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DEATH OF TE WHITI.

0. , , ■ ■■■ . - - - / • , - THE BIG TANGI. INTERESTING REMINISCENCES. *iT! . v ' > QUIET DAT. (From Our Special Reporters.) PARIHAKA, November 22. "Wednesday was a quiet, uneventful day at Parihaka. A big crowd—"thousands, in fact, were expected to arrive ; but the hopes of the natives who glory in pomp and feel far better when they have a large crowd to share their" grief were far from realised. Very few vehicles and horses turned the corner of the road into Parihaka on Wednesday, and the town was far quieter than j it used to be on meeting-days some years ago. The Puniho Brass Band arrived during the day, and played in the . maraei , The tunes were mostly of a sac3d character. The band is about wenty strong, and plays well. It is under the conductorship of an ex-mem-ber of the Wanganui Garrison Band. On "Wednesday morning the body was removed to a marquee erected in the marae.. * t THE SETTLEMENT ON THURSDAY. There were, several hundreds of arrivals on Thursday , f but still the attendance did not reach anticipations. During the day small parties arrived off and on. At about 6 p.m. the Waitara party was sighted. Volleys were fired for. ■ some time, and then a good body of • dancers went out to^meet them. It was < an animated scene when the party was % being conducted tq the marae. The - welcoming natives were bedecked from head to foot in greenery and mats. •'Otherwise some were naked. Their „ faces, were besmeared with red and ■ > daubed, with.b. lack, and altogether their get-up was picturesque and impressive. . It was almost a motley group. There were Maoris of all ages,' from small children to old women. There was the • withered and frail, contrasting with the exceptionally stout. Whilst the adults were adhering religiously to the true movements of the dance, some qf the youthful in BtheJ»ack8 theJ»ack ranks were keeping tune gaily cake-walking. The Puniho Brass Band marched at the head of the visitors ana! lent life to the proceedings by its playing/ Amongst the • more distinguished of these arrivals were Dr. Pomare arid "White Parana. The latter, speaking to the assemblage, baid, , if Do not be sorry;! It cannot, be helped." The whole of the natives assembled in front pf the , tharquee, and tangling was kept up for an hour. One old native rose to speak.' ■ With a merry smile he exclaimed, "Te Whiti has gone, but (pointing to his cap) the white; feather still remains." Tuteuroho was master* of ceremonies fop dbhe reception*. THE FUNERAL. The -burial bad -been feed for Friday at noon, .but it will not take place until this evening, as preparations will not be . complete by noon. It has been decided to bury the remains in t the Miti Marae, . ' tet a ttistanoe of about a chain from the, verandah of Raiikura house. Raukora '. house is the one in which Te Whiti died. It.dderive& dts name ii!om ; the. gaukura (white feather) worn by the followers of deceased. A deep pit" about ten feet square is 1 being dug for the grave. r This is being cemented on every face and the top is to be cemented over and arched. Sub- , sequently, it is intended, a monument is to be erected. The body will not? be, placed in a coffin. Many valuables will be buried with him". At a meeting on .Wednesday night the question "Why should we bury him in 9 cemented pit ?" ■ was asked. When he commenced' • preaching his doctrine, he said that . everyone Should be buried without a coffin, and all his deceased followers , have been buried accordingly] The natives now inquired why the custom should be departed from, because it was Te Whiti who was dead. As he had willed for his adherents, so should they will for him. In response to these questions one of Te Whiti's staunch followers said to his 'confederates, "Do not answer them. That (burying without a \ : coffin) will die out in time." INTERESTING^ REVELATIONS. Some revelations were made at a held on*"l!redries<Jay night. It . *"ayspired that the reason for burying the body in a cemented pit was for fear that* the pakeha might come along some night and steal the head for some mn•seum. One old native in advocating the cemented pit told a story, that very few '■' Maoris had ever heard. He stated that the grave on Honiana Te Puni, an uncle of Te v Whiti, buried about thirty years ago at Wellington, was one morning found open, and -it was discovered that the head had been taken from the body. It was ako stated that, • through a similar fear, the sit© of the grave of the notorious Titokowaru had been kept secret. Only a few near relatives had -ever kaown the site. PAKEHA'S BREACH OF i ETIQUETTE. Mr Bishop, licensee of the Taranaki Hotel, on Wednesday bought the haul of the Nora Niven—^five tons of fish. These were at once despatched in two waggons for Parihaka. The person in charge of the first load injudiciously commenced hawking the fish about for sale. Charlie Waitara resented this; and no wonder ! The. position was that Waitara, was host and in that capacity was' entertaining the natives. Subsequently the fish was purchased by Waitara: The incident nearly cost the vendor good sum, and shows,. that the natives will not tolerate breaches of common privilege. . . EXPENSIVE CELEBRATIONS. The food cost for the tangi is amounting to an astonishing large figure. It . will be enormous before the gathering is over. The Maori is an expensive person . to feed, and food is costly nowadays. TREASURE OR NO TREASURE? * ' 'On© of -the best authorities holds that , /t© Whitj had no treasure for years before Isai died, . He admits' that he had at one time, but says that, it is to be count- - ,ed among TbhuVif it exists, as Te Whiti it att over to Tohu when the separation came. / ' T^B WHITI'S LAST WQRDS. Te Whiti's doctrine, preached to the fi^Mabrta', was: "Peace and goodwill to 'A ~~ ' • -• ■ ~ '

"all men. If your neighbour thirsts, give him drink." He led his followers to believe the Maoris were the lost tribes and that the Bible said the Israelites would be established again. The Almighty gave his prophets command to carry out His work; but as they did not fulfil it, He sent His Son,who also failed to achieve a fulfilment. God then raised up Te Whiti to be the fulfiller. The morning this wonderful old impostor died, his own officials whom he had appointed to carry out the preaching of his doctrine were disgusted and disappointed in him when they. heard him utter: v"ltv "It cannot be fulfilled! It cannot be fulfilled !" TO-DAY'S PROCEEDINGS. PUNGAREHU,' November 22. By noon to-day there was a fair crowd of people in Parihaka, and whites from along the • coast were coming in in large numbers. The is growing gradually and there may be a good gathering by Sunday, when whites are expected in great force. The Nelson, Picton and. Wellington visitors arrived in small 1 party this morning, among them being Julia, the Grace Darling of- New Zealand, who saved a ship's crew from drowning off Nelson. Te Amc\, a daughter of , Wi Tako, who sold Lambton Quay, Wellington, to the New Zealand Government, is also in the party. Julia took up a position alongside the body as, one of the chief mourners. THE HATCHET BURIED. A party of whites, consisting of Messrs W. H. Skinner, W. Gray (Okato), Jack (Reserves Agent), Stewart Williams^ Rev. J. B, Brocklehurst. Captain Young, and Captain Hood arrived to-day. The party, piloted by Mr Gray, expressed their sorrow for the relatives in semi-Maori custom, much to the delight of the natives, who were glad to see something the. reverse of the curiosity with which v the majority of whites enter Parihaka. The reverence they showed for the remains §0 much impressed them that they sfcook the first opportunity of expressing their gratitude. They said that this little kindness seemed to have wiped the last drain of ill-feeling. Even old natives whid retained their grievances against the whites right up to the present say that it is a red-letter day in Maori history; for to-day the bone of contention between the two races has been buried for ever. Never will this old sore be reopened. Dr. Pomare poetically expressed this tribute of respect to the dead and ako the living. <. • FUNERAL DELAYED. The funeral, which was to have been held at noon, was delayed on account of the grave being unfinished. Tbff natives, under the well-known trade? 1 -, man Manuel, worked all night at the*' bricking and cementing of the floor and walls of the large grave. It is still unfinished. The funeral cannot be got off before this evening. The burial cere- j mony has not yet been fixed upon. Revi Mr Haddon is advising the natives to have a Christian burial, but they are against it., Still they may be per suaoTed^ 'irtifcy are, Mr Haddon is sur& to be asked, to officiate, as he is a connection of the deceased. > A SENSATIONAL THEORY. \ THE CAUSE OF DEATH. - There is a (sensational theory of the causft of the death, of Te Whiti, which had a narrow; escape of not leaking out. To. commence w.jtb, poisoning is suspected. I cannot ascertain yet whether it is tliougnt by'tncSte in the know (who-^ ever they may be>' that the poisoning j was self-inflicted or whether administered by -sri unknown hand. It was the usual'date of the monthly meeting on Sunday last, and! no one came to hottxage to I™e Whiti. Ife was very depressed at this, and may have been >.tQO; much carried away»by his despondency. tOn.the, other. hand two natives Who were; iiL Parihaka on Sunday are said to have raised some suspicion by leaving .hurriedly. However, it is, I believe, a fac;fc that on' Sunday evening the .old man was unexpectedly taken ill, and complained of internal pains, and that castor oil, which is often used! as an. emetic, was given him.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TH19071122.2.55

Bibliographic details

Taranaki Herald, Taranaki Herald, Volume LIV, Issue 13567, 22 November 1907

Word Count
1,673

DEATH OF TE WHITI. Taranaki Herald, Volume LIV, Issue 13567, 22 November 1907

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