Monday, December 5, 2011


Hinehakirirangi was the sister of Paoa, captain of Horouta canoe. According to east coast oral traditions Horouta began it’s journey from the Gisborne region. It traveled up to Hawaiki under the leadership of Kahukura to collect seed kumara. When they were ready to return Kahukura decided to stay on and he made Paoa captain for the journey back to Aotearoa. Paoa’s sister Hinehakirirangi was given the task of protecting the tapu of the kumara. Whenever they boarded the canoe Hinehakirirangi would always be first. 
Hine Hakirirangi and her pet Riroriro
She would straddle the bargeboards of the canoe and all who followed her would pass between her legs thus removing any tapu they may possess. When they left the canoe the process was the same but in reverse. While she was onboard Hinehakirirangi would also be responsible for the kumara seed itself. When Horouta canoe eventually arrived back on the Tairawhiti, Hinehakirirangi returned to her home at Papatewhai, near Te Muriwai. From there she set about looking for suitable land to grow the kumara. As she walked along the riroriro accompanied her and sang it’s favourite song. Hinehakirirangi walked the length of Oneroa beach. 
Hine Hakirirangi lived at Papatewhai
Then she walked along Onepoto but still she could not find a good spot. She turned inland and walked the banks of Te Arai River. After a while she climbed up into the foothills and came upon a piece of land that made her heart tremble. It was perfect and even the riroriro was impressed as it began to sing “tanu kai, tanu kai” (time to plant, time to plant). Hinehakirirangi named this place Manawaru (trembling heart) and there she dug her garden. She planted her kumara and soon the entire district had access to the valuable plant
Local History...
Moana Kemp (along with my dad) was a Ngai Tamanuhiri kaumatua (80s-90s)
Tena nga mihi whanui atu ra..

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