Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Manarua o te Roroa


This vessel acknowledges the brothers, Manumanu and Rangitauwawaru, the founding ancestors of the Te Roroa tribe.

The mana of the brothers is affirmed by the two manaia. Manaia—literally, containing mana—is an element widely used in Māori carving. The manaia is a symbol of the mana of chieftainship, power, prestige and charisma. It is also used to express spiritual and tapu (sacred) states of humanity. The manaia appear in many forms and there are significant tribal variations. The form however, always is shown in profile and includes eye, mouth, and usually, hand.

Manos Nathan

Manos Nathan


Te Roroa, Ngāti Whātua, Ngā Puhi


Since the mid-1980s, Manos has been at the forefront of the Māori ceramic movement. He is co-founder of Nga Kaihanga Uku, the national Māori clayworkers’ organization, although his background is in woodcarving and sculpture. (He carved the meeting house at Matatina Marae, Waipoua Forest, on his tribal lands.) His clay works draw on customary art forms and on the Māori cosmological and creation narratives. In 1989, he travelled to the United States on a Fulbright grant to visit Native American potters. A reciprocal visit took place in 1991.