The mythological origins of Maori society, begins with the creation myth of Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatuanuku, the earth mother.
Ranginui and Papatuanuku prevented light from reaching the world because of their close embrace, and their offspring lived in a world of darkness and ignorance between the bodies of their parents. Their children plotted against their parents in order to let light into the world. It is said that some of the sons decided that their situation could be remedied only if they separated their parents, so that Ranginui would be pushed up to become the sky and Papatuanuku remain as their Earth. They set about their task. Tane was one of the sons who finally rendered them apart by resting his shoulders upon Papatuanuku and thrusting his legs upwards and pushing Ranginui to the sky.
By this separation of Rangi and Papa, the world of light and existence came into being.