Gallery and artwork concepts.
Our artwork is inspired by the concepts of Maori culture, the indigenous people of New Zealand. I am honoured to share these beautiful stories and teachings of our tipuna (ancestors) with you.
The artwork contained on this site are my interpretations of some of my favourite Maori stories expressed through visual art. They capture key moments within these stories that remind us of our own experiences of hope, growth, strength, knowledge, courage and love.
Attire to inspire
Tane - Bringer of Knowledge
Alias and Domain: Tane Mahuta, God of the forest. Tane-te-wananga, Bringer of knowledge. Tanenui-a-rangi, Bringer of higher consciousness.
Star Sign: Taurus
Card equivalent: The Hierophant.
Tane is the son of Rangi (Sky Farther) and Papa (Earth Mother) and is responsible for many events in Maori mythology. He created the first woman (Hine-Ahuone) and man (Tiki), separated his parents to bring light into the world and ascended to the highest heaven to retrieve the 3 baskets of knowledge from IO, the supreme being.
Tāne is a model for masculinity and action in the world. His various names suggest freshness, youth, someone who can overcome others’ actions, and who is true, loyal and authentic. He is seen as upright and able to bear the weight of an enterprise; he has his roots in the earth and his head in the heavens.
"... And as Tane climbs onto the citadel, Te Tihi-o-Manono, in the highest of all heavens, known as Te Toi-o-nga-rangi, he has overcome all challenges and tests that were laid before him including barrages of attacks from his brother Whiro (God of Evil) and his minions. This piece captures the moment Tane achieves his great ascension symbolising resiliency and determination for higher knowledge and is rewarded by IO with the Wisdom to benefit all of mankind"
There he retrieved three baskets of knowledge: te kete-tuatea (basket of light), te kete-tuauri (basket of darkness) and te kete-aronui (basket of pursuit). There are several interpretations of what each basket represents. The scholar Māori Marsden has suggested that the basket of light is present knowledge, the basket of darkness things unknown, and the basket of pursuit is the knowledge humans currently seek.
Tāne, imbued with te ira atua (the godly aspect), also obtained te ira tangata (the human aspect) from the heavens before creating and implanting both aspects within Hineahuone, the first woman. She in turn gave birth to humankind, which accounts for the belief that people possess both a human and spiritual nature.
Tāne’s famous journey to the heavens is remembered in the following ritual chant:
Tēnei au te hōkai nei o taku tapuwae
Ko te hōkai nuku ko te hōkai rangi
Ko te hōkai a tō tupuna a Tānenui-a-rangi
Ka pikitia ai ki te rangi tūhāhā ki te Tihi-o-Manono
Ka rokohina atu rā ko Te Matua-kore anake
Ka tīkina mai ngā kete o te wānanga
Ko te kete-tuauri
Ko te kete-tuatea
Ko te kete-aronui
Ka tiritiria ka poupoua
Ka puta mai iho ko te ira tangata
Ki te wheiao ki te ao mārama
This is the journey of sacred footsteps
Journeyed about the earth journeyed about the heavens
The journey of the ancestral god Tānenuiarangi
Who ascended into the heavens to Te Tihi-o-Manono
Where he found the parentless source
From there he retrieved the baskets of knowledge
These were distributed and implanted about the earth
From which came human life
Growing from dim light to full light
There was life.
Hinemoana: The ocean personified. The ocean maid
Alias and Domain: Ocean Goddess, Ocean Maid, The Ocean personified.
Star Sign: Scorpio, Pieces, Cancer
Card equivalent: Queen of cups
Hinemoana was the second wife of Kiwa, one of the male divine guardians of the ocean. Her name literally translates to Ocean Woman and she was the ocean personified. Together, Hinemoana and Kiwa had a number of children. The names and number of these children vary in different accounts however each of them was the ancestor of the creatures of the sea; shellfish, eels, seaweed, octopus and so on.
Others say that Kiwa is the brother of Hinemoana, or her guardian. Some iwi have stories in which Hinemoana is married to Ranginui, the god of the sky or sky farther. This causes jealousy on the part of Papatuanuku, the earth mother, another of Rangi's wives. The enmity between Hinemoana and Papa is shown in the way the sea is constantly attacking and eroding the land.
The ocean is known as the Moana nui a Kiwa, the Great Ocean of Kiwa, but is actually personified in Hinemoana, the Ocean Maid. In one version of our story Hine-moana is said to have been a daughter of Hine-ahu-one). Her place was out on the great waste of waters, on tiritiri o te moana, the far spread ocean solitudes, and it was then that she was taken to wife by Kiwa.
When guardians were being appointed for the heavenly bodies then Rona, Te Ahurangi and Te Rangitaupiri were made guardians of the moon, they control that orb. Then Tane-matua PAGE 255said: "Let the moon have control of the tides of Hine-moana." It was then that the Tuahiwi-nui-a-Hinemoana was arranged to serve, apparently, as a dividing line from which tidal surges flowed both ways.
The ocean is sometimes termed the marae o Hine-moana, the plaza of the Sea Maid, or the marae nui o Hine moana, the vast plaza of Hine-moana.
This design represents a mature woman who is mystical, empathic, sensual, loving, highly attuned emotional intelligence and one of the most intuitive cards in tarot. She is loyal, nurturing and may denote a strong spiritual or intuitive talent. This card has links to the High Priestess, both cards representing female power and intuition. The message from the Queen of cups is reflection and see the beauty in all of life's experiences.
Kiwa - Guardian of the Sea
Alias and Domain: Guardian of the Sea
Star Sign: Scorpio, Pieces, Cancer
Card equivalent: The King of cups
Mahuika: Goddess of Fire, Guardian of Fire
Alias and Domain: Goddess of Fire, Guardian of Fire
Star Sign: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Card equivalent: The Queen of Fire / Queen of Wands
Hina: Moon Goddess
Alias and Domain : The Moon Goddess, The Moon personified, Mahina.
Star Sign: Pieces
Card equivalent: The Moon
Hine Ahuone: The first woman
Name: Hine Ahuone
Alias and Domain : The first woman, the mother of mankind
Star Sign: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Card equivalent: The Queen of Pentacles