The Polynesian narrative or Polynesian mythology encompasses the oral traditions of the people of Polynesia, a grouping of Central and South Pacific Ocean island archipelagos in the Polynesian Triangle together with the scattered cultures known as the Polynesian outliers. Polynesians speak languages that descend from a language reconstructed as Proto-Polynesian, spoken in the Tonga - Samoa area around 1000 BC. Prior to the 15th century AD, Polynesian peoples fanned out to the east, to the Cook Islands, from there to other groups such as Tahiti and the Marquesas, their descendants discovered the islands from Tahiti to Rapa Nui, Hawai‘i and New Zealand. Latest research puts the settlement of New Zealand at about 1300 AD; the various Polynesian languages are all part of the Austronesian language family. Many are close enough in terms of vocabulary and grammar to permit communication between some other language speakers. There are substantial cultural similarities between the various groups in terms of social organisation, childrearing, as well as horticulture and textile technologies.
In some island groups, help is of fishing. There is a story of the marriage between Sky and Earth. There are stories of islands pulled up from the bottom of the sea by a magic fishhook, or thrown down from heaven. There are stories of voyages, migrations and battles, as one might expect. Stories about a trickster, Māui, are known, as are those about a beautiful goddess/ancestress Hina or Sina. In addition to these shared themes in the oral tradition, each island group has its own stories of demi-gods and culture heroes, shading into the firmer outlines of remembered history; such stories were linked to various geographic or ecological features, which may be described as the petrified remains of the supernatural beings. The various Polynesian cultures each have distinct but related oral traditions, that is, legends or myths traditionally considered to recount the history of ancient times and the adventures of gods and deified ancestors; the accounts are characterised by extensive use of allegory, parable and personification.
Orality has an essential flexibility. In an oral tradition, there is no fixed version of a given tale; the story may change within certain limits according to the setting, the needs of the narrator and the audience. Contrary to the Western concept of history, where the knowledge of the past serves to bring a better understanding of the present, the purpose of oral literature is rather to justify and legitimatise the present situation. An example is provided by genealogies, which exist in multiple and contradictory versions; the purpose of genealogies in oral societies is not to provide a'true' account, but rather to emphasise the seniority of the ruling chiefly line, hence its political legitimacy and right to exploit resources of land and the like. If another line should rise to ascendency, it was necessary to bestow upon the new line the most prestigious genealogy if this meant borrowing a few ancestors from the preceding dynasty; each island, each tribe or each clan will have their own version or interpretation of a given narrative cycle.
This process is disrupted when writing becomes the primary means to record and remember the traditions. When missionaries, anthropologists or ethnologists collected and published these accounts, they changed their nature. By fixing forever on paper what had been subject to infinite variation, they fixed as the authoritative version an account told by one narrator at a given moment. In New Zealand, the writings of one chief, Wiremu Te Rangikāheke, formed the basis of much of Governor George Grey's Polynesian Mythology, a book which to this day provides the de facto official versions of many of the best-known Māori legends; some Polynesians seem to have been aware of the danger and the potential of this new means of expression. As of the mid-19th century, a number of them wrote down their genealogy, the history and the origin of their tribe; these writings, known under the name of "pukapuka whakapapa" or in tropical Polynesia as "puta tumu" or "puta tūpuna” were jealously guarded by the heads of households.
Many were destroyed. In the 1890s, Makea Takau, a Rarotongan chief, ordered his tribe to burn all their family books, save his own; as a result, Makea Takau's version became the official history of the chiefly line, removing the possibility of dissent. At his request, extracts were published in the Journal of the Polynesian Society. Beckwith, Hawaiian Mythology, Yale University Press, 1940, as re-issued in 1970, University of Hawaii Press Buck, Sir Peter / Te Rangi Hiroa, Samoan Material Culture. Bishop Museum bulletin. Craig, D. Robert, Dictionary of Polynesian Mythology, 1989, Greenwood Press. Kirch, Patrick,'On the Road of the Winds' 2000, University of California Press. Malo, Hawaiian Antiquities, first published in English in 1898, available as Bernice P. Bishop Museum Special Publication 2, Second Edition, 1951
In Cook Islands mythology, Avatea was a lunar deity and the father of gods and men in Mangaian myth of origin. His eyes were thought to be the moon. According to one myth, Vari-Ma-Te-Takere created six children from her body. Three were plucked from three from her left; the first of, Avatea, the first man, perceived as a moon god. As he grew he divided vertically into a hybrid being. In song, the gods are called "children of Vatea"; the same shortened phrase is in use at Rarotonga: at Aitutaki and Atiu the full form "Avatea" is used, e.g. kia kakā te mata o Avatea Nui meaning "when the eye of Great Avatea is open. Atea Dictionary of Polynesian Mythology by Robert D. Craig, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1989.
Avaiki is one of the many names by which the peoples of Polynesia refer to their ancestral and spiritual homelands. By no means certain, but possible, is an origin in the large islands of Samoa, namely Savaii. Variants include, in order of migration, the old name for Raiatea in French Polynesia. There are endless local variants. In the Cook Islands, for example, on the capital island of Rarotonga, northern facing volcanic rocks, tumbling onto the shore millennia ago and still set in place, are well known as the ancient departure point for souls bound for Avaiki - the afterworld or heaven. In fact each island, vaka or ngati has its own interpretation of it. For instance it would be somewhere in the manu'a islands group for the Ngati Karika. For the Ngati Tangi'ia, it would be at Tahiti. Others locate Avaiki at Raiatea... In the mythology of Mangaia, Avaiki is the "underworld" or "netherworld", it is described like a hollow of a vast coconut shell. Varima-te-takere, the mother of Vatea, lives in the lowest depths of the interior of this coconut shell.
The famous maori anthropologist Te Rangi Hīroa, gives a less mystical interpretation of this mangaian Avaiki. According to him, "when Tangi'ia came to Rarotonga from Tahiti, he brought with him some rankless "manahune" As they had no chance of rising in social status, some of them under the leadership of Rangi migrated to Mangaia to start a new life, their antagonism toward Rarotonga made them conceal the land of origin and invent an origin from a spiritual homeland in the netherworld of Avaiki" see Rennell Island While Solomon Islands is considered Melanesia, the province of Rennell and Bellona is Polynesian. The province consists of Bellona Island and the uninhabited Indispensable Reefs; the locals call Rennell Island “MUNGAVA” and they call Bellona Island “MUNGIKI”. They combine the last three letters of each Island and come up with a word called AVAIKI. If someone local does something silly you might hear someone say ‘That’s the Avaiki way’. A further example of this nomenclature can be evidenced with the identification of the name of the Province, Renbel which combines Rennell and Bellona.
MV Renbel is the name of the ferry that supplies the province from Honiara. There is a Rugby and Netball team on Rennell Island called Avaiki
History of the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands are named after Captain James Cook, who visited the islands in 1773 and 1777. The Cook Islands became a British protectorate in 1888. By 1900, the islands were annexed as British territory. In 1901, the islands were included within the boundaries of the Colony of New Zealand; the Cook Islands contain 15 islands in the group spread over a vast area in the South Pacific. The majority of islands are low coral atolls in the Northern Group, with Rarotonga, a volcanic island in the Southern Group, as the main administration and government centre; the main Cook Islands language is Rarotongan Māori. There are some variations in dialect in the'outer' islands, it is thought that the Cook Islands may have been settled between the years 900 - 1200 AD. Early settlements suggest that the settlers were great warriors migrating from Tahiti, to the north east of the Cooks; the Cook Islands continue to hold important connections with Tahiti, this is found in the two countries' culture and language.
It is thought that the early settlers were true Tahitians, who landed in Rarotonga. There are notable historic epics of great warriors that travel between the two nations for a wide variety of reasons; the purpose of these missions is still unclear but recent research indicate that large to small groups fled their island due to local wars being forced upon them. For each group to travel and to survive, they would rely on a warrior to lead them. Outstanding warriors are still mentioned in the countries' stories; these arrivals are evidenced by an older road in Toi, the Ara Metua, which runs around most of Rarotonga, is believed to be at least 1200 years old. This 29 km long, paved road is a considerable achievement of ancient engineering unsurpassed elsewhere in Polynesia; the islands of Manihiki and Rakahanga trace their origins to the arrival of Toa, an outcast from Rarotonga, Tupaeru, a high-ranking woman from the Puaikura tribe of Rarotonga. The remainder of the northern islands were settled by expeditions from Samoa.
Spanish ships visited the islands in the 16th century. Portuguese-Spaniard Pedro Fernández de Quirós made the first recorded European landing in the islands when he set foot on Rakahanga in 1606, calling it Gente Hermosa. British navigator Captain James Cook arrived in 1773 and 1777. Cook named. Half a century the Russian Baltic German Admiral Adam Johann von Krusenstern published the Atlas de l'Ocean Pacifique, in which he renamed the islands the Cook Islands to honour Cook. Captain Cook mapped much of the group. Cook never sighted the largest island and the only island that he set foot on was tiny, uninhabited Palmerston Atoll; the first recorded landing by Europeans was in 1814 by the Cumberland. The islands saw no more Europeans until missionaries arrived from England in 1821. Christianity took hold in the culture and remains the predominant religion today. In 1823, Captain John Dibbs of the colonial barque Endeavour made the first official sighting of the island Rarotonga; the Endeavour was transporting Rev. John Williams on a missionary voyage to the islands.
Brutal Peruvian slave traders, known as blackbirders, took a terrible toll on the islands of the Northern Group in 1862 and 1863. At first the traders may have genuinely operated as labour recruiters, but they turned to subterfuge and outright kidnapping to round up their human cargo; the Cook Islands was not the only island group visited by the traders, but Penrhyn Atoll was their first port of call and it has been estimated that three-quarters of the population was taken to Callao, Peru. Rakahanga and Pukapuka suffered tremendous losses; the Cook Islands became a British protectorate in 1888, due to community fears that France might occupy the territory as it had Tahiti. On 6 September 1900, the leading islanders presented a petition asking that the islands should be annexed as British territory. On 8–9 October 1900 seven instruments of cession of Rarotonga and other islands were signed by their chiefs and people, a British Proclamation issued at the same time accepted the cessions, the islands being declared parts of Her Britannic Majesty's dominions.
These instruments did not include Aitutaki. It appears that, though the inhabitants regarded themselves as British subjects, the Crown's title was uncertain, the island was formally annexed by Proclamation dated 9 October 1900; the islands were included within the boundaries of the Colony of New Zealand in 1901 by Order in Council under the Colonial Boundaries Act, 1895 of the United Kingdom. The islands remained a New Zealand dependent territory until 1965, at which point they became a self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand; the first Prime Minister Albert Henry led the country until 1978 when he was accused of vote-rigging. Today, the Cook Islands are independent, but are still placed under New Zealand sovereignty. New Zealand is tasked with overseeing the country's defense; the Cook Islands, New Zealand make up the Realm of New Zealand. After achieving autonomy in 1965, the Cook Islands elected Albert Henry of the Cook Islands Party as their first Pri
Mangarevan narrative comprises the legends, historical tales, sayings of the ancient Mangarevan people. It is considered a variant of a more general Polynesian narrative, developing its own unique character for several centuries before the 1830s; the religion was suppressed in the 19th century, abandoned by the natives in favor of Roman Catholicism. The Mangarevan term for god was Etua. Tu, principal god Atu-motua Atu-moana Atea-Tangaroa Maui, among the principal gods Tagaroa, among the principal gods Tangaroa-Hurupapa synonymous with Tagaroa Oro, among the principal gods Tairi Mamaru Ari Rogo, rain deity Toa-miru, goddess of childbirth Hina, a savage goddess Raka, god of the winds Huruamanu and Paparigakura mentioned as kindly gods living at Hapai Rao and Tupo were gods of turmeric Toa-hakanorenore, goddess incarnate in an eel Toa-huehuekaha, goddess appearing in soiled clothing Rekareka, god of pleasure Ru-te-ragi, god of the stars Makuputu, the god of the souls of deceased mortals Haumea, consort of Tagaroa Tiki, The first man Mauike, fire goddess Poaru, the underworld Po-porutu and pouaru, the heaven of happiness Po-garepurepu and po-kine, the heaven of darkness, of fear and dread Polynesian narrative Ghosts in Polynesian culture Edward Tregear, Royal Society of New Zealand.
A Dictionary of Mangareva. J. Mackay, Govt. Print. Off. R. D. Craig. Dictionary of Polynesian Mythology. New York: Greenwood Press. Peter Henry Buck. Ethnology of Mangareva. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin. 157. Bernice P. Bishop Museum. Peter Henry Buck. "15. On the Trail of the Rising Sun". Vikings of the Sunrise. Whitcombe and Tombs Limited. S. Percy Smith. "Notes on the Mangareva, or Gambier group of islands, eastern Polynesia". Journal of the Polynesian Society. Polynesian Society. 27: 115–131. Vincent Ferrier Janeau. Essai de grammaire de la langue ou Mangaréva. Impr. Zech
A creation myth is a symbolic narrative of how the world began and how people first came to inhabit it. While in popular usage the term myth refers to false or fanciful stories, members of cultures ascribe varying degrees of truth to their creation myths. In the society in which it is told, a creation myth is regarded as conveying profound truths, metaphorically and sometimes in a historical or literal sense, they are although not always, considered cosmogonical myths—that is, they describe the ordering of the cosmos from a state of chaos or amorphousness. Creation myths share a number of features, they are considered sacred accounts and can be found in nearly all known religious traditions. They are all stories with a plot and characters who are either deities, human-like figures, or animals, who speak and transform easily, they are set in a dim and nonspecific past that historian of religion Mircea Eliade termed in illo tempore. Creation myths address questions meaningful to the society that shares them, revealing their central worldview and the framework for the self-identity of the culture and individual in a universal context.
Creation myths develop in oral traditions and therefore have multiple versions. Creation myth definitions from modern references: A "symbolic narrative of the beginning of the world as understood in a particular tradition and community. Creation myths are of central importance for the valuation of the world, for the orientation of humans in the universe, for the basic patterns of life and culture." "Creation myths tell us. All cultures have creation myths; as cultures, we identify ourselves through the collective dreams we call creation myths, or cosmogonies. … Creation myths explain in metaphorical terms our sense of who we are in the context of the world, in so doing they reveal our real priorities, as well as our real prejudices. Our images of creation say a great deal about who we are." A "philosophical and theological elaboration of the primal myth of creation within a religious community. The term myth here refers to the imaginative expression in narrative form of what is experienced or apprehended as basic reality … The term creation refers to the beginning of things, whether by the will and act of a transcendent being, by emanation from some ultimate source, or in any other way."Religion professor Mircea Eliade defined the word myth in terms of creation: Myth narrates a sacred history.
In other words, myth tells how, through the deeds of Supernatural Beings, a reality came into existence, be it the whole of reality, the Cosmos, or only a fragment of reality – an island, a species of plant, a particular kind of human behavior, an institution. All creation myths are in one sense etiological because they attempt to explain how the world was formed and where humanity came from. Myths attempt to sometimes teach a lesson. Ethnologists and anthropologists who study these myths say that in the modern context theologians try to discern humanity's meaning from revealed truths and scientists investigate cosmology with the tools of empiricism and rationality, but creation myths define human reality in different terms. In the past historians of religion and other students of myth thought of them as forms of primitive or early-stage science or religion and analyzed them in a literal or logical sense. Today, they are seen as symbolic narratives which must be understood in terms of their own cultural context.
Charles Long writes, "The beings referred to in the myth – gods, plants – are forms of power grasped existentially. The myths should not be understood as attempts to work out a rational explanation of deity."While creation myths are not literal explications they do serve to define an orientation of humanity in the world in terms of a birth story. They are the basis of a worldview that reaffirms and guides how people relate to the natural world, to any assumed spiritual world, to each other; the creation myth acts as a cornerstone for distinguishing primary reality from relative reality, the origin and nature of being from non-being. In this sense they serve as a philosophy of life but one expressed and conveyed through symbol rather than systematic reason, and in this sense they go beyond etiological myths which mean to explain specific features in religious rites, natural phenomena or cultural life. Creation myths help to orient human beings in the world, giving them a sense of their place in the world and the regard that they must have for humans and nature.
Historian David Christian has summarised issues common to multiple creation myths: Each beginning seems to presuppose an earlier beginning.... Instead of meeting a single starting point, we encounter an infinity of them, each of which poses the same problem.... There are no satisfactory solutions to this dilemma. What we have to find is not a solution but some way of dealing with the mystery.... And we have to do so using words; the words we reach from God to gravity, are inadequate to the task. So we have to use language symbolically. Mythologists have applied various schemes to classify creation myths found throughout human cultures. Eliade and his colleague Charles Long developed a classification based on some common motifs that reappear in stories the world over; the classification identifies five basic types: Creati
Hina is the Eastern Polynesian variant for the given name Sina. Hina/Sina is the name assigned to a number of Polynesian queens. Among the Iwi of New Zealand, Hina is considered to be either the elder sister or the wife of Maui; the most common story that presents Hina as the wife of Maui tells of Te Tunaroa, the father of all eels, who one day visited the pool where Hina bathed. One day, as Hina was bathing, the eel-god rubbed against her; this occurred over a number of visits until Te Tunaroa grew bold enough to rub against Hina's genitals, molesting her. When Maui heard of this act he went and attacked Te Tunaroa cutting his body into bits, the tail landed in the sea and became the conger eel, whereas the other end landed in the swamps as the fresh water eels. Smaller pieces became hagfish. A number of stories are told about Hina as the elder sister of Maui; some iwi say that it was Hina who taught Maui to plait the ropes needed to capture the sun, using a strand of her own sacred hair to give the ropes supernatural strength.
This legend recognizes important ritual status. Hina was associated with phases of the moon under the names Hinauri; the moon is known by the name Mahina. Hinatea was married to a man named Irawaru. During a fishing trip Irawaru antagonized Maui. In revenge Maui assaulted Irawaru when they returned to shore, pushing his brother-in-law under the keel of their boat, breaking his back and other bones. Irawaru was turned into a dog one breed of, known as Irawaru; when Hina heard what Maui had done she threw herself into the sea, but did not die and was instead carried across the waves to Motutapu. Her name was changed to Hinauri due to her darker mood. Hinauri would be welcomed by the people of Motutapu and was taken to the house of chief Tinirau god of fishes, becoming his new wife; the existing wives were jealous and tried to assault Hinauri, but using her supernatural power Hinauri killed the other wives of Tinirau and so become the senior wife.. Hina was the mother of Tuhuruhuru, for whom the ritual intiation ritual was performed by the tohunga Kae.
After this is done, Tinirau lends Kae his pet whale to take him home. In spite of strict instructions to the contrary, Kae forces the whale, into shallow water, where it becomes stranded and is killed and eaten by Kae and his people; when he learns of this Tinirau is furious and sends Hinauri with a party of women to capture Kae. The sisters perform indecent dances to make him laugh; the women sing a magic song which puts Kae into a deep sleep, carry him back to Motutapu. When Kae wakes from his sleep he is in Tinirau's house. Tinirau taunts him for his treachery, kills him. A girl named. One day, as Hina was bathing, one of the eels transformed into a young man. Hina took him as her lover, his name was Tuna. After they had been together for a while, one day Tuna told Hina that there would be a great downpour the next day, he would be washed up onto the threshold of her house in his eel-form. When that happened, Tuna said, Hina must cut off his head and bury it, regularly visit the place where the head had been buried.
Hina obeyed Tuna. After many days, she saw. Another shoot appeared, the two shoots grew into a pair of coconut trees—the first coconut trees known to man. In Mangaian tradition, the coconut's white flesh is called "Tuna’s brains", it is said that one can see a face when one looks at the shell of a coconut. For a time, the goddess Hina lived as the wife of the god of eels, but she decided to seek love elsewhere. Telling Tuna that she was going to get him some delicious food, Hina went onto land. Hina went from place to place, but all the men she met were afraid to take Tuna’s wife, fearing the eel-god’s vengeance. She met Maui, whose mother Taranga urged him to take the goddess as his wife; when the people round about learned that Maui had taken Hina as his wife, they went to tell Tuna. At first, Tuna didn’t care, but the people annoyed him about it so much that he vowed to win back his wife from Maui. Along with four companions, Tuna rushed toward Maui’s home, carried by a huge wave, but Maui's power left Tuna and his companions beached on the reefs.
Maui killed three of Tuna's companions. Tuna himself Maui spared. Tuna lived in peace in Maui’s home for some time, but one day, Tuna challenged Maui to a duel. Each would take a turn trying to kill him. If Tuna killed Maui Tuna would take his wife back. Tuna’s turn came first: he made himself small and entered Maui’s body; when he came back out, Maui was intact. Now it was Maui’s turn: Maui made himself small and entered Tuna’s body, tearing it apart. Maui cut off Tuna’s head and, at his mother’s suggestion, buried it in a corner of his house. In time, a shoot grew into a coconut tree; that was. In Hawaiian mythology, there are variations of the name Hina, including Hina-puku-iʻa the goddess of fishermen, Hina-ʻopu-hala-koʻa who gave birth to all reef life. Many stories about the goddess Hina in connection with the moon, can be found in chapter