Papatuanuku, mother earth. In Māori tradition, Papatūānuku is the land. She is a mother earth figure who gives birth to all things, including people. Trees, birds and people are born from the land, which then nourishes them. Some traditions say that the land first emerged from under water. In the Māori creation story, Papatūānuku had many children with Ranginui, the sky father. Their children pushed them apart to let in the light.