Astronomical Notes

Taane te Waananga a Rangi appointed some of his elder brethren to be stationed both on the back and front of their common parent Ranginui, thus:

Uru te Ngangana



These were the occupiers of the house Poutiriao, which held the Kaupeka of the year.

It was hence Tataiarorangi – that is what is now known as an almanac -was made possible to guide the Whanau Puhi Ariki.

Such was Tataiarorangi, that the arrangement of the sun, moon, and stars in their proper seasons and courses now became known.

Some of the family of Ranginui and Papatuuaanuku are always moving about in the planes of the heavens, arranging and directing the Tataiarorangi o Te Aorangipuaroa.

It is in consequence of this that the sun, moon, and their younger brethren the stars that denote the seasons of the year move correctly; together with Ngaa Whetu Punga that lie in Ika o te Rangi, –the great ridge of heaven-.

Taane te Waananga a Rangi also appointed Rakamaomao, Kaukau, and Haepuru to confine and guard the bounds of Ranginui a Tamaku, as a place in which the various gods of the heavens might move about, and where could be obtained the plumes used by the Whatukura, Mareikura, Ruao, and other Apa.

Now the family of Ranginui and Papatuuaanuku from the time they went forth from the embrace of their parents, down to the period of Te Whawhai o Paerangi, and to the time of the appointment of Pou Tiri Ao, were all dwelling within a kind of twilight.

The reason of this was there was no sun, no moon, no stars, and no clouds.

The clouds on which Taane Nui a Rangi, Ruatau, Rehua had rode were from Tiritiri o Matangi; those were the first used to take them down to Rangi Naonaoariki.

Those clouds were returned by the Aparangi, and then they continued their descent on the clouds of Rangi Naonaoariki to Rangi Wanawana, and so on down to Rangi Tamaku and Papatuuaanuku.

When Taane te Waananga a Rangi propped up the heavens these clouds remained up there.

In consequence of this want of light Taane te Waananga a Rangi ordered that Te Whanau Puhi Ariki o Te Whanau Ariki should be brought down from their dwelling on Maunganui, where they had been stationed by Taane te Waananga a Rangi and his elder brethren at Rangitukia.

The residence of that family was not at all pleasant, for they could only see indistinctly, and their eyes continually watered.

So it was thought better to convey them to the belly of their father, Ranginui, and there affix them so that the earth might be lit up.

Then Kewa asked of Taane te Waananga a Rangi, “who above on Maunganui is in charge of that family?” Taane te Waananga a Rangi replied, “they are with Taringawaru, Tongatonga, Tawhirirangi, and Te Ikaroa, suspended within the house at Rangitukia.”

When Kewa arrived at the base of Maunganui he said unto Tongatonga, “the family of gods have finally decided that the family in your charge here are to be taken and affixed to the front of their ancestor, and there remain to adorn the front of Ranginui.”

To this the guardians of that family consented; they were also the feeders of that family.

Then Tongatonga and Kewa ascended Maunganui, and looking down from there they saw the family amusing themselves on the sands at Te Rehuroa.

They were called to come up to the summit of Maunganui.

Their mode of progression was by rolling over and over up the mountain; the reason for this was that they were shaped like an eye, they had no bodies.

When they reached the courtyard named Takapaurangi, they disappeared into their house, Rangitukia; and then Taringawaru, Tawhirirangi, Te Ikaroa, and Tongatonga took four baskets in which to place Te Whanau Puhi Ariki.

These baskets were named:

Te Raaururangi –basket of the sun–

Te Kauhanga –basket of the moon–

Te Ikaroa –basket of Autahi and his younger brethren–

Te Rauroha –basket of Whanau Punga and smaller stars–

Now the smaller stars in the fourth basket were placed in the canoe named Uruao, – which is to be seen as a pattern in the sky, – so they might be guarded, least they be maltreated by their elder brethren and fall down below.

Tamarereti was appointed their guardian.

After this the family of stars were conveyed to the presence of their ancestor Ranginui, and were there arranged so that they might light up their ancestors front surface, and to give light also to the earth mother.

Te Ikaroa, Rongomaitaharangi, and Rongomaitahanui were sent to lay down the Aramatua, and the Kaupeka, as the path along which the family of stars might travel correctly lest they collided with one another.

Te Ikaroa was appointed to the Zodiac as guardian of the minor stars and those of the Whanau Punga.

The second name of Te Ikaroa o te Rangi was then given to the milky way, –the great ridge of heaven-; and Rongomaitaharangi was placed on the right hand side of the milky way to guard the sun, whilst Rongomaitahanui was stationed on the left hand to guard Autahi and his younger brethren.

The waxing moon was placed behind the sun and the stars.

Now the family of the earth mother considered this arrangement, and saw that it was not a good one, because the waxing moon was in the dark, as were the other minor stars.

So they separated the elder brother the sun and placed him on the fore head of Ranginui and the moon and stars on his belly.

They then carefully examined this second arrangement, and saw that it was not satisfactory either, and the reason was, that there was only one phase; there was nothing but continual daylight; for all the family of stars were in one heap.

And then they changed it so that the elder brother was stationed on the back of the legs of sky father, and the waxing moon and the stars on his belly, there to remain fixed.

Again the family of earth mother examined the arrangement, with the sun on the back of the legs of the sky father, and the moon and the stars on his belly, so that the sun might climb up by the thighs of the sky father and the moon and the stars follow him; and thus was the sun separated from his younger brethren.

And now for the first time, was seen night and day; and this arrangement was named Te Ao Maarama in which the sun traveled across the sky, also, Te Ao Maaramanui and Te Ao Maaramaroa.

The reason of this was, there was no night or darkness during the period that the moon and stars ruled the night, and this was called Te Poo Nui, Te Poo Roa and Te Poo Tamaku.

But suffice it to say, that the third arrangement gave rise to the separation of the darkness from the daylight, and they were called night and day.

The day was called the world of light.

The sun at the beginning of the year proceeds from Maaruaroa oo Te Takurua Hotoke towards the head of his ancestor the sky father, and when he reaches his shoulders he proceeds from Maaruaroa oo te Orongonui and returns to the legs of his ancestor.

Now if the flight of the sun, and moon is towards the head of Ranginui, that is the Warutuhoehoe, if directed towards the legs of Ranginui that is Takurua Waipu.

Te Pito o Ranginui is the boundary on their parent ancestor, and that is the demarcation between winter and summer –the equinoxes-.

Now the head of Ranginui is to the south, and his legs to the north.

This must also be clear; in reference to Whatu oo Te Whanau Puhi Ariki that have been mentioned; that is, Tamanui te Raa and Maarama i Whanake, and their younger brethren the stars.

Te Ahurangi , and Te Rangitaupiri are their Pou Tiri Ao.

It is they whom also regulate the moon.

Taane te Waananga a Rangi said, “let the moon regulate the high and low tides of lady ocean.”

Tupai a Tau added, “and let Tuahiwi oo Hine Moana regulate the great waves, in order that the descent may be easy on both sides.”

Tupai a Tau then advised Taane te Waananga a Rangi to appoint some stars to arrange and guide Tuahiwi oo Hine Moana, and assist the moon; this was done.

This also must be clearly understood: everything is Waahi of the heavens and the earth; there is nothing of which it can be said, it is of the earth alone or of the heavens alone; all things have been placed, each in its own position and after its own kind by them and their offspring the gods, and, hence it is we say all things emanate from them, the stars, the moon, the sun, all of these are Waahi of the earth and heaven.

It is the same in all the twelve heavens, just as has been said above; they have their stars, moon, and sun.

Each star, each moon, each sun in the twelve heavens has its own Pou Tiri Ao.

Everything is a world, a part of heaven and earth as explained.

Water is the cause of growth of all things; if there were no water, or the sea, everything would go wrong in the heavens, the stars, the moon, and the sun.

The coadjutor of the water is the sun, the moon, and the stars.

The clouds are the mist, the breath, the warmth of earth; for everything has heat and cold according to its kind.

Tamanui te Raa and Tawhirimatea send down the clouds and mists in the form of rain to refresh all things according to their kind, everything drinks water; there is water in all stars, the moon, and the sun.

Now in consequence of Io Taketake having so decreed, together with the Whatukura, in the world and the Poo as to the arrangement of the functions of all things, the company of Apa became the instruments, the guardians, the directors of all things in all the heavens and the planes; they became the overseers of the duties of all things in the moons, suns, and stars of each heaven, forming twelve heavens, each one of which has its own moon and stars and sun.

But in all these heavens the sun is outside of everything.

He is Kai Peehi of all things within the heavens; each of which have their worlds, their moons and their stars.

The head of all things, stars, moons, and suns, are the Whatukura of Toi oo Ngaa Rangituhaha, because the Apa are only laborers of the heavens, whilst the Pou Tiri Ao guard them least they deviate from their proper work or quarrel.

© Copyright 2007-2020 Te Whare Waananga Auturoa - All Rights Reserved.