Māori Legends

The Māori people are the indigenous people of Aotearoa/New Zealand. As such, Māori have developed a deep understanding and knowledge of the natural environment.

This knowledge has been developed through hundreds of years of interaction and adaptation to the environment. Māori believe that each rock and mineral type emerges from the earth with its own story, its own whakapapa (genealogy) relating to its origin – hei koha tū, hei kura huna a Papa.

Pūtoto, the god of magma, constantly seeks outward paths towards the earth’s surface. On his upward journey, Pūtoto leaves many deposits - a koha (gift) for his right of passage, for the guardians of the earth’s bed rock and crust. Through the natural processes of heating, compression, solidification, weathering and erosion, Pūtoto generates new varieties of stones, rocks, sand and minerals.

Pounamu is New Zealand’s iconic mineral material, and Ngāi Tahu have a desire for it to be managed under the principle of ”Tiakina he tino taonga Pounamu mō tātou, ā, mo kā uri ā muri ake nei” (Care for the precious treasure Pounamu for all of us and our children who follow us). GNS Science is providing scientific research and information to assist Ngāi Tahu with achieving these aspirations and to ensure pounamu is managed sustainably for the benefit of future generations, click here for more information.

HE PATAKA KUPU (GLOSSARY)

Minerals
HINETUAHOANGA sandstones and grinding stones ONEONE earth
HINUEKU clay ONEWA Basalt
KARA basalt PAKOHE Argillite
KIRIKIRI Sand PAPAKURA volcanic red rock
KIRIKIRITATANGI singing gravel POUNAMU Greenstone
KIRIPAKA chert/flint quartz PUNGAPUNGA pumice
KOHATU stones TOKA Rocks
KOKOWAI red earth TUAHU obsidian
MAITAI Metal UKU Clay
MATA obsidian WHATUAHO Greywacke
Guardian Gods (Nga Atua)
HINEPUIA Geothermal energy POUTINI Greenstone
HINETUAHOANGA Sandstones PUTOTO Magma
HINETAUIRA sacred stones RUAUMOKO Earthquakes
HINETAPEKA Earth’s elemental fires RAKAHORE Lithosphere
HINUEKU Clay TUAMATA Bedrock
PARAWHENUAMEA Earth’s waters    

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