Story: Kaumātua – Māori elders

Oriori for Ahuahukiterangi

This is Tokomaru Bay on the East Coast of the North Island. It was sung about in this oriori (song for a child) which was composed by East Coast ancestress Hinekitawhiti for her mokopuna (granddaughter) Ahuahukiterangi who lived at Ariuru in Tokomaru. In the song the grandmother bids her granddaughter to call on her relatives from Tokomaru to Raukōkore in the Bay of Plenty. The section of the waiata that can be heard is:

Mau e ki atu, ‘Na te Au-o-Mawake’.
Kia tangi mai ai o tuakana koka,
‘I haramai ra koe nga kauanga i kaituri, na!
I haramai ra koe nga uru karaka i te Ariuru,’
Nahau te mau mai i nga taonga o Wharawhara,
Hai tohu ra mohou, kai haengia koe,
Ko te Paekuru ki to taringa, ko Waikanae ki to ringa,
Hai taputapu mohou, e hine, e!

It means, 'You will tell her, "You are of Te Au o Mawake". So that your relatives may greet you and cry  'Ah! you have come from the crossings at Kaituri, You have come indeed from the karaka groves at Te Ariuru. You are bedecked with the ornaments of Wharawhara to signify, that no one may mistake you, Te Paekura pendant from your ear, Waikanae in your hand – precious things for you, little maid'. (Te Ao Hou 7, vol. 2, no. 3 (Summer 1954), p. 60)

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Nga Moteatea/Reference number 5739 tr 2)

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How to cite this page:

Rawinia Higgins and Paul Meredith, 'Kaumātua – Māori elders - Kaumātua as repositories of knowledge and nurturers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/speech/28361/oriori-for-ahuahukiterangi (accessed 2 June 2020)

Story by Rawinia Higgins and Paul Meredith, published 5 May 2011