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2018 Maui and the Sun - Tama Nui-te-Ra Silver Coin Set - Silver Coin

Silver Coin
GBP £147.62
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(item in basket)
Technical details
  • 15.11.2017
  • Dave Hakaraia and artist Elisabeth Vüllings, Wellington, New Zealand / Ian Rank-Broadley
  • BH Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt GmbH
  • 0.999 silver
  • 1 Oz
  • -
  • 40mm
  • 2 x One New Zealand dollars
About 2018 Maui and the Sun - Tama Nui-te-Ra Silver Coin Set

Māui-potiki was the youngest of five brothers, each bore a variation of the name Māui, but it was the youngest who is pivotal in all of the feats immortalised in legends. Māui’s parents were both supernatural beings and although their names and association with the gods varies between different tales, the one consistent factor is that Māui inherited some of these abilities making him a demi-god.

These supernatural abilities allowed Māui to achieve some amazing accomplishments according to Polynesian myth and legend. From bringing humans fire, to creating the barbed hook and spear used for catching birds and fish, it would appear that we have a lot to thank Māui for. One of the best known legends of Māui is the tale of how he, with the help of his brothers, slowed the sun.

It used to be that the days on earth were short and fleeting, the sun would rise in the east and then dash swiftly across the sky, barely giving humans time to catch a glimpse of daylight, before setting in the west. People would have to do all of their work, hunting, fishing, carving, in pitch black with only flickering fire light to see by.

Māui and his brothers had just finished preparing for their evening meal when the sun briskly set and they had to eat in darkness. Māui, fed up with eating in the dark and having to rush to complete daily chores before the sun set, announced to his brothers that he planned to catch the sun and teach it to travel slowly across the sky. Despite the numerous impossible tasks that Māui had already completed such as creating the barbed hook and spear for catching birds and fish, travelling to the underworld and gaining fire from Mahuika, his brothers still doubted his ability to capture the sun.

Eventually Māui managed to sway them and they set about gathering flax to create strong ropes. Māui taught his brothers how to plait, twist and weave the flax fibres to create the strongest ropes possible, while he chanted a karakia to give the ropes strength to withstand the suns heat. After days of rope making, Māui was finally satisfied that their ropes would be of sufficient strength to contain the sun. Māui and his brothers shouldered the ropes and began their trek to the east in search of the suns resting place. The brothers could only travel at night to ensure that they wouldn’t be spotted by the sun as they got closer. After days of walking, the brothers finally came across a vast, sweltering pit dug deep into the earth. Inside, Rā (the sun) was sleeping deeply. The brothers set about building a clay wall on the edge of the pit to protect themselves and hide their long ropes.

As Rā began to stir, the brothers fled and hid behind their wall, each one with a firm grip on the ropes. They all waited in silence for Māui’s orders. Slowly, Rā began to rise, first just the flames of the top of his head could be seen, then his swirling eyes followed by sharp white teeth. With a shout, Māui jumped out and hurled his rope over Rā’s massive head before pulling it tight, his brothers followed suit and soon Rā was held fast. Māui approached Rā and raised his magic jawbone high above his head before bringing it down hard upon Rā. Māui ordered Rā to travel slowly across the sky to give people time to do their daily tasks. Again and again Māui struck Rā with his jawbone, until finally, Rā was too weak and tired to do anything except slowly creep across the sky.

From that day on, the sun travelled slowly across the sky, giving people ample time complete all their tasks and still have time to enjoy the day.


2 x 1 oz silver coins, one picturing Māui, the other with gold plating featuring Rā (the sun) linked together by Māui's ropes Limited worldwide mintage of just 1,500 sets Set in an acrylic block, housed within a premium black leatherette display case with a red and white rope pattern on the lid Designed by David Hakaraia and artist Elisabeth Vüllings.


The heroic legend of Māui capturing and slowing the sun is depicted in these two 1oz silver coins. The mighty sun, Rā is captured with detailed gold plating, while Māui is portrayed holding fast the ropes he used to slow Rā. The coins are laid out in an acrylic block in a way which mimics the legend. The ropes held by Māui are etched into the surface of the acrylic block and line up with the ropes attached to Rā so that Māui appears to still be holding the sun in place.

These stunning coins are minted from 0.999 silver and come housed in a premium display case with a striking red leather band across the top. Each set comes with an individually numbered certificate which gives a quick overview of the legend of how Māui slowed the sun.