The mask form is found in the meeting house and on the tauihu (prow of the waka - canoe). This mask is likened to Rangatira, the navigator, who cast his eyes to the stars and the sea to guide the canoe safely to new lands, new prosperity and new beginnings. Regardless of the past, the present or the future, the spirit of Rangatira and the ancestors are there to guide us safely to our destination.
Thank you, Preston, for the use of the cast glass head as an inlay.
Te Arawa, Ngāti Awa, Whanau a Apanui, Ngāi Tahu
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.”
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