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The Art of Palliative Medicine - 2017 Semester 1

Te Ao Māori - what happens when you die?

I decided to make a poster/artwork which has some information on Maori beliefs surrounding death and wairua (spirit). Inspired by Mr X and his family and their knowledge and integration of Te Ao Maori in their lives I thought it would be fitting to share knowledge from Te Ao Maori with others to further and improve understanding and friendship between Pakeha and Maori.

I included a whakatauki (proverb) on the poster “E kore au e ngaro, he kākano i ruia mai i rangiātea.” In Te Reo Pakeha this loosely translates to “I will never be lost for I am a seed sown from Rangiātea.” This whakatauki is important to me but is also important in the process of dying. A seed is forever linked to its past and future generations and so it is never lost. It has always come from somewhere and something before it so it already has roots before it grows them. It also has potential for growth and development before it has even grown its leaves. As described on the poster, Rangiatea is the beginning and the end and so a seed is never lost because it returns from where it was sown.

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