Thursday, January 12, 2017

Makamaka - Saddle Hill

Growing up in Allanton under the shadow of Saddle Hill, Makamaka as I now know it, I have often wondered of the stories and legends.  

Saddle Hill's twin humps are named for the body parts of the famous taniwha (mythical monster) Matamata. The large hump is his belly - Puke Makamaka - and the smaller is his knee - Turi Makamaka. Another tradition identifies the Hokonui hills as his resting place. Both use the taniwha's restless movements as an explanation for the land forms and river courses of the area. Matamata is identified with Kati Mamoe chief Rakitauneke and the Otakou chief Karetai. (I saved this some time ago, and unfortunately I did not copy the source, and now cannot locate it. If anyone is able to help with this please let me know.)

"The Taieri was once the abode of a taniwha (water monster) which had its home up the Silver-stream Valley near Whare Flat. Its nest was a swamp, Waipotaka (round pool), but it was of a restless disposition so it journeyed down stream to the place where the town of Mosgiel, and the woollen factory, now stand. The hollow where the town exists was formed by its weight. Mosgiel did not meet the monster's demands so it tripped down the Taieri River. Wriggling and wriggling it made all the sharp bends between Allanton and Otokia. This part of the Taieri is called Te Rua taniwha and its former resting place at Mosgiel is Te Konika o te matamata. When the taniwha died it became Saddle Hill near Riccarton with two main humps named Puke Makamaka and Turi Makamaka." source 

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