Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The longest place name in the English speaking world in New Zealand...


The name "Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaurehaeaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu" has 92 letters, and has been entered into the Guinness Book of Records as the longest officially recognized place name in an English-speaking country. It is the second longest place name in the world. In comparison, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the world's longest place name is Bangkok's full ceremonial name given by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, and later edited by King Mongkut, nearly doubles that and is called "Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit."

A longer version,Taumata-whakatangihanga-koauau-a-Tamatea-haumai-tawhiti-ure-haea-turi-pukaka-piki-maunga-horo-nuku-pokai-whenua-ki-tana-tahu, has 105 letters and means The hill of the flute playing by Tamatea — who was blown hither from afar, had a circumcised penis, grazed his knees climbing mountains, fell on the earth, and encircled the land — to his beloved.


Tamatea, explorer of the land:

Taumata sign, March 2007Tamatea-pōkai-whenua (Tamatea the explorer of the land) was the father of Kahungunu, ancestor of the Ngāti Kahungunu iwi.Mention of Tamatea's explorations of the land occur not only in Ngāti Kahungunu legends, but also in the traditions of iwi from Northland, where he is said to have explored the Hokianga and Kaipara harbours. In traditions from the Bay of Plenty region, he left a son, Ranginui, who is the ancestor of Ngāti Ranginui of Tauranga. Legends from the East Coast of the North Island tell of his explorations in Tūranga-nui (Gisborne), Māhia, Wairoa, Ahuriri (Napier), Heretaunga (near Hastings) and Pōrangahau. He travelled via the Mangakopikopiko River, over the Tītī-o-kura saddle via Pohokura to Lake Taupo. The Ōtamatea River and swamp is named after him. Tamatea is also the name of a place in Napier. Early South Island legends say that Tamatea sailed down the east coast. His canoe was wrecked in the far south, and transformed into Tākitimu mountain range. Tamatea then returned to the North Island, and travelled via the Whanganui River.



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