Peter Johnston: Urukehu Connections and South America



Ngāti Hei kaumatua, Peter Johston, talks about the connections of the iwi to the people that they know as the Urukehu and the possible connections to South America and Peru. He also talks about other South American plants, such as the kumara and the connections across the Pacific.

Note that on Te Ara, the Urukehu are described as follows:

“While some believe that Urukehu (fair-headed, fair-skinned Māori) are the offspring of the fairy people patupaiarehe, Mākereti Papakura believed that this light-skinned strain dates back to the traditional Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki, and that albino Māori are the product of the union between Māori and patupaiarehe. She describes patupaiarehe as ‘supernatural children of the mist … seen in indistinct form in the passing mist. … They are fair, and are clothed in flimsy white like the web of the pūngāwerewere [spider].”

Key points:

-13 53 33, -76 18 32


  • Category
  • Location
    Aotearoa New Zealand, South Pacific
  • Tags
    Peter Johnston, South America, Urukehu