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The Remarkable Feather Waka; a Moriori Tale of Long Ago

Author(s): June Allen

Location(s): New Zealand, Chatham Islands

Genre(s): Mythology

Era(s): Pre 19th Century

The Moriori had been living a peaceful life in the Chatham Islands for many centuries before they were almost all killed by a tribe of Maori from New Zealand in the mid 19th Century. Just a few stories remain from the earlier days. This one tells of how a chief and his sons became stranded while bird hunting. The chief would not be thwarted. He had a plan. He instructed his sons to pluck the wings from albatross on a nearby Island, and to weave these feathers into rope that could be bound together to make a raft. They were successful and the little group managed to make their way safely home. A respected historian of the South Pacific believes this story is true.

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