This week’s photo challenge is to celebrate “Earth.”
I’ve holidayed in this part of New Zealand 9 times in the past 14 years. It’s just a hop across the “Ditch” from Australia.
This Lonely Planet poster was in a fish & chip shop. What is doesn’t acknowledge is the friendly people who work and live in that small country town. (Lonely Planet? I wonder why chose that name.)
Taranaki’s another of my favourite places – that mountain and the people pull me back. These folk here, have been friends, together a long time, making music and singing. They welcome newcomers who join in.
Camping out is one of the things they do well.
They make the most of fine weather.
This art work shows they can laugh at themselves.
It’s all about living and loving, caring for each other, really.
The landscape and the mountain itself are constant reminders of a long, turbulent history thru tribal wars and British Colonisation.
The Maori legend tells how Mount Taranaki was once part of the central plain of North Island. He fought Mount Tongariro for the love of Pihanga, a lone female mountain nearby. After a fierce battle, Taranaki lost and was banished further to the west. On his way, he carved out the course of the Whanganui River, before he stopped by the Poukai Ranges. Nowadays, when Mt Taranaki is covered with cloud, locals say he’s hiding his tears, still crying over his lost love.
Story adapted from http://www.visit.taranaki.info/visit/news/legend-of-the-mountain.aspx
On a nearby Maori Pa, Parihaka, is this memorial to Pacifist chieftain of the Taranaki tribes, Te Whiti o Rongomai, (1815 – 1907) “a leader so inspiring … able to encourage men with warrior hearts to stand up for their rights, while laying down their weapons.” It was he who convinced his people to use ‘Passive Resistance’ in the face of British troops.
I was very fortunate to be invited onto the marae and learn about what happened and the aftermath. Today this Maori community is a place of teaching and healing.
For more info:
Parihaka – https://nzhistory.govt.nz/keyword/parihaka
All text and photos by Meg.
Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.