Whakatauki – Wise words

CoverWhakatauki, or sayings, are products of the poetical way Maori use language – combined with an element of common sense advice.

The Journal of the Polynesian Society is available online thanks to a collaboration between Auckland University and the Polynesian Society. There is a wealth of information contained within these digitised pages including an article titled A Few of the Maori Wise Sayings from Lake Taupo. It lists sayings and their origins from this area.

Legends of the Maori by Maui Pomare features some more general whakatauki.

Books on whakatauki are also in available our collection including Peter Cleave’s The Maori State where the first section contains whakatauki and their meanings.

Te Ao Hou has several good articles with information about the origins and meanings of many whakatauki. It is a bilingual publication, also in Te Reo.

Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori whakatauki #1

Ko taku reo, taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria.

My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul.

Rāhina’s (Monday’s) whakatauki (proverb or saying) is closely associated with language revitalization, a struggle which is very important in maintaining culture.

Browse our information and events for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori — Māori Language Week 23 Hōngongoi — 29 Hōngongoi 2012.

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori — Māori Language Week celebrates te reo Māori. The Māori language is a taonga that gives New Zealand its distinct and unique cultural identity.