View Full Version : Stories of My Ancestors

10-14-07, 09:01 AM
All stories are not original stories but legends past down. I have been told these stories when i was young. I had to relook them up though and have copied some and edited some into my own words mixed with memories of the stories when I was younger.


In the beginning there was no sky, no sea, no earth and no Gods. There was only darkness, only Te Kore, the Nothingness. The very beginning was made from nothing. From this nothingness, the primal parents of the Māori came, Papatuanuku, the Earth mother, and Ranginui, the Sky father.

Papatuanuku and Ranginui came together, embracing in the darkness, and had 70 male children. These offspring became the gods of the Māori. However, the children of Papatuanuku and Ranginui were locked in their parents embrace, in eternal darkness, and yearned to see some light. They eventually decided that their parents should be separated, and had a meeting to decide what should be done.

They considered for a long time - should Rangi and Papa be killed? Or shall they be forced to separate?

Finally, Tumatauenga, the god of War, said "Let us kill our parents". However, Tane-Mahuta, the god of man and forests, and all which inhabits the forests, thought that Rangi and Papa should be separated. He thought that Ranginui should go up above, to the sky, and that Papatuanuku should should go below, to dwell on earth. All the children, including Tu, the God of War, agreed with Tane.

Tawhiri Matea, the god of winds and storms was the only child who did not wish for his parents to be separated. He feared that his kingdom would be overthrown. One by one the children tried to separate their parents. Rongomatane, the god and father of cultivated foods, tried without success. Haumia Tiketike, god of uncultivated food also tried.

Then it was the turn of Tangaroa, the god of the sea, and Tumatauenga, the god of war, but neither Tangaroa nor Tumatauenga could separate their parents.

Lastly Tane-Mahuta rose. Strong as the kauri ( tree, he placed his shoulders against his mother Papatuanuku and his feet against his father Ranginui, and he pushed hard, for a very long time, straining and heaving all the while. Rangi and Papa cried in pain, asking their sons" why do you wish to destroy our love?"

After a long time Tane finally managed to separate Rangi and Papa, and for the first time the children saw the light of day (ao Marama) come streaming in. Once this happened, Tawhiri Matea, the god of winds and storms, and who had been against the separation of his parents, left for the sky to join his father.

The turbulent winds and storms on earth are caused by Tawhiri Matea, in revenge for this brother's acts.

Now that the separation of Papatuanuku and Ranginui was complete, and there was a sky and an earth. However, there was just one missing element, and Tane decided to create a female. From an area named Kura-waka Tane took some clay, and modeled it into a woman. He then breathed life into it, and created Hine-ahu-one - the earth formed maiden.

Tane and Hine had a beautiful daughter called Hinetitama. When Hinetitama grew, she had daughters to Tane. One day Hinetitama asked Tane who her father was, and on discovering that Tane was the father of her children, she fled with shame into the night, to a place called Rarohenga, the underworld. From then on she became known as Hine-nui-te-po, the goddess of the night. (

10-14-07, 03:35 PM

The passages of time continued. The children of Ranginui and Papatuanuku adorned the earth and the heavens with their offspring.

The time had come for the human form to be produced. Urutengangana was anxious that the earth should be provided with the element of ira tangata. He encouraged his siblings to search for the female element to enable the creation of woman. Urutengangana knew that the ira tangata needed would only come from the earth and not just from himself or siblings as they were of ira atua.

The guardians search was long, they searched both land and sea, then finally Tanematua sought out his mother, Papatuanuku, for her advice and knowledge. Papatuanuku consoled Tanematua for his own and his siblings plight. Taking pity on him, she advised that he search for Kurawaka, for in that place the female is in a state of potentiality, as she is tapu as she contains the seed of the likeness of humans. It would be here that he would find ira tangata, here that he would find the earth that would be essential to create the form of woman.

Tanematua returned to his siblings and spoke of his mothers words. They journeyed to Kurawaka and here they found the red clay that Papatuanuku had spoken of.

The siblings shared in the creation of woman, each contributing to the her form. The older siblings were responsible for the shaping of her body, and the younger added the flesh, fat, muscles and blood. Tukapua and a few others provided the lungs and kidneys. These parts were made separately and then fitted together. After this was completed, Tanematua put the breath of life into her mouth, nostrils and ears. The eyelids opened, the eyes lit up, breath came from the nostrils, hot breath from the mouth, and the living body sneezed. Tihei Mauri Ora!

It is important to note that although Tanematua supplied the breath, Rehua, the head mangai of Io, following the instructions from Io Matua, implanted the thoughts and the living spirit (hau) into her.