Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Kurangaituku • Bird Woman


  • Medium: pounamu (New Zealand jade), pāua (New Zealand abalone), kiwi feathers, pounamu (New Zealand jade) base
  • Size: 10 × 7.5 × 3 inches (incl. base)
  • Reference Code: KX90703

“Kurangaituku was the bird woman from Te Arawa, who was referred to as being a hideous type of creature much like the Wild Woman of the Northwest Coast culture. The idea to capture the bird woman in stone with beauty came from Joe David. Joe had done a painting of a Wild Woman, rather than her being ugly she was beautiful. When asked “Why she looked that way?” — He said “beauty can also be a Wild Woman.”

Lewis Gardiner

Lewis Tamihana Gardiner

Lewis Tamihana Gardiner


Te Arawa, Ngāti Awa, Whanau a Apanui, Ngāi Tahu

(1972- )

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.”