How to think Moana

Tāheke, That place where the water falls, muka (flax fibre), chemical dye, , photo: Norm Heke

Below are some important words that feature in our Moana issue that may be useful to remember. 

Weaving a koha


Aroha, another word that cannot be too easily translated into a few simple English words, is interconnected with the tikanga and “good intent” spoken of. “Aro”, to mean, give focus, or attention to, and “ha” to mean “breath”. So aroha—“give focus of breath””


proverbial saying

Tears of Tāwhirimātea: Carvings by Todd Couper


A traditional pūrerehua (also known as rangorango, turorohu, whēorooro, huhū, and hamumu-ira-karaka) consists of a thin, flat piece of hard material, most commonly a resonant wood such as matai (Podocarpus spicatus), or sometimes whalebone and stone


spiritual power


we as Māori are kaitiaki (guardians and protectors) of this resource

The Handshake journey: I am the water and the water is me


Taurangi: (verb) (-hia,-tia) to guarantee, assure, promise, pledge; (verb) (-hia,-tia) to grieve for; (noun) promise (often in the phrases kī taurangi and kupu taurangi); (verb) to be unsettled, changing””


The Māori word for guest is manuhiri. I consider myself a long-term manuhiri. As a craftsperson and an educator, I use this contrived identity to allow a liberty of engagement with Māori culture that is often more difficult for

He Tupare o ka Kupu


to extend generous hospitality and care (manaaki) to the visitors


The theme for the auctioned work was Kaitiakitanga (being a guardian or the act of stewardship). Kaitiakitanga is integrated with the spiritual, cultural and social life of Māori; is holistic across land and sea; includes people within the concept of environment

Tending relations: Lisa Reihana’s lei epic

teu le vā

to preserve harmonious relations. The Samoan phrase teu le vā which can be translated as “making beautiful” or “tending” this relational space, implies that small gestures such as the ritual use of flowers and other forms of decoration are more than aesthetic, serving social and metaphysical

Taonga and photography in the post-treaty settlement era: A case study of photograms by Mark Adams and Areta Wilkinson


The work becomes a form of pepeha (a way of introducing yourself), a fabricated and materialised statement of identity

Tuhirangi writes on the sky


For Māori, everything has a wairua (spirit) and everything—including music—is atua inspired. The wood chooses me, we find each other. I have an idea about the design at the start, but it’s in our conversation that its persona, its form evolves. The rākau (wood) has a purpose and I acknowledge that. I acknowledge the atua of the forest for the rākau used to make, in this case, the pūtōrino, recognising that this instrument has its own mauri, its inner life force, as well as its own mana (external power or authority

Mala: the garlands of India


The tradition of varamala (garland for the bridegroom) originated from the ancient ritual of svayamvara (the act of selecting a groom by self-choice


The name of the Hindu worship ritual ‘puja’ that translates to the “flower act” emphasises the significance of flowers in the religious context