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Hakawau


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Oceania

The pre-eminent Maori sorcerer. He attained to fame by his overthrow of the magical wooden head belonging to the sorcerers Puarata and Tautohito. This potent head bewitched all persons who dared to approach the stronghold in which it was kept, and the fame of its power spread throughout New Zealand. The death of so many people was the general topic of conversation in the islands, and, at last, Hakawau decided he would test its strength by a personal visit. With a single human companion, the old sorcerer set out, unceasingly working at his enchantments, and repeating incantations, which might ward off evil genii. They passed the rotting corpses of their predecessors, to the dismay of his companion, but Hakawau had already learned from his own familiars that the malignant spirits of Puarata and Tautohito were not as powerful as at first appeared. Moreover, his army of good spirits was able to take the fortress and, when in desperation Puarata appealed to the magic head, it could no longer bellow aloud as in former times, but uttered only low moans and wails. Climbing over the palisades of the gateway, Hakawau publicly demonstrated his own superiority as a sorcerer, and after a brief inspection of the sacred places of the strong-hold, he and his companion departed, unharmed and satisfied. His final action was to clap his hands, at which every person inside the palisades died. Thus were Puarata and Tautohito overthrown.

Subjects: Religion.


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