Disputatio:Rangi

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Rangi non Langi[fontem recensere]

Why is this page called Langi - Rangi is the Māori sky god - in other Polynesian languages, Langi probably just means sky. You should be careful not to attribute as 'Polynesian' what belongs to a small subset of Polynesian cultures. Polynesia is diverse, not uniform. Kahuroa 09:37, 29 Maii 2008 (UTC)

I suggested calling it Langi in speculation that Langi will prove the best ultimate Latin spelling. If the god in question stems from Proto-Polynesian times, the reconstructed spelling in Proto-Polynesian would be *Langi (or, in various typographies, *Laŋi and *La9i), not the Aotearoa variant (Rangi), or the Tahitian one (Laʻi), or the Samoan one (-lagi). For now, let's call it Rangi if you like; and we'll see where investigation leads, when time becomes available. Thanks for the information! ¶ Similarly with Papa. ¶ The notion that the universe was an earth-mother embraced by a sky-father, whom their offspring separated, is so widespread it may well go back several thousand years, long before Proto-Polynesians had migrated beyond Samoa and differentiated into the currently known Polynesians. Kirtley's index cites motif #A625—"World parents: sky-father and earth-mother as parents of the universe"—as having been attested most clearly from East Polynesia: the Tuamotus, the Marquesas, the Society Islands, the Cook Islands, Tongareva, Niue, the Chatham Islands, and New Zealand. To these, his motif #A625.2—"Raising of the sky. Originally the sky is near the earth (usually because of the conjunction of the sky-father and earth-mother)"—adds additional attestations from East Polynesia (Mangareva & Hawaiʻi) and fresh attestations from West Polynesia: Tonga, Samoa, Nauru, ʻUvea, Ellice Islands, Tikopia, Bellona, Rennell, Ontong Java, and Nukumanu. In all, that's practically everywhere in Polynesia—a distribution that implies great cultural depth for this bit of cosmology. ¶ Langi is of course the PPN term for 'caelum', so its indigenous interpretation as deus caeli is perfectly natural & obvious. The ancient Romans did something similar: they had a god, Caelus, which accommodated in his person the functions of the sky. In Samoa, the concept survives in this connection as part of the compound noun Tagaloalagi (recte Tagaloālagi vel Tagaloa-a-lagi), referring to Tagaloa—the Proto-Polynesian *Tangaloa—in his aspect as creator of the world, apparently combining in one form the primordial attributes taken separately in Aotearoa as Rangi and his son Tangaroa. ¶ In the Cook Islands, the creation involved several agents, including a sky-father, Vatea, an earth-mother, Papa, and their children Tangaroa & Rongo (Gill 1876:1-109)—names familiar from all over East Polynesia. Samoa has a myth in which Tagaloa-a-lagi brings forth life from Papa by striking it, and a myth in which the genealogy of trees goes back to a primal boy, named Papa-ʻele, and a primal girl, named Papa-sosolo. One sees how, in Tagaloa-a-lagi and these other forms, the functional aspect of each figure gets added to the basic noun as a suffixed noun-phrase—a process seen in Aotearoa in Tu-te-wehiwehi & Tu-te-wanawana and in Hawaiʻi in (the "same" fundamental deity, PPN or PEP *Tū?) Ku-aliʻi, Ku-kona, Ku-nui-akea and so on. These concepts and their names are exceedingly slippery! Dixon may have clarified all this long ago, but I don't have his book at hand. ¶ In view of the foregoing considerations, the current definition—"Papa in mythologia Maoriana est terra et prima mater"—though it's true so far as it goes, looks too particular & restricted to give the whole truth of the matter. IacobusAmor 12:33, 29 Maii 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks for so many words, but the fact remains that the god Langi has not been reconstructed to Proto-Polynesian, nor has Papa, and nor are they likely to be since they do not occur in the key languages that would enable such a reconstruction to be made. Kahuroa 05:11, 30 Iulii 2008 (UTC)