From the novel "The Whale Rider"
Maori Religion and Gods
Creation began for the Maori people with the Atua. The first god was Te Kore, which means the void. Many other gods came after him. The Maori people thought they had power which was called mana, and some had more than others. Today, they still worship the same gods. A persons spirit is known as a wairua. When babies are born they are dedicated to a god at the ceremony called Tohi. that was one of many other rituals.
The Maori language originated in Aotearoa. It is known as Te Reo Maori. It is spoken by a quarter of all Maori and about 4% of the population speaks it. Many New Zealanders use Maori words and expressions also. Maori had no written language, but their symbolic meanings that they put into their work like carving, for example, were widely understood. The modern Maori language has 20 letters. The language was predicted to die down over the years, but it is still used by people today.