Traditionally, pāua (New Zealand abalone) shell was used to depict the eyes of the ancestors commemorated in woodcarvings. Here the pāua pearls are represented as stars, and sometimes the stars are referred to as “little eyes.” This constellation of stars referred to as Matariki (Pleiades) appears in the sky around mid-June. The Māori New Year begins with the first new moon after the first pre-dawn appearance of Matariki.
Featured in the book Te Kahui o Matariki (Contemporary Māori Art of Matariki).
Te Roroa, Ngāti Whātua, Ngā Puhi
Alex worked in traditional materials such as bone, shell, stone and wood until the late 1980s when his brother, Manos, introduced him to Michael Kabotie, the Hopi silversmith. Now Alex works exclusively with silver as his primary material and uses traditional materials as highlights. Adapting and exploring traditional Māori designs within the silver medium, he incorporates traditional motifs in his uniquely constructed and carved silver pieces.
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