Maungapōhatu is the sacred mountain of Ngāi Tūhoe. In times long ago, when gods walked the earth and men possessed strange powers, there lived a woman called Hine-pūkohu-rangi, the personification of mist and fog. Her younger sister was Hine-wai, the personification of light, misty rain. It was Hine-pūkohu-rangi who enticed Te Maunga (the mountain) to earth. From their union came Pōtiki I, the ancestor of Ngā Pōtiki, one of the tribes occupying the land before the arrival of the Mataatua canoe. And so Tūhoe claim they are descended from their environment: the rugged bush ranges of the Urewera and the white mist clouds that cover them.
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Photograph by Lloyd Homer
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