The pepeha is the way to introduce yourself in Maori.
Keeping in mind I nga wa o mua and the fact that our people in their tikanga face that direction for guidance, what better place could there be to start introducing ourselves! For we are the children of the whenua, of the moana and of the tupuna.
To introduce ourselves we should tell the story of how we arrived here, and the story does not start with ourselves!!! But before we journey back in time we should anchor ourselves to this whenua. Mau is hold, therefore our Maunga (mountain) will anchor us here.
How did our tupuna come? They crossed the Moana, (oceans) the vast stretches of Te Moana Nui a Kiwa and followed the Awa (rivers) to come to the final resting places of their Waka (canoes). From the Waka came the Rohe (districts)which sub divided into the Iwi then into the Hapu. Each hapu is affiliated with a Wahi (place) and in each wahi is a Marae. Your Kaumatua (Grandparents) come from the Marae, your Matua (parents) come from them and then there is You.
The next thing to do is to put all of this into Te Reo.
Using Te is saying that such and such is the mountain etc. However, remember about each Iwi having different tikanga? What is the mountain for one is not the mountain for another.
Using Taku implies that you are superior to what you are talking about.
Using Toku implies what you are talking about is superior to you.
|Hoatu te mana||Give credit and recognition|
|ki a ratou kua tae mai nei ki tenei whenua,||to those who came to this land,|
|kua wheturangitia i te korowai o Ranginui,||to those who have departed and are adorned as stars in the heavens,|
|kua hangaia i tenei tikanga hoki.||to those who built this tikanga also.|