Maori Culture A Om Bhamani Presention


The Legend of Kupe, and the discovery of Aotearoa

Basic Maori Culture

Maori's Story of Creation

Maori's History and Language


The legend of Kupe and his adventure started at Hawaiiki, when Toto(A canoe maker) construct two large from one colossal tree. Toto named one Aotea and the other one Matahorua. He gave Aotea to one of his daughters, Rongorongo, and gave Matahorua to his other daughter, Kura. It happens that Kupe desired Kura very much. But Kura was married to Kupe's cousin Hoturapa. When Kupe and Hoturapa went fishing one day. While fishing Kupe's fishing line got stuck on a rock, so Kupe ordered Hoturapa to go and untangle his fishing line. Without choice Hoturapa dived in the sea. When he did Kupe rowed back to the shore. Hoturapa drowned, but his family were suspicious of the circumstances surrounding his death. In fact it was a plan from Kupe to get Kura.

(A made up canoe(That is not how New Zealand used to look like, or the canoes))

To avoid vengeance from Hoturapa's family, Kupe and his family left Hawaiiki with Kura's canoe Matahorua. After some time of navigating, Kupe's wife Hine Te Aparangi sighted islands of New Zealand which appeared to be under some white clouds, for that reason the named what now is New Zealand, Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud. Then Kupe and his sailed around the newly discovered island, they distributed a giant octopus. The octopus got scared and started to swim, soon it jumped out of the water and passed right though current New Zealand. Later Kupe and his crew caught up to the octopus. In defence the octopus swing it's enormous tentacles around the canoe. With the intend to eat the whole canoe. During the battle with the beast, it became obvious that the Matahorua was in great danger of breaking up. Kupe quickly got a idea, he threw a large water gourd overboard. The octopus, thinking that a man had fallen over, released it's tentacles from the Matahorua and turned to attack the gourd. Kupe seized this opportunity, and waited until the octopus was entwined around the gourd. Kupe then attacked the head of the octopus with his spear, and the octopus died. Kupe explored the islands then returned to Hawaiiki. Kupe gave instructions on how to get Hawaiiki, but he also said that he will not be returning there.

(Flag of New Zealand)

The Maori are indigenous people of New Zealand. The Maori are believed to come from somewhere in the eastern islands, where they got in canoe and got to Aotearoa, this event was known as the Great Fleet. Maori has a rich culture and is imbue with traditions and legends. The legends of Maori are passed down in the form of stories, the stories were passed down from generations. Maraes are places like plazas where Maori people meet. Places like that allow people to know and understand each other properly. The Maori people define them in tribes also know as iwi. Family is a very important aspect in Maori, all laws are connected with blood! Dance for the people of Maori is life. Kapa haka (Maori performance art), incorporates singing, dancing and facial expressions. Each action within the dance has a meaning, tying it to the words.

(Kapa Haka)

The story of creation starts off with nothing. Literally nothing. And out of that nothing came two gods with everything. The two gods were Papatuanuku, the Earth mother, and Ranginui, the Sky father. They had children, 70 of them. They became the gods of Maori. All 70 of them wanted to see the sunlight, but the only way to do that was to separate their mother and father. They considered for a long time, should mother and papa be killed? Or shall they be forced to separate? They had a meeting to decide what to do, Tumatauenga, the god of war, said that we should kill our parents. However, Tane Mahuta, the god of man and 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 to dwell on earth. All the children, including Tu, the God of War, agreed with Tane. But there was one child that did not want his parents to separate he is known as Tawhiri Matea, the god of winds and storms. Each of the children tried to separate their parents. Rongomatane, the god and father of cultivated foods, tried but did not achieve what he wanted. Haumia Tiketike, god of uncultivated food also tried. Then came the turn of the turn of Tangaroa, the god of the sea, and Tumatauenga, but neither Tangaroa nor Tumatauenga could separate their parents. Lastly it was the turn of Tane Mahuta, with the strength of the kauri tree. He tried and tried, his parents screamed in pain and asked why are they doing this. Finally they separated, and the young children got to see the light of day (ao Marama) come streaming in. Once this happened, Tawhiri Matea and who had been against the separation of his parents, left for the sky to join his father. The winds and storms on earth are caused by Tawhiri Matea, in revenge for this brother's acts.

(Example of Tawhiri Matea's acts)

Now that the separation of Papatuanuku and Ranginui was complete, and there was a sky and an earth. However, something was missing, so Tane decided to create a female. From a place 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. And thus the story of creation of creation came to an end!

(Random Clay Figure)

The language in Maori is unique. Although its knowledge was lost to most, now it is back and more praised then ever. Maori has officially became the second language in New Zealand. Below are some common phrases.



Created By
Om Bhamani


Created with images by sporkist - "Lodge" • Thomas Rousing Photography - "Tour de canals" • Free Grunge Textures - - "New Zealand Grunge Flag" • KatiCollege - "_MG_9065" • tpsdave - "hurricane earth satellite" • Solly Markovitch - "Clay Woman"

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