Story: Hōiho – horses and iwi

Lament for horses

Taupō chief Hōhepa Tamamutu wrote a letter to the Māori-language newspaper Te Wānanga in 1875, and included a lament by a Ngāti Raukawa visitor to Taupō, Parāone Taupiri. Taupiri’s horses had died, and he requested horses from the Taupō chiefs in a waiata (song). The letter and waiata are translated below.

Ōruanui, Taupō.
September 16, 1875.

To the writer of Te Wānanga,
Greetings, and thank you for taking on board this waiata I am sending. It is about the death of the horses that belonged to Parāone Taupiri, of Ngāti Tahu and Ngāti Raukawa.
This man had no horses on the day Ngāti Raukawa started out for Taupō, so he set out—he and his wife—carrying their packs on their backs. There were seventy people from Ngāti Raukawa, all on horseback, while that man and his wife were struggling along down on the ground. All the other people’s horses were galloping along, and when his eyes beheld this he expressed the sorrow he felt for himself and his old lady. And he composed this lament that is given below.

Grieving in the evening, I lie on my bed
With troubled thoughts, my horses gone
From Ngāti Raukawa’s expedition.
Perhaps you are in the sounding tussock
By the Takawha Lakes,
Passing along the roads that lie open at Ātiamuri.
Perhaps you are on the winding paths at Whakaheke,
Where Ngāti Whetū will see you.
Who will make good your deaths in this world?
Te Hemopō will do so, and Hōhepa Tamamutu,
Te Papanui, Te Heuheu,
Paurini Karamu and Kīngi—O Tongariro!—
And you will return to me!

And the men named in this waiata gave horses to that man. They gave him seven horses.

That is all.
This was sent by Hōhepa Tamamutu.

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Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Reference: NZMS 714

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Hōiho – horses and iwi - Introduction of horses', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/17813/lament-for-horses (accessed 19 November 2019)

Story by Basil Keane, published 24 Nov 2008, updated 1 Jul 2015