Friday, 25 November 2011

Totara= Respect

One of the things that I love about living in a country different to the one that I grew up in is that it exposes me to different cultures and the accompanying traditions and beliefs.

Before Wee Man's birth when the midwife asked us what we wanted to do with the placenta, our initial reaction was that we didn't want to keep it. However, the midwife pointed out that there is a scheme by which you can buy a native tree and plant it with the placenta in designated areas of Victoria Park in the Port Hills Reserve. Mr Tartankiwi and I discussed it and decided that we liked the idea.
What a great spot eh!?!
This weekend we FINALLY got round to planting Wee Man's tree. There was a choice of two different trees: Totara, Kowhai.

We chose Totara.

According to Maori belief, the Totara symbolises Respect. The story goes that Rata cut down a Totara tree to build a Waka (canoe) without asking the forest for permission. Over night the birds and creatures of the forest rebuilt the tree until Rata realised he had to ask for permission to cut down the tree and respect the forest.
Not the best photo, but can you make out Wee Man's tree?

I love that Wee Man now has his own special tree, I love that it symbolises Respect and I look forward to many a special family trip there as we watch the tree and our Wee Man grow big and strong.

Now that its there, I honestly can't think of a better place for the placenta to be.

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  1. That's really cool and nice to have it somewhere public you can always enjoy it. If you planted at your home you would feel a bit like you couldn't re-visit it if you moved.

  2. What a wonderful idea. Part of you and your wee man will live on in another form! Fantastic! :)

  3. my babies who never stepped foot on this earth and my childrens placentas all share a common tree - it is a peaceful restful place for me to visit.
    I like the idea of burying placentas

  4. What a beautiful tradition!

    I still have ours from our wee man because I havent been able to decide what to do with it. I think I'll look into this :)

  5. Thats awesome! We weren't allowed to keep any my kids placenta's. It just wasn't an option for us.

    Hopefully they change there ways here soon.

  6. That tears me up, what a lovely story

  7. I love the idea of a special tree!

  8. we did this for each of our kids, we picked a special native tree from Oz and planted it in our yard with their placenta. Yes, we moved house but they still have a very real affinity to their special type of tree. We might be driving along and see a row of 'their' trees somewhere and we all say 'hey Sam, there's your tree.' They are all looking forward to when we settle in our own place again we will plant another special tree for them, this time they will help us dig and plant and water and where ever we go they will have special trees.


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