Kōrero: Coastal shoreline

Plants of the sand dunes (1 o 3)

Plants of the sand dunes

The native sand-binding sedge pīngao is one of three plants that grow on the seaward face of sand dunes. Its long stems bear tufts of bright orange leaves, which were dried and used by Māori for weaving. Retaining their vivid colour, the leaves were used in tukutuku – decorative panels in meeting houses – and in kete (woven baskets), which this proverb refers to:

Kohokohi kohikohi pīngao e
Mo ngā kete raukura o te rangi e

Gather up pīngao
For the treasured baskets of the sky.

The legend of Tāne’s eyebrows (Ngā tukemata o Tāne) tells of the origins of pīngao:

There was hostility between Tāne, god of the forest, and his brother Tangaroa, god of the sea. In a gesture of friendship, Tāne plucked off his eyebrows and offered them to Tangaroa. Tangaroa rejected this gift and threw them to the shore. There they sprouted and grow today as pīngao, symbolising the boundary between the realms of Tāne and Tangaroa.

Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10048310
Photograph by Don Neale

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Ngā whakaahua me ngā rauemi katoa o tēnei kōrero

Te tuhi tohutoro mō tēnei whārangi:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Coastal shoreline - Sand dunes', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/photograph/4827/plants-of-the-sand-dunes (accessed 7 December 2019)

He kōrero nā Maggy Wassilieff, i tāngia i te 12 Jun 2006