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

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How to cite this page:

Bradford Haami, 'Ngārara – reptiles - Guardians or enemies?', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 January 2020)

Story by Bradford Haami, published 24 Sep 2007