MAGICAL MELODY: Love Story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai    
 Love Story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai
picture picture 18 Mar 2004 @ 11:42, by Alana Tobin

Love Story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai

New Zealand Traditional Maori Weddings are conducted on Mokoia Island, in Rotorua: Mokia Island Weddings where couples have a truly unique opportunity to experience the Polynesian Maori on a more personal and spiritual level. Our sacred locations and romantic themes have been carefully chosen creating an atmosphere of excitement and romance. Here in the city of Rotorua, you will discover the seeds of love that were planted many generations ago, by two of our famous ancestors, Princess Hinemoa and Tutanekai, the Greatest Love Story in Maori History! Love Story Reference

Both Max and I were very deeply touched by this story and the spirit connection to the Maori for us is very strong, especially as the link runs even deeper to the Waitaha people, the first people to come to New Zealand in their wakas. This story is well known, and speaks to me about the power of love and music, and two lovers who do not allow the barriers of community or a body of water - to stand between them and their love. Enjoy!

Max and I also enjoy basking in the thermal pools around the city of Rotorua, and the many wonderful shops are a joy to visit as well. Note: To this day the warm bubbling pool where Hinemoa revived herself is known as Hinemoa's Bath.

In harmony, Alana


Mokoia Island Sacred to the Maori people

Mokoia Island the Ultimate Wedding Venue, The Ultimate Wedding experience of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Located at the very center of Lake Rotorua, Mokoia Island places wedding couples at the very heart of the Polynesian Maori. It is here on this Exclusive Location where the seeds of romance were planted many generations ago by two of our Famous Ancestors, Hinemoa and Tutanekai, their legend of love is recorded in Maori History as the greatest love story ever to be told. As the Bride and Groom are welcomed onto this Sacred Island they are embraced by the descendents of Hinemoa and Tutanekai with Traditional Maori song and dance. Their language of love is demonstrated to the visiting Wedding party creating an atmosphere of joy and romance. Throughout the procedures the Bride and Groom are able to trace the steps taken by the famous young lovers, Hinemoa and Tutanekai, visiting the Historical site of Hinemoa’s Hot Spring, the place where the two lovers first met. The highlight of the occasion comes at the Wedding Ceremony. While the couple exchange their vows the descendants of Hinemoa and Tutanekai perform a rendition of their World Famous Love Song Pokarekare ana. A song that speaks of their enduring love for one another, their love that is as deep as the waters of Lake Rotorua. As the marriage ceremony comes to a close the famous love story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai lives on forever in the hearts and lives of the newly Weds. Mokoia Island, the Truly Unique and emotional Wedding experience of the Polynesian Maori.

True Love Story

Hinemoa was a Chieftainess of a tribe, who lived in a village of Owhata, located by the shores of lake Rotorua. On lake Rotorua there is the Island of Mokoia, four kilometers across the water from Owhata. On this Island there lived another well born but unfortunately illegitimate young man named Tutanekai. The tribes of the two young lovers would sometimes visit together for special occasions, so it was during these times that Hinemoa and Tutanekai would come to know one another and fall in love with each other. The love of Hinemoa and Tutanekai would grow stronger and stronger with each passing day, and there were times in the evening when Tutanekai would declare his love for Hinemoa from the Island of Mokoia. Tutanekai would sit on the verandah of his house, which was on a hillside overlooking the Lake, and he would play his flute. A gentle breeze in the evening would carry the sounds that Tutanekai played drifting across the waters of lake Rotorua. Hinemoa as she stood on the shores of the lake would listen intently, embracing the music from Tutanekai as he declared his love for her.

However as often as it happens in life Hinemoa's relatives suspected that she had fallen in love with Tutanekai and although he was considered a nice young man, it was not the wishes of the tribe that the two should unite together in marriage. Every night they would ensure that all the canoes were beached up so that Hinemoa would not be able to pull the canoe into the water and make her way across the lake to be with her lover Tutanekai.

One evening as Hinemoa stood on the shores of the lake with her heart so heavy and eyes full of tears, listening to the melody of Tutanekai's flute, she felt she could bear it no longer. She lashed together six gourds in order to keep her afloat and waded herself out into the lake, being guided along by the music of Tutanekai, she swam the long journey to Mokoia Island. When she finally reached the island after hours of exhaustion, she came across a hot pool and entered it. She was trembling with cold from the journey but her heart was full of joy.

Sometime later Hinemoa could hear footsteps coming and she saw what appeared to be the shadow of a man filling a cala bash with water from a cold spring next to the hot pool. At that moment Hinemoa imitated the sound of a mans voice and called out loudly “Who is that for”. “I am the servant of Tutanekai. This water is for my master”, came the reply. Hinemoa's heart was glad knowing that she was so close to Tutanekai's home. She then seized the calabash from the servant and broke it on the rocks. The servant then raced back to his master Tutanekai and reported to him the strange incident that occurred at the hot pool, but Tutanekai was too tired and heart broken to do anything.

The servant once again returned to fill the calabash with water and again Hinemoa seized the water calabash and broke it on the rocks. This would happen time and time again until Tutanekai finally decided to do something about the matter himself. Taking hold of his club he quickly hurried down to the pool to kill this stranger that had insulted him. Calling out for the intruder to identify himself, Tutanekai quickly made his way around the hot pool reaching around the edges, until finally he grabbed the arm of the adversary pulling him out of the water into the moonlight.

“Tutanekai” she whispered, “It is I Hinemoa”

Tutanekai surprised as he was, stood and stared at her in the moonlight, they then embraced each other as the two young lovers made their way back to Tutanekai's house. No longer would they be separated from each other again.

The next morning as the two lovers slept in late, Tutanekai's father sent his servant off to wake him, it was then reported by the servant that as he approached the door of Tutanekai's house, as he looked into the room he could see that there two pairs of feet and not one lying in Tutanekai's bed.

After that Hinemoa and Tutanekai emerged together embracing one another, from that moment on their union and love for one another was accepted by their relatives and tribes.

This True love story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai is considered to be the greatest love story that is recorded in Maori History, the descendants of these two young lovers still play out this famous legend today in the city of Rotorua, serenading wedding couples with their world famous love song “ Pokarekare ana” the greatest love song in the History of the Maori People.

Pokarekare Ana (Maori Love Song)

In Maori and English Language

Verse 1

Pokarekare ana - They are stirred
Nga wai o Rotorua - The waters of Lake Rotorua
Whiti atu koe hine - Cross over to me girl
Marino ana e - For now they are calm


E hine e - Oh girl
Hoki mai ra - Return to me
Ka mate ahau - Or else I will die
I te aroha e - Because of my love for you

Verse 2

Tuhi tuhi taku reta - I have written my letter
Tuku atu taku ringi - I have sent you my ring
Kia kite tou iwi - So that your people can see
Raru raru ana e - That I am troubled


E hine e - Oh girl
Hoki mai ra - Return to me
Ka mate ahau - Or else I will die
I te aroha e - Because of my love for you

Rotorua, is located in the central North Island. The 10th-largest city in New Zealand, with over 50,000 inhabitants, Rotorua is definitely one of New Zealand's premiere tourist destinations. Rotorua is world-renowned for its natural attractions. Experience soothing mud pools, shooting geysers and relax in the thermal pools located around the city. There are peaceful bush walks, and your regular thrill-seeking attractions.



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