Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Rongoa • August Moon: Keeper of the Healing Arts


  • Medium: pounamu (New Zealand jade), ivory, onewa (greywacke) base
  • Size: 5 × 6.25 × 1.5 inches (incl. base)
  • Reference Code: KLX100203

The kowhai flower is one of a multitude of flowers and plants that are used in the traditional art of healing or what is known in Maori terms as rongoa. This knowledge was something that was passed down through the generations. The world is constantly changing with modern technology, machinery and medicine. The art of rongoa is not as strong or important as it once was because of all the modern medicine available. It is the persistence of Maori understanding the benefits of natural remedies that the art of rongoa will survive and like the kowhai flower bloom again.

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.”