Thursday, March 12, 2009
Te Puka - The Anchor Stone
When I was on Stewart Island (Rakiura) recently, I drove around to pretty deserted Lee Bay to photograph the giant chain that meanders out of the bush, across the walking track and ‘under the sand.’ Beside it sits Te Puka – the anchor stone which states: “Maori creation stories tell how Maui, a legendary Polynesian voyager, pulled up from the sea floor the anchor stone Te Puka a Maui (Stewart Island/Rakiura) to act as the anchor for the great ancestral canoe Te Waka o Aoraki (South Island of New Zealand). The stylised anchor chain is secured firmly on land by a shackle but disappears beneath Foveaux Strait/Te Ara a Kewa, to remind us of the spiritual and physical connections between Stewart Island/Rakiura and Bluff/Motu Pohue, the traditional taurapa or stern post of Te Waka o Aoraki. The chain links also symbolise a history of inter-relationships that have given the peoples of Stewart Island/Rakiura a strong sense of heritage and identity.” On my way back across Foveaux Strait to the mainland, I caught a second snap of the chain - white at Landsend, on the southern tip of the South Island.