I was watching the Disney movie “Moana” with my daughters, and it reminded me of a part of my own past.
I lived on a missionary base for nearly three years with people from all over the world. We ate, slept and prayed together, sharing the stories of each other under a Christian banner.
My favorite culture of all was that of my Maori friends. I was honored by two brothers who befriended me and offered to give me a tribal tattoo with the traditional method of their people.
I respectfully declined, as the idea of having ink chiseled into my arm with sharp stones was not an experience I desired to put myself through.
Never miss a local story.
Instead, they sat with me and shared the history of their people and their families using their tattoos to illustrate the story of their tribe written onto their skin.
Long before Magellan, the native Maori people sailed from the coast of modern day New Zealand across the vast Pacific waters in tiny wooden vessels, guided only by the stars, and populated the island nations that became Polynesian culture.
They are part of our story. Their journey does not need redeemed. It needs to be remembered.
What I’ve discovered in my own journeys through this world is that these tales are missing pieces of our story together across the ocean of time that define the strength of our humanity together.
Timothy Havener, Mill Hall