Goddess Mahuika  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Mahuika Image
"MAHUIKA" IS THE MAORI MOTHER OF THE FIRE. SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME, HUMANS HAD OBTAINED FIRE DIRECTLY FROM HER AND HAD KEPT THEIR CAMPFIRES BURNING SO THAT THEY WOULD NOT HAVE TO GO TO THE UNDERWORLD AND ENCOUNTER "MAHUIKA" AGAIN. SHE IS ASSOCIATED WITH CAVES AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR FOREST FIRES. IN MOST LEGENDS SHE WAS THE GRANDMOTHER OF MAUI. IN SOME VERSIONS, SHE IS THE YOUNGER SISTER OF "HINENUITEPO," THE GODDESS OF DEATH. SHE MARRIED AUAHI-TUROA, A COMET WHO CARRIED WITH HIM THE SEED OF FIRE, AND TOGETHER THEY HAD FIVE CHILDREN WHO, LIVING IN HER FINGERS ARE SAID TO BE THE FIRST RAYS OF LIGHT THAT SHOOT OVER THE SKY AT DAWN.

According to Maori legend, there came a time when fire was almost lost to the world. It seems that "Maui," always the practical joker, decided to extinguish all the fires on earth; his mother then directed the servants to go and ask "Mahuika" to give them fire to cook with. However, the servants were all terrified and refused to obey her, so "Maui" offered to go himself. His parents warned him against playing any tricks on "Mahuika", and he promised to be careful.

BUT UPON REACHING HER ABODE AND OBTAINING WHAT HE ASKED FOR, HE DECIDED TO PLAY A TRICK ON HER BY EXTINGUISHING THE FIRE ONCE HE WAS OUT OF SIGN AND THEN HE PRESENTING HIMSELF AGAIN. "Mahuika" held out her hands. She then plucked the nail of her little finger and handed it to "Maui". And, each time She tore off a nail, "MAU"I EXTINGUISHED THE FIRE AND ASKED FOR MORE. THEN "MAHUIKA" BECAME ANGRY AND THREW THE LAST FINGER NAIL ON THE GROUND. FIRE POURED OUT AND LAID HOLD OF EVERYTHING.

"MAUI "MANAGED TO ESCAPE BY CHANGING HIMSELF INTO A HAWK, BUT BY NOW BOTH THE EARTH AND SEA HAD CAUGHT FIRE. IT IS NOW THAT THE "GOD OF STORMS "STEPS UP AND EXTINGUISHES THE FIRE, BUT BEFORE FIRE WAS LOST ALTOGETHER, "MANUIKA "SAVED SOME SPARKS AND THREW INTO THE "KAIKOMAKO" AND A FEW OTHER TREES...WHERE THEY ARE STILL CHERISHED. HENCE, TO THIS DAY, MEN RUB PORTIONS OF THE WOOD OF THESE TREES TOGETHER WHEN THEY WISH TO IGNITE A FIRE.

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This entry was posted on 7 February 2009 at Saturday, February 07, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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