Kurī

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Kurī
Otago Museum Kuri - OMNZVT2162 03 (cropped).jpg
OriginNew Zealand
Breed statusExtinct
Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Kurī is the Māori name for the Polynesian dog. It was introduced to New Zealand by the Polynesian ancestors of the Māori during their migration from East Polynesia in the 13th century AD. According to Māori tradition, the demigod Māui transformed his brother-in-law Irawaru into the first dog.[1]

Description[edit]

Kurī were bushy-tailed, with short legs and powerful shoulders. Their coat colour ranged from yellowish brown to black, white, or spotted. Like other Polynesian dog breeds, they howled instead of barking – the Māori word for the howl was auau.[2]

Use[edit]

Kurī were used by Māori for a food source and considered a delicacy. Cook sampled kurī on his 1769 voyage and declared it was almost as tasty as lamb.[2]

Kurī were also used to hunt birds.[2] In addition, Māori used their skins and fur to make dog-skin cloaks (kahu kurī),[3] belts,[4] weapon decorations[5][6]and poi.[7]

Extinction[edit]

Kurī were seen everywhere in New Zealand during Cook's first voyage in 1769.[2] The kurī became extinct in New Zealand some time after the arrival of European settlers. The remains of the last known specimens, a female and her pup, are now in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Luomala, Katharine (1958). "Polynesian Myths about Maui and the Dog". Fabula. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 2 (1): 139–162. doi:10.1515/fabl.1959.2.1.139. OCLC 4958364642.
  2. ^ a b c d Keane, Basil (24 November 2008). "Kurī – Polynesian dogs - What is the kurī?". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Kahu kuri (dog skin cloak)". Collections Online. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  4. ^ "Tatua (belt)". Collections Online. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Edged Weapons with dogskin in the Taonga Māori Collection". Collections Online. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  6. ^ "Edged Weapons with dog hair in the Taonga Māori Collection". Collections Online. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  7. ^ "Poi awe (percussive device)". Collections Online. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  8. ^ Best, Elsdon (1924). The Maori. 1. Wellington: The Polynesian Society. pp. 433–435. OCLC 222243473.

Further reading[edit]