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From Tregear - full text

  • E.R. Tregear, Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary (Lyon and Blair: Lambton Quay, 1891), 223

MATAKEREPO (myth.), a name of Whaitiri, the grandmother of Tawhaki. She was called Matakerepo (“darkened eyes,”) on account of being blind. As she sat counting over her ten sweet potatoes. Tawhaki took one; she then counted the nine, and he took another; and so on, till only one was left. Thenceforth, in making offerings to Tawhaki the offering was divided into ten parts, and each part was offered separately to the god. This was called ngahuru, “the collection,” and was used as a sacred name for “ten” instead of tekau—A. H. M., i. 57; P. M., 44; Col., Trans., xiv. 36, note; Wohl., Trans., vii. 17, 43. Called Kerepo—A. H. M., i. 49. Kahuroa 05:06, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

I find what you suggest completely convincing. It is 'Mataerepo' several times in Craig (p. 160 and index). So he is consistent. But anyone who's written a book will know how easy is it for the copy editing to become mechanical and for an error to 'push out' the correct version of some words. And since Tregear (which Craig cites in many Maori entries, though not in this one) gets it 'right', we should assume that the error is Craig's. So, the questions is what to do. Move to Matakerepo? Or merge with Whaitiri? I'll add a note to the bibliography that Craig is probably mistaken about the spelling. Bucketsofg 05:18, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
How about for the moment , move to Matakerepo, then move to Matakerepō (so the unmacroned form will divert to the macroned form, as most people would search without macrons). Maybe not merge with Whaitiri just yet - I have a feeling in the back of my head that it can be used for other blind grandmothers as well, so separate might be good for a while anyway. PS: re Tregears refs - A.H.M = White, P.M. = Grey (Polynesian Mythology) Trans = Transactions and Proceedings of the NZ Institute. I can look up the White and Grey easily and will when I get a moment. CheersKahuroa 05:34, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
That more or less seals it, since Craig cites White and Grey as his sources. Your proposed moves make good sense. Bucketsofg 06:13, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
  • 1 Looked at White: in A. H. M., i. 57 - it is a blind ancestor of Tawhaki, counting her kumara (sweet potatoes). Not actually identified in that tale as Whaitiri. In A. H. M., i. 49 in White's Maori language section, it is Tawhaki's blind female ancestor, sitting counting her 'kumara ngahuru' = ten sw. potatoes. She is called 'te Kerepo ra' = the blind one there - White probably supplied the capital K there.' Again not identified at Matakerepō or Whaitiri in that instance. I have Grey in the Māori. In the Tawhaki story, Tawhaki is on a quest to find his daughter. He and Karihi come upon 'he ruahine matakerepo' - 'an old blind woman', counting her taro, and guarding the pathway to the skies...Karihi restores her sight, she recognises T & K as her grandchildren/descendants. Tawhaki tells her he is on his way to find his daughter, who is in the heavens with his wife - his wife is a daughter of Whatitiri-matakataka. (ie, of Whaitiri.) The old blind woman points out the pathway, they farewell her, and they climb into the sky [new paragraph begins]and meet - guess who - Whaitiri. (But I happen to know that the paragraph mentioning the name Whaitiri here was inserted by Grey from another story! - you have to watch him - he's not above taking a scene out of a Tawhaki story and sticking into a Maui story.) So - are you confused? I will try to find a story which actually uses the name Matakerepo. I know they exist. Kahuroa 09:35, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
  • 2 Checked Harlow's Name and Word Index to Nga Mahi a Nga Tupuna (Grey, Maori text). Matakerepo occurs just twice (in the story I mention above) - as a word in the phrase 'ruahine matakerepo' - does not occur as a name. Kerepo does not occur at all in Grey Kahuroa 10:38, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
  • 3 Searched White (electronic copy on CD) - Matakerepo occurs only in a story from the Grey collection which was part source of the story I mention above, ie not identified as Whaitiri - White has used the original 1850 manuscript without Grey's insertions and additions - Vol I, English trans:113-119, Māori text:100-105. (Each vol of White has English first. Then numbers start from 1 again with the second half of the volume, the Maori texts). On page 116, English: 'Tawhaki and his other slave went on till they arrrived at the settlement of the old woman called Mata-kere-po (eyes quite blind) whom they found counting her taro-bulbs.' Then continues as the Grey version above, wife is daughter of Whati-tiri-ma-takataka etc - no mention of meeting Whaitiri tho. (Whatitiri is the same as Whaitiri, both mean 'Thunder'). Karihi is also absent from this version. White misidentifies the tribal origin as Ngāi Tahu (of the South Island) but the manuscript (I have a copy of it) clearly identifies its origin and author as from the Te Arawa tribe (of the North Island).Kahuroa 10:59, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

So there may be two errors in Craig: both the name and a conflation with Whaitiri. That is surely highly plausible. You can surely see how it happened, since Whaitiri was blind, too. Here is Craig's full entry: "Mataerepo, grandmother of the Maori heroes Tawhaki and Karihi, also known as Whaitiri, called darken eyes because of her blindness. When Tawhaki and Karihi visited her, they stole her ten sweet potatoes, one by one. In the subsequent struggles, Tawhaki touched her eyes, thereby restoring sight. Reconciled with her two randsons, she advised them in their journey to the heavens to find Tawhaki's wife and daughter. (Grey 1970: 53-55; White 1887a: 57).". Best to rewrite it has you suggested at my talk. Bucketsofg 11:53, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Agree with all your comments and will rewrite. Tho Craig is not really responsible for the conflation - Tregear did it first I think, assisted probably by Grey's combining of versions. Kahuroa 19:18, 6 April 2006 (UTC)