Maui has many meanings in different cultures. In Hawaiian, it means the god of fire and in Maori it means magic.
Yet, the name Maui was given to Hawaii island because of its beautiful beaches and clear blue waters.
There are various meanings to the word Maui, and the name has gained meaning since the release of the Disney film Moana in 2016.
In this article, we are discussing what does Maui mean in different languages and cultures.
Maui is believed to be a hero and a trickster throughout Polynesian and Hawaiian mythology. He was never really worshiped, as he was more of a folk hero than a deity.
The origins of Maui differ from each culture, however his main exploits are quite similar. Stories of his adventures are told throughout Polynesian and Hawaiian mythology.
Some of his common tales are about stealing fire from the underworld for humans, or capturing the sun to make the days longer, or fishing islands with his magical hook.
There is a variation of what Maui looks like in different cultures, some say he was a wise old man, while others saw him as a handsome young man.
In Samoan and Tahitian mythology, Maui is a wise man that gave fire to his people.
Even though there are links to Polynesian traditions, Maui is mostly used in Hawaiian speaking countries.
Maui In Hawaiian Mythology
The name Maui is a combination of two words, mai meaning “to flow” or “to move”, and ui, which means “the sun”.
The name thus literally translates as “one who moves with the sun”. It’s believed that the name was given by the gods after they created the first man from the body parts of birds.
According to legend, Maui was born on the island of Oahu. He was raised by his grandmother, Laka, who taught him all about fishing and canoe building.
When he grew up, he became an expert at using magic tricks and charms to get food for himself and others.
One day, while out fishing, he noticed a young woman named Hina (or Hinale) swimming towards shore.
Maui decided to help her, but when she reached land, she turned into stone.
Maui then used his magical powers to turn her back into human form. Afterward, Maui married her and had children with her.
This story is similar to one told in the myth of Pele, another important figure in Hawaiian mythology. However, there are some differences between these stories.
For example, in Pele’s case, she was not transformed into stone; instead, she was engulfed by lava. In Maui’s case, however, he did transform her into stone.
This may have been due to the fact that Maui was a demigod, whereas Pele was a goddess.
Another difference is that Maui married Hina, while Pele was only briefly engaged to a mortal man before marrying Kilauea, her husband.
Maui, is also named after an island known also as The Valley Isle. This is the second-largest Hawaiian island.
The Hawaiian country of Maui is actually made up of 4 islands: Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Kahoolawe.
Together they form a landmass known as the Great Maui, which is visited by thousands of tourists every year.
Maui In Maori Mythology
In New Zealand, Maui is known as Māui. His mother was Hine-nui-te-pō, also known as Hine-titama uri. She was the daughter of Tangaroa, the God of the Sea.
Maui was born during the night, and his father gave birth to him with a fish’s tail. His parents were so proud of him that they placed him in the sky where he could watch over them.
When Maui was old enough, he went down to earth to see if he could find any adventures. He found a giant crab, which attacked him.
Maui fought back until he killed the crab. Then, he took its shell and made it into a boat.
He sailed around the world until he came upon the island of Rarotonga. There, he met a beautiful maiden named Tane, who was the daughter of the chief.
Maui fell in love with her, but she refused to marry him because he was a foreigner. Maui then went on to travel alone.
Maui In Popular Culture
In recent years, the interest in Maui has grown since a character named Maui appeared in the 2016 Disney film Moana.
He is shown as a demigod with his trustworthy magical hook that appears in all the myths about him.
Yet in the film, the hook allows him to shape-shift. While in the myths, the hooks help him to pull up islands or stop the sun.
Maui has many meanings in different cultures. Yet a lot of these meanings come from the myths that this name comes from.
Maui is a magical name of a hero who has many adventures as he tries to help people around the Hawaiian islands. There is even a popular island named Maui as well.
We hope this article has given a better understanding of what Maui means and the stories that surround this name.