Topic: Traditional Story: Takurua

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Raropua was a pa at Te Puna at the end of Tangitu Road. This was the pa of Tutereinga, son of Ranginui. There once lived in this pa a man called Takurua. He was a huge man, strong and powerful. He was also known as a very hairy man too. Maybe that added to his strength. As a fighting man he was well-known, and he was the fighting chief of Raropua.

One day a war party came to Raropua.

In spite of the strength of Takurua and his men, the pa fell to the attackers. Takurua and his men fled. Takurua ran across the Waikaraka estuary. Fortunately it was low tide.

Unfortunately, three of the attacking war party saw him, and ran swiftly after him. On the other side of the estuary, he saw a canoe pulled up on the beach. In his haste, he had dropped his weapons at Raropua. He thought that a sharp pointed paddle from the canoe would do as a weapon to fight off these three who were gaining on him.

It was certainly not a lucky day for Takurua. There was no paddle in the canoe, only a baler. He grabbed this and climbed quickly up the steep slope above the shore. His attackers were close behind.

At the top of the slope, he turned swiftly to face the three. As the first climbed the slope toward him, Takurua hit him on the head in a great sweeping stroke of the baler. As he swung his arm back again, he hit the second man and felled him. He grabbed the taiaha of this man and attacked the third. After a brief fight, he too lay dead on the ground.

This is how Takurua, the warrior ancestor of Pirirakau, got his reputation for fighting strength.

Other stories are found off the article - An Introduction to this collection (please click) 

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