Tane, god of the forest, used his head and feet to separate his parents.
Click on image for full size
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
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
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...more
As a strong hurricane heads towards a vulnerable coast, people take precautions - boarding up houses, packing the car, and evacuating. These massive storms can spell disaster for people in hurricane prone...more
Nut was the Egyptian sky goddess. She was depicted as a giant, naked woman who was supporting the sky with her back. Her body was blue and covered by stars. Ancient documents describe how each evening,...more
Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief deity of the Navajo Indians. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. Each of the four cardinal directions was supported by a giant. Each direction was also associated...more
Amphitrite was one of the fifty Nereids, the attendants of the sea-god Poseidon. Poseidon (Neptune) had fallen in love with Amphitrite after seeing her dancing on the island of Naxos. Amphitrite rejected...more
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. There were actually two different Aphrodites, one was the daughter of Uranus, the other the daughter of Zeus and...more
In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. Leto travelled all over Greece...more