The Hawaiian hula dance originated as a sacred ceremonial dance. The most important gods of the Polynesian pantheon were those associated with creation myths and legends.Best known were Rangi (Father Sky) and Papa (Mother Earth), the two supreme creator gods of the Maori people of New Zealand.After Kane made the first man and woman, he became angry at their bad behavior and decided that humans would be subject to death. In Tahitian mythology, the supreme creator deity was Ta'aroa, also called Rua-i-tupra (source of growth).Ta'aroa emerged from a cosmic egg and started the process of creation.Mana could be good or evil, and individuals, animals, and objects contained varying amounts of mana.Because mana was sacred, Polynesians invented complicated rules to protect it.According to Maori legend, Rangi and Papa served as the source from which all things came.
Illness and misfortune were believed to come from breaking minor tapus.To fill the emptiness around him, he used part of the egg to make the sky and the other part to create the earth.Satisfied with his accomplishment, he filled the world with all the creatures and things that are now found in it.The most popular character was Maui, a hero-trickster well known throughout Polynesia.Worship of the gods involved chants and prayers, elaborate rituals, and sacrifices (including human sacrifice) performed by various classes of priests, some of whom acted as oracles.Rongo-maui stole the yam, hid it in his clothing, and returned to earth.Soon after, he made his wife, Pani, pregnant, and she later gave birth to a yam, the first on earth. deity god or goddess pantheon all the gods of a particular culture supernatural related to forces beyond the normal world; magical or miraculous demigod one who is part human and part god trickster mischievous figure appearing in various forms in the folktales and mythology of many different peoples ritual ceremony that follows a set pattern oracle priest or priestess or other creature through whom a god is believed to speak; also the location (such as a shrine) where such words are spoken incantation chant, often part of a magical formula or spell cult group bound together by devotion to a particular person, belief, or god Priests usually organized and led religious festivals and celebrations.Polynesia is a vast region of the Pacific Ocean consisting of many hundreds of widely separated, culturally and politically diverse island groups.Ranging from Midway and Hawaii in the north to New Zealand in the south, the triangular area called Polynesia also includes Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, Tuamotu, the Cook Islands, and the Pitcairn Islands.A number of myths explain the origin of this important food.One Maori myth tells how the god Rongo-maui went to heaven to see his brother Wahnui, the guardian of the yam.