Story: Traditional Māori games – ngā tākaro

Hōne Heke with Te Ruki Kawiti and Hāriata Rongo

Hōne Heke with Te Ruki Kawiti and Hāriata Rongo

The chants in games had many meanings and uses. In a famous incident at Waiaruhe in the northern war of 1845, the Ngāpuhi chief Hōne Heke recited a tutukai (guessing game) chant to the chief Tāmati Wāka Nene. It was a warning to Nene that Heke would attack him. This image shows Hōne Heke (centre) with his wife Hāriata Rongo and another great Ngāpuhi chief, Te Ruki Kawiti.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: C-012-019
Watercolour by Joseph Jenner Merrett

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Ross Calman, 'Traditional Māori games – ngā tākaro - Sports and games in traditional Māori society', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 April 2024)

Story by Ross Calman, published 5 Sep 2013