In many Māori tribal narratives, Hinetuahoanga is the personification of sandstone. Some accounts tell of her pursuit of Poutini. Poutini is regarded as the guardian of pounamu. He is what some would describe as a marakihau (sea monster) in the south. It is through these narratives the formation of pounamu jade has occurred. Hinetuahoanga is regarded important by our ancestors as she was the material that could shape and fashion pounamu into taonga (treasures) and her overcoming other quarried stone during her journey across Aotearoa, thus establishing a geological map ranging from Tūhua in the north to Te Tai a Poutini in the south.
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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