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August 3, 2014 | by  | in Ngāi Tauira Opinion | [ssba]

“Wahine toa, wahine mārohirohi, wahine manawanui”

Tānemahuta, the god of the forest, proceeded to the natural soils of Papatūānuku, and there he fashioned a human form, a figure from earth. His next task was to provide that figure with life, with wairua, with the breath of Tāwhirimātea, thus the reason he is also known as Tāne-te-waiora. It was Tamanui-te-rā who shone light to nourish the Mother Earth. Implanted in the lifeless image were the wairua (spirit) and manawa ora (breath of life), attained from Io, the Supreme Being. The breath of Tāne was directed upon this human-like figure, and his warmth affected it. That figure absorbed life, a faint life sigh was heard, the life spirit revealed itself, and Hine-ahu-one who sneezed, opened her eyes, and rose – a wahine.

Such was the Origin of Woman, formed from the soil of the Earth Mother (Papatūānuku), also a creation by the divine spirit that came from the Supreme Being, Io the Great, Io of the Hidden Face and Io the Parentless (Io-matua-kore)

Thus Woman came into the world, and it is from this wahine, named Hine-ahu-one on account of the manner in which she had been created, that man derives his earthly nature. For she was half of the earth and half supernatural, and she was the first being of the race of man. Here began the blending of the spirit of supernatural beings with that of man, which has continued until the present time. The seed of life is with Tānemahuta, and with man, with woman as the holder that shelters and nourishes it. The seed of the spiritual god is with the male, for he is a descendant of gods. Woman originates from Papa, the Earth, the very earth we live off; she is the shelterer and nurturer, by whom all creatures obtain growth. Wahine are the seed of life.

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