Within this unique volume are 15 legends of Maui. Legends like MAUI THE FISHERMAN, MAUI LIFTING THE SKY, MAUI SNARING THE SUN and twelve more captivating stories and tales from the Polynesian people of antiquity.

There are three centres for these legends, New Zealand in the south, Hawaii in the north, and the Tahitian group in the east. In each of these groups of islands, separated by thousands of miles, there are the same legends, told in almost the same way, and with very little variation in names. Adventures from the great voyages of discovery carry fragments and hints of wonderful deeds.

They are not only different from the myths of other nations, but they are unique in the character of the actions recorded. Maui's deeds rank in a higher class than most of the mighty efforts of the demi gods of other nations and races, and are usually of more utility. The Maoris of New Zealand claim Maui as an ancestor of their most ancient tribes and class him as one of the most ancient of their gods, calling him "creator of land" and "creator of man" sometimes "the sun himself," "the solar fire," and the "the sun god," while his mother Hina was called "the moon goddess." The Maui legends are full of helpful imaginations, which are distinctly and uniquely Polynesian in nature.

NOTE: MAUI (Ma-u-i, Ma-oo-e) is a demi god. His name derives from Mohyi meaning "causing to: live" or "life," applied sometimes to the gods and sometimes to chiefs as "preservers and sustainers" of their followers. The Maui story probably contains a larger number of unique and ancient myths than that of any other legendary character in the mythology of any nation. They also form one of the strongest links in the mythological chain of evidence which binds the scattered inhabitants of the Pacific into one nation. They possess remarkable antiquity.