Oceanic Goddesses

Apakura, Vengeful Mother Brogla, Spirit of Dance 'Eleipaio, Lady Flycatcher
Haumea, Mother of Hawai'i Hi'iaka, Lady of the Hula Hine moa, Passionate Princess
Julunggul, Rainbow Serpent Kura, Falling Flower Magigi, Lady of the Flood
The Mar'rallang, Twin Wives Pele, Fiery Creation Purlimil, Flowers of Blood
Rata, Lady of Inspiration Sinebomatu, Warder of Bwebweso Tei Tituaabine, Mother of Trees

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Apakura, Vengeful Mother

She is a Goddess honored by the Maori of New Zealand. She is one of many mythological mothers Who shaped Their sons for excellence and glory.

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Brogla, Spirit of Dance

Her name means "Native Companion." She is honored by the Aborigines of Australia. A dancer of great fluidity and beauty, She was taken away by the dancers of nature, the Whirlwinds.

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'Eleipaio, Lady Flycatcher

She is a Goddess honored by the Hawaiians, particularly canoe builders. This tale is an example of the intertwining of natural phenomena, human experience and mythology.

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Haumea, Mother of Hawai'i

She is the Mother of Hawaii, Who taught women the correct way to give birth. Her daughters are Pele, the Goddess of Volcanoes, and Hi'iaka, the Goddess of the Hula (both profiled below).

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Hi'iaka, Lady of the Hula

She is honored by the Hawaiians. Her name means "Cloudy One," a reference, perhaps, to the clouds of steam which rise when lava meets sea, or to the clouds of soot which rise when Pele's fire burns the forests.

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Hine moa, Passionate Princess

Hine and Hina are common Goddess names throughout the Pacific; in some cases, the name has become a title, bearing connotations of sacrality, greatness, and femininity. The various Goddesses Hine/Hina worshipped may simply be aspects of one Great Goddess. This particular Hine is honored by the Maori of New Zealand for Her love, determination and bravery.

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Julunggul, Rainbow Serpent

Rainbow serpents are a common motif throughout world mythology, but most particularly in Oceania, Africa and South America; universally, they are associated with immortality/rebirth, rain and water. This rainbow serpent, Julunggul, is a great Goddess of the Aborigines of Australia. She oversees the initiation of adolescent boys into manhood.

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Kura, Falling Flower

Like Kore of Graeco-Roman mythology, Kura fell into the Underworld. Her story is told by the Maori of New Zealand.

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Magigi, Lady of the Flood

In many myths, the world is destroyed in punishment for a great sin; usually, a husband and wife survive to repopulate the earth (sometimes a brother and sister, sometimes more than two people). In the case of this tale from the Caroline Islands, Magigi forsees the flood, and so She and Her husband survive.

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The Mar'rallang, Twin Wives

This Aboriginal story may upset some feminists: it recounts the marriage of two sisters to one man, who were so alike that they bore the same name. The sameness of the sisters, however, may allude actually to a two-season year, a two-sun cosmology, a dual-ruler system, the dichotomy/unity of life and death, and so on. In Greek mythology, the opposite is common: twin brothers (or a father and son, or uncle and nephew) marry the same woman.

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Pele, Fiery Creation

Pele is the most well-known Oceanic Goddess. She is the Goddess of Volcanoes, Lava and Volcanic Fire. She can be both benevolent and malevolent, and appears as a hag or young woman.

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Purlimil, Flowers of Blood

This tragic tale of love and murder comes from Australia. Remember it when next you see a red field of the Flowers of Blood.

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Rata, Lady of Inspiration

Rata is the Goddess of Inspiration honored by the Hawaiians. In a way, Her role is the same as that of the serpent in the Book of Genesis.

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Sinebomatu, Warder of Bwebweso

Her name means "Woman of the Northeast Wind." She is honored by the Dobu of Melanesia as the Doorkeeper of the Land of the Dead.

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Tei Tituaabine, Mother of Trees

She is worshipped by the natives of the Gilbert Islands of Micronesia. She is a Tree Goddess Whose tale is similar to that of Sago Woman (Descent of the Gods chapter). See also Idun (Northern European Goddesses) and Pomona (Graeco-Roman Goddesses).

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