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tawahi OWC
New Member

Hello there !
Since my stay in New Zealand I try to find out more about the Maori mythology.
And I wonder if any of you believe in the Maori gods.
What is the form used to worship the Maori gods?
What is the difference between the Christians an their way of praying to god and the worship of the Maori gods ?
So are the moteatea a way of identifying with the Maori religion?

I'm looking forward to your answers. As you can guess it's hard to get information here in Germany.
Laters, Jasmin

Posted : 10 December, 2007 3:03 am
matahuru OWC
Eminent Member

Hi tawahi

There have been many discussions and debates on this site regarding this very subject. i suppose it is a personal thing as everyone has their theories and there a very few learned tohunga anymore to clarify the details of our ancient beliefs and practices.

However, based on individual experiences, one can draw certain conclusions from a broad overview of what has already been stated.

Now as for your questions:

q) And I wonder if any of you beleive in the maori gods?

a) The answer for me is most certainly yes.

q) What is the form used to worship the maori gods?

a) I would not call it worship so much as acknowledgement and supplication since we do not pray to all gods every day, just the ones whose realms we may enter throughout the day. For instance, when fishing on the open sea, it is tangaroa I ask first for permission then protection and finally for a bountiful catch. Then I wait for a sign... If it begins to get cloudy straight after or the waves begin to get choppy, it is not a good day and I will return to shore. Otherwise its snapper time! The same applies to hunting and gathering or horticulture. You must address the correct 'guardian' as I prefer to call them, in the correct manner.

q) What is the difference between the Christians and their way of praying to god.

a)I suppose it is the fact that christians pray to one god for all things. Maori believed that the most supreme God Io, was to large and immense a character that our prayers would not reach it. That is why we looked to his departmental managers if you like for everyday assistance. Which one is correct? Both ? Neither? I do not know...

q) So are the moteatea a way of identifying with the Maori religion?

Not always. Some moteatea relate to earthly events rather than celestial ones. Maori religion, as much as it pains me to call it that, must be practiced each day. We awaken we pray, we wash we pray, we eat we pray, we work we pray or more accurately we karakia. It is not a thing you practice on sunday and forgat for the rest of the week.

It must be lived and eventually you will learn to see the signs that will guide to what it is you seek or intend to do..

Others will have varying opinions so i will leave it there.

Hope that helps some..

Edited by - matahuru on Dec 10 2007 08:15:57 AM

Posted : 10 December, 2007 8:12 am
Active Member

kia ora tawahi.

you have indicated and interest and curiosity about what you call maori gods.

there is no such thing as a maori god. rather there is a system of beleif that acknowledged unseen beings and authorities who correlated with different parts of nature.

the way you have structured your question indicates that you see the maori as having a set of alternative gods, that were similarly worshiped like the use of prayer and song in Christianity, chants and incense in Buddhism etc etc.

Again incorrect. The maori belief in the unseen cannot be compared in this simplistic way.

finally can I ask you please about your god or gods. and your beliefs regarding the spiritual. Your history and your religion.

this will enable me to provide you with a precise explanation of the beliefs of my ancestors that can most easily be understood from your current spiritual stand point

Posted : 10 December, 2007 12:57 pm
tawahi OWC
New Member

Well, thanks for your answers. The thing is, there are a lot of people here, who are Christians. I personally cannot identify with Christianity, as I do not believe in the personification of a God.
As you see I don't have a specific stand point it's rather a process of finding my religion.
I believe that if there is a god (gods) that there is god in the trees in the earth in the ocean that the unseen is a party of the seen. I do not think of it as a person who leads us through our life.
I see Ranginui and Papatuanuku and all their children as gods. This is what I called maori gods. And I actually know that Christianity cannot be compared with maori belief in a simplistic way.

Edited by - tawahi on Dec 11 2007 06:51:33 AM

Posted : 11 December, 2007 6:49 am
matahuru OWC
Eminent Member

forgive me for asking but are you Maori or German?

You obviously know a little about maori but I sense a disconnection either culturally or personally.

Our Aatua are not gods. The term god or gods is foreign to us. That is like saying Yahweh is an Aatua. You are trying to label one thing with the language of another culture. This is fine for an approximation but is by no means complete and accurate saying that they are exactly the same.

No-one knows that, learned Jews or Learned Maori.

The gods you refer to are actually:

Nga Aatua. Nga uri a Rangi raua ko Papa.

Posted : 11 December, 2007 6:29 pm
tane_ariki OWC
Trusted Member

Technically they are called tūpuna (a Tāne mā).

Atua are spiritual denizens who can protect us from danger.

Posted : 11 December, 2007 6:36 pm
tawahi OWC
New Member

I'm German as I told you before. It is hard to collect information 17700km away from New Zealand. I hope you can develope some understanding. It's hard for me to find the accurate words at that point.

Posted : 12 December, 2007 4:00 am
ngati_kuri@hotmail.com OWC
Eminent Member

Kia Ora to your seeking! How long were you in NZ ans was it for study or work? Did you study Maori or become friends with some Maoris?

Posted : 14 December, 2007 10:44 pm