Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bewitchment at Whangapoua

Additional to the long-running Craig-Harris-Macfarlane saga at Whangapoua on the Coromandel, comes this report found in the Auckland Evening Star, 7 January 1875.
"The log dispute at Whangapoua, which has gone through so many phases, has now, in the opinion of the Maoris of the district, assumed a new one. Mohi Mangkahia, one of the most prominent actors in the war, has come up to Auckland very ill, for the pirpose of consulting Dr. Philson. The natives are convinced that Mohi has been makutued (bewitched) by Tommy Craig's witch at Whangapoua, in retaliation for having defeated him in the many actions for the possession of logs at Opitonui. They also believe and assert on the authority of their men, learned in such matters, that if Mohi dies the bewitchment will assuredly fall on Messrs. J. S. Macfarlane and Harris. What Mere Taipare will do with the logs, when all the disputants have been disposed of in this unceremonious way, has not yet been revealed by Craig's witches, but one feature in their programme will certainly be fully approved of in Auckland."

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