It’s cool to kōrero — April 2024

April 24, 2024

Ringa — hand

Ringa rehe means to be skilful, particularly in crafts. A carving in progress at Te Puia, Rotorua. And above, an expert weaver in action. Photo: Adobe Stock
Ringa tītere — goal shooter. Photo: Adobe Stock

Ringa pīau — blacksmith

Haere mai, and welcome to the April “it’s cool to kōrero” column. This month we are looking at the word ringa, which means arm or hand. It can also refer to arms or weapons.
Māori culture and traditions grew in a pre-technological world, so what you could do with your hands was vitally important — be that growing food, your hunting and fighting skills, or the highly valued crafts of carving and weaving.

The whakataukī “He kai kei aku ringa” means to grow food with your own hands. The same words, He Kai Kei Aku Ringa, also form the name (and vision) of a Crown-Māori Economic Growth Partnership launched in 2013.


Kupu hou (new word)
  • Ringa (hands) — pronounced “rrrree-ngah”
  • Kei te makariri aku ringa. — My hands are cold.

Other words related to ringa include:

  • Ringa pīau — blacksmith
  • Manawa ringa — wrist pulse
  • Ringa kuti — fist
  • Pūkaka ringa — ulnar (bone)
  • Ringa tārake — fielder (sport)
  • Ringa tītere — goal shooter (netball)
  • Ringa rehe — skilful, especially in crafts
  • Waiata-ā-ringa — action song
  • Puringa — handlebars
  • Whakatū ringa — hand-brake

E mihi ana ki a Titihuia Pakeho rāua ko Mairi Lucas.