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Reconnecting through words

Regina De Wolf

Riddled with twists and turns and inspired by Māori mythology, Regina de Wolf-Ngarimu’s latest book draws on Aotearoa’s spiritual and sometimes brutal past.

The second book in The Spirit Voyager series written under the pen name R de Wolf, is called The Future Weavers.

De Wolf mapped out a six-part series beginning with the first book, Guardians of the Ancestors, which was published in December last year.

“There is quite a lot of me, and how I look at the world, in these books. There is a lot of thinking about the environment. decision-making and how our youth are sometimes without a voice or feel let down,” she told The Herald earlier this year.

De Wolf was enthralled by Roman, Greek, and Norse history growing up, which spurred her interest in worlds gone by.

The Future Weavers catches up with Marama, the main character of Guardians of the Ancestors, some years after her people first arrived in Aotearoa.

In the novel, as her village is left undefended and foreign warriors come looking for a woman to produce a son for their chief, Marama allows herself to be taken to save her people.

“She goes from being a respected healer in her own village, who is able to speak with her tipuna (ancestors), to being in another village where women are nothing. It’s emotionally challenging.”

In her new village tensions rise with the other women as the chief falls in love with Marama. She must use her healing and spiritual connection with their ancestors to win allies to save herself and her son.

De Wolf did not grow up immersed in Māoridom so spent a lot of time researching te ao Māori concepts to include in her stories.

“Dad didn’t want me to be able to speak Māori because he said he wanted me to be able to make my way in the world. I now wish I had learned the language.”

Now de Wolf is making up for lost time and is reading dense literature on the traditional Māori way of life.

A key piece of source material for de Wolf is He Hānātore ki te Ao Māori, a veritable tomb of information on traditional Māori tikanga (customs).

The document was created by the Ministry of Justice and academics and spans 256 pages, detailing te ao Māori views on cultural values and beliefs in relation to Māori justice.

“It was a reconnection for me because it starts at Rangi and Papa and the coming into being of te ao Māori and it was things I knew, but it also touched on environmental things as well.”

She said writing the books has helped her reconnect with Māoridom and the practices of the past.

The Future Weavers can be found on her website rdewolf.com and booktopia.com.au