Te Pito o Watea – “The Creation of First Light”
It was Tane who was responsible for the distribution of Te Whanau Marama – the stars. Tane’s role as the creator of the night skies is told in a number of stories.
Tane is said to have visited his brother Tangotango to congratulate him on the brilliance of his children – the sun, moon and stars. Tane asked Tangotango if he could take these bright offspring to provide light between their separated parents, Ranginui and Papatuuaanuku. But Tangotango was unsure allowing only Hinatore (phosphorescent light) to go. Tane placed Hinatore against Ranginui and a silver light altered the darkness.
Tane next asked for and recieved the stars, and a dim light soon spread from Ranginui and filled our world.
This painting is based on this legend. Tangotango is seen in the forefront of the piece. He is seen as an atua or godlike figure and is creating the stars. As the stars are made, a dim light is produced and light emerges from the darkness between the creators of our world Ranginui and Papatuuaanuku.