Story: Ngā tuakiri hōu – new Māori identities

Mt Hikurangi

Mt Hikurangi

Ko Hikurangi te maunga
Ko Waiapu te awa
Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi

Hikurangi is the mountain
Waiapu is the river
Ngāti Porou is the tribe

This pepeha (genealogical proverb) identifies Hikurangi, shown here in the early morning, as the most important mountain of the people of Ngāti Porou on the North Island's East Coast, and Waiapu as their most important river. Landmarks such as these have very powerful symbolic significance for many Māori, who may identify with their own mountain or river as a symbolic representation of their tribe.

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Photograph by Lloyd Homer

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How to cite this page:

Rawiri Taonui, 'Ngā tuakiri hōu – new Māori identities - Early Māori identities', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 April 2024)

Story by Rawiri Taonui, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Jun 2017