Seven wāhine Māori from Raukawa have completed a 370km trek across the north island retracing the footsteps of their ancestor Māhinaarangi (Te Aorewa Rolleston, RNZ)
Over three weeks, Dr Naomi Simmonds from Te Whare Wānanga o Awananuiārangi and her six relatives travelled on foot from Hastings to a pā site in Rangiātea, arriving at their destination this past Sunday.
Māhinaarangi trekked 500km while pregnant, on the way giving birth to her son, the ancestor Raukawa.
“It’s a love story, Māhinaarangi fell in love with Tūrongo from Tainui Waka, who had gone over to the neck of the woods down in Ngāti Kahungunu to help build a house. They fell in love, and she fell pregnant,” Dr Simmonds said.
The hīkoi will contribute to Dr Simmonds’ final doctorate research project, funded by Marsden, Taku Ara Rā.
The journey was a chance for the women to reconnect with ancestral whenua while also having a physical and spiritual experience as wāhine Māori.
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