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The Maoris of the South Island

Glossary of Maori Words

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Glossary of Maori Words

Atua: A supernatural influence, a god, a demon.
E noho: Sit down, or remain there; good-bye by a person departing.
Haka: A dance.
Hapu: Clan, section of a clan.
Hongi: To salute by touching noses.
Hui: Coming together of a tribe or tribes; the occasion for discussing matters, marked by hospitality.
Kaika: Place of abode.
Kapai: Good.
Korero: Discussion.
Kuri: Dog.
Mana: Influence, power, prestige.
Makutu: To bewitch, to cast a spell.
Marae: A wide open space in a village, distinguished guests are received in the “Marae.”
Mere: A short stone weapon.
Mokihi: Raft of flax sticks and reeds.
Muru: Plunder, confiscation, “clean the slate.”
Noa: Free from tapu; whakanoa is the act of removing the tapu.
Nui: Large, great.
Pa: A fortified place.
Pakeha: A stranger, a foreigner.
Piu piu: A garment of kilt form, made of twisted flax.
Puka puka: Book.
Rangatira: A chief.
Rangi: The sky, the heavens.
Raupo: Bulrushes.
Tapu: Under restriction, sacred.
Taniwha: A fabulous monster.
Tangi: To weep—a lament, to mourn.
Tangi-wai: Tear drop.
Tiki: A greenstone figure, or of carved wood.
Taua: A war party.
Tohunga: Priest or wizard.
Utu Ransom, compensation.
Wahine: A woman, in particular a married woman; hine is a girl.
Waiata tangi: A song of lamentation.
Whare: A house.
Whare karakia: A house of worship.
Waipiro: Stinking or rotten water; a term for spirituous liquors.
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