Rex & Heather Gilroy New Zealand Moehau Research
Giant from the Dreamtime-the Yowie in Myth and Reality
Excerpts from Chapter Twenty
Aotearoa - Land of the Moehau -
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Maori tohungas who have examined some of the giant fossil tracks and megatools, say they were left by the 'Matau', or as he is known in the south Island, the 'Kahui tipua'. According to Maori mythology, it was a Matau giant whose dead body sank into the ground to form Lake Wakatipu in the South Island.
The Maori people also recognise another giant race, the Ruaeo, who reached 2.6 to 3m tall, and besides making stone tools also buried their dead.
Evidence of this giant people, now closely guarded as sacred relics by the Maoris, was found in the Bay of Islands in 1974, when a cave was uncovered containing an unknown number of large human skulls at least 2,000 years old, reputed to have belonged to people up to 3.3m in height, said by the Maoris to have been a fair-skinned, fair-haired race. The Maoris recognise the Ruaeo people as having inhabited New Zealand long before the arrival of their ancestors.
During 1974 further skeletal remains of a 3.3m tall people were uncovered on a property situated on an island near Auckland, when a farmer accidentally dug up the graves of six skeletons, ranging between 2.6 and 3.3m in length when exposed. The man contacted university anthropologists, who, after examining the finds had the graves re-covered. The exact location of the finds is a closely guarded secret of the Maori people of that region.
A local tohunga said at the time that the Ruaeo may have links with a similar giant people who also buried their dead in graves in the islands to the north, and whom the Tongans and Tahitians say, inhabited a wide area of the Pacific long ago.
At another location south of Kaitaia, on the west coast of North Auckland, are several 'tapu' [taboo] caves where burials of a non-Maori people are known. These consist of skeletons of 1.8m to 2.1m in length layed out on the cave floors. Are they further remains of the mysterious Ruaeo people? Maori myth and legend is full of giant beings and monsters of one sort of another. The term 'Taniwah' for example, stood for both water or land-dwelling monsters, also of the manbeast variety.
While there were many supernatural beings of enormous stature who could move mountains, others were of more moderate proportions, like the giant man Tuhourangi, who was reputed to stand 3m tall, and had a powerful voice to match his height. Then there was Kiharoa of the Ngati-raukawa tribe who was said to be twice the height of an ordinary man. When he was killed in battle the oven prepared to cremate his body was so large that the depression made in the ground for this purpose became known to tribespeople as the giant's grave.
And then there were the Rapuwai creatures; gigantic, slow and clumsy but so strong and muscular as to be able to crush any Maori in their powerful hands. The Rapuwai inhabited the Marlborough district of South Island's northern tip. Kopuwai, another giant of about 3m, was cannibalistic, and roamed the Cromwell district with his dogs in search of Maori flesh. He is also reputed to have stolen an occasional woman whom he would carry back to a particular cave near the present site of Cromwell, about half a mile from the Matau River, in what is now the Central Otago region of South Island, north-west of Dunedin.
Ordinary Maoris feared Toangina, a chief about twice the height of a normal man, until he was killed in battle. He terrorised the inhabitants of the Waikato River in what is now the west coastal district of Auckland. And finally, the giant Rakaihautu, is said to have used a Ko or digging stick, to shape the large natural lakes of the Mackenzie Country of the South Island, situated in what is now the Mt Cook National Park. Geologists on the other hand will tell you the lakes [ie Tekapo, Pukaki and Ohau] fill glaciated valleys which were dammed up by moraine about 17,000 years ago. Could there be another hidden clue here to the age in which Rakaihauatu lived?
The above giants, although depicted as individuals, actually represent entire races [if Australian Aboriginal myths and legends are any guide]. For example; Kiharoa, Tohourangi, Kopuwai, Toangina and Rakaihautu are reminiscent of the Matau/Kahui tipua tool-makers; whereas the Rapuwai resemble the Gigantopithecus. We have examined the archaeological and ethnological evidence for the former existence of tool-making and other giant hominids in New Zealand during pre-Maori times. Now let us investigate the evidence for surviving 'relict hominids' in these islands; namely the 'Moehau monsters', and the modern-day 'Megazealanders' who, despite the ridicule of the scientific community, persist in making their presence known.