ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Creatures and Characters in Oceanic Mythology

Updated on February 23, 2018
VerityPrice profile image

Verity is simultaneously pursuing a physics degree and a teaching degree. In her spare time, she likes to cook and play video games.

Avatea - Cook Islands

In the Mangaian myth of origin Avatea was the first man, as he grew he became a hybrid with the right half of his body being a man and the left half being fish. Avatea's eyes are said to be the sun and the moon, making him a lunar deity, and was known as the god of light. This god contrasts with Avaiki which is an underworld associated with darkness.

Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stone_carving_in_Rarotonga,_Cook_Islands.jpg#/media/File:Stone_carving_in_Rarotonga,_Cook_Islands.jpg
Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stone_carving_in_Rarotonga,_Cook_Islands.jpg#/media/File:Stone_carving_in_Rarotonga,_Cook_Islands.jpg | Source

Menehune - Hawaii

In Hawaiian mythology the Menehune are small dwarf-like peoples who live deep in forests and hidden valleys, far from human eyes. Said to have arrived in Hawai'i before the Polynesia settlers, the Menehune are attributed as having incredible crafting skills; building temples, houses and roads. No physical evidence of these early settlers has ever been found, however some early scholars theorise that the Menehune could have been settlers from the Marquesas Islands who fled to the mountains to live when oppressed by new settlers from Tahiti.

A depiction of the Menehune, by Deviantart user Butterfrog
A depiction of the Menehune, by Deviantart user Butterfrog | Source

Night Marchers - Hawaii

In Hawaiian mythology the Night Marchers are ghosts of ancient dead warriors. They can be found marching in areas where large battles once took place. It is said that the Night Marchers are looking for recruits, so anyone who looks into the eyes of marcher will be forced to join them and march forever. You can be saved from this fate if a family member is taken by them instead. Legend says that if you find yourself in the presence of Night Marchers you should lay very still on the floor, face down, and hold your breath; but the Night Marchers will nudge you to try and provoke a reaction.

Patupaiarehe - New Zealand

Patupaiarehe are pale spirits belonging to Māori mythology. These beings are exclusive to hilly and mountainous regions and reside in deep forests. They can be identified by the sounds of singing and ethereal flute music. Another name for the Patupaiarehe is Urukehu which translates as 'Red Heads'.

Rainbow Serpent - Australia

The Rainbow Serpent is a deity found in the mythology of Aboriginal Australia. It is named not due to its colouring but its shape. When a rainbow is seen in the sky it is said that the Rainbow Serpent was moving from one watering hole to another. Due to its strong connection with water the Rainbow Serpent is seen as a life giver and a creator god, though when angry can be forceful and destructive. It is said that the Rainbow Serpent lived below the surface of the Earth but as it pushed upwards to get to the sky it created mountains and gorges. It is seen as an androgynous entity with it being described as many different genders and hermaphroditic across multiple accounts. The inspiration for the Rainbow Serpent is thought to be a very large snake from the prehistoric Madtsoiidae family, which is now extinct.

Source

Taniwha - New Zealand

The Taniwha are beings from Māori mythology which live in deep pools, dark caves or dangerous seas. In some traditions they are seen as protective guardians; giving warnings the people of oncoming attackers, but in others then are seen as dangerous and predatory. When at sea they appear as a whale or shark, when in more inland waters they appear as a gecko. The Taniwha can also appear as a floating log. Human relationships with the Taniwha are complex, some are cordial with the Taniwha saving peoples lives. Others are violet with great battles being fought between the two. There are some incidences of humans who have had relations with Taniwha and then becoming one themselves when they died.

A depiction of the Taniwha
A depiction of the Taniwha | Source

Wondjina - Australia

The Wondjina in Aboriginal mythology were cloud and rain spirits who created the landscape and its inhabitants. It was said that when they found the place they would die, they would paint their images on cave walls and enter a nearby waterhole. To ensure the arrival of monsoon rains certain people of the Mowanjum tribes will repaint the images annually. This has been happing for so long that in places the paint is over 40 layers deep. The Wandjina's common colours and black, yellow and red on a white background. Each site and painting has a name and is always approached with care and respect as they are thought to still retain the powers of the Wondjina.

 Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wandjina_rock_art.jpg#/media/File:Wandjina_rock_art.jpg
Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wandjina_rock_art.jpg#/media/File:Wandjina_rock_art.jpg | Source
5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of Creatures and Characters in Oceanic Mythology

What do you think?

Which mythology mentioned do you think has the most interesting creatures/characters?

See results

© 2015 VerityPrice

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • VerityPrice profile imageAUTHOR

      VerityPrice 

      2 years ago from UK

      Thank you so much :D I am glad that you found it interesting :) x

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This is an interesting hub Verity. Being Australian and part of Oceania I was particularly drawn to the subject. I have an interest in mythical creatures and cryptozoology and have written one hub about mythical creatures of Australian folklore. Thank you for sharing this.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)