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OUR SOUTHERN MOST MAORIS

CHAPTER X

THIS TRIBAL PROBLEM

By Herries Beattie

Before we come to the tribal problem that confronted the white man in the South Inland a brief review of former ties is required- writers still stumble over this problem by adopting the obsolete views of early investigators, or by trying to reconcile them to the facts revealed by later research. The former views perplexed me for some years until I came across the Waitaha traditions, and these materially helped to dispel much of the haze that obscured the past. Let us now consider some ancient South Island inhabitants: -

Maeroero. -As far as I can determine these people were among the first, if not the very first, residents in the South Island. They were here before Maui sailed round from Bruce Bay to Kaikoura between the years 400-450 AD and time has but served to ascribe to them some weird and fanciful characteristics. A sober description given to me says they were a kindly people, not bloodthirsty or pugnacious, and timidly fled to the wilds before the advance of later arrivals. They were musical and could play flutes and sing, and the smoke of their fires marked their presence in out-of-the-way spots. As centuries passed and they became -fewer and fewer, the traditions about them became more luridly picturesque, and we find them with fingernails so long, they could spear birds with them, and so on. In some localities the remembrance of them became mixed with the memory of the orangutan in Borneo, and they are described as being covered

With long hair and living in trees. There seems to be no doubt this race died out centuries ago.

Patupaiarehe. This was another ancient race I was told: The Maeroero were an ancient race who became goblins, and the Patupaiarehe were once a race of people but are now spirits and fairies . Presumably they were a lighter-skinned people than the Maeroero for they are represented as having an elfish appearance, and they enjoy a more cheerful reputation. Against the idea that they were a fairer people I was told that the North Island fairies called Turehu were of the Maeroero race. A number of stories about the fairies can be left over in the meantime; this race also seems to have become extinct centuries ago.

Korakorako: The present is for a name albino or a very fair person. It seems this name is a remembrance of a comparatively fair race met by Maori in his travels, for I do not think it was in New Zealand. I was told that in some parts of the South Island when the Maori first saw white people they instinctively -

Applied to them the name of Korakorako, but this name was later dropped in favour of the general name of Pakeha.

Katihui-These were said to be of small stature and the remembrance of them is so shadowy they are said to have ascended out of the ground some time about when Maui the Navigator lived

Waitaha. -Tradition says there were three tribes of this name One dwelt in the interior of the North Island near Lake Taupo I believe, but I am not familiar with their history One is said by North Island historians to have been left in Southland by Tamatea of the Takitimu canoe, but none of my numerous informants knew anything about this alleged planting of a tribe round Foveaux Strait, although they told we a lot about the famous Tarnatea

The genuine South Island tribe of Waitaha, Ngati-Waitaha or Kati-Waitaha came from the land known as Patu-nui-o-aio, with the celebrated chief Rakaihautu (or Rakaihaitu) in the famous Uruao canoe about the year 850 AD They found the North Island populated and came on to the South Island, making Banks Peninsula their headquarters Industrious and people they multiplied in the Food Abounding Isle and reigned for some centuries. Their blood is well disseminated through Maori land and a Kaitahu man said to me all tribes come from Waitaha-nui or Waitaha-ariki in the long run.

Kahui-tipua.- Fanciful stories are told of the people of this name because of the meaning of their tribal name, and it is narrated that they were giants who could step from one mountain peak to another, or swallow rivers. As a matter of fact they came to the South island with Rakaihautu in the Uruao canoe (850 AD) and settled in the limestone district of South Canter bury. Tradition says they executed the rock paintings of that region, and the name of the district is Te Whenua-o-Kahui-Tipua. I was told the Kahui-tipua of the North Island originated in three ancestors named Puhi who came in a canoe from overseas, one landing at Rerenga-wairua, one at Poverty Bay, and one about Blenheim One lot of them under Haumia tried to intercept Kupe canoe about Castle Point. My informant thought they later turned into giants, fairies, or goblins. The South Island Kahui-tipua gradually blended into Waitaha and lost their tribal identity. They are sometimes considered to be a branch of the Maeroero people although they came to New Zealand some five or six centuries later.

Moriori.-This is the name applied to some of the residents of the North Island from the time of Toi until they were pushed out of their home by more aggressive people. Some crossed to the South Island and settled in Canterbury until they quarreled with the Waitaha people, and some of them left Banks Peninsula and migrated to the Chatham Islands. The remainder being absorbed by the Waitaha, or drifting down to Southland, Thus some of my good friends among the southern most Maori said we are related to the Chatham Islanders. In Canterbury I noticed those People were called Maoriori, and in Southland Moriori.

Katimamoe. -This was a tribe of Moriori extraction, owing its tribal name to Hotu-Mamoe who was born in the generation prior to the arrival of the Eight Canoes (1350 An.). The newcomers pushed the followers of Mamoe out of Hawke's Bay and down into Wellington where they crossed to the South Island and gradually penetrated southward.

Rapuwai. -This was also probably a tribe of Moriori extraction and were living in Taranaki when the men of the Big Migration (1350 AD.) carried there and by the force of the rika kaha (strong hand) compelled them to shift to Nelson. From there they drifted southward and are said to have settled by lakes for choice. They are said to have been "regular water rats" and got their popular name from their noisy manner of swimming. They probably died out or were absorbed by Waitaha, for very few claim any descent from them.

Katiwairaki. -An old and valued informant narrated; "Tura" married Wairaki in Rarotonga and his brother Whiro tried to kill him, so they parted company. Whiro canoed on to Vavau-oti-atu, which means 'disappeared for ever.' Tura canoed on to an island (Otea) where the people ate their food raw. This wife was a spirit and her son was named Wairaki after her, and the Katiwairaki. People are descended from him, I also think the two brothers Tura and Whiro belonged to a tribe of that name (in Hawaiki). The Katiwairaki Tribe seem to have been in or about Taranaki and when dispossessed of their holding they migrated down to Westland, where they were conquered by Kaitahu not long before white settlement.

Kaitahu. -This Hawke's Bay tribe of aristocratic lineage, finding the North Island rather crowded, came over the strait and eventually possessed themselves of most of the South Island. Their allies, the Katikuri, materially helped them, but their leading party was wiped out. by the Katimamoe. at Teihoka, so we hear little of them. Other of their allies) the Ngatikahungunu of Hawke's Bay came over and after exterminating a clan of the Katimamoe. at the Taieri, returned to the North Island. The Kaitahu are regarded as the last-comers.

Such is a brief summary of some eleven of the peoples that have been said to inhabit the South Island. Now, for the sake of comparison, let us see what Mantell was told by Matiaha Tiramorehu about 1851. Matiaha was an intelligent man of knowledge of the Kaitahu tribe, the last to come here, and, as such, much more limited in his scope of information than were there. repositories of the tribal lore of the earlier tribes. As I made plain in "Tikao Talks" and "Moriori," I would not accept a Kaitahu statement of ancient history against a Waitaha statement, and, to my mind, that is where North Island historians have erred in accepting statements from representatives of the Last Migration instead of undertaking the really difficult task of hunting up lore from descendants of the older stock.

Matiaha puts the first inhabitants of the South Island as puts the first inhabitants of the South Island as Ngapuhi-te-aitanga-a-te-Rapuai and says they were so numerous they filled the whole island, but their headquarters were at Huatau on the Rakaia River. Next came Waitaha, an allied tribe who sometimes fought, but eventually mixed and intermarried with Te Aitangaaterapuai. Next came Ngatimamoe who had peace and war by turns with their predecessors. Fourthly, there came the Gatiwairaki who combined with the former three tribes to constitute the iwi (tribe) known as Patea. Next came the Gaitara, a branch of Ngatimamoe and dwelt at Te Awaiti alone.

Sixthly, came another tribe, Te Aitanga~a~riti, who occupied Wairau and beyond. Lastly came the, Gaitahu and Gatikuri, the latter being led by Manawa. The first arrival of Gaitahu in this island. The Gaitahu here originally a branch of Ngatikauhuna descended from Tahu-potiki, who dwelt at Turanganui in the North Island.

I will not comment on this except to say that Matiaha; Nga-puhi-rapuai is evidently meant for the people I have under the heading of Kahuitipua. It is. sometimes stated the Ngapuhi. were the people who did the rock paintings and this identifies them. He does not make the mistake of some other Kaitahu traditionalists in classing Hawea as a separate lot of immigrants and worse still of asseverating they were a black race1 whereas they were merely a sub-tribe of Waitaha and no darker than their comparatively light coloured fellow tribesmen.

After quoting that the Patupaiarehe abhorred red paint Macmillan Brown says: "It shows they hated the sanguinary look it gave the Maori warrior." I have been told of this antipathy to red paint or to a red colour but this reason for the hatred had not occurred to me.

Elsdon Best after referring to the extinction of Te Kahuitipua, Te Rapuwai, Waitaha and Katimamoe, proceeds, They passed away and left no sign of their former presence but a few fading traditions and other remains interesting only to the antiquarian". To the anthropologist it seems a mournful thing to contemplate the extinction of a race, and to know the land shall know them no more, that their origin, history, language, arts and achievements are lost beyond recall.

You still meet isolated individuals who say they are Waitaha, and the Katimamoe. are far from extinct.

The alleged extinction of the Katimamoe is surly one of the falsest yarns ever foisted on the people of this country. if Shortland had been kept on as protector of Aborigines the Katimamoe would have had more recognition, but the appointment of Mantell in 1848 as Commissioner for Extinguishment of Native Titles in the South Island put in a man who was a Kaitahu partisan, hence the fable that the Katimamoe were extinct flourished unchecked. Some of my Katimamoe friends will smile over Rev. R: Taylor's description of them in his work 'Te Ika-a-Maui, where be writes:

"Though numerous traces of an ancient black race are to be seen amongst the Maori, they are not to be found now in a separate state in the Northern Island; it is in the middle one, Te Wai Pounamu; that the remains of this ancient race are yet to be discovered, where they are known as the Ngati Mamoe. In former years such was the dread which this degraded race had of the fierce Maori., that immediately they saw any of them they fed; occasionally, however they were surprised, and either eaten or kept as slaves The Ngati Mamoe do not appear to have cultivated the ground, but to have derived their substance from snaring birds and fishing, as well as from such indigenous fruits and roots as the country produced."

Taylor then mentions other old races as follows: "Besides the Patu-paearehe were the Tua-riki (short for Atua-ririki-little gods), who appear closely to have resembled them, and the Maero who is described as a wild man covered with hair. The natives say that the Tararua Range is now his only habitation in the North Island where he is still he-hapa-mariri, a numerous tribe, and that he is identical with the Nga-ti-ma-moe, who live on the lofty mountains in the middle island." He describes the Patu-paearehe as white, not tattooed, of large size, being able to sing loudly and play the flute, as numerous and as children of the mist.

The last allegation was later transferred to the Katimamoe, and they became a lost tribe and children of the mist. This assertion was made so confidently and persistently by tribal enemies that many white people believed it, and writer after writer with parrot-like repetition affirmed the extinction of the Katimamoe. In one of my other publications I give a list of quite a number of prominent pakeha who reiterated this fable, and that the fabrication still deceives unsuspecting essayists is proved by its appearance in print in the last year or two. Many years ago I gave a number of proofs showing the falsity of the contention and propose to now educe a few more.

It must be remembered that both the Kaitahu and Katimamoe tribes were split up into a number of sub-tribes, clans, septs or families and that the Maori narrators named these divisions in relating acts of warfare. For the sake of his white readers Stack surmounted this difficulty by adhering to the broad tribal definitions, and I have generally followed his example, otherwise the accounts of Maori warfare would soon become exceedingly confusing to Europeans.

But that my readers may understand a little of what they have escaped, let me mention that there are long accounts in manuscript of the fighting of the Kaituhaitara and Katihuirapa branches of the Kaitahu tribe, and probably of other branches too.

When the Katimamoe. decided to sell Murihiku (Southland) in 1851, a list of claimants was made, their names being followed in some cases by their residence and hapu family) and I noticed the names of-Karetai (Te Paihi); Korako (Taieri); Arikihia Takarua (Oraka, Mamoe); Pirihua Waitiri (Mamoe); Te Au (Hurihia), and Rawiri Te Awha (Mamoe). The well-known Karetai family of Otago Heads usually described themselves as belonging to the Kaitepahi branch of Katimamoe. Taiaroa is usually stated to have been half Kaitahu and half Katimamoe and this gives point to Tuhawaiki statement to Shortland: "The Ngatimamoe retired farther south; and at length, feeling themselves too much weakened to hope to regain their lost position, they made peace with their invaders, and formed alliances with them. Thus the two races became incorporated into one tribe which, as most of their principal families had in their veins the blood of Tahu, was called generally Ngaitahu or Kaitahu."

'To this statement Shortland adds some wise remarks of his own, and mentions that two lots of Katimamoe are living near Temuka, and that more reside at Foveaux Straits, but he had had no opportunity of learning from them their history.

Speaking to Clarke, some months later than his talk with Shortland, Tuhawaiki said: "Even in my time we Ngailaki were a large and powerful tribe stretching from Cook Strait to Akaroa and the 'Ngatimoe' to the south of us were slaves. The supposition that Ngailaki was probably meant by Clarke for Kai Tahu is wrong for there was a Ngai-raki or Ngai-te raki tribe who once owned North Canterbury, who are said to have been dispossessed by the descendants of Tuahuriri. We can charitably assume that 'Tuhawaiki, fine man as he was, was "intoxicated with the exuberance of his own verbosity." It is not intended here to study all his long speech but merely to remark he must have forgotten his own grandmother was a Katimamoe when he said that tribe was slaves. This assertion can be classed with the false contentions the tribe was extinct, or were the Lost Tribe. In the sale of the Otago Block in July, 1844 the first name is Tuhawaiki, the second is Karetai, and the third Taiaroa.

Two of my esteemed Kaitahu friends assured me the Katimamoe were fairer-skinned than the Kaitahu and some of their highborn women were noticeably good-looking. This lighter skin and aristocratic look caused the Kaitahu chiefs to seek Katimamoe women for their wives. Quite a number of the Katimamoe had aquiline features of a distinct Jewish cast according to early white settlers. The beauty of the women may have had something to do with it, but I surmise the possession of Katimamoe land was a greater inducement to the shrewd Kaitahu chiefs. Many of the women of the Katimamoe were married to Kaitahu men, but few Katimamoe men to Kaitahu women.

One of my Kaitahu informants said: Most of the present natives are descended from the Waitaha, Katimamoe and Kaitahu, and are very mixed. A peace came about through intermarriages. The reason that speakers stress the Kaitahu side is that they concentrate on the stronger side, and omit the weaker side for Native Land Court purposes." I remarked he was honest enough to admit the Katimamoe. had a side. "Yes," he replied, "They have a side but it is not so strong as the other side." This strong contender for Kaitahu in one official document put his tribe down as "Waitaha! " His principal opponent marked himself "Katimamoe."

A Tuahiwi Maori said to me: "A peace was made between Kaitahu and Katimamoe, and the meeting was in this district. Although fighting had been as far south as the Waiau in Southland it was agreed that Maungatua and Koputai (Port Chalmers)

                             Herries Beattie

 

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