Pacific Islands - Son of Tawhaki and Tahiti Tokerau. Son of Wahieroa, some say. His father was killed by the demon Matuku and Rata avenged his death by snaring and decapitating the demon. In another version, he killed Matuku by throwing hot coals into the giant's mouth. His efforts to make a dugout canoe were frustrated by spirits of the forest who restored every tree that he felled until he made proper sacrifices to Tane, the forest-god. Then the spirits made a cane, Niwaru, for him. When his mother was abducted by Puna, he rescued her and killed Puna but his father was killed by Puna's lizards. In one version Matuku was a great shark and Rata recovered his father's body from the stomachs of the lizards and his head from the belly of the shark. Rata himself was cut to pieces by the lizards. When his father (or grandfather) led souls across the rainbow bridge to meet their ancestors in the land of spirits, Rata followed in his canoe. In some versions, Rata is said to be the son of Wahieroa and grandson of Tawhaki. Sometimes referred to as Rata, Samoan Lata or Samoan Lata.

Nearby Myths