This poupou (carved column) is at Tāne-nui-a-rangi, the Waipapa marae at the University of Auckland. It shows Kupe holding a paddle – a token of his skill as a navigator – and the octopus of his enemy Muturangi. In one oral tradition Kupe went out fishing in Hawaiki with his friend Hoturapa and Hoturapa’s wife Kuramārōtini. Kupe left Hoturapa to drown at sea so that he could steal Kuramārōtini. In the middle of this carving, the octopus’s tentacles are entwined around Kuramārōtini.
Using this item
Waipapa Marae, University of Auckland
Photograph by Melanie Lovell-Smith
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