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Maori Rock Art
Raincliff, Sth Canterbury, N.Z.

Raincliff is situated near the confluence of the Opihi and Opuha Rivers in in-land South Canterbury. It is rolling hill country with sporadic outcrops of limestone (karst).

This land was originally inhabited by the Waitawa Maori people - the moa hunters. They sought shelter in caves in the limestone, and decorated the caves with signs of their habitation almost 1000 years ago

The Taniwha

The most well known of the Opihi Maori Rock art drawing is the Taniwha, situated on the Gould property near Hanging Rock.

The Opihi Sites, Raincliff, N.Z.

The Opihi drawing comprise six sites within a 5 kilometre radius of the Raincliff Bridge.
They are noted for the depiction of human, bird and taniwha (monster) like creatures.

The Opihi Sites, Raincliff, N.Z.

It is thought that the moa hunters camped near the river, and rafted their prey downstream to a settlement near Arowhenua, not far from Temuka and the Opihi's outlet to the Pacific.


Garry Law's "Picturing the Past"

South Island Maori Rock Art Project