“Tangaroa” by Wiremu Barriball ©
Origins and Development
This set of pages has information about how Te Māra Reo began, who was involved then, and also what we know about the history of the plant names that were brought to Aotearoa by its Polynesian discoverers and first settlers. The ancient history of the names is also the ancient history of the people who inherited them, and thought them important enough to remember for hundreds and (for a fair proportion) thousands of years. The names also reflect the drama and adventures of those passed them on through many generations.
Some of the names also reflect great stories, such as the account of Tāwhirimātea's quarrel with his brother Tangaroa after the separation of their parents, Rangi and Papa. One of Tangaroa's children, Te Hāpuku, was among those forced to flee from Tāwhirimātea's wrath, taking the form of a grouper; some of his own children, who became the scaly fish and hairy seals, fled to the sea, and others, like the tree ferns -- the scaly ponga and mamaku, and the hairy wheki -- took refuge on the land, where they became "the fish of the forest". In Hawai'i, hāpu'u is the name both of the fish and a genus of tree ferns. (You can read more about this on the page discussing the origin of these words and their links with ferns.)
The pages associated with this one are:
The birth of the idea for a "language garden"
Who were involved at the beginning
Where the names came from and how they got to Aotearoa
What has been done since the project progressed from being an idea to an observable reality is chronicled on the page for "Ngā Rongo o te Wā".