In the beginning there was no sky,
no sea, no earth and no Gods. There was only darkness, only Te Kore,
the Nothingness. The very beginning was made from nothing. From
this nothingness, the primal parents of the Māori came, Papatuanuku,
the Earth mother, and Ranginui, the Sky father.
Papatuanuku and Ranginui came together, embracing in the darkness,
and had 70 male children. These offspring became the gods of the
Māori. However, the children of Papatuanuku and Ranginui were locked
in their parents embrace, in eternal darkness, and yearned to see
some light. They eventually decided that their parents should be
separated, and had a meeting to decide what should be done.
They considered for a long time - should Rangi and Papa be killed?
Or shall they be forced to separate?
Finally, Tumatauenga, the god of War, said "Let us kill our
parents". However, Tane-Mahuta, the god of man and forests,
and all which inhabits the forests, thought that Rangi and Papa
should be separated. He thought that Ranginui should go up above,
to the sky, and that Papatuanuku should should go below, to dwell
on earth. All the children, including Tu, the God of War, agreed
Tawhiri Matea, the god of winds and storms was the only child who
did not wish for his parents to be separated. He feared that his
kingdom would be overthrown. One by one the children tried to separate
their parents. Rongomatane, the god and father of cultivated foods,
tried without success. Haumia Tiketike, god of uncultivated food
Then it was the turn of Tangaroa, the god of the sea, and Tumatauenga,
the god of war, but neither Tangaroa nor Tumatauenga could separate
Lastly Tane-Mahuta rose. Strong as the kauri
tree, he placed his shoulders against his mother Papatuanuku and
his feet against his father Ranginui, and he pushed hard,
for a very long time, straining and heaving all the while. Rangi
and Papa cried in pain, asking their sons" why do you wish to destroy our
After a long time Tane finally managed to separate Rangi and Papa,
and for the first time the children saw the light of day (ao Marama)
come streaming in. Once this happened, Tawhiri Matea, the god of
winds and storms, and who had been against the separation of his
parents, left for the sky to join his father.
The turbulent winds and storms on earth are caused by Tawhiri Matea,
in revenge for this brother's acts.
Now that the separation of Papatuanuku and Ranginui was complete,
and there was a sky and an earth. However, there was just one
missing element, and Tane decided to create a female. From an
area named Kura-waka Tane took some clay, and modeled it into
a woman. He then breathed life into it, and created Hine-ahu-one
- the earth formed maiden.
Tane and Hine had a beautiful daughter called Hinetitama. When
Hinetitama grew, she had daughters to Tane. One day Hinetitama asked
Tane who her father was, and on discovering that Tane was the father
of her children, she fled with shame into the night, to a place
called Rarohenga, the underworld. From then on she became known
as Hine-nui-te-po, the goddess of the night.
(Agathis australis) is, on maturity, one of the largest trees found
anywhere in the world, and one of the most commercially attractive,
with a long, straight, branchless trunk producing durable straight-grained
timber, and a resin once greatly prized for the manufacture of
high quality paints, varnishes and polishes.
The Kauri is a conifer, native to New Zealand. Its natural habitat
was in the north of the North Island, from a line running between
Raglan and the Bay of Plenty, through Hamilton. The largest ever
Kauri tree grew in Mercury Bay, and when measured in 1850 had a
girth of 23.43m and soared 21.8 to the first branch.
Tane Mahuta, in the Waipoua Forest, has a girth of 14m, is 51m
tall and is 1.200 years old.
Source : The New Zealand Encyclopedia 4th Edition - Batemen