legend of Paikea

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  • Dad why can't I comb my hair like my brothers 
  • Because you have a slave for a mother. You are not like your brothers
  • In Haikwaki the was a cheif called Uenuku, he had seventy-one sons, one who was not born in a noble family because his mother was a slave. Uenuku one day decided to build a huge canoe that would fit all of his sons
  • Soon the chief called his gathered al his sons to comb and oil their hair so they would look presentable for their first time going on canoe. When he finished everyone’s hair but Ruatapu, Ruatapu asked “are you not going to comb my hair as well?” But his father said, “Where could I find a comb for your hair? These combs are sacred. They cannot be used on the hair of people of no importance.” 
  • After hearing this Ruapatu was very embarrased, he ran away and planned to get revenge for the way his father treated him. He ate nothing that night, but he went down to the canoe to cut a hole underneath and then filled the hole with small wood chips. 
  • In the morning all the sons gathered around to push the canoe out for their first time. Ruatapu went with them and stepped over the hole with his heel so no one would see it. When the canoe sailed far enough that land could not be seen, Ruatapu slowly brushed off the chips so water could flow in.
  • He thought all of his brothers drowned, but one was still alive, Paikea. Ruatapu then said to Paikea “WHich one of us will carry back this news to land?” ‘It is I who will do so,’ Paikea said. ‘I will not drown. I am descended from Tangaroa, the god of the sea, and he will help me. Tangoroa heard him and sent a whale to safely transport Paikea back to land. 
  • Furious, Ruatapu recited a magic spell, he sent five wave across the ocean. Paikea was already close to land so the waves hit land and rolled back across the ocean. Ruatapu was still in ocean and was engulfed by the waves, causing him to die in his own magic.
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