Toi Tu Te Whenua
The book “The Tail of the Fish” was publised in 1968 and written by a Te Aupouri kuia, Matire Kereama (nee: Hoeft) of the far north of Aotearoa, New Zealand. I grew up with this book as my grandmother would read the stories to me at bedtime. Although my comprehension of each story was very vague and unrelatable to my life at that time, today, I find myself totally absorbed by the historical content and knowledge encapsulated in each chapter.
I completed a Masters of Applied Indigenous Knowledge at Te Wananga o Aotearoa in 2017, entitled; Tales of the singing fish: He tangi wairua. I compsed twelve waiata (Maori songs) of which ten of the waiata was information extracted from ten chapters of the book. The other two waiata were composed specifically for my people of the Te Rarawa tribe, namely, Ahipara.
The Yugoslavian people or Tarara as they were commonly known in the far north immigrated to the area to work in the gumfields however, now that the free and easy life on the gumfields was over, Te Aupouri returned to resettle on their ancestral lands at Whangapē. On reaching home, they separated into two groups.
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