In Māori tradition, Paikea was known as Kahutiaterangi and was the son of Uenuku. As depicted in this carving, Uenuku placed a comb in Kahutiaterangi’s hair to indicate he was of high birth. However, when another son, Ruatapu, asked why he had not also received a comb, he was told it was because he was illegitimate. In revenge, Ruatapu tried to drown Kahutiaterangi and others at sea by sinking their canoe. Kahutiaterangi survived by calling on a sea god, who sent a whale to carry him to shore. On reaching land he changed his name to Paikea.
Using this item
Waipapa Marae, University of Auckland
Photograph by Melanie Lovell-Smith
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