Wednesday Nov 01, 2023

When Two Iwi Go To War

Episode 48 - When two iwi go to war (Retelling of an Old Story) 

E ai ki ngā kōrero, the battle known as Maikukutea, marks the final confrontation between Manaia and Ngātoroirangi. However, it wasn't so much a battle as it was a slaughter. Ancient tales recount how war canoes of Manaia assailed the pā of Ngātoroirangi on Mōtiti Island. In response, Ngātoroirangi dispatched his war god, Aitupawa, to decimate the taua from Manaia. The devastation was so immense that the sole remnants of the conflict were the bleached fingernails—or the Maikukutea—of the warriors belonging to Manaia, which washed ashore the next day. Yet, what occurred in between? Records are absent. The mystery deepens when considering how those fingernails became bleached, as there are only a handful of plausible explanations, given the circumstances. I promise I won't turn full-on CSI, but I've done my research. This story fills in the missing strands of DNA and to speculate on the fate that befell the ill-starred warriors from Manaia. 

T. A. Whero

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