Hello, dear all! Welcome to another pick of our Session’s Highlights. Yesterday, we sailed to the second-to-last stop in our World Tour to find all the superstitions: the beautiful Oceania and Pacific Islands.
Our first Highlight was shared by Godyssey, who told us about a belief from the Māori: the indigenous people of New Zealand, or rather Aotearoa – which was proposed in the 1966 edition of An Encyclopedia of New Zealand to mean “land of the long white cloud”. The Māori have a very close relationship with whales – called Te whānau puha or “the family of animals that expel air”. The gentle giants are said to have safely guided the canoes of early Māori settlers to the island of New Zealand, and as such are regarded as protective as well as being a source of nourishment, as food or even hunting weapons. As Godyssey wrote in this tweet, they may also be a way to track the passage of time, as their migratory patterns helped the early Māori to maintain a yearly tracking. For more about these creatures and their connection with the Māori, check out the Te Ara website, the online encyclopedia of New Zealand, managed by the Research & Publishing Group at Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage in Wellington, New Zealand.
Our second Highlight was shared by TWhatley, relating to the Marquesas Islands in the French Polynesia and statuary figures which may be found scattered throughout the area and other surrounding islands called Tiki. These human-shaped carvings in stone, wood or bones (for instance, from whales) may have depicted the gods or powerful ancestors – for which they were said to hold spiritual powers and used for all manner of reasons such as healing. They could either be as large as a statue or small as an ornament, used around the neck or hair, or as an amulet. Various Marquesan Tiki figures ‘found their way’ into Western collections such as this one in the Met Museum, acquired for the Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection in 1963, and this other one in the British Museum, purchased in 1899.
Our last Highlight was a Polynesian creation myth, as shared by Mythos_Tweets, about the folk hero Maui, who appears in tales from Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, to Hawaii and many others. Featured in the 2016 Disney film Moana, Maui is credited with a plethora of mystical achievements, such as pulling several islands from the sea using a magic fish hook or mastering the art of creating fire. For more on this important mythological icon, check out Mythos_Tweets’ own blog article about Maui and an analysis of his related Disney song here.
That is all for today. I hope you enjoyed this magical journey with whales, Tiki and Maui as much as I did. Next week (11/06/22), we shall be reaching the last stop in our World Tour. It’s going to be an Atlantic bash between
NORTH AMERICA & EUROPE
which I hope you will be able to join before we return to our usual themes. As always, I am so grateful that you continue to participate in #SuperstitionSat – whether you’re old, new or just passing through, your presence is very much appreciated and I am glad to see you stop by.
Until next Saturday!
– Superstition Sam 🐾