Tamatea Archives - Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Posts Tagged ‘Tamatea’


Tamatea is the Māori name for Dusky Sound in Te Rua-o-Te-Moko (Fiordland). One of the most complex of the many fiords along the coastline, it is also one of the largest. The large island of Mauikatau (Resolution Island) is located near its entrance, and Taumoana (Five Fingers Peninsula) shelters the mouth of the sound from the northwest.

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Ngā tīpuna i Tamatea

Around 1pm on Sunday, 28 March, 1773 a small waka unua with carved taurapa and tauihu glided out of Te Unu-o-Momotu (Cascade Cove), the narrow bay on the south side of the entrance to Tamatea (Dusky Sound). As the waka rounded the point it came to a standstill as the eight kaihoe (paddlers) stared in amazement. Two days prior, the Resolution had slipped quietly into the fiord and anchored at Whetū (Pickersgill Harbour), a small sheltered bay to the north of Te Unu-o-Momotu. For 30 minutes the visitors on the strange vessel with tall masts and sails tried to entice them aboard. Eventually, as rain started, the kaihoe turned and paddled away. So began the encounter between our southern tīpuna, Captain James Cook, and the crew of the Resolution.

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