Rūaumoko means “unborn child” and the God of Earthquakes. The Marae was named Rūaumoko at least in part because the floor were used to gain attention by stamping, sending tremors through the floorboards.
Te Kaitiaki (caretaker) of the Marae Michael Wi explains “Rūaumoko makes the earth move and by doing so gets the attention of all creatures. This is a Deaf way too, Deaf people stamp on the floor to get attention because this sends vibrations through wooden boards”.
The sign for Rūaumoko is made by spreading both hands out and shaking them from left to right like an earthquake.