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Home  |  Animals   |  Oceanian Animals   |  Polynesian Animals   |  Maori Animals   |  Ika-Roa : The Giant Fish

Ika-Roa : The Giant Fish

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At a glance

Description
Origin Maori Mythology
Classification Animals
Family Members Kohu (Husband)
Region New Zealand
Associated With Milky Way

Ika-Roa

Introduction

According to Maori mythology, Ika Roa is a celestial entity resembling a long fish residing in the Milky Way. Revered as the mother goddess and the progenitor of all stars, Ika Roa is also considered an adornment to the Sky God. In this version of the myth, the Milky Way is depicted as the offspring resulting from the union of Earth and Sky, under the guardianship of Ika Roa and Ikanui. The familial constellation of Ika Roa and Ikanui includes prominent celestial members such as Puanga, Atutahi, and Mata-riki, who not only grace the sky but also provide essential supplies to the earthly realm. Additionally, Rehua is attributed with the responsibility of ripening all fruits.

Physical Traits

Ika roa was characterized as an elongated fish, resembling the modern nurse or thresher shark in appearance.

Family

Ika Roa, the spouse of Kohu and mother to all the stars, including Nga Whetu, was wedded to Kohu, the offspring of Toko-pa, one of the Pillars of Heaven.

Other names

“Ika-Roa” serves as an alternative designation for the Milky Way. The elongated shark was called “Mangoroa” or “Mangoroa i ata,” signifying a long shark in the early dawn. It is also recognized by names such as Ika, Te Ika-roa, or Ika-o-te-Rangi, representing the Galaxy or Milky Way.

Powers and Abilities

Ika Roa is among those responsible for overseeing the seasons and is considered symbolic of the Milky Way. Tama-rerereti and Te Ikaroa were entrusted with guiding the whanau riki, colloquially translating to little suns. Occasionally, some family members would stray from their elders and face consequences, earning them the moniker “mata-kokiri,” signifying “the darting ones” or meteors.

Modern Day Influence

The trajectory of stars and traditional Maori astronomy was significantly shaped by the position of Ika Roa, although its relevance has diminished in the present day. The narratives surrounding the Milky Way are deeply interwoven with the myths of the region, chiefly due to the Maori being a seafaring culture heavily dependent on stars for navigation.

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Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.