Lake Wakatipu – Part III


The young lovers ran as fast as they could towards the village where great celebration awaited.A grand feast was prepared in the couple’s honour. and great festivities including traditional tribal face painting took place in celebration. Manata’s father gave his blessings to the couple and as a token of his gratitude, he gifted Matakauri a flax and dog-skinned kilt of the highest rank. Matakauri and Manata were married with great pomp and show. Do not fret! This is not the end of their story but just the beginning.

On marrying his true love and being warmly welcomed into the tribe, Matakauri was filled with joy and gratitude. Therefore, he felt it was his duty to protect his family and the humble people of Waktipu. So to avoid Matau from every threatening his wife or the tribe again, Matakauri meticulously plotted to finally put the horrible giant to rest.

Matakauri patiently waited until the strong and bitter nor’west wind beat against the grand mountains, during which the giant would be engrossed in a deep slumber. Following the winds once again, Matakauri secretly entered Matau’s bed of bracken and heard the giant’s deep snores. He found Matau asleep, curled up on one side. Quietly he set a blazing flame to a few forest sticks that he had brought along. He made his way to the ferocious giant’s bracken bed and lit it on fire. The helpless giant was surrounded by vibrant, vicious flames. Matakauri fled the mountains as fast as he could while Matau lay trapped and ambushed by the wild-fire. Matau’s cries echoed through the vast mountains as the fire grew with vigour. The fat from Matau’s huge body only intensified the fire, burning a deep gouge into the earth almost four-hundred meters deep. Soon, the violent fire caused the ice and snow on the surrounding mountains to melt and water poured in, filling up the hole left by Matau’s burnt body and forming LakeWakatipu (translating to “Hollow of the Giant”).

It is believed that the heart of the giant was so strong that the fire could not burn it completely. They say that the heart still resides in the deepest part of the lake and that it is the beating of the heart that causes the waves!

                                                                   Te Mutunga (The End)


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