In Māori culture the sea is often considered to be the source and foundation of all life. Islands are fish drawn up from the water, and people evolved from amphibious beginnings. But Tangaroa, god of the sea, can also be destructive. Traditions tell of vengeance wrought by the sea upon those who fall out of favour.
Whakapapa is about knowing who you are and where you belong. Through knowing whakapapa, we gain our identity, history and knowledge about where we come from and where we belong. Māori have both a physical and spiritual relationship to wai. It is the source of connection to wai which can be traced back through geneaology or whakapapa.
Below is a source of links to information and resources about Tangaroa.
All cultures have been fascinated by water – its moods, nature, strength and tranquility. Like fire, water is a crucial life-giving element that is also destructive. Sages have used water to guide and predict human behaviour, or for ritual purposes, believing that its cleansing properties reach beyond the physical plane of human existence.