Mahuika  

Posted by Stella Clark

Mahuika Cover
Mahuika is a Maori fire deity. Generally, Mahuika is female. In some versions, she is the younger sister of Hine-nui-te-po, goddess of death. It was from her that Maui (in some versions he is her grandson) obtained the secret of making fire. She married Auahi-Turoa and together they had five children, named for the five fingers on the human hand, called collectively Nga Manawa. The symbolism of this connection between fingers and fire is revealed in the stories where Maui obtains fire from Mahuika by tricking her into giving him her fingernails, one by one. She is also said to have played a role in the formation of Rangitoto island, asking Mataoho, god of earthquakes and eruptions to destroy a couple that had cursed her. In some parts of New Zealand, Mahuika is a male deity. This is also the case in some parts of tropical Polynesia; for instance, in the Tuamotu archipelago and the Marquesas, Mahu-ika is the fire god who lives in the underworld in addition to being the grandfather of Maui. Maui wrestled him in order to win the secret of making fire. In other parts of Polynesia, similar deities are known as Mafui'e, Mafuike, Mahui'e or Mahuike.

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This entry was posted on 26 December 2008 at Friday, December 26, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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