Every culture or civilisation has its traditions about how the world was created. Māori have many, but the foundational stories are those that tell how darkness, the long night, became light. Nothingness became something, earth and sky were separated, and nature evolved. Our ancestors passed down this kōrero to generations and we have put them into the context of the world we live in.
There are so many examples of tikanga that come from the creation (Orokohanga) pūrākau (story). For example the process of the pōwhiri is a movement of darkness to light.
The Creation story and the Māori gods and their attributes are an essential part of te ao Māori.
Although the word myth has a dictionary meaning….”a traditional story of historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief or natural phenomenon”, it has become a word used for “unfounded or false notion”.
“Oh, that’s just a myth!”
Please examine your introduction of these whakapapa pūrākau (stories). Some prefer to call them this rather than “Myths and Legends”.
These pūrākau have very strong whakapapa links to many of us.
As part of colonisation there was a view held by some that perhaps Māori pūrākau held less value. ( We know better than that).
“Te Ika a Māui” being changed to “The North Island” is an example of this.
The Māori creation story and the Māori gods are an engaging kaupapa that can be woven in throughout many topics all throughout the year.
Māori Atua and Learning Areas
Every learning area links to a particular atua for total integration (especially Secondary school).
Written language, reading and writing-The arts of whakairo and moko originate from Tangaroa and Rūaumoko. These are forms of tuhituhi, writing and communicate our knowledge to the world.
Science– systematic investigation, testing assumptions and seeking knowledge. Tane is an appropriate atua for the scientific endeavour.
Below are a collection of all of the Atua resources available as part of your Te Reo Club membership.
Māori Atua Resources
Tāne Mahuta Collaborative Poster
In the coming months, we’re aiming to complete the collaborative posters for each of the atua.