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  • Riana Foster

Te rākau tōtara a Nan / Nan's tōtara tree

Written by Riana Foster, illustrated by Munro Te Whata



​Māori

English

​Ka noho

We sat

​i raro i te rākau tōtara a Nan,

under Nan’s tōtara tree,

​ō mātou kiri ōriwa

​our olive skin

e inaina ana i ngā hihi o ngā aho kōura.

soaking up the rays of golden light.

​​Ko ngā kaihana

​The cousins

​e miti haere ana i ā rātou

​licked away at their

rare reka kei ō rātou ringa, ā,

dripping sugary treats at hand and

i te mutunga iho ka kata

​by the end they were laughing

​me

​ with

​ngā memene iti, waha hāpiapia hoki.

​simper smiles and sticky mouths.



Ka noho i raro i te rākau tōtara a Nan, ō mātou kiri ōriwa.


We sat under Nan's tōtara tree, our olive skins soaking up the rays of golden light.



Ko ngā rau o te rākau tōtara

The leaves from the tōtara tree

​e toro ake ana

branched out

​i runga

​above us

​e hanga ana i tētahi punanga,

​creating a secluded area,

​e wātea ana he wāhi

​leaving just enough room

​e inaina ai mātou i ngā aho o te rā.

​for us to soak in the sun’s rays.

​Ko te pō nei te tīmatanga o

Matariki,

​Tonight is the start of Matariki,

​Te Tau Hou Māori.

​The Māori New Year - Te Tau Hou Māori

​He wā e huihui ai tātou ki te whānau me ngā hoa;

​A time to gather with our whanau and friends;

ki te whakaaro ki te wā o uki,

​to reflect on the past,

​ki te whakanui i tēnei wā,

​to celebrate the present,

​ā ki te whakakaupapa i te āpōpō.

​and to plan for the future.



​Ka mātaki mātou i a Koro i a ia

e hika ana i te ahi puni,

​We watch Koro as he starts building the campfire,

​e whakamahi ana i ngā taitama

ki te āwhina i a ia.

getting the young tama to help him.

​Ka noho tonu mātou i raro

i te rākau tōtara a Nan ā,

We continue to sit under Nan's tōtara tree and,

kia rerehu te rā, ā, kia tāia te rangi ki te kahu pango mōnehu

​when the sun fades and the sky is painted velvety black

​me ōna whetū pīataata,

​with perfectly polished silky stars,

​ka kī mātou;

​we say;

​'Tihei Mauri Ora'

​‘Tihei Mauri Ora’

​Kua tae mai Te Tau Hou Māori.

​The Māori new year - Te Tau Hou Māori has arrived.

​Ka meatia mātou e Nan kia ūhia mātou ki te hinu kawakawa;

​Nan makes us cover ourselves in kawakawa oil;

​he kakara māori tōna

​it has a fresh natural smell

​ā, ka ārai atu i ngā waeroa.

​and keeps the mozzies at bay.

​Taro ake e hihī ana, e pakē ana te ahi, ā,


​The fire is spitting and crackling in no time and

​ko te kakara o te tēki totetote e rere ana i te hau,

​the smell of salty steak wafts through the air

​e whakawaiwai ana i ō mātou waha.

​creating pools of saliva in our mouths.

​E auahi ana te rangi - e tiwhaia ana ki te

kakara o te kawakawa.

​The air smells of smoke - peppered with the subtle scent of kawakawa.



​Ka anga te titiro ki ngā mura wera

We look towards the burning flames

​me te kite i te kanohi memenge o Koro

me tōna mingo kata more

​and see Koro’s withered face and toothless grin

​e teretere ana ki a mātou mā te aho rehurehu

​flickering at us through the dim light

​i a ia e kōrero ana ki ngā taitamariki mō te āhua

​as he tells stories to the young tamariki about how

​o te patunga o te rā e Māui.

​Maui slayed the sun.

​Kāti, ka tōaitia e Nana tana kīanga ā-tau;

​Meanwhile Nan repeats her yearly quote;

​'Koinei te painga nui katoa o te noho hei Māori;

​‘It’s our greatest advantage as Māori;

​ka riro ko ngā whetū hei tiaki i a tātou.'

​having the stars to look out for us.’

​Ko te manako ka tiakina hoki a Nan.

​I hope they look out for Nan.

​Ko ngā whetū o tātou tīpuna.

​The stars are our tīpuna, ​our ancestors.

​Ka piri a Nan ki ​ō tātou

​Nan will be with our

Whetū Atua;

​Whetu Atua; ​our star gods

​​ngā atua o te rangi i runga,

​our gods of the realm above,

​me te ao i raro.

​and the world below.

​He wā anō ka tae atu ia

​She will be there in her own time,

​ki a rātou, tāna kōrero mai;

​she tells us;

​'Kia karanga mai ō tātou Whetū Atua ki ahau, ka tika anō taua wā.'

​‘When our Whetu Atua call on me, the time will be right.’



​I tērā,

​With that,

​ka mātaki mātou i a Koro me te kore o tana kata e paheke,

​we watch as Koro’s grin doesn’t falter,

​me ngā karu o Nan e muramura ana, ko te rite ki te korōria o ngā whetū.

​and Nan’s eyes sparkle as they mirror the glory of the stars.

​Nā, ka tīmata tātou katoa ki te rerehu atu

​So we all begin to seep in

​ki te pōuritanga o te pō.

​to the black of the night.



Te rākau tōtara a Nan / Nan's tōtara tree


Author Riana Foster


Illustrator

Munro Te Whata

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