Ko Rawhiti te marae - Rawhiti is our marae
Te Whare Tapu O Ngapuhi
These are the sacred pillars of the house of Ngapuhi.
|My beautiful, visionary, tupuna, Ene Rewha Parkes|
At the time registration 6:15 in this video, Te Aroha Rewha tells the story of how our tupuna, my great great aunty Ene Rewha Parkes honoured the remains of a loyal family friend and servant, one of two who accompanied Wiremu Parkes and Rea Rewha finally came home to Rawhiti from Thursday Island, these people helped care for their many children. They were indigenous people from Thursday Island, where my great grandfather went to establish a successful pearl diving business, and Rea Rewha went with him, they faithfully served our family for many years, and all Wiremu and Rea's many little daughters, all born on Thursday Island, would never have survived without the love and care and protection of these people. One of them was buried with my great grandfather in accordance with his wishes, but in accordance with Maori custom, the other one was buried outside the urupa, as they weren't officially whanau. Ene went up there one day, took up their remains, and buried them inside the urupa in defiance of the wishes of some others, honouring these people from far away, and honouring her mother and father, and honouring the Good/God that lives inside each one of us, honouring true and loyal people who treated our whanau, my great grandparents and all their little babies, as their own. I come from a long line of strong women, women with courage to do the right thing even it's not easy sometimes.
It's a very special place, that urupa. The whole place is full of such aroha (love). The urupa looks down over Oke Bay, where whales and dolphin often play. There is a tangible aura of peace, and love, that pervades the place where my tupuna sleep. Aunty Gwen is there now, and my brother. My wish (and my final will and testament) is to sleep there too one day when the time comes.
Kia hora te marino
Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana.
Kia tere karohirohi i mua i tou huarahi.
May calm be spread around you, may the sea glisten like greenstone, and the shimmer of summer dance across your path...
More information on the history of Ngati Kuta can be found at this link.
One of the beautiful waiata of Ngapuhi: