In Hawaiian mythology
is a creator god. In some other Polynesian languages, the name appears as Tiki
In Māori mythology, Tiki is the first man. In traditions from the East Coast of the North Island, the first human is a woman created by Tāne, god of forests. Usually her name is Hine-ahu-one. In other legends, Tāne makes the first man Tiki, and then makes a wife for him. In some West Coast versions, Tiki himself, as a son of Rangi and Papa, creates the first human by mixing his own blood with clay, and Tāne then makes the first woman. Sometimes Tūmatauenga, the war god, creates Tiki. In another story the first woman is Mārikoriko. Tiki marries her and their daughter is Hine-kau-ataata (White 1887-1891, I:151-152). In some traditions, Tiki is the penis of Tāne (Orbell 1998:178, Tregear 1891:510-511). In fact, Tiki is strongly associated with the origin of the procreative act.
Here is one story of Tiki:
Tiki was lonely and craved company. One day, seeing his reflection in a pool, he thought he had found a companion, and dived into the pool to seize it. The image shattered and Tiki was disappointed. He fell asleep and when he awoke he saw the reflection again . He covered the pool with earth and it gave birth to a woman. Tiki lived with her in innocence, until one day the woman was excited by an eel. Her excitement passed to Tiki and the first procreative act resulted (Reed 1963:52).
In Māori usage, the word 'tiki' is also the name given to large wooden carvings in roughly human shape.
Names and epithets
White names several Tiki or perhaps manifestations of Tiki (White 1887-1891, I:142):
- *Tiki-tohua, the progenitor of birds
- *Tiki-kapakapa, the progenitor of fish and of a bird, the tui
- *Tiki-auaha, the progenitor of humankind
- *Tiki-whakaeaea, the progenitor of the kūmara
Elsewhere in Polynesia
- *In Hawaiian traditions the first man was Kumuhonua. He was made by Kāne, or by Kāne, Kū, and Lono. His body was made by mixing red earth with saliva. He was made in the shape of Kāne, who carried the earth from which the man was made from the four corners of the world. A woman was made from one of his ribs. Kanaloa was watching when Kāne made the first man, and he too made a man, but could not bring him to life. Kanaloa then said to Kāne, “I will take your man, and he will die.” And so death came upon mankind (Tregear 1891:151).
- *In Tahiti, Ti’i was the first man, and was made from red earth. The first woman was Ivi who was made from one of the bones (ivi) of Ti’i (Tregear 1891:151) .
- *In the Marquesas there are various accounts. In one legend Atea and his wife created people. In another tradition Atanua and her father Atea brought forth human beings (Tregear 1891:151).
- *In the Cook Islands, traditions also vary. At Rarotonga, Tiki is the guardian of the entrance to Avaiki, the underworld. Offerings were made to him as gifts for the departing soul of someone who is dying. At Mangaia, Tiki is a woman, the sister of Veetini, the first person to die a natural death. The entrance to Avaiki (the underworld) is called ‘the chasm of Tiki’ (Tregear 1891:151).
- T. R. Hiroa (Sir Peter Buck), The Coming of the Maori. Second Edition. First Published 1949. Wellington: Whitcombe and Tombs) 1974.
- M. Orbell, The Concise Encyclopedia of Māori Myth and Legend (Canterbury University Press: Christchurch), 1998.
- A.W. Reed, Treasury of Maori Folklore (A.H. & A.W. Reed:Wellington), 1963.
- J. White, The Ancient History of the Maori, 6 Volumes (Government Printer: Wellington), 1887-1891.
- E. Shortland, Maori Religion and Mythology (Longman, Green: London), 1882.
- E.R. Tregear, Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary (Lyon and Blair: Lambton Quay), 1891.