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Title: Atua  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Electoral constituencies of Samoa, Hawaii, Tuvalu mo te Atua, Matatufu, Samoa
Collection: Deities, Polynesian Mythology (Multi-Region), Samoan Words and Phrases
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Atua or Akua are the gods and spirits of the Polynesian peoples such as the Māori or the Hawaiians. The Polynesian word literally means power or strength and so the concept is similar to that of mana. Today, it is also used for the monotheistic conception of God. Especially powerful atua included:[1]

  • Rongo – god of agriculture and peace
  • Tane – the creator of all living things such as animals, birds and trees
  • Tangaroa – god of the sea
  • Tu – the god of war
  • Whiro – god of darkness and evil

In Samoa, where atua means "god" in the Samoan language,[2] traditional tattooing was based on the doctrine of tutelary spirits.[3] There is also a district on the island of Upolu in Samoa called Atua.

See also

Notes and references

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