Kia kaha te Reo Māori!
Te Wiki o te Reo Māori celebrates te reo Māori, a taonga that gives New Zealand its distinct and unique cultural identity. The often poetic karakia (incantations and prayers) are a rich part of the language. Used to invoke spiritual guidance and protection, to begin and end ceremonies, as ritual cleansing and to encourage good outcomes, modern karakia are blend of Christian and traditional influence.
Their poetic language means they cannot always be translated into English. The images used in karakia are from traditional narratives. There were karakia for all aspects of life, including for the major rituals, such as childbirth and death, as well as for travel, war, growing and harvesting of kai, the weather, sickness, daily activities and for curses and overcoming curses. These enabled people to carry out their daily activities in union with the ancestors and spiritual powers. Find out about more about the origins and purposes of karakia and how it has changed over time.
Below, one of our educators, Imogen, shares a beautiful karakia, often used for travellers embarking on a journey