Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest)
Tāne Mahuta is a giant kauri tree (Agathis australis) in the Waipoua Forest of Northland Region, New Zealand. Its age is unknown but is estimated to be between 1,250
and 2,500 years. It is the largest kauri known to stand today. Its Māori name means "Lord of the Forest" (see Tāne), from the name of a god in the Māori pantheon.
The tree is a remnant of the ancient subtropical rainforest that once grew on the North Auckland Peninsula. Other giant kauri are found nearby, notably Te Matua
Ngahere. Tāne Mahuta is the most famous tree in New Zealand, along with Te Matua Ngahere. It is thought it was discovered (by Westerners, as it was already known to
Maori) and identified in the 1920s when contractors surveyed the present State Highway 12 route through the forest. In 1928 Nicholas Yakas and other bushmen, who were
building the road, also identified the tree.
According to the Maori creation myth, Tāne is the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatuanuku the earth mother. Tāne separates his parents from their marital
embrace until his father the sky is high above mother earth. Tāne then sets about clothing his mother with vegetation. The birds and the trees of the forest are
regarded as Tāne’s children.
In April 2009, Tāne Mahuta was partnered with Jōmon Sugi on Yakushima, Japan.
Tane Mahuta Lewis, born on 25 May 2012, the younger child and son of Mr Gary and Lady Davina Lewis, née Windsor, was named after the Tāne Mahuta. Lady Davina is the
elder daughter of Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and a paternal first cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. At the time of his birth,
Tane Mahuta Lewis was 26th in the line of succession to the thrones of United Kingdom and fifteen other independent sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms,
including New Zealand.
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