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APERAHAMA TE AIKA.

(Christ church "Telegraph.")

Th» finest and noblest portion of the r»ce of Maori* at Kaiapol connected with the early bJitory of Canterbmy are rapidly pawing away. Aperahama Te Alka, who breathed his last at the Maori Pa, Ealapol, on Tuesday 1 was a chief of the Katuirihia tribe. He waa aaid to be aevonty-five yean of Bge, though those io whom he was well known considered his life span at least five years over that stated It v not long since he followed to tha grave Tare Wi Teboika, and he has Been several of bia *ace f who, like himeelf, were entitled to marked respect, buiied m the Native Cemetery of St Stephen's- In the public assembllea of his people Aperahama Te Aika was remarkab'e for his oratorical powers, and must be credited with a considerable amount of discretion. When the early settlers took up the bußh lands near Woodend he waß a prominent man m settling and adjusting disputes which arose from time to time. He waa a man who had a considerable stock of Maori folk-lore. He waa one of the few who survived the memorable Invasion of Te Raup»rah», Io 1827, when ha left the traces or his fury upon tha Ngatalhn people, then resident In the South laknd. From Nelson Te Baoparaha went to Kaikoura, tbenoe to tba Omlhi pab, on the Glenmark rnn. pe next raogtd hi* warrlori baton the

I ELaiapoi pab, attempted to enter the pah under a pretence of being friendly, bat Aperabama's people managed to discover the designs op-n them, and raised their fortifications Banparaha contrived to carry a sap, aad eet the palisading of the pah In fliraee, and drove the Ngataihu tut to ruthless massacre. Aperahama Te A.ika was one who effected his eaoepa, and obtained refuge lv tbe flax at the river's edge, with another eso»pee ; they were observed, however, by men lo tbe Northern war canoce, who called oat, *' Our slaves, two for ua ;" and the; would have been caught bat for the courage of Aperaharoa's mate, who made use of hia loaded gun. Gettiug down Into the wesdy margin of the water, he stood oonoealed till the men iv the bows of the oanoe were about to jump ashore, he then fired, nearly blowlog the top of the first man's head off, The com* panlona In the oanoe, witnesses of what had happened, poshed out from the bank and paddled away. Aperahama, with Wl Te Pita te Horl, and others, being afterwards saooessful In evading Te Rauparaha's skirmisher*, made good their eioape to the Sooth. Although this terrible fight took place about sixty-two years ago, aad about 1000 of the Ngatalha were slain — many of them eaten — and a large number more taken into slavery, the remains of that battle freqaentJy are discovered m tbe blenching bones wbloh bestrew the old batile field on whloh Te Bauparaha had oondnoted the siege operations that had extended over six months, Hakopa Te Ata O Tv, who died m 1883, used to give a most vivid and thrilling acoouot of an event In their history, whep be was foroed to surrender a greenstone club, although he f ought like a demon, but was finally over* powered and kept as a slave till an .exchange of prisonecs took place. The "Lytteltoo Times" cays that during tbe week Maori friends and relatives from the West Coast, Moerakl, Little River, Baupaki, Temuka and Tamatu fijeked to the pah, all anxloua to show iheir respeot and esteem for their late chief, and take part m the Native moarnlag ceremonies. At the numerous tangle wbioh were held, many speeches were made by distinguished Native visitors Id praise of the deceased who m earlier days was a groat warrior, and as an uptight man, a kind father and a good neighbor, was muoh respected by ail who knew him. The deceased chief was supposed to be about eighty years of age, and was the Grst Native baptised In the Oatholio faith m New Zealand. That oeremony was performed by tbe firit bishop who oame to our shores. He was confirmed on last (Caster Sunday at the Barbadoes street Ohuroh at his own request by the Bt* Bey. the Biehop of Ohrlttoharoh. la returning after the oeremony he oaoght cold, from which he d ever reoovered. The funeral, whioh took place oa Eunday, wai the largest ever seen at the pah, European visitors coming from all parts to witneßs the solemn ceremony and show their respeot. The body, m the hearse, was followed by the immediate relatives as obief mourners, then his Lordship the Bishop of Obristchuroh, attended by Fathers O'Connor and Malue (P.P. of Ghristohurch) with eight acolytes. After these, some 200 Maoris walked two and two, then came the European visitors, some on toot, some on horseback and some m vehicles, On reaching the oemetery the olergy advanced into the graveyard and met the body. On reaching the grave the impress ye burial eervioe of the Oatho'io Church was performed by the Bight Bay Bishop Grimes. On the body being lowered into the grave, several hymns were sung by the natives m their own tongue, the mournful c&dences adding much to the solemnity of the occasion. An elcqaent address was afterward delivered by his Lordship, m whioh he alluded to the many good qualities of the deceased cbisf , who was odb of the earliest oon verts m New Zealand. This closed the religious portion of the ceremony, and the spectators slowly filed past the grave wherein a great warrior and ohief njw lies.

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APERAHAMA TE AIKA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2127, 6 May 1889

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