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In the beginning there were no earth, no sky, no sea. Out of this desire came the two primal parents Papatuanuku ( the Earth mother) and Ranginui ( the Sky father). They embraced in the realm of night and seventy children were born to them, all male, and thus Ira Atua (the first family) came into being. Living in darkness and longing to experience the Image courtesy of Taiamai Toursworld of light and day, the siblings decided that their parents should be separated.

However, not all the children agreed. Tumatauenga ( the deity of war) wanted them killed. Tane Mahuta ( the deity of man and forests and everything that dwells within) thought they should be separated, with Ranginui going above t the sky and Papatuanuku dwelling on the earth below. In turn they tried to separate their parents. Rongomatane (deity and father of cultivated foods) tried, but with no success. Tangaroa (deity of the sea), followed by Tumatauenga also tried but to no avail. Finally Tane Mahuta placed his shoulders against the ground, thrust his feet upwards and pushed.

The sinews binding his parents stretch back and forth, heaving and swaying, until finally the parents were separated and the children experienced Te Ao Marama (light of day) for the first time. When this happened, Tawhirimatea (deity and father of winds and storms) who had not agreed to the separation, went up to the sky to be with his father.

When the separation was completed there was only one thing lacking, the uha ( female element). Since there were no women, Tane took some clay from a place known as kura-waka and fashioned it into the form of a women. Then he breathed life into the nostrils, and thus was created Hine-ahu-one (the earth formed maiden). Tane Mahuta and Hine-ahu-one had a daughter and thus the family of man had begun.

Today we are families originated from Tane Mahuta, father of plants and man. We are spread like the mamaku fern, throughout Tai Tokerau. We are many families, we are many clusters and yet we are the same family. We form the taurapa (stern post) of the waka and together we provide the stability and the sustainability for economic development for Tai Tokerau Tourism.

We are Te Whanau o Te Tai Tokerau, the families of Northland

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Tai Tokerau Maori and Cultural Tourism Assoc, New Zealand

"Our families will host the world"
Tai Tokerau Maori and Cultural Tourism Association
Postal: 103 Cookson Road R D 2 ∑ Kawakawa ∑ Bay of Islands ∑ Northland ∑ New Zealand

© 2004-2011 Tai Tokerau Maori and Cultural Tourism Association