At the beginning, there was only the ocean. When Te Fiti emerged, her heart, a small pounamu stone, allowed the creation of life and multiple islands that would make up the homes of the world's first great navigators in the South Pacific. At one point, the heart's resting place was infiltrated by the mischievous demigod Maui, who—like others—sought ownership of the heart for his own purposes for mankind. After escaping the heart's island, however, Maui was attacked and engages in battle against the lava demon Te Kā. In the scuffle, the heart of Te Fiti was lost and remained as such for a millennia. According to legend, if the heart of Te Fiti is not returned to its rightful place, the world will slowly deteriorate and be destroyed.
Role in the film
A thousand years after the battle between Maui and Te Kā, the heart of Te Fiti was found and bestowed upon a young teenager named Moana by the ocean. Under her grandmother's guidance, Moana made it her mission to return the heart and save the world.
After a perilous journey across the ocean, Moana managed to return the heart, which revived Te Fiti, who in turn lifted the curse placed upon the world.