“Tamahana Te Rauparaha”

BIPOC Voices in the Victorian Periodical Press

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WE continue our account of this New-Zealand chief from our last Number, and of the efforts made by him to improve the habits and condition of his people. When he had made the butter, he wanted to show them how much better English ways were than New-Zealand ways. He shall now describe the manner in which he showed them this.

Then I went to Wellington, and sold my pigs for 5l. With the money I bought plates, knives, cups and saucers, sugar, and tea. My servant helped to pack up the things, and we brought them to Otaki. Then I made a feast. I got a large pot, very large, with no top. I put the tea, and sugar, and milk, in it, all together. I had only a few cups and saucers, so I put a cup to two men, and a saucer to two men. Then I got plenty of food. I had a little mill. We ground some flour, and made bread. We had no oven then, but baked it in the ashes. We got, too, pork, and fowls, and geese. After all was ready, when prayers in the church were finished in the evening, I spoke to the chiefs, and the friends who had said I was proud—about twenty of them, or more. I told them to come to my house to a meeting, for I had new talk to tell them. I did not tell them about the feast. I went to the door of my house to see the people come in: those who had blankets on I stopped, but those who had coats and trousers I let come in. Then the men in blankets were very sorry. They said, "We are poor, we have no coats." I said, "I will not let people come to my house in blankets; but if you will tell me you will throw away your blankets and wear English clothes, then I will let you come this time." They said they would do so; so I let them come in, and they promised they would go to Wellington and sell pigs, to buy coats and trousers. I was not angry with them when I did not let them come in. I loved them, only I wished them to be like English. When the people saw the fest they all said "Oh!" and they held up their hands. I am sorry I cannot make a picture of my people when they first saw it, as they stood all surprised, with their mouths and their eyes wide open. Then they ate and drank, and were very happy. They could not cut with the knives: they took the food in their hands, and dipped their cups in the great pot, and drank them all off at one time. And they did not spread the butter on the bread: they scraped it up in large lumps, and ate it; and they said, "Ah! English food is very good. You are clever: we will follow you." I said, "Now you have finished the food for the body, I will tell you the other food for the heart that I wanted you to come here for. God has taught me this way, that we should all come together in it. I am glad you have come English way in making your town, your houses, and thrown away your bad ways. First of all, as we said when our minister baptized us, we threw away the bad works, and believed in God; then we threw away our bad houses, which before had been dark, like our hearts had been. Now I want you to go on, to throw away the bad food and bad customs. Have plates, knives, and forks. Go on, go on. Now, my dear friends, how do you like English food? I see how fast your hands have carried it to your mouth, and I think you like it very much." All held up their hands, and said, "Yes, yes! your words are true." I said, "Very well: all right. Now I want to talk one word more to you. We have finished the house of God, we have finished the houses for our bodies; and now it is right that we should take care of the food for our bodies. I should like you to make a water-mill to grind our corn—not a little mill for the hand, but a large one, fit to be the brother to the town." They said, "Ah! we cannot do that. Where is the money?" I said, "You sell flax, and corn, and pigs, to the English, and get money: with some buy clothes and things for yourselves, and give some to the mill. Go, too, and work on the English road, and their farms, and earn money for the mill." All held up their hands and shouted, and said, "Very true."

We did so. Ruta made butter, and I worked in my farm and sold my corn, and we gave 30l.; Martyn and his family 100l.; and all gave some. In two years and a half we had collected 300l. Then soon we got another, for which we paid 200l., and also one at Porirua, for 150l. I worked with my hands at the ground, to help get the money. Then all the people went the right way.

Then I thought again, and my heart said it would be a good way to have a baker, a butcher, and a store for clothes, in our town. After a time, that, too, was done.

Then I said to my father, "Now you have come on shore again, let us go on with the large church, the largest in New Zealand, which you began before, larger than the one in Waikanae." My father said, "O yes!" and he spoke to the people, that they should cut wood. I had then given up the power to my father, and when he went wrong I showed him the right way. Then we all went into the bush to cut wood—the totara wood—for the church. The totara is the strongest wood in New Zealand, and very beautiful too. When we had cut the wood, then we began to build. We were two years and a half in building it.

The next object which Tamahana thought of was a college, in which the most promising of the natives might be trained as catechists and schoolmasters, so that the people might well be instructed, and Christianity take root amongst them. It was the hope of accomplishing this which brought him to England, that he might bring his plans before the Committee of the Society. But we shall let him speak his own thoughts on this subject in a subsequent Number.

Digital Publication Details

Title: “Tamahana Te Rauparaha”

Creator(s): Anonymous; Tamahana Te Rauparaha

Publication date: (1852) 2022

Digital publishers: One More Voice, COVE

Critical encoding: Kenneth C. Crowell, Cassie Fletcher, Jocelyn Spoor, Adrian S. Wisnicki

One More Voice identifier: liv_026019

Cite (Chicago Author-Date): Anonymous, and Tamehana Te Rauparaha. (1852) 2022. “Tamahana Te Rauparaha.” Edited by Kenneth C. Crowell, Cassie Fletcher, and Jocelyn Spoor. In “BIPOC Voices,” One More Voice, solidarity edition; Collaborative Organization for Virtual Education (COVE). https://onemorevoice.org/html/bipoc-voices/digital-editions-amd/liv_026019_HTML.html.

Rights: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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