Navigation for Te Ahi Kaa

26 September 2010

"Mahia te mahi na te mea ma wai ake e mahi."
Do the work because who else will do the work.
This week's whakatauki was explained by Kero Te Pou nō Tūhoe.

If there is a time tikanga Māori comes to the fore it's when there is a tangihanga. Episode four of the documentary series Whakatewhatewha has Maraea Rakuraku looking at tangihanga 21st century styles and how Māori are negotiating whānau expectations with Te Ao Pākeha while retaining cultural integrity.

If there is one thing that Parihaka Pa is committed to, it's wānanga. How else do you include the desires of your hapu, the wishes of whānau pani, expectations of the paepae and the needs of the ringawera in informed, politicised decision-making, and get this - all during a tangihanga. Ruakere Hond nō Taranaki, Ngāti Ruanui me Te āti Awa, Te whanau ā Apanui, explains.

When emotions are high and promises are reneged upon, the potential for explosive reactions is heightened. Add a tangihanga into the mix and the likelihood of offence, hurt and frustration is further increased. Kero Te Pou nō Tūhoe talks about a recent incident involving her cousin, his wife, the will and the police.

Māori will travel great distances to attend tangihanga yet in this digital age is it really necessary? Well not, according to the late Dr Paratene Ngata (1947 - 2009), whose tangi was streamed on-line to whānau. And that wasn't the only thing; other conventions were revamped, reconfigured or just thrown out. For example, there was no christian karakia or haka. Te Ahi Kaa replays part of an interview broadcast in 2009 with his teina Wayne Ngatanō Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngāti Ira, Ngāti Pōrou.

Waiata featured:

Mihi ki te wao-Nui performed by Justin Kereama from the album Hinepukohurangi Shrouded in the Mist (1999)

Moumou as performed by Whirimako Black from the album Hinepukohurangi Shrouded in the Mist (1999)