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Kōrero taiao – sayings from nature

by  Basil Keane

He tohunga te Māori ki te titiro me te whakarongo ki ngā korikoringa i tōna ao. Kei tōna reo tonu ngā tauira, ngā kupu whakarite mō te wāhi nui o te taiao – ō karu anō he hina pō.


Sayings and proverbs from the natural world

Te taiao

Tatū ki ēnei rā, tīkina ai e te Māori ngā āhuatanga o te taiao hei tauira i ngā whanonga o te tangata.

I tātaria te whānau mārama mō ngā wā tika ki te ahuwhenua, ki te hī ika, ki te mahi kai. Hei tauira, ka puta a Matariki i te marama o Pipiri, he tohu ki te tau hōu, me hauhake ngā kai. Tērā tērā kōrero, ‘Matariki ahunga nui’.

Ki te Māori, he wāhi nui te moana, hei mahinga ika, hei ara. Nō te kitenga atu he marino atu te moana i te rāwhiti o Te Ika-a-Māui, ka kīia tērā ko te tai tamawahine. Nā te pūkeri o ngā moana o te hauāuru, kīia ai tērā ko te tai tamatāne. Ka whakahuatia te kaikai a te moana i te whenua ko ‘te ngaungau a Hinemoana’.

He kupu whakarite mō te wāhi tino nui rawa atu o te whenua ki te Maori, ‘Te toto o te tangata he kai; te oranga o te tangata he whenua’.

Ngā tōpūtanga tāngata

Ka tīkina e te Māori ngā tauira o te taiao hei whakaatu i te āhua o te noho ā-whānau, ā-hapū, ā-iwi. Mehemea kei te kī te wharenui i te tangata ka kīia, ‘Me he tumu kuku’. Arā te kōrero ka whakarite i te nui tangata ki te waipuke, ‘He pukenga wai, he pukenga tangata’. He whakataukī mō te tira nui rawa, inā, ‘Tēnā te ngaoko nā me te onepū moana’.

Kīia ai te ope e rere mōrehu ana, ‘Me he pīngao i te tuauru e rere ana i te one’. Ki te muia tētahi rangatira nui e te iwi, ka kīia, ‘E tupu atu kūmara, e ohu e te anuhe’.

Ātaahua

He kupu whakarite anō ā te Māori mō te ātaahua, ka tangohia i te taiao. Mēnā he pīata ngā niho menemene, ka kīia ‘me te pōhoi toroa tērā, pūaho ana’.

Mā te huruhuru te manu ka rere

Ka rite te whatu pūreke ki te hanga a te mātuhi i tōna kōhanga ki te repo harakeke. Waihoki, whakaritea ai te raranga tarahau kiekie ki te hanga a te tīeke i tōna kōhanga i te harakeke.

Mēnā he karu kānapanapa ō te wahine, ka kīia ko Ōturu, arā, te marama hua. He pērā anō mō te wahine pūrotu, inā, ‘Mehemea ko Kōpū e rere ana i te pae’.

He mahi ngaio te raranga, whai anō ka kīia te kōrero mōna, ‘He whare pūngāwerewere’. He kupu whakarite mō te tangata pākira, arā, ‘He horo ki tūparimaunga, he hewa ki te tangata kotahi’.


Good and bad qualities

Ngā whanonga pai

Tohutohungia ai te tangata kia whai i ngā tauira pai i te taiao.

Ka kīia te tangata māia he ‘manawa tītī,’ nā te mea ko tērā manu te tītī he manu ka āhei te rērere i te moana nui mō te wā roa. Ka akiakina te tangata kia ‘toka tū moana’, kei kīia ia ‘te toka rurenga tai, neneke i te ngaru’.

Ka whakaritea ngā karu o te tūtei ki te whetū rā a Rēhua (Antares), tē kemokemo. Kīia ai te tangata karu tore, ‘he kanohi hōmiromiro’.

Ka whakahaua te tangata kia whai i ngā tauira o te manu rāua ko te mokoroa ka ngana kia kake ki te tipuaki rawa o te kahikatea. Ko tētahi atu kōrero e kī ana ‘He iti te kōpara ka rērere i te puhi o te kahikatea’. Arā anō tērā kōrero, ‘He iti te mokoroa nāna i kakati te kahikatea’.

Māngere

He noho tahi te noho a te iwi Māori, nā runga i tērā me whai wāhi te katoa ki ngā mahi e ora ai te katoa. Ka mahi tahi te Māori ki te ahuwhenua, te hī ika, te mahi kai, te mahi manu, aha atu. Nā reira ka anuanu te Māori ki te tangata māngere. Whakaritea ai tēnei momo tangata ki te manu rā ki te koekoeā, nā te mea ka whakarērea e te manu rā tana hua mā te tātaihore kē hei whāngai. Ki te whiua te tangata ki te pātai ‘I hea koe i te tangi o te pīpīwharauroa?’, he taunu tērā i te tangata tē kitea i te whakatōnga, heoi, i te hauhaketanga ka puta ake.

Waihoki, kīia ai te tangata ka whakapau kaha mō te wā poto ‘He harore rangitahi’. Nā te nui o ngā mahi he whakarihariha ki te Māori onamata te tangata moe roa, ka whakaritea ki te tohetaka, hei te poupoutanga o te rā anō puāwai ai, inā: ‘E moe tonu ana te tohetaka’.

Kaihoro

Ki te Māori, mā te katoa te kai, nā reira he weriweri rātou ki te tangata kaihoro. Ko te tangata kaihoro ka kīia he ‘waha kahawai’, he ‘puku taniwha’ rānei, nā te nui o tōna waha i te huakitanga ki te kai. Ko te kōrero, ‘he kākā honihoni, he kūkū tangai nui’ he whakataurite i te āta kai a te kākā ki te kai horo a te kūkū.


Hononga, rauemi nō waho

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How to cite this page: Basil Keane, 'Kōrero taiao – sayings from nature', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/korero-taiao/print (accessed 7 June 2020)

He kōrero nā Basil Keane, i tāngia i te 24 Sep 2007