Story: First peoples in Māori tradition



Sandstone and sandy limestone were used for grinding and polishing pounamu (greenstone). The Waitaha iwi of Te Waipounamu (the South Island) believe that Ōamaru stone is the bones of their ancestor Hine-tua-hōanga. Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island) traditions also mention her. Near Rotorua, in a stream, there is a large block of sandstone that was once a whetstone, its many grooves attesting to centuries of use. Known as Hine-tua-hōanga in oral tradition, it is said to have been brought to Aotearoa by the early Te Arawa ancestor Īhenga.

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Private collection, Gavin McLean
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How to cite this page:

Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, 'First peoples in Māori tradition - Ancestors from the natural world', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 July 2022)

Story by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, published 8 Feb 2005