Maori Tales of Long Ago is a fresh facsimile edition of a classic collection of sixteen stories adapted from Maori mythology for a young readership. The tales were originally published by A.W. & A.H. Reed during the late 1940s in two hardback volumes, Maori Tales of Long Ago and Wonder Tales of Maoriland. Best-sellers of their time, they gave a generation of New Zealand children a lyrical introduction to the world of Maori mythology.
The creation myth of Maori legend is simply told in Peter's stunning, illustrative style. Bold design and brief text introduce the struggle of the children of Rangi and Papa as they try to part their parents and bring light to the world.
Faced with too short days and long nights Maui comes up with a plan to slow the sun's passage through the sky. With the help of his brothers, Maui sets out for the home of the sun to catch it and make it move more slowly.
Among the fourteen stories from around New Zealand are old favourites like Maui and the Fish; Paikea and the Whale; Tutanekai and Hinemoa; Ngatoroirangi; Rona and the Moon; and Maui and the Sun. Each story is told across two pages, with text of about 250 words accompanied by a large, colourful illustration by Warren Pohatu. Both in his ebullient artwork and his energetic retelling of the tales, Pohatu succeeds in bringing tradition stories of the Maori to life for a young audience.
In the legend, Hinemoa lives by Lake Rotorua and Tutanekai on the island, Mokoia. Hinemoa falls in love when Tutanekai plays the flute, but Hinemoa's father considers him unsuitable. They vow to be together, and every night on the island,Tutanekai plays his flute to guide Hinemoa to him. With no canoe, Hinemoa must swim the lake with mystical creatures in it to be with Tutanekai. The book is available in Maori and English language versions.
Hiriwa, a new calf, is warned by the pod of Maui’s dolphins about the dangers of going near the dark shapes (fishing boats). Hiriwa heeds their warning until one day the bottom-set gillnet from a fishing trawler catches his friends. He does all he can to save them.