Copy a link to this page Cite this record

Turei Mohi 1912. The history of Horouta Canoe and the introduction of the kumara into New Zealand. Journal of the Polynesian Society 21: 152-163

Reference document

Click to collapse Notes Info

A Ngāti Porou tradition on the introduction of kūmara to New Zealand (various places from Whakatane eastwards to Waiapu).

Kahukura brings kao (dried kūmara) from Hawaiki in a belt, and Toi, delighting in the taste, sends the canoe Horouta to Hawaiki to fetch supplies of kumara.The kūmara had been harvested when they got there and stored in rua. They found some taro and asked Kahukura whether they were kūmara. They eventually gathered the kumara from a side of a cliff where it grew in abundance.

Kahukura warned the travellers not to allow the kūmara to be mixed with fernroot, as kūmara was tapu. The mapou to be used in planting ceremonies was also taken.

On the return to NZ, the canoe came to Ahuahu (Great Mercury Island) where a woman Kanawa stole some fernroot and placed it on board, causing the canoe to capsize off Whakatane. The canoe drifted ashore, and part of the load of kūmara was put ashore.

Click to collapse Bibliographic details Info

The history of Horouta Canoe and the introduction of the kumara into New Zealand

Turei Mohi
dictated by Pita Kapiti
Journal of the Polynesian Society

Click to collapse Metadata Info

12 June 2007
20 July 2020
Click to go back to the top of the page