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Hawaiki: The Original Home of the Maori; with a Sketch of Polynesian History


page 55


This name is found in Maori traditions, but is, I think, known only to the east coast tribes,—probably to the descendants of the old tangata-whenua alone. It is said to have been a very ancient dwelling-place of the Maori ancestors. It was this place they removed to after leaving Au-roroa where Tane and the other gods lived, and from Mataora they removed to Hawaiki-nui. The meaning of this name, is "living, lively, fresh-looking, pleasant, safety." I am in doubt as to whether this ever was anything more than an emblematical name for the father-land, expressive of the prevalent ideas as to the happiness and plenty prevailing there. It is not known to any other branch of the race, so far as I am aware.