Story: Te tāhere manu – bird catching

Carved lizards

Carved lizards

These lizards at Whakarewarewa are part of a carving showing Kurangaituku, a bird woman. Lizards were often released as guardians of the forest’s mauri (life force). Mauri represented the health or vitality of the forest. It was protected by a physical object, usually a stone which was also known as a mauri.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PAColl-6585-04

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.

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Te tāhere manu – bird catching - Spiritual aspects', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 October 2023)

Story by Basil Keane, published 24 Sep 2007