The Maori creation myth tells how heaven and earth were once joined as Ranginui, the Sky Father, and Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother, lay together in a tight embrace. They had many children who lived in the darkness between them. The children wished to live in the light and so separated their unwilling parents. Ranginui and Papatuanuku continue to grieve for each other to this day. Rangi's tears fall as rain towards Papatuanuku to show how much he loves her. When mist rises from the forests, these are Papa's sighs as the warmth of her body yearns for him and continues to nurture mankind.
In Maori mythology the primal couple Rangi and Papa (or Ranginui and Papatuanuku) appear in a creation myth explaining the origin of the world.