terra forming, goddess, volcano, whangaroa

The creation of Whangaroa

The herstory of Whangaroa intersects whenua (land) and tupuna (ancestors) yielding a unique identity specific to Whangaroa.

The landscape is marked by cosmological events and iconic landmarks are named after ancient tupuna, marking the deep herstorical interconnections between people and place.  Ancestors are explained as being in, on and of the land.

One such ancestress is Hine-nui-te-po, depicted here as a volcanic eruption – terra forming as she goes. Her creative, destructive and regenerative powers are examples of the positive and negative elements of her trans-formative nature.

Our herstory provides a storehouse of powerful wahine, highlighting their importance in sustaining the well-being of the whanau, hapu, and iwi. Their role in nurturing life is also reflected in our language and cultural concepts.

Wahine were referred to as Te Whare Tangata (the house of humanity).

Whenua means both placenta and land (the two are linked through the burial process).

Mate refers to the menstrual cycle as well as death.

Hapu means to be pregnant and it also a large kinship group.

Papatuanuku is the earth and is intrinsically tied to the social, cultural, spiritual and economic well being of Tangata Whenua.

Herstory shows us how the identity politics of Tangata Whenua (people of the land) have evolved over the years.


terra forming, goddess, volcano, whangaroa


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