The Māori legend of Pania: Kaitiaki and taniwha of the reef, retold as street art

Pania is the legendary Kaitiaki (guardian/protector) of the reef in local Maori legend and her wairua (spirit) is connected strongly to the moana (ocean) close by to the town of Napier. Legend has it that Pania was a shimmering and iridescently beautiful maiden who lives in the sea and following a human encounter and a brokenContinue reading “The Māori legend of Pania: Kaitiaki and taniwha of the reef, retold as street art”

E Pii, e Paa: A poem by Haare Williams

This week is Māori Language Week/ Te wiki o Te Reo Māori. So I will be sharing some beautiful poems, proverbs and words in Māori and English for you to enjoy. Here is a poem by Haare Williams from his incredible book of wisdom: Words of a Kaumātua. E Pii, e Paa tiny bees swarmingContinue reading “E Pii, e Paa: A poem by Haare Williams”

Book Review: Words of a Kaumātua by Haare Williams

A compelling, rich and lush blend of essay, poetry, reflections and personal stories by one of New Zealand’s most preeminent Māori writers. I have to admit that I didn’t know much about Haare Williams before picking up this book in Te Papa Museum in Wellington. This is a definitive collection of Māori wisdom that isContinue reading “Book Review: Words of a Kaumātua by Haare Williams”

Otherworldly and Abandoned Soviet Monuments

These sculptures and old buildings before the end of the Cold War era look futuristic and strange. Some structures demonstrate the military might of Russia. While others are scintillating, harshly modern, and located in beautiful forested landscapes. These monuments are artistic and architectural wonders. Could these lost and forgotten objects ever be revived and resurrected, albeitContinue reading “Otherworldly and Abandoned Soviet Monuments”

Celestial ceilings and soaring skies in Poland

Poland in the summer is filled with enveloping sunlight, as bright and life affirming as a hug. Vibrant life, bees and flies take a circuitous route through fields of barley, poppies and wheat in the countryside. The air filled with drifting dandelion and pollen. A cacophany of bird song fills the countryside accompanied by aContinue reading “Celestial ceilings and soaring skies in Poland”

Beautiful maps & beautiful Welsh tales: The Mabinogion

The Mabinogion is a magical and mythical Celtic classic from the  thirteenth century or earlier. It’s thoroughly Welsh and is considered a masterpiece of medieval literature. Although written down during the middle ages, experts think these stories may date from the dawn of Celtic civilisation in Britain. The Mabinogion has given rise to all ofContinue reading “Beautiful maps & beautiful Welsh tales: The Mabinogion”

Japan’s 72 gossamer-light and poetic microseasons

The traditional seasons in Japan are marked out by impercetibly small changes in nature across 72 miniature seasons in a year, each lasting 5 days and reflecting the fleeting, impermanent and diaphanous beauty of nature and all of its wonders. There are 24 divisions or sekki in the calendar that are split into 72 kōContinue reading “Japan’s 72 gossamer-light and poetic microseasons”

Book Review: Life in a Medieval Castle by Frances and Joseph Gies

Life in a Medieval Castle is one of a series of compelling historical reference books written by acclaimed husband and wife historians Frances and Joseph Gies in the 1970’s. Life in a Medieval Castle (along with companion books Life in a Medieval Village and Life in a Medival City) were re-released in 205 under the weightContinue reading “Book Review: Life in a Medieval Castle by Frances and Joseph Gies”

The art of Kulning: Night-scented stock are called in for the long summer evening

Kulning is an ancient, sweet and sorrowful form of Scandinavian music used to herd cows and goats back down from their high mountain pastures in parts of Norway and in certain provinces of Sweden, Jämtland and Härjedalen. In practical use since medieval times, the mysterious tones were also thought to be a deterrent to potential predators like wolvesContinue reading “The art of Kulning: Night-scented stock are called in for the long summer evening”