Story: Te aitanga pepeke – the insect world

Taurapa (canoe sternpost)

Taurapa (canoe sternpost)

This beautifully carved taurapa (sternpost) is part of the renowned waka (canoe), Te Toki a Tapiri. In one tradition, spiders were said to have carved the stern and prow of the first waka. That is why the web-like spiral form (known as mata kupenga) features so prominently on the stern and prow of many canoes.

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Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira

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How to cite this page:

Bradford Haami, 'Te aitanga pepeke – the insect world - Insects and canoes', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/12610/taurapa-canoe-sternpost (accessed 9 August 2020)

Story by Bradford Haami, published 24 Sep 2007