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poroporoaki Play

1. (verb) (-tia) to take leave of, farewell, traditional call given by women as they approach the marae.

I te pō, ka tū a Kihi rātau ko tōna whānau ki te poroporoaki ki a mātau, ki ngā mea e hoki ana ki te tiki mai i ā rātau wāhine, me ō rātou hūnuku katoa (TTT 1/3/1930:2003). / That night Kihi and his family stood to farewell us, the ones returning to fetch their wives and all their family dependants.

2. (noun) eulogy, panegyric, leave taking - eulogies, or farewell speeches to the dead, contain beautiful language and express people’s grief. Metaphoric language and allusions to the tribal connections, geographic places of significance, traditional places that the spirits of the dead are believed to travel to, and the status and work of the deceased, are a feature of poroporoaki. For these reasons they are difficult to translate so that the full meaning is expressed in English. Poroporoaki address the person as though alive, as the belief is that the wairua (spirit) remains with the body for a time before burial.

He kōrero anō āna i tukua ki 'Te Ao Hou', ko tētahi i te tau 1959 he poroporoaki ki te ariki nei o Tūhoe, ki a Takurua Tamarau, ka mate nei ia (TTR 1998:147). / Another of his contributions to the magazine 'Te Ao Hou', was an eloquent tribute in 1959 to the Tūhoe paramount chief, Takurua Tamarau, following his death.
(Te Kōhure Textbook (Ed. 2): 205-208;)

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