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Hawaiian Demigod Māui

Hawaiian Demigod Māui; Half Man, Half God

In Hawaiian religion, Māui is a culture hero and ancient chief who appears in several different genealogies.

Māui would go fishing in the broken coral reefs below Haleakala with his brothers. Māui was a poor fisherman; even though he had a magical hook that could catch anything, he did not use it for ordinary tasks. Māui’s brothers would sometimes tease him for the small amount of fish that he would bring in, but Māui would get them back by playing tricks on them.

Pulling up the islands of Hawaii
Māui is said to have created Hawaii’s islands by tricking his brothers. He convinced them to take him out fishing, but caught his hook on the ocean floor. He told his brothers that he had caught a big fish and told them to paddle as hard as they could. His brothers paddled with all their might, and being intent with their effort, did not notice the island rising behind them. Māui repeated this trick several times, creating the Hawaiian Islands.

Restraining the Sun
Māui’s next feat is to stop the sun from moving so fast. His mother Hina complains that her kapa is unable to dry because the days are so short. Māui climbs to the mountain Haleakalā and lassoes the sun’s rays as the sun comes up, using a rope made from his sister’s hair. The sun pleads for life and agrees that the days shall be long in summer and short in winter.

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