Oceanic Mythologies: Australian Aborigine and Polynesian

Polynesian Creation and Flood Myths

What was the Polynesian war in heaven?

As in so many mythologies, the creation process of the many Polynesian groups involves a war in heaven. The Maori version of this archetype takes place immediately after the separation of Rangi and Papa. Tawhiri, the storm god, was angry at the separation of his parents, so he left his siblings and went up to join his father in the sky. There, joined by his children, winds and clouds, he attacked the forests of Tane and tore up the seas of Tangaroa. He also attacked his brothers dedicated to cultivated and wild foods. His attacks caused his brothers to fight against each other as well. Finally, it was Tu, the war god, who stood up against Tawhiri and made peace in heaven, heaven being the same as the world, for it was on Papa’s earthy being that this war took place.


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