Meaning of kuia in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkuːɪə/

nounplural noun kuia, plural noun kuias

New Zealand
  • An elderly Maori woman, especially a female relative or ancestor.

    ‘there were kuia with white feathers in their hair’
    • ‘I asked one of the kuia (grandmothers) about the derivation of a certain word.’
    • ‘A kuia passed on her wisdom to her granddaughter.’
    • ‘I want to congratulate the kaumatua and the kuia who organised that successful event, and look very much forward to being back there next year.’
    • ‘I begin my presentation by making reference to the office you hold in this House, and the acknowledgment we pay to you and your kuia.’
    • ‘I was again contacted by senior members of the trust, including our kuia.’
    • ‘The Maori party have kaumatua and kuia leading the party.’
    • ‘With the beaming patriarch, the tolerant kuia, the benign figures from the afterlife (including a stereotypical errant male) and the quota of cute talking animals (though only the reader gets to hear them), the story is at times overrun with syrupy sweetness and light.’
    • ‘On marae, kuia get the best seats, but this is not so in politics.’
    • ‘The Labour MP's mother is a respected kuia.’
    • ‘The kuia has gathered with others to talk about what they perceive as the latest threat.’


Late 19th century Maori.