"Day." The god of light, god of the upper world, the visible world. He is one of the primal deities who are the unborn forces in the universe.

Ao is spoken of under many forms or manifestations, as Ao-tu-roa, "Abiding Day, Long-standing light" Ao-marama, "Bright Day, Daylight," etc. With his companions Ata, "Morning," and Whaitua, "Space," he resists the powers of night, Te Kore, "The Void," Te Mangu, "The Black," etc. One Ao was of human shape, and they are all counted in the pedigrees of chiefs.

Ao is probably another name for the great Polynesian god Ātea. In some areas Ao is mentioned as the son of Ilu and Mamao, brother of (Night).



  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, p. 14.

This article incorporates text from Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary (1891) by Edward Tregear, which is in the public domain.