Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

He Taonga Tuku Iho


The toki pou tangata is an adze that establishes who is in authority. The adze of authority is one’s internal thread, one’s whakapapa. It is by passing this taonga (gift) from one generation to the next that it will become the manawa of the whanau, the heart of the family.

Lewis Tamihana Gardiner

Lewis Tamihana Gardiner


Te Arawa, Ngāti Awa, Whanau a Apanui, Ngāi Tahu

(1972- )

Lewis Gardiner is regarded as one of the most innovative and respected Māori jade artists of his generation. In 1994, he graduated in Māori Craft and Design at the Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua. During his final year he was introduced to the valuable medium of pounamu (jade) and was immediately attracted to its artistic possibilities. Māori had always valued pounamu for both its hardness and for its translucent beauty. Lewis was no different — as he says, “Our tupuna (ancestors) have given us, the Māori people, the resource and knowledge base to provide a reference for us and our children for years to come.”