Maori Gods

In Māori mythology, long before the sea and land agreed on continents, Maui fished up the North Island. Before the time of Christ the people of Maui visited the northern lands called Te Tai Tokerau.  Around 950 AD the leader Kupe landed with some of his people from the distant land of Hawaiki. In 1642 Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sailed around New Zealand but the land did not feel European footsteps until127 years later when British captain James Cook came ashore.  By the beginning of the 19th century Northlandís bays were giving shelter to sealers and whaling boats from many nations and the Bay of Islands town of Russell became infamous for its raucous shore leave. With traders came muskets, with settlers came missionaries.  With property came bloodshed and the need for agreement. In 1840 at a place called Waitangi the Māori chief Hone Heke became the first of 46 to sign the founding document of bi-cultural New Zealand. More than 500 Māori leaders followed. 

The Maori view of creation in which all nature was seen as a great kinship tracing its origins back to a single pair, the Sky Father and the Earth Mother, was a conception which they brought with them when they came from Central Polynesia.   


Some Maori Gods;

Ao - personification of light and the world of the living

Ārohirohi - goddess of mirages

Auahitūroa - personification of comets, and the origin of fire

Haumia-tiketike (Haumi) - god of wild or uncultivated food

Hine-nui-te-pō - goddess of night and death, and ruler of the underworld

Ika-Roa - the fish that gave birth to all the stars in the Milky Way

Ikatere - fish god; father of all sea creatures

Kiwa - divine guardian of the ocean

Kui - chthonic demigod

Mahuika - fire goddess

Makeatutara - father of Māui and guardian of the underworld

Maru - god of war

Māui - demigod and culture hero

Papatūānuku (Papa) - primordial earth mother

Pūhaorangi - celestial god

Punga - ancestor of sharks, lizard, rays and all things ugly

Ranginui (Rangi) - primordial sky father

Rehua - star god with the power of healing

Rohe - goddess of the spirit world and wife of Māui

Rongo - god of cultivated food

Rongomai - the name of a number of separate beings

Ruaumoko - god of volcanoes, earthquakes and seasons

Tama-nui-te-rā - personification of the sun

Tāne - god of forests and birds

Tane-rore - personification of shimmering air

Tangaroa - god of the sea

Tangotango - celestial goddess

Tāwhaki - supernatural being associated with thunder and lightning

Tāwhirimātea - god of weather, thunder, lightning, rain, wind and storms

Te Uira - personification of lightning

Tinirau - guardian of fish

Tūmatauenga - god of war

Tū-te-wehiwehi - father of all reptiles

Uenuku - god of rainbows

Whaitiri - personification of thunder

Whiro - lord of darkness and embodiment of evil



Pantheons Index