Matangi Neighbourhood - Sold

Matangi is one of many Māori words meaning wind or breeze.

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Matangi is one of the many Māori words meaning wind or breeze. New Zealand's weather and its rapid changes had a huge influence on the daily life of Māori therefore each region developed a rich store of words, sayings and traditions relating to the domain of Tāwhirimātea, the atua (god) of weather.

In Māori tradition, Tāwhirimātea's parents were Rangi-nui (sky father) and Papa-tū-ā-nuku (earth mother), who lay very close together. Their children, of who Tāwhirimātea was but one, continuously lamented the miserable condition in which they were forced to live. At his brother Tāne Mahuta's (atua of the forest) suggestion the siblings tried to separate their parents. All but Tāwhirimātea agreed, and they took turns at bringing about the separation, eventually accomplished by Tāne. Rangi-nui was thrust high above Papa-tū-ā-nuku so that there would be room for people to move about and light could enter the world.

Opposing his parents separation, Tāwhirimātea sought utu (revenge) against his brothers by attacking their creative efforts with winds and mighty storms. He first attacked Tāne Mahuta. The mighty trees of Tāne's domain were snapped in the middle and fell to the ground. Then he attacked Tangaroa (atua of the sea) causing the waves to grow as tall as mountains. After this he turned on Rongomātāne, whose domain was cultivated food and the kūmara (sweet potato), and Haumia-tikitiki (atua of fern root and uncultivated food). To escape, they hid within their mother Papa-tū-ā-nuku. That is why to this day kūmara and fern root burrow in the earth.

Tāwhirimātea finally attacked Tūmatauenga (atua of man and war). Tūmatauenga stood firm and endured the fierce weather his brother sent. He developed incantations to cause favourable winds, and tūā (charms or spells) to bring fair weather to the heavens. But because neither brother could win, Tāwhirimātea continues to this day to attack people in storms and hurricanes, trying to destroy them on sea and land.

Information sourced from Te Ara, the Encyclopedia of New Zealand: written by Basil Keane.

 

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