It’s cool to kōrero — October

October 10, 2022

Kei te rongo au i te ua. — I hear the rain

Pūroro — driving rain.
PHOTOS: Adobe Stock

Haere mai! Welcome back to the kōrero column, the first on the Kaitiaki website.

Aotearoa is a rainy country and given the close relationship Māori have traditionally had with the natural world and its weather, it is no surprise that there are many, many words in te reo that describe rain in all its moods.

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Rain can also be thought of in a spiritual sense — the raindrops symbolising tears of grief.

Kopu hou (new word)
  • Ua (rain) — pronounced “ooh-ah”
  • Kei te rongo au i te ua. — I hear the rain.

More words for rain:

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  • kōpata — drop of rain
  • kōuaua — light, scattered rain
  • hāuaua — drizzle/light rain
  • tārū kahika — light summer rain
  • kōpatapata — light rain falling in heavy drops
  • pūtai — misty driving rain/sea spray
  • pūroro — driving rain
  • āwhā — heavy rain, storm
  • ua tata — very heavy rain
  • koripo marama — a day’s rain
  • maomao — the moment when the rain stops

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

  1. Te Aka Māori Dictionary, https://maoridictionary.co.nz
  2. Basil Keane, ‘Tāwhirimātea – the weather – Rain – Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/tawhirimatea-the-weather/page-4
Koripo marama — a day’s rain.
Kōpatapata — light rain falling in heavy drops.
Maomao — the moment when the rain stops. Huruwhenua (ferns) thrive in the rain-soaked bush.
Āwhā — heavy rain.