Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. “Be still” they say. “Watch and listen”. You are the result of the love of thousands. - LINDA HOGAN
When a Māori King (Ngāti Pikiao) marries his Indigenous Queen (Juru / Birri Gubba), and you can feel an earth-shaking presence as generations of ancestors rise up in celebration of two cultures, united in aroha (love)! Eric & Jemma share a love that knows no bounds. Their journey hasn't been an easy one (are any of ours?), but they are an honest example of how; when you choose to work through your hardships together, and continue to support each other together through all of lifes ups and downs, the highs and lows - you realise that all of your pitfalls are just setting a solid foundation from which you continue to build your relationship and grow with one another. When you come out the other side, you can truly look back at all you've experienced (both separately, and together) and see that magical thread of life, and how it has weaved it's way through every life experience to get you to exactly where you are at this present moment. And isn't that the most beautiful thing?
Jemma is a proud Juru (Birri Gubba) woman who also shares rich South Sea Islander ties to Santos and Tanna Islands. She shares of her heritage "The giant carpet snake is our aboriginal totem and protective spirit for Juru tribe of the Birri Gubba nation. They call it Gubulla Munda which holds sacred cultural and spiritual significance. That's the big snake out the back of Mullers lagoon in Bowen and one in plantation park in Ayr."
Eric (my brother) is equally proud of his whakapapa (genealogy) which stems from Ngāpuhi (Bay of Islands, NZ) and Ngāti Pikiao (Te Arawa/Rotorua, NZ), and witnessing these two cultures come together was something that I will never forget - and I will always feel grateful for the strong, spiritual ties that run through our veins, and for the strong ancestral presence that could be felt on this day.
How beautiful are these traditional Māori kahu huruhuru (Māori cloak)? These cloaks hold stories of our whānau (family) and our whakapapa (genealogy). Korowai and kahu huruhuru is Māori most highly honoured taonga (sacred item/treasure) and the ultimate symbol of honour/prestige - which are worn with the highest form of respect.
Can’t you just feel that mana (presence/pride) beaming from these two as they wear their cloaks? You just get the sense of their ancestors standing right there with them.