Maori wood carving at the Arataki Visitor Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
Click on image for full size
Public domain image/Wikipedia Commons
Tawhiri, Maori God of Wind and Storms
Tawhiri was very angry with his brothers. They disagreed about whether their parents, Rangi (the sky) and Papa (the Earth), should be separated. His brothers won, sky and Earth were separated, and Tawhiri was furious.
As the god of wind and storms, Tawhiri had a way to retaliate against his brothers. He hid in the sky and plotted his revenge.
From his place in the sky he sent thunderstorms and hurricanes to his brother Tane-mahuta, the god of forests. The tall trees of the forests cracked and fell.
He sent storms over the oceans to punish his brother Tangaroa, the god of the sea. Waves and whirlpools of water upset the oceans.
He sent storms to his brothers Haumia-tikitiki and Rongo-ma-tane, the gods of food. These brothers were protected by their mother the Earth. She held them close and they were not harmed by the storms Tawhiri sent.
The last brother, Tu-matauenga, withstood the wind and storms that Tawhiri sent. This brother was the god of fierce humans.
Tawhiri had thirteen cloud children who lived in the sky. Some of the cloud children were dark and stormy and others were light and puffy. He was also the father of rain, mist, and fog.
The story of Tawhiri and his family is a part of the mythology of the Maori people from New Zealand and eastern Polynesia.
Last modified July 18, 2008 by Lisa Gardiner.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system 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 and Papa were always together. Rangi wanted this embrace...more
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
Wind is moving air. Warm air rises, and cool air comes in to take its place. This movement creates different pressures in the atmosphere which creates the winds around the globe. Since the Earth spins,...more
Thunderstorms are one of the most thrilling and dangerous types of weather phenomena. Over 40,000 thunderstorms occur throughout the world each day. Thunderstorms form when very warm, moist air rises into...more
As a strong hurricane heads towards the coast, people prepare - boarding up houses, packing the car, and evacuating. These storms can spell disaster for people in hurricane prone areas, so they are taken...more
Rain is precipitation that falls to the Earth in drops of 5mm or more in diameter according to the US National Weather Service. Virga is rain that evaporates before reaching the ground. Raindrops form...more
Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief god for the Navajo. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. Each of the four directions, or cardinal points, are supported by a giant. Each direction is symbolized...more