Tane, god of the forest, used his head and feet to separate his parents.
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Courtesy of Corel Corporation
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, the
male sky, and Papa, the female Earth
, were entwined in a steady embrace. Rangi wanted this embrace to prevent the creation of the world.
Several gods, the offsprings of the Sky Father and of the Mother Earth could not escape from the close embrace. The trapped gods tried in vain several times to separate their parents. When some of them suggested the only way to be
free was to kill their parents, the god of forest, Tane, refused, and
attempted again to split his parents. Pushing away his father with his
head and his mother with his feet, he finally succeeded.
Once separated the sky and the Earth assumed their present position.
Once free, one of the divine children, the storm god Tawhiri was inexplicably
upset with Tane for having separated their parents. He expressed all his
wrath by creating storms and hurricanes, ravaging the forests which
represented the domain of Tane. Tawhiri, thereafter, established his
authority over the sky and his siblings.
The god of war, Tu, did not
want to submit to the storm god. According to Maoris, the islands of the
Pacific Ocean were created by the struggle between Tu and Tawhiri, which
represents the beginning of warfare. It is strikingly surprising to
discover how similar this creation story is with that of Uranus and Gaea
in the Greek mythology and that of Nut and Geb in the ancient Egyptian
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