The persistent circling and thrashing of the
lizard eventually produced a deep canyon which surrounded the rock,
and which soon filled with refreshing spring water. The giant lizard
transformed into a huge water monster ("taniwha")
Rahi now found himself marooned on an island. And, as if this was
not enough, the tohunga of Ti Ara’s abductors cast a further
spell that made the two suns disappear, producing a cold dark night.
Namu, Rahi’s friend the giant eagle, was still perched on
the rock. Although she was so cold that she was in danger of freezing
to death, she tried to warm Rahi by blanketing him in her feathers,
as the night continued to become steadily colder.
Just then Rahi, looking up, saw three stars aligned in the sky.
He realised that his father, Eru, had cast a spell from the top
of their "maunga" (mountain). As Rahi watched, a narrow
ice ramp formed to join the island to the shore.
Summoning all the force that remained within him Rahi lifted Namu
onto his back, and slowly began to edge his way across the narrow
ice walkway towards the shore and to safety. Just when Rahi and
Namu were on the point of reaching shore, the taniwha (sea monster)
rose up out of the waters. In anger it lashed at it’s own
head, sending formations of razor sharp teeth flying through the
air like spears, aimed at Rahi.
Fortunately the spear like teeth hit the ice at the edge of the
walkway, causing no harm to Rahi and Namu. With the constant lashing
at his head, Utumai, the monster, eventually broke his own neck,
and sank lifeless to the depths of the water filled canyon.
As if to celebrate the sun came out once Rahi reached shore. In
the healing sun rays, Namu was soon warm enough to fly home. Rahi
was able to join his tribe, who had been desperately searching for
him, and altogether they headed for the mountains to free Ti Ara.
Rahi and his tribe eventually arrived
at the entrance to a cave, situated at the foot of the mountains,
where they remained, hurling menacing threats to Ti Ara’s
abductors in the interior of the cave.
After a while, Rahi and his tribe used a number of heavy boulders
to block the thermal steam vents and hot pools which covered the
thermal mountain. Very soon the temperature inside the mountain
began to mount, discharging fierce billows of hissing steam. Ti
Ara’s abductors were forced to flee the cave in panic - Ti
Ara among them.
As Rahi and Ti Ara fell into each other’s arms earthquakes
and shockwaves began to take place all around, forcing everyone
to flee to safety. The next day an enormous explosion took place,
hurling the mountain high into the sky.
Te Puhuru, the tohunga who cast spells during the abduction of
Ti Ara, had remained inside the mountain. When it exploded Te Puhuru
was blasted into the heavens, where he now remains, continuing to
play out his mischief.
The two tribes gathered on the shores of the lake where Rahi had
been marooned, and decided to make peace. The great sea monster
(taniwha) was cooked, and for many days the two tribes ate and discussed
together. They came to the conclusion that it was quite possible
to live peacefully in harmony, without war.
It was here, on these shores, that
the two tribal councils invented a means to ensure lasting peace
forever. They created a game representing the attempted abduction
of Ti Ara, which the tribes played together – keeping the
This is how the game of Ki-o-Rahi came into being.
According to legend, the game of Ki-o-Rahi is conveyed throughout
Aotearoa/New Zealand by fog, swept along by the wind as it embraces
the lakes and shores where the game of Ki-o-Rahi originated.