Oceanic Mythologies: Australian Aborigine and Polynesian

Polynesian Creation and Flood Myths

Are there Polynesian flood myths?

There are many Polynesisan flood myths. In Tahiti the sea god became enraged when a fisherman’s fish hooks caught in his hair. He sent a flood to cover the whole world except for the tops of the highest mountains. The Samoans say that a flood occurred when the gods of fire and water fought each other. The Maori tell of Ruatapu, a woman who became angry at the nobility and lured their children into a canoe and then sank the canoe in the ocean. Only a man named Paikea somehow survived. Now Ruatapu got the gods to send a huge flood to destroy the world. Paikea, an archetypal flood hero like Noah, was saved on a mountain top with the help of a goddess.


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