This blog centers around the main character of my World of Warcraft existence: Hinenuitepo. Hinenuitepo is currently a female Draenei Death Knight on the Moonrunner US server. When I decided to roll a Death Knight for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, I selected the name based on the sound of the name itself and the mythology surrounding the Maori princess. It’s pronounced “Hee-nay-new-ee-teh-poe.”
The name Hinenuitepo itself comes from a Maorian legend, which can be found on various sites on the internet, including this site and at Godchecker. Hana Weka is credited with this version of the Goddess’ story:
Today She is known as Hinenuitepo but she began life as Hinetitama, the Dawn Maiden.
Tane Mahuta was very proud of his daughter, Hinetitama, and watched her growing up with interest.
One day he called his brothers and said, “When my daughter, Hinetitama grows up, who will she marry?”
The gods looked at each other.
“Why don’t you make her a husband out of earth?” said Tu Matauenga, the god of war.
“Choose one of us,” sighed Tawhiri Matea, the god of the wind.
“Marry her yourself,” thundered Tangaroa, god of the Sea.
“It’s your problem,” they shouted,”Leave us out of it,” and they departed.
So Tane Mahuta changed his form and became a simple man. When Hinetitama saw him she fell in love with him and became his wife. She was very happy.
Children were born. Hinetitama was very busy.
One day a wicked little breeze drifted past Hinetitama and whispered, “Who is your father, Dawn Maiden?” Hinetitama paused thoughtfully.
Another day while she was gathering shellfish, a wave sneaked up around her ankles and rippled, “Who is your father, Dawn Maiden?”
Puzzled, Hinetitama returned home and asked Tane Mahuta,”Who is my father?”
Tane Mahuta replied, “Ask the four corners of this house.”
At once Hinetitama realised that her father and her husband were the same person.
At night she left her family and fled into the Underworld. When Tane Mahuta came to fetch her home she replied, “Go back to our children. I shall never return to the world that you have created. I shall stay here and welcome our children and their children’s children into this world.”
Tane Mahuta replied, “So shall it be. Hinetitama you were called in the world of light. Hinenuitepo you shall be called in the World of darkness. Hineuitepo, the Goddess of Death.”