Story: Rivers

Mauri stone, Te Papa (2nd of 2)

Mauri stone, Te Papa

Pounamu can still be found in the Arahura River. Ngāi Tahu people made a special expedition there to obtain this stone, now held at Te Papa, the national museum. Called Tongarewa, it is the spiritual kaitiaki (guardian) of the museum, and protects its mauri (life force). Visitors are encouraged to stroke the stone, gradually wearing away the rough outer layers to reveal the green colours beneath.

Using this item

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: MA_I024428

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

David Young, 'Rivers - Māori and rivers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 May 2022)

Story by David Young, published 24 Sep 2007