In Māori mythology, Patupaiarehe are pale spirit beings that live in deep forests and mountaintops in New Zealand, and are sometimes hostile to humans. Ethereal flute music and singing sometimes reveals their presence.
Patupaiarehe, also referred to as Turehu, Ngati Hotu and Urukehu (red heads), were said to live in large guarded communities. They tended to occur in certain localities, especially hilly or mountainous regions. In the North Island these included Mt Pirongia in the Waikato, the Coromandel Range from Mt Moehau to Mt Te Aroha, the Rotorua hills, the Urewera Ranges, and the Waitākere Ranges near present-day Auckland. In the South Island, they inhabited the hills of Banks Peninsula, the Takitimu range, and the hills between Lake Brunner and the Arahura River. Another little-known term for these fairy-like folk was pakehakeha, which has been suggested as a possible origin of the word Pākehā, used to refer to Europeans.
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