Story: Ranginui – the sky

Mahuika and her fingernails of fire

Mahuika and her fingernails of fire

In one tradition Auahi-roa (a comet) married Mahuika – goddess of fire and the grandmother of Māui. Their children were the fingernails of fire on Mahuika’s hand. Years later, Māui retrieved the fingernails and planted them in the trees used for making fire. This image is by Peter Gossage.

Using this item

Penguin Random House
Reference: Peter Gossage, How Maui found the secret of fire: Te kiteanga o te kaapura. Auckand: Lansdowne Rigby, 1984.
Artwork by Peter Gossage

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Ranginui – the sky - Other members of the family of light', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/5185/mahuika-and-her-fingernails-of-fire (accessed 13 August 2022)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 12 Jun 2006