Sep 19, 2016

Universal Rights

in category Uncategorized

4Jun11 S08deg04min W140deg21min

A small bird flew between us, a dark brown butterfly danced beneath the eaves, insects droned gently in the background.

“Dreams are the language of the Heart.”

Dieter spoke to us for an hour, sharing old ideas that were new to many of us with a passion that is always inspiring. He spoke of some of the great turning points in human consciousness. Civil rights expanding into Human rights and the movement towards what he termed “Universal rights”. The right of all things to exist and be cared for. Animals, fish and forests, all things shown a level of respect that the Ancestors of different lands recognised.

For many in the past there were deities that held domain over the different aspects of Life. This shifted of course with the coming of the Church who told us there is only one God and ‘men have dominion over all things’ and the scientific-industrial-consumer age that tells us ‘dominate and take what you can get’. We seem to have embraced this concept without remembering that with power comes responsibility.

The concept of Kaitiakitanga – Guardianship is fundamental and fundamental to the understanding of this is the concept of ‘mauri’. The idea that everything in heaven and earth has its own mauri, essential life force. To use a different language everything retains it’s connection with God (however you perceive God) and as a result should be shown that level of respect.

Thankfully there is an ever quickening movement, a shift in awareness with people globally realising that we do not exist in isolation. We are intimately connected with all Life and of course our survival depends on us accepting our responsibility and maintain the planet in health and balance. Long way to go yet, but it’s nice to be out here pushing the positive message.

Our farewell ceremony was wonderful with kids and adults from the island dancing on the wet grass of the paepae. Stone statues watched as our hands slapped the earth ‘ki a Papatuanuku’ in our haka. Feet stamping in the wet grass, wet sand slapped on chests ‘Ko Te Whare Hukahuka o Tangaroa, Uhi, Wero, Takina Te Wai’.

Under the grey skies we stood with our backs to the sea, the people of NukuHiva in front of us while karakia and good wishes were offered, each canoe performed a haka or waiata and then the islands kids danced for us dragging us up to join in. I’m told I do a great bird dance, maybe I’ve got the beak for it. It was fun, the kids were really good and their Mums and Dads finished off strongly as the light faded and light rain came down.

Thursday was kind of a day off. There was still a bit of rain hanging around in the morning, but that cleared as the day wore on. A couple of the canoes took the local kids and their parents for short rides while the rest of us bobbed around quietly doing odd jobs, filling water bottles, sail repairs, woodwork. While there was stuff to do it was great to be able to at our own pace and not have something to dash off to. There’s a  pretty constant pressure when we’re on land. It’s an important thing for the people we visit and there’s lots they want to share with us. We’re very lucky, but it’s exhausting to be on the go non-stop.

That night the Uto Ni Yalo crew cooked a couple of curries for all of us and out of the blue a local reggae band turned up with their gear and pumped out some serious tunes. We’ve got some good talent amongst the Maori crews on Haunui and Te Matau and when the band stepped down they stepped up and kept the canoe club on the beach rocking for ages. It’s been a fantastic stay for everyone and a number of us carry away reminders in ink. The local tattoo artist had a very busy day.

At 4 oclock this morning flames flared up on the beach and conches started blowing. The bonfire burned bright as we lowered the engines and raised the anchors. The whole island wakes up early and by 5:30 there was a good crowd on the wharf. We motorsailed out past them pausing long enough to salute them with our haka and shout goodbyes. It was a warm and easy goodbye and as the sun threw it’s first rays over the mountain tops we made our way slowly out to sea. We come back here next year on the way back around, something we’re all looking forward to.

Tawhirimatea has smiled on us today, we have had beautiful fine to beam reach sailing all day and having safely negotiated the few small islands in the group have handed over to the Navigators for this special leg to Hawaii. Special because Hawaii is honoured as the birthplace of the Traditional Navigation renaissance. We’re hoping for an easy trip, it has started well so fingers crossed.


Dunc and tuatahi

Posted on June 5, 2011 by Duncan for Pacific Voyagers