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Rotorua Museum Trip
Room 16 visited the Rotorua Museum as part of our Myths and Legends learning. At the museum we listened to the education officer Emma tell us the local Rotorua maori legend about Hinemoa and Tutanekai.
Hinemoa was a beautiful maori princess who lived at Owhata on the shores of Lake Rotorua. Her parents wanted her to marry a man worthy of her.
Hinemoa met a handsome young chief from Mokoia Island called Tutanekai who was born of a lower status than Hinemoa. Her parents did not want her to marry him.
However Hinemoa and Tutanekai fell in love but were living in separate places. Tutanekai lived on an island in the middle of Lake Rotorua and would play beautiful music to her on his flute.
Hinemoa wanted to use a canoe or waka to go to Mokoia Island. Her family prevents this plan by dragged the heavy waka high onto the dry land. Hinemoa desperately tugged at the waka but she couldn't shift them.
Hearing the music from Tutanekai's flute calling to her, she decided to swim across the lake to Mokoia Island using hollow gourds under her armpits.
Exhausted, she finally reached the island and warmed her tired and cold body in a hot mineral pool. Then Hinemoa saw Tutanekai's servant walk past carrying a calabash.
Hinemoa spoke to the servant using a deep voice ordering the slave to give her the calabash. Hinemoa frightened the servant by smashing the calabash on rocks.
The terrified servant rushed to his master Tutanekai telling him about the monster who smashed his calabash. Tutanekai did not believe his slave and told his slave to take another calabash and be more careful with it.
The unwilling servant returned to the lake and once again Hinemoa demanded and broke the calabash into pieces. When the servant returned to Tutanekai without the water, Tutanekai was angry and said he would go to the lake and get the water himself.
Hinemoa slid down deeper into the darkness of the rocks. Tutanekai saw the remains of the broken calabashes and realised his servant was telling the truth. Tutanekai reached into the darkness to find out who was hiding there.
To his astonishment he found his love Hinemoa who had courageously swam to be with him. Together they went back to his whare or house to become man and wife.
In the morning the people of Mokoia Island learned how Hinemoa bravely swam across the cold dark waters of Lake Rotorua for the love of their chief.
When Hinemoa's father discovered her missing, he ran down to the lake. He saw her cloak lying on the beach and her footprints leading into the water. He thought she must have drowned and set off with a search party looking in the lake for Hinemoa's body. The search party looked all day for Hinemoa. When they neared Mokoia Island they could hear singing and laughing coming from a wedding celebration on the island.
Hinemoa's father sadly anchored his canoe and went to tell Tutanekai the sad news. As Hinemoa's father approached the wedding, he discovered that his daughter was not dead. He was very happy to see Hinemoa alive.
Then the chief of Owhata listened carefully as Hinemoa told him about what she had done to be with Tutanekai. Her father proudly told Hinemoa that because she had proven herself to be a very able and courageous woman, she was able to marry Tutanekai. With the chief's blessing Hinemoa and Tutanekai lived very happy lives.
Today you can visit Rotorua Museum and see the actual real flute that belonged to Tutanekai. Many Rotorua maori people are descendants from these famous lovers.
Hinemoa and Tutanekai lived and are buried on Mokoia Island in the middle of Lake Rotorua. In our city of Rotorua, our two main streets are named after them. Where these streets meet is the centre of our city.
Article posted March 22, 2011 at 12:52 AM •
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Wow - what a great retell! Now help me out by using some paragraphs to break up your writing into topics. Good to see the Room 16 blog being active! Tino pai!
Comment Posted on March 22, 2011 at 05:31 PM by
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