The Maori of New Zealand believe that a race of evil spirits live in the water off the coast–the Ponaturi. The Ponaturi walk on land, but they only come out when the sun is down. Their bodies glow in the dark–pretty cool, if you ask me–and they have long talons at the end of their fingers.
Sunlight is fatal to them. According to legend, many Ponaturi were destroyed by the hero Tawhaki, in retaliation for the death of his father. With the help of his mother, who had been captured, Tawhaki convinced them it was night when it was day, and the sun killed all of them.
According to one version of the legend, the mother was transformed into a carving, which was a craft the Maori had never seen before. The people picked up the skill from that carving. So, here we have another example of water spirits inspiring the creative arts (See the Wahwee.).
- Sir George Grey, Polynesian Mythology, Forgotten Books, 1961
A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits
by Carol K. Mack, Dinah Mack