5 Enthralling Māori Myths and Legends

If you love reading and hearing stories about myths and legends, the Maori tradition sure has a lot to offer. These tales have an interesting take on how Earth and the country itself came to existence. Many of these legends and myths are still told by Maoris today. Get that New Zealand Visa right away as nothing is more special than hearing them firsthand. To help out, here is a quick runaround of some of the enthralling Māori myths and legends.

 

Maui Fishes Up The North Island

Those individuals outside New Zealand and Polynesia may have been exposed to Maui through the Disney flick, Moana. One of the most famous legends in the local tradition, the roguish character is linked with the birth of the country itself. It is believed that the North Island is a fish that Maui tugged from the Pacific Ocean. The South Island was said to be his boat, and the Steward Island was the anchor of the canoe.

Tāne Divides the Earth and the Sky

Tane is the father of life and the world as known in Maori customs. He is dubbed with several designations with the various roles he has acted in the legends. Probably, the most significant folklore which involves Tane was his coup in splitting his parents Papatūānuku and Rangui. The former (earth mother) and the latter (sky father) used to be a tight embrace that surrounded the world in total darkness.

Tāwhirimātea’s Anger

Tāwhirimātea (god of the weather) was another son of Papatūānuk and Rangui, who was solely against separating their parents. In his hatred, he propelled his children to ravage Earth with heavy rain and thunderstorms. The forests of Tane were severely destroyed. Thanks to Tūmatauenga’s (god of the people) arrival. He was able to beat and put a dent on the actions of his resentful sibling.

Taniwha, the Supernatural Creatures

Taniwha are mythical creatures or monsters that are largely featured in Maori folklore. They are believed to similar to giant likes, some resemble other reptiles, while the remaining thought to take the form of whales and sharks. Nowadays, people accept the presence of these monsters, specifically within waterways and rivers.

Māngōroa, the Milky Way

Polynesia places a high value on sharks, and they regard them as guardian spirits. Maori tradition also supports this idea. Te Māngōroa is probably the most renowned of all its stories. Folklore says that Maui set the shark Māngōroa to the sky and formed what we know nowadays as the Milky Way.

Many more stories envelop the rich Maori folklore. Go ahead and visit New Zealand and learn more about these fascinating tales straight from the Maori people.