The Times Of The Maoris

The Maoris. So far as we know, the original inhabitants of New

Zealand were a dark-skinned race called Maoris, a people lithe and

handsome of body, though generally plain of features: open, frank and

happy in youth, grave and often melancholy in their older years.

They numbered forty thousand in the North Island, where the warmth of

the climate suited them, but in the South Island there were only two

sand. They were divided into tribes, who fought fiercely with one

another; cooked and ate the bodies of the slain, and carried off the

vanquished to be slaves. They dwelt in houses sometimes neatly built of

wooden slabs, more often of upright poles with broad grass leaves woven

between them. The roofs were of grass, plaited and thatched.

To these abodes the entrances were only some two or three feet high, and

after crawling through, the visitor who entered at night would see the

master of the house, his wives, his children, his slaves, indeed all his

household, to the number of twenty or thirty, lying on mats in rows down

either side, with their heads to the walls and their feet to the centre,

leaving a path down the middle. In these rooms they slept, with a fire

burning all night, till, what with the smoke and the breaths of so many

people, the place was stifling. The roofs were only four feet higher

than the ground outside, but, then, inside, the earth was hollowed a

foot or two to make the floor so that a man could just stand upright.

These houses were gathered in little villages, often pleasantly situated

beside a stream, or on the sea-shore; but sometimes for defence they

were placed on a hill and surrounded by high fences with ditches and

earthen walls so as to make a great stronghold of the kind they called

a "pah". The trenches were sometimes twenty or thirty feet deep; but

generally the pah was built so that a rapid river or high precipices

would defend two or three sides of it, while only the sides not so

guarded by nature were secured by ditches and a double row of palisades.

Within these enclosures stages were erected behind the palisades so that

the fighting men could hurl stones and spears and defy an attacking


Maori Customs. Round their villages and pahs they dug up the soil

and planted the sweet potato, and the taro, which is the root of a kind

of arum lily; they also grew the gourd called calabash, from whose hard

rind they made pots and bowls and dishes. When the crops of sweet potato

and taro were over they went out into the forest and gathered the roots

of certain sorts of ferns, which they dried and kept for their winter

food. They netted fish and eels; they caught sharks with hook and line

and dried their flesh in the sun. To enjoy these meals in comfort they

had a broad verandah round their houses which formed an open and

generally pleasant dining-room, where they gathered in family circles

bound by much affection for one another. The girls especially were sweet

and pretty; their mild manners, their soft and musical voices, the long

lashes of their drooping eyes, with the gloss of their olive-tinted

skins made them perfect types of dusky beauty. Grown a little older they

were by no means so attractive, and then when married they deeply scored

their faces by the process of tattooing.

The men had their faces, hips, and thighs tattooed, that is, all carved

in wavy lines which were arranged in intricate patterns. The women

tattooed only their lips, chins, and eyelids, but often smeared their

faces with red ochre, and soaked their hair with oil. Men and women wore

round the waist a kilt of beautifully woven flax, and over the shoulders

a mat of the same material. They were expert sailors, and built

themselves large canoes which thirty or forty men would drive forward,

keeping time with their paddles. Their large war canoes were sixty and

seventy feet long, and would carry 100 men.

Thus they were by no means uncivilised, but their condition was in some

respects most barbarous. In person they were dirty, and in manners proud

and arrogant. They were easily offended, and never forgave what they

considered as an injury or insult. This readiness to take offence and to

avenge themselves caused the neighbouring tribes to be for ever at war.

They fought with great bravery, slaughtered each other fiercely, and ate

the bodies. Sometimes they killed their captives or slaves in order to

hold a cannibal feast.

According to their own traditions they had not been always in these

islands. Their ancestors came from afar, and each tribe had its own

legendary account. But they all agreed that they came from an island

away to the north in the Pacific, which they called Hawaiki, and there

is little doubt but that some hundreds of years ago their forefathers

must in truth have emigrated from some of the South Sea Islands. Whether

they found natives on the islands and killed them all, we cannot now

discover. There are no traces of any earlier people, but the Maoris in

their traditions say that people were found on the islands and slain

and eaten by the invaders.

One tribe declared that long ago in far-off Hawaiki a chief hated

another, but was too weak to do him harm. He fitted out a canoe for a

long voyage, and suddenly murdered the son of his enemy. He then escaped

on board the canoe with his followers and sailed away for ever from his

home. This legend declared how after many adventures he at length

reached New Zealand. Another legend relates that in Hawaiki the people

were fighting, and a tribe being beaten was forced to leave the island.

Sorrowfully it embarked in two canoes and sailed away out upon the

tossing ocean, till, directed by the voice of their god sounding from

the depths below them, they landed on the shores of New Zealand.

How many centuries they lived and multiplied there it is impossible to

say, as they had no means of writing and recording their history.

Tasman. The earliest we know of them for certain is in the journal

of Tasman, who writes under the date of 13th December, 1642, that he had

that day seen shores never before beheld by white men. He was then

holding eastward after his visit to Tasmania, and the shore he saw was

the mountainous land in the North Island. He rounded what we now call

Cape Farewell, and anchored in a fine bay, whose green and pleasant

shores were backed by high snow-capped mountains. Several canoes came

off from the beach filled by Maoris, who lay about a stone's throw

distant and sounded their war trumpets. The Dutch replied by a flourish

of their horns. For several days the Maoris would come no nearer, but on

the sixth they paddled out with seven canoes and surrounded both

vessels. Tasman noticed that they were crowding in a somewhat

threatening manner round one of his ships, the Heemskirk, and he sent

a small boat with seven men to warn the captain to be on his guard. When

the Maoris saw these seven men without weapons sailing past their canoes

they fell on them, instantly killed three and began to drag away their

bodies; no doubt to be eaten. The other four Dutchmen, by diving and

swimming, escaped and reached the ship half dead with fright. Then with

shouts the whole line of Maori canoes advanced to attack the ships; but

a broadside startled them. They were stupefied for a moment at the

flash and roar of the cannon and the crash of the wood-work of their

canoes; then they turned and fled, carrying with them, however, one of

the bodies. Tasman sailed down into Cook Strait, which he very naturally

took to be a bay, the weather being too thick for him to see the passage

to the south-east. He then returned and coasted northwards to the

extreme point of New Zealand, which he called Cape Maria Van Diemen,

probably after the wife of that Governor of Batavia who had sent out the

expedition. Tasman called the lands he had thus discovered "New

Zealand," after that province of Holland which is called Zealand, or the

Sea-land. The bay in which he had anchored was called Murderers' or

Massacre Bay.

Captain Cook. For more than a hundred years New Zealand had no white

men as visitors. It was in 1769 that Captain Cook, on his way home from

Tahiti, steering to the south-west in the hope of discovering new lands,

saw the distant hills of New Zealand. Two days later he landed on the

east coast of the North Island, a little north of Hawke Bay. There lay

the little ship the Endeavour at anchor, with its bulging sides afloat

on a quiet bay, in front a fertile but steeply sloping shore with a pah

on the crown of a hill, and a few neat little houses by the side of a

rapid stream. In the evening Cook, Banks, and other gentlemen took the

pinnace and rowed up the streamlet. They landed, leaving some boys in

charge of the boat, and advanced towards a crowd of Maoris, making

friendly signs as they approached. The Maoris ran away, but some of them

seeing their chance made a dash at the boys in the boat and tried to

kill them. The boys pushed off, and dropped down the stream; the Maoris

chased them, determined on mischief. Four of them being very murderous,

the coxswain fired a musket over their heads. They were startled, but

continued to strike at the boys with wooden spears. Seeing the danger

the coxswain levelled his musket and shot one of the Maoris dead on the

spot. The others fled, and Cook, hearing the report of the gun, hurried

back and at once returned to the ship.

Over and over again Cook did everything he could devise to secure the

friendship of these people; but they always seemed to have only one

desire, and that was to kill and eat the white visitors. One day five

canoes came out to chase the Endeavour as she was sailing along the

coast. Another time nine canoes densely filled with men sailed after

her, paddling with all their might to board the vessel. In these and

many other cases cannon had to be fired over their heads to frighten

them before they would desist from their attempt to capture the ship. At

one bay, the Maoris made friends and went on board the Endeavour to

sell provisions, but when all was going forward peaceably they suddenly

seized a boy and pulled him into their canoe. They were paddling away

with him when some musket shots frightened them, and in the confusion

the boy dived and swam back.

Cook sailed completely round the North Island, charting the shores with

great care, often landing, sometimes finding tribes who made friends,

more often finding tribes whose insolence or treachery led to the

necessity of firing upon them with small shot. If he had only known the

customs of these people he would have understood that to be friendly

with one tribe meant that the next tribe would murder and eat them for

revenge. He then sailed round the South Island, landing less frequently,

however, till at length he took his leave of New Zealand at what he

called Cape Farewell, and sailed away to Australia. He had been nearly

six months exploring the coasts of these islands, and that in a very

small vessel. During this time he had left pigs and goats, fowls and

geese to increase in the forests, where they soon multiplied, especially

the pigs. Potatoes and turnips were left with many tribes, who quickly

learnt how to grow them, so that after ten or twelve years had passed

away these vegetables became the chief food of all the Maoris.

French Visitors. Whilst Cook was sailing round the North Island, a

French vessel anchored in a bay of that island in search of fresh water.

The Ngapuhi tribe received them with pleasure and gave them all the

assistance in their power, but some of them stole a boat. The captain,

named De Surville, then seized one of the chiefs and put him in irons.

The boat not being given up, he burnt a village and sailed to South

America, the chief dying on the road.

Three years later in 1772 came another Frenchman, Marion du Fresne, with

two ships; this time for the express purpose of making discoveries. He

sailed up the west coast, rounded the North Cape and anchored in the Bay

of Islands. He landed and made friends with the Ngapuhi tribe and took

his sick sailors ashore. The Maoris brought him plenty of fish, and Du

Fresne made them presents in return. For a month the most pleasant

relations continued, the Maoris often sleeping on board and the French

officers spending the night in the Maori houses. One day Captain Marion

went ashore with sixteen others to enjoy some fishing. At night they did

not return. Captain Crozet, who was second in command, thought they had

chosen to sleep ashore, but the next day he sent a boat with twelve men

to find where they were. These men were scattering carelessly through

the woods when suddenly a dense crowd of Maoris, who had concealed

themselves, attacked and killed all the Frenchmen but one. He who

escaped was hidden behind some bushes, and he saw his comrades brained

one after another; then he saw the fierce savages cut their bodies in

pieces, and carry them away in baskets to be eaten. When the Maoris were

gone he crept along the shore and swam to the ship, which he reached

half dead with terror. Crozet landed sixty men, and the natives gathered

for a fight; but the Frenchmen merely fired volley after volley into a

solid mass of Maori warriors, who, stupefied at the flash and roar, were

simply slaughtered as they stood. Crozet burnt both the Maori villages

and sailed away. In later times the Maoris explained that the French had

desecrated their religious places by taking the carved ornaments out of

them for firewood.

Cook's Later Visits. In his second voyage Cook twice visited New

Zealand in 1773 and 1774. He had two vessels, one of them under the

command of Captain Furneaux. While this latter vessel was waiting in

Queen Charlotte Sound, a bay opening out of Cook Strait, Captain

Furneaux sent a boat with nine men who were to go on shore and gather

green stuff for food. A crowd of Maoris surrounded them, and one offered

to sell a stone hatchet to a sailor, who took it; but to tease the

native, in silly sailor fashion, this sailor would neither give anything

for it nor hand it back. The Maori in a rage seized some bread and fish

which the sailors were spreading for their lunch. The sailors closed to

prevent their touching the victuals; a confused struggle took place,

during which the English fired and killed two natives, but before they

could load again they were all knocked on the head with the green stone

axes of the Maoris. An officer sent ashore later on with a strong force

found several baskets of human limbs, and in one of them a head which he

recognised as that of a sailor belonging to the party. The officer

attacked some hundreds of the Maoris as they were seated at their

cannibal feast, and drove them away from the half-gnawed bones.

Cook again touched at New Zealand in the course of his third voyage, and

this time succeeded in maintaining friendly relations with the Maoris

during a short visit. But when the story of Cook's voyage was published

in later years the people of Europe conceived a deep horror of these

fierce man-eating savages.

The Whalers. For ten or twelve years New Zealand was not visited by

white men, but the foundation of a town at Sydney, in 1788, brought

ships out much more often into these waters, and before long it was

found that the seas round New Zealand were well stocked with whales.

Vessels came out to carry on the profitable business of catching them

and taking their oil to Europe. For fresh water and for fuel for their

stoves they called at the shores of New Zealand, chiefly at Queen

Charlotte Sound, at Dusky Bay on the west coast of South Island, but

especially at the Bay of Islands near the extreme north of North Island.

There they not only got fresh water but bought fish and pork and

potatoes from the friendly tribes of natives, paying for them with

knives and blankets; and although quarrels sometimes occurred and deaths

took place on both sides, the whalers continued more and more to

frequent these places. Sometimes the sailors, attracted by the good

looks of the Maori girls, took them as wives and lived in New Zealand.

These men generally acted as sealers. They caught the seals that

abounded on some parts of the coast, and gathered their skins until the

ships called back, when the captain would give them tobacco and rum,

guns and powder in exchange for their seal-skins. These the sealers

generally shared with the Maoris, who therefore began to find out that

it was good to have a white man to be dwelling near them: he brought

ships to trade, and the ships brought articles that the Maoris began to


Maoris visit Sydney. In 1793, Governor Hunter at Sydney directed

that the convicts at Norfolk Island should be set to weave the fine flax

that grew wild in that island. They tried, but could make no cloth so

fine and soft as that made by the Maoris out of very much the same sort

of plant. A ship was sent to try and persuade some Maoris to come over

and teach the art. The captain of the ship, being lazy or impatient, did

not trouble to persuade; he seized two Maoris and carried them off. They

were kept for six months at Norfolk Island, but Captain King treated

them very well, and sent them back with ten sows, two boars, a supply of

maize-seed and other good things to pay them for their time. When King

became Governor of New South Wales he sent further presents over to Te

Pehi, chief of the tribe to which these young men belonged, and hence Te

Pehi longed to see the sender of these things. He and his four sons

ventured to go in an English vessel to Sydney, where they were

astonished at all they saw. On his return Te Pehi induced a sailor named

George Bruce, who had been kind to him when he was sick on board ship,

to settle in the tribe; the young Englishman married Te Pehi's most

charming daughter, and was tattooed and became the first of the Pakeha

Maoris, or white men who lived in Maori fashion. Pleased by Te Pehi's

account of what he had seen, other Maoris took occasional trips to

Sydney, working their passages in whaling ships.

Friendly Relations. Meanwhile English vessels more and more

frequently visited New Zealand for pork and flax and kauri pine, or else

to catch seals, or merely to take a rest after a long whaling trip. The

Bay of Islands became the chief anchorage for that purpose, and thither

the Maoris gathered to profit by the trade. Some of the more

adventurous, when they found that the English did them no harm, shipped

as sailors for a voyage on board the whalers; but though they made good

seamen they were sometimes sulky and revengeful, and rarely continued at

it more than two or three years.

In 1805 a Maori went with an English surgeon all the way to England, and

returned with the most astounding tales of London and English wonders.

During the next four or five years several other Maoris went to England,

while, on the other hand, a few very respectable white men began to

settle down in New Zealand. They were far superior to the rough sailors

and liberated convicts of Sydney, who so far had been the most frequent

visitors, so that mutual good-will seemed to be established, as the

Maoris found that there was much they could gain by the visits of the

white men. But all this friendliness was marred by an unfortunate


The Boyd Massacre. In 1809 a ship named the Boyd sailed from

Sydney to go to England round Cape Horn. She had on board seventy white

people, including some children of officers at Sydney who were on their

way to England to be educated. As she was to call at New Zealand to get

some kauri spars, five Maoris went with her, working their passage over.

One of these Maoris, named Tarra, was directed during the voyage to do

something which he refused to do. The captain caused him to be twice

flogged. When the ship anchored in a bay a little to the north of the

Bay of Islands, Tarra went ashore, and showed to his tribe his back all

scarred with the lash. Revenge was agreed on. The captain was enticed

ashore with a few men; and they were suddenly attacked and all killed.

Then the Maoris quietly got alongside the ship, rushed on board and

commenced the work of massacre among men, women and children, who were

all unarmed. Some of the children fell and clasped the feet of Tarra,

begging him to save them, but the young savage brained them without

mercy. All were slain except a woman and two children who hid themselves

during the heat of the massacre, and a boy who was spared because he had

been kind to Tarra. All the bodies were taken ashore and eaten. One of

the chiefs while curiously examining a barrel of gunpowder caused it to

explode, blowing himself and a dozen others to pieces.

Te Pehi, the head chief of the Ngapuhi, was extremely vexed when he

heard of this occurrence, and took some trouble to rescue the four

survivors, but five whaling vessels gathered for revenge; they landed

their crews, who shot thirty Maoris whether belonging to Tarra's tribe

or not, and in their blind fury burnt Te Pehi's village, severely

wounding the chief himself. This outrage stopped all friendly

intercourse for a long time. The whalers shot the Maoris whenever they

saw them, about a hundred being killed in the next three years, while

the Maoris killed and ate any white people they could catch. Thus in

1816 the Agnes, an American brig, happened to be wrecked on their

shores. They killed and ate everybody on board, except one man, who was

tattooed and kept for a slave during twelve years.

The Missionaries. In spite of all these atrocities a band of

missionaries had the courage to settle in New Zealand and begin the work

of civilising these Maori tribes. This enterprise was the work of a

notable man named Samuel Marsden, who had in early life been a

blacksmith in England, but had devoted himself with rare energy to the

laborious task of passing the examinations needed to make him a

clergyman. He was sent out to be the chaplain to the convicts at Sydney,

and his zeal, his faith in the work he had to do, and his roughly

eloquent style, made him successful where more cultured clergymen would

have failed. For fourteen years he toiled to reform convicts, soldiers,

and officers in Sydney; and when Governor King went home to England in

1807, after his term was expired, Marsden went with him on a visit to

his friends. While in London, Marsden brought before the Mission Society

the question of doing something to Christianise these fierce but

intelligent people, and the society not only agreed, but employed two

missionaries named Hall and King to undertake the work.

When Marsden, along with these two courageous men, started back to

Sydney in the Ann convict ship, in 1809, there was on board, strangely

enough, a Maori chief called Ruatara. This young fellow was a nephew of

Hongi, the powerful head chief of the Ngapuhi tribe. Four years before,

being anxious to see something of the wonders of civilised life, he had

shipped as a sailor on board a whaler. He had twice been to Sydney and

had voyaged up and down all the Pacific. At length, in 1809, he had gone

to London, where he was lost in surprise at all he saw. The climate,

however, tried him severely, and he was sick and miserable on the voyage

back to Sydney. Marsden was kind to him and gave him a home in his own

house. Ruatara had many troubles and dangers to meet, through many

months, before he was at last settled among his own people.

Meantime, the new Governor of Sydney refused to allow the missionaries

to go to New Zealand. The massacre of the sixty-six people of the Boyd

had roused a feeling of horror, and it seemed a wicked waste of life to

try to live among savages so fierce. The missionaries were therefore

employed in Sydney. In 1813 Governor Macquarie directed that every

vessel leaving for New Zealand should give bonds to the extent of a

thousand pounds to guarantee that the white men should not carry off

the natives or interfere with their sacred places. Then the trouble

between the two races quieted down a little, and in 1814 the

missionaries thought they might at least make further inquiries. A brig

called the Active of 100 tons was bought; and on board it went Hall

with another missionary called Kendall (grandfather of the poet) who had

lately come out. They reached the Bay of Islands, taking with them

abundance of presents. They saw Ruatara, and persuaded him with his

uncle, Hongi, and other chiefs to go to Sydney in the Active, and

there discuss the question of a mission station. They went, and Hongi

guaranteed the protection of his tribe, the Ngapuhi, if the missionaries

would settle in their territory.

The Mission Station. It was in November, 1814, that the Active

sailed with the mission colony, consisting of Kendall, King, and Hall,

their wives and five children and a number of mechanics; in all

twenty-five Europeans, together with eight Maoris. They took three

horses, a bull, two cows, and other live stock, and after a quick

passage anchored near the north of the North Island. Marsden was with

them as a visitor, to see the place fairly started. He was troubled on

landing to find that the Ngapuhi were at war with their near neighbours,

the Wangaroans, and he saw that little progress would be made till these

tribes were reconciled. Marsden fearlessly entered with only one

companion into the heart of the hostile tribe; met Tarra, the instigator

of the Boyd massacre, and slept that night in the very midst of the

Wangaroans. Wrapt up in his greatcoat, he lay close by Tarra, surrounded

by the sleeping forms of men and women who, only a few years before, had

gathered to the horrid feast. Surprised at this friendly trust, the

Wangaroans were fascinated, and subsequently were led by him like

children. They were soon induced to rub noses with the chiefs of Ngapuhi

as a sign of reconciliation, and were then all invited on board the

Active, where a merry breakfast brought old enemies together in

friendly intercourse.

The missionaries with twelve axes bought 200 acres of land on the shore

of the Bay of Islands. Half an acre was soon enclosed by a fence; a few

rough houses were built and a pole set up, upon which floated a white

flag with a cross and a dove and the words "Good tidings"; Ruatara made

a pulpit out of an old canoe, covered it with cloth, and put seats round

it. There, on Christmas Day, 1814, Marsden preached the first sermon in

New Zealand to a crowded Maori audience, who understood not one word of

what was said, but who, perhaps, were benefited by the general

impressiveness of the scene.

In the following February, Marsden returned to Sydney, thinking the

mission in a fair way of success. But all was not to be so harmonious as

he dreamt; the liberated convicts, who formed the bulk of the crews of

sealing and whaling vessels, treated the natives with coarseness and

arrogance; the Maoris were quick to revenge themselves, and the murders,

thefts, and quarrels along all the shore did more harm than the handful

of missionaries could do good. Three or four times they wished to leave,

and as often did Marsden return and persuade them to stay. Their lives

at least were safe; for Hongi, the Ngapuhi chief, found that they were

useful in the way of bringing trade about, but he was dissatisfied

because they would not allow guns and powder to be sold by the white men

to him and his people.

Tribal Wars. Hongi saw that the tribe which possessed most guns was

sure to get the upper hand of all the others. He therefore contrived in

another way to secure these wonderful weapons. For in 1820 when Kendall

went home to England for a trip Hongi went with him, and saw with

constant wonder the marvels of the great city. The sight of the fine

English regiments, the arsenals, the theatres, the big elephant at

Exeter Change Menagerie, all impressed deeply the Maori from New Zealand

forests. He stayed for a while at Cambridge, assisting a professor to

compile a dictionary of the Maori language, and going to church

regularly all the time. Then he had an audience from George IV., who

gave him many presents, and among others a complete suit of ancient

armour. For a whole season, Hongi was a sort of lion among London

society. People crowded to see a chief who had eaten dozens of men, and

so many presents were given him that when he came back to Sydney he was

a rich man. He sold everything, however, except his suit of armour, and

with the money he bought 300 muskets and plenty of powder, which he took

with him to New Zealand. Having reached his home he informed his tribe

of the career of conquest he proposed; with these muskets he was going

to destroy every enemy. "There is but one king in England," he said;

"there shall be only one among the Maoris." He soon had a force of a

thousand warriors, whom he embarked on board a fleet of canoes, and took

to the southern shores of the Hauraki Gulf, where the Ngatimaru lived,

ancient enemies of the Ngapuhi, who, however, felt secure in their

numbers and in the strength of their great pah Totara. But Hongi

captured the pah, and slew five hundred of the unfortunate inmates. The

Ngatimaru tribe then retreated south into the valley of the Waikato

River, and summoned their men and all their friends; a total of over

three thousand were arrayed on that fatal battle-field. Hongi with his

muskets gained a complete victory. He shot the hostile chief with his

own gun, and tearing out his eyes, swallowed them on the field of

battle. Over a thousand were killed, and Hongi and his men feasted on

the spot for some days till three hundred bodies had been eaten. The

victors then returned, bearing in their canoes another thousand

captives, of whom many were slain and cooked to provide a share of the

horrid feast to the women of the tribe.

In his bloodthirsty wars Hongi showed great skill and energy. During the

two following years he defeated, slaughtered, and ate large numbers of

the surrounding tribes, and when a number of these unfortunate people

withdrew to a pah of enormous strength, nearly surrounded by a bend of

the Waikato River, he dragged his canoes over to that river, ascended

it, dashed at the steep cliffs, the ditches and palisades, and once more

the muskets won the day. A thousand fell in the fight; then the women

and children were slaughtered in heaps. The strong tribe of the Arawa

further south had their chief pah on an island in the middle of Lake

Rotorua. Hongi with great labour carried his canoes over to the lake.

The spear-armed Maoris could do nothing in defence while he shot at them

from the lake; and when he assaulted the island, though they came down

to the water's edge to repel him, again there was victory for the

muskets. Thus did Hongi conquer till the whole North Island owned his

ascendancy. But in 1827 his career came to an end, for having quarrelled

with his former friends, the tribe of which Tarra was chief, he killed

them all but twenty, but in the fight was himself shot through the

lungs; for that tribe had now many muskets also, and a ball fired when

the massacre was nearly over passed through Hongi's chest, leaving a

hole which, though temporarily healed, caused his death a few months

later. Pomare succeeded him as chief of the Ngapuhi, and made that tribe

still the terror of the island. At one pah Pomare killed 400 men; and he

had his own way for a time in all his fights. But the other tribes now

began to see that they could not possibly save themselves except by

getting muskets also, and as they offered ten times their value for them

in pork and flax and other produce, English vessels brought them over in

plenty. The remnant of the Waikato tribe having become well armed and

well exercised in shooting under Te Whero Whero, they laid an ambush for

Pomare and killed him with almost the whole of the 500 men who were with

him. The other tribes joined Te Whero Whero, and in successive battles

ruined the Ngapuhi. Te Whero Whero held the leadership for a time,

during which he almost exterminated the Taranaki tribe. He was

practically lord of all the North Island till he met his match in

Rauparaha, the most determined and wily of all the Maori leaders. He was

the chief of a tribe living in the south of the North Island, and he

gathered a wild fighting band out of the ruined tribes of his own and

the surrounding districts. Many battles were fought between him and Te

Whero Whero, in which sometimes as many as a thousand muskets were in

use on each side. Rauparaha was at length overcome, and with difficulty

escaped across the strait to the South Island, while Te Whero Whero

massacred and enslaved all over the North Island, cooking as many as 200

bodies after a single fight. And yet the evil was in a way its own cure,

for, through strenuous endeavours, by this time every tribe had a

certain proportion of its men well armed with muskets; and thus no

single tribe ever afterwards got the same cruel ascendancy that was

obtained first by the Ngapuhi and then by the Waikato tribe. But fights

and ambushes, slaughters, the eating of prisoners and all the horrid

scenes of Maori war went on from week to week all over the North