The Story of Maui

O LE TALAAGA O MAUI
O Maui o le alo o Ma’eatutala ma Talaga. Talu ai na fanau le au o ia, sa tia’i ai e lona tinā i luga o piapia o le sami, ma le fa’amoemoe o le a to’esea vave atu ai lana tama na fanau ae le’i o’o i ona aso tatau. Peita’i, sa ese ai le fuafuaga a atua. Sa latou mua’i fa’atonuina ni galu latou te aveina atu o ia i le apitagalu ona auina atu fo’i lea o se toea’ina na te tausia lelei. Sa fa’apea ai ona i’u ina tupu a’e ma avea ma se tama talavou aulelei. O le tasi aso, sa la feiloa’i ai ma se tama’ita’i ma, o le taimi lava na va’aia ai e le tama lea fafine, na ia iloa ai o lona tinā lava lea. Sa ia ta’uina atu lea manatu ia te ia; peita’i, sa le’i talitonu le tama’ita’i, vaganā ona ua mae’a lelei ona talatalaina atu e le tama le tala i lona olaga. Na amata ai loa ona talitonu ma alofa tele atu le tama’ita’i i lana tama. Sa ia fa’ati’eti’e Maui i ona tau’au i aso ta’itasi. O lea la ua ta’uta’ua ai i Sāmoa, o “Ti’eti’e i tau’au o Talaga”. Sa tuputupu a’e le tama o Maui Ti’eti’e i Talaga ma avea ai ma tagata matua ma le malosi fa’apea ma lona poto masani. O lona tamā, Ma’eatutala, sa pulea le ma’umaga (fa’ato’aga talo) tele a Māfui’e, se tagata lapo’a tele na nofo i Pulotu. O aso ta’itasi i le taeao po lava, sa alu atu ai le tamā o Maui ma toe fo’i mai i le afiafi po. E leai se tasi o le aiga e foliga na te iloa le mea e malaga aga’i i ai le toea’ina. O le mafua’aga lea na tonu ai le manatu o Maui o le a na su’eina po’o fea e alu atu i ai lona tamā ma po’o ni a fo’i ana gaoioiga o lo’o fai i ai.

O le mea lea, i le tasi aso, sa ia mulimuli fa’alilolilo atu ai i lona tamā. Ina ua mavae se itulā e tasi o le la savaliga, sa ia va’ai atu i lona tamā ua tū sasa’o i luma tonu lava o se mauga mato tele, ona ia fa’alogo atu lea o memumemu lona tamā i ni upu uiga ese, pei e fa’ataulāitu, ma fa’auta! Na mavae ma matala mai le ‘ele’ele ona savali atu ai loa lea o lona tamā i totonu. Sa le fefe o ia i se mea e tasi; o lea sa ia mulimuli atu ai fo’i i lona tamā. Ina ua iloa mulimuli ane e le tamā o lona atali’i, sa ia taumafai loa ia te ia e toe fo’i. A fai e te toe fo’i, o lana tala lea i lona atali’i, “E lo’u matai, le tagata lapo’a tele o Māfui’e, e le taumate o le a ia fasioti ia te ‘oe.” Sa le’i suia ai le loto o Maui; sa le iloa lava e ia se fefe. O le mea lea, sa ia nofo ai pea lava e ui ina le malie lona tamā. Sa tonu i lona māfaufau o le a sā’ili mea uma e uiga i lenei nofoaga lilo. A’o fealualua’i le tama, na taia lana sosogi i se nanamu e uiga ese le manogi. Sa āga’i atu ai loa i le itu lea e sau ai le nanamu, ma na fa’afuase’i ona taunu’u i totonu o le umukuka o Māfui’e ma na ia maua atu i ai se manufata (pua’a) fa’ato’ā mae’a ona fa’avela lelei, fa’apea ma le anoano o talo vela. Sa ia tofotofoina loa na mea taumafa. O ni mea ‘ai e uiga ese le manaia, o lona manatu ifo lea i lona loto, aiseā e le fa’apea ai ona saunia a matou talo ma a’ano o manufasi. A o si ona tamā, sa popole pea lava mo lona ola, na mulimuli atu pea ma fa’apea atu: “E leai se afi a tatou, na’o Māfui’e lava e fa’avela ana mea’ai. Ae peita’i, la’u pele Maui, ia e toe fo’i nei ae le’i taunu’u mai Māfui’e ma fasioti ia te ‘oe.” “Se’i maua mai muamua sa’u afi ona ou alu ai lea,” o le tali lea a Maui. O lea na ia savali (Maui) atu loa i le mūgālafu (Ta’igaafi); peita’i, sa mata’i mai pea nei gaoioiga e le sau’ai tagata. Na fa’afuase’i ona ia oso atu ma tauivi loa ma Maui. Peita’i, na pu’eina e Maui ma fusi ona lima, ona la tauivi ai lava lea pei ni manu fe’ai mo se taimi umi lava.Sa le’i fia fa’avaivai se tasi o la’ua. Na i’u ina maua e Maui le lima o le ali’i tino ese ma mimilo ai lava se’ia o’o ina auē le ali’i i le tigā.

E ui i lea, sa le’i tu’ua ai lava e Maui le lima, na ia saga mimilo malosi pea se’ia o’o ai ina talosaga atu le ali’i tino ese, ma fa’amolemole ina ia fa’asa’oloto o ia mai ona mafatiaga. Sa fai atu Maui, e fa’ato’ā mafai ona tatala atu o ia pe a fai e malie mai lona loto e ave mo ia ni motumotu mai lana ta’igaafi. Sa malie vave atu i ai le sau’ai. O le ala lea na maua ai e tagata Sāmoa le ulua’i afi, ma talu mai ai, sa fa’avela mea taumafa a tagata Sāmoa.

Na mulimuli ane ona avea lea o Maui ma se tagata folau ta’uta’ua. O le talatu’u a Toga e fa’apea, “O Togatapu, le motu aupito tele o Toga, sa sisi a’e i luga e Maui i se matau na ia maua mai Savai’i.”

O se tasi tala fa’asolopito e fa’apea, na malaga atu Maui aga’i i le itū i saute ma ia taunu’u atu ai i le tafatafā’ilagi. A e faimai, e ui i lenā fa’afitāuli, na le’i fa’afiti ai lava Maui. Na ona tago atu lava o ia i le foe ma lona au malō, ma tete’e malosi ai i luga le lagi ae alu pea lana malaga. O ia o le tagata muamua lea na fetaui ma se mauga aisa o ia fo’i na muamua ona va’ai i ni pua’asami, ni pea (manu) papa’e, ma ni isi lava manu matagofie ‘ese’ese.

O le tala tu’u fo’i a Maori e fa’apea, o Maui o le Polenisia muamua lea na tū vae i Niu Sila. O ia lea, e tusa ona latou fai mai, na vaeluaina ni motu ina ia mafai ona folau atu ai i totonu. Ina ia fa’amanatuina ai o ia, ua ta’ua ai e Maori le Motu i Mātū, o “Ika o Maui” ma le Motu i Toga (saute), o “Waka-o-Maui.”
O le tasi motu o Hawai’i e ta’ua fo’i o Maui, e fa’amanatu ai pea lava lenei tagata folau atamai ma le lototele.

The Story of Maui

Maui is perhaps the most notable of heroes in the Polynesian mythology. He is at the very least mischievous, smart, and so beguiling he can win his mother’s heart back with his words, fool his father sufficiently to make him complicit in his plan to steal fire from his grandmother, steal fire, and so daring, cunning, brave, inventive, and accomplished that he appears irresistible throughout Polynesian lore. Maui, a demigod, lived his life here on earth, while, at the same time, traversed the mythological spaces of the world below (the underworld) and the Heavens above. The version prepared by Brother Fred Henry in 1979 notes most of the extensive scholarship about the Samoan Maui mythology. He is also known as Ti’iti’i, and sometimes Ti’eti’e.

Maui was the son of the gods Ma’eatutala and Talaga. Because he was born prematurely, his mother threw him into the foam of the sea, hoping in that way to get rid of the yet unformed child. The gods, however, overruled her rash decision and decreed differently. They first sent some waves to take him ashore, and then sent the older ancestors to nurse him to health and safety. He soon grew into a very beautiful young boy.

One day, Maui met a woman. Immediately he felt sure that she was his true mother. He told her this, knowing he would have to convince her, since, by discarding him in the first place, she would believe it impossible that he could be alive. But it was not long until, after Maui recited the details of his life, his skeptical mother finally believed him. Then, to their mutual delight, she became so fond of him that she carried him day after day on her shoulder and never let him go again.

From this habit, Maui is commonly known in Samoa by the name of Ti’eti’e i Talaga, i.e. riding on (the shoulders of) Talaga.

Once reunited with his mother (sometimes known as Hina), Maui grew into a very strong and skillful young man.

Maui’s most famous adventures surround his father’s work on behalf of Mafui’e. Maui’s father Ma’eatutala was in charge of the taro-plantation owned by the giant Mafui’e who lived in the under-world, owned fire and managed earthquakes. Every day, early in the morning, Maui’s father went away, and returned only after dark. None of the family seemed to know where he went. The always curious Maui found this mystery irresistible. He had to solve it. He determined to find out where his father was going and what he was doing.

One day Maui’s curiosity overcame him, and he was compelled by an irresistible urge to follow his father in secret. After half an hour’s walk, Maui saw his father stopping before a steep hill. Then he heard his father murmuring very strange incantations in the direction of the hill, when suddenly the hill opened to let his father enter. Maui, always fearless, followed him into the mountain, unnoticed by both his father and the mountain itself.

When his father finally became aware of his son’s presence, in fear for Maui’s life, he urged him to go back. “If you do not return to earth”, so he told him, “my master, the giant Mafui’e, will certainly kill you.”  But Maui, undaunted, could not be convinced, and remained against his father’s wishes in the underworld, determined to learn about that mysterious place.

Wandering about, he smelled something new and tantalizing. Curious as always, he walked in that direction, and soon came to the kitchen of Mafui’e and there he presently discovered freshly roasted pig and many cooked taros. He tasted both. “What delicious food,” he cried out, “Why don’t we prepare our taro and meat like this!”

His father, who, anxious for Maui’s life, had followed him, begged him saying: “We have no fire. Mafui’e is the only one who can eat cooked food. My dear son Maui, please go back before he comes and kills you.” But Maui resisted, and answered, “Let me first get some fire, and then I’ll go.”

Thereupon he went straight to the fireplace; but the giant, who had already been watching him for some time, jumped up and went for the intruder. But Maui caught his two arms and then they wrestled like tigers for a long time.

Neither wanted to give in. Finally Maui contrived to twist the giant’s arm in such a frightful manner that he roared with pain. The boy, however, did not let loose; he even twisted harder and harder until the giant begged him to stop torturing him. Maui said that he was quite willing to let him go, but only in exchange for some fire to take home. The giant Mafui’e, in his agony, finally agreed. In this way the Samoans got their first fire, and ever since, they have enjoyed cooked food.

Later, Maui became a famous sailor. The Tongan tradition relates that Tongatabu, the largest island of the group, had been pulled up by Maui with a hook he obtained from Savai’i.

Another tradition tells us that Maui sailed so far towards the south, that he reached the end of the horizon where the sky met the ocean. But even that challenge presented no difficulty to a man like Maui. He simply took his paddle and with its heavy handle he pushed the sky upwards until high enough so that he could pass under the horizon and sail on.

Maui was the first sailor who met with icebergs, and the first who saw seals white bears, and many other wonderful animals.

The Maori tradition relates that Maui was the first Polynesian who landed in New Zealand. It was he, so they say, who cut the island into two islands in order to sail across the sea between them, rather than make the journey around. In memory of him, the Maori called North Island Ika-o Maui” and the south Island “Waka-o-Maui”. One of the Hawaiian Islands is also called Maui in honour of this clever and daring sailor.

For More about Maui, the reader is referred to W.D. Westerfield, The Legends of Maui, (1920) at www.sacred texts.com.

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