Topic: Traditional Story: Te Pura the Guardian Taniwha of Wairoa
The taniwha Te Pura lives on a bend in the Wairoa River. In Māori mythology, taniwha live in deep pools in rivers, dark caves, or in the sea, especially in places with dangerous currents or deceptive breakers (giant waves). They may be considered highly respected kaitiaki (protective guardians) of people and places, or in some traditions as dangerous, predatory beings. Forms and characteristics vary according to different tribal traditions.
Te Teira called on the four winds of heaven for guidance.
From the ocean depths there appeared a taniwha. It was none other than Te Pura, the guardian taniwha of Wairoa.
The taniwha knew it would be needed. Te Teira gave up the idea of returning to Hawaiki. He did not know where it was anyway.
The sight of Te Pura, his own guardian taniwha, made him realise that his destiny lay back in Tauranga Moana.
The taniwha led the people in their canoe back to the shores of Aotearoa.
The height of Mauao came into view, and the bush-covered ranges from Otanewainuku to Te Aroha and on to Moehau.
As the canoe entered the waters of Tauranga Moana, the taniwha dived down and swam away back to its home in the deep hole in the Wairoa. Te Teira and his family returned home too.
For a long time, the chief topic of conversation around Tauranga Moana was of how the guardian taniwha, Te Pura, had guided them back home from their voyage into unknown seas.
Other stories are found off the article - An Introduction to this collection (please click)
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