In Maori legend, Taranga is the mother of the god Maui and her husband is named Makeatutura. When Maui is born prematurely, Taranga wraps his body in her hair and throws him into the waves. In the ensuing years, sea-creatures care for Maui, hiding him in the sea coral and kelp until one day following a fierce storm Maui washed onto the beach. There on the shoreline his ancestor named Tama-nui-a-rangi retrieves him and brings him back from the brink of death. There on the beach Tama-nui-a-rangi educates Maui in the ways of the world.
After this, Maui wanders into his mother’s village and his brother recognises him. His mother Taranga doesn’t remember who he is until Māui reminds her of the circumstances of his birth. Each morning, Taranga would disappear. And Maui became curious about her whereabouts. He eventually follows Taranga into the underworld by assuming the shape of a kereru (wood pigeon). Maui discovered his mother Taranga with his father Makeatutara – they are both guardians of the underworld. Taranga introduces Maui to his father and he performs a karakia (ritual prayer) over his son. However Makeatutara makes some errors in the incantation, and so Maui is fated to die. This is why humankind is mortal.