Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Living Memory and the Travelling Mountain Narrative of Taranaki

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posted on 2021-11-14, 07:34 authored by Ngāwhare-Pounamu, Dennis

The Travelling Mountain Narrative is the origin myth of Taranaki maunga and the foundation on which Taranaki tribal tradition and identity is constructed. The story pattern of the Travelling Mountain Narrative relates the journey of Taranaki maunga and Te Toka a Rauhoto to Te Tai Hauāuru. This thesis establishes that the origin myth was sourced in the historical migration account of the ancestor Rua Taranaki and mythologised over multiple generations. Te Toka a Rauhoto is the tangible connection between the past and the present and is represented by the sacred stone located at Puniho Pā. Informed by mātauranga Māori paradigms, a literature and qualitative mixed method research framework collated a wide variety of information about the Travelling Mountain Narrative and the tūpuna of the Kāhui Maunga, the early inhabitants of the Taranaki region. Exploring the way myth and history intersects with the lived reality of a contemporary tribal community this thesis contributes to the critical analysis of these tribal traditions. This thesis also highlights how participating and contributing to the pā, hapū and the iwi throughout the duration of PhD research also offered insider insights into the modern retention of ancient knowledge.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Māori Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970120 Expanding Knowledge in Languages, Communication and Culture

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Maori Studies : Te Kawa a Māui


Mercier, Ocean; Adds, Peter