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Thursday, April 6, 2017

tangata whenua

tangata whenua - loosely, people of the land, but so much more

I just Google-translated both parts of that

interesting, in many ways

Google Translate says tangata means "man" - my memory was that tangata means person or people, no gender specified, but this is Google translate

Ii did better with whenua - it recognised the word as inseparable from the land, offering "land", "country", "ground" and "terrain" as translations but completely missed the other meaning and the importance of it

whenua also means placenta or afterbirth (sorry, any squirmy boy readers out there - I recommend you get over your sqeamishness and become men)

so, we are tangata "people" of te whenua "the land, the placenta"

this is how deeply we relate to the earth - we are born of her and nursed by her, and blessed by her

our creation myth has our mother, Papatuanuku (the earth mother) and our father Ranginui (the earth father) embracing each other so closely that their sons couldn't breathe

by the way, the boys were all considered gods also, and they wanted to breathe and yell and be loud proud boys, but it was hard when you were trapped between the parental units

meet the guys:
Tumatauenga - god of war, hunting and fishing, but also of agriculture.

I feckin love that my ancestors knew there was a time to come home from war and grow things. Very cool, peeps

Tawhirematea - let's keep it simple and say he's the god of storms and weather and winds - there's a lot more drama but there are also more brothers to meet

Tangaroa - the god of the sea, which feeds us and challenges us and often kills us if we're careless

the previous two are the one's I speak most to while at sea - soldiers and sailors pray a lot as part of their jobs, they just might picture who they are praying to differently (one godhead, far-too-many systems)

more Maori boys to come,

Tane-mahuta - god of forests and birds

Tane is THE dude of Maori gods. Forests and birds, dude. Tane is strength, and quiet power and longevity

we have a giant Kauri (tree) in Northland that is the largest known - estimated to be about 2,000 years old

also named Tane Mahuta - but, sigh, Tane was the son who separated Ma and Pa, nobody else was strong enough

hard to get past that

Rongo - god of peace and cultivated food

because, you know, you need peace to cultivate food (why is that so dificult?)

Haumia-tiketike - god of wild food plants

NB: In case you haven't noticed, we not only cover all bases but we cover all food sources

Ruauomoko - god of earthquakes, volcanoes and seasons

They all go together

Rehua/Antares - the mysterious star child

Is it obvious that I am really looking forward to going home?


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