NOVEMBER 26, 2007
Iconic Female Ancestors Honoured On Maori Television
Iconic female ancestors who achieved fame and immortality are celebrated in a new series - TAKU WAHINE PUROTU (My
Beautiful Woman) - premiering on Maori Television on Wednesday January 9 at 8.00 PM.
The six-part series in Maori - with English language subtitles - looks at their histories and remarkable achievements
through the tribal wharepuni or meeting houses constructed by their descendants to bear witness to these amazing women.
Producer Robert Pouwhare of Tangata Whenua TV says many documentaries have been produced about wharepuni named after
male ancestors but there is a paucity of information about the females who have been honoured in this way.
"When we began researching TAKU WAHINE PUROTU, we realised that there was a veritable treasure trove of wonderful
stories," Robert says.
"Each tipuna had an incredible trajectory through life; each woman had a very different story to tell. These women must
have been amazing to have been immortalised in the form of having houses and even cities named after them."
Robert says meeting the descendents of these incredible women was very empowering. "The descendents are just as powerful
and dynamic as their tipuna."
HINERUPE - Wednesday January 9 at 8.00 PM: Meet the beautiful Hinerupe - banished by an invading tribe from her
homelands and forced to retreat to Whangara where the warrior chief Tuwhakairiora tried to seduce her. Hinerupe attacked
him with her digging stick; the rest, as they say, is history. Hinerupe is north of Gisborne.
KURAMIHIRANGI - Wednesday January 16 at 8.00 PM: Kuramihirangi is a carved and painted meeting house, hosting many
visitors and notable events in Ruatoki in the eastern Bay of Plenty. She is named after the beautiful medicine woman who
collected herbs and nectars to heal her tribe. Her descendants speak of this incredible healer and the issues
confronting the tribe.
RONGOMAIWAHINE - Wednesday January 23 at 8.00 PM: The beautiful Rongomaiwahine was married to Tamatakutai of Mahia. The
serial philanderer Kahungunu became obsessed after hearing of her great beauty. He finally seduced her to produce the
great tribes of Kahungunu and Rongomaiwahine. The wharepuni is situated at Mahia Peninsula in the Hawkes Bay.
RAUHOTO - Wednesday January 30 at 8.00 PM: Rauhoto was the beautiful and courageous wife of Tuwharetoa-a-Turiroa of
Taupo. When her husband was being put to death, he persuaded her to swim across Lake Taupo to Wharewaka with their son
on her back - to save both their lives.
OHINEWAIAPU - Wednesday February 6 at 9.00 PM: Onhinewaiapu is the ancestress who lured the nation of Maui to the mouth
of the Waiapu River. Was she a taniwha, a tipua or the tipuna of Waiapu River and its valley? Or was she the great
protector guarding the gateway to Ngati Porou country?
WAIRAKA - Wednesday February 13 at 8.00 PM: Wairaka the bold, Wairaka the courageous, Wairaka the saviour of the
Mataatua waka and her people. It was she who uttered the words 'kia whakatane au i ahau - let me act like a man' and
dragged the waka to shore and safety. Today she is commemorated as an ancestral meeting house and a whole town is named
after her actions - Whakatane.
Join Maori Television for an exquisite new series, TAKU WAHINE PUROTU, premiering on Wednesday January 9 at 8.00 PM.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR TAKU WAHINE PUROTU
Censor: General Exhibition (G)
Duration: Six x 30 minute documentary film
Language: Maori language with English language subtitles