Ko Kupe Te Tupuna
The book “The Tail of the Fish” was publised in 1968 and written by a Te Aupouri kuia, Matire Kereama (nee: Hoeft) of the far north of Aotearoa, New Zealand. I grew up with this book as my grandmother would read the stories to me at bedtime. Although my comprehension of each story was very vague and unrelatable to my life at that time, today, I find myself totally absorbed by the historical content and knowledge encapsulated in each chapter.
I completed a Masters of Applied Indigenous Knowledge at Te Wananga o Aotearoa in 2017, entitled; Tales of the singing fish: He tangi wairua. I compsed twelve waiata (Maori songs) of which ten of the waiata was information extracted from ten chapters of the book. The other two waiata were composed specifically for my people of the Te Rarawa tribe, namely, Ahipara.
The whakatauki “e kore e ngaro, he takere waka nui” (we will never be lost; we are the hull of a great canoe) demonstrates the amazing srength of the ancient sea voyager “Kupe” who discovered Aotearoa, New Zealand, in the deep South Pacific Ocean, Te Moana nui ā Kiwa.
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