Kea, or more properly Kearoa, was the wife of Ngātoro-i-rangi; she was carried off with her husband by Tama-te-kapua on board the Arawa canoe in the Migration. On account of Tama's adultery with Kea, Ngātoro, by his incantations, drew the Arawa into the "Mouth of Te Parata," a whirlpool (see Te Parata). From this incident comes the proverb, "Ka taka te urunga o Kea" ("The pillow of Kea has fallen"), as a warning in danger.

To Kearoa, and to Whakaoti-rangi (another chieftainess), sacrifices were offered as to ancestral spirits.



  • Grey, Sir George. (1855). Polynesian Mythology. Auckland: Brett, p. 88.
  • Shortland, Edward. (1856). Traditions and Superstitions of the New Zealanders. London: Longmans Green, p. 14.
  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, p. 142.

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