"Ina kei te mohio koe ko wai koe, I anga mai koe I hea, kei te mohio koe kei te anga atu ki hea. If you know who you are and where you are from then you will know where you are going." - Maori proverb. TopKids Stratford have hosted their annual 'special person's day '.
Whakapapa is about knowing who you are and where you belong. Through knowing whakapapa, we gain our identity, history and knowledge about where we come from and where we belong. Māori have both a physical and spiritual relationship to wai. It is the source of connection to wai which can be traced back through geneaology or whakapapa.
Below is a source of links to information and resources about identity.
Ko Wai Koe, Nō Wai Koe
Whakapapa tells us that we are water; we comprise of the waters that flowed from Ranginui and Papa tūā nuku. This is why when we ask someone who they are we say ko wai koe, nō wai koe? On the surface this question asks who are you and where are you from? On a deeper level it is asking what waters are you and from where do your waters flow from.