Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Maori Religion and Mythology Part 2



Hine-te-uira Mataaho
Tama-te-uira Tupai

Personified forms of lightning. The first given is a female being. This Lightning Maid was the daughter of Tane and Hineahuone, and a sister of the Cloud Maid. Tama-te-uria was one of the primal offspring and a guardian of the Lightning Children; he, with the personified forms of clouds and rain (Tukapua and Te Ihorangi), dwells in the "house" Aokapuarangi to hold the "covering" of Rangi. He is said to represent forked lightning, and his appearance betokens fine, calm weather. Hine-te-uira seems to represent sheet lightning while Mataaho stands for distant lightning. Tupai may or may not be the son of Rangi and Papa of that name, he represents the lightning accompanying a storm that destroys man. A woman of Ngati-Awa killed by lightning is said page 305to have been slain by Tupai as a punishment for some breaking of a tapu, her name was Te Moana, and her own father was a medium of the demon (atua) Tupai. She was the mother-in-law of Pio of Te Teko, who was present at her death, and described it to me: "We all saw that fire, and it smelled like a puia (fumarole). Another woman was burned by Tupai, but only her breast was scorched, her offence was a lighter one, hence she escaped with her life." Tawhaki is connected with lightning, though apparently he does not personify it. Deighton has a note to the effect that Tawhaki is the atua of thunder and lightning.