Polynesian gods

While the cultures of Hawaii, New Zealand, Easter Island, and islands between span a geographic space of 4, miles, there are many similarities in their mythologies. This section merges many of them, and only mentions a few conflicts. The head is the source of many taboos; in some Polynesian cultures no person could step over the head of another. Cutting hair might require special amends or ritual cleansing.

Even passing a hand over the head of a king could result in execution. Rituals are extremely important. Burial rituals placate the hostile dead, which include even those who were loved when alive. Tiki, images of the gods, are kept for worship and protection the same thing, oftenand made of stone or wood.

The world began when the formless space Atea divided into male and female: heaven and earth. Rangi heaven and Papa earth became the parents of all the gods. They stayed together after bearing their children, who had to tear the two elder gods apart to make room for themselves and for humans. The lands that the Maori live on were once one land, but were broken into pieces during this primeval war.

Hine was created by Tane out of sand and clay, and then taken by him as wife. When Hine learned that her husband was also her father, she fled in shame to the underworld and became the ruler there, where she acts to entice the living to her kingdom. Only after Hine fled to the underworld did death enter the world.

Hine has two faces, in the front and in the back. She is also the person in the moon: when the moon is bright, you can see the bark-cloth tapa which she makes while on the moon. As the watcher on the moon, Hine is the patroness of travelers, following them to assure their safety. Hine protects the dead from Whiro. Maui is the Polynesian trickster and culture hero. He acquired the secret of fire from Mahuika, the mud-hen at the far edge of the seas who guarded it and who was also his ancestress.

A bird laughed at the sight and gave him away. Others say that even so, he can return to life after death because he is both man and god. Some credit him with drawing land from the sea while fishing; his brothers cut the land up as they would cut up fish, leaving the islands behind.

Some also credit him with lifting the sky to give men more room to walk—before this, everyone had to crawl.

Gods & Pantheons: Polynesia

In the beginning of time, the days were too short.Hawaiian mythology as a subset of Polynesian mythology will be the subject I tackle here. They could be recognized by the large shark tattoos that Kamoho branded onto their backs. He could construct wood, stone or coral figures and then bring them to life to do his bidding. She gave this tree to humans with the warning to never shake the tree to get fish to fall but instead wait for the fish to ripen and fall on their own.

Other qualities he shared with the wild boars he was the lord of were the ability to use his snout to dig up edible roots and find underground springs.

His final marriage was to the goddess Pele. He bested all her other suitors at the contests held for her hand but she still refused to marry him until her family intervened on his behalf. KU — The Hawaiian god of war.

polynesian gods

Ku wields a fiery mace that burns with the souls of the gods, demons and mortals he has personally slain in combat. How can you NOT love that? He later married the goddess Laka. He was also the god of the forests and jungles with all their gifts like wood, medicinal plants and leaves, etc. Kane was a generally benevolent deity and human sacrifices were never offered to him. Kane is the father of Pele and in various myths owns a seashell which when placed in the water grows into a boat for travel between the islands.

Maui lost the bet, so humans were still doomed to die, and in some versions Milu forced Maui to spend eternity with her in her gloomy kingdom. PELE — The Hawaiian fire and volcano goddess, as dangerous and uncontrollable as the elements she ruled over. My fellow mythology geeks will get the significance of that. Her father Kane at one point passed his sovereignty over the Menehune, the Hawaiian version of elves and dwarves, to Pele. Filed under Mythology. I really liked this article.

Thank you for this nice comment!

List of figures in the Hawaiian religion

Glad to hear it! Not a bad start. Thanks for the comment! I did include Papahanaumoku under the shorter name Papa, taking my cue from Shinto myths where they cut the more tongue-twisting names down to something more manageable. Plus I plan on covering those other dieties in the next Hawaiian list I do. This is a very interesting site. I commend you on your research.

The Hawaiian language is very particular in that one word may have several different meanings depending on the way it is said. Thank you very much, Tanya. I appreciate the thoughtful response! I corrected Kamoho because I agree, cutting his name down that much does tend to distort the meaning too much. I do continue to employ the practice of shortening the names to help mae things easier for readers and for general pronunciation aloud which can discourage people from taking an interest in a pantheon if there are too many syllables to tackle in each name.

I do accept that some people may prefer different shortenings, like with the Shinto storm god.Polynesia is a vast region of the Pacific Ocean consisting of many hundreds of widely separated, culturally and politically diverse island groups. Although the mythology of Polynesia took different forms on various islands, many of the basic stories, themes, and deities were surprisingly similar throughout the region. Foundations of Religion and Myth. Scholars believe that humans first migrated to Polynesia from Southeast Asia about 2, years ago.

These people carried with them their mythological traditions about events, deities, and heroes. As time passed and people moved to different island groups, they adapted their mythology and religious beliefs to suit their new environments. In the process, they added new characters and events to the traditional myths and legends. Nevertheless, the basic elements of religion and myth remained relatively unchanged throughout the island groups, and a fairly distinct pantheon of gods and goddesses emerged.

Polynesian religion and mythology placed great emphasis on nature, particularly the ocean environment. The Polynesians became masters of navigation and other seafaring skills, and their religion and myths strongly reflected the importance of nature and the sea.

Polynesians believed that all things in nature, including humans, contained a sacred and supernatural power called mana. Mana could be good or evil, and individuals, animals, and objects contained varying amounts of mana. Because mana was sacred, Polynesians invented complicated rules to protect it. Ordinary people were not allowed, for example, to touch even the shadow of a great chief.

Nor could they step inside sacred groves or temples. The punishment for breaking important rules, known as tapus the source of the word taboowas often death. Illness and misfortune were believed to come from breaking minor tapus. The Polynesians' religion included many gods, local deities as well as the great gods of their pantheon.

The people felt a close personal connection to their deities and to various heroes, demigods, and tricksters of their mythology.

TEDxMaui - Dr. Pualani Kanahele - Living the Myth and Unlocking the Metaphor

The most popular character was Maui, a hero-trickster well known throughout Polynesia. Worship of the gods involved chants and prayers, elaborate rituals, and sacrifices including human sacrifice performed by various classes of priests, some of whom acted as oracles. Magic also flourished among the Polynesians, who used incantations, charms, and spells to summon the gods or ask for their guidance or assistance.

The yam, or sweet potato, is one of the basic food crops of Polynesia. A number of myths explain the origin of this important food. One Maori myth tells how the god Rongo-maui went to heaven to see his brother Wahnui, the guardian of the yam.

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Rongo-maui stole the yam, hid it in his clothing, and returned to earth. Soon after, he made his wife, Pani, pregnant, and she later gave birth to a yam, the first on earth. Rongo-maui gave this food to humans. Priests usually organized and led religious festivals and celebrations. In some places, special cult organizations, consisting of storytellers, musicians, dancers, and other performers, took charge of staging ceremonial activities.

Sacred ceremonies often included singing, dancing, storytelling, and dramatic performances. The Hawaiian hula dance originated as a sacred ceremonial dance. Major Gods and Characters. The most important gods of the Polynesian pantheon were those associated with creation myths and legends.Polynesia encompasses a huge triangular area of the east-central Pacific Ocean. At the turn of the 21st century, about 70 percent of the total population of Polynesia resided in Hawaii.

The physical environment of the Polynesian islands is not as favourable for human habitation as it might at first seem. It certainly presented difficulties when the ancestors of the Polynesians entered the area some 2, to 3, years ago, first settling on the western islands—Wallis and Futuna, Samoa, and Tonga—which were devoid of much that was needed for human habitation.

As a result, early peoples had to take in a wide variety of subsistence items, including most of the useful plants and all of the domestic animals they required. The physical environment has continued to exert a marked influence on Polynesian culture. Polynesian cultures have been radically altered by Western colonialism. European explorers navigated much of the area in the latter quarter of the 18th century, and the first missionaries arrived in the late s and early s.

Britain annexed New Zealand through the Treaty of Waitangibut interethnic tension arose between the indigenous Maori. In many areas Christianity was also influenced by local traditions and customs. Many Polynesians were recruited to proselytize other parts of the Pacific, particularly Melanesia. After World War IIlocal sentiments for decolonization began to spread. Samoa became the first postcolonial Pacific nation when it gained sovereignty from New Zealand in It has a parliamentary systembut only traditional chiefs matai may vote and run for election.

Tuvalu also follows the parliamentary style of government. Three island groups—Tonga, Tahiti, and Hawaii—had traditionally been monarchies.

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This form of government survives only in Tonga, where a British-style parliament gives special status to traditional nobles. Most of the remaining island groups have gained some degree of independence from colonial rule.

Easter Island Rapa Nui is the anomaly of the region. The aboriginal population was so decimated by European-introduced diseases and by slavers in the s that it almost became extinct. In the island was annexed by Chile; its people are now the only Pacific islanders controlled by a Latin American power.

The indigenous Polynesian language also called Rapa Nui survives, but most people also speak Spanish. Polynesia has loomed large in the Western imagination for more than years. Idealized images were disseminated around the world from the time of first contact with Europeans: people in Europe avidly read the reports of Louis-Antoine de BougainvilleCaptain James Cookand other explorers and saw images made by the artists who accompanied them.

These provided source material for published and widely circulated engravings. Bred by these and other artists and by tourist iconography, musicals, and films, the notions of an almost blissfully carefree and easy way of life, devoid of harsh extremes of any type, played out on islands of great beauty and natural abundance, persisted into the 21st century in the popular imagination.

Far from conforming to Western notions of paradise, traditional Polynesian cultures were in fact complex, highly specialized, and adapted to environments that could be quite hostile. While Polynesia was never the paradise some Westerners supposed, the circumstances of contemporary life also reflect more than a century of colonial disruption to indigenous cultural traditions.

Some of these disruptions have been quite severe. The French government built testing facilities on two uninhabited atolls in the Tuamotu Archipelago: Mururoa and Fangataufa. Over the next three decades, bombs were detonated at those facilities. The first series of bombs —74 were exploded in the atmosphere and thereby created a large amount of radioactive fallout.

Regional antinuclear protests eventually compelled the French to shift to underground detonation, in which explosions were contained in shafts that had been bored deep beneath the land surface of Moruroa Atoll and its lagoon.

Although decreasing the risk of atmospheric contamination, the subterranean testing program has caused the atoll to sink several yards. With the end of testing inthe French Polynesian government sought ways to diversify the local economy, aided by several years of financial assistance from the French government. In addition, despite the pro-French messages conveyed by the educational system and the French-controlled media, an antinuclear and pro-independence movement emerged in the islands.

French Polynesia is not the only area in which people have become increasingly urbanized. By the early 21st century, more Samoans and Cook Islanders were living away from their original islands than on them.

Although colonial history and migration have instigated a great deal of cultural change, the indigenous peoples of this region are also making strong efforts to revive or maintain many of their customs and values.Not sure of the spelling?

Try entering just the first three or four letters. Many gods have more than one name. For the full list of alternative names, check out Godchecker's complete A-Z index list of Polynesian god names. This Polynesian pantheon list compiled by the data dwarves at Godchecker. Hawaiian mythology. Ala Muki Hawaiian River Goddess. Alalahe Hawaiian Goddess of Love. Alii Menehune Hawaiian God. Apu-Ko-Hai Hawaiian God. Aumakua Hawaiian Spirit of Ancestors. Haumea Hawaiian Goddess of Fertility. Hiiaka Hawaiian Goddess of Clouds.

Kaho'ali'i Hawaiian God of Sorcery. Kamapua'a Hawaiian God of Creation.

polynesian gods

Kanaloa Hawaiian God of the Underworld. Kane Hawaiian God of Creation. Ku Hawaiian God of War. Kumu-Honua Hawaiian God of Populating. Laka Hawaiian Goddess of Abundance.

Lalo-Honua Hawaiian Goddess of Populating.

polynesian gods

Lona Hawaiian Goddess of the Moon. Lono Hawaiian God of Fertility. Milu Hawaiian Spirit of the Underworld.

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Paka'a Hawaiian God of Air. Pele Hawaiian Goddess of Volcanoes. Pu'uhele Hawaiian Goddess of Mountains. Unihipili Hawaiian Spirit. The Menehune Hawaiian fabulous creatures.

Nu'u Hawaiian legendary mortal. The Ao Maori Gods of Clouds. Ao-Kahiwahiwa Maori God of Storms. Ao-Kanapanapa Maori God of Clouds. Ao-Nui Maori God of Clouds. Ao-Pakakina Maori God of Clouds. Ao-Pakarea Maori God of Thunder. Ao-Potango Maori God of Clouds. Ao-Pouri Maori God of Clouds. Ao-Roa Maori God of Clouds.Hawaiian narrative or mythology, tells stories of nature and life. It is considered a variant of a more general Polynesian narrativedeveloping its own unique character for several centuries before about It is associated with the Hawaiian religion.

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The religion was officially suppressed in the 19th century, but kept alive by some practitioners to the modern day. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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This is a list of predicted dates for events made by notable individuals or groups that would result in the extinction of humanity, a massive or total collapse of civilization, the destruction of the planet or even the entire universe.

This list distinguishes between two kinds of predictions, each listed in its own section: those associated with religion and those done by scientists. Most predictions are related to Abrahamic religions, with numerous predictions standing for or similar to the eschatological events described on their scriptures.

Christian predictions typically refer to events like the Rapture, Great Tribulation, Last Judgment, and the Second Coming of Christ. Various scientists and scientific groups from around the world have theorised estimated dates for possible natural events which would potentially endanger life or existence on Earth, with the earliest predicted date being approximately 300,000 years from now.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, searchThis is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness.

You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries. Archived from the original on January 13, 2013.