Story: Ngārara – reptiles

Waka kōiwi

Waka kōiwi

This waka kōiwi (burial chest) was found in a burial cave at Waimamaku, near Hokianga. The lizard acts as a guardian. Lizards – real or carved – were believed to act as kaitiaki (guardians), as they were often feared.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Elsdon Best, The Maori. Wellington: Board of Maori Ethnological Research for the Author and on behalf of the Polynesian Society, 1924, p. 277

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:

Bradford Haami, 'Ngārara – reptiles - Guardians or enemies?', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/12938/waka-koiwi (accessed 20 October 2019)

Story by Bradford Haami, published 24 Sep 2007