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Rangitihi 'Rangi-tihi' was a descendant of a line of chiefs from Tama-Te-Kapua, captain or corn mander of the Te-Arawa canoe. Tuhourangi married Rongomaipapa the daughter of Kahungunu, therefor cementing tribal ties.

The following is taken from Ngāti Rangitihi Story by Te Mana O Rangithi Trust.


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Rangitihi the man is the eponymous ancestor of the iwi that became known as Te Arawa. His eight children became known as the eight beating hearts of Rangitihi (Pu manawa e waru). All of the children became the founders of significant iwi in their own right. His only daughter Tauruao married into Whakatohea and her descendants can be found there.


There is some debate about the order of their birth, with Raureti Mokonuiarangi listing them in the following order: Ratorua was the eldest, then Tauruao, then Rangiwhakaekeau, Rangiaohia, Tuhourangi, Apumoana, Kawatapuarangi and Rakeiao. It seems to be generally accepted however that the order should be: Ratorua the eldest, then Tauruao, then Rangiaohia, Rangiwhakaekeau, Kawatapuarangi, Rakeiao, Apumoana, and Tuhourangi the youngest.


Rangitihi had his children by four wives, with whom he had relationships at the same time. To Manawatokotoko he had Kawatapuarangi, Rakeiao and Apumoana. To Papawharanui he had Tuhourangi. To Kahukare he had Rangiwhakaekeau, Rangiaohia and Tauruao, and to Rongomaiturihuia he had Ratorua. While the first two children Ratorua and Tauruao were born at Te Koari Pa at Maketu, the remaining children were all born at Pakotore Pā on the banks of the Kaituna River.


As his children grew into adulthood they began to spread themselves into the inland lakes district, initially centred between Rotoiti and Rotorua. Rangitihi, seeing the potential for conflict between his children, divided the area up amongst them. Kawatapuarangi was given Otauwera to Owhata; Apumoana was given Owhata to Owhatiura; Ratorua Owhatiura to Pukeroa. These are the gifts that are known. Nothing is known of how the other children fared. Rangitihi himself seems to have also moved away from Pakotore to Rotorua, establishing Rangiwhakapua Pā just south of the Ohau Channel. However, he did return to Pakotore before his death prior to being taken to Ruawahia at Mount Tarawera for burial, as one would expect for a man of his status.

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