Earlier this year we welcomed Ngāti Toa Rangatira into Te Papa to fill our iwi gallery and to be our iwi in residence for two and a half years. Together with iwi leadership from Ngāti Toa and Te Papa, the exhibition ‘Whiti Te Rā! The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira’, and a host of events have been created for you to experience.
We are also very lucky to have Te Waari Carkeek and Whaea Rihia Kenny as our kaumatua during this period. This dynamic duo share with us theirkōrero. They would like to share with you too, and so will be posting a range of blogs focused on Rongoā Māori over the next few weeks. Later in the month, there will also be an opportunity for you to meet these two lovely and generous people in person and hear more kōrero about Rongoā Māori, Māori Medicine.
As a practitioner of Rongoā Māori, Te Waari belongs to a group of people who are applying ancient Māori knowledge to combat the stresses and strains of modern life. Specialising in traditional Māori healing – using methods such as mirimiri and romiromi massage, akin to a deep tissue massage, and the use of rongoā such as that from the tutu plant augment these remedies. The members of his group are all whānau and are descendants of Ngāti Toa Rangatira. Their skills combine with authenticity to effect both health energy and tikanga wairua. Those techniques combine as an intervention to promote physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
‘Healing,’ Te Waari says, ‘works on both individuals and groups. We also attend workshops and other self-development courses to up skill and remain relevant. We have attended Neuro-Semantics Meta Coaching courses, a method similar to Neuro Linguistic Programming but far more advanced in the techniques employed. We like to share our knowledge with like-minded people and assist people to understand the malaise they have and where it may have begun.’
Where did this knowledge come from?
Rongoā Māori is the traditional healing system of Māori. Our tribe Ngāti Toa was a warrior tribe and their war parties would include a retinue, a group of skilled healers, men and women, who were able to apply rongoā to the injured and sick while they were on the war path. The remedies had to be effective and quick to keep pace with the war party while on the go. Today we are introducing people to a remedy for sprains, strains and broken bones called tutu. This same plant is known by some tribes as tupakihi. Today the properties of tutu are also applied to ailments such as arthritis, skin rashes and gout but is not limited to just these things. All applications of this rongoā have shown rapid improvement after a treatment with tutu.
Watch this space for the next instalment by Whaea Rihia.