Story: Tangaroa – the sea

Carved interior

Carved interior

In the tradition of Ruatepupuke, the poupou (wall carvings) inside Tangaroa’s house were able to move and talk. However, they were destroyed by Ruatepupuke in a fire, which is why the carvings of today are no longer able to talk. However, the best carvings, such as these at Te Herenga Waka marae, should look as though they are almost moving and could almost talk.

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Te Tumu Herenga Waka Marae, Victoria University of Wellington

All rights to images of this marae are held by Te Tumu Herenga Waka Marae, Victoria University of Wellington

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How to cite this page:

Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, 'Tangaroa – the sea - Ruatepupuke and the origin of carving', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/7402/carved-interior (accessed 22 November 2019)

Story by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, published 12 Jun 2006