Tangaroa – 2 Songs About the God of the Sea

There are many names for the god of the sea, lesser and greater spirits from any place where the people have access to the sea; names as well for the spirits of rivers and lakes, and acknowledgment of the nameless spirits of nearly every pool and spring, no matter how small. This is the way across the whole world, although in some places the names and traditions have been largely lost in the last couple of hundred years, generally alongside industrialisation and/or colonisation.

Luckily, there is both a keeping and a reviving of this knowledge amongst Māori people, and one result of this knowledge is these two amazing songs referencing Tangaroa, god of the sea. The songs are completely different to each other, even though they are using the same subject.

Although my title to the post says Tangaroa – 2 Songs About the God of the Sea I’m not sure “about” is the right word; Tiki Taane’s song is more “about” colonisation (I think), and although Maisey Rika’s seems more straight forward, music is art, so there may be other meanings.

Both songs are in te reo Māori, with a mixture of simple and complex language, and very clearly spoken, so even a beginner should be able to pick out some words and basic phrases. Maisey Rika’s song also has the lyrics and a translation under the “show more”.

Both links below go to YouTube videos.

Tangaroa Whakamautai by Maisey Rika

TANGAROA – God Of The Sea by Tiki Taane



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