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July 13, 2014 | by  | in Ngāi Tauira Opinion |
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Māori Matters

“I couldn’t possibly understand” are the words that were expressed from a former student that I sat next to in the paper MAOR123 (Tikanga and concepts). Our discussion for that lecture was about the creation of Te Ao Māori. This student sat in his chair looking confused and misled, because the information that was being presented wasn’t backed up by any scientific or logical evidence.

I te timatanga o te ao ko te kore, ko te po, ko te ao marama.

In the beginning of time there was nothingness, then came the night, then came the emergence of the light.

When learning about the separation of Ranginui and Papatuanuku in our lecture, some students fell short as they could not piece together the facts, as there is no evidence to prove otherwise. Believing in something can be difficult, frightening, and it can take longer than an hour-long lecture to be certain. Whether you want to believe it or not. I have been lucky enough to be enriched with learning and being surrounded by tikanga Māori, from the age of one until this present day. I am comfortable talking and explaining to people the myths and legends of our culture because it has been imprinted in my ancestors, passing down to me. From an early age, the legend of Ranginui and Papatuanuku and their separation was one of the first myths I was taught as a tamariki. Tanemahuta, the god of the forest, laid his back on his mother, thrusted his legs, pushing his father and mother apart. Light entered the world, allowing the rakau, the plants, the manu, the environment, to bloom, allowing Tamanui-te-ra into this world. From a scientific point of view, this is impossible, but from my point of view, that is the reasoning for why I lay my feet on this earth. Believe in what feels right to you. I’m not forcing anything upon the readers, but if you take the MAOR123 paper you might think differently.

Ranginui – Sky father

Papatuanuku – Earth mother

Tanemahuta – God of the forest

Tamariki – Child

Rakau – Tree

Manu – Bird

Tamanui-te-rā – The sun

Don’t forget, whanau: Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori is next week! Look out for daily activities around the University. Kaua e wareware to like Ngāi Tauira on Facebook; there, you will be updated on upcoming events.

 

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