AKUA (OCEANIC GODS)
Classification: Gods (Extra-Dimensionals/Immortals)
Location/Base of Operations: Celestial Hawaiki (Polynesian Heaven)
Known Members: B'ngudja (god of sharks), Haumea (goddess of childbirth), Kanaloa (god of the sea), Kāne Milohai (god of light), Kū (god of war), Laka (god of hula), Lono (god of agriculture & peace), Na-Maka-O-Kaha'l (goddess of the sea), Papa (Gaea), Pele (goddes of volcanoes), Poliahu (goddess of snow), Rangi (Sky Father), Tame (leader), Whiro (god of death & evil)
Affiliations: Other races of Gods
Worshipped by Hawaiians, Polynesians, and probably parts of Australia
Aliases: Hawaiian Gods, Kahuna, Polynesian Gods
First Appearance: Thor I#300 (October, 1980)
Traits/Powers/Abilities: The Akua all possess certain superhuman physical attributes. They are true immortals who cease to age upon reaching adulthood, and they cannot die by conventional means. The Akua are immune to all terrestrial diseases and are resistant to conventional injury. If an Akua is wounded, his or her godly life force will enable him or her to recover at a superhuman rate. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it incinerates an Akua or disperses a major portion of his or her bodily molecules to cause him or her to die. Even then, it may be possible for a god of greater or equal power, or several gods acting together, to revive the deceased god before the god's life essence is beyond resurrection. Akua flesh and bone are about twice as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the gods' superhuman strength and weight. An average male god can lift about 20 tons; an average goddess can lift about 10 tons. Though generally weaker than Asgardian and Olympian deities, the Akua have proportionately faster reflexes. The gods' metabolism gives them superhuman endurance in all physical activities. Many Akua also possess additional superhuman powers, and many can achieve greater superhuman feats upon accumulating high levels of internal mana - the life force that resides within all living things. For instance, the volcano goddess Pele can control fire and magma and project intense heat. Many Akua are also skilled shape-shifters.
History: (Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - The Akua (also known as the "Oceanic gods" or "Atua") have been worshipped by the Polynesian people of the central and southern Pacific Ocean as early as 1600 BC to modern times. Most of the Akua dwell in Celestial Hawaiki, a small "pocket" dimension adjacent to Earth; an interdimensional nexus between Hawaiki and Earth exists somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, and the 12 floating, celestial islands that comprise Hawaiki are sometimes seen on the distant horizon at sunrise and sunset from the earthly plane. Hawaiki is also inhabited by other beings below the Akua, such as wairua (spirits), tipua (goblins), taniwha (aquatic monsters) and patupaiarehe (forest-dwelling, faerie-like creatures). The Akua are called different names by their human worshippers; for example, the sea god Kanaloa is known as "Tagaloa" by the Samoans, "Tangaloa" by the Tongans, "Ta'aroa" by the Tahitians, and "Tangaroa" by the Maori of New Zealand. The Akua are invoked by their worshippers on Earth in oral literature and genealogical recital even in modern times.
The precise origin of the Akua, like that of all Earth's pantheons, is shrouded in legend. According to ancient myths, the primordial Earth Mother Gaea (Papahanaumoku or "Papa" in Hawaii, "Papatuanuku" in Maori) and the primordial Sky Father Rangi ("Ranginu," aka "Wakea" in Hawaii) coupled and gave birth to the first Akua: Light god Kane Milohai, sea god Kanaloa, war god Ku, and peace & agriculture god Lono. Due to the constant tight embrace of Papa and Rangi, their offspring lived in eternal darkness. The fierce war god Ku proposed that he and his brothers kill their parents in order to end the darkness; but Kane disagreed and instead used his might to physically push his parents apart, thus separating the sky from the earth and bringing light to the world. Kane became his brothers' leader and, with the childbirth goddess Haumea, sired many divine children who joined the Akua pantheon.
(X-Force I#81(fb)) - Pele was one of the mortal daughters of the gods Tame and Haumea who once lived on earth. Both she and her sister Namaka competed for the rights to become gods; a feud acerbated by Pele who seduced her sister's lover. The two fought for many years with their fight creating the Hawaiian Islands from molten rock from deep within the earth. Pele was killed, but her father restored her to life as a goddess. In revenge, Namaka placed spells preventing Pele from retrieving her mortal heart hidden on the island of Kilauea. The spells required warriors of noble heart to retrieve it.
(Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - B'ngudja was one of several shark gods sired by Kane and Haumea. In ancient times, he lived off the coast of Woodah Island (in modern-day Northern Territory, Australia) where he hunted dolphins in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
(Knights of Pendragon II#15 - BTS) - Bane agent Brent McCinley posed as B'ngudja attacking swimmers in order to turn public opinion against Australia's shark population. This facilitated the Bane's illegal shark-poaching operations, but McCinley was ultimately killed by a school of sharks.
(X-Force I#81) - In recent years, Pele impersonated Risque of X-Force in order to have the mutant heroes retrieve the heart for her. Namaka, however, used the Lava Men to slow her down, but X-Force defeated the Lava Men and returned the heart to Pele who returned to the realm of the Hawaiian Gods.
(Citizen V and the V Battalion: The Everlasting#1 (fb) - BTS/Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - The shape-shifting god of evil Whiro posed as Papahanau-Moku and joined Marduk and Aqhat in forming the organization known as the Everlasting.
The main image in this profile is by Gus Vasquez.
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica, p5
Knights of Pendragon II#15 (September, 1991) - Dan Abnett & John Tomlinson (writers), Gary Erskine (pencils), Bambos Georgiou (inks), Steve White (editor)
X-Force I#81 (September, 1998) - John Francis Moore (writer), Adam Pollina & Guillermo Zubiaga (pencils), Mark Morales (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Citizen V and the V Battalion: The Everlasting#1 (March, 2002) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Lewis LaRosa (pencils), Jim Royal (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica (2009) - Anthony Flamini, Greg Pak, Fred Van Lante & Paul Cornell (writers), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Last updated: 08/18/02
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