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  • In this activity, students read a legend of Kupe. They compare this with modern-day voyaging without navigational instruments to work out what might have happened during the Polynesian migration.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • explain who Kupe was and where he was touted to have travelled
    • briefly describe the voyage of the Waka Tapu
    • explain how and why legends such as Kupe may be based on actual events.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • the voyaging story of Kupe.

    Related content

    Expert navigator Jack Thatcher describes his waka hourua voyage from New Zealand to Rapanui (Easter Island) and back. Jack and his crew used traditional techniques to navigate the Waka Tapu. Traditional wayfinding involves observing and understanding nature.

    In the Connected article Whakaotirangi and her kete of kūmara, learn how Tainui ancestor Whakaotirangi first brought kūmara and other plants to Aotearoa

    Useful link

    The voyaging story of Kupe that accompanies this activity is condensed from a version translated by S Percy Smith. The full version can be found here, there are also other versions online.

      Published 13 November 2014 Referencing Hub articles
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