"Child Rangi." One of the Props of Heaven, son of Te Mangu and Mahorahora-nui-a-Rangi, or of Mākū and Mahora-nui-a-tea, and brother of Toko-mua, Toko-roto, and Toko-pā (see Toko). He is the father of Here, Mārere-o-tonga, Punga, Rehua, Takataka-pūtea, and Te-hau by Papa-tū-a-nuku or Ari, and Nukumera by Papa; and of Haronga, Tama-i-koropao, Tū-nuku, and Tū-rangi by Hine-ahu-papa.

Tangaroa was accused of having committed adultery with Rangi-pōtiki's third wife Papa, and Rangi-pōtiki, armed with his spear, went to obtain satisfaction. He found Tangaroa seated by the door of his house, who, when he saw Rangi thus coming towards him, began the following karakia, at the same time striking his right shoulder with his left hand:

Tangaroa, Tangaroa,
Tangaroa, unravel;
Unravel the tangle,
Unravel, untwist.
Though Rangi is distant,
He is to be reached.
Some darkness for above,
Some light for below
Freely give
For bright Day.

This invocation of Tangaroa was scarce ended when Rangi made a thrust at him. Tangaroa warded it off and it missed him. Then Tangaroa made a thrust at Rangi, and pierced him through the thigh, and he fell. While Rangi-pōtiki lay wounded he begat a child, Kueo (Moist); after Kueo, he begat Mimi-ahi, followed by Tāne-tuturi, Tāne-pepeki, Tāne-ua-tika, Tāne-ua-ha, Tāne-te-waiora, Tāne-nui-a-Rangi, and finally a daughter, Paea.

In another reading,1 Papa-tū-a-nuku was the wife of Tangaroa (Taka-roa). She went to live with Rangi (Raki) when Tangaroa had gone away with the placenta of his child. On his return he found that she had been living with Rangi for some time, and had given birth to Rehua, Tāne, and the others. The men proceeded to the beach, where they fought with spears. Rangi was pierced by Tangaroa with a huata (a barbed spear) through both thighs, but he was not killed. The offspring Rangi had by Papa-tū-a-nuku after this were a weak of sickly family, and were called Whanau-tuoi (lean offspring). Their names were Whanau-tu-oi, Whanau-takoto, Tāne-kupapa-eo, Tāne-tuturi, Tāne-pepeke, Te-oi, Upoko-nui, Upoko-roa, Upoko-whaka-ahu, and Tāne-i-te-wai-ora.



  1. White 1887, p. 1:18, 22-23.


  • Shortland, Edward. (1882). Maori Religion and Mythology. London: Longmans Green, pp. 12, 18, 19, 56.
  • White, John. (1887). Ancient History of the Maori. 6 vols. Wellington: G. Didsbury, Government Printer, p. 1:30.

This article incorporates text from Maori Religion and Mythology (1882) by Edward Shortland, which is in the public domain.