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Te Hiakai Tangata: The Taniwha of Tuarā-Rangaia

By Hirini Moko Mead

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This is a story of a taniwha that lives beside a track between villages and menaces travellers and the surrounding iwi. When a chief’s son is taken by the taniwha, Te Hiakai, the people devise many plans to trap and kill the taniwha, but each time Te Hiakai outwits them. In the end, Pōhutukawa, a chief’s daughter, speaks to the taniwha. Through her words a spell is broken, and the taniwha transforms into a young warrior, Te Haeata, who had been cursed by a tohunga long ago. Pōhutukawa and Te Haeata fall in love and live out their lives together. But Te Haeata never quite shakes off the spell, and in old age, he transforms into an eel and becomes a guardian in the Rangitāiki river.

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This is a story of a taniwha that lives beside a track between villages and menaces travellers and the surrounding iwi. When a chief’s son is taken by the taniwha, Te Hiakai, the people devise many plans to trap and kill the taniwha, but each time Te Hiakai outwits them. In the end, Pōhutukawa, a chief’s daughter, speaks to the taniwha. Through her words a spell is broken, and the taniwha transforms into a young warrior, Te Haeata, who had been cursed by a tohunga long ago. Pōhutukawa and Te Haeata fall in love and live out their lives together. But Te Haeata never quite shakes off the spell, and in old age, he transforms into an eel and becomes a guardian in the Rangitāiki river.

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Softback

$25.00

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Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781775506249
  • Dimension: 138 x 210 mm
  • Pages: 160
  • Format: Softback
  • Language: English
  • Publication Date: 28 Feb 2022

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About the Author

Hirini Moko Mead

Sir Hirini Moko Mead (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Tūhourangi) is a prominent Māori writer and commentator. Author of over 70 books, papers and articles, he was Foundation Professor of Māori Studies at Victoria University and was closely involved in establishing the Māori university Te Whare Wānangā o Awanuiārangi in Whakatāne. A scholar of rare ex... Read More