In Spring the Kuaka or Godwit depart from their breeding nests in the great Siberian and Alaskan tundra and return to the rich feeding grounds provided by Aotearoa’s tidal flats and coastal marshes. In ancient times this annual arrival of the Kuaka was looked as a great event.
Kuaka on the wing are known as "waka kuaka”. Their cries are loud as they fly along. During daylight the ancestors followed the course of the flight in their canoes by observing the direction of the flight. In the night they would listen for the cries of the Kuaka on their way to the south above the fleet of canoes and so be guided by them
Ko te kaupapa waka kit e moana hoe ai ko te kahui atua kit e ranga rere ai
Whilst the fleet of canoes over the ocean are paddled, the flocks of gods are above in the heavens flying
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