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Papa

In Polynesian mythology (specifically: Maori), Papa is the mother Earth, wife of the sky god, Rangi. They had many children, but their embrace (as the Earth and the sky) threatened to crush plants, trees and their offspring, so the other gods (or just Tangaroa) separated them and light first appeared between them. Fog is said to be the sighs of loneliness of Papa, while the dew is the tears of Rangi. Papa gave birth to the ocean as well, when her body, pregnant with water, burst open and filled the seas.

In an alternate myth, Papa was married to Vatea. She gave birth to a calabash which Vatea made into the sky. Alternatively, Papa, a giant bird, laid an egg which became the island Hawaii. Vatea and Papa then lived there as the first man and woman.

Their children include: Haumea, Pere, Rongo, Paikea, Rehua, Tane, Tangaroa, Tawhiri and Tu. The youngest is Ruau-Moko, who has never been born and remains inside his mother's womb. His movements cause earthquakes.


Papa is also the letter P in the NATO phonetic alphabet.



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