Story: Traditional Māori religion – ngā karakia a te Māori

Hokianga Whakapau Karakia

Hokianga Whakapau Karakia

This is the mouth of the Hokianga Harbour in Northland. Its full name is Hokianga Whakapau Karakia (Hokianga where the karakia became exhausted). Ngātokimatawhaorua, captained by Nukutawhiti, and Māmari, captained by Ruanui, were waka which travelled from Hawaiki to Aotearoa and landed at Hokianga. Nukutawhiti arrived first, but waited for Ruanui, so that the ritual karakia required could be chanted at the same time. However when Ruanui arrived he ordered his tohunga to begin the karakia without consulting Nukutawhiti. The tohunga tried to use karakia to bring a huge whale into the harbour and beach itself. Angered, Nukutawhiti ordered his tohunga to say karakia to force the whale out of the harbour. Eventually Ruanui's tohunga ran out of karakia, and he and his crew had to leave Hokianga – hence the name Hokianga Whakapau Karakia.

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Traditional Māori religion – ngā karakia a te Māori - Karakia', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 April 2024)

Story by Basil Keane, published 5 May 2011