and 
drowned. Luckily for Maui the Younger, one of his feet rested on 
the solid coral of the ascending island. At length Manihiki rose 
high and dry above the breakers, drawn up from the ocean depths 
by the exertions of the now solitary Maui. 

Maui surveyed his island possession with great satisfaction, for 
this he regarded as his crowning achievement. There was, how- 
ever, one serious defect, there was no canoe passage. Maui at 
once set to work upon a part of the reef, and made the excellent 
opening for canoes which distinguishes Manihiki above many other 
islands. 

Not long afterwards Iku came back to his favourite fishing- 
ground. Great was his surprise and indignation to find Manihiki 
raised up from the ocean depths by the eiforts of Maui, and 
already inhabited by him. Iku resolved to slay Maui for doing 
this. He got ashore at the passage which his adversary had so 
conveniently made, and fought with Maui* In this fight Maui 
retreated to a certain spot, stamped his foot with great violence, 
and so broke off a part of what now constitutes one extremity of 
the sister islet of Rakaanga. 

Iku feared not this exhibition of the prowess of Maui, and 



74 Myths and Songs. 

again pursued him with intent to kill him. Maui now ran to the 
opposite side of Manihiki, and again violently stamped the earth 
with his foot; and thus it was that the originally large island of 
Manihiki was cleft into two equal parts, one of which retains the 
ancient designation Manihiki, the other is called Rakaanga. A 
wide ocean channel (of twenty-five miles) separates these twin 
coral islands. Finally, Maui ascended "up into the heavens and 
was seen no more. 

On the island of Rakaanga visitors are shown a hollow in 
a rock near the sea, closely resembling a human foot-print of the 
ordinary size. This is called the footprint of Maui? where his 
right foot rested when the canoe parted, and he had almost sunk 
in the ocean. Close by is a hole in the coral, said to be the place 
where Main's fish-hook held fast when he pulled up the island 
from the bottom of the ocean. It is asserted that Maui carried 
with him to the skies the great fish-hook employed by him on that 
occasion. The tail of the constellation " Scorpio " is to this day 
called by the natives of Manihiki and Rakaanga " the fish-hook of 
Maui? 

Iku lived alone on Manihiki for a time. One day he saw 
a cocoa-nut floating on the surface of the ocean. He brought it 
ashore, and then planted it. Thus grew the first cocoa-nut tree on 
Manihiki. 

Iku returned to Rarotonga to fetch his sister Tapairu and her 
husband Toa, All three safely reached Manihiki and settled 
down in their new-found home. Five daughters were born to 
Toa ; but no son was given to him until he married his youngest 
daughter. From Toa and Tapairu, a single family, all the present 
inhabitants of Manihiki and Rakaanga are descended. In after 



The Exploits of Mam. 75 

times Mahuta and his clan migrated to Penrhyns; thus the 
Penrhyn Islanders, the natives of Manihiki and Rakaanga, are all 
descended from the Rarotongan Toa and his wife Tapairu. 

Such is "the wisdom of Manihiki." Few myths are so com- 
plete, and few islanders have been so free from foreign admixture 
as the natives of Manihiki and Rakaanga. They wonderfully 
resemble each other ; so that to have seen one Manihikian is to 
have seen all 

A close parallel runs between their version of the exploits of 
of Main and that which obtains elsewhere. Some particulars 
are wholly dissimilar; for instance, I can find no account of 
" the tones of Ru." 

Mangaian tradition represents Maui as being driven away by 
Rangi to Rarotonga, for setting the island on fire. The " wisdom 
of Manihiki " represents Maui as living at Rarotonga, and starting 
thence on his wonderful voyage in search of Manihiki. 

The tail of " Scorpio " is on Mangaia known as " the great fish- 
hook of Tongareva? i.e. Penrhyns. The myth respecting it is 
similar to the preceding, but refers to Tongareva, or Penrhyns, 
not to Manihiki. Vatea takes the place of Maui. 

The story of Toa and Tapairu is simple history, well known at 
Rarotonga. That Mahuta, accompanied by his wife Tavai, 
emigrated to the hitherto uninhabited island of Penrhyns is 
undoubted truth. A second canoe, piloted by the son of the 
renowned Mahuta, followed and succeeded in making that exten- 
sive but most barren of islands, Tongareva. 

In July, 1871, I visited Rakaanga. We rowed in a flat- 



76 Myths and Songs. 

bottomed boat without a keel, built of cocoa-nut timber neatly 
sewn togetJier with cinet Yet these adventurous islanders think 
nothing of traversing the twenty-five miles of ocean between 
Rakaanga and Manihiki in such frail barks. 

The king pointed out to us the foot-print of Maui, and the 
rock in which his fish-hook caught. He next took us to the 
uninhabited islet (where now they keep their pigs), to show us 
the ancient road to spirit-land. We could perceive no hole or 
special depression in the ground ; but were assured that, if we 
dug deep enough, we should be sure to find it 

Maui once, standing upon this spot, overheard a confused 
murmuring of voices beneath. In a low voice he inquired who 
these imprisoned spirits were. Those underneath shouted out 
their names in the form of a song, which our guide repeated. 
Said he, " Our fathers assured us there they still are ; only earth 
has been piled upon the aperture." These spirits are said to be 
" like soldier crabs, boring down and hiding in the bowels of the 
earth." 



( 77 ) 



CHAPTER V. 
TREE MYTHS. 

THE MYTH OF THE COCOA-NUT TREE. 

iNA-MOE-Arru, 1 or Ina-wJw-had-a-divme-lover, daughter of Kui-the- 
Blind, once dwelt at Tamarua, under the frowning shadow of the 
cave of Tautua, so like the entrance of a gigantic edifice. A 
sluggish stream, abounding in eels, ran near her dwelling, and 
finally disappeared beneath the rocks. At dawn and sunset Ina 
loved to bathe near a clump of trees. On one occasion an enor- 
mous eel crept up the stream from its natural hiding-place under 
the rocks, and startled her by its touch. Again and again this 
occurred; so that Ina became in a measure accustomed to its 
presence. To her surprise one day, as she fixed her eyes upon 
the eel, its form changed, and the fish assumed the appearance of 
a handsome youth, who said to Ina, " I am Tuna (eel), the god 
and protector of all fresh-water eels. Smitten by your beauty, 
I left my gloomy home to win your love. Be mine." From that 
day he became her attached admirer in his human form, always 
resuming the eel shape upon his return to his proper haunts, so as 
to elude notice. Some time after he took his farewell of the 

1 Aitu = god. 



78 Myths and Songs. 

lovely Ina. " We must part," said Tuna ; " but, as a memorial of 
our attachment, I will bestow on you a great boon. To-morrow 
there will be a mighty rain, flooding the entire valley. Be not 
afraid, as it will enable me to approach your house on yon rising 
ground in my eel form. I will lay my head upon the wooden 
threshold. At once cut it off, and bury it : be sure daily to visit 
the spot to see what will come of it." 

Ina saw no more of her handsome lover ; but was that night 
roused from sleep by rain falling in torrents. Remembering 
Tuna's words, she remained quietly in her dwelling until daylight, 
when she found that the water, streaming down from the hills, 
had covered the taro-patches, and had risen close to the entrance 
to her hut. At this moment a great eel approached her, and laid 
its head upon her threshold. Ina ran to fetch her axe, and forth- 
with chopped off the head, and buried it at the back of her hut on 
the hill-side. The rain ceased, and in the course of a day or two 
the waters were drained off by the natural passage under the rocks 
the true home of Tuna. 

According to her promise to her lover, Ina daily visited the 
spot where the enormous eel's head was buried ; but for many days 
saw nothing worthy of notice. At last she was delighted to find a 
stout green shoot piercing the soil. Next day the shoot had 
divided into two. The twin shoots, thus gradually unfolding 
themselves, were very different from other plants. They grew to 
maturity, and sent forth great leaves, exciting the wonder of all. 
After the lapse of years flowers and fruit appeared. Of these 
twin cocoa-nut trees, sprung from the two halves of Tuna's brains, 
one was red in stem, branches, and fruit; whilst the other was of 
a deep green. And thus came into existence the two principal 
varieties of the cocoa-nut; the red being sacred to Tangaroa, and 



Tree Myths. 79 



the green to Rongo. In proof of its being derived from the head 
of Tuna, when husked on each nut is invariably found the two 
eyes and mouth of the lover of Ina. 

The white kernel of the cocoa-nut is commonly called "te 
roro o Tuna," or the brains of Tuna. In heathenism it was 
unlawful for women to eat eels; and to this day they mostly turn 
away from this fish with the utmost disgust 

The extremity of a great cocoa-nut leaf, termed the " iku 
kikau," and comprising ten or twelve lesser 'leaves, when cut off 
and neatly bound with a bit of yellow cinet by " the priest of all 
food," constituted the fisherman's god. Without this Mokoiro, 
as the divinity was called, no canoe would venture over the reef to 
fish. 

The same device was used in inviting great chiefs to a feast ; 
the sacred cinet, however, being omitted. 

The principal taro patch in each district was analogically 
designated the "iku kikau," as its possession indicated chieftain- 
ship. 

All " raui," or taboo restrictions, were and are still made by 
means of an entire cocoa-nut leaf plaited after a certain ancient 
pattern. 

The preceding myth is evidently designed for the glorification 
of the Amama, or priestly tribe, who were worshippers of 
Tiaio under the double form of shark and eel. In the year 
1855, at the very place indicated in this story, an enormous eel, 
measuring seven feet in length, was caught by daylight in a strong 
fish-net. In heathenism this would have been regarded as a visit 
of Tiaio, and the dainty morsel allowed to return under the 



8o Myths and Songs. 

rocks unmolested. As it was, it furnished several families with a 
good supper. 

In a figurative sense, Kongo's cocoa-nuts are human heads. 
Hence the common phrase respecting the beginning of war, 
" Kua va'i i te akari a Rongo " = the cocoa-nuts of Rongo have 
been split open; in other words, men have been clubbed. 

The mass of the people, chiefs included, never struck off the 
top of a cocoa-nut in order to drink- but were content to suck 
the refreshing liquid through the hole which nature provides. The 
cocoa-nuts of the priests were invariably struck off (tipi take) 
when drunk by them, symbolical of the fact that with them lay the 
power of life and death. Chiefs and warriors were merely instru- 
ments of their vengeance. 



TAHITIAN MYTH OF THE COCOA-NUT TREE. 

A king named Tai (sea) had a wife named Uta (shore) who 
was anxious to visit her relatives. But Tai did not like her to go 
without a present. He therefore inquired of the oracle what 
would be most suitable. The god directed him to send his wife to 
the stream to watch for an eel; that she should cut off the head of 
the first that presented itself, and deposit it in a calabash and 
carefully plug up the aperture. The eel was then to be thrown 
back into the water, and the calabash carried to the husband. 

Upon Uta's return from the stream, the king inquired whether 
she had been successful. The wife joyfully said yes, and laid the 
well-plugged calabash at his feet. Tai now advised her to start on 
her intended journey, and present the precious calabash to her 
parents and brothers, "for there is a wondrous virtue in it" Hu 



Tree Myths. 81 



told her that it would grow into a cocoa-nut tree, and would bear 
delicious fruit never before seen. He enjoined her on no account 
to turn aside from the path, nor to bathe in any tempting fountain, 
not to sit down, nor to sleep on the road, and above all not to put 
down the calabash. 

Uta gladly started on her journey. For a while all went well ; 
but, at length, the sun being high in the heavens, she became very- 
hot and weary. Perceiving a crystal stream, she forgot her 
promise to her husband, put down the calabash, and leapt into the 
inviting waters. After luxuriating for some time in this manner, 

she cast a glance at the calabash ; but, lo 1 it had sprouted the 

eel's head had become a young tree with strange leaves ! Grieved 
at her own folly, she ran to the bank and strove with all her might 
to pull it up j but could not, for its roots had struck deep. 

Uta wept long and bitterly. Perplexed now what to do, with 
joy she perceived a little messenger-bird from her husband direct- 
ing her to return. She went back to the king with shame and 
fear, and related to him all that had befallen her. Tai sadly said 
to her, " Go back to the place where thou didst see the eel whose 
head was cut off and deposited in the calabash. Seek for the 
living, wriggling tail. When found, get a stick and kill it : then 
come back and tell me." 

Uta did as she was desired; but as soon as she entered their 
dwelling her husband expired in expiation of her sin. 

THE IRON-WOOD TREE. 

The iron-wood tree (casuarina) was originally introduced by the 
Tongans, and planted in a deep sequestered valley at Tamarua, 
named Angaruaau. In the course of years it attained to a great 
size, and the fame of this graceful and stately exotic spread over 



82 Myths and Songs. 

the island. Oarangi and his four friends, hearing of its various 
uses in other lands, resolved to appropriate it to themselves, and 
thus to gain a superiority over the rest of their countrymen. In a 
secret conference about the matter, some advised Oarangi to have 
nothing to do with the tree, as it was an impersonation of an evil 
spirit named Vaotere. Oarangi, however, resolved that the famous 
tree should come down, in order to furnish him new and better 
weapons of war. 

Thief-like, they started by night on their ill-starred expedition, 
each provided with a sharp stone axe and a candle-nut torch. 
Arrived at the hill-side, they easily found the tree, so utterly unlike 
all others, in its long slender branches and wiry leaves, and 
towering above all its companions. It had four gigantic roots, 
gnarled and twisted in fantastic shapes. The torches were placed 
on the ground around the tree, making the night light as day. 
The four woodmen zealously set to work upon the four great roots, 
whilst Oarangi sat at a little distance to watch their progress. 
From time to time they changed all round, as some made cleaner 
and deeper cuts than others. But curiously enough, when each 
returned to the root which had nearly been severed, he found it 
restored to its original condition, as if no axe had ever touched it. 
The astonished men desisted awhile to consult with Oarangi, who, 
resolved to attain his object, advised that each should keep to his 
own root until entirely severed. Again they plied their axes, 
and oirrying out the advice of Oarangi, they eventually suc- 
ceeded in their endeavours. At dawn the tree fell to the ground, 
with a tremendous crash. By full daylight the top had been 
lopped off, and the ponderous trunk lay on the soil. They had 
triumphed. They resolved now to return home to rest ; to-morrow 
they would come back to finish their task. 



Tree Myths. 83 



At this moment the four men were taken ill, and began to 
vomit blood the redness of the blood answering to the redness 
of the inner bark of the iron-wood tree which had been so injured 
by them. They staggered to the stream which winds through the 
valley, and sought relief in its waters, but kept on vomiting until 
two of their number died, and their unburied bodies were left in 
the tall fern. 

Oarangi and the two surviving woodmen went off with heavy 
hearts. Upon reaching the crest of the hill overlooking the scene 
of their midnight toil, to their utter astonishment they saw that the 
great tree they had so recently felled was growing as stately as 
ever. They retraced their steps, in order carefully to note this 
wonderful phenomenon. There was no mark whatever of an axe 
on the resuscitated tree; even the chips all around had dis- 
appeared. The tree was restored to its former condition, with 
this difference, however the trunk, branches, and leaves were 
now all of the brightest red : as if resenting the treatment it had 
received, it bled at every pore, 

They slowly wended their way homewards, but ere long the 
two surviving woodmen fell dead in the road. Oarangi, greatly 
annoyed at his failure, resolved that his next attempt should be 
made by daylight, in the hope of better success. With a number 
of friends he returned one day to the valley in quest of this tree. 
Upon arriving at the summit of the hill, where the tree could first 
be seen, their eyes became totally blinded. With difficulty they 
descended to the bottom of the valley, and wearied themselves in 
searching for the tree. But after wandering about all day in its 
immediate neighbourhood, they groped their way homewards at 
nightfall without having found it at all. 

Oarangi had done his utmost, but had been foiled by the 



84 Myths and Songs. 

malicious demon of the iron-wood tree, and soon after died. But 
was there no one who could overcome Vaotere, and render the 
wood of the tree useful to mankind? Ono came from the land 
whence this tree was originally derived, and had in his possession 
a remarkable iron-wood spade, named Rua-i-paku = the-hole- 
where-il-must-faU, given to him by his father Ruatea, ere he set 
out on his voyagings, for any dangerous emergency. This talisman 
was very valuable as a club. Armed with Rua-i-paku, he resolved 
to do battle with the demon Vaotere. Upon reaching the shady 
valley of Angaruaau, he carefully surveyed the coveted tree, and 
began his operations by digging up the earth about the roots, 
being careful, however, to avoid injuring any of the main ones. 
Day after day, entirely unassisted, the brave Ono persevered in 
his arduous task in pursuing the roots in all their deviations over 
the valley and hill-side. Upon their becoming small and unim- 
portant, although exceedingly numerous, he fearlessly chopped 
them with his famous spade. The chips new in all directions, 
over hill and vale, under his mighty blows. After many days' toil 
all the surface roots were bared and severed at their extremities, 
so that the tree began to totter. The tap-root alone remained. 
Ono dug to a great depth into the red soil, and then, at a blow, 
divided it At this critical moment, the head and horrid visage 
of the evil spirit Vaotere became visible, distorted with rage at 
being again disturbed. His open jaws, filled with terrible teeth, 
prepared to make an end of the impious Ono, who, perceiving 
his danger, with one well-directed blow of his spade-club luckily 
succeeded in splitting the skull of Vaotere. 

The victorious Ono now. leisurely removed the four great 
gnarled roots which were, in sooth, the arms of the fierce Vaotere, 
md afterwards divided the enormous trunk the bleeding body 



Tree Myths. 85 



of the demon into three unequal portions : one to furnish a 
quantity of long spears, another to be split into arad, or " skull- 
cleavers;" the third to furnish aro, or wooden swords. All this 
was accomplished by the versatile qualities of Rua-i-paku, which 
was used first as a spade, then as a club, and now as an axe. 

The thousand chips from the small roots of this wonderful tree 
falling everywhere over hill and valley and sea-shore, originated 
the iron- wood trees now covering the island : but, happily, Vaotere 
can no more injure mankind. 

Until a few years ago this was believed to be the true origin 
of all the iron-wood on the island. It is not surprising that the 
heavy wood which in past times furnished all the deadly imple- 
ments of war, should have been regarded as the embodiment of 
an evil spirit The possession of land and the slaughter of men 
were alike the result of the use of this famous tree. "Toa" 
signifies indifferently " iron-wood," and what most resembles it, a 
"warrior." 

A series of songs on the exploits of Ono once existed. They 
are believed to have been several hundreds of years old. Such 
compositions are called "pee manuiri," i.e. "songs relating to 
visitors." They are known to be the oldest extant 

The following fragment relates to the preceding myth: 
ONO FELLS A FAMOUS TREE. 

TUMU. INTRODUCTION. 

Kotia rai te toa i Vaotere The iron-wood tree of Vaotere is 

felled : 

Kua aka-inga. It lies low on the earth. 

Tu e tauri te rakau e ! Once it stood erect ; now it is pros- 

trate. 



86 



Myths and Songs. 



PAPA. 

Uriuri ana rai 
Kua kotia la rakau 
Uriuria o te vao 

Tu e tauri te rakau e ! 



FOUNDATION. 

Turn the log over and over, 

The tree thus laid low. 

Formerly it was the glory of the 
valley, 

Once it stood erect ; now it is pros- 
trate. 



WANDERINGS OF ONO. 



TUMU. 

Rupitia ra Ono e te matangi, 

Tau akera i tai motu. 

O te rorongo I kauvare a Iva e ! 

PAPA. 

Kua nui ua rai ; 
Kua tokarekare lire. 
Ka ara Ono iaku nei 
Kauvare a Iva e ! 

UNUUNU TAX. 

Ka ara ra koe ra iaku nei e ! 

Iaku nei e ! 

E enua tauria e te manu 
Kua kai ana i Ono e, 
O te ua o te pitai 
Kura ra i motu e I 
Kauvare a Iva e ! 

PAPA RUA. 

E ua te matangi 
E te matangi tere ariki 
Kauvare a Iva e ! 

UNUUNU RUA. 

Tei te matangi tere ariki e, 
Nai ariki no Ono e, 
Ka araara i Iva nui 
E taia e Murake. 



INTRODUCTION. 

Ono tossed about by a tempest, 
Eventually reached this isle. 
Alas for the haunts of loved Iva ! 

FOUNDATION. 

How terrific the ocean ! 
The waves covered with foam ! 
A punishment for the sins of Ono. 
Ne'er more will Iva be seen ! 

FIRST OFFSHOOT. 

How great must be thy sins 
Against the gods ! 
This isle is but the home of birds. 
Ono is driven to satisfy hunger. 
With wild fruits and berries 
Growing, ruddy, over this isle. 
Ne'er more will Iva be seen ! 

SECOND FOUNDATION. 

Through rain and fierce winds, 
On a peaceful errand we sail. 
Ne'er more will Iva be been ! 

SECOND OFFSHOOT. 

On a peaceful errand we come, 
Ono, denied his regal honours, 
Still longs for Iva the Great. 
Alas for those slain by Murake ! 



Tree Myths. 87 



Ka eva ra Ono-kura Ono the Handsome chants mournful 

songs 

I te puka maru. Under the shade of the laurel trees. 

Kauvare a Iva e ! Ne'er more will Iva be seen ! 

This song is complete in itself, and is an introduction to the 
narrative of his exploits and sorrows. The style is very unlike 
that of later times, when the art of song-making became a national 
passion. There is no reference to the known history of Mangara. 
The "Iva " referred to is believed to be Nukuh/z/<z. 

It was under the rule of the Mautara tribe that the poetical 
faculty of these islanders was most highly cultivated ; i.e. during 
the past 150 years of their history. 



88 Myths and Songs. 



CHAPTER VI. 
INA, THE FAIRY VOYAGER. 

INA'S VOYAGE TO THE SACRED ISLE. 

THE only daughter of Vaitooringa and Ngaetua was Ina, whose 
brothers were Tangikuku and Rupe. The parents of Ina were the 
wealthiest people in the land of Nukutere, boasting as they did of 
a rich breast ornament, abundance of finely braided hair, beautiful 
white shells worn on the arms, and more precious than all these 
a gorgeous head-dress, ornamented with scarlet and black 
feathers, with a frontlet of berries of the brightest red. 

Early one morning the parents for the first time left their home 
in the care of Ina ; the mother charging her to put these treasures 
out to air; but should the sun be clouded, be sure to take them 
back into the house. For Ngaetua knew well that in the bright 
beams of the sun the arch-thief Ngana would not dare to come ; 
but if exposed on a lowering, cloudy day, the envious foe would 
not fail to try his luck. 

In a short time the sun shone brightly; not a cloud could any- 
where be seen. The obedient Ina carefully spread out these 
treasures on a piece of purest white native cloth. But the arch-foe 



Ina, the Fairy Voyager. 89 

Ngana was on the watch. Very cautiously did he approach 
through the neighbouring bushes in order to get a good sight of 
these much-coveted articles. He forthwith used an incantation, 
so that the sun suddenly became obscured. Ngana now fearlessly 
emerged from the thicket and endeavoured to grab the long- 
wished-for ornaments. But Ina was too quick in her movements 
to permit this. Ngana now with affected humility begged per- 
mission to admire and try on the various ornaments, for her to see 
how he would look in them. Ina was very loth, but after great 
persuasion, consented that Ngana should put them on inside the 
house. To prevent the possibility of his taking away any of these 
treasures, she closed the doors. The crafty Ngana now arrayed 
himself in these gorgeous adornments, excepting the head-dress, 
which Ina still held in her hand. Ngana, by his soft words, at 
length induced her to give that up too. Thus completely arrayed 
he began to dance with delight, and contrived to make the entire 
circuit of the house, careering round and round in hope of 
seeing some loophole through which he might escape with his 
spoil. At last he espied a little hole at the gable end, a few 
inches wide, through which, at a single bound, he took his flight, 
and for ever disappeared with the treasures. Ina at first had 
been delighted with the dancing of her visitor ; but was in utter 
despair as she witnessed his flight, and heard the parting words : 

Tamu tamu tai tara Beware of listening to vain words, 

E Ina e tou reka. O Ina, the fair and well-meaning i 

Not long afterwards the parents of Ina came back in great 
haste, for they had seen the arch-thief passing swiftly and proudly 
through the sky, magnificently attired. A fear crept over them 
that all was not right with their own treasures. They asked the 



90 Myths and Songs. 

weeping girl the cause of her tears. She said, " Your choicest 
possessions are gone." " But is there nothing left ? " demanded 
the parents. "Nothing whatever," said the still weeping Ina. 
The enraged mother now broke off a green cocoa-nut tree branch 
and broke it to pieces on the back of the unfortunate girl. Again 
and again Ngaetua fetched new cocoa-nut branches and cruelly 
beat Ina. The father now took his turn in belabouring the girl, 
until a divine spirit (" manu ") entered and took possession of Ina, 
and in a strange voice ominously said 

E kiri taputapu tana kiri ; Most sacred is my person ; 

E kiri akaereere taua kiri ; Untouched has been my person ; 

E kave au i Motu-tapu I will go to the Sacred Isle, 

Na Tinirau e ta ta i taua kiri. That Tinirau alone may strike it. 

The astonished father desisted : her younger brother Rupe 
cried over his beloved sister. After a while Ina got up, as if 
merely to saunter about ; but no sooner had she eluded the eyes 
of her parents, than she ran as fast as her legs could carry her to 
the sandy beach. When nearly there, she fell in with her elder 
brother Tangikuku, who naturally asked her where she was going. 
She gave an evasive answer ; but fearing lest he should inform 
her parents of her flight, she snatched his bamboo fishing-rod, 
broke it in pieces with her foot, and selected one of the fragments 
as a knife. 1 She now said to her brother, " Put out your tongue." 
In an instant she cut off its tip. Tangikuku vainly essayed to 
speak; so that Ina was certain that he could not reveal the 
secret of her sudden departure. She kissed her maimed brother 
and pressed on to the shore, where she gazed long and wistfully 
towards the setting sun, where the Sacred Isle is. Looking 
about for some means of transit, she noticed at her feet a small 
1 The only knife known in these islands formerly, save red flint. 



Ina, the Fairy Voyager. 91 

fish named the avini. Knowing that all fishes are subjects to 
the royal Tinirau, she thus addressed the little avini 1 that gazed 
at the disconsolate girl : 

Manini tere uta koe i teia manini ? Ah, little fish ! art thou a store-loving 

avini? 
Manini tere tai koe i teia manini ? Ah, little fish! art thou an ocean-loving 

avini ? 

Oro mai takitakina atu au Come bear me on thy back 

Ki taku tane ariki kia Tinirau, To my royal husband Tinirau, 

Matoto atu au i reira. With him to live and die. 

The little fish at once intimated its consent by touching her 
feet Ina mounted on its narrow back ;' but when only halfway 
to the edge of the reef, unable any longer to bear so unaccustomed 
a burden, it turned over, and Ina fell into the shallow water. 
Angry at this wetting, she repeatedly struck the avini; hence 
the beautiful stripes on the sides of that fish to this day, called 
" Ina's tattooing." 

The disappointed girl returned to the sandy beach to seek 
for some other means of transit to the Sacred Isle. A fish 
named the paoro, larger than the avini, approached Ina. The 
intended bride of the god Tinirau addressed this fish just as 
she had the little avini ; and then, mounted on its back, started a 
second time on her voyage. But like its predecessor, the paoro 
was unable long to endure the burden, and dropping Ina in 
shallow water sped on its way. Ina struck the paoro in her 
anger, producing for the first time those beautiful blue marks 
which have ever since been the glory of this fish. 

Ina next tried the api, which was originally white, but for 
upsetting Ina at the outer edge of the reef was rendered intensely 
blacky to mark her disgust at her third wetting. 

1 " Manini is an old form of " Avini." 



g 2 Myths and Songs. 

She now tried the sole, and was successfully borne to the edge 
of the breakers, where Ina experienced a fourth mishap. Wild 
with rage, the girl stamped on the head of the unfortunate fish 
with such energy that the underneath eye was removed to the 
upper side. Hence it is that, unlike other fish, it is constrained 
now to swim flatwise, one side of its face having no eye ! 

At the margin of the ocean a shark came in sight. Addressing 
the shark in words very like those formerly used, to her great 
delight the huge fish came to her feet, and Ina mounted triumph- 
antly on its broad back, carrying in her hand two cocoa-nuts to eat 
When halfway on the dangerous voyage to the Sacred Isle, Ina 
felt very thirsty, and told the shark so. The obedient fish imme- 
diately erected its (rara tua) dorsal fin, on which Ina pierced the 
eye of one of her nuts. After a time she again became thirsty, 
and again asked the shark for help. This time the shark lifted its 
head, and Ina forthwith cracked the hard shell on its forehead. 
The shark, smarting from the blow, dived into the depths of 
the ocean, leaving the girl to float as best she could. From that 
day there has been a marked protuberance on the forehead of all 
sharks, called " Ina's bump." 

The king of sharks, named Tekea the Great, now made his 
appearance. Ina got on his wide back, and continued her voyage. 
She soon espied what seemed to be eight canoes in a line rapidly 
approaching her. When near they proved to be eight sharks 
resolved to devour Ina. Ina in an agony cried to her guardian 
shark, "O Tekea! Tekea!" "What is it? " inquired the 
shark. " See the canoes ? " said the girl. " How many are they ? " 
" Eight/' replied Ina. Said her guardian shark, " Say to them, 
6 Mangamangaia, mangamangaia aea koe e Tekea Nui ' = * Got 
away, or you will be torn to shreds by Tekea the Great.' " 



Ina, the Fairy Voyager. 93 

As soon as Ina had uttered these words the eight monstrous 
sharks made off. Delivered from this peril, Ina again went 
on her long voyage to the Sacred Isle. But one more danger 
threatened her : what seemed a fleet of ten canoes, but which 
proved to be ten ground sharks, started off from the very shores 
of the Sacred Isle to make an end of Ina. Again they were 
driven away by the fear of the king of sharks. At length the 
brave girl reached the long-sought-for Sacred Isle, and Tekea 
the Great returned to his home in mid-ocean. 

Upon going ashore, and cautiously surveying her new home, 
she was astonished at the salt-water ponds, full of all sorts of fish, 
everywhere to be seen. Entering the dwelling of Tinirau (= In- 
numerable), the lord of all fish, she found one noble fish-preserve 
inside. But strangely enough the owner was nowhere visible. In 
another part of the house she was pleased to find a great wooden 
drum, and sticks for beating it by the side. Wishing to test 
her skill, she gently beat the drum, when to her astonishment the 
sweet notes filled the whole land, and even reached to Pa-enua-kore 
( = No-land-at-all), where the god Tinirau was staying that day. 
The king of all fish returned to his islet dwelling to discover who 
was beating his great drum. Ina saw him approaching, and in 
fear ran to hide herself behind a curtain. Tinirau entered and 
found the drum and sticks all right, but for a time could not 
discover the fair drummer. He left the house, and was on his 
way back to No-land-at-all, when the coy girl, unwilling to lose so 
noble a husband, again beat the wonderful drum. Tinirau came 
back and found the blushing girl, who became his cherished wife. 
Ina now discovered that it was the might of Tinirau that inspired 
her with a "mami," or strange spirit, and then provided for 
her safety in voyaging to his home in the " sacred islet" 



94 Myths and Songs. 

In the course of time Ina gave birth to the famous Koromau- 
ariki, commonly called Koro. Besides this boy she had a girl, 
named Ature. 

Her younger brother Rupe washed much to see his sister Ina, 
who had long since disappeared. Rupe asked a pretty karau- 
rau (a bird of the linnet species) kindly to convey him where 
Ina lived. The bird consented, and Rupe, entering the linnet, 
fled over the deep blue ocean, in search of the Sacred Isle, 
where his beloved sister had her home. 

It happened one morning that Ina noticed on a bush near her 
dwelling a pretty linnet, just such a one as she used to see in her 
old home. As she complacently gazed upon it, the bird changed 
into a human form. It was Rupe himself! Great was Ina's 
delight ; but after a brief stay Rupe insisted on going back to tell 
his parents of the welfare of Ina. They were rejoiced to hear of 
their daughter, for whom they had long grieved. A feast was 
made, and the finest cloth prepared for Ina and her children. 
Mother and son now entered two obliging linnets, and laden with 
all these good things, flew off over the ocean in search of Ina. 
Arrived safely at the Sacred Isle, mother and daughter embraced 
each other tenderly; the past was forgiven. Three whole days 
were spent in festivities on account of Koro and Ature, the child- 
ren of Ina. The visitors returned to their home over the sea, 
and Ina was left happy with Tinirau the king of all fish. 

" Sacred Isle " is an islet in the harbour at Ngatangiia, Raro- 
tonga. " No-land-at-all " is the residence of the chieftainess Pa, 
on the mainland. 

This very popular legend seems designed to support shark- 



Ina, the Fairy Voyager. 95 

worship. It is expressly said to be an account of the origin of 
tattoo, although another myth refers that to Kongo's ill-treatment 
of his brother Tangaroa. It is, however, true that the tattooing 
of this island was simply an imitation of the stripes on the 
avini and the paoro. 

"Tinirau" literally means "forty millions." Doubtless it 
stands for " Innumerable, " referring to the impossibility of count- 
ing the small fish-spawn supposed to be under his special care 
at the Sacred Isle, Tinirau was second son of Vari, The-very- 
beginning. 

This heroine is known as " Ina, daughter of Ngaetua," to dis- 
tinguish her from the four Inas born of Kui-the-Blind. 



SONG OF INA. 

TUKA'S CONTRIBUTION TO AKATONU'S FETE, CIRCA 1814. 

Call for the music and dance to begin. 

E manini aii na Ina e ! Here are we, Ina's little fish, 1 

A ta te reu o Tautiti On whom the tattoo was first per- 

formed 
E paoro ina i te apainga e ! As we bare her on her voyage. 

Solo. 
Taipo el Go on J 

Chorus. 

Riunga atu na ia Tinirau On her way to Tinirau 

Na Ina Tekea i ta e ! Ina invented tattooing. 



1 Literally, " Here are we, Ina's avini sndjpaoro, from which mortals i.e. 
Mangaians derive their tattooing" 

"Te tatau a Kongo," i.e. "the tattooing of Rongo" as opposed to th a 
of Ina, means the bloody marks inflicted by spears in war. 



9 6 



Myths and Songs. 



Manini tere uta ! 



Eia Ina tata la i te reu e, 
Motu te tatau ra e ? 



Takitaki atura na te manini ae ! 



Takitaki atu na te manini 

Anau tama it te akatapunga 
Tautiti e Koro e I 



Solo. 

Ah, thou s'hore-loving little fish ! 

Chorus. 

When did Ina imprint so distinctly 
Those lines on thy body? 

Solo. 

As I, a little fish, bare her on my 
back. 

Chorus. 

Brave fish that bare her to her hus- 
band, 

So that she became the happy mother 
Of the dance-loving Koro ! 



FINAL STANZA OF THE DAY-SONG FOR TENIO'S 

FETE. 



BY KOROA, CIRCA 1814. 



Ua pururu ua te etu 
I maunga Opoa 



Purui tataka i te ara 
Era vaine taia e te matangi. 

Tarotaro Ina i te pa ika, 
Oro mai ana tatakina 'tu au, 

E Tekea, i tau tane ariki 

la Tinirau i te moana. 
Vaia te upoko, tipitake te akari 

I te pane o mango, 

I te mimi o Ina ia takaviriviri, 
la tae au i Motutapu. 
Titi kaara na Ina. 



Solo. 

The stars have all set 

Behind the western hills. 

Chorus. 

Like a tall solitary tree is the fairy 
Who committed herself to the winds. 
Ina invoked the aid of many fish 
To bear her gaily on their backs j 
The lordly shark to convey her safely 
To the royal Tinirau o'er the sea. 
Alas, the bruised head of the angry 

monster, 
Who hitherto had obeyed the trembling 

maid, 

Who opened a cocoa-nut 
On her voyage to the Sacred Isle, 
Softly she beats the drum. 



Ina, the Fairy Voyager, 



97 



Ua rongo Tinirau 
Ua kanga Unga e 6i ! 



Tmirau is enchanted 

By the music of the lovely one. 



Ka uraura pia ; e ura te tere o Our sport is over : the visit of Tautiti is 

Tautiti, ended, 

E numi te tere o Avaiki ka acre ! The guests from spirit- world are gone ! 



THE VOYAGE OF INA. 

FOR A FEMALE REED-THROWING MATCH, CIRCA 1814. 
BY KOROA, 



Patutu i Tekea Nui 
Ei tarotaro na Ina e ! 



Tena Tane-eie-tue 
Te apai atu na i te anau ika 
I uta i te naupata kura 
I Motutapu e ia Tinirau 



Tinirau taua tane ! 



Aore au e keu i to Iva tangata. 
Ua ii i te kare i te matangi. 
I te moana i Rangiriii 
I Rangiriri te aroaro ariki. 



Aroaro ariki i kakea i ! 



Oro mai tapoki ake au. 

Te ani maira Ina Paenuakore ; 

Pou enua tapu i taea mai nei. 



Solo. 

Tap gently the head of the shark king, 

And invoke his aid, fair Ina. 

Chorus. 

Here comes Tane-the-fierce 
Driving along shoals of young fish, 
To cover the white sandy beach 
Of the " sacred islet " of Tinirau. 

Solo. 

Yes, Tinirau, my future husband. 

Chorus. 

I will be no bride to the men of Iva. 
My feet are wet with the ocean waves. 
Foam-sprinkled I press on to Rangiriri, 1 
To Rangiriri, the home of my royal 
husband. 

Soh. 

At the home of my husband I land. 

Chorus. 

Come, throw a garment o'er me. 
Ina has reached No-land-at-all ; 
A sacred spot attained by few. 



1 The name of a place at Rarotonga, near the Sacred Isle. 



98 Myths and Songs. 



THE TAAIRANGI, OR PORPOISE. 

Vatea, the elder brother of Tinirau, lived in The-thin-land, 
and was lord of the ocean ; whilst Tinirau, whose home was the 
Sacred Isle, was king of all fish from the shark to the tiniest 
minnow. The taairangi, or porpoise, was not counted with 
other fish, as it is covered with pure fat or blubber. How came 
this to be so ? Why, Vatea himself, half fish and half man, 
imitating the conduct of their great mother Varkna-te-takere, Le. 
The-very-beginning, tore off a portion of his own person, and 
made it into a porpoise. Thus the porpoise is of necessity unlike 
all other fish. Whales were often seen but never tasted on Man- 
gaia in heathenism. Had they been obtained, these islanders might 
have learnt that other fish besides the " sky caught " are covered 
with pure fat. 

As the ocean was the undisputed property of Vatea, it soon 
became alive with taairangi sporting about in it Tinirau 
became jealous of this magnificent ocean fish-pond, seeing that his 
own subjects were in danger of dying in the too contracted, 
though very numerous, fish-ponds of the Sacred Isle. So he 
craved his brother's permission to let some of his small fish go 
into the great sea. Vatea would consent only on one condition 
that Tinirau would add a portion of his own territory of the 
Sacred Isle to the land of Vatea. With immense difficulty 
this was accomplished the two brother gods had to get under 
the Sacred Isle, in order to break off a part of it. This done, 
Tinirau liberated a portion of his finny population, and thus the 
ocean became swarming, not only with the great half-divine 
taairangi, but with fish of all sorts and sizes. 



Ina, the Fairy Voyager. 99 

THE FINNY SUBJECTS OF TINIRAU. 

BY TEREAVAI, FOR HIS F&TE, 1823. 

Call for dancing and music to lead off. 
Vaia mai i te akeke i Aitutaki Throw open the fish-ponds of Aitu- 

taki 1 
O te pa ika na Tmirau e Koro e ! Where sport the fish of Tinirau and 

Koro. 
Solo. 
Taipo e Go on ! 

Chorus. 
Vaia mai te tino ika nei, e Vatea, Tear off part of the half-fish body of 

Vatea, 
Ei taairangi, e Tane ! That it may become a porpoise, O 

Tane. 
Solo. 

Ae ! Aye. 

Chorus. 

E utu oki i te kava rauriki, Pour out a libation of " kava" 

E roaka mai ai. To win the favour of the gods. 

Solo. 
Vaia mai e i te akeke ae \ Yes, throw open the fish-preserves. 

Chorus. 

Vaia mai i te akeke ; Throw them all open, O Tane, 

Tei te moana te ikatauira a Tane. That the little fish may sport in the 

ocean. 
Solo. 
Ae ! 'Tis done. 

Chorus. 
Takave mai i te uru kare See, they are borne on the crest of 

the billows, 

Na Tane-ere-tue, Driven by Tane-the-Fierce, 

Ka aere e tauri aru i te akau. And are lying in shoals on the reef. 

1 The Sacred Isle is here confounded with Aitutaki, both lands appa- 
rently lying in the vast unknown. 



ioo Myths and Songs. 

NUMERATION AND THE ART OF FISHING 
INVENTED. 

Vatea prepared an enormous net which he entrusted to six 
fishermen, the first of their order. But the subjects of his brother 
Tinirau were too crafty to be easily caught Day after day the 
finny tribes were hunted in vain. At length the aid of Raka, the 
god of winds, was invoked to make the surface of the ocean rough, 
and thus to hide the great net of Vatea from the sight of the fish 
below. Their younger brother, Raka, willingly lent his aid, and 
the net was completely filled ; but it was not in the power of the 
six fishermen to hold the net. Tane, son of the great Vatea, 
came to the rescue, and resolutely held on to the captive fishes. 
Eight days and nights the finny prisoners raced through the wide 
ocean, carrying 1 the net with them. At last they became ex- 
hausted, and Tane exultingly dragged the rich spoil to the feet 
of his father. Vatea turned out the fish one by one, pronouncing 
for the first time the various names by which each kind has since 
been known; and thus, also, originating the useful art of counting. 
At last, utterly wearied with reckoning, he gave up the remainder 
as being in truth innumerable. The exhausted inhabitants of the 
ocean lay in heaps on the reef and sandy beach until the rising 
tide carried them out again to their proper element, none the 
worse for this first experiment in fishing. 

THE ORIGIN OF DANCING. 

Tinirau and his son Koro, whose proper home was at the 
Sacred Isle, occasionally lived on the northern part of Mangaia. 
The son had repeatedly noticed that his father disappeared by 



Ina, the Fairy Voyager. 



night, and remained away from their home two or three days at 
a time. Where the sire went was a mystery. One thing greatly 
attracted the admiration of Koro ; whenever his father came back, 
he was adorned with a fresh necklace of fragrant pandanus seeds, 
yellow and red. Determined to solve this mystery, one night 
Koro craftily hid away Tinirau's girdle, and then lay down to 
sleep. Not long afterwards the old man sought everywhere for 
his girdle but in vain. At last he woke up his boy, who rose 
and gave it to his father. Koro pretended to go to sleep again, 
but, in reality, was narrowly watching his father's movements. 
Tinirau having adjusted his royal girdle, went outside; and in a 
short time Koro slipped out unperceived, and hid himself in the 
shadow of the house. The old man now passed over his ankles 
some strong bark in the usual fashion, and climbed a cocoa-nut 
tree. But to the great astonishment of Koro, he used only his 
right hand, and did not even permit his chest to touch the tree 
itself. Tinirau twisted off the ripe nuts one by one, and throwing 
them on the ground descended, as he had gone up, with the 
assistance of only one hand. On reaching the ground, still with 
one hand, he husked the nuts, clave them in two, and scraped out 
their contents upon the broad leaf of a variety of gigantic taro * 
called "pongi." This finely grated cocoa-nut was then carefully 
wrapped up in the same great leaf, and secured with bark string, 
was carried by Tinirau to the sea, a distance of a mile, over rough 
rocks, by a narrow path overhung with lofty trees. On reaching 
the beach, he took up his station on a point of rock, still called 
Akatangi, or the-calling-place, and which runs into the waters 
of the reef. Koro hid himself in the low bushes growing out 
of the sand a few yards behind his sire. " The king of all fish " 

1 Arum costatum. 



IO2 Myths and Songs. 

now liberally scattered the scraped cocoa-nut over the waters 
whilst chanting a long incantation to his finny subjects. Koro 
quickly caught up the words, and treasured them in his memory 
for his own use at some future period. To the infinite delight of 
the son, the smaller inhabitants of the reef at once obeyed the 
call of their lord, and came to taste the food provided for their 
entertainment At length the voice of Tinirau was heard by the 
larger fish in the great ocean, who hurried to the feet of their 
sovereign. Ere the incantation ended, the Sacred Isle itself 
came bodily from its proper place to the edge of the reef! Thus 
the entire throng of Tinirau's obedient subjects assembled on the 
moving Sacred Isle, and changing their forms into a partial 
resemblance to human beings, came dancing to meet their lord 
who, being himself in his true attributes, half man and half fish, 
gladly united with them in their dance, which was of the famous 
sort called " Tautiti," in which hands and feet all move at the 
same time. The subjects, like their sovereign, were all arrayed in 
necklaces of sweet-scented pandanus seeds, which grow plentifully 
over the native home of Tinirau. The Sacred Islet, king, finny 
subjects and all, started off, and were speedily lost to sight in the 
distant ocean. Koro returned home to the interior, satisfied as 
to the real cause of his father's frequent disappearance in past 
times. 

A day or two afterwards Tinirau returned to his son, all 
fragrant as before, with a pandanus fruit necklace, but entirely 
ignorant that Koro had witnessed his proceedings on his last visit 
to the Sacred Isle. It was some time ere " the king of fish " 
started off again on a midnight expedition ; but when he did so 
he did not escape the vigilance of his watchful son, who was 
anxious to perfect his knowledge of the necessary invocations. 



Ina, the Fairy Voyager. 103 

Again with a single hand the old man climbed the tree, threw 
down the nuts, and descended to the ground. Again he traversed 
the lonely path to the sea by moonlight, carrying with him a great 
quantity of finely scraped cocoa-nut. At the projecting piece of 
rock overlooking the ocean he scattered food for his marine 
children. The invocation over, fish, islet, and all came again to 
the feet of the mighty Tinirau, who exultingly joined his merry 
subjects in their favourite employment of dancing by moonlight. 
Koro gamed his object : he had learned the magic words, and 
therefore went home well satisfied with himself. On the following 
night he, in his turn, climbed a cocoa-nut as his father had done, 
and then carried the finely scraped kernel to " the calling place " 
where Tinirau had performed his wonderful feats. Now was the 
time to test his own powers as the son of the king of all fish. 
Reciting the prayers, he scattered the rich food on the waters, 
when, to his delight, the fish obeyed the summons, swimming in 
shoals to his feet The Sacred Isle, too, with all its vast preserves 
of fish, soon hove in sight Amongst its finny inhabitants he had 
the joy of recognizing his own father, Tinirau, in the merry throng 
of moonlight dancers. Koro at once joined this novel assembly, 
when his father greeted him thus : " Son, this, then, is why you 
hid away my girdle." 

Arrayed like the rest in beautiful necklaces of fragrant pan- 
danus berries, father and son that night, and ever after when so 
inclined, enjoyed the pleasure of a prolonged midnight dance 
with their finny subjects on the Sacred Isle. It was the 
renowned Koro who conferred on the inhabitants of Mangaia 
the favour of planting the first pandanus tree close to the spot 
(Akatangi) where he was accustomed to summon his scaly friends. 
He instructed the inhabitants in the mysteries of dancing. His 



104 Myths and Songs, 

time was spent half at the Sacred Isle and half on the northern 
shore of Mangaia, which is thence named Atua-Koro, z i.& the 
land of the divine Koro!' 



A SONG FOR TENIO'S FETE. 

BY VAARUA, CIRCA 1814. 

Call for the dance to begin. 

Tautiti au e ! . I am Tautiti. 

O te ara ra i Taipau, e Tane ! O Tane, the fragrant pandanus on the 

beach is mine. 

Solo. 
Taipo e ! Go on ! 

Chorus. 

Tanumia te ara i te Atuakoro e ! That fragrant tree was first planted 

by the divine Koro. 

Solo. 
Ae ! Aye ! 

Chorus. 

Tautiti rava ki tonga makatea Tautiti's favourite wreaths grow in 

oopu. yon gullies. 

Solo. 

Nai makatea oopu e ! Yes, in those gullies grow 

O te ara kura o Tautiti ei mai e ! Red pandanus berries to adorn the 

dance. 



1 Every return of March shoals of bream (ature) find their way to Atua- 
Koro. The name of Tinirau's daughter is Ature. Of course there is a play 
upon the name of the beautiful silvery fish which every year visits that part, 
and that only, of the island, as if the sister and her attendants were paying a 
visit to the chosen home of her brother Koro. 



Ina, the Fairy Voyager. 



105 



UNUUNU TAI. 



FIRST OFFSHOOT. 



Solo. 



E mail te ara e tei Taipau ae ! 



Groves of pandanus cover yon sandy 
beach. 



Chorus. 

E man te ara i Taipau, Yes, groves of fragrant pandanus 

No Tautiti kake mai e ! For Tautiti, whenever he may come 

up. 

Solo. 
Ae I Aye. 

Chorus, 
Tere maira te ara no tai tuamotu e ! This famous tree came fiom some 

other isle, 
Patiki io i te kea e 1 To grace the sacred sandstone. 

Solo. 

Patiki io i te kea e ! Yes, to grace the sacred sandstone. 

te ara ra i Taipau, e Tane I O Tane, the fragrant pandanus on 

the beach is mine. 



Solo. 



Taipo e ! 



Go on! 



Chorus. 

Tanumia te ara i te Atuakoro e ! That fragrant tree was first planted 

by the divine Koro. 

Solo. 
Ae ! Aye ! 

Chorus. 

Tautiti rava ki tonga i makatea Tautiti's favourite wreaths grow in 

oopu yon gullies. 

Solo. 

Nai makatea[ oopu e J Yes, in those gullies grow 

te ara kura o Tautiti ei mai e I Red pandanus berries to adorn the 

dance. 



io6 



Myths and Songs. 



UNUUNU RUA. 

E te opu, e te opu ! 
Eaa ra ? Eaa ra ? 
Tei tai ! Tei tai 
Ae! Ae! 
A kitea ! A kitea ! 
Tautiti kake mai. 

Kitea mai, e Tane e ! 
Maniania, o maau tara mea. 

Maaraara *i au e ! 
O te iva taumara a te ra e ! 



Solo. 



Chorus. 



Solo. 



Chorus. 



Solo, 



Chorus. 



Solo. 



Chorus. 



SECOND OFFSHOOT. 

Entwine sweet-scented fern-leaves. 
What is going on yonder ? 

At the margin of the sea ? 
Aye! Aye 1 

The god reveals himself ! 

Tautiti himself has come up (out 
of nether- world) 

O Tane, he stands revealed ! 
Pleasure thrills through my body. 



Solo. 



I would I were 

A dragon-fly exulting in the sun 
beam. 



CHAPTER VII. 
MISCELLANEOUS MYTHS. 

A BACHELOR GOD IN SEARCH OF A WIFE. 

AMONGST the thirteen principal gods of Mangaia which at the 
establishment of Christianity were surrendered to the missionaries 
were four bearing the name of Tane. 1 They were simply pieces 
of iron-wood carved roughly into the human shape, once well 
wrapped up in numerous folds of the finest native cloth. Of 
these four Tanes three Tane Ngakiau, Tane-i-te-ata, and Tane 
Kid were considered to be inferior to the first, who was usually 
called Tane, sometimes, however, Tane Papa-kai, i.e. Tane-filer- 
up-of-food. In order of rank Tane came after Rongo and Motoro, 
the chief deities of Mangaia. Tane was said to be the fifth son 
of Vatea, born in Avaiki, or nether-world. The following is the 
extravagant myth of Tane's exploits when in search of a wife. 

At Ukupolu there lived a woman named Tekura-i-Tanoa, 
i.e. The-ruddy-one of Tanoa, possessed of uncommon attractions. 

1 Tane = husband, or the generative principle in nature. Tane is equiva- 
lent to 7JD. Innumerable modifications of this dance-loving god were wor- 
shipped throughout eastern Polynesia. 



io8 Myths and Songs. 

But she had one sad defect, her right foot was afflicted with 
elephantiasis. The chief Ako was violently in love with her; but 
the fair one disdained his advances, saying, " If it had been Tane, 
she would have thought favourably of the proposition." Now 
Ako was a great friend of Tane's ; so that he at once paddled off 
to Avaiki to fetch Tane, who cheerfully consented to accompany 
him. The two friends started for Ukupolu, each in his own 
canoe. A day or two after their arrival Ako confessed to Tane 
the real motive of getting him to pay a visit to Ukupolu, and 
earnestly entreated his assistance in winning The-ruddy-one of 
Tanoa. Tane good-humouredly promised his aid. 

Ako had two sisters, to whom he applied for two garlands for 
the neck, of sweet-scented flowers one for himself and one for 
his friend, against their projected visit to the inexorable beauty. 
The sisters were to arrange it so that the fragrant garland intended 
for Ako should have numerous sprigs of myrtle intermixed with 
the flowers ; whilst Tane's should be spoiled by the admixture of 
offensively smelling leaves. When tastefully arranged, these 
garlands were carefully enclosed in a thin white layer of the 
banana stalk, according to the invariable custom of the olden 
times. A mark was set upon the outside, so as to prevent mis- 
take. Now Tane was a god, and was not to be deceived in this 
way. Accordingly, when these friends, now become at heart rivals 
in love, were both arrayed in their best garments, and their hair 
glistening with sweet-scented oil, Tane took out the fragrant 
garland of flowers and put it on. Ako, to his dismay, perceived 
that his crafty friend had by some means got possession of the 
best garland : being thus outwitted, he declined to put on his 
own, lest Tane should twit him with his ill-faith. Off these rivals 
started to the dwelling of The-ruddy-one of Tanoa. Tane first 



Miscellaneous Myths. 109 

entered, bearing in his hands a gift consisting of several highly- 
scented garments ; the rich perfume filled the house. Ako now 
made his appearance. Each pleaded his suit with great earnestness, 
for Tane was at first sight smitten with the charms of the fair 
girl. But the capricious Tekura-i-Tanoa accepted the advances of 
Ako, and Tane retired in disgust. He resolved to return at once 
to AvaikL With this purpose in view he walked to the sandy 
beach to launch his canoe and start for his home; but upon 
examination found a large hole in its bottom made by his 
treacherous friend Ako. Tane sat down and loudly bewailed his 
misfortunes in these words : 

Kua viivii e ! Kua vavaiia ra tail Unhappy me ! My canoe has been 
vaka e Ako destroyed "by Ako. 

I tua o Avaiki. Ringiringiia toku How shall I return to Avaiki ? I 
nei roimata will rain down my tears. 

Tane fell musing what he had best do. Upon looking up he 
now for the first time noticed a gigantic bua tree (beslaria lauri- 
folia) spreading forth its noble branches. In a trice Tane got up 
the trunk of this tree and clambered to the extremity of one of 
the longest branches. Tane gave the far-stretching limb on which 
he sat a mighty jerk, and thus swung himself fairly into another 
land, Enuakura, Le. The-land-of-red-fan'ot-feathers After walking 
about this newly discovered land, he came upon an old woman 
named Kui-the-Blind, who was busy cooking yams on a fire. In 
all she had ten yams cooking ; at her side were ten calabashes of 
water. After awhile the old blind woman took a yam off the fire 
and scraped it clean with a cockle shell. She then devoured the 
entire yam, washing it down with a calabash of water. But Kui- 
the-Blind did not know that the moment she took up a yam, Tane 
helped himself too, and at the same time emptied a calabash of 
water. 



no 



Myths and Songs. 



The old woman had no sooner finished her first yam and her 
first calabash of water, than she carefully counted the remainder 
with her fingers, when to her amazement she found a yam and a 
calabash missing. She angrily exclaimed, "What thief has come 
here ? Had I my sight I would devour him." 

Having thus vented her indignation, she ate another yam and 
drank another calabash of water; Tane helping himself in silence 
as before. Again the old woman counted the remaining yams 
and calabashes with her fingers, and found that only six of each 
remained. Once more she gave vent to her anger against the 
unknown thief. Tane uttered not a word to reveal his presence. 
In this way the ten yams and ten calabashes of water disappeared. 
Each time Kui-the-Blind missed a yam and a calabash of water 
her anger grew hotter. At last her meal, but half the usual 
quantum, was finished, and she resolved upon immediate ven- 
geance. Accordingly, she rose and entering her house felt in the 
accustomed place for her great-fish-hook, which she had never yet 
used in vain. Whilst adjusting the long line she slowly chanted 
this ominous couplet : 

Oi au ka rave, ka rave i te tautai a Kui matapo. 
Aa poiri i te ika a te tupuna e ! Ara tatia 

Here am I about to fish. It is the angling of Kui-the-Blind. 

The old woman must have her fisk (i.e. human victim). Here goes for it ! 

As she uttered these last words she violently swung round the 
dreadful sharp-pointed fish-hook. Tane, prepared for this, held 
in his hand a banana stump to catch the hook, which he retained 
for a second, deluding Kui into the belief that she had caught the 
struggling thief, The malicious old creature pulled vigorously at 
the line, hoping to get a victim to eat, when she grasped a mise- 



Miscellaneous Myths. in 

rable banana-stalk. Chafing with indignation at her failure, she 
disengaged the stump and again whirled the hook, uttering the 
same words. This time a low bush, bearing edible red berries, 
was used by Tane to tease the old woman. Kui pulled away at 
her hook with great satisfaction, but found only a bush. Her 
anger now knew no bounds, having never before missed her 
victim. A third time she threw her hook, using the old formula. 
This time Tane allowed himself to be caught Kui was delighted 
that she had at last secured the thief. She grabbed him tightly 
whilst demanding his name. He calmly said, " I am Tane." Kui 
instantly forgot her anger, and exclaimed, " Why, you are my own 
grandson Tane I Stay with me." 

Some time afterwards Tane, again feeling very thirsty, asked 
his old grandmother for some water to drink. Kui-the-Blind said, 
" There is no water in this country, save in the nuts of yonder tall 
cocoa-nut tree. But you had better not attempt to climb it, or 
you will surely die. You will be slain by my children, the 
guardians of the tree, viz. the lizard, the centipede, the beetle, 
and the mantis." Tane resolved to climb the tree, whose top 
seemed to reach the sky. Kui said to the fearless Tane as he 
began to ascend, " Do not injure my children who live in this 
tree." This solitary cocoa-nut tree, the property of the blind 
grandmother, was remarkable for the wonderful profusion of fruit 
on it, and for a great accumulation of dry branches underneath the 
green limbs. In these withered branches were hidden the fairy 
guardians of the fruit, excepting the mantis, who kept watch on the 
under side of the green leaves. Their duty was to see that no one 
stole any of the fruit. At the sight of the intruder Tane climbing 
up the tree, a large lizard advanced boldly from its hiding-place to 
drive him away. Tane caught the lizard, tore it in two, and threw 



j 1 2 Myths and Songs. 

the pieces down. Tane now began to clear off the dry branches 
and cloth-like coverings, when a great centipede came out wrathfully 
intending to sting Tane to death. But the brave grandson of Kui 
deliberately killed this foe also. The dry branches were falling in 
all directions, and the work was nearly completed, when a feeble 
beetle came forth to defend the precious fruit But the beetle 
speedily shared the fate of the lizard and centipede ; and Tane 
climbed up into the great living fronds and sat down to rest 
awhile. At this moment a mantis, of unendurable smell, assailed 
the intruder, spreading out its gay red wings ; but Tane served the 
mantis as he had already served the others. Thus he had con- 
quered all foes. With great admiration he viewed the vast 
clusters of nuts on every side. Plucking two or three of the nuts, 
he husked them on the " roro," or unopened sheath, 1 containing 
the young flowers and fruits. 

Tane leisurely slaked his thirst Then violently swinging this 
lofty cocoa-nut tree until its top hung over the very land where 
Tane's home was, he shook off all the nuts as food against the 
day of his return. But Tane still kept his place at the top of the 
wonderful tree, which, rebounding, resumed its former position in 
Enuakura, The-land-of-red-parrot-feathers. There remained on 
the tree only two tiny nuts, each about the size of a small 
pebble. Tane plucked them, and descending to the ground, 
said to Kui, "Turn your face towards me." The old woman 

1 It is an interesting fact, of which thieves do not fail to avail themselves in 
seasons of scarcity, that it is quite practicable to husk the hardest cocoa-nut 
and pierce the eyelet upon the point of the closed sheath referred to, without 
descending to the ground. Ordinarily a sharp stake is fixed in the earth near 
the foot of the tree for the purpose of husking the nuts that are thrown down ; 
but nature has provided a sharp-pointed stake at the top of the tree, where the 
nuts grow, and the climber finds a sure foothold for cases of emergency. 



Miscellaneow Myths. 113 

did so, when she received a smart blow on her right eye from 
one of the nuts. She cried out in agony j but in a second found 
her sight restored. 

Tane again said to Kui, "Look at me." Upon doing so, 
she received a blow on her left eye from the remaining nut. Her 
anguish was extreme ; but the reward was great, for she could now 
see well with /both her eyes. 

Kui was delighted with the achievements of her grandson, for 
she who had hitherto been called Kui-the-Blind, was now Kui- 
the-Seeing. Tane asked her, "Have you any daughters?" 
" Yes," said Kui, " I have four. Take whichever you please as 
your wife." Now all these daughters were at some distance at 
work. After a short time the eldest, named Ina, came and was 
not a little surprised to see a stranger and to find her mother's 
sight restored Tane was not pleased with Ina, who subsequently 
married the moon (Marama Nui). 

Tane now inquired after the other daughters of Kui. The 
second soon made her appearance; it was Ina-who-disappears- 
with-the-day. Though fair, she did not please Tane. Kui called 
her third daughter Ina-who-disappeajs-at-midnight She was very 
lovely, yet did not captivate the fastidious Tane. " I have but 
one daughter more," remarked Kui. " I will summon her." She 
came : it was Ina-who-rivals-the-dawn. She was, as her name 
implied, surpassingly beautiful. She became the wife of Tane, 
who considered himself to be well recompensed for restoring 
sight to Kui, once called Trie-blind. 

But, after a time, Ina became jealous of her husband. They 
quarrelled, and Tane resolved to return to his own land. With 
this view he climbed up the famous cocoa-nut tree, the glory of 
The-land-of-red-feathers, and brought down a frond, which he 



ii4 Myths and Songs. 

wove into a basket of the sort known as the " clam-shaped," i.e. 
without an opening. He now procured a second frond, and 
therewith wove a second basket of a similar shape. Fastening 
one to each arm, he used these long baskets as wings, and with 
their friendly aid took his final flight to his own land Avaiki, from 
which he had so long been absent, and thus escaped from the 
tongue of the lovely but jealous Ina-who-rivals-the-dawn. 

The scene of this story is laid in nether-land. This myth 
unquestionably points to Samoa, the group from which these 
people originally came. "Ukupolu" is evidently Upolu, and 
" Avaiki " is only another form of Savai'i. 

Stories like this constituted the esoteric teaching of the priests 
of Motoro and Tane. The Polynesian idea of a god is merejtoze/^-, 
without any reference to goodness. Their gods had all the faults 
of heathen men and women in an exaggerated degree. 

The centipede, lizard, etc., were sacred ; hence their appear- 
ance in the myth as minor divinities. 

ECHO ; OR, THE CAVE FAIRY. 

Rangi was the first man; for Vatea was half man and half fish, 
and lived in the invisible world. When Rangi complacently sur- 
veyed the land which he had succeeded in dragging up from the 
shades, he resolved to explore every nook and corner, to ascertain 
whether there were any other inhabitants in his territory. 

After travelling some distance along the northern division of 
the island without discovering the slightest trace of any living 
creature, he approached a romantic pile of rocks overhanging a 
tremendous gorge, by which the waters of the neighbouring valleys 



Miscellaneous Myths. 115 

discharge themselves into the ocean. A number of caves con- 
verge at this point, the pathway to which is obstructed by vast 
boulders. 

Here Rangi shouted, as was his wont, "60" ("Hallo, there!"). 
To his surprise a voice from the rocks distinctly replied, " 60." 
Rangi asked, "What is your name?" Instead of a satisfactory 
reply, came the defiant query, "What is your name?" Rangi, 
bursting with indignation, now demanded of this unseen fellow- 
resident, "Whence do you come ? " Still the invisible speaker 
declined to reveal herself; and the ears of Rangi were assailed 
with the irritating words, " Whence do you come ? " Unable to 
endure this any longer, he cursed the hidden inhabitant of the 
cave, nicknaming her " Aitu-mamaoa," z>. the-ever-distant, or 
the~hide-and-$eek-spirit ; but forthwith heard himself cursed in 
exactly the same tone and words. Evidently this satirical, unseen 
being was no respecter of persons. Rangi fell immeasurably in 
his own estimation at being thus unceremoniously addressed, and 
felt sure that it was intended as a reflection upon his illegitimate 
origin. 

The first sovereign of Mangaia now resolved, at any cost, to 
get a sight of the insolent creature pertinaciously hiding in the 
rocks. Cautiously leaping from boulder to boulder, he entered 
the gorge, inquiring as he proceeded, for the hitherto invisible 
inhabitant ; but receiving for his pains only sarcastic replies. The 
chasm grew darker and narrower, but Rangi bravely kept on his 
way. Upon suddenly looking up, to his astonishment, he found 
that the semi-circular roof was everywhere covered with transpa- 
rent glittering pendants (stalactites), white, like a row of formid- 
able teeth, almost touching his person, drops of cold water 
meanwhile falling like rain upon the stone flooring. Underneath 



1 1 6 Myths and Songs. 

was a row of stumps (stalagmites), rising from the basement of the 
the cave. Awe-stricken at the sight of these vast open jaws, 
apparently about to swallow him up, he instinctively retreated a 
few steps, and, looking up once more, for the first time caught 
a glimpse of the face of a female fairy, heartily laughing at his terror. 

As soon as Rangi recovered his equanimity, he inquired the 
proper name of this formidable apparition. Her reply was, "I 
am T^lm^tteanaoa? or Echo (literally, " the-cave-speaking-sprite "). 
" I am the being that everywhere inhabited the rocks of Mangaia 
ere you set feet on the soil." Rangi now asked whether she had 
any children. Echo replied, " I have a very numerous offspring, 
named Tuwu-te-erue ma, or Earth-diggers." " Where are they?" 
demanded the inquisitive king. "They are on the mountains, 
roaming about in the fern," replied the complaisant spirit of the 
cave. 

Rangi now left Echo, and went in search of her children. He 
had not advanced far up the side of the nearest mountain, tramp- 
ling down the fern and tall reeds, when he came upon a troop of 
these " earth-diggers," or rats! Rangi wondered that the progeny 
were so unlike their mother, who could on no account be per- 
suaded to leave her favourite haunts in the rocks. 

The cave where Rangi first made the acquaintance of Tumu- 
teanaoa, or Echo, was thenceforth named Aitu-mamaoa, 1 or the 
home of the ever-distant, or hide-and-seek spirit. 

1 The writer, in company with the Rev. J. Chalmers, once explored 
Aitu-mamaoa for half a mile, until the torches were nearly burnt out and 
the roof necessitated a creeping posture. About midway a running stream 
crossed our path. We sung a number of hymns, and were delighted to hear, 
at a great height above our heads in utter darkness, a most perfect echo 
as if an unseen choir were singing in perfect unison with our torch-lit 
company. 



Miscellaneous Myths. 117 

In the course of his subsequent explorations, Rangi often met 
with this notable nymph Echo, who seemed to be ubiquitous, and 
learnt that besides the " earth-diggers " in the dry grass and fern 
of the mountains, she had another numerous offspring inhabiting 
the valleys and the dark waters of the little lake in Veitatei, viz., 
shrimps, eels, and other fresh-water fish abounding there and in 
the interior gorges and chasms of the adjacent rocks her own 
constant resort 

Rangi thus found that his little world was already teeming with 
inhabitants, all descended from the great Tumu-te-ana-oa. No 
disturbance or difficulty ever arose therefrom, as Echo was a 
nymph of a gentle and harmless disposition; her only fault being 
that she was a little satirical when addressed by strangers. 

It was often contested by the sages of former times, whether 
Rangi, after all, was rightly designated the first inhabitant of Man- 
gaia, seeing that he found Echo already in possession of the rocks 
and caves. They came at last to the conclusion, that whilst 
Rangi was the first man and king, Echo was the first and parent 
fairy the numerous sprites inhabiting rocks, valleys, hills, and 
streams constituting the prolific progeny of "the cave speaking 
sprite." 

At the Marquesas, to this day, divine honours are paid to 
Echo, who is supposed to give them food, and who " speaks to 
the worshippers out of the rocks." 



n8 Myths and Songs. 



THE PRINCE OF REED-THROWERS. 

Upon one occasion Tangaroa chanced to see the lovely Ina- 
ani-vai, i.e. Inarsolidted-at-the-fountain, bathing at a stream named 
Kapuue-rangi, and at once became enamoured of her charms. 
The god unfastened his girdle, which mortals call the rainbow,, 
and by this dazzling pathway descended to earth. The fair but 
frail Ina could not resist the advances of the great Tangaroa; 
and in the course of time she gave birth to Tarauri and Turi-the- 
Bald. She chose to live apart from her friends, so that the divine 
origin of her offspring was long unsuspected. Both Tarauri and 
Turi were flaxen-haired. 

There was at the same time a man named Pinga, whose seven 
sons were alike noted for their shortness of stature and for their 
proficiency in the art of reed-throwing. 1 The clever dwarf sons 
of Pinga induced Turi-the-Bald to try his luck in this game. 
Again and again was Turi beaten by the clever sons of Pinga, so 
that he wept with vexation and shame. 

Now the elder brother had taken no part in these games. But 
he was distinguished for his skill in wrestling with lads of his own- 
age, and for catching a small fresh-water fish, called kokopu, 
abounding in the tiny streams which thread the valleys. The 
mode of angling said to have been invented by Tarauri, and still 
in use amongst enterprising lads, was curious. The leaves of the 
pandanus, or thatch, tree are furnished with somewhat formidable 
thorns. The serrated edges of a stout leaf are pared off; the 

1 On Mangaia this popular game was practised by men, the women being 
spectators ; or by women, the men being spectators : never by men and women 
together, as in some islands. 



Miscellaneous Myths. 119 

narrow pieces are then carefully tied together with a bit of hibiscus 
bark, care being taken that there be at least two thorns or tiny 
fish-hooks on either side, and that these little hooks point upwards. 
The slit midrib of a long cocoa-nut frond furnishes the fishing 
rod the thorny hooks being secured to the tapering end. 
The sport is enjoyed wherever the stream is dammed up for the 
purpose of irrigating the little taro-patches of the valleys, or to 
enable women and children the more easily to fill their empty 
calabashes with water. The voracious little kokopu leaps to 
catch the bait its favourite morsel, the shrimp when it finds 
itself a prisoner on one of the thorns of this quaint fish-hook. 

The " seven dwarf sons of Pinga " were delighted with the 
adroitness of Tarauri, although as yet his name and that of his 
brother were unknown. Pinga desired his sons to ask the lads 
their names, a most unpleasant task to a South Sea Islander. 
The boys good-naturedly told their names, but did not reveal 
the secret of their divine origin. As soon as Pinga heard their 
names, he astonished his " seven dwarf sons " by exclaiming, 
" Why, these are my grand-children ! Bring them here." 

Very willingly did the lads take up their abode with their 
newly-found grandfather for a while. One day " the seven dwarf 
sons of Pinga" made preparations for their favourite amuse- 
ment of reed-throwing, purposing this time to measure their skill 
with Tarauri himself. They started off to the deepest recesses of 
the valleys, where the longest reeds grow. Tarauri, with affected 
modesty, declined to accompany his seven dwarf uncles, saying 
to them, " Your broken reeds will be good enough for a clumsy 
fellow like me." After a while they returned, each with a bundle 
of fine reeds, and sat down to get them ready. First of all it was 
necessary to secure with a piece of strong bark the thick end of 



I2O Myths and Songs. 

the reed, which might strike against a stone and be broken. 
Then the smaller end was nicely rounded, so as not to injure 
the finger of the player ; finally, the reeds were slightly singed 
over a fire, in order to render them perfectly straight. 

The game commenced ; but still Tarauri was without a single 
reed (tao). " The seven dwarf sons of Pinga," having each thrown 
his reed, called upon Tarauri to come forward and try his luck. 
They were all on the tiptoe of expectation to see what he would 
do in this emergency. Tarauri rose from the ground, and ad- 
vancing towards the appointed place for throwing, thus invoked 
the aid of his father Tangaroa : 

Kauo lake, kauo lake, Oh, be propitious, oh, be propitious, 

Uo iake te marama, te marama, Grant me light and success. 

la Ruanuku e, Ruanuku ma Tangaroa, Great Ruanuku, associated with Tan- 
garoa, 

Omai taku tao, ei teka naku, Send me a reed for this game, 

Ei teka ki te taua e ! That the victory may be mine ! 

At these last words there fell from the skies at the feet of 
Tarauri a noble reed, perfectly straight, and gaily adorned with 
red-parrot feathers, the first ever seen on the island. Thus the 
divine parentage of Tarauri was discovered. Confidently ad- 
vancing to the place for throwing the reeds, Tarauri swung his 
arms jauntily in preparation, and again invoked divine aid : 

Apai na, apai na rava la, e Tarauri, i te tai karongata, 
Taki na uri e kai ai, e rere ai e, tu arangaranga, 
Apai na, e Tangaroa, to manga ! 

Bear it away, oh, "bear it far away, for Tarauri's sake, to the treacherous ocean. 
Guide the flight of my reed, that it may rise to a dizzy height. 
Great Tangaroa, here goes thine own ! 

At this, " the seven dwarf sons of Pinga/' dreading a disgrace 
to themselves, rushed to encircle Tarauri, so as to render it 



Miscellaneous Myths. 121 

apparently impossible for him to exhibit his divinely acquired 
superiority in the art of reed-throwing over these well-practised 
but mere human players. A second time the invocation was 
repeated to Tangaroa, but again the jealousy of his newly-found 
relatives prevented him from throwing his gaily ornamented reed. 
A pause ensued, when Tarauri observing that the legs of one of 
the seven were a little open, in an instant drove the heaven-sent 
reed through the gap of the living enclosure. Wonderful, indeed, 
was the flight of the reed : it rose and rose in the air until lost in 
the azure skies, where it remained eight whole days! At last the 
slender shaft fell at Areuna, 1 the original marae of the Mautara, or 
priestly tribe. Thus did Tangaroa redeem the disgrace of his 
younger son Turi-the-Bald. And great, indeed, was the chagrin of 
"the seven dwarf sons of Pinga" to be thus beaten by young 
Tarauri, who thus at his first trial, aided by his divine parent, 
proved himself to be the true patron and chief of all reed-players. 

By some this myth is placed in " the land of Ukupolu," i.e. 
Upolu. The very archaic form of the invocations attests the 
antiquity of this story. 

Of the many songs for reed-matches, none would be complete 
without a reference to Tarauri the chief patron of the game. 

1 Areuna is on the south of the island, and is regarded as the ancient 
home of the priests of Motoro, who swayed Mangaia as priests first, and after- 
waids as chiefs down to the establishment of Christianity. 

The early part of this myth may serve to explain why in heathenism all 
illegitimate children were designated "tamariki na te Atua," i.e. children of 



Egg-shaped. Peru* =A winged kite Taiaro = Club-shaped, 
(or Bird-shaped). 




Miscellaneous Myths. 123 

THE ORIGIN OF KITE-FLYING. 

Tane in the shades once challenged Rongo to a game of kite- 
flying. But the issue of this trial of skill was the utter discom- 
fiture of Tane by his elder brother Rongo, who had secretly 
provided himself with an enormous quantity of string. From this 
first kite-flying mortals have acquired the agreeable pastime, the 
condition of each game being that the first kite that mounts the 
sky should be sacred to, and should bear the name of, Rongo, the 
great patron of the art. The names of all subsequent kites were 
indifferent To this contest reference is made in 

A KITE SONG FOR TENIO'S FETE. 

BY KOROA, CIRCA 1814. 

Call for the dance to lead 0$. 
Ua kapi te puku i Atiu ! The hill-top 1 Atiu is covered with 

kites, 
Na tere mami a Raka e I Pets of Raka who rules o'er the 

winds. 
Ka aka e ! Dance away ! 

Solo. 
Taipo e ! Go on 1 

Chorus* 
Ua kapi te puku i Atiu !' See, yon hill-top Atiu covered with 

kites 
Na tere manu a Raka e ! Pets of Raka, god of winds. 

Solo* 
Ae ! Aye. 

Chorus. 

E manu peru au e ! I am a bird 2 (z.& kite) of beautiful 

plumage. 

1 A hill on the east of Mangaia is so named, in memory of Ake's visit to 
the island. 

9 Kites were either ^-shaped, r/^-shaped^ or bird-shaped. As the 
latter were more difficult to make, they were scarce, and greatly admired by 
the childish old men who delighted to fly them on the hill-tops of Mangaia. 



124 Myths and Songs. 

Solo. 
Tomo i te rangi koukou e ! Cleave, then, the dark clouds. 

Chorus* 
Moaia ea koe e Tautiti, Take care lest Tautiti gain the day. 

Solo. 
Taumoamoa e Tane e na Kongo oki, Once Tane and Rongo tried their 

skill. 
Tere manu aitu ki Iva e ! With divine kites in spirit-land. 

Solo. 
Naai te ao i poto e Who was beaten ? 

Chorus. 
Na Tane, tei raro io na kumu e Tane ; for his string fell short. 

Solo. 
E mano o te ao ! Two thousand fathoms of string ! 

Chorus. 

Na Rongo ; Yes ; 'twas Rongo's, 

Te vai ra i te aka i te rangi e! Whose kite touched the edge of the 

sky. 

UlTS TORCH; OR, WILL-A-WISP. 

Riding across the island alone one dark rainy night, I was 
delighted to see just ahead what seemed to be a man carrying a 
lighted torch. I shouted to my supposed companion to wait a 
little until I could get up to him. Receiving no reply, I spurred 
my horse ; but as the creature made its way with difficulty through 
the deep mire, I was not a little annoyed to see the light dancing 
on and on. But as it kept to the path I suspected nothing. A 
clump of trees now hid the windings of the road : this mocking 
companion seemed to dart through its gloomiest recesses in a 
most inexplicable manner. After a long and weary chase the 
light forsook the beaten track, and hovered over the deep waters of 
the little lake in that neighbourhood. I had been chasing an ignis 
fatuust Upon reaching home that night, and relating my adven- 



Miscellaneous Myths. 125 

ture, the natives jestingly remarked, "Uti has been lighting up 
your path with her torch." 

In the very depths of nether-land Is a district named 
Manomano, or Countless, swayed by a female fairy called 
Uti. Her delight is to climb up at night to this world of ours, 
provided with a torch, in search of food. Sometimes Uti's torch 
may be seen slowly moving along the reef; now on the rocky 
shore ; occasionally she threads the damp valleys, where prawns 
abound, and thence will glide up mountain ridges. But Uti's 
chief resort is the neighbourhood of the lake already referred to. 
Sometimes the fairy moves alone ; at other times attended by one 
or more of her daughters, each taking a different route. It was 
Uti who first taught the women of this upper world the pastime of 
catching the sleeping fish by torch-light, 1 or waylaying crabs 
ashore, or shrimping in her favourite lake on the south of the 
island. Hence the old song: 

Tungia te ai, e Uti, Light thy torch, O Uti, 

Ei turama ia Manomano. That illuminates spirit-world (literally, 

Manomano). 

Kua pou Rurapu Our taro has been robbed; 

Ma raua o Tevakaroa. Our lands are all bare. 

E tu te anau a Vatea : Wake up, ye children of Vatea : 

E ara te po, Keep watch through the night 

Aore e karo i te rangi. The gloomiest, wettest night 

O Iro ua tatai mai raro mai When Iro creeps up to play his 

pranks 

Nai te papa ia Tu. 2 From the depths inhabited by Tu. 

1 There can be no doubt that most kinds of fish do sleep, or remain in a sort 
of torpor, during the night. Not so predatory fish, sharks, etc., etc. 

2 "Tu" is a shortened form of " Tu-metua " ~ Stick-by-the-parent, who 
lives in the lowest department of Avaiki with the great mother Vari, in 
silence^ but with intelligence. Here it merely expresses the great depth from 
which the fairy clambers up. 



126 Myths and Songs. 

The first night of the native calendar was sacred to Iro (in 
Tahitian, Hiro ; in New Zealand, Whiro), the patron of thieves, as 
being his natal night ; or, as sceptical moderns think, a moonless 
night is naturally favourable to a thieving expedition. It is hoped 
that the great divinities, i.e. " the children of Vatea," will not allow 
Iro's tricks to pass with impunity. Uti is invoked to come to the 
aid of the sufferers, by lighting her torch over the taro patches 
to be robbed : for the boldest thief would be terrified by the 
sight, and would precipitately retire. 

Vaangaru, lamenting (circa 1815) for his dead mother-in-law, 
Anau, sings : 

Taumata ra i te tai : She glances at the sea 

Kua eke i Kopuaterea. And plies her torch-fishing. 

Tunu mai i te ai ramarama. Then resting awhile at Araoa, 

Tunu maira i te rama Cooks part of the spoil. 

I nunga i Araoa i te takanga Ere leaving that pleasant spot 

I tangi e moimoi aroa, She carefully relights her torch 

Tungia rava te rama na Uti 1 As taught by the fairy Uti. 

MOSQUITOES. 

These most annoying insects are said to have been unknown 
in Mangaia, until a woman named Veve landed with her children 
from AitutakL In those days ear-ornaments of a prodigious 
size were worn by men and women. To admit these clumsy 
adornments, the ears were slit in childhood and enlarged by 
constant pressure, until at last a small cocoa-nut 1 (vao) could 
be inserted Fragrant leaves and even flowers were put inside, 
and the opening carefully plugged up. 

Now Veve, on leaving her native island, filled up the hollow of 
1 This is a literal truth. 



Miscellaneous Myths. 127 

her enormous ear-ornaments with mosquitoes, so as to have the 
pleasure of hearing their continual hum / But shortly after landing 
on the eastern part of the island, she went to a pleasant retired 
little stream, to enjoy the luxury of a bath, and left her singular 
ear-ornaments on the grassy bank. That same night she went 
torch-fishing on the reef, and there recollected her missing 
ear-plugs. Upon returning home, she found two of her children 
stung to death by the mosquitoes, which had by their loud humming 
contrived to burst their prison-house ! Her other two children had 
escaped with their lives by entirely immersing their bodies in 
the neighbouring stream, their mouth and nostrils only being 
above water. 

Veve set fire to her dwelling, hoping to exterminate the 
noxious insects she had thoughtlessly introduced to her future 
home. The majority, indeed, perished; but a few escaped to the 
neighbouring rocks. From that remnant the present disagreeable 
race of mosquitoes are descended. To this old belief Tenio refers 
in his f&te song : 

Kua topa te poe i te taringa : Thy ear-ornaments were lost; 

Kua vare paa i Vaikaute. When bathing at Vaikaute. 

Na tangi namu i vavai. The loud humming burst them open. 

Kua kai te namu ka pou raua. Alas ! they stung both children to death. 

It is the custom of the natives to keep burning outside each 
house a log of dry iron-wood, which if left alone will, like touch- 
wood, smoulder on until the whole is consumed. Of course the 
smoke readily penetrates the reed sides of a native hut, and drives 
away the mosquitoes. But as the smoke does not invariably 
suffice to expel these irritating foes, it is the custom to sleep with 
the head and face well wrapped up. 

In the hot, damp season, if a native cannot sleep on account 



128 Myths and Songs. 

of mosquitoes, he lights a torch and waits until all his pertinacious 
little foes axe delightedly buzzing round it He then slowly 
carries the light outside, of course conducting the insect-army 
with it Suddenly quenching the torch, he now rushes back 
inside the house and closes the sliding door. 

" THE-LONG-LIVED." 

The formation of Mangaia is remarkably hilly. In the middle^ 
of the island is a hill, half a mile long and 250 feet wide, named 
Rangimotia, or Centre-of-the-heavens, from which the lesser hills 
branch out on every side. 

This central hill was considered very sacred in the olden time, 
for there the kings of past generations adjusted the sacred girdle 
on warriors bound on secret murdering expeditions in the name of 
Rongo. The condition of wearing this girdle was, " succeed or 
die." About a century ago a rash chief, named Uarau, resolved 
to celebrate his accession to supreme temporal power by holding a 
grand feast on this sacred spot The leading men of the day were 
sure that such an act of daring impiety would draw down the 
anger of the gods, and therefore deprived Uarau of his chieftain- 
ship. The reason alleged for the sacredness of the hill is this : 

A god, Te-manaya-roa, 1 or The-long-lived, lies buried, face 
downwards, at Rangimotia, His proportions are wonderful: the 
length of the level hill half a mile being the measurement of his 
back ! His head is at Butoa, towards the sun-rising. The marked 
depression between, is the neck of The-long-lived. His right 
arm is the line of hills stretching away to the S.E., a distance of 
two miles, and touching the mission premises at Tamarua. His 

1 One of the three primary stationary spirits bears this name, but must be 
distinguished from this buried giant. 



Miscellaneot&s Myths. 129 

left arm is represented by a hill-range, of equal length, pn the 
opposite side of the island. The right leg of The-long-lived is 
the line of somewhat irregular hills extending about three miles 
on the S.W. of the island. The left leg is a chain of equal length 
on the N.W. 

These " arms " and " legs " serve one important purpose to 
mark off the different districts into which the island is naturally 
divided 

It is in allusion to this myth that the southern half of Mangaia 
is invariably called " the right side," and the northern half " the 
left side." The eastern part of Mangaia is always termed the 
"pauru" Oft head. 

Whenever, in the olden time, a large stranded fish was 
obtained, this fancy guided the cutting up and presentation of the 
different parts of the fish. The head, as a matter-of-course, went 
to the two chiefs at " the sun-rising," where the head of TJie-long- 
lived was supposed to lie. The central part of the fish would go 
to the two chiefs of the central portion of Mangaia the fish being 
divided along the back-bone, in order that the shares might be 
equal. 

The tail was divided between the two remaining chiefs, whose 
homes are at "the sun-setting." 

The larger portions were subdivided, until each individual had 
a minute share. But these subdivisions were not made until the 
name of the chief of the entire district had first been pro- 
claimed. 

To this day, in all great feasts, the etiquette is, after calling out 
the name of the king, to announce in a prescribed order the 
names of the six chiefs of Mangaia, beginning with one of the 
chiefs on the east, and then going round in regular order until the 



130 Myths and Songs. 

second chief on the east had been called out, and the circuit of 
the island completed. This is done now partly as a matter of 
custom, and partly as a matter of real convenience jealousy 
being thus prevented. Few of the younger people understand 
the ancient reason for the practice. 

HUMAN ARTS AND INVENTIONS. 

The employments of mortals are mere transcripts of what was 
supposed to be going on in Avaiki, their knowledge and skill being 
derived from the invisible world. The first axe ever seen on earth 
(Le. Mangaia) was, handle and all, of stone from the shades. The 
grand secret of fire was introduced by Maui from nether-world. 
The female employment of cloth-beating was derived from the she- 
demon Mueu, who in the shades is ever beating the flail of death. 
The art of torch-light fishing was gained from the goddess Uti, who 
on damp nights loves to come up from Avaiki with a lighted 
torch (ignis-fatuus) to wander over the island. The art of stealing 
would infallibly come to grief, did not Iro himself come up on 
moonless nights from spirit-land, for the express purpose of assist- 
ing mortals in playing their thievish tricks. The ovens in daily 
use, especially the enormous ovens for cooking ti (dracoenae ter- 
minalis) roots, are derived from Mini's awful oven ever blazing in 
Hades. The art of war was learnt from Tukaitaua and Tutavake, 
denizens of nether-land. The intoxicating draught was copied 
from that which the hateful mistress of the invisible world presents 
to her victims. The pleasant and harmless game of ball-throwing 
was first taught to Ngaru by fairy-women ; and introduced by him 
to this world. Veetini came from the dead to instruct mankind 
how to mourn for their deceased relatives. 



Miscellaneous Myths, 131 

An obvious explanation of this style of thought is the universal 
tendency of the heathen mind to trace to a supernatural source 
everything in earth, air, or sea. Another suggestion I would 
make ; their ancestors undoubtedly brought with them the know- 
ledge of necessary and useful arts from Savai'i, the " Avaiki " and 
original home of these islanders. In the eastern islands they 
speak of having come from Hawai'i (= Savai'i), or the " Po," i.e. 
Night. By " Night " is intended the far-west, where the sun 
sets, leaving these eastern islands in darkness. Po, Hawai'i, 
Avaiki, and Savai'i are convertible terms. 

The heathen of these islands were everywhere Realists in 
philosophy, without knowing it This is the fundamental error of 
unenlightened nations. 

PERILS OF BEAUTY. 

Ngaroariki, 1 wife of Ngata, king of Rarotonga, was famed for 
her beauty. She was the envy of gods and men. On one occa- 
sion she was thrown into a thicket of thorns by four men, who 
thought she could never get out alive. (The thorns of this formid- 
able creeper resemble fish-hooks. Woe betide the unfortunate 
man that gets entangled amongst them.) Tangaroa, tutelar god of 
Rarotonga, took pity on the hapless beauty, and sent Oroio and 
Roaki with long, heavy sticks to beat down the thicket, and thus 
afford deliverance. Another time, when rambling near the sea, 
she heard a siren voice calling to her, " O loveliest of women, 
come hither !" She felt impelled to follow the voice. The path- 
way led over a bua (beslaria, laurifolid) which overspread a rock. 
Tangaroa whispered to her to tread only the green branches, as 
1 Ngaroariki = the lost queen. Ngata = difficult. 



132 Myths and Songs. 

whoever treads upon the dead branches is necessarily bound to 
spirit-land. She did so. But as she passed on to the sea whence 
the voice proceeded, she was suddenly caught in a net by two 
demons, and was utterly helpless in their hands. As she was 
being borne away to destruction, Tangaroa again interposed on 
her behalf, and tore the net to pieces and delivered the fair 
captive. On a third occasion, Ngaroariki told her husband that 
she was going to bathe in a retired spot. He attempted to 
dissuade her from her purpose, saying that she might be attacked 
by the cruel hag Moto (= the striker), who was known to be 
jealous of her charms. Ngaroariki loved to have her own way, 
and went off gaily to the fountain, and there greatly diverted her- 
self by beating the water with her hands. 

It happened that the envious woman was preparing cloth in 
her own dwelling, which was not far away from the bathing-place. 
As soon as she heard the splashing of the water, she knew that it 
was Ngaroariki, and immediately left off work and sought how 
she might wreak her vengeance upon the defenceless queen. 

Tangaroa noticed that Moto's flail ceased to beat, and con- 
cluded that she was planning some evil against Ngaroariki. Wish- 
ing to save the ill-fated beauty, he despatched his bird-messenger, 
the kuriri, who chirped thus : 

Teuteuae, 1 ruerueae, e tu ra, e oro ra, Haste, haste, arise, flee for thy life ! 
acre ra. 

The warning was repeated two or three times; but Ngaroariki 
paid no heed. While she was yet splashing about in the fountain, 
Moto violently assaulted the unprepared bather. She then, with a 
keen shark's tooth, shaved off the whole of her hair, which was so 
profuse that it made eight large handfuls. Her face was next so 

1 The alliteration is beautiful : the sense of both words is the same. 



Miscellaneous Myths. 133 

disfigured that it was impossible for any one to recognize the once 
beautiful queen. Her pretty yellow ear-ornament of stained fish- 
bone, and her fine pearl-shell daintily suspended from her neck, 
were snatched away. Her gay clothes were all taken from her, 
and she was wrapped round in a single piece of old black tapa. 
When at length the hag Moto retreated with the spoil, poor 
Ngaroariki, utterly forlorn and changed in appearance, hid herself 
in the forest. 

Her husband Ngata, astonished that his queen did not return 
home, searched everywhere for her ; but in vain. After some time 
a grand reed-throwing match in honour of the king came off. The 
party who throws the farthest wins the day. The chief people of 
the island were present, and in succession threw their long reeds 
with various degrees of success. When Ngata and his retinue 
came forward to exhibit their skill, it happened that their reeds 
passed near where the lost queen was hiding her deformity and 
misery. She was wasted to a skeleton through grief and want of 
food. She knew well to whom the reeds belonged. One after 
another, as they swept past, they were caught by her and broken in 
pieces. It was reported to the king that his reeds had actually 
been destroyed by some ugly, wretched-looking woman. Ngata, 
greatly incensed, hastened to punish her insolence. Again and 
again he kicked her, reviling her for her ugliness and impudence. 
As soon as the king was gone, Ngaroariki wailed thus : 

Takatakaiia, takatakaiia te mea vaine O royal Ngata, tramplest thou thus 

a Ngata ariki, 

I Vaitakaiara te nekuere. Tramplest thou thus on thine own 

perishing wife ? 

The king was told what she had said. Was it possible that 
this ugly creature was indeed his lost wife? He immediately 



134 Myths and Songs. 

returned and looked attentively at her face, but could see no like- 
less to his beloved Ngaroariki. Yet there could be no mistaking 
e meaning of her words. At last he bethought himself to open 
ier mouth ; and, on doing so, immediately recognized the pearly 
;eeth of his lost one. He asked what had happened to her. She 
.old him all Off started Ngata, followed by his wife, in search of 
lie sorceress. She was employed as usual in beating out cloth. 
The king demanded whether she had touched Ngaroariki and had 
stolen her queenly ornaments. The hag admitted that these 
:harges were true, but begged the king not to kill her, as she 
rould give back the stolen treasures, and restore her to her 
mstine beauty. The ornaments and clothing were produced. The 
orceress then collected the viscid fluid of the hibiscus and the 
>ronga (urtica argented), and prepared a sort of gum which she 
Mastered all over the bald head of Ngaroariki. The hair was 
hus made by the sorceress to adhere as formerly. The eyebrows 
fere restored in the same way. The hag having, with infinite 
ibour, repaired the damage she had done to the person of the 
[ueen, hoped to be forgiven. But Ngata thirsted for revenge. 
Besides, the jealous Moto might invent some new method of 
ijuring his beloved one. Without heeding her entreaties for 
lercy, the king stoned the sorceress to death, as he believed. 
Lccompanied by Ngaroariki, he was proceeding home, when, to 
is utter astonishment, he heard Moto again at her old employ- 
xent, beating out native cloth. He returned to the hag, who 
ppeared to be uninjured by what had occurred. A second time 
Fgata stoned the sorceress ; but again she revived and returned 
> her old work. Driven to his wits' end, he at last hit upon a 
Ian which proved successful; it was to stone her until, as 
reviously, life seemed extinct, and then to sever the limbs and 



Miscellaneous Myths. 135 

bury them in different parts of the island. Thus, at length, an 
end was put to the malicious tricks of the envious Moto, and the 
lovely Ngaroariki lived in peace with her royal husband. 

ORIGIN OF PIGS AT RAROTONGA. 

Of the seven islands constituting the Hervey Group, Mangaia 
and Aitutaki are the only ones without a native breed of pigs. 
The first were landed in 1823 by the martyr Williams. On occa- 
sion of the annual May festivities in 1852, a thousand pigs were 
killed and eaten ! Of late years the number of these useful 
animals has greatly fallen off, owing to the desolation occasioned 
by successive hurricanes. 

The only quadruped previously known on Mangaia was thera/, 
which was considered to be delicious eating. To this day a rat- 
hunt is rare sport for boys, who afterwards divide the spoil. Their 
seniors have relinquished the practice of rat-eating. " As sweet as 
a rat " is a common proverb ; and the Rarotongans revile Manga- 
ians as " rat-eaters." 

The following is the legend given to account for the origin of 
pigs at Rarotonga : 

Some two miles from the settlement of Avarua is a place 
named Kupolu, where there once lived the aged blind Maaru, 
and his son Kationgia. They lived by themselves in a pleasant 
spot, not far from the base of mountains whose summits are nearly 
always robed in clouds. 

In consequence of the continual fighting of those days, there 
was a most severe famine. Maaru became too feeble to stir from 
the house ; so that the boy had to provide, as best he could, for 
the wants of the old man and himself. Kationgia could find 
nothing better to eat than the stump of the banana, which 



136 Myths and Songs. 

ordinarily no one would condescend to taste. Very diligently did 
he grate these stumps on a lump of madrepore coral, strain off the 
farina into a tub hollowed out of a solid tree, and mixing a little 
of the refuse (ota), in order to give it substance, cooked the whole 
in the oven. Kationgia would now go on the reef to fish, in 
order to get something to render this wretched diet palatable. 
The fish, when obtained, was grilled over a fire, on an extempore 
gridiron of green cocoa-nut branches. 

The dutiful son invariably gave to his aged parent the banana- 
root pudding and the larger fish, whilst he satisfied the cravings of 
his own appetite on sea-slugs and shell-fish. Maaru, wearied of 
this diet, and suspected Kationgia of playing him a trick. Pos- 
sibly the secret of his boy's uncomplaining cheerfulness was that 
he reserved all the good things for his own eating, knowing that 
his old father was stone blind. Resolved to find out the truth, he 
waited till his son had gone on the reef to fish. Maaru now felt 
about for the calabash of salt water, and spilled its contents. In 
due time the son returned with some fish, and prepared their meal. 
But to his surprise, the salt water was gone. Without a word of 
complaint the lad started back to the beach to refill the empty 
calabash with this indispensable condiment. 

This was just the opportunity the old blind father desired. 
Everything was spread for his own dinner and for his son's : he re- 
solved to ascertain what his boy was living on from day to day, 
seeing that his own fare was so indifferent To his grief he found 
that Kationgia had been really starving himself, whilst the father 
had constantly eaten the only tolerable food obtainable. Maaru 
wept at the thought of what his poor boy had endured for his 
sake : hearing, at length, the footsteps of the lad, he restrained his 
tears. 



M^scellaneo^t,s Myths. 137 

The meal was finished in silence. The old man then requested 
Kationgia to come to him. The boy obeyed, wondering at this 
novel proceeding. The blind Maaru then felt all over his person, 
and found him to be a living skeleton. Father and son now wept 
together. 

Kationgia was told to prepare an oven. " What have we to 
cook?" naturally asked the son. The father repeated his 
command. When the oven was nearly ready, Maaru directed his 
son to dig about the posts of the house, where he had, with a wise 
forethought, during a previous season of plenty, concealed a 
quantity of food against the time of scarcity. 

Near the first post was a large quantity of " mii," or sour 
bread-fruit, carefully packed up in leaves. 1 About the second post 
was a lot of excellent chestnuts (tuscarpus edulis). To crown the 
whole, a bunch of four cocoa-nuts was discovered close to the 
third principal support of their dwelling. Said the old father, 
" Cook all this food ; for we will have a feast to-night. When I 
am gone, dig about all the minor posts of this house, and you will 
find plenty of food expressly reserved for this time of sore need." 

That evening father and son enjoyed the luxury of a second 
meal. Maaru then solemnly said, " I have eaten my last food. I 
am about to die. As soon as the breath is out of my body, take 
me to Nikao (a good fishing-place about a mile distant). On no 
account carry me ; but drag me there. Conceal my body in the 
bush ; cover it well with leaves and grass. At the expiration of 
four days, come and look at my body. Should you see worms 
crawling about, cover me over again with fresh leaves and grass. 
At the expiration of another four days come back and something 

1 Thus packed and buried in the earth, it will keep good two or three 
years. 



138 Myths and Songs. 

will follow you. Peace will be restored to this island, and you will 
be king /" 

That same night the old man died. Kationgia faithfully 
carried out the last wish of his parent The bruised corpse was 
deposited in the dense ironwood forest, not far from the beautiful 
white sandy beach of Nikao. At the end of four days the lad 
revisited the sequestered grave, and saw worms crawling about 
According to the instructions of Maaru, he gathered abundance of 
fresh leaves and grass, and piled them over the corpse to a great 
height But when, after the expiration of another four days, he 
paid a second visit to the grave, he was surprised to see the entire 
mass strangely heaving ; it was all commotion ! Alarmed at 
this, he rushed away home in horror. His ears, however, were 
assailed and his steps arrested with the novel grunts of the first 
brood of pigs on Rarotonga. In that first brood were all the 
varieties of white, black, and speckled, which have since prevailed 
These young pigs, of their own accord, followed Kationgia to his 
home at the foot of the mountain. They increased at a wonder- 
ful rate, and made their owner famous all over the island. 

Being now a man of consideration, Kationgia married to 
advantage. Peace prevailed, and eventually, on account of his 
owning these wonderful animals, he was elected king ! Such was 
the reward of his filial piety. 

To the present day pigs at Rarotonga are, in allusion to this 
story, called " e iro no Maaru " = worms of Maaru. 

Kationgia = bite and smell, as if the model child of their 
heathen antiquity only bit and smelt his own share of food, 
A spot at Rarotonga is to this day called Kupolu. 



Miscellaneous Myths. 139 

SEEKING FOR LIGHT. 

AN AITUTAKIAN MYTH. 

Te-erui, son of Te-tareva = the expanse, lived long in utter 
darkness in the shades (Avaiki). He had heard that there was 
somewhere a land of light ; very earnestly he desired to visit it. 
He ruminated as to the best way of attaining his purpose, and 
finally resolved to make a canoe, in which he might paddle away 
to " the land of light" 

Te-erui divulged his secret purpose to his brother Matareka = 
smiling face. Being of one mind, they at once set off in search 
of suitable wood for their purpose. As they felled the trees, 
they chanted these words : 

Nga Te-erui, nga Matareka e amo i te toki i te tumu o te rakau. 
E aumapu ma taku toki, e aumapu. 

Te end and Matareka have brought their axes to the root of this tree. 
Merrily rings the axe ! merrily O 1 

The trees fell. The top and branches were speedily lopped 
off, the outer bark was peeled off, and the trunks hollowed out 
into two fine canoes. The outriggers were secured. The first 
canoe was named, "Weary of Darkness ;" the second, "Sleepless 
Nights." These enterprising brothers dragged their canoes to 
the ocean's edge, set up a mast and sail in each, and started for 
the much-wished-for " land of light" When the winds grew light, 
they diligently plied their paddles. On and on they went, and, 
to their great joy, reached a region called " Glimmering of Light" 
Here they met with a great misfortune their canoes upset. 
They, however, swam back for their lives, and succeeded in 
reaching their homes again. In no degree discouraged by the 



140 Myths and Songs. 

result of this, their first experiment, the brothers cut down two 
trees, chanting as before : 

Te-erui and Matareka have brought their axes to the root of this tree. 
Merrily rings the axe ! merrily O I 

The trees fell ; and in due time the canoes were completed. 
One was named, "Unalterable Purpose;" the other, "Sidle 
Along " (because unable to go direct). These new canoes were 
launched, and a second time the brothers started off in search oi 
" the land of light" All went on well until they arrived at the 
comparatively pleasant region of " Glimmering of Light," where 
their fragile barks were sunk: by the violence of the waves. The 
adventurous voyagers happily succeeded in swimming back to 
shore a second time. But Te-erui and Matareka did not despair. 
Again they felled timber for two new canoes in the place of those 
they had lost, singing as before : 

Te-enti and Matareka have brought, etc. 

When these canoes were completed, they were respectively 
called " Tack In," and " Tack Out." Once more the brothers, 
each in a separate canoe, started off in search of "the land of 
light," but were again doomed to disappointment ; for, on reach- 
ing the region of "Glimmering of Light," the rough waves again 
broke up their canoes. Te-erui and Matareka, however, got back 
to shore a third time. 

The brothers now doubted whether they would ever succeed 
in getting to the wished-for land. They resolved to try once 
more. Again they selected the best trees for their purpose; 
and, whilst cutting them down, sang as formerly, "Te-erui and 
Matareka," eta When these canoes were completed, they held 
a consultation as to the probable cause of their previous failures. 



Miscellaneous Myths. 141 

The carpenter, or priest, inquired the name of the masts of 
the former canoes. The brothers replied, " Te-tira-o-Rongo," 
*>, The mast of Rongo. The carpenter remarked, "It is on 
this account that you have hitherto failed. Change the 
name, and you will yet succeed." "What name do you pro- 
pose ? " asked the brothers. " Call it," said the priest-carpenter, 
" O-tu-i-te-rangi-marama " r = Erect in the Light of Heaven. 
This was gladly agreed to. Everything was at length completed 
for the fourth expedition in search of " the land of light." What 
with paddling and sailing, they reached the dangerous region of 
" Glimmering of Light," and saw the mad billows seemingly 
resolved again to swallow up the frail barks. But " Erect in the 
Light of Heaven " kept on through storm and calm until they 
reached "the land of light" a region where they could clearly see 
each other ; where the sun shone brightly, and all was pleasant 

No more caring to return to the dark land from which they 
had originally set out, they looked about for a resting-place, and 
at last espied a half-sunken island ahead. But the ocean waves 
were threatening, and the surf rolled heavily against the coral reef. 
The brothers fought against these billows, and lo ! the sea became 
smooth. Nearing the partially submerged island, they could find 
no dry place on which to set their feet The brothers again con- 
tended with the ocean ; the shallow waters vanished, leaving the 
island elevated far above the surrounding ocean. Te-erui and Mata- 
reka took possession of their new-found home in "the region of light," 
and thenceforth appropriately called it " Aitu-taki " God-led. 

Such is the legendary history of the " Adam " of Aitutaki. It 
is, of course, a highly exaggerated account of the voyage of the 

1 A possible meaning of this name is "Tu-(bathed)-in-the-Light-of-Heaven." 
I prefer that given in the text. 



142 Myths and Songs. 

first settlers from Avaiki - Savai'i, the sun-setting, to " the land of 
light," i,e. the sun-rising. Said the heathen priests to Papehia, 
one of their first teachers, " Te-erui was the first man ; we know 
nothing about your Adam." 

RATA'S CANOE. 

A LEGEND FROM AITUTAKI. 

In the fairy land of Kupolu lived the renowned chief Rata, who 
resolved to build a great double canoe, with a view of exploring 
other lands. Shouldering his axe, he started off to a distant valley 
where the finest timber grew. Close to the mountain stream stood 
a fragrant pandanus tree, where a deadly combat was going on 
between a beautiful white heron (ruru), and a spotted sea-serpent 
(aa). The origin of the quarrel was as follows : 

The heron was accustomed, when wearied with its search after 
fish, to rest itself on a stone rising just above the waters of the 
coral reef, and chanced to defile the eyes of a monstrous sea- 
serpent, whose hole was just beneath. The serpent, greatly 
enraged at this insult, resolved to be revenged. Raising its head 
as far as possible out of the water, it carefully observed the flight 
of the white heron and followed in pursuit. Leaving the salt 
water of the reef, it entered the mountain torrent, and eventually 
reached the foot of the fragrant pandanus, where the unconscious' 
victim was sleeping. The sea-serpent easily climbed the pandanus 
by means of one of its extraordinary aerial supports or roots ; 
and now, holding on firmly with its twisted tail, began the attack 
by biting the lovely bird. 

They fought hard all through that night. At dawn, the white 
heron seeing Rata passing that way, plaintively called out, " 
Rata, put an end to this fight." But the sea-serpent said deceit- 



Miscellaneous Myths. 143 

fully, " Nay, Rata ; leave us alone. It is but a trial of strength 
between a heron and a serpent. Let us fight it out." Again the 
white heron begged Rata to interfere ; and again the crafty sea- 
serpent bade Rata go on his way which he did, being in a great 
hurry to fell timber for his canoe. But as he walked heedlessly 
along, he heard the bird say reproachfully, " Ah ! your canoe 
will not be finished without my aid" Still Rata heeded not the 
white heron's cry for help, but entered the recesses of the forest. 
Selecting the finest timber he could find, he cut down enough for 
his purpose, and at sunset returned home. 

Early on the following morning the chief returned to the valley, 
intending to hollow out the trees he had felled on the previous 
day. Strangely enough, the logs were missing : not a lopped 
branch, or even a chip or a leaf could be seen ! No stump could 
be discovered, so that it was evident that the felled trees had, in 
the course of the night, been mysteriously restored to their former 
state. But Rata was not to be deterred from his purpose, so 
having again fixed upon suitable trees, a second time he levelled 
them to the ground. 

On the third morning, as he went back to the forest to his 
work, he noticed that the heron and the serpent were still fighting. 
They had been thus engaged for two days and nights without 
intermission. Rata pursued his way, intending to hollow out his 
canoe, when to his astonishment, as on the previous day, the fallen 
trees had resumed their original places, and were in every respect 
as perfect as before the axe had touched them. Rata guessed by 
their position and size, which were the trees that had twice served 
him this trick. He now for the first time understood the meaning 
of what the suffering white heron had said to him on the first day, 
" Your canoe will not be finished without my aid." 



144 Myths and Songs. 

Rata now left the forest and went to see whether the white 
heron was alive. The beautiful bird was indeed living, but 
very much exhausted. Its unrelenting foe, sure of victory, was 
preparing for a final attack when Rata chopped it in pieces with 
his axe, and thus saved the life of the white heron. He then went 
back to his work, and for the third time felled the timber for his 
canoe. As it was by this time growing dark, he returned home to 
rest. 

From the branch of a distant tree the somewhat revived white 
heron watched the labours of Rata through the livelong day. As 
soon as the chief had disappeared in the evening, the grateful 
bird started off to collect all the birds of Kupolu to hollow out 
Rata's canoe. They gladly obeyed the summons of their sovereign, 
and pecked away with their beaks until the huge logs were 
speedily hollowed out. Next came the more difficult task of join- 
ing together the separate pieces. The holes were bored with the 
long bills of the sea birds, and the cinet was well secured with the 
claws of the stronger land birds. It was almost dawn ere the 
work was completed. Finally, they resolved to convey the canoe 
to the beach close to Rata's dwelling. To accomplish this, each 
bird the small as well as the large took its place on either side 
of the canoe, completely surrounding it. At a given signal they 
all extended their wings, one to bear up the canoe, the other for 
flight. As they bore the canoe through the air they sang, each 
with a different note, as follows : 

E ara rakau e ! E ara rakau e ! A pathway for the canoe ! A pathway 

for the canoe ! 

E ara inano e I A path of sweet-scented flowers ! 

E kopukopu te tini o Kupolu , The entire family of birds of Kupolu 

E matakitaki, ka re koe ! 06 ! Honour thee (Rata) above all mortals! 

06! 



Miscellaneous Myths. 145 

On reaching the sandy beach in front of Rata's dwelling the 
canoe was carefully deposited by the birds, who now quickly 
disappeared in the depths of the forest 

Awakened by this unwonted song of the birds, Rata hastily 
collected his tools, intending to return to his arduous employment 
in the valley. At this moment he caught sight of the famous 
canoe, beautifully finished off, lying close to his door. He at 
once guessed this to be the gratitude of the king of birds, and 
named the canoe " Taraipo " = JBuftt-in-a-nigJit (or Built-in4Jie- 



Rata speedily provided his bird-built canoe with a mast and a 
sail, and then summoned his friends, and laid in food and water 
for his projected voyage. Everything being now ready, he went 
on board, and was just starting when Nganaoa asked permission 
to go in this wonderful vessel. But Rata would not consent. The 
crafty Nganaoa seeing the canoe start without him ran to fetch an 
empty calabash, knocked off the top, and squeezing himself in as 
best he could, floated himself off on the surface of the ocean, unti] 
he got a little ahead of the canoe. The people in Rata's canoe 
were surprised to see an apparently empty calabash floating 
steadily just before their vessel. Rata desired one of his men tc 
stoop down to pick up the calabash, as it might prove useful, 
The man did so, but to his astonishment found it very heavy 
actually containing a man compressed into the smallest possible 
compass. 

A voice now issued from the calabash, O Rata, take me 01 
board your canoe." "Whither away?" inquired the chief 
" I go," said the poor fellow inside the calabash, " warned by ai 
oracle, to the land' of Moonlight, to seek my parents Tairitokerai 
and Vaiaroa." Rata now asked, "What will you do for me i 

L 



146 Myths and Songs. 

I take you in ? " The imprisoned Nganaoa replied, " I will look 
after your mat sail." " I do not want your help," said Rata. 
" Here are men enough to attend to the great mat sail." 

After a pause, Nganaoa, still unreleased from his awkward 
position, again earnestly addressed Rata : "Let me go in your 
canoe." " Whither away ? " again demanded the chief. " I go," 
said Nganaoa, "warned by an oracle, to the land of Moonlight, 
to seek my parents Tairitokerau and Vaiaroa." Rata again asked 
" What now will you do for me if I take you in ? " The reply 
issued from the calabash, " I will unweariedly bale out the water 
from the bottom of your canoe." Again Rata said, " I do not 
want your help. I have plenty of men to bale out the water from 
the bottom of the canoe." 

A third time, in similar terms, Nganaoa entreated permission to 
go jin the canoe to paddle it whenever the wind should grow 
light or adverse. But Rata would not accept his services. 

At last, upon the fourth application, the desponding Nganaoa 
was successful, on the promise to destroy all the monsters of the 
ocean which might infest their path. Rata wisely reflected that he 
had "entirely forgotten to provide against this emergency; and 
who so fertile in expedients as Nganaoa, who was now permitted 
to emerge from his calabash, and to take his place armed at 
head of the canoe to be on the look-out for monsters. 

Swiftly and pleasantly, with a fair wind, they sped over the 
ocean in quest of new lands. One day Nganaoa shouted, "O Rata, 
here is a terrible foe starting up from the main." It was an open 
dam of fearful proportions. One shell was ahead, the other 
astern the canoe and all on board lying between ! In another 
moment this horrid clam might crush them all by suddenly closing 
its mouth ! But Nganaoa was ready for the emergency. He 



Miscellaneous Myths. 147 

seized his long spear and quickly drove it down into the fish, 
so that the bivalve instead of suddenly snapping them all up sank 
immediately to the bottom of the ocean. 

This danger escaped, they again sped pleasantly on their way. 
But after a while the voice of the ever vigilant Nganaoa was heard : 
"0 Rata, yonder is a terrible enemy starting up from ocean 
depths." It proved to be an octopus of extraordinary dimensions. 
Its huge tentacula encircled the vessel in their embrace, threaten- 
ing to destroy them. At this critical juncture Nganaoa seized his 
spear and fearlessly drove it through the head of the octopus. 
The tentacula now slowly relaxed, and the dead monster floated 
off on the surface of the ocean. 

Again they pursued their voyage in safety. But one more 
great peril awaited them. One day the brave Nganaoa shouted, " O 
Rata, here is a great whale /" Its enormous mouth was wide open ; 
one jaw beneath the canoe, and the other above it ! The whale 
was evidently bent on swallowing them up alive. Nganaoa, the 
slayer of monsters, now broke his long spear in two, and at the 
critical moment when the whale was about to crush them all, 
he cleverly inserted both stakes inside the mouth of their foe, 
so that it became impossible for it to close its jaws. Nganaoa 
nimbly jumped inside the mouth of this great whale and looked 
down into the stomach, and lo ! there sat his long lost father 
Tairitokerau and his mother Vaiaroa, who had been swallowed 
alive when fishing by this monster of the deep. The oracle 
was fulfilled ; his voyage was prosperous. 

The parents of Nganaoa were busily engaged in platting cinet 
Great was their joy at seeing their son, being assured that 
deliverance was at hand. Nganaoa resolved, whilst extricating 
his parents, to be fully revenged upon the whale. He therefore 



148 Myths and Songs, 

extracted one of the two stakes the remaining one sufficing to 
prevent the monster from enclosing him as well as his parents in 
this living tomb. Breaking this prop into two pieces, he con- 
verted them into fire-sticks. He desired his father to hold firmly 
the lower one, whilst he worked assiduously with the upper stick, 
until at length the fire smouldered. Blowing it to a flame, 
Nganaoa set fire to the fatty portion of the stomach. The 
monster, writhing in agony, sought relief in swimming to the 
nearest land, where, on reaching the sandy beach, father, mother, 
and son quietly walked out through the open mouth of the 
stranded and dying whale. 

The island proved to be Iti-te-marama, or Moonlight. Here 
the canoe of Rata was drawn up on the beach, and for a time 
they all lived pleasantly. They daily refreshed themselves with 
its fruits and fish, adorning their persons with fragrant flowers. 
At length they longed for the land of their birth in Avaiki, 
and they resolved to return. The canoe was repaired and 
launched ; food and water were laid in j the great mat sail was 
set up, and at length the brave navigator Rata, with the scarcely 
saved parents of Nganaoa, and the entire party, started once 
more. After many days, but without further peril, they event- 
ually reached their original homes in the lands of the sun- 
setting. 

This myth materially differs from the Rarotongan one, to 
which Mr. Williams refers in the " Enterprises " (chap, xiii.), which 
relates how Tangiia first came to Rarotonga, In the latter part, 
one is strongly reminded of the story of Jonah : the natives look 
upon it as a distorted version of the Bible narrative. The 
myth says " a whale " (toora) swallowed the parents of Nganaoa ; 



Miscellaneous Myths. 149 

whereas the native Bible merely states that "a great fish" (ika 
maata) swallowed Jonah. 

This myth, which may be regarded as one of the primitive 
stories of the race, points to Samoa. At Pangaroa, in the island 
of Upolu (in Rarotongan and Aitutakian story JTupolu; but in 
Mangaian traditions 7upolu), amid some rocks near the sea, 
is a block of stone, about twenty-seven feet in length, very much 
resembling a canoe, and called " the canoe of Rata ! " 

The story of Rata was unknown at Mangaia, Yet a reference 
to this hero occurs in a canoe-making song 

Tapaia e Una e ! Slash away, O Una, 

E toki purepure o tai enua. With the wonderful axe from another 

land. 

A tua te vao ia Rata E'en with that which enabled Rata 

Kua inga te rakau ! ' To fell the forest 

" The Song of the Birds " ( " A Pathway for the canoe/' etc.) 
has always been in use at Aitutaki and Rarotonga as one of those 
chanted in hauling heavy timber. 

The bird intended by the native word " ruru " is a matter 
of dispute amongst the islanders ; some asserting it to be the 
albatros, others say it is the white heron. The objection to 
the former is, that is is purely a roamer over the ocean. The fish 
intended is the "vaaroa," or spotted sea-serpent, which attains 
the length of eight feet, and is very vindictive. It may seem 
incredible that a species of eel should climb trees, but such 
nevertheless is said (by the natives) to be the fact On low coral 
islands, where the pandanus grows close to the lagoon, it is com- 
mon for this fish to make its way over the sand and broken coral 
until, reaching the shafts which support the trunk, it climbs with 
great ease in search of lizards which sleep on the branches. The 



150 



Myths and Songs. 



octopus climbs the same tree for the sake of the sweet-scented 
flowers and fruit Like the octopus, this sea-serpent is an expert 
rat-catcherfeigning death until the unwary rat comes within 
its reach. The sight of a human being causes it to return to the 
water with the utmost expedition. 



PRAYER OR CHARM FOR A THIEF OR A 
MURDERER. 

USED BY THE CHIEF RAOA AND HIS CLAN. 



Tena rava te tira : 

Ka tu i nunga, 

Ka tu i mua i te are : 
E tira Omataianuku : 
E tira Outuuturoroa ; 

Oavaavaroroa. 

Tei iti au era tangata kekeia, 
O ua rere i maul ia kiritia ; 

I taviria ia turua. 
la turua a nu koe e te atua i te are : 

Ka mate koe i te atua i te are, 

Tamoe i te an mea katoa 
Tena rava te moenga, maora atu na. 

F moe, e te tangata noou te are. 
E moe, e te tirango noou te are. 
E moe, e te portipoti noou te are. 

E moe, e te ueue noou te are. 



Here is our sure helper. 

Arise on our behalf : 

Stand at the door of this house, 
O thou divine Omataianuku ! 
O thou divine Outuutu-the-Tall, 

And Avaava-the-Tall ! 

We are on a thieving" 1 expedition 
Be close to our left side to give aid. 

Let all be wrapped in sleep. 
Be as a lofty cocoa-nut tree to support 

us. 
O house, thou art doomed by our 

godl 

Cause all things to sleep. 

Let profound sleep overspread this 

dwelling. 

Owner of the house, sleep on ! 
Threshold of this house, sleep on ! 
Ye tiny insects inhabiting this house 

sleep on ! 
Ye beetles inhabiting this house, sleep 

on I 



' Keia," applies equally to thieving and murdering. 



Miscellaneous Myths. 



E moe, e te kakaraunga noou te are. Ye earwigs inhabiting this house, 

sleep on ! 
Ye ants inhabiting this house, sleep 



E moe, e te ro noou te are. 
E moe, e te mata noou te are. 
E moe, e te pou noou te are. 
E moe, e te tauu noou te are. 
E moe, e te oka noou te are. 
E moe, e te tarava noou te are. 
E moe, e te kao noou te are. 
E^moe, e te tiritiritama noou te are. 
E moe, e te au noou te are. 

E moe, e te kakao noou te are. 
E moe, e te rau noou te are. 

O te mata i mua o te tangata 



Dry grass spread over the house, sleep 

on 1 
Thou central post of the house, sleep 

on ! 
Thou ridge-pole of the house, sleep 

on ! 
Ye main rafters of the house, sleep 

on! 
Ye cross beams of the house, sleep 

on 1 
Ye little rafters of the house, sleep 

on ! 
Ye minor posts of the house, sleep 

on] 
Thou covering of the ridge-pole, 

sleep on 1 

Ye reed-sides of the house, sleep on ! 
Thatch of the house, sleep on i 



E ara mai nei, vareaio ! 

Mea po te atua oi te io tangata. 



The first of its inmates unluckily 
awaking 

Put soundly to sleep again. 

If the divinity so please, man's spirit 

must yield. 

Acre katoa, tukua i te rangi, e Rongo. O Rongo, grant thou complete suc- 
cess ! 

This prayer was uttered as near as possible to the dwelling to 
be robbed. The users of it were famous for their success. 



152 Myths and Songs. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

HADES; OR, THE DOCTRINE OF 
SPIRIT-WORLD. 

THE proper name for Hades is Avaiki ; in Tahitian, Hawai'i ; 
in New Zealand, Hawaiki. Many other expressions occur in their 
ancient songs and myths, but they are to be regarded as designa- 
tions for places or territories in Avaiki, the vast hollow over which 
the island is supposed to be placed. As the dead were usually 
thrown down the deepest chasms, it was not unnatural for their 
friends to imagine the earth to be hollow, and the entrance to this 
vast nether-world to be down one of these pits. No one can 
wonder at this who knows that the outer portion of Mangaia is 
a honeycomb, the rock being pierced in every direction with 
winding caves and frightful chasms. It is asserted that the 
Mission premises at Oneroa are built over one of these great 
caverns, which extends so far towards the sea that the beating 
of the surf can be distinctly heard, whilst the water, purified from 
its saline particles, continually drips from the stony roof. The 



Hades; or, The Doctrine of Spirit-World. 153 

inland opening to this subterranean territory was the grand 
repository of the dead, and is known by the significant name of 



/ / /' /' / /+/^.3SL 




THE UNIVERSE, ACCORDING TO THE IDEAS OF THE NATIVES OF 
MANGAIA. 



154 Myths and Songs. 



Doubtless this is the true origin of their idea 
of the whereabouts of spirit-world. 

The proper denizens of Avaiki are the major and lesser 
divinities, with their dependants. These marry, multiply, and 
quarrel like mortals. They wear clothing, plant, cook, fish, build, 
and inhabit dwellings of exactly the same sort as exist on earth. 
The food of immortals is no better than that eaten by mankind. 
The story of Kura's marvellous escape from Hades represents 
some districts of spirit-land as inhabited by cannibals, whose 
delight is to entrap unwary mortals to their destruction it is to 
be presumed without the knowledge of dread Miru. Birds, fish, 
and rats ; the mantis, beetle, and centipede ; the cocoa-nut tree, 
the pandanus, the myrtle, the morindo dtrifolia> and the yam, 
all abound in Hades, either for the support or adornment of 
immortals. Murder, adultery, drunkenness, theft, and lying are 
practised by them. The arts of this world are fac-similes of what 
primarily belonged to nether-land, and were taught to mankind 
by the gods. The visible world itself is but a gross copy of what 
exists in spirit-land. If fire burns, it is because latent flame was 
hidden in the wood by Mauike in Hades. If the axe cleaves, it 
is because the fairy of the axe is invisibly present. If the iron- 
wood club kills its victim, it is because a fierce demon from 
Tonga is enshrined in it 

At a spot named Aremauku, about half a mile from the principal 
village, on a cliff overhanging the western ocean, it was pretended 
that the direct road to spirit-land existed. Through it continual 
communication was anciently kept up with Hades. By this 
route Maui descended to the home of Mauike, and wrested the 
secret of fire. In one district lived a race possessed of only one 
eye apiece ! At evening the Sun-god Ra drops down through 



Hades ; or, The Doctrine of Spirit-World. 155 

the opening made for his convenience at the edge of the horizon, 
and thus lights up the inhabitants of the nether-world. One myth 
asserts that he descends thus frequently to Avaiki to visit his wife 
TV,) who lives with the Great Mother Vari, at the very bottom of 
the vast cocoa-nut hollow knees and chin meeting ! 

Hence the ancient proverb, "Day here; night in Avaiki" and 
vice versa. As the priest Teka sang (1794) : 

Ua po Avaiki 'Tis night now in spirit-land ; 

Ua ao nunga nei. For 'tis light in this upper world 

At the appointed interval, the Sun-god Ra climbs up, not without 
great difficulty, out of nether-world through a hole at the edge of 
the eastern horizon, and lights up Mangaia. That his movements 
are so reasonable and regular is due to the exertions of Maui, 
The high-road to Avaiki is for ever closed This was not 
the fault of mankind, but the penalty of the excesses of the 
denizens of spirit-land. They became very troublesome to man- 
kind continually afflicting them with disease and death. They 
occasioned great dearth by stealing all kinds of food, and even 
ravished the women of this world. The brave and beautiful Tiki, 
the sister of Veetini, determined to put an end to these annoy- 
ances. For this purpose she rolled herself alive down into the 
gloomy opening, which immediately closed upon her. From that 
memorable day the spirits of mortals have been compelled to 
descend to Avaiki by a different route. Happily, however, the 
natives of Avaiki no longer dare molest mankind The closed 
chasm is known by the name u te rua ia Tiki " = Tiki's hole. 

The spirits of the dead were often spoken of as wandering 
along the margin of the sea most disconsolately; not a little 



156 Myths and Songs. 

annoyed at the extreme sharpness of the rocks, and the entangle- 
ment of their feet in the bindweed and thick vines. They were 
arrayed in ghostly net-work, and a fantastic mourning of weeds 
picked upon the way, relieved, however, by the fragrant heliotrope 
which grows freely on the barren rocks. A red creeper, resem- 
bling dyed twine, wound round and round the head like a turban, 
completed their ghostly toilet 

Rather inconsistently with this, a smooth, shelving piece of 
coral rock on the western coast is known as " te renanga a te 
atua," le. the place where ghosts blanch their new-made garments; 
as if during the weary months of their wanderings over the rough 
rocks they were driven, like the living, to prepare new clothing 
from time to time, and thus replace the garments torn by the 
bushes and thorny creepers. Was it to assist in the manufacture 
of such garments that females were invariably buried with one or 
more cloth mallets used in life? 

The great delight of these weeping, melancholy spirits, was to 
follow the sun. 1 At the summer solstice, January, he apparently 
rises out of the ocean opposite to Ana-knra (the "red-cave," so 
called as receiving the red rays of the morning) ; at the winter 
solstice, June, rising at Karanga-iti (" the little welcome," winter 
being but half welcome). These points became, therefore, grand 
rendezvous of disembodied spirits : those belonging to the northern 
half of the island assembling at the last-named rendezvous, 
Karanga-iti ; those, by far the greater number, belonging to the 
southern half of the island meeting at the former, Ana-kura. 

Many months might elapse ere the projected departure of the 
ghosts took place. This weary interval was spent in dances and 

1 The dead, if buried at all, were buried with tlie feet towards the setting 
sun, on account of this ancient solar worship. 



Hades ; or, The Doctrine of Spirit- World. 157 

in revisiting their former homes, where the living dwell affection- 
ately remembered by the dead. At night-fall they would wander 
amongst the trees and plantations nearest to these dwellings, 
sometimes venturing to peep inside. As a rule, these ghosts were 
well-disposed to their own living relatives ; but often became 
vindictive if a pet child was ill-treated by a step-mother or other 
relatives, etc. 

Sometimes wearied with these wanderings, the ghosts huddled 
together in the Red-cave, the stony base of which is constantly 
laved by the waves of the Pacific, rolling in with terrific violence 
from the east Or, if it so pleased their fancy, they clambered up 
the open, lawn-like place above the cave, out of reach of the 
billows and foam of the ocean (now a favourite resting-place for 
fishermen, where they cook and eat part of their finny spoil). 
This open grassy space, so renowned in their songs and myths 
concerning the dead, is known as " One-ma-kenu-kenu " = THE 
smooth spot, or the well-weeded spot. A coarse species of grass 
covers the sandy soil, pleasingly contrasting with the utter barren- 
ness beyond, where Desolation seems to be enthroned. 

The precise period for final departure was fixed by the leader 
of the band. But if no distinguished person was amongst them, 
they must of course wait on until such a leader was obtained. 
Thus in the beautiful classic laments for Vera, he is represented 
as the chosen captain of the dead, as his uncle Nagara ruled over 
the living about 125 years ago. 

The chief of this disconsolate throng resolves to depart 
Messages are sent to collect those stray ghosts who may yet be 
lingering near their ancient haunts. With many tears and last 
lingering looks they assemble at the Red-cave, or on the grassy 
lawn above it, intently watching the rising of the sun. At the 



158 Myths and Songs. 

first streak of dawn the entire band take their departure to meet 
the rising sun. This done, they follow in his train as nearly as 
may be : he in the heavens above, they at first on the ocean 
beneath, but afterwards over the rocks and stones (always avoid- 
ing the interior of the island), 1 until late in the afternoon of the 
appointed day they are all assembled at Vairorongo, facing the 
setting sun. 

" Vairorongo " means " Kongo's sacred stream." It is a little 
rivulet rushing out of the stones at the marae of Rongo, where in 
the olden time only the priests and kings might bathe. 

At last the congregated throng, whose eyes are fixed upon the 
setting sun, feel that the moment has come when they must for 
ever depart from the cherished scenes of earth despite the tears 
and solicitations of relatives, who are frequently represented as 
chasing their loved ones over rocks and across fearful precipices, 
round half the island. The sun now sinks in the ocean, leaving 
a golden track j the entire band of ghosts take a last farewell, and 
following their earthly leader, flit over the ocean in the train of 
the Sun-god Ra, but not like him destined to reappear on the 
morrow. The ghostly train enter Avaiki through the very 
aperture by which the Sun-god descends in order to lighten up 
for a time those dark subterranean regions. 

This view is expressed in the beautiful myth of Ve&ini. 

After the crowd of spirits had taken their departure, a 
solitary laggard might sometimes be left behind arriving at the 
appointed rendezvous only in time to see the long annual train 
disappear with the glowing sun. The unhappy ghost must wait 

1 The rocks encircling the island and near the sea were the home of the 
vanquished in battle, too often hunted or starved to death ; also the temporary 
home of these exile spirits. 



Hades; or, The Doctrine of Spirit-World. 159 

till a new troop be formed for the following winter, its only amuse- 
ment being " to dance the dance of the tiitii, or starved ! " or to 
" toss pebbles in the air " through the weary months that inter- 
vene. 

The point of departure for spirit-land is called a "reinga 
vaerua." There are three on Mangaia, all facing the setting sun. 
The boundary of the Mission premises at Oneroa is marked on 
one side by a bluff rock standing out by itself like a giant facing 
the west. It was believed that the spirits of those buried in that 
grand repository of the dead " Auraka," at the proper season left 
its gloomy, winding subterranean passages and divided themselves 
into two bands : the majority starting from " Araia " and lodging 
on the fatal bua tree; some those issuing from "Kauava" 
going in mournful procession to the projecting rock alluded to, 
thence leapt one by one to a second and much smaller block of 
stone resting on the inner edge of the reef, and thence again to the 
outer and extreme edge of the reef on which the surf ceaselessly 
beats. From this point they take their final departure to the 
shades in the track of the sun. 

At Atua-koro, on the north-west coast of the island, are two 
great stones very similarly placed by the hand of nature. This 
was considered to be an arrangement for the convenience of 
ghosts on that part of the island. Like the former these stones 
are known as " Reinga vaerua," Le. Leafing-flace-of-souh ! 

These are but trifling modifications of the highly poetical 
representation of disembodied spirits, NOT the slain, being impelled 
to follow in the train of the setting sun to spirit-land. 

At Rarotonga the great "reinga" or "rereanga vaerua" was at 
Tuoro j on the west of the island, as at Mangaia. So, too, in all 



160 Myths and Songs. 

the other islands of the group. At Samoa, a spirit leaving the dead 
body at the most easterly island of that group would be compelled 
to traverse the entire series of islands, passing the channels 
between at given points, ere it could descend to the subterranean 
spirit-world at the most westerly point of Savai'L 

However, the standard and esoteric z teaching of the priests 
was that the souls of the dying leave the body ere breath is quite 
extinct, and travel to the edge of the cliff at Araia (= hindered, 01 
sent back) near the marae of Kongo, and facing the west. li 
a friendly spirit should meet the solitary wanderer at any point 
of the sad but inevitable journey from the place where the seem- 
ingly dead body lies, and should say, " Go back and live," the 
now joyful ghost at once returns to its old home and re-inhabits 
the once forsaken body. This is the native theory <& fainting. 

But if no friendly spirit interfere, the departing soul pursues its 
mournful travels and eventually reaches the extreme edge of the 
cliff. Instantly a large wave (the sea is about 100 yards distant) 
approaches to the base, and at the same moment a gigantic lua 
tree (beslaria laurifolia)^ covered with fragrant blossom springs^ 
up from Avaiki to receive on its far-reaching branches unhappy 
human spirits. Even at this last moment, with feet almost 
touching the fatal tree, a friendly voice may send the spirit- 
traveller back to life and health. Otherwise, he is mysteriously 
impelled to climb the particular branch reserved for his own tribe 
and conveniently brought nearest to him. The worshippers oi 

1 The difference is merely as to the mode of access to the shades, whethei 
by following the setting sun, or by climbing on a branch of the mysterious bua 
tree. In eithfr case the END of all who die a natural death is to be cooked and 
eaten by Mini, her children and followers. 



Hades; or, The Doctrine of Spirit-World. 161 

Motoro have a branch to themselves, the worshippers of Tane 
have another the tree in question having just as many branches 
as there are principal gods in Mangaia The whole batch of lesser 
Tanes congregate on one great branch, etc., etc. 

Immediately the human soul is safely lodged upon this gigantic 
tree, the bua goes down with its living burden to nether-world. 
While yet on the tree the wretched spirit looks down to the root, 
and to his horror sees a great net spread out beneath to catch it 1 
This net, from the strong meshes of which there is no escape, is 
firmly held by Akaanga and his assistants. The doomed spirit at 
last falls into this fatal net, and is at once submerged in a lake of 
fresh water which lies near the foot of the gigantic bua tree and 
bears the name of Vai-roto-ariki = the-royal-fresh-water-lake. la 
these treacherous waters captive ghosts exhaust themselves by 
wriggling like fishes in the vain hope of escape. The great net is 
eventually pulled up, and the half-drowned spirits tremblingly 
enter the presence of the inexpressibly ugly Mini, generally called 
" the rucfdy " (Mini Kura), because her face reflects the glowing 
heat of her ever-burning oven. The hag feeds her unwilling 
visitors with red earth-worms, black beetles, crabs, and small 
blackbirds. 

The grand secret of Mini's power over her intended victims is 
the " kava " root (piper mythisiicum). It consists of one vast 
root, and is named by her "Tevoo," being her own peculiar 
property. The three sorts of "kava" known in the upper world 
were originally branches off this enormous root ever-growing in 

1 Hence the proverb in regard to the dying, " Ka ei i roto i te kupenga 
tini mata varu " = " Will be caught in the net of innumerable meshes" i.e. the 
net of Akaanga. It is curious that the proverb should outlive the faith on 
which it was founded. 



1 62 Myths and Songs. 

Avaiki Mini's four lovely daughters are directed to prepare 
bowls of this strong kava for her unwilling visitors. Utterly 
stupefied with the draught, the unresisting victims are borne off 
to the oven and cooked. Mini, with her son and peerless 
daughters, subsist on these human spirits. The refuse is thrown 
to her servants, Akaanga and others. Such is the inevitable fate 
of those who die a natural death, i.e. of women, cowards, and 
children. They are annihilated* 

Not so warriors slain on the field of battle. The spirits of 
these lucky fellows for a while wander about amongst the rocks 
and trees in the neighbourhood of which their bodies were thrown, 
the ghastly wounds by which they met their fate being still visible. 
A species of cricket, rarely seen, but whose voice is continually 
heard at night plaintively chirping "kere-kerere-tao-tao," was be- 
lieved to be the voice of these warrior spirits sorrowfully calling to 
their friends. Hence the proverb, " The spirit-cricket is chirping " 
(Kua tangi te vava). At length the first slain on each battle- 
field would collect his brother ghosts at a place a short dis- 
tance beyond Araia (the point of departure for those who 
perish by sickness), still on the edge of the cliff, and facing the 
setting sun. It overlooks the marae of Rongo, the god of battles. 
Indeed, one extraordinary myth represents Rongo as coming up 
from nether-world at certain periods in order to feast himself 
upon the spirits of those slain in battle assembled for their last 
journey. With bits of ripe banana Rongo tempts them to his 
side, and then treacherously swallows them whole ! But these 
ghosts have the consolation of escaping the fire of Mini : besides, 
they are eventually disengaged alive from the intestines of the 

1 Some "wise men" will have it that these spirits live again after passing 
through the intestines of Mini and her followers. 



Hades ; or, The Doctrine of Spirit-World. 163 

grim war-god. They at last rise to the upper sky and join their 
warrior brethren there. 

But the more pleasing version represents these ghosts as 
lingering awhile on the cliff. Suddenly a mountain springs up 
at their feet The road by which they ascend this mountain is 
over the spears and clubs by which they were slain. Arrived at 
the summit, they leap into the blue expanse, thus becoming the 
peculiar clouds of the winter (or dry) season. These clouds are 
to be distinguished from the ordinary rain clouds. 

The warrior spirits of past ages, as well as those recently slain, 
together constitute the dark clouds of morning which for a while 
intercept the bright rays of the sun throughout the year. 

During the rainy season they cannot ascend to the warrior's 
Paradise. In June, the first month of winter, the atmosphere is 
pervaded by these ghosts, to whom the chilliness of death still 
clings. Their great number hides the sun for days together, 
occasioning the dull heavy sky, dullness and oppression of spirits 
usual at that season of the year. This lasts till the beginning of 
August, when the coral tree opens its blood-red blossoms, and the 
sky becomes mottled, and light fleecy clouds pass over the 
heavens. It it the spirits of the brave dead preparing for their 
flight The heavens soon become cloudless ; the weather bright 
and warm. It is because they have taken their departure. The 
living now resume their ordinary avocations in comfort. 

The spirits of those who die a natural death are excessively 
feeble and weak, as their bodies were at dissolution ; whereas the 
spirits of those who are slain in battle are strong and vigorous, 
their bodies not having been reduced by disease. 

These ghosts were said to have "leaped into the expanse" (kua 
rere ki te neneva). This cheerful home of the brave is some- 



1 64 Myths and Songs. 

times called Tiairi, from the name of the place where Matoetoea, 
the first man ever slain at Mangaia, is said to have fallen : the idea 
being " the land which Matoetoea first inhabited," Le. the expanse 
of heaven. At other times it was termed Popo, or Speck-land; 
because in the distance of the tipper sky these warrior spirits 
appear as the veriest specks. 

The spirits of the slain are immortal. They are clothed with 
garlands of all sorts of sweet-scented flowers used in mundane 
dances. The white gardenia, the yellow bua, the golden fruit of 
the pandanus, and the dark crimson, bell-like blossom of the 
native laurel are gracefully interwoven with myrtle for this purpose. 

The employment of these fortunate spirits is to laugh and 
dance over and over again their old war-dances in remembrance of 
their achievements in life. In every possible way they enjoy 
themselves; but look down with ineffable disgust upon those 
wretches in Avaiki who are compelled to endure the indignity 
of being covered with dung falling from their more lucky 
friends above. A well-known and ludicrous proverb refers to 
the vain flapping of the wings of the unhappy spirits in Avaiki 
who, besmeared with filth, are endeavouring, though to no purpose, 
to escape out of Akaanga's net 

The natural result of this belief was to breed an utter contempt 
of violent death. Many anecdotes are related of aged warriors, 
scarcely able to hold the spear, insisting on being led to the battle- 
field, in hope of gaining a soldier's paradise. One may well 
exclaim, "Light and immortality were brought to light by the 
Gospel." 

i^_ A song lying before me represents the ghosts of certain warriors 
belonging to the tribe of Tane as "wandering about at Maungaroa 



Hades ; or, The Doctrine of Spirit-World. 165 

and Maputu," the most famous maraes belonging to that family, 
there to await the period appointed for them to ascend, like the 
rest, to " Speck-land." 

In allusion to the myth of the bua tree, a person who has been 
very ill and yet has recovered will even now playfully say. "Yes, 
I have set foot upon a branch of the bua tree, and yet have been 
sent back (by God) to life ! " 

Those who die a natural death were said " to go to night, or 
darkness (aere ki te po), implying that they are doomed to be 
cooked and eaten by Mini, i.e. annihilated. The happier lot of 
warrior-spirits was "to go to day, or light " (aere ki te ao). Of 
course, as Christian missionaries, we have not failed to make use of 
phrases so well adapted to our purpose. The standard expression 
for " heaven" is "the day, or light of God;" the converse is simply 
" night, or darkness." 

On the northern part of this island is a deep indentation in the 
reef. The rush of waters from the reef meeting the ocean occa- 
sions a miniature whirlpool. To account for this simple fact, it 
was said that a piece of sacred sandstone was once thrown down 
there : and hence the never ceasing turmoil of waters. In the 
time of Ngauta, a party of fishermen Karaunu and others 
dreamt that they were swept away at this ill-omened place. An 
attacking party overheard the relation of the dream, and made it 
come true by slaying them all and throwing their bodies into the 
seething eddy. 

This unpromising place was regarded as one entrance to the 
shades, chiefly for the worshippers of Motoro. The destined 
traveller in his sleep sees a house built on long poles rising above 



1 66 Myths and Songs. 

the restless waters, with a ladder to ascend to it The sides of 
this house are of closely-fitting yellow reeds, adorned with black 
cinet Outside this snug, tempting little dwelling are hung new 
calabashes, etc., etc., to decoy the passer by. Should the spirit- 
traveller pause to admire this illusive hut, he will in all probability 
feel impelled to climb the ladder and take possession of some of 
the good things hung all round. The moment his hand is on the 
exquisitely braided yellow cinet, by which the calabashes are sus- 
pended, to his horror, house, ladder, visitor, and calabashes are all 
swept away into the depths of the ocean, and the doomed spirit 
finds himself in the unwelcome spirit-world, and in the power of 
Mini. 

There are said to be three such " houses of Motoro," or in- 
visible soul-traps to catch unwary spirits. This is but a variation 
of the doctrine of the bua tree, to meet the circumstances of those 
who have the ill-luck to be sucked down by the three miniature 
whirlpools existing here. 

Since the introduction of Christianity the belief has sprung 
up that " Avaiki," from which the first inhabitants of this island 
came, is "Savai'i," the largest island in the Samoan Group. In the 
Hervey dialect the S is dropped, and the break between the two 
z's filled up with k. At the Penrhyns the natives speak of " going 
to Savaikz" when referring to death. Dropping the S, we have 
the usual form " Avaiki." In the Tahitian islands the Stakes 
the place of S, and the word becomes "Hawai'i," there being no 
K in the Tahitian dialect Thus Avaiki, Hawai'i, and Savai'i 
are slightly varying forms of the same word. Savai'i lying west, or 
as these islanders say, "down, 93 it would be strictly correct to assert 
that their ancestors " came up " from Savai'i 



Hades; or, The Doctrine of Spirit-World. 167 

This view of the origin of all these eastern islanders is con- 
formed by the continual recurrence of the names of western 
islands in the ancient songs and traditions of the natives. In 
addition to the names of all the near islands of the Hervey and 
Tahitian Groups, we have "Manuka," i.e. Manu'a, "Tutuila," 
" #2upolu," for " Upolu," of the Samoan Group. " The distant 
land of Vavau " is referred to in song ; also Rewa. Tonga contin- 
ually recurs. A double canoe of " Tongans-sailing-through-the 
skies 1 " landing on the south of Mangaia, founded the warlike 
Tongan tribe, now almost extinct. It is well known that that 
adventurous race once held possession of Savai'i and conquered 
Niue. 

Places on Mangaia are called Niue, Rotuma, and Papua. 
These are ancient appellations indicating, as it seems to me, the 
course of the original settlers. The reader will recall the names 
of Savage Island, Rotumah, and the vast island of New Guinea. 

It has been suggested that the northern Avaiki (Hawaii) was 
the original home of the islanders. A careful study of their mytho- 
logy produces an irresistible conviction that Savai'i, the original 
Avaiki, is the true centre from which this race emigrated, willingly 
or unwillingly, some five or six centuries ago. How their ancestors 
got to Samoa remains to be discovered j but the ordinary trade 
winds north of the equator would make that easy, even if they did 
not step from island to island, starting from the Malayan peninsula, 
ever pursued by the savage Negrito races. 

The son of the elder of three brothers from Avaiki was named 
" Papa-rangi " literally, the sky-beater. This is the very name by 
which all foreigners are designated at Samoa at this day. It was 
evidently in commemoration of. the first settlers having "burst 
through the sky," in order to get to Mangaia. 



1 68 Myths and Songs. 

Mokiro's son was named " Vaerua-rangi " = Spirit-of-the-sky. 

" Te-akataaira," the name of the third brother from Avaiki, 
signifies arrived. Thus' the very names of the three royal 
brothers from Avaiki signify voyagers from the sun-setting. It 
suited the purpose of the priests of the dominant tribe in after 
times, to assert that Avaiki is the hollow of the vast cocoa-nut 
shell, over the aperture of which Mangaia is placed. In later 
times it came to be believed that all these distant islands were 
situate in nether-land. Their ancestors came from " Avaiki ; " 
and the spirits of those who died a natural death went to 
"Avaiki," i.e. to the homes of their ancestors. 

That " Avaiki " and " Po " are interchangeable is clear from 
the name of a gloomy rent in the rocks at Ivirua, known as 
" Avaiki-te-po," that is, Avaiki^ or night. 

The old proverb "Na Avaiki e &&%&" =*Avatkt will revenge 
it, means " the gods whose home is in Avaiki, particularly Rongo, 
will revenge it." Sometimes it is said of depth, "deep as Avaiki ;" 
and figuratively of craft or knowledge, " so and so is Avaiki," i.e. 
rivals the depth of Hades in wisdom, etc. In every instance 
unknown depth is implied. " Araara i Avaiki "=think of Avaiki, 
as being about to die. 

The Samoan J heaven was designated Pulotu or Purotu, and 
was supposed to be under the sea. In these eastern islands 
the same word means " the perfection of beauty." May not this 
be an adaptation from the former ? 

At Samoa only figs die, men by a euphemism " finish." The 
spirits of the dead are said "to go on a journey." Of great men 
it is asserted that " they have gone to a meeting of chiefs," i.e. 

1 Compare Dr. Turner's Nineteen Years in Polynesia, pp. 235-7. 



Hades ; or, The Doctrine of Spirit-World. 169 

in the invisible world. In relation to the death of such, " the 
heavens are said to be opened," "the clouds have rolled away," 
Le. to admit the spirits of these grandees. 

At Rarotonga the grand rendezvous of ghosts was at Tuoro, 
facing the setting sun. Those from Avarua travelled the ordinary 
road towards this rocky point of departure for the invisible world. 
Until very recently, near the sandy beach of Nikao, in sight of the 
inevitable Tuoro, stood a stately tree known as " the weeping 
laurel" (te puka aueanga), where disembodied spirits halted 
awhile to bewail their hard fate. If unpitied and not sent back 
to life, the enfeebled and disconsolate traveller passed on to the 
rendezvous and climbed on a branch of an ancient bua still 
flourishing. Underneath is a natural circular hollow in the rock 
where Muru spreads his net. Should the branch of this bua 
break off through the weight of the ghost, the victim is instantly 
caught in the net. Occasionally, however, a lively ghost would 
tear the meshes and escape for a while, passing on by a resistless 
inward impulse towards the outer edge of the reef, in the hope of 
traversing the ocean. But in a straight line from the shore is a 
second round hollow, where Akaangds net is concealed. In this 
the very few who escape out of the hands of Muru are caught 
without fail. Escape is impossible. The delighted demons (taae) 
take the captive ghosts out of their nets, dash their brains out 
upon the sharp coral, and carry off in triumph their victims to 
the shades to eat 

Ghosts from Ngatangiia ascended the noble mountain range 
which extends across the island from east to west, dipping into the 
sea at Tuoro. Inexpressibly weary and sad was this journey over 
a road inaccessible to mortals. For this tribe at the rendezvous 



170 Myths and Songs. 

of ghosts was appointed a large iron-wood tree, some of whose 
branches were green, some dead. The spirits that trod on the 
green branches came back to life ; whilst those who had the mis- 
fortune to crawl on the dead branches were at once caught in the 
net of either Muru or Akaanga. 

Warrior spirits were more fortunate, and were said to " aere kia 
Tiki," that is to join Tiki, the first who so died. At Mangaia Tiki 
is a woman, sister to Vetini, the first who died a natural death. 

Tiki sits at the threshold of a very long house with reed sides, 
in Avaiki, i.e. the shades. All around are planted shrubs and 
flowers of undying fragrance and beauty. This guardian of the 
Rarotongan Paradise is ever patiently awaiting new arrivals from 
the upper world. It was customary at Rarotonga to bury with the 
dead the head and kidneys of a hog, a split cocoa-nut, and a root 
of "kava" (piper mythisticum), to enable the spirit-traveller to 
make an acceptable offering to Tiki, who thus propitiated, admits 
the giver inside his dwelling. Here, sitting at their ease, eating, 
drinking, dancing, or sleeping, are assembled the brave of past 
ages, ready to welcome the new comer, and to relate over again 
the story of their sanguinary achievements performed in life. 

The luckless ghost who had no present for Tiki was compelled 
to stay outside in rain and darkness for ever, shivering of cold and 
hunger. 

At Titikaveka, near the sea, is a mass of blood-red stone. It 
was believed that there is in the sky an oven for cooking human 
spirits ; the blood of these victims dropping down on the rock 
gives it a deep red colour i 

At Aitutaki it was usual to place at the pit of the stomach of 
the corpse the kernel of a cocoa-nut and a piece of sugar-cane. 
At Mangaia the extremity of a cocoa-nut frond served the same 



Hades; or, The Doctrine of Spirit- World. 171 

purpose, as a charm or safe-conduct on entering the invisible 
world. 

The sacred men of Pukapuka, or Danger Island, gave me in 
1862 two " ere vaerua, " /.<?. snares for catching souls, made of stout 
cinet One snare is 28 feet long, the other about half that length. 
The loops are arranged on either side, and are of different sizes 
to suit the dimensions of ghosts ; some being thin, others stout. 
When a person was very sick, or had given offence to the sacred 
men, the priests hung up some of these " soul-traps " in the upper 
branches of trees near the dwelling, and pretended to watch the 
flight of the spirit. If the spirit of the sick man, in the shape of an 
insect or a small bird, did not enter the snare, the patient 
recovered ; but if, as the sacred men averred, the wretched ghost 
became entangled in one of the meshes, there was no hope. The 
demon " Vaerua," or " Spirit " presiding over spirit-world, hurried 
off the unlucky ghost to the shades to feast upon, for ceremonial 
offences. 

The spirits of those who escape the anger of Vaerua follow the 
track of the setting sun, and find themselves in a spacious house 
owned by Reva. Inside are a number of mats, on each of 
which a divinity keeps watch over the souls belonging to him. 
These disembodied spirits amuse themselves with beating gongs, 
dances, and devouring the essence of offerings of food hung up in 
the marae by relatives in the upper world. A fierce sea-god 
keeps ceaseless watch all round this house, in case any of the land- 
gods inside should pity one of these forlorn ghosts and allow it to 
escape back to its old earthly tenement. 

At Uea, one of the Loyalty Islands, it was the custom formerly 
when a person was very ill to send for a man whose employment 



172 Myths and Songs. 

it was " to restore souls to forsaken bodies." The soul-doctor would 
at once collect his friends and assistants, to the number of twenty 
men and as many women, and start off to the place where the 
family of the sick man was accustomed to bury their dead. Upon 
arriving there, the soul-doctor and his male companions com- 
menced playing the nasal flutes with which they had come pro- 
vided, in order to entice back the spirit to its old tenement . The 
women assisted by a low whistling, supposed to be irresistibly 
attractive to exile spirits. After a time the entire procession pro- 
ceeded towards the dwelling of the sick person, flutes playing and 
the women whistling all the time, leading back the truant spirit I To 
prevent its possible escape, with their palms open, they seemingly 
drove it along with gentle violence and coaxing. On approaching 
the village they danced and shouted, " We have brought back the 
spirit of so and so ! " Then would succeed loud laughter and 
vociferations of delight at the cleverness of their leader, the spirit- 
doctor. 

On entering the dwelling of the patient the vagrant spirit was 
ordered in loud tones at once to enter the body of the sick man, 
who, as might be supposed, would not be a little moved by the 
entire procedure. A good feasting would be provided by the 
relatives of the invalid. Sometimes the poor fellow died : the 
cause assigned by the soul-doctor would be that the spirit had 
refused to re-inhabit its former dwelling on account of the small- 
ness of the feast 

AITUTAKIAN HELL. 

The priests asserted that at death human spirits descend to the 
domains of the goddess Mini, whose body is frightfully deformed 
and her countenance terrible. For unknown ages she had feasted 



Hades] or, The Doctrine of Spirit-World. 173 

on the spirits of the dead, but at length was checkmated by a 
brave man named Tekauae, J or the-chin. Being apparently near 
death, he directed his friends, as soon as the breath was out of his 
body, to get a cocoa-nut, and cautiously cracking it to disengage 
the round kernel from the shell. This kernel was wrapped up in a 
piece of cloth and placed next to the stomach of the dead, being 
completely concealed by the grave coverings. 

In due time Tekauae descended to spirit-world, and was 
greatly shocked at the dreadful aspect of the mistress of those 
regions. Miru had but one &reastthe other had somehow been 
cut off. Only one leg was perfect the other had been amputated 
at the knee. But one arm was complete the other had been cut 
off at the elbow. 

The deformed hag commanded Tekauae to draw near. The 
trembling human spirit obeyed, and sat down before Miru. 
According to her unvarying practice she set for her intended victim 
a bowl of food, and bade him eat it quite up. Miru with evident 
anxiety waited to see him swallow it. . 

As Tekauae took up the bowl, to his horror he found it to 
consist of living centipedes. The quick-witted mortal now recol- 
lected the cocoa-nut kernel at the pit of his stomach, and hidden 
from Mini's view by his clothes. With one hand he held the 
bowl to his lips, as if about to swallow its contents with the other 
he secretly held the cocoa-nut kernel, and ate it the bawl 
concealing the nut from Miru. It was evident to the goddess that 
Tekauae was actually swallowing something; what else could it be 
but the contents of the fatal bowl ? Tekauae craftily contrived 
whilst eating the nourishing cocoa-nut to allow the live centipedes 
to fall on the ground one or two at a time. As the intended 

i Mangaian " te kauvae " = chin. 



174 Myths and Songs. 

victim was all the time sitting on the ground, it was no difficult 
achievement in this way to empty the bowl completely by the 
time he had finished the cocoa-nut. 

Mini waited in vain to see her intended victim writhing in 
agony and raging with thirst. Her practice on such occasions was 
to direct the tortured victim-spirit to dive in a lake close by, 
to seek relief. None that dived in that water ever came up alive j 
excessive anguish and quenchless thirst so distracting their 
thoughts that they were invariably drowned. Mini would after- 
wards cook and eat her victims at leisure. 

Here was a new event in her history : the bowl of living 
centipedes had been disposed of, and yet Tekauae manifested 
no sign of pain, no intention to leap into the cooling but fatal 
waters. Long did Mini wait ; but in vain. At last she said to 
her visitor, " Return to the upper world " (i.e. to life). c< Only 
remember this do not speak against me to mortals. Reveal not 
my ugly form and my mode of treating my visitors. Should you 
be so foolish as to do so, you will certainly at some future 
time come back to my domains, and I will see to it that you 
do not escape my vengeance a second time." 

Tekauae accordingly left the shades, and came back to life. 
His friends, delighted at his recovery, inquired where his spirit had 
been, and how it had fared. He heeded not the anger of Mini 
and the promise of secrecy made to her, but informed the inhabi- 
tants of this upper world what they might expect should they 
unfortunately fall into the clutches of this foe to mankind. 



Hades; or, The Doctrine of Spirit-World. 175 

AITUTAKIAN HEAVEN. 

There is, also, a good land, Iva, under the guardianship of 
Tukaitaua? a being of pleasing and benevolent aspect, as well 
as of a gentle disposition. In Iva there is abundance of good 
food : the finest sugar-cane grows there. The fortunate spirits 
who get to this pleasant land spend their time in the society of 
Tukaitaua, chewing with unalloyed appetite this sweet sugar-cane. 

Tekauae warned the people of this world to be on their guard 
against Mini. The way to avoid her is to have a cocoa-nut kernel 
and a piece of sugar-cane placed close to the stomach at death in 
order to deceive Miru. Departing spirits thus provided go to the 
pleasant land of Iva, and lying at their ease, evermore feast on the 
richest food and chew sugar-cane. 

DRAMATIC SONG OF MIRU, MISTRESS OF SPIRIT- 
WORLD. 

FOR TEREAVAl'S FETE. COMPOSED BY KAPUA, 1824. 

Chorus. 

Na Miru te umu i Avaiki, Miru has an oven 2 in spint-land, 

Ei rangi tae ia Tane e ! Like that which devoured (the tribe 

of) Tane. 8 
Solo. 
Ae ! Aye ! 

1 At Mangaia " Tukaitaua " was of a malevolent disposition, the first 
violent death being due to his prowess. Tukaitaua taught the world the art of 

war. 

2 The oven in daily use in each household, and particularly the monster 
ovens in which it was the office of the tribe of Tane to cook ti roots (dracoevm 
terminalis), were said to have been derived from Mini's original oven in Hades. 

8 The reference is to the tribe of Tane, twice treacherously destroyed by 
their foes in the fires of their own ovens. 



1 7 6 



Myths and Songs. 



Ei rangi tae la Tautiti, 
E kai karii na Rongo e ! 
O Tane mata reiiua ! 



Nai mata reirua e, 

Na Miiu oki te umu ka roa 

I raro e ! 
E nunumi atu e I te aerenga ae ! 

E nunumi atu, 
Ka acre paa i te umu tao 
I te umu kai na Mini e ! 

Noea Mini ? 
No Avaiki, i te po anga noa e I 

Tao na i te eld ! 
E ti rakoa e ! 
E ti uaua e ! 
E ti tara are e ! 
E ti nongonongo ia Avaiki e ! 
Ae, Mini, naau tena ! 



Chorus. 

An end was put to the dance, Tautiti, 
By the warlike behest of Rongo. 
Alas, Tane ! author of all our amuse- 
ments, 



Solo. 



Those pleasures all came to an end ; 
For Mini's dread oven for ever burns 

In the shades ! 
She devours all who go down. 



Chorus. 



She devours 

All who appioach the blazing oven 
"Where Mini's food is to be cooked. 

Whence came Mini ? 
From Avaiki (spirit-land), out of 

homd darkness. 

Prepare thy intoxicating draught 1 
Cook the graceful #' 
Spare not the prolific ti; 
Nor even that grown at thy doorway, 
And that which is the pride of Hades. 
Ah, Mini ! such are thy tricks ! 



An ancient farewell in prospect of dissolution was, " Ei ko na 
ra, tau taeake, ka aere an i te tava ia Miru? Le. "Farewell, 
brother, I go to the domains of Mini I" How inexpressibly 
affecting ! " Having no hope, and without God in the world." 

The mistress of the invisible world, so cruel to visitors, was 
very tenderly attached to her only son Tautiti. She would permit 
no one to carry his drinking water but herself. On dark nights, or 

1 Mini is charged by the chorus to prepare the intoxicating cup in order to 
stupefy her intended victims. She is represented as building up a vast oven of 
ti roots of all kinds for a feast ; but Mini's ti roots are human souls ! (The 
song is not quite complete. ) 



Hades ; or, The Doctrine of Spirit-World. 177 

when deep sleep had locked up the senses of mortals, Mini would 
make her way to the well-known fairy streams Auparu and 
Vaikaute, carrying the empty calabashes to be filled. To this 
there is an allusion in Tereavai's Fte Song : 

E taa vai no TautitL A calabash of water for Tautiti. 

Na Mini rai e kave, Mini herself will provide it, 

Kia inu Tane i te vai kea ra e ! So that Tane may drink this living 

water. 

Her " peerless " daughters were often seen and admired ; but 
the mother was most solicitous to conceal her ugly form. 

SNEEZING. 

The philosophy of sneezing is, that the spirit having gone 
travelling about perchance on a visit to the homes or burying- 
places of its ancestors its return to the body is naturally attended 
with some difficulty and excitement, occasioning a tingling and 
enlivening sensation all over the body. Hence the various 
customary remarks addressed to the returned spirit in different 
islands. At Rarotonga, when a person sneezes, the bystanders 
exclaim, as though addressing a spirit, " A, kua oki mai koe " = 
" Ha ! you have come back." At Manihiki and Rakaanga 
(colonised from Rarotonga) they say to the spirit, "Aere koe 
ki Rarotonga " = " Go to Rarotonga." At Mangaia the customary 
address is, " Ua nanave koe " = " Thou art delighted." 

The following well-known lines refer to Popo, or Speck-land. 
(For Umuakaui, circa 1823.) 

Puputa motu tana e ! Alas, we part for ever ! 

Ka acre au tei Prtpot J I go alone to Speckland. 

E enuaakarere Mangaia etaea mai ai ! My home, Mangaia, for ever fades 

from sight. 

N 



178 Myths and Songs. 

Here is a reference to Tiairi^ by Koroa, in his " Lament for 
Tae," who was slain circa 1815. 

Vaerua aere i tai Spirits wandering towards the sea ; 

I Rangikapua te nuku o te Atua At Rangfkapua is assembled a divine 

host- 
la tu rofroe. A feeble, tottering throng ! 

Takina koe iia ? Whither goest thou, friend ? 

I Puara-moamoa i aka i Tiairi, From the leaping-place I go to dance 

at Tiairi t 
I pare i te kiato. Clothed in fragrant flowers. 

Another reference to Tiairi occurs in a lament for the sons of 
Ron, 1790 (circa). 

Na tokotoru a Ron Three brave sons of Ron 

Ei tupeke pare kura e I Wearing noble head-dresses ! 

Tera roa te anau te aka mai i te Yonder are they dancing the war- 

ngaere dance 

I te kapa toa i Tiairi. Of brave spirits in Tiairi. 



When Ikoke heard of the murder of his beloved younger 
brother Takurua, he feelingly said, "We will meet in the 
warriors' resting-place," 1 i.e. "I, too, will die a violent death, so 
that we may meet in the warriors' heaven." Not long after, this 
wish was granted ; for he fell in the battle of Tuopapa by those 
who had slain his brother, Ikoke could, according to his faith, 
only meet his favourite brother by a violent death, as all who die 
a natural death are devoured by Mini. 

Another saying of theirs in reference to the unseen world is : 
" Ka aere i nunga i te puokia ei aka i Tiairi :" " We will go to yon 
place of safety, Tiairi, to dance the warriors' dance." 



' I nunga i te puokia maua e araveitu ei." 



Hades ; or, The Doctrine of Spirit- World. 1 79 

Subjoined is a mention of the famous bua tree from the shades 
(Arakauvae's funeral games for his father, circa 1817). 

E metua tane ra e, Vara, kua topa ra My father Vara, thou art forsaken by 

i te io, thy god. 

Kua veevee te po, ka eke atu ai e ! Night is at hand, whither thou must 

descend. 
E rua metua i raro e ! Alas, to be deprived of both 

parents ! 
E metua tane ia Kovi, kua pa te rakau Thy father Kovirua watches thy 

e 1 wasting frame, 

Ei toko ake i te maki ra e ! And vainly seeks to re -invigorate it. 

Mitikia mai Kovirua, taraia mai, taraia Day by day thy once-rounded limbs 

ra e ! are adzed away 

Taraia ra e te io tupu na Motoro. Pitilessly adzed away by thy god 

Motoro ; 
Kua vai te ata ivi e ! Toou anga So that only a living skeleton is left. 

rakau oi ra e I 
Tu maira tei runga koe i te pua i Take thy place on the bua tree in 

mareva. the shades. 

Kua mareva te metua i oro i Avaiki. Lost for ever is the parent gone to 

Avaiki. 



A FAREWELL (VEE) CHANTED AT A REED- 
THROWING MATCH FOR WOMEN. 

COMPOSED IN MEMORY OF VAIANA, BY HER HUSBAND NAUPATA, 

IN 1824. 

Solo. 
Teiia'ua ngaro e ? Whither has she gone ? 

Chorus. 

Tei Avaiki e oro atu, She has sped to Avaiki, 

Kore e arm tei te nii moana : She disappeared at the edge of the 

horizon, 

Tei te opunga i te ra. Where the sun drops through. 

Ka tangi i reira ! We weep for thee ! 



i8o 



Myths and Songs. 



Ka tangi ana 'i, 
Oki ra a kimi ra ae ! 



Tangi an ka tangi e, 

Tangi ki te vaine ua ngaro ra, 

Aore koe e tu e angairi. 



Mai tu e angairi ! 



Sob. 

Yes, I will for ever weep. 
And ever seek for thee ! 

Chorus. 

Bitter tears I shed for thee ; 

I weep for the lost wife of my bosom. 

Alas I thou wilt not return. 



Solo. 



Oh, that thou wouldst return ! 



Chorus. 

Ariu mai i te ao e ! Stay ; come back to this world ! 

Oki maira iaku nei. Return to my embrace. 

Akia koe, ua motu la tarereia au ! Thou art as a bough wrenched off by 

the blast! 



Solo. 



Mai tarere au e tei Avaiki 
Te enua mamao i oro atu na e ! 



Wrenched off, and now in Avaiki 
That distant land to which thou art 
fled. 



The author of this "farewell" became a devoted servant of 
the Lord Jesus Christ. These words are exceedingly popular 
with the natives. Part is omitted 



Rakoia, chanting (in 1815) the praises of his first-born, 
Enuataurere, who was accidentally drowned at Tamarua, says : 

Enuataurere i te tai kura i te Enuatamere now trips o'er the ruddy 

moana. ocean. 

Te nunga koe i te uru o te kare i tai e ! Thy path is the foaming crest of the 

billow. 

Aue e ! Enuataurere e ! Weep for Enuataurere, 

Enuataurere e ! For Enuataurere. 



CHAPTER IX. 

OR, THE IMMORTALITY OF 
THE SOUL. 

THE first who ever died a natural death in Mangaia was Ve&ini. 
He was the only and much beloved son of Tueva and his wife 
Manga. But Vetini, .when in the prime of early manhood, 
sickened and died. The parents, in their grief, instituted 
those signs of mourning and funeral games which were ever 
afterwards observed amongst these islanders. The chief mourners 
were Tueva, Manga, and the lovely Tiki the attached sister of 
Ve6tini. All these, with the more distant relatives, blackened 
their faces, cut off their hair, slashed their bodies with shark's 
teeth, and wore only " pakoko," or native cloth, dyed red in the 
sap of the candle-nut tree, and then dipped in the black mud of a 
taro-patch. The very offensive smell of this mourning garment is 
symbolical of the putrescent state of the dead Their heads were 
encircled with common fern, singed with fire to give it a red 

1 The allegorical character of this interesting myth is evident from the 
names. Vetini means all-separating ; Tueva, mourner ; Manga, food, in 
allusion to the custom of offering food to the dead. Tiki signifies fetched: 
if a person dies, his spirit is said to be *' fetched." 



1 82 Myths and Songs. 

appearance. 1 It was on account of Vetini that the eva, or dirge, 
in its four varieties, and the mourning dance, were invented and 
performed by the sorrowing relatives day by day. 

These melancholy ceremonies occupied from ten to fifteen 
days, according to the rank and age of the party deceased. 
During the entire period of mourning no beating of bark for 
native cloth was permitted in the district where the death 
occurred. A woman wishing to beat out her bark must go to 
another part of the island. The object in view was to avoid 
giving offence to the female demon Mueu, who introduced cloth- 
beating to this world ; but who herself beats out cloth of a very 
different texture. Her cloth-flail is the stroke of death. So long 
as the mourning and funeral games were going on, Mueu was sup- 
posed to be present; when all was over she returned to her home 
in Avaiki, or the shades. Hence the proverb when a person dies, 
"Era, kua tangi te tutunga a Mueu," z>. "Ah ! Mueu's flail is 
once more at work ! " 

The last resting-place of Vetini is at Rangikapua, a green 
spot about half a mile from the sea. The rays of the setting sun 
fall upon the hill, about 100 feet above the level of the ocean, 
thus distinguished. On the evening he was buried the dirges and 
dances that had been invented in his honour were performed. 
The parents and the sister looked wistfully towards the north, 
hoping for his return to their midst but in vain ! 

The day following they walked in sad procession, slowly 
chanting dirges expressive of passionate desire again to embrace 
the departed, along the western shore of the island. At night, 

1 Since the establishment of Christianity this extravagant mode of mourn- 
ing for the dead, with the single exception of the bad-smelling "pakoko," 
has been discontinued. 



Ve&tini ; or, The Immortality of the SouL 183 

exhausted with grief and weariness, they slept in one of the 
rugged caves near the sea, having in vain strained their eyes over 
the ocean path where the spirit of Vetini had so lately dis- 
appeared. 

The mourning band next sought the lost one on the soutJiern 
and almost inaccessible shore of Mangaia; still there was no 
response to the loud cries and entreaties of the disconsolate 
parents and the lovely Tiki. 

At last they arrived at the eastern coast, and gazed over the 
vast expanse swept by the life-giving trade-winds. Once more the 
lamentations and funeral dances were duly performed At night 
they occupied the Ruddy Cave (Ana-kura). The entrance to this 
spacious cave is washed by the sur Ere dawn Tueva rose from 
his stony couch to watch the rising of the sun. The shadows of 
night were fast passing away. In a few minutes more the sun rose 
in all its wonted glory. Tueva now noticed a tiny dark speck 
beneath on the ocean, which, as the sun advanced on its course, 
grew larger and drew nearer, passing over the ocean in the bright 
trail of the sun. On arriving nearer still, this wonderful object, 
lightly skimming over the crest of the waves, proved to be no 
other than their own lost Veetini ! 

The now rejoicing parents rushed forwards to kiss their son, 
who was indeed Veetini, yet not altogether like his former self. 
He said to the joyful throng that he had been permitted to revisit 
this upper world in consequence of the passionate lamentations of 
his parents, and to comfort their sorrowing hearts. He also came 
to show mortals how to make offerings of food to please the dead. 
For himself, he had come and must depart in the bright track of 
the sun, being now a denizen of spirit-land. However, to gratify 
his parents and friends, Veetini asked great Tangaroa to detain 



184 Myths and Songs. 

the sun for a short time in its course, in order that he might rest 
and converse awhile with his relatives. The prayer was granted, 
and the sun was detained while Vetini and his friends pleasantly 
rested in a sort of extempore house, or booth, erected for him on 
the spot known as Karanga-iti. 

At length Vetini rose, and led the half-glad and half-sorrowful 
procession along the beach towards the west, the sun now moving 
on as usual in the heavens. At last they reached Vairorongo, or 
Kongo's sacred stream, directly facing the setting sun. Here they 
rested a few minutes only, as day was fast fading away. Not far 
distant on the hill lay the body of Veetini. As the sun dis- 
appeared beneath the horizon, and the ocean was covered with its 
golden light, Veetini said he must go. The weeping parents 
begged him to stay with them. The son replied, " I cannot ; 
I do not belong to this world now ; " and then shouted im- 
patiently : 

Takai la te ra Thrust down the sun, 

Ei eke i Tekurutukia. That I may descend to nether-land ! 

The parents now endeavoured to detain him by force; but, 
lo ! they grasped at a shadow. They watched him gliding swiftly 
over the western ocean in the ruddy track of the sun, and, with its 
last rays, Veetini, now a tiny distant speck in the train of the king 
of day, for ever disappeared. 



Vefoini ; or, The Immortality of the SouL 185 



VAIPO'S DIRGE FOR VEETINL 

FOUNDED ON THE PRECEDING MYTH. 

(FIRST PERFORMED CIRCA 1794: FOR THE SECOND TIME IN 1819.) 
Call for the music and dance to begin. 



Kua pa te rongo i Avaiki 
Kua inga paa Vetini 
Aue ka mate e ! 



Taipo e ! 

Alcatu are i Karanga-iti, 
I te rua paa i te ra e ! 

Ae! 

Kua tau paa Vetini i te rangi ; 

Ka oro ! 
O na mavae ia Avaiki e ! 

Kakea mai e i te tautua ae ! 

Kakea mai i te tautua ia Avaiki 
Ka rekireki mai e, 
I nunga i te moana. 

Kua titotito aere Veetini, 

E kaii, kau mai e J 
E -am atu i to miringa ae ! 



The news has sped to Avaiki 
Of Vetini about to die. 
Sad day of death! 

Solo. 

Goon ! 

Chorus. 

A house is built for him at Karanga- 
iti 
To face the rising sun. 

Solo. 

'Tis done ! 
Chorus. 

VeStini has gained the sky [i.e. the 
place where the sun drops down] ; 

Has fled ! 
Oh, all-dividing Spirit- world ! 

Solo. 

Whence came he ? 

Qhorus. 

He came up out of Spirit-world, 
Stepping lightly on his path 
O'er the treacherous waves. 
VeStini is again trembling on the 

wing. 
He skims, he skims the sea ! 



Solo. 



Alas, he follows thy track, [0 Sun !] 



1 86 Myths and Songs. 

Chorus. 

E am atu i to miringa, Yes, he follows thy dazzling light, 

O te ra paa e opuopu atu na e ! As thou gently settest in the ocean. 

Takai la te ra, Thrust down the sun, 

Ei eke i Tekurutukia 1 That he may descend to nether-land. 



THE CLOSING OR DAY-SONG FOR TENIO'S FETE. 

BY KOROA. CIRCA 1814. 
Call for the dance to lead off. 

Iti pakakina o te ra e ! Day is breaking ; 

Ka roi te tere o Tautiti The visit of Tautiti 1 is drawing to a 

close 
Ka aka e ! Dance away I 

Solo. 
Taipoe! Goon! 

Chorus. 
Kua aati te nio o Veetini Alas, the teeth of Veetmi 2 are all 

broken, 
Kua akama i te ao e ! He is ashamed to linger in the light. 

Solo. 
Ao mata ngaa e \ The eye of day is unclosing. 

Chorus. 

E am mai ia Tautiti Come, obey the behests of Tautiti. 

Kai a mata tuitui kaka ra o Vatea el As a burning torch is the opening eye 

of Vatea. 

Ungaunga te ra e tu e ara ! Awake from thy slumbers, O Sun 

arise. 

It is in reference to this myth of the sad journeyings of the 
beautiful Tiki with her parents in search of Veetini, that at the 

1 Tautiti was supposed to be present at the particular dance of which he 
was the originator. As soon as it was over, he returned to the shades. 

2 Broken by death, i.e. no longer eats. 



Vefoini ; or, The Immortality of the So^iL 187 

breaking up of a funeral party it is commonly said, " Ka ruru i te 
tere ia Tiki ka aere ei," i.e. " The weary travels of Tiki are over : 
we part." 

A principal reason why Veetini's spirit was permitted to revisit 
this world, was to institute the practice of propitiating the good- 
will of the dead by offerings of food. This is alluded to in a 
ancient song about Vetini, by ELirikovi, circa 1760. 

VEETINI MEETING HIS FATHER. 

Tueva aka-itu i te eva i te metua, Tueva, who seven times lamented for 

his boy, 
Ae ; eaa toou ara i te ao nei ? Asked, " Why didst thou return to 

this world?" 
I ana mai au i te kave " I came," (said Ve&ini,) "to instruct 

you 

I te pakuranga ma te meringa, In making food-offerings to the dead, 

Meringa mai Avaiki e, Offerings to those in spirit- world ; 

Meringa mai io tatou metua Gifts from their relatives, 

E noo i te ao nei. Ei aa ? Who yet linger in this upper world. n 

Such was the belief and practice of heathenism. As soon as 
the corpse was committed to its last resting-place, the mourners 
selected five old cocoa-nuts, which were successively opened, and 
the water poured out upon the ground These nuts were then 
wrapped up in leaves and native cloth, and thrown towards the 
grave ; or, if the corpse were let down with cords into the deep 
chasm of " Auraka," the nuts and other food would be succes- 
sively thrown down upon it. Calling loudly each time the name 
of the departed, they said, "Here is thy food; eat it" When 
the fifth nut and the accompanying "raroi," or pudding, were 
thrown down, the mourners said, " Farewell ! we come back no 
more to thee i " 



1 88 Myths and Songs. 

Seventeen years ago, Arikikaka, the last heathen of Mangaia, 
lost his only son a consistent church member. The old man 
was inconsolable at his loss. How could it be otherwise with a 
heathen parent? The corpse was buried with his mother's 
deceased relatives, on the west of the island. The friends had 
dispersed to their respective homes. A day or two after, Ariki- 
kaka and his wife walked with difficulty across the island, arriving 
at dusk at the grave of their beloved son, with a basket of cooked 
food and some unopened cocoa-nuts. With many tears and 
affectionate words they called upon their boy to eat the food and 
drink the nuts (carefully opened for the convenience of the ghost 
at the grave, and the contents poured out upon the earth), which 
they had carried six miles. The aged couple slept under a tree* 
close to the last resting-place of their son ; and at dawn on the 
following morning departed. How sad that, whilst their son died 
in the faith and hope of the Gospel, the parents should cling to 
the effete superstitions of a bygone age ! It is, however, pleasing 
to add that in May, 1865, Arikikaka and his wife were baptized. 
In this case "at eventime there was light" 

A few years previous to the discovery of the island by Captain 
Cook in 1777, Ngara, priest of Motoro, was paramount chief of 
Mangaia. His nephew Vera died, it was believed, in consequence 
of having incurred the anger of that divinity by setting fire to a 
forest of thatch trees growing on the eastern part of the island. 
Not that the pandanus trees were sacred, but the oronga 
(urtica, argentea), growing between them, was considered to be 
"the hair of Motoro." 

Very imposing funeral rites were performed for this lad, on 
account of his relationship to Ngara. As in the case of Veetini, 
the relatives are said to have paraded the island in the vain 



Ve&tini ; or, The Immortality of the Soul. 189 

hope of Vera's return. The body was conveyed to Tamarua and 
thrown down Raupa, a fearful chasm, 150 feet deep, and having 
communication with the sea. The entrance to this gloomy place 
is in the Mission premises at that village. The sorrowful parents 
slept in a cave hard by, in the hope that Vera would return for a 
day, in answer to their passionate laments. Next day the disap- 
pointed parents, followed by a long procession of mourners, 
returned to their dwellings. 



DIRGE FOR VERA : A DEATH-TALK. 

COMPOSED BY UANUKU. A " TIAU," OR PARTIAL WEEPING. 
CIRCA 1770. 

TUMU. INTRODUCTION. 

Solo. 

Turokia i Vairorongo ; At Vairorongo, 1 towards the setting 

sun 

Noo mai koe i te aiai Tarry with, us this evening. 

Ka acre au, e Manga e, I go far away, mother, 

Chorus. 
I te ara taurere ki Iva e 1 By a perilous path to spirit-land. 

PAPA. FOUNDATION. 

Solo. 

Pare mai Vera i te kau ara, Halt, Vera, on thy journey : 

Ariua te mata i Mangaia. Turn thine eyes towards Mangaia. 

Te karo nei i o metua, Look again at thy parents, 

Te roe" nei i te ao e" ! Whose days are spent in tears, 

1 Wherever the body might be buried, the spirits of the dead assembled at 
Vairorongo, facing the setting sun, to await the proper period for their departure. 
" Iva " ( = Nukuhiva) I have rendered " spirit-land " its true meaning here. 



190 



Myths and Songs. 



E niaki i te tere i Anakura e acre ei 
UNUUNU TAI. 

Turokia e 

i tona are e ! 

I tona are, e manga kai na Vera. 
Tu a rau kura Tueva akatapu. 

Tu a rau kura Tueva akatapu. 
Kua tangi te ike a Mueu 
Kua taroS ua miringa, e Vera e ! 
Ka aere au, e Manga e, 

I te ara taurere ki Iva e ! 
PAPA. 

Pare mai Vera i te kau ara, 
Etc. etc. etc. 



UNUUNIT RUA. 



Vaia 



te ma e, i te tokerau e I 
I te tokerau, e ngaa mai kl tai. 
lid ki te iku parapu 



Chorus. 

Resting in the Red-Cave by the way. 

FIRST OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 

Towards the setting sun 

Chorus. 

is his home ! 

A home and food in plenty for Vera. 
Tueva, encircled with red leaves, is 
mourning. 

Solo. 

Tueva, encircled with red leaves, is 

mourning. 
Alas! the death-flail of Mueu is 

beating. 
Weeping, we follow thee, beloved 

Vera. 
I go far away, mother, 

Chorus. 

By a perilous path to spirit-land. 



FOUNDATION. 



Solo. 



Halt, Vera, on thy journey. 
Etc. etc. etc. 

SECOND OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 

Rush forth, 

Chorus. 

O north-west wind ! 1 
Bear him gently on his way. 
Awake, O south-west 



1 The north-west and south-west are known as " spirit- winds. " It is fabled 
that the latter restored Vetini to his friends. Perchance it will restore Vera 
to his sorrowing parents. Mautara, the grandfather of Vera, was dead at the 
period (more than a century ago) when this song was composed. The name of 
the illustrious chief is put for Ngara, his youngest son, then " lord of Man- 
gaia." 



Vedtini; or. The Immortality of the Soul. 191 



ki te iku parapu 
Tei te turuki mai Vera e 1 
Te tangi nei a Mautara e ! 
Te tirae tangata i pou rai. 
Ka aere au, e Manga e, 

I te ara taurere ki Iva e I 
PAPA, 

Pare mai Vera i te kau ara, 
Etc. etc. etc. 



Solo. 

O south-west. 

Perchance Vera will return. 
Even Mautara weeps for thee, 
How desolate is our home I 
I go far away, mother, 

Chorus. 

By a perilous path to spirit-land. 



FOUNDATION. 



Solo. 



Halt, Vera, on thy journey, 
Etc. etc. etc. 



UNUUNU TORXJ. THIRD OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 

Kaukau, Skim, 

Chorus. 

Vera e, i tuaanga e ! Vera, the surface of the ocean, 

I te tuaanga to nga mata i te tai o The ocean-path once traversed by 

*NTMwlA XT- 1-T 1 1 



Ngake. 

Porutu te ua i te moana, 
Te toa ranga nuka te atua 
E tau ai te tere o Vera e 

Tei Tikura moana ! 

Ka aere au, e Manga e, 
I te ara taurere ki Iva e I 
PAPA. 

Pare mai Vera i te kau ara 
Etc. etc. etc. 



Solo. 



Ngake. 1 



Torrents of rain obstruct thy journey, 

Yet by the aid of a mighty god 

The band led by Vera shall safely 

reach 
Then* home beneath the glowing 

ocean. 

I go far away, mother, 
Chorus. 

By a perilous path to spirit-land. 

FOUNDATION. 

Halt, Vera, on thy journey : 
Etc. etc. etc. 



1 Ngake was one of the three first slain, inconsistently represented as 
traversing the ocean. 



Myths and Songs. 



UNUUNU A. 



FOURTH OFFSHOOT. 



Solo. 



Pokai 



Slowly 



Chorus. 

te tere e ia tau ai e ! traverse these nigged shores, 

Kia tau Vera i rangi maanga Ere Vera gain the western skies. 

No Maautaramea te tere i oki mai. Vetini x once returned to earth. 

Solo. 

O that Vera might but revisit earth, 
Gliding over the shimmering sea. 
I go far away, mother, 

Chorus. 

By a perilous path to spirit-land. 

FOUNDATION. 

Halt, Vera, on thy journey, 
Etc. etc. etc. 

FIFTH OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 

Lash firmly 
Chorus. 

the outrigger of thy bark, 2 
Ere starting on thy long voyage. 
Linger awhile, Vera, on the sea- 
shore 

Solo. 

On the beach where the waves beat ; 
Near this rough path. Must thou go 
To the regions of the sun-setting? 
I go far away, mother, 



Te tere i oki mai Vera e ! 
Tei tipurei moana i ! 

Ka aere au, e Manga e, 

I te ara tiroa ki Iva e ! 
PAPA. 

Pare mai Vera i te kau ara, 
Etc. etc. etc. 



UNUUNU RIMA. 



Ekiato 



te vaka e kia mau ai e ! 
Kia mau ai i Koatu-taii-roa. 
Noo mai Vera i te tapaa i mua ! 



I te tapaa i mua 'i o te tangi tai 
I ara mania : kua taatonga 'i 
Ki raro i tei Tuatua-pipiki, 
Ka aere au, e Manga e, 



1 In the original a second name [Maautaramea] is substitued for Veetini, 
which I have dropped. 

2 Vera's spirit is actually starting. The canoe is on the outer edge of 
the reef ready to cleave the billows. See that the outrigger is well secured, 
or the voyager will certainly be drowned. What the outrigger is to the canoe, 
the god is to the soul. Without this necessary aid, tread not this treacherous 
ocean-path. 



Ve&ini ; or, The Immortality of the SouL 193 

Chorus. 
I te ara taurere ki Iva e ! By a perilous path, to spirit-land. 

PAPA AKAOTI. LAST FOUNDATION. 

Solo. 

Pare mai Vera i te kau ara, * Halt, Vera, on thy journey : 

Ariua te mata i Mangaia. Turn thine eyes to Mangaia. 

Te kare nei i o metua, Look again at thy parents, 

Te roe nei i te ao e I Whose days are spent in tears, 

Chorus. 
E niaki te tere i Anakura e aere e ! Resting in the Red-Cave by the way. 

AKAREINGA. FINALE. 

Ai e ruaoo e I E rangai e ! Ai e ruaoo e !. E rangai e ! 

The beauty of this dirge is much enhanced by covert allusions 
throughout to the myth of Vetini. At the conclusion of each 
stanza, in the native, the name "Manga," z.e. the mother of 
Vetini, occurs, instead of the name of Vera's own mother. To 
prevent confusion of ideas, I have throughout rendered it 
"mother." 

To this day it is said of the dying at Rarotonga^ " So-and-so 
is passing over the sea." 

The foregoing dirge has been presented exactly as recited at 
their "death-talks." On account of the numerous repetitions, 
those succeeding will be given in an abbreviated form. 



194 



Myths and Songs. 



THE GHOSTS LED BY VERA PREPARING FOR THEIR 
FINAL DEPARTURE. 

A "TLA.!!," OR PARTIAL WEEPING. BY UANUKU, CIRCA 1770. 



TUMU. 



INTRODUCTION. 



Akarongo, Vera, i te tangi tai. 
Reki atu koe i te ara pepe ; 
Tangi mat paa i Maunuroa. 

Tutu atu ka acre ; 



O te uru matie kura ra e te nau. 



PAPA. 

Reki atu koe i te ngau rua ; 
E tatari koe i te parapu, 
Naku mai paa i tua moana. 
Te karo nei Mitimiti e, 



Solo. 



List, Vera, to the music of the sea. 
Beyond yon dwarfed pandanus trees 
The billows are dashing o'er the 

rocks. 
5 Tis time, friends, to depart ; 

Chonts. 

Our garments are mourning weeds 
and flowers. 

FOUNDATION. 
Solo. 

Advance to yonder level rock; 
There to await the favouring wind 
That will bear thee o'er the sea. 
(Thy father) Mitimiti looks sorrow- 
fully on 



Cfiorus* 
I te vivi matangi, e taku tere e ! The departing band led by thee. 



INUINTJ TAI. 
Akarongo Vera e, 



Kua patai tau ara, 
Na te ura o Iva 



FIRST OFFSHOOT. 
Solo* 

List, dear Vera, 

Chorus, 

i te tangi tai e ? to the music of the sea. 

Thou art a wretched wanderer, 
Almost arrived at Iva 



Vetini; or, The Immortality of the Soul. 195 

Solo. 

na te uru o Iva 'i. yes, at Iva ; 

Mai Iti au, mai Tonga e, Once from Tahiti, then from Tonga ; 

Mai Onemakenukenu ; Now bound to the land of ghosts, 

O te rua mato ngaa ei. Entered though the gaping grave. 

Tutu atu ka aere ; 'Tis time, friends, to depart ; 

Chorus. 

te uru matie kura ra e te nau e ! Our garments are mourning weeds 

and flowers. 

INUINU RUA. SECOND OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 
Ariunga atu e I turn my eyes 

Chorus. 
I tai enua e; to another land. 

1 tai enua patiki atu tau vaerua. In some other region may my spirit 

rest ! 

Tei koatu tauri, tei te ngutu i te rua, On this trembling stone, at the edge 

of the chasm (I stand) 

Solo. 
Tei te ngutu At the entrance 

Chorus. 

i te rua J i. Of this dark chasm. 

O puaka ngunguru, tei te veenga i te My path is over yon black rocks near 

papa. the sea. 

Na rotopu i Vaenga, tei o Tamakoti, Over the roughest and sharpest stones 

E takina aereia e te ui rauono. I lead this feeble troop of ghosts. 

Noea ra ? ikonei, na nunga atu "Whence come we ? We are awaiting 

Ki te miri, The long-hoped-for 

Solo. 
nanu atu south-eastern 

Chorus. 

ki te miri breeze 

Tei kopua-reia ; a tai ra tomokia. To waft us over the far-reaching 

ocean. 
Tei are toka, tu ra i te rae, We have wandered hither and thither, 



196 Myths and Songs. 

Tei Teunu i te kea, ka eke na tai e, Stepping lightly on the sea-washed 

sandstone. 
Na koatu putuputu, tei kaiti-te-ra. Over thickly studded rocks we have 

come. 
Kua kapitia e te po, akaroimata i reira, Overtaken by darkness we sit down to 

weep, 

Solo. 
Vaka roimata no Vera e ! A tearful band, under the guidance of 

Vera. 

Angiangi te ua i te aiai ; At one time a drizzling shower 

Tairo atu i te tau are no Moke, Hides from view the heights of the 

interior ; 
Kua parea e te au tai. At another we are besprinkled with 

ocean spray. 
Tutu atu ka aere; Tis time, friends, to depart ; 

Chorus. 

O te uru matie kura ra e te nau e ! Our garments are mourning weeds 

and flowers. 

INUINU TORU. THIRD OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 
Acre tu e Press forwards 

Chorus. 

i Raumatangi e. on our journey; 

Kia ripoia na Tautuaorau. Take care that we miss not the way. 

Solo. 
E kake i Auveo, Yonder is the landing-place, 

Chorus. 

o te mata o Katoanu, . Auveo, 

te ui ava e ngaro, o Taumatatai. The entrance of which is so difficult 

to find. 
Tera to metua, There, too, is my father, 

Solo. 

tei runga i Pepeura. watching our course. 

Taueue o te ra, tukuroi ki Teone. The sun is low ; rest we awhile. 



Ve&ini; or, The Immortality of the Soul. 197 

Chorus. 
E mania ra tau vaevae i te takai, Our feet are worn out over these 

stones ; 

Kua avanga Raupa. Yonder is the gloomy cave Raupa. 

Anuenue i Omoana, e tangata matiroe- Let us move slowly on our way. 

roe. 
Tei Tuatuakare, i raro i Auneke : We friendless ghosts have reached 

Auneke. 

Eanga ki runga ; eanga ki raro ; Look eastward ; look westward ; 

E anga ki te ra e ana atu. Gaze at the setting sun. 

Soh. 

Ana atu paa Mitimiti, e amoremore Ah ! Mitimiti is following hard 

behind, 

I to miringa; takiri koe kia oki mai Beckoning me to return. 
Noo mai paa i Tepukatia. Here let us halt awhile. 

Tutu atu ka aere 5 'Tis tune, friends, to depart j 

Chorus. 

te uru matiekura rae te nau e ! Our garments are mourning weeds 

and flowers. 

INUINU A. FOURTH OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 
Ka iia Vera ra e, Thy feet, Vera, 

Chorus. 

e te rau kovi e, are entangled with wild vines. 

Mataratara i Vavau, te nooanga tan- Art thou bound for Vavau, the home 
gata. of ghosts ? 

1 Rangioroia, Over 

Solo* 
mai Rangi the foaming billows 

Chorus. 

panakonui : wilt thou voyage ? 

Tei Omaoma-atu-na, o te ara tai rau, Thread now thy way through groves 

of pandanus, 
O te enua tuarangi, te Omangatiti; The favourite haunt of disembodied 

Spirits ; 
Ariki Utakea i Takanga-a tuturi. Near where the royal Utakea landed, 



1 98 Myths and Songs. 

Solo. 

Na Ooki aitu ki te papa o Aumea. A level beach laved by the sea. 

Tikiriri e atua, ei ara paa rxoku e, The cricket-god is chirping to direct 

thy path, 

I angamakoitia, ki tuki naupata, Through the thickets to the shore 

I te pou o Atuturi, turi ai Where the spirits of the dead wander. 

Kxmkou rouru, e Vera e, Bathe thy streaming locks, Vera. 

Omai tai noku ora e, o Te-ata-i- Grant me a new life, O Light of the 

maiore. morning ! 

Tutu atu ka acre ; 'Tis time, friends, to depart ; 

Chorus. 

O te nau matie kura ra e te nau e ! Our garments are mourning weeds 

and flowers. 

INUINU RIMA. FIFTH OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 
Buapua-ariki Descendant of the kings 

Chorus. 

i Mauke-tau, , ofMauke; 

Kua ikiikitia e, e te matangi au ra Favoured one, led by a prosperous 

wind 
No te tumu i te rangi, tei Kopuakanae, From the root of the skies to these 

shores, 

Tei Nukuterarire, e angaanga ikonei, Ere taking a long farewell, turn back ! 
Na Mokoaeiau Vaio ra ikonei, Idol of my dwelling, remain awhile, 

Solo. 

Vaio ake ia turina kapara ; o te pua Decked with the buds of sweet- 
scented flowers 

Taurarea e, raumiremire no Tutuila, And fragrant leaves brought from 

Tutuila, 

Tutu atu ka aere ; 'Tis time, friends, to depart \ 

Chorus. 

te uru matie kura ra, e te nau e ! Our garments are mourning weeds 

and flowers. 

AKAREINGA. FINALE. 

Ai e ruaoo e ! E rangi e ! Ai e ruaoo e 1 E rangai e 



VeUini; or, The Immortality of the Soul. 199 

In this " lament " it is supposed that the spirits of the dead 
have been marshalled by Vera on the eastern shore of Mangaia, 
and then weariedly led by him over the rocks and through 
the thickets of the southern half of the island, until reaching the 
point due west, where the entire troop take their final departure 
for the shades. " Auneke " is a point on the shore about midway 
between the rising and setting sun. The poet evidently places 
Vavau, Tonga, and Tahiti in the invisible world! 

Very beautifully is the father, Mitimiti, represented as chasing 
the spirit of his beloved Vera in this mournful journey of ghosts 
round half the island The ghosts stop occasionally to refresh 
themselves, their feet lacerated with the sharp stones over which 
the living can pass only when sandalled. They weep continually 
at the thought of leaving earth for ever. Many days are occupied 
in this sad journey. Mitimiti, taking advantage of these delays, 
hurries forward, and almost clutches the ever visible but airy form 
of his boy, which somehow eludes the detaining hand of the 
sorrowing parent 

PUVAI LEADING A BAND OF GHOSTS TO 

THE SHADES. 

A "TIAIT," OR PARTIAL WEEPING. COMPOSED BY IIKURA, 
CIRCA 1795. 

TUMU. INTRODUCTION. 

Solo. 

E matangi tu i te nguare i Anakura, A favouring breeze sweeps the en- 
trance of the ghost-cave ; 
No Puvai, kua roiroi ka tere, 'Tis for Puvai, about to depart. 

Chorus. 

Kua kake atu Id te uru kare e ! Lightly he skims o'er the crest of the 

billows. 



2OO Myths and Songs. 

PAPA. FOUNDATION. 

Solo. 

Ei kona ra, e au metua ! Farewell, beloved parents 1 

Eva ake ai iaku nei Let a mourning procession follow 1 

I te naupata i Taamatangi. Over the rugged shore of the south. 

Te tangi nei i te tama angai ra, Weep for the son so tenderly natured, 

Cfoorus. 

Ka uaki mai te matangi ki Iva e ! Ere a fair wind bear me to spirit- 

land ! (literally to Iva). 

INUINU TAI. FIRST OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 
E matangi tu e A favouring breeze 

Chorus. 

i te nguare e! sweeps the entrance 

I te nguare i Anakura. Of the ghost-cave Anakura. 

Kua va te tuarangi : List to the hum of the ghosts ! 

Solo. 
Kua va te tuarangi tei Kokirinui e ! J Tis the hum of spirits passing o'er 

the rocks ; 
Kua niu aere i Tengaatanga i Ana That crowd along the beach by Double 

orua. Cave. 

Kua roiroi ka tere, He is about to depart. 

Chorus. 

Kua kake atu ki te uru kare e ! Lightly he skims o'er the crest of the 

billows. 

INUINU RUA. SECOND OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 
Te vaka i te vaka Yonder is the bark 

Chorus. 

o Puvai e I the canoe of Puvai 

Kua tipoki i te riu i te oa. Sorrowfully he bends over it ! 

1 That is of living friends and relatives, not ghosts. 



Ve&tini; or, The Immortality -of the Soul. 201 



Kua tipoki i te riu i te oa'L 

Noo mai koe i te ta ia mua, 
Kua kakau i te kirikiriti 
Riu atu te aro ki tera enua. 
Kua roiroi ka tere 



Kua kake atu ki te uru kare e ! 

INUINU TORU. 

Parepare i tai e 



Solo. 

Aye, very sorrowfully does he bend 

over it! 

Take thy seat, son, in front. 
Clothed in ghostly network ; l 
And turn thy face to yonder land. 
He is about to depart. 

Chorus. 

Lightly he skims o'er the crest of the 
billows. 

THIRD OFFSHOOT. 
Solo. 

Let a south-west wind 
Chorus. 



i te parapu e I 

I te parapu, vaia mai i te tokerau 
Na Tiki e oe atu ; na Tiki e oe atu. 



ruffle the sea. 
Awake thou north-west. 
Tiki, sister of VeStini, leads the way. 



Motuanga enua Mangaia no Puvai. 
Kua peke ke i nga taoa. 
Kua roiroi ka tere 

Kua kake atu ki te uru kare e ! 

INUINU A. 

Tama aroa e 

na Motuone e 1 
Na Motuone, tangi mai e 
I te uru o te maunga, 



Solo. 

Mangaia fades from the sight of 

Puvai, 
Driven away by the violence of the 

winds. 
He is about to depart. 

Chorus. 

Lightly he skims o'er the crest of the 
billows. 



FOURTH OFFSHOOT. 



Solo. 



Beloved child 

Chorus. 

of Motuone 

Of Motuone, thy weeping mother, 
Glance fondly back on the hills 



1 Network was said to be part of the clothing of departed spirits. 



202 Myths and Songs. 



Solo. 

I te uni o te maunga 'i. And mountains of the interior. 

Ka ano ki Tamarua'i, Come back to the fair vale of Ta- 

marua, 

Kia tae ki Angauru. The place where thou wast born. 

Kua roiroi ka tere He is about to depart. 

Chorus* 

Kua kake atu ki te uru kare e ! Lightly he skims o'er the crest of the 

billows ! 

AKAREINGA. FINALE. 

Ai e ruaoo e ! E rangai e ! Ai e ruaoo e ! E rangai e ! 

This song is precisely parallel with those relating to Vera. 
Nephew to Potiki, supreme temporal chief of Mangaia, Puvai by 
his early death is qualified to lead off a band of ghosts to the 
shades. Great honours were paid to him as the near relative of 
the living ruler of the island 

From a Christian point of view the following " lament " is very 
affecting : 

KOROA'S LAMENT FOR HIS SON KOURAPAPA * 

(Endearingly shortened into " Ura"). Circa 1796. 

FOR THE "DEATH-TALK OF KOURAPAPA." 

TUMI7. INTRODUCTION. 

Solo. 

Karangaia e Koroa e, KLoroa gave the command 

E pa akari na Tueva, A feast of cocoa-nuts, like Tueva's 2 

of old, 
Na Ura oki i te rua e ! For dear Ura in his grave j 

1 Koura-papa = small shrimp. 

* " Like Tueva's of old. " ' ' Like Tiki's. " The former was the father, the 
latter the lovely sister, of the mythical Vetini. 

The feast was "all dry," "because it was ill prepared, and lay exposed for 
an entire day at the entrance to the gloomy cave " Auraka." At nightfall the 
food was wrapped up in native cloth and thrown down to the corpse. 



Vedtini; or. The Immortality of the Soul. 203 

Chorus. 
Jutungakai na Tiki oki i rara e ! A feast for ghosts, all dry, like Tiki's. 

PAPA. FOUNDATION. 

Solo. 

Tai kume au i te ngutupa, At the entrance to thy sad home I 

shout 

''eia to pakuranga ! *' Here is the feast 

"ei raro Ura i te taeva For Ura who lies at the bottom 

Chorus. 
te enua la, e vae ! of the deep cave." 

INUINU TAI. FIRST OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 
Larangaia ra e 'Twos Koroa 

Chorus. 

Koroa nei e ! that gave the command. 

) Koroa nei, Kua rongo e, Alas ! Koroa heard (his boy) lament- 

ing 
lua kai ongutungutu, " The ghosts fought over my food ; 

Sob. 

lua kai ongutungutu, aore au e tongi Fought so fiercely that I did not get a 

ana. taste, 

lua kirikiritia e te ueuera kaka Evil spirits * stole it all away. (Their 

chief) 
> Naukino, na pakoti i te ara nei. Nau-the-Bad would not let me get 

near it" 
Na Ura oki i te rua e ! 'Twas for Ura in his grave 

Chorus. 
Putungakai na Tiki oki i rara e ! We bore a feast, all dry, like Tiki's. 

1 " Evil spirits," more literally, " bright evil spirits ; " but brightness is in 
or ideas associated with goodness. These "Dii inferi"at night became 
tminous ; not so the unfortunate human spirits that go down to their abode. 
et these spirits are supposed to linger a while about the cave where their dead 
odies had been thrown ; the period for their final departure to the shades not 
aving come. 



2O4 Myths and Songs. 

INUINU RUA. SECOND OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 
Putungakai e, That feast for the dead, 

Chorus. 

na Tiki oki e, like Tiki's long ago, 

Na Tiki oki na Ura. Was designed for our beloved Ura, 

Te porea mai i te toketoke kura, Who is condemned to feed on red 

worms ; 

Solo. 
I te toketoke kura 'i, i te viivii taae. Yes, on earth-worms and other vile 

creatures. 
Akaatua atu ana oki te tangata, e tau Pet child, thou hast taken thy place 

potiki. amongst the gods. 

Na Ura oki i te rua e 1 'Twas for Ura in his grave 

Chorus. 
Putungakai na Tiki oki i rara e ! We bore a feast, all dry, like Tiki's. 

INUINU TORU, THIRD OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 
Nai kume au ra At the entrance 

Chorus. 

i te ngutupa e 1 to thy sad home I shout, 

I te ngutupa pakia io i te umauma. And despairingly beat my breast 
Voa atu to metua, voa atu to metua 'i Thy father Koroa is sadly seeking for 
e Koroa 'i. thee. 

Solo. 
Kua o koe i te tupu i te takanga o te Thou art now compelled to feed on 

ueue ; black beetlts, 

Na manga a te tangata mate. The food of disembodied spirits. 

Na Ura oki i te rua e I 'Twas for Ura in his grave 

Chorus. 
Putungakai na Tiki oki i rara e f We bore a feast, all dry, like Tiki's. 



Ve&ini; or, The Immortality of the Soul. 205 

INUINU A FOURTH OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 
E tatau atu e Wait patiently 

Chorus. 

ia po rima e I five days 

la po rima e tau ai na umu manga And we will prepare yet another 

feast. 
E kavetere : kua oti naropanga; Again and again will we do this. 

Solo. 

Kua oti na ropanga % e Koroa J i. Koroa will not quickly weary. 

Purum tau nagarau, e tama akaaroa. Then, beloved son, our mourning will 

be over, 

One atu au i te kainga. And finally we'll return to our dwell- 

ings. 
Na Ura oki i te rua e ! 'Twas for Ura in Ms grave 

Chorus. 
Putungakai na Tiki oki i rara e ! We bore a feast, all dry, like Tiki's. 

INUINU RIMA. FIFTH OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 

Kua rara oki ra ; All dry is thy food 

Chorus. 

kua roiae! and bad; 

Kua roia i te karaii ma te momo'o. The relish with it is crabs and block- 

birds.^ 
Ei ko na ra, kai ai. Farewell ; eat. 

1 The reference is to the " Momo6," a beautiful but small species of the 
blackbird, which has a. pleasing note. It was then regarded as the incarnation 
of the god "Mod" who delights to secrete men and things. "Momod" 
is strictly " the Mo6-bird." This bird is caught with extreme difficulty, being 
very expert in hiding itself in rat holes, tufts of grass, etc. Its eyes are fiery 
red. When the Pakoko tribe went on a murdering expedition, this blackbird 
was supposed, if propitious, to lead the way by a ball of fire lighting up the 
path of warriors. These pretty birds were regarded as suitable food for the 
dead, i.e, for dwellers in the " po ** = darkness, on account of their blackness. 
Hence the appropriateness of crabs and black beetles as diet for the ghosts ; 
besides, crabs, beetles, and worms bore into the soil, or crawl about in caves 
where the dead lie. 



206 Myths and Songs. 

Solo. 
Ei ko na ra, kai ai, e Ura, i to me- Farewell. Enjoy thy feast, my Ura. 

ringa J i. 

Kua akaui maua i to enua. We return no more to thee. 

Pai ia mai to putungakai i te kainga. We go back to our desolate home. 

Na Ura oki i te rua e ! 'Twas for Ura in his grave 

Chorus. 
Putungakai na Tiki oki i rara e We bore a feast, all dry, like Tiki's. 

AKAREINGA. FINALE. 

Ai e ruroo e ! E rangai e Ai e ruaoo e I E rangai e I 

Kourapapa died at the age of four or five years, and was uncle 
to my worthy native co-pastor Sadaraka. This was all the con- 
solation heathenism could give the afflicted parent Koroa, who was 
associated at that time with his father Potiki in the government of 
the island 

It was believed that the ghosts ate the "essence" (ata) of these 
food offerings. The living friends never (like the Chinese) ate the 
solid residuum. To do so would be sacrilege. 

ANOTHER LAMENT FOR KOURAPAPA. 1 

BY KOROA, CIRCA A.D. 1796. 

TUMU. INTRODUCTION. 

Ua roiroi ka acre e ! The little voyager is ready to start. 

Mirimiri Koroa ia rurou Koroa is distracted for his boy. 

Naoeoe te aue a Koi (The rocks) re-echo the cries, 

Roimata i te anau. Of Koi the heart-broken mother. 

1 This and the subsequent "laments" are given without the solos and 
choruses being marked off. With the aid of the preceding specimens, the 
reader will easily see how they were actually chanted. 



Veetini; or, The Immortality of the Soul. 207 



PAPA. 

Kapitia ra e te matangi i pae ake e ! 
Pae ake Ura i ruruta e ! 

A roi te roi o te ngarie, 
Oro atu na kimi motu ke 
No taua, ia kite e oki mai ? 
E tere akaonga e Ruru e 

UNUUNU MUA. 

Ka roi te roi e i tai enua e 

I tai enua tumiri te ua o te kakara. 

Na te uanga kura koe, 
E vae, e tau ai i te kainga, 
Na te uanga kuru koe, 
E vae, e tau ai i te kainga. 
Mirimiri Koroa ia rurou. 
Naoeoe te aue a Koi 

Roimata i te anau. 

UNUUNU RUA. 

Tuoro atu e i te tokerau e ! 

I te tokerau te taka nei i te aanga. 

E kauaka ia e kauaka tai 

E kauaka ia e kauaka tai 

No te Kaura, e tnamotu no Mangaia, 

Ua puia e te aua mei te moana. 
Mirimiri Koroa ia rurou. 
Naoeoe te aue a Koi 

Roimata i te anau. 

UNUUNU TORIU. 

Pae ake Ura ra, i ruruta nei e ! 

I ruruta nei tei paenga o Kurarau, 

Tei paenga o Kurarau, 

Pangitia te vaine reua, 

Ua tae koe! Ua tae Metua 

I te maora nui i Onemakenu kenu 1 



FOUNDATION. 

Should an ill wind o'ertake thee, 
Seek shelter, O Ura, my spirit- 
child. 
Go on thy way, fated voyager ! 

Go seek some other land ; 

Then return to fetch me. 

'Tis a spirit pilgrimage, O mother. 

FIRST OFFSHOOT. 

Speed, then, on thy voyage to spirit- 
land, 
Where a profusion of garlands awaits 

thee. 

There the bread-fruit tree, 
Pet son, is ever laded with fruit. 
Yes; there the bread-fruit 
Is for ever in season, my child. 
Koroa is distracted for his boy. 
(The rocks) re-echo the cries 
Of Koi the heart-broken mother. 

SECOND OFFSHOOT. 

Awake, thou spirit-bearing winds ! 
Gently waft him o'er the ocean. 
Yonder is a frail bark 
Yes ; yonder is a frail bark. 
J Tis a canoe full of spirits from Man- 
gaia, 

Hurried o'er the sea by fierce currents. 
Koroa is distracted for his boy. 
(The rocks) re-echo the cries 
Of Koi the heart-broken mother. 

THIRD OFFSHOOT. 

Oh for a shelter from the tempest 
On some well-sheltered shore ! 
Yes ; on some well-sheltered shore ! 
The mother mourns the dead : 
But thou and thy sister have reached 
The gathering-place of spirits, 



208 



Myths and Songs. 



Ua iri te pa kura o Tueva. 
Mirimiri Koroa ia rurou. 
Naoeoe te aue a Koi 

Roimata nui i te anau. 

UNUUNU A. 

E tere ia, e tere akaonga e ! 

ngai te akarua, aore e tae tika, 
Aore e tae tikai : kua topa 

1 te tere o Kovi ia Angatoro. 
Ua puia e te aua mei te moana. 

Mirimiri Koroa ia rurou, 
Naoeoe te aue a Koi 

Roimata nui i te anau. 

AKAREINGA. 

Ai e ruaoo e ! E rangai ! 



Whilst we lament, like Tueva of old. 
Koroa is distracted for his boy. 
(The rocks) re-echo the cries 
Of Koi the heart-broken mother. 

FOURTH OFFSHOOT. 

Prosperous be thy perilous pilgrimage 
May soft zephyrs waft thee on ! 
Maybe thou hast miscarried, 
Too late to accompany the ghosts 
Which are hurried o'er the sea by 

fierce currents. 

Koroa is distracted for his boy. 
(The rocks) re-echo the cries 
Of Koi the heart-broken mother. 

FINALE. 

Ai e ruaoo e ! E rangai e ! 



DEATH-LAMENT FOR VARENGA, DAUGHTER OF 
AROKAPITI. 

COMPOSED BY KOROA, CIRCA 1817. 



TUMU. 

Tei Iti au, e Varenga e, 

Kua kite Aro kua noo tane i Avaiki, 

Te ania mai e te ata e ! 

Te Vrvitaunoa ra tau moe e ! 

PAPA. 
Tau moe ra tei Iti, e Arokapiti e ! 

Uira e rapa ia maine e ! 



INTRODUCTION. 

Varenga, who came from the " sun- 
rising," l 

In spirit-land is now wed. 
She was wooed by a Shadow ! 
Such was my dream on the mountain. 

FOUNDATION. 

My dream was of thee at the sun- 
rising 
Thy form da2zling as lightning. 



1 Referring to the ancient home of the tribe of Tane at " Iti " ( = Tahiti), 
or " the sun-rising/' The " ancestral marae " where her remains were laid 
was expressly selected (being due east) with an eye to this circumstance. 



Vedtini ; or, The Immortality of the SouL 209 



Kimi koe i te kavainga 

O mata ngaae, tau Itirere i te ao e ! 

Tei te enua taparere maunga e ! 

UNUUNU TAI. 

Tei Iti oki ra o Varenga nei e ! 

O Varenga nei ! 
Na Mini e akarito kia tupu a vaine, 



Kia tupu a vaine 'i. 
Kua tioria e te are tangata : 

goauri 

Tei Vaekura, tei Vaikaute nei. 
Te ania mai e te ata e ! 
Te Vivitaunoa ra tau moe e 1 



UNUUNU RUA. 

Enua i enua e, taparere e ! 

Taparere i Maungaroa, 

Tei nunga i te tuaronga ; 

Tei nunga i te tuai-onga % 

Tei Tuarangi, tei Araturakina e ! 

Tei Rinui aina J i ? 

Te ania mai e te ata e ! 

Te Vivitaunoa ra tau moe e ! 



UNUUNU TORU. 

Kua veru te are i Kauava e ! 



Thou wert watching for the dawn 
When I awoke from my sleep 
On the steep mountain side. 

FIRST OFFSHOOT. 

Varenga, who came from "the sun 

rising:" 

Yes, my Varenga ! 
Mini 1 will cherish thee in thy 

maidenhood 
Thy lovely maidenhood ! 
Pan- In life thou wert the admiration of 

all, 

Wherever thy light steps wandered. 
Now thou art wooed by a Shadow 1 
Such was my dream on the moun- 
tain. 

SECOND OFFSHOOT. 

Thou wast buried in the ancestral 
marae 

On the side of steep Maungaroa, 

Hidden by the tall fern 

Aye, hidden by the tall fern. 

Perchance thy spirit is revisiting the 
spot, 

Hovering amongst the wild rocks. 

Now thou art wooed by a Shadow ! 

Such was my dream on the moun- 
tain. 

THIRD OFFSHOOT. 

Thy house 2 in the west is decayed. 



1 It is hoped that the great beauty of this damsel will induce the dread 
Miru to forego her horrid repast, and in its stead adopt her as her daughter-in- 
law. 

2 Near the sea, on the western part of this island, is a cave called 
"Kauava," where some families of ghosts loved to congregate. In this 
neighbourhood a house had been set up for the special accommodation of this 
distinguished spirit. But it is now hopelessly decayed, , she is about to 

P 



2io Myths and Songs. 

Tei Kauava, kua oti i te akatu, At the gathering-place of ghosts is 

this home, 

E nga tupuna kia kioro ua ra : Built by thine ancestors, where 

spirits 

Kia kioro ua ra'i ia aiai, Rest awhile and chatter in the 

evening ; 

E kaunuku atuai io Tumaronga, Or wander about at the edge of the 

cliffs ; 

E niaki mai i te uru mato. Or sit on the stones gazing at the 

interior. 

Te ania mai e te ata e ! Now thou art wooed by a Shadow ' 

Te Vivitaimoa ra tau xnoe e ! Such was my dream on the moun- 

tain. 

AKAREJNGA. FINALE. 

Ai e ruaoo e ! E rangai e ! Ai e ruaoo ! E rangai e ! 



LAMENT FOR MOURUA 

(THE FRIEND OF CAPTAIN COOK). 

BY UANUKU. CIRCA 1780. 

TUMU. INTRODUCTION. 

Kua tu te are i Imogo ; There is a spirit-dwelling at Imogo : 

E enua koe no Kavoro, ; Tis the burial-place of Kavoro, 

Kua tupuria e te rakau. In a shady grove. 

O te ukenga i nunga 'i 1 There we dug his grave ; 

te one kuru i erne ! There the red soil was thrown up. 

taua nei te aroa 'i tangi e ! How bitter the widow's grief 1 

PAPA. FOUNDATION. 

Ukea mai Kavoro e ! But Kavoro was disinterred ; 

1 te rua e i tanu ai. Was taken out of the grave where he 
had lain. 

descend finally to nether- world. Ghosts from this cave, when the coral tree 
blossomed, took their departure by leaping from a rock in the Mission 
premises to a smaller one on the inner part of the reef; thence to the outer 
edge of the reef; and then tripping over the ocean, like Vetini, disappeared 
with the sun in nether-world. Although these disembodied spirits avoid the 
fragrant but fatal bua tree, they cannot escape Miru, mistress of the shades. 



Veetini ; or, The Immortality of the Soul. 211 



Kua eteia te ara mo 

Kua vai te ivi i te mokotua ; 

Kakaro io au e 
Kua ngaro iaaku te angaanga e ! 

UNUUNU TAI. 

Kua tu te are e tei Imogo e ! 

Tei Imogo, e enua koe no Kavoro. 

Kua otinga atu na, 

Kua otinga atu na 'i. 

Kua tanu kere i uri ra ki te rua e ! 

O te ukenga i nunga } i ! 
O te one kura i erue ! 

taua nei te aroa tangi e ! 

UNUUNU RUA, 

Uri mai te aro e i to vaine e ! 

1 to vame ia Turuare, 



The teeth all exposed 
His form, oh, how wasted, 
As we gazed on him 
Now so mournfully changed ! 

FIRST OFFSHOOT. 

There is a spirit-dwelling at Imogo, 
For there our Kavoro was buried. 

There we parted ; 

Aye, parted for ever ! 
Shallow was the grave where we 
buried him, 

There we dug his grave ; 

There the red soil was thrown 
up. 

How bitter the widow's grief! 

SECOND OFFSHOOT. 

Look once more at thy wife 
At thy beloved Turuare ; 1 



1 The night Mourua (Kavoro) was slain, Turuare, the most beloved of his 
three wives, and her little son Taingarue, were with him in the fishing hut on 
the beach which they temporarily occupied. The father feared lest his little 
boy should be struck, but he escaped unhurt. Not so the mother of Taingarue, 
who bravely stripped off her own clothing in order to break the force of the 
blows aimed at her husband. For a time she was successful ; but, despite the 
efforts of this heroic woman, Mourua fell, the wife's arm being broken in the 
fray. 

Upon the retirement of the exultant party of Potai, the elder son of 
Mourua came to Turuare's help. The body of the slain warrior was laboriously 
carried by a very circuitous route, so as to escape observation, to a gorge called 
Imogo, half a mile from the scene of murder. In performing this last 
office of love, the son had at first only the aid of Turuare, who was herself 
suffering from the anguish of a broken arm ; but afterwards friends arrived 
from the interior. A grave was speedily dug with their iron- wood spades, and 
the body of Mourua, wrapped in several folds of native cloth, was laid in the 
grave. Instead of filling it with earth, it was merely covered with a large 
stone, so as to elude the notice of his foes. 

It happened that the women of that part of the island, when employed in 
collecting candle-nuts, availed themselves of this large stone for shelling them. 



212 



Myths and Songs. 



Kua peka te rima ka akauta, 

Kua peka te rima ka akauta 'i. 
Angi nga rua, tauia rima te mou. 

Kua rikarika te tama i te toa akargre 1 , 
Tamaki tutai e, tamaki a ta e ! 
Oi atu koe i vao, kua pa ra, kiritia, 
Tukua o au no te mate e ! 

O te mate la i tangi no Kavoro i tai. 
Tei Nukutaiparia, te vai rai i reira. 

Naai e takitaki ? Taua ka apai 

Ka uuna kia ngaro e ! 

Tupeke atu na e, tupeke atu na, kia 

mamao, 

te kimi te mataku, o te kimi te 
mataku, 

Ka kitea i te ngara anga. 



She whom thou once clasped in thy 

arms, 

Intwining her in thy fond embrace. 
We who lived so happily together, 

now part, 
The cruel spear slew thee, to the 

horror of thy son. 
Thou wast attacked by stealth in the 

night, 

(Entreating thy wife), "Escape, 
leave me, for I am struck, 

I am doomed to die ! " 

Thus perished beloved Kavoro by 

the sea. 
His bleeding corpse lay on the sandy 

beach. 
Who shall bear it ? Wife and son 

will carry it away, 
And hide it where foes shall find it 

never ! 
Bear him, aye, bear him far away 5 

So that if carefully sought by his 

foes, 
His body shall ne'er be found. 



The family felt so sure that Mourua must be dreadfully annoyed by the 
incessant noises over his head, that they disinterred the body ; which, although 
in an advanced state of decay, was re-anointed with fragrant oil and re-invested 
with fine white cloth. In a few days it was borne across the island to 
Tamarua, and finally thrown down the deep and gloomy chasm Raupa. A 
night or two after, one of the sons had a dream, in which Mourua reproached 
his relatives for the bad treatment he had received at their hands, for no sooner 
had his body reached the bottom of Raupa, where so many of his own victims 
had been so unceremoniously hurled at different times, than the slain rose up, and 
most vigorously pummelled his bones until they became intolerably sore ! 

However, it was too late to remove him again. The motive for letting the 
corpse down Raupa was to prevent its falling into the hands of his numerous 
Ivring enemies. 



Vedtini ; or, The Immortality of the SouL 2 1 3 



Kua aite te po, kua popongi i tai, 

Kua aenga te ata i te ngongoro a te 

vaine. 
I raro i te roroutu ; kua teitei te ruru 

I te kakenga i Katoe ki runga i te 

tokoraa 
Ki te utu a Terimu, taukapua tatou : 

Tei Tapataparangi. Apai tu na uta, 

Tei Atupa te ara ; te kimi nei i te 

rua. 
Eiia ra tanu ai ? Ei Imogo, 

Kia tae mai au i te veivei aere e ! 
Tuku io, e Teau ! Koia te rua kia 

akaaka. 

Taaturia te koatu. Akaruke atu ia 
Kavoro. 

O te ukenga i nunga 'i 

O te one kura i erue. 

O taua nei te aroa 'i tangi e ! 

UNUUNU TORU. 

Taingarue e ! rave ake koe. 

E rave ake koe, e taua ariki ! 
Kia karo ake Nekaia ! 



Night is wearing away. On the 

beach 
The first streak of morning reveals 

the widow's tears. 

Concealed amongst the trees, trem- 
blingly 
They climb the rocks. On yon level 

top 
They repose beneath the shade of 

the utu tree, 1 
Near the brow of the hill. Again 

they take the corpse. 
Yonder is the narrow path : select a 

grave. 
Where shall it be? Let it be at 

Imogo, 

Where I can often come to weep. 
Lay him gently down, O Teau, in the 

lowly grave. 

Pile up the stones. Farewell, 
Kavoro ! 

There we dug his grave, 

There the red soil was thrown 
up. 

How bitter thy widow's grief \ 

THIRD OFFSHOOT. 

O Taingarue, mayst thou be pro- 
tected ! 

Mayst thou live, pet son ! 
Be loving to thy brother, Nekaia ! 2 



1 The noble Barringtonia tree. 

2 "Nekaia" was the eldest daughter of Mourua, whose husband, Uanuku, 
composed this death-lament for his warlike father-in-law. Their son 
"Patiatoa," or " Tiki," is adjured to take under his protection his young 
relative Taingarue. Patiatoa ( = pierced-with-a-spear) died of measles in 
1854, at an advanced age. Not long before his death, he was admitted to the 
Church upon a profession of his attachment to Christ. I well recollect his 
bent and venerable figure the day he came to be a candidate. He wa& a priest, 
and a special depository of all the lore of idol-worship. He was a " koroma- 



214 



Myths and Songs. 



Kia karo ake Nekaia 'i ! 

Na Patiatoa e uuna 'i ! 
Etai ra no vaevae, e taua ariki, 
E maru aina iaau ? 
O te ukenga i nunga 'i 
O te one kura i erue. 

O taua nei te aroa 'i tangi e ! 

UNUUNU A. 

Okitumurua e i te tanumanga e ! 

I te tanumanga J e ! 
Apai au teiia ? Tei te rua taeva. 

Tei te rua taeva 'i. 
Apaina atu Kavoro nei. 
Kua pe te papa e vai ai, atikauria. 

te ukenga i nunga 'i, 

te one kura i erue. 

taua nei te aroa 'i tangi e ! 

AKAREINGA. 

Ai e ruaoo e E rangai e ! 



Ah ! Nekaia, be gentle to him. 
Patiatoa, too, will shield thee, 
For many a day to come, dear child. 
Will he be safe in thy hands ? 

There we dug his grave. 

There the red soil was thrown 
up. 

How bitter thy widow's grief! 

FOURTH OFFSHOOT. 

A second time thou wast buried, 

Committed to the earth ! 
Whither shall we bear thee? To 
some deep chasm : 

To some fathomless fissure. 
Come, let us carry Kavoro there, for 
His body is fast crumbling to dust. 

There we dug his grave. 

There the red soil was thrown 
up. 

How bitter thy widow's grief ! 



Ai e ruaoo e 



FINALE. 

E rangai e ! 



tua," or instructor of kings a peculiarly sacred office. It was a striking 
homage to Christianity to see this aged man give the lie to all that had given 
him rank and fame amongst his countrymen during a long life, and when past 
the ordinary term of human life, come and sit humbly at the feet of Jesus. But 
when the Sabbath came for Patiatoa to partake of the tokens of His Saviour's 
dying love for the first time, he was too weak to walk so far. His sons extempo- 
rized a platform of a number of green branches, and carried the aged disciple 
to the foot of the pulpit, where he received the ordinance of the Lord's Supper 
for the first and last time in his long eventful life. 

The "second offshoot " is called "a surprise" (unuunu rako), on account 
of its great length, and because the weeping is continuous. The fact is, the 
song evinces blank, hopeless sorrow and tears from the beginning to the end. 
One of Vera's laments also contains a verse or two of " surprise." 



Ve&ini ; or, The Immortality of the Soul. 215 



A SPIRIT-JOURNEY. 

A DIRGE FOR PUKUKARE AND KOURAPAPA, BY THEIR FATHER 
KOROA, CIRCA 1796. 



INTRODUCTION. 

Thy god, pet child, is a bad one ; 

For thy body is attenuated. 

This wasting sickness must end thy 

days. 

Thy form once so plump, now how 
changed ! 

FOUNDATION. 

The nights of Pukukare are sleepless 
Are spent in coughing and pain. 
Panting foi breath, he gasps out 
" Mother, I am going to leave you. 
My rest will be in spirit-world." 

FIRST OFFSHOOT. 
Ah, that god that bad god ! 
Inexpressibly bad, my child 1 
The god "Turanga" is devouring 

thee, 

Ta ta keke mai e ! Although only partially his own. 

Ua taka te eka i te atua o Rurungapu. I am disgusted with the god of thy 

mother. 



TUMU. 
Te io kikino o tau potiki, 

Kua pa te rakau 
Ki te miro ia vero i mate ua ! 

Ki, rave atu na koe, kare e ! 



PAPA. 

Moe araara Pukukare e reire 1 
Ua tauria e te maremare 
Ua tupo ua ngonga ua rai. 
" Teia au, e Ruru e, ka eke, atu I 
Taka e, tei Avaiki te moenga." 

UNUUNU TAI. 
Te io ! i te io ra e kikino e ! 
Kikino ra, e vae ! 
Kai akakorekore Turanga e ! 



E tika paa tai rangi e ! 
Tai manuiri ei akarongo 
Ki te miro ia vero i mate ua ! 

Ki, rave atu na koe, kare e I 



UNUUNU RUA. 

Akaete te maki e, ua toira e 1 
Ua toira i to kaki e tuarangi 



Oh, for some other Helper ! 
Some new divinity, to listen 
To the sad story of thy wasting 

disease ! 
Thy form once so plump, now how 

changed ! 

SECOND OFFSHOOT. 

Thy disease went on increasing. 
Like a demon squatting on thy 
shoulders, 



2l6 



Myths and Songs. 



Ko te ua o Taa 1 
Mei te ua o Taa, me tairia mai, 
Kia marekaeka, ua toko auau 1 

Mei toko auau ra ! 
Ua kakau i te vai o Kuanuku, 
No Rongo paa, no Tangaroa, 
Ka puaki e mama ki nunga 
I to kiri, mei nunga ra i to kiri. 
Rikarika te mate ia vero. 

te rua tapu o te rua noa 

Na tuataka i te motu anga ia Puku- 

kare. 
Ua rakaraka te io Ngariki. 

1 moria e ao ia matengatenga, 
Norea-norea, norea te kiko. 
Reia-reia, reia e mana ! 

E vae, kua tae koe i te oreore 
la Ikurangi e enua kai marama, 

E enua kai marama no Tonga-iti, 

Na Tonga ra, na veravera o Iti ngaru - 

erue. 
Ka mimiti ki te aro o Vatea 1 



Ka oki au ! A oti te ariki o Tonga 

Ua kake atu na i katoa i te taurere, 
Ua taparere i Enuakura na Oarangi 

Ei ingoa manuiri tei Tatangakovi au ! 

Te kai rnaira i te au tai, 

I te pia paa i te vai i Vaikapuarangi, 

Ua tunoko i te matoroa, 
Ua akarongo i te tangi tai tei Aarua e ! 
Te aiai ua ra oa te vaerua mato 
I te naupata, ua takangaia. 
E Kourapapa, tei Opapa te ngai i 
turukia'i! 



Was the swelling on thy neck, 

Thou wast fain to be fanned, 

To gain relief from burning fever 

A fever sure to return. 

Thou wast loved in the sacred streams 

Of Ruanuku, Rongo, and Tangaroa, 

Sometimes hopes of thy recovery 

Vainly flattered thy fnends. 

Again thy body wasted away, 

And the mouths of ancestral caves 

Seemed to gape for our Pukukare. 

The god (Motoro) of Ngariki is en- 
raged. 

Wherefore this pining death, 
And thy flesh ever wasting away. 
At length thou takest a long flight 
Dear child, ere now thou hast reached 
The loftiest heights of Mount Iku- 
rangi, 

Where the moon itself is devoured 
By the gods from Tonga and Tahiti. 

Thou shalt enter the presence of great 
Vatea. 

I go home now. So, too, will the 

king from Tonga. 
Thou hast entered the expanse ; 
And wilt visit " the-land-of-red-par- 

rot-feathers," 

Where Oarangi was once a guest 
Thou feedest now on ocean spray, 
And sippest fresh water out of the 

rocks, 

Travelling over rugged cliffs, 
To the music of murmuring billows. 
Thy exile spirit is overtaken 
By darkness at the ocean's edge. 
Kourapapa there sleeps. All three * 



Ve&ini; or, The Immortality of the Soul. 217 



Tei Opapa te ngai i turuki ai 
Nga tokotoru. Ua kakaro i te ata ata 
ra. 

I te opunga 'tu e Tireo ma te Giro. 
Ua iterere nga po o te atua ra e I 
Ua tau ua 'i e te enua kino i raro. 
I pa te umere, uaua, oaoa. 
Oai te akatu ? Oai te akatu ? 
Koouou aere i Tuatuakare 

I te uiui matangi, tauoaoaia ra 

E te Iva tureture i te umu kavakava 
Tei Ovave aina e ariki tua rire, 
Karekare au e ! 



Stood awhile to gaze wistfully 
At the glories of the setting sun. 



Moonless nights shall pass, ere 
The fatal one shall arrive 
To conduct you to the dismal shades. 
The denizens will be astonished 
At the arrival of you, pet children. 
The ghosts sorrowfully crowd round 

the spot, 
Whence the wings of the wind shall 

bear 

Them to great spirit-land, where 

A dreadful oven awaits all who 

Pass o'er the ocean. 



AKAREINGA. 

Ai e ruaoo e ! E rangai e 1 



FINALE. 

Ai e ruaoo e ! E rangai e ! 



INTRODUCTION TO THE FETE OF RIUVAKA. 

COMPOSED BY KIRIKOVI, CIRCA 1760. 



Sob. 



O Tane metua i Avaiki e I 
Tu mai i to akari 1 



Great parent Tane of the shades, 2 
Rise, eat this feast ! 



i "Pukukare" was older than the "pet Kourapapa." A deceased young 
sister is "the third" referred to in this song, which pertains to the " death - 
talk of Kourapapa." 

8 Riuvaka was a worshipper of Tane, Hence the praises of his deity are 
celebrated throughout this "Introductory Song." Kirikovi was supreme 
temporal chief of Mangaia at the date of the discovery of the island by Captain 
Cook, in 1777. 

The "parent Tane," was "Tane-papa-kai," Le. Tane~$Uer~up~of-food, son 
of Papa. 



2l8 



Myths and Songs. 



Eiaa te rua ia Tiki 
Ei poani ia Avaiki. 

Tueva aka-itu te eva i te metua. 
Ae ; eaa toou ara i te ao nei ? 

I ana mai au i te kave 
I te pakuranga ma te meringa, 
Meringa mai Avaiki e, 
Meringa mai i o tatou metua 
E noo i te ao nei. Ei aa ? 



Oai te roa i te eiva, e Tane? 

Oi te rangi Orovaru ? E vaia 
Oi te rangi mataotao ? E vaia. 
Ei ! ei ! e Papa, taku metua ! 

Ae, e Papa, oro atu koe, 
E Avaiki o, akaatua mai I 

Ae, ua puapau ai koe i to upoko, 
le uiia o e, oai te atua 

I keinga 'i o tatou metua ? 

Ae, ua ara iaku. 
E ariki taotaoaia e te tuarangi, 



Chorus. 

Wherefore the chasm of Tiki ? 
To shut down the natives of 

Avaiki (nether-world). 
Tueva, who seven times lamented for 

his boy, 
Asked, Why didst thou return to 

this world ? 

I came (said he) to instruct you 
In making food-offerings to the dead, 
Offerings to those in spirit-world ; 

Gifts from their relatives 
Who yet linger in this upper world. 



Solo. 



Wherefore this delay in thy dance, O 
Tane? 



Chorus. 
Is 



it a fiat of the gods? Break 

through it. 
Is it the lowering clouds of war? 

Dissipate them. 
Ha! Hal Great Papa is my (Tane's) 

mother. 

But why, Papa, didst thou descend 
To Avaiki, to obtain the honours of 

a goddess ? 

Ah ! thou hast shaved thy head 1 1 
Should it be asked, Which of the 
gods 

Devoured our parents ? 

The fault is all my own. 
I (Tane) am a sovereign possessed of 
an evil spirit 



1 Shaving the head was one way of mourning for the dead. Tane glories 
in having occasioned this mourning. This is a reference to Tane-Ngakiau, 
or Tane-strwmg-for-po'wer^ from Iti (Tahiti), who was believed to kill people 
prematurely, by devouring their souls. Of course, their bodies, however strong 
and healthy formerly, quickly faded and died after this ! 



Vedtini; or y The Immortality of the Soul. 219 

Aitoa, e Rongo, kia unuia te tumu Yes, Rongo, I will drink up the souls 

I o tatou metua ! Aue 1 Aitoa ! Of our ancestors. / wzll, without 

fail. 

Aue tou e 1 E Papa, taku metua ! I fear naught ; for great Papa is my 

mother. 

Call for music and dance. 

Tataia i te tanga o Tane : Beat the drum 1 of Tane 

O te vaa la i tuku ai te kaara. Those lips which so sweetly speak. 

Solo. 
Taipo e ! Go on. 

Chorus. 
Kua tangi reka te vaa o Tane. How pleasant is the voice of Tane 

(i.e. the drum). 
Rutu ake i te rangi. The very heavens re-echo. 

Solo. 
Ka rutu au, e Tan 1 Tane, I will beat thy drum 1 

Chorus. 

Oai tua roi au e ? But who shall take the lead ? 

E Papa, taku metua ! I (Tane), for Great Papa is my 

mother. 

Second call for music and dance. 
E kakara tuputupu, Let there be abundance of fragrant 

leaves, 

E kakara kontonga Magnificent, sweet-scented flowers, 

E maire titatoe e a kake. With garlands of myrtle for the advent 

(of Tane). 

Solo. 
Taipo el Go on 1 

Chorus. 
Uru are te kakara i tau ai. Cull all sorts of fragrant flowers. 

Solo. 

Ael Aye! 

1 The dance was specially under the patronage of Tane. Hence the big 
drum used on the occasion is called " the voice of Tane." 



22O 



Myths and Songs. 



E maire e kakara tuputupu. 
O Aratea te ei. 

Porutu te vai e tei te moana ae ! 



Choms. 

Abundance, too, of sweet-scented 

myrtle. 
And white pandanus blossoms. 



Solo. 



But what if torrents of rain should 
fall? 



Porutu te vai i te moana e ! 
Auenei, apopo Tautiti e I 

Ua kokoti Avaiki i te rau o te pua 
Tapokipoki rauru e i te maire, 
E rau maire tapu e no te ariki 



Chorus. 

Though torrents of rain should fall, 
To-night and to-morrow we will be 

merry. 

Fairies 1 from the shades are prepar- 
ing; 
Are entwining myrtle leaves with their 

hair, 
Robbing the sacred myrtle of the king 

of its sprigs. 

Tei nunga te kapa i te Kongo Nui no The fete comes off on the nights z 
Tane. dedicated to Kongo and Tane. 

1 The peerless daughters never failed to honour the fetes of Tane with their 
presence. Like mortals, they will come attired with sweet-scented flowers 
and myrtle sprigs. It is pretended that the fairy toilet is nearly complete ; 
the dance must for very shame lead off without delay. 

2 The night of the 26th of each month was sacied to Tane ; the night 
following to Rongo. 



221 



CHAPTER X. 
ADVENTURES IN SPIRIT-WORLD. 

AN ESCAPE FROM SPIRIT-LAND. 

IN the Sacred Islet lived Eneene, his wife Kura, and his sister 
Umuei. These women were young and fair, and loved to roam 
the woods in quest of sweet-scented flowers, which they weaved 
into wreaths and necklaces. On one occasion they fortunately 
discovered a noble bua (beslaria laurifolia)^ whose far-spreading 
branches were covered with fragrant yellow blossoms. The 
sisters-in-law sat awhile at the foot of the tree discussing the 
division of the spoil. It was clear that Kura should collect on 
one side of the tree, and Umuei on the other. But the great 
central branch seemed the richest prize of all It was eventually 
agreed that Kura should have this treasure. 

The young women set to work in good earnest ; but, after a 
time, it became evident that Kura was gathering more than fell to 
her share. To punish her, Umuei took possession of the coveted 
central branch. The wife of Eneene was speedily chastised for 
her covetousness without the intervention of Umuei ; for the 
branch on which she was leaning heavily in order to steal some of 



222 Myths and Songs. 

her sister-in-law's, suddenly broke. Kura, basket and all, fell with 
the branch of the sacred tree, cleaving the earth, and continued to 
fall until she reached Avaiki, or spirit-world. The ghosts, happen- 
ing to be on the look-out, caught her in their arms, so that she was 
not killed by the fall. The captive Kura was hurried off to a 
considerable distance, and at once firmly tied up to the central 
post of a house. It was settled by these infernals called "the 
army of Marama " that to-morrow Kura should be cooked and 
eaten. A special guard was set over her, both blind and aged, 
named Tiarauau. At regular intervals the old fellow would shout, 
" E Kura e ! " (O Kura), to which the unvarying reply of the 
victim was, " E Tiarauau e ! " (0 Tiarauau). Thus was the blind 
wakeful guardian assured of the safety of his prisoner. 

Now Umuei, witnessing the sudden fall and entire disappear- 
ance of Kura into the very bosom of the earth, ran weeping to 
inform Eneene. Anxious, if possible, to recover his wife, he 
bethought himself of his god Tumatarauua, himself manufactured 
out of the bua. Invoking the aid of the god, and carrying it in 
his arms, he went to the very spot where his wife had lately 
disappeared ; and, pronouncing the invocation to the divinity of 
the sacred "bua tree, the earth opened and he descended to spirit- 
land. Eneene at once began his search for his beloved young 
wife, so suddenly removed from his sight. Now the name of that 
particular part of nether-world was Marama. As, fortunately for 
Eneene, it was night at the period of his entrance, his presence 
in the shades was unnoticed. Anxiously wandering about from 
place to place, he heard the loud interrogations of the old blind 
keeper and the replies of Kura herself. His lost wife was found ; 
but the puzzle was how to get her away without exciting the 
suspicions of Tiarauau and other hungry denizens of the shades, 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 223 

Cautiously peering in all directions through the darkness, he dis- 
covered a cocoa-nut tree with eight cocoa-nuts on it. Eneene 
climbed the tree, carefully plucked a single nut : holding the stem 
between his teeth, he silently descended to the ground. This 
process was repeated again and again, until the tree was cleared, 
without attracting the notice of the ever-watchful Tiarauau. With 
extreme care during that long night Eneene succeeded in husking 
the nuts and scraping out their contents, too, without noise. 

There were eight paths leading to the house where Kura was 
kept prisoner. Eneene was careful liberally to scatter the finely 
grated cocoa-nut over all these pathways, and close to the house 
itself. The rats, scenting the rich food, now came by hundreds to 
feast themselves. They even fought and quarrelled over the 
delicious morsels, not only on the ground but on the low-thatched 
roof, enough to drive a man out of his senses. Certainly it 
seemed strange to Tiarauau that the rats should be so unusually 
noisy. Amidst this turmoil, Eneene climbed the roof and 
cautiously removed part of the thatch to discover in what part of 
the house his wife was tied up. At this moment the old blind 
guardian called out, " O Kura ! " Listening intently to the reply, 
he discovered that his poor trembling young wife was in the middle 
of the dwelling. Advancing to where the voice seemed to come 
from, Eneene carefully removed part of the thatch, put down his 
hand and touched his imprisoned wife. The astonished Kura asked 
in an undertone, "Who that was?" and received the joyful 
answer, " Your own husband Eneene." The roof of the house 
was sufficiently low to permit the husband to untie the cords by 
which his wife was tied up to the post He then drew her up on 
the roof to himself. Eneene now directed her to descend to the 
ground, and run off as fast as she could to the foot of the closed 



224 Myths and Songs. 

chasm by which she had so summarily entered Avaiki, and there 
to await his arrival. 

Eneene now let himself down through the low roof, and 
occupied the place of the released prisoner, so as to give her time 
to escape. The old guard called out as usual, " O Kura ! " to 
which Eneene replied, closely imitating the voice of his wife, " O 
Tiarauau ! " The trick was not discovered, either by Tiarauau or 
the drowsy inmates of the prison-house. Eneene now thought it 
to be high time to provide for his own safety. Crawling up 
through the hole in the thatch, he cautiously let himself on the 
ground and ran as nimbly as he could to the appointed rendezvous, 
where he found his trembling wife waiting for him. 

There was no time to be lost, for he could hear the echo of 
Tiarauau's stentorian voice giving the alarm. Clasping his wife in 
his arms, he offered the following prayer to his god : 

Pupu-kakaoa, United in one fate, 

Pureke-pureke, We ascend, we rise, 

E ao, e ao 1 To light, to light, 

Kua avatea ! To clear mid-day. 

At these potent words the gloomy rent again opened, and both 
were borne through the chasm up to this world of ours, where 
it was still daylight A moment later, and the enraged "army 
of Marama " would have caught Eneene and Kura, so close were 
those infernal hosts upon their heels. 

The dua was in some islands used in the manufacture of idols, 
on account of its fine grain and being almost imperishable. The 
purport of the myth is to indicate the standard faith of the past 
that the souls of the dead congregate on this tree, and on its 
branches are borne by a merciless fate to Hades. 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 225 

THE ADVENTURES OF NGARU. 

In Shady-Land 1 (Mania) there lived the brave Ngaru, his 
mother Vaiare, and the grandfather of the lad, who was no other 
than Moko, or Great Lizard, the king of all lizards. Tongatea, 
the youthful wife of Ngaru, was the envy of all Shady-Land on 
account of her fairness. Thirsting for distinction, Ngaru resolved 
to try his strength against some of the numerous monsters and 
evil spirits of his time. He learned from his grandfather that 
two fierce enemies of mankind had their appropriate home in the 
ocean, viz. Tikokura, or the-storm-wave^ and Tumuitearetoka, or 
a vast shark, which fed exclusively upon human flesh. These 
evil spirits always went in each other's company; but Ngaru 
determined to meet both. The enterprise seemed hopeless ; for 
who had ever escaped their anger? Ngaru's first care was to 
provide himself with a surf-board of the lightest description, 
which he named Orua = the-two, in allusion to the two sea- 
gods he was about to encounter. He now appeared on the 
inner edge of the reef, carrying his surf-board ; but the wide coral 
surface was perfectly dry. Moko sat on a projecting crag of rock 
to watch over the safety of his grandson, who now advanced to 
the outer edge of the reef, where the surf ceaselessly beats, and 
loudly cursed these sea-monsters by name. Tikokura and Tumui- 
tearetoka smarted under this unprovoked insult, and resolved to 
be revenged on Ngaru without delay. All of a sudden the dead 
calm which had made the reef dry changed into a furious tempest 
Long breakers rushed inland far beyond the accustomed bounds 
of the sea, and spent themselves against the gnarled roots of the 
utu trees. Moko still kept his place on his rocky eminence, 
1 That is, the shades. 

Q 



226 Myths and Songs. 

whilst his grandson floated daringly out to sea on the crest of the 
retreating billow. The shark-god, perceiving his opportunity, 
crept stealthily behind his intended victim, and was preparing for 
the final leap which would seal the fate of the impious Ngaru, 
when the quick eye of Moko caught sight of his dark outline, and 
shouted lustily to the boy, "The shark is under you." Ngaru, 
hearing this, instantly leapt high in the air, so that this first 
attempt failed. The foe now leapt in the air after Ngaru ; but he 
dived under the water and again escaped. The disappointed god 
was excessively enraged ; so that it was needful for Ngaru to put 
forth all his skill and strength to avoid the open jaws of the 
monster. Tumuitearetoka became crafty; but Ngaru was still 
craftier : Moko often giving his pet grandson timely warning of 
the insidious approach of the adversary. For eight weary days 
and nights this terrible contest went on, until the exhausted Ngaru 
put an end to it by throwing his surf-board to the sea-monsters, 
who gladly retired to their ancient haunts in the deep blue ocean. 
Great was the delight of the old grandfather and of his 
countrymen at the exploit of Ngaru, the first who had dared the 
sea-gods in their own domain, and yet had escaped with life. But 
the hero himself was sadly battered, and his skin excoriated with 
the sharp coral. He made his way home ; but on the road fell in 
with his fair wife Tongatea, Arrived at a fountain, they determined 
to bathe ; but a friendly dispute took place who should have the 
first dip. It was finally arranged that the husband -should take the 
precedence. Once in, Ngaru was in no hurry to get out At 
sunset he got out, and the wife was horrified to find that his skin 
had become almost black through long exposure to salt-water, 
during the mighty contest with the monsters of the deep. Reviling 
Ngaru for his blackness, she ran off to her friends. 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 227 

When at length Ngaru reached home, Moko inquired what 
had become of his fair spouse, and learnt that, disgusted with her 
husband's appearance, she had fled to Teautapu. Said Moko, 
" Nothing blackens the skin so soon as the sea and the sun." 
The grandson inquired how his skin could be blanched. Moko 
said, "The only way to blanch your skin is to treat you as green 
bananas are treated when they are to be ripened. 1 Ngaru agreed 
to this proposal. Accordingly they dug a deep hole in the 
ground, and lined it with layers of sweet-scented fern-leaves. 
Ngaru descended into this hole, and was duly covered with 
leaves ; a thin layer of earth crowned the whole. On the eighth 
day flashes of lightning proceeded from the spot where Ngaru had 
so long been buried, increasing in intensity until it smote away 
earth and leaves, permitting him to emerge from his strange 
abode. It then became evident that these flashes of light 
proceeded from the face and person of Ngaru, being in reality 
the dazzling fairness of his skin. But there was one drawback : 
the steam of the blanching oven had rendered Ngaru perfectly 
bald. Moko sent his mother Vaiare to great Tangaroa, to ask 
for some new hair. It was given ; but when Moko examined 
it, it proved to be frizzly. Moko resolved not to spoil the head 
of his fair grandson with such a wretched mop. Vaiare took it 
back to the god, and asked for some better hair. Tangaroa put 
the suppliant off with some light yellow.* " This will never do," 
said Moko ; " I must have the best." Once more Vaiare trudged 
back to the god to beg him to exchange the hair. Finding that 
there was no escape from the importunity of the grandfather, 

1 In the native language "ta-para," or blanched: Europeans would say 
"ripened." 

2 A detestable colour in the eyes of a Hervey Islander. Tangaroa's own 
hair was of the objectionable light yellow. 



228 Myths and Songs. 

Tangaroa gave a profusion of wavy, smooth raven locks. Moko 
was delighted, and gladly secured it to the bald pate of his fair 
grandson. 

The lightning, or dazzling flashes of light, from the face and 
person of Ngaru reached even to the distant abode of Tongatea 
(^the fair Tongari), so that everybody said, "Behold the 
dazzling fairness of Ngaru ! " Said the runaway wife, " This 
Ngaru you praise must be a different individual from the Ngaru 
I know." The bystanders asserted that it was her despised hus- 
band ; but Tongatea remained incredulous. 

Now, Tongatea had got up a reed-throwing match for women ; 
but men were invited from all parts to decide upon the merits 
of the game, and to applaud the successful throwers. At the time 
appointed all the fair ones, gaily attired and covered with fragrant 
garlands, stood ready to begin the amusement of the day, each 
with a long reed in her right hand. Tongatea, as mistress of the 
day, was about to make the first throw, when 'Ngaru made his 
appearance, and was at once recognized by the fair runaway. 
Her arm fell powerless by her side. She struggled to conceal her 
emotion, and to proceed with the game, but could not. Such 
a violent tremor seized Tongatea, that it was with difficulty that 
she retained her garments about her person. All was confusion : 
the intended sport of the day was lost. As the visitors dis- 
appeared, the weeping, repentant, love-smitten wife followed 
Ngaru, entreating him to return to her. Ngaru, in whose heart 
still rankled the bitter insult in reference to his former dusky 
colour, in this moment of triumph said to the penitent, " Never 
will I return to thee." The despairing Tongatea hearing this, set 
off in search of some poisonous kokii kura, chewed it, and died. 

There lived in Avaiki, or netherworld, a fierce she-demon, 



Adventures in Spirzt-World. 229 

named Miru, who, envious of the great fame of Ngaru, resolved 
to destroy him in her fearful, ever-blazing oven. But before 
enjoying this horrid banquet, it was needful to decoy him into 
her domains. Nor did this seem difficult She at once directed 
two Tapairu, or peerless ones her daughters to ascend to this 
upper world to induce the brave Ngaru to marry them both. 
Kumutonga-i-te-po =? Kumutonga-of-the-nigkt, and Karaia-i-te-ata 
= Karaia-the-shadowy, were to induce him to pay a visit to 
the shades in their agreeable society : once there, his fate was 
sealed in Mini's estimation. On their entering the dwelling of 
Moko, Ngaru feigned to be asleep, whilst his grandfather tried 
to discover their real intent. They averred that their mother, 
Mini, had sent them to escort Ngaru to Avaiki ; that as soon 
as they arrived, Ngaru was to be united to both these " peerless 
women, " with whom the daughters of mortals could not for a 
moment be compared. 

Moko, suspecting the real nature of their visit, sought to gain 
time by exercising the utmost hospitality to his unwonted guests. 
Whilst these fairy women were enjoying themselves, the king 
of lizards (Moko) sent his servants, i.e. all the little lizards, 1 on a 
secret mission to Mini's domains in the under world to ascertain 
what dangerous weapons were at her disposal, and what were 
her usual avocations. Off scampered the little lizards in all 
possible haste; and on arriving at Avaiki, unperceived by Mini, 
they noticed that the old, deformed, and inexpressibly ugly hag 
had a house full of kava (piper mythzsticum), kept exclusively 
for the purpose of stupefying her intended victims, who were 

1 The black and yellow lizards hide during tlie day in the caves supposed to 
be the high-road to spirit-land ; whereas the common green variety suns itself 
all the day on the leaves and grass. 



230 Myths and Songs. 

eventually cooked in her mighty oven, and eaten by herself, her 
fair children, and her servants. These little keen-sighted lizards 
safely returned to this upper world, and reported to their sovereign 
what they had discovered. Moko privately told this to ^ his 
son, and admonished him to be careful, or he would infallibly 
perish, as multitudes had done before him. As evening ^ drew 
on, all three started off on their journey to the land of Mini in 
the shades. The mode of transit was peculiar. These " peerless 
ones " had with them rolls of finest tapa, in which they insisted 
upon wrapping up their future husband ; they then secured the 
bundle well with cords, and slung to a long pole, carried off Ngaru 
in triumph. After some time Kumutonga-of-the-night and Karaia- 
the-shadowy began to ascend a mountain named " The- 
heavenly," when the imprisoned husband became conscious of 
a steep and sudden movement, and prayed thus : 

Oi au tiria, tiria Put me down, put me down. 

Oi au tara, tara Set me free, set me free. 

Taraia akera Oh that I had liberty 

Kia kite au i teia maunga To gaze on this mountain I 

O te maunga poro oa teia 'Tis surely the mountain spoken of 

A tau tupuna a Moko Roa, By my grandfather, " The long- 

Lizard j " 

Tau metua a Vaiare, And by my mother Vaiare (stay-at- 

home}.' 1 
Tau vaine a Tongatea. And by my wife, ' < The fair Tongan. " 

To this Kumutonga and Karaia responded (temporarily releas- 
ing Ngaru) : 

Kiritia kai e kinana ! Thou shalt be forthwith devoured 1 

To koivi, vaio i Erangi maunga ! Thy body shall rot on this " Hea- 

venly mountain, " 

1 Evidently in allusion to sickness. The sick " stay at home." 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 231 

To vaerua, e kave i te po Thy spirit shall be borne to the 

shades, 

Na to maua metua na Mini ! To furnish a repast for our mother 

Mini. 

To this Ngaru replied, "Tis thus you treat your intended 
husband 1" 

Again wrapping up and cording their intended victim, they 
bore him to another spur of the same mountain range. Conscious 
of this, the imprisoned victim again prayed to be released : 

Oi au tiria, tiria, etc., etc. Put me down, put me down, etc., etc. 

To this entreaty the same ominous reply was given as 
before : 

Kiritia kai e kinana ! etc. Thou shalt be forthwith devoured, etc. 

To this Ngaru replied, "Tis thus you treat your intended 
husband ! " At this the " peerless ones " again seized upon Ngaru, 
wrapped him again in numerous folds of tapa, and well securing 
their victim with cords, bore him along until, reaching a shady 
grove of chestnut trees, they set him down and unfastened the 
cords. These fairy women now hastened to fetch some kava, * 
named " Mini's own," and gave it to him to chew. Ngaru chewed 
the whole, and still, to their amazement, remained wakeful and 
active : on him alone of the children of men the powerful narcotic 
failed to produce its usual effects. The ever-blazing oven of 
Mini was ready for its victim. The voice of the pitiless Mini was 
now heard: " Kumutonga-of-the-night and Karaia-the-shadowy, 
bring along your husband; the oven of Mini is waiting for 
him." At these words Ngaru put on the girdle his grandfather 

1 The three sorts of " kava " known in this world are but offshoots from the 
original root. 



232 Myths and Songs. 

had wisely provided for his use. Thus equipped, the dauntless 
visitor from the upper world proceeded in search of the hag Mini 
and her dread oven. At this juncture the voice of the anxious 
Moko was heard in the shades : "Return, Ngaru yonder is the 
oven in which she means to cook you." Heedless of this warning, 
the brave visitor went on his way, and finding the red-hot stones 
of the oven raked ready for the victim, he asked the horrid 
mistress of the invisible world what she meant to do with this 
burning oven. Mini promptly replied, " To cook you!" Ngaru 
reproached her thus : "Ah, Mini ! my grandfather Moko did not 
prepare an oven for your daughters ; but gave them food to eat, 
cocoa-nut water to drink, and sent them away in peace ! You 
cook and devour your visitors ! " 

At these words the heavens became intensely black. Ngaru 
walked to the edge of the flaming oven, and placed one foot 
on the red-hot stones. At this critical moment the clouds, 
which had been gathering ever since he had entered Avaiki, burst 
suddenly. A fearful deluge 1 of waters extinguished the blazing 
oven, and swept away Mini herself, her younger fairy daughters, 
and all her servants and accomplices. Ngaru was saved by 
clutching hold of the stem of the nono, 2 the beautiful Tapairu 
girls, who allured him to the domains of Mini, held each by one 
of his legs, and so escaped the fate- of their mother and sisters. 
These fairies taught Ngaru the art of ball-throwing. 

After a time the waters entirely abated. Ngaru, wearied 
of the society of these attractive but dangerous fairy women, 
succeeded in finding a dark, winding passage to a land called 

1 A deluge-myth, is inserted in a forthcoming popular volume, entitled 
" Life in the Southern Seas." 

2 Morindo cUrifolia. Its root is wonderfully tenacious. 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 233 

Taumareva ( = expansd), where fruits and flowers grow profusely, 
and the inhabitants of which excelled in flute-playing. 1 Here 
he married a girl kept by her parents inside a house in order 
to whiten her skin. Time passed pleasantly in this new residence. 
But one day two pretty little birds, known as " Karakerake," 
perched upon the ledge of a pile of rocks. Ngaru immediately 
recognized them as belonging to Moko, and asked them whether 
they came at his grandfather's bidding. The birds nodded assent, 
whilst Ngaru wept for joy, and prayed thus : 

Karakerake e, tukua iora te tauraJ Ye little birds, pray drop a cord : 

O te taura oa tena i tukuia 'i o maua Aye, tlie cord used for the imperious 

ariki 

O Raka maumau e. Tukua, tukua Oraka,* the all-devouring. Drop, 

ra ikona ! drop it at once ! 

At these words two cords fell, one from the feet of each bird. 
Securing himself by means of this double rope, Ngaru gave 
the signal to the birds, and without a word of farewell to his 
late spouse and her musical countrymen, was borne aloft 'to this 
upper world, and was safely deposited in the presence of Moko, 
who had long been ill, pining for the presence of his brave Ngaru, 
so long a prisoner in the shades. 

Ngaru had conquered the monsters of the deep; had con- 
quered the aversion of the proud Tongatea; had been buried 
in the earth ; had descended to the shades, where he had proved 
victor over the hitherto unconquered Miru and her satellites. 
One more trial was reserved for Ngaru, ere he should be permitted 
to live in peace. The last foe was a heavenly one. 

1 A piece of bamboo pierced with three holes, and blown through the nose. 

2 Oraka, && " Auraka," the dreadful chasm down which the dead were 
thrown : here, " the gates of Hades" 



234 Myths and Songs. 

One day the people of this world were astonished at the sight 
of a large basket (some say " a vast fish-hook ") let down from the 
sky. Two or three anxious to see the wonders of the upper 
world, hitherto unexplored, entered the basket and were speedily 
drawn up out of sight. Not many days after, this process was 
repeated; but it came to be noticed, after a time, that none 
ever came down again to report what they had seen. This 
looked decidedly suspicious. The fact was, a sky-demon named 
Amai-te-rangi, or Carry-up-to-heaven, had taken a fancy to feed 
on human flesh, and had invented the basket and ropes as 
a means of satisfying hunger. Hearing from his victims of the 
prowess of Ngaru, he resolved to entrap and devour him. Now 
the basket itself was a very attractive object, and on the day 
of Ngaru's return from his visits to the invisible world it was let 
down close to the dwelling of Moko. Ngaru, regarding this as a 
challenge, determined to ascend and have a fight with its owner. 
The more wily Moko detained his heroic grandson until his faith- 
ful little lizard subjects should go up and find out what was going 
on in the sky. The word having been given by The-king-of-lizards, 
a number of his sharp-eyed attendants entered the basket, which 
was speedily pulled up by Amai-te-rangi. On discovering that he 
had only caught a number of miserable little reptiles, he was greatly 
chagrined. Meanwhile the nimble subjects of Moko overran the 
place. When next the basket was let down, they were permitted 
to go down in it. They reported to Moko what they had seen : 
the gigantic size of " Carry-up-to-heaven ; " beautiful women 
engaged in ball throwing ; a huge chisel and mallet in the hands 
of the sky demon ; and piles of human bones. 

Ngaru fearlessly got into the beautiful basket, and was at once 
drawn up by the delighted Amai-te-rangi, who anticipated a good 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 235 

feast, as the intended victim was uncommonly heavy. Upon 
touching the magnificent paving of blue stone, Ngaru found the 
demon drawn out to his full size, chisel and mallet in hand ready 
to deal the fatal blow. At this moment the human hero gave it a 
sudden jerk, that precipitated himself and the basket down to 
earth again. The disappointed demon hastily drew up Ngaru 
again, resolving not to permit him to escape a second time. But 
the grandson of Moko was not to be outwitted ; for as soon as 
the basket again touched the solid vault of heaven, he once more 
jerked it back to earth. Amai-te-rangi eight times pulled his 
ropes, until his strength was nearly exhausted ; but at last, to his 
satisfaction, saw Ngaru coolly walk out of the basket and confront 
his giant foe, who again prepared to deal the fatal blow with that 
chisel from which no mortal had hitherto escaped. 

Now Moko had foreseen all this, and to provide for the safety 
of Ngaru, each time the basket touched the ground had sent 
into it a number of lizards, which leaped out on the sky as 
soon as the basket touched the blue paving, unregarded by the 
demon, whose whole thoughts were concentrated on the destruc- 
tion of this fearless human enemy. At the moment his huge arms 
were uplifted to effect the murder of Ngaru, all these faithful 
guardians rushed up the legs of Amai-te-rangi, covering his face, 
neck, arms, and body. Particularly clustering about the armpits, 
they tickled the giant to such a degree that it was impossible for 
him to strike with precision. Again and again the monster 
endeavoured to brush off these little fellows from his naked body, 
so that he might accomplish his purpose; but the lizards perti- 
naciously returned to their appointed task of distracting Amai-te- 
rangi's thoughts and movements, until at length this cruel enemy 
of mankind, utterly unable to slay Ngaru, and tickled almost 



236 Myths and Songs. 

to madness, dropped chisel and mallet. Ngaru, seizing these 
weapons, succeeded in killing Arnai-te-rangi, and then let himself 
down to earth again, accompanied by his four-footed protectors, 
and carrying with him the chisel and mallet of his slain foe. Ere 
leaving, he tried ball-throwing with Ina and Matonga, who kept 
eight balls going at a time, and succeeded in beating them too. 
Such were the exploits of this Polynesian Hercules. 

In the original, when describing the repentance of Tongatea at 
the reed-throwing match, the question is asked, " Whose place in 
Manow is vacant?" The reply is, "Tongatea's." " Why, then, does 
she. not begin?" There is a spot on Mangaia so named; but 
every one believes that the reference is to the island of " Manono," 
in the Samoan Group. The wife's name, " Tongatea," means The- 
fair-Tongan. I believe this story to have been one brought by 
the original settlers when they came originally from Avaiki, or 
Savai'i. It is no objection to this view that the myth, as now told, 
is localized here, as a long residence would be sure to produce 
this. The proper depositories of such lore invariably assert that 
they were introduced here from other lands. 

The story of Mini is merely a vivid representation of their old 
belief as to the state of those who die a natural death. Fairy 
women come to fetch Ngaru : he is like any other corpse, wrapped 
up in tapa, and well corded, and borne by two individuals to the 
deep cavernous domain of Miru " Oraka " is but a disguise for 
"Auraka," the great repository of their dead, from which two 
cords pull up the victor upon his return to life. 

In this story Miru and all her servants and two of her 
"peerless" daughters perish. The ever-burning oven, too, is 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 237 

extinguished. But the standard belief of the past represents 
Miru as immortal, and the oven as still blazing and consuming 
the spirits of all who die a natural death. Does not this myth 
express a deep-seated hope and intense yearning after that real 
victory over death and hell which Christianity alone can satisfy? 

Apai-te-rangi is in heaven the exact counterpart of Miru in the 
shades; but still a man of divine descent Ngaru comes off 
victor ! 

It is a curious fact that one family on Mangaia claims 
descent from this sky-demon Apai-te-rangi. But this heavenly 
descent did not prevent the " Amai" tribe from being devoted to 
furnish sacrifices to Rongo from generation to generation. (The 
name is. indifferently spelt Amai and Apai.) 

As Miru in the shades is the parent of Tapairu, or " peerless " 
fairy women, so in the sky Apai-i-te-rangi has about him a set of 
Tapairu women, whose sole employment is ball-throwing some 
keeping seven, others eight, balls going at a time. One of these 
heavenly fairies is Ina, another is named Matonga. Ngaru intro- 
duced the art to this world. 

The basket of the heavenly monster is the counterpart of the 
stupefying kava, of Miru, his chisel and mallet answering to the 
fiery oven of the shades. 



238 Myths and Songs. 



THE DRAMA OF NGARU. 

A REED-THROWING MATCH FOR WOMEN, IN HONOUR OF 
PATIKIPORO. COMPOSED BY TUKA, CIRCA 1815. 

Two women. 
Akiakia tute te manava ia Tevoo 'i Strip the branches l off Mini's "kava ' ' 

tree 

Ei mana paa no Ngaru Avaiki, To stupefy wonder-working Ngaru, 

Koia i pau taae ! Victorious over all monsters, 

Tepoi arire na Moko ra, Pet grandson of Moko, 

Na Vari-ma-te-takere e ! Descended from Van-origmator-of-all- 

things. 

Chorus. 

Te taa o te rangi The natives of the sky 

A tuku te ata apai Ngaru e, Let down a trap to catch Ngaru, 

I te kakenga atu rava. Who ascended on high. 

Two women. 

Kake atu Ngaru i te tautua, To save Ngaru the golden lizards 

I te tau aro o te Moko kura i tau e, Climbed up the front and back, 
Ka pare nei kia Apai-te-rangi e ! Baffling cruel Apai-te-rangi. 

Kua kino Ngaru ei te taeke ae ! T'was Ngaru blackened by diving, 

Chorus. 

Kua kino Ngaru i te taeke, Ngaru blackened in the billows. 

E anga turoko ka oro ai Tongatea e ! The sight disgusted the fair Tongan, 
Tei Itikau te roki Whose loved resort is at Itikau. 

Two women. 
Tei Itikau te roki e I Yes ; her loved resort is at Itikau. 

1 The root only of the piper-mythisticum is chewed to make the stupefying 
drink. But Mirds own original plant, of enormous size, in the shades is 
narcotic even to its branches. The inebriate spirits are helplessly carried to the 
fatal oven, and are cooked. Ngaru alone defeats her cruel arts. 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 239 

Chorus. 
Papa paka, a inu ra i te vai o Mania, Refresh yourselves, fair ones, in 

Shady-Land, 
E rua enua e pei ai te pel Like celestials proficient in ball 

throwing. 



INUINU TAI. 



Pei ikiiki na Ngaru e ! 



FIRST OFFSHOOT. 



Two women. 

Oh ! the wondrous skill of Ngaru. 



Chorus. 



Tera rava te karanga, 
E karanga ia Ngaru. 
Iti mai rapa te uira, 
E uira tu akarere, 
Na mana o Ngaru-tai. 

Noea toou mana ? 
No raro i Avaiki, 
Na Vari-ma-te-takere, 
Na ooki atu na, 

Tena la ia kava. 

E tere aa ra, e Mini ? 
E tere kai tangata ! 



List to yonder voice ! 

'Tis addressed to Ngaru. 

Lightning is emitted from his person, 

And flashes all around. 

Great is the might of Ocean-loving 

Ngaru. 1 

Whence this unheard of power ? 
From the depths of spirit-land, 
From Vari-originator-of-all- things, 
Who sends him back again (to this 

world). 
Ah ! there comes the stupefying 

draught. 

What have you come for, Mini? 
I come to devour mankind. 



Two women. 
Takina ra Avaiki, e Miru e 1 Do thy worst, Muni ! 



Ei rapanga uira i tane. 



Chorus. 

Provoke not the flashing lightning of 
your betrothed 



1 Ngaru SB wave : a play on the name is intended, as well as a reference 
to his first exploit. 



240 Myths and Songs. 

Two women. 

Tone oro ki Iti I 1 The betrothed, whose loved resort is 

at Itikau 

Chorus. 
Ae, Ngaru-tai. Aye, Ocean-loving Ngaru. 

Two women. 
Akiakia tute te manava ia Tevoo 'i, Strip the branches off Mini's kava 

tree, 

Ei mana paa no Ngaru Avaiki, To stupefy wonder-working Ngaru, 

Koia i pau taae f Victorious over all monsters. 

Tepoi arire na Moko ra, Pet grandson of Moko, 

Na Vari-ma-te-takere e I Descended from Vari-originator-of- 

all-things. 

Ctiorus. 

Te taa o te raugi The natives of the sky 

A tuku i te ata apai Ngaru e, Let down a trap to catch Ngaru, 

I te kakenga atu rava. Who ascended on high. 

Two women. 

Kake atu Ngaru i te tautua To save Ngaru the golden lizards 

I te tau aro o te moko kura i tau e, Climbed up the front and back, 
A pare nei kia Apai-te-rangi-e 1 Baffling cruel Apai-te-rangi. 

Kua kino Ngaru e i te taeke ae ! 'Twas Ngaru blackened by diving, 

Chorus. 

Kua kino Ngaru i te taeke, Ngaru blackened in the billows : 

E anga turoko ka oro ai Tongatea e, The sight disgusted the fair Tongan, 
Tei Itikau te roki. Whose loved resort is at Itikau. 

Two 'women. 
Tei Itikau te roki e I Yes ; her loved resort is at Itikau. 



1 ** Iti," an abbreviation for " Itikau," the name of a famous resort for 
lovers on the west of the island. 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 



241 



Chorus. 

Papa paka, a inu ra i te vai o Mama. Refresh yourselves, fair ones, in 

Shady-Land, 



E rua enua i pei i te pei. 



INUINU RUA. 



O Mama tai o are e 1 



Takina o Ngaru-tai 
Na Kumutonga i apai, 
E apai ki Avaiki, 
Ei kai na Miru-Kura, 
Ei tane Ngaru tai 
Akiakia tute, akiakia kava, 

Te manava ia Tevoo. 

Tataia e Iva, porotua te rangi ra. 

Kakea ra e Ngaru te enua 
Taumareva, te enua iri kura e, 
Na te taa o te rangi. 
E tere aa ra, e Miru ? 
E tere kai tangata. 



Takina ra Avaiki, e Miru e ! 
E rapanga uira i tane 

Tane oro ki Iti 1 
Ae, Ngaru-tai. 



Like celestials proficient in ball-throw- 
ing. 

SECOND OFFSHOOT. 

Two women. 

In Shady-Land is thy true home. 

Chorus. 

Lift up Ocean-loving Ngaru ; 
Eaimutonga shall bear thee on 
Until thou reach spirit-land 
As food for the ever-ruddy Miru 
Our betrothed Ocean-loving Ngaru. 
Strip the branches off" the "kava" 

tree, 

To stupefy thy senses. 
The heavens are black torrents de- 
scend. 

But Ngaru passes on to Taumareva 
The land of scarlet garments, 
At the edge of the skies. 
What have you come for, Miru ? 
I come to devour mankind. 

Two women. 

Do thy worst, Miru ! 

Chorus. 

Provoke not the flashing lightning of 
your betrothed 

Two women. 

The betrothed, whose loved resort is 
at Itikau. 

Chorus. 

Aye, Ocean-loving Ngaru. 



242 



Myths and Songs. 



Two women. 

Akiakia tute te manava ia Tevoo J i, Strip the branches off Mini's "kava" 

tree, 



Ei mana paa no Ngaru Avaiki, 
Koia i pau taae ! 



Oi au tiria, tiria. 

Oi au tara, tara, 

Taraia akera, 

Kia kite au i teia maunga. 

O te maunga poro oa teia 

A tau tupuna a Moko-Roa, 

Tau metua a Vaiare, 
Tau vaine a Tongatea. 



To stupefy wonder-working Ngaru, 
Victorious over all monsters. 

Chorus, 

Put me down, put me down. 

Set me free, set me free. 

Oh, that I had liberty 

To gaze at this mountain ! 

'Tis surely the mountain spoken of 

By my grandfather "The-long- 

Lizard," 

And by my mother Vaiare, 
And by my wife, ** The-fair-Tongan. " 



Kiritia kai e kinana ! 

To koivi, vaio i Erangi maunga ! 

To vaerua, e kave i te po 
Na to maua metua na Mini ! 



Thou shalt be forthwith devoured ! 
Thy body shall rot on this " Heavenly 

Mountain " 
Thy spirit shall be borne to the 

shades, 

To furnish a repast for our mother 
Mini. 



Kumutonga, Karaia-i-te-ata 6i, 

Tukua maira ta korua tane, 
Kua roa oa te umu a Mini ! 



Hist, Kumutonga ! Hist, Karaia-the- 

Shadowy, 

Bring me your intended husband, 
For the oven of Mini is waiting ! 



Aore a e pau atu i tau moko ; 
E tapu te tikinga vaine a Ngaru 



I will not part with my grandson. 
'Tis thus ye fairies treat Nganu 



Tuku atu te taura i Enua-Kura. 
E taura viriviri, e taura varavara, 



Pray drop down some cords to Spirit- 
Land; 

Ropes of many strands and of great 
strength, 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 243 



Ruia e tematangi, kakea e Ngaru, 

Kakea e te rangi tautua, 
Kakea e te rangi tuamano. 



Swaying to and fro in the breeze, yet 

able 

To bear Ngaru, the heaven-climber, 
Resolved to explore all nature. 



E tuku te taura i Enua-Kura e ! 
Mauria ! 



Pray, drop down some cords to Spirit- 
Land. 
Hold fast (Great emphasis^ 



Mauria, e Ruateatonga, 
Te pitonga i te taura 
I tukua J i i maua ariki. 
O Raka maumau e 1 
Tukua, tukua ra ikdna ! 



Spirit of the shades 1 hold fast 
To the end of these ropes, 
Intended to rescue our favourite 
From all-devouring " Auraka," 
Drop, drop them down at once ! 



Oki mai, e Ngaru ! 

Tera 'tu te umu e tao iaau ! 



Hasten back, Ngaru ! 
Yonder is the oven intended to con- 
sume you. 



This curious drama was performed at Tamarua by daylight, at 
the base of the hill Vivitaunoa. Several women still living took 
part in the performance. One was named Mini for the occasion ; 
a second Moko; a third Ngaru. Two others represented the 
daughters of Miru Kumutonga and Karaia-i-te-ata. These fairies, 
at the proper time, carried over the crest of the hill a large bundle 
like a seeming corpse, ready to be thrown down " Auraka," the 
last resting-place of the dead. An oven was made, but no fire 
lighted. Two cords were fastened to the woman who sustained 
the part of Ngaru, and who was dragged to the edge of the sup- 
posed oven. 

The husband of Patikiporo is still living. He has for many 
years sustained a good Christian profession. 

The part commencing "Put me down," etc., down to "a 



244 Myths and Songs. 

repast for our mother Mini," is taken from the myth, which is 
known to be of great antiquity. 

Sadaraka well recollects the performance, at which, as a male, 
he could only be a spectator. 

THE BALL-THROWER'S SONG; OR, THE FAIRIES 
BEATEN BY NGARU. 

FOR THE FETE OF POTIKI, CIRCA 1790. 

Call for the dance to lead off. 

Pei ikiiki tei to rima, e rua toe, Keep the balls all going 5 two are 

left, 
Tei Iva e | a tai ra koe. In all spirit-land thou hast no equal. 

Solo. 

Taipo e ! Go on \ 

Chorus. 

Pei aea nga Tapairu no Avaiki ; Here are fairy players from nether- 

land, 
No nunga paa i te rangi e ! As well as natives of the sky. 

Solo. 
Ae e ! Aye ! 

Chorus. 
Pei aea i te pei itu, i te pei varu, e Ina alone keeps seven, yea, eight 

Ina e ! balls in motion. 

Ka re koia o Matonga-iti. kau rere. Little Matonga is beaten utterly 

beaten. 

Solo. 

Ka re oki, e Matonga e, i te pei Ah ! Matonga, thou art beaten 

Ka topa i to rima ; a tai o ! At the outset a ball has fallen to the 

ground. 

INUINU TAI. FIRST OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 
Tiria mai taku pei. Give me the balls. 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 245 

Chorus. 
E pel ka topa i te rima o nga tupuna This art was taught me by the gods, 

x 

Na Teiiri na Teraranga. By Teiiri and Teraranga. 1 

Taku rima, taku ei kapara turina, Encircled with chaplets of laurel, 

Ua toro, pati kura konikoni, I select round scarlet fruits 

No nunga no te akinga pei To serve as balls for our game, 

O nga Tapairu, tu tai e, kin rua e, For fairy women who once and 

again 
Paiereiere ikitia i raro o Kaputai. Have come up from spirit-world to 

dance at ELaputai. 2 
A tai nei vaine i nginingini ai, Of these fairies the most strangely 

fascinating 

I toro pa titi, toro pa tata, And proficient at our game is 

Ina. 

te pua mata reka, o te akatu nga Lovely blossom, whose home is in 

are the sky, 

1 ikitia i Marama Nui e. Era koe, Beloved wife of Full-Moon, I have 

e Ina ! beaten thee ! 

Solo. 
Taipo e ! Go on ! 

Chorus. 

Pei aea nga Tapairu no Avaiki ; Here are fairy players from nether 

land, 
No nunga paa i te rangi e ! As well as natives of the sky. 

Solo. 
Ae e ! Aye ! 

Chorus. 

Pei aea i te pei itu, i te pei varu, e Ina alone keeps seven, yea, eight balls 

Ina e ! in motion. 

Ka re koia o Matonga-iti kau rere : Little Matonga is beaten utterly 

beaten. 



1 Gods presiding over the game of ball-throwing. 

3 The shore-king's residence, close by the altar of Kongo. 



246 Myths and Songs. 

Solo. 

Ka re oki e Matonga e i te pel Ah ! Matonga thou art beaten 

Ka topa i to rima ; a tai 6 ! At the outset a ball has fallen to the 

ground. 

INITINU RUA. SECOND OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 
Tei nunga ! How high ! 

Chorus, 
I nunga o pel tini, i raro o taaonga. All the balls in the air ; how dexterous 

the hand ! 
To kura pel kura, maautara, The balls are all red and greatly 

admired. 
Mea Auraka te metua, e nui ana, Thanks to the divinities who taught 

thee, 
E mau ana, peiia, tuia te toa i Rangi Catch them, throw them in succes- 

riri. sion. 

Anga mai te vai ia mata. All eyes are fixed on thee. 

E vai tuaine, e vai tnngane, Women and men in wonder 

Riu atu to tau, anga mai to oro, Gaze at thy face and form. 

Teia taku pei, e pei ikiiki Marama With these balls again I challenge 

rua e ! you fairies. 

Era koe, e Matonga ! I have beaten thee, too, 

Matonga ! 

Call the second. 
Pei ikiiki tei to rima, e rua toe. Keep the balls all going ; two are 

left. 
Tei Iva e, a tai ra koe e ! In all spirit-land thou hast no equal. 

Solo. 
Taipo e ! Go on ! 

Chorus. 

Pei aea nga Tapairu no Avaiki ; Here are fairy players from nether- 

land, 
No nunga paa i te rangi e ! As well as natives of the sky. 

Solo. 
Ae! Aye! 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 



247 



Chorus. 

Pei aea i te pel itu, i te pel varu, e Ina alone keeps seven, yea, eight balls 

Ina e ! in motion. 

Ka re koia o Matonga-iti kau rere ! Little Matonga is beaten utterly 

beaten. 



Ka re old, e Matonga e, i te pei, 
Ka topa i to rima ; a tai o ! 



Solo. 



Ah 1 Matonga, thou art beaten. 
At the outset a ball has fallen to the 
ground. 



INUINU TORU. 



A tail 



THIRD OFFSHOOT. 



Solo. 



Again! 



Chorus. 
Tai, ma, torn, a, rima, ono, itu, varu. One, two, three, four, five, six, 

seven, eight balls ! 
Tu akarongo no Pai, no Manoinoi ariki Pai and the royal Manoinoi admire. 

E tangi te vai i Aratatia. The crowd is astonished. 

Akairi i nunga i Aramaunga i te Akaina, though skilled in all arts, 

kopuku. 

Aakina i te maro Akaina, 
Na tumaanga nginingini i te rearea, 
E tangata e tu i Torea, 



Surpassing the men of his day, 
The bravest and wisest of men, 

Ne'er could equal thee. 
E mania i te kura, e mania i te rearea ! Let perfect silence now be pre- 
served. 
Again I have beaten thee, Ina ! 



Era koe, e Ina ! 

Taipoe! 

Pei aea nga Tapairu no Avaiki ; 
No nunga paa i te rangi e ! 

Aee! 



Solo. 



Go on! 



Chorus. 

Here are fairy players from nether 

land, 
As well as natives of the sky. 



Solo. 



Aye! 



248 Myths and Songs. 

Chorus. 
Pei aea i te pei itu, i te pel varu, e Ina alone keeps seven, yea, eight balls 

Ina e ! in motion, 

Ka re koia o Matonga-iti kau rere. Little Matonga is beaten utterly 

beaten. 

Solo. 

Ka re oki, e Matonga e, i te pei, Ah ! Matonga, thou art beaten, 

Ka topa i to rima ; a tai 6 ! At the outset a baU has fallen to the 

ground. 

INUINU A. FOURTH OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 

E retia ! Avaunt ! 

E retia e retia Tua-minii Avaunt, avaunt, thou of a scraggy 

back! 

Chorus. 
E retia, e retia Tua-ara-roa ! Avaunt, avaunt, thou of the long 

spine 

Ara-roa i te iki-tanga i te akamatenga. Tall to deformity and ready to die. 
Na kura pei kura, na tama reionga, Give me my grand scarlet-balls, 

Na kakara onu e rutu i te tua o Vatea. Like young turtle in the palm of 

Vatea. 
Re tai, rerua, re toru, re a, Beaten once, twice, thrice, yea, four 

times ; 

Re rima, re ono, re itu, re varu, Beaten again, again, and again ; 

Re iva, re ngauru, tinitini, manomano. Beaten times innumerable, all of you. 
O Arauru, O Ara peipei, tei kai te Pack up your traps, one and all 

reinga. 
Koi tangatanga iri, koi mata kerekere, Ye sweet-scented ball-players from 

the skies 

Koi nunga, koi raro, koi te patiu e ! And from nether-land and be offl 
Era koe, e Matonga ! Again I have beaten thee, 

Matonga. 

Third Catt. 
Pei ikiiki tei to rima, e rua toe. Keep the balls all going ; two are 

left. 
Tei Iva e, a tai ra koe e ! In all spirit-land thou hast no equal 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 249 

Solo. 
Taipo e ! Go on ! 

Chorus. 

Pei aea nga Tapairu no Avaiki ; Here are fairies from nether-land, 

No nunga paa i te rangi e ! As well as natives of the sky. 

Solo. 
Aee! Aye! 

Chorus. 
Pei aea i te pei itu, i te pel varu, e Ina alone keeps seven, yea, eight balls 

Ina e ! in motion. 

Ka re koia o Matonga-iti kau rere ! Little Matonga is beaten utterly 

beaten. 

Solo. 

Ka re oki, e Matonga e, i te pei, Ah 1 Matonga, thou art beaten. 

Ka topa i to rima ; a tai o ! At the outset a ball has fallen to the 

ground. 

MAUTU. CONCLUSION. 

Fourth Call. 
E ara pei na Kumutonga, And now a game of ball-throwing 

with Kumutonga, 

Na Karaia-i-te-ata e, a kake e ! With Karaia - the - shadowy from 

nether-world. 

Solo. 
Taipo el Go on ! 

Chorus. 
Te pei maira te peinga i te ata, Play as ye are wont in the shades. 

Solo. 
Aee! Aye! 

Chorus. 

Te rere maira te manu pepe kura. A bird of gay plumage is watching 

you. 



250 Myths and Songs. 

Solo. 

E ara pel oki ra na Karaia ae e 1 A game of ball-throwing with 

Karaia ! 

Chorus. 
E ara pei na ELumutonga, A game of ball-throwing with 

Kunmtonga 

Na Karaia-i-te-ata. And her sister Karaia-the-shadowy. 

Aore paa e kitea te Ikonga i te rima ! The quick movements of the fingers 

are invisible. 

Of the sky-fairies, Ina and Matonga were the most clever at 
this game. Both, however^ are vanquished by Ngaru : in the first 
and third stanzas Ina is beaten; in the second and fourth, 
Matonga. In the "conclusion" Ngaru is trying his fortune with 
the infernal sirens with equal success. 

In the dance the performers imitated the movements of the 
ball-throwers, without balls, however. 

The contemptuous language of the fourth stanza is in direct 
contradiction of the standard belief in their " peerless " beauty. 
It is a sly hit at certain ladies at the dance personifying the two 
sets of fairy women. Proud of their assumed name, " Tapairu," 
they are really the butt of the whole assembly. 



A JOURNEY TO THE INVISIBLE WORLD. 

A TAHITIAN MYTH. 

Ouri bare Oem& two sons, of whom Arii was the elder, and 
Tavai the younger. On one occasion, for a trivial offence, some of 
the father's relatives severely beat little Tavai, who was his mother's 
pet Ouri was so enraged at this, that her husband Oema 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 251 

descended to Hawaii to hide his shame. The now regretful wife 
waited many days in vain for his return. 

Little Tavai, who was naturally a brave child, resolved to go 
in search of his father. On mentioning his intention to his mother 
and older brother, the former strongly objected, whilst the latter 
volunteered to accompany him. Said Tavai to Arii, " Stay to take 
care of our mother." But Arii would on no account consent to be 
left behind by his younger brother. 

The mother, finding it impossible to detain her beloved child- 
ren, disclosed to them the secret road to spirit-land, and taught 
them the needful formula. 

Using this charm, the earth clave asunder, and the lads 
descended They now found themselves in the land of Kui-the- 
Blind. Arii was excessively alarmed at her appearance, and con- 
fessed his fears to his younger brother, who only remarked, "I told 
you not to come, but you would have your own way." 

Now Kui was employed in cooking her daily oven when the 
brothers approached her and in silence watched her operations. 
Kui did not suspect the presence of these intruders. The food in 
her oven consisted of : 

2 heads of taro. 
2 plantains, 
2 halves of bread-fruit. 
2 packages of sour bread-fruit paste. 

Laying on a goodly pile of leaves, she covered in her oven and 
pressed it down with large stones. Kui now sat quietly inside 
her house till it was done, still ignorant of the presence of mortals. 

When she judged the food to be sufficiently cooked, she 
opened her oven. She took up a taro and placed it in her basket 
On putting out her arm to take up the second lo, it was gone ! 



252 Myths and Songs. 

Kui was greatly surprised, but did not speak. She thought, " What 
daring fellow has invaded my land and come to steal my food ? " 

Kui next took up a plantain and put it into her basket. But 
on seeking for the second lo, it was gone ! And thus, too, of the 
bread-fruit and the packages of sour bread-fruit paste. 

The old blind woman, now thoroughly enraged, exclaimed, 
" Whoever this is that has dared to come to my land, I mil devour 
him? She then re-entered her house, carrying the diminished 
supply of food. Tavai whispered to his elder brother, " Beware of 
her tricks : touch nothing belonging to her." At this moment Kui- 
the-Blind came out, armed with a terrible fish-hook fastened to a 
long line. This she swung backwards and forwards, all the while 
chanting a song, in order to catch the thief. The lads contrived 
to keep clear of it, but threw a pandanus log at it The log was 
hooked. Whilst Kui was pulling in her line with immense satis- 
faction, the boys chanted these words : 

Carefully secure thy fish, 

Ere thou be o'ertaken by a shark. 

To which Kui replied : 

For him that is caught by my hook 

There is no hope. Strong is my hook. 

Its name is (" Furnisher of) food for immortals." 

The line is called " The indivisible." 

Kui seized her supposed victim, which proved to be a mere log of 
wood. Angry at this, she again threw out her dreadful fish-hook. 
This time she caught the elder boy Aril Both the brothers wept 
bitterly. Kui again chanted the former ominous words, "For 
him/' etc. When the youthful victim had almost arrived at the 
doorway where the cruel blind woman sat, the brave Tavai ran 
forwards, and seizing the fatal string snapped it asunder by sheer 



Advent^l,res in Spirit- World. 253 

force, thus rescuing Arii from her pitiless clutches. The brothers 
then entered the house of the now defenceless Kui, and discover- 
ing the stone axe with which she was accustomed to despatch 
her victims, slew her therewith. Her body was next chopped 
in pieces ; the house pulled down and set on fire, thus consuming 
this foe of mankind. 

Tavai now proposed that they should resume the search for 
their father, and that Arii, as the elder, should take the lead. 

The brothers accordingly prepared to leave the land of Kui- 
the-Blind. 

Arrived at the sea-shore, they walked over the ocean and saw 
a red streak ahead on the surface of the water. On drawing 
nearer to the red streak, they found a red shark swimming under- 
neath. Arii trembled and entreated Tavai to go in front As the 
younger brother sturdily refused, Arii had still to go on. The 
great red shark now rose to the surface, and said : 

O era taata e aere Yon daring travellers 

Na raro i te moana ra e ! O'er the briny sea 

Keinga korua e au ! Shall furnish my repast. 

These words struck both lads with terror, but Tavai, recollecting 
himself, replied : 

Art not thou our aged ancestor, 
Nutaravaivaria ? And are not we 
The offspring of Oema and Ouri ? 

The enormous fish now learning that these boys were his own 
grandchildren, allowed them to get on his back, and conveyed 
them safely to the shore of Rauai'a-Nui, where Tavai landed The 
red shark now asked Tavai to give him Arii to eat. But the 
brave boy said, "You must not devour him, for I have but one 



254 Myths and Songs. 

brother." Three times did the red shark ask for Arii : three times 
was the request denied by Tavai. 

Now there was a great abundance of cocoa-nuts in this new 
land. Tavai climbed the trees and gathered the nuts, so that the 
ground was everywhere covered with the fallen nuts. Tavai's next 
work was to tie these nuts together in fours and count them. In 
all there were a thousand nuts, which he with no little labour 
placed on the back of the great red shark. And not until the last 
four was given up did the shark give up his brother. 

Arii and Tavai spent three days on that island. On the morn- 
ing of the fourth day the red shark came back. The lads again 
mounted on his back and were borne over the ocean in search of 
their lost father. Now the boys had provided themselves with 
cocoa-nuts to eat by the way. All but one had been disposed of 
during their long voyage. At their wits' end to know how to open 
it, they broke it on the head of the shark. Pained by the smart 
blow, the red shark dived down to the bottom of the ocean, 
leaving the boys swimming on the surface. When at length the 
strength of Arii was exhausted, the red shark again rose to the sur- 
face, and generously forgiving the late offence, carried them to 
shore. This is the farthest limit of spirit-land. 

The brothers now travelled about in search of the inhabitants. 
They fell in with a man who asked what they were in quest of. 
They told him that they were seeking for their father, and inquired 
whether he could give them any intelligence respecting him. The 
old man advised them to apply to the oracle. Tavai at once 
started off to the residence of the famous priest. Without ceremony 
they opened the door and entered. The priest sharply asked 
"What stranger is this that has dared to come to my land?" Tavai, 
annoyed at this brusque reception, struck the priest on his head, 



Adventures in Spirit-World. 255 

causing him to writhe in agony. Having thus humbled the priest, 
he asked him where Oema was. The priest replied, "Yonder he 
is dead. Go on until you meet an old woman she has charge of 
the corpse." 

At length they met an aged woman, and inquired where the 
dead body of Oema was deposited. She promptly replied, " In the 
'stercus' hole." The brothers said, "Go, then, and fetch it." They 
closely followed the old hag. On coming to the place, they found 
that he had long been dead, for only the skeleton remained. 
They tenderly took up the bones and wrapped them in a mat. 
They next killed the old woman, and burnt down her house. Not 
satisfied with this, they slew the priest and the first person they 
had met, and set fire to their dwellings. 

Finally, these brave boys, Arii and Tavai, made their way back 
to this upper world, bringing to Ouri the bones of her long-lost 
husband. In doing this they traversed the old road, the chasm 
opening up again as the words taught by their wise-hearted mother 
were uttered by Tavai. 

Compare this with the myths entitled, " A Bachelor God in 
Search of a Wife," and "The Wisdom of Manihiki." "Kui-the- 
Blind " figures in all three versions of their ancient faith. 



256 Myths and Songs. 



CHAPTER XL 

FAIRY MEN AND WOMEN. 

TAPAIRU; OR, FAIRY WOMEN AND MEN. 

THE deformed and ugly Mini has her home in the nether-world, 
where she cooks human spirits in her oven. Her son Tautiti 
presides over the dance called by his name. 1 Besides Tautiti, 
the pitiless spirit-eater has four daughters, called Tapairu, or 
peerless ones, on account of their matchless beauty. They de- 
light to make their appearance in this upper world whenever a 
dance is performed in honour of their brother. Thus, if a dance 
took place anywhere in the northern half of the island, they would 
be sure to make their appearance that evening at sunset, bathing 
at a little shady stream named Auparu (= soft-dew). These 
fairies would then climb the almost perpendicular hill overlooking 
the fountain, in order to dry themselves and to arrange their 
beautiful tresses in the moonbeams, ere proceeding to witness the 

1 The graceful "Tautiti" dance stands opposed to the " Crab," in which 
the side movements of that fish are most disagreeably imitated. Dances 
always took place by moonlight 



Fairy Men and Women. 257 

performances of mortals. But if the dance were to take place 
in the southern part of the island, these " peerless ones " would 
make their appearance at two little streams, named Vaipau and 
Vaikaute, and then perform their usual toilet on the crest of the 
neighbouring hill. 

These fairies, always associated with the worship of Tane, 
would even deign to take part in the dance, provided that one 
end of the dancing ground were well covered with fresh cut 
banana leaves. But after merrily tripping it over these exquisitely 
fragile leaves through the livelong night, not one of them would 
be in any degree soiled or injured. As soon as the morning star 
rose they disappeared, and returned to their gloomy home in 
Avaiki. 

Throughout the eastern Pacific islands " Tapairu," or " fairest 
of the fair," is a favourite name for girls. 
The names of these fairies are : 

1. Kumutonga-i-te-po == Kumutonga-of-the-night. 

2. Karaia-i-te-ata = Karaia-the-shadowy. 

3. Te-rauara = Pandanus-leaf. 

4. Te-poro = Point. 

A SONG IN HONOUR OF MAUAPA. 

BY PANGEMIRO, LORD OF MANGA! A, CIRCA 1816. 

Turina eia ra e te Aumania ra, Red necklaces for Mauapa, 

Kia turuki te vaine moe atu te tone o, To win the favour of the fair, 
Na te ei papa kura. Mixed with leaves of purple hue. 

Riro i Motuenga i te puku On the mountains sit we down 

Maunga ra i akamac te maire, To interweave beautiful flowers 

Taki rua o ran 1C liarc lapu. With double rows of myrtle 



258 Myths and Songs. 

Tangi atu an ra i te aunga tiere. I love the fragrance of the flowers 

Tei Aupara na vaine tau nongonongo At Auparu, from fairy women 

I te pa etu na Ina e ! Arraying themselves by starlight, 

Te aiai a Kura ! Eu e 1 Ae ! Whilst Ina in the moon looks on. 

To are karioi e Tekura-i-Tanoa. Ah ! ye e'en surpass Tekura-of-Tanoa 

In each valley of this island are crevices in the soil, through 
which superfluous waters drain. The direct road to spirit-land, 
through Tiki's chasm, having long since been closed, fairies avail 
themselves of these narrow passages to climb up from time to 
time, in order to be present at the dances of mortals. 

The f(te of Terangai, ancestor of the present tribe of Tane, 
was specially honoured by fairy visitors. The fte came off at 
Butoa. Teporo and Terauara, fair daughters of Mini, availed 
themselves of the gorge just by, to come up out of nether-world 
to take part in the festivity. The sound of the great drum used 
on that occasion reached to the very depths of spirit-land, in- 
ducing four other fairies usually said to be males, and, of course, 
connected with Mini also to climb up to witness their favourite 
dance, Tautiti. Oroiti x and Teauotangaroa 2 came up at a gorge 
known as Tuaoruku, on the south. Marangaitaiti 3 got up through 
a disagreeable-looking hole on the west, Marangaitaao < through a 
gorge at the north of the island. Guided by the sound of the 
drum, these four male fairy visitors tripped along different moun- 
tain ridges, until they all met at the fte ground, conspicuous by 
their unearthly beauty. At dawn they disappeared in the depths 
of Avaiki through the various crevices. 

To this myth the prologue to Potiki's fte-songs alludes. After 
years of anarchy and bloodshed, peace was proclaimed in the name 

1 Oroiti = slow-footed. * Teauotangaroa = rn&n-of- Tangaroa . 

3 Marangaitaiti = gentle-east-wind. 4 Marangaitaao <=* fient-eastevind. 



Fairy Men and Women. 259 

of the gods. At this, the first fte inaugurating the era of peace, 
it is hoped the fairies will be present as at Terangai's. The 
greater gods, whose jealousies occasion the wars of mortals, 
should be chained. 



PROLOGUE TO THE DRAMATIC FETE OF POTIKI 

ON HIS ASSUMPTION OF THE TEMPORAL 

SOVEREIGNTY, CIRCA 1790. 

Solo. 

Vaia te rua i Avaiki, Open the entrance to spirit-world, 

Kia kake mai Oroiti e Tane oi ! That Oroiti and Tane may come up. 

Chonis. 

Tircia Tautiti, On this merry night 

Kia aka i Onemakenukenu. The ghosts are dancing on the smooth 

sward ; 
Tane ao i te lua o Teiangai. As at Terangai's famed fete of old. 

Solo. 

Te moko ia Tautiti e ! Tane is the patron of dancing. 

Kaieia! (War dance). 

Tukua, tukua e ! Down with your burdens, 1 

Tukua ki raro. Down with them and rest. 

1 Each fete has its distinctive symbolism. In Captain Cook's song, 
" caulking " is appropriately introduced : in this the employments of peace, 
as contrasting with those of war. The "burdens" were bundles of long 
bamboos, suitable for fishing-rods. These furnished employment for men in 
time of peace. "The cloth-beating mallet" was intended to illustrate the 
woik of industrious wives. This could not be pursued with safety in time of 
war, as the far-reaching sounds would only guide the murderer to his prey. 
At this fte, however, men beat mimic cloth-boards. These fairies* were 
acted one coming from either end, met in the middle. 



260 Myths and Songs. 

Chorus. 
E ngae pu Avaiki i te papa, Spirit-land is stirred to its very 

depths 

E tukia ma te kaara. At the music of the great drum. 

Kua mau mai nei Teporo ma Terauara. The fairies Teporo and Terauara have 

come up. 

Takaia te papa i maui ; Lead off the dance, ye of the left ; 

Rumakina te papa i katavu And you, too, of the right. 

Eeratetaua iTuaoruku At Tuaoruku is a fairy dancing- 

ground, 

Na Oroiti, na Teauotangaroa, For Oroiti and Teauotangaroa, 

Kimi pou enua ke atu. Who have dared to come up to this 

world. 

Solo. 
Ka tutu Rongo i te rangi e ! Great Kongo shakes his club. 

Chorus. 
No te ike tangi reka e papa i tua. Softly sounds the cloth-beating mallet 

o'er the sea. 
Tutua ! Tutua ! Beat away \ Beat away ! 

Solo. 
Kano korua kiea ? Whither go ye, fairies ? 

Chorus, 
Kano maua a kimi ia Tautiti, We go in search of the pleasing 

dance, 
Kua ngaro mai nei. So long disused. 

Teia. Here it is. 

Teia te akatu, ma te akarongoiongo, Here are the dancers, the torch-bearers, 
Ma te matakitaki. And the spectators. 

Solo. 
Kano korua kiea ? Whither go ye, fairies ? 

Chorus. 
Kano maua a kimi i te mania kapa We follow the merry sounds of 

dancing ; 
Kua ana mai nei. Therefore have we come. 



Fairy Men and Women. 261 

Teia. Here it is. 

Teia te akarongorongo ma te mataki- Here are the torch-bearers and the 

taki. _ spectators. 

Apaina eretia te anau Atea, Chain up the gods, the offspring of 

Vatea, 
Te papa i te itinga e ! That our sport be not spoiled. 

Apaina! Apaina! Avaunt! Avaunt 1 

Tautiti ngarue i Teakarum. Ha! I hear shouts of dances at 

Butoa! 

Eia la ! Eia la. (War dance, 

la! la! - twice performed.) 

Solo. 

V5ia, e Marangaitaao, te rua i Avaiki. Open up for Marangaitaao an en- 
trance from spirit-land. 

Chorus. 
Kikimi mai ! Aere mai ! Search us out, join our throng 1 

Solo. 

Vaia, e Marangaitaiti, te rua i Tipitake! Open up for Marangaitaiti the dark 

gorge. 

Chorus. 

Kikimi mai I Aere mai ! Search us out, join our throng ! 

Kano korua i Temangarea. To what distant spot are these fairies 

bound? 

Pua! Pua! Beat away! Beat away! 

Ereti ua viriviri, ua varavara, Give me a many-stranded, powerful 

rope, 

Ruia e te matangi maira, maira, Waving to and fro in the wind, 

Ruia e te matangi maira, maira, Waving to and fro in the wind, 

Kua oro Tautiti i Avaiki Nui ma te To pull up Tautiti and his drum out 

kaara. of Great Spirit-Land. 

Teia Marangaitaao te kimi atu nei. Here is the fairy Marangaitaao in 

search of us. 

Tutua! Tutua! Beat away! Beat away! 

Ka apai te tere i mua o te kaara. Let the fairies pass in front of the 

drum; 
E taki acre i te uto o Terangai, The fairies who once honoured the 

f&eofTerangai, 
I rakoa ! I rakoa I How dazzling I How brave I 



262 Myths and Songs. 

Solo. 
E uru tupu ariki te apai o te pan e I Now for a war-dance as we bear on 

this drum. 
Karela 1 (War dance.) 

Apai nuku, apai rangi ! Let all take a part ; toss it aloft. 

Chorus. 
Tuia uta, tuia tai. Those over yonder ; those near at 

hand; 
Tuia i te kapa o Tautiti e te aka nei. Prepare to lead off our fairy dance. 

Solo. 
Uakina e Kaukau te papa i Teaka- The dance-loving tribe assembled of 

ruru, yore 

Te papa o Terangai. On the lands of Terangai. 

Chorus. 

Tatakina te kaara, urikaka. Up with the great drum ; toss it in 

the air. 

Solo. 

Rumakina e Rongoimua, 1 The illustrious Mautara fought 

Te papa i Pekekura, te papa i te ngaere. And conquered the island for us, his 

children. 

Chorus. 
Vaoo ra ikona tena kaara, Up with this great drum ; toss it in 

air, 

Ei poani i te rua i Avaiki. And close up the mouth of spirit- 

world. 

Solo. 

Te miro o te tata koe o ! Come forward, ye players of melo- 

dious flutes, 
Chorus. 

Tautiti te kapa i Atea. la. In honour of this dance of the gods ! 

(Shouts.) 

1 Mautara's true name was Rongoimua, but it has been entirely dropped in 
later years in favour of the nickname "Mautara," because he took to the 
cannibal ways of that outcast. 



Fairy Men and Women. 263 

Call for the dance to lead off. 

Tanumia Tevoo i Avaiki rangi taea e ! "Mini's own" kava grows in spirit- 
land. 

Solo. 
Taipo e ! Go on ! 

Chorus. 

Te kava ru au e rupepea. The finest and most intoxicating 

drink. 

Solo. 
Ae e ! Aye I 

Chorus. 
E atua nio-renga i Iti, e Tane ! Tane, god with yellow teeth, was 

once expelled Tahiti, 
Eaa la manu kai tangata ra e ! Yellow with devouring mankind I 

Solo. 
Nai kava kura te kava akiakia 'i Let the red "kava" be carefully 

plucked, 
Te tere o turina kake e ! As a draught for dancers in the upper 

world. 

Te rangia te kava e no te atua ae e 1 Let .the drink be prepared for the 

priests. 

Chorus. 
Te rangia te kava o te atua. The sacred bowl of the priests is 

ready. 

Kia inumia ia pau e i te titara are. To be quaffed only by yon sacred 

men, 

Solo. 
Kiekie toro e ! Is there not yet another sort ? 

Chorus. 
E raui tapu e taki na, J Tis too sacred for mortal use. 



264 Myths and Songs. 

Solo. 
Takina te kava, e vaio te noko The shoots only may we strip off; 

the parent stem 
la Tevoo i akamae ana el Is " Minims own," reserved for the 

destruction of souls. 

These " Tapairu," or " peerless ones," were sometimes repre- 
sented as taking up their abode with the sea-side king, who was 
regarded as being specially under their protection : 

Te ui a te Tapairu The questionings of the Tapairus 

A van toe ia Kaputai Who came up at Kaputai 

Te moea ra te enua marama e ! To sojourn in a land of light 

After all, these fairies formed one family, known as "fairies 
from ri&r-world" Ngaru climbed the sky, in his passion for 
exploring all nature, and discovered a different set of "Tapairus" 

all fair women. Of these the most celebrated is Ina, wife of the 

moon, and Little-Matonga. They are known as "fairies of the 
sky." Like those of nether-world, the heavenly fairies are won- 
drously skilled in ball-throwing, Ina being able to keep eight 
balls going at one time, Ngaru learnt the art from the nether- 
fairies in his long residence in their home. So proficient did he 
become, that he actually beat the nether and the sky fairies at 
their own game, which he afterwards introduced to this world. 

Xukia koe tei Apepe Thou wast smitten down at Apepe. 

Ka aere ra, e Ati, i te enua poiri. Ah, Ati ! thou art bound to the land 

of darkness. 

Kua pou au nei, Riuvaka ra, Alas, Riuvaka, I am devoured of the 

gods, 
Tai kai e ou te atua, Who have assembled to feast upon 

me! 
Te ravea ra e te are Tapairu I was saved by the friendly Ta- 

parius 
TM te flj-a veerua. Who met me on the road. 



Fairy Men and Women. j 265 



THE FAIRY OF THE FOUNTAIN. 

In Rarotonga, at the pretty village of Aorrangi, is the small 
fountain of Vaitipi. On the night after full moon, a woman and a 
man of dazzling white complexion rose up out of the crystal water. 
When the inhabitants of this world were supposed to be asleep, 
they came up from the shades to steal taro, plantains, bananas, 
and cocoa-nuts. All these good things they took back to nether- 
world to devour raw. 

Little did the fairies think that they had been seen by mortals, 
and that a plan was being devised to catch them. A large scoop 
net of strong cinet was made for this purpose, and constant watch 
set at the fountain by night. On the first appearance of the new 
moon they again came up, and, as usual, went off to pillage 
the plantations. The great net was now carefully outspread at the 
bottom of the fountain, and then they gave chase to the fan- 
beings from spirit-world. The fairy girl was the first to reach the 
fountain, and dived down. She was at once caught in the net, 
and carried off in triumph. But in replacing the net after the 
struggle, a small space remained uncovered; through this tiny 
aperture the male fairy contrived to escape. 

The lovely captive became the cherished wife of the chief Ati, 
who now carefully filled up the fountain with great stones, lest his 
fairy spouse should return to nether-world. 

They lived very happily together. She was known all over 
Rarotonga as the "peerless one (Tapairu) of Ati." She got 
reconciled to the ways of mortals, and grew content with her 
novel position. In the course of time she became pregnant, and 
when the period for her delivery had come, she said to her 



266 Myths and Songs. 

husband, "Perform on me the Caesarean operation, and then 
bury my dead body. But cherish tenderly our child." Ati 
refused to accede to this proposition, but allowed Nature to 
take her course, so that the fairy became the living mother of 
a fair boy. 

When at length the child had become strong, the mother 
one day wept bitterly in the presence of her husband. She told 
him that it was grief at the destruction of all mothers in the shades 
upon the birth of the first-born. Would he consent to her return 
thither in order that so cruel a custom should be put an end 
to? Ati should accompany her. This was agreed upon, and 
accordingly the great stones were dragged up from the bottom 
of the fountain. All kinds of vegetable gums were now collected, 
and the fairy carefully besmeared the entire person of Ati, so as 
to facilitate his descent to the lower world. 

Holding firmly the hand of her human husband, the fairy 
dived to the bottom of the fountain, and nearly reached the 
entrance to the invisible world. But Ati was so dreadfully ex- 
hausted, that out of pity for him she returned. Eve times was 
this process repeated in vain ! The fair one from spirit-land wept 
because her husband was not permitted to accompany her ; for 
only the spirits of the dead and immortals can enter. 

Sorrowfully embracing each other, the "peerless one" said, 
" I alone will go to spirit-world to teach what I have learnt from 
you." At this she again dived down into the clear waters, and was 
never again seen on earth. Ati went sorrowfully back to his old 
habitation; and thenceforth their boy was called "Ati-ve'e" 
Ati-the-forsaken, in memory of his lost fairy mother. He was 
surpassingly fair, like his mother from spirit-land ; but strangely 
enough, his descendants are dark, like ordinary mortals. 



Fairy Men and Women. 267 

It is to this lovely fairy woman the old song of the Ati clan 
alludes : 

Kua ve'eia te pou emia, She has descended again to spirit- 

world ! 
Ka paa 'i te rau atua o Ati e i Vaitipi Men praised the divine being first seen 

e 1 by Ati at the fountain. 

Akana tu a kino te inangaro ! But his heart is now filled with grief. 

Hence the origin of the common name " Tapairu " = feerkss 
one^ in memory of their fairy ancestress. 



268 Myths and Songs. 



CHAPTER XII. 
DEATH-TALKS AND DIRGES. 

GHOST-KILLING (TA I TE MAURI). 

UPON the decease of an individual, a messenger (" bird," so called 
from his swiftness) was sent round the island. Upon reaching 
the boundary line of each district, he paused to give the war-shout 
peculiar to these people, adding " So-and-so is dead." Near rela- 
tives would start off at once for the house of the deceased, each 
carrying a present of native cloth. Most of the athletic young 
men of the entire island on the day following united in a series of 
mimic battles designated " ta i te mauri," or slaying the ghosts. 
The district where the corpse lay represented the " mauri," or 
ghosts. The young men belonging to it early in the morning 
arrayed themselves as if for battle, and well-armed, started off for 
the adjoining district, where the young men were drawn up in 
battle array under the name of " aka-oa," or friends. The war- 
dance performed, the two parties rush together, clashing their 
spears and wooden swords, as though in right earnest The 
sufferers in this bloodless conflict were supposed to be malignant 
spirits, who would thus be deterred from doing further mischief to 
mortals. 



Death-Talks and Dirges. 269 

The combatants now coalesce, and are collectively called 
" mauri," or ghosts, and pass on to the third district. Through- 
out the day their leader carries the sacred " iku kikau," or cocoa- 
nut leaf, at the pit of his stomach, like the dead. Arrived at this 
third village, they find the younger men ready for the friendly 
conflict, and bearing the name of " aka-oa." " The battle of the 
ghosts " is again fought, and now with swelling numbers they pass 
on to the fourth, fifth, and sixth districts. In every case it 
was supposed that the ghosts were well thrashed. 

Returning with a really imposing force to the place where the 
corpse was laid out in state, a feast was given to the brave ghost- 
killers, and all save near relatives return to their various homes 
ere nightfall. 

So similar was this to actual warfare, that it was appropriately 
named " e teina no te puruki," ie. " a younger brother of war." 

DEATH-TALKS. 

The "ghost-fighting " took place immediately after the decease ; 
the " dirge-proper " months afterwards. The former was common 
to all ; the latter was reserved for persons of distinction. Some- 
times the friends of the illustrious dead preferred a grand tribal 
gathering for the purpose of reciting songs in their honour. This 
was called "e tara kakai," or "talk about the devouring? i.e. 
a " death-talk." For when a person died, it was customary to say, 
" he was eaten-uf by the gods." 

A "death-talk," like the festive "kapa," i.e. dance, came 
off at night : but whilst the other was performed under long 
booths, the former took place in large houses built for the purpose, 
and of course well lighted with torches. 



270 Myths and Songs, 

As many as thirty songs, called "tangi," were often prepared 
for a death-talk. These were the "weeping songs." Each 
" tangi " was supplemented with a song""designated a " tiau," or 
"pe'e" proper. Thus, in all, as many as sixty separate songs would 
be mournfully chanted in honour of the dead. Of course the 
merit would greatly vary. Each adult male relative must recite a 
song. If unable to compose one himself, he must pay some one 
to furnish him with an appropriate song. The warrior chief and 
poet, Koroa, supplied to different parties ten different songs for 
one " death-talk." 

A near relative of the deceased was appointed to start the 
first " tangi," or " crying-song." At the proper pauses the chorus 
catches up and carries forward the song. In the "tangi" the 
weeping is reserved for the close, when the entire assembly abandon 
themselves to passionate cries and tears. A song of this descrip- 
tion invariably begins, " Sing we " (Tio ra). 

The appropriate "tiau," or " pe'e " proper, follows. "Tiau" 
means "a slight shower;" and metaphorically, " a partial weeping." 
The songs relating to Vera and Puvai are, with one exception, 
"showery" songs. In these the chief mourner was the solo. 
Whenever, as indicated, the entire assembly took up the strain, 
the former solo wept loudly until it again became his duty to take 
up his part in a soft plaintive voice. 

The accompaniments of this performance were the great 
wooden drum, called "theawakencr" (kaara), and the harmonicon. 
Sometimes the "pau" was added The musical instruments 
were called into use between each song; in the case of the 
"showery" songs the great drum accompanied the grand chorus. 
The true accompaniment of the "crying songs" was the pas- 
sionate weeping of all present 



Death-Talks and Dirges. 271 

The most touching songs were the most admired and the 
longest remembered. Several months were requisite for the 
preparations needful for a " death-talk." Not only had the songs 
and dresses and complexions to be thought of, but a liberal pro- 
vision of food for the guests. 

If a person of consequence in the same clan died or was slain 
within a year or two, the old performance might be repeated with 
the addition of a few new songs. It was then termed "e veru," 
or " second-hand." 

The songs relating to Vera are known as " te kakai ia Vera " 
= " the death-talk about Vera." So, too, the dirges for Mourua, 
the friend of Captain Cook, are known as appertaining to "the 
death-talk about Vaepae," his mother. These are ancient Some 
of the best modern songs belong to " the death-talk of Arokapiti," 
whose eldest son was the first to embrace Christianity, which 
necessarily put an end to this high effort of heathen poetry. 

EVA, OR DIRGE-PROPER. 

Some months after the decease of a person of note, funeral 
games called "eva" were performed in honour of the departed. 
These entertainments invariably took place by day. 

Ve'eteni was fabled to have been sent back to life for a day, 
in order to instruct mankind in the art of mourning, and to in- 
stitute solemn " eva " in memory of the dead. 

There are four varieties of the dirge-proper : 

i. The "eva tapara? or funeral dirge, with blackened faces 
streaming with gore, shaved heads, and stinking garments. This 
was a most repulsive exhibition, and well expressed the hopeless- 
ness of heathen sorrow. 



272 Myths and Songs. 

2. The " eva furuki? or war-dirge. For this long spears 
were made, as if for war; only they were adzed out of orotea 
(a white, brittle sort of wood), not of fatal iron-wood (casuarina 
equasitifolia\ The war-dirge for Tuopapa 1 is a famous specimen 
of this sort. Nearly all the natives of Mangaia were present on 
that occasion, arranged in two long columns facing each other, 
with a space of eighty yards between. The performance began 
with an animated conversation between the leaders of the two 
squadrons of supposed enemies, as to the grounds for war; to 
excite a lively interest in what followed. When this is concluded, 
the person most nearly related to the deceased begins the history 
of the heroic deeds of the clan by slowly chanting the introduc- 
tory words. At the appointed pause both companies take up 
the strain and vigorously carry it forward. The mighty chorus 
is accompanied by a clashing of spears and all the evolutions of 
war. At the close of what in writing would be a paragraph a 
momentary pause takes place ; a new story is introduced by the 
soft musical voice of the chief mourner, caught up and recited in 
full chorus by both companies as before. 

These war-dirges were most carefully elaborated, and em- 
bodied the only histories of the past known to these islanders. 

3. The "eva toki" or axe-dirge. In this iron-wood axes, 
not stone, were used ; that is, mimic axes, as the use of stone axes 
would infallibly end in bloodshed. In this scenic dirge the axes 
were used to cleave the cruel earth which had swallowed up the 
dead. Hades (Avaiki) was supposed to be under Mangaia. In 
cleaving the earth a vain wish was expressed that an opening 
might be made through which the spirit of the departed might 
return tears streaming down the cheeks of the performers. 

1 Translated by the writer with a number of clan songs, but not yd pub- 
lished. 



Death-Talks and Dirges. 273 

The axe-dirge was appropriate to artisans only, who enjoyed 
great consideration, seeing that such knowledge was the special 
gift of the gods. 

4. The "eva ta" or crashing-dirge, in which each person 
belonging to the two supposed armies is furnished with a flat-spear 
or a wooden sword a fathom long. This differs from the war-dirge 
in the weapons used and in the style of composition. Reasons 
are assigned for the anger of the gods as shown in the death of 
their friends. A sort of comedy generally wound up these per- 
formances. 

The " dirge-proper," dancing-ftes, reed-matches, and " death- 
talks," were all comprehended under the general name of " eva," 
or " amusements " (called by Cook the " heeva "). 



KARAPONGA'S DIRGE-PROPER (EVA) IN HONOUR 
OF RURU (CIRCA A.D. 1816). 

EVA-TOKI, OR AXE-DIRGE. 

Solo. 
la Rangi te toki ia Avaiki Sing we of Rangi's axe * from the 

shades, 
E Kongo oi I Thou descendant of Rongo I 

1 The first house on Mangaia was built by Rauvaru at Tamarua, who slept 
in it as soon as it was finished, the long thatch ends hanging loosely down. 
A heavy shower of rain fell, causing the thatch to lie smoothly. 

Now Rangi greatly admired this new invention of house-building ; but 
thought he could improve upon what Rauvaru had accomplished. He there- 
fore descended to the shades (Avaiki), to pay a visit to his grandfather Rongo, 
who presented him with a wonderful axe, the handle and all being of stone in 
one piece, and withal very sharp. During the rain Rangi came up unobserved 



274 



Myths and Songs. 



Tera Tane-mata-ariki, 
Ei koti i te ua ma te ra, 
Ei tua i te pa rakau, 
E mae ai te toki ia Iti. 
Ie-koko-kok6 ! 

Era ei tiki i na tumangamanga 

E noo i te are ! 
Taumaa Kaukare i te inapoiri, 

A motu oki 6 ! 
Kotia aea ia Ruateatonga. 

Kapitia oki te tiraa i Paataanga 6 ! 

E tama e ! E Uri e ! 

Tena te tamaki, 
Kla rua 'i ia Turanga 6 ! 

Taamaa te toki ia ake te upoko ! 
Ie-koko-k6k6 ! 



Chorus, 

Here is Tane-of-royal-face, 
Keen in rain and sunshine, 
To lay low the loftiest trees. 
They are felled by the Tahitian axe. 
(War-dance. ) 

This axe is to slay the brave 

When buried in sleep. 
E'en as Kaukare 2 perished in the 
night. 

The fiat went forth I 
The axe from spirit-land did the 

deed. 

Prostrate they all lay on the ground. 

Alas for thee, eldest son ! 

They come rushing on. 
Twice has the god Turanga 3 thus 

served our clan. 
Their axes enter the skulls of the 

victims. 

(War-dance.) 



from the shades, and trimmed the thatch of Rauvaru's house all round. Great 
was the astonishment of the owner in the morning to see what an improve- 
ment had been effected by an unseen friend during the peltering storm. The 
magic-axe of Rangi, named Ruateatonga, became the envy of men and the 
gods too. When Rangi died, it disappeared for ever, 

1 "Tane-of-royal-face" is the name of the axe-god, identified with the 
clever Mangaian method of securing ordinary stone axes to wooden handles. 
This valuable knowledge was introduced by Una from Tahiti (or Iti). These 
axes were equally valuable for felling trees and men ! It is made to stand for 
the veritable axe which slew Kaukare and others. 

2 Ruru died a natural death ; but being on his mother's side descended from 
Kaukare, an animated description of that warrior's cruel end is introduced, 
with a natural cry for vengeance which was but too truly answered not long 
afterwards. 

3 The Tongan tribe introduced the iron-wood tree, and first made spears 
out of its timber. The god " Turanga" (now in the Missionary Museum) is 
put for the tribe. 



Death-Talks and Dirges. 



275 



Tena oa te toki paekaeka a Tinirau. 
Taraiia i te rangi te upoku o Kae. 

la totoia, ia tangi a pu te iku o te 
toora. 

la tangi kekina, 
Tuparua te kapu, 
la motu a uka, 
la eveeve ua, 
la kite i te kata. 

Taina ra ! 

Taki na te toki ia Iti, 
Ei koti i te iku o te toora, 

E puta i tokerau. 
Taumaa o Te-ariki-takoto-i-vaenga- 

moana, 
E tae a vai oki te pera o Tutavake o ! 



This is the axe greatly coveted by the 
god Tinirau ; 

Now uplifted against the head of its 
victim : 

Irresistible as a blow from the tail of 

a whale. 

With a ringing sound 
Descend on the hapless skull. 
As unresisting thatch 
Is trimmed by this axe, 
Let him feel its keen edge. 

Slay him ! 

Lift the famed Tahitian axe, 
To chop off the tail of the whale 
Come from some northern sea. 

Let the shark-god, supreme in the 
ocean, devour thee, 

That avenging Tutavake may wade 
in human blood ! 



Puruki TongaitL 
Ua ta Tongaiti. 
E karonga na Kongo ; 
E karonga tuturi. 
Te vaka autu, 
Te vaka aueke. 
Kua pau Mangaia oi ! 

Aue te tamaki e ! 6i ! 
Aue, ka mate e ! 
Eaa te puruki ? 
E toa te puruki 
Te vaa o Tongaiti 

Te kai kaka, 
Tumaeu kura e ! 
E ati mata tao, 
Ei taki i te ara toko i te ngaere ! 

I-iet Ie-koko-koko. 



The Tongans struck the blow. 

The Tongans shed thy blood. 

The war-god is delighted. 

Shoulder to shoulder they come. 

Will they prove victorious ? 

Or are they destined to fail ? 

The warriors of Mangaia have 
fallen ! 

Alas! that fearful night. 

How dreadful is death 1 

With what were they slain ? 

With iron-wood spears 

The special teaching of the Ton- 
gans. 

O poisonous wood, 

Red like human blood, 

That defies all other weapons, 
That hurries the greatest chiefs to an 

untimely grave I 
(War-dance twice performed.) 



276 



Myths and Songs. 



The whole of this dirge, excepting the first two lines, was 
chorus. 

This "eva" was performed by his father's clan, and takes 
precedence of Arokapiti's. 



AROKAPITI'S DIRGE PROPER (EVA) IN HONOUR 
OF RURU, (CiRCA A.D. 1816.) 

EVA TA, OR CRASHING-DIRGE. 

Solo. 
la Ruru te toko i te ra 6i ! Hail, Ruru, predestined chiefl 

Chorus. 
Tera, e Ruru, te uira vananga ei unui Ruru, the flashing lightning came 

to fetch thy spin't ! 
Cut down with a stroke 



i to manava ! 
Ruru atia vaie 
Te kutu i te mangungu e karara i te The crashing thunders of heaven 



rangi. 
Tie-koko koko. 

Vavaia, e Rongo, te rua i te matangi, 
la katamutamu Avaiki. 

Koia aea i te kopuvaru. 
E maiti te pura o Tutavake e rere i 

erangi. 
I aa to taumaa, e te rangi maoaoa ? 

To punanga, e te veri tautua ? 



salute thee. 

(War-dance). 

Great Rongo, cleave an aperture in 

the horizon, 
Through which may be heard the 

whispers of spirit-land. 
Each (god) wields an octagonal club. 
Sparks of fiery war fly up to heaven. 



Why this curse, ye angry skies ? 
Art thou offended, Centipede, 

everywhere present ? 
The enraged Mantis flits over mount 

Ikurangi. 
The irate Lizard has arrived from the 

shades. 

Ka moe koe, e te karaunga, i Art thou, Earwig, in haste to occupy 
tona are. the dwelling (of the dead) ? 



Ka pura te e i Ikurangi, 
Reia e te moko i Enua-kura. 



Death-Talks and Dirges. 



277 



I akaaraia atti koe, e te tukununga. 
E tu ra koe, e te ueue : 

To peau, e te manu ka rere. 
I narea koe e te potipoti - 

I narea koe e te vava 
E atare kai roro i te kikau. 

Taumaa to pauru, e te ro ; 

To komata toto, e te namunamua, 

Na Tiereua koe e anau. 
E manu tu e mai koe, e te kereteki, 

Tokoa e te iva i vaenga moana. 
I turuanuku koe e Tutavake. 
I turua mataotaoa te apai o te rangi. 
Eia e manu e pungaverevere. 
Ei ei nuku na manu o te rangi, 

Pirake e piri te papao ! 



Na tamaroa e tu i te taua, 
Anaua te tamaroa e Tutavake 6 ! 
Miru te metua 1 
E enua akarere Mangaia. 

Puputa motu no Tirango, 
E pa te rongo i Avarua. 



The ever-watchful Spider is already 

weaving its web, 
And the drowsy Beetle is on the 

move. 

Each insect is on the wing. 
Horrid vermin are devouring 

thee. 

The Cricket, too, is eating thee up, 
(In league with) the despoiler of 

the cocoa-nut palm. 
A curse upon thy head, O Ant ! 
And on thee, too, Mosquito, ever- 
thirsting for blood : 
All children of the god Tiereua. 
Ha ! there is a Grasshopper in the 

cruel throng, 

Followed by a Dragon-fly from mid- 
ocean. 
Oh that war loving Tutavake would 

pity thee ! 
Oh, that the fierce demon of the sky 

would save thee ! 
Thou art doomed like a fly in a 

spider's web ; 
Snared by the relentless fairies of the 

air; 

Helpless as a fish in the meshes of 
a net. 

Alas ! brave sons destined for fight, 
Begotten of war-loving Tutavake, 
Dread Miru 1 awaits you. 
Mangaia will soon fade from your 

sight 

Even great Tirango was slain, 
He whose fame reached other 
lands. 



1 As Ruru did not die a warrior's death, his spirit necessarily enters the 
domains of cruel Miru. 



27 8 



Myths and Songs. 



Taevaia e Tane te manavaroa o te The clan of Tane was cut up by the 

Keanui. shark-worshippers, 

Oaia te ara puku i tu i Maungarua. Who love to worship on steep 

Maungarua. 

A puta koe i te rangi, e Rongo ! Favoured childien of the god Rongo. 

Oai te tiaki i te are o Tongaiti? Who maintained the ancient fame of 

the Tongans ? 
O Teio, a tai. O Tevaki, a rua. Teio, Tevaki, and Tirango, 

Tirango, a toru. 
O Paia, ka a. Teuira, ka rima. O Paia, Teuira, and Rarea ; all six 

Rarea, ka ono. famous warriors. 

E akaara i te moe o te koromatua They loved to waken the slumbers of 

i Mangonui the wise man at Mangonui, 

E tu, e ara ! E tu, e ara (With the words) Get up ! Get 

up ! 
E ara na tokorua te papakura. Day would dawn upon these 

watchers, 
Ka eva Tane i Tiairi, Ah, Tiairi * is filled with the tribe 

of Tane. 
Te tu ra oa Ruaika i Tikura, ua mau Brave Ruaika gaily equipped was 

te rakei. speared. 

Na Rerepuka i aae i te tua o Tuku- Rerepuka attacked his foes from 

tuku, behind, 

I rauka \ tana taua. And gained a decisive victory. 

Na makona o Tutavake e tu i te taua, Successful fishermen of the war-god 
E akaara i te tiraa i te rau tamanu, Avenged him who sleeps under the 

"tamanu" tree, 

Tu iora ikona e Kotuku. The fearless Kotuku. 

Aore e taea teia paepae, This place is henceforth sacred. 

E paepae tua-manomano. None dare approach. 

O tai i taeo, o Teiiri o Terarama. Only the fairies may come, Teiiri 

and Terarama. 
O tai i taeo, a tai paepae o Rongo. Rongo himself has been here ! 

Solo. 
E Ina oi ! E Ina 6i ! Hail, 2 Inal Fair Ina ! 

1 Tiairi is the warrior's paradise, in which the clan of Tane is supposed to 
have a large share, most of them having died a violent death. The reference 
is introduced to distract attention from the dismal fate of all who fall into the 
clutches of Mini. 

2 This is a sort of comedy. The performers now divide themselves into 



Death-Talks and Dirges. 279 

Ua akia oa to puta vai na, e Ina 1 E Thy fruits are stolen. Alas ! Ina, 
Ina the moon-goddess. 

Chorus. 

A mau ; Tera rava te maoaoa. Catch (the thieves.) The sky is 

threatening. 

One half. 
E kake ra koe, e te unga. O Robber-crab, climb and catch 

them! 
Other half. 

Aua au e kake ;- na te irave e kake. I will not climb ; let the " Irave " 

catch them. 

One half. 
E kake ra koe, e te " Irave " O " Irave, " climb and catch 

them! 
Other half. 

Aua au e kake ; na te "Papaka " e I will not climb ; let the " Papaka " 
kake. catch them. 

One half. 
E kake ra koe, e te papaka. O "Papaka," climb and catch 

them! 
Other half. 

Aua au e kake ; na te tupa e kake. I will not climb \ let the " Tupa " 

catch them. 

One half. 
E kake ra koe, e te tupa. O "Tupa," climb and catch them! 

two bands, alternately addressing each other. At length two men, calling 
themselves mice, actually climb a pandanus tree well-laden with ripe fruit, and 
squeak I Showers of nuts are scattered over the performers to their great 
amusement. 

The "eva," or "dirge properly so called," was always performed by 
day; usually in the early morning. 

The ** irave," "papaka," and "tupa" are well-known varieties of the 
land-crab. 



28 o Myths and Songs. 

Other half. 

Aua ail e kake ; ne te karau e kake. I will not climb ; let the tiny crab 

catch them. 

One half. 
E kake ra koe, e te karaii. tiny crab, climb and catch them !"" 

Other half. 

Aua au e kake ; na te kiore e kake. I will not climb ; let the mouse catch 

them. 

Two. 
Noai teia ngai ? Who is up there ? 

Chants. 

Ake ! Ake ! Keka ! Keka ! ! Tutute ! What noises are these of nibbling 

Tutute ! ! and crunching 

Ngengene ! Ngengene ! ! Kaika ! Squeaking and fighting ? 
Kaika!! 

Akaruke i te katu ! The hard shells are falling. 

Pururu te katu a te kiore, te katu a te They are scattered in all directions 

kiore. by the mice. 

Tai naku, e Kio ! Tai naku, e O mouse, give me some ! Pray 

Kio ! give me some ! 

Tera ake oa te kuriri ! Hark to the song of the birds ! 

Tikaroa te iroiro. Our amusement is concluded. 

This dirge was performed by the mother's clan under the 
direction of Arokapiti. There happened to be thunder and 
lightning on the day Rum died ; which was, of course, regarded 
as a celestial compliment to the dying chief. 

All the minor gods (i.e. reptiles and insects) have resolved tc 
kill the illustrious Ruru. None of the major gods pitying him, 
his ghost sorrowfully enters the shades. 



Death-Talks and Dirges. 281 

" BLACKENED-FACE " DIRGE-PROPER FOR ATIROA. 

BY HIS FATHER KORONEU, CIRCA 1820. 

Solo. 

E Pange oi ! e rau raua ia tama. Alas, Pangeivi ! The case is hopeless. 

Kua tomo te vaka 1 The canoe x is lost ; 

Chorus. 
A, aore e tu, e tail atua. Oh, my god (Tane) thou hast failed 

mel 

I naau ai kua oki o, Thou didst promise life ; 

E vaorakau raui naau, Thy worshippers were to be as a 

forest, 

Aore tetai e tukua i te urunga piro. To fall only by the axe in battle. 
Ina tika oki Turanga, Had it been the god Turanga 

E vaimangaro ra taana ! That liar ! I would not have trusted 

hint. 

Parau aore, e kai oki taau. Like him, you are a man-eater I 

Tapani atura i te koi parara May thy mouth be covered with 



Kororo-kururu ua 'tu ra. Slush it over and over ! 

E atua te tangata e oia 1 This god is but a man after all 1 

Solo. 

Tiria i mua, e Kon ! Ei ! Ei ! Plaster him well, friends. Ha t Hal I 

(Women's shouts). 

Chorus. 

Tutae keinga e te tuarangi ! Dung is fit food for such gods ! 

Kua kau te metua i te ngarau I "We parents are in deep mourning, 

E ngarau no Tiki. Like that first used by Tiki 

Ei eva i te tama akaaroa ; We mourn for our beloved first-born. 

Ei tuveu i te are rangorango, Oh, that one could stir up the gods, 

Kia ara te tangata mate. And cause the very dead to awake ! 

E takanga mate no Tutaemaro, Yonder stands thy weeping mother. 

Te taka ra i One-makenukenu. Thy spirit wanders about One-makenu- 

kenu, 

1 " The canoe is lost " ~ " The child isdead." 



282 



Myths and Songs. 



E kimi i te ara, 
Kia kitea te ara i keinga J i ! 



Itia e Ruateatonga te ii 
I te keremuta o Vatea 
la amama Avaiki I 

Ua, e Tiki, i te u tuarangi 1 



Aria ! 

Ua, uaia I 
K6! 



To taringa, e Pangeivi ; 
I kai koe i tad tamaiti na ! 



Inquiring the reason 
Why his poor body was devoured (by 
the gods). 

Fairy of the axe ! cleave open 
The secret road to spirit-land ; and 
Compel Vatea to give up the dead ! 



Solo. 



Puff, x Tiki, a puff such as only ghosts 
can! 



Chorus. 



Solo. 



Wait a moment. 



(Again I say) puff, puff away ! 
(Chorus of pretended explosions 1) 

Chorus. 

A curse upon thee, priest Pangeivi. 
Thou hast destroyed my boy. 



As no one would undertake to compose an atheistic dirge for 
the angry mourner, Koroneu made his own. It was performed 
successfully amongst the other more regular dirges for Atiroa. 

THE FIRST MURDER AND THE FIRST BATTLE. 

The earlier part of the reign of Rangi was " the golden age " 
of these people. Children grew up to maturity; men became 
aged their limbs tottering, their backs curved, and their teeth 
dropping out, so that they were fed again with the expressed juice 
of the cocoa-nut, poured into the mouth by means of the leaf 
of the tiere, or gardenia still, Death had not made its appear- 



1 In Latin, pedite. 



Death-Talks and Dirges. 283 

ance ; and of course war, famine, sickness, and pain were un- 
known. 

But this happy state of things did not last. Even during the 
lifetime of the famous Rangi a mighty change took place. 

There lived in those days a famous man named Matoetoea. 
Many had tried to kill him ; but in vain. For as soon as the 
arms of an adversary were uplifted to strike him, a violent shiver- 
ing and trembling would seize the limbs of the would-be murderer, 
so that the weapon would fall to the ground and Matoetoea escape 
unharmed. Hence the saying in daily use, when any one shivers 
and his skin becomes rough in consequence, "he has been 
smitten by Matoetoea " (te kiri o Matoetoea). 

There lived in spirit-land (Avaiki) a " brave," named Tukaitaua, 1 
ever ready to perform the behests of Rongo. Hearing of the 
marvellous power possessed by Matoetoea, he longed to measure 
his own strength with one of earth. With this view he came up 
to this upper world and searched over the island for his foe until 
he found him. For the first time Matoetoea's power of self- 
defence was at fault, and he easily fell under the blows of the 
redoubtable Tukaitaua. Ngake and Akuru were also slain by this 
" brave j " in all, three persons were murdered successively on one 
night by Tukaitaua one from each of the three primitive tribes. 

Thus death entered into the world (Mangaia). Matoetoea 
was the first to die a violent death, as Vetini afterwards was the 
first to die a natural one. Rangi was much grieved at this violent 
breach, now first made, in his hitherto peaceful domain. He 
sought everywhere for the unknown murderer ; but to no purpose. 
He therefore descended to (Avaiki) nether-land, to pay a visit 
to his grandfather Rongo, as the only possible way of discovering 

1 = " He whose delight it is to fight " (tu = stand; kai = wf; tau= battle.} 



284 Myths and Songs. 

the murderer. Upon entering the presence of the great Kongo, 
he found Matoetoea there, his head and face all covered with 
blood. Rongo asked Rangi what he had come for. Rangi 
replied, " To ascertain who murdered Matoetoea." The war-god 
now inquired, "Have you not seen any new face in the upper 
world ? " "I have," replied Rangi. " He is the murderer," re- 
joined Rongo. 

Rangi, now thirsting for revenge, asked how he, a mortal, could 
kill Tukaitaua. Rongo said, " Go back to c daylight ; ' you cannot 
conquer Tukaitaua. /will send some one to punish him." Upon 
this the king left the shades and returned to his old home in this 
upper world of light. 

The war-god kept his word. There lived with him in spirit- 
land another " brave," Tutavake, cousin to the redoubtable Tu- 
kaitaua, who represented the elder branch of the family. The 
father of Tukaitaua was Tavarenga (Deceiving) the parent of 
Tutavake was Tuatakiri (Entirely-brave). Summoned to the 
presence of Rongo, Tutavake was ordered to go at once " to 
daylight" and slay Tukaitaua. "How can I manage it? " asked 
Tutavake. Rongo directed him to search through the six districts 
of Mangaia. " And if you cannot then discover him, climb the 
hills, and you will be sure to find his whereabouts. Only do not 
attack him early in the morning, for then he is in his full strength ; 
nor in the evening, for as the shadow lengthens his strength 
increases. Recollect that as the shadow of morning shortens, 
Tukaitaua's strength wanes. At mid-day it is at the lowest point 
Stand erect on a hill in the sun until its rays are vertical ; then go 
and attack him." 

Tutavake obeyed. Coming up to "daylight," he found the 
inhabitants of Auau (Mangaia) crowded together in the interior 



Death-Talks and Dirges. 285 

in terror of the unknown murderer of mankind. For some time 
he could get no clue to the exact whereabouts of Tukaitaua. He 
had indeed been seen occasionally performing his wonderful war- 
like evolutions hitherto unknown to mankind. Ascending a hill 
(which represents the left heel of the giant " Te-manava-roa ") he 
espied a small cloud of -dust rising from a spot not far from "the- 
chasm-of-Tiki," by which constant communication was at that time 
kept up with nether-world. Tutavake cautiously approached the 
spot, and peered through the dense growth of trees and bush 
which surrounded the open space cleared by Tukaitaua for spear- 
exercise. There, indeed, was his unconscious foe vigorously 
fighting the air. Day after day, from dawn to sunset, this was 
Tutavake's sole delightful employment. On this occasion Tu- 
kaitaua was somewhat exhausted, for the sun was vertical. Ever 
and anon an " ugh " would escape the accomplished warrior, as 
he failed in some delicate movement Encouraged by these 
heavy grunts of disappointment, Tutavake, spear in hand, suddenly 
darted from his hiding-place to the edge of the circle inside which 
his cousin was practising. The astonished Tukaitaua exclaimed: 

Ana mai ta Tauatakiri, The son of " Entirely-brave " did not 

come 
Kua pakua ta Tavarenga. Until the son of "Deceiving" was 

exhausted. 

Yet Tukaitaua did not for a moment cease his spear-practice. 
His antagonist followed him very adroitly, as he went round and 
round the great circular area, in order to avoid a hasty meeting. 
This was in accordance with the instructions of Rongo. Tu- 
kaitaua's obvious aim was to close in with his foe as quickly as 
possible, and to give the death blow. Seven times Tukaitaua 
wheeled round, but was skilfully avoided by Tutavake. The 



286 Myths and Songs. 

eighth time he made the circuit, it was evident that his strength 
was much impaired. At this Tutavake suddenly swung round in 
the opposite direction and dealt the hitherto invincible Tukaitaua 
a fatal blow on his head. 

Rangi was delighted that the death of Matoetoea and his 
friends was thus speedily avenged. Tutavake returned to the 
shades. But the former peaceful state of things could never be 
enjoyed again. Blood had been shed; first in sheer wantonness, 
next in just retribution. Ever since, mankind has been engaged 
in either aggressive or defensive warfare. Diseases of various 
kinds followed in the train, and lingering death ; Vetini being the 
first Hurricanes and famines came, too, into existence. 

Tukaitaua, when prowling round the island in search of 
Matoetoea, etc., discovered in the exterior pile of rocks sur- 
rounding the fertile interior, a remarkable narrow gorge which 
runs right round, not unlike a wide road, fenced on either side 
with imperishable walls of hardened sharp-pointed coral Yet, 
strangely enough, in this coral large trees and beautiful creepers 
of different kinds grow luxuriantly. At various points in this 
natural road round Mangaia, Tukaitaua had cleared the bush and 
removed the rough loose stones in order to prosecute his favourite 
pastime : at one time with a long spear ; at another with a double- 
edged wooden sword; anon with a curved club ; occasionally with 
a sling. 

The inhabitants of the world (Mangaia) contrived to get 
glimpses of the proceedings of this extraordinary fellow from 
behind trees or elevated blocks of rock ; without, however, being 
seen by him. For it was evidently a dangerous thing to go near a 
native of nether-world possessed of such fearful strength. It was 



Death- Talks and Dirges. 287 

in this furtive manner that mankind first learnt what sort of 
weapons to make and how to fight with them. 

This knowledge was very seasonable. For not long after- 
wards there arrived at Tamarua, on the south of the island, a 
fleet of canoes of " Tongans-sailing-through-the-skies " (Tongaiti- 
akareva-moana). The leader of this formidable band was the first 
high-priest of the god Turanga. The secret of his successful 
navigation was a vast ball of string which he held in his hand during 
his long voyage, and which was quite exhausted upon their safe 
arrival on the southern coast of Mangaia, 1 Hence his name, Te- 
ab-roa, or The-man-of-the-long-string. In those days the now 
unruly ocean was smooth as the little lake in Veitatei ; its surface 
occasionally disturbed with gentle ripples, so that it was the 
easiest tiling possible to voyage over it at any time and in any 
direction. But in after ages, ceaseless wars and shedding of 
blood disturbed the course of the elements, and so gave rise to 
the fearful storms and cyclones we now suffer from. 

A battle ensued between these driftaways from Tonga and the 
original possessors of the soil, who claimed to have come up out 
of nether-world. This was the first of the forty-two pitched battles 
which have been fought on Mangaia. This primary conflict took 
place at Te-rua-noni-anga," or Valley-of-soiL Of this battle 
it is expressly asserted that as men fell in the ranks of Rangi, their 
places were immediately filled up by new warriors from the shades ! 
Sceptical moderns think their places were filled up from a re- 
serve force hidden behind the rocks. However, the result was 
that the warlike invaders, who had despised the small army oi 

1 Until lately was shown the hole in the coral reef where "The-man-of-the- 
long-string" tied this end of the enormous ball of string ! The bit of rock is 
now destroyed. 



2 88 Myths and Songs. 

Rangi, and who were sure of securing the entire island to them- 
selves, fled in utter disorder. The numerous names of different 
points of road across the island to the cave of Tautua, where the 
remnant took shelter, are but so many memorials of those slain in 
the pursuit. 

Of Rangi's victorious force three fell one out of each of 
the three original tribes. And thus was established the ancient 
doctrine (ara taonga), that victory and chieftainship of all degrees 
can only be secured by first shedding the blood of some of the 
victorious party, so as to secure the favour of Kongo, the arbiter of 
the destinies of war. 

In the persons of Rangi and Tiaio, but in no other, the 
secular and spiritual sovereignties were united. 

Peace was secured by the offering up on the altar of Rongo a 
human sacrifice, Vaioeve. Rangi now consented that the unfortu- 
nate Tongans should permanently occupy that part of the island 
where they had so recently landed. The art of war would not, 
however, have reached perfection but for these Tongan settlers, 
who had the credit, or discredit, of introducing the iron-wood 
tree, from the wood of which in after years all weapons of war 
were manufactured. 

The settlement of a Tongan colony on the south, and their 
first conflict with the earlier inhabitants, are historical facts. Then- 
bravery is universally admitted. 

The restless character of these Tongans is indicated in the 
proverb, " A stone-mouth is needed to exhort the Tongans to keep 
the peace," i.e. lips that never tire. 

When dealing a death-blow it was sometimes said, " Go, eat 
the stale food of Tukaitaua ; " the food in question being the club 
and the spear which Tukaitaua loved so well. 



( 28 9 ) 



CHAPTER XIII. 
HUMAN SACRIFICES. 

WHY HUMAN SACRIFICES WERE OFFERED. 

RANGI'S first propitiatory offering to Rongo was a rat laid with 
great ceremony on the original marae of the god of war. But on 
descending to the shades to pay a visit to his divine grandfather, 
Rongo evinced his displeasure by averting his face from Rangi 
on account of his having been imposed upon with so unworthy 
a sacrifice. Rangi, who was naturally averse to blood-shedding, 
now learnt that nothing less than a human sacrifice would give 
satisfaction. 

Upon his return to this upper world, Rangi successfully fought 
his first battle at a spot ever since called " Teruanoninga," or 
Valley-of-sfoil. In this engagement the newly arrived colony 
from Tonga received a great check. A fugitive from the battle- 
field, Vaioeve, was overtaken and slain expressly for sacrifice 
to the god of War and of Night Vaioeve was \hsfirst human 
sacrifice ever offered on Mangaia. The place where the victim fell 
still bears his name. 

u 



290 Myths and Songs. 

The practice once begun was continued until Christianity put 
a stop to it for ever. The second human sacrifice was Turuia, 
first priest of Tane on Mangaia, from Iti (Tahiti). Turuia was 
slain at the instigation of Tamatapu, during the lifetime of Rangi. 
The tribe of Tane arrived after the Tongans, and from being first 
regarded as guests, were devoted by the original lords of the soil 
who claimed direct descent from the god Rongo to furnish 
human sacrifices whenever required. 

The successive priests of Tane, viz. Matariki, Tiroa, and 
Tepunga, were in after times slain and offered in sacrifice by the 
older tribe. The martial supremacy of Mautara alone saved 
Tevaki, the last of that devoted race, and from whom the present 
tribe of Tane is descended. As human sacrifices were indispens- 
able, Mautara reverted to the original tribe of Tongans (in which 
Teipe was included), from which Rangi had selected the first 
human sacrifice. It is mournful to think that almost every 
member of these families was offered in sacrifice; a few of their 
number being always reserved, and even cherished, for the express 
purpose of providing future sacrifices. 

Later still, the Amai tribe was devoted on account of their 
complicity in a murder of a chief of the once all-powerful Mautara 
clan. Thus it became the custom to devote each new band 
of settlers (with one or two exceptions), on some pretence or 
other, to the altar. The only tribe never thus treated was the 
original one who worshipped Rongo and Motoro : the alleged 
reason being that Rongo would be angry if his own worshippers 
and so-called children were offered. With perfect consistency, 
then, it was proposed by the angry heathen, in 1824, to offer up 
Davida, the first Christian teacher, to the god Rongo. This 
was with the view of extinguishing Christianity. The plot almost 



Sacrifices. 291 



succeeded. Providentially, a convert named Mauapa x revealed it 
to Davida, and so set the Christian party on their guard. 



The following ancient myth refers to the only instance related of 
stealing away the sacrifice from Kongo's altar ; for it is well known 
that fish were not offered to that god. His fish 'were human victims. 

Three varieties of butterflies are indigenous on Mangaia : a 
large, velvety, purple beauty ; a somewhat smaller one, with red 
spots ; and a small, unattractive, yellow sort 

One day Rongo missed from his altar a fine sword-fish (aku) ; 
it had been stolen by the Lizard-god, Matarau, whose marae is at 
Aumoana, 2 at Tamarua. Rongo ordered his swift messengers, the 
birds, to fly to that marae to see whether it was not hidden there. 
The birds obeyed, and found the stolen sword-fish in the sacred 
shade of the marae. Hard by, in a gloomy little recess, the Lizard 
kept constant watch. Now this Lizard had, as its name Matarau 
implies, two hundred eyes, besides eight heads and eight tails. 
So that all that the bird-messengers could do was to look on 
with awe at a distance, from the branches of the sacred trees. 
They returned to great Rongo, and told what they had seen. 
They were chided by Rongo, and bidden to return to the grove of 
the Lizard-god, and endeavour to bring away the " fish " stolen 
from his altar. The birds returned, and in their zeal venturing too 
near the cave of the god possessed of two hundred eyes, were all 
summarily devoured. Several other bird-messengers shared a 
similar fate. Rongo now commissioned rich velvety butterflies 
to attempt the rescue ; but they, too, were all snapped up by the 
Lizard-god. The red butterflies fared no better. At last Rongo, 

1 A heathen song in honour of this man is given on p. 257, 
z = Ocean current. 



292 Myths and Songs. 

at his wits' end, hit upon a notable device to get back his stolen 
sacrifice : two little yellow butterflies were summoned to his 
presence, and were directed to a banyan tree growing out of the 
rocks just over the entrance to the cave where the ever-vigilant 
Lizard kept watch. Adhering to the inside of two sere yellow 
leaves, their presence would not be noticed. The trusty little mes- 
sengers, so utterly insignificant in appearance, easily made their 
way unnoticed to the banyan tree. All the butterflies and moths 
of Mangaia hid themselves amongst the leaves in the immediate 
neighbourhood, in order to render assistance. Rongo now caused 
the " moio " (w. by N.) wind to blow violently across the island 
(in a straight line from the grove of Rongo to that of the Lizard- 
god). Down came a shower of yellow leaves with the two yellow 
butterflies upon the stolen " fish." Little did the Lizard suspect 
that two messengers of his rival Rongo were hidden underneath 
the multitude of leaves which caused his eyes to blink for a 
moment. The clever little butterflies inwardly chuckled, as 
success was now certain, for they had seized their prey. And 
now myriads of butterflies and moths of all sorts and colours came 
to the aid of then* friends. The ears of the astonished Lizard-god 
were assailed by the defiant shouts of the war-dance, as the sword- 
fish was borne on the wings of the army of butterflies through the 
air across the island to the altar of Rongo. With infinite chagrin 
the Lizard-god helplessly watched the disappearance of his stolen 
" fish." As they fled they sang : 

E uru tupu ariki, e ika na Rongo ! Dance in triumph before this (fish) 

offering to Rongo. 
E apai e takitaki aere. Lift it on high ; bear it carefully on. 

"Aumoana" is the ancient marae of the Tongan tribe, to 



Human Sacrifices. 293 

whom Vaioeve belonged. Unquestionably this is an allegorical 
account of the loss and recovery of Vaioeve, or some other very 
early victim ; the object being to conceal the fact from the vulgar. 
That an ambush was formed, and two clever fellows dared the 
anger of the Lizard-god, in order to recover a stolen sacrifice (or 
" fish," as it was invariably termed) is very probable. 



THE DRUM OF PEACE. 

Upon gaining a decisive victory the leading warrior was 
proclaimed " temporal lord of Mangaia." The kingly authority 
was hereditary and distinct from that of the warrior chief: the 
former representing the spiritual, the other the temporal power. 
I believe Mangaia to be the only island in the Pacific where this 
distinction obtained. Kings were "te ara pia o Rongo," i.e. 
" the mouth-pieces, or priests, of Rongo." As Rongo was the 
tutelar divinity and the source of all authority, they were invested 
with tremendous power the temporal lord having to obey, like 
the multitude, through fear of Rongo's anger. Peace could 
not be proclaimed or blood spilt lawfully without the consent 
of the king speaking in the name of the god Rongo. So sacred 
were their royal persons that no part of their bodies might be 
tattooed ; they could not take part "in dances or in actual warfare. 

It sometimes happened that the temporal chief was at enmity 
with the king of his day. In this case the king would refuse 
to complete the ceremonies for his formal investiture ; life would 
remain unsafe ; the soil could not be cultivated, and famine soon 
followed. This state of misery might endure for years, until 
the obnoxious chief had in his turn been despatched, and a more 
agreeable successor fixed upon. All the multitudinous idolatrous 



294 Myths and Songs. 

ceremonies to secure peace would be now easily arranged by the 
king. 

Seven distinct journeys would be made round the island by 
the victorious warriors, who with their women and children had 
hitherto huddled together in one encampment Fully equipped, 
as if for battle, they would one day march round the island 
defiantly, to assert the absolute supremacy of the -winning party. 
Man, woman, or child crossing their path that day was slain. 
Subsequent processions were of a more peaceful character, in 
order to perform idolatrous worship at each of the principal 
maraes. One of the more interesting of these was the ceremony 
of spear-breaking, in token of the cessation of war. After a 
renewed circuit of the island, the warrior chiefs would, with 
great formality, beat to pieces a number of second-rate spears 
of various shapes against a great chestnut tree (cut down a year or 
two since) growing opposite the principal interior marae. An- 
other interesting symbol of peace was the setting up in each prin- 
cipal marae a forked stick, well notched, and called " supports? 
intimating that the leading men who worshipped there should 
prove " supports " to the reign of peace now inaugurated. 
Miniature houses were erected on all these maraes ; each house 
being a fathom long and well thatched, with a little open door 
neatly screened with a strip of the best white cloth. These tiny 
houses were designated " conservators of peace ?; (are ei au). The 
idea was, that all the gods and all their worshippers should lay 
aside their animosities and unite in keeping the peace. In the 
language of those days, the entire assembly of gods form but " one 
house ; " the great point being that no divinity should feel himself 
neglected, and so take umbrage, and thus a hole be made through 
which wind and rain (war and bloodshed) might enter. If all the 



Human Sacrifices. 295 

gods be propitious and united, they form a well-thatched house 
which no evil can invade. 

The seventh and most important procession of all was to beat 
the drum of peace all round the island. But the indispensable 
preliminary to this was the securing an acceptable offering to 
Rongo, arbiter of war and peace. A man or woman must be 
slain, but not needlessly battered, for the express purpose, and 
laid upon the altar. 

The victim was first exposed on a platform of pandanus- 
wood in the sacred district of Keia, and opposite to the idol- 
house ; hence the name often applied to such, " pange-ara," or 
" laid-on-a-pandanus-tree." The entire body of victors now 
assemble in their gayest trappings, and well armed, in front of the 
victim, whilst "the praying-king" (te ariki karakia) slowly chanted 
twice the following 

PRAYER OVER A HUMAN SACRIFICE TO RONGO. 1 

E kaura ! ura pia ! Stately, noble priest I 

Ura vananga, ura turou, Sweet peace, pleasant offering ! 

Turoua takaia, takaia e mana, Securely fastened and well-tied. 

Rimarima tangata, angaanga tangata, These human hands and human form, 

Atia a mana airi a tapu : Devoted to this fate by the gods : 

Atia te 10, te io no Rongo. Doomed to sacrifice by the god 

Rongo. 

O Vatea te auranga moana, Great Vatea is the guardian of the 

ocean. 

le rua rau'i au, By him it is ruffled : 

E rua rua'i toro. By him it is calmed. 

1 This prayer, and the "Prayer for Peace" on p. 299, are of unknown 
antiquity. 



296 



Myths and Songs. 



Ka tupu o te toa, 
Ka rito o te toa, 
Ka rara o te toa, 
Ka kokoti o te toa, 
Ka era o te toa, 
Ka maikuku o te toa, 
Ka ngaa o te toa. 

Tupu akera la uki e toa 

E maori no taua puruki 
No taua te arutoa 
No tupuranga taua, 

No taua kiea, no taua kiea ! 

E ti o te maunga o te mateni ; 

Teniteni te matakeinanga ; 
Koakoa te matakeinanga I 

Taua ra i te makitea, 
I te punanga o te ao. 

Teniteni te matakeinanga ; 

Koakoa te matakeinanga ! 



Here is iron- wood of noble growth 
A most graceful tree, 
With numerous branches. 
Fell this iron- wood tree ; 
Divide its trunk ; 
Split it with wedges, 
For the making of spears. 

In every age the iron-wood has yielded 
Death-dealing spears 
For the use of wairiors only 
From time immemorial. 

And bravely have we wielded them ! 

The wild l ti root of the hills (was 
our food). 

But now we shall enjoy plenty. 

This day we heartily rejoice. 

Lately we hid in the rocks 
The refuge of the conquered. 
But now we shall enjoy plenty, 
This day we heartily rejoice. 



The painfully interesting part of this incantation is lost j the 
stanzas relating to the division of the lands, when the nose and 
ears of the victim were cut off and formally presented to the 
expectant chiefs. The " prayer " only was chanted on this occa- 
sion. 

After a few days the warriors would' again deck themselves in 
their gayest trappings, and well armed stood in front of the wooden 
altar. The "praying king," assisted by his friends, now came 
forward with a large coarse scoop-net of cocoa-nut fibre, used 
only on such occasions ; and carried off the decayed sacrifice to 
the pebbly beach at some distance. It was laid this time on a 



1 Dracaena terminals* 



Human Sacrifices* 297 

smooth block of sandstone in front of the great national stone idol, 
Rongo. Hence the name frequently applied to human victims, 
" ikakaa," or fish caught in the net of Rongo. The incantation 
slowly chanted at the wooden altar in the interior near the marae of 
Matoro, god of day, was repeated at the natural stone altar on 
the shore at the marae of Rongo, god of night (atua po). 

The " praying king," with a bamboo knife, now cut off the ears 
of the victim ; the right ear representing the right, or southern^ 
half of the island ; the left ear representing the left, or northern 
half. Each ear was then subdivided into as many small portions 
as might serve to represent the various minor districts (tapere) of 
each half. The king now demanded, in a loud voice, " Who shall 
be lord, or warrior-chief, of Mangaia?" According to a private 
agreement, the leading man amongst the winning tribes rose, and 
with dignity said, " Ei iaku Mangaia " = " Let me be lord of 
Mangaia," The entire assembly of warriors, by profound silence, 
confirmed the appointment. This chief now resumed his seat on 
the ground ; but to him, as supreme temporal lord, no part of the 
victim was given. In a prescribed order, the names of all the 
district-chiefs and landowners were proclaimed, each receiving from 
the hand of the king a portion of the ears of the victim wrapped up 
in a ti leaf. The great temporal chief invariably received the first 
portion, in the inferior capacity of district-chief. These bits of 
human ears were deposited in the different family maraes. They 
constituted an investiture to all offices and right to the possession 
of the soil. Without a human sacrifice there could be no formal 
possession of dignity or estate. 

The nose of the victim was the portion of the kings and their 
recognized assistants. Thus the guardian of, and performer on, 
the sacred drum of peace had a share. The man who had the 



298 Myths and Songs. 

management of all great feasts, and was supposed to make the 
food grow, came in for his share of the nose. The " praying 
king," however, was the great spiritual dignity or pontiff, and as 
such came in for the best lands, in addition to the daily offerings 
of food of best quality. 

And now the famous drum of peace, expressly made for this 
solemn occasion, would be beaten ; or, strictly speaking, would be 
heavily struck with the tips of the fingers. A feast occupied the 
attention of the warriors and chiefs between the presentation of 
the bits of human ears and the drumming. The performance first 
ook place on the marae of Rongo ; a procession was now formed 
of all the victorious tribes, headed by the king and the hereditary 
drum-beater, who carried the big drum. This object of mysterious 
reverence was simply part of a tree, dug out at one end with stone 
adzes j the aperture being covered with a piece of shark's skin. 
Each relative of the hereditary drum-player carried a small drum, 
to increase the volume of sound, thus assuring fugitives hiding in 
the rocks and thickets that better days were dawning. The 
" praying king," at the head of the procession, chanted in a pleasing 
tone a prayer for peace to the gods. At a certain point all the 
males of the kingly families united their voices, and all the drums 
sent forth their agreeable, although monotonous, accompaniment. 

I give the exact words from the lips of the aged king, who 
minutely related to me the whole of the ceremonies connected 
with the offering of human sacrifices and the drum of peace. For 
any but kingly voices to recite these " karakia," or " prayers/' 
would have been to invoke the anger of the gods. 



Human Sacrifices. 299 



PRAYER FOR PEACE. 

The single voice of the " fraying king." 

Akiakia Maruata ikitia taku atarau. A bleeding victim has been chosen 

for our altar, 
laia ia vaerea te tarutaru enua By it are weeded out the evils of the 

land 
O Avaiki mai raro e ! Which spring up from nether- world. 

All the drums and all the voices. 
Teimaia rangi maia, rangi vaerea. Let peace begin. May the sky be 

cloudless ! 
Teimaia rangi maia, rangi vaerea. Let peace begin. May the sky be 

cloudless ! 
Vaerea tai taru ; vaerea. Weed out all evils. Weed them 

out! 
Vaerea ; vaerua i to makita, makita. Weed, weed them out ; utterly and 

for ever ! 
Makitaria kitaria, kua rangi riri e ! Aye, let each threatening cloud 

entirely disappear! 

Upon entering each district the performance began anew. The 
circuit of the island was made in one day \ the prayer being 
many times offered. At a certain spot, still marked by three 
stones, a spear was thrust into the big drum of peace, in token 
that the work was accomplished. Peace was secured The great 
drum was hidden away in a certain cave, kept an inviolable secret 
to this day. So that for each proclamation of peace a new drum 
(pau) must be dug out 

No music was ever half so sweet to the ears of the vanquished 
as the monotonous notes of the drum of peace. By it human life 
became sacred. Wretches, nearly dead from starvation and terror, 
hiding in the desolate * 4 raei," now came forth boldly. Everywhere 
the fertile valleys became again dotted over with the dwellings of 
the victors and their vassals. These houses might be covered 



300 Myths and Songs. 

with substantial thatch ; for had not the gods in each district 
been honoured with tiny ones of their own? Thatched houses 
were not lawful until the drum had been beaten. A miserable 
shift was made with split cocoa-nut branches. 

In the hope of winning the favour of the new lords of the 
soil, the survivors of the beaten tribes brought out from their 
hiding-places in the rocks fine braided hair ; white shells for the 
arms, used at dances ; fish-nets of the best quality ; wooden 
troughs and stone adzes. Some were fortunate in being pro- 
tected by relatives, who usually allowed their unfortunate friends to 
retain part of their treasures. Some were avowedly protected to 
furnish human sacrifices at a future day. The birth of a child by 
such serfs was regarded with satisfaction by the unfeeling masters. 
As a rule, the wives of the conquered were the property of the 
victors. The serfs were expected to fish daily for the benefit of 
their lords, who generously permitted their dependants to eat the 
small, inferior fish themselves. 

A feast was given by the victors to these serfs a public 
recognition of their safety. This was called " taperu kai." 

The coral-tree (erythrina coralodendror?), which attracts every eye 
with its symbolical blood-red flowers, was now formally planted in 
the valleys in token of peace. This plant is almost imperishable. 
It was vainly hoped that the reign of peace might be equally 
enduring. Cocoa-nut trees were also planted all over the island 
to mark the duration of peace. The only warrior-chiefs under 
whom peace prevailed long enough for a cocoa-nut tree to bear, 
were Tuanui, Mautara, Ngara, Potiki, and Pangemiro. Two only 
of these were long reigns Mautara's, twenty-five years ; Potiki's, 
about twenty years. The other three certainly did not exceed 
seven years apiece. Sages praise these five great chieftains for 
causing peace to prevail so long! 



Human Sacrifices. 301 

Tradition tells of a period when war and bloodshed were 
unknown. That was in the ^ days of Rangi, before Rarotongan 
chiefs had taught them to be cruel Thanks be to God, that for 
more than forty years, under the benign influence of Christian 
truth, human life has been sacred. 

After the drum of peace had been beaten, it became unlawful 
to carry weapons of any description. Aged men, however, were 
permitted to carry about a staff, five or six feet in length, to 
support their tottering limbs. Men daily carried about with them, 
in symbol of peace, an outrageously large fan, now obsolete. This 
fan was sufficiently large to protect the upper part of the body 
from sun or rain. It was found necessary to forbid its use 
in church, as the person of the owner was nearly hidden 
behind it. During the season of peace it was considered a most 
grave offence to cut down iron-wood on any pretence whatever; as 
under pretence of obtaining strong rafters for their houses, or the 
making of spades for husbandry, weapons of war might be manu- 
factured. 

When the martyr Williams touched at Mangaia in 1 823, he learnt 
that a decisive battle had been fought two years previously ; but 
the drum of peace had not been beaten. Hence their favourite 
saying, that the men of that generation were awaiting the arrival 
of the Gospel of the Prince of Peace, whose word and reign con- 
stitute the true drum of peace. Davida and Tiere first caused them 
to hear the sweet melody; they emerged out of their hiding-places 
into the peace, light, and freedom of Christianity. The Sacrifice 
laid on the divine altar was no longer an unwilling victim selected 
from the slave tribes, but the free-will offering of the Son of God. 

The native words for "peace" 1 ("mangaia," "au"), also 

1 The Bible phrase, "the peace of God" is rendered " te au 
" the rule and consequent peace of God. " 



302 Myths and Songs. 

denote "rule," or "reign;" the rule of the temporal lord lasting 
only so long as no blood was spilt Once the charm broken, 
murders and reprisals might daily take place, provoking a pitched 
battle, sometimes a war of extermination. When the victors felt 
themselves secure, a human victim (sometimes more than one) 
must be secured, and all this burdensome ceremonial gone through 
again, ere peace and order could once more prevail. Hence the 
difficulty of native chronology; the "reigns," or "periods of 
peace," are most carefully enumerated ; the years of war and 
anarchy are invariably omitted. The means for correcting their 
chronology is supplied by the lifetimes of their priests, which axe 
well known. It is impossible that the errors should be serious, 
seeing the names of the three contemporaneous orders of priests 
(Motoro, Tane, and Tuaranga) are definitely ascertained. 

The last time the peace-drum was played was about the year 
1815. The victim selected was Teata. Of course the poor old 
bald-headed fellow was kept in ignorance of the intentions of the 
sacrificers. On a certain evening the victim-seekers assembled on 
the level top of the central hill, to receive at the hands of the king 
" the sacred girdle." Upon reaching, by an unfrequented moun- 
tain path, the hut of Teata, they found it empty. They were not 
a little perplexed; for should their presence in the village be known, 
their intended victim would effectually hide himself in the rocks. 
At last, under cover of darkness, some of them asked the assist- 
ance of Rakoia. But Teata was maternal uncle to Rakoia, who well 
knew that the old man was liable to sacrifice at any time, as his 
ancestors had been before him. Rakoia resolved to secure to 
himself the merit and profit of delivering Teata into the hands of 
his foes. A few minutes previously he had left his uncle in a lone 



Human Sacrifices. 303 

house built on poles in the middle of the taro patches. A short 
ladder led up to the hut With another relative (still living in 
1875) and Teata, Rokoia had been rehearsing songs. Then they 
chatted pleasantly about the dire famine then prevailing. The old 
fellow patted his head, and remarked, " Could they get THIS (as 
an offering), the gods would send plenty again." At length Teata 
Vainekavoro snored, and Rakoia quietly slipped down the ladder 
and went home. As soon as the victim-seekers told him of their 
perplexity, Rakoia said, "Follow me, and you shall have your 
'fish* " A race now took place between two warriors as to the 
honour of giving the death-blow. Rakoia led the way; on 
arriving at the top of the ladder he carefully pointed out the 
sleeping form of his uncle Teata. A single blow from the axe of 
Arokapiti ended the career of the old man, who an hour or two 
later in the same night was laid on the altar. And thus it was 
that the drum of peace for Pangemiro's temporal sovereignty came 
to be beaten. Hence the consideration ever paid amongst the 
chiefs to the word of Rakoia, who in 1846 succeeded his brother as 
chief, or governor, of Tamarua. Rakoia was one of the first to 
embrace Christianity; and until his death, in 1865, I never saw 
anything inconsistent with his profession as a disciple of Jesus. 
He was a faithful friend to the missionaries, and his last intelligent 
words were addressed to me expressive of his hope. 

At the period of his death he was about eighty years of age. 
He had fought in four pitched battles, besides several minor 
engagements. He was accounted the best poet of his day. 

After the death of Rakoia, a tract of taro-planting land in the 
possession of his nephews became a subject of discussion. None 
of the younger men had a clue to the title by which it was held. 



304 Myths and Songs. 

Some proposed to give it to another tribe, to whom it anciently 
belonged. The old men of the tribe then confessed that the land 
in question was Pangemiro's formerly, but was formally given 
to Rakoia as the price of Teata's blood ! Shame had till then 
closed the lips of these old men; a shame which would never 
have been felt but for Christianity. According to the ancient 
dictum, "blood only can purchase what blood formerly secured 
Of course Rakoia's family retain the land. 

A month or two before the landing of Davida a sacrifice was 
sought for the public acknowledgment of Pangemiro's second elec- 
tion to the supreme temporal chieftainship. Reonatia was waylaid 
and slain (as was supposed) one night, upon his return from bara- 
coota-fishing. A companion of his was uselessly slain at the same 
time. A long spear was driven through the body of the victim, 
and the body borne on a litter across the island to the altar. The 
coolness of the night revived Reonatia, after he had been laid on 
the altar, and the warriors had retired. He even descended to the 
ground, and despite the ghastly wound, unsteadily ran up the hill- 
side a few yards. In a short time it was discovered, and this 
time a stone adze was employed to give the fatal blow, and the 
offering was replaced on the altar. But the dissensions which 
arose on account of this occurrence (that the gods were angry) 
prevented the completion of the ceremonies necessary to peace. 
Reonatia was the last human sacrifice ever laid on the altar of 
Rongo. 

The betrayer of Reonatia was Rouvi, who took part afterwards 
in the destruction of the maraes and the pantheon, and became 
one of the brightest ornaments of our Church. At a very 
advanced age say eighty-five he passed away from our midst. 



Human Sacrifices. 305 

The heathen had prophesied that he would speedily die through 
the anger of the gods ; but he outlived every vestige of the 
heathen party, and was universally respected for his consistent 
attachment to the Truth. 

After the drum of peace had been sounded over the island, the 
king again employed his great net to remove the putrid carcass of 
the victim now minus ears and nose to a certain place in the 
bush within the limits of the marae. It was now designated an 
"ika aua na Papa," or fish-refuse thrown to Papa, mother of Rongo. 
She was supposed to come up at night to feed upon this ghastly 
banquet. The net itself was wrapped round and round the stone 
image of Great Rongo, and there allowed to decay. Inside this 
coarse net was the ordinary tiputa, or loose covering; on the 
head was a sort of hat made of folds of dark native cloth, giving to 
a spectator the impression that he was gazing at a living person. 

Near the image of Rongo the Great stood a small stone 
figure bearing the name of " Rongo-i-te-arero-kute " Rongo-of- 
the-red-tongue. This little unclothed, unworshipped divinity 
seems to have been placed at the back of his friend to give 
emphasis to the title Rongo Nui = Rongo-the-Great. 

At Rimatara human sacrifices were continually being offered 
to Rono ( Rongo), but the " drum of peace " was unknown. 

KIRIKOVFS SACRIFICE. 

CIRCA A.D. 1772. 

After the battle at Teopu, the temporal lordship of Mangaia 
devolved upon Kirikovi. It was in his chieftainship, of some five 
or six years' duration, that Captain Cook touched at Mangaia. 
The first victim uselessly placed on the rude altar of Rongo, in 



306 Myths and Songs. 

order that the drum of peace might be beaten, was Arauru, who, 
with the rest of the Teipe clan, had been hiding with the ancient 
tribe of Ngariki inside a grand and almost inaccessible cave 
named Erue. For a consideration of some valuable lands, To, 
cousin to the doomed man, engaged to lure Arauru out of his 
secure hiding-place to his death. Nor was this a difficult task, 
as this treacherous relative himself lived inside the cave. Ere it 
was quite day, To proposed to his victim that they should go 
fishing. Arauru objected, on the ground of danger ; but To, 
assured him that their foes had that day started off in a different 
direction. Accordingly they left Erue, and with some difficulty 
made their way through thickets towards the sea. When half- 
way (opposite to the present church), Arauru was startled by the 
loud chirp of a cricket in the air, and said to his deceitful com- 
panion, " Ara ! tera rava te Atua karanga ! " = " List to yon warn- 
ing voice !" Twice did the unseen insect mysteriously address the 
infatuated Arauru, who kept on his way, and soon found himself 
encircled with armed men. That same day the unoffending victim 
was laid on the altar of Rongo. But Uanuku, the " wise man " 
(koromedua 1 ) of his day, and the author of a well-remembered 
dirge for Vera, wept and protested against the prayers for peace 
being chanted over his relative. The body of Arauru was accord, 
ingly thrown down a neighbouring chasm. 

A new and unobjectionable victim must be sought. Who 
so suitable as Maruata, who had no family ties to the winning 
tribes ? Despite all pledges of safety for himself and his children, 
he was in the dusk of evening enticed out of the cave Erue to 
a short distance and despatched. The prayers were duly offered, 

1 Hence the native name for "Missionary," Orometua, meaning literally, 
** a wise man* or instructor" " Orometua " is Tahitian for " Koromatua," 



Human Sacrifices. 307 

and all the other ceremonies performed. Thus Kirikovi was in- 
stalled paramount chief. 

As there were several Maruatas,this one is known as "Maruata 
who fell at loapa," the place where the victim was clubbed being 
so named. 

The wife of Maruata, who at an earlier period so narrowly 
escaped being eaten by Ngako, not only witnessed the cruel 
sacrifice of her husband, but also of some of her children in after 
years. 

To was himself offered in sacrifice at the commencement 
of the next reign. 

Arauru, Maruata, and To all worshipped the lizard-god 
Teipe. 



A "CRYING" SONG FOR MARUATA 

(PERTAINING TO THE "DEATH-TALK OF PUVAI"). 
BY KOROA, CIRCA 1795- 

Used only by the Altar-tribe Teipe. 

TUMU. INTRODUCTION. 

Solo. 
Tio ra, tinaoia Maruata e ! Sing we of Maruata, slain for the 

altar, 

Ekitea mai nga erepua tei iaau, Though many were the promises 

E Mai e \ To thee, Mai ! 

Chorus. 

Aiuia mai taua e ! All, alas ! soon broken by 

Pae atiati Ngariki e ! Deceitful, lying Ngariki. 



3 o8 



Myths and Songs. 



PAPA. 



FOUNDATION. 



Solo. 



Akamoe ana era, e Mai e ! 



The clans were united, yet Mai 

fell! 
Chorus. 

Akamoe koe i te ivi-roa : Solemnly united to the ancient chiefs 

E tamaki kiato i Erue, ua tanimo e ! Yet brother sold brother to death a 

Erae. 



Solo. 



Ua tanimo tai kopu. 
Te raka nei tai aiai : ua e ia Mai e ! 



Maruata ra, tei o loapa e ! 

UNUUNU TAI. 

Tinaoia Maruata ra e ! 



Tinaoia Maruata nei : 
Ua koa tei Ngariki. 
Ua tapaia tai apaki, 
Apapatai ua tapariri. 

Pikao rauti ra 

I te taringa kotikoti 

O Maruata ia otoia ! 

Na Kongo te take i tingeti 
Ua kakina e ! 

Ua kakina Maruata nei. 
E kitea mai nga erepua tei iaau, 
E Mai e I 



They cruelly sold thee. 
Thou was deceived to thy death 
O Mai 1 



Chorus. 

Yes, the Maruata who fell at loapa. 



FIRST OFFSHOOT. 



Solo. 



Alas for Maruata, slain for the altar 

Chorus. 

Maruata was slain for the altar ; 
(Ngariki only smiled thereat), 
Like so many others of his tribe, 
That but few now survive ! 

Wiapped in green ti leaves, 
Slices of Maruata's ears 
Announce all new possessions. 

Thy head, sacred to Kongo, 
Was hit and split in his name I 



Solo. 



Yes, Maruata, thy skull was split ; 
Though many were the promises 
To thee, O Mai ! 



1 A second name for Maruata, 



Human Sacrifices. 



309 



Atuia mai taua e ! 
Pae atiati Ngariki e ! 



Chorus. 



All, alas !' soon broken by 
Deceitful, lying Nagriki. 



UNUUNU RUA. 
Na Paeru te ivi i akamoea'i ! 



Na Paeru te ivi i akamoea'i. 
Ua u taua i te mate o Uarau, 

Atuia mai e ua tapariri. 

Pikao rauti ra 

I te taringa kotikoti 

O Maruata ia otoia. 

Na Rongo te take i tingeti 
Ua kakina e ! 



Ua kakina Maruata nei. 
E kakina mai nga erepua tei iaau, 
E Mai g ! 



Atuia mai taua ! 
Pae atiati Ngariki S 



SECOND OFFSHOOT. 
Solo. 

The chief Paeru made league with 

thee. 
Chorus. 

Paeru himself made league with thee. 
We too faithfully followed their for- 
tunes, 
Who betrayed thee to thy death. 

Wrapped hi green ti leaves, 
Slices of Maruata's ears 
Announce all new possessions. 



Thy head, sacred to Rongo, 
Was hit and split in his name. 



Solo. 



Yes, Maruata, thy skull was split; 
Though many were the promises 
To thee, O Mai ! 



Chorus. 



All, alas ! soon broken by 
Deceitful, lying NgarikL 



THE DEATH OF NGUTUKU (CIRCA 1810). 

ARRANGED FOR THE NATIVE HARMONICON. 

Voices only : as many as ten. 
Ngutuku te tuku, e te matakeinanga ; Ngutuku is doomed to perish, 

friends 

O taua teve, mangeo ua ra ! He who is as dangerous as the 

deadly "teve* 



3io Myths and Songs. 

Tena te tamaki, e tiki ia Ku tei roto i Let us attack the guardian of the 

te rua. cave. 

Kua motu i te rauaika. His hour has come. 

Nana ia ka ora. He vainly dreams of safety. 

E tiki e ta i te rua o Tongaiti. Up, attack the stronghold of the 

Tongan clan. 

Vaarire te iki i te kapua e tangi ra. Vaanre is the offering 1 for the altar 

the price of peace. 

Music and Voices. 
Tera! Ngutuku, Ngutuku, Ngutuku Look yonder! Ngutuku, Ngutuku 

titiri ! Ngutuku has fallen. 

Ngutuku oki ka apai na Ngutuku is destined for the altar, 

I te kapua ei ika na Kongo. As a peace-offering to Kongo. 

Anatia kia mou, kia ketaketa. Secure the victim well to the litter. 

Kotia Vaarire, kotia Vaarire, kotia Vaarire is slain, Vaarire is slain, 

Ngutuku. , Ngutuku is slain ! 

Ngutuku, Ngutuku titiri ! Yes, Ngutuku, Ngutuku is hurled 

down. 

Voices only. 

Kua maranga o Vaarire i te kapua ! Ah, Vaarire is borne to the altar ! 

E uru tupu aiiki, e ika na Kongo ! Dance in triumph before this offering 

to Kongo. 2 

E apai e takitaki aere. Lift it on high j bear it carefully 

on. 

Music and Voices. 
Vaarire te ika i mua. ' Bear in front the sacrifice (fish), 

Vaarire. 

E Vaarire te ika i te kapua ! Vaarire is destined for the altar. 

Tei runga au, na Tamarua, We scaled the entrance to his cave at 

Tamarua. 

Na Piti, e Piti, Piti, We now bear him along the road 

I na Veitatei ra : tukuroi ra i Vaipia Until reaching Veitatei we rest at 

the stream. 



1 Vaarire was the original name of Ngutuku. Wherever I have translated 
" offering," the original is fish. 

2 The ancient song of the butterflies, on page 292, is incorporated into this 
modern production. 



Human Sacrifices. 311 

A na ! la ia ! ! tataki na ! And now for the war dance. Up 

with him. 
Kua naua. Oie puruki Kongo, We have succeeded. Such is the 

fiat of Rongo ! 
Oie puruki Rongo. So wills the god of war ! 

Romia mai, e te matakeinanga Onwards, onwards, brave friends. 

Kia takitaki tatou : takaki na uriuri. Toss him aloft. Dance the war- 
dance. 
Ka apai ei kapua koe. Thou art on thy way to the altar. 

Music and Voices. 
Kua roiroi ka aere, a tau te vaapoiro, Once thou didst despatch 1 thy hurried 

mealj 

Anatia te peru ao ; The well-secured basket of tackle 

Akairi ra i te ua, Slung to thy shoulder 

Kia aere atu i te taatuatini, i te taatua- Thou madest thy way to the sea for 
tini ! sport. 

E vaka no Ngutuku, e vaka taki A canoe for Ngutuku. Put in some 

koatu ; stones. 

E vaki taki aere. Launch thy frail bark. 

Kua kakaro i te matangi. Note well the wind. 

Kua tu te rirei ; kua tu te rirei ! The tokens are favourable ; 'twill be 

fair. 

E maro tikoru e ! itikitiki rouru e ! Thy girdle is secured \ thy hair tied 

up, 

Itikitiki rouru e ! Ready for the altar. 

Kotia ra e Kauare to metua, e Mua. O Muare I thy father was skin by 

Kauare. 
Kotia ra Ngutuku. Tena oa te Yes, Ngutuku was cut down by his 

tamaki ! hand. 

Kotia ra Ngutukfl ! la ! Ngutuku fell ! (War-dance.) 

I koia koe i te rakau. The spear entered thy body ! 

A puta koe i te puruki a Rongo ! Such is the resistless will of the god 

Rongo ! 

1 Ngutuku was an expert fisherman; hence the reference to his daily 
avocations in this and the following stanza. 



Myths and Songs. 



Oi tatamaki koe ; oi tatamaki koe. 
O Taura tei mua ; Atiati te teina ; 

O Paraakere, o Veruara. 
Ka apai na to metua i te kapua \ 



For thou art of a restless and doomed 

race. 
Thy daughter 1 Taura leads the way : 

Atiati follows. 
Then comes (the youngest) Paraakere 

with her mother. 
father is Mng borne to the 

altar! 



MAKITAKA'S LAMENT ON THE LOSS OF THE 
TEMPORAL SOVEREIGNTY. 

COMPOSED BY TUKA, CIRCA A.D. 1815. 

Recited at a Reed-throwing Match. 



Solo. 



Taku. pua i tanu reka e ! 
Ua tanu ake koe i Tamarua 
E tupu te au e ! 



Fair tree planted by my hand ! 
Alas, for the tree of peace which 
Once flourished at Tamarua ! 



Teipoi arire riro akera Mangaia i te Alas, that Mangaia should be 
rave ! snatched from my grasp! 



1 By a refinement of cruelty only possible to heathenism, the bearers of 
the sacrifice address the weeping children in the words, " Your father is being 
borne to the altar.-" Muare, the only son of the victim, did not follow the 
corpse, as he would have been put to death. He survived to Christian times, 
and became a member of the Church. Years before the first teachers landed, 
he induced Reinga to compose this song in commemoration of his father's 
tragical fate. Muare found a melancholy pleasure in chanting this song to its 
proper accompaniment of the haimonicon : indeed, he quite excelled at this 
outrageous performance. A few years ago he died the death of a Christian. 
His sister Paraakere died recently. 



Human Sacrifices. 313 

Chorus. 

Ta Makitaka te ua, Makitaka, once supreme chief; 

A motu te toa ia Ngaki te miro. Now dispossessed by the fiat of 

Ngakiau. 

Solo. 
la Ngaki te miro ia Teata : Ah ! Ngaki 1 directed the sacrifice of 

Teata; 

O te uri oki na Aemata : Like all the descendants of Aemata, 

Tei nunga i te kapua. The victim was laid on the altar. 

Kore rai ooku taeake ! Unpitied unsaved ! 

Kore kore rai e taeake tangi e ! Alas ! unpitied unsaved ! 

Chorus. 
E tini na Tane i ka riro Mangaia. Mangaia is now transferred, 

Solo. 
Ua riro rai Mangaia rai, e Teau. Mangaia, friends, is lost. 

Ua e ia Maki, The chiefs dealt treacherously 

O te ivi koia i akamoea 'i e" ! After plighting their solemn troth. 

UNUUNU TAI. FIRST OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 

Vaekura te pia i tara ! The priest of Tane planned it 

Chorus. 

Vaia te Amama, Amama o Maki- Split up the priestly tribe of Maki- 
taka. taka. 
Vaekura te arataki. So willed Vaekura. 
Arataki aere atu Do thy worst ! 
Eia tu eia toa ? Why this bloodshed ? 
Ei Mangaia, ei Ngariki j To win Mangaia for a new dynasty. 
Ngariki o Makitaka. The fame of Makitaka is gone. 

E oa i te upoko ; Strike the head (of the altar- 
victim). 

R oa i to rae. Strike the temples, 

la tangi a pu ; As if a conch-shell sounded 

la tangi kekina ; Is the falling of the axe. 

1 Ngaki is a shortened form of Tane Ngakiau. 



314 Myths and Songs. 

Ia ara i te pa ; The wounded are shrieking : 

la ara i te mate. Are awakened only to die ! 

A tara nei e Tane. Tane has gained the victory. 

Kare kaiti kau rere ! Alas I Alas ! ! Alas ! ! Alas I ! 

Solo. 
Ua riro rai Mangaia rai, e Tcau* Mangaia, fnends, is lost. 

Ua e ia Maki, The chiefs dealt treacherously, 

te ivi koia i akamoea 'i e ! After plighting their solemn troth. 

Teipoi arire riro akera Mangaia e i te Alas, that Mangaia should be 
rave ! snatched from my grasp ! 

Chorus. 

la Makitaka te ua. Makitaka, once supreme chief; 

A motu te tea la Ngaki te miro* Now dispossessed by the fiat of 

Ngakiau. 

Solo. 
la Ngaki te aiiro ia Teata : Ah ! Ngaki directed the sacrifice of 

Teata; 

O te uri oki na Aemata. Like all the descendants of Aemata, 

Tei nunga e i te kapua. The victim was laid on the altar. 

Kore rai ooku taeak ! Unpitied unsaved ! 

Kore kore rai e taeake tangi e ! Alas 1 unpitied unsaved ! 

Chorus. 
E tini na Tane i ka riro Mangaia. Mangaia is now transferred* 



UNUUNU RUA, SECOND OFFSHOOT. 

Solo. 
Tutukiria nga ivi e ! Let brother slay brother. 

Chorus. 

Ka tu au ka aere y I will arise and fight. 

Ka aere taua e ! Join our band. 

I nunga i te tuaronga. Away to yon plain 

Taukarokaro i reira. To fight our foes. 

Tena te vai maka. Stones are flying about, 



Human Sacrifices. 315 

E vai koatu 5 ! Out of the slings of the brave. 

E vai rakau e ! Spears are uplifted. 

ICa ui te vai. The chiefs pause a moment 

A pa te vai. To examine the omens. 

A pa te toa ia Tauokura. Death-blows are being dealt, 

la katamutamu ia karearea. Fearful are the shouts of the victors. 

Te vaa i koma 'i. Alas, those lips that once spake ! 

Te vaa i tara 'i. Alas, the mouth once shouted ! 

KLa tara nei, e Tane. Tane has gained the victory. 

ICare kaiti kau rere ! Alas ! Alas I ! Alas ! 1 Alas ! ! 

Solo. 
Ua riro rai Mangaia rai, e Teau. Mangaia, friends, is lost. 

Ua e ia Maki, The chiefs dealt treacherously, 

O te ivi koia i akamoea 'i e 1 After plighting their solemn troth. 

Teipoi arire riro akera Mangaia i te Alas, that Mangaia should be 
ravS ! snatched from my grasp ! 

Chorus. 

la Makitaka te ua. Makitaka, once supreme chief ; 

A motu te toa ia Ngaki te miro. Now dispossessed by the fiat of 

Ngakiau. 

Solo. 
la Ngaki te miro ia Teata : Ah ! Ngaki directed the sacrifice of 

Teata ; 

O te uri oki na Aemata : Like all the descendants of Aemata, 

Tei nunga e i te kapua, The victim was laid on the altar. 

Kore rai ooku taeake ! Unpitied unsaved ! 

Kore kore rai e taeake tangi e ! Alas ! unpitied unsaved \ 

Chorus. 
E tini na Tane i ka riro Mangaia. Mangaia is now transferred 



Myths and Songs. 



CHAPTER XIV. 
THE SEASONS, PHASES OF THE 

MOON, ETC., ETC. 



THE SEASONS (NGA TINO MARAMA). 



EREXJ, OR SUMMER. 
(Rain, Heat, and Plenty.} 

1. Akau. Breadfruit appears ; 
chestnut and other trees in blossom* 
This month is also known as "the 
time of beautiful cocoa-nut leaves" 
(marama o te kikau). Akau extends 
from the middle of December to the 
middle of January. 

2. Otunga* Breadfruit and chestnut 
trees covered with, fruit, but not ripe. 
Sprats 1 arrive. Hills covered with 
reeds in blossom. 



PAR6RO, OR WINTER. 
(Drought, Cold, and Scarcity.} 

iv Paroro. Cold south winds, 
withering up the wild vines every- 
where. 

2. Mantf. Incubation of birds. 
The woodpecker bores the dead cocoa- 
nut for a nest. The titi bores the 
side of the mountain. Coral-tree in 
blossom. Warrior-spirits take their 
departure from earth. 

3. Pipiri* Muffled up inside the 
house, on account of the cold. 



1 The two months preceding the arrival of sprats are called " te karaii koa," 
or "time of exhausted crabs," they having made their way from the rocks to 
the sea to spawn. In like manner the interior of man is supposed to be 
empty and weak, until the arrival of sprats gives new life. During these hot 
and enfeebling months children are fractious and troublesome, but should on no 
account be beaten ! 



The Seasons, P liases of the Moon, etc. 317 

3. JZautua, or " kautua a kere- 4. Kaunuunu. Papaka, or land- 
kere" = " trail-of-the-ed" The soil crab, comes out of its hiding-place 
is everywhere furrowed with water, as to feed, and is easily caught 
though traversed by eels. Time of Also called "karaii," or "crab 
floods. season." 

4. Akamakuru. Some breadfruit 5. M#u. 1 Spring tip. Alltube- 
and chestnuts fall unripe, worm eaten. rous roots in the soil spring into life. 
So, too, some brave men are sure to Also said "kua tuputhe anau kai" 
die prematurely this moon. Hurri- =' { all plants in leaf/' 

cane month (end of March). 6. Vaetd. Trees, stones, bush 

5. Muriaa, or "ruruangakakao," everywhere covered with the vines of 
i.e. the reed blossoms are shed upon the wild yam; the o'e, or bitter yam; 
the hills by a late blow. mararau, or sweet yam, etc. , etc. Na- 

6. Uringa, or "dead." The leaves, tive arrow-root and "teve" roots are 
etc., of the yam, arrow-root, etc., etc., luxuriant. The year ends about the 
fall. middle of December. 

7. Miringa, or "finishing up" 
(of the food of ereu, or summer sea- 
son). 

Thirteen moons in alL 



The arrival of the new year was indicated by the appearance of 
Matariki, or Pleiades, on the eastern horizon just after sunset, i.e. 
about the middle of December. Hence the idolatrous worship 
paid to this beautiful cluster of stars in many of the South 
Sea Islands. The Pleiades were worshipped at Danger Island, and 
at the Penrhyns, down to the introduction of Christianity in 1857. 
In many islands extravagant joy is still manifested at the rising 
of this constellation out of the ocean. 

The knowledge of the calendar belonged to the kings, as they 
alone fixed the feasts in honour of the gods, and all public 
spectacles. For others to dare to keep the calendar was a sin 
against the gods, to be punished with hydrocele. 

1 The same name for the Magellan clouds ; as if the rising up ofvapour^ or 
curling up of columns of smoke in the heavens. 



Myths and Songs. 



CHANGES OF THE MOON (TE TAU AROPO). 



3 Amiama. 

4 Amiama-akaoti, i.& 

Last Amiama, 

5 Tamatea. 



IN THE WEST. 

1 Iro. Sacred to Iro, patron of 

thieves. Favourable for thiev- 
ing, 

2 Oata= shadow, & moon seen 

in shadow. 

' Sprats arrive 
during these 
three days in 
Feb. Failing 
that, expect 
them the 
same days in 
, March. 

6 Tamatea-akaoti, i.e. Last Tama- 

tea. 

7 Korekore. 

8 1) Korekore-akaoti, ie. Last Kore- 

skore. 

9 OVari (z>. Vari-ma-te-takere == 

the Originator-of-aU-things.) 

10 Una. 

11 Maaru. 

12 Ua. 

13 E atua = A god. 

14 O Tu, i.e. Tu-metua, the last 

made of the major gods, 

15 O Marangi, 1 or Full-Moon. 



IN THE EAST. 

16 Oturu. 

17 Rakau. 

18 Rakau-roto, i.e. Second Rakau. 

19 Rakau-akaoti, le. Last Rakau. 

20 Korekore. 

21 Korekore-roto, i.e. Second Kore- 

kore. 

22 Korekore-akaoti, i.e. Last Kore- 

kore. 

23 ([ Tangaroa. Sacred to Tangaroa. 

24 Tangaroa-roto. Second night sa- 

cred to Tangaroa. 

25 Tangaroa-akaoti. Last night sa- 

cred to Tangaroa. 

26 O Tane. Sacred to Tane. 

27 Rongo-Nui, i*e. Rongo-the-Great. 

The 26th and 27th were fite 
jughts Rongo and Tane being 
patrons of their dances in time 
of peace. 

28 Mauri =s ghost 

29 Omutu = ended. 

30 Otire o Avaiki (abbreviated 

"Otireo") = Lost in the 
depths of Avaiki. 



At Rarotonga the i3th is "Maitu," instead of "Atua" (sense 
similar). Otherwise this account of the changes of the moon 
is equally good for Rarotonga. Allowing for the difference 
of dialects, it is the same in the Tahitian islands. 



1 Cocoa-nuts were invariably planted at the full of the moon ; the size of 
the moon symbolfcing the full roundness of the future fruit. 



The Seasons, Phases of the Moon, etc. 319 

From the iyth to the 28th the nights were considered favour- 
able for fishing j also favourable for catching the fish of the gods, i.e. 
men. In other words, these were murder nights. Tangaroa 
(23rd) and O Tane (26th) and Rongo-Nui (27th) were the three 
" most lucky " for this cruel purpose. 

The eastern Polynesians, like the New Zealanders, invariably 
reckon by nights not, as we do, by days. For example, "Po ia 
koe i te aerenga? " = " How many nights were you journeying? " 
etc., etc. 

THE MARINER'S COMPASS OF POLYNESIA. 

To the Chinese belongs the honour of inventing the mariner's 
compass, long anterior to the Christian era. It was known to the 
Arabs in mediaeval times, and from them, through the Crusaders, 
the knowledge spread -over Europe. 

There can be no reasonable doubt that Polynesia was peopled 
from Asia. Did the original settlers take with thsm the mariner's 
compass, or anything analogous thereto ? May not the ancestors 
of the present South Sea Islanders have been far more civilized 
than their descendants ? The absence of iron throughout Poly- 
nesia would easily account for the loss of the magnet. Subjoined 
is a plan of the winds for the Hervey Group from the lips of the 
ancient priests. With slight variations it will do for many other 
groups in the Pacific. The number of wind-holes in this plan 
exactly corresponds with the points of the mariner's compass. In 
the olden time, great stress was laid on this knowledge for the 
purpose of fishing, and especially for their long sea voyages from 
group to group. At the edge of the horizon are a series of holes, 
some large and some small, through which Raka, the god of winds, 



320 



Myths and Songs. 



and his children, love to blow. Hence the phrase in daily use, 
"rua matangi," or "wind~/M?," where Europeans would simply 
speak of "wind." The "head" of the winds is supposed to be 
in the east ; by the time it has veered round to s.w. by w. it is 




named the iku, or "tail ;" in fact, it is dying away until it becomes, 
in the s.s.w., merely an uru, or " like the touch of a feather." 
Cyclones, of course, begin in the N.E., and go on increasing in 
violence until, on reaching the iku 9 or " tail," they moderate. 
Passing on to the uru> or "feathery," there is a perfect calm, 
mocking the desolations so lately wrought 



The Seasons, . Phases of the Moon, etc. 321 

The whole of these names have, more or less, a figurative 
signification. The reader will observe the word anau (give birth) 
several times recurring. Taking, for example, akarua for N., the 
wind, in veering towards the w., becomes akarua anau; i.e. the 
north giving birth to a new wind (N. by w.). As the wind veers 
to the N.N.W, it is called akarua tu; that is, the akarua strong 
enough to stand. 

Taking maoake for N.E., when the wind shifts a point it 
becomes maoake anau; that is, the N.E. giving birth (N.E. by N.). 
Advancing still towards the N., it is called maoake ta, or the 
killing or terrible maoake (N.N.E.), on account of the extreme 
violence of this wind when a cyclone blows. 

The vast concave above was symbolised by the interior of a 
calabash, in the lower part of which a series of small apertures was 
made to correspond with the various wind-holes at the edge of 
the horizon. Each hole was stopped up with cloth. Should 
the wind be unfavourable for a grand expedition, the chief 
priest, began his incantation by withdrawing the plug from the 
aperture through which the unpropitious wind was supposed to 
blow. Rebuking this wind, he stopped up the hole, and advanced 
through all the intermediate apertures, moving plug by plug, until 
the desired wind-hole was reached. This was left open, as a 
gentle hint to the children of Raka that the priest wished the wind 
to blow steadily from that quarter. 

The operator having a good knowledge of the ordinary course 
of the winds, and the various indications of change, the peril ot 
the experiment was not great 

Providence has supplied these islanders with an unfailing 
natural indication of an approaching cyclone. This is expressed 
in the phrase, " Kua taviriviri te kao o te meika " i.e. the core of 



322 Myths and Songs. 

the true native banana is strangely twisted and contorted some 
weeks previous to a hurricane, as if to give warning of impending 
danger. This is usually associated with an extraordinary growth 
of food. Doubtless the excessive moisture and heat which occa- 
sion this rapid growth, and give rise to the strange twists of the 
wondrously delicate leaves of this banana, are the real causes of 
cyclones. 

POLYNESIAN PLURALS. 

JN early all the plurals in use in the Hervey Group have a 
definite signification as nouns. 

i. A common plural is " are? which literally means " a house: " 
in its plural use it may be rendered " a-house-full-of," ?".<?. "many." 
Thus 

"e are atua" = "a number ^gods;" literally, "a-house- 
full-of gods ;" 

" e are apinga " = "a number of valuable things ; " literally, 
"a-house-full-of valuable things." 

2. A second plural is "vaka" = "canoe;" or, as it may be 
rendered, " a-canoe-full-of." Thus 

" e vaka angela" = "a host of angels ; " literally, "a-canoe- 
full-of angels ; " 

" e vaka puruki " = "a host of warriors ; " literally, " a- 
canoe-full-of warriors." 

3. Another frequently used plural is "fa " = "enclosure: door." 
Thus 

" e pa puaka " = " a pig enclosure ; " ~ a pig-sty ; 
" e pa maunga " = " a range of mountains," as enclosing a 
valley; 



The Seasons, Phases of the Moon, etc. 323 

"e pa enua" = "a group of islands/' as if a portion of 
the ocean were thereby marked off or enclosed. 

4. A commonly used plural is " ata " = " shelf to place all 
sorts of food on." Thus 

" e ata pa " = " a number of doors ; " 

" e ata kete " = "a number of food-baskets." 

5. A still more interesting plural is " rau" = "leaf? Thus 
we may speak of "te rau tangata o te Atua," i.e. "a people 
numerous as the leaves of a tree, worshipping such and such a god." 
The figure is of a vast tree, the growth of ages. The huge trunk 
represents the god, the branches the lesser divinities, the leaves 
the worshippers ever dropping off by death, and ever being 
renewed by fresh births. This is constantly applied to the 
servants of the true God : Jehovah being the trunk and branches, 
believers the leaves. 

6. The last instance of plurals is "maru" = "shadow? or 
" shade? Thus the natives daily speak of " te maru tangata o te 
Atua," i.e. " the people who sit under the shadow of God? The old 
idea was still of an ancient tree overshadowing the marae filled 
with worshippers. The noblest trees affording the best shade were 
planted in their idol groves, not a twig of which might be plucked. 
As applied ' to Christian worshippers gathering Sabbath after 
Sabbath in the house of God to take refreshment under the 
shadow of the Almighty (Psalm xc. i), the figure is extremely 
beautiful. 

In the Tahitian dialect the "r" is dropped, "maru" 1 becoming 

1 The Aitutakians speak of " te taru ariki " = the chiefs, or kings 
Mangaians speak of " te tau ariki." ** Taru " on Mangaia is a verb, " to heap 
up," to " cover over with new soil." It is easy to trace the connecting link 
of thought, i.e. the entire assembly of chiefs. 



324 Myths and Songs. 

" man" the ordinary plural of that group. Doubtless our common 
plural " au " is the same as the " mau " of the Eastern islands. 

The full form, " maru," is the dignified form to be used when- 
ever the gods and chiefs are spoken of. 

It is scarcely fair to regard " anau " = family, as a plural. 
Thus the natives speak of 

" te anau ika " = " the whole family of fish ; " 
" te anau kai " " the whole family of plants." 

A very polite mode of address in the Mangaian dialect is the 
use of the third person singular, dual, and plural, where in other 
languages the second person would be appropriate ; reminding one 
of the use of the German Sie. 



POLYNESIAN NUMERATION. 

The mode of counting in use amongst the Papuan population 
of the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, and the New Hebrides, is 
worthy of notice. They enumerate by fingers up to five, which 
makes " one hand j " ten is " two hands ; " twenty is "an entire 
man," i.e. ten fingers and ten toes. A hundred is " five men," 
and so on. 

This plan is ingenious, but clumsy, being applicable only 
to small numbers. Missionaries labouring in those islands have 
wisely discarded it I was much surprised when first I heard 
the school children at Aneiteum, Mare, and Lifu, repeating the 
English multiplication table with great facility and correctness, 



The Seasons, Phases of the Moon, etc. 325 

and on the Sabbath to hear the chapter and hymns announced in 
English figures the natives turning to the right chapter or hymn 
in their own books. This innovation, however, has brought down 
upon the missionaries the ire of the French. 

Throughout the Eastern Islands there has been no need 
for changing the original system of numeration. In the Hervey 
Group we have two distinct bases four and ten. The former 
base is used in counting cocoa-nuts, which were from time 
immemorial tied up in fours (kaviri) : 

5 bunches (kaviri) of cocoa-nuts make one takau, i.e. 20 

10 takau rau, i.e. 200 

10 rau mano, i.e. 2,000 

10 mano kiu, i.e. 20,000 

10 kiu tini, Le. 200,000 

All beyond this is uncertain. To express more the natives 
simply heap up the highest figures, without any attempt at a 
definite signification ; thus, " mano, mano ; tini, tini," literally, 
"2,000 on 2,000; 200,000 on 200,000;" much as we say 
" myriads on myriads," or " millions on millions," i.e. innumer- 
able. 

In measures of length they were from time out of mind 
accustomed to the fathom (the outstretched arms of a tall man), 
half-fathom, span, and finger's length. 

Ten fathoms (paru) make one "kume." In this way 100 
would be called 10 "kume ;" 200 would be 20 "kume," and so 
on. 

Through the Eastern dialects there is a very close resem- 
blance of the primary numerals. In the expression for five, i.e. 



326 Myths and Songs. 

" e rima," or " a hand," we may trace a point of resemblance 
between the Papuan and Malay systems of numeration. 
Throughout the Ellice's Group ten is expressed by " katoa " = all 
(i.e. the fingers). 

The "rau" 1 is a favourite number, continually occurring 
in their stories of the past. In a decisive battle fought circa 
eighty-nine years ago, Potai boasted a " rau " = 200 warriors ; 
whilst the winner, Potiki, had only 120 (6 takau). 

" Eternity" is often expressed by the phrase " e rau te tautau," 
t.e. " 200 ages.' 3 This is less poetical than the common " e rimua 
ua atu '* = " until covered with the moss of unknown ages," as of a 
lofty cocoa-nut or other tree entirely moss-grown. Another mode 
of expressing the same idea is, " e tuatau ua atu," i.e. " time on on, 
still on." 



" also means "leaf," or "pandanus thatch." A native house 
requires about 200 reeds of thatch to complete one side: "rau," therefore, 
may mean indifferently a leaf, 200, or a "tua.-rau," i.e. thatched side of a 
dwelling. 



INDEX. 



Adventures in spirit-world, 221 
Adventures of Ngaru, 225 
Arokapiti's dirge, 276 
Astronomical myths, 40 
Avatea, or Vatea, 3 

Bachelor god in search of a wife, 107 
" Blackened face " dirge for Atiroa, 281 

Celestial fish-hook, 48 
Chase that never ends, 40 
Cocoa-nut tree, myth of, 77 
Creation, myths of, i 

Dancing, Origin of, 100 

Death-talks and dirges, 269 

Dedication of infants, 36 

Deified men, 23 

Derivation of the Polynesian word for 

God, 33 
Drum of peace, 393 

Echo, 114 

Eclipses, 47 

Escape from spirit-land, sax 

Eva, or dirge-proper, 271 

Exploits of Maui, 51 

Fairy men and women, 356 
Fairy of the fountain, 365 
Fire-god's secret, 51 
First murder and first battle, 282 

Ghost-killing, 368 



Hades, 152 

Heaven, Aitutakian, 175 

Hell, Aitutakian, 172 

Human arts and inventions, 130 

Human priesthood needed, 35 

Human sacrifices, 289 

Ina, the fairy voyager, 88 
Iron-wood tree, myth of, 8r 

Journey to the invisible world, 250 

Kereteki, 26 

Kirikovi's sacrifice, 305 

Kite-flying, 123 

Kourapapa, laments for, 202, 206 

Makitaka's laments, 312 
Mariner's compass, 319 
Maruata, "crying** song for, 307 
Matariki, or Pleiades, 43 
Maui, 51, 63 

Miscellaneous myths, 107 
Moon> phases of, 318 
Mosquitoes, 126 
Motoro, 25 
Mouma, lament for, axo 

Naming of children, 38 
Ngaru, adventures of, 225 
Ngutuku, death of, 309 
Numeration, 100, 324 



328 



Index. 



Papa, 8 

Perils of beauty, 131 

Pigs, origin of, 135 

Pleiades, 43 

Plurals, remarks on, 322 

Potiki, dramatic fdte of, 259 

Prayer for a thief or murderer, 150 

Prince of reed throwers, 118 

Pumice stone, origin ef, 58 

Puvai, lament for, 199 

Raka, god of winds, 5 

Rangi, 16 

Rata's canoe, 142 

Riuvaka, introduction to the fSte of, 217 

Rongo, 10, 15 

Seasons, 316 
Seeldng for light, 139 
Sky raised, 58, 71 
Sneezing, 175 
Spirit-journey, 215 
Sun and moon, 44 
Sim made captive, 61, 70 

Taairangi, or porpoise, 98 



Tane-ngakiau, 30 
Tane-papa-kai, n 
Tangaroa, 10 
Tangiia, u 
Tango, 5 
Tekuraaki, 31 
The-long-lived, 128 
Thiet's prayer, 150 
Tiaio, king and god, 29 
Tinirau, 4 
Tonga-iti, ir 
Tree myths, 77 
Tu-metua, or Tu, 6 
Tumuteanaoa, or Echo, 5 
Tutapu, 23 

Utakea, 26 
XJti's torch, 124 

Varenga, lament for, 208 

Van, the Great Mother, 3 

VeStini ; or, the immortality of the toul, il 

Vera, dirges for, 189, 194 

Wisdom of Manihiki, 63 
Woman in the moon, 45 



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ii 



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i6 



A List of 



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Prof. W. KINGDON CLIFFORD, M A. 
The First Principles of the Exact 
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W B. CARPENTER, IX. D., F R S 
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Sir JOHN LUBBOCK, Bart, F.R.S. 
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The Rev. A SECCHI, D.J., late 
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VblumeXVII, of The International 
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