The beautiful heroine of the romance of Hine-moa and Tūtānekai. She is the daughter of the high chief Umu-karia and his wife Hine-māru. They dwelt at Rotorua, and the maiden was the center of attraction for all the young chiefs of the surrounding country. Among these were the sons of Whakaue-kaipapa, three of whom, Tawake-heimoa, Ngarara-nui, and Tūtea-iti, were legitimately born; but the fourth, who was named Tūtānekai, had been born after his mother Rangi-uru had eloped with Tū-whare-toa.

Hine-moa owned a secret preference for Tūtānekai above the other suitors, and the lovers found means to make their love known between themselves. Being separated by the lake, music was had recourse to as a means of sympathetic communication, Tūtānekai and his friend playing on the putorino (flute) which could be heard across the water. Guided by the sweet sounds, Hine-moa swam the lake at night, resting only on the tree stump Hine-whata, and after being in the water for some hours, reached the warm spring at Waikimihia, and refreshed herself. There she was found by Tūtānekai, who took her to his home; and, in the morning, to the joy of the whole settlement, produced his beautiful wife.

Her place in the pedigrees of her descendants is pointed out with much pride, and the story is a very sweet and simple folk-tale.



  • Grey, Sir George. (1855). Polynesian Mythology. Auckland: Brett, p. 146 ff.
  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, pp. 71-72.
  • Wilson, Rathmell. (1905). Hinemoa and Tutanekai. A Maori Legend. London: Elkin Matthews.

This article incorporates text from Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary (1891) by Edward Tregear, which is in the public domain.