Hero photograph
Photo by Patrice Connor

Drama Based On The Maori Myth of Mount Cargill.

Patrice Connor —

As part of our learning during Marae Week we created a drama to explain how a local landmark Kapukataumahaka (Mt Cargill) was formed. 

Each class learnt what the name Kapukataumahaka means. Kapuka is broadleaf, taumahaka is a kind of snare using water and nooses.  The kapuka plant has berries that attract Kereru (woodpigeons) and when they get thirsty they would look for water and get caught in the snares that had been set.  The hunting grounds were owned by Poho (Opoho).

There are two traditions in particular that explain the human like features on the top of Mt Cargill.  The first is about three young women travelling home to Otakou and they had to spend the night sleeping on the mountain.  While they were sleeping they were turned into the 3 main peaks around Mt Cargill.

The second talks about an old Tohunga or wise man who climbed the hill  and lay down to sleep when he became transformed into the image of the sleeping Maori that many people comment on even today.  It is believed that he is lying on his back, feet pointing towards the west and his head to (Butter's Peak) in the west.  The summit of Mt Cargill is said to be his stomach.