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Maori Religion and Mythology Part 2



Maeka Wero-i-te-kokota
Tiora Wero-i-te-wawana
Kumawiri Kotokoto Wero-i-te-ninihi

Personified forms of cold. The Wero names given also pertain to stars that mark the winter season.


This name is often employed as representing heat. Rehua is the star Antares, and the name is used to denote the heat of summer. When man, or vegetation is affected by the heat and dryness of summer it is said that he or it is afflicted by Rehua. Chiefs were alluded to sometimes as Rehua, and Rehua was of old closely connected with forests, but was superseded by Tane. Of this connection with forests, more anon.

Parearohi Arohirohi

These personify the heat of summer as shown in a quivering appearance in the air, shimmering heat. These names pertain to female personification, and this maid Parearohi is said to be seen disporting herself on summer days. One recital makes Parearohi the wife of Rehua. In the fourth month this woman is seen dancing about the margin of the forest or elsewhere. The expressions used are e haka ana (dancing), and e arohirohi ana (quivering, shimmering). In Buller's Forty Years in New Zealand we read that "The first woman was formed out of the earth by the arohirohi or quivering heat of the sun, and the echo." The Matatua tribes term the above phenomenon "the dancing of Tanerore" (Te haka a Tanerore), and Tanerore was the offspring of the Summer Maid Hine-raumati.

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Hine-raumati Whakaahu

Personified forms of summer. Ra, the sun, has two wives, Hine-raumati, the Summer Maid, and Hine-takurua, the Winter Maid, he divides his time between the two. This is one of the few cases in which ra is used as a proper name; Whakaahu is a star name, a star that marks the summer months. The name is that of a female who was taken to wife by Rehua, and it was sometimes employed to denote the summer season. The term Matiti also seems to have been used to denote the summer months.

Hine-takurua Tioroa

Personified forms of winter. The ordinary terms for winter are hotoke and takurua.

Mahuru Aroaro-mahana

Personified forms of spring. The cuckoo is known as the messenger of Mahuru.


Personified form of the dawn, and so described as a very beautiful woman. She was the daughter of Tane, the personification of the sun, when she descended to the underworld, there to abide, she assumed the name of Hine-nui-te-Po.


Personifies morning. The Morning Maid.


Personifies evening. The Evening Maid.

In Moriori myth Hine-ata, Hine-aotea, and Hine-ahiahi, the personified forms of morning, day and evening, appear as Hine-ata, Hine-aotea, and Hine-ahiahi; they are said to have been the wives of Tama-whiti-te-ra, evidently a honorific term for the sun, or a personification term. This is from Shand, but Deighton views them as daughters of the sun.