Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Hiikoi Mātahi • Walk With You


“My joy is solitude, I listen
My comfort is momentary, I feel
My breath…deep, my thoughts…clear, my heart…peaceful, my soul…alive.
I walk alone.”

To Maaori, it is Hine (Papatua-a-nuku, Earth Mother), the ultimate matriarch who’s embrace is unconditional. Draping the land with a green veil of nourishment and shelter she enables life to exist within her domain. Powerful yet compromising…this is she.

This piece celebrates ‘Hine’ (the female energy).

Wahine Toa…protector & defender of life. Whare Tangata…sacred embodiment of birth & giver of life. Karanga…a calling of life, of lineage, of welcoming, of consecration. Kauwae…the visual prowess of pride & prestige. Kai Raranga…author of wonderful woven forms, of links to land & ancestry, of the creative spirit. Whatu…eye of memory, past & future, of one’s destiny.

To you…Hine,
I walk with you.

—Roi Toia

Roi Toia

Roi Toia


Ngā Puhi

(1966- )

Roi was born and raised in Southland province in the South Island of New Zealand, although his whakapapa (genealogy) is the Te Mahurehure hapu (sub-tribe) from the Hokianga in Northland on the North Island. In 1983, he received a three-year apprenticeship to the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua, where he learned to carve with the adze and chisel and graduated with honours. He has carved on four whare whakairo (carved houses), which fuelled his passion for perfecting the technical aspects of his art and led him to learn about the ideology and spiritual aspects of carving.