Story: Ngā waewae tapu – Māori exploration

Tamatea sign

This sign, standing at Pōrangahau, has what is reputed to be the longest place name in the world. It refers to the renowned explorer Tamatea, and how he played his kōauau (flute) to his beloved on the hill in the background. Listen to a waiata (song) which contains both the name and an explanation. The words are by Piri Sciascia, and the tune by Īhāia Hutana. Īhāia credits the inspiration for the waiata to a climbing the hill with local rangatahi (youth) and discussing the importance of the name.

Waiata performed by Tamatea Ariki Nui. Sound file from Radio Kahungunu. This sound file may not be reused without permission.

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Photograph by Emily Tutaki

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Ngā waewae tapu – Māori exploration - The East Coast', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/music/14154/tamatea-sign (accessed 3 April 2020)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 24 Sep 2007