Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Mahuika's Tales No 24 Hekeheke tells of Maui finding his family

                            Maui and his brothers

Hekeheke returned to the Meeting house at the same time the following week. She decided to tell the children the last two Maui stories she knew and hope that she could then go back to telling stories that were perhaps better for the children than that tricky ancestor from the earliest times when their history began that amused the boys so much but did not show how they could live their own lives with honour. Generally there were more girls than boys among her listeners as the boys often went fishing with their fathers and she wanted to tell more stories for them. Often the youngest children would want to sit with her and she loved that to happen.
Baby Maui grew-up with Tama-nui-ki-te-Rangi who taught him many things and over that time got to hear about the great whare (the great House of Assembly) where kanikani (dancing) and kapa-haka (music and singing) were performed.

One day he decided to go to visit this famous whare. When he got there he changed himself into a little bird, crept inside and hid behind one of the boys there to watch. Every night, before the kanikani the kapa-haka began.

Taranga the mother of four boys would then count her children so that they might be ready to join in. “Maui-taha, that is one; Maui-roto, that is two; Maui-pae, that is three; Maui-waho and that is the fourth.” But then she noticed there was another boy in the line, “Who are you?” She asked.

“I am your child too,” said Maui.

She shook her head, puzzled so she counted them again. “No, No! There should be only four of you; this is the first time I have ever seen you before.”

Taranga and the new boy argued for a long time, Maui saying the he was her youngest son and the mother saying that she had only had four sons. Finally she got angry and cried out, “Be off now with now, get out of this place for you are the child of someone else.”
Maui said, “Very well, I will go then for I must be the child of some other person. I was sure I was your child as I knew I was born by the side of the sea. I was wrapped in my mother’s hair because my mother thought me dead, and I was placed in the sea. But then I was found by Tama-nui-ki-te-Rangi, who chased away the flies and the birds, and who took the jelly-fish and the seaweed from me and who unwrapped me from my mother’s Tikitiki (topknot) and it was him who has raised me as his own child.”

Maui then continued, “Even before I was born as I was growing inside you I knew the names of my brothers; Maui-taha, Maui-roto, Maui-pae and Maui-waho and I am little Maui your last baby that you thought had died who is sitting before you now. However I will go because you tell me to for I must respect you.”

When the Taranga heard all this, she cried “No! Stop for you must indeed be my last born; the son of my old age; the son that I thought dead, for the story you tell is a story that only I would know - because of that your name shall be Maui-tikitiki-a-Taranga (Maui topknot of Taranga); so from then on Maui lived with his own family.

Hekeheke looked down and saw that the little girl that was sitting in her lap had fallen asleep with her thumb in her mouth. Hekeheke had a sudden and overwhelming desire to have a baby of her own.

Hekeheke smiled to herself as she remembered Maui and her together last night and murmured to herself “Surely it will not be long.”

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1 comment:

  1. She will make a good mother, even if she must tell stories about a rascal like Maui, though I can't fault him in this one.