Which atua is the angry one? All of them, it's complex..

Alright, back into it! It’s gonna be a little different to the first series of following one atua each moon cycle and observing their different expressions over the 4-5 weeks - instead we’ll be covering a specific kaupapa (themes) over the cycle and how the various atua link into it and so on. We’ll see how it goes, but get excited, it’s gonna be epic. Anyway, atua.

Our oldest tupuna (ancestors), personifications of our natural environmental and each of whom gave expressions of themselves to the first woman, Hineahuone (the Earth-formed Maiden) at Kurawaka.

Cool, now we’ve established that, let’s play a game.

Which atua would you describe as the angry one? Placid? Calculated? Extroverted? Calm? Ambitious? Evil? Good? Sad? Which atua first comes to mind?

Now, reflect on yourself and think - which one are you? Are you the angry one? Placid? Calculated? Extroverted? Reserved? Ambitious? Evil? Good? Sad? Or something else? Orrrrrrrr are you a mix of everything and go through different phases, or you can switch from one to the other depending on who you’re with, where you are and what you’re doing? Do you express all of those attributes in your own way?

For example, when I’m angry, like not annoyed or frustrated, when I’m properly angry, I go quiet. I shut down, keep to myself and don’t want to be around other people or want them around me, for that matter. Meanwhile, others might yell, scream and cause a scene (hey that rhymes) and physically express their inner feelings and thoughts. Maybe you have another way of letting it out?

We all express anger in our own way - just like atua.

Eg. Remember when Tāwhiri (atua of the wind) got so angry, like FURIOUS, that he plucked his eyes out and cast them into the sky?* Or what about when Tūmatauenga took revenge on his brothers for not having his back and proceeded to eat their offspring?° Or even when Tangaroa kidnapped his great-great-grandson and put him on his whare (meeting house) because he got angry about his name being used without permission?^

But hang on a second, Tāwhiri isn’t gusting all the time and is actually gentle and calm most of the time (exc. Wellington lol). And Tūmātauenga, being the personification of war, well.. war requires strategy and sound mind to consider all different attack/defence options, so he can’t be angry all the time.. and as for Tangaroa, I’m sure we’ve all been to the beach at least once and we may as well have been at the lake…

What I’m trying to say is, atua are complex and multi-faceted.

They’re not like the smurfs where there’s one who embodies one emotion - they have their range and express themselves in their own way, rather than fit our prescription of ‘this label for this atua’ and ‘this for that one..’ so keep that in mind when you’re observing the natural environment or even yourself and other people to try and workout which atua you/they might be channeling at any given time…

Tēnā tātou,


*Origins of Matariki (Pleiades).

°Origins of eating.

^Origins of whakairo (carving).