The more we understand about people the less fearful we become – Maori Week


I believe that the more we understand about people and their cultures the less fearful we become. After my last blog I got really interested in the Maori week so thought I would share some Maori words with you, as well as some information about the language itself.

Māori language is a traditionally oral language. Its written form has developed over the last two centuries. Its role has become more important with the growth of Māori-medium (Māori immersion) education and the regeneration of Māori language.

A standard written form of Māori language continues to be developed.

Tohutō – Macrons

One of the key features of written Māori is the macron. A macron is a small horizontal line placed above a vowel to indicate a long vowel sound e.g. Māori, tohutō (macron), rōpū (group). It is a pronunciation aid and is particularly useful for helping learners of the language become familiar with stress, intonation and emphasis.

The macron is also a spelling convention which in some cases has the effect of changing the meaning of a word e.g.

matua = father
mātua = parents
panga = puzzle
pānga = effect
maro = apron
mārō = hard
ana = cave
anā = there
pahu = bark
pahū = explode

 

Greetings

Kia ora
Hi
Tēnā koe
Hello (to one person)
Tēnā kōrua
Hello (to two people)
Tēnā koutou
Hello (to three or more people)

Inquiring Question

Kei te pēhea koe?
How are you?

Responses

Kei te pai ahau
I’m good
Ka nui te ora
I’m great
Me koe?
And you?

Farewells

Haere rā
Goodbye (to someone leaving)
E noho rā
Goodbye (to someone staying)
Ka kite anō
See you again
Hei konā
See you later
and finally….
The term tangi or tangihanga describes a Māori approach to the process of grieving for someone who has died. Practices and protocols can differ from tribe to tribe. However, it is a common process that enables people to express their sense of loss, not only for their loved one, but for those who have passed before them.Traditionally, tangihanga were held at marae. Nowadays, tangihanga are also held at private residences and funeral parlours. Tangihanga usually take place over a number of days, beginning when the person passes away and continuing after the burial, until the rituals and ceremonies of grieving are complete.

Before the burial, it is common for the coffin to be left open so mourners can touch, kiss, hug and cry over the tūpāpaku (corpse) to express their grief.

A common belief is that the tūpāpaku should never be left alone after death, so close family members (the whānau pani) stay with the tūpāpaku throughout the tangihanga, supported by older female relatives.

People often travel long distances to attend tangihanga to show their respect for the person who has died and to offer support to the family. It is also common practice to offer a koha, usually money, to the marae or family.

If the tangihanga is at a marae, those who attend are welcomed with pōwhiri  during which speeches are made as if talking directly to the tūpāpaku. This fits with the common belief that the spirit remains with the body until the time of the burial.

If the tūpāpaku has links to a number of tribes or sub tribes, debate may arise between relatives over where the tūpāpaku is to be buried. While talks can be heated and stressful, such debate is a sign of love and respect for the tūpāpaku.

for more information this was my source of inspiration http://www.korero.maori.nz/forlearners/protocols/tangi.html

The more we understand about people the less fearful we become….Liz Foxwell

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