Story: First peoples in Māori tradition

Urewera in mist

Urewera in mist

While many Māori whakapapa (genealogies) trace ancestry back to arrivals from Hawaiki, some speak of origins directly from the land. Elsdon Best, the ethnographer, called the Tūhoe people ‘children of the mist’, because their genealogical tradition goes back to the mist-maiden Hine-pūkohu-rangi. She is said to have lured Te Maunga (the mountain) to earth from the heavens. From their union came Pōtiki, and it is from him that Tūhoe descended. So the tribe sprang from their own ranges and the mists which envelop them.

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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