"Many years." An ancient Māori hero. He is the son of Ra-kurū, the first thief in the world, and his wife Hine-i-taitai (or of Hine-i-taitai by her second husband Kumi-kumi-maro). He was the man whose knowledge of God was the most perfect.

His friend Ti-tipa (skim away) asked and obtained his canoe from him. Tau-tini was afterwards sorry for the loss of his canoe; but God said to him, "Make a canoe of wood, and let it be the size of a paka (kumete — oval bowl), and let it be painted outside with reperepe (a red color obtained from certain seashells)." Tau-tini did so. The water could not get into the canoe. He went on a voyage in it. God guided him. After two months spent on the sea he arrived at Rewa-nui (great elevation), the home of Ti-tipa, and there saw his own canoe out on the sea, with men in her, fishing. They saw the canoe, or bowl, of Tau-tini floating on the sea, and wondered at its fine appearance. They lifted it up and took it into their canoe, and patted and rubbed it with their hands. They went on shore, and all the people were rejoiced at the beauty of the new canoe. It was at that time very light, and they carried it on shore; but shortly afterwards they found it was heavy as a hill of earth, and they were not able to lift it. Then they left it on the sea-shore, and on the morrow all the people saw that a house had been erected, and a stage had been put up on which to keep food, and there were many garments there and much food collected.

Tau-tini was lonely in his house by himself; but two women, Tī-mua (first tii — edible root) and Tī-roto (inside tii), came and saw him and his property, and desired him as their husband. He stayed there two years, and recovered the fish-hook of his uncle Tari; and his heart was rejoiced, as he had obtained that for which he had voyaged so far, and travelled through so many lands [islands]. But he stayed in that land for many years. The food he wanted and the garments he required he prayed to God for, in accordance with the teaching of Tāne. When the time was fulfilled he went home.



  • White, John. (1887). Ancient History of the Maori. 6 vols. Wellington: G. Didsbury, Government Printer, pp. 1:170-172.

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