Monday, 4 February 2013
TAARE DOLLY TURINUI, Aramiro near Raglan. Born 1928
I grew up in Aramiro mainly, and for two years we lived in Patikirau - with Riripo, Awa and Nanny Uta (Rangiutaina). My Father had a job working for Pakeha farmers. I lived with my Father, Mother, elder brother and sister in law and a cousin. I was the youngest except for my cousin who stayed with us as well.
At Aramiro, we lived in a Punga house; across from the Pukeis. It was all punga, and lined with raupo. It was really warm, the floor was dirt. No "matapihi", just one door. There was a big chimney. The Raupo reflected the light. We also had flower gardens outside, dahlias grew everywhere. We had a large vege garden as well. There were no bedrooms or walls, it was just one big room. I thought our gardens make it look nice. Our cupboards were boxes, and we ate on the whariki. We had beds and mattresses and we had tin boxes to keep our clothes in. Our sheets were the champion brand (made from recycled flour bags), and my mother had put lace around the edges.
My Mother's most prized possessions were her greenstones. She also had embroidered pillowslips that had crocheted lace that she had made herself. She had petticoats that she had made herself as well, with the rooster pattern and rose pattern. My favourites were my tartan skirts that she had made me. Everything we had was placed in the tins.
We cooked on an open fire. Our Umu hung over the top; and we cooked on the charcoal; especially our bread. We looked after them. We washed in the river, and we had a long drop. The only time you get to use the chamber pot is when your sick. Our drinking water was caught in a tin, and our lighting and heating was from the fire, candles and tilly lamps. Other than our linen there was nothing English in our house.
My Father worked at the timber mill. He finished at 5pm and came home every night. My Mother was a house wife. My Mother was always busy. Id see her crotcheting lace, jumpers and cardigans. If she wasn't crotcheting, she was making whariki and kete for our home or for the marae. We "air" out the whariki and wash them everyday by sprinkling them with water. She also use to make our soap.
I would help with the work as well. I do the dishes, and I help Mum do the washing. I would be swimming at the same time. Mum would boil our white clothes in a tin. All the ladies would be down at the creek. I also peel the potatoes, though I always get a growling for peeling the skin off too thick. I liked doing the washing, I would bang Dad's dungarees with a stick to soften it, coz they were too hard for Mum to rub. I liked gardening too.
My Father would only drink on special occassions, or after Rugby Games. he played for the Moerangi Team. They were rough games ! - especially against Raglan. "No relations, and no friends on the field" - even the spectators have a fight on the sideline. When I was only four, I got half drowned. The only thing that saved me was that I had my Father's Football Jersey on and it got caught in the tree. My Father would put the jersey on me, so that he could see where I was, while he was practising. I liked going to watch Dad play Football. We would all pile on Koro Hemi's truck - just down the road was a big thing. I would go eeling with my Father, I would hold onto the light. There were really big eels then. My brother comes with us, and I had to pull the eels out.
I loved my Dad, and he loves everybody's children, not just me. He's the one that "loves" us after we get the discipline from Mum. I carried yarns around, and I open my mouth - (she's laughing as she tells me this) - I was only a kid. I hear people talking and I spread it around. I got a good hiding for that because I started a big clash. My Mother taught me a lot of things, and I spent a lot of time with her. She taught me songs - and if I want to know things, she took the time to explain things to me. She teach me to do the washing. She wanted to train me as a good housewife, because when she was 18 she didnt know anything. My Mother told me that when she first got married, that she sat by the creek crying because she didnt know how to wash clothes. She was a good mother, but she was a "disciplinarian".
The most important thing that my parents taught me, was not to talk about other people; and if I do hear things, not too spread it. They also told me not to back-bite. I learnt that - the hard way. None of the old people taught you about pregnancy or about babies. You had an idea how to make a baby, but not how to deliver them.
We eat twice a day. In the morning we have kororirori, we eat this with a mussell shell for our spoon. The lunch that I get to take to school is Rewena Bread, salted pork hinu for our butter and water cress from the river. We have a big tea, boil-up : Puha, Brisket. Some times we have Roast Pork, Potatoes and Kumaras. Some times we have cabin biscuits with butter and dipped in hot water.
We also eat Para (King-Fern), the roots (shaped like a hoof), we peel it and we boil it; it tastes like a Taro. Sometimes when Dad finds it we have wild honey, and tawhara - thats in the middle of the Kiekie. We always have kai moana, from Raglan; whoever is going to the beach on someone's truck - everybody hops on and bring some back, I especially like the crayfish. We have pawhara eels and smoked eels. My favourite food was Paratihi bread with salted hinu and watercress. And I like "black balls" from the Rupa's shop.
My Mum always did the cooking cause Dad was always away at work. She says I dont wash the puha properly (laughs). My Dad knew how to cook though, and sometimes in the weekend he cooks bread.
I loved Christmas. Every Christmas I get a whole outfit, all hanging up. It was shop bought. I get a new pair of shoes, new pair of socks and new dress and hat ... all from Santa Claus. We have a big kai. They go to town and buy a case of bananas (1/2 ripe and 1/2 unripen). Its the only time we see bananas. The whole whanau comes home - we have it together. We slice the bananas and have it with cream, and we have this with jelly junket.
I loved new clothes, and I also loved my Gym, that was the school uniform; it made me look important. (laughs) Some times I get hand-me-downs. It didn't worry me. If I like it, I keep it. Hand-me-downs were good stuff, mine came from the Coopers, and they bring it down to us; and all the stuff is "still good". My Mum had special clothes to wear to the Coronation.
The games I played were knuckle bones and sliding on the cabbage trees. We always had heaps of time to play, cause theres only one room to clean. I use to think about Pakeha houses that it would take too long to clean their house. So much work for them to do. When we feed our chickens, one of us can feed everybodies chickens. We play up in the bush, or in the river, up the hills and on the horses. I had friends come and stay. They were mostly Maori, because the Coopers were the only Pakeha in Aramiro.
While we were staying in Raglan, Dad gave me pennies. A penny buys me a big chocolate, and inside it is a bracelet and more lollies. I had some toys. I had a doll that someone had given me, but before that I didn't need a doll anyway. I just roll something up and handle it like a baby. I had a spinning top, and my mother made me skipping rope out of muka.
I had pets as well. Pet Rabbits, Pet Lambs, Pet Pigs - everytime we moved, we leave it behind and i would cry about it cause I couldnt find them when it was time to leave. My Parents had a Gramophone, and we had Jimmy Rogers records, I think I was 6 or 7, and I would sing with the records.
Sometimes we get up to mischief. We're not supposed to go up to the Mill, but we still do. One time, after school, we went there; and we were swinging on the rafters. I got a hiding from my Dad for doing that. In all my life, I only got 2 hidings from my Father, otherwise it was from my Mother. I was told it was too dangerous at the mill. Another time, A koroua asked for a light for a pipe, and we tell him to "get it yourself", and we run away. "You'll get a hiding if I catch you" - but by night time hes forgotten. There was an old blind lady, her mokos take her to the toilet, they tell her to jump cause theres a drain. But really theres no drain there, and we all laugh cause she jumps.
There werent many restrictions on us. We always go to the river, but we were told to be aware of the smaller ones, and we were only allowed as far as the bush, or we'll get lost. When I was 10, I went to the regatta at Ngaruawahia. When I was 11, Mr Forlongs brought the projector out and we saw the pictures in the meeting house. When I was 12, I got to go to the Winter Show.
I got sick for back-answering to the Koroua. "Ka nui te mate o te kotiro ra, e ai ki te koroua" - They told my father to give me a karakia and a himene, and in the morning I was better. There was always some sort of "mate maori", and dysentry was pretty bad. I remember a little baby died of Pnuemonia. When I was 12, I hurt my leg. I went to the doctor, and I ended up in Hospital. I was in there for 2 or 3 weeks, it was good cause there was some other Maori and I was put on the verandah. When we have colds, we have lemon drinks. We have olive oil and castor oil for sore stomachs, and medicines that my Mother make from things from the bush. We had a toothbrush everyday at school, because the school provides it.
I started school when I was 7. My first school was Kaharoa Native School. There were pakehas that went to our school. Those were the Coopers and the Mill worker's kids. There was the usual cheekiness between us and them. We throw stones at the Pakeha kids because we dont want them walking on the roads, we throw stones at them and make them walk through the paddock and we laugh. Every morning at school, there is an inspection for a hanky, clean nails, hair combed and clean ears. I liked it, because it became a habit. I liked the teachers, we had good teachers. In the winter time they make us hot cocoa. The teachers were strict to the older ones - they get detention, if they didn't do their work, and they have to do work around the school. There was no Maori allowed at school. I didn't speak Maori at school, because I didnt want the strap. I spoke broken english, the older ones get a strap - they're old enough to know better. I only stayed at school until Primer 3. I could do arithmetic and a little bit of printing. I think the Pakeha King was King George. The Maori king was King Koroki. My Mother was educated, she'd been to school at Kawhia. Dad's education came from living with the Pakehas. He couldn't read though. I didn't know Pakeha's came from England, but I knew they were different.
We had karakia every morning and every night at home. We also had a church house in Aramiro. It was part Methodist and part Ringatu. I remember men from the Te Kau ma Rua would also come out and take the karakia and services. Karakia was very important to my Parents, before daylight they're saying morning prayers, they never forgot; and every night we have karakia again. Our karakia were always in Maori. At the church house, there might have been Pakeha come, though Im not certain.
There were Pakeha in Aramiro. They were the families of the Mill workers. There were the Coates, the McConeys and other families. They were good people, and we played with their children. We all "got on". The Pakehas used to come to the dances at the Pa. "We had good pakeha people". Even when we got older and came to town, we got on with the Houchens family. When I went to the Houchen's place, I thought it must have been a lot of work to live in a house like that, because it was so flash. My parents got along with their bosses. Pakeha ladies came to our home too. They come inside and have a cuppa tea and maori bread. My Mum yakked a lot, and the Pakeha women would swap recipes with her and sewing patterns. I was still young when I was working at the Gardens at Houchen Road. I was making 5 pounds per week. I would buy me a dress for 12shillings from the Great Bargain Store (Farmers). I was 14. Adults can make 30 pounds per week. We get 5 shillings to fill a bag with peas. When we get paid we go to the races with our Aunties, in our new shoes, new costumes and even gloves !
Growing up, I always knew that I was Ngati Mahanga. During the war in the early 1940s we had a culture group raising funds for the red cross. While we were doing this, the old people told us about our waka being Tainui, and other history. The old people were my Grand Aunts, and Grand Uncles and of course, Granny Paretutaki. Granny Paretutaki lived at the Pa. I liked listening to their stories, we'd hear about the life, coming of the Pakeha and the Pakeha and Maori fighting. I also learnt weaving ketes and whariki from the old people. Paretutaki always spoke Maori, and she lived with my Uncle.
There were also functions at Kaharaumati. Mainly Tangis, weddings and Christmas. Weddings were the happy things. I liked watching them get all dressed up and ready at the homestead, and then we all go over with them to the Pa. The Kawa was a natural every day thing.
During tangis, I only ever remember the body inside the house. I never seen it outside. One lady called from outside, I wasnt allowed inside. I can't ever remember a karanga for the "moni-roimata". They brought the kai straight to the kitchen, and it was recorded in the kitchen not in the front. There was always plenty of kai in the Marae, and I dont even remember there being money put on the marae. I suppose thats why gardens were important during those days, so that there was always plenty of kai for hui. You plant yours and then you help everybody else to plant and harvest theres. You keep what you need, and give the rest to the Marae.
When Uncle Charlie (Father's elder brother) not there, it was my Dad. But otherwise hes in the Kitchen. Mum is making the kono and the basket for the hangi. The meat was thrown straight on the stones. It was a lot of work for the ladies. I took it all for granted, it was there all the time, and I didnt know anything else; except that we were Maori. Some times the local Pakeha come to the Marae. They know the rules, Lady can't wear a pants, and no photos. I never thought much about the Pakeha, they lived across the river, thats where they should be; we never worried what they were doing. All I know is that my Parents got on well with everybody, including Pakehas - and I never once heard my Parents say a bad word about them.