Te Kōhatu o Hatupatu stands beside State Highway 1 at Ātiamuri. Hatupatu was a boy who was chased by Kurangaituku, a tipua (supernatural being) who was part woman, part bird. Hatupatu said a karakia (charm) to allow a rock to open and let him hide inside. When he exited the rock he left a depression in it. Small sprigs of bracken can be seen in the rock – passers-by often place offerings of twigs, bracken, food or other objects there. This practice was also common for kōhatu tipua (supernatural rocks) and rākau tipua (supernatural trees).
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Photograph by Caren Wilton
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