Ranginui and Papatuanuku, Cheyanne Bennett, 2016


A retelling: Since the beginning of time Rangi and Papa, the primordial parents, had been locked together in an eternal embrace. The children of their union, forced to live in the cramped space between their parents, grew weary of their confinement and conspired among themselves to separate their parents from one another in order that they may live fuller lives. After much deliberation, Tane, God of the forests,  uses his brute strength to tear his parents apart.

Rangi is exiled to the heavens, bereft of his beloved wife and children. His tears fall forever from the sky to remind the his wife of his eternal grief. Nourished by her husband’s tears, Papa cultivates the fruits of the earth and reaches towards the heavens. But it is only through their separation that there children can thrive, the earth can be filled with life and light, and that the circle of life can continue unbroken.