Ao (mythology)

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In Māori mythology, Ao ("daylight") is one of the primal deities who are the unborn forces of nature. Ao is the personification of light and the ordinary world, as opposed to darkness and the underworld.

He is spoken of under many forms or manifestations, including Aotūroa, “enduring day, this world”, Aotahi, “bright day, world of light and life”. With his companions, Ata, “morning,” and Whaitua, “space,” Ao resists the forces of darkness.


  • E.R. Tregear, Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary (Lyon and Blair: Lambton Quay), 1891, 14.