Topic: Uenuku, the Rainbow Atua

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Ngai Te Rangi Symbol Uenuku

‘Ko Uenuku koe tawhana i te rangi, (‘You are Uenuku, bow-like in the heavens’)

Ko Ngai Te Rangi e”

 Tane in the search of knowledge

Prior to Tāne ascending into the heavens, he climbed Maunganui[1] where he was purified for his journey and baptised Tāne-nui-a-rangi [Great Tāne-of-the-Heavens]. 

 Tane climbed to the 12th heaven, where he retrieved three baskets of knowledge: te kete-tuatea (basket of light), te kete-tuauri (basket of darkness) and te kete-aronui (basket of pursuit) and the Whatukura(stones) Hukatai and Rehutai which held the mauri of the wananga. Tane deposited the 3 baskets of knowledge and the stones at Wharekura.              

Uenuku is the Rainbow atua. 

 Uenuku, The Rainbow Atua 

Rainbows and the whatukura, Rehutai(sea spray) & Hukatai(sea foam)

Hukatai depicts a canoe heading into the sunrise. The waka is like a person’s life journey, sea foam is life experiences learning and Ngai Te Rangi culture and  as the sea foam is thrown up by the bow, the rays of the sun piercing the foam creates a rainbow effect as you peer through it.  The sun’s rays are new learning or outside knowledge. The rainbow effect (Rehutai) is innovation and development of new knowledge. [2]

To develop a knowledge economy and make Ngai Te Rangi the “Innovation Nation” we need to look at our lessons from the past. To utilise Hukatai, new learning needs to be relevant and able to be integrated to create the rainbow effect of rehutai. To continually produce rehutai, we need to normalise integration of Ngai Te Rangi knowledge with outside knowledge.

 



[1] The Lore of the Whare-wānanga: Or Teachings of the Maori College on Religion ...

 By H. T. Whatahoro, Not Mt Maunganui in Tauranga

[2]  See Kaitiakitanga A Definitive Introduction to the Holistic World View of the Maori  Rev. Maori Marsden November 1992

 

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