Artist's depiction of the Sun god, Maui.
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Windows to the Universe original image
Maui was a hero of Polynesian mythology. For Maui and his mother the days were
too short. Maui wanted his mother to have more daylight to make bark cloth.
He thought that if the Sun
were moving slower across the sky, there would
be more hours of light in one day.
So, Maui cut off the sacred tresses of his
wife, Hina, to make a rope that would not burn in the Sun. With his rope he
caught the Sun as it was rising and beat it with the magic jawbone of his
The Sun was so weak after the beating that it could not run but only
creep along its course. In this way, sunlight lasted longer, and it was possible to work more during the day.
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