The Strory of Kupe

Topics: New Zealand, Māori mythology, South Island Pages: 2 (526 words) Published: March 3, 2013
Kupe, and the discovery of Aotearoa (New Zealand).|

Although Maui fished up the North and South Islands, it was the great Polynesian navigator Kupe who discovered them. Kupe lived in Hawaiiki, mythical ancestral homeland of the Māori. In Hawaiiki lived a canoe maker by the name of Toto.Toto fabricated two huge ocean going canoes from a large tree. One canoe he named Aotea and the other he named Matahorua. Toto gave his canoe named Aotea to one of his daughters, Rongorongo, and the other canoe named Matahorua to his other daughter, Kura. It happened that Kupe desired Kura very much. However, Kura was already the wife of Kupe's cousin Hoturapa.When Hoturapa and Kupe were out fishing one day, Kupe ordered Hoturapa to dive down and free Kupe's fishing line, which had become tangled. When Hoturapa dived into the sea to free the tangled line, Kupe sliced through the anchor rope of the canoe, and began to row furiously back to shore. Hoturapa drowned, but his family were suspicious of the circumstances surrounding his death. It was, in fact, a plan on Kupe's part to take Hoturapa's wife Kura.In order to avoid vengeance from Hoturapa's family, Kupe and his own family left Hawaiiki in Kura's canoe Matahorua. After some time of navigating, Kupe's wife Hine Te Aparangi sighted the islands of New Zealand, which appeared as land lying beneath a cloud. Because of this, they named the islands Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud.As Kupe and his crew were sailing along the coast of this new land, they disturbed a giant octopus, who was hiding in a coastal cave. Terrified at the sight of a strange canoe filled with human beings, the huge octopus swam rapidly in front of the Matahorua and took flight, passing through the strait between the North and South Islands. Kupe followed the octopus, and discovered modern Cook Strait.Kupe and the Matahorua eventually caught up with the giant octopus. In defence, the octopus whipped its enormous tentacles around the canoe, intent on...
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