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In mythology of Mangaia and the southern Cook Islands, Vatea is the father of gods and men. His mother is Varima-te-takere, who lives deep in Avaiki, the underworld. She plucks off a piece from her right side and it becomes Vatea or Avatea.

In Mangaian myth, a beautiful woman visits Vatea in his dreams, and he is certain that she ascends from the underworld to his side, but when he wakes he can never find her. He strews scraped coconut about, and, at last, watchers see a slender hand reach for the delicious food. Vatea catches her and discovers that her name is Papa, and marries her. Tangaroa and Rongo are their twin sons. Rongo's wife bears a daughter named Tavake. Tavake gives birth to Rangi, Mokoiro, and to Akatauira. Rangi pulls up Mangaia from the underworld, and becomes the first king of the island. His wife's name is Te-po-tatango (Tregear 1891:392).

See also[edit]


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