This form has the element of the kotiate weapon as a reference to a protector. This sculpture acknowledges the importance of the woman in the creation of life and the nurturing of that life. She is who we consider a whaea kaitiaki (guardian mother), a role that echoes through the thirteen Moon Mothers. Hine Te Iwaiwa does not have only one of the Moon Mother’s traits, but like many guardian mothers who could be a mother, grandmother or great grandmother, she has strengths from them all. Every person has traits of their guardian mother and this pays homage to all of them.
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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