Maori Myth, "The Creation Cycle" Essay

841 words - 4 pages

The Maori myth is a Polynesian story about the creation of the universe which according to Rosenberg was different from other creation myths because it begins with nothing and then progresses through a process of “nonbeing to thought to the creation of the universe and human beings” (351). Even though it may be different because it goes from “nonbeing to thought” instead of nothingness to a spoken word or action, it has many similarities to other creation myths in how it explains the origins of the Gods and how each one represents a natural event or aspect of nature and humanity. The myth begins with an “idea” that “was remembered” and then “became conscious” and then “a wish to create”, all of which created a “power to live and to grow, even in emptiness” (352). At this point there was still no being, only thought and desire which gives the idea that what is being addressed are the human attributes of feeling, sensing, desire and thought, this is where this story is different from other creation myths.
These human attributes bring to being mother earth and father sky in the form of Father Rangi and Mother Papa who were joined together in eternal darkness by their love for each other. This aspect is similar to other myths in that the male and female Gods of origin join together to make earth and sky and their offspring become aspects of the weather, seasons of the year and various plant and animal life that ultimately sustain life for humans that were created by the children of the original beings. Another similarity that this myth has with others is a flood story where the tears of Rangi flood the earth and create the rivers and seas because he was forcefully separated from Papa in order to bring light to the earth.
The main characters of the story are Father Rangi and Mother Papa who give birth to Tu, the God of “war spirited humans”, Tane, the God of “trees, birds and insects”, Tawhiri, God of “all winds and storms”, Rongo, God of “sweet potatoes” and Tangaroa, God of “fish and sea reptiles” (352). According to the myth, these are the children of earth and sky and make up the elements and foliage of the earth as well as food and sustenance for human survival. As with natural occurrences in weather come storms, hurricanes fires and floods that damage nature and cause loss of life, these areas are represented by the...

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