Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Māori Religion

  • Regina PfeifferEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9353

An Intimate Relationship with the Natural World

In the Māori indigenous religious tradition of the islands of Aotearoa, commonly known as New Zealand, one of the more common cosmology narratives situated the beginning of the earth and sky in the darkness, Po, that dwelt between the primal parents, Rangi (Sky Father) and Papa (Earth Mother). Briefly, in one version retold by Elsdon Best (1924), the two parents clung tightly to one another as their progeny were brought forth in the darkness betwixt their bodies. The all-male progeny, tiring of the cold and dank conditions, and seeing a glimmer of light, decided to separate their parents. Tāne, one of the seventy sons, persuaded several of his brothers to assist him in parting their parents. Using four poles held by four of the brothers who later become identified with the directional winds, the progeny struggled to separate the parents who clung even tighter. As a result, the sons were forced to sever the primal parents’ arms in order...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Religious StudiesChaminade UniversityHonoluluUSA