Tangaroa fled to the sea when his parents, Ranginui (sky father) and Papatūānuku (earth mother), were separated. There he became the god of the sea, and all that live within it are his children. He is the formidable brother of Tāne, often upsetting his sibling’s domain on land with storms and destructive torments. Māori oral traditions tell us that Tangaroa, with his moody, persuasive character, can be unpredictable and unforgiving to those who fall out of his favour. Known by many names, including Tangaroa-Whakamautai (Tangaroa the controller of tides) and Tangaroa-Whaiariki (Tangaroa the guardian of all seas), the god dominates his world. The knowledge of wood carving comes from Tangaroa’s underwater domain and was brought back to land by the hero Ruatepupuke. Tangaroa continues to provide vital sustenance and resources to humankind.
Ka pūrere a Tangaroa ki te moana i te wehenga o ōna mātua a Ranginui rāua ko Papatūānuku. Ka noho ki reira hei atua o te moana, ka mutu ko ngā kararehe moana katoa ko āna tamariki. Ko ia te teina hautupua o Tāne, i ētahi wā ko āna mahi he karawhiu āwhā pūroro, i ngā haumātakataka hei whakapōrearea i te tuakana i tuawheua. E ai ki ngā kōrero ā-waha Māori, he haumaruru, he whakawhere, he kumukumu, ōna āhuatanga, ka mutu he whakakaitoa ki a rātou i whakahē i āna mahi. Ko ētahi o ōna ingoa ko Tangaroa-Whakamautai, ko Tangaroa- Whaiariki, nōna te mana katoa o tōna ao. Nō te hōhonutanga o te moana o Tangaroa te mātauranga whakairo rākau; he mea haria ki tuawhenua e Ruatepupuke. Nō Tangaroa te mauri o ngā rawa mā tātou te tangata.