Two legends assigned for September 10th class on Jungian use of symbols and its relevance to therapy:
Selections from Maui cycle of legends
Before the events that are related in this story the days were shorter than they are and the nights were longer. Maui, with the help of his brothers, altered this to man’s advantage
How Maui Made The Sun Slow DownOne day Maui said to his wife: ‘Light a fire and cook some food for me.’ She did so, but no sooner had she heated her cooking stones in the earth-oven than thhe sun went down, and they had to eat their food in the dark. This set Maui to thinking how the days might be made longer. It was his opinion that they were shorter than they needed to be, and that the sun crossed the sky too quickly. So he said to his brothers: ‘Let us catch the sun in a noose and make him move more slowly. Then everybody would have long days in which to get their food and do all the things that have to be done.’
His brothers said it was impossible. ‘No man can go near the sun,’ they said. ‘It is far too hot and fierce.’ Maui answered: ‘Have you not seen all the things I have done already? You have seen me change myself into all the birds of the forest, and back again into a man as I am now. I did that by enchantments, and without even the help of the jawbone of my great ancestress, which I now have. Do you really suppose that I could not do what I suggest?’
The brothers were persuaded by these arguments, and agreed to help him. So they all went out collecting flax, and brought it home, and sat there twisting it and plaiting it. And this was when the methods were invented of plaiting flax into tuamaka, or stout, square-shaped ropes, and paharahara, or flat ropes; and the method of twisting the fibre into round ropes. When they had made all the ropes they needed, Maui took up the jawbone of Muri ranga whenua, and away they went, carrying their provisions with them, and the ropes. They travelled all that night, having set out at evening lest the sun should see them. When the first light of dawn appeared, they halted and hid themselves again, and in this way, travelling only when the sun could not observe them, they went far away to the eastward, until they came to the edge of the pit from which the sun rises.
On each side of this place they built a long high wall of clay, with huts made of branches at either end to hide in. There were four huts, one for each of the brothers. When all was ready they set their noose and saw that it was as strong as they could make it. The brothers lay waiting in the huts, and Maui lay hiding in the darkness behind the wall on the western side of the place where the sun rises. He held in his hand the jawbone of his ancestress, and now he gave his brothers their final instructions:
‘Mind you keep hidden,’ he said. ‘Don’t go letting him see you or you’ll frighten him off. Wait until his head and his shoulders are through the noose. Then when I shout, pull hard, and haul on the ropes as fast as you can. I will go out and knock him on the head, but do not any of you let go your ropes until I tell you. When he’s nearly dead we’ll let him loose. Whatever you do, don’t be silly and feel sorry for him when he screams. Keep the ropes good and tight until I say.’