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.