kete

Tangihanga, kawe mate, hura kōhatu

Te Kete Tuauri

"Spiritual care runs across and through every aspect of caring for the tūpāpaku, taking care of its interment and carrying out ceremonies to farewell and remember the dead."

When Tāne retrieved ‘Te Kete Tuauri’ it contained ancient and sacred knowledge of the spiritual realm. Kete Tuauri contains information about cultural and spiritual tikanga (customs) and kawa (ceremonies) that support whānau pani (bereaved families) to take care of their loved person’s tūpāpaku through preparing and conducting tangihanga (funerals), kawe mate (memorial rituals) and hura kōhatu (ceremony to unveil the headstone).

Spiritual care runs across and through every aspect of caring for the tūpāpaku (body), taking care of its interment (burial or cremation) and carrying out ceremonies to farewell and remember the dead. Each whānau manaaki kete is woven with cultural and spiritual values to guide and support them (and their extended family) to carry about the obligations they have towards each other following death. Ensuring that the tūpāpaku of the kaumātua is well cared for and things run to plan according to their wishes also helps to care for their grieving whānau; when things are done well it helps to strengthen and sustain grieving whānau over the days, weeks, months and years ahead. There is a tremendous healing strength when whānau gather together at a tangihanga; being together is healing and sharing the collective responsibility to farewell the dead and care for the living is one of the greatest hallmarks of Māori culture.

Often, kaumātua will let their immediate whānau know what the older person wants to happen to their tūpāpaku after they die; they may give instructions, or share their preferences for where their body will lie (for example, at home or on a marae), how long for, and where they will be mourned (tangihanga) and buried. Many kaumātua and whānau manaaki will have discussed who will be the officiating minister or kaumātua.

 

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