Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Nga Tapuae O Nga Tupuna • Footsteps of the Ancestors


The rattle was used to create a rhythm which I have likened to the footsteps of our ancestors. The rhythm created through waiata (song) and haka (action dance) at times could make the earth tremble to acknowledge that we are here, now in this time. To achieve great accomplishments is to honour the footsteps left by the ancestors.

Lewis Gardiner

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.”