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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 1 (April 1, 1935)

The Mystic Home of Wisdom

The Mystic Home of Wisdom.

“Hui-te-Rangiora,” with which the allusion to ever-blooming kowhai trees is interwoven, is the full and original form of the name Rangiora in this association. The reference I have traced back to a very remote period, long before the Maoris left their tropic islands homes for this new land. In the other world, as I translated the story I had from Ngati-Maniapoto elders, now passed on to that shadowy land, there was a great and sacred dwelling called Hui-te-Rangiora, meaning the assembly-place of all things good and wise and delightful, the abode of health and life. The high chief of that place was named Miru. He was an alua or god; he is also described in the tradition as a Patupaiarehe, that is a fairy-like being, a spirit. He had the power of making himself invisible, and in this way he wooed and won a beautiful girl of this world named Hine-rangi or Heavenly Maid. The great sacred house stood in the place called Te Tatau-o-te-Po, otherwise the Door of the Other World. Hui-te-Rangiora was a kind of Hy-Brasil, the enchanted isle far in the West that beckons the soul of the Celt to a faery Paradise.

Moreover, Hui-te-Rangiora was the home of fine arts and of all learning. In that place Miru the atua taught all manner of charms and prayers and ceremonies. There, too, were taught all the joyous games and amusements that bring pleasure to mankind. In this home of learning the wisdom of the Maori and the arts of skill that were desirable to teach and preserve were handed down from generation to generation.