Born in Aotearoa (NZ), the most precious gift I had as a child, was an intense love of nature, of Io (the Divine Supreme) and the many Mãori Atua (Gods & Deities). It helped me so much knowing that there was a different world that existed that was beautiful, mysterious, magical and joyful.

In Mãori tanga there are many, many, Atua, from the parents, Papa-tu-ã-nuku the Earth Mother and Rangi-nui the Sky Father, to all their children including Tãne-mahuta - Atua of the Forests, Humans and Birds, Tangaroa - Atua of the Ocean, Hine-nui-i-te-po – Goddess of the Night, Tãwhiri-mãtea - Atua of the Winds, Hine-raukatauri – Goddess of Music, to name a few. There are at least 70 main Gods and many Demi-Gods and Deities, which depends on where you live. All the Atua have their powers, personalities, stories and teachings. If we are lucky to be guided by family, friends, or elders who can pass on such knowledge, the stories of each Atua become our taonga (ancestral gifts) to adorn our Souls with mana (prestige and power) so we can walk with consciousness and with tools for our journeys ahead. This is why I am so passionate that indigenous teachings from around the world are honoured and taught in schools - or ‘assimilated’ into the education systems.

Through many trials and tribulations I have called upon my Tupuna (Ancestors) and Atua to guide me and be there for me, so there is no doubt in my mind that they exist. For example, I once went through a very hard time when I was living in Melbourne. It was 3am. I had been up all night. I was so down and depressed. On my wall in my bedroom was a Mãori painting I had of the Mother of the Pleiades. With all my being I did my Karakia (prayer)… I desperately told her “I don’t want to live in this world unless you really exist! I can’t be here unless I know that you are real and here to guide me… please show me that you exist, a sign, anything…!”. The next morning at work I noticed a big package in the mail. When I finally started opening it, it made me literally jump out of my skin! Inside was a book entitled “The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades – Stories from around the World” written by Munya Andrews, a Bardi woman from the Kimberley region of Western Australia! I sat there stunned and profusely thanking Matariki for answering my Karakia as tears of absolute joy rolled down my cheeks.

That night, I randomly opened the book to a page, which was all about my Iwi (tribe) “Ngati Maniapoto” and our Waka (canoe) “Tainui”. The front of our Waka is called Matariki and the story I had opened to was all about our people and our relationship to Matariki. I felt so blessed! So honoured to have my Karakia answered!

From that day on I have never asked for proof from any of our Atua again. The next morning I gaily trotted off to see Munya Andrews at her book launch. As soon as we saw each other we hugged, cried, and then cried some more. She told me many stories of life with her nanny in the outback learning all about the Seven Sisters and how she had come to write the book and all the stories from around the world that further validated my belief in Matariki.

Since following the guidance, teachings and healings of the Atua, my Tupuna, and with the gift of Music, I have travelled around the world, connecting with indigenous elders, brothers and sisters everywhere whose traditional stories and beliefs are just as powerful, beautiful and alive as my own. We all have access to Atuatanga, angels, or any other spiritual beings. All we have to do is ask for guidance and help - then the real journey begins … the greater the self-healing, the greater the miracles and magic, the greater the adventure, the greater the experience, and the greater the joy and happiness… This is what I have learnt.

Tuhia ki te rangi, Tuhia kit e whenua, Tuhia kit e ngakau o nga tangata, Ko te mea nui, Ko te aroha
Tihei Mauri Ora!

Write it in the sky, write it in the land, write it in the heart of the people, the greatest thing is love. Behold there is Life!

Singing in both Maori and English and dubbed the "Maori Princess of Funk" & the "Queen of Loops", Mihirangi creates her own band sound live in front of her audience. Utilising a loop pedal, the key to her music is the layering of her own vocal sounds. From the foundation of earth-shaking bass lines to intricately layered harmonies, rhythmic ‘ska’ chops, sensuous jazzy riffs and beat boxing – it’s all done with the power of her voice. Mihirangi has an incredible vocal range and an exceptional talent for timing, rhythm and dynamic tonality. Mihirangi is also a multi-instrumentalist, playing percussion, keyboards, guitar and Taonga Puoro (traditional Maori instruments). Appealing to audiences around the world her persuasive lyrics speak about her concerns for indigenous, environmental and spiritual issues. An activist and dream-weaver Mihirangi has performed at "Power to the Peaceful" to an audience of 60,000 in San Francisco and was the guest performer at the Sea Shepherd Conservation Societies 30th Anniversary Benefit in Santa Monica to an audience of fellow international artist-activists. Artists Mihirangi has performed with include Paul Kelly, The Waifs, Kate Miller Heidke, Dan Sultan, Ganga Giri, The Stiff Gins, Michael Franti, Alice Cooper, The Dixie Chicks, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Billy Bragg.

This article appeared in Vol 4 Issue 33 of The Art of Healing


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