Story: Take whenua – Māori land tenure

Patu parāoa – whalebone club

Patu parāoa – whalebone club

This patu (club), made from whalebone, is known as a patu parāoa. The blade of a patu was known as the rau. This gave rise to the term for conquest, raupatu – land was conquered using the blade of the club.

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: MA_I035779

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Paul Meredith, 'Take whenua – Māori land tenure - Discovery, ancestral right and conquest', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 January 2021)

Story by Paul Meredith, published 24 Nov 2008