After arriving from Hawaiki, the Arawa hero Hatupatu (depicted in the carving at left) settled on Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua. The youngest of four sons, he was bullied by his elder siblings. His story is an epic one, in which he escaped from Kurangaituku, the fearsome bird-woman (right), by jumping over hot springs. Kurangaituku tried to wade through them, but was burnt to death. Hatupatu also avenged the destruction of the ancestral waka Te Arawa by dispatching the enemy chief Raumati, from Tauranga, in a battle. Both these figures were produced by the master carver Tene Waitere in 1904–5.
Using this item
Private collection, Paul Tapsell
Photograph by Paul Tapsell
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