Friday, December 27, 2013

KA MAU TE WEHI... THE WERO

CONGRATULATION TO UNCLE NGAPO (BUB) WEHI... his book "Ka Mau Te Wehi" has just been voted as the best biography 2013... An awesome read with some very interesting korero about Muriwai (home sweet home). This was taken from the book... page 99-101... enjoy

The 1968 centennial celebrations of the Ringatu faith were held on the Ngai Tamanuhiri pa at Muriwai. While I had the sanction of the elders and the fortitude to perform the wero, I’d have to admit in hindsight that while physically I was up to the task, I was not as fully prepared mentally as I thought. The ritual quickly crept up on me. Just seconds prior to running out on to the marae I realized I had no taki to lay down before the manuhiri. This ruffled my feathers a bit and I had to quickly improvise. I stripped some bark from the trunk of a tree close by and tied it in a knot.

When the time came, I went through the motions of the wero and ran out onto the open stage of the marae which was surrounded by many tribes and dignitaries. I dazzled the people with all the strict swooping taiaha movements I had seen in my vision, and after a long approach I finally laid the makeshift bark taki at the feet of the then Governor General, Sir Arthur Porritt. When he, as the most important man in the visiting party, picked up the taki, I carefully retreated, leading him and the visiting entourage onto the marae.

I never thought anything more of my actions that day and simply fell back into the ranks of the Waihirere team who were employed to compliment the home orators’ speeches with song. The orators there included Paora Delamere, Kahu Te Hau, Sir Turi Carroll, Arnold Reedy, Member of Parliament for Eastern Maori, Mr. P Rewiti and the old koroua (elder) Ngakohu Pera.

Later that evening my body went into paralysis. I was unable to move my arms, legs, torso, my neck or my jawbone to speak. Luckily I was able to ask my brother-in-law to take me to see the old man Kapi Adams, a well-known blind tohunga, who happened to be in Gisborne at the time. I was a dead weight to my whanau who carried my rigid body down the road to where old Kapi was staying. As we entered the driveway to his lodgings Kapi yelled out in a loud voice “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE BUB WEHI?” By my reckoning he couldn’t see us and had no idea we were coming. Uh oh... I’d done something wrong and he already understood what it was I had transgressed, was my first thought.

The old man then asked the following question and answered it in the same breath. ‘HEI AHA TO MAHI E TAMA, KIHAI KOE I TE MOHIO, KO TERA RAKAU, HE RAKAU WHAKAIRI TUPAPAKU,’ (What have you been doing son, didn’t you know that tree is where dead bodies were hung?) At that moment I realized that in my haste and unpreparedness I taken a strip of bark from a sacred burial tree and transgressed a local tapu. As part of his ritual, he asked the whanau to lay me down before him and he walked on my back as he chanted prayers to remove the paralysis from my body...

Awesome stuff... ka mau te wehi...






2 comments:

Gary.Rangimarie Leaf said...

I shed a tear reading this short passage about my Koro Kapi. Thank you for sharing this wonderful memory.

Unknown said...

Ka mau te wehi..Is thre any f the Kapi whanau hea in Rotorua,who we can go and see