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Words used on this website

Nahere - native bush

whanau - family and extended family

rongoa - Maori medicine

Mirimiri - Massage

Tikanga - protocol, the way of doing things

Aroha - love

Karakia - incantations and prayers

Rakau - native plant medicines

Pani pani - to rub

Kaitiaki - Custodian or keeper

Karakia - incantation, ritual chant, chant, intoned incantation, charm,  a set form of words to state or make effective a ritual activity. Karakia are recited rapidly using traditional language, symbols and structures. Traditionally correct delivery of the karakia was essential: mispronunciation, hesitation or omissions courted disaster. The two most important symbols referred to in karakia are of sticks and food, while the two key actions are of loosing and binding. Individual karakia tend to follow a pattern: the first section invokes and designates the atua, the second expresses a loosening of a binding, and the final section is the action, the ordering of what is required, or a short statement expressing the completion of the action. The images used in karakia are from traditional narratives. There were karakia for all aspects of life, including for the major rituals, i.e. for the child, canoe, kūmara, war party and the dead. Karakia for minor rituals and single karakia include those for the weather, sickness, daily activities and for curses and overcoming curses. These enabled people to carry out their daily activities in union with the ancestors and the spiritual powers.

Atua - ancestor with continuing influence, god, demon, supernatural being, deity, ghost, object of superstitious regard, strange being - although often translated as 'god' and now also used for the Christian God, this is a misconception of the real meaning. Many Māori trace their ancestry from atua in their whakapapa and they are regarded as ancestors with influence over particular domains. These atua also were a way of rationalising and perceiving the world. Normally invisible, atua may have visible representations.

National Anthem in Maori

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