Wednesday Jul 26, 2023


Episode 34 – Mauri (Based on a True Story) 

When a Wharenui is built, someone dies and becomes the Mauri for the whare. This is the old way of our people. Our family has always wanted to build a Wharenui, but they hesitate because of this and the randomness of who is chosen, so to speak. Sometimes our tipuna would avoid losing one of their own by choosing the person or people (often called a sacrifice) who would become the Mauri. I know of a whare, an old whare here in Tūwharetoa, where four slaves were given as the Mauri for the whare. One was buried alive underneath each corner of the whare. The question of Mauri and how it works, how it passes from a person to a whare, is often shrouded in mystery, and most either are afraid to ask or don't even care how it works. I care. This story is the beginning of the answer. 

 T.A. Whero

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