Story: Ngāti Kahungunu

The legend of the seven whales of Ngai Tahu Matawhaiti

The legend of the seven whales of Ngai Tahu Matawhaiti

This book cover is illustrated by the author, Mere Whaanga, who retells the story of the seven whales. Ngāi Tahu Matawhāiti, a sub-tribe of Ngāti Kahungunu, believe that the seven hills still clearly visible near Whakakī Lagoon, east of Wairoa, were once seven whales. Representations of the whales are incorporated in the barge boards (maihi) of the hapū’s meeting house, Te Poho o Tahu, at Iwitea marae.

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Scholastic New Zealand
Watercolour by Mere Whaanga

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How to cite this page:

Mere Whaanga, 'Ngāti Kahungunu - Tribes and lands', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/3676/the-legend-of-the-seven-whales-of-ngai-tahu-matawhaiti (accessed 20 November 2019)

Story by Mere Whaanga, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 3 Mar 2017