Home > Picture book > Atua. Maori Gods and Heroes by Gavin Bishop. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2021.

Atua. Maori Gods and Heroes by Gavin Bishop. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2021.

October 23, 2021

Maori Myth and legend are the equal of myths and legends of other cultures around this planet and in this big sized picture book, Gavin Bishop shows the reader just how appealing and all encompassing these myths and legends are.

It logically starts with Te Kore or the void or nothing into which the great sky father Ranginui E Tu Nei unfurled and then mother Earth Papatuanuku slipped beneath him and they bore over 70 Gods, all boys. Seven of them including Tangaroa god of the sea and Tanemahuta god of the forests.

It was dark and damp in the heavens and the boys led by Rongamatane God of gardens and kumera decided to split their parents and light spread through the land.

The Gods fought, the land developed and the Gods got to work. Every aspect of life was covered but where were the girls? Tumatauenga God of humans couldn’t get the hang of making a woman so Tanemahuta helped him out and the first woman Hineahuone was created. She was beautiful so tane took her as his wife and they had many children, all girls.

Then as their descendants multiplied and filled the Earth the legends of Maui and other gods are told including how he trapped the sun etc. Other legends follow plus the migrations from Hawaiki and settlement of New Zealand Aotearoa.

Simply told because this book is for children as well as older students.

The art work and illustrations are superb. You will not find a better book on this topic than Atua. Every school should have this and there is a place in the home for it to. For the layman there is a quick insight into the complexities of Maori culture something we all in Aotearoa should have.

This book is a treasure.

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