At Mangaia, Rongo is called the son of Vātea (Daylight) and Papa. Rongo was born twin with Tangaroa, Rongo being born first, and thus taking precedence. He was also elder brother to Tonga-iti, the lizard god, to Tangiia, and to Tāne Papa-kai. Rongo's home was at Aoau, in Avaiki (Hawaiki). Human sacrifices were offered to him at Rimatara. Rongo's wife was Tākā; his daughter was Tavake. This daughter had three illegitimate children (by her father), viz., Rangi, Mokoiro, and Akatauria. This Rangi takes the place of Māui, by pulling up, with the help of his brothers, the island of Mangaia (i.e. the visible world) from Avaiki (the abyss).

Rongo is the great divinity of Mangaia, the war god, and his name is often used as an equivalent for "deadly hate," as in the proverb: Kua noo Rongo i roto ("Rongo fills his heart"). Spear-wounds are called the "tattooing of Rongo."

See also Rongo (Polynesia).



  • Tregear, Edward. (1891). Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Wellington: Government Printer, p. 425.

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