He roimata tuturu
“My sorrow has been left in the stone”
Poutini the taniwha swims up and down the west coast of the South Island, protecting both the people and the mauri of Pounamu.
Many of the oral histories of Pounamu revolve around Poutini coming across a woman bathing in the northern seas of the Bay Of Plenty. This beautiful woman, Waitaiki, enchanted the taniwha, who kidnapped her and fled south with his prize.
Waitaiki’s husband, the chief Tamaahua, discovered she was missing. Aided by a tekateka he tracked them south. During Poutini’s flight the taniwha lit fires to keep Waitaiki warm. Amidst the charred remains of each fire, Tamaahua found precious stone.
The continued pursuit of his love was determined and unrelenting. Fearing the strength of his pursuer the taniwha took sanctuary on the West Coast of the South Island, eventually stopping in Milford Sound.
Realising that Tamaahua would not rest until he reclaimed Waitaki, Poutini decided the only way to keep her forever was to turn the woman into his essence. The taniwha transformed Waitaiki into Pounamu, laid her in down within the riverbeds and slipped downstream past the waiting Tamaahua.
When the chief discovered his wife turned to stone in the riverbed he let out a tangi – a tremendous song of grief. If you listen closely in New Zealand’s deep south you may still hear it echo through the mountains.
Milford Sound, Fiordland, Aotearoa- place of stone
Karamea-Kahurangi National Park, Westcoast, South Island, Aotearoa
This is one of the stories pertaining to the creation of Pounamu in Aotearoa. There are many stories from Iwi/tribes around Aotearoa. They form a part of the mystery that enhances the value of Pounamu and the connection with people and the land.
It is from here that I decided to rethink my collaboration and proposal for ObjectSpace..The initial idea with the newspaper classified is still something I may pursue later, but something I thought may take a longer amount of time and involve a lot more people. I have reformed my thinking and have a new proposal inspired by stories, imagination and creativity.
THE LEGEND OF THE POUNAMU FISH…..