Mōkau ki runga, Tāmaki ki raro 

 

‘Mōkau ki runga, Tāmaki ki raro’ is a proverb that derived from historic Ngāti Maniapoto deaths that occurred between 1600-1700.  The story follows the deaths of Te Kawa-irirangi (Maniapoto’s eldest child) and his son Runga-te-rangi.


Te Kawa-irirangi was a widower of four children after his wife Hine-kahukura died.  He was told of the beautiful twin sisters called Mārei and Māroa from Tāmaki.  So, he ventured to the tribe of One Tree Hill, Wai-o-hua, where he married the twins who were of Tainui blood. As time passed, Mārei became pregnant with Runga-te-Rangi and Māroa with Tukemata. However, Te Kawa-Irirangi was executed at Maunga-whau by one of his brothers-in-law.


Runga-te-rangi suffered a similar fate when he sought vengeance for the death of his brother Tukemata.  He journeyed to Mōkau, to the lands of Ngāti Tama.  There, it is said that he was slained by the hands of his brothers-in-law. As a result of these deaths, emerged a proverb in remembrance

Nō te kōhurutanga o Te Kawa-irirangi, te mātāmua o ngā tamariki o Maniapoto me tana tama a Runga-te-rangi i ngā tau 1600-1700, i hua ake te kōrero nei ko, ‘Mōkau ki runga, Tāmaki ki raro’


Whai muri mai i te matenga o Hine-kahukura, te wahine o Te Kawa-irirangi tōmua, ka pouarutia, ā, ka noho hei matua takitahi mō āna tamariki tokowhā.  I rangona e Te Kawa-irirangi ngā kōrero mō ngā māhanga ātaahua i nōhia i Tāmaki.  Nā konā, i wehe atu ia ki te iwi o Wai-o-hua; ki reira moe tahi ai ngā māhanga, nō Tainui rāua.  Ka taka te wā, ka hapū a Mārei.  Ko tana tama ko Runga-te-Rangi.  Ka hapū hoki a Māroa, ko tana tama, ko Tukemata. Heoi, i kōhurutia a Te Kawa-irirangi e tana taokete hāmene i Maunga-whau.


He pērā te mate a Runga-te-rangi i tōna ngaki i te mate o tana teina i a Tukemata.  Ka waewae atu ia ki Mōkau, ki ngā whenua o Ngāti Tama.  Ki reira hinga atu ai a Runga-te-rangi mā te ringa o tana taokete.  Nā aua kōhurutanga rā, i hua mai ai te whakataukī nei hei maumaharatanga ki ēnei mate.


References: Pei Te Hurinui Jones and Bruce Biggs, Ngā iwi o Tainui. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1995, pp. 228-235.

 

Tags: Mōkau; Tāmaki; Ngāti Maniapoto; Te Kawa-irirangi; Maniapoto; Runga-te-Rangi; Hine-kahukura; Tāmaki; Mārei; Māroa; Wai-o-hua; Tainui; Tukemata; Maunga-whau; Ngāti Tama.