Whakataukī o te Marama
Each month a member of the Heritage & Māori Collections team chooses a whakataukī (Māori proverb or saying) for display in the library.
Māori proverbs and sayings called ‘whakataukī’, ‘whakatauākī’ or ‘pepeha’ play a large role within Māori culture. Whakataukī are an important feature of formal speechmaking (whaikōrero) but can also be used in everyday conversation. Whakataukī embody the values, wisdom, wit, and common-sense of tangata whenua (people of the land). They are usually short and concise - using symbolism and metaphor to convey key messages.
Some common themes for whakataukī include: bravery, tenacity, leadership, work, co-operation, the sharing of resources, kindness, love, hospitality, conservation, land, identity, belonging and family. Other whakataukī relate to the seasons and special events like Matariki.
These whakataukī celebrate the beauty of the Māori language and offer food for thought.
Whaowhia te kete mātauranga.
Fill the basket of knowledge.
If you would like to discover more whakataukī - check out these books from our collection:
- Māori sayings and proverbs compiled by Murdoch Riley
- The Raupō book of Māori proverbs by A.E. Brougham & A.W. Reed
- Nga pepeha a nga tipuna by Sidney M. Mead
- Earth, Sea, Sky: images and Maori proverbs from the natural world of Aotearoa New Zealand by Patricia and Waiariki Grace.