Maui (Hawaiian mythology)
In Hawaiian mythology
Hawaiian mythology
Hawaiian mythology refers to the legends, historical tales and sayings of the ancient Hawaiian people. It is considered a variant of a more general Polynesian mythology, developing its own unique character for several centuries before about 1800. It is associated with the Hawaiian religion...

, Māui is a culture hero
Culture hero
A culture hero is a mythological hero specific to some group who changes the world through invention or discovery...

 who appears in several different genealogies. In the Ulu line he is the son of Akalana and his wife Hinakawea (Hina
Hina is the name of several different goddesses and women in Polynesian mythology. In some traditions, the trickster and culture hero Maui has a wife named Hina, as do the gods Tane and Tangaroa. Hina is often associated with the moon....

). This couple has four sons, Māui-mua, Māui-hope, Māui-kiikii and Māui-a-kalana. Māui-a-kalana's wife is named Hinakealohaila; and his son is Nanamaoa. Māui is one of the Kupua
In Hawaiian mythology, the Kupua are a group of demigods: heroic tricksters.Hawaiian myths and legends abound with such characters. They are traditionally described as monsters having the power of appearing in different kinds of bodies. They usually have cruel and vindictive characters and are...

. His name is cognate with the Hawaiian island Maui
The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at and is the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is part of the state of Hawaii and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, bigger than Lānai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444,...


Hauls up islands

The great fish-hook of Māui is called Manaiakalani; and it is baited with the wing of Hina's pet bird, the alae. Māui is said to have created the Hawaiian Islands by tricking his brothers. He convinces them to take him out fishing, but catches his hook upon the ocean floor. He tells his brothers that he has caught a big fish, and tells them to paddle as hard as they can. His brothers paddle with all their might, and being intent with their effort, did not notice the island rising behind them. Māui repeats this trick several times, creating the Hawaiian Islands (Tregear 1891:236). Another tradition states that as Māui plants his hook at Hamakua
thumb|right|280px|Districts of [[Hawaii |Hawaii island]]: from northernmost, clockwise; [[Kohala, Hawaii|Kohala]], Hāmākua , [[Hilo, Hawaii|Hilo]], [[Puna, Hawaii|Puna]], [[Kau, Hawaii|Kaū]], [[Kona District, Hawaii|Kona]]...

, to fish up the god of fishes, Pimoe, Māui orders his brethren not to look back, or the expedition will fail. Hina, in the shape of a baling-gourd, appears at the surface of the water, and Māui, unwittingly, grasps the gourd and places it in front of his seat. Suddenly there appears a beautiful woman whose beauty none can resist; and so the brothers look behind them to watch the beautiful water-goddess. The line parts, Hina disappears, and the effort to unite the chain of islands into one solid unit fails.

Restrains the sun

Māui’s next feat is to stop the sun from moving so fast. His mother Hina complains that her kapa
Kapa is a fabric that was made by Native Hawaiians from the bast fibres of certain species of trees and shrubs in the orders Rosales and Malvales. It is similar to tapa found elsewhere in Polynesia but differs in the methods used in its creation...

 (bark cloth) is unable to dry because the days are so short. Māui climbs to the mountain Hale-a-ka-lā
Haleakalā , or the East Maui Volcano, is a massive shield volcano that forms more than 75% of the Hawaiian Island of Maui. The western 25% of the island is formed by the West Maui Mountains.- History :...

 (house of the sun) and lassoes the sun’s rays as the sun comes up, using a rope made from his sister's hair (in some versions, her pubic hair). The sun pleads for life and agrees that the days shall be long in summer and short in winter (Pukui, Elbert, & Mookini 1974:36). In another version, Hina sends him to a big wiliwili tree where he finds his old blind grandmother cooking bananas and steals them one by one until she recognises him and agrees to help him. He sits by the trunk of the tree to rope the sun (Beckwith 1970:230). The Island of Maui
The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at and is the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is part of the state of Hawaii and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, bigger than Lānai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444,...

 and the constellation
In modern astronomy, a constellation is an internationally defined area of the celestial sphere. These areas are grouped around asterisms, patterns formed by prominent stars within apparent proximity to one another on Earth's night sky....

 Māui's fishhook (known in the West as Scorpius
Scorpius, sometimes known as Scorpio, is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Its name is Latin for scorpion, and its symbol is . It lies between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east...

) are named after this legend.

See also

  • Maui (Mangarevan mythology)
    Maui (Mangarevan mythology)
    In Mangareva, Maui hauls the land up from the sea, and ties the sun with tresses of hair. His father was Ataraga; his mother, Uaega. There were eight Maui: Maui-mua, Maui-muri, Maui-toere-mataroa, Tumei-hauhia, Maui-tikitiki-toga, Maui-matavaru, Maui-taha, Maui-roto. Maui the eight-eyed is the hero...

  • Māui (Māori mythology)
    Maui (Maori mythology)
    In Māori mythology, Māui is a culture hero famous for his exploits and his trickery.-Māui's birth:The offspring of Tū increased and multiplied and did not know death until the generation of Māui-tikitiki . Māui is the son of Taranga, the wife of Makeatutara...

  • Maui (Tahitian mythology)
    Maui (Tahitian mythology)
    In the mythology of Tahiti, Maui was a wise man, or prophet. He was a priest, but was afterwards deified. Being at one time engaged at the marae , and the sun getting low while Maui's work was unfinished, he laid hold of the hihi, or sun-rays, and stopped his course for some time...

  • Maui (Tongan mythology)
    Maui (Tongan mythology)
    In Tonga, Maui drew up the Tongan Islands from the deep: first appeared Lofaga and the other Haapai Islands, and finally Vavau. Maui then dwelt in Tonga. Maui had two sons: the eldest, Maui Atalaga, and the younger Kisikisi. The latter discovered the secret of fire, and taught people the art of...

  • Ti'iti'i (Samoan mythology)
    Ti'iti'i (Samoan mythology)
    In Samoan legend, Ti'iti'i is the son of Talaga. He goes down to the earthquake-god, Mafui’e, who dwells in the underworld, and, receiving some fire from him, takes it back to the world, and begins to cook. Mafui’e then comes and blows on the fire, scattering it, and breaking up the oven. Ti'iti'i...

  • Ghosts in Polynesian culture
    Ghosts in Polynesian culture
    There was widespread belief in ghosts in Polynesian culture, some of which persists today.After death, a person's ghost would normally travel to the sky world or the underworld, but some could stay on earth. In many Polynesian legends, ghosts were often actively involved in the affairs of the living...

External links

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