Story: Kurī – Polynesian dogs

Pōtaka Tawhiti (1st of 3)

Pōtaka Tawhiti

The kurī supporting the figures on this wooden bowl is Pōtaka Tawhiti – one of the most famous dogs in Māori tradition. It belonged to Houmaitawhiti, a chief in the Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki. Another chief, Uenuku, ate the dog. He was found out by Tamatekapua, Houmaitawhiti’s son, when the dog’s spirit howled from inside his stomach. Conflict followed, leading Tamatekapua to make the long journey to Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the Te Arawa canoe.

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Kurī – Polynesian dogs - Traditional accounts of kurī', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/16226/potaka-tawhiti (accessed 16 October 2019)

Story by Basil Keane, published 24 Nov 2008