Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Whakatane River begins in the mountains of the Urewera,
the land of the Tuhoe people, the Children of the Mist.

The river meets the sea at the Whakatane Heads.

There on a rock is a beautiful sculpture of
 a young maori maiden

The story of Wairaka comes from the 12th century Great Migration.

The waka (canoe) of the fleet Mataaua, of the Tuhoe people, landed here and the men went ashore.
The women who waited, noticed a waka drifting back to sea.
Paddles were tapu to women, but Wairaka seized one and began to paddle the waka back to shore.
  As she paddled she chanted
"Ka whakatane au i ahau!"
I act as a man!

Her actions saved the women and the waka and gave a name to the place.

Today Wairaka stands on the rock where the river Whakatane meets the sea
and protects the boats that come and go in this beautiful place.
I always imagine she has climbed the rock to look at this new land
... her new home,

Thank you Linda, Stan and Damian for a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for all the laughter!
A little 'fortification' goes a long way!
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  1. I love those photos with the birds in them - both the first and the second, the bird in the light is beautiful.
    We took a trip out to White Island from Whakatane a few years back, I remember this statue.

  2. Such gorgeous pictures and story of where the river meets the sea. I shall thing of it today as I row my own little canoe of life here in the very cold midwestern US with sadness in our country. Your story brings me a sense of hope.

  3. Such beautiful photographs and such a beautiful story...