curved trumpets
heralding spring

The word Kowhai is the Maori name for yellow.  The Kowhai flowers in spring on bare branches, and James Cowan told of the Maori explanation of this in an article in the New Zealand Railways Magazine 1928.  I have written a condensed version below:

On the shore of a lake in the long ago times sat a young Maori man and maiden.  The man loved the maiden and asked to marry her, but she laughed and required him to carry out some great deed before she would become his wife.  The lover was an Ariki (chieftain) and tohunga.  Above them was a tree bare of both of flowers and leaf in the cold of early spring.  The young man recited a chant which caused the tree to burst forth into a blaze of golden blossom.  Ever since then the Kowhai has flowered on leafless branches as a sign and a reminder of his love. 

9 thoughts on “THE COLOUR OF LOVE…

  1. Nice, so the Kowhai is in color. I missed that now I/m not living on the farm, that means the Tui is calling in his mate, spring is here.
    Hope you have had a great day.

  2. Maureen,
    My parents had a massive Kowhai on one fence at their Christchurch house… the tree would bend over with the sheer weight of flowers. I love Kowhai… and miss seeing them now that I love abroad.

    • I like the typo – ‘I love abroad’ sounds much better than ‘I live abroad’. There is always something we miss. I miss Christchurch, my home town, and those brown hills…

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