A fish deity, son of Tangaroa and Anu-mātao, and twin of Poutini. His two other brothers were Whata-uira-a-Tangaroa and Whatu-kura. He was born inside a shark. Pounamu is the personification of greenstone (which was believed to be in a soft state inside of the shark and harden on exposure to air). Pounamu was classed with fish.

Pounamu (greenstone) is also said to have come from Te Anu-i-waho.1



  1. White, John. (1887). Ancient History of the Maori. 6 vols. Wellington: G. Didsbury, Government Printer, p. 1:34.


  • Shortland, Edward. (1882). Maori Religion and Mythology. London: Longmans Green, p. 18.
  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, p. 360.