The Separation of Heaven and Earth

Some time after the foregoing events Taane i te Pukenga said, “let us now separate our parents that Rangi Potiki and Papatuuaanuku may occupy different places.”

Whiro te Tipua would not consent to this proposition, and there was much strife in consequence.

But Taane i te Pukenga became more urgent; and then Tangaroamatua, Tumatauenga, and Tawhirimatea finally agreed.

And now Rangi Potiki was propped up into the position he now holds.

In the propping up by Taane i te Pukenga with the four props, one was placed at the head, one on each side, and one at the legs, making four that separated Rangi Potiki from Papatuuaanuku.

But as the props were lifted and Rangi Potiki was still suspended in space, one prop at the legs and one at the head slipped.

Taane i te Pukenga called out to Paia, “O Paia!” Paia replied “Here i am!” Taane i te Pukenga said, “Raise him up above.”


In this uplifting and raising in order that Rangi Potiki might float above, he did not quite rise to the position required, because the arms of both Rangi Potiki and Papatuuaanuku grasped one another and held fast.

Then Taane i te Pukenga called out to Tumatakaka and Tumatauenga, telling them to fetch an axe to cut the arms of their parents.

Tumatakaka asked, “O Taane i te Pukenga!” “Where is the source of axes to be found?”

Taane i te Pukenga said, “fetch them from the pillow of our elder brother Uru te Ngangana to cut them with.”

“Fetch a handle from Tuamatua, who will put a keen edge on the axes and fasten them to their handles.”

The two axes named Te Awhio Rangi and Te Whironui were then fetched and then the arms of Rangi Potiki and Papatuuaanuku were severed and they were completely separated.

At that time Paia cut from the neck of Rangi Potiki the Ahi Tapu, which he subsequently used to make fire with using his Karakia in doing so.

Now when Rangi Potiki had been properly placed into position as is now to be seen, the blood from the arms dripped down on to Papatuuaanuku, and hence is the Horu, and the Pukepoto, that his descendants in this world use in painting.

And hence also is the red appearance that inflames the skies at sunrise or sunset, that is the blood of the arms of Rangi Potiki.

It was also after this event that Rangi Potiki received his new name Ranginui.

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