The Natural World of The Maori

For 1000 years the Maori lived in Aotearoa in harmony with nature. Using the work of archaeologists, historians, myths and songs recorded by the Maori writers of the last century this presents the country's landscapes, birds, fish,insects, reptiles and plants.
Pukeko  were snared in their swamps, all the more so because they raided kumara and taro plantations.

Pukeko were snared in their swamps, all the more so because they raided kumara and taro plantations.

The large round eyes of carved figures, inlaid with rings of paua shell, are known as mata-a-ruru, 'owl eyes'. They are said to be the eyes of Kou-ruru, the personification of the morepork. This figure of a female ancestor from Whangarea, on the East Coast.

The large round eyes of carved figures, inlaid with rings of paua shell, are known as mata-a-ruru, 'owl eyes'. They are said to be the eyes of Kou-ruru, the personification of the morepork. This figure of a female ancestor from Whangarea, on the East Coast.

The tewhatewha was employed as a spear at one end and a club at the other. The bunch of hawk feathers attached to the heavy end was symbolic of chiefly prowess.

The tewhatewha was employed as a spear at one end and a club at the other. The bunch of hawk feathers attached to the heavy end was symbolic of chiefly prowess.

The fierce falcon, a smaller bird, is an enemy of the harrier hawk. In proverbs it is seen as cruel and aggressive,, and dangerous to established authority

The fierce falcon, a smaller bird, is an enemy of the harrier hawk. In proverbs it is seen as cruel and aggressive,, and dangerous to established authority

A morepoke with it's chicks. Ancestral guardian spirits were often thought to take the form of an owl. These special birds were usually seen in times of trouble. They made themselves known by their bold behaviour.

A morepoke with it's chicks. Ancestral guardian spirits were often thought to take the form of an owl. These special birds were usually seen in times of trouble. They made themselves known by their bold behaviour.

The grey warbler is another small bird whose actions are thought to foretell the future.

The grey warbler is another small bird whose actions are thought to foretell the future.

The kingfisher is proverbially patient as it awaits its moment.

The kingfisher is proverbially patient as it awaits its moment.

A Tohunga seated at his tuahu, or shrine. He is communicating with a spirit thought to be temporarily present in the figure before him.

A Tohunga seated at his tuahu, or shrine. He is communicating with a spirit thought to be temporarily present in the figure before him.

The white heron was very rare in the North and uncommon even in the South. It's feathers were treasured, especially the long tail plumes.

The white heron was very rare in the North and uncommon even in the South. It's feathers were treasured, especially the long tail plumes.

The harrier hawk was associated with chieftainship and success in battle.

The harrier hawk was associated with chieftainship and success in battle.

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