Maui as Rank’s Hero
AT THE CREATION OF THE WORLD
Ra, the god of light, and Hine, the goddess of darkness and
death, call upon the children of the Earth (Papatuanuku) and
Sky (Ranginui) to sever their parents' smothering embrace. Their
success creates the first dawn of a new world.
THE BIRTH OF MAUI
Ages pass and mere mortals journey in and out of our earthly
realm, becoming the ancestors that watch over us. Into this
world, Taranga brings five sons.
The youngest is Maui, who dies as a baby. Hine, the goddess of
death, rises from the spirit world to embrace the soul of the
lifeless infant. But Taranga, in her grief, refuses to give up her
baby to death. Instead, she wraps Maui in a lock of her hair and
casts Maui into the ocean.
Maui and Rank, continued
UNDER THE SEA
The sons and daughters of the ocean god, Tangaroa, find the dead infant
wrapped in the protective strands of his mother's dark hair. Also drawn
to the baby, Ra (god of the sun) marshals the sea spirits to bring Maui
back to life, plucking him from the jellyfish and adopting him into his
Thwarted in her claim for Maui's spirit, Hine relinquishes the baby to Ra's
care, while promising to welcome Maui at his death, just as she
welcomes all mortal men.
IN THE REALM OF THE SUN-GOD
Ra schools Maui in the godly arts, teaching him an ancient prayer
(karakia). In ignorance of his human limitations, Maui dares to wield
Ra's sacred weapon (patu) and unwittingly conjures a vision of his
mother, Taranga. Recognizing the comb (heru) in her hair, the
impulsive youth is inspired to go in search of his earthly roots.
ON THE BEACH
Returning to the land of his mother, Maui encounters his brothers at play.
Unfamiliar with the customs of the mortal world, he offends them by refusing
to take up their offering (taki) with respect. Unpracticed at combat between
mortals, Maui is beaten by his brothers.
Rejected and alone, Maui realizes he is out of place both in the world of his
mother, Taranga, and his adoptive father, Ra - a mortal raised by gods. In his
despair, Maui has a vision of death, but is determined not to fail.
AROUND THE FIRE
Maui has an emotional reunion with his mother, which is later tempered by the
realization that his former tormentors are actually his older brothers. Taranga
tries to welcome Maui by including him in a song that celebrates the family's
sacred fire, but his brothers want nothing to do with him.
Snubbed again, Maui accidentally extinguishes his family's fire. When Taranga
discovers that the sacred flame has been extinguished, she orders the brothers
to fetch a new flame from the cavern of fire.
Susano o Mikoto
Despite his reputation as a bit of
a bad boy amongst the Shinto gods,
Susanoo is credited with giving
certain cultural gifts to mankind,
including agriculture. In Japanese art,
Susanoo is most often depicted
with wild hair blowing in the winds,
wielding a sword and fighting the
Susanoo became dissatisfied with his share and ascended
to heaven to see his older sister. Amaterasu, fearing his wild
behavior, met him and suggested that they prove their
faithfulness to each other by bringing forth children. They
agreed to receive a seed from each other, chew it, and spit it
away. If gods rather than goddesses were born, it would be
taken as a sign of the good faith of the one toward the
other. When Susanoo brought forth gods, his faithfulness
was recognized, and he was permitted to live in heaven.
Susanoo, becoming conceited over his success, began to
play the role of a trickster. He scattered excrement over the
dining room of Amaterasu, where she was celebrating the
ceremony of the first fruits. His worst offense was to fling
into Amaterasu’s chamber a piebald horse he had “flayed
with a backward flaying” (a ritual offense).
Hine Titama: The Maori Myth
Hinetitama is dawn, the
first true human. She was
the daughter of Tane and
Hine-ahu-one who bound
earthly night to earthly day.
She became Hine-nui-te-po,
the Goddess of Death, after
discovering that Tane was
not only her husband, but
also her father. She is shown
here becoming fragmented
As she changes from
an earth-dweller into the Goddess of Death.
'He then began to
Fashion the material
separating Yin and
Yang into sky and
earth, in which he
was aided by the four
the Egg with him:
the Dragon, the Phoenix and
the Tortoise. They were engaged in this labor for 18,000
years and each day P'an Ku grew ten feet, using his own
body as a pillar to force heaven and earth apart.
Four Main Aspects of Yin and Yang Relationship
Yin-Yang are opposites
They are either on the opposite ends of a cycle, like the seasons of the year, or, opposites on a
continuum of energy or matter. This opposition is relative, and can only be spoken of in
relationships. For example: Water is Yin relative to steam but Yang relative to ice. Yin and Yang
are never static but in a constantly changing balance.
Interdependent: Can not exist without each other
Nothing is totally Yin or totally Yang. Just as a state of total Yin is reached, Yang begins to grow.
Yin contains seed of Yang and vise versa. They constantly transform into each other. Example:
no energy without matter, no day without night. The classics state: "Yin creates Yang and Yang
Mutual consumption of Yin and Yang
Relative levels of Yin Yang are continuously changing. Normally this is a harmonious change,
but when Yin or Yang are out of balance they affect each other, and too much of one can
eventually weaken (consume) the other.
Four (4) possible states of imbalance:
Preponderance (Excess) of Yin
Preponderance (Excess) of Yang
Weakness (Deficiency) of Yin
Weakness (Deficiency) of Yang
Inter-transformation of Yin and Yang.
One can change into the other, but it is not a random event, happening only when the time is
right. For example: Spring only comes when winter is finished.
Count off by 8. Each group will take a handout and fill it
out thoroughly. Include the specific element and an
explanation of how the myth fits the element.
Remember to be thorough in your explanations as this
will be the format for the essay part of the midterm.
Class 11 ()ct. 28)
Rosenberg: pp: pp. 521 – 526 Gassire’s Lute
Print up and read Mwindo-- under Myths on the