Immortal Maui Picture

The idea behind this design was to challenge the classic Myth of Maui's fate at the hands of the Underworld. There is much notation speaking of the journeys of Maui and his existence in the Pacific. All speak of his imminent journey toward death.

His tale in Aotearoa holds poetic beauty as he defies what is expected of Man. He sees death as an insult to our dignity as these evolved sentient beings, so he dared to wish for more for his kind, his people, and himself.

" [Maui] did not wish men to die but to live forever. Death appeared degrading and an insult to the dignity of man. Man ought to die like the moon, which dips in the life-giving waters of Kane and is renewed again, or like the sun, which daily sinks into the pit of night and with renewed strength rises in the morning."

Maui's journey sent him into the realm of the underworld as his companion of birds waited at the entrance for his return. One being the fantail. Before Maui had entered the cave he'd explicitly told his companions "You must not make any sound while I journey here, as you will wake up the Goddess of Death, Hine Nui Te Po." After an extended period of time, Maui grew closer and closer to the heart of the underworld, where he expected to find the key to eternal life.

His bird companions waited excitedly in anticipation

In a flutter of tu meke excitement the Fantail trilled laughter at the prospect of immortality. This volley of sound disturbed and awoke the Goddess of Death Hine Nui Te Po. Angered by the invasion she ordered the gates to the Underworld closed, trapping and supposedly killing Maui.

Where things get interesting is an idea in many Maui Death tales. There is often this interest in the revival, renewal and resurrection of a beings life force. Much like the rising and falling of the moon or the phoenix, man should be renewed again and again for eternity and ultimately attaining immortality.

In a new graphic novel we're currently working on Maui sacrifices himself, once at the heart of the Underworld at the will of a Tohunga, in order to train and learn in the Underworld the many ways of growing his own wairua and spirit.

The image depicted above is of the return of Maui to the land of the living. He has returned with many new kete, new technology, trains of thought and life and death lessons that he has earned in the timeless Underworld. He has overcome death, reached the immortal status and stands above all as an enlightened being, willing to teach and grow the minds of Man to attain a state of consciousness above their own.

As his most recent pupils we here at Maui Studios continue on the will of Immortal Maui and inspire the new myths of tomorrow.

Kia Ora


Continue Reading: Sun