Tongan creation story

Written and translated by Dr. Mahina. A lot of this information directly contradicts my current studio work, detangling Maori, Samoan and general pan-pacifika content is very hard to do. Luckily this writing has put it quite plainly.


The Creation Myth Cycle (Told and translated by the author) In the beginning there existed only Vahanoa and Pulotu, and in the middle of Vahanoa were floating Limu and Kele. As they drifted towards Pulotu, Limu and Kele separated, and out came a huge rock, Touia-’o-Futuna. The rock angrily shook causing a series of tremors, which spilt open Touia-’o- Futuna, and from it each emerged four pairs of twins, male and female, Piki and Kele, ’Atungaki and Ma’imoa’alongona, Fonu’uta and Fonuvai and He’imoana and Lupe. Each of the brother-sister twins committed incest, and to them were each bom, brother and sister, Taufulifonua and Havealolofonua, Velelahi, Velesi’i and, brother and sister, Tokilangafonua and Hinatu’aifanga. Taufulifonua took to wife his own sister, Havealolofonua, and his two first cousin sisters, Velelahi and Velesi’i. Out of these unions were each bom the goddess Havea Hikule’o and male gods, Tangaloa ’Eiki and Maui Motu’a. But Tokilangafonua, guardian of ’Eua, married his own sister, Hinatu’aifanga, and their children were a pair of Siamese twin sisters, Näfanua and Topukulu. Tokilangafonua fled to Samoa where he resided. Both Näfanua and Topukulu, in searching for their father in Samoa, engaged in incestuous union with him, and from which were bom, female and male, Tafakula and Hemoana’uli’uli, who were in turn married, giving birth to a male child, Lofia. In time, Taufulifonua and Havealolofonua decided to create an island, named Tongamama’o, for their spoiled child, Havea Hikule’o. On arrival there, their parents then divided it amongst the children; Havea Hikule’o possessed Pulotu, while Tangaloa ’Eiki and Maui Motu’a respectively took control of Langi and Maama. Havea Hikule’o, for fear of destroying Maama, was tied with a kafa cord restricting her in Pulotu, with Tangaloa in Langi and Maui Motu’a in Maama holding the opposite ends. Tangaloa ’Eiki, with his wife, Tamapo’uli, lived in Langi with their four sons, Tangaloa Tamapo’ulialamafoa, Tangaloa ’Eitumätupu’a, Tangaloa ’Atulongolongo and Tangaloa Tufunga. Looking down from Langi and seeing nothing in Maama but sea, caused Tangaloa ’Eiki to send out Tangaloa ’Atulongolongo, in the form of a plover, to see if there was land. But all he could see was a reef that later became ’Ata. In reporting his findings, Tangaloa ’Eiki told Tangaloa Tufunga to throw down wood chips from his workshop which then formed ’Eua. In one of his later visits, Tangaloa ’Atulongolongo dropped a seed from his beck on ’Ata; it grew into a creeper covering the island. When he returned next, Tangaloa ’Atulongolongo pecked one of the rotten branches, then out came a huge worm. By pecking the worm, it broke into three parts that became the first Tongan men, Kohai, Koau and Momo. Maui Motu’a, who brought the three men wives from Pulotu, and his children, Maui Loa, Maui Puku and Maui ’Atalanga, with a magical fishhook, then fished up the rest of the Tongan islands, including some in Fiji and Samoa except Manu’a. Through trickery, Maui Kisikisi, also known as Maui Fusifonua, son of Maui ’Atalanga, obtained the secret fishhook from Tonga Fusifonua and his wife, Tonga, at Manu’a in Samoa. Maui Kisikisi, having been considered a deviant, was not allowed in Lolofonua, where stood his father’s plantation, but one day he secretly followed him and found himself there. While in Lolofonua, he was engaged in a physical tussle with his grandfather, Maui Motu’a, the keeper of the source of all fire, over its possession, which Maui Kisikisi won. Despite his father preventing him from taking the fire to Maama, Maui Kisikisi determined to smuggle it on their return, demanding that it enters every tree on Maama. Since then people began to cook their food, which they hitherto had eaten raw. On arrival in Maama Maui Kisikisi found that, because the sky and earth inseparably came so close together, people could not walk upright but bent their backs forward. Maui Kisikisi pushed the langi and maama apart, thus allowing people to walk around freely.

From this, including the family tree diagram I have gotten from the same dissertation, I can start creating without doubting whether it is factual or not.