Maori Mythology

The Gods and Spirits of New Zealand


Maori God

Guardian God of all the fishes

The son of Sea God Tangaroa, he is a guardian and protector of fish. Unfortunately, when it came to his own pet fish, he failed to save the whale.

He used to ride a magnificent specimen called Tutu-nui, which was his favorite of all the whales. But one day while entertaining a visiting priest named Kae, he made some rather ill-advised boasts about how delicious whalemeat is.

Shortly afterwards, Kae asked if it was possible to borrow the whale for a few days. Tinirau, in complete blissful ignorance, was happy to oblige.

It was only after he began to smell the distant aroma of delicious barbecued whale drifting towards him on the breeze that he realized what was up.

By then it was too late to save his precious Tutu-nui, so instead he opted for a slightly over-complicated revenge murder involving lewd dancing ladies, a magic spell and a burning couch.

Apart from this sorry incident, Tinirau is a highly popular deity not just among the Maori but also across Polynesia. He is a deity featured in the legends of many cultures under various names and nobody mentions the whale incident.

Tinirau Facts and Figures

Name: Tinirau
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names:

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

Role: Unknown at present

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 3574

Copy this link to share with anyone:

Share this page on social media:

Link to this page:

HTML: To link to this page, just copy and paste the link below into your blog, web page or email.

BBCODE: To link to this page in a forum post or comment box, just copy and paste the link code below:

Cite this article

Here's the info you need to cite this page. Just copy the text in the box below.

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

References: Coming soon.

Permissions page

Oh woe. Javascript is switched off in your browser.
Some bits of this website may not work unless you switch it on.