Story: Southern Cross

Interpretations of the Southern Cross

The first Europeans to sail into southern seas interpreted the four bright stars that had just come into view as a cross, naming it Crux Australis or the Southern Cross. In New Zealand, Māori tribes had varying traditions about the constellation. Tainui Māori saw an anchor in the four stars, while Māori from the Wairarapa saw the outline of a plug through which storm winds blew.

Using this item

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Southern Cross - A national icon', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/diagram/7483/interpretations-of-the-southern-cross (accessed 17 February 2019)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 12 Jun 2006