Tarakihi: Maori Facts

TAHI: Tarakihi is also a Maori word for the cicada.

RUA: A Māori pepeha (tribal saying):

He ahi tawa ki uta, he kumu tarakihi ki te moana.

“A tawa fire on land and a tarakihi fish at sea” – when tawa berries are roasted they make a loud     popping sound, and a shoal of tarakihi feeding near the shore is also noisy; the saying thus applies to the noise of children playing and similar phenomena.

TORU: In fact, the Māori legend press wasn’t always that great for the humble tarakihi. Māori likened their warriors to sharks, invoking them in battle cries such as: ‘Kia mate uruora tātou, kei mate-ā-tarakihi’ (let us die like white sharks, not tarakihi fish)

More in our Tarakihi series:

Tarakihi Fact Sheet

Catching My First Tarakihi

Recipe: Simple Baked Tarakihi With Garlic & Rosemary

Image:  ‘Tarakihi, Cheilodactylus macropterus‘, from An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966.
Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand
URL: (accessed 21 May 2017)

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