Te Kahumamae o Pareraututu -
The Cloak Of Pain
Te Kahumamae o Pareraututu, or the ‘Cloak of pain of Pareraututu’ is a very special taonga made by Pareraututu to honour the deaths of her whānau in a battle with Tūhoe. Pareraututu was part Tūhoe but she also had many Ngāti Rangitihi relatives, so she was devastated when so many of them were killed by Tūhoe warriors.
As a way of showing her sadness, she gathered together the skins of the dogs owned by her fallen family members and wove them into a cloak. Wearing the cloak, Pareraututu travelled to the Waikato to plead with the famous leader Tukorehu to help her gain justice for the deaths.
When she arrived at Tukorehu’s marae, she didn’t say a thing. Instead, she sat wearing the cloak and refused to take any of the food offered to her. Tukorehu couldn’t help but be impressed by her silent protest and after a number of days he agreed to help her. The way he showed this was to approach her and gently take the cloak from Pareraututu’s shoulders and wrap it around himself.
Not long after this happened, peace was created between Tūhoe and Ngāti Rangitihi and the heads of the dead Rangitihi chiefs were returned to their whānau to be laid to rest in their homeland. After her death, Pareraututu’s bones were laid on Wahanga, a peak of the mountain many of us know as Tarawera until the Tarawera eruption in 1886. They were lost in that great explosion.
Te Kahumamae o Pareraututu was kept at the Auckland Museum for many years but was returned to Pareraututu’s descendants in the 1990’s.
Qualies: relationships, identity, humility
More to watch:
(This one is for older learners)
Professor Paul Tapsell was an important person in arranging for the ‘cloak of pain’ and other precious taonga like Murirangaranga (the flute or kōuauau once owned by Tūtānekai) to be returned to their original owners.
You can hear him give a lecture about this and many other interesting subjects here:
Read more here:
From Rotorua Library:
Māori treasures of New Zealand, by Paul Tapsell
About the return of Pareraututu to Rotorua:
This entry is related to these other entries:
Murirangaranga; Horoirangi; Pukaki