Maori Mythology

The Gods and Spirits of New Zealand

TAMA-NUI-TE-RA

Maori Sun God

Also known as Tama-nui-te-rā, Tamanuiterā, Tamanuitera

The super soaraway speeding Sun

He is the blazing sun. Apart from that claim to fame, he had several encounters with the tricksy Maui.

First he rescued a half-drowned Maui from the ocean and took him into foster care. Tama-nui-te-ra cared for Maui until he was fully grown and then let him go on his way.

But that wasn’t the last he saw of him. One day Maui heard the mortals complaining that the days were passing too quickly. “We hardly have time to catch our food and eat it,” they said. So Maui determined to fix the problem at source.

He ambushed his poor old foster parent Sun, tied him up with ropes and beat him severely with a massive jawbone. “Slow down, Pops!” he yelled. “What’s the rush?” Such gratitude.

Poor old Tama-nui-te-ra begged for mercy and was only released when he promised to travel more slowly across the sky. Nowadays he hobbles at a much more leisurely pace. But still not slowly enough for some of us.

Tama-nui-te-ra Facts and Figures

Name: Tama-nui-te-ra
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Tama-nui-te-rā, Tamanuiterā, Tamanuitera

Gender: Male
Type: God
Area or people: Maori people of Polynesia
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: the Sun
Area of expertise: Sun

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 297

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Article last revised on April 30, 2019 by the Godchecker data dwarves.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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