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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Rata \Ra"ta\ (r[aum]"t[.a]), n. [Maori.] (Bot.) A New Zealand forest tree ( Metrosideros robusta), also, its hard dark red wood, used by the Maoris for paddles and war clubs.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Etymology 1 n. 1 (context usually countable English) Any of various New Zealand plants of the genus (taxlink Metrosideros genus noshow=1) 2 (context usually uncountable English) The hard dark red wood of such trees. Etymology 2

n. The mangosteen tree (taxlink Garcinia dulcis species noshow=1) of Indonesia.


Rață is a Moldovan surname that may refer to

  • Andrew Rayel (born Andrew Rață in 1992), Moldovan producer and DJ
  • Mariana Raţă, Moldovan journalist
  • Vadim Raţă (born 1993), Moldovan football player
Rātā (Māori mythology)

In Māori mythology, accounts vary somewhat as to the ancestry of Rātā. Usually he is a grandson of Tāwhaki and son of Wahieroa. Wahieroa is treacherously killed by Matuku-tangotango, an ogre. Rātā sets out to avenge the murder, travelling to the home of Matuku, where a servant of the ogre tells him that Matuku comes out to devour people each new moon, and that he can be killed at the pool where he washes his face and hair. Rātā waits till the ogre comes out and is leaning over with his head in the pool. He grabs him by the hair and kills him. Matuku's bones are used to make spears for hunting birds.

Rātā searches for his father's bones so that he can afford them the proper respect. He learns that the Ponaturi have the bones in their village. He must build a canoe to get there. He goes into the forest, and fells a tree, and cuts off the top. His day's work over, he goes home, and returns the next morning. To his surprise he finds the tree standing upright and whole. Once again he cuts it down, but when he returns he finds the tree standing again. He hides in the forest, and hears the voices of the multitude of the hākuturi (forest spirits, called rorotini in one account), who set to work to re-erect the tree, putting each chip into its proper place. He runs out and catches some of the hakuturi, who tell him they re-erected the tree because he insulted Tāne, the god of the forest, by not performing the correct rituals before felling the tree. Rātā is ashamed, and expresses regret. Then the hākuturi make him a canoe, naming it Niwaru (alias Niwareka, Āniwaniwa, etc.)(Biggs 1966:450).

Rātā and his people launch the canoe and paddle off to find the Ponaturi. Arriving, Rātā cleverly surrounds them, kills their priests, and rescues his father's bones. The Ponaturi regroup and give chase. The battle goes badly until Rātā recites an incantation called Titikura that he overheard their priests recite while they were tapping together the bones of Wahieroa. In a flash all Rātā's dead warriors return to life and attack and slaughter all of the Ponaturi. Rātā is the father of Tūwhakararo, who is the father of Whakatau.

Rata (Tuamotu mythology)

In the Tuamotu islands, the telling of the full cycle of the legend of Rata takes several evenings to tell.

The legend begins with his grandfather Kui, a demigod who marries Puehuehu. Their son Vahi-vero was stolen by two wild ducks that carry him to a distant island where two witches Nua and Mere-hua imprison him. Kui eventually rescues his son, captures the witches, and kills the ducks.

Once Vahi-vero reaches adulthood, he falls in love with a water- nymph Tahiti-tokerau, whom he persuades to marry him. She, however, is abducted by Puna, king of the underworld. Following his father's advice, he swims down to the underworld and rescues her while Puna is away. Shortly thereafter, Tahiti-tokerau becomes pregnant and gives birth to Rata.

Not long after the birth of Rata, Puna returns and learns that Tahiti-tokerau had been rescued. He summons the shark Matuku-tagotago who attack Vahivero and Tahiti-tokerau while they are crabbing. The shark swallows them and takes them back to Kororupo where Tahiti-tokerau is buried head down in the sand.

The orphan Rata is raised by his grandfather. When he learns of his parents' fate, he builds a large canoe to find them. Using his grandfather's magical adze, he enters the forest and chops down a tree. Overnight, however, goblins had restored the tree. He ambushes them and forces them to complete his canoe, which they accomplish in a single night. Rata then begins his quest to find his parents, which includes various adventures including defeating champion warrior Manu-kura in a contest for the hand of his wife, princess Pupura-to-te-tai, Puna's daughter. As he nears Puna's land he must overcome various monsters, including Matuku-tagotago, the shark that had killed his father, whom he cuts out of Matuku's belly. Rata, with the help of his servant Taraka, finally kills Puna, rescues his mother and restores her to health. They all return home.

Rata (genus)

Rata is a genus of crabs in the family Xanthidae, containing the following species:

  • Rata chalcal Davie, 1997
  • Rata tuamotense Davie, 1992
Rata (name)

Rata is a Polynesian name, which is reflected in the Māori, Tahitian and Tuamotu mythology. It may refer to

Given name
  • Rata Harrison (1935–2013), New Zealand rugby league player
  • Rata Lovell-Smith (1894–1969), New Zealand artist
  • Matiu Rata (1934–1997), New Zealand politician
  • Te Rata (1877–1933), Māori king
Rata (Tahitian mythology)

Rata, in Tahitian mythology, is said to have become king of Tahiti when his uncle, king Tumu-nui, and his father Vahieroa (Tahitian mythology) are swallowed by a great clam while they are on their way to Pitcairn. When he reaches adulthood, Rata plans to avenge his father. As in the Tuamotuan version, Rata identifies a tree to build his canoe, but it is protected by forest elves. After he captures them they build it for him in a single night. While en route for Pitcairn, Rata and his crew are sucked down into the same clam, but they use their spears to cut the monster open. They rescue the remains of Rata's father and uncle and bury them back in Tahiti. After recovering from their adventure, Rata sets out for further adventures. See also Aremata-Popoa and Aremata-Rorua.

Usage examples of "rata".

Wiremu Rata, probably not with such a Maori name, but what about Al Chalmers.

She smiled gratefully as he knocked on the door and called for Rata to join them for dinner.

She acted the part of the generous hostess, instructing her maid to invite Chalmers and Rata to dine with her.

Kupolu there lived the renowned chief Rata, who resolved to build a great double canoe, with a view of exploring other lands.

Its unrelenting foe, sure of victory, was preparing for a final attack when Rata chopped it to pieces with his axe, and thus saved the life of the white heron.

From the branch of a distant tree the heron watched the labours of Rata throughout the livelong day.

Here the canoe of Rata was drawn up on the beach, and for a time they all lived pleasantly.

The great mat sail was set up, and at length the brave navigator Rata, with the parents of Nganaoa and the entire party, started once more.

The only fighter aircraft the Russians have at this time is the Rata J 15, very much inferior to our Me 109.

I can see a German Me coming up behind and if I open up on the Rata I may damage the Messerschmitt.

Peruvian balsa wood for distribution to each of the mess halls in the syndicate on a pro rata basis.

Bob was still there, arguing with Hans Santesson about cracking the pro rata share of royalties problem for reprints of stories in college-level text-anthologies.

They descended the steep ridge to the gentler slopes below and made their way slowly along, skirting the dense thickets of pandanus and rata trees, and crossing glades where the interlaced foliage, high overhead, cut off the faint light of the afterglow, making the darkness below almost that of night.

Acquired companies are measured by the pro rata portion of their shares in the new company.

The market value assigned to SynOptics in figure 1-1 assumes that its pro rata portion of its stock was held throughout these transactions.