In Māori tradition, light was a primal generative force which illuminated Te Pō, the darkness, and so created the world. This whakapapa (genealogical chart) shows the successive stages of darkness and light. It was given to the historian James Cowan by members of the Ngāti Maniapoto tribe at the beginning of the 20th century.
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Source: James Cowan, The Maoris of New Zealand. Christchurch: Whitcombe & Tombs, 1910, p. 104