Ruatapu and Paikea


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  • Once upon a time there was a Maori chief called Uenuku that lived in a place called Hawaiki. Uenuku had 71 sons, 70 of them were chiefs but one of his sons named Ruatapu was not because his mother was a slave and she wasn't royal.
  • One day Uenuku decided to create a canoo with his sons helping him. So Uenuku's sons chopped down the trees, painted the canoo, and decorated it.
  • At the end the brothers had made a beautiful red canoo with strings of feathers on it
  • When Uenuku's sons were combing their hair to get ready to ride on the canoos, Ruatapu was not allowed to combed his hair with the brush because it was sacred. Ruatapu was ashammed and ran away to seek revenge.
  • Ruatapu went down to the canoe and cut a hole in its bottom. Then he filled the hole in again with chips of wood.In the morning all the noble sons of Uenuku launched the canoe for the first time, and Ruatapu went with them. The canoe was a beautiful sight, with its feathers and tall carvings, and it went very fast over the waves. They paddled a long way out to sea, and Ruatapu kept his heel over the hole so it would not be seeen. When they were out of sight of land, Ruatapu pushed away the chips from the hole and water rushed into the canoe.
  • All of Ruatapu's brother drowned except for one. Ruatapu swam after his last brother, whose name was Paikea, but he could not catch him. Then Ruatapu 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.Tangaroa heard Paikea, and sent a whale to take him to land.Then Ruatapu casted a magic spell, and sent five great waves rolling across the ocean after Paikea. But Paikea was too far away, and he came to land just before the waves reached him. The waves bounced off the shore, and went back across the ocean. They rushed over Ruatapu, who was still in the sea, and he drowned.
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