Auahitūroa

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Auahitūroa is a male Māori deity, personification of comets, and the origin of fire.

Myth[edit]

He appears in a legend of the Ngāti Awa, a Māori tribe of the eastern Bay of Plenty in New Zealand's North Island.

The name can be translated 'long standing smoke', a fitting description for a comet.

Auahitūroa is a son of Tama-nui-te-rā, the Sun god. Tama-nui-te-rā tells Auahitūroa to take a beneficial thing to humankind in the shape of fire. Auahitūroa comes down to earth in the form of a comet, and marries Mahuika, younger sister of Hinenui-te-pō, goddess of death. The sons of Auahitūroa and Mahuika are Ngā Mānawa, the five Fire Children.

Another Māori name for a comet is Ūpokoroa ("long-headed one"); a poetic name for fire is te tama a Ūpokoroa, (the son of Upokoroa) (Best 1982:244-245).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • E. Best, Māori Religion and Mythology, Part 2. Dominion Museum Bulletin No.11. (Museum of New Zealand: Wellington), 1982.