Story: Waiata tawhito - traditional Māori songs

Case moth cocoon

Case moth cocoon

The tough, tapering cocoon of the case moth (Oeceticus omnivorous) is seen hanging from a pōhutukawa branch. In Māori tradition, Hineraukatauri, the goddess of Māori flute music, transformed herself into this shape. It may have inspired the shape of the pūtōrino, a flute unique to Māori, capable a producing a variety of voice-like tones.

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Jade and Bone
Photograph by Brian Flintoff

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How to cite this page:

Rawinia Higgins and Arini Loader, 'Waiata tawhito - traditional Māori songs - Origins of waiata', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 March 2023)

Story by Rawinia Higgins and Arini Loader, published 22 Oct 2014