Māui and the sun

One evening, Māui and his brothers were making a hāngi for their evening meal. They had just finished heating the stones when the sun went down and it quickly became too dark to see. Māui was annoyed with having to eat his food in the dark. He stood in the light of the fire and addressed his people.

"Every day we have to rush to do our chores and gather our food before the sun sets. Why should we be slaves to the sun? I will catch the sun before it rises, and teach it to travel slowly across the sky!" But one of the brothers was quick to criticise, not believing Māui could possibly do such a thing. "It would be impossible to catch the sun, he's much bigger than any bird you've ever caught!" "The heat and flames would surely burn you to death," said another. "I think he's got sunstroke," another added, and they all laughed.

When they had quietened down, Māui took the sacred jawbone of his ancestor from his belt and waved it in the air. "I have achieved many things that were thought impossible – gaining fire from Mahuika, catching the greatest fish in the world, descending to the underworld, and many more. With this magic jawbone, gifted by Murirangawhenua, and with your help, I will succeed in conquering the sun!". The majority of the people agreed that Māui had achieved many great feats, they decided to help Māui in his quest.

Published on 21/11/2017 00:00 • Show all news
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