RC2009/2/07/19 - Te Ua

Te Ua.

A member of the Ngatiawa and Taranaki tribes of Taranaki, who had never distinguished himself in any way, until he adopted the "role of prophet and announced himself as the Jehovah of the Maoris. He invented the Pai Marire religion, which consisted of chaunting a gibberish of broken English and bad Maori , and walking round sacred poles (niu), occasionally uttering peculiar sounds which they said was foreign language (Reo Pakeha) and was their day of Pentecost. Te Ua revived the old practise of cutting off the heads of persons slain in battle, preserving them and carrying them about the country. The Paimarire religion subsequently merged into Hauhau-ism, and Te Kootis formula. The two latter drew their ideas largely from the old Testament, and induced their followers to believe that the Europeans would be exterminated by their God. Some of the most violent of these fanatics even went so far as to return to cannibalism, and to preserving the heads, and carrying about the hearts of their victims as offerings to Tu (the Maori god of war).

James Mackay

Late Civil Commissioner N.Z.

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