Story: Canoe traditions
It was once believed that the ancestors of Māori came to New Zealand in a single ‘great fleet’ of seven canoes. We now know that many canoes made the perilous voyage from Polynesia. Through stories passed down the generations, tribal groups trace their origins to the captains and crew of over 40 legendary vessels, from the Kurahaupō at North Cape to the Uruao in the South Island. Rich in conflict and drama, and blending history and symbolism, these canoe traditions form a founding narrative for Māori New Zealanders.