Sandstone and sandy limestone were used for grinding and polishing pounamu (greenstone). The Waitaha tribe of the South Island believe that Ōamaru stone is the bones of their ancestress Hine-tua-hōanga. 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 New Zealand by the early Te Arawa ancestor Īhenga.
Using this item
Private collection, Gavin McLean
Photograph by Gavin McLean
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