The Maori name for Milford Sound is Piopiotahi. The Maori people, who are the indigenous people of New Zealand, have a deep spiritual and cultural connection to the land and sea. Piopiotahi is a name that reflects the Maori understanding and reverence for the natural beauty and significance of Milford Sound.
In Maori mythology, Piopiotahi is said to have been formed by the god Tu-te-raki-whanoa, who carved the fiord out of the rock with his adze. According to legend, Tu-te-raki-whanoa also created the mountains and valleys of the surrounding landscape, and the many rivers and streams that flow into the sound.
The name Piopiotahi comes from the piopio, which is a now-extinct bird that was once found throughout New Zealand. The piopio was known for its sweet song, which is said to have echoed through the valleys and fiords of the South Island. The name Piopiotahi is a tribute to this beloved bird, and reflects the Maori belief in the interconnectedness of all living things.
Today, Piopiotahi is still an important place for the Maori people, who continue to have a strong spiritual and cultural connection to the land and sea. The Maori have a deep respect for the natural environment and the creatures that inhabit it, and their traditional knowledge and wisdom are valued by many people in New Zealand and around the world.
Visitors to Milford Sound can learn more about the Maori history and culture of the area through a variety of experiences, including guided tours, cultural performances, and educational programs. By learning about the Maori perspective on the natural world, visitors can gain a deeper appreciation for the unique beauty and significance of Milford Sound.