A personification of rain, and one of those who regulate the elements. He is a son of Papa and Rangi. His wife is Huru-te-arangi and he is by her the father of twelve children who personify different types of snow, ice, frost and hail.
Te Iho-rangi is of three supernormal beings appointed as guardians of the bounds of heavens whose task was to control the clouds of the heavens, that they might act as a screen between Rangi and Papa, and so shade the body of Mother Earth. The other two are Te Mamaru and Mawake-nui. They called upon Hine-moana, the Ocean Maid, and Hine-wai, Rain Maid, to dispatch Hine-makohu, Mist Maid, to act as a covering for Rangi, and to shelter Papa.
When Māui went to Mahuika to procure fire, she cast one of the Fire Children at him, and a terrible conflagration ensued. The fire attacked Māui, who fled, pursued by the raging flames. He called upon Te Iho-rangi, Ua-nui, and Ua-roa to come to his assistance. The countless legions of Te Iho-rangi assailed Mahuiaka, and in the end water gained victory and Mahuika fled. Cp. Whatitiri-mātakataka.
In one tradition, the frost fish, river eel, and conger eel are said to have sprung from Te Iho-rangi and to have come down from the heavens to earth.1
- Best, Elsdon. (1924). The Maori. Wellington: Harry H. Tombs, pp. 97, 105, 145, 152, 162.