Topic: Maori History

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Maori History at Te Arai

The earliest account of Maori life at Te Arai we have come across so far is by George Graham. The article is an account of a speech by Eru Maihi, a Ngati-Whatua chief in 1909. The article is attached as a document.

It talks about the canoe landing and the placing of a stone deity.

"Now let me speak of one other of our ancestral canoes, Moe-kakara. Tahuhu was the chief. He landed near Te Arai, so-called because Tahuhu there set up a temporary shelter (arai). He there also set up this stone found there as a tuahu (altar), and made the ceremonial offerings to the spirits of the land, so as to prevent offending them, as also to safeguard his folk against the witchcraft of the people of Kupe and Toi, who already lived thereabouts.

This stone was thereafter known as Te Toka-tu-whenua and became a famous tuahu or ceremonial place, as also an uruuruwhenua (a place at which visitors to a locality make their offerings before going into the village of a local people). There were also many other ceremonies observed in respect of children, their birth and christening, the planting and harvesting of the kumara, as also fishing and hunting—rites of the olden regime. Such was the nature of a tuahu, and every village of importance in former time had such a ceremonial place".


This Stone was placed, circa 1900,  in Cornwall Park , also known as Maungakiekie, or One Tree Hill, in Auckland.

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