(noun) ancestor with continuing influence, god, demon, supernatural being, deity, object of superstitious regard, – although often translated as ‘god’ and now also used for the Christian God, this is a misconception of the real meaning. Many Māori trace their ancestry from atua in their whakapapa and they are regarded as ancestors with influence over particular domains. These atua also were a way of rationalising and perceiving the world. Normally invisible, atua may have visible representations.

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