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Maori wood carving at the Arataki Visitor Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
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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.

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