Ko Kapiti, te wāhi tapu o ‘Ngāti Toarangatira’ . . .
Kapiti has a rich history riddled-with tall-tales of ‘toatanga’ (“warriors/winners, and their many courageous deeds and feats”), hence the name of the home ‘iwi’ (“people”) of the place: ‘Ngāti Toarangatira’ (“the tribe of chivalrous and chiefly warriors”).
Perhaps most infamously occupied by Ngāti Toarangatira chief ‘tipuna’ (“ancestor”) Te Rauparaha, ‘Kapiti’ is an abbreviation of the lengthier moniker: Te Waewae Kapiti o Tara rāua ko Rangitāne, which refers to preceding times, and the imaginary (albeit very real) line dividing the tribal boundaries of the Ngāi Tara and Rangitāne iwi.
I’ve purposely sat down to write this post during this year’s ‘Te Wiki o te reo Māori’ (“Māori Language Week”) to reflect, in (*what I hope will feel like) just the right amount of detail.
My most intimate experiences with this particular time of year have stemmed from my current vocation as an enthusiastic advocate of, and for, the Māori language – they’re the by-product of my decision to teach in a reo-speaking environment.
But they’re not the catalyst – the ‘prod’, if you like – for my level/s of participation and engagement in this specific week.