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Tane, god of the forest, used his head and feet to separate his parents.
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Courtesy of Corel Corporation

Rangi

According to the Maori people of New Zealand, Rangi was the Sky Father and his wife was the Mother Earth, Papa. At the beginning of time, Rangi and Papa were always together. Rangi wanted this embrace to prevent the creation of the world. Their divine children, like Tangaroa the god of the sea, and others could not escape from their grasp.

The trapped gods tried in vain several times to separate their parents until it was the turn of the god of forest, Tane. Pushing away his father with his head and his mother with his feet, Tane finally succeeded. He then set the Sun and the Moon, and decorated the heavens with stars. Tane was also the one who created the first woman called Hine, whom he married.

Their children were the first Polynesian people. One of Tane's brothers, the god of winds Tawhiri, did not want his parents to be separated and expressed his wrath hurling storms and hurricanes against Tane's forests.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA