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The legend of Maui (Tuamotu version)

- Rangiroa, Manihi, Tikehau, Fakarava, Ahe

Tagaroa was one of the men of the God Tane. Tane was the god who stole fire from atea, the god who had created the Tuamotu Islands. In possession of fi re, Tane became the almighty god, and went to live on the big atoll called Fakarava. In Fakarava, Tagaroa married a mortal woman named ‘Uahe‘a, and had six children. None of the children had ever met their father, and they constantly asked their mother about him. The youngest son, Maui, was more curious and intelligent than the rest and he set out to fi nd his father. One night, Maui saw his father and followed him. Along with his wife, Tagaroa went through a secret gateway that led to the second terrestrial world, and Maui tried to follow them, but the guards stopped him from entering.

Then Maui transformed himself into a bird and managed to make his way into his father’s secret domain. But Maui’s mother recognized him, and Tagaroa was angry and humiliated to have been fooled by his own son. Maui’s mother, ‘Uahe‘a, was the only mortal allowed inn. Maui was no longer disguised as a bird, and to frighten him, and frighten him, Tagaroa ordered a combat between Maui and the vicious spirits that had transformed into all imaginable kinds of insects for the occasion.

The insects attacked Maui from all sides, but the courageous young boy finally won the battle. To reward him, Tagaroa gave Maui permission to capture and control the sun in its course. And that Maui came to control night and day, so that people all over the world could prepare and eat their food during the daytime, and rest during the night. It was also thanks to Maui that fire, which was taken from the rays of the sun, came to the earth and could be used by men.

Source : Teuira Henry, « Tahiti aux temps anciens ». Told by Taroi-nui, chief in the Tuamotu Islands, with help from Mrs. Walker.

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