Tangaroa’s gift

2 May



I have been working for ‘Rock Ribbons’ lately with N.Z Paua, which I have always loved and I thought I would share with you Maori Legend about Paua

Many centuries ago a sea snail named Paua had no shell to protect itself. One day, Tangaroa, the god of the sea, found out about Paua’s problem and made him a a unique type of overlay. Tangaoa said: “I will take from my domain the coolest blues of the ocean. And ask of my brother Tane the freshest greens of the forest. From the dawn you shall have a tinge of violet. From the sunset a blush of pink. And overall there will be a shimmer of mother of pearl”.

So happened and the god of the sea had created a marvelous coat that sparkled and dazzled with its beauty. Other sea creatures however, were jealous of Paua’s new looks and since Paua’s new overlay was fragile it was soon demolished.

Of course Tangaroa soon found out and reacted by consolidating Paua’s shell with additional layers. These were of the coolest blues of the ocean, the freshest greens of the forest, the violet of the dawn and the pink of the sunset. He completed the shell with a camouflaged coating. This way Paua could blend in with the drab browns and grays of the rocks.

Tangaroa then instructed Paua with the life-long task of adding layer upon delicate layer, each with a different color, hue and blend. So it was that Paua got his shell.

He keeps the secret of his inner beauty to himself and only at the end of his life, when his empty shell washes ashore, his artistry is revealed.

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One Response to “Tangaroa’s gift”

  1. Renee May 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Oh I love that story! Gives so much more meaning behind the colours, adds an extra layer of beauty!

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