Ao talanoa: Clouding, overseeing, plucking

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Hine-te-aparangi sighted a long body of cloud over the horizon and called out,
‘He ao! He ao!’ (a cloud, a cloud). With her husband Kupe, they discerned that
land must be under the cloud. So, they directed their waka hourua (voyaging
canoe) to the cloud and, as they hoped, they found whenua (land) under the
Hine-te-aparangi and Kupe are remembered as the first native Māori
family to land on the group of islands that were later called Aotearoa (ao/cloud-tea/white-roa/long), affectionately called as the ‘[land of the] long white cloud’.
After sighting (by Abel Tasman in 1642 and James Cook in 1762), invasion,
settlement and colonisation by Europeans, the Aotearoa islands also became
known as New Zealand (for ‘new sea land’).
Over land, ao/cloud attracts hope for rain. In the moana (sea), ao/cloud
feeds the longing for whenua (land). In both contexts, ao/cloud is in the sky
above, but under the sun, the moon and the stars.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCloud climbers
Subtitle of host publicationDeclarations through images and words for a just and ecologically sustainable peace
EditorsAnne Elvey
Place of PublicationVictoria, Australia
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)9780648855132
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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