Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)
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Ruru — Ihumanea • December Moon: Wisdom Keeper


  • Medium: pounamu (New Zealand jade), 9kt gold, pāua (New Zealand abalone), pounamu (New Zealand jade) base
  • Size: 8 × 6.5 × 3 inches (incl. base)
  • Reference Code: KLX100202


Ruru (owl) in the Maori world is known as a messenger. This can be a kaitiaki (guardian) or a bad omen. When someone dies their body is brought back to the marae (traditional gathering place) for a tangi (funeral). It is a time for whanau (family) to come to terms with a loss, to grieve and remember their loved ones. The ceremonies are a farewell to send the deceased on their final journey to the spirit world. It has been known at such events that a ruru would appear and stay for the entire ceremony only to take flight when the tangi was complete. A witness to this sacred ceremony, the ruru would be considered a kaitiaki.

Other available artwork you might like by Lewis Tamihana 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.”

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Spirit Wrestler Gallery

47 Water Street
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6B 1A1

Toll Free: 1-888-669-8813
Phone: 604-669-8813


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3 blocks from Waterfront Station
Between Abbott St. and Carrall St.

Monday to Saturday, open 10-6
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