Story: Patupaiarehe



This photograph is from The old-time Maori (1938), by Mākereti Papakura. She notes that the blonde, fair child and the father, Tonihi (right), are both Urukehu. While some believe that Urukehu (fair-headed, fair-skinned Māori) are the offspring of the fairy people patupaiarehe, Mākereti Papakura believed that this light-skinned strain dates back to the traditional Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki, and that albino Māori are the product of the union between Māori and patupaiarehe. She describes patupaiarehe as ‘supernatural children of the mist ... seen in indistinct form in the passing mist. ... They are fair, and are clothed in flimsy white like the web of the pūngāwerewere [spider].’

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Makereti Papakura, The old-time Maori. London: Victor Gollancz, 1938, plate 13

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How to cite this page:

Martin Wikaira, 'Patupaiarehe - Encounters with patupaiarehe', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 February 2024)

Story by Martin Wikaira, published 24 Sep 2007