Tāne is the eldest son of Ranginui and Papatūānuku and was responsible for the separation of his parents. It was Tāne who gave the world space and for this act he was given the name ‘Tānetokorangi’. He also hung the stars in the sky and brought knowledge to the world, hence he also known as Tānenuiārangi and Tānetewānanga. In fact Tāne completed a number of amazing feats and had bestowed upon many names including, Tānetewaiora, Tānenukunuku, Tānemiroinga, Tānetepūpuke, Tānetekukune, Tānetekorenga, Tānengāhoahoa, Tānemonoa ariki and Tānemāhuta. This last name was given to Tāne to honour his position as deity of the forest and lord of the trees and birds. 

It is said that Tāne possessed a sacred adze called ‘Te Awhiorangi.’ This adze was used by Tāne to separate the remaining vines that held Ranginui and Papatūānuku together after they were separated. This adze was also used to dig clay from the earth which Tāne shaped into the body of a women and then breathed life into her, creating the first female Hineahuione. 

The home of Tāne is the forest, and his descendants are the multitudes that inhabit this realm, including the numerous trees, shrubs and plants, the many kinds of birds and the countless insects that live in the bush. Tāne is personified in all of these beings and they are used by Māori as food and products. Māori use the phrase ‘te pua nui a Tāne’ when describing the ‘bounty of Tāne’ for he gives a seemingly endless supply of food and resources to people year after year.


Words by Rangi Matamua


  • Dimensions: A3 international paper size | 297 x 420 mm or 11.7 x 16.5 in

    Materials: Digital print on 300GSM double laid courier paper


    This item can only be shipped to New Zealand and Australia 

  • These are just my personal interpretations of what Atua could look like. They do not reflect the views and interpretations of all Maori people.