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In Polynesian mythology, Atea ("space") is the most ancient god, who split into the gods Rangi and Papa.

In the Marquesas Islands, Atea came from Tanaoa (primeval chaos), and made room for Atanua (dawn goddess) to appear. Their son was Tu-Mea, the first man.

In Tuamotu, Atea married Fa'ahotu. Their first son, Tahu, died of starvation and the two gods switched sexes. Later, Atea tried to kidnap Tane, but Tane escaped to Earth and eventually became so hungry that he ate a man, thus becoming the first cannibal. Tane declared war on Atea and killed him with the lightning bolts of Fatu-tiri, his ancestor.