Salt Aotearoa is a community connecting to the moana through freediving, spearfishing, and kaimoana/seafood. This kaupapa/initiative enhances the mana/power of our wāhine through the taiao/ natural world. We prioritise wāhine with tautoko/ support from our tāne/men to restore the gender balance, together rather than apart, and to adopt a grounded and connected value system when immersing ourselves in and around our moana.
Connect with your inner wāhine, with each other, with the moana, and with your food source.
Channel your mana wahine through our atua wāhine: Hinemoana
Ataria Sharman’s research, Mana wāhine and atua wāhine, explains beautifully pre-colonial whakaaro/ideas on the balance between female and male atua:
“There is very little in contemporary literature on Hinemoana. Though the stories of the female atua were usually left out of ethnographic accounts, evidence suggests that in pre-colonial Māori cosmology there was an atua wahine for each atua tāne (Gabel 2013; Yates-Smith 1998) which may be a reflection of the need of tāne and wāhine to procreate. Rangi and Papa are an example of this and Hinerauwhārangi is also said to work in partnership with Tāne Mahuta to care for the growth of living things, the forest and the trees (Gabel 2013).
Likewise, the atua of the sea, Tangaroa, exists alongside the atua wahine Hinemoana. ‘Hinemoana is credited with the creation of all the species of the sea, while Tangaroa is said to be the agitator of the seas, while Hinemoana provides the softer calming influence’ (Gabel 2013).
One version of Hinemoana’s whakapapa is shared by Moko Mead. From Tāne and Hinetītama was born Hinerauwhārangi, who with Te Kawekairanga had Hinemoana. Hinemoana and Kiwa birthed Rakahore (rocks), Taumata (stones) and eight other children (Moko Mead 2003). This whakapapa lineage clearly shows the transference of divinity through the matrilineal line; from Hineahuone to Hinetītama, to her daughter Hinerauwhārangi and her daughter Hinemoana. Moko Mead considers Hinemoana to be the critical ancestor from which many oceanic lifeforms were born, including cockles, eels, lamprey, mullet, sea urchins, snapper, gurnard, groper, kingfish, moko, kahawai, tarakihi and the octopus (2003:344)”.
- Moko Mead, H., 2003. Tikanga Māori. New Zealand: Wellington, Huia Publishers.
- Gabel, K., 2013. Poipoia te tamaiti ki te ūkaipō. Published PhD thesis, University of Waikato.
- Yates-Smith, A., 1998. Hine! e Hine! Rediscovering the feminine in Māori spirituality. Unpublished PhD thesis, Waikato University.