This quote started my journey with the kuaka:
“ — the migratory godwits, which are our souls in flight between the two hemispheres and our hearts’ two homes.”
All Visitors Ashore, by C.K. Stead
Māori distinguish three varieties of the kuaka/godwit based on their plumage and age.
Karoro is the term applied while their plumage is lighter, during the feeding season in Aotearoa New Zealand.
For the first time in years I am feeling comfortable and at home in New Zealand. The karoro is a perfect way for me to express this.
Kura is the term applied when the plumage turns red immediately prior to the migration to the northern hemisphere.
We lived for a number of years in the UK, and it is my heart's other home. I have a sense I will return to there one day, and the kura reminds me that there will be a season for there.
The third distinction of the kuaka/godwit is the kakao, an older, darker grey bird. Humans share this trait with the kakao.
Information on the kuaka was found on the hekuaka website.