He Atua, He Tangata: The World of Māori Mythology

Book Author A.W. Reed
Revised by Ross Calman

Rights Available World excl. NZ, Australia

In this updated edition of the Reed Book of Māori Mythology, esteemed editor Ross Calman comprehensively revises the core stories of gods (atua) and people (tangata) and the many other beings that sit on the continuum between the two.

Divided into themes, this elegantly produced volume starts with traditions of the creation of the universe, and the separation of Rangi and Papa, then reviews the pantheon of atua (gods), the overworlds and underworlds. Next are the demigods and supernatural peoples, then legends of earth, ocean and sky, tohunga and makutu, and finally legends of love and endurance.

He Atua, He Tangata presents different versions for stories, with sources identified where possible. Calman has modernised the language to make them easily accessible.

About the Author

A.W. Reed (1908–1979) was one of New Zealand’s most influential writers and publishers. He helped build A.H. & A.W. Reed into the country’s leading publisher, and authored more than 200 books. His works on Māori mythology have served New Zealanders for several generations.

Ross Calman is an esteemed author, editor and licensed translator whose other books with Oratia are Favourite Māori Legends and The Treaty of Waitangi. Last year saw the release of his superb translation of the biography of Te Rauparaha. Ross lives with his family in Wellington.


Oratia Books


240 x 160 mm, b&w

Jacketed hardback, section sewn

Non Fiction


Publication Date
October 2021

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ, Australia

Rights Agents:


Peter Dowling, Oratia Books

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Not only has Ross Calman fully revised the many stories of gods and people for He Atua, He Tangata, he has also modernised the language and use of te reo to give a contemporary feel, making the timeless work fit for twenty-first century readers.

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