- Maori (culture)
- Reptilian (attribute)
- Humanoid (attribute)
- Cave Dweller (attribute)
- Deadly (behaviour)
This was a dog-headed human from the legends of the Maori people. His body was covered in scales. He lived in a cave with two headed dogs near the Matau River. During the Summer period he hunted and killed people who themselves were hunting animals. Once he captured a woman to keep for himself. The woman managed to escape and found her way back to he village. She told her husband and the villagers what had captured her and where it lived. A band of warriors gathered and went in search for the Kopuwai. They approached his cave cautiously but found him asleep. They took the opportunity and battered Kopuwai to death.
Kopuwai also features in another story where he is apart of the Te-Kahu-Tipu, the ‘Supernatural Company’. He travelled with them always trying to find a new home but his group was dissatisfied with each location they settled into. He had a short temper and was seen as a very dangerous creature that quarrelled with other beasts. He was thus exiled by their guide, Komakahua to the island of Te-Wai-Pounamu.
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