Story: Ngāti Whātua

Tītahi’s chant

Just before Captain James Cook’s arrival, Tītahi, a leader of Ngāti Whātua, prophesied that major change was about to occur in the region of Waitematā Harbour, pictured here with Rangitito in the distance. Wiremu Rēweti of Ngāti Whātua presents the chant.

Here are the the words (with the English translation following):

He aha te hau e wawara mai
He tiu, he raaki
Nāna i ā mai te pūpūtarakihi ki uta
E tikina atu e au ki te kōtiu
Kukume mai ai?
Koia te pou whakairo ka tū ki Waitematā
I aku wairangi e.

What is that murmuring sound
Upon the north wind
That cast my paper nautilus ashore
Which I plucked from the north wind
And thus claimed?
It is the carved pillar that stands in the Waitematā Harbour
That I see in my distressed state.

Sound file from Sound Archives / Ngā Taonga Kōrero

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Margaret Lovell-Smith

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Ngāti Whātua - Ngāti Whātua and the Treaty of Waitangi', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/music/3863/titahis-chant (accessed 15 December 2019)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 22 Mar 2017