Out in the hills of Waimarama, M─ütai Whetu (a star compass) sits. I was amazed when I got this picture on my DJI Mavic Mini (Senu). It was one of my first times using my drone for the purpose of making a video to be displayed at my whaunau whakapapa hui, as it is where my ancestral background starts. I love my home with all my heart and after visiting Hakikino, a place I hadnÔÇÖt been in years, it definitely made me realise how lucky I was to grow up in such a magical place. The celestial stars had an essential role in the Polynesian expansion across the Pacific Ocean. The waka tapu (sacred canoe), T─ükitimu transported this ancient knowledge as well as the old Gods to this land. When the waka arrived at Waim─ürama, four tohunga (priests), elected to leave the waka and establish a school. They chose the site for their new school with great deliberation. High on the Maraetotara plateau, the school at Paewhenua gave them a clear and unobstructed view of the heavens. The school also served as a M─ütai Whetu - a place to view the stars, an observatory. The actual site of the archaic school is now lost to mystery, history and legend but stone-faced guardians remain. They dot the ridgeline, their flinty gaze fixed upon the fortress beneath - Hakikino, home of the mother of the tribe, Hinengatiira. A carved totem celebrates her genealogy a whakapapa that binds us to those early priests.

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