The name Marumaru Atua meaning “Under the shelter or protection of God” was the name given by the House of Ariki for the 72 foot Vaka Moana, double masted traditional Polynesian sailing canoe, built in 2009 in New Zealand’s Salthouse Boatyard.
Marumaru Atua was one of the seven traditional Polynesian sailing canoes of the Te Mana o Te Moana (Spirit of the Ocean) fleet that sailed 2011-2012, visiting fifteen Pacific nations reviving voyaging culture and advocating ocean conservation. The Te Mana o Te Moana voyage was sponsored entirely by Okeanos Foundation. In 2012, Okeanos Foundation’s CEO Dieter Paulmann gifted Marumaru Atua to the Cook Island Voyaging Society.
The sails of Marumaru Atua inner design is ”Rua matangi” wind compass, it show’s the 16 points of the wind compass that is used by the Cook Islands met service.
Starting from the north going clock wise. Akarua [North], Maoake ma Akarua, Maoake, Maoake Opue, Marangai [East], Muri Marangai, Muri, Tonga Opue, Tonga [South],Raki, Iku, Iku Kaka, Parapu Opunga [West], Tokerau Ngae, Tokerau, Tokerau Tu.
Inside there is a Manutai motif, this is encompassed by 8 peru [ comb] which give the effect of the Sun ray’s, each of the peru show Pirianga,[ the horizon ] Nga Etu [the stars], Mau Rima [unity of the people] and finally Nio Mango [sharks teeth].
The Headsail is Kau’ukura an ancient ancestor of the Polynesian race who who came with a fleet of canoes from western Polynesia, some 300 years before Tangiia and Karika and colonised many of the islands east of Samoa and also set up the sacred Marae Taputapuatea on Rai’atea, most high chiefs of Polynesia trace their lineage back to this ariki, he was also the grandson of the ariki who built the original vaka Takitumu.
The port side representing the female hull has been named “Te Tika o te Tuaine” after the late Dorice Reid who held the traditional title of Te Tika Mataiapo and the port side bow sprit is name Te Marama (the moon).
The late vaka builder and former Prime Minister Sir Tom Davis was honoured with the starboard hull name “Pa Tuterangi Ariki”. Sir Tom was instrumental in reviving the art of vaka building and the MMA design is modelled after the design of the vaka Te Au Tonga which he built in 1994. The bow sprit has been named “Te Taunga o te Ra” (the high chief of the sun).