This story tells of the voyage of two brave brothers, Rongomaiwhenua (Peace on the land) and Rongomaitere (Peace on the ocean). The brothers sailed from their tropical island home to Rēkohu. They set up altars and pou to show the creatures that they intended to live in peace in this new land. Rongomaitere sailed on to the west and gave instructions for later waka to return to Rēkohu. Rongomaiwhenua stayed on the island, and all people known as Moriori come from him and his children. This is the Moriori hokopapa line.
This story can connect how people travelled throughout the Pacific prior to European influence.
There are many examples of voyages that include:
Students can be directed to research one or more of these topics to further explore the ideas expressed in this story.
Before you read the story together, look at the illustrations and talk about what you see happening, drawing on students’ prior knowledge:
For key vocabulary in this story, you could make flashcards with an image and the phrase. For this story, these words and phrases are:
hokopapa – genealogy (line)
hopo – albatross
kaing’ – home
manu – birds
mimiha – seals
moana – sea
motchu – island
pou tūāpoi – ancient pole
ika – fish
rongo – peace
tau – year
tchimirik – children
terikarawao – forest trees
tuahu – altar
noho – to stay
tāngahiwa – to want
timat’ – to start
tītīmai – to push (into the ground),
Wa roa – For a long time
Khia rau tau i mua – Many hundreds of years ago
Nō rauu taenga ki – When they (two) arrived at
Some important language structures in this story are:
Other examples of this structure are:
Another example of this use is:
Another example of this use is:
These follow-up activities will give students the opportunity to practise pronunciation and extend their knowledge of vocabulary and simple language structures:
These follow-up cloze activities will give students the opportunity to practise pronunciation and extend their knowledge of vocabulary and simple language structures:
Wa roa k’ noho kā motchu o __________ e kaing’ mimiha, e kaing’ ika, e terikarawao.
For a long time the islands of Rēkohu were home only to the birds, seals, fish, and forest trees.
Ko tama tukana-muritae taingo’ ko __________ rauu ko __________.
The brothers’ names were Rongomaiwhenua (peace on the land and Rongomaitere (peace on the ocean).
Nō rauu taenga ki ta __________ hou e me ika kē, e me __________ kē, e me tipu kē o konei ki kā me pērā o ta __________ o mua.
When they came to their new island home the creatures (fish, birds, plants) around them were different from those at home.
K’ noho ko __________ ki ta motchu. Ko kā tchakat __________ katoa k’ heke i aia ratau ko ana __________.
Rongomaiwhenua stayed on the island. All the people now known as Moriori come from him and his children.
K’ hēre to’ muritae, ko __________, k’ tere etu ki __________ ki ta raki ro. K’ taraua ia ki’ hoki etu murieneti i tena kā waka ki __________.
His younger brother, Rongomaitere, sailed on another adventure going to a place called Aote in the west. He gave the instructions for later waka to return to Rēkohu.
Hokotauki: Ko Rongomaiwhenua ki ta nuk’, ko Rongomaitere ki ta moana.
The descendants of Rongomaiwhenua inherit the land while Rongomaitere travels the oceans.
Students can choose an aspect of the story and create their own illustrations or write a play and make costumes.
Support them to write phrases or add relevant labels to their illustrations in rē Moriori.
They can use a variety of art media including:
Ihimaera, W. (2020). Navigating the Stars, Māori Creation Myths. Penguin Random House.