Chapter 1: the Seven Tribes of Taimaui
part 3: the Ātārangi and Aho
Now that I have told you about the first five mātāwaka of our Ancient Family, it is indeed time I told you about the last two. Both are seen as the most royal, but in quite different ways. How so, you may ask? Well, allow me to tell you, for it is the part that explains a good deal of how our history was shaped.
The Ātārangi-Hapori, the family of Shadow, and the Aho-Hapori, the family of Light, were once so close to each other that they were seen as one Hapori rather than two separate ones. According to the story of our Elders, they were together known as the *'Rōpū o te Kauranga o Taimaui', and were the most royal and highest esteemed of all the mātāwaka! Whether they already had all the gifts Atua had given remains a myth, but legend says that they had one gift that no other Hapori was granted: the *'Koha o te Takiura'. They could learn quicker and had a deeper understanding of most things than the other Hapori. The Rōpū o te Kauranga o Taimaui lived in wide open spaces in forests located in the northern ranges, often close to cliffs where they could look out over the land and meditate their deep thoughts. And if members of the other Hapori would join them and teach them about their inventions, such as the whaka and flutes and mining tools and forging and, though this part remains uncertain, even songs, the Rōpū o te Kauranga o Taimaui would be eager and indeed quick to learn to make and do these things themselves, but at a higher level. They could make songs seem deeper and more serious, and they would make carvings in both rock and wood - some preferred wood, others preferred rock - that were not mere drawings but signs that would return in every sentence. Indeed, these people, when they were still together, discovered the craftsmanship of letters. After not many generations these letters had been quite perfected, and history could be both drawn and written in the rocks.
This discovery, however, was not yet known to the other Hapori because, though a marvellous discovery it was, there had grown a division in the Rōpū o te Kauranga o Taimaui. This division, it is said, became so grievous that even nowadays those with elderly wisdom can feel the pain in our Ancient Family tree and mourn it!
The *'Whakawehenga o te Whare Kīngi Hapori', as it was later called, began because one group began talking about keeping this discovery a secret to the others. To treasure this as theirs, and theirs alone. After all, they were of Royalty, and them alone. Or so was the argument of one side.
The other side found that this discovery was important to all Hapori and to not share it would be most dishonest, arrogant and proud even! They argued that if all Hapori learned this way, they could record their own history and teach their children and grandchildren of the good things that have been done to admire them, and the bad things to warn them so that the same fault would not be repeated again. The greatest of those who thought of sharing this invention was *'Manawanui Waihi'. He was the main *'Kaiarataki' of the ones who invented the making of letters, and was a calm and patient *'tāne'. But also steadfast and committed to his work, and when determined about something he could not be swayed unless a very good reason was given. He was, besides that, a tolerant man as well. Coming to think of it, my Elders believe that he was the one with the greatest *'manawa' of all.
But it seemed he was too blind to the idea that someone could possible want to have his invention for selfish reasons, to want their Hapori to keep it to themselves. The one who first opposed him in this matter was *'Whakahī'. He was an ambitious young tāne, bright and one who learned the fastest. Younger tāne would always enjoy going to him for his story telling, a gift is said he had perfected. He could literally make them dream the very word that he spoke, about things beyond Taimaui. Often he would take them on a walk or sit with them on the edge of the cliff on which their main *'pā' had been built, telling them that everyone has potential to be great, but that there needs to be a strong leader to unite their potential together. It is uncertain whether he thought of himself to become this leader at first, but it is certain that he eventually did. The legend goes that he began dreaming about becoming this great leader, the *'Ariki Tauaroa' of all Hapori. But Manawanui knew that, as great a dream though it may be, Whakahī was way too young and too full of zeal to become a kaiarataki. He told him that he may be full of potential, but to use that potential requires discipline and wisdom, and even more patience to get there. And many of the wiser and more humble of heart, not all necessarily the older ones, were in agreement with Manawanui. But this moved Whakahī to a deep inner rage which grew into a hate for Manawanui that he could barely control. My koro, *'Waihi Ahorangi', used to say; "*'Mauāhara roto tō manawa, koia nā ko pōhiri aparangi ānō tai.'" And I believe he was right about that.
But many there were also who were moved by the words of Whakahī, and he schemed a plan to make his will, his own dream, become reality. After many nights of *'kōroto mani huna', and probably more mani huna than is known to us, he made his move. With a great group of the Rōpū o te Kauranga o Taimaui, he attacked the *'Marae' without warning to either defeat Manawanui in combat to make him a servant or to kill him and his followers. However, and how this exactly happened remains a mystery in our Ancient Family tree, they were quickly defeated themselves. And legend says it that Manawanui stood tall as a mighty Kaiarataki before Whakahī, and remembered him of the warnings he had given him. But since Whakahī had not heeded his words, Manawanui banished him and his followers to the far south, where it was more rocky than any other places on Taimaui. With no less hate in his heart, Whakahī reluctantly obeyed and left the Pā with his mātāwaka. Thus the Rōpū o te Kauranga o Taimaui became divided, and the last two of the Seven Hapori were born. The Hapori of Whakahī became known as the Ātārangi-Hapori, the family of Shadow because of their secretive hearts and deceit. The Hapori of Manawanui became known as the Aho-Hapori, the family of Light because they had revealed the secret of Whakahī, like a light in the shadows. But this division left a deep wound in the Ancient Family tree, and it affected our people from the very beginning. Whakahī remained Whakahī to his people, but the other Hapori - all those that would not follow him - gave him the name of *'Whakatarapī', and in all the stories as told by the Elders he had that name thereafter.
Manawanui served his people justly for a short time afterwards, but he died far sooner than expected. Legend says that his heart had realized the full damage Whakatarapī would do to his people and all of Taimaui and that it had lethally pierced him. But some believe that it was his ever deepening grief that he could not have prevented Whakatarapī from doing what he did...from stopping his *'teina' from this path of evil. For *'parata' they were.
*'Rōpū o te Kauranga o Taimaui' = Royal Tribe of Taimaui
*'Koha o te Takiura' = Gift of Higher Learning
*'Whakawehenga o te Whare Kīngi Hapori' = Separation of the Royal Family
*'Manawanui Waihi' = name of the inventor of letters; meaning: Wise and steadfast/patient...etc
*'Kaiarataki' = Leader/Leaders
*'manawa' = heart
*'Whakahī' = Proud
*'pā' = fortified village/town
*'Ariki Tauaroa' = Chief of chiefs
*'Waihi Ahorangi' = name of the grandfather of the narrator Rohowa; meaning: Wise Professor
*'Mauāhara roto tō manawa, koia nā ko pōhiri aparangi ānō tai.' = "Hate in your heart is to invite evil as friend.
*'kōroto mani huna' = deep secrets
*'Marae' = Courtyard (of the village or pā)
*'Whakatarapī' = to be arrogant, imperious
*'teina' = younger brother/younger sibling (of a male)
*'parata' = brothers