Story: Ngārara – reptiles

Tuatara door handle

Tuatara door handle

This metal tuatara is actually a door handle. It is said that Tuatara once lived in the sea, but argued with his brother Mangō (shark) about whether to stay there or go to the land. Tuatara moved onto the land and Mangō stayed in the sea. While Mangō warned him of dangers, Tuatara said that he would be fine as his looks would frighten everybody. Some tribes considered the tuatara a bad omen.

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Photograph by Leanne Tamaki

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How to cite this page:

Bradford Haami, 'Ngārara – reptiles - From sea to land', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 9 December 2023)

Story by Bradford Haami, published 24 Sep 2007