Story: Tapa whenua – naming places

Rākaihautū shapes the land

Rākaihautū shapes the land

This artwork by Brian Flintoff depicts Rākaihautū digging out the lakes of the South Island with his kō (digging stick). The lakes are known as Ngā Puna Karikari-a-Rākaihautū (the springs dug out by Rākaihautū). The discovery and naming of natural features by an ancestor ensured that their descendants could claim rights to these areas.

Using this item

Private collection
Mixed media by Brian Flintoff

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Tapa whenua – naming places - Exploration and naming', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 June 2024)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 24 Nov 2008