"Trembling south." The patron god of tattooing, the tohunga ta moko (tattooing expert), a grandson of . He dwelt in Rarohenga (), and there taught the art of tattooing to Mata-ora. Before that period tattooing by punctuation was unknown in the upper world, where designs were merely painted on the human body. That mode of decoration, Ue-tonga said, was merely for the decoration of houses, and was known as hopara makaurangi, but when applied to persons it was styled tuhi. Having learned the proper style of tattooing, Mata-ora taught it to humans.

Ue-tonga's daughter Niwa-reka became Mata-ora's wife. As a parting gift, Ue-tonga gave Mata-ora the famous cloak called the Rangi-haupapa, which was the original after which were fashioned all the cloaks of this world. The belt that was intended to confine it was the originating pattern of all belts of this world.

Ue-tonga also tattooed the demigod Māui.1



  1. Grey, Sir George. (1855). Polynesian Mythology. Auckland: Brett, p. 35.


  • Best, Elsdon. (1924). The Maori. Wellington: Harry H. Tombs, pp. 169, 171.
  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, p. 573.
  • White, John. (1887). Ancient History of the Maori. 6 vols. Wellington: G. Didsbury, Government Printer, pp. 2:4-6.