Arai Te Uru – The Maori Sea God Tattoo Meaning And Symbolism

Arai Te Uru – The Maori Sea God Tattoo Meaning And Symbolism

- in Tattoo Meanings
Maori Sea God

Arai Te Uru is the name of the Maori sea god who was the protector of the canoe which carried the ancestors of the modern Maori to Aotearoa (New Zealand). It is also one of the five taniwha, which is a group of mythical monsters or dragons. Although given different forms by various artists, the monsters and dragons represented are generally conceived as serpent-like and sinuous, abstract to the point where they may not resemble an actual animal.

The Arai Te Uru tradition is important to Otago as this coast (Te Tai o Arai Te Uru) was called after the ancestral canoe of the gods which foundered here in a storm on its return voyage from Hawaiiki.Maori Sea God

The legend starts with Rokoitua, who is the ancestor of southern Kai Tahu, who met the Kähui Tipua people in the Wairarapa. There, they gave him mamaku, which is a tree fern to eat, but he favored the dried kumara, which he carried in his belt, and which he took out and soaked in a bowl of water. When the Kähui Tipua tasted it, they decided to build a canoe in order to try, as well as obtain this new food from “across the sea.” When the canoe returned with the kumara, the crop was planted, but it failed.

But, Rokoitua sailed to Hawaiiki on a second canoe, Arai Te Uru, and he had learned the correct karakia (incantations) and tikanga (customs) which were connected with growing this plant. The Arai Te Uru returned under the command of Pakihiwitahi and Hapekituaraki (Hipo and Te Kohi in some versions) and eventually became waterlogged.

There are different variants of the legend, but the basis of the story preserves an oral tradition of the arrival of kumara, which is a sweet potato, in Aotearoa. Different traditions represent the link between the world of the gods and the present day, reinforcing tribal identity and continuity between generations.

However, the Maori tattoos can have a range of other legitimate meanings, such as your family, prosperity, travel, strength, career path and so on.

Facebook Comments

1 Comment

  1. Hi my friend! I wish to say that this post is amazing, great written and include almost all vital infos. I’d like to see more posts like this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *