Kia ora e hoa!
Recently I have been reading the library’s copy of Marae: te tatau pounamu, giving an insight into Māori custom, and how rangitahi and kauheke come together in these special places.
I am lucky to call two marae to be important places for me. The first is Te Herenga Waka, at Victoria University Wellington.
I recently was welcomed there as being a student, and as part of my library work. It holds a poupou of my Iwi’s shared tipuna Kahungunu, a mighty chief. The marae is a very welcoming space for all students, and its name means ‘The Hitching-post of Waka’, a fitting testament to the many tribes coming together at the university.
The second marae is now called Takitimu. Its original name was Te Wai-hirere after the small mountain where Māui’s canoe, Tama-Rereti, rested when snagging the North Island with his fishing hook, on the East Coast Hawke’s Bay area.
This was the place where my tipuna, Patrick John Cosgrove was a prominent young Māori, in Wairoa during the late 1800s. He was Christian, and the relationship between local Māori and the church helped construction of the marae due to the assistance of Māori during the Easter festival the year before. It has many ancestral panels and is highly decorated. It is a place of mana for many. My tipuna also married a chieftain’s granddaughter, the niece of the first Native minister Sir James Carroll.
The whakatara, or challenge, to you is to look into your local marae and tell us about them! They can be your marae, or the ones in your area that you want to get to know.
Kia kaha in your journey through te ao Māori! 🙂