Story: Traditional Māori warfare – Riri

Stranded pilot whales

Stranded pilot whales

Traditionally, Māori warfare involved strategies and sometimes trickery. In one story Māori warriors covered themselves with cloaks and lay on the foreshore to give the appearance of stranded pilot whales. When the inhabitants of the nearby came out to investigate, they were attacked and defeated. The real pilot whales pictured above stranded on Ōpoutere Beach, Coromandel, in 2004.

Using this item

New Zealand Herald
Reference: 1 December 2004
Photograph by Greg Bowker

Permission of the New Zealand Herald must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Traditional Māori warfare – Riri - Strategies and battle terms', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 April 2024)

Story by Basil Keane, published 20 Jun 2012