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It is obvious that the Maori myths also have many similarities to the Babylonian creation epic, but they also share similarities with the Ancient Greek creation stories.

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How it is possible for an isolated civilization to have commonalities with such myths is yet to be found, increasing speculations that the myths contain a common truth of external intervention. Maori Legends and Myths. Stories of Old Creation. The Creation of Man.

Māori Myths and Legends

Maori Mythology. Maori Creation Traditions. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan. People we're actually convinced that this happened? Where does a story like this even orginate?

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Pretty brutal to teach children this as well but Christianity is no better. Ancient Origins has been quoted by:.

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Rangitaiki likewise despatched its emissaries, and these were Waiirohia, Nga Tamawhine, Pokairoa, Pakekeheke and Waikowhewhe all tributary streams on the left bank of Rangitaiki. The healthful influence of Rangitaiki is represented by Waimangeo, a large stream of bitter water that emerges from a hill.

Waikato also sent forth a number of messengers all are tributaries of that river and listened intently for any sound of the advance of its rival, until, from afar off, came the roar of many waters as Rangitaiki flowed into the ocean, and so was the first to reach their mother Wainui.

So disappointed was Waikato that it swerved westward from south of Paeroa and sought the western ocean; although many taniwha monsters assisted it in forcing a passage and opening up a channel, yet Waikato could not win the contest, while Rangitaiki succeeded in forging far ahead and so reaching the ocean at the Awa-a-te-atua.

Creation Myth of the Maori – New Zealand | Ancient Origins

As noted above the various couriers despatched by the racing rivers were their own tributaries, those of the left bank of Rangi-taiki and those of the right bank of Waikato. Cussen, in which occur some remarks on the wandering habits of that river in times remote; at p. In another paper entitled "Notes on the Piako and Waikato River-basins", published in vol.

Assuredly this wandering habit of the Waikato river reminds us of the Maori myth. Hutton agrees with these statements in a paper published in vol. Hill gives a version of the Waikato-Rangitaiki race myth in vol. The Clarence and Hurunui rivers of the South Island are known to natives as Waiau-toa and Waiau-uha, or male Waiau and female Waiau, and the latter is said to occasionally feel affection for Waiau-toa, which in some way produces rain, but the story is obscure.

The old, old myth of the contest between water and fire has been preserved by our Maori folk, and a version of it is given at p. The remnants of fire that survived the attacks of water took refuge in trees and rock.


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At the same time this fire, called the fire of Mahuika, is really of less importance than the Ahi o Tapeka or Fire of Tapeka , which is the fire that burns in the underworld. The native folk of the Whanganui River have conserved a considerable number of folk tales. As might be expected one encounters here many taniwha myths, stories of strange monsters that live in the deep pools of the river.

One story relates to a certain young woman of former times who was visited nightly by some being that dwelt in the river, but who presumably possessed a form akin to that of man. She marvelled at the coldness of his skin, and consulted her father, the result being that all apertures of her house that might admit light were carefully blocked, and the next visit of the strange denizen of the river depths was awaited.

When that being came, he passed the night as usual and waited for the first sign of dawn ere he retired to his watery home. But no sign of dawning light appeared within the house, though the folk of the hamlet had already assembled outside in the broad light of day. Ere long they opened the door and then slew the water man as he came forth. They cut his body into pieces; his head, bones and skin were scattered abroad.


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  8. Then a strange thing happened, for the people heard the head, and bones, and skin singing a plaintive song, a song that is still retained by the Maori folk. The great power possessed by water is well known to all men, be they civilised or savage, and the Maori assigns ceaseless energy and destructive power to Hine-moana the Ocean Maid, she who ever attacks her own forebear, the Earth Mother.

    Ever the surging ranks of Ngaru-nui and Ngaru-roa roll in to attack the flanks of Papa the Parentless, ever the relentless battalions of Hine-moana gnaw their way into her great body, but ever page Rakahore, Hine-one and Hine-tuakiri-kiri stand faithfully on guard to defend the mother of all things.

    Thus it is that we see the raging waters hurl themselves in vain on the sturdy rocks, the soft, yielding, but indomitable sand, the rattling gravel beds that move and complain, but never give way. Thus spoke a folk lore expert of the brown folk: "The gravel and stones and their younger relatives preserve the bounds of the ocean and of the land, hence the bounds of Hine-moana budge not; it was Parawhenuamea who so arranged matters.

    The following story, told to me nearly thirty years ago by Te Awanui Aporotanga of Omarumutu, and again by Tuta Nihoniho in , might well have served as a basis for a wild myth.

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    In olden times a man had some dispute with his wife, and so resolved to be rid of her. He took her out to sea in his canoe and marooned her on a distant island, after which he returned home to the mainland. Some say that he was a resident of Whakatane, others assign him a home at divers other places. The husband reported that his wife had been drowned, and his report was believed. The abandoned woman supported herself on shellfish and what else she could find at her lone island home.

    At last she bethought herself of how she might despatch a message to her friends, and so she set about making a kite of such materials as were available. Upon a day when the wind was blowing in the direction of the home of her own people she attached a long cord to her kite, and to the end of the cord a light piece of driftwood.

    She then tied a motoi ear pendant she had long worn to the kite and released it. The kite dragged the piece of wood along the surface of the water until it reached the beach at her old home, here the attached piece of wood soon got foul of some obstructions and so brought the kite to a halt. Relatives of the lone woman saw the kite and hastened to investigate the matter. They recognised the attached pendant and guessed that she was still alive and had adopted this method of endeavouring to communicate with her friends. A party set forth to search for their clanswoman and eventually found her at her lone island home.

    When she reached her old home she explained how it was that she had been marooned, whereupon a force of willing regulators set forth to call upon her husband, who was dealt with in a most thorough manner. In days of yore a certain man named Paia, having become tired of his wife, resolved to destroy her. He took her to sea with him in his canoe when he went fishing, and, having fished for some time, he told his wife to haul up the stone anchor.

    11 Fascinating Māori Myths and Legends

    As she was doing so, he pushed her overboard, cut the rope of the anchor, and then returned home, where he told the people that his wife had been accidentally drowned. He then took another wife, who cared for his two little daughters by his first wife. When the woman saw her husband paddling his canoe away from her, and making for land, she knew that he intended her to drown; she then swam to an island at no great distance, where she landed safely and took up her abode.

    Here, some time later, she gave birth to twins, two boys, whom she carefully tended until they grew up fine strong lads.


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    4. She then sought to teach them the arts of warfare, the use of weapons, and, when proficient, she taught them how to use tools, and how to hew out a canoe. When the canoe was finished, the marooned wife taught them how to manage it, and then told them of her long cherished plan. They were to go to the mainland, seek out their father, and slay him. Thus should the wrongs of their mother be avenged.