Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Pokopoko Te Taniwha


  • Medium: fired clay, oxides, pāua (New Zealand abalone)
  • Size: 10 × 13.5 × 9.5 inches
  • Reference Code: KX50312

Our oral traditions speak of Pokopoko as a taniwha with a legion of lesser taniwha under his command that could be recognized by the kokowai (red ochre) markings he placed on their backs. Traditions also have it that he is the ancestor Pokopoko Herehere Taniwha (Pokopoko the Water Spirit Binder), who subdued taniwha throughout his life and who, once he died and was given up to the waters of the Kaipara, became a taniwha himself.

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.