Topic: Traditional Story: Takitimu Te Waka, Tamatea Te Ariki
The canoe Takitimu arrived off Tirikawa, North Rock, at the base of the mountain Mauao, which we now call Maunganui, at the entrance to Tauranga Moana. The commander Tamatea decided to go ashore and give thanks for a safe landfall after a long sea journey. Tamatea and his people climbed to the summit of Mauao and performed the ancient ceremony of implanting the mauri, the spirit or life force of his people, on this hill.
This is the karakia that was chanted on the summit of Mauao.
Ka tau hahā te papa e takoto nei
Ka tū, ka tū hahā
Te rangi e tū nei
Ka tau, ka tau
Te matuku mai i rarotonga
Ko ia i rukuhia
Manawa pou roto
Ko ia i rukuhia
Manawa pou waho
Whakatina kia tina
Te more i Hawaiki
E pupū ana hoki
E wawau ana hoki
Tārewa tū ki te rangi
Aue kia eke
Haramai te toki
Haumi e, huia e, taiki e
| May we breathe and live
May our descendants live on,
May our hopes be fulfilled.
This hill stands here.
This landfall we have sought lies before us.
Here is our destination.
The sky spreads out above us,
The heron flies northward,
Let the ritual be performed.
Place the manawapou, the red stone of Hawaiki
On this side and that, toward land and sea.
Thus the ritual is performed.
Let us establish ourselves firmly here on the headland.
Our origins lie in the promontories and forests of Hawaiki
Which rise up toward the heavens.
We have made a landfall,
We have surmounted the dangers of the ocean,
The realm of Tangaroa,
And we have reached land again.
We have arrived.
We are about to lead a new life together.
Let us take up the adze and carve out a new existence for ourselves.
Because he had come from far distant Hawaiki, Tamatea was given the name Tamatea mai tawhiti. He was also known as the great chief, Tamatea ariki nui. Tamatea and some of his people stayed in Tauranga Moana and built a pa on Mangatawa. When he died Tamatea was buried on Mauao. The canoe Takitimu carried on under the command of Tahu and eventually carried settlers to the South Island, Te Wai Pounamu. Far up the Waiau River in Southland, there is a range of mountains called Takitimu. Somewhere up there among the rocky peaks and snowfields is the resting place of the canoe Takitimu. Takitimu is the canoe and Tahu is the ancestor of the people of the South Island, who call themselves Ngai Tahu.
Tamatea pokai whenua was the man who first sailed around Aotearoa in a canoe, also called Takitimu. He was a grandson of Tamatea ariki nui and a chief in his own right. He also travelled very widely on land and that is how he got the name Tamatea pokai whenua. He settled for a time in Tauranga, in the Mangatawa-Papamoa area. His name is remembered in the meeting house at Judea because he is an important ancestor of Ngati Ranginui of Tauranga Moana. His wives were Iwipupu and Ihuparapara, two sisters, whose names are remembered in the dining hall at Judea. One of the sons of Tamatea was Kahungunu, and he lived at Mangatawa for a time. One day he and his half-brother, Whaene, and other men from the pa were on the beach at a place called Otira, in the Papamoa area. They were pulling in the nets full of fish. Kahungunu became so excited he rushed in and seized the biggest fish for himself. Whaene told him off for pushing in. Whaene picked up a fish and threw it at Kahungunu. He tried to protect himself but was pricked by the sharp fin of the fish. Whaene was right but Kahungunu was very angry too. Kahungunu had forgotten the custom that the first fish taken from a catch was always offered back to Tangaroa, the god of the ocean. When he calmed down, Kahungunu realised he had broken the custom. He felt humiliated and insulted by Whaene. He went away to Opotiki and stayed with his cousin and her husband. She had a baby while he was there. Kahungunu asked that the boy be named Tutamure (the pick of the tāmure, or schnapper) to remember his grudge against Whaene at Tauranga.
Kahungunu soon left Opotiki and after many adventures, he settled in the Gisborne area for awhile. Then he went to Mahia where he married Rongomaiwahine. He became the ancestor of the tribe called Ngati Kahungunu whose lands covered the whole of the Hawkes Bay-Wairarapa district. The principal ancestor of Ngati Ranginui of Tauranga Moana was Ranginui, another son of Tamatea pokai whenua.
Mauao became the symbol of the people of Takitimu. Under the chief Taiwhanake, the Takitimu people extended their influence all the way from Katikati to Otamarakau. This is why it is often said, Ko Mauao te maunga, ko Tauranga te moana, ko Taiwhanake te tangata. The mana of Taiwhanake over the whole of Tauranga Moana was recognised widely. Whenever he needed food supplies in his pa on Mauao, he only had to display his cloaks named Parorotai and Parorouru, and the local people brought in all that was needed.
The people of the canoe Takitimu spread far and wide throughout Aotearoa. Ngati Ranginui, of all the Takitimu people, are tuakana, the senior line, because Tauranga Moana was the first place where the people of Takitimu settled. Mauao, or Maunganui, as it is called now, is still a special place because that is where Tamatea placed the mauri of his people so long ago.
Other stories are found off the article - An Introduction to this collection (please click)
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