FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

maori superstitions fantail in house

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Two Blondinis View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 January 1900
Location: West Auckland
Points: 4370
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote Two Blondinis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: maori superstitions fantail in house
    Posted: 13 January 2009 at 8:49pm
Tonight whilst I was putting Caitlin to bed a fantail flew in the barely open kitchen window, through the dining room, across the hallway to Caitlin's old nursery. DH let it out through the window in there.

He's absoutely freaking out about it as we are just about to start TTC and it flew into the nursery! It would take a bit of effort to get into that room and I would have thought it would have gone for the next window it saw which is our bedroom off the dining room - but it went to the nursery!

DH is what I would call your stereo-typical pakeha kiwi bloke and so not into superstitions from any culture, but he's talking about asking his friend (he's Maori) to arrange to have the house blessed!!!

Being a pom and not knowing anything about this stuff I did a quick google and came up with a variety of options - most being about death

Can someone please put my mind at rest, am freaking out a bit here!!!!
Back to Top
MummyFreckle View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 08 February 2007
Location: Auckland
Points: 4122
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote MummyFreckle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 8:58pm

I had a quick look and found this on www.maori.org - not sure if its helpful or not - hopefully someone else might be able to provide more info.

Our Ngâpuhi mau râkau style is based on the movements of tîrairaka. The superstition around tîrairaka is based on the Maaui kôrero where as a result of tîrairaka unable to hold its laughter Maaui was crushed at the entrance way to Hine-nui-te-pô Goddess of Death. The following information should provide you with all the relevant kôrero.

Hei konei râ.

Apart from hiwaiwaka, tirairaka and tiwakawaka, there are sixteen other dialectal Maori names for the fantail, many of which denote the restlessness of this little bird.

Tiwakawaka is also the name of a grandson of the demi-god and folk hero Maui (Maui-potiki). He was one of the first maori settlers to arrive in the Bay of Plenty more than 1000 years ago, well before the main migrations. This was the time of the explorer Kupe and his grandson Nukutawhiti. Tiwakawaka was captain of Te Aratauwhaiti canoe and is said to have been one of Kupe’s people who stayed on when Kupe returned to eastern Polynesia.

When Nukutawhiti returned in Kupe’s canoe to New Zealand it was Tiwakawaka who came down to the beach to challenge him, no doubt boldly like the fantail. Kupe had seen the fantail, tiwakawaka, on his exploratory trip and noted that it carried its tail feathers erect and could spread them out like a fan. Its challenging behaviour reminded Kupe that he was entering the domain of Tane, god of the forest, and perhaps reminded him also of the mythical battle between the sea and land birds.

Taiaha weapon in hand, the fantail and its companion the owl, who was armed with a pouwhenua, advanced towards the forces of the sea birds. Fantail got into a towering passion and danced and glared and performed all manner of gesticulations. Indeed it is said that the war dance, the haka, owes something to this dance of the tiwakawaka in mythological times, or at least the single action in it of jumping from side to side while brandishing a weapon.

It is, however, in the stories of Maui that the tiwakawaka plays its most important role in Maori mythology. From its refusal to tell Maui where his ancentress Mahuika kept fire hidden, it got its very appearance. In retaliation Maui took the bird and squeezed it so hard that its eyes nearly popped out, hence their prominence now. This also explains why its tail projects so far behind its body and why it flies so erratically.

Let it now be said that the fantail got its revenge in full on Maui for his rough treatment by not obeying his instructions when it accompanied him on his last and greatest exploit to the realms of Hinenuitepo.

In those far off days Hinenuitepo, goddess of night, goddess of death, lived, as she does today, in the underworld of spirits. As mother of mankind she has decreed from the troublesome earliest days of creation that man should live one cycle of life, then die. Maui wanted to give mankind everlasting life. He sought to kill Hinenuitepo and by doing so abolish death forever.

When Maui asked his father what Hinenuitepo looked like, he replied: “you will see that her body is like that of a human being, but is of gigantic size, with thighs as red as the setting sun. You will see eyes of greenstone, flashing like the opening and shutting of the horizon in summer lightening. You will see teeth as sharp as flaked obsidian and a mouth like that of a barracouta, and hair like a tangled mass of sea kelp”.

Maui chose several bird companions besides the fantail to accompany him on his great quest. Because he had the ability to change into many life forms, he was able to travel with these birds to the underworld as a sparrow hawk.

Maui’s objective was to enter the womb of Hinenuitepo when she was sleeping and by passing through her vital organs to her mouth, to destroy death. He said to his companions, “My command is that when I enter the womb of Hinenuitepo, you must on no account laugh.”

So Maui, having taken on the form of the noke worm, then entered the womb but as he disappeared within, Tatahore, the whitehead, burst out laughing whilst the fantail rushed out and began dancing about with delight. And then was roused Hinenuitepo who closed her legs and strangled Maui and killed him.

Back to Top
kakapo View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 04 July 2008
Location: Hokitika
Points: 1314
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote kakapo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 9:05pm

We've had a fantails fly into several of the houses we've lived in over the years and nothing bad has ever happened ... I'm sure you'll be fine too. Have you had any other birds fly inside before (we had a swallow visit last weekend!).

If you're worried then go ahead and have the house blessed for your own (and your DH's) peace of mind .

Back to Top
Two Blondinis View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 January 1900
Location: West Auckland
Points: 4370
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote Two Blondinis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 9:18pm
I've never had a bird in my house! I've got a bit of a phobia (in that I'm scared they'll poop on me! lol)

Thanks for the info Sam. I find the maori stories fascinating.
I'm a tad worried about poor old Maui getting strangled half way up Hinenuitepo's hoo-haa

I'm sure we'll be ok but I'll let DH get the blessing done JUST IN CASE!
Back to Top
FreeSpirit View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 23 November 2008
Points: 1256
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote FreeSpirit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 9:21pm
I've heard that a fantail can be a herald of the gates, and as the gates swing both ways it can either be a warning of death or a herald of new life.

Might be wrong, just what I heard (if it helps the last time I saw a fantail was 3weeks before a BFP)
Back to Top
Two Blondinis View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 January 1900
Location: West Auckland
Points: 4370
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote Two Blondinis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 9:24pm
I like that angle better than the death one. Will tell DH that, might calm him down
Back to Top
HippyMama View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 15 January 2008
Points: 1655
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote HippyMama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 9:30pm
Just to be difficult, I can see it in two ways.

You could take the piwakawaka flying into your house as it is traditionally signified - a bad omen. I'd then say cover your bases and have the house blessed in whichever manner you see fit.

On the other hand, in other cultures omens of death often signify that the exact opposite is about to occur - such as dreaming of funerals etc is said to mean that someone you know is pregnant. In which case, I would take a deep breath, have a stiff drink, and try to relax.

Mama to two earth walkers & two angels.

Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being. ~ Kittie Franz

Next Slingbabies! Meet - Friday 4th May !!
Back to Top
HippyMama View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 15 January 2008
Points: 1655
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote HippyMama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 9:33pm
Ah ha! Found something else directly related to the piwakawaka for you...

Apparently the belief is that if a fantail flies into your house and twitters, he is the bearer of bad news. But there’s something special about a fantail that enters a house and is quiet - something positive.

(Had this passed on to me by a friend with Maori family.)
Mama to two earth walkers & two angels.

Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being. ~ Kittie Franz

Next Slingbabies! Meet - Friday 4th May !!
Back to Top
Two Blondinis View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 January 1900
Location: West Auckland
Points: 4370
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote Two Blondinis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 9:35pm
That's not so good then as it was quiet UNTIL it got to the nursery!

I like the idea of the stiff drink tho
Back to Top
mummy_becks View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 01 January 1900
Points: 14931
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote mummy_becks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 9:38pm

Fantails coming inside to me are total bad luck. Get the house blessed.

I was a puree feeder, forward facing, cot sleeping, pram pushing kind of Mum... and my kids survived!
Back to Top
MrsH View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 27 September 2008
Location: Porirua
Points: 859
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote MrsH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 9:41pm
I might be inclined to check with a maori priest and possibly get the house blessed anyway - couldn't do any harm.
Back to Top
emz View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 25 November 2006
Location: Christchurch
Points: 5324
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote emz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 9:57pm
It's not just a Maori superstition.

My grandad and his best friend just died and while camping at christmas a fantail visited us a few days in a row and tried to fly into all our tents. We thought it was rather lovely, that they were checking up on us.

I didn't see it as a bad omen though, especially since I got my BFP only a week later!
Back to Top
kiwisj View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 02 June 2008
Points: 2434
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote kiwisj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 9:57pm
Very interesting, I didn't actually realise this was a maori thing..

When my Grandad passed away a few years ago we kept getting fantails in the house at my Nan's (AFTER he passed) and there was even one at the funeral home the day we went to visit Grandad. The thing is, all my family were talking about fantails being around when there's a death - but this is my very ENGLISH side of the family.

Anyways, they saw it as a positive thing, rather than bad luck but if it makes DH and you feel better, get your house blessed, no harm done, right?
SJ
Callum - Dec 2008
Daniel - Oct 2010
Back to Top
.Mel View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 14 January 2007
Location: Orewa
Points: 9079
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote .Mel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 10:15pm
We've had a twittering fantail in our house a few times, and so far nothing has happened... I still freak though.
Mr Mellow (16)
Miss Attitude (8)
Destructa Kid (3)

Back to Top
Shezamumof3 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 14 April 2007
Points: 10098
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote Shezamumof3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 10:29pm
Im not so sure I believe in all that stuff. I mean a bird is going to twitter and panic and fly all over the show trying to get out.

But if you are worried, cant hurt to have the place blessed.

Back to Top
AandCsmum View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 13 May 2008
Location: Palmerston North
Points: 8429
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote AandCsmum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 10:47pm
Originally posted by kiwisj kiwisj wrote:

Very interesting, I didn't actually realise this was a maori thing..

When my Grandad passed away a few years ago we kept getting fantails in the house at my Nan's (AFTER he passed) and there was even one at the funeral home the day we went to visit Grandad. The thing is, all my family were talking about fantails being around when there's a death - but this is my very ENGLISH side of the family.

Anyways, they saw it as a positive thing, rather than bad luck but if it makes DH and you feel better, get your house blessed, no harm done, right?


I have read somewhere that the fantails carry the spirit's of the person/people who had died. I would take it as positive.
Kel


A = 01.02.04   &   C = 16.01.09   &   G = 30.03.12
Back to Top
caraMel View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 January 1900
Points: 5344
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote caraMel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 11:14pm
I was talking to someone about this just the other day. She said apparently the myth varies from tribe to tribe but in her tribe the story goes that it is only the little black fantails that are relevant as the bearer of news and it can mean either a spirit coming to visit, a pregnancy or birth in the family or a death in the family.
Another thing is that they are really friendly, curious birds. Not so good IMO because I have a phobia of birds and having them inside is one of my biggest fears.
My parents live up north and the have a pair that visit them really regularly and are so tame they will come and sit with them at the table outside. Despite the family dog and cat!
Don't freak Toni and yes, drink up!!
Mel, Mummy to E: 6, B: 4 and:

Back to Top
lizzle View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 01 January 1900
Location: New Zealand
Points: 8346
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote lizzle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2009 at 7:59am
My family is Rongowhakaata and they believe that fantails are spirits of ancestors past, popping in to say hi.

I grew up in King country where it's the death thing, butwhen one flew in during an xmas, my MIL was delighted.
Back to Top
ooEvaoo View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 January 1900
Points: 1504
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote ooEvaoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2009 at 8:28am
Yup I agree with caraMel. My family has had instances of fantails flying in the house, but death hasn't been the case each time. I think the fact that the bird flew into the nursery is probably a good sign!







Back to Top
KiwiL View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 29 December 2006
Location: Wellington, NZ
Points: 2225
Post Options Post Options   Like (0) Like(0)   Quote KiwiL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2009 at 1:47pm
I never knew about this!

Just after my granddad died, when I was 15, I came home one night and hopped into bed. Right next to my pillow was a fantail that was just sitting there. It had been there a long time, judging by the amount of poop!

It was the strangest thing as no windows were open in my room. At the time I thought it might have had something to do with my granddad... he was a total bird lover.

I didn't see any significance in it being a fantail though.... The sensible part of me said that it had flown in and hurt itself somehow (we had net curtains though, so possibly not by banging into the window).

And for the record - I let it go free out the window and it flew off happily.


Having said all that, fantails are incredibly inquisitive. I go tramping a lot and regularly get fantails following us for ages at a time. When we were in the Sounds, a friend convinced one to land on her finger.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.109 seconds.