In Māori mythology, Tinirau is a guardian of fish. He is a son of Tangaroa, the god of the sea. His home at Motutapu (sacred island) is surrounded with pools for breeding fish. He also has several pet whales.
Māori mythology and Māori traditions are the two major categories into which the legends of the Māori of New Zealand may usefully be divided. The rituals, beliefs, and the world view of Māori society were ultimately based on an elaborate mythology that had been inherited from a Polynesian homeland and adapted and developed in the new setting.
In Māori mythology, Tangaroa is one of the great gods, the god of the sea. He is a son of Ranginui and Papatūānuku, Sky and Earth. After he joins his brothers Rongo, Tūmatauenga, Haumia, and Tāne in the forcible separation of their parents, he is attacked by his brother Tāwhirimātea, the god of storms, and forced to hide in the sea. Tangaroa is the father of many sea creatures. Tangaroa's son, Punga, has two children, Ikatere, the ancestor of fish, and Tū-te-wehiwehi, the ancestor of reptiles. Terrified by Tāwhirimātea's onslaught, the fish seek shelter in the sea, and the reptiles in the forests. Ever since, Tangaroa has held a grudge with Tāne, the god of forests, because he offers refuge to his runaway children.
Hinauri, sister to the Māui brothers, had married Irawaru, who was transformed into a dog by Māui-tikitiki. In her grief Hinauri throws herself into the sea. She does not drown but is cast ashore at the home of Tinirau, where she attracts his attention by muddying the pools he uses as mirrors. She marries Tinirau and uses incantations to kill his other two wives, who had attacked her out of jealousy (Biggs 1966:450).
In Māori mythology, Irawaru is the origin of the dog. He is the husband of Hinauri, the sister of Māui. Māui becomes annoyed with Irawaru and stretches out his limbs, turning him into a dog. When Hinauri asks Māui if he has seen her husband, Māui tells her to call "Moi! Moi!" whereupon the poor dog runs up to Hinauri. Learning the truth, she throws herself to Tangaroa never to be seen again.
In Māori mythology, as in other Polynesian traditions, Māui is a culture hero and a trickster, famous for his exploits and cleverness.
When her child Tūhuruhuru is born, the ritual birth ceremony is performed by Kae, a priest.After this is done, Tinirau lends Kae his pet whale to take him home. In spite of strict instructions to the contrary, Kae forces the whale, Tutu-nui, into shallow water, where it dies, and is roasted and eaten by Kae and his people. When he learns of this Tinirau is furious and sends Hinauri with a party of women (often they are Tinirau's sisters) to capture Kae, who is to be identified by his overlapping front teeth. The sisters perform indecent dances to make him laugh. When he laughs, they see his crooked teeth. Then the women sing a magic song which puts Kae into a deep sleep, and carry him back to Motutapu. When Kae wakes from his sleep he is in Tinirau's house. Tinirau taunts him for his treachery, and kills him (Grey 1970:69, Tregear 1891:110, Biggs 1966:450).
Later Tūhuruhuru is killed by the tribe of Popohorokewa for the death of Kae. In turn, Tinirau calls on Whakatau to destroy the Popohorokewa, which he did by burning them all in the house called Tihi-o-manono (Biggs 1966:450).
In Māori mythology, Whakatau is a son of Tūwhakararo and Apakura. One day Apakura has thrown her apron into the sea, and a sea deity named Rongotakawhiu took it and worked it into human form, and Whakatau was born. The sea deity teaches him the arts of enchantment. As the child grows older, people see kites flying at sea, but cannot see who holds the strings. Whakatau loves to fly kites, and is running along the floor of the ocean with his toy. One day, he comes ashore and the people try to catch him. Whakatau is too fast a runner and will let no one catch him except his mother Apakura. He then lives on land with her, and grows up into a famous hero.
In a South Island account, Tinirau, mounted on Tutunui, meets Kae, who is in a canoe. Kae borrows Tutunui, and Tinirau goes on his way to find Hine-te-iwaiwa, travelling on a large nautilus that he borrows from his friend Tautini. When Tinirau smells the south wind he knows that his whale is being roasted (Tregear 1891:110).
In Polynesian mythology, stories about Tinirau are found throughout the islands of Polynesia. He is a guardian of fish. Many themes recur in the various versions. Often he travels to another land in search of his wife, or his wife travels to another land in search of him; sometimes he treats his wife badly, or she rejects him; while he is guardian of fish, it is his wife who gives the fish their individual characteristics. Sometimes their anxious or jealous relatives try to separate the lovers.
In Hawaiian mythology, Kinilau is the son of Menehune, son of Luanu’u. Hawaiians claim descent from the youngest of the twelve sons of Kinilau-a-mano.
The story cycle around Kae and Sinilau is well known in Polynesian mythology, found in several places. This article describes the Tongan version, of which the main source is an old poem published in 1876, and some other, incomplete manuscripts.
Māui (Maui) is the great culture hero and trickster in Polynesian mythology. Exploits of Maui tend to fall more into the category of folklore rather than religion and myth. Very rarely was Maui actually worshipped, being less of a deity and more of a folk hero. His origins vary from culture to culture, but many of his main exploits remain relatively similar.
Hina is the Eastern Polynesian variant for the given name Sina. Hina/Sina is the name assigned to a number of Polynesian goddesses and queens.
In Māori mythology the primal couple Rangi and Papa appear in a creation myth explaining the origin of the world. In some South Island dialects, Rangi is called Raki or Rakinui.
In Māori mythology, Tāne is the god of forests and of birds, and the son of Ranginui and Papatūanuku, the sky father and the earth mother, who lie in a tight embrace. Their many children live in the darkness between them.
In Māori mythology, Tāwhaki is a semi-supernatural being associated with lightning and thunder.
In Māori mythology, the Ponaturi are a group of hostile creatures (goblins) who live in a land beneath the sea by day, returning to shore each evening to sleep. They dread daylight, which is fatal to them. They appear in a number of stories, including:
In Māori mythology, Apakura is the wife of Tūhuruhuru, the son of Tinirau. She had several children, among whom are Tūwhakararo, Mairatea, Reimatua, and Whakatau. In another legend, Apakura is said to be the wife of Tūwhakararo, who was the son of Rātā and father of Whakatau. Whakatau was born in a miraculous manner, from the girdle or apron which Apakura threw into the ocean which was made into a child by a sea deity.
In a tradition of the Moriori people of the Chatham Islands, Rohe is the wife of the demi-god Māui. Beautiful Rohe was a sister of the sun, and her face shone. A quarrel arose after Rohe remarked that Māui's face was ugly. Māui then decided that they should change faces.
In Māori mythology, Taranga is the mother of Māui. Her husband is Makeatutara. Māui was born prematurely, so Taranga wrapped his body in her hair and threw him into the waves. Some sea-creatures cared for him, hiding him in kelp until a storm sent him back to the beach. His ancestor, Tama-nui-a-rangi, found him and brought him back to life, and educated him.
Takatāpui is the Māori word meaning a devoted partner of the same sex. In modern terminology, a person who identifies as takatāpui is a Māori individual who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Takatāpui is used nowadays in response to the Western construction of "sexuality, gender, and corresponding identity expressions." ., though Maori gender identifiers and gender roles, delineated male and female modes of dress and placement of Tā moko, existed prior to and outside of Western influence. The term encompasses not only aspects of sexuality but also cultural identity. Takatāpui incorporates both a sense of indigenous identity and communicates sexual orientation; it has become an umbrella term to build solidarity among sexuality and gender minorities within Māori communities.
Hemā is a figure in both Hawaiian and Maori mythology.
In Māori mythology, Tūwhakararo is a chief in Hawaiki. Tūwhakararo went on a visit to the Āti Hāpai people, whose chief, Poporokewa, had married Tūwhakararo's sister Mairatea. In a wrestling match he was treated unfairly, and was killed in a treacherous manner. In revenge for this murder, the murdered man's brother, Whakatau, sets out with an army, and burns Te Uru o Manono, the tribal meeting house of the Ati Hapai.
In Māori mythology, Tiki is the first man created by either Tūmatauenga or Tāne. He found the first woman, Marikoriko, in a pond; she seduced him and he became the father of Hine-kau-ataata. By extension, a tiki is a large or small wooden or stone carving in humanoid form, although this is a somewhat archaic usage in the Māori language. Carvings similar to tikis and coming to represent deified ancestors are found in most Polynesian cultures. They often serve to mark the boundaries of sacred or significant sites.
In Māori mythology, accounts vary somewhat as to the ancestry of Rātā. Usually he is a grandson of Tāwhaki and son of Wahieroa. Wahieroa is treacherously killed by Matuku-tangotango, an ogre. Rātā sets out to avenge the murder, travelling to the home of Matuku, where a servant of the ogre tells him that Matuku comes out to devour people each new moon, and that he can be killed at the pool where he washes his face and hair. Rātā waits till the ogre comes out and is leaning over with his head in the pool. He grabs him by the hair and kills him. Matuku's bones are used to make spears for hunting birds.
In Māori mythology, Hinauri is the sister of Māui and the wife of Irawaru. Māui becomes annoyed with Irawaru and stretches out his limbs, turning him into a dog. When Hinauri asks Māui if he has seen her husband, Māui tells her to call “Moi! Moi!” whereupon the poor dog runs up, and Hinauri, learning the truth, throws herself into the sea.
Alexander Hare McLintock was a New Zealand teacher, university lecturer, historian and artist. He edited and authored the three-volume Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, published in 1966, his final and perhaps his most remembered work.
Sir George Grey, KCB was a British soldier, explorer, colonial administrator and writer. He served in a succession of governing positions: Governor of South Australia, twice Governor of New Zealand, Governor of Cape Colony, and the 11th Premier of New Zealand.
Victoria University Press (VUP), founded in the 1970s, is the book publishing arm of Victoria University of Wellington, located in Wellington, New Zealand.