Mana Whenua - Taku Kai, Taku Oranga
Strength of the Land | My Sustenance | My Well-being
The Maori new year begins with the star cluster Matariki appearing late May, early June. It is an important part of Maori culture that signifies a time of coming together to reflect on the past and future. It symbolises rebirth, growth and togetherness, elements which are fundamental to our existence and connects us to the Whenua (the land)... and our mother, Papatuanuku (Earth Mother).
Whenua is an essential part of life, both physically and spiritually. It is eternal, and cannot be owned in the Western sense, as we simply borrow the land from our descendants. The present generation is the current position on a continuum, linking the past to the future. An ideology which strengthens and reinforces that connection to land through Whakapapa (genealogy), and binds us to her forever. While we journey through this modern age, the pull of one’s Whenua, to one’s Marae (sacred meeting grounds), will always bring us back to place our feet in the soil from which we came.
Women are the life givers of their Iwi (tribe) and custodians of its preservation, therefore to be protected and guarded with respect. Mana Whenua; Taku Kai, Taku Oranga can be seen as a celebration, as well as a tribute, to womens roles as mothers, nurturers, life bearers and protectors of succeeding generations ... ‘Kaitiaki o nga Mana Whenua’.