mauri, ngakau and ahua

These terms (mauri, ngakau and ahua) came up in a recent conversation and I had to say I didn’t understand them – except mauri a little. Then one of the cousins used ‘ahua’ last night – to say that the whaea at her daughter’s kohanga had formed a close bond with bub, partly because she had the same ahua as her brother (who is now at school). Coz tapped her heart at the same time and I kind of understood the term a bit better… it’s to do with the feeling of a person, right? She couldn’t really articulate it. Anyone know?

In the online dictionary, it states:


1.(verb) (-tia) to form, make. 2.(noun) shape, appearance, condition, character, likeness, nature, figure, form, a bit. Koia nei tonu tō mātou āhua, tō te Māori, inā tūtaki ā-huihui mātou. / That’s just the way we, the Māori, are when we get together. (Te Pihinga Textbook (Ed. 2): 1-7, 13-20, 94-96, 150-154;) 3.(particle) it looks as though, looks like it, it would seem – in the idiom te āhua nei. Te āhua nei, ka ua ā kō ake nei. / It looks as though it will rain soon. See also te āhua nei.

There’s more to it, though, right??? Anyway, I’ll keep listening I suppose! Meanwhile:


1.(noun) seat of affections, heart, mind. Ka tau mai ki ngā kura reo, e pau ana te hau, ka hoki atu e hikohiko katoa ana te ngākau (HM 4/2008:3). / I arrived at the language learning gathering worn out and when I returned home I was enthusiastic. See also ngākau māhaki. 2.(noun) something used to indicate to a friendly tribe that their assistance was required in a warlike expedition. The ngākau might be an article sent or a song which was sung. Ka kitea he kōhatu i roto i ana kai, ka mōhio te rangatira rā he ngākau tērā, e kimi āwhina ana tana hoa ki te rānaki i te mate o tana tamaiti (PK 2008:511). / When that chief saw a stone in his food he knew that that was a request that his ally was seeking help to avenge the death of his son.


(noun) life principle, special nature, a material symbol of a life principle, source of emotions. Takoto mai, e koro, kia tangihia koe e ō iwi. Auē! Ka mau te punga here o te waka nei. Ka ngaro koe, te kaihautū, te kākākura o roto i te pōkai, te puhi o Aotearoa, te kura whakahirahira o Te Waipounamu, te mauri o te whenua, te mauri o te tangata, haere! Haere rā! (TP 7/1906:9) / Lie in state, sir, to be wept over by your people. Oh, dear! The anchor of this canoe is taken. You are gone, the fugleman, the leader of the flock, the adored one of the North Island, the important treasure of the South Island, the life force of the land and the people. Depart! Farewell! (Te Kōhure Textbook (Ed. 2): 227-228;) See also pā whakawairua.


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
This entry was posted in early years education, Literate Contexts, Metaphors and Narratives around children and learners, Mono- Bi- and Multi-culturalism, Teaching excellence. Bookmark the permalink.

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