The son of Hotu-nui, a chief of the Tainui canoe. His father went away in consequence of an accusation of theft, and Mara went in search of him. Having found his father, who was being ill-used, Mara invited his enemies to a feast and ceremony of soaking nets. At a certain time he and his men drew the great nets over their foes, and killed them. This slaughter was called "The feast of rotten wood" (Te kai pukapuka), on account of the food being piled up over a heap of timber, to make it look larger. Mara-tuahu had three children, Tama-te-pō, Tama-te-rā, and Whanaunga. From these sprang the tribes of Ngāti-rongou, Ngāti-tamatera, and Ngāti-whanaunga.



  • Grey, Sir George. (1855). Polynesian Mythology. Auckland: Brett, p. 158.
  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, p. 220.

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