Maui (Tahitian mythology)

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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 (sacred place), 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. As the discoverer of fire, Maui was named Ao-ao-ma-ra'i-a because he taught the art of obtaining fire by friction of wood. Before this time people ate their food raw. (Tregear 1891, 194, 235). See also Mahui'e, Tahitian guardian of fire.

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References[edit]

  • E.R. Tregear, Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary (Lyon and Blair: Lambton Quay, 1891).
  • M. Beckwith, Hawaiian Mythology (University of Hawaii Press: Honolulu, 1970).

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