Today we share a short piece from the late Te Tika Mataiapo Dorice REID.
I would like to share with you briefly my story of spiritually as a result of participating in traditional ocean voyaging. In March 1995 a crew of 24 sailed on the maiden voyage of “Te Au O Tonga” which means “the mist of the south.” We sailed this 72-foot traditional double-hull voyaging canoe using traditional navigation. We were invited by the Polynesian Voyaging Society of Hawaii to firstly meet at Taputapuatea, in Raiatea, Tahiti, then Nukuhiva in the Marquesas, and then on to Hawaii.
The High Priest of Taputauatea in Tahiti, told us that before we sighted land we would see the Taveke, the tropic bird with sacred red pin feathers. We would also see a whale. (This was March. Not the whale season!) When we would reach the entrance to the sacred harbour of Te-Ava-Moa, we would see dolphins, the guardians of the sacred harbour. The harbour entrance is directly in front of the sacred marae, Taputapuatea (the sacred gathering place of early Polynesian Voyagers). If the dolphins were not there, it meant that we did not have permission to enter the sacred harbour.
Not only did we see the tropic birds which circled our canoe to welcome us, the whale showed, waved its tale, then disappeared. The dolphins were waiting for us at the harbour entrance! Sitting perfectly arched over the harbour was a rainbow. Mist gathered on the shore to greet us. Our canoe has been named “The Mist of the South!”
This was a spiritual voyage. I tell this brief story of personal experience to reinforce, to reaffirm and to validate traditional knowledge. Traditional Science. To validate the BRILLIANCE of our ancestors.
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).