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The Maori people of New Zealand have a rich tradition of storytelling, and among the most beloved of their myths and legends is the story of the god Maui. Maui was a mischievous and clever demigod, the son of Taranga, the wife of Makeatutara. He was known for his cunning and his strength, and was said to have performed many great feats throughout his life. One of the most famous of Maui's exploits was his attempt to fish up the North Island of New Zealand, which was then known as Te Ika a Maui (The Fish of Maui). According to the legend, Maui and his brothers were out fishing one day when they hooked a massive fish. Despite their best...

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Maori Tohunga

In the culture of the Māori of New Zealand, a Tohunga is an expert practitioner of any skill or art, either religious or otherwise. Tohunga include expert priests, healers, navigators, carvers, builders, teachers and advisors.

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Te Takarangi

The Takarangi is an intersecting double spiral pattern that signifies humanity’s celestial origin born at the beginning of the Universe. 

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The Mystery of the Korotangi

The most mysterious, sacred and remarkable of all Maori relics, 'The Korotangi' is the name given to a stone bird brought from Hawaiki to Aotearoa by the Maori in the Tainui hūhunu (ocean-going canoe). Carved from a green mineral called serpentine found in China and Indonesia, the bird measures 10.25 inches (26.5 cms) from point of beak to tip of tail and weighs a total of 4 lb (1.81kg). The Korotangi is not of Maori or even Polynesian origin as it was made with metal tools of which the people of the Pacific had no knowledge. The Maori’s  know they didn’t make it, and they don’t know who did. It is the opinion of most ethnologists is that the Korotangi is of...

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Tikis in Maori Culture

You probably have seen tikis in popular culture, movies, and on your tropical vacations before, but do you know the story behind these items? The tikis are steeped in rich native history that not many people know about. Let's take a look at their origins, the different types, and their significance to Maori culture. What is a Tiki?
The term 'Tiki' is generally used to describe a carved human-like figure traditionally worn around the neck by both by the New Zealand Maori and other polynesians. Many believe that the name 'tiki' comes from the myth of Tiki, who was the first man created by Tane. The full name is Hei-tiki. 'Hei' means to wear around the neck. In Maori culture, Hei Tikis are treated as family heirlooms and...

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