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In Māori mythology, tipua or tupua are a type of differing shaped demon or "uncanny thing".[1] Tipua could be common objects; sometimes even trees and rocks[2] were associated as these types of spirits. These places where tipua were believed to inhabit served as areas where travellers would make offerings to the spirits of the land, in the form of herbs or branches. Neglected areas would harass travelers and visitors with such things as bad weather conditions.[3]

Some stone tipua were believed to wander from place to place. In these cases, travellers were obliged to make two offerings.[3]


  1. ^ LIEUT COLONEL GUDGEON C.M.G. (1906). Journal of the Polynesian Society: THE TIPUA-KURA AND OTHER MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SPIRIT WORLD. Original from the University of California: PRINTED FOR THE SOCIETY BY WHITCOMBE & TOMBS LIMITED. p. 27.
  2. ^ Rakairuru Archived 2010-05-22 at the Wayback Machine, Rangitāne o Wairarapa website.
  3. ^ a b Best, Elsdon (1934). The Maori As He Was : A Brief Account of Maori Life as it was in Pre-European Days. New Zealand Electronic Text Centre: WELLINGTON, N.Z. DOMINION MUSEUM. p. 54.