Sacred-Texts The Pacific Index Previous Next
The names of the Heavens—The marriage of Heaven and Earth—Creation of the Gods—The Ages of Darkness, or Chaos—The separation of Heaven and Earth—The Apas, or Messengers of the Gods—The Gods separate their Dwelling-places—The sanctification of Tāne—The first temple built on Earth—Tāne ascends to the Uppermost Heaven—Tāne's new names—Tāne and Io—The three baskets and two stones—Tāne returns to Earth—The Guardian Spirits are appointed—The Wars of the Gods—The overturning of Mother-Earth—The Order of Creation—Creation of the 'spark of life' in Man.
[THE previous two Chapters are from the teaching of Te Matorohanga. We shall in this Chapter follow that of Nepia Te Ika Pohuhu, of the Ngati-Hine-pare tribe, one of those who Te Matorohanga frequently mentions as equally learned with himself. What follows was taught to H. T. Whatahoro in April, and the following months, 1863, who wrote it down from the old priest's dictation. The whole of Pohuhu's teaching has been passed by the Tane-nui-a-rangi Committee, and each page of the original is sealed with their seal, thus showing that it meets with the assent of all the most learned men of the present time belonging to the East Coast tribes.
The same matter as contained in this Chapter has also been dictated by Te Matorohanga to the same Scribe, a copy of which is deposited in the Dominion Museum; but we have made use of Pohuhu's teaching, because it is not so long as the other; at the same time it contains every essential part of the teaching relating to the gods, and where necessary this Chapter will be illustrated from the matter in the Dominion Museum copy, of which the original from which it was taken, now lies before the Translator. If funds be forthcoming hereafter, Te Matorohanga's teaching may also be printed.
Pohuhu's teaching on the subject of Io, the Supreme God, is identical with that of Te Matorohanga given in last Chapter, and is therefore not repeated here.]
THE Heavens that stand above us are twelve in number, and the following are their names:—
(or Te Toi-o-nga-rangi)
The above are the names of the Heavens in their order as they stand above us [the first being the summit; number twelve, the sky above and nearest to the earth]. Those twelve Heavens are where the Apa-atua [the messenger-gods, or, perhaps, the company of gods] of each Heaven move to and fro. There is only one Heaven that cannot be attained by these Apa—the Toi-o-nga-rangi, or, otherwise, Tikitiki-o-rangi; this is the most sacred of all the Heavens, and Io alone, with the Apa-Whatu-kura [the company of male guardians, or gods] and Apa-Marei-kura [the company of female guardians, or godesses] of that Heaven dwell there. The Marei-kuras and the Whatu-kuras have the entrée to all the eleven Heavens, and even down to the earth. It is only when Io sends his messengers to one of the Apas of the twelve Heavens that they are allowed into Tikitiki-o-nga-rangi. They never enter it without permission.
Tawhiri-rangi is the name of the house through which entry is obtained into [the uppermost Heaven]. Underneath it is the mouth, or the door, called Te Pu-motomoto-o-Tikitiki-o-rangi; that is, it is the door of entry into Tawhiri-rangi, within which house are the guardians of Te Pu-motomoto—very numerous are they, viz., the Puhi-tau [general name for the different winds that guard the entrance], Maioro-rangi, [Rampart-of-Heaven], Houere-tu [winds blowing upwards], Houere-tau [fighting winds], and other numerous Apas.1 None of the Whatu-kura of the other [and lower] Heavens, not a single one, may enter; unless Rua-tau, Aitu-pawa, Rehua, Puhao-rangi or Tau-o-rongo,2 who alone have the authority, open the circular-window, or the Pu-moto-moto, and allow some one Apa to enter, whether from the eleven Heavens, the earth, or any other place. But there is much about this subject. I am not able to recite it all.
The Rangi-nui [great sky], which stands above, felt a desire towards Papa-tua-nuku [the earth], whose belly was turned up [towards him]; he desired her as a wife. So Rangi came down to Papa. In that period the amount of light was nil; absolute and complete darkness [po-kutikuti kakarauri] prevailed; there was no sun, no moon, no stars, no clouds, no light, no mist—no ripples stirred the surface of ocean; no breath of air, a complete and absolute stillness.
And so Rangi-nui dwelt with Papa-tua-nuku as his wife; and then he set [hikaia = whakato, to set, plant] plants to cover the nakedness of Papa; for her armpits, her head, and the body; and after that the smaller trees to clothe them both, for the body of the earth was naked. Subsequently he placed the upstanding trees of the forest, and now Papa felt a great warmth, which was all-embracing. After this were placed the insects of all kinds, the aitanga-pekepeketua [the ancestors of the tuatara, great lizard], appropriate to the recesses of the smaller vegetation, the clumps of smaller trees, and the wao-tu-rangi, the great forests [whose heads reach the skies]. Then the crabs, the toitoi [the larger species of univalves], the pipi [the bivalves] the ngakihi,3 the mussel, the haliotis, and similar things, which have shells, were assigned their places to animate the earth and the waters thereof. A great deal might be said on this subject; but let this suffice. Te Matorohanga can fully explain—I might go wrong.
After the last of all these things had been planted by Rangi-nui and Papa, they then created their [proper] offspring [i.e., the gods]; the eyes were made first,4 and then the 'house' to hold them, i.e., the head. After the head, the bust and body and the bones of the legs, according to their growth [shapes].5
Because Rangi-nui overlaid and completely covered Papa-tua-nuku, the growth of all things could not mature, nor could anything bear fruit [or increase]; they were in an unstable condition, floating about the Ao-pouri [the world of darkness], and this was their appearance: some were crawling [after the manner of lizards], some were upright with the arms held up, some were lying with the knees partly drawn p. 118 up, some lying on their sides, some were lying stretched out at full length, some on their backs, some were stooping, some with their heads bent down, some with their legs drawn up, some embracing, some kicking out with legs and arms, some kneeling, some standing, some inhaling deep breaths, some with exhausted breath, some crawling, some walking, some feeling about in the dark, some arising, some gazing, some sitting still, and in many other attitudes—they were all within the embrace of Rangi-nui and Papa.6
Now, this is the list of names of [the minor gods] the family of Rangi and Papa:—
|1.||Uru-te-ngangana||36.||Tawhana (? Ti-whaia)|
|34.||Te Akaaka-matua||69.||Tu-pai (or Paia)|
The above are the gods, offspring of the Sky-father and Earth-mother. They are all males.8
The nature of the existence of the gods was such as has been explained [i.e., within the embrace of their parents, and in the attitudes described above]. The names of the Pō or ages, or æons, during which they dwelt there, are as follows:—
|1. Te Po-kauru||3. Te Po-kakarauri||5. Te Po-kerekere|
|2. Te Po-uriuri||4. Te Po-aoao-nui||6. Te Po-tamaku|
|7. Te Po-tiwhatiwha10|
It was after this manner that they dwelt in Pō, within the space included in the embrace of their parents. It was very long that condition of affairs existed; until at last a faint glimmering of light, a scintillation like the light of a star was seen, or like the Will-o-the-wisp at night. And now commenced a desire on the part of the family of gods to go forth from between their parents to follow the faint appearance of light. Some of them [the gods] consented, some did not; and thus it became a matter of strife between them. Tāne (68), Tu-pai (69)11 and others said, "Let us seek a means by which we may go forth." The matter was then assented to. Now Uru-te-ngangana (1) the eldest of the family had been persuaded by Whiro-te-tipua's (6) arguments against going forth, and hence they remained until the last.
Now, at a certain time after [that discussion] Ue-poto (28) went to bathe and wash away the clammy feeling arising through the warmth of their dwelling place [within the embrace of their parents]. He was carried away outside on the current of their mother's urine, and found himself outside in a gentle cooling breeze, which was sweet scented in the nostrils of Ue-poto. He thought, this is the best place, here outside, so he called out under the sides of his parents: "O sirs! Come outside, for this is a pleasant place for us."
When the menstruous time of their mother Earth came, then Tāne (68) came forth. This was in the seventh Pō, or age of their desire to search for the "way of the female"12 in order to go forth. On reaching the outside world, they then saw that it was indeed a pleasant place for them [to dwell]. There was, however, a drawback; for the different kinds of the cold of Heaven [or space], Wero-i-te-ninihi, Wero-i-te-wawana, Kŭna-wiri, Maeke, and Kotokoto, there spread out their intense cold.13 Hence, did Rangi and Papa closely embrace [to exclude the cold from ther offspring], and, hence, also originated the 'goose-flesh,' and trembling through cold [from which mankind suffers to this day]. These are the enemies that afflicted the family14 of their father. In consequence of this, they sheltered under the sides of their mother, where they found warmth, which they named Whakaruru-taha [shelter-by-the-side], which name came down to us, and is applied to a warm and pleasant place where no winds blow.
After this, when the ninth and tenth ages had come, Uru-te-nga-ngana (1) and others came forth—they formed the second party; and then Whiro-te-tipua (6) and his friends were urged to come forth. He did so with anger, and afflicted some of the other gods with baldness on top of the head and the same on the forehead, the eyelashes and eyebrows [which have descended to mankind through Whiro's action]. Great indeed was the wrath of Whiro (6) at Tāne (68) because of his inducing them to come forth from [the shelter of] their parents,to be 'bitten' by Wero-i-te-ninihi, Wero-i-te-wawana, and, Wero-i-te-kokota [the cold of space]—that was the cause of his anger.
Some time after the foregoing events Tāne (68) said, "Let us now separate our parents that Rangi and Papa may occupy different places." Whiro (6) would not consent to this proposition, and there was much strife in consequence. But Tāne-nui-a-rangi (68) became more urgent; and then Tangaroa (8), Tu-mata-uenga (11), and Tawhiri-matea (7) finally agreed. And now Rangi-nui [the Sky-father], was propped up into the position he now holds. In the propping up by Tāne (68) with the four props, one was placed at the head, one on each side, and one at the legs, making the four that separated Rangi from Papa. [Compare this belief in the four props with the similar one of the Egyptians.] But as the props were lifted and Rangi was still suspended in space, one at the legs and one at the head slipped.15 Tāne called out to Paia,16 "O Pai!" Paia replied, "Here am I!" Tāne said, "Raise him up above." In this uplifting and raising in order that Rangi-nui might float above, he did not quite rise to the position required, because the arms of both Rangi and Papa grasped one another and held fast. Then Tāne called out to Tu-mata-kaka (63) and Tu-mata-uenga (11), telling them to fetch an axe to cut the arms of their parents. Tu-mata-kaka asked, "O Tāne! Where is the source of axes to be found?" Tāne said, "Fetch one from the pillow of our elder brother, Uru-te-ngangana (1), to cut them with. Fetch a handle from Tua-matua (59), who will put a keen edge on the axe and fasten it to its handle." The two axes, named 'Te Awhio-rangi' and 'Te Whiro-nui,' were then fetched17; and then the arms of Rangi-nui and Papa-tua-huku were severed and they were completely separated. At that time Paia cut off from the neck of Rangi-nui the Ahi-tapu, or sacred fire, which he subsequently used to make fire with, using his karakia p. 122 [incantation] in doing so. But I do not know that formula, though Te Matarohanga does.18
Now, when Rangi-nui had been properly placed in position as is now to be seen, the blood from the arms dripped down on to Papa [the Earth], and hence is the horu [red oxide of iron], and the pukepoto [blue phosphate of iron], that his descendants in this world use in painting.19 And hence also is the red appearance that inflames the skies at sunrise or sunset—that is the blood of Rangi's arms.
I will now describe the nature of the Apas of each division of the twelve heavens, thus:—
The first Apas20 are those that dwell in Te Toi-o-nga-rangi [the highest Heaven] as follows: The Apa-Whatukura are males; the Apa-Marei-kura are females. When these Apas travel it is appropriate to refer to them as the 'Company of Whatu-kuras,' and 'Company of Marei-kuras.' It is these Apas alone who visit Io-nui in Toi-o-nga-rangi [the summit of the heavens]. On Io's command only [can the others] enter there, that is, whenever Io wishes them to do so can they enter the Toi-o-nga-rangi; they will not presume to do so otherwise, because that Heaven is sacred to Io and his particular company [of Apas] as explained before.
But the Company of Whatu-kuras, and the Apa-Marei-kuras [of the uppermost heaven] are able to [freely] enter any of the other eleven heavens, that is, to enter where they like, whether in the Heavens or the Earth—they have power to do that. It is just the same with the p. 123 Apas of the eleven heavens outside Te Toi-o-nga-rangi [they may freely come] even down to Earth and Hades.
Here follow the names of the Heavens outside Te Toi-o-nga-rangi, and the male and female Apas [guardian angels or spirits] of each:—
|Name of Heaven.||Male Guardians.||Female Guardians.|
|Tintiri-o-matangi||Apa Pahurangi||Apa Kahurangi|
|Rangi-naonao-ariki||Apa Matangi-nui||Apa Mata-ru-wai|
|Rangi-te-wawana||Apa Kahui-kura||Apa Ruao|
|Rangi-nui-ka-tika||Apa Rehu-roa||Apa Rehu-punga|
|Rangi-mata-ura||Apa Poporo-kewa||Apa Kauwhanga|
|Tauru-rangi||Apa Patu-pai-arehe||Apa Turehu|
|Rangi-mata-wai||Apa Taranga-tahi||Apa Kopu-wai|
|Rangi-maire-kura||Apa Kauru-rangi||Apa Kehu-rangi|
|Rangi-parauri||Apa Kapeka-a-rangi||Apa Rau-angiangi|
|Rangi-tamaku||Apa Hopara-a-rangi||Apa Maruhiruhi|
|Rangi-nui-a-tamaku||(Not given.)||Apa Tohi-kura|
O Sir! the Apa Tāne [male Apas] are, perhaps, not correctly recited by me, ask Te Matorohanga, he is acquainted with the correct position to which they were appointed by Io-matua [Io-the-father].
Now, at this time the family of gods proceeded to arrauge the kaupeka21 of Rangi-nui, that is, to direct matters so that they might be able to adopt a course leading to their benefit. But they were not able to accomplish it, for they were confused about the direction of earthly things—they could not manage it.
They now decided to have separate dwelling-places. Whiro-te-tipua (6), Uru-te-ngangana (1), and their immediate friends dwelt in Tu-te-aniwaniwa ['where-stands-the-rainbow']—that was their house, and the place where they lived.
Tu-mata-uenga (11), Tama-kaka (? 63),22 Rongo-marae-roa (14), and others, dwelt in Whare-kura [the first earthly Whare-wānanga, or House of learning, which is its meaning. See introduction to Chapter I.]—that was their house, and the place where they dwelt with their friends.
Tāne (68), Paia and others dwelt in Huaki-pouri with their friends.
Thus it was that the family dwelt separately; an envious heart was the reason, and the following were the causes of this ill feeling:—
|1.||On account of the persistence of Tāne (68) that they should go forth from the embrace of their parents.|
|2.||The 'biting' of the anu-rangi23 [cold of space], anu-wai [cold of the waters], anu-winiwini [extreme cold] and anu-matao [excessive cold].|
|3.||The persistance of Tāne (68), Tupai (69) and their faction, that their parents Rangi and Papa should be separated.|
|4.||The 'evil heart' of Tāne, Tupai, Tu-mata-uenga (11), Tu-mata-kaka (63), and others, in deciding to cut off the arms of their parents with the axes 'Awhio-rangi' and 'Whiro-nui.'|
|5.||The presumption of Tāne and his faction in undertaking these works. If it had been Uru-te-ngangana (1), Ro-i ho (2), Hae-puru (4), Tangaroa (8), and Tu-mata-uenga (11) [the seniors of the family], Whiro (6) would have consented.|
|6.||The conceit of Tāne in declaring that he could ascend the 'sacred-winds' of the conjoint Heavens that stand above. Rather should Whiro himself have accomplished the journey to the Toi-o-nga-rangi [the highest Heaven.—See infra about this].|
The above were the causes why Whiro and his faction were so jealous of Tāne.
Now, at this period, Io-matua [the supreme god, the father] said unto Rua-matua and Rehua [two of the guardians of the heavenly treasures], "Go ye down to the Earth, and on Maunga-nui [great mountain] command Tāne (68) and Tupai (69) to ascend to ye up the mountain. You will there purify them and baptise them in the 'waters of Rongo' on that mountain, and then return." These were the sons of the family.24
So these two Whatu-kuras, Rua-tau and Rehua, descended to the summit of Maunga-nui, and commanded Tāne and Tupal to climb up to them. The two [gods] did so, and on reaching Rua-tau and Rehua, they were taken to the 'waters of Rongo' and baptised. Thus were they purified; and now for the first time did Tāne (68) receive his full name of Tāne-nui-a-rangi [Great Tāne-of-the-Heavens], whilst Tupai received that of Tupai-a-tau [? so called after Rua-tau]. After this Rua-tau and Rehua re-ascended to Te Toi-o-nga-rangi [the uppermost Heaven] to Io-mata-ngaro [Io-the-hidden-face], whilst Tāne-nui-a-rangi and Tupai-a-tau returned to their dwelling place at Huaki-pouri.
|7.||This was the seventh cause of Whiro-te-tipua's illfeeling; the sanctification, and the baptism of those new names for Tāne-nui-a-rangi and Tupai-a-tau.|
After these events Io-taketake [Io-the-origin of all things] said to Rua-tau and Aitu-pawa [Treasure-guardians of heaven]: "Go! Ask of the family of Rangi-nui [the Sky-father] which single one of them will be able to ascend the Toi-hua-rewa25 of the Heavens to Tikitiki-o-rangi [the uppermost heaven] to meet me at Matangi-reia" [the sun's path in the Heavens, the home of Io]. Then these two, Rua-tau and Aitu-pawa, descended to Tu-te-aniwaniwa [one of the separate houses in which the gods dwelt after coming forth from the parental embrace], and laid their mission before Uru-te-ngangana (1) and Whiro (6) and their faction.
Whiro informed them that he could climb up by the winds of Heaven, and bring back the wānanga [all knowledge, etc.]. Rua-tau asked, "By what way wilt thou climb, O Whiro?" The latter answered, "By the 'Taepatanga'26 of the Heavens Will I ascend." "Tai hiti, tai wawa!" replied Aitu-pawa, "You will not succeed, for the winds of the conjoint Heavens are akaaka" [difficult to overcome—an uncommon word].
The two gods then went to Whare-kura [another of the houses of the gods], and Rua-tau asked, "Which of you is able to ascend the conjoint Heavens to the Toi-o-nga-rangi, to Io-the-origin-of-all-things?" Rongo-marae-roa (14) and his faction replied, that Tāne-nui-a-rangi (68) could accomplish it. The two messengers then went to Huaki-pouri [Tāne's house] and asked them, "Which of you will be able to p. 126 climb by the winds of the conjoint Heavens to Te Toi-o-nga-rangi, to Io-the-origin-of-all-things, at Matangi-reia in its beauty and expanse?"27 Tāne replied to this, "I can do it!" Then said Ruatau, "By which way will you ascend?" Tāne replied, "I will ascend by the Ara-tiatia, the Toi-hua-rewa28 of the family of my elder brother, Tawhiri-matea (7) [god of winds], who dwells above in Tihi-o-manono."29 Ruatau and ‘Pawa then said, "Enough! Ascend to the Pumotomoto [entrance to] Tikitiki-o-rangi [highest Heaven], to Tawhiri-rangi [guard house of] Te Toi-o-nga-rangi-tuhaha [summit of all the Heavens]." After that Ruatau and Aitu-pawa returned.
[Hearing of this] Whiro (6) said unto to his elder brethren, "I intend to go and fetch the wānanga [knowledge] at Te Toi-o-nga-rangi." Uru-te-ngangana (1) and others said, "Leave our younger brother to fetch it—he who has ascended Maunga-nui and Maunga-roa, and been consecrated to the Au-kume, Au-rona, and Au-ihiihi."30 Whiro was very wroth at this and said, "Who, indeed, has said, that he, a younger son, will ascend above through all the Heavens?"
Tāne-nui-a-rangi (68) now urged his brethren, saying, "Tamakaka (63), Tupai-a-tau (69), Rongo-marae-roa (14) and Tawhiri-matea (7); let us all go to Rangi-tamaku [the eleventh Heaven from the summit] and obtain the design of Whare-kura and build a similar one here [on earth]; in which to deposit the tahū31 of the wānanga of the Heavens." Tawhire-matea (7) consented to this. When they reached Rangi-tamaku, they carefully copied the design of the temple; it was a temple for dwelling in; they measured the pillars, the length of the ridge and p. 127 the house, the width and the height. That house belonged to Nuku-te-aio, father of Rua-i-te-pukenga,32 who disclosed to Tāne the location of that house. That house was a matarua, that is, having two windows, one on each side of the door.
On their return they built Whare-kura as a depository for the knowledge which Ruatau and ‘Pawa had told one of the family to fetch. So they built and finished it—[the first Whare-kura or Temple of learning on Earth, from the design of which in succeeding ages all other Temples were built].
After this was built Te Whare-rangi, the house of Tamakaka (63), and some others; it had only one window on the right-hand side of the door. This kind of house [in modern times] is called a matahi. Then they built the house of Tupai (69) named Rangi-pukohu. When that was completed they erected a house for Tāne (68) and Tangaroa (8), named Hui-te-ana-nui, a very large house, with four windows, two in front, two behind; such a house is [now] called a mata-wha. This house was richly carved, the pillars, the ridge, the rafters, the barge-boards, the purlins, the battens, the central pillars, the back and front pillars, and the front enclosure of the porch—all were carved.
Then was erected the house of Tu-mata-uenga (11) [god-of-war] named Te Roroku-o-te-rangi. This was the most sacred house of them all, exceedingly great was its tapu, as much so as that of Whare-kura. Here were kept the weapons of war, and all pertaining thereto, and to the ritual or karakia [incantation, etc.], and the gods [images] of that particular profession.
After that was built the house of Rongo-marae-roa (14) [god of peace, agriculture, etc.] named Hao-whenua. It was built as a house in which all agricultural implements [? and the teaching thereof] were deposited. These are all I remember.
After the events described above, the ascent of Tāne-nui-a-rangi (68) to Te Toi-o-nga-rangi was considered by the gods. Whiro-te-tipua (6) was most urgent that he should go on before; so he proceeded by way of the Taepatanga [edge of the sky] of the Heavens to climb up above. Whiro had proceeded on his way for a long distance, when Tāne told his elder brethren, Tawhiri-matea, Tama-kaka and Tupai-a-tau that they ought to start. So they went, aided by the family of Para-wera-nui ['a mighty southerly tempest.'—see Journal Polynesian p. 128 Society, Vol. XVI., p. 58] who carried them along [taiapo, i.e., by the legs and arms, or arm in arm]; by way of the Ara-tiatia [way of steps]. That family is as follows; it was they who bore their parent [Tāne—not necessarily their father] to Te Toi-o-nga-rangi:—
|Titi-parauri (the black whirlwind)|
Titi-mata-kake (the ascending whirlwind)
Titi-matangi-nui (the great windy whirlwind)
Titi-aru-rangi33 (the whirlwind ascending to heaven)
These then were the families of Tawhiri-matea, who carried Tāne to the Pu-motomoto [the entrance] of Tawhiri-rangi [guard-house to the uppermost heaven]. His companions were Uru-ao (51), Rangi-ihiihi-matua (? 27), Tu-kapua (40), Tawhiri-matea (7), Taka-wai-rangi and Te Ataata-o-te-rangi; these last accompanied Tane to Rangi-naonao-ariki [the third heaven counting downwards] to Kautu and Tapuhi-kura, who were the spirits whose duty it was to take [Tāne] to Tauru-o-te-rangi [the name of the entrance into the third heaven], where Tāne was purified by Kautu and Tapuhi-kura. Tawhiri-matea, Uru-ao and Rangi-ihiihi-matua returned from here to Earth, whilst Te Ataata-o-te-rangi and Taka-wai-rangi carried Tāne to Tiritiri-o-matangi [heaven below the summit].
[In the meantime] Whiro had ascended to Rangi-nui and Rangi-tamaku [the two lowest heavens] where he learnt that Tāne had passed on before him; he followed to Rangi-parauri [tenth heaven in descent] but did not overtake him. Here his son-in-law said to him, "Go back! You cannot succeed, for that man [Tāne] has been consecrated above on Maunga-nui by Rua-tau and Rehua." At this Whiro was very distressed and wroth; he ordered the Tini-o-Poto to follow in pursuit of Tāne, they are:—
|O Naonao (Mosquito)||O Kēa (the great Parrot)|
|O Rō (the Ant)||O Kērangi (the Hawk)|
|O Peketua (Centipede)||O Karearea (Sparrow-hawk)|
|O Pepe-te-muimui (Prionoplus)||O Peka (the Bat)|
|O Pekepeke-haratua (Daddy-long-legs)||O Poupou (the Owl)34|
|O Taunga-hua (not known)|
This was the war-party of Whiro which he sent to follow Tāne, to peck and draw his blood—to kill him. The war-party went on and p. 129 ascended the horizon of Rangi-tiritiri-o-matangi [first heaven below the summit]; and there attacked Tāne; but they could not approach near him—they were whirled away by the Tini-o-Parauri [the many of Parauri—the great gales]. They could not get near him.
Tāne now reached Te Pu-motomoto of Tawhiri-rangi [the guard-house of the uppermost heaven], and there entered the house, where were Rua-tau, Aitu-pawa, Rehua, Puhao-rangi, Oho-mai-rangi, Te Pura-o-te-rangi, Te Rangi-haupapa and very many other Whatu-kura [guardian-gods of the Supreme God Io]. Taka-wai-rangi and Te Ataata-o-te-rangi returned from here to Tiritiri-ki-matangi [first heaven below the summit] to await the return of Tāne-nui-a-rangi.
And also, the war-party of Whiro-te-tipua returned to Rangi-nao-nao-ariki [third heaven] to await Tāne on his return.
Now, when Tāne entered the guard-house, Tawhiri-rangi, by way of the koro-pihanga35 of the rearmost part of the ridge of the house; he had now arrived at the Te Toi-o-nga-rangi [the summit of Heaven]. He was taken by Rua-tau, Pu-hao-rangi and Oho-mai-rangi to Te Wai-o-Rongo [the waters of Rongo] and there again purified, and the following additional names given him:—
|2. Tāne-matua||(Tāne-the-parent-of-mankind—see infra)|
These are the names then given him; but the first one he had already received from Rua-tau and Rehua, when he was sanctified on Mount Maunganui, as already described.
After the above occurrence, Tāne was conducted into Matangi-reia [the house of Io—Sun's path in the Heavens] where Io was awaiting him. On his arrival Io asked him:—
"By whom are we?"36
"By the Sky-father and the Earth-mother is thy child, O Io-the-father, ē ī!"
"Who is thy companion?"
"My elder brother, Whiro-te-tipua. He went by way of the Taepatanga of the Heavens, to ascend."
"Thy elder brother will not succeed; the winds of the conjoint Heavens blow too strongly."
Io added, "What is thy reason for ascending here?"
"The sacred contents of the 'baskets' pertaining to the Sky-father and Earth-mother to obtain; hence have I ascended up to thee, O Io, ē ī!"
Io then said, "Let us go to the Rauroha" [space outside Io's dwelling, the marae or plaza], and when they got there, then for the first time was seen how numerous were the Whatu-kura [male guardian gods] and Marei-kura [female guardian goddesses] there staying. Tāne was again purified in Rauroha, and after this had been accomplished, they entered the temple Rangiatea [treasure house, and the first of the Whare-wānanga—see introduction to Chapter I.]. It was here that the Whatu-kuras gave into Tāne's charge, the three 'baskets' and the two sacred stones. They were 'god-stones' [i.e., endowed with god-like and miraculous powers].
These are the names of the three 'baskets' and two stones:—
|1.||The kete-uruuru-matua, of peace, of all goodness, of love.|
|2.||The kete-uruuru-rangi (or tipua), of all prayers, incantations, ritual, used by mankind.|
|3.||The kete-uruuru-tau (or tawhito), of the wars of mankind, agriculture, tree or wood-work, stone-work, earth-work—of all things that tend to well-being, life, of whatsoever kind.|
[Te Matorohanga held that the original teaching of this branch was derived from the first created thoughts, which were good alone; it was afterwards that evil thoughts came into being. The Creator first gave man eyes in order to distinguish good from evil, and then the ngakau, or heart, to hold such knowledge.]
|1.||Te Whatu-kura, Huka-a-tai (the translation is, Foam-of Ocean).|
|2.||Te Whatu-kura, Rehu-tai (the translation is, White-sea-mist).|
These stones are both white in colour, like sea-foam, that is, they were white according to description handed down; they are stones that p. 131 may indicate either good or evil according to man's desire. They are sacred stones, and are used at the termination of the session of teaching, that is, the pupils are placed thereon when the classes of the Whare-wānanga break up. After the proper ritual of karakia, the stones are touched by the mouths of the pupils,37 and then the classes break up for the season.
[The kete, or 'baskets,' are the three great divisions of knowledge taught in the Maori College; we may call each kete a syllabus, which it nearly approaches, in fact, as briefly mentioned above. The two whatu, or stones, are said by the Scribe to be not ordinary stones of this earth, but were brought from Heaven. It was from them the Whatu-kura-a-Tāne and Whatu-kura-a-Tangaroa were made. In later times, of course, some uncommon stone would be used in the Whare-wānanga on which the pupils stood at the final ceremony before the session ended. It was supposed that contact with these stones gave măna, power, prestige, to the matter taught, besides enforcing the same on the memory.]
Now, after the three 'baskets' of the wānanga [knowledge] and the two stones had been acquired, the Whatu-kuras [gods] escorted Tāne-te-wānanga (68) and his properties to the next lower Heaven. Rua-tau, Rehua, Aitu-pawa were there, and a numerous host of other Whatu-kuras in the company. On reaching Tiritiri-o-matangi (second Heaven from the top) they found their friends, Taka-wai-rangi and Te Ataata, who had been joined by the descendants of Huru-te-arangi, daughter of Tapuhi-kura, younger brother of Rangi-tamaku [the eleventh Heaven below the summit] awaiting them.
These are that family:—
Those are the family of Tawhiri-matea (7) [god of winds] and Parawera-nui [the stormy south wind] who are their parents; there p. 132 were many others besides. Te Matorohanga will be able to name them all in their ranks. Tapuhi-kura and the wife of Tarapae are the guardians of their grand-children [the winds] at Te Tihi-o-manono,39 where their house is named Mairiiri-kapua. The courtyard of their house is named Marae-nui; and they amuse themselves with whip-tops, Tahua-roa being the name of the court in which they play. The brow from which they gaze down on to the back of their ancestor [Rangi-to-maku, eleventh heaven from the summit] is named Paroro-rangi—it is in Rangi-naonao-ariki [the third heaven from the summit] that this family dwells.
Tāne-matua (68) and his companions, the Whatu-kuras, descended until they reached Rangi-te-wawana [the fourth heaven from the summit] where they were attacked by the war-party of Whiro-te-tipu (6)—these are their names:—
|1. Pekepeke-mata-ruwai||3. Pekepeke-harakuku|
|2. Pekepeke-hau-rutua||4. Pekepeke-riwaru|
As soon as the war-party was discovered, it was assaulted by the company of Tāne-matua; the war-party of Whiro (6) was defeated at Te Rangi-haupapa, and the following brought down to earth as prisoners:—
|1. Kāhu (the Hawk)||5. Kakapo (the night Parrot)|
|2. Karearea (Sparrow-Hawk)||6. Pekapeka (the Bat)|
|3. Matuku (the Crane)||7. Ruru (the Owl)|
|4. Kēa (the great Parrot)||8. Kakariki (Parrakeet)|
The grandchildren of Kērangi (the hawk) were taken prisoners, they are:—
|Waeroa (Mosquito)||Wēta (wingless Locust)|
|Namu-poto (little Sand-fly)||Pepe (Butterfly)|
|Naonao (Sand-fly)||Rango (Blow-fly)|
|Rō (the Ant)||Kawhitiwhiti (Grasshopper)|
and other insects of that nature. The above is the reason they were brought here [are found here] on the earth.
And now the face of Rangi-nui [the sky above, lowest Heaven] flashed forth in brilliant red. Hence did Tupai (69), Uepoto (28), Tamakaka (63), Uru-roa, Tama-te-kapua (? 44), Tu-mata-uenga (11) Tangaroa (8), and Tawhiri-matua (7), know that the wānanga had been acquired by Tāne-matua (68). Great was the joy, and the rejoicing of the family of gods, even including those at Tu-te-aniwaniwa [the p. 133 dwelling-place of Whiro (6) and Uru-te-ngangana (1)]. But Whiro alone was not glad; he was continuously angry and jealous on account of the exceeding măna [power, prestige] that had accrued to Tāne-matua (68). And now Uru-ao (51) and Tupai took their trumpets and sounded a fanfare; they were named 'Te Wharara-o-te-rangi' [the arch of Heaven] and 'Pu-oro-rangi ' [trumpet sounding in Heaven]. The whole of the family of gods heard the trumpet blasts, and knew thereby that Tāne-matua had succeeded in his quest.
When the party arrived at the turuma40 of Whare-kura [the first temple built on earth], and after the purification ceremony, they entered Whare-kura and there suspended the three wānanga at the back of the temple, where also the two whatu [stones] were deposited. Whiro (6) demanded that the 'baskets' and stones should be delivered up to him. Tāne-matua (68) said to him, "Where are others to be found if we agree to that? It is sufficient that you have some of our elder brethren with you; the 'baskets' must be left with these members of our elder and younger brethren." Rongo-marae-roa (14) and Uru-te-ngangana (1) both consented to this. Whiro was very angry at this and returned home with two of the whatu [stones].41 After this the Whatu-kuras [gods] returned to Te Toi-o-nga-rangi [Uppermost Heaven].
Now, at this period the attention of Tāne-matua (68) and his elder and younger brethren was turned to the separation of the Pou-tiri-ao [Guardian Angels] to their different spheres of action in their separate places, by twos and threes, to each plane of the Earth, the Heavens, and even the Ocean. Thus was the work directed; and the valuable contents of the three 'baskets' were distributed [i.e., as the baskets contained all knowledge and directions for the government of the world and its contents, some branches were allocated to the different guardians to enable them to rule in their separate spheres, and thus become the presiding dieties of different classes of phenomena]. But I am unable to place this family in their different planes—ask Te Matorohanga. I did not completely acquire the full knowledge of this branch.42
At this time the hatred and jealousy of Whiro (6) and his faction towards Tāne-matua (68) had become permanent. Whiro would not give his consent to the appointment of the Pou-tiri-ao to their respective spheres. His elder brethren said to him, "Leave to our younger brother the direction and the power; he has acquired the kauwae-runga [knowledge of Celestial things]. As for you, all you have initiated has ended in disaster, even from the very beginning down to the present time." Much strife ensued, until Uru-te-ngangana [the first born of the gods] separated himself from Whiro, and departed for the home of his younger brother, Rongo-marae-roa (14) [god of agriculture] and his party, and to Huaki-pouri [Tāne's dwelling]. The dissentions between the various factions of the gods now became permanent, leading to actual war; Whiro-te-tipua (6) was defeated; the general name for this war was Pae-rangi, and the names of the different battles were:—
|21. Te Au-tahataha|
There were others besides; indeed, a great many in which they fought. Some battles were on the land, some in the Heavens, some in the intermediate space, some on the water—there was no place in which they did not fight. Such places as they thought suitable, there they fought. But these battles were fought as gods between gods.
The end of it was that Whiro-te-tipua was defeated, and that was the reason he descended to Raro-henga [Hades]—hence is that fatal descent of his named Taheke-roa [the eternal fall]. The true [or general] name of this [series of] battles is Te Pae-rangi. Whiro disappeared for ever into Te Muri-wai-hou, to Raro-henga; that is, to the place called Te Reinga.43
Before Tāne-nui-a-rangi (68) ascended by the Ara-tiatia [the way of steps] to Te Toi-o-nga-rangi-taupuru [the overhanging (overcast) summit of Heaven—the Uppermost Heaven], and after the Sky-father and Earth-mother had been separated, the face [front] of their mother had been overturned so that she faced Hades. The youngest child of these parents, named Whakaru-ai-moko (70) was at that time a child at the breast. They left this child as a comfort44 for their mother. Now, hence [through Whakaru-ai-moko (70)] are the earthquakes, and volcanic phenomena that constantly war against us in every age.
The reason why they [the gods] overturned the Earth to face downwards to Rarohenga was because she continually lamented for Rangi-nui [the Sky-father], and because Rangi-nui constantly lamented over her; that is, this was the nature of her lamenting, she continuously closed the avenues of light by means of clouds and mists, whilst Rangi-nui constantly obscured things by his tears, both day and night; that is, the rain was constant, never ceasing, as was the snow, the black-frost, the driving snow. The family of gods were perishing with the rain and the snow, and hence did they overturn their mother to face downwards to Rarohenga. After this their condition was much ameliorated. But they still dwelt in [a faint light] like the moonlight of this earth, because neither stars, the moon, nor the sun had been placed in position.
The name given by Ruatau [one of the guardians of the heavenly treasures, a messenger of Io's] to this world was this: He said to the Sky-father and Earth-mother "Let your offspring go forth and dwell. Leave them to move about on you two." He added, "Do not continue to enclose them between [your bodies]. Let them go forth to Tahora-nui-a-teu45 and therein move about." Hence, we learn the name given p. 136 by Ruatau to this world—'Tahora-nui-a-Ruatau.'46 It was Hine-titama47 that gave the [commonly used] name of Te Ao-tu-roa [the enduring light] to this world. It was thus that her relative, Te Kuwatawata (23) spoke to her, saying, "O Lady! Return hence! Here ceases the world of light. Beyond me is the-darkness-ever-present."48 Hine-titama replied to him, "Let me remain there that I may catch the living spirit of my descendants [mankind] in the world-of-everlasting-light." We learn by this that Hine-titama gave this world its name [Te-ao-tu-roa].
Now, after the wars of the gods, Whiro (6) and his younger brethren, Tu-mata-uenga (11) and others as above written, the appointment of the Pou-tiri-aos [guardian spirits] to their functions in the planes of Rangi-nui [the Sky-father], Papu-tua-nuku [the Earth-mother], and to Lady-ocean, was duly completed.
And then they completed the various beings to dwell in the great ocean, the waters of the earth, the trees, not to mention the reptiles [or insects], for they are really the lice of the Earth-mother; hence, are they called Te Whanau-a-Torohuka [the family (or descendants) of Torohuka]. At this time came the command of Rua-tau and Rehua [two of the guardians of the Heavenly treasures and messengers of Io] to Tāne-matua (68) saying: "Honour the offspring of Torohuka and Muhumuhu as friends for you all. Some are evil, some are good." The words of those two Whatu-kuras referred to the ngarara [reptiles, insects]; for they were the first created of all living things. Thus:—
|1.||The waters of ocean that are in the world, were created by waters; and then grew [out of them] the land, the Earth which on maturity was taken to wife by the Sky-father.|
|2.||Next [were created] the minor vegetation, growing each after its own kind.|
|3.||Next [were created] the trees of every kind, to clothe the skin of the Earth, which had theretofore been naked.|
|4.||Next [were created] the reptiles and insects of every kind.|
|5.||Next [were created] the animals, dogs, of every species.|
|6.||Next [were created] the birds of different kinds to dwell on the plains and in the woods of the Earth, and on Lady-ocean also.|
|7.||Next [were created] the moon, the sun, and all the stars. When this had been accomplished, the 'World of Light' became permanent.|
|8.||Next [and finally were created] Hine-ahu-one [the first woman] and [her daughter] Hine-titama; from whom mankind in this world sprung.|
By these all, from the very first down to the [creation of] man, mentioned each in its own period, growing up in their own time, increasing in their periods, living in their own periods, each conceived after their own manner and time, of whatsoever nature; each had its own time of conception, or sprouting. We now understand that this was the nature of all things, and, each thing has it female [counterpart] through which it conceives; whatever there is, it has a wife [female]; there is nothing that stands alone without its female—all things have their female counterparts.
1. All these winds are exceedingly obstructive in their action, says the Scribe.
2. These are the guardian gods of the treasure house of the Uppermost Heaven, and appear to rank above the other Whatu-kura, or guardian gods. The names of Ruatau and Aitu-pawa were very sacred, and very seldom mentioned on that account, whilst Rehua and the others were very much less sacred.
3. A species of bivalve, the Scribe has forgotten which.
4. The Scribe says that the teaching of the Whare-wānanga was, that the eyes were first created in order that the gods might distinguish good from evil, and after that the ngakau, or heart, wherein this knowledge might be retained.
5. Then follows five words which the Scribe could not explain, but two of them mean soft.
6. This long description refers to the condition of the gods, the offspring of Heaven and Earth, before they burst out of the darkness involved in the close embrace of the Sky-father and Earth-mother.
7. Also Tangaroa-whakamau-tai, or Tangaroa-a-mua.
8. The foregoing list has been taken from Te Matorohanga's teaching, for old Pohutu says he had forgotten some, but that the former priest would sure to be right. The numbers opposite each name will enable the reader to identify them in the narratives which follow. Seventy is the proper number of these secondary gods.
9. Professors Nettleship and Sandys in their 'Dictionary of Classical Antiquities,' say of Chaos: "Chăŏs, according to Hesiod, the yawning, unfathomable abyss, which was the first of all existing things. From Chaos arose Gaia (Earth), Tatărus (Hell) and Erōs (Love). Chaos bore Erĕbus and Night; from their union sprung Æthĕr and Hēmĕra (Sky and Day). The conception of Chaos as the confused mass out of which, in the beginning, the separate forms of things arose, is erroneous, and belongs to a later period." We shall see as we proceed how much the Maori belief is like this in many respects.
10. These ages do not agree with Te Matorohanga's teaching, which, however, as they give more detail, and hence, perhaps, will aid in understanding their significance, I give at the end of this chapter in an appendix.
11. It is nearly always the youngest of the family that is the hero in Maori legends. The youngest of all these gods was at this time a baby at the breast.—See infra.
12. Te Matorohanga says, they found an exit between Papa's legs, which explains the above.
13. The Scribe tells me that the doctrine of the Whare-wānanga was, that all space above the earth was subject to intense cold (anu-winiwini), The names given are emblematical for different degrees of cold, for shivering, etc. At the same time the two first are Star names.
14. Presumably the gods that dwell in the eleven heavens, and their human descendants.
15. The form of Mother Earth is conceived to be that of a female with her head lying to the east, her legs to the west.
16. Paia is not mentioned in Te Matorohanga's list of the gods, though it is well-known he was one of them who played an important part; probably, he had another name as well—possibly Tu-pai.
17. In the course of this narrative, in the Historical part, we shall come across these axes again. The Maori belief is, that they were brought to New Zealand in the canoe 'Takitimu,' in A.D. 1350, and the first of the two is still in the possession of the Nga-Rauru tribe, West Coast of North Island.—See 'Journal Polynesian Society,' Vol. IX., p. 229, for the full history of the axe as far as known, and also the song about it. It is, according to description, quite a different shape, size and material to the ordinary Maori axes. It is so sacred, no white man has been allowed to see it.
18. The Ahi-tapu was the fire raised by the ordinary Polynesian method of rubbing a pointed stick (ure) in a grove in another stick (kaunoti). These sticks were habitually carried suspended from the neck either in front or at the back, to keep them quite dry and warm; contact with the body made them tapu, hence, Ahi-tapu, sacred fire. So says the Scribe; but I do not think the term was applied to any ordinary fire, but only to those made for ritualistic purposes.
19. Horu, clay permeated by the oxide of iron, when burnt was used to paint houses, canoes, &c., and the face. Pukepoto is a brilliant blue clay, a fossil in fact, permeated by the phosphate (? proto-phosphate) of iron, and was used to paint a blue horizontal streak across the face for adornment. How these old people came to associate the brilliant blue with red blood, is not explained.
20. There are two species of Apa: the Apa-atua were minor gods, and were the messengers of the other gods. Apa is also a whirlwind, which is the bodily form of the former, who were spirits. Apa also means a company. It will be noticed that the Sage includes the Whatu-kura and Marei-kura within the class of Apa-atua, or god-Apas.
21. The Scribe tells me that this word, which ordinarily means a month, here refers ro the Kaupeka-o-runga (Celestial things), and the Kaupeka-o-raro (Terrestrial things), and that the months derive their names from it. Judging from subsequent statements it here means 'the knowledge of things Celestial and Terrestrial.'
22. Tama-kaka is not in Te Matorohanga's list; probably it is a second name—possibly number sixty-three.
23. See previous note number thirteen, where emblematical names are given to the cold. The Scribe tells me that Te Matorohanga taught that anu-winiwini (extreme cold) expressed a cold that human beings never experience, that all space above the earth is subject to this extreme cold; and that when Rangi and Papa were separated, the escape of their bodily heat carried the cold upwards.
24. This last statement is obscure, but, probably means, they were the most intelligent or daring. Maunga-nui is apparently another name for the sacred mountain in Hawaiki-nui, the Fatherland, called at the end of Chapter II., Tawhiti-nui (the great elevated, or uprising mountain), up which the spirits of the dead on their way to the uppermost Heaven ascended and were there purified. One cannot help noticing the apparent connection of this mountain with the Kailasa, so well described by Sven Haydn in north-west Thibet.
25. The ascending clouds. The spirits ascended by this means on their way to the uppermost Heaven where Io dwelt, says the Scribe.
26. Taepatanga, is 'where the sky hangs down,' and joins the earth according to Maori ideas, i.e., in modern times, the limit of vision, the horizon and the bounding sky. Tai-hiti, tai-wawa, are expressions for difficulty or impossibility.
27. The word used is ahu-turangi, which, says the Scribe, describes the beauty and expanse of Heaven.
28. Two names for the ascent. The first is said to have steps, the second means the 'ascending clouds,' according to the Scribe. But I have heard the second name translated as the "swaying line, or rope." It occurs with other traditions.
29. This is a place in Rangi-naonao-ariki, the third Heaven from the summit. "It is here the offspring of Tawhiri-matea dwell; they are the various winds"—says the Scribe. The historical Tihi-o-manono, probably, in Samoa, Fiji, or Tonga, was named after this place.
30. These three are the 'currents' by which spirits descend to Hades—here used, probably, as meaning, let him try, and meet his death.
31. Tahū, explained as, the origin, summit, very commencement of all knowledge, and, hence is tahuhu, a ridge pole, as being above all in a house. Hence, also, teaching, doctrine, law.
32. Neither of them are of the family of Rangi and Papa. The second name denotes that he was a very learned man; one may venture to translate the name as 'the receptacle of increasing knowledge.'
33. The Titi are explained by the Scribe as emblematical names for the ascending whirlwinds, otherwise called awhiowhio. By their aid Tāne ascended by the Ara-tiatia: they were lent to him by Tawhiri-matea, god of winds.
34. The introduction of the 'O' before these names is strange and unlike Maori—it would almost seem that they had been derived from one of the branches of the Polynesians who use 'O' for 'Ko.'
35. Koro-pihanga is a round window, says the Scribe; a thing unknown in modern Maori architecture.
36. This is part of the usual ceremonious and polite form of address between two strangers to one another. There are several amusing stories which bear on this.
37. It will be noticed that Pohuhu says touched, whilst Te Matorohanga says swallowed.
38. All these Titi are emblematical names for different kinds of whirlwinds, by whose aid Tāne ascended to and descended from the uppermost Heaven.
39. Not to be confounded with the historical place of that name; this is in the heavens. See note twenty-nine in this Chapter.
40. As before pointed out, this was where prayers, etc., were offered up, but means also the latrine.
41. The stones brought down by Tāne were afterwards recovered—see infra.
42. For description of the Pou-tiri-ao, see Chapter II.
43. Te Reinga, the boundary between this world and the next, the 'jumping off' place, of which there is one in every group of Polynesia, where the spirits p. 135 passed to the west on their way to the Fatherland. Tahekeroa means the 'long rapid,' the eternal fall; i.e., of the evil spring Whiro, to eternal banishment in the realms of Hades. The three names connected herewith, Au-rona, Au-miro, and Au-kume—the wide-spread, dragging and swirling currents—express the idea of the current of death that is ever active in hauling mankind to death. Muri-wai-hou expresses the idea of the mouth of a river descending iuto a chasm, possibly connected with the Scandinavian and Grecian idea of the river that has to be crossed before Hades is reached—the Styx. Raro-henga, the utter confusion of mind of those who descend to Hades.
44. Tānga-manawa, is the word used. It ordinarily means to take breath, to rest.
45. Great-wide-open-space, says the Scribe.
47. About whom we shall learn later on: she was Tāne's daughter.
48. Te Kuwatawata was the guardian of the door of Hades, one of the gods (23). We shall learn much of him later.