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The settler future in Taranaki demanded land with secure access to its title. Maori resistance to Pakeha land hunger in Taranaki was bitter. In the south the Ngatiruanui had a reputation for intractable hostility towards Pakehas and had been active in the fifties in the anti-land-selling movement centred on a huge meeting-house erected at Taiporohenui. In north Taranaki the Atiawa people had fled in the twenties from the muskets of northern tribes.

'Hauhau': The Pai Marire Search for Maori Identity

They returned to their homeland at the time British settlers were establishing themselves at New Plymouth. Tribal cohesion was accordingly weak in north Taranaki. War began in when, against the wishes of a superior chief and most of the tribe, a minor Atiawa chief offered land to the Governor, who was eager to assuage the land-hunger of the settlers.

The government denied the right of the more senior chief to prevent land alienation, an issue that went to the heart of Maori social and political difficulties at mid-century. Hostilities began when a survey of the offered land was attempted at Waitara, east of New Plymouth. They soon involved British troops, some fresh from the Indian Mutiny, in a new colonial war. The Anglo-Maori war of the sixties was not a continuous or general conflict, but rather a series of wars starting in Taranaki, the focus later moving to the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, and returning to Taranaki.

The first Taranaki war, beginning over the Waitara purchase, lasted until mid when an uneasy truce was arranged by the Kingite leader Wiremu Tamihana. In southern Taranaki Maoris were divided and tense over how to act. It was during this truce period that a new Maori movement began there, unrecognized by Europeans until The leader of the Pai Marire cult, Te Ua, received his prophetic visions as a result of circumstances surrounding a shipwreck in September Tribal acrimony over the fate of the passengers and cargo reflected the tensions of the district and formed the background to the prophet's experience.

Incidents continued in Taranaki despite the truce, with war resuming in the province in mid Although some subjects of the Maori King participated in the first Taranaki war they did so against their monarch's wishes. However the King movement later had the need for armed resistance forced upon it. In July , soon after the war had restarted in Taranaki, troops marched south from Auckland into the Waikato homeland of the King.

The invasion of the Waikato was in deliberate defiance to the King's proclamation of boundaries against military contact. The King movement, despite being succoured by supporters from elsewhere in the North Island, could not halt the march of Pakeha military power. The Waikato campaign ended with defeat at Orakau and the King withdrew into the fastness of the central North Island.

Military resistance had proved impossible. A military solution to the problem of Maori identity in the new nation was decidedly unfavourable to the indigenous population. Only a few days after the battle at Orakau in April , the new Maori movement, Pai Marire, became known to the settlers back in Taranaki.

It seemed to offer an alternative, religious solution to the difficulties of enforced acculturation which the now out-numbered Maoris faced in the s. The Pai Marire movement had begun in and can be considered to have ended with the death of its founder four years later. Starting in Taranaki it gained impetus in with the conversion of the second Maori King, Tawhiao.

Early in emissaries, either from the Kingite Waikato or despatched by the prophet himself, travelled through most of the North Island preaching the new faith. Worshipping flag-staffs, niu poles, were erected in Maori settlements and converts performed the ritual and recited karakia around them. Arising at a time of colonial war between the settlers and Maoris, the peaceful intentions of the prophet to unite all of his people in the new creed were often subsumed beneath local and personal issues.

Frequently therefore the response to Pai Marire was largely secular. The settlers, alarmed at the unorthodoxy and alleged barbarity of the movement, responded also, usually with arms.

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At its height the movement embraced perhaps 10, of over 50, Maoris, a good proportion of the total population. By however the influence of its founder had weakened. The force of his initial vision had been blunted, his teachings sometimes reinterpreted. But his message, however it was preached, gave hope and a religious reinforcement for much that Maoris did during the war in defence of their land, their culture, their identity.

Te Ua Haumene Horopapera Tuwhakararo, the prophet of Pai Marire, was about forty years old when in September he first received his divine inspiration.


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He was born into the Taranaki tribe at Waiaua on the coast south of Mount Egmont, but at about the age of three was made captive during a Waikato invasion of the region. He and his mother were carried to Kawhia. The prophet denied having gone to the missionaries' schools as was usual before baptism. Rather, he claimed he was taught by Kawhia Maoris to read and write his own language well enough to read the Testament. As with other Maori prophet movements the Bible proved a rich mine for much of Pai Marire belief. Te Ua's favourite book was reputedly a translation of Revelation.

Horopapera was able to return to Taranaki soon after British sovereignty was extended to New Zealand in and as a result of the Waikato desire, as good Christians and loyal subjects, to liberate their slaves. Here the youth served at the bottom of the Wesleyan hierarchy as an assistant monitor in the charge of the missionaries Creed and Skevington. In this role he gained experience as a religious adviser and preacher, for sometimes in the absence of accredited teachers he had to conduct services himself.

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Te Ua made a careful study of the Bible: 'My heart was moved to search the Scriptures, and I took particular notice of that passage which says, "Search the Scriptures, for in them we think we have eternal life". When war between European settlers and Maoris eventually began in the province in , Horopapera became involved in the assertion of Maori ownership of land.

Te Ua, while still performing his role as religious leader, became a supporter of the Maori king. It was in the last year of the encounter that I began to speak out and argue, my chief concern being my love for my homeland, in the hope that the peoples or tribes of Taranaki and Ngatiruanui would support the King movement. Although he favoured an end to enmity through the physical separation of Maori and Pakeha settlement, Te Ua did bear arms during fighting over the Waitara purchase, until in February the Waikato Kingite leader Wiremu Tamihana negotiated an uneasy truce.

The circumstances of this visitation might have lent themselves to the foundation of a cargo cult, rather than the Pai Marire movement. For on 1 September the inhabitants of Te Namu village on the south-west coast of Taranaki found the Royal Mail Steamer Lord Worsley grounded but upright and over sixty passengers and crew on shore.

The passengers on the beach presented an interesting assortment. The vessel's cargo would have been enough to excite any materialist millenarian. The lading included tons of coal, substantial provisions, 4, feet of deck planks, sixty kegs of shot, eight bales of wool and 3, ounces of gold dust. The leaders at Te Namu experienced a conflict between the requirements of hospitality towards the Europeans and obligations to their Maori followers. For the arrival of the Lord Worsley within the Kingite boundaries aukati during Tamihana's peace brought into focus the range of attitudes held by the Taranaki Maoris towards Pakehas.

Page 1 – Introduction

Richard Taylor described the Maori situation in mid in such terms. On baptism Te Ua was given the name Zerubbabel [lit. The prophet himself in early urged his followers to 'Return and go home in peace, for the Lord has spoken to me twice and urged that his people, his forsaken flock return as did Abraham of Israel. The leader of one party, Patara Raukatauri, told the Opotoki trader S. Missionaries, who had often alluded to Jewish history, had never predicted the particular relevance it would have for their converts. The Theology of Pai Marire, p.

Show more notes. The first he reputedly described as symbolizing the Governor, the second represented the General. This ritualized performance was not a particular invention of Pai Marire belief, but can be understood best as a customary Maori insult. A government official, in the margin of a record of proceedings at Opotiki, confirmed that eye swallowing was the greatest Maori insult.