Story: Kaumātua – Māori elders



Muriranga-whenua, one of Māui's kuia (gandmothers) is shown holding out her jawbone to her mokopuna (grandchild). Māui (shown below) made a patu (club) of his kuia's jawbone to fight the sun, and later fashioned it into a fishhook with which he fished up the North Island. This painting is by Robyn Kahukiwa.

Courtesy of Robyn Kahukiwa

Using this item

Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection
Reference: VUW.1984.2
Oil on board by Robyn Kahukiwa

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How to cite this page:

Rawinia Higgins and Paul Meredith, 'Kaumātua – Māori elders - Kaumātua in early traditions', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 May 2022)

Story by Rawinia Higgins and Paul Meredith, published 5 May 2011