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Papa

by Bernard Doyle
In the mythology of the Maori of New Zealand Papa is the personification of the Earth and is a female goddess. The personification of the Sky - Rangi, a male god, fell in love with Papa and embraced her. This was at a time when there was no light in the universe. Papa and Rangi had many children. Rangi could not part from his beloved Papa and their embrace stopped the growth of plants, trees and fruit on the earth as well as crushing their offspring.

Eventually the other gods separated them forever. When they were separated, light filled the sky. Rangi was known as Raki by the Nghaitahu of the South Island of New Zealand and they said the mists are the sighs of Papa for Raki, and the morning dew is the tears of Raki for Papa.


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