Te Whanautanga mai/From the Birth
When a high ranking woman conceived, there was rejoicing in the village and community and special presents were made26 to mark the continuance of the aho ariki, the chiefly line27. In ordinary whanau, there were less civic displays of joy.
Indeed Maui could recite his brothers’ names to his newly found mother because he had heard their names when he was in her womb28, so the positive whanau messages were communicated to the foetus. This belief holds today. At the Hato Petera workshop conducted by Te Kahui Mana Ririki in Northcote in March, 2010, a young man said that his mother told him that she talked to him in Maori while he was in the womb and when he came out, he knew the language.