Story: Ngāi Tahu

The names of ancestors and places

The names of ancestors and places

This is a line of descent from the Waitaha ancestor, Rākaihautū, through his son Te Rakihouia (also known as Rokohouia). The names of people descended from Rākaihautū became linked to geographical features of the South Island. In this tradition of place-naming, the landmark in a sense is the ancestor, so the whole landscape becomes an ancestral temple or church.

From information provided by Te Maire Tau

Using this item

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Te Maire Tau, 'Ngāi Tahu - The genealogy of the land', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 July 2022)

Story by Te Maire Tau, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 Mar 2017