Mythed. Kereru

 
 

As a titan of the New Zealand native bird scene, Kereru is joined by some beautiful manu in a land drenched in green. As we have seen with several other native flora and fauna, their stories in mythology give further insight into how they are/were perceived. Kereru finds himself most famously in a myth involving our hero: Maui. We are told how Kereru was first created and how he came to look as he does. 

Maui, the heroic trickster was confused by the daily disappearance of his mother.

It was just like Maui to be curious.

Maui eagerly wanted to know where she went and being the confident demi-god that he was, not to mention being powerful enough to sate his curiosity, he ventured to find out.

He decided as a first step that he would try to slow her down and consequently make it easier to pursue her. He hid her clothes before dawn, to this end.

Taranga, unable to find her clothes left without them. Maui followed her and watched as she entered a secret entrance to the underworld (unbeknownst to him at the time) and turned into a bird in order to follow her there.

A bird never before seen.

Kereru is a blue/green in his upper body. An iridescent purple bronze color surrounding the blue/green especially on his neck (as if he wasn't radiant enough). We see a white strip through his body on his breast and a color between red and orange for his beak.

This bird we now know to be the Kereru.

Maui wore his mothers skirt and her belt. These two things are now seen on the pigeon. The white chest is the bodice of Taranga, and the dark surrounding its neck represents her belt.

This myth gives insight into how the current NZ landscape came to be while simultaneously illustrating the exploits of one of the heroes of NZ myth, brother Maui. 

Tasty and slow, are two physical traits that don't go hand in hand as a survival mechanism. Cows and pigs demonstrate this perfectly.

Similar to our korero on the Tui we want to supply some pointers to attracting this ataahua to your whare. Apparently one of the more challenging of tasks. According to this source there are several factors contributing to a decline in numbers over the years aside from the two characterisics already mentioned.

Tasty inu is your first port of call. By tasty I mean tasteless. He inu wai. And to replilcate a water source in nature it would be best to have the sound of running water. To this end, having a big bird bath with a running water feature is ideal. 

Apparently regularly feeding these manu takes time and has many steps as they are quite shy. 

Start off by feeding them frozen peas and corn plus some bananas and have a perching point for them somewhere high so they can scope the place before making themselves vulnerable.

Next planting food with large fruit. "Many exotic trees will not only take less time to become established but also produce far more fruit than the native. Loquat and Guava are good examples of these". 

Of course this is just an abridged tutorial on how to attract our fine feather friend to your fair family whare. Check the source here for more information and follow their links for even more info.

Again if you have any success we would love to hear about it. 

Luke EganComment