God – Atua
At a beach bar somewhere in Greece, two gods are chatting (imagine Achilles and Apollo). One of them says “Yeah, I’m really into art.” The other god says “Oh I’m into art, too.”
Supreme God – Io-matua-kore
The Supreme God shows off an invention. It is a clockwork android named Corey (if you know someone named Corey, like the cricketer Corey Anderson, imagine that the android looks like them). The Supreme God says “This is Automatic Corey.”
Spirit/Soul – Wairua
A man dies, and it’s possible to see his soul leaving the body as a bright golden wire.
sacred – tapu
A tarpaulin is staked to the centre of a large lawn. People approach it with reverence and bow down to it. It is the sacred tarpaulin.
Life force/Vital essence – Mauri
Late at night, a lawnmower sits on a grassy verge. Suddenly, it is struck by a lightningbolt. The lightningbolt seems to impart some kind of life force or essence into the mower, and it starts up and starts mowing.
Prayer – Karakia
A family sitting at a kitchen table give a lengthy prayer before starting on a meal of a single cracker.
Curse – Kanga
A priest is just about to get into his car when a kangaroo jumps on the bonnet, damaging it. The priest shakes his fist at the kangaroo and yells “Curse you!”.
to bless – whakamānawa
After a battle, a man-of-war enters a temple and is greeted by some temple whores. The temple whores bless him for his service, and then take him into the back room. Their post-blessing intention is to fuck a man of war.
to sanctify/consecrate – whakatapu
A man and his son are both dressed in holy garb. The man is teaching his son how to consecrate a new temple with a holy water sprinkler. “Righto son, let’s get consecrating,” he says. “Don’t fuck it up.”
Wise man/Sage – ruānuku
A wizened old man with a beard and a staff calls into a ruined temple and an echo comes back. The sage caused the ruin echo.
Material/Physical world, Earth – ao mārama
From a spaceship, some aliens look out at Earth. They zoom in on a small part of it, and see and old man hammering plates for a suit of armour. On Earth is an old armourer.
Priest – tohunga ahurewa
Three men stand in line at a McDonalds. One is dressed as a Maori priest, the other two are elderly and dressed in neon clothing like ravers. The priest is in line with two hungry old ravers.
This wordlist is an except from Learn Te Reo With Mnemonics, a book being compiled by Jeff Ngatai for an expected release at the beginning of 2020.