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Tikanga - What is it?

Tikanga are the customs and traditions that have been handed down through the passages of time. They come from tika, things are true and not teka, things that are false. Hence the word is tikanga not tekanga.

The foundations of Tikanga rest at the dawn of time, when events were happening, the worlds were being made, domains being decided, the balance was being put in place and English was not being spoken. All Tikanga stems from this time. I nga wa o mua translates as from the times of front but this phrase means the past. Therefore the past is always in front of us, there for guidance and the future is behind us, as very few can see the future and what it has in store for us. And the past the one thing that we should realize is that Each Iwi has different Tikanga, which is tika for them. Do not judge different from your own as being wrong, for what they see in their past has developed their Tikanga.

Today, Tikanga is often influenced by other cultures' views and perspectives, and for Maori people searching for Tikanga today, they will find it clouded with Western Attitudes (It's a mans' world) Christian Ideals (Church Services) and Eastern Philosophy (Mind, Body and Soul). If our Tupuna of over 300 years ago came back today, they would probably not understand half the Tikanga of today.

So, how do we find the Tikanga of our Tupuna? We have to look for the Tika, and the best place to look for that is in our ancient past and within our own Wairua, for our Wairua is as old as the worlds themselves.


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