Manataka® American Indian Council
A Message From New Zealand
Wharariki te maunga Waikirikiri te awa Ohaumatua te marae Nukunuku te whare
For years New Zealand archaeologists have been puzzled by a people who lived without weapons and created trading systems that moved industrial stone the length of the country. They were a peaceful confederation of over two hundred iwi known as the ‘Nation’.
We are Waitaha, a people of peace, which we hold onto with all our might and mana as we follow in the footsteps of Rongomaraeroa. She gave to our original ancestors the caretakership of the foods of the noble ones, the kumara, the uwha, the taro and the peruperu. We have honoured the sacred covenants given to us, and she has honoured us in giving us land in which to plant and to keep our people safe in peace and health.
The Waitaha Nation is more than 2000 years old. The Waitaha are a peaceful and industrious people, learned in religion, horticulture, agriculture, education, mining, biology, history, geneology, geography, oceanography, psychology, war, peace and astronomy. The Teachings from the Wananga Schools, placed high value on genetic memory, patterns of memory and passing on the traditions of their ancestors, to selected and sensitive grandchildren.
"Until now we have hidden our beginnings, and all that followed, in the shadows. In this way we protected our knowledge in the silence of the Whare Wananga, the School of Learning of Waitaha."
"For it has been decided it
is time for our treasures to be brought into the light."
"We do this for the children, and their children, and all who call this land home."
"We are of Tane Matua, and we follow Rongo Marae Roa, the God of Peace."
"In the wisdom and aroha (love) of those words, we say: `Let the sacred kete (basket containing sacred knowledge) be opened for the ancestors to speak again. Let the ancient karakia and waiata be heard throughout the land. Welcome to the trails of the peoples of the Nation of Waitaha. May you journey far in peace and understanding."
The Waitaha comprised three hapu or extended families: The Kurawaka, The Rakaiwaka and the Pakauwaka. These names describe the three stars that form the well known Belt of Orion, referred to by the Waitaha Teachers of the Wananga as the Pepe o Te Po, or the Moth of the Night. In some cases referred to as the Kupenga o Te Ao or the Fishing Trap of the Universe. Both references are made at different times of the year and for differing purposes.
The "Song of Waitaha" was released to the world by Waitaha elders because of the hate and the prejudice that was being created by the Land Claims of different hapu, who had created themselves recent histories at the expence of the First Nations Peoples long resident in these lands of hopes and dreams. The layers in these lands are composite layers of thousands of years of living in peace.
Submitted by: Lynn Guy, Australia