Tangaloa & Maui, Gods or Men?

Tangaloa & Maui, Gods or Men?


Tangaloa and Maui
The Eyes of Polynesia is Hikule’o (The Voice) which is the God of their spiritual world Pulotu. Who led them to settle Sixteen Million Square Miles of the water in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. On the other hand the Classic Polynesian Eyes are very strong and extremely fast to see the world around them. Polynesians are clever yet suspicious people as they evaluate and absorb their environment. They look at one thing in many different ways. This is why they smile a lot and sometimes laugh at the world they see. Polynesians have the uncanny ability to see others do or make something and then turn around and reproduce the same action or object. This is how they can steal with their eyes. Also, the Polynesian people can interpret and express their ideas and experiences according to what they see in the environment especially the stars, sun, moon, wind, and sea. These eyes of Polynesia are truly unique. This design was also based on the Polynesian Empire’s Maui Kava Bowl design, which encompasses all the Polynesian facets of Religious, Political, Social, and Scientific knowledge.

We had a very successful release of our last article on the ancient practice of Tokatufa throughout Polynesia. Tens of thousands of people have read, shared, tagged our page, and contacted me personally via email.

There were many discussions throughout social media and forums on my article, and many have discussed how Tangaloa was a god and have disputes about his origins. I wish to address these questions; but before we can discuss these important questions, we need to briefly go over how Polynesian history was first recorded and how we developed some of the erroneous ideas about ancient Polynesian history including how many view key ancient Polynesian characters such as Tangaloa, Maui, and many others.

First off, I want to thank all the  missionaries from the 1800’s for the work they did to record our history, especially when compared to the little they knew or understood about ancient Polynesian history. Our responsibility as Polynesians is to take the work of the early missionaries and correct any errors in their records due to their lack of understanding of ancient Polynesian religion, science, society, and politics.

There are too many modern-day Polynesian historians and Ph.D’s in the academic world who are approaching Polynesian history with the same mistakes that plagued the early missionaries’ records. In other words, both early missionaries and modern-day historical academia view, interpret, and express their understanding of ancient Polynesian history through a western view, interpretation, and expression. I describe this issue as looking at Polynesian history through “Western Eyes” rather than through “Polynesian Eyes”.

The modern Polynesian historian almost exclusively base and express their views, interpretations, and expressions on the efforts of the early missionaries and, therefore, inherit the mistakes and misconceptions that plagued the missionaries’ historical records as well.

There may be countless reasons why current Polynesian historians have done this, but I suspect that the major reasons are that:


  1.  Too many are not willing or able to put in the mental and emotional time and effort to dig up this history. This is true because such an undertaking would require a lifetime of commitment to re-store Polynesian history as it truly was and is.
  2. Too many are not willing to pay the financial sacrifice required to fund a lifetime of work, which requires a significant financial commitment to fund research, experiments, and travels throughout the world.


This is why my non-profit foundation is called Polynesian Eyes. It is a non-profit foundation that reveals ancient Polynesian history through the “Eyes of a Polynesian.”

When I first presented my work to King Tupou IV, he saw the importance of restoring our history through the “eyes of a polynesian.” Tupou IV in 1986, charged me to complete this work for these reasons:


  1. Because of my unique relationship to Ancient Tonga through my ancestors who are buried throughout the Langi’s in my home town of Mu’a.
  2. The traditional education I received through Kaliloa & Tanoa from the elders and leaders of Mu’a the ancient capital of Tonga. It is my education via Kaliloa and Tanoa that I am able to see history through Polynesian Eyes rather than through Western Eyes.
Kaliloa the first and most important education or schooling one receives is directly from the family. Represented by a mother’s arm.
The Kali is a representation of the Kaliloa, the most important education or schooling in Polynesian culture.








The history and knowledge behind the design and astronomical significance of the Kava Bowl is one of the many pieces of Polynesia's history that was lost.
Tanoa is education around the Kava Bowl knowledge in one’s culture regarding poltical, religious, scientific, and social knowledge.

With the necessary background of where the current errors of ancient Polynesian history come from, we can now return to the question at hand.

Who is Tangaloa and where does he come from?

  1. To the  lower right we have  one picture showing two types of langi. The first being a Langi of Tangaloa / Tu’i Tonga a physical structure and the second langi meaning sky. Tangaloa, Maui Gods My question is which Langi is Tu’i Manu’a’s father, Tangaloa, from? Langi the Earth Pyramid or Langi the Sky? Western Eyes will say langi as in sky because they are looking at history through a western view. My Polynesian Eyes, based off of my traditional education and the blood that flows in my veins, will choose Langi the Earth Pyramid. Why is this my choice? Because when I die, just like my ancestors for many generations before me, I will be buried in Langi. Am I a god or myth? No, I am real, I am a man just like everyone else. For more information read my article on Tangaloa and Langi. 
  2. Tangaloa and Maui, as well, were not gods. They were ancient Polynesian titles that were held by mere mortals, but they held positions of respect, knowledge, and power throughout Polynesia. This is the reason why many have mistakenly thought they were gods because academia blindly accepted the “western eyes” of the early missionaries in recording Polynesian history. The missionaries incorrectly chose to see Langi the home of Tangaloa as sky rather than the earth pyramid. This error is because the Western Eyes could not accept that a so called uncivilized savage people could have complex knowledge and technology that was beyond the knowledge and technology of the Western World. For more information on this read my article on “Lotu”.


So we see that Tangaloa is a title held by a mortal man and that he lived in Langi. There is only one place in the world in which one can find Langis, and that is in the Kingdom of Tonga. Can we find descendants of Tangaloa in Samoa? Yes, but Tangaloa resided in Langi, in Tonga. More information can be found in my Tangaloa and Langi Article.


While we are here, we need to recognize the relationship that Polynesians have with other civilizations around the world. Tonga has a relationship with other civilizations that are referred to as mound builders. It is commonly thought of in the academic world to trace Polynesian origins through the Lapita pottery that is tracked throughout the Pacific.

We recognize that Lapita pottery is found throughout Polynesia, as this is primarily driven by the vast reach of the Polynesian Empire and the vast trading that stretched to almost every corner of the Pacific Ocean. So it expected that we would find traces of Southeast Asian pottery throughout Polynesia, but to base a whole theory of origination on this has many weaknesses as pottery would be a common trading item when Polynesians came in contact with Southeast Asian peoples.

However, a more significant evidence of the origins of Polynesians is the overwhelming evidence that Polynesians are mound builders. On Tongatapu alone, a land mass of approximately 99 square miles, we find over 10,000 man-made sias or mounds. Mounds are a higher indication of a people’s culture and origin as this knowledge and practice is unique, especially when we find tens of thousands of mounds within a small area.

The evidence of mound builders connects Tonga to civilizations in the Americas. So the Tangaloas and subsequently the Tu’i Tongas are an extension of the mound builders from the Americas as the Americas have hundreds of thousands possibly millions of mounds built throughout North and South America.

Mound Builders
One of my maps tracking the global trek of mound builders throughout the world. Polynesians are part of this great international group of people who are found throughout the world known as mound builders. This map not only shows the trek of mound builders but also the unique navigational view of Polynesians, where South is at the top as the primary direction and north at the bottom.


Tangaloa, Maui Gods or Men?


7 thoughts on “Tangaloa & Maui, Gods or Men?

  1. Daniel Pouesi

    Thank you so much for shedding light on the subject of Tagaloa. Really refreshing to hear a Pacific scholar present the facts with boldness and clarity. Looking forward to reading more of your research. Take care and God bless.

    1. tualaufale

      Thank you for your support….Keep an eye out for our next series of articles that will be released soon!!

  2. Donna Naupoto

    Malo aupito for the awesome education as I am more fascinated than ever before to truly understand my history as a Tongan Polynesian. I pray for your health and that your continue with your compassion to ensure that our history is never misconstrued in any manner. My mom is from Mua, Matelita Houa, father Tui Houa.
    God bless.

  3. KepVaimoana Taimani

    So glad that our history is finally benign told the correct way. Very happy too see this and hope that more is too come. My father is also from Mu’a. Sepeti Manoa Taimani. Tu’a ofa atu.

  4. Malia

    Wow!! Amazing reads, I’m stuck on your page. Malo aupito ae fakamafola ae mo’oni

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