During Te wiki o te reo Māori we will be sharing a Māori phrase a day along with suggested activities or challenges inspired by each phrase.
Ko wai tō ingoa whānau?
What’s your family name?
In a Māori world view, we are always looking for ways to connect with one another. This could be through which school we went to, a place of significance in common but more importantly it is to figure out any family connections in place between us. Our names hold the memory of something, somewhere or someone that came before us so are great connectors for us to place ourselves in relation to others. This is called whanaungatanga (relationship or kinship).
To break it down, wai is the question word in the phrase that will be swapped out for the answer in the response. Tō means "yours" and refers to the person you are asking and ingoa whānau means "family name" or "last name".
This phrase can also be used to ask someone’s first name by replacing ingoa whānau with just ingoa. Like this,
Ko wai tō ingoa? What is your name?
Hei mahi – things to do
- Using our great range of family history eResources available online and in the library, search for some of your whānau that you don’t know a lot about. What do their ingoa whānau mean and where do they come from?
- Record your whakapapa and share what you have found with your whānau.
- Ask someone’s name with this phrase next time you meet a new person.
Kia kaha Te Reo Māori – Let’s make the Māori language strong.
- About Te wiki o te reo Māori - Māori language week
- More te reo Māori blog posts
- Find dictionaries, phrase books, and reading lists
- Family history and whakapapa for kids