Sunday, January 23, 2011


Tui are considered to be very intelligent, much like parrots. They also resemble parrots in their ability to clearly imitate human speech,[1] and are known for their noisy, unusual call, different for each individual, that combine bellbird-like notes with clicks, cackles, timber-like creaks and groans, and wheezing sounds—unusually for a bird, Tui have two voiceboxes[2] and this is what enables Tui to perform such a myriad of vocalisations.

Some of the huge range of Tui sounds are beyond the human register. Watching a Tui sing, one can observe gaps in the sound when the beak is agape and throat tufts throbbing. Tui will also sing at night, especially around the full moon period.

A small waterfall near the Waikato railway named "Te Ako-o-te-tui-a-Tamaoho" ("The Teaching of Tamaoho's Tui Bird") The story here is that this is where Tamaoho took his pet to teach it how to talk. Maori believe that tuis learn best within the sound a small waterfall, with the steady noise of the water would create a sound barrier. This meant that the bird only heard the teacher's voice.

Art thou Tu?
Art thou Rongo?
It is the guest.

Sleep with the dog.
Welcome to the guest!
From the south is the guest?

From the north is the guest?

From somewhere?

From anywhere?
Perhaps he has come by canoe?
Ah! They speak now in oracles!

About Hawaiki!
What wonderful lore and knowledge!

An apt proverb!
It stands apart!
O joy!

Who can he be who is speaking?

Speak on!

What a tongue to be sure!
Te Whare-pa-tahi!
A second Te Whare-pa-tahi!
A recital of the divine history of man.

Impart thy lore to me.

Art thou Tu?
Art thou Rongo?
This is the guest!


There is no food in the village.

E Rongo!
E Rongo!
E Rongo!
Maru! Awa!

How fareth the tide?

The tide is ebbing.

Tides which provide abundance of food!

Yonder are the canoes.

Which secure food during the year round.

The waters
Bear us two along.

O tide.
Give us of your waters.
We fish the foods.

Abundantly, even to wasting it.

Eat of it then!
It is plenteous!
It is lasting!

It causes anxiety.

Thanks to the female sea deity!

Thanks for thy sea-foods!

Impart thy lore to me!

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