Whakataukī – proverbial pearls of wisdom – are an intrinsic part of Māori heritage.
Te Raumawhitu Kupenga and Peter Alsop’s new book Mauri Ora: Wisdom from the Māori World offers a selection of whakataukī for wellbeing accompanied by beautiful photographs.
“We both loved our traditional Māori knowledge and liked the idea of sharing the wisdom that comes through these whaka with our country and with the world,” Kupenga says.
“We don’t need to go to Eastern religions or look too far off our shores to gain wisdom or to gain inspiration.”
The whakataukī in the book are presented under six different themes – key human virtues from the science of positive psychology: wisdom (mātauranga) courage (maia), compassion (atawhai) integrity (ngākau tapatahi) self-mastery (whakahautanga) and belief (whakapono).
The first whakataukī the authors looked at was Tā Apirana Ngata’s ‘E Tipu’ – Kupenga’s favourite, which he describes as “signposts for a good life”.
E tipu e rea mo ngā rā o tō ao
Ko tō ringa ki ngā rākau ā te Pakeha Hei ara mō tō tinana
Ko tō ngākau ki ngā tāonga a ō tīpuna Māori
Hei tikitiki mō tō māhuna
Ko tō wairua ki tō Atua, Nānā nei ngā mea katoa
Grow up and thrive for the days destined to you.
Your hands to the tools of the Pākehā to provide physical sustenance.
Your heart to the treasures of your Māori ancestors as a diadem for your brow.
Your soul to your God, to whom all things belong.