Ka whakahotu ngā tai, ka nui te ika.
Regular tides, lots of fish.
My name is Waitā. I am the star who is associated with the ocean and the numerous types of food gathered from the sea.
Waitai / Sea Water
Māori used the maramataka (lunar calendar) as a guide for best times to fish, go eeling, hunt and plant. This included māra mātaitai, the name given to seafood gardens, such as the seeding of shellfish beds.
The sea not only provides food, but the means to contain and preserve kaimoana (seafood).
The outer skin of rimurapa (bull kelp) is airtight when air becomes trapped in the honeycomb-like structures. When a blade of rimurapa is used to preserve food inside, known as pōhā (bull kelp bag), it can be kept safely for up two or three years.
Pōhā are still used today by Ngāi Tahu to preserve many types of food, and to transport preserved food from one area to another, including tītī (muttonbird).
Ka whakahotu ngā tai, ka nui te ika
Ko Waitā tōku ingoa. Ko au te whetū e hono ana ki te moana me te tini o ngā hua ka kohia i te moana.
Ka tohua te Māori e te maramataka hei āhea te wā tika ki te hī ika, ki te hao tuna, ki te whai, ki te mahi māra hoki tae atu rā ki ngā māra mātaitai me te whakatō i ngā kai moana.
Ko te moana he pātaka kai, he rawa whakauka hoki.
Ko te kiri o te rimurapa tērā ka noho nei hei pounamu mō te kai. Ka whakamahi ngā rau o te rimurapa ki te hanga i ngā pōhā hei whakauka, hei whakapounamu hoki i ngā kai, mō ngā tau e rua,e toru rānei.
Ka whakarite tonu a Ngāi Tahu i ngā pōhā ki te whakauka i ngā kai maha, pēnei i te tītī, hei kawe ake rā i ngā kai ki wāhi kē hoki.
Sources / Resources
- Effects on Mahinga Kai report prepared for Lyttelton Port of Christchurch by Tonkin & Taylor Ltd [PDF] page 14
- Traditional Māori food gathering Te Papa
- Characters: Created by Māui Studios
- Content: Kiri Jarden, Christchurch City Council (in consultation with mana whenua)
- Te reo Māori translation: Corban Te Aika