|Haere mai and welcome to the October kōrero column. Kurī is a commonly used word for dog in te reo Māori, and kurī are popular animals in Māori homes.
There are over 800,000 dogs in this country, and a survey done in 2020 found that Māori households were the ethnic group in Aotearoa who were most likely to own a dog.
Kurī is also the name of a now-extinct breed of dog that Māori brought with them to Aotearoa — and which played an interesting part in traditional Māori culture.
These smallish dogs were often highly valued, though not quite what modern people would regard as a pet. They helped Māori hunt prey, including moa. Some were the valued companions of chiefs, and had their own whakapapa and burial sites.
They were also highly valued for their hides and fur — a cloak made of dog skins (kahu kurī) was fit for a high-ranking chief.
Kurī gradually became extinct in the years after Europeans arrived on these shores, bringing with them their own dog breeds.
Kupu hou (new word)
More words related to kurī:
E mihi ana ki a Titihuia Pakeho rāua ko Mairi Lucas.
October 26, 2023
Kurī — dog.