A chief of Hawaiki, a giant of eleven feet in height. At the time of the Migration of the Māori people to New Zealand, Whakaoti-rangi, the wife of Ruaeo, was decoyed on board the Arawa canoe by Tama-te-kapua, and carried away. Ruaeo arrived in his canoe Pukā-tea-wai-nui, and obtained access secretly to his wife, who was living with Tama at Maketu. Ruaeo brought one hundred and forty of his men, and challenged Tama to single combat. Tama, himself a giant of nine feet stature, accepted the challenge, but was overthrown, beaten, and insulted beyond expression. Ruaeo and his people then left the place, and chose a home for themselves.



  • Grey, Sir George. (1855). Polynesian Mythology. Auckland: Brett, p. 91.
  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, p. 431.

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