Haere mai and welcome to the first “It’s cool to kōrero” column for the year. “Hipi” is the common word in te reo for sheep, an introduced animal which has played a major part in the New Zealand economy for more than a century.
After European settlers first brought hipi here, Māori were quick to establish themselves as expert shearers, first with blades, and then with electric shearing machines.
Māori continue to be a strong presence, as shearers, rousies and wool-classers, in shearing gangs that work on sheep farms and stations across New Zealand and Australia.
Kupu hou (new word)
Hipi (sheep) — pronounced “hee-pee”
Kia kutikuti hipi e rua rau ia rā, e taku tungāne. — My brother can shear 200 sheep a day.
More words related to hipi:
hipi toa – ram
kātua – ewe
hipi tame raho-poka –wether
reme – lamb
hōkete – hogget (year-old sheep)
huruhuru hipi – wool
wūru – wool
weu wūru – wool fibre
kirihipi — sheepskin
kutikuti — shearing
kaikuti — shearer
hīpō – “sheep-o”: person whose job it is to fill the pens with sheep for shearing
piriho – “fleece-o”: person who picks up shorn fleece and tosses it on table for wool-skirting and classing
E mihi ana ki a Titihuia Pakeho rāua ko Mairi Lucas.