PROVERBIAL AND POPULAR SAYINGS OF THE MAORI
NGA WHAKATAUKI ME NGA PEPEHA MAORI
Na KINGI IHAKA
“E kore e piri te uku te rino.” Ko enei kupu, no te haka nei “Mangumangu Taipo”, a ko tenei haka, no Taranaki kei te hakangia tonutia e nga hapu maha o runga i te waka nei o Aotea. Kua noho enei kupu inaianei hei whakatauaki. He kite no te kaituhi o te haka nei i te kaha o te Maori ki te whakapiri ki nga tikanga me nga whakahaere a te pakeha, ka tuhia enei korero, hei whakamahara ki nga whakatupuranga e tupu ake nei, kia kaua e wareware he Maori ratou. Kei te mohiotia e kore e piri te uku ki te rino me maku ra ano te uku. Maroke ana te uku, horo tonu te makere. Kei te pai tenei whakatauaki mo enei ra; he whakaatu ki nga Maori katoa kia kaua rawa e whakarerengia nga taonga ataahua a taua a te Maori, ka tahi. Tuarua, kia mau mahara i nga wa katoa he Maori tatou, a kauaka e whakahihi i nga haereretanga i runga i te mata o te whenua. Ko te uku, he momo paru, ki te reo pakeha, he “clay”. Na ahakoa pehea te kaha o tetahi ki te panipani i a ia ano ki te uku, me maku tonu ka piri taua uku. Waihoki, ahakoa pehea te kaha o tetahi Maori ki te panipani i a ia ki nga tikanga pakeha, taro ake te wa e ngahoro ai aua tikanga e hoki ai a ia ki tona taha Maori. Engari kaua e waiho kia mate taua tangata ka pera ai.
“Ko Hinetitama koe, matewai ana te whatu i te tirohanga”. I moe a Ranginui i a Papatuanuku, na, e ai ki nga korero e whitu tekau ma tahi a raua tamariki, he tane katoa. Ko tetahi o a raua tamaiti ko Tane-te-waiora. Ka haere te tangata nei i ana haere, ka tae ki tetehai kainga, ko Kurawaka. I reira, ka pokepokengia e ia he oneone kia rite te ahua ki to te tangata Ka whakahangia e ia te wai-ora ki roto, ka puta mai he wahine, huaina ana tona ingoa ko Hineahuone. Ka moengia e tane a Hineahione, ka puta ta raua uri ko Hinetitama, a ko tetahi atu ano o ana ingoa ko Hinenui-i-te-po. Na, e ai ki nga korero, he wahine tino ataahua taua wahine. I nga wa mua, ki te kite ana tetahi tangata i tetahi wahine tino ataahua, ka hoki nga mahara ki te ataahua o Hinetitama. Waiwai ana nga whatu (kamo, karu, kanohi) i te
“Clay will not adhere to iron”. This is taken from the famous haka “Mangumangu Taipo”, which originated from the Taranaki district and is still in use by the sub-tribes which claim Aotea as their ancestral canoe. The composer of the haka, realising that the Maori people were beginning to lose all that was precious and good in their own culture, warns them of the danger of neglecting and forsaking that which should be preserved in Maori culture. It is a well-known fact that clay will not adhere to iron unless it is wet. As soon as it is dry, it falls off. And so the composer appeals to the Maori of today that in spite of the trend to move more into European associations, they must at all times remember with pride that they are Maoris and that no matter how much of the Western culture they adopt, the time will come when this (referred to as ‘clay’) will fall from them and that eventually they will return to their ‘Maoritanga’.
“You are Hinetitama, for my eyes are filled with tears on looking at you continually”. Ranginui married Papatuanuku, and according to legend, they had 71 children, all males. One of their sons was Tane-te-waiora. It was he who in his travels arrived at a place called Kurawaka. There he fashioned earth in the form of man. He breathed into this form the breath of life and the outcome of this was the first woman on earth! She was named Hineahuone. Tane took Hineahuone as his wife and begat Hinetitama whose other name was Hinenui-i-te-po and, again according to legend, she was a very beautiful maiden. In ancient days, an
tirohanga atu i taua wahine ataahua—i te roa tonu ra o taua tangata e titiro makutu ana. Koia nei te tikanga o tenei whakatauaki, ara, mo tetahi wahine tino ataahua.
“He aroha whaerere, he potiki piri poho”. He whakatauaki tenei e mohiotia whanutia ana. Na te nui o te aroha o te whaea ki tana tamaiti, ka piri tonu te tamaiti ki te poho o tona whaea. Ko te taonga nui o te ao ki nga whaea whakaaro, ko tana ake tamaiti. Pai ke te maru o te tinana i te tinana i te pa o te mata ki te tamaiti. He whakatauaki whakanui tenei i te nui o te aroha o te whaea ki tana tamaiti. “He aroha whaerere, he potiki piri poho”.
“He iti pou kapua, ka ngaro, ka huna tini whetu i te rangi”. Ka tono a Ngatokowaru o Ngati-Raukawa ki a Marangai- paroa kia awhinatia a ia, notemea kei te whakatata te ope taua. Te taenga atu o Marangai me tana ope, he tokoiti nei a ratou. Ka whakahaweangia te ope a Marangai. Ka whakahokingia e Marangai, “He iti pou kapua, ka ngaro, ka huna tini whetu i te rangi.” Kei te marama te takoto o te whakatauaki nei. Ahakoa he iti noa iho te kapua, he maha nga whetu e hunangia e ngaro hoki i taua kapua iti. E ai ki nga korero, te tunga mai o te ope taua a Marangai Paroa, katahi ano te hoariri ka patungia. He maha nga rerenga o te whakatauaki nei, kati me tango ake kia kotahi noa, e pa ana ki a taua ki te iwi Maori i tenei ra. He he, he kino ranei no tetahi Maori kotahi, ka horapa mai te kino ki nga Maori katoa. “He iti pou kapua, ka ngaro, ka huna tini whetu i te rangi”.
attractive girl was likened to Hinetitama and admirers fastened their eyes so long on such attractive girls that tears ran freely.
“A mother's love, a child clinging breast”. This is a well-known Maori proverb. Because of a mother's love for her child, the child clings to her. A mother normally treasures her child more than anything else in this world. She would rather suffer than see her child in any form of misfortune.
“Though a cloud may be small, it is sufficient to obscure the many stars at night”. Ngatokowaru of Ngati Raukawa applied to Marangai-paroa for assistance in view of an empending attack by a war party. The assistance was given but when Marangai and his party arrived. Ngatokowaru on seeing the numerical weakness of the party doubted their possibilities of defeating the enemy. It was then that this proverb was quoted by Marangai-paroa. Now of course, it could be applied to practically all phases of life. For instance, one ill deed done by a single Maori is sufficient for the whole race to suffer. A small act done, and the whole race or nation either suffers or profits.