Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Maori Animal Myths, Dog

Dogs have existed in our families for centuries and have been considered mans best friend. They have travelled with their masters on canoes and occasionally used as hunting partners, guards and companions. Others were raised for food as red meat was extremely scarce. Their cloaks were highly valued for human warmth.

Most animals were descended from the gods but dogs were technically created by Maui.

One day Maui went fishing with his brother in law, Irawaru. Despite taking his sacred hook carved from his nans jawbone, he got no fish. Irawaru caught a canoe full of Tamure and Hapuka fish. Maui was steaming like a volcano. Secretly he believed that Irawaru was going to cast a petrifying spell on him. As he pulled his canoe to shore, Maui planned his whipping revenge. He body slammed his brother in law down into an outrigger. Maui pinned all over Irawarus aching back until he flexed out. Irawaru had shrunk and he grew a long bushy tail and he became extermely hairy. Maui clutched Irawarus face and pulled it out, Maui's sister won't be too happy. Although what happened Maui biologically created the first Maori dog.

One particularly dog loving ancestor was Paoa. He was the captain of Horouta, He had a beloved dog called Whakao. One day, as thay were tramping in the bush, Paoa's dog got lost in the forest and by moonlight it had not been found. Whakao the dog was heard whining in the bush. The following morning, Paoa found his loveable dog. From that day he gave birth newly named forest- Pipiwhakao which plainly means whimpering Whakao. Just to the south of Te- Muriwai, is a cliff face called Te Kuri-a- Paoa.- The dog of Paoa. This legend has been brought to us by our ancestors.

P.S The illustration of the dog will look like a pig if it was plumper.

By S.W A.K

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