Skip to main content
Logo: Te Ara - The Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Print all pages now.

Ngārara – reptiles

by  Bradford Haami

E ai ki te Māori, he uri ngā ngārara katoa o te ao nā Punga, te atua anuanu rawa atu. Whai anō he anuanu ōna uri whakaheke. I wehi te tangata ki ngā ngārara me ngā tuatara, he tohu aituā hoki rātou. Ka nui ngā pūrākau a te Māori mō ngā ngārara nui whakaharahara, weriweri rawa atu me tā rātou kāhaki puhi hei wāhine mā rātou. Hāunga tērā, arā anō ngā kōrero e mea ana he kaitiaki anō rātou.


What are ngārara?

Ko ‘reptiles’ te kupu a te Pākehā mō ngā ngārara – te tuatara, te mokomoko, tae rawa atu ki ngā ngārara nui rawa kei ngā pūrākau a te Māori.

Ngā momo ngārara

I tapaina te tuatara mō tōna āhua – he taratara i tōna tuarā.

Ka karangatia e te Pākehā te mokomoko, he ‘skink’ he ‘gecko’ rānei. I ōna rā ko te kawekaweau te mokomoko nui rawa atu i te ao. ‘E 60 henimita tana roa, he rite tana mātotoru ki te kūiti o te ringa; he parauri, he whero ōna tae.’ 1

I whakapono te Māori he ngārara nui whakaharahara i tōna ao. Heoi, kāore anō kia kitea he taunakitanga pūtaiao hei tautoko i te kōrero nei. Karangatia ai ēnei he ngārara, he taniwha rānei. He rite ō rātou āhua ki te mokomoko, te tuatara rānei.

Ngā uri o Punga

Nā Tangaroa ka puta ko Punga, koia te matua o ngā ngārara katoa. He anuanu te āhua o ngā uri o Punga, tae atu ki ngā mangō me ngā pepeke.

Nā Punga ko Tū-te-wanawana. Nā Tū-te-wanawana rāua ko Tūpari ka puta ā rāua tamariki te kawekaweau (Hoplodactylus delcourti), te tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus me Sphenodon gentheri), te mokopāpā (Pacific gecko, Hoplodactylus pacificus), te mokomoko (skink, Oligosoma me Cyclodina).

Ngā kōrero tuku iho mō te ngārara

He kōrero tā tēnā iwi, tā tēnā iwi mō te takenga mai o ngā ngārara. Tērā te kōrero e mea ana ko Peketua te matua o ngā ngārara katoa. Hei tamaiti a Peketua nā Rangi rāua ko Papa. Ka taka ki tētahi rā, ka pokea e Peketua he ngārara i te uku. Ka mauria e ia ki a Tāne. Ka kī atu a Tāne ki a ia, ‘Me whakaira tangata’. Nāwai, ka puta te tuatara tuatahi rawa ki te ao.

Arā anō te kōrero e mea ana i puea ngā mokomoko i te matenga o tētahi ngārara nui whakaharahara rawa atu, a Ngārara Huarau. I tahuna a ia ki te ahi, mate rawa. Heoi, ka puta ōna unahi me tōna hiku i te ahi, ka huri hei mokomoko.

Tērā a Te Whakaruaki, nāna tētahi wahine i kāhaki hei wahine māna. Ka mau a ia e te iwi o tana wahine ki roto i tōna whare. Ka tahuna te whare, mate rawa atu. I a ia e whakahemohemo ana ka makere mai tana hiku, ka rere. Ā tōna wā ka tū taua hiku hei matua o ngā mokopāpā katoa. E kī ana te kōrero, atu i taua wā, ina hopo ana te mokomoko ka makere tōna hiku.

Footnotes
  1. I takoto te kōrero ki Gerard Hutching, The natural world of New Zealand. Auckland: Viking, 1998, wh. 206 › Back

From sea to land

Ngā ngārara me ngā ika

Hei tama a Punga nā Tangaroa: E rua āna tama; ko Ikatere, ko Tū-te-wehiwehi (ko Tū-te-wanawana tētahi anō ingoa ōna). Nō te wehenga o Ranginui me Papatūānuku ka rere a Tangaroa ki te moana. I reira ka tohe ōna uri kia noho ki te moana rānei, ki te whenua rānei.

Ko te kōrero a Ikatere kia noho rātou ko ōna uri ki te moana. Ko te whakatau a Tū-te-wehiwehi kia noho ki te whenua. Tērā te kōrero, ‘tāua ki uta, tāua ki te wai’ e kōrero ana mō ēnei whiriwhiringa.

Ka kī atu a Ikatere ki a Tū-te-wehiwehi, ‘Haere koutou ko tō iwi ki uta, kei reira tō mate e tatari ana mōu. Ka mau koutou e te tangata. Ka tahuna koutou kia wera ō koutou unahi i te ahi rarauhe’.

Kātahi ka whakautu a Tū-te-wehiwehi, ‘E noho ki te moana. Ka mōhio koe ka ahatia koe? Ka horahia ngā kai ki mua i te tini o te tangata, ka whakanōhia ko koe ki runga hei kīnaki.’

He taniwha kua whakaeke

Ko Māngārara tētahi o ngā waka nāna i kawe ngā tūpuna o Ngāti Porou ki Aotearoa. Nāna hoki i mau mai ētahi ngārara, ētahi o te aitanga pepeke, tae atu ki tētahi manu. Nā Wheketoro rātou i tuku ki Whanga-o-keno. Ka whakatapua e Wheketoro te moutere rā, ka whakanōhia ngā tuatara ki roto i te rarauhe. Ka mauria e ia ētahi atu o ngā ngārara ki uta, heoi, i tahuri tōna waka ki Pariwhero, ka huri hei kōhatu. Ka oma ngā ngārara ki raro i ngā pari tahataha noho ai, ā, mohoa noa nei.

Mangō ki a Tuatara

Tērā te kōrero mō Ngārara, ka totohe rāua ko tana teina a Mangō kia noho ki tai rānei, ki uta rānei. Ka tohu a Ngārara kia noho ki te whenua, ko Mangō ka noho ki te moana. I te taenga o Ngārara ki tātahi ka tono a Mangō kia hoki mai a ia ki te moana noho ai.

Ka mate a Ngārara i te riri ka kī atu ki tana teina: ‘E noho ki te moana, kia tangohia ai koe hei kai maoka mā te tangata’. Ka whakahoki a Mangō, ‘Hoatu ki uta, kia tahuna ō rua ki te rarauhe.’

Ka whakahoki a Ngārara, ‘Ehara! Ka haere whakauta ahau, ki te whenua maroke, kia tirohia ahau anō ko Tū! Inā! Aku taratara! Ka wehi te tangata, ka oma i ahau ka tika!’

Nāwai ā, ka mana ngā haehae a te teina ki te tuakana, a te tuakana ki te teina. Kainga ai e te Māori te mangō hei kīnaki i te kūmara me te rīwai. Ka mau e te tangata te ngārara mā te tahu ahi i te tomokanga ki tōna rua.


Guardians or enemies?

Te wehi i te ngārara

Ka wehi te Māori i te ngārara me te tuatara. He tohu te ngārara mō Whiro, atua o te kino i te pō. He kawekaweau te mōkai a te tipuna rā a Kahungunu, ka noho ki roto i tētahi ipu. Ka whakaaturia e ia te kawekaweau hei whakamataku i ōna hoariri.

Ki te rongo koe i te kata a te moko kākāriki, he tohu aituā.

Kia māia te tū

Tērā te wā ka rere tētahi wahine o Waikato me tana whaiāipo nō Te Arawa. Nāwai ā, ka tono te wahine rā ki ōna kaumātua kia murua tōna hara. Whāia, ka werohia te toa o Te Arawa rā e ngā kaumātua o tana ipo, kia horomi e ia tētahi mokomoko. Ehara! Ka horomia te mokomoko rā. Whāia, ka huri tōna ingoa ki Ngārara Nui. Hei ētahi wā ka whakanōhia he whakairo o Ngārara Nui e horomi ana i tana mokomoko ki mua o te whare, hei kaitiaki.

Tū-tangata-kino rāua ko Moko-hiku-waru

Ko Tū-tangata-kino tētahi o ngā tamariki a Tū-te-wanawana. Ka rite te āhua o Tū-tangata-kino ki te ngārara, ka mutu, ko ngā pepeke, ngā pūngāwerewere, ngā mokomoko ōna uri. E ai ki ngā kōrero he ngārara wairua a Tū-tangata-kino, ka kuhu mā te waha o te tangata i a ia e moe ana, kia heke ki tōna puku ngau kino ai.

E ai ki ngā iwi o Taranaki me Whanganui, ko Tū-tangata-kino rāua ko Moko-hiku-waru ngā kaitiaki o te whare o Miru, te kaitiaki o Rarohenga.

Ngārara kaitiaki

Ka titiro te Māori ki ngā mokomoko, ngā tuatara, anō he kaitiaki. Ka āta whakanōhia rātou hei kaitiaki ki ngā ana tanu i ngā kōiwi o ngā mātua tūpuna.

Waihoki, ka noho ngā mokomoko me ngā tuatara hei kaitiaki i te mauri o te ngahere me ngā kai ki roto. Ko te moko kākāriki (Nautilus elegans) me te moko tāpiri (Hoplodactylus pacificus) ka whakanōhia kia tata ki te kōhatu mauri hei tiaki i taua kōhatu mō ake tonu atu.

Hei ētahi wā, i te hangatanga o te whare wānanga, o te whare rūnanga rānei, ka makaia he mokomoko ki te take o te pou tokomanawa.


Punga and his descendants

Te anuanu hoki

Ka noho a Punga hei tama nā Tangaroa, atua o te moana. He whānui te aitanga a Punga, ko ētahi ka noho kei te moana, ko ētahi ka noho kei te whenua. I tua atu i ngā mokomoko me ngā tuatara, ka taka ki te aitanga a Punga ko ngā mangō, ngā ika ki-tai me ngā ika waimaori, ngā tuna, ngā whai, ngā wheke, ngā ngārara, tae atu ki ētahi manu. Kīia ai te aitanga a Punga he iwi anuanu, weriweri rawa atu.

Ko wai a Punga?

Kei tēnā iwi, kei tēnā iwi ā rātou ake kōrero mō Punga. Ko te nuinga ka whakaae he tamaiti a Punga nā Tangaroa. Hāunga, kei reira ngā kōrero a ētahi atu iwi e mea ana ko Punga te mātāmua a Whaitiri rāua ko tana tāne a Kaitangata. Ko Whaitiri te atua o te whatitiri. Tapaina ai a Punga mō te punga o te waka o tōna matua.

Kitenga ngārara

I te tōmuritanga o te rau tau 1800, ka puta ngā kōrero a ētahi tāngata i kite ngārara nui whakaharahara. Waihoki, i te tau 1875, ka mau tētahi ngārara nui ki Te Hokianga. E ai ki te kōrero, e ono ngā waewae o te ngārara nei. Heoi, nā te nui o te wehi o ngā Māori, ka haehaea ririkitia e rātou te mea rā, i te mutunga tē arongia tōna ake āhua. I te tau 1898 ka puta te kōrero a tētahi Māori i kite a ia i tētahi ngārara nui, e 1.5 mita te roa. Hāunga te mea kāore tētahi atu i mātaki i taua ngārara, i whakaahuatia tona tapuwae e W.D Lysnar, te tangata nōna te pāmu i kitea te ngārara rā.

Ngā whakataukī mō Punga

Kīia ai ngā tāngata anuanu, mangumangu, weriweri te āhua, he uri nō ‘Te aitanga a Punga’, nō ‘Te whānau a Punga’ rānei.

Tērā te kōrero, ‘Me aha hoki, ngā uri o Punga aruaru kai’. He kōrero tēnei mō te tangata kāore e arongia i te hākari, he kōrero hoki tēnei mō ngā whanonga o te mangō kei roto i a Punga, arā, ka tata ana a ia ki te kai, ka marara ngā ika.


Hononga, rauemi nō waho

More suggestions and sources

More links and websites


How to cite this page: Bradford Haami, 'Ngārara', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/ngarara/print (accessed 17 June 2019)

Story by Bradford Haami, published 24 Sep 2007