Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": POLYNESIAN THEOGONY AND COSMOGONY

(SOCIETY ISLANDS)


Ta'aroa (Tangararoa) is the Supreme Being, the noncreated Creator of the universe. He came forth from a shell (Rumia), which later became the world.


Ta'aroa was the ancestor of all the gods; he made everything. From time immemorial was the great Ta'aroa, Tahi-tumu (The-origin). Ta-aroa developed himself in solitude; he was his own parent, having no father and no mother. . .
Ta'aroa sat in his shell in darkness from eternity. The shell was like an egg revolving in endless space, with no sky, no land, no sea, no moon, no stars. All was darkness, it was continuous thick darkness. . . . The record then proceeds to describe Ta'aroa's breaking his shell, which became the sky, his swimming in empty space and retirement into a new shell which, after he had again emerged. . . he took. . . . for the great foundation of the world, for stratum rock and for soil for the world.

And the shell Rumia that he opened first, became his house, the dome of the god's sky, which was a confined sky, enclosing the world then forming


E.S. Craighill Handy, Polynesian Religion, Bernice P.Bishop Museum Bulletin 34 (Honolulu 1927), pp 11-12

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