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Songs that celebrate Matariki: Mokohuruhuru

Mokohuruhuru

By Mark Kopua of Te Āitanga-ā-Hauiti, Ngāti Ira, Ngāti Kahukura, Ngāti Porou iwi

Mokohuruhuru, Karangatia, Hīnātore!
Ka hikohiko te uira, kei te pae tawhiti
Kauā e mataku e āku tamariki
Ki te huri ō kanohi ki nōnamata ki neherā
Takina te Pō, te Pō Nui, te Pō Roa
Ka ngaro te ira atua i te Pō Tangotango e
Ki te awhiawhi a ngā Mātua
Ka ī ana kia whai te rokihau i te Pō
Karangatia, Hīnātore, Mokohuruhuru
Hōmai koa te Ao
Te māramatanga namunamu ki Taiao
Te māramatanga Auē, ko Te Ao Tūroa
Kia puta ake ki Te Whai Ao
Ki Te Ao Mārama
Karangatia, Hīnātore
MOKOHURUHURU!

Mokohuruhuru, Karangatia, Hīnātore!
In the distant horizon the lightning flashes
Fear not my children
To turn your gaze to the time of creation
Recite the night genealogy
There the DNA of the gods passed into the dark nights
To embrace the primordial parents
Reverberating within the night of peace
Karangatia, Hīnātore, Mokohuruhuru
Let there be light
Through the narrow path of irritation, seeking the phosphorescent light
Alas, light now appears in the natural world
Now full light exists, emerging into the world of light
Karangatia, Hīnātore
MOKOHURUHURU!

About this waiata

During Matariki we look to the light of the moon and the stars to help guide us. This waiata is all about light! The name of the song, Mokohuruhuru, is the word for the phosphorescent light made by glow worms.

This waiata talks about moving from darkness into the light of the day. It reminds us to look to the past to help us face the future. It was written by Mark Kopua, a well-known tohunga tāmoko tohunga tāmokomaster tattoo artistMāori | noun and former student at Te Aute College. It was first performed in 1987 at the Wellington Regional Kapa Haka Competition by Pūtahi, a kapa haka group made up of ex-students of Māori boarding schools living or studying in Wellington.