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Ranginui (Sky father) and Papatuanuku (Earth mother) were lovers. Their embrace was such, there was no light or space between them. They were separated by their children, who could not tolerate the conditions, and light and life entered the world.
However such was the love of Ranginui and Papatuanuku that their sadness and pain caused continuous rain ( tears from Ranginui ) and floods and night returned with the mists that rose from Papatuanuku.
The children had to then turn her onto her belly so she could not see Ranginui and he could no longer gaze at her and to ease the heartbreak they had caused their parents and the deluge upon the earth. This painting is called Hoki mai kotahi ano, which means returning together as one again. The intent was to show her waiting for him.