A Fairy Woman

Kai-he-raki was a witch woman who lived on the Takitimu Range—not an ugly old witch-hag, but a young and beautiful witch whose comeliness defied Time. She was tapu. A man out hunting wekas caught her, but the narrator forgot his name. The man said to his captive, “Taku wahine pai, (you are my woman(?))” and she answered, “Taku tane pai. (you are my man(?))” He got his kauati ( piece of wood laid on the ground and rubbed with another piece to make fire) out to make a fire to ta whakamoe or remove the tapu  from her. He told her to put her foot on the kauati while he worked the karimarima (?) on it. Soon smoke came and a little flame kindled but she threw blood on it, putting it out. She fled but the man overtook her and coaxed her back. He wiped the kauati carefully and started again on his task, but the fairy woman repeated her previous performance and this time she escaped for good. That was the only man who ever caught her. She was seen afterwards high up on the mountains and finally she vanished.

Another account ends:—“The Takitimu Mountains are still haunted. Kai-he-raki has been seen there in quite modern days.”

From H. Beatties TRADITIONS AND LEGENDS.COLLECTED FROM THE NATIVES OF MURIHIKU. (SOUTHLAND, NEW ZEALAND.)

a more complex, though less beholden to accuracy, account of the legend can be found Here

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