Pray the trees

For the Maori, the forests are the realm of Tane, the deity who imbues everything with her life energy. So to use the resources of the forest, it is necessary to ask for permission by a specific action: praying the trees

pray the trees

Pray the trees

The story goes that Rata needed to build a waka (canoe) to go hunt and kill her father's killer, a chief named Matukutakotako. Rata cut down a tree, but when he returns to do his waka, the tree was once again standing in front of him. He cut it down again, and when he returned the next day, the tree was intact again.

The next night, after cutting the tree again, Rata hid and saw the Hakaturi (the tribes of insects, birds and forest spirits) put the tree back on its stump with powerful chants. . The Hakaturi lectured Rata, telling him that he had cut down one of the sacred trees in Tane without her permission.

Henceforth, prayers and offerings were made so that the trees could be cut down and used with the blessing of the gods.