Story: Papatūānuku – the land

Pregnant woman

Pregnant woman

Pregnant women and Papatūānuku were closely aligned in traditional Māori thought. As women give birth to humankind, so did Papatūānuku. Additionally, when a child was born its placenta (whenua) was buried in the land (also whenua), underscoring the link.

Using this item

Private collection
Photograph by Leanne Tamaki

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:

Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, 'Papatūānuku – the land - Women and land', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 May 2022)

Story by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, published 24 Sep 2007