How all Polynesians are connected

Folklore has it that the original Maori traveled to Aotearoa from Havaiki on board several canoes, or waka. Each waka had a name, arrived at different times and landed at different parts of the islands now known as New Zealand.

Today Maori tribes, or iwi, can trace their genealogy back to the settlers who arrived on each waka.

A couple weeks ago I was in Hastings, home of the iwi Ngati Kahungunu, to celebrate their waka – Takitimu. At a cultural summit held during this four-day festival, a church minister from the Cook Islands got up and told us the history of this waka.

Takitimu was built in Samoa (Havaiki?) by two brothers, he said. After it was crafted, the brothers fought over something – I was sitting at the back of the room and didn’t quite catch what they were fighting about – but I did hear that the waka was then sent to Fiji for some reason, where it stayed for ten years.

When it finally left Fiji, it was accompanied by other canoes and traveled to various islands in the Pacific, dropping people off along the way, till it reached the part of NZ’s north island now known as Hawkes Bay.

As with all oral histories, there are many different versions of the Takitimu story, but the Takitimu Festival held in Hastings a couple weeks ago was billed ‘a massive family reunion‘ and welcomed guests and performers from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Hawaii, Tahiti and Samoa.

Don’t be surprised if I mention the Takitimu Festival a couple hundred more times in my next few entries. I enjoyed the event that much!

But the biggest thing I took away from that experience is a renewed fascination for Polynesian history and stories like this that remind us of our shared heritage…

xx HGG

10 thoughts on “How all Polynesians are connected

  1. Hey HGG…you ever tried to trace the ‘travel’/geneaology of the polynesian people?

    where they came from and where they ended up?

    Did they give u a complete story/stories? @ the cultural summit?

    be interested to hear the stories !!!!

  2. AWSOME! i too love these kinda stories, so interesting. i have yet to go through the ‘big brown book’ in our cabinet which holds samoas history before/during and after the german settlers. i gotta translate it and do a few investigating on some of the pages lol apparently there are only 2 copies of this book..both are with dads family. so yehh..with your stories / findings it could help me out..*hi5* ha-ha

    loved it and cant wait for more.

  3. Heya G… far u could’ve told me? LOL I was looking for a reason to have a ROADTRIP before I shoot!!! gosh I luv the Polynesian History, I can never get sick of listening to the stories!!! My dad has the meanest ones from yonks ago!!!
    Cant wait to hear more G!

  4. nods at you.. hey Missy HGG

    well you know sometimes our history may as well be an X Files coz, as you say, there’s so many variations.. I read with interest your journey 🙂 Nice e ee e … But on a slightly different vein, it reminded me, I don’t know why, offa book I bought at the Wesley Book Shop back in Sa way back inda days called ‘Tala O Le Vavau’ .. historical stuff bout Sa herself…

    blessings to your house

    Ia manuia



  5. Haha.. okay apologies for my busy-ness (ok, and a little laziness), but this post was SOOO just a tiny little taste of everything I learned.. and have been learning.. about Samoan and Polynesian culture and history.

    The problem is the more I learn, the more I realize that I don’t know.. the more curious I get.. the more information I try to cram into my brain.. the more difficult it is to categorize stuff at least enough to write about it, and then I get frustrated and never finish my posts.

    But I shall persevere!! lol

    Wish me luck 🙂

  6. ha-ha GOOD LUCK!! tho i soo know what you mean…its like..excitment!! and that thirst for more. lol…u can do it!!!

    luv luv luv jc

  7. Good information about where we originated from. However, I have a version of my own that will make people think I am crazy. Some may deem it as a “faagogo.” Which ever the case may be, I would like to post it some time in the near future as food for thought for everyone to chew on it.

    Manuia lava

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