This is a carving of Hine-nui-te-pō, the goddess of death, as Māui the demigod attempts to kill her by entering her and exiting through her mouth. Māui failed to overcome Hine-nui-te-pō, meaning human
The story of how Maui Tikitiki a Taranga came to create the first dog @ maori.org.nz
Legend has it that New Zealand was fished from the sea by the daring demigod Maui.
The story of the demigod and hero, Maui, is one of the best-known of all Polynesian myths and legends. Retold here by Rohini Chowdhury
Legends of Maui, A Demi-God of Polynesia, by W. D. Westervelt, [XXX], full text etext at sacred-texts.com
Maori mythology and history - the Polynesian settlement of New Zealand
Māui dreamed of the day that he could go fishing with his older brothers. Each time his brothers returned from a fishing trip Māui would ask, "Next time, can I come fishing with you?"