One of the attandants or messengers of Io. A time came when the grief of Papa, the Earth Mother, on account of her separation from Rangi, her old-time love, came to be known to Io in the uppermost heaven. The sound of her wailing was borne upward, hence Io sent Ruatau down to seek the cause of the ceaseless lamentation. Io now commanded that the Earth Mother be turned over, so that she might no longer gaze upon her lost love Rangi. This overturning is known as the Hurianga-i-Mataaho, the overturning of (by) Mataaho. Who this Mataaho was is unclear; some have suggested that it is Io-mataaho, while others say it is Mataaho, the most obstinate unbeliever.

Even so was the Earth Mother turned over, so that she lay face down to Rarohenga, the underworld, hence man now dwells on her back instead of on her breast, as in former times.



  • Best, Elsdon. (1924). The Maori. Wellington: Harry H. Tombs, p. 108.

This article incorporates text from The Maori (1924) by Elsdon Best, which is in the public domain.