Leading into our 100th edition of Tihei Kahungunu, we have introduced Pā mai tō reo! a one-page chronicle of the journeys of the Waka Takitimu and its origins from Te Moananui a Kiwa and its steady migration over 300 years to its eventual resting place in Te Waipounamu, Aotearoa.
Previous to the Takitimu voyage however, we can trace our whakapapa through Polynesia into Melanesia through Micronesia into Austronesia from our origins in Asia. There is an archaeological memory of Māori being in China, but the cultural memory doesn't begin until Taiwan.
I have been lucky to visit these places, talk to experts in their fields and I have knitted together with historians in the Pacific and our own Māori experts who took me under their wing.
I learned from people such as Uncle Wi, Uncle Taanga, Uncle Charlie and others who honed my instincts around whakapapa and history.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Tā Pita Sharples, first chairman of Ngāti Kahungunu, was an anthropologist who studied Māori linguistics through the Pacific into the Solomon Islands and further back to the Islands of Palau and Guam.
Dr Pat Hohepa has studied our Māori language tracing it all the way back to Taiwan while Dr Adele Whyte studied the whakapapa of 70 Māori women back to Taiwan.
Nathan Rarere and others have studied the sailing traditions and the voyaging waka back into Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan while others studied Tāmoko and mau rākau all the way back to Taiwan.
I have also observed long houses or wharenui back throughout Asia with decorated ridge poles not unlike our tahuhu.
Over the next 12 months, (just how I've learnt most of this information), this unique migration will unfold as I share what I've learned with you.
Ngahiwi Tomoana is Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated Chairman