HUM 210 Online Course Pack - Fall 2006 - Prof. Cora Agatucci
Paikea Chant (transcribed 1870s)
Paikea is a mythic ancestor of the Ngati Porou tribe. Various legends say he came from Hawaiki to Whangara, just north of Gisborne [New Zealand], riding on the back of a taniwha [whale]. His legend inspired Witi Ihimeara's novel Whale Rider and the film based on Ihimeara's novel.
Whangara, setting of Whale Rider (film & novel), is located on the East Coast of New Zealand's North Island.
Whitireia = the Maori meeting house built at Whangara in 1939.
Pai names Whitireia in her Paikea chant in the Whale Rider film.
Tekoteko = carved figurehead
Ko wai te whare nei e?
Ko Te Kani / Ko Rangi / Whitireia!
Ko wai te tekoteko kei runga?
Ko Paikea! Ko Paikea!
and you will be told;
What is the name of this house?
It is Te Kani / It is Rangi / Whitireia!
Who is the carved figure above?
It is Paikea! It is Paikea!
Whakakau Paikea. Hei!
Whakakau he tipua. Hei!
Whakakau he taniwha. Hei!
Ka ū Paikea ki Ahuahu. Pakia!
Paikea emerges. Hey!
A wizard emerges. Hey!
A deep-water prodigy is wading ashore. Hey!
Paikea lands at Ahuahu. Slap!
ko Kahutia-te-rangi. Aue!
Me awhi o ringa ki te tamahine
a Te Whironui. Aue!
Nāna i noho Te Roto-o-tahe.
He koruru koe, koro e.
Your identity is entwined
with Kahutia-te-rangi. Amazing!
You took into your arms the daughter
of Te Whironui. - amazing!
- who settled at Roto-o-tahe.
You are now a figurehead, old one.
|Source: Paikea - Whale Rider. Nov.
2003. New Zealand Folk Song. Ed. John Archer.
[Last accessed:] 5 Jan. 2004
Hawaiki, or Hawaiiki = Maori for "Land of the Ancients," in Maori oral tradition the homeland of Maori ancestors [may refer to Tahiti and/or other islands of French Polynesia in the eastern Pacific].
Aotearoa (Maori: "Land of the Long White Cloud")
= New Zealand
". . .
from Hawaiki to Aotearoa:
Our ancestors gradually settled this land of
Aotearoa/New Zealand in many sea-going canoes called
waka." Maori "history and legends tell us many
stories of the journey to Aotearoa, for
each waka and each tribe has its own history.
Recommended Links - Unfortunately broken as of 18 Sept. 2006 -
important mythic Maori ancestor of the East Coast tribes,
especially the Ngati Porou tribe, of New Zealand's North Island. Various
legends say he came from Hawaiki to Aotearoa
[New Zealand], riding on the back of a taniwha [whale]. His legend inspired
novel, Whale Rider, and the subsequent film. The young female
protagonist of the film is the direct descendant of Paikea and
named for this revered male ancestor of her people -
is originally the god of sea monsters of many old Polynesian societies:
many Polynesian myths,
the son of Rangi and Papa, personifies
the awesome endurance of creatures that
challenged and survived the stormy seas - crabs
surviving hurricanes in the tropics by
clinging to drifting logs, and humpback whales heading down into the
roaring forties every summer. (Crabs are called paikea in the Cook
pai'ea in Hawaii, and humpback whales are
called paikea in New Zealand Maori dictionaries.)
The inspiration for
both [novel & film] comes from the story of Kahutia Te Rangi, also known
as Paikea, who came to Aotearoa / New Zealand from the
islands that are now French Polynesia, many centuries ago.
= ancestor of the people of
(Maori: "the place washed by the eastern tide"), who travelled from Hawaiiki
(land of the Ancients) to
(New Zealand), according to Maori oral traditions. When his waka
Kahutia-te-Rangi escaped certain death by mounting the back of a
whale, who took him to shore at Whangara,
just north of Gisborne,
East Coast of the North Island of what is known today as New Zealand.
To commemorate his voyage
Kahutia-te-Rangi was given a new name - Paikea - and
today, hundreds of years later, the
marae at Whangara still bears Kahutia/Paikea
riding on the back of a whale as its
(figurehead) on its Ridgepole"
[Emphasis added - CA].
= Maori Genealogy. Papa is anything broad, flat and hard
such as a flat rock, a slab or a board. Whakapapa is to
place in layers, lay one upon another. Hence the term Whakapapa
is used to describe both the recitation in proper order of
genealogies, and also to name the genealogies. The visualisation is of
building layer by layer upon the past towards the present, and on into the
future. The whakapapa include not just the genealogies but the many
spiritual, mythological and human stories that flesh out the genealogical
backbone. Due to the modern practice of writing whakapapa from the top of
the page to the bottom the visualisation seems to be slowly changing to
that of European genealogy, of "descending" from our ancestors. The Maori
term for descendant is uri, but its more precise meaning in terms
of Maori mental processes is offspring or issue."
"Mäori are the
indigenous people of Aotearoa - New Zealand. The word to describe this
relationship is Tangata Whenua, meaning people of the land.
Although described by many as 'Mäori' in fact Mäori are a composition of many
Hapü (Sub tribes) and Whänau units. So in trying to describe who Mäori
are, I would say Maori are a cosmopolitan of many groups with many
different ways of doing things, with a variety of dialects.
It must be
noted too that much of the activity and control of the Maori world is
carried out on the whänau and hapü level. Local hapü had control of
the daily goings on or an area as well as the assets of these
respective hapü. The issue of
(Maori styled tattoo) was controlled at the whänau and hapü levels. "
Te Here Tangata =
The Rope of Mankind, is also used
to describe Maori genealogy. This eternal "rope" can be visualized
as stretching into the past for generations back to the Creation, as well
as extending forward through all future generations for at least as
long. "In this modern world of short term political, social,
economic and business perspectives, and instant consumer gratification, Te
Here Tangata is a humbling concept."
= Maori culture
Marae = Meeting place
= Canoe. "Many
Maori genealogies [see whakapapa] trace
tribal descent from ancestral canoes [or waka], each of which is
associated with a particular area of the country."
New Zealand. Bartleby.com. 2003.
tapu = Sacred, sacredness,
the rules of sacred propriety. "Tapu is often held to be
just a restriction [synonymous with taboo]. And knowledge and learning, we are often told in our
culture, is tapu, sacred; not to be disseminated widely. But in its
wider sense tapu is the mana or energy of the spiritual powers. .
. . Knowledge and learning . . . is not necessarily something to be
closely guarded, but is to be respected, even revered. It is one's
approach to the learning that is important, one's mental and spiritual
attitude, one's respect and reverence for both the knowledge and for its
myriad sources . . . "
energy of the spiritual powers, and prestige derived from commanding these
spiritual powers; prestige or honor of a social group or individual, moral
power and authority
taiaha = Fighting stick
Muriwai = ? [In the film, Nancy Flowers reminds her granddaughter Pai that she is descended from Muriwai, referred to as "she" and thus perhaps a revered female ancestor?] Muriwai Beach is located on North Island, New Zealand. See also: http://www.interlink.org.nz/projects/myth/mythlytt.html
moko, mokopuna = Grandchild
Pakeha = non-Maori, white European
settlers of New Zealand and their descendants
Maori Oral Traditions: "Before the coming of the Pakeha [European
to New Zealand with his superior technology, all
literature in Maori was oral. Its transmission to
succeeding generations was also oral and a great body of
literature, which includes haka [dance], waiata [song],
tauparapara [chant], karanga [chant], poroporoaki
[farewell], paki waitara [stories],
whakatauki [proverbs] and pepeha [tribal sayings],
was retained and learnt by each new generation."
Ta Moko is the
(sacred) form of family and personal identification among those
of Maori whakapapa
(genealogy). Genealogy is so important to the Maori people that
they know their family history back 2000 years. Moko is the
process of carving (cutting deep grooves) and coloring a family
history story-telling pattern into the skin of a Maori
descendant. It is not limited to facial tattoos, as many
mistakenly assume, although it certainly can include partial or
full facial patterns. It is not surprising that members of other
civilizations have come to admire the beauty of Ta Moko. Some
have even gone to the extent of copying tattoo patterns[/link]
and language phraseology taken from the
Maoritanga (Maori culture). This is a very serious
mistake, and one that has members of the Maori culture very
upset. . . . . Copying a Maori's Ta Moko is nothing less than
identity theft. It's disgraceful and it's immoral. The only
difference is that the Maori really don't have any recourse
against anyone who is thoughtless enough to rape them of their
individuality. Ta Moko is as unique to the wearer as your own
fingerprints - how would you feel if someone stole those from
Glossary. Whale Rider. South Pacific Pictures/ApolloMedia GmbH & Co. 5/Filmproduktion KG, 2002. [Last accessed:] 5 January 2004 <http://www.whaleriderthemovie.com/>.
Kahutia/Paikea - The Whale Rider. 22 April 2003. Relative Gems [no author given]. [Last accessed:] 5 Jan. 2004 <http://www.geocities.com/ratesjul/whalerider.html>.
Stearns, Peter N., and others, ed. The Encyclopedia of World History. 6th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. Rpt. Bartleby.com. 2003. 5 Jan. 2004 <http://www.bartleby.com/>.
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Last updated: 18 September 2006