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MY MOTHERS IWI IS NGAPUHI AND WHAT I HAVE FOUND OUT ABOUT MY PEOPLE HAS BEEN VERY DISTURBING TO ME.
APPARENTLY THE NGAPUHI PEOPLE ARE NOT LOOKED UPON VERY FONDLY IN NEW ZEALAND AND I WAS WONDERING IF THIS IS TRUE AND WHY
MY MUM AND DAD BROUGHT US TO AUSTRALIA WHEN I WAS 15 AND WE WERE NEVER TAUGHT THE MAORI LANGUAGE SO I DO NOT UNDERSTAND OR SPEAK IT.
CAN ANYONE ENLIGHTEN ME ON THIS?
Kia ora My Island Home
Firstly, every iwi and every race in the world will not be looked on fondly by some, and every iwi and every race in the world will be looked on fondly by others! It is the way of the world.
Look at the achievements of our people - all iwi. Out tupuna were sailing the vast stretches of the Pacific over 1000 years ago, zipping backwards and forwards while other people wouldn't go to far in case they fell off the edge of the earth!
Our tupuna settled a country that was uninhabited with plants that they had never seen and they worked out the medicinal properties of each one, the correct doseage and how to apply the medicine without the use of a science lab!
Our tupuna build great ocean going waka (canoes) that zipped all around. The lightness of our waka and the streamline design allowed our Tupuna to still keep the waka going even if there was no wind. Because of this skill we did not become becalmed for months on the open ocean and therefore we were not ravaged by scurvy like other people!
All iwi over the centuries formed alliences with other iwi. The iwi alligned to, for example Ngapuhi would think fondly of them. Those that were not aligned with them and maybe attacked by them, would not think fondly of them. But this would apply to all iwi - those that you were aligned to would think fondly of you and those that attacked you would not be your favourite iwi.
The deeds of our Tupuna and their actions were based on the tikanga of their iwi. Unfortunately, if people today do not know the tikanga, they judge the actions of the tupuna from today's ways and not the tikanga ways.
There is so much richness within our history, stories of great skill and daring, battles won by amazing strategy, there are stories of great loss and heartache, great love and honour.
Edited by - poutokomanawa on Dec 04 2004 12:09:14 PM
Nau te raurau,
Naku te raurau,
Ka ora ai nga tangata!
Together we will get there!
kia ora Poutokomanawa
Thank you for your reply
When I read this, I feel goose bumps all over my body and it makes me cry. I love my maori heritage but we were kept away from it because it was a painful past for my parents.
I know we have a great history and I know we are a strong and intelligent race, I just wonder why there is so much superstition surrounding our culture.
When my mother was young her uncle put a curse on her and her two brothers. Her two brothers were killed and she was saved by her father, who was a Tauhunga(hope the spelling is correct) and he managed to bring her out of the curse.
I do not understand any of this but I know there is an answer to these things somewhere.
Thank you again, and I will look up more of my past heritage to come to a fuller understanding.
I think moaning comes with human nature, but for me I just want to find the truth, because so much was hidden from us. I guess it just depends on how you percieve what people say.
I think it's okay to moan as long as you let go of it within because that is when it starts to really affect the physical body. I say this because apparently maori women have the highest rate of death through cancer and it is said that cancer is related to anger and frustration not being released. Food for Thought?
If I may be permitted to share. I agree that despite some of the qualms that exist between our own po'e (peoples of the land) that we associate with that overall we are a great people. All of us of the Ocean. The Maori are a great people with such a rich, well rooted and dynamic culture.
Great navigators have sprung up throughout time to name a few- Kupe, Hilo (Whiro).
Great geneologists from Hawai'i, Aotearoa etc. have memorized generations of mo'okuahau (geneology)- without very much contact between each other. As an example...
Now,(Out of respect for the Hawaiians that I will be talking about I won't mention which island I am referencing.) Amongst the Hawaiians there exists some sentiment between Hawaiians from some other part of a certain island because they felt they were wronged by the people of that area many generations ago through acts of war.
Irregardless of the past deeds of my people no matter which island/village/'ohana- I will always give them my utmost respect and show forth aloha.
There is so much discontent already in existence in the world and amongst our own peoples that we need to parry the spears of past greivences like bath water and establish or create new bonds with our people to make it pa'a (strong, tight, established) so that the generations that will arise will look back on out time and say that we were one people and not divided by our own misdeeds towards one another.
Aloha kekahi i kekahi.
(Love one another)
Mahalo for allowing me to share,
Kia Ora Anianiku
I agree with you, our people, our past ancestry, our Tupuna and we as a people today are definitely something worth being proud of, but until we understand our part in all of it, we as individual soul will always feel seperated and detached from the soul of our people leaving the young to flounder aimlessly, forever asking questions and finding no answers.
I think we come apart because the young need answers and are always told to just be proud of our heritage and how great our ancestors were. This I believe just places huge expectations on our young and may make them feel like they are not worthy because they don't feel as great as our past ancestors were.
The young need to be taught how great they are in their own right and that their past ancestors are part of all things they do, because it is just a natural progression in life - to question and seek answers to lifes mysteries. The young are being left to understand their own life through the veil of past mistakes. Talking about these past mistakes and contradictions is the first step to healing the misunderstandings and then we can stand as one race, one people with one purpose, and is that not to teach who we are spiritually and what our spiritual purpose is as individuals regardless of what race we belong to? However to belong to the great maori race I believe is a wonderful thing. I feel very proud to be maori because the aroha in my heart I can take anywhere and it is what I see in maori people I meet anywhere and everywhere in the world. People are always saying to me that they love the maori people because they are so loving and giving and so free and easy, people see this aroha too, but within our own race their is a certain stringency and heaviness amongst our young that we expect of them and maybe they cannot follow or understand it in the context of the world today.
This is why I seek the truth of my past and my family ancestry, so I can know who I am in the whole scheme of things in the world today.
My grandfather was what the white people would call a witch doctor, and before he died he told his family that he could not pass on his powers to any of his children because they were not ready to carry the responsibility. I think he knew times were changing and it would be very different for the coming generations.
I thought I would share with you some of the exoeriences of my own journey for knowledge in the hope it will support you in yours. I also was not brought up with Tikanga, Reo and history and it has been a long, and at times heartbreaking journey, searching. Along the way you meet people who will mislead and lie to you and about you for their own reasons and you will want to give it away in despair but you will also meet people who will help you and this outweighs those who don't. As you find the missing pieces of who you are and who and where you come from it is magical and you start to become whole. Don't give up. I can tell you from my own journey that the information comes when the tupuna wish us to have it. I, like you, am Nga Puhi and I am very proud of this. Your journey will lead you to the knowledge you need.
Kia Ora Island Girl
I am also Maori who was not bought up in the ways and also live in a foreign country. I am also Ngapuhi and have not heard of any stories where Ngapuhi have a bad name; unless you date the Ngapuhi deeds back to European settlement days where Ngapuhi (led by our great ancestor chief Hongi Hika; not to be confused with Hone Heke who was another great chief) staged successful war campaigns against tribes in the southern parts of the north island. These wars were in response to 'utu'or rough translation, revenge (although the word utu means many things), and therefore increased our 'mana' with North Island tribes.
I have often met Maori from different tribal regions who raise their eyebrows at me when I tell them of my tribal origins; even after all this time! (excuse me if I do not have the correct Maori pronunciations as I am a novice at this sort of thing!)
So it's as Poutokomanawa says; different iwi ally themselves with different iwi and in the course of war; gather a few enemies along the way; all to increase their mana.
I cannot explain for you the 'bad' reputation the Ngapuhi has as I have no knowledge of it; I suspect there has been internal whanau conflict in your hapu; and believe me; it happens to everyone! (in my whanau as well!)
It is indeed, a 'sad' or 'lost' time for the young Maori in modern times. However, this can be traced back to historical times also; where the Maori population was essentially rural for a long time after Pakeha settlement; and were not encouraged to move to urban areas. They were engaged in mainly rural occupations and had no real knowledge or desire to travel outside their areas (and why would they? the Maori thought they were 'safe' under the Treaty of Waitangi; ie no confiscation of lands etc) because they were still living the ways of their ancestors; then lands were confiscated making it more difficult to make a living (in Pakeha terms); but after WWII, Maori were exposed to the world and got a taste of other ways in other places. Many came back from these wars dissatisfied with their 'place in the world' so to speak and wanted to participate in different endeavours other than those that they were used to. And many Maori leaders (and a few Maori politicians of the time)encouraged the people to "expand their horizons" so to speak. So there was a great Maori influx into urban areas where Pakeha were dominant. Throw into this mix that the Maori language was banned in schools in that era (I remember my grandmother telling me that she got flogged at school for speaking it)then you have a generation who tries to adopt Pakeha ways to succeed; but who are not 'traditionally' Maori nor wholly Pakeha.
As a consequence, I think some, not all, young Maori feel, like you say a 'stringency' and 'heaviness' in trying to define their place in the world; old vs new. And to me, it was only 2 generations ago (in my grandmother and grandfathers time)that the culture and traditions were well and alive, more so than today.
Yes, sometimes Maori can be a bit superstitious; or should I say they hold their cards close to their chest! Fortunately in my case, the kaumatua have been all to willing to tell me about past ancestors and deeds; and some hard case funny stories!! However; I only have a limited knowledge of my whakapapa; and a 'general' knowledge of Maori history; so I have a long way to go also.
I think it is important for you, my island home, to re-establish relationships with your family in NZ and to korero regularly because, like any human relationship, trust comes first, and Maori are like any other culture; don't know, don't trust.
Finally (and I have been rabbiting on too much I think!) Ngapuhi people are "surviving culture reviving".
kia ora my island home
Like many on this thread i too was not brought up in the maori way of life. My father who is Nga Puhi was unfortunately a part of the generation that was forbidden to speak maori at school and at the time we were young he didnt see the need to teach us the reo or the maori way of life in fear of the effects it would have on our education.
Now however times have changed vastly and Maori (or to be Maori) is now a treasure in New Zealand and with the recognition of our culture world wide things politically have changed for the better.
You are not alone on your search for your whanau as i am searching also for answers to questions i do not even know yet.
It is a very interesting journey and with the help of technology it can also be fast and gratifying.
It is not our place to judge our tupuna and the choices they made, they lived their lives in a time that we cannot even begin to comprehend.
We need to appreciate the lives that they lived as it has allowed our people to get to where we are today.
We can only accept and use their teachings as stepping stones to ensure that the next generation (which i believe will be you) nurture and encourage others like yourself to appreciate what has been done in the past, was done for the betterment of our people.
I am Nga Puhi descent and very proud of this, and the more you search you will also begin to feel proud. We are a very proud tribe and i strongly believe we all feel this.
What is your mum's name as no doubt there will be someone on here that is related to you and may be able to anwer some questions that you may have.
Be strong and you will recieve what you are looking for.
Be proud of your Ngapuhi roots. Ngapuhi largest Iwi in Aotearoa by population and very powerful. You will always get those who will talk negatively about a tribe. I too came to Australia when I was 15 however have always maintained my whanaungatanga and wairua. Not sure why someone would say Ngapuhi are not liked in New Zealand however I will share a story from my Kuia. As part of her journey in life Maori custom to be brought up by many relies of immediate and extended whanau. At 13 (in 1918}she worked in bar in Rotorua, my Te Arawa roots and always used to say to her moko's be wary of those Ngapuhi. This was because of Hongi Hika and Ngapuhi attacking Te Arawa Iwi. Same with my Waikato whakapapa, however the Pou is right tikanga would have played a part why these things happen and Ngapuhi are a very proud and strong Iwi that you should embrace with all your Maori heart. Anyway all Maori are related same with our Hawaiian, Cook Island, Tahitian and Easter Island couzie bro's. Here is a link to Ngapuhi Iwi - check out your history and enjoy.
Kia ora Island Home
To share my experience
I was also one, that was brought up without knowing, who I was and where I was from, and being Maori, was something I knew nothing about.I was born and bred in Auckland and at the age of 18, I began to question my parents about where we were from. Due to meeting and mixing with circles who spoke constantly about their marae, people and so forth.
I got very vague responses,in my quest to find out, but eventually found out that my mother was Ngapuhi. and my father Tainui.
By the age of 21, I had found more about my ngapuhi side, and like you not all was good stories that I was told. Actually it was more about whanau feuds, that had carried from generation to generation.
One day I jumped on a a bus, and decided to go to to my mothers iwi. I was told I had uncles, aunties and first cousins etc, and thought, I need to go myself, and start somewhere to find the answers to all the questions I had, and meet my whanau that I have never met. When I arrived at my destination, I knocked on the door, of the first house I came to and introduce myself.(and it was my mothers first cousin)
And so my journey for identity began. After that inital trip I made several trips back, found out about our whenua, met my husband in auckland , made a decision to move back to the whenua, built our little whare, raised our tamariki there.
And raise them we did, no electricity, no running water etc. When it came to their intermediate/college years, I sent them off to Maori boarding schools, to further embrace their culture and to also open their eyes to world and the opportunities that lay out there.
From this I feel my children learnt great values in life and the appreciation of the smallest things that we sometimes take for granted. No doubt as they go through life, they will take things for granted, and lose sight of thier heritage, but it has been instilled in them from birth, and they have choices at the end of the day, and later on in life, when that pull comes from the ngakau and draws them back to their roots, they at least have a foundation to work on.
For the 15 years I lived on the whenua, and amongst my people, and for the age that I was, (in my early 20's) I joined every community organisation there was, within the area and surrounding areas,I worked at the back of the marae, for every tangi there was, not only at my own marae, but throughtout the north and I listened to the old people,there stories, memories, and even though most of the time it was in Maori, and I dont understand Maori, it didnt deter me once, it was the mere honour that I felt, of being able to experience all of this, whilst they were still alive.
And everything I heard, wether it was good or bad,and the inconsistency of things I was told, (eg: dont listen to that uncle/aunite, they dont know what they are talking about!)it still did not deter me or confuse me.
It made me more aware of who was who and what was what, and why things may be the way they are. I have always thought who am I to say what is right and what is wrong - I can only speak on my own expriences.
So at the end of the day, it was a choice I made, to find out myself, in the only way possible that I could, by breathing, and living amongst my iwi, learnig about and embracing my heritage and culture and passing that through to my children. I am proud of who I am, and so honoured to be a descendant of great tupuna.
I am very proud of who I am, My ancestry and my Ngapuhi roots. Questions and queries about my history will never take this away. I get prompted or nudged to find out more and so I ask questions, it does not mean i am not proud of who I am. But thank you everyone for your input however, I am no closer to knowing than I was before but it's all good. We are all at our own stage of discovery.
Kia ora Island Home,
I have been on my journey since i was four years when my mother told me that the man i grew to know as my father was not. He was a broken Maori man and had nothing good to say about maori people, my brothers and sister were very dark skinned i however was a lighter shade of brown, which gave hast to my siblings name calling plastic maori and your not maori your a wanna be was a regular remark. Still nothing could deter the inner love that i had for my people and their was nothing that anyone could say that would make me feel any less a decendant of my tupuna because of the colour of my skin or the little knowledge that was given to me of our tikanga. My whangai Father is Whakatohea, but my blood father is Nga Puhi. My Father was born Keao and the family live in Wainui and Motauri Bay. Unfortunately i was unable to learn of my heritage through my father as he died one year before i found him, still i learn through the voices of my tupuna deep inside of me. We are of a beautiful people with a love and compassion that can not be falsefied, hence the reason why people have spoken badly of us and are still. What we have today no-one can break and that is, what our people had 140 years ago- the love and support of our tupuna they are the strongest voices and not to be reckoned with, the knowledge is never ending.
dont spit into the wind