Friday, December 2, 2011



From my book Te Herengawaka... which focuses on the canoe traditions around Aotearoa... from the far north to the bottom of the South Island
Nukutaimemeha was the waka of the famous demi-god Maui-tikitiki-a-Taranga. He was renown as a great trickster and thrilled the ancient Maori world with his daring and cunning. Maui is involved in so many adventures that celebrate his inquisitive nature. In fact, many of his own family saw him as a nuisance and very disrespectful. They loathe taking him with them, as they feared he would embarrass them with his silly antics. When Maui’s older brothers went fishing they often left Maui behind. On one occasion Maui decided to sail after them on his own waka. 
Somehow Maui obtained his grandmother’s magic jawbone and fashioned a special hook for himself.  Maui baited his hook then cast his line into the depths of the ocean. He waited. In no time at all Maui caught a fish, a huge stingray that fought and thrashed about wildly. Maui began to calm the monster with potent karakia. He hauled the great fish to the surface using prayers he learnt from his ancestors. Up and up it rose from the deep. As the great fish was dragged out of the water, it was so big Maui’s canoe began to lift into the air. 
Nukutaimemeha came to rest upon the summit of Mount Hikurangi - the first point of land to break the surface of the water. The canoe was lifted into the heavens and Ngati Porou believes Nukutaimemeha is still on the summit of Hikurangi today. Maui’s feat is in fact the beginning of life on the Te-Ika-a-Maui - the Great Fish of Maui (North Island). As such it is the beginning of all oral histories and all whakapapa pertaining to this land. Nukutaimemeha is therefore the original waka to make contact with this land and therefore the beginning of all waka traditions. Maui went back to his home in Hawaiki shortly after this event but eventually his many descendants would return to the “Great Fish” we now call Aotearoa.


tangata whenua said...

The myths and legends of Maui were created so we kept the truth of Maui alive from generation to generation , his stories have survived through four millenia from 246 b.c when he was born to 2015 today . Locked within these stories is the truth of a young brilliant incredible high achiever who created worlds within a world .Navigator Maui is only 14 when he leaves his ancient homeland of Cairo Egypt , sent by his father Ptolomy lll under the direction of captain Rata to circumnavigate the globe to prove the world is round for his mentor erastothenes . discovering the new uplifted lands while colonising and creating worlds for a nation of people that consists of the lost tribes of Israel . Maui proves the world is round by settling on the farside of the mainland he calls Papatuanuku ( Mahia peninsula ) after his mother berenice ll . It is here at Tawapata where Maui creates the World of Maori , celebrating the start of the maori new year on the shortest day of the 21st of june the same day that erastothenes measures the circumference of the earth being the longest day in Cairo ancient Egypt . Maui knows he is half way round the world , proving the world is round and created the legend of the settling of the sun with tamoko whakairo , winning the burning battle . no rei ra, ki a o ra ta tau, te na ta tau ka toa .

Anna Schafer said...

Maui is a demi-god who is responsible for fishing the Hawaiian islands out of the sea. That makes him car service maui

Robert said...

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