The Legend of the Mountains

Flying over the North Island of New Zealand, I was lucky enough to get photos of the mountains through the clouds. These mountains are volcanic and important in myth and legend. I want to tell you the legend of the mountains.

 Mt Ruapehu

Mt Ruapehu

Long long, long ago, in the time before, seven brothers lived in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand: Ruapehu, Tongariro, Ngāruahoe, Taranaki, Tauhara, Tarawera, and Patauaki

and the only female - little Pihanga. All the brothers loved Pihanga.  She was lovely. She was a beautiful little volcanic cone covered in forest.

Now, the brothers were all a bit fiery and prone to spitting fire and ash and boulders in the air when they got angry.

They fought for Pihanga’s favour. Tongariro defeated them all, one by one and married Pihanga. But Taranaki secretly still longed for Pihanga and she for him. When Pihanga’s son, Panitahi was born, he didn’t look like his brothers and Tongariro was suspicious.

He caught Pihanga and Taranaki together and flew into a rage. The battle was epic and tremendous: fire, rocks and lava flew across the land. Tongariro lost his head and it landed in Lake Taupo where it can be seen to this day.

 Tongariro is to the left and Ngauruhoe to the right.

Tongariro is to the left and Ngauruhoe to the right.

But finally, Taranaki was defeated. He ran away to the coast, taking Pihanga’s son Panitahi with him, gouging out a scar in the land as he went. He settled on the far off coast to mourn for Pinanga, … but next to a beautiful mountain called Pouākai.

Tongariro was left undefeated but sad for the loss of his brothers. His tears filled the scar in the land left by Taranaki, and this became the Whanganui River.

 Mt Taranaki in the distance

Mt Taranaki in the distance

I’ve made blocks of Ruapehu and Ngaurahoe for different projects, but now I really want to make one of them all together.

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Mt Ngauruhoe

 Mt Ruapehu, foundation pieced 6 x 15 inch block

Mt Ruapehu, foundation pieced 6 x 15 inch block