Story: Tangihanga – death customs
This is a carving of Hine-nui-te-pō, the goddess of death, as Māui the demigod attempts to kill her by entering her and exiting through her mouth. Māui failed to overcome Hine-nui-te-pō, meaning humans would continue to die, and be welcomed by their ancestor, the great goddess of the night and of death.
About this item
Alexander Turnbull Library
Photograph by Charles A. Lloyd
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.