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.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10050812
Photograph by Chris Rudge

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

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, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/2411/urewera-in-mist (accessed 21 February 2019)

Story by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, published 8 Feb 2005