"Through." A personage living in pre-diluvian or very ancient times. The man who was commissioned to call on all the people of the world to believe in God. He built a temple in which to teach men how to become noble. The tribes were rebellious, and called to Puta, and said, "O son! can your worship save you? or will the sacredness of your temple save you?" Puta replied, "Friends, hearken to the words which tell of the works of Rangi — the words which were given to Tāne — the words I now disclose to you; or soon the hosts above will make an accusation." That proud people answered Puta, and said, "Friend, your words are lies." Puta was grieved with Mata-eho, as he was the most obstinate unbeliever, and wished to be the sovereign of all the world. Puta, addressing him, said, "O young man! you are an evil man. You are attempting to ignore the doctrine of Tāne. You have all heard my word, which I utter to each and every pa. Tomorrow an accusation will be made by Rangi against the world."

Soon after this the child of Puta died. The child was his first-born, and lord of all his family. Puta cut the big toe off the child's foot and cooked it in an oven, and with incantations and ceremonies took the sanctity off the toe; he then put it into his mouth and spat the slaver produced by it over all the houses. Then he took into his hand a calabash containing the sacred offerings of life, and, having arrived on the bank of a stream, he opened the calabash, and then closed it again; and saw a cloud standing in the heaven, bright as the brightness of a fire burning on the earth. He called to Rangi to overturn the earth, and he struck the earth with his knife (maipi), and the earth turned upside down, and all the people of the world perished. Puta and his people alone were saved. Thenceforth this has been rehearsed as the overturning of Mata-eho by Puta.



  • White, John. (1887). Ancient History of the Maori. 6 vols. Wellington: G. Didsbury, Government Printer, pp. 1:168-169, 181.

This article incorporates text from Ancient History of the Maori (1887) by John White, which is in the public domain.