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Papa, Maori Earth Goddess - Windows to the Universe

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Tane, god of the forest, used his head and feet to separate his parents.
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Papa

The Maori people of New Zealand believe that at the beginning of time the sky was so in love with the Earth that they were always embracing each other. The sky was male and his name was Rangi; the Earth was female and was named Papa.

Their endless grasp kept their children tightly inside. After several attempts, one of the children, Tane, the god of forest, finally succeeded in breaking free. He pushed his father with his head and his mother with his feet. Once separated, the sky and the Earth assumed their present position.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF