This sculpture celebrates the accolades of the powerful god Tuterangiwhanao who wielded his adze to fashion the South Island fiords in the Milford Sounds.
It was Papatuanuku (earth mother) who voiced her concern that although she commended Tuterangiwhanao and his efforts he had forgotten to accommodate her children’s needs as the mountains married into the sea.
Once again Tuterangiwhanao lifted his adze and produce Te Wahi a Papatuanuku (the place of mother earth).
This form represents the adze of Tuterangiwhanao. Papatuanuku is depicted on the surface of the adze by the Kauae (chin tattoo) which was common to high ranking females.
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